Boardwalk Empire Fall Finale: Ready, Set, React!

If you have yet to watch the season finale of Boardwalk Empire, hit the nearest exit. And I repeat: If you have yet to watch the season finale of Boardwalk Empire, hit the nearest exit. 

Everyone else, read on…

Wow.

That was no doubt your reaction after watching Sunday’s game-altering Season 2 finale of Boardwalk Empire. (It was certainly mine.) 

In short, they killed Jimmy! And by “they” I mean Nucky, who shot his rival dead in the closing minutes of the mind-blowing episode —bringing Michael Pitt’s two-season run on the HBO drama to a shocking end.

“Jimmy, throughout this episode, realizes that it’s over for him,” concedes exec producer Terrence Winter in an interview posted on HBO.com. “And I think he knows his end is coming. But before that, he at least wants to make everything right, say his goodbyes, repair what he can and move on. There are a lot of emotions — he’s angry, he’s greedy, he’s bitter — he’s really a mess.

“By the time we pick up Jimmy in the last scene, he’s essentially said his goodbyes to everybody and it’s very telling that Jimmy comes to this meeting… unarmed,” Winter continues. “He was well aware of the fact that he was being set up and he willingly walked into this. I think Jimmy knew this was his fate. And as he said to Nucky, this was really the only way this could’ve ended for us… [Jimmy] was sort of ready to move on into the next world.”

Thoughts? Surprised Empire whacked its second most pivotal character this early in its run? What impact do you think this will have on the show moving forward — both creatively and commercially? And, in non-Jimmy news, how do you think Nucky will react when he learns of Margaret’s betrayal? Hit the comments!

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295 Comments
  1. Disappointed says:

    Very disappointed with the series. They killed the only character that kept my interest. At least now I can cancel HBO and save some money every month.

  2. Beau says:

    As far as im concerned, they can just end the “boardwalk empire” series all together. No reason to even watch next season. Its been the best series since toni and the gang, thank you writers for ruining it for me.

  3. RandyNYC says:

    You Jimmy Dormitty fans have not got a clue! Remember When Big Pussy was killed off the sopranos, everybody was so upset, and then what happen, Ralphie came and totally took your mind off..Big Pussy..lol…Dormity was not a big player. You have Al Capone, Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, Nucky. I am talking player in real figures of history…But you also have no Idea who is coming next season!!!!!! Someone that will make Mikey Pitt a Distant Memory!!!! And who better to pull the trigger for the first time on????? Than a like a son Dormitty that screwed you over!!!

    • mandy says:

      Wow totally forgot to think about how Al would react! Hopefuly he will be a bigger part next season!

      • Andy says:

        Al wouldn’t care. He wrote Jimmy off last episode. “F#$K em’” or something fairly close to that came out of his mouth when he was talking to the other guys in the cellar last episode. Capone couldn’t give a rats ass about Jimmy. Trust me. I know Chicago gangsters. I grew up a block away from the location of The St. Valentine Massacre. Clark St. and Irving Park Rd. has a lot of history. A couple of famous graveyards too. Google it.

  4. Edward says:

    As i am also very shocked, this could not have gone down any other way. If you think about it, Jimmy was doomed from the beggining. The only thing keeping him in-line was Nucky. Jimmy could never rise to the top as he was too emotional, and let those emotions interfere with his goals. On the last episode, which probably triggered his downward spiral, he punched out one his teachers in college leading him to inlist. The fact that he listened to his mother and betrayed Nucky was mistake #1. He burned all his bridges and he new it. Or maybe he was going to finally show some mercy to the butcher and thats why he went unarmed. It was either change or be killed; due to his past, killed was probably the only option. DAMN Gillian!!!!

  5. Marcos says:

    They should’ve allowed Jimmy to choose his own fate rather than just going along with what everybody tells him to do-that he was pushed into trying to kill Nucky, and into having an affair with his mom, he’s supposed to have a backbone, but where is it? And that Jimmy takes the fall for Eli’s bad advice when they took an attempt on Nucky’s life, that was bad.

    I would’ve liked to see the evolution of Jimmy, as the understudy to Nucky, and so that he could reclaim the number 2 spot, prove his worth, turn his life around, and be more willing than ever to be Nucky’s right hand man again, but only this wasn’t to be. I guess it wouldn’t be a gangster movie if it had feelings or if it made me care about characters, right?

    So, goodbye Jimmy. I wonder what Season 3 has in store…

  6. Marcos says:

    show I meant….not movie.

  7. Donna C says:

    I wonder what Larry Williams is gonna say about it?

  8. Richard says:

    Killing Jimmy had to happen. He was a great character granted, but redemption for someone who tried to kill you wouldn’t be realistic. Nucky earlier said “blood was thicker than water” when discussing Eli. I don’t think he bought Eli’s explanation, but he was spared because he was blood, and he didn’t roll over when in jail. My guess is that he’s far from safe, timing wasn’t right.

    Not sure where they go from here but I’ll trust the writers. While maybe unpopular, killing Jimmy maintained the artistic integrity of the show.

  9. Seanus says:

    Well…..there are still some interesting characters for Season 3, right?

    Nucky being more of a gangster more than ever, even if he becomes infinitely more despicable and unlikable, he’ll get more screen time.

    Eli, being the two-faced brother, gets to be more of a central character, and he’ll never be killed off, because he’s family.

    Margaret will get more screen time, as she is both Nucky’s love interest, and is devoutly religious, to the point of being overtly practical for such a gangster show. And her kid, Emily, is coming off polio, with Emily’s brother looking to be jealous of Emily’s bond with Margaret.

    Richard Harrow, being the masked sniper, maybe we’ll learn more about his origins, and whether he’ll embrace either Gillian or Nucky to team with.

    Gillian Darmody, being a smothering, yet caring mother, to the point of being sexual with her previous son Jimmy, gets to be a grandma to Tommy. Maybe we’ll see a character transformation in either Gillian or Tommy. Good storylines should be set up with them, but Tommy’s life looks to be changed forever.

    Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Al Capone get to be their gangster selves, and will last the whole season 3, because they are based on real people (unlike Jimmy Darmody, who was rumored to be based on Jimmy Boyd, Nucky’s real life prtege).

    Manny Horowitz will get to be the crazy, tough butcher guy.

    Chalky White’s storyline should also be interesting, because he has to help his people stand up against racism in the 1920s, as he and Dunn Purnsley will fight against racism, the KKK, and will look to get higher wages for their people in an unjust era.

    Owen Sleater…gets to do his Irish-American thing, and the chicks dig him.

    And there’s the maid, who’s always up to something, whether she sneaks up or digs information on Margaret or Owen.

    And Nucky is in power again, as Steve Buscemi will get more screen time.

    Based on the rest of the characters to work with, I’m pumped. Are you?

    • mandy says:

      THANK YOU! I am devestated by Jimmy’s demise but am so intrigued to see what happens in season 3. Everyone else has been so negative it is nice to see someone think of all the good that cand come of this@

      (Oh and yea all the chicks dig Owen Slater! He’s yummy!) LOL

    • Mariann says:

      Thanks voice of reason! I’m ready for season 3! Could you imagine real organized crime allowing Jimmy to lead for one episode!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you, Seanus, Mandy and Mariann for seeing the big picture of this show and not as just a way to drool over Michael Pitt. If people think his death is reason to quit watching, they haven’t been paying attention anyway.

  10. Justin says:

    I love for her to molest me.

  11. Carlos says:

    I don’t know…..do we need more Nucky? I was hoping for a Jimmy revival….but you can’t make bad decisions when you’re seen as the man in charge. It made for a hell of season 2 ending….I’ll still watch season 3, I guess.

  12. Frank says:

    Beg to differ. Jimmy was a big player. I feel the reason why they did it, cause the character had so much depth and so much more to explore that he could end up becoming the star. So killing him off before further development only makes sense. It sucks, cause he was an excellent character, if planned out the correct way would have had a awesome future in the series.

  13. shannonv says:

    Oh mannnnn…Awesome show. Just wont be the same without Jimmy. He played such a great part. Margaret doesn’t know what she wants. Its really pissing me off. I think that she may have a total moment of stupidity tonight ..can’t wait to see how that works out for her. Damn I’m going to really miss Jimmy. He and Richard made the show.

  14. Devin says:

    James was one of the best, if not the best character. That was a stupid decision, I bet in killing him, they will lose many more viewers besides myself. Thanks hbo for steering me back to crappy reality television. I would have much rathered

  15. Devin says:

    I wish they killed off Eli. What a bummer

  16. mandy says:

    So its been like an hour since I watched and the show is still blowing my mind. I loved how freakin intense the scene where Nucky shot Jimmy was. There were like 3 people there he could have shot and honestly I had no clue who it would be talk about suspenseful!

  17. Orlando says:

    Exactly my thoughts, all my attention to the series was on the troubled relations between noky and James, that ending for me finish the series!

  18. Shadow says:

    Punctuation is a wonderful new invention.

  19. Nelly says:

    Im shocked. I did not see it coming seeing as to how, in my opinion, jimmy was an even more important character than nucky. Although curiosity will get the best of me and keep me looking out for season 3, I can honestly say if the show got cancelled at this point, I wouldn’t care. Very disappointed!!

  20. Frank says:

    They were trying to save themselves any headaches from exploring and developing Jimmy further, as it would have taken away from other current key characters, new characters and created difficulties in the storyline. I think had they spent more time, they would have been able to kill Eli, Jimmy would have been Nucky’s associate, and there still could have been plenty of room for a huge twist. With the exception of Jimmy being killed, the season was great. It was an easy solution. There are some folks that are commenting that he was not an important player, and he could be easily replaced… I don’t think so. One point they did get across, that Nucky is not the guy we thought he was, and we shouldnt have any sympathy for the character.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry but without Jimmy, I really don’t care to watch this show anymore! That ending sucked on a whole other level. I’m done with Boardwalk Empire. Two thumbs down =(

  22. Matt says:

    Show is called Boardwalk Empire. Not Jimmys Adventures. Get over that when gangsters f up they die. Show will be just fine without the amazing Jimmy and if he ls the only reason to watch the show why even watch? Just get a Jimmy screensaver and watch tha till your eyes bleed. This is an incredible show that will only get better.

  23. De geo says:

    Michael Pitt was the closest thing to Marlon Brando I have ever seen, why was his character in boardwalk empire was murdered?
    Again because you are so arrogant and you can manipulate people.
    What else is new.

  24. Paul says:

    It really should be called, Jimmy’s Adventures though, or rather…Nucky and Jimmy’s Adventures…because they take up most of this season covering Jimmy. I can care less about season 3 for now, though.

  25. Graham says:

    Eli is the greatest character since sliced bread!

  26. JohnDoe says:

    LOL @ all the overreaction from the women on this message board. Get over yourselves. Leave HBO to the boys and grown-ups.

    “OMG leik, Im nevur watching this show evur again!!1! WTFOMG”

    • JohnDoe says:

      …and stick to Vampire Diaries or Glee, something where no one ever dies, and they all live happily ever after, having sex and engaging is banal soap opera storylines.

      • Marx says:

        Don’t be so misogynistic. These are what these msg boards are for, expressing one’s opinion. Whether your a man or female. And I can say, I am disappointed, great character, great chance to flush out different avenues for progress and to make the story more multifaceted. Not only that but, M Pitt delivered with convincing stellar acting, making you want to watch his redemption or spiral. In every story there has to be something redeeming in the despicable’ness’ of the main character and when you lose all sympathy/empathy you lose viewers.

  27. Dana says:

    It was wayyyyy too early!!!!! Jimmy was the best character and I am still not sure if I want to continue to watch it now. I think people are wrong about saying his character had nothing else to do. There are plenty of things you can write into the new season for Jimmy. I was seriously yelling at the TV! lol :(

  28. Malicon says:

    Jimmy’s death possibly a dream by Richard. Having Jimmy killed by the war memorial might be something he would dream up.

    Also, confused, why the phone call to rothstein if Jimmy was the target?

    Would like to see more of rothstein and his crew next season.

  29. Paul says:

    Hope it was a dream from Richard. Would Vito kill off Michael Corleone? I wouldn’t think so! Jimmy’s character has been vital to the bloodline of Boardwalk Empire.

  30. Rob says:

    Horrible ending to a great show… boo to the writers and creators….

  31. LL says:

    I can’t believe they did that! Jimmy was the whole show, and Michael Pitt was great in the role! They went to all the trouble to get us vested in him and his past and then they kill him off? Jimmy was, by far, the most interesting character on the show. Dumb.

    • Marx says:

      You think they’d go through all that to make it a ‘dream’ That theory is shot by the scene where Nucky tells Margaret that Jimmy reenlisted, and then the pan of her facial recognition that Jimmy was probably dead. Its unfortunate he was killed, but, yeah, I’d forgive the writeres in a heartbeat if it turned into a silly end up as a ‘dream’.

      But lets not forget Ned Flanders in Game of Thrones. Definitely no dream.

  32. Josh says:

    When jimmy died,the show died.never watch it agian!!!!!!

  33. Mary says:

    Most of you must be very naive. When would organized crime ever allow a youngster like James to call the shots over a huge money haven like AC?

  34. Mike says:

    I don’t think I can watch season 3. I just find myself hating everybody else left.

  35. Ashley says:

    I love this show (or should I use the past tense now?) I can’t believe they killed Jimmy off. I am dying to know if he is “really” dead or if there is some twist coming. Though I really do hate those “it was just a dream” cop-outs. I don’t want to see him go. Though honestly Richard is my favorite character so as long as he’s still in, I’m still in. But what happens to Richard without Jimmy???

  36. Malicon says:

    I’m even more convinced it was a dream that Jimmy was killed. What would be the point for nucky to kill off Jimmy in that venue and why bother to bring Manny there. Why would Manny even agree to that, particularly if his hands were literally tied? NO…it was a classic Nonsensical setup that only could have come from a dreaming mind. Perhaps one other thought, maybe it was the heroin? Jimmy could have been hooked on the drug at this point. In fact, lansky did comment earlier in the episode about the drug’s addictiveness. Got to be a dream.

    • Bad Breaker says:

      Making it a dream sequence would destroy the artistic integrity of this show. No to the dream theory. Manny would happily go along with a plot to kill Jimmy and he held up his hands to show Jimmy the rope wasn’t tied. There has been no scene to indicate that Jimmy was addicted to smack. Jimmy is dead.

  37. Jerry T says:

    All must realize control must evolve back to Nuckys corner.
    Yes, Jimmy was piviol to the story up to a point. Now, Nucky must
    Regain control of his land holdings, History must move along with the
    Rise of Capone in Chicago, Lucky Luciano and Lansky in New York,
    And repeal of prohibition. Nucky’s world is gonna get more narrow.
    Best of this show is yet to come. Now you will see how good or bad
    Nucky can be

  38. tony says:

    The only reason I like this show so much was because of Jimmy now that hes gone I can care less for this series, guess ill have to wait for Walking Dead…

  39. Will says:

    They just blew away the best thing about the show !!! unless they bring al capone in from chicago change the name to chicago empire because Jimmy is the best thing about the show .!! I mean crazy eyes from Mr deeds shot him!! This show is over .. I cant wait for the walking dead to come back !!

  40. rick says:

    I am upset that Jimmy was killed off as well. I had expected a continued rivalry between Nucky and Jimmy, with Jimmy growing into a more powerful and ruthless leader after experiencing the death of his wife. Although you have to admit, he did have it coming. I’m not convinced that Nucky gave Eli penance out of respect for family, Eli is a more easily controlled person and will serve as a better asset to Nucky (at least in Nucky’s mind. Just as I am convince that Nucky only married Margaret for his own benefit. Jimmy’s death is nowhere near a deal breaker for me, there’s so many interesting characters and I could see a lot of time being invested into a few of them. Have many of you forgotten about Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, and Meyer Lansky, and that they have way more historical significance than any other characters on the show? That may be down the line but I look forward to it. Also, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Agent Van Alden. Cicero, Illinois? Pretty close to Chicago huh? hmmm

  41. S says:

    Wow, you might be right! What if this was a trick created by Nucky and Jimmy to throw Manny and Eli off. This also could be the reason that Nucky pulls the trigger vs anyone else! This could have been an elaborate act! I just can’t see Jimmy leaving his son with his twisted mother. Nor can I see Eli being the one to survive Nucky’s wrath. Eli is to Nucky as “Fredo” was to “Michael Corleone.”

    Additionally, Margaret may have just shot herself in the foot by signing the deed over to the church, especially if Jimmy’s death was a ruse. I know many peoples think it is a brave move by the writers to kill-off Jimmy, but he is such an integral part of the show. Really, what point would be had to bring back the mother or Richard without Jimmy? I adore Richard, but to bring him back to avenge Jimmy seems a little shallow for a story line.

    Boardwalk Empire fans are expecting big plots and crafty writing for Season 3!

  42. C.B. says:

    I am off this show. Jimmy was the reason I watched it the first place. its a wrap.. that better had been a DREAM!

  43. Bill says:

    Another case of terminal writer’s block, Hollywood arrogance, and total disregard for the viewer. You don’t spend 2 years creating a main character… and then attempt to give the series a boost by killing him off. Dumb move by the producers who allowed it. Almost as bad as the all-time terrible cop-out ending of The Sopranos (that was like reading a 1,000 page novel and then the last page says: “And then guess what happened!”). That isn’t writing.

    Nucky’s character and most of the other characters can’t carry the series going forward. If they kill off Richard Harrow, the food channels will pick up a lot of viewers.

  44. charlie says:

    Everyone keeps saying that they just quit on BE,belive me i feel the same way RIGHT NOW……by the time season 3 comes around and that first trailer hits we will all be hooked yet again.Do i agree with the writers decison….HELL NO…..but i respect it and KUDOS!! and i noticied someone mentioned,they have us right where they want us,so i say lets give them a chance and see where they go with it and till then……………TO THE LOST

  45. A. says:

    I just lost all interest in that show.

    I hope they killed him because Michael Pitt wanted out. That would be the only good reason to justify such an idiotic move.

  46. Chon says:

    I will never watch the show again. I guess it was the only way to revive Nucky….not worth the loss.

  47. Jeff says:

    Jimmy was such a complex and conflicted character and he was played so well by Michael Pitt. Despite being a cold-blooded killer, viewers felt sympathy toward Jimmy because of his messed-up childhood and horrific experiences in the war, so it’s easy to understand people’s feelings. But the ending made sense to me. Jimmy was miserable. Everything turned out so badly for him, despite all his efforts. His wife, who never truly loved him, was killed. He murdered his father and loathed his mother. Above all, he knew he could never win his adoptive father’s trust again, no matter what he did, and he regretted having betrayed Nucky in the first place. I could see why he would have wanted to walk into that set-up at the end, and I realized what he was about to do when he gave those last glances toward his son, and when Richard Harrow seemed so uneasy, as Jimmy was leaving. The one thing that surprised me, though, was that Nucky was the one to do it (I was expecting Owen), as that did seem very out of character.

  48. Cvathy Halligan says:

    What the h__l? Why get rid of Jimmy? He was an important part of the story. So disappointed.

  49. Bad Breaker says:

    For all you “it was just a dream” theorists:
    Two bullets to the head
    Poor Jimmy is dead !

  50. Bill says:

    Well Jimmy was by far my favorite character in this whole show. Honestly he’s the only reason I watched. I was hoping he’d kill off the commodore (I got my wish there), his mother, and Nucky and run the town like a true Don. Now I will not watch this show. With the death of Jimmy comes the death of my allegiance to this show. Oh well. It was fun for two seasons.

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