Friendless Child



Critic Consensus: It still leaves a lot of loose ends to tie up, but "Friendless Child" offers plenty of surprises as it sets the stage for Boardwalk Empire's conclusion.

Episode Info

Nucky's war with Luciano draws in Willie and Eli as Nucky tries to maintain his control in Atlantic City. Meanwhile, Maranzano's tenure as boss is nearing the end; Gillian sends a letter from the hospital; and in 1897, a young Nucky quarrels with Mabel about a runaway from Trenton and does a favor for the Commodore.


Steve Buscemi
as Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson
Kelly Macdonald
as Margaret Schroeder
Michael Shannon
as Nelson Van Alden
Shea Whigham
as Elias Thompson
Stephen Graham
as Al Capone
Vincent Piazza
as Lucky Luciano
Paul Sparks
as Mickey Doyle
Jeffrey Wright
as Valentin Narcisse
Ben Rosenfield (II)
as Willie Thompson
Giampiero Judica
as Salvatore Maranzano
Marc Pickering
as Young Nucky
John Ellison Conlee
as Louis "The Commodore" Kaestner
Madeleine Rose Yen
as Young Gillian
Boris McGiver
as Sheriff Lindsay
Michael Zegen
as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel
Anatol Yusef
as Meyer Lansky
Ethan Herschenfeld
as Pinky Rabinowitz
Reg Rogers
as Robert Hodge
Greg Antonacci
as Johnny Torrio
Paul Calderon
as Arquimedes
Louis Cancelmi
as Mike D'Angelo
Travis Tope
as Joe Harper
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Friendless Child Photos

Critic Reviews for Friendless Child

The show patiently and at times craftily sets the pieces on the board for next Sunday's last roundup.

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…

This episode is marred by its bookends -- overly stylized, contrived sequences that are completely out of character, as if they were made from an entirely different show.

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…

The Atlantic City/New York showdown between the Thompsons and the Luciano/Lansky/Siegel contingent finally went down last night, and it was a little... what? Anticlimactic?

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

With only one week left and Nucky's 'Empire' in shambles, it seems that Terence Winter has his work cut out for him. We all know the man knows how to do finales. We're betting our chips high.

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…

"Friendless Child" finally reached, flashback-wise, the critical moment we've been waiting for. Nucky gambled big and lost it all. Despite knowing which side would ultimately win, there were still enough variables to keep it all suspenseful and shocking.

Jan 2, 2015 | Rating: 9.2/10 | Full Review…

The tension of the time was evident and we saw both Charlie and Meyer acting rather jumpy. Not sure if it was intentional or not, but there were two allusions to The Godfather in this sequence.

Jan 2, 2015 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Though we have one episode of the series to go, "Friendless Child" essentially brings the story of Nucky Thompson's empire to a close.

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…

It's no surprise that the modern scenes in "Friendless Child" are frenetically paced, racing us toward the finish line. The rush of the immediate highlights the dreamlike tableaux of the flashbacks, leading to an episode that feels overfull and fitful.

Jan 2, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

[In] Boardwalk Empire's penultimate episode ever -- "Friendless Child" -- walked Nucky Thompson right up to the edge of the great unknown. He's lost everything now, or close enough not to make much of a difference.

Jan 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Even though we have one more episode left to go, the penultimate episode, "Friendless Child," makes sure our central character's reign as the boss of Atlantic City reaches its finite end.

Jan 2, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…