I like Boardwalk Empire and think it's a pretty clever show most of the time, but I never really look forward to the next episode. There's something missing from it that prevents it from going into the must-watch category. And with Sundays getting even busier, I'm not sure I even want to review the show on a weekly basis.
Van Alden takes his wife around the Boardwalk and turns her on by raiding then restaurant they're act. Both are pleased, but Van Alden makes sure she doesn't stick around, showing her the lurid details of the city. It is then revealed that he has a good reason to not want his wife around. He is now living with Lucy and using confiscated money to pay her. This is all well and good, fairly interesting stuff, but I'm not grasping on the end of the this plot in order to find out what happens next.
The other plots of "21" focus on the family aspect of the show. Margaret is placed in a difficult situation because she knows Nucky is not reliable but believes he can be better, which he tries when dealing with Teddy. The Commodore, meanwhile, has been moving on Nucky, but we don't know if Jimmy is fully on board yet. There's more trouble on home, as Gillian and Angela still don't mesh well, and Richard is being Richard. Again, there's good things here, but I'm not in any hurry to watch the next episode.
My favorite part of the season premiere was the increased usage of Chalky, who is show to be only human when the KKK shoots up his place. We see the fear on his face and realize that he is not the Omar, the cool guy who'd stroll down the street with a shotgun. He's Chalky, a black man trying to earn money and respect in a world where little is to be found for his people. Nucky's response to the shooting is what we've come to expect from him: appease both sides.