Boardwalk Empire: Season 3 (2012)


Season 3
Boardwalk Empire

Critics Consensus

As hot-headed mobster Gyp Rosetti, Bobby Cannavale brings a sense of danger and energy to this season of Boardwalk Empire, which remains lavish, twisty, and violent.



Critic Ratings: 45


Audience Score

User Ratings: 334

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Air date: Sep 16, 2012

Season 3 premiere. Nucky makes a New Year's resolution; Margaret eyes a hospital expansion; Gillian builds a new business; Van Alden calls a gangster's bluff.

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Air date: Sep 23, 2012

Nucky mixes business with pleasure in NYC; Gyp makes a power play in Tabor Heights; Chalky and his daughter fail to agree on her future with Samuel; Eli gets a new boss and faces new realities at home; a major liquor shipment takes an unexpected detour.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2012

Nucky reluctantly joins Margaret to receive a high honor from the Church. Gyp makes a deal with Nucky. Van Alden regrets trying to socialize with his co-workers; Margaret takes her pitch to a higher authority; Richard sets the record straight.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2012

After tracking down a liquor thief, Nucky and Owen end up spending a long night hiding out from the Feds with the precocious perp. Mickey makes a routing call that will have far-reaching consequences. Capone's feud with O'Banion heats up.

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Air date: Oct 14, 2012

After venting with Nucky about his liquor travails, Rothstein sends Gyp a message. Van Alden and Sigrid receive an unexpected visitor; Gillian worries about keeping her business afloat; Margaret has awkward moments at the hospital and at Madam Jeunet's.

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Air date: Oct 21, 2012

After being detained by Daugherty's men, Nucky approaches his onetime nemesis, Esther Randolph, and later entertains an intriguing proposition from Gaston Means. Margaret and Owen investigate a fire; Richard connects with a damaged vet and his daughter.

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Air date: Oct 28, 2012

On Easter Sunday, Eli looks to get back in Nucky's good graces. While Richard and Tommy spend the day as guests of the Sagorskys, Gillian stays at home and makes a sacrifice to improve her future. In New York, Gyp heads downtown in search of a blessing.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2012

Gillian makes her peace with Jimmy's death, though not with Nucky, as Gyp arrives to play ally. Working off his debt to O'Banion, Van Alden attends a meeting with Capone and Torrio; Nucky pays a visit to Andrew Mellon; Billie eyes a future in film.

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Air date: Nov 11, 2012

Reeling from Gyp's most recent attack, Nucky vows to eliminate his nemesis through a coalition of familiar partners. In Washington, the arrest of a bootlegger puts Daugherty and Jess Smith on the hot seat. Emily gets a scaled-down birthday party.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2012

Nucky reaches out to Gaston Means to keep Jess Smith quiet in Washington, and enlists Owen to neutralize Gyp's alliance with Joe Masseria in New York. Margaret considers an alternate future; Van Alden's side business backfires.

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Boardwalk Empire: Season 3 Videos

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Tv Season Info

With the '20s really starting to roar, Nucky Thompson deals with his sham of a marriage while facing a new competitor, Gyp Rosetti, whose operations threaten to siphon off Nucky's booze business in Season 3 of the hit HBO series.

Critic Reviews for Boardwalk Empire Season 3

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (18)

This year, Boardwalk found the perfect mix of romanticism, crime, politics and tragedy. Especially tragedy.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Boardwalk Empire is in the tradition of gangster stories that treat their principals less as tragic heroes than as troubled businessmen, and there's something businesslike in its handsomely mannered approach to elaborating underworld myth.

Jul 21, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Jack Huston does more with half his face than most actors do with the whole lot, and he imbues a man of few words with the depth only long-form television is able to provide.

Mar 28, 2014 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

A puffed-up show that drowns its myriad shortcomings in an ocean of booze and blood. It's the televised equivalent of an empty suit.

Sep 16, 2013 | Full Review…

With all due respect to the zombies, there's been no better show on Sunday nights this fall than Boardwalk Empire.

Sep 16, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

This is still the role of Buscemi's lifetime, the likes of which this otherwise lifelong supporting actor may never see again.

Sep 16, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's the series' ability to balance the human with the sociopolitical that lends it its addictive quality. As the bullets start to fly, we genuinely care who lives and who dies.

Feb 26, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

With a cast as rich as this, and with so many plot strands in perpetual motion, you need to lay in supplies and settle down for the long haul.

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

At the season's end, the writers have successfully rebooted the show and given it a new direction.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Watching the show explore Rosetti further over the season will be truly delightful.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Steve Buscemi's portrayal of a crime lord has grown more monstrous - also more human.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

It's good, sometimes really good, with flurries of greatness. It's intelligent, engaging TV that rewards close attention, but it still feels like less than the sum of its parts.

Jun 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boardwalk Empire: Season 3

  • Sep 18, 2015
    Season 3 was the climax of the entire series, thanks to the introduction of new characters and more dangerous rivalries between the gangs.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2014
    Things have collapsed a bit on Season 3 of Boardwalk Empire. Much of the focus on period entrapings is lost, to give room for a more traditional gangster war kind of narrative. There's nothing wrong with that, but by loosing a bit of the depth that made Boardwalk so special to begin with is a big no no, since many characters undergo trnasformations that are not that engaging and interesting to follow this time around. Bobby Cannavale makes for a great villain but it's nothing we're not used to already. Save for some interesting storylines, courtesy of Richard Harrow, Owen and Margaret, some stuff going in Chicago, this season feels a bit like filler when it ends.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2020
    High production values throughout, I thoroughly enjoyed this series
  • Jun 17, 2018
    Although the plot becomes a bit of a drag in some areas, Boardwalk Empire stays at the top of it's game.
  • Feb 01, 2017
    Season 3 pit Nucky Thompson against the Italian mafia and, more specifically, Gyp Rosetti. Like last season, the action didn’t pick up until the last few episodes, but when it did, it was all-out war. Most exciting were the kick-ass actions of Richard Harrow and the rise of Al Capone. Also surprising and unexpected (wait, that’s the same thing) was the killing of Owen Slater, who, like Jimmy from seasons 1 and 2, appeared slated for a more grandiose role on the show.
  • Oct 17, 2014
    This season was incredible! Very fast paced, intense, and bloody!
  • Jul 23, 2014
    Possibly the best season. The villain is straight up evil which is surprising for a show like this which deals with moral grayness but it has a number of reasons for doing this, first and foremost of which is to redeem Nucky after he went a little too far for many viewers in Season 2. The directing is better than ever and so is the action. This season is by far the most eventful so far in terms of action, comedy, drama, and suspense working together. Resolution, You'd Be Surprised, The Milkmaid's Lot, and Margate Sands are all stunning. Fair warning though this season contains the only "bad" episode in the show, Ging Gang Goolie, but to be honest you can just skip it if you really want to and it's not horrible it's just boring and below average.
  • May 05, 2014
    While it is a little slow paced at times with a few filler episodes here and there, Boardwalk Empire season 3 is still one of television's best drama's, offering fantastic performances from it's talented cast and it's rich and beautiful portrayal of the 1920's.
  • Mar 02, 2014
    Gyp Rosetti…holy fuck!
  • Feb 24, 2014
    This season feels like the end of the world for nucky because his world his falling down right in front of him. this season is bloody and a dark drama mix with it.

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