Writer/ Producer Terence Winter and Rachel Winter attend the "Boardwalk...

Writer/ Producer Terence Winter and Rachel Winter attend the "Boardwalk Empire" season four New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan. (Sept. 3, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

I recently spoke to "Boardwalk Empire" creator Terence Winter about the new season. An edited version of our chat:

The show almost felt like it could end last season, while this season seems so different -- why?

People said the same thing about the end of season 2 and felt it could be the series' finale. Same thing here. In a way, what we do is reset the table every year, and reinventing this year is no different.

Jeffrey Wright's Dr. Narcisse -- who runs numbers and gets into Chalky White's (Michael Kenneth Williams) grill -- is a compelling new addition; what should we know about him?

Jeffrey's just an incredibly compelling actor in everything he does, and this is no exception. He slowly gets his claws into Nucky and Chalky's world and things heat up from there.

J. Edgar Hoover enters the picture this season -- why?

Hoover very famously denied the existence of organized crime up until 1960 after 1957's Apalachin, N.Y. mob summit proved him wrong] but we're positing fictionally that there was this agent, who we will reveal in subsequent episodes [who] comes up with the organized mob theory. Hoover's not interested but gives him the green light anyway.

Ron Livingston and Patricia Arquette join -- what should we know about them?

Livingston's character] is someone who becomes a prospective love interest for Gillian and as that heats up, it becomes much more complicated [while] Nucky, by episode 3 finds his way to Florida in the midst of a land boom. Arquette plays someone who works in a speakeasy. . . . The two of them strike up a relationship.

Margaret Thompson (Kelly Macdonald) -- Nucky's former wife, now relocated to Brooklyn -- is neither mentioned nor seen; what gives?

She'll be back -- it'll be a surprise but she will absolutely be back.

OK, the big-picture question -- how many more seasons?

I would love to do several more years if the audience and HBO will have us. We have tons more story to tell and I hope to get to it. . . . I know where I want our characters to end up.

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