Across the web, fans were shocked and outraged at the end of Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire when Terence Winter decided to kill off the James Darmody character.

After that fateful night, Mr. Winter told fans that it was a "fait accompli". Things were reaching a boiling point, Jimmy had double-crossed Nucky, and death was a logical conclusion for this character.

For me, Season 3 Episode 1 puts the first two seasons into sharp relief. During the first two seasons, the young gangsters (Nucky included) were just getting warmed up. They were just getting accustomed to their power and the money that comes with the bootlegging racket.

On the other hand, everybody becomes full-fledged gangsters in Season 3. Nucky is more powerful and wealthier "than God" and he won't hesitate to execute a rival.

Does the Gyp Rosetti character (full-fledged gangster, loose cannon type) typify Season 3 just as the James Darmody character (newly minted gangster) typified 1 and 2?


2 Answers 2


Gyp Rosetti is (from the words of a producer) a combination of a few different gangster-types from around that era. One has to wonder, out of the plethora of prohibition personalities the writers can choose from, which real life people is Gyp meant to be an amalgam of.

Since one of the biggest characters missing from the Boardwalk Empire lineup is Benny "Bugsy" Siegel, I would imagine him to be one of the influences. Playboy-ish, quick tempered, both are qualities that Bugsy and Gyp share. I understand Rosetti is Italian, and Siegel a Jew. Yet both though are affiliated with the Genovese Crime Family (this was eluded to in S03E05, with AR saying he didn't want to move on Gyp and start a war in New York over problems in New Jersey).

Then again, with there being a connection to Meyer Lansky & the Murder, Inc. crew, Siegel cannot be the entire inspiration. There will probably be other significant crime figures left out of the future of Boardwalk Empire that Gyp will take over for... and I for one am glad. Mr. Cannavale is great in this role and they shouldn't kill him off (like they did Jimmy) just because some entertainment freaks NEED B.E. to be as historically accurate as possible.

Let entertainment be entertainment and history be history.

  • Doesn't Michael Zegan play 'Bugsy Siegal'? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Zegen
    – Jim G.
    Oct 17, 2012 at 23:54
  • just to say it, There is benny bugsy siegel , it's the little benny who's starting with meyer and luciano, I think, maybe i'm wrong, but for me it is :p
    – user3279
    Oct 24, 2012 at 22:11
  • oh and if you haven't figured it out yet benny was the one who ran through gyp's men and tried killing him in tabor height which was a reference to murder inc.
    – user3292
    Oct 25, 2012 at 20:28

We have now seen 3 episodes with Gyp's involvement (fantastic character). I appreciate the resemblance in the context you describe but your question is answered by the fact that from a show's perspective Nucky needs a competitor - last season Jimmy, this season Gyp.

The point is that both represent completely different challenges. There was an emotional attachment to Jimmy who almost only went against the tide to prove a point but also as his wartime experiences had rendered him desensitised to the gangster culture he returned to.

Gyp simply doesn't give a fuck. It's all or nothing and he feels he's made it far enough to exploit the opportunity that this time period is offering. Nucky has never encountered someone like this: nothing to lose, ruthless, impulsive but strategic. How Nucky will utilise his intellect and political prowess to contain this new force will be intriguing.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .