Boardwalk Empire has come to a very satisfying conclusion. The creator/primary writer of the series is Terrence Winter, who was also responsible for The Sopranos; a series whose ambiguous ending left us confused, bewildered and still talking about it years later.
This was no fade to black. This ending allowed us to exhale. The conclusion was so brilliantly connected back to the core story of a young Enoch Thompson. They say it was based on an actual character who came to power in Atlantic City during the roaring 1920’s.
I must admit, I got a bit lost in the interplay of gangsters over the course of the five year run. There were often times when I had to play the episode back to figure out who was who in that evolving crime world. They switched seamlessly between Atlantic City, New York, Chicago, Florida and even Cuba. The names were familiar…Capone, Luciano, Torrio, Lansky, Masseria, O’Banion, Siegel, etc. I found a good summary here:
The most interesting note for me was that Prohibition didn’t work. The bootlegging that followed led to the emergence of these criminal masterminds. People still found alcohol, and those who provided it controlled the money and the power.
The real drama surrounded the lead character, played so brilliantly by Steve Buscemi and his not so typically pretty face.
Much like the Sopranos, here was a bit of a morality play above all. In the fifth and final season, we got to see how his story progressed from a poverty-stricken, but resourceful child to a man of politics; one who was respected and feared by polite society, as well as crime lords.
There will be no Spoiler Alert here; the ending is just too perfect to be ruined in a matter of a few sentences. It is better to experience it the way the audience did. Kudos to the creators, the writers, the cast and all involved in the production of this series.