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Five burning questions going into Season 5 of Boardwalk Empire

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Buscemi ponders his character’s uncertain future.
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Boardwalk Empire’s upcoming final season promises to be full of changes, especially given that seven years have passed since the end of Season 4, dumping us square in the middle of the Depression. So many questions ...

1. Is there any hope for Eli and Nucky? When last we saw Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham), he’d betrayed his brother (Steve Buscemi) and became a fugitive after brutally murdering a federal agent. Something tells us Thanksgiving dinners may not be in this family’s future.

2. What’s become of Eli’s son, Will? Will (Ben Rosenfield) was a focal point of Season 4, as his father went to insane lengths to protect him after a college scandal. Nucky stepped in as his benefactor, and with Eli all but out of the picture, the ambitious Will seemed primed for a Michael Corleone-style transformation.

3. Will Al Capone’s rise to power be complete? After the attack on syndicate head Johnny Torrio (Greg Antonacci), Capone (Stephen Graham) was poised to inherit it all. So seven years later, where, exactly, will he be—not to mention his conflicted but extremely capable lackey, former FBI agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon)?

4. How does Chalky White respond after the loss of his daughter? It shouldn’t take Chalky (Michael K. Williams) ​long to figure out that Nucky was behind the failed assassination attempt on Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) that led to his daughter’s accidental death. And we all know that Chalky doesn’t let things go.

5. How are we supposed to go on when so many of our favorite characters keep dying? It was bad enough losing Jimmy (Michael Pitt) a few seasons ago; now we’ve lost war vet Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), and we hear crime boss Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) will be absent from Season 5—because the character he plays actually died during that seven-year period. Damn you, history!

Boardwalk Empire Sundays, 9 p.m., HBO; premieres September 7.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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