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One of HBO’s signature shows, this one-hour drama series chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City’s undisputed czar at a time when Prohibition proved to be a major catalyst in the rise of organized crime in America. Picking up 16 months after Season 2 ended, Season 3 begins on New Year’s Eve 1922-23.
The Roaring ‘20s are about to start; though the economy is booming, alcohol has become scarce, competition is fierce, and gangster violence is heating up. Amidst this backdrop, Nucky, whose marriage to Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) has become a sham after she signed away his highway windfall to the church, faces new competition in the person of Gyp Rosetti (new cast member Bobby Cannavale), who builds a new strategic bulkhead between New York and Atlantic City in an effort to siphon off Nucky’s alcohol business. The conflict brings out the best and worst in Nucky, who proves his brutal mettle in a series of violent encounters. New and familiar faces also undergo compelling metamorphoses as the 12 new episodes of Boardwalk Empire unfold.
01 - Resolution
While hosting a New Year’s Eve party for 1922-23, Nucky makes a resolution that does not sit well with Gyp Rosetti, a touchy gangster with a thirst for bootleg whiskey. Margaret looks to build on the Thompson endowment at St. Theresa’s Hospital, to her husband’s displeasure. In the absence of Jimmy and the Commodore, Gillian builds a new business while monitoring Richard’s mentoring of her “son,” Tommy.
02 - Spagetti & Coffee
Mixing business with pleasure (Billie Kent) in New York, Nucky bristles at the collection tactics of Gaston Means, a “special investigator” with ties to Daugherty. At St. Theresa’s, Margaret is troubled when her altruism is met with resistance by both a patient and an idealistic doctor. Gyp extends his stopover in Tabor Heights, a town halfway between Atlantic City and New York, with an eye towards establishing a strategic foothold.
03 - Bone For Tuna
Disturbed by a recent nightmare and Billie’s absence, Nucky reluctantly joins Margaret to receive a high honor from the Church. Meanwhile, Gyp makes a deal with Nucky for a onetime liquor shipment, though the mobster’s longtime intentions remain very much up in the air. Van Alden regrets trying to socialize with his coworkers, Margaret takes her women’s-clinic pitch to a higher authority and Lucky and Meyer protect their investments;
04 - Blue Bell Boy
After tracking down a liquor thief, Nucky and Owen end up spending a long night hiding out from the Feds with the precocious perp. In his boss’ absence, and with Rothstein fuming over a late delivery, Mickey overrules Eli to make a routing call that will have far-reaching consequences for Nucky and Gyp. Margaret encounters a familiar face while promoting Dr. Mason’s classes at the new woman’s clinic at St. Theresa’s. In New York, Lucky haggles with Joe Masseria over heroin splits, while in Chicago, Capone’s feud with O’Banion heats up when one of his collectors gets roughed up on the South side.
05 - You'd Be SuprisedAfter venting with Nucky about his liquor travails, Rothstein sends Gyp an unequivocal message in TaborvHeights. In Washington, Gaston Means sees opportunity in a Senate investigation of Harry Daugherty and the Justice Department. Billie gets a new co-star to revive her faltering show, Van Alden and Sigrid receive an unexpected visitor and Gillian worries about keeping her business afloat in Jimmy’s absence.
06 - Ging Gang Goolie
After being detained in Washington by Daugherty’s henchmen, Nucky approaches his onetime nemesis, Esther Randolph, and later entertains an intriguing proposition from Gaston Means. In Atlantic City, Margaret copes with Teddy’s demons while Owen investigates a suspicious fire. Gillian feuds with Lucky and finds a surrogate for Jimmy while Richard connects with a pugilistic vet named Paul Sagorsky and his daughter, Julia.
07 - Sunday Best
On Easter Sunday, Eli looks to get back in Nucky’s good graces at a Thompson family reunion. While Richard and Tommy spend the day as guests of the Sagorskys, Gillian stays at home and makes a sacrifice to improve her future. In New York, after dinner and prayers, Gyp heads downtown in search of a blessing – from Joe Masseria.
08 - The Pony
Gillian makes her peace with Jimmy's death, though not with Nucky, as Gyp arrives to play ally. Working off his debt to O’Banion, Van Alden attends a meeting with Capone and Torrio; later, after a workplace meltdown, he considers Sigrid’s case for staying put versus resuming a life on the lam. With help from Gaston Means, Nucky pays an unscheduled visit to Andrew Mellon, offering the Treasury Secretary a recommendation and a business proposal.
09 - The Milkmaid's Lot
Reeling from Gyp’s most recent attack, Nucky vows to eliminate his nemesis through a coalition of familiar partners. In Washington, the arrest of a high-profile bootlegger puts Daugherty and Jess Smith on the hot seat. Emily gets a scaled-down birthday party; Gillian blames an absent Harrow for Tommy’s latest misadventure; Gyp decides to buy a town’s silence; Broadway mourns a fallen star.
10 - A Man, A Plan...
Nucky reaches out to Gaston Means to keep Jess Smith quiet in Washington, and enlists Owen to neutralize Gyp’s alliance with Joe Masseria in New York. Margaret considers alternate futures, at the hospital and at home while Van Alden’s side business backfires. Gyp fumes when a shipment comes up short, Harrow coerces an apology for Julia and Chalky sees opportunity in the ashes of a boardwalk institution.
11 - Two Imposters
Gyp makes his move in Atlantic City, forcing Nucky and Eddie to seek refuge with Chalky. With the Artemis Club overrun by Rosetti thugs, Gillian contemplates a business future that includes an unwelcome partner. Luciano makes a deal he’ll come to regret and Harrow loses his house privileges.
12 - Margate Sands
Desperate to weaken Gyp’s alliance with Masseria and reclaim Atlantic City, Nucky cedes control of one of his prized assets to Rothstein. Harrow returns to Gillian’s brothel for some unfinished business and Luciano is forced to take on a new heroin partner after being arrested in New York. Chalky and Capone put their enmity on hold while taking on Masseria’s men and Margaret decides to end one relationship and considers resuming another.