Boardwalk Empire (season 5)

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Boardwalk Empire (season 5)
Boardwalk Empire Season 5.jpg
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes8
Original networkHBO
Original releaseSeptember 7 (2014-09-07) –
October 26, 2014 (2014-10-26)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
List of Boardwalk Empire episodes

The fifth and final season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire premiered on September 7, 2014, and concluded on October 26, 2014, consisting of 8 episodes. The series was created by Terence Winter and based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. Set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition era, the series stars Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (based loosely on the historical Enoch "Nucky" Johnson),[1] a political figure who rose to prominence and controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and early 1930s. The fifth season takes place between April and October 1931, seven years after the previous season, during the Great Depression,[2] with flashbacks to 1884 and 1897 detailing Nucky's childhood and young adulthood.[3] The fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray in region 1 on January 13, 2015.[4]


HBO renewed Boardwalk Empire for a fifth season on September 26, 2013,[5] and announced on January 9, 2014, that it would be the final season.[6] The New York budget for the show's final season was $87.2 million.[7]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Departing the main cast from the previous season are Anthony Laciura, Jack Huston, Ron Livingston and Michael Stuhlbarg.[8] Ben Rosenfield was promoted to main cast after recurring in the previous season.

Recurring cast[edit]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
491"Golden Days for Boys and Girls"Tim Van PattenHoward KorderSeptember 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)2.37[9]
Awash in memories from his pier-boy days growing up in 1884 Atlantic City, Nucky remembers first catching the eye of the Commodore. In 1931, Nucky joins Sally Wheet in Cuba, and with a U.S Senator in tow, forges ties with Bacardi Rum with the hope of Prohibition's repeal in the U.S. The trip takes a strange turn as Nucky coincidentally bumps into Meyer Lansky while dining, who states he's just on vacation with his wife. However, Nucky questions Lansky's presence after an attempt on his life occurs later that evening, only to be thwarted by new bodyguard Arquimedes. Back in New York, an older Luciano sets up a meeting with Joe Masseria to discuss rival gangster Salvatore Maranzano. As their discussion concludes, Luciano excuses himself to the washroom, leaving Masseria to be gunned down at the table by Bugsy Siegel and Tonino Sandrelli. Meanwhile, Chalky White is now part of a chain gang and working prison detail in the woods when a riot breaks out; amidst the chaos, Chalky is able to snag the keys from a killed guard and escapes—though temporarily confronted by the gun-toting, somewhat mentally unstable Milton. Margaret is moving up the ranks at her job in New York, but her life of independence and stability is thrown into danger after her boss commits suicide. Luciano appears before the Maranzano family and pledges loyalty to Maranzano. Through flashbacks, the early life of a young Enoch and Eli Thompson is depicted, showing their volatile upbringing and the relationship between Enoch and a young Commodore.
502"The Good Listener"Allen CoulterTerence WinterSeptember 14, 2014 (2014-09-14)1.81[10]
Seven-year exile Eli Thompson has hit rock bottom, now a perpetual drunk and working as a debt collector for the Chicago Outfit with George Mueller, who is now one of Capone's veteran members. Mueller's life is starting to unravel as well, as the tension at home becomes evident through the strained exchanges with his wife and children. Gillian Darmody has gone completely clean during her court-mandated confinement in a women's sanitarium, and begins planning how to get out. Eli's son Willie Thompson is now pursuing a career as a prosecutor, but with a possible ulterior motive. Nucky sits down with retired Chicago boss Johnny Torrio to discuss recent events, and Torrio arranges a meeting between Nucky and Maranzano. Luciano, Lansky, Siegel and Tonino meet to discuss their next move, with the former uneasy about Tonino based on his treacherous past. Nucky later sits down with Maranzano and Luciano, but in doing so recalls Tonino's culpability after seeing a boardwalk caricature in memory of old flame Billie Kent. After the Maranzano meeting, Nucky arranges a private meeting with Tonino, who warns him that Luciano is plotting against him. When pressed by Nucky, Tonino offers his loyalty whenever Nucky should ask. Later that evening, Lansky is rushed outside to find a dead Tonino thrown on his steps—murdered in open acknowledgement of Lansky and Luciano's murder attempt on Nucky in Havana, as well as vengeance for Tonino's part in Billie's death.
513"What Jesus Said"Ed BianchiCristine Chambers and Howard KorderSeptember 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)2.11[11]
Runaway convicts Chalky and Milton seek refuge in a house, but stumble across a mother and daughter living there. Milton insists they take them hostage, and accuses the mother of past wrongs and a hidden safe despite her insistence of neither of these things. In the past, Nucky as a child begins to learn how to work hard through his employment under the Commodore; while working there, he chances to meet a young Mabel, his future first wife. Margaret is brought in for questioning about her boss's suicide and Arnold Rothstein's name surfaces, in conjunction with questionable stock trading practices. Nucky goes forward with his rum dealing and attempts to persuade Boston powerhouse Joseph Kennedy of a working partnership. Luciano and Benny Siegel sit down with Chalky White's old rival, Dr. Valentin Narcisse, to coerce him into entering a protection deal. Narcisse rejects the offer, so Luciano sends him a response by having Siegel and another mobster kill some of Narcisse's men and prostitutes at his brothel. Following hours of tense confrontation and questioning of their hostages, Chalky kills Milton with a hammer to the head after Milton puts a cocked revolver to the daughter's head. While this occurs, the mother and daughter retrieve the dropped gun, but do not shoot Chalky, and instead order him to take the nine dollars they have and get out. After a heated discussion with Rothstein's widow, who threatens to sue Margaret for the money she knows Rothstein gave her in exchange for inside stock information, Margaret goes to see Nucky.
524"Cuanto"Jake PaltrowHoward Korder & Cristine Chambers & Terence WinterSeptember 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)2.05[12]
Nucky and Margaret tentatively reconcile in order to deal with Mrs. Rothstein's threats. Luciano visits Chicago and tries to bring Al Capone into the Sicilian-only business plan and fails, but while there recognizes Van Alden as the prohibition agent from 10 years prior in New Jersey. Van Alden pleads for his life after Capone sticks a gun in his mouth. Capone ultimately spares him after Van Alden makes a compelling speech, which shrewdly appeals to his ego while making insinuations about Luciano's lack of respect. Joseph Kennedy backs out of the potential rum deal with Nucky, citing "scotch and rum don't really mix." Sally is stopped by a Cuban federal patrol, and tries to get out of the trouble she senses by flirting, dropping important names, and bribery, but these tactics only serve to aggravate the situation. After a brief struggle, Sally manages to grab away a soldier's gun and starts to back away into the darkness slowly, but is accidentally shot and killed by one of the soldiers in mid-sentence.
535"King of Norway"Ed BianchiSteve KornackiOctober 5, 2014 (2014-10-05)1.94[13]
In 1897, Nucky as a young adult is now a deputy sheriff for Atlantic City, pursuing marriage to Mabel while struggling against the disapproval and condescension of her father. In the present 1931, Chalky discreetly seeks out Nucky to learn the location of Valentine Narcisse. Although Nucky doesn't know, he gives him a safe place to stay, knowing the law is after him. Tensions hit their peak at the Mueller household as a family dinner with Eli Thompson and a visiting June reveals that the bitter Sigrid has been having an affair with Eli, which he—being constantly drunk and prone to blackouts—can't fully remember. Feds (including Mike D'Angelo) then show up at the Mueller house and arrest both Eli and Nelson. Nucky sits down with Torrio to further discuss a new meeting with Maranzano, which Torrio sets up and plans to attend. Nucky meets for a second time with Maranzano to discuss Luciano, but notes that Torrio has not shown, when men pull up and attempt to gun them down through the restaurant storefront. Eli and Nelson are blackmailed by the feds to work with them against Al Capone by stealing his financial ledgers, or face prison and the death penalty. Having survived the murder attempt, Nucky calls Torrio, now knowing that he has been in league with Luciano and Lansky, and warns Torrio that he is coming for all of them. Chalky locates Narcisse's brothel in order to kill him, but instead finds a small girl sleeping on the couch, and his old mistress, Daughter Maitland, in his room.
546"Devil You Know"Jeremy PodeswaHoward KorderOctober 12, 2014 (2014-10-12)1.55[14]
In 1897, Deputy Nucky is now married to Mabel and expecting their first child, while trying to capture a young boy who has been thieving and peddling on the boardwalk—later revealed to be a young girl named Gillian. In the present day of 1931, Nucky drowns his frustrations and grief over Sally's death at a seedy bar, where he ends up in a drunken fight and is robbed by two women who leave him knocked out in the alley. Eli and Nelson Van Alden are forcibly held by Ralph Capone after their plan to steal the financial ledgers from Capone's office fails. Mike D'Angelo attempts to get the two out under cover of disposing them quickly and quietly with his own men, which Ralph agrees to in order to avoid upsetting the trigger temper of Al Capone. However, Al returns with visiting movie stars George Raft and Paul Muni before they can leave, and is unavoidably apprised of the failed theft. Chalky and Narcisse finally meet again after seven years, with Narcisse willingly entering the room unarmed and alone to talk to Chalky. Narcisse informs him that things are changing and the Luciano threat is rising, then offers him a position in his organization. In return for his loyalty, Narcisse will release Daughter Maitland and her child and remove the blockade he's placed to prevent anyone from playing Daughter's new record. In a private room away from the eyes and ears of the visiting actors, Capone threatens Nelson, demanding to know what he and Eli are up to. Nelson snaps and tries to kill Capone by strangulation while finally admitting to his past as a Prohibition agent, but is shot in the head by Mike D'Angelo before he can reveal that the feds are investigating Capone. A rattled Capone allows D'Angelo to take Eli to kill quietly elsewhere, and actually orders the incriminating financial ledgers given to him for safekeeping. Having gotten what he wanted, D'Angelo lets Eli go in the lobby, unconcerned with his fate, and throws a crumpled bill at his feet for bus fare. Mickey rallies an army as Nucky prepares to move against Luciano, Lansky and Torrio. Meanwhile, Daughter, afraid for Chalky's life, warns him of Narcisse's treachery when Chalky agrees to work for him, but Chalky is already aware that he will most likely betray him. Despite this, he takes the deal in order to help Daughter pursue the success and life he believes she should have, and tenderly says goodbye to her and her child, Althea-—who is, he has since learned, his daughter. After Daughter leaves, Chalky is led out back, where he is unsurprised to find himself blocked off by a line of Narcisse's men, guns raised to execute him. After taking a moment to straighten his suit, he tells them he's ready, and closes his eyes with a smile and the memory of Daughter's singing in his ears.
557"Friendless Child"Allen CoulterRiccardo DiLoreto & Cristine Chambers and Howard KorderOctober 19, 2014 (2014-10-19)1.95[15]
At war with Luciano, Nucky looks to hold onto his assets in Atlantic City. With these heavy losses, tension begins to rise between Nucky and Maranzano, with Nucky heatedly arguing to strike back definitively and Maranzano counseling deliberation and caution. Deciding to take decisive action on his own, Nucky has Bugsy Siegel kidnapped after a gun battle that leaves Siegel with a bullet in the leg and holds him hostage, though Luciano initially appears little moved by his friend's plight. Released by Mike D'Angelo and assumed dead by Al Capone, Eli tries to reconcile with his son Will in a painful meeting outside his workplace. Eli walks away from the meeting, leaving an emotionally conflicted Will, but does not get far before witnessing Pinky Rabinowitz suddenly kidnapping Will. Nucky, Luciano and Lansky later meet in full force to make an exchange of hostages, but a limping Siegel cunningly feints his movements as the two walk pass each other, forcing Will back into the arms of Luciano and Lansky's men. Desperate to save Will, Nucky offers everything he has, while Lansky and Luciano consider his request and ask him to get on his knees. Siegel brashly suggests killing them all outright first and taking what they have after, but Nucky manages to persuade Luciano and Lansky by offering to take care of Maranzano within the next twenty-four hours. Knowing that ownership of the club will now go to Luciano and Lansky, Mickey Doyle tries to approach them and wheedle to retain management, but is shot in the throat by an unimpressed Luciano. Nucky scrambles to prevent the meeting from turning into a full-on bloodbath as guns are cocked, but can't keep the provoked Archimedes from going for his gun and getting shot dead by Pinky. Back in the past, Deputy Nucky has now moved young Gillian into his home, where she is groomed and cared for by Mabel. The couple argue over what to do with her, with Mabel passionately against returning Gillian to the dreadful life she had at her orphanage and Nucky unconvinced she is truly little more than a thief. Before the two can come to a decision, Sheriff Lindsay calls Nucky away to deal with a pressing matter with the Commodore. Arriving at the Commodore's mansion, Sheriff Lindsay resigns and hands his sheriff's badge to Nucky, having finally reached the limits of his conscience. Once inside, Deputy Nucky is taken to a bedroom upstairs and learns the ugly reality of what it means to work for the Commodore; seeing the young girl shivering and clutching her clothes to herself within and the partially clothed Commodore hurriedly leaving, Deputy Nucky is left with the clear knowledge that the Commodore is a child predator. Back in the present day, Maranzano and his men are murdered at his office by men posing as federal agents, with Eli on hand as one of the gunmen. Lansky and Luciano chat with Torrio and agree that Atlantic City will go to Pinky. Sitting alone, Nucky contemplates everything that has happened, and finally opens and reads the letter sent to him from Gillian Darmody, who pleads for him to show the same compassion and help he offered her as a young child.
568"Eldorado"Tim Van PattenHoward Korder & Terence WinterOctober 26, 2014 (2014-10-26)2.33[16]
With his holdings in Atlantic City lost, Nucky decides to go for a swim in the ocean. Meanwhile, in New York, due to Nucky's manipulation of Mayflower stock, Kennedy's business associates are nervous that repeal will not happen, and begin unloading their shares. Kennedy suspects Nucky's involvement, but Margaret convinces him to short sell his own shares. Margaret meets Nucky to inform him of her success, and it appears that they will rekindle their relationship but are interrupted. Nucky later returns to Atlantic City, intending to leave the city forever. He goes and meets Eli, gives him some money, and encourages him to return to his family. He then meets Gillian in the sanitarium, telling her the most he can do is set up a trust fund for her when she is released. However, it's revealed that Gillian has already undergone surgical treatment for her feigned insanity by psychiatrist, Dr. Henry Cotton, while in the sanitarium. Back in New York, Luciano and Lansky gather crime bosses from New York and all around the country and form the Commission, a singular body will mediate relations between all crime organizations in the country. Luciano also tasks Bugsy with killing Narcisse, and he is publicly assassinated in front of his church. In Chicago, Capone is served a court summons when the authorities manage to obtain his ledgers. While he publicly boasts that the charges of tax evasion won't stick, Capone says goodbye to his son before heading to court, where D'Angelo is waiting for him. Back in the past, Deputy Nucky finds out Mabel has miscarried, much to his shock. He is then summoned to his family home, where he physically beats his father for hitting his mother again, and warns there will be consequences if harm were to come to his mother again. After returning to Atlantic city, Nucky comes across Gillian again, who is participating in a parade. The Commodore promotes Nucky to Sheriff, and his first task is to deliver Gillian to him. Nucky reluctantly approaches Gillian, telling her that the Commodore is willing to take her in, and promising that he will look out for her. Back in the present, Nucky comes across Joe Harper again. Harper reveals that his real name is Tommy Darmody, Jimmy's son and Gillian's grandson, and shoots Nucky three times before being restrained by revenue agents. As Nucky apparently dies, he sees a vision of a younger version of himself swimming in the ocean and catching a coin.


The fifth season of Boardwalk Empire received positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the fifth season scored 83 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[17]

For the 67th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series received two nominations for Best Episodic Drama—Howard Korder for "Devil You Know", and Riccardo DiLoreto, Cristine Chambers and Howard Korder for "Friendless Child".[18] For the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast was nominated for Best Drama Ensemble, Steve Buscemi was nominated for Best Drama Actor, and the series was nominated for Best Stunt Team.[19]

For the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, Tim Van Patten was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Eldorado".[20] For the 67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the series received nine nominations, and won for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program (One Hour or More).[21]


The season premiered on OSN First HD in the Middle East on September 8, 2014.[22]


  1. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (September 16, 2010). "Boardwalk Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Crow, David (June 14, 2014). "Exclusive: Boardwalk Empire Season 5 Set in The Great Depression". Den of Geek. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Dodds, Eric (September 5, 2014). "Boardwalk Empire Boss Terence Winter on the Fate of Nucky Thompson". Time. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Lambert, David (November 3, 2014). "Boardwalk Empire - HBO Press Release Announces 'Complete 5th Season' Date, Details, Art". Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Ausiello, Michael (September 26, 2013). "Boardwalk Empire Renewed for Season 5". TVLine. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  6. ^ Hibberd, James (January 9, 2014). "'Boardwalk Empire' to end this year with final season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  7. ^ "Film Tax Credit – Quarterly Report" (PDF). Empire State Development. June 30, 2015. p. 6. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  8. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (September 2, 2014). "'Boardwalk Empire' creator Terence Winter previews final season, jump forward in time". HitFix. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 9, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'NFL Countdown' Leads Night + 'Boardwalk Empire', 'The Strain', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 16, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Strain' & 'NFL Countdown' Win Night, 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Ray Donovan', 'Witches of East End' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  11. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 23, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Strain' Tops Night + 'Naked and Afraid', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' + More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 30, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Strain' & 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Win Night, 'Boadwalk Empire', 'Ray Donovan', 'Total Divas', 'Wiches of East End' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 7, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: MLB Baseball Tops Night + 'The Strain', 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey', 'Alaska: The Last Frontier' + More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  14. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 14, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'Talking Dead', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Homeland' & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  15. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 21, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Tops Night + 'Talking Dead', 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey', 'NFL Countdown', NASCAR Coverage & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 28, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'Talking Dead', 'Boardwalk Empire', 'Real Housewives of New Jersey', 'Homeland' & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Boardwalk Empire: Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  18. ^ Gelman, Vlada (December 4, 2014). "Good Wife, True Detective, Thrones, Louie Among 2015 WGA Nominees". TVLine. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  19. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 10, 2014). "SAG Awards: Modern Family, Thrones, Homeland, Boardwalk, Cards Lead Noms; Mad Men Shut Out; HTGAWM, Maslany and Aduba Get Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  20. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 16, 2015). "Emmy Nominations 2015 – Full List". Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  21. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (September 12, 2015). "Emmys 2015: Americans, House of Cards and Shameless Stars, Freak Show, Thrones Among Early Winners". TVLine. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  22. ^ "September 2014 Programming Highlights". OSN. Retrieved January 11, 2015.

External links[edit]