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October 6, 2015

'Boardwalk Empire' Gangster Index, Week 4: Where Have You Gone, Commodore?

by Alex Moaba, posted Oct 17th 2011 1:30PM
Just when we were starting to get a read on the complex political landscape developing on Season Two of 'Boardwalk Empire,' a massive eruption has shifted everything around ... again. With the Commodore, Nucky Thompson's chief nemesis, incapacitated by a stroke, the anti-Nucky conspirators suddenly find themselves without a leader, and panicked by the thought that betraying Atlantic City's treasurer may be the last mistake they'll make on this Earth.

Nucky's stock, meanwhile, is back on the rise, as he continues to find creative ways to quickly re-occupy the power vacuum we saw forming after his arrest. And as both Thompson and Darmody set their sites on extending their bootlegging operation into Philadelphia, a proxy war looms on the horizon.

To keep track of the deals, deception and death, AOL TV is maintaining the 'Boardwalk Empire' gangster index, a guide to who's up and who's down among HBO's organized criminals.

Check out the index to find out how your favorite liquor-slinging sociopath fared in Episode Four, 'What Does the Bee Do?'

Stock down: The Commodore. It's always dangerous to put the fate of your political coup in the hands of a senior citizen. He succumbed to a stroke and can't communicate, much less leverage his political connections against Nucky anymore. He loses additional stock for being named Louis, but let's not forget that the Commodore has risen from his deathbed before.

Stock up: Nucky Thomspson. With his main political rival now a vegetable, Nucky hatched an ingenious (or idiotic) scheme to intentionally make his election-fraud charges federal. By deploying prostitutes from Philly as pawns to purposefully court an intrastate trafficking charge, Thompson may now be able to call in his favor with the Attorney General he helped put in the White House. It's a dangerous gambit, but it could pay off. Also, he retained sporting street cred by inviting heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey to train in Atlantic City.

Stock down: Jimmy Darmody. His father is now out of his life, just as quickly as he re-appeared into it. Darmody is on his own now, with only Harrow by his side and his dreams of a political career likely over. While it's true that he still knows how to make moves without the Commodore, Jimmy finds himself newly vulnerable, and will likely be finding trouble soon, owing to his decision to move in on Philadelphia at the same time Luciano and Lansky plan to use the city to import Nucky's booze shipments. Philadelphia ... the city of bootlegging proxy wars.

Stock up: Rothstein, Luciano and Lansky. They're back in business with Nucky Thompson, who called Rothstein seeking a new port after the Coast Guard cracked down on his A.C. shipments. Rothstein assigned Luciano and Lanksy to run security, setting up a looming showdown with Darmody, who just struck a deal to open up Philly as new territory. Remember when Luciano slept with Darmody's mom, and then Darmody marched him to his certain death? They don't like each other very much.

Stock down: Eli Thompson. It's all coming crashing down for Atlantic City's police chief, and he knows it. He betrayed his brother out of jealousy and spite, and now with his new political benefactor down for the count, he's panicking and seems to have few moves left to play.

Stock up: Owen Sleater. He is apparently not only a head-butt expert but an explosives expert as well, and he proved it by blowing up a rival distillery -- in a blast that accidentally took out one of Van Alden's prohibition agents. Also, it doesn't seem long before he'll be sleeping with Katie, Nucky and Margaret's servant girl. Play on, playa.

Stock up: Gillian Darmody. Her Greek Goddess dance was so steamy, it gave the Commodore a stroke. Finally, with him rendered defenseless, she slapped him silly in cathartic revenge for raping her years ago.

Stock down: Chalky White. He's out of jail, but increasingly seems to be engulfed by personal problems. He's struggling to fit into his own home, where his wife and children look down on him for his lack of education. Chalky's also feeling the pressure from the wives and mothers of his murdered workers, who are demanding financial retribution. He's taken to drinking as he plots how he'll find justice. He does get some bonus points for his pioneering use of language, particularly the phrase "ghost-ridin' mothaf-----."

Stock down: Special Agent Nelson Van Alden. His bizarre personal behavior continues to creep people out, and in this episode two of his prohibition agents began to suspect that Van Alden could be talking bribes or embezzling booze money. Of course, one of them got blown up in a distillery blast, but the other may still investigate the web of weirdness this guy has built for himself in A.C. Then again, the last prohibition agent to cross Van Alden ended up floating face-down in a pond, so he may not have much to worry about.

You can contact Alex directly on Twitter.

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