“I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end,” Tony Soprano laments to his therapist in the pilot of that landmark HBO series. “The best is over.” Terence Winter was a writer and executive producer on “The Sopranos,” and now he is putting another character through the same torment, the feeling that time is slipping through your fingers.
“Boardwalk Empire,” created by Winter, opens with protagonist Nucky (Steve Buscemi) at the dawn of the Prohibition era. Now, in the beginning of Season 5, Prohibition is coming to an end. The new season skips to 1931, a time when Winter says organized crime was at a crossroads, with Al Capone the nation’s premiere gangster and The Commission ruling over the mafia. In the midst of the Depression, America was seeing the benefits of discontinuing the ban on alcohol, and Nucky has a chance to legitimize his business.
Winter reveals quite a bit about the historical motivations of his creative decisions, and foreshadows some plot developments to keep an eye out for in Season 5 — including flashbacks and new characters. Check out the video below: