The first season of “Boardwalk Empire” is coming close to an end and thus far, the HBO Prohibition-era show has proven to be a success. People are realizing that a series dealing with so much drama takes time to develop and they are sticking with it, despite the slow pace. But last night’s episode took a step on the wild side and featured bloodshed, lots of bloodshed. Check out what the critics had to say in our review roundup of the latest episode, “Belle Femme.”

Nucky Thompson and his story:

The story of Nucky Thompson, the Atlantic City mobster who runs the city from the town treasurer’s office, has managed to neither wow, unsettle, enlighten, or engross me. Like any new HBO series, I really wanted it to work. After the first few episodes dragged, I had faith that it would get better, that the drama would reveal itself as we got deeper into the characters. After all, recent TV greats like The Wire and Mad Men seem painfully slow until you settle in. But the problem with Boardwalk Empire is that it’s not boring in as deeply as those shows. In fact, it’s just boring. [Gawker]


For the first three quarters of Boardwalk Empire’s first season, relationships were built.  Strangers became friends, friends became lovers, lovers became enemies and enemies became victims.  Now these relationships are bending – some to the point of breaking.  With the finale only two episodes away, the tension among the characters is palpable as the relationships built over nine episodes are now Jenga towers teetering on the edge of collapse. [Culture Mob]


Despite the lack of bloodshed involved, my favorite part of the episode was in fact Margaret’s. While early episodes didn’t know what to do with her, she’s grown in importance and seems likely to rise even higher when the 19th Amendment is passed. After hearing that the dress shop she worked in is going out of business, she uses her leverage with Nucky to keep it around while also extorting it for free dresses for herself and her daughter. The way she’s learning how to use her own power is done elegantly and while the staining of the dress at the episode’s conclusion is heavy-handed, it doesn’t dampen the importance of what’s going on here. [Paste Magazine]

Best Moments:

One of the best moments of the show was when Madam Jeunet expresses her gratitude to Margaret. The look on Kelly Macdonald’s face: priceless. [Daemon's TV]


“Belle Femme” is an episode that marks a key turning point for the three major characters of the show. Jimmy returns home, ready to resume his place as head of his ad hoc family and Nucky’s right-hand man, only to be almost immediately arrested. Nucky is finally forced to admit the criminality of much of what he does, but he also finds out that the forces aligned against him are more dangerous than he’s been giving them credit for… “Belle Femme” crystallizes the choices these people have to make between the right thing and the easy thing, and in nearly every case, the characters — even the law-abiding ones! — choose the easy thing, the better to not inconvenience themselves… Belle Femme” is also an episode that takes a little while to get going, but one that packs some impressive twists once it does. [The LA Times Blog]

Two big moments near the end of the otherwise humdrum ”Belle Femme” have changed the course of this show, including one  ballsy power move by the almost unbearably weasley D’allesio brothers and their gang. [Baltimore Sun]

What did you think of this weekend’s episode of “Boardwalk Empire”?