Boardwalk Empire Finale Fallout: What's the Real Story Behind [Spoiler]'s Shocking Exit?

[The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's Boardwalk Empire finale. Proceed at your own risk.]

Back in October, our sister site Deadline.com reported that Boardwalk Empire co-lead Michael Pitt was fired by his longtime agent “because he’s really difficult on set and otherwise.”

Cut to this past Sunday: Empire fans are reeling from the shocking death of Pitt’s character, Jimmy Darmody, in the show’s Season 2 finale.

Is there a connection? Did Empire whack its second biggest star because of backstage problems? Or did the storyline simply demand it?

Exec producer Terrence Winter says it’s the latter, maintaining in an interview with EW.com that Pitt’s ouster was a creative decision.

“[It's] absolutely not true,” he says. “Michael is a total professional. He’s intense, of course, but I don’t think you can do that job without being intense.”

Winter said the decision to kill off Jimmy was made “at the beginning of Season 2,” adding, “The idea was to try and push things to their absolute limit, even if it makes it difficult for yourself and your writing team. If you take things to their logical extreme with the situation we created, Jimmy has betrayed Nucky, he tried to have him killed. You want to be honest about the storytelling… Anything short of Nucky [killing Jimmy] wouldn’t feel real, it wouldn’t be real. And it would be a cheat for us to say, ‘We want to keep our beloved character Jimmy Darmody alive.'”

For his part, Pitt shrugged off the rumors surrounding his behavior on set. ”I’m confident that I will be judged by my performance,” he told EW.com, “and not by the ‘he said, she said.’”

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119 Comments
  1. Chas says:

    “There are many ways it can go”

    Umm… pardon me for being silly, BUT… since Jimmy was the only character whose future was fun to root for and thus mattered – who gives a tinker’s damn what happens now? Lucky Luciano, Capone, Nucky, and others are all based heavily on real life people right? SO, if you want to know which way their stories go – simply look them up! No mystery there! Not sure about crazy fed agent, Nucky’s annoying live-in Irish gal, or some of the other peanut gallery folk BUT does anyone really care what becomes of them? LOL! Yikes, kill some of them off and bring back Jimmy! (Twas only a dream) Wasn’t this show written as true facts built AROUND Jimmy to make it interesting? Taking him out is like taking Vinny and Pooli out of ROME. (leaving… a documentary!) LOL!

    • EEK says:

      “Vinny & Pooli”. You make me so happy. Very true. Aria couldn’t have carried that show alone. Ooh… time to rewatch Rome.

      Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo) on Dexter this season. Have a few epis to catch up with but should be good.

  2. mondo says:

    Killing jimmy retard move in my opion. You better step it up. Great show so far though guys good job.

  3. xinunus says:

    Killing Jimmy Darmody wasnt creative, it was lazy sloppy writing.

    There are too many other good shows on TV so I wont be watching this crap show anymore.

    They spent the whole season building Jimmy’s character up just to kill him off. There was no justice for Manny killing his wife?

    To me killing Jimmy Darmody off was like killing Tony Soprano off in the second season of the Sopranos. It was stupid and the show will suffer if they bring it back because they have abused the viewers with this crap writing.

    I want to be entertained when I watch a TV show. The writers think the viewers are stupid. Shocking how they could beleive we would be satisfied with that ending.

    Stupid is what stupid does. This is the end of Boardwalk Empire. I bet you half the viewers will be gone if they make a 3rd season.

  4. Miss G! says:

    I am going to miss Jimmy so much, but this season I am going to watch every episode more intensely than ever before. The writers have proven they can & will do anything! Can’t get any more entertaining than that! We’re all going to be glued to our seats. That’s what keeps us entertained and keeps the entire production crew entertained.

  5. Miss G! says:

    ….& employed!

  6. Brendan says:

    I think its Safe to Richard will be killing Manny in Season 3 for Jimmys Revenge

  7. sean says:

    I won’t watch, love Buscemi but he is no lead so why should I watch and care? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Dexter started again yet?

  8. jason says:

    If the show was realistic Nucky would have been dead a while ago.

  9. youngatheart says:

    I will miss Jimmy immensely and actually yelled “Nooooo! OMG!” too but he had to die:
    When he crossed Nucci and then Mannie it was only a matter of time before he would die.
    Michael Pitt is a very talented actor. But in this day and age there is no room for Primadonnas: for every working actor there are 1000 struggling many of whom are talented.
    So if the decision to kill off his character is part story arch/ part “get rid of the PITA”hopefully this will be a dose of reality and he will grow up and learn to act like a professional.
    I will continue to watch BE because I think it is one of the best shows on tv.
    True Blood is the show that is really disappointing and no amount of eye candy can save it!
    Jumping thed vampire ship and setting sail with zombies: Walking Dead for me!
    Btw have loved Steve Buscemi for a long time and glad to see he is finally getting his day in the sun!

  10. Sioux says:

    So interesting reading the comments – overwhelming response was most people did not want to see jimmy go. He was the most compelling character in the show – his inner conflict drove him to choices which we were despairing with and hopeful for. Like nucky, even though he was a bad boy gangster, his character was superbly drawn showing the depth & width & complexity of human behaviour, I was with him all the way – hoping from this dark place he might find reprieve or light. The way season 2 ended was not good for Nucky – first time he didn’t respond with some kind of humanity – I think killing jimmy went against what we were led to believe about Nucky. This whole series was born from what happened with jimmy & his mother – everything traces back to their relationship & the Oedipal thing – such a great & wonderful & beautifully written series – I loved it! However Jimmy’s character was the key, I don’t feel compelled to watch – and I lost my interest in Nucky too – that act took him to the level of all the gangsters – he’s joined the group of obvious greedy idiots. Bring back jimmy!!!

  11. ar24 says:

    Jimmy was my fav character on the show & i was p*ssed he got killed the show lost MAJOR points & i thought they would surpass the sopranos & maybe just MAYBE the wire but idk now i will still watch but the show is def not as intense gyp is good but he is just another psyco gangster at end of day they can hire a repkacement for jimmy make his death all a dream if pitt was a pain to work with

  12. ar24 says:

    p.s. i like chalky white & dunn purnsley & richard harrow of course everybody ripping on margaratte but she is eye candy i like lillian kent aka billie to owen slater my least fav character

  13. EEK says:

    My FAVORITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME: Richard Harrow. Now with no Jimmy we need more Richard. MORE. And that whole “Tell him the truth.” And “I killed Manny for Angela” thing was just amazing. Especially how Nucky is all… “OK… good to know. Shut up, Mickey.”

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  15. makeba says:

    Jimmy dies without ever really explaining to Nucky why he turned on him. This is a critical, critical flaw in the storyline.Nucky introduced “brought” Jimmy’s 13 yr-old-to-be-mother to the Colonel. The writer’s let Nucky off the hook.This is not a logical end. Jimmy’s life is far more tragic in my view from Nucky’s and he was just as capable of being redeemed or going to the edge of evil and they had as many seasons as they wanted to do it. Instead, they kill him off quickly–a critical error. I think people were just as committed to Jimmy’s character as they were Nucky’s. I don’t buy Nucky as a tough guy. It’s ridiculous (embarrassing to watch even) and now with no more beautiful Michael Pitt, I’m not interested. Not interested in Mrs. Schroeder’s character development either. Too bad, hate having my time wasted.

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