It’s been about eight months since the bloodbath that ended the last season of Boardwalk Empire, and judging by this trailer, things are no less violent in Atlantic City, but they are a little less… loud. Nucky Thompson spent most of last year learning he couldn’t be half a gangster, which also taught him that he couldn’t put his whole trust into anyone. So when he encounters Jeffrey Wright’s Dr. Narcisse, the “philanthropist” who runs Harlem, it’s as a king who rules from the shadows, with Nucky no longer feeling the need to let even the showgirls know who's in charge. After all, as of season four, Warren G. Harding is dead. This is the era of the stoically reserved Calvin Coolidge, of America’s chief business being business—specifically minding your own, be it isolationism in foreign policy, or bootlegging and murder.
If that sounds dull, consider that this season will find Al Capone doing the complete opposite as he Tommy guns his way to power in Chicago, and that, judging by this preview, Margaret will be quietly grappling with her conflicted morality far, far off screen for a change. (Hopefully the same can’t be said for the only barely glimpsed Van Alden.) Also, Gillian is getting romanced by Ron Livingston, who’s neither her son nor anyone who resembles him—so that’s sort of different. But best of all, Richard Harrow is still sticking his gun in people’s faces, the kind of quietly confident industriousness of which Calvin Coolidge would approve.