|"A Return to Normalcy"|
|Season 1, Episode 12|
|Air date||December 5, 2010|
|Written by||Terence Winter|
|Directed by||Tim Van Patten|
"A Return to Normalcy" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Boardwalk Empire, and the season finale. It is the twelfth episode of the series overall. It was written by series creator and executive producer Terence Winter and directed by executive producer Tim Van Patten. It originally aired on December 5, 2010.
Agent Van Alden has requested a transfer out of Atlantic City, although his supervisor asks him to reconsider. The Commodore's maid admits she tried to poison him because of his mistreatment. Nucky lets her leave Atlantic City quietly over the protests of the Commodore. Nucky is increasingly stressed about the election, which the Democrats stand a good chance of winning. Chalky White offers to deliver the black vote for $10,000, a new car, and an invitiation to the (whites only) Election Night victory party.
Margaret and the children are staying with Nan Britton, who insists that Warren Harding will send for her when he becomes President. Margaret does not have the heart to tell her otherwise, but is preoccupied with taking care of the children and deciding whether to leave Atlantic City.
Rothstein is about to leave for Chicago to escape an indictment for fixing the 1919 World Series when Lucky Luciano and Lansky suggest setting up a meeting with Nucky to end the war. At a meeting brokered by Johnny Torrio, Nucky agrees to end the war and use his political connections to quash the indictment for $1 million in cash and the location of the D'Alessio brothers. As Nucky calls a press conference blaming the D'Alessio's for the robbery of Rothstein's shipment, Jimmy, Richard Harrow, and Al Capone murder the gang.
Margaret discovers Nucky had a son who died shortly after childbirth. After talking with him, she becomes convinced he is kind at heart. Jimmy describes his life in the trenches to Angela, and the two agree to go back to the happier times before the war. However, when she receives a postcard from Paris, she cuts her long hair that Jimmy was so fond of, disappointing him. Van Alden, who vowed to leave Atlantic City unless he received a sign from God, learns from Lucy that she is pregnant.
On election night, Bader is elected. His first decision as Mayor is to reinstate Eli as sheriff, as per Nucky's wishes and to Halloran's visible disappointment. Spoiling the celebration, a drunken Jimmy confronts Nucky, accusing him of pimping out his mother to the Commodore. At the Election night party, Margaret and Nucky reunite before Harding wins the Presidential election, while at his mansion, the Commodore reveals to Jimmy his plan to dethrone Nucky with the help of Eli.
The end montage shows the characters contemplating their decisions and futures. Margaret and Nucky leave the celebration and stand out on the boardwalk, gazing out towards the ocean as the sun rises.
- Main article: A Return to Normalcy recap
A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.
First Appearances Edit
- Ignacious D'Alessio, shot by Richard Harrow under orders of Nucky Thompson.
- Pius D'Alessio, shot by Richard Harrow under orders of Nucky Thompson.
- Sixtus D'Alessio, shot by Al Capone under orders of Nucky Thompson.
- Leo D'Alessio, his throat cut by Jimmy Darmody under orders of Nucky Thompson.
- An unidentified bootlegger, shot by Lucky Luciano to steal his cargo.
- Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
- Michael Pitt as James "Jimmy" Darmody
- Kelly MacDonald as Margaret Schroeder
- Michael Shannon as Agent Nelson Van Alden
- Shea Whigham as Sheriff Elias "Eli" Thompson
- Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein
- Stephen Graham as Al Capone
- Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano
- Paz de la Huerta as Lucille "Lucy" Danziger
- Michael Kenneth Williams as Chalky White
- Anthony Laciura as Edward "Eddie" Kessler
- Paul Sparks as Mickey Doyle (credit only)
- and Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner
- Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody
- Greg Antonacci as Johnny Torrio
- Jack Huston as Richard Harrow
- Max Casella as Leo D'Alessio
- Chris Mulkey as Frank Hague
- Edoardo Ballerini as Ignacious D'Alessio
- Peter McRobbie as Supervisor Elliot
- Anatol Yusef as Meyer Lansky
- Remy Bennett as Floozy
- James Caufield
- Rony Clanton as Langston
- Peter Claymore as Grey-Haired Man
- Robert Clohessy as Ward Boss Jim Neary
- Danielle Davenport as Chalky's Date
- Stephen DeRosa as Eddie Cantor
- Lucy and Josie Gallina as Emily Schroeder
- Craig Geraghty as Voter 1
- Vince Giordano as Bandleader
- Enid Graham as Rose Van Alden
- Kevin Henderson as Dr Carl Surran
- William Hill as Ward Boss George O'Neill
- Mat Hostetler as Agent Keener
- Virginia Kull as Nan Britton
- Gary Littman as Radio Announcer
- Johnnie Mae as Louanne Pratt
- Kenn Mann as Postal worker
- Nicholas Martino as Pius D'Alessio
- Laura Millis McClatchy
- Galway McCullough as Voter 2
- Edward McGinty as Ward Boss Al Boyd
- Declan and Rory McTigue as Teddy Schroeder
- Tracy Lynn Middendorf as Babette
- Adam Mucci as Deputy Halloran
- Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
- Kevin O'Rourke as Edward Bader
- Megan Reinking as Annabelle
- Allen Lewis Rickman as George Baxter
- Tracy Sallows as Katheryn Bader
- Eric Schneider as Sixtus D'Alessio
- Samuel Taylor as Paddy Ryan
- Fiana Tiobin as Mrs. Neary
- Victor Verhaeghe as Ward Boss Damien Fleming
- Susan Wands as Mrs. O'Neill
- Mark Manley as Babette's Dancer 01
- Noah Racey as Babette's Dancer 02
- Doug Sheppard as Babette's Dancer 03
- Felicity Stiverson as Babette's Dancer 04
- Amanda Suchy as Babette's Dancer 05
- William Ward as Babette's Dancer 06
- Adam Zotovich as Babette's Dancer 07
The season finale rose two tenths of a point a 1.3 adults 18–49 rating, and added about 300,000 viewers vs. last week. "A Return to Normalcy" had a viewership of 3.294 million.
IGN gave the episode a score of 8.5. The website said, "As Harding's victory speech calls for a return to normalcy, despite Margaret back in his life, Nucky is poised to return to anything but. 'Everyone of us must decide how much sin we can live with.' The amount Nucky has chosen for himself threatens to bite him in the ass, despite the episode's 'happy' ending. For Boardwalk to raise the bar it's already placed quite high, this consequence thing will have to get more play in a second season. For the only thing that can be better than Nucky getting away 'fast, [and] totally devoid of any emotion' is watching him squirm when there are no clean getaways."
- "A Return to Normalcy" at HBO.com
- "A Return to Normalcy" at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
- "A Return to Normalcy" at TV.com
- "A Return to Normalcy" at Wikipedia
|#01 Boardwalk Empire||#07 Home|
|#02 The Ivory Tower||#08 Hold Me in Paradise|
|#03 Broadway Limited||#09 Belle Femme|
|#04 Anastasia||#10The Emerald City|
|#05 Nights in Ballygran||#11 Paris Green|
|#06 Family Limitation||#12 A Return to Normalcy|