The 5 Best Characters on Boardwalk Empire

Nelson Van Alden

This fascinating character wasn't even in last night's season finale, though this season saw him getting a little too close to Al Capone. Michael Shannon is priceless as the uptight Prohibition agent who fled west with his nanny-turned-wife and went from selling irons under the alias George door-to-door to bootlegging (neither of which he's especially good at, though his wife is adept at the kitchen moonshine). His journey from a man on a crusade against booze to a man living on the fringes of society who has to support his family through booze should develop next season.