As we wait for the ‘Boardwalk’ saga to continue this Sunday, 9/23, we often find ourselves trying to piece together our own version of how things will pan out. It’s impossible to know for sure, unless, of course, you’ve got some inside information, but that doesn’t stop us from letting our imaginations run wild.
Terence Winter is a master of building tension, both within the story and throughout the series as a whole, but even he must abide by the most basic elements of storytelling. If we pay close attention, which is a necessity for a complex and rich show like ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ we can begin to pinpoint certain scenes or sequences that suggest a change in tone or tension. For instance, take last week’s episode, ‘Resolution,’ where we’re introduced, or re-introduced, to our protagonist and antagonist, Gyp and Nucky. Of course, both of these men are merciless gangsters, regardless, we’ve come to empathize Nucky Thompson. We think to ourselves, ‘This Gyp chump has got nothin on Nucky,” .. O how I wish it were so. At the end of each characters introductory scene, were left with a body – clearly a foreshadowing representation of the upcoming, inevitable ‘war’ of attrition between the two gangsters.
Of course, episode one is merely a taste, a teaser – now we begin the search for the catalyst event to end Act I, the ‘trigger.’ Perhaps its the death of a major character, perhaps a shipment will get robbed, perhaps new alliances will be made, perhaps – all of the above. Who knows? But one thing remains certain, these next 1-2 episodes will launch us into the heart of the story, to a point of no return, thrusting our characters into a new world of conflict and consequence.
The ‘trigger’ must terrorize something of personal value or importance to our protagonist; Gyp, therefore, must create a situation which ultimately threatens or destroys Nucky’s sense of normality. In my opinion, I believe that Gyp will personally oversee the execution of one of Nucky’s accomplices – Owen Sleater perhaps, or Eli Thompson, or maybe even his new mistress, Billy. Whoever or whatever it may be, some crazy shit is about to go down.
What do you think will by Gyp’s first act of defiance?