Photo: HBO Entertainment

TV episodes The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire  

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There are so many good episodes of Boardwalk Empire, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Two Imposters" the best, or is "Margate Sands" your favorite episode of Boardwalk Empire? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of Boardwalk Empire are, let's rank every Boardwalk Empire episode from best to worst.

Boardwalk Empire was a crime drama that aired on HBO for five seasons, from September 19, 2010 to October 26, 2014. Set during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s, Boardwalk Empire centered on Enoch Malichi "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buschemi) and his run of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Critically-acclaimed, Boardwalk Empire was nominated for 57 Emmy Awards. The series made a splash with its very first episode, an $18-million production directed by Martin Scorsese.

Vote up your favorite episodes of Boardwalk Empire, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one Boardwalk Empire episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

list ordered by

1
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Margate Sands is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Margate Sands Season 3 Episode 12: Season Three Finale. Desperate to weaken Gyp's alliance with Masseria and reclaim Atlantic City, Nucky cedes control of one of his prized assets to Rothstein. Harrow returns to Gillian's brothel for some unfinished business.

2
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Two Impostors is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Two Impostors Season 3 Episode 11: Gyp makes his move in Atlantic City, forcing Nucky and Eddie to seek refuge with Chalky. Gillian contemplates a business future that includes an unwelcome partner. Luciano makes a deal he'll come to regret; Harrow loses his house privileges.

3
4 1
Under God's Power She Flou... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Under God's Power She Flourishes Season 2 Episode 11: Nucky prepares Margaret for a worst-case scenario as Esther Randolph plays out her trump cards. Jimmy revisits his college days; Mickey Doyle chafes at sharing his liquor profits; Eli refuses to cop a plea; and Nelson's past comes back to haunt him.

4
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Farewell Daddy Blues is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Farewell Daddy Blues Season 4 Episode 12: Season Four Finale. Eli braces for the worst as Agent Knox sets in motion his plan to take down Nucky. Capone and Torrio reach an agreement in Cicero. Chalky looks to settle his scores. Richard Harrow steps forward to save Tommy, at Gillian's expense.

5
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Friendless Child is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Friendless Child Season 5 Episode 7: Nucky, at war with Luciano, looks to hold onto his assets in Atlantic City. Willie and Eli become involved in Nucky's war. Maranzano meets his fate. Nucky reads Gillian's letter from the hospital. In 1897, Nucky does a discreet favor for the Commodore.

6
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To the Lost is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
To the Lost Season 2 Episode 12: Season Two Finale. With Nucky's trial looming, Jimmy looks to make amends. After weighing an offer from Esther Randolph, Margaret makes a decision that will change the course of her future--and Nucky's.

7
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Gimcrack & Bunkum is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Gimcrack & Bunkum Season 2 Episode 5: After paying lip service to his enemies, Nucky introduces a surprise guest speaker at a Memorial Day dedication for war veterans. Eli questions his allegiances, but ends up digging himself a deeper hole. Jimmy is taught a painful lesson.

8
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Eldorado is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Eldorado Season 5 Episode 8: Series Finale. After a shakeup, Nucky looks to relocate to Manhattan. Margaret impresses Nucky and a grain-company stockholder; Luciano tends to unfinished business while establishing a mob commission; Nucky visits Gillian at the hospital.

9
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A Man, A Plan... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
A Man, A Plan... Season 3 Episode 10: Nucky reaches out to Gaston Means to keep Jess Smith quiet in Washington, and enlists Owen to neutralize Gyp's alliance with Joe Masseria in New York. Margaret considers an alternate future; Van Alden's side business backfires.

10
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Marriage and Hunting is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Marriage and Hunting Season 4 Episode 9: Nucky refuses to back Chalky in his conflict with Narcisse. Julia considers her options after Gillian makes her case in court. In Cicero, Van Alden stands up to Capone and comes clean to O'Banion. Rothstein looks to trade an insurance benefit for cash.

11
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A Return to Normalcy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
A Return to Normalcy Season 1 Episode 12: In the Season One finale, Nucky and Atlantic City brace for change on Election Day; Torrio brokers a deal between two nemeses, with far-reaching consequences; Jimmy ponders his future, as do Margaret, Agent Van Alden and Eli.

12
2 1
Belle Femme is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Belle Femme Season 1 Episode 9: Nucky braces for war with a rival faction; Jimmy stands by his alibi; Margaret helps out Madame Jeunet.

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13
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Devil You Know is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Devil You Know Season 5 Episode 6: In Harlem, Chalky encounters Narcisse in hopes of setting Daughter Maitland free. Federal Agents enlist Eli and Van Alden to help take down the Capone Organization. Pained by a recent loss, Nucky turns to the bottle, and the company of a pair of barflies.

14
2 1
King of Norway is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
King of Norway Season 5 Episode 5: Chalky returns to Atlantic City with vengeance on his mind. Concerned about the ongoing threat from Luciano, Nucky arranges a meeting with Maranzano in New York. Nucky gets some bad news from Cuba.

15
2 1
Cuanto is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Cuanto Season 5 Episode 4: Facing a shared dilemma, Nucky and Margaret find common ground in Atlantic City. Luciano encounters an old adversary while meeting with Capone in Chicago. Sally Wheet makes a payment in Cuba amidst concerns of a grass-roots uprising.

16
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The Pony is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Pony Season 3 Episode 8: Gillian makes her peace with Jimmy's death, though not with Nucky, as Gyp arrives to play ally. Working off his debt to O'Banion, Van Alden attends a meeting with Capone and Torrio; Nucky pays a visit to Andrew Mellon; Billie eyes a future in film.

17
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Blue Bell Boy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Blue Bell Boy Season 3 Episode 4: After tracking down a liquor thief, Nucky and Owen end up spending a long night hiding out from the Feds with the precocious perp. Mickey makes a routing call that will have far-reaching consequences. Capone's feud with O'Banion heats up.

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18
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The Old Ship of Zion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Old Ship of Zion Season 4 Episode 8: Nucky's shipment from Florida arrives with some unexpected cargo. Eli is backed into a corner after Agent Knox uncovers some new dirt on the Thompsons. Willie reconsiders his recent choices. Chalky throws down the gauntlet toward Valentin Narcisse.

19
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Erlkonig is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Erlkonig Season 4 Episode 5: Nucky heads to Philadelphia to deal with the fallout from Willie's liquor fiasco; Eddie Kessler is detained by Agent Knox; Gillian turns to an unexpected source to score a fix; Van Alden is recruited by the Capones for a job.

20
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Golden Days for Boys and Girls is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Golden Days for Boys and Girls Season 5 Episode 1: Season Five Premiere. In 1931 Cuba, Nucky forges ties with the hope of Prohibition's repeal in the U.S. Meanwhile, Margaret finds herself in the hot seat; and Lucky Luciano sets in motion a bold plan that reverberates with Nucky all the way in Cuba.

21
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White Horse Pike is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
White Horse Pike Season 4 Episode 10: Tipped off by Sally Wheet, Nucky enlists Eli and Agent Knox to check out extra cargo in Florida shipments. Margaret considers making a deal with Rothstein to improve her family's living conditions. Capone grows suspicious of Torrio; Nucky faces a dilemma.

22
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Georgia Peaches is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Georgia Peaches Season 2 Episode 10: Undercut by Nucky, who has a new source for alcohol, Jimmy and his partners look to cultivate a new revenue stream in Atlantic City. With the peak tourist season approaching, the Commodore's crew faces a choice in dealing with the city's striking workers.

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23
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Sunday Best is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Sunday Best Season 3 Episode 7: On Easter Sunday, Eli looks to get back in Nucky's good graces. While Richard and Tommy spend the day as guests of the Sagorskys, Gillian stays at home and makes a sacrifice to improve her future. In New York, Gyp heads downtown in search of a blessing.

24
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Havre de Grace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Havre de Grace Season 4 Episode 11: Nucky takes inventory after being warned there's a skunk in his cellar. Chalky and Daughter lay low outside Wilmington with Chalky's mentor from years ago, Oscar Boneau. Gillian weighs selling her mansion and starting a new life with Roy Phillips.

25
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All In is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
All In Season 4 Episode 4: Nucky gets to know Arnold Rothstein over a card game, and sizes up an unexpected partner for his Tampa land deal; Eddie Kessler gets detoured after making a delivery; Agent Knox fills Hoover in on the Thompson operation.

26
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A Dangerous Maid is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
A Dangerous Maid Season 2 Episode 3: With the Commodore putting the squeeze on Atlantic City's liquor shipments, Nucky reaches out to Washington's new Attorney General, Harry Daugherty, to return a political favor. Meanwhile, Owen Slater proves his worth.

27
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Acres of Diamonds is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Acres of Diamonds Season 4 Episode 3: Nucky has reservations about investing in a Tampa land deal; Valentin Narcisse books a sexy jazz singer to perform at the Onyx; Willie, Eli's son, turns to Mickey Doyle to elevate his social standing in college; Harrow tries to bury his past.

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28
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Ourselves Alone is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Ourselves Alone Season 2 Episode 2: Concerned about losing his grip on Atlantic City, Nucky deliberates a countermove while trying to learn who betrayed him. In New York, Jimmy is put on hold by Arnold Rothstein, but Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano loom as possible trading partners.

29
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Spaghetti & Coffee is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Spaghetti & Coffee Season 3 Episode 2: Nucky mixes business with pleasure in NYC; Gyp makes a power play in Tabor Heights; Chalky and his daughter fail to agree on her future with Samuel; Eli gets a new boss and faces new realities at home; a major liquor shipment takes an unexpected detour.

30
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Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire Season 1 Episode 1: Series Premiere. January, 1920. On the eve of Prohibition, Atlantic City's duplicitous Treasurer, Nucky Thompson privately tells his Ward Bosses about the opportunity to make huge profits selling bootleg liquor.

31
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Home is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Home Season 1 Episode 7: Nucky purges some bad childhood memories; Jimmy forges a new alliance with a fellow veteran; Luciano and a friend cut a deal with the D'Alessio brothers.

32
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Battle of the Century is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Battle of the Century Season 2 Episode 9: In Belfast, Nucky and Owen meet with IRA leaders with a barter proposition. Meanwhile, Jimmy and his partners broker a deal with George Remus for his medicinal alcohol. Randolph and Lathrop grill Halloran about Nucky's past.

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33
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Family Limitation is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Family Limitation Season 1 Episode 6: Nucky investigates a boardwalk theft; Jimmy scores points with Johnny Torrio in Chicago; Margaret stands up to Lucy.

34
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Peg of Old is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Peg of Old Season 2 Episode 7: While Nucky enlists Jack Dempsey to promote the wireless broadcast of his upcoming fight, Jimmy faces a decision that could shape the future of Atlantic City. Margaret has a family reunion; Nelson defers to a new prosecutor; Owen settles a score.

35
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The Emerald City is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Emerald City Season 1 Episode 10: Nucky asks Margaret to toe the party line; Angela witnesses Jimmy's violent side; Capone faces a crossroads; Van Alden grapples with his emotions.

36
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Two Boats and a Lifeguard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Two Boats and a Lifeguard Season 2 Episode 8: In the wake of a personal loss, Nucky solicits advice on his political situation from Arnold Rothstein; Angela meets a new friend at the beach; Nucky approaches Owen with an overseas proposition; Jimmy flexes his muscles, at Mickey Doyle's expense.

37
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The Milkmaid's Lot is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Milkmaid's Lot Season 3 Episode 9: Reeling from Gyp's most recent attack, Nucky vows to eliminate his nemesis through a coalition of familiar partners. In Washington, the arrest of a bootlegger puts Daugherty and Jess Smith on the hot seat. Emily gets a scaled-down birthday party.

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38
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Resolution is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Resolution Season 3 Episode 1: Season 3 premiere. Nucky makes a New Year's resolution; Margaret eyes a hospital expansion; Gillian builds a new business; Van Alden calls a gangster's bluff.

39
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Anastasia is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Anastasia Season 1 Episode 4: In Chicago, Jimmy bonds with a prostitute and clashes with Al Capone. Back in Atlantic City, Nucky looks to leverage his relationships with ambitious U.S. Senator Walter Edge as well as Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague.

40
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What Jesus Said is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
What Jesus Said Season 5 Episode 3: Chalky heads in a new direction; Margaret finds herself in a quandary; Nucky hosts a prospective 'big fish' partner; Luciano and Siegel meet with Narcisse in Harlem, promising business as usual but encountering resistance.

41
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The Good Listener is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Good Listener Season 5 Episode 2: Back from Cuba after a dangerous encounter, Nucky meets with 'Boss of Bosses' Salvatore Maranzano, sending a message to Lansky and Luciano. In 1884, a young Nucky deals with the death of his sister while his father has a standoff with the Commodore.

42
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Nights in Ballygran is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Nights in Ballygran Season 1 Episode 5: Nucky's attempts to usher in a joyous St. Patrick's Day are undermined by Eli, Margaret & Van Alden. Arnold Rothstein worries about his involvement in the fixed World Series. Jimmy copes with the aftermath of a vicious attack.

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43
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The Ivory Tower is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Ivory Tower Season 1 Episode 2: Investigating the heist now linked to Hans Schroeder, straight-and-narrow Agent Nelson van Alden pays a visit to Nucky; a concerned Nucky sends his brother, Sheriff Elias Thompson, to the hospital to sow the seeds of doubt in the widow Schroeder's mind.

44
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21 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
21 Season 2 Episode 1: Season Two Premiere. Nucky is rocked by an insurrection among his inner circle; Chalky's life and livelihood are threatened by a vicious KKK attack; Margaret copes with her son's disciplinary problems; Angela vies with Gillian for Jimmy's affections.

45
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The North Star is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The North Star Season 4 Episode 6: After a cautious reunion with Margaret, Nucky heads to Tampa to work out details of his land deal with Bill McCoy. While there, he reconnects with Sally Wheet. Richard Harrow returns to Atlantic City. Knox finds a new way to gain Eli's trust.

46
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Ging Gang Goolie is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Ging Gang Goolie Season 3 Episode 6: After being detained by Daugherty's men, Nucky approaches his onetime nemesis, Esther Randolph, and later entertains an intriguing proposition from Gaston Means. Margaret and Owen investigate a fire; Richard connects with a damaged vet and his daughter.

47
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You'd Be Surprised is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
You'd Be Surprised Season 3 Episode 5: After venting with Nucky about his liquor travails, Rothstein sends Gyp a message. Van Alden and Sigrid receive an unexpected visitor; Gillian worries about keeping her business afloat; Margaret has awkward moments at the hospital and at Madam Jeunet's.

48
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New York Sour is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
New York Sour Season 4 Episode 1: Season Four Premiere. Nucky brokers a peace; Atlantic City gets a new prohibition agent; Chalky opens a new club; Richard reverts to his violent past.

49
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Resignation is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
Resignation Season 4 Episode 2: Van Alden is ordered to keep tabs on Al Capone; Harlem gangster Dr. Valentin Narcisse arrives in Atlantic City, clashing with Chalky and Nucky; Agent Knox aligns himself with J. Edgar Hoover; Harrow fails to finish a job in Milwaukee.

50
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The Age of Reason is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Episodes of Boardwalk Empire
The Age of Reason Season 2 Episode 6: Nucky orchestrates a risky liquor delivery, and faces complications in his federal case; Jimmy finds a new mentor; Margaret makes a confession.