'Boardwalk Empire' Season 3: First pictures released

Boardwalk-Empire-harrow.jpg "Boardwalk Empire" returns to HBO next month, and today the network is revealing the first images of the cast -- including Steve Buscemi, Gretchen Mol and Michael K. Williams.

The photos show the characters who managed to survive last season's bloodshed in their typical routines -- partying, plotting and scrutinizing. But if last week's teaser trailer indicated anything, it's that this season will be quite dark and violent as Nucky Thompson (Buscemi) commits to being a "full gangster."

In the new pictures -- set at least a year ahead in time after the Season 2 finale -- Thompson and his wife Margaret ( Kelly Macdonald) are pictured arm in arm at some sort of fabulous fete -- although "Boardwalk Empire" viewers can be fairly certain that their marriage is still on unsteady ground.

Nelson Van Alden ( Michael Shannon) is looking as stern as ever -- and appears to have escaped the law, for now. Chalky White (Williams) is observing his surroundings with even more suspicion and austerity. Tommy, the orphaned son of Jimmy Darmody ( Michael Pitt) and Angela ( Aleksa Palladino) is seen being looked over by Richard Harrow ( Jack Huston), Jimmy's loyal right hand man.

Click through to see all of the photos here, and start making guesses about where and how the series will pick up after Season 2's destructive and disturbing finale.
Photo/Video credit: HBO