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July 24, 2014

'Boardwalk Empire' Gangster Index, Week 8: Nucky's Playing Chess, Not Checkers

by Alex Moaba, posted Nov 14th 2011 6:00PM
After losing his closest allies and surviving both a political coup and an honest-to-god assassination attempt, Nucky Thompson finally walked away from his post as Atlantic City's Treasurer in 'Two Boats and a Lifeguard.' But don't count him out yet: the resignation was merely a chess move, made so he can live and scheme another day. Darmody & co. may be rejoicing at their new opportunity to dominate Atlantic City's liquor trade, but you can bet they haven't seen the last of Nucky.

To keep track of the deals, deception and death, AOL TV is continuing our weekly '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 this week ...

Stock Up: Nucky Thompson. After getting some solid advice from Arnold Rothstein, Nucky walked away from the job he'd held for decades. But even as he stepped down, Nucky was already plotting his next move, urging Chalky White to stage a strike of Atlantic City's black workers, which would effectively shut the city down while proving that, without Nucky, things fall apart. He's also reviving his connections with the IRA, and asked Owen to set him up a meeting with McGarrigle in Ireland. Something tells us the cache of automatic machine guns he stumbled on before his meeting with Rothstein and Torrio might come in handy somewhere down the line.

Stock up: Jimmy Darmody. Atlantic City's bootlegging trade is now his, but heavy is the head that wears the crown. He christened his era as Atlantic City's bootlegger-in-chief by throwing one of colleagues, Mickey Doyle, off a balcony at a party. He gave a rousing speech to his cohorts hailing the dawn of a new era after Nucky resigned, which earned him the Lebron-esque nickname of "Prince James." And he came clean to his wife about what he's been up to lately, which might go some way towards decreasing his mother's influence on him.

Stock up: Arnold Rothstein. The ultimate portrait of calm, consistency, and long-term thinking. He's playing Nucky on both sides, offering him counsel while doing little to dissuade his young proteges Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lanksy from moving against him. Rothstein has effective insurance policies in place for whatever goes down in Atlantic City.

Stock down: Gillian Darmody. Jimmy realizes now that he let his mother push him into sanctioning the ill-thought-out hit against Nucky, and he's kicking himself over it. Next time she starts to spout off platitudes about "victory having a thousand fathers," Jimmy may not be so receptive. But at least she's still got her "pillow talk" with Luciano.

Stock down: Chalky White. Returned after a brief hiatus as the pawn in Nucky's latest scheme. If he convinces Atlantic City's black workers to strike and shut down the city at Nucky's behest, what's in it for his people? With Nucky no longer in power, will they actually have their grievances addressed, or just face more retribution from the Klan?

Stock down: Eli Thompson. He's been subpoenaed by the federal prosecutor in her investigation of Nucky, and while it's unclear whether he's a target of the investigation or a witness against his brother, it's bad news either way. Let's recall that he was intimately involved with the murder of Margaret Schroeder's abusive husband, which the prosecutor seemed interested in. While Eli is all too willing to roll over on his brother, it's hard to imagine him keeping his job as Sheriff once it becomes clear to the feds how he's abused his power. And whereas Nucky has built up enough connections and money to survive without his job, it's fair to ask: without his Sheriff gig, what does Eli really have left?

Stock down: Mickey Doyle. You wondered how long Doyle could hang with the big boys while cracking bad jokes and giggling like a schoolgirl. The answer turned out to be not very long, as Jimmy sent him on a long fall off a short balcony.

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