By Akshay Seth, B-Side Editor
Published September 12, 2013
Nucky’s back. Kind of. It’s that same gargantuan forehead, the same greased back hair and the same crooked smile, but if you take a step back and look beyond Steve Buscemi’s creepy eyes, you begin to realize this isn’t the Nucky we’ve come to know and love. Because Nucky, like so many of the darker protagonists that have come to define this “golden age” of TV, is beginning to unwind. Gone is the Machiavellian king pin who expertly convinced Jimmy to walk smiling into the arms of his own demise. Gone is the political machine that controlled bootlegging in Atlantic City with the deft hands of a practiced puppeteer.
"New York Sour"
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Nucky has always been a pragmatist, but there’s a theme of desperation in the way he cowers in his hotel rooms while buying out (figuratively surrendering to) Arnold and Joe. Some could say our beleaguered hero is just biding his time, waiting for the opportune moment to exact revenge, and even if that is the case, “New York Sour” makes it succinctly clear that the world is moving forward without him. The saddest part, and where this episode distinguishes itself, is watching Nucky fumble around trying to convince himself that he’s part of that motion.