Goodbye to Boardwalk Empire and Thoughts on Sons of Anarchy

This past Sunday was the final episode of Boardwalk Empire. The season was shortened (I believe because it was not as profitable as HBO had wanted) and they had to end a good bit of the story lines early. With the short amount of time they had to work with though, I would say it was a good ending.

For many of the characters, we knew their fate, Al Capone was going to jail, Lucky and Meyer would form the Commission with Lucky being the head of organized crime. The character we were most interested in though was what would happen to Nucky. Would he find a way to survive Luciano’s purge and remain an important player?

It looked like it was over for him when he turned over all of his Atlantic City business to Luciano in the last episode. Yet, Nucky always has a backup plan. He manipulates the stock market and ends up making a small fortune, I believe he still intends to be the legitimate businessman when Prohibition ends.

Unfortunately, his past comes back to haunt him. The kid we have seen skulking about turns out to be Tommy Darmody, Jimmy’s son. He kills Nucky, but not before we see the flashback that really spawned everything. Nucky earned his promotion to Sheriff by giving Gillian to the Commodore. After he promised that he would look out for her. The shot to the face reminded me of Nucky shooting Jimmy. It was completely sad and unexpected.

I watched a behind the scenes thing about the show on HBO the other night and there were some really cool things. For instance, Terence Winter would call the actors personally to tell them that their character was going to die. It struck me as really odd that these actors would get so attached to these roles. I just always assume they treat this stuff like a job and that they know the job will end at some point. All the actors said they dreaded the phone call from Winter (and on a few occasions he would actually call them for something else, they would be completely freaked out while talking to him).

Also, one of my favorite characters was Mickey Doyle, played by Paul Sparks. He said that when he auditioned, he did the laugh and the casting director told him to lose it and try again. Later when he found out he got the part, he had no clue which version Martin Scorsese wanted him to use. That struck me as funny, since we could have gotten a Mickey who was more serious.

Anyways, thinking about this show makes me realize how poorly Sons of Anarchy is wrapping up it’s final season. Kurt Sutter has more episodes and each episode has been given more time and yet for some reason he is not bringing us to a conclusion. Instead he keeps introducing problems and painting himself into a corner.

I recently read a theory that Chibbs may be working for the Irish and that he is trying to cause Jax to be completely unhinged so he can eventually take over and bring the gun business back into the hands of Irish-friendly players (meaning not black guys). Another theory is that Chibbs may be some kind of undercover cop.

I do not hate this idea, but if he is a cop, he has had so many opportunities to bring down just about everyone. What the hell would he be waiting for? Also, I always got the direct impression that Chibbs really hated the Irish (since he was kicked out of the IRA or whatever).

Anyways, I cannot imagine a scenario where Jax feels bad for basically starting a giant turf war. When he finds out that Tara was actually murdered by Gemma, is he going to be like “oh no, what have I done?” Probably not, he will just do his cool bro-walk and smoke a cigarette. Then kill Gemma.

I was trying to think of where things truly went off the rails for this show. I think that Abel should have died in Belfast. I know that is very harsh, but that could have been the thing that made Jax choose, revenge or family. He constantly talks about how important his boys are to him, yet have we ever even seen him with them? Aside from the occasional kiss on the head as he walks by after killing a bunch of people. I think the show could have taken on a different approach from there. Clay versus Jax was what we wanted, not Jax versus August Marks.

At this point though, I would not be surprised if in the final episode, after Jax has somehow pulled off some insane killing spree where all of his enemies are dead, then learns that Gemma killed Tara. As he is about to kill his own mother, in walks JT! Yep, his dead father will return and be like “oh Jackson, I faked my death and now I have returned to take back my club.”

Yeah, can this show end soon so Justified can start again?