"Boardwalk Empire" closed its Emmy-winning run with a time jump and a truncated eight-episode final season that brought the story full-circle by returning the focus to Nucky Thompson and the decisions that led him from poverty to wealth to power to moral ruin to the series end. With a heavy concentration on well-cast flashbacks, "Boardwalk Empire" cemented its place as one of the more elegant pieces of recent TV storytelling, an operatic avalanche of violent cause-and-effect. With Steve Buscemi still providing a relatively still center, the final "Boardwalk Empire" season welcomed large-but-grounded performances by series veterans like Michael Shannon, Michael Kenneth Williams, Stephen Graham and Kelly MacDonald, who made a welcome return after a quiet fourth season. "Boardwalk Empire" was only sometimes great, but in being as consistently "very good" as it was, it often became overlooked.
14. "Boardwalk Empire"