Boardwalk Empire

Gimcrack and Bunkum

Series 2 - Episode 5 Gimcrack and Bunkum



Slow, slow, quick-quick, slow. That’s the way they pace Boardwalk Empire in a terrific but brutal episode. There are long, spare scenes with pauses worthy of a particularly dark Pinter play, all meaningful looks and loaded dialogue. Then, wham! They hit you with a burst of violence so horrific you have to shield your eyes.

At the heart of the episode is a reconciliation scene of sorts between crime boss Nucky and his older, dimmer brother Eli, Atlantic City’s chief of police. They haven’t come face to face for a while,since Eli’s betrayal. Now they do. And how.

Two later scenes push the boundaries of acceptable violence on a television screen and may leave you trembling slightly, in need of a stiff whisky. Boardwalk Empire is a fine drama, but it’s right on the edge.


Nucky decides to tell his enemies what they want to hear - before springing a surprise at a Memorial Day service. Eli questions his allegiances as his options start to dwindle, Jimmy is taught a painful lesson by one of the Commodore's associates and Richard Harrow goes hunting in the forest.

Cast & Crew

Nucky Thompson Steve Buscemi
Jimmy Darmody Michael Pitt
Eli Thompson Shea Whigham
Commodore Louis Kaestner Dabney Coleman
Richard Harrow Jack Huston
Margaret Schroeder Kelly Macdonald
Angela Darmody Aleksa Palladino
Gillian Gretchen Mol
Agent Nelson Van Alden Michael Shannon
Eddie Kessler Anthony Laciura
Al Capone Stephen Graham
Lucy Danziger Paz De La Huerta
Arnold Rothstein Michael Stuhlbarg
Lucky Luciano Vincent Piazza
Chalky White Michael Kenneth Williams
Mickey Doyle Paul Sparks
Owen Sleater Ted Rooney
Director Tim Van Patten
Writer Howard Korder
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