Boardwalk Empire: S4E8 “The Old Ship of Zion”

8.5 Overall Score
Main Plot: 9/10
Sub Plots: 8/10
Anticipation: 9/10

The Chalky/Narcisse war | We finally get to see Chalky fight Dunn

Eye-rolling outcome to the Chalky vs. Dunn fight

The eighth episode this season managed to both get Boardwalk out of its midseason rut and provide an episode matching the intensity of the episodes earlier in the season. This week focused mainly on Nucky and Chalky’s perspective worlds, as Sally surprises Nucky in Atlantic City and the rivalry between Chalky and Dr. Narcisse finally comes to a head. Eli is also surprised by Knox in a diner, in which he is prompted to betray Nucky again. This all culminates in an epic showdown to end the episode that will have people talking for some time.

So it’s about time that Chalky finally opens his eyes to the conspiracy that Narcisse has strung up around his life. After noticing some dirty looks at the Deacon’s memorial service, Chalky realizes that people are blaming him for his death, and decides to quickly and brutally end the heroin problem in his territory. And so begins the battle between Narcisse and Chalky, beginning with Chalky going into a house full of the stuff, guns blazing, complete with Dunn killing the man that could point him out to Chalky. The stand-off in the street between Narcisse and Chalky was dramatic, and allowed for the people to see that Narcisse wasn’t all he pretended to be.

And so a rattled Narcisse decides to use all the weapons he has against the club-owner. He orders Daughter to keep Chalky in the room a bit longer than she normally would, and sure enough, in comes Dunn when Chalky least expected him. The point in which Dunn and Chalky were slowly moving together in the room was great, because Chalky obviously knew something was up. What proceeded was a vicious brawl between the two men, complete with a piece of glass going through Dunn’s cheek, and Chalky being choked out on the ground. Unfortunately, it ended with a predictable off-screen stabbing by Daughter, who apparently actually does have affections for Chalky.

Boardwalk Empire - S4E8On the other side of things, Sally spontaneously visited Nucky, pretty much to just ruffle his feathers (or so it seemed). I’m not sure how Nucky feels exactly towards his newest Southern confidante, but she certainly knows how to make him want her, complete with him whacking that ever annoying Mickey across the face with the late-Eddie’s cane.

Things between Knox and Eli have also come to a boiling point, with Knox openly threatening him in a diner (when Eli wouldn’t move over for the partner I couldn’t help but laugh) and basically telling him if he doesn’t betray his brother, bad things will happen. I really hope we don’t go down the Eli-betrays-Nucky route that has already been treaded, and that Eli will put aside his resentment and do the right thing, but you never know with Eli when his children are involved.

It was definitely a Chalky-centric episode this week, but you won’t hear any complaints coming from me. I personally am incredibly relieved that he survived his encounter with Dunn, even if it had a predictable ending. Where the war goes between Chalky and Narcisse has yet to be seen, but now with Daughter taking Chalky’s side things could get even more violent than before. Things are finally beginning to pick up steam as we head towards the end of the season, and I for one could not be more excited to see how things end.


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Author: Justin Peterson View all posts by

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