Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Review “A Man, A Plan . . .” – The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

After finally adjusting to Atlantic City without Jimmy Darmody, this week’s episode of Boardwalk Empire reminded me of my one pet peeve with the series – so many characters based on real life people. Without divulging too much, the show’s writers have used creative license with the characters based on real people but they’re clearly not inclined to make any huge departures. As such, the fictional characters become very vulnerable in a world of bootlegging, scheming, forking, shovels and gun play. Owen, you will be missed.

Thankfully, the writers gave us lots of Richard Harrow this week, which is not a bad consolation prize for losing the charming Sleater. Seriously, what is more adorable than Richard bringing ice cream to Julia and Tommy (in an adorable little suit) making sand castles? Interestingly, the trio was enjoying the King Neptune pageant, which was the same occasion at which the Commodore took a liking to Gillian and had Nucky bring her to him.

This week’s episode of Boardwalk Empire was all about people with plans.

Always ambitious, Nucky was making plans on two fronts – his move against Harry Daugherty and his move against Rosetti. Owen kills Masseria, Mickey runs Mellon’s distillery in Pennsylvania and Eli makes Nucky’s plea to Johnny Torrio.

Not to be outdone, Mrs. Thompson was busy making plans to steal away with Owen and start a new life with the Irishman and her new baby. For the record, I don’t think Owen’s plans with Katie were nothing more than an effort to keep his nosy lover quiet.

Lucky and Lansky made plans to expand into the drug business. Going against Rothstein’s advice to wait until the dust settled in the Lucky/Gyp war, the ambitious duo sought Masseria as a partner in their new venture. As a sign of good faith, they clued Masseria in on Nucky’s plans and guaranteed Owen’s demise.

I’m curious as to how Masseria learned of the Turkish bathhouse plan? Would Nucky share his plans with Rothstein, Lucky and Lansky despite their actions last week? Was the federal agent a double agent as well?

As he briefly mentioned last week, Chalky also has a plan or two of his own. He’d like to replace Babette’s with a Cotton Club-like venue in which Black talent filled the stage for white audiences. Nucky isn’t sure the color line is ready to move. This has potential to be a great season 4 story line for Chalky, provided he survives the fallout of Nucky’s war. Move the damn line, Nucky!

And lest we not forget the adventures of George Mueller and his authentic Norwegian liquor. Mueller’s new venture led him into Capone’s cross hairs with a fork in his face. I wouldn’t, however, consider Mueller done by any stretch of the imagination. Pun!

Admittedly, I felt a bit like Katie as I viewed this week’s episode. The scenes between Richard and Julia, particularly his very effective manner of dealing with her drunk and belligerent father, felt like a consolation prize to viewers who had to witness Gyp wielding a shovel and the corpse of Owen arriving in a box. Brutal. I have no complaints, as I love all things Harrow, but I’m ready to see Gyp’s days on Boardwalk Empire come to an end.

By the way, does anyone remember Richard’s book of happy families last season? Oh how I’d love to see what that book looks like these days, now that Richard is enjoying a little personal happiness. Aside from Richard, I’d say that Gaston Means was the real winner this week. He made a nice little profit with minimal effort.

In an episode named after a palindrome, it was Margaret who seemed to end up right back where she started. Nucky clearly knows something was amiss between Owen and Margaret and I did not get the impression that Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were having marital “relations.” As such, Margaret is in a very difficult position.

What are your predictions for the Thompson family? Sound off on that and this week’s episode below! The previews for next week make me very nervous. Will Richard lose his life after finding love? Can you imagine how the first conversation between Gyp and Chalky will go? For the record, I’ve accepted Jimmy and Owen’s death but if Richard AND Chalky do not make it out of season 3, I will not be returning to the Boardwalk for another round.