Best: The Commodore/Darmody Family Reunion
During Boardwalk Empire's first season, the pairing of Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) and his extremely young mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol) was always electric, but their behavior was also a bit curious; the way Mol, who doesn't look much older than Pitt, jumped into his arms in their first scene together briefly had us thinking she was Jimmy's side piece. This year, the inappropriate relationship alert went from blue straight to red, to the point where we were sure it was going to lead to some gross Oedipal interaction. Then the writers went and pulled the rug out from under us: It already happened! Eww!
"Under God's Power She Flourishes," the tour-de-force, flashback penultimate episode, in which we learn how truly fucked up and tragic Jimmy's life has been, was the season's best episode. And that final scene between Jimmy and his parents...damn. To recap, James started choking his manipulative mother in both a heroin-induced rage and the release of a pent-up fury at her mind games, so the Commodore , man who assaulted her and didn't give her any child support (after she gave birth to Jimmy), suddenly felt the need to defend her and stab his own son through the back with a spear (phallic symbol, of course). Jimmy in turn stabbed his own father, and at his mother's urging "finished it." Wow.
It was definitely more insane than any "Oedipal interaction" we thought was coming, not to mention one of the most satisfying culminations to a long-form story arc on TV this year, or in a very long time.