When we last left Nucky Thompson, he had successfully reclaimed his power and (for the most part) dispatched his enemies. Of course as tonight’s season premiere opens Nucky realizes his return to glory comes with a cost and has opened the door for a few new arrivals to his town, which is something HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” will explore upon its return.
Mutual enemies lead to strange bedfellows and that’s what led to Steve Buscemi’s Enoch “Nucky” Thompson to align with those he previously had plotted against in some way shape or form. As everyone on the series understands, favors lead to favors and it seems according to the latest promotional material the time to call in those markers has come.
Fans recall last season recent Emmy nominee (and former winner) Bobby Cannavale pushed Thompson further than any of the show’s characters have in three seasons. Cannavale was a great villain and he completely deserves his nomination, but the question now becomes “what’s next?” While Nucky tries to re-stabilize his empire and his own moral compass, a number of new temptations will enter the fray.
Not the least of the new arrivals is Jeffrey Wright (“Casino Royale,” “Angels In America”) as Dr. Valentin Narcisse who described himself to TV Guide yesterday as man who is “not limited within his ambitions” and that certainly sounds like a threat to Thompson’s reign. Granted the arrival of new FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover won’t help Nucky either. Played by Eric Ladin (“The Killing”), Hoover first appears in the show’s second episode and is gunning for the show’s main gangsters.
“Boardwalk,” which has always had a penchant for strong guest stars will also welcome aboard “Breakout Kings” star Domenick Lombardozzi as the brother of Al Capone (played since season one by Morgan Spector), Ron Livingston (“Office Space”) as a new in town supermarket executive and Patricia Arquette (“Medium”) as a surprising business associate of Nucky.
With (at least) five new characters added to “Empire’s” already rich tapestry, this season promises to continue the high quality storytelling that has earned it 36 wins and 71 nominations across the many prestigious Hollywood awards. This year alone it earned 10 Emmy nominations including its third consecutive nomination for Best Directing, a category in which it is undefeated. Check out tonight’s premiere and you’ll quickly learn why!