At the end of Boardwalk Empire’s much-improved second season, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson was told that he couldn’t be “half a gangster”. Appropriately, it’s this idea that informs and drives season three as a whole, with the Machiavellian bootlegger deciding to fully embrace the criminal side of his dual persona. Illustrated by a few terrific scenes (see him clinically offing a cheeky kid who the writers dangle as a Jimmy replacement), Nucky’s move away from the political limelight anchors the usual multitude of plot threads and character arcs. Not all of these are equally engaging, mind you (such as Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret organising prenatal care at a local hospital – yawn), but the crime-related power plays remain reason enough to watch. Happily, there’s also a welcome increase in brutal action, while new addition Bobby Cannavale is exactly what the show needs as volatile Sicilian gangster Gyp Rosetti. A man who, as Nucky puts it, “can find an insult in a bouquet of roses”. On a disappointing note, we see less of Michael Shannon’s Nelson Van Alden, although this is probably due to the fact that Shannon’s career is taking off elsewhere. That being the case, he’s still responsible for a few of the season’s most memorable moments, such as an intense sequence where his obsessive former agent ‘irons out’ a problem with one of his co-workers. Ouch.