Post Mortems

Boardwalk Empire Finale Post Mortem: EP Terence Winter Talks [Spoiler]'s Death, That Big Twist and More

Boardwalk Empire Series Finale Recap

If you have yet to watch Sunday’s series finale of Boardwalk Empire, hit the nearest exit. Everyone else, read on…

I knew something was off about that kid!

In the shocking closing moments of Sunday’s Boardwalk Empire series finale, Joe Harper — the club worker Nucky had taken a special interest in — revealed himself to be none other than Tommy Darmody. The interloper dropped that little bombshell on Nucky right before gunning him down in the middle of the crowded Atlantic City boardwalk. (Those of you who figured out the Joe-Tommy twist weeks ago, go ahead and pat yourselves on the back.)

Among those who bore witness to Steve Buscemi’s onscreen death: Two federal agents who were presumably about to arrest the gangster.

It was a poetic ending for Nucky, who murdered Tommy’s dad and whored his grandmother out to a pedophile (setting her up for a life full of crime, murder, incest and, ultimately, institutionalization).

As far as series finales go, this one was damn-near perfect.

In the following post mortem, series creator Terence Winter explains why he killed off Nucky, sheds light on the decision to make Tommy the triggerman, reveals why Gillian ended up being the “emotional fulcrum” of the entire series, predicts what Margaret will be doing at 50 and much more.

TVLINE | When did you arrive at the decision to kill off Nucky?
We came to that conclusion around the middle of Season 4. We had been batting around various possibilities, and we talked about how keeping Nucky alive might be a worse punishment for him — living a life of obscurity for a guy like him might be a horrible thing. But then we just felt like the more powerful conclusion to that story was to have him die at the hand of Jimmy’s son.

TVLINE | Some viewers suspected early on that Joe was Tommy — did you count on that happening? Travis Tope is a dead-ringer for a young Michael Pitt.
Travis just turned out to be the best actor. We weren’t looking [for a Pitt lookalike], but Travis was the best, most sympathetic and most believable. And, as it turns out, he looked like the son of Jimmy and Angela… But the fact that people may have suspected that going in is fine. I don’t know that it takes away anything.

TVLINE | How was Tommy able to connect all of the dots about the role Nucky played in destroying his family?
Nucky was a subject of conversation in that household growing up. He certainly remembers [Gillian] talking about him. Also, not knowing quite what the truth was is what brought him to Atlantic City to find out for himself. He probably was very conflicted when he got into Nucky’s orbit [and saw that] this is not some monster — the guy is actually nice to him. He felt a sense of duty to avenge his dad, and, yet, on the other hand, he was not really sure what he wanted to do.

TVLINE | Had Nucky not been shot, would he have been arrested by those agents?
I don’t know that Nucky would’ve been imminently arrested, but they were certainly watching him and aware of what he was doing. Once the [IRS] were successful with Capone, they started tracking gangsters throughout the country, trying to build some other cases.

TVLINE | Do you think Nucky would’ve preferred the fate he got versus spending the rest of his life in prison?
That’s hard to say. But if it was truly life in prison then, yeah, if I was thinking like Nicky I might be like, “Maybe it’s time to cash in. I’ve had a good life. The idea of eating cheese sandwiches for the rest of my life might not be so great.”

TVLINE | I love how it turned out that Gillian was the emotional lynchpin of the entire series. Did you know that going in?
We knew it several years ago. Around Season 2, once we had fully fleshed out what the relationships were and what the backstories were, we knew that that one act of betrayal really would be the thing that sent Nucky down the path of ultimate destruction.

TVLINE | And that’s the reason for all of the flashbacks this season?
Yes. In order to get the full weight of the emotion of that story, we needed to see these characters as younger versions of themselves. And I’m really proud of how that turned out.

TVLINE | Is that why you kept Gretchen Mol around for these final two seasons? Because it seemed like Gillian could’ve very easily been written out after Season 3. I was surprised — pleasantly so — that you continued to follow her.
Yeah. Exactly. She was the emotional fulcrum of Nucky’s whole story, so it was important to keep tabs on her. She was also, for me, a fascinating character no matter what she was doing. I was always interested in what was going on with her.

TVLINE | The casting of Young Gillian and Twentysomething Nucky were spot-on.
That’s due to our phenomenal casting director Meredith Tucker. She nailed it across the board. That’s the kind of thing that could easily have gone completely wrong. People called me up and said, “Is that actually Steve Buscemi? Did you do some sort of digital enhancement?” That was an amazing compliment. That’s a British actor named Marc Pickering. Just an incredible performance.

TVLINE | Margaret evolved into quite the shrewd businesswoman. Where do you picture her 10 years from where the finale left off?
Probably a successful — at that point maybe retired — businesswoman. Hopefully happily remarried. I’d like to think that she ended up making some better choices as she moved forward in her love life. Also, let’s assume since she was still married to Nucky that she would inherit whatever he had.

TVLINE | There was a nice spark between her and Joseph Kennedy…
I can’t speak for Margaret, but Joseph Kennedy certainly looked like he had a gleam in his eye, so he probably came-a-courtin’ after that. I can only imagine how that turned out. I hope it was fun for both of them.

TVLINE | Margaret and Nucky dancing atop The Eldorado — what was going through his mind right before they were interrupted. Regret?
A little regret. And he probably [realized] this is not going to ever work; it’s probably goodbye. And I think that was also in her mind, that this was the last dance.

TVLINE | Were they the loves of each other’s lives?
Certainly a love of each other’s lives. I think Mabel certainly was [another one] for Nucky, but Margaret was certainly the love of his adult life.

TVLINE | So much of the finale was about comeuppance. Most everyone was made to pay for their sins, with the exception of Willie. He was never made to pay for framing his friend for murder. How come?
Sometimes people get away with it. Good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people. Sometimes crime actually does pay. And we were never looking to make moral judgments on people, or punish everyone for every bad deed.

TVLINE | Lastly, what has it been like to say goodbye to these characters — and the show itself — for you personally?
It’s very bittersweet. I’m enormously proud of this series and everybody who made it what it was. It was enormously creatively satisfying [and] a magical portion of my career. We did exactly the show we wanted to do. I would not make a creative decision differently if I had to do this all over again tomorrow… The first rule of show business is to get off the stage while people still want more, and I think we [did that]. I never wanted to be one of those shows where people were like, “Is that thing still on the air?” We were on for exactly the right amount of time.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Wtactualf says:

    Totally called that one.

    • Michael says:

      Chapters of the past always come into light of the future. The irony of all this, the man (NUCKY) that killed the father (JIMMY) was killed by the father’s son.

      • And now a 14 year-old boy has blood on his hands. Tommy will either end up in some juvenile institution or Luciano and Lansky will help him evade prosecution. If the latter, then he’ll be indebted to the two gangsters for the rest of their lives. I bet that’s something NOT to crow about. Huh?

    • mosesgunn says:

      You’re lame. This episode was great.

    • Peggy says:

      Oh, stop. Maybe you thought how it would end, but you did not KNOW. Shut up, let people speak…talk again in maybe a week.

    • MickeyMacD says:

      The story that was told was much different than from how people wanted it to be. But it was told masterfully and at its own pace and had the perfect ending for the story that was presented. Nucky had to die and it had to be Tommy – past is present, present is past. Not so much for the played out “revenge for my father” convention, but for the original sin that got the whole direction of Nucky’s life rolling – the path he has chosen in life – money and power over everything sacred. If Nucky had not handed Gillian over to a pedophile (from whom he takes the Empire from eventually), the opportunity for a “better life” would never have happened – or at least not in the order of events in which they happened. He wouldn’t have gotten his Sheriff Badge back and the future political jobs and opportunities that came with it; Jimmy would never have been born – the very young man who helped transform Nucky from a corrupt political boss and racketeer – with his hands in everybody’s pockets – to a full-blown murderous gangster. Nucky wanted to help Gillian when she was a kid, but in the end didn’t have the empathy to do so; he wanted to help Jimmy, but in the end didn’t have the compassion and empathy there as well. Nor was it there for adult Gillian or Tommy. It was his lack of empathy and penchant for solving all of life’s problems with the almighty dollar that did him in in the end – at the hands of the very grandson of his original sin, the son of the man who helped shape the latter half of Nucky’s life and who Nucky ends up killing. Jimmy got it in the cheek and so did Nucky. Full circle. Perfect ending. He paid for his original sin with all its cosmic ironies, and for all the crimes he committed from that day forward.

      • LABete says:

        That was an awesome final analysis! It pretty much sums up my thoughts about the finale but phrases them much better than I could.

    • Jim Mercer says:

      you’re lame for pretending you predicted it.

  2. Not my favorite, but definitely not as bad as some other finales in recent memory. After everything he did Nucky really needed his sins to come back and bite him and having his old ward’s son do it fit to a T. Everything else I could take or leave really but the Tommy thing was fine with me.

  3. Amy Tolbert says:

    I haven’t really enjoyed the show since they killed off jimi’s character. I love the fact that the writers let Jimi Domardy’s, son Tommy do the killing instead of the mob…

    • Ah says:

      I didn’t like. They stuck to historical accuracy w some liberties w all of the character. So why take such leap with the main character? The real Nucky lived to 1968 and was every bit as corrupt as the fictional character .

      I also thought it was ridiculous that they made Joe Kennedy act like a novice deal maker that didn’t know how to play Wall Street. Say what you will about Joe Kennedy, but he was a Wall Street wiz and played Wall Street like a puppeteer. To make him seem nervous and unknowing what Margaret was doing was very unbelievable. Also, that Kennedy seemed shocked learn his partners were short-selling. Come on…he would have been the first to do it in real life.

      Lastly, I wonder if Gillian was giving Nucky one last opportunity to save her? If he didn’t, which he didn’t, she ok’ed the hit.

      • Jonny says:

        Don’t forget… with the exception of the made-up/original characters .. I.e.. Richard, Eli, Margaret… All of their names were real.. Like Luciano, Rothsetein, Siegel, Lanksy… etc… Nucky’s name was the only one that was tweaked.. “Nucky Thompson” (real last name Johnson) .. So some things were true in the series and some weren’t.. Like his death. Make sense?

      • Peggy says:

        You do know it was a TV show, right? With viewers who perhaps heard of Joseph Kennedy, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano…and in this great series, they could have put them all in the same room with Nucky. So what if they did? I will miss this show. Great job.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I don’t buy for a second Gillian was some great mastermind in Nucky’s death. That was all Tommy acting out of years of buried resentment. She was begging Nucky for help, because he really was her last hope in getting out of that place. Gillian was meant to be a sad character who was abused all her life and trampled on by people she trusted. Living out her life broken and crushed in a booby hatch would have been an appropriately sad ending for a character on such a sad show. Having said that, I don’t want to seem overly sympathetic to her character because adult Gillian made some pretty crappy decisions and actually did murder an innocent guy for money and beat up a helpless stroke victim. She should have just walked away from the Commodore when she was older. Maybe she deserved some imprisonment for murdering a guy. Maybe she wasn’t the most emotionally stable person to be walking around after what she did to her own son. Young Gillian is the one I feel truly sorry for.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. To claim to be staying true to the story, then veer so far off course with the lead character is disappointing.

        • Rev Cleodus Jackson says:

          BWE writers never claimed they were staying 100% tied to actual recorded history, persons or events. It’s historical fiction (i.e., based on history, but writers have leeway to tell a compelling story and create characters that still tell the basic truths of the time/place/people.). It’s entertainment, not a documentary. It’s not — and never claimed to be — about the actual Nucky Johnson. It’s a fictional character based (sometimes more, sometimes less) on his life/events. Think of the stories of the real people who did live in the era portrayed as vehicles for building a world we got to step into for 5 seasons.

          Then there are the completely made-up characters like Gyp Rosetti from season 3. No actual gangster by that name existed and came into contact w/ the real Nucky Johnson. Gyp was a composite character of real gangster types and was used to create a season-long story line and arc. Sorta like what Michael Shaara does in his war novels when he fictionalizes a particular soldier character that while true to that experience/time, never actually existed.

        • MickeyMacD says:

          They never once stayed true to a the story of Nucky Johnson. They did for the other gangsters but not Nucky. That is why they changed his name to Thompson so they could tell a fictional story based on some true facts of a real guy. Nucky Johnson never became a muderous gangster. He made a percentage of the bootlegging like everything else in his town.He had his hands in everything, making Atlantic City his town He was a corrupt political boss and raceketeer and that was it. Every state had a political boss back then. He rubbed shoulders with gangsters. He wasn’t one himself, just a corrupt political criminal.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. To claim to be staying true to the story, then veer so far off course with the lead character is disappointing.

        I’m not sure its fair to blame all of Gillian’s problems on Nicky anyway. She had plenty of opportunities as an adult to clean up her act, but didn’t. As a young female runaway and thief, she was already on a bad path.

        • MickeyMacD says:

          They never once stayed true to a the story of Nucky Johnson. They did for the other gangsters but not Nucky. That is why they changed his name to Thompson so they could tell a fictional story based on some true facts of a real guy. Nucky Johnson never became a muderous gangster. He made a percentage of the bootlegging like everything else in his town.He had his hands in everything, making Atlantic City his town He was a corrupt political boss and raceketeer and that was it. Every state had a political boss back then. He rubbed shoulders with gangsters. He wasn’t one himself, just a corrupt political criminal.

        • MickeyMacD says:

          See my comment above.

      • The Doctors had already operated on Gillian, and Nucky took weeks to open the letter he received prior to seeing her. She didn’t okay the “hit.”

  4. Notice how Nucky died ultimately the same way Jimmy did…a bullet to the face.

  5. JoAnn Klimowicz says:

    Knew it. Nucky had it coming but I still cried.

  6. maria earle says:

    it tidied up a lot of ends. Poor Gillian, the mad house doctor had already started cutting her up; Nucky’s emergence in truly decadence starting with the pimping out betrayal of Young Gillian. I really had hoped Nucky and Margaret would ride off into the sunset, almost. I’m assuming Eli used the razor to go back home to his wife. I’m going to have to watch it again

  7. Lisa says:

    I really expected him to save Gillian. That was disappointing. I’m glad he saved his brother. I just expected a bit more of Nucky trying to atone. It was a good ending, though. Sad.

  8. Joe says:

    Tommy said to Nucky in the final scene: “money, that’s your answer to everything.” Was he referring to how Nucky was given a chance to apologize to his grandmother in the institution and just threw money at her? Maybe Tommy wouldn’t have killed Nucky if Nucky had acted differently?

  9. JasonZ says:

    That very last scene, apparently right before he died, in his mind, that is the swim, 45 years ago he told Eli about.

    That coin must be a nickel.

    The last innocent moment in Nucky’s life, when a nickel satisfied him.

    It wouldn’t for long, and that is the precise moment, when his life was altered in a horrible way.

    As the finale showed so expertly, and as his dying thought revealed, he realized precisely where and when it went bad.

    His final words, echoed Jimmy’s.

    “You don’t have to do this.”

    • RicFule says:

      No? Unless they’re changing earlier storylines. The diving in the water was a yearly tradition where the Commodore threw golden coins into the water and everyone tried to catch one. And Nucky rarely did. If ever. So, maybe he was just thinking about “What might have been” if he had been able to grab one back in the day?

      • JIMMY NO says:

        I thought that final scene might have been there to show how even though you felt for Nucky at times, such as telling his abusive father that he was too slow to get a coin, it was the result of him playing the victim while he actually always got everything he wanted.

  10. Rev Cleodus Jackson says:

    Lame in that we all knew Nucky had to die? Pshaw…. “so dishonored and stained and blackened at their very roots, that it seems…they carry their curse with them.” We may have wanted Nucky to go straight and get back w/ Margaret, but the closing scene cemented what we already learned from the Soprano’s (and Boardwalk IS the beginning of Winter’s telling of the loooong arc of the 20th century mob story in America): When you enter that world, it can only end 2 ways. Jail or death. If it hadn’t been the one, the other was right there waiting for him. In the end, it’s all tragedy for everyone involved. Commodore, Nucky, Gillian, Jimmy, Tommy, Chalky, Eli, Capone. (And everyone knows the real-life story of Luciano’s exile/death.) No one escapes. Indeed, “they carry their curse with them.” Selah.

    • Dominick Petrocini says:

      Im sorry Rev you just have to tidy up your comment. As fair as jail and death are the ONLY 2 things that can happen well….in most cases but not everytime. We’ll what about Meyer my friend. Lansky never spent a day in jail and he made probably more money than every gangster we love. About 300 million himself alone and died peacefully and comfortably. No hard rock just beach and sand.

      • Rev Cleodus Jackson says:

        I wasn’t aware of Lansky’s history. Still, 1 among thousands is pretty much an exception to the rule. An anomaly. The point Winter made in both Sopranos and BWE is that when one chooses such a life, it doesn’t work out well in the end. What really intrigued me about BWE is the way the show’s writers could end up making you hate someone you liked and care for someone you hated. Gillian was a universally-loathed skank until your heart was torn asunder by the sweet 14-year-old in the flashbacks. In the end, it’s pretty much just a really sad, tragic story that leaves the viewer wondering, “what if”? What if Nucky hadn’t given in to the darker voice and betrayed the child? With BWE as the bookend to Sopranos I think we’re left with a clear declaration: if you want a path to that kind of wealth/power/control, you have to do things that destroy others (and ultimately yourself).

  11. Dibble says:

    Was Jilian giving Nucky a last chance to redeem himself and by failing her with no emotional support, she put the hit out on Nucky?

    • RicFule says:

      I didn’t get that image. I’m thinking that she was actually crazy by that point in time. I mean, the doctor had started working on her by then. Maybe he had also done brain surgery? If you notice, Gillian doesn’t do a whole lot of talking during the scene. And when she does, it’s just about the ladybug and not what Nucky was talking about.

      In fact, I was expecting her to say at some point, “Who are you?” to Nucky. Plus, when she tried to stand at the end of the conversation, she mentions something {Can’t remember the exact line here} that makes it seem like Nucky is a good guy. If she remembered much, she’d realize that Nucky was the one who pimped her out and isn’t that much of a good guy?

    • Kimmer says:

      Jillian was no longer there, whether from the experimental surgery or…remember her letter last week? She was losing herself and her mind bit by bit. She, I’m sure, had no knowledge of Tommy’s actions.
      I was pretty sure from the start of the season that Nucky would die, but I’d really hoped Chalky would have made it…never so saddened by a Boardwalk death since they killed Richard, my all time favorite character.

    • That’s what I was thinking….she’s shrewd and knew Nucky…she knew he would throw money at her to make himself feel better and once he did (and knew her and Tommy would be financially set) had Tommy off him

  12. Susan says:

    didn’t see that coming! Knew he had to die in this version of events.

  13. donna says:

    Hate the ending/ trying to make right and gave up his all. Took care of Eli and even sat up Gillian for when she got out. She was already on the path of crime as a child. Wish I hadn’t wasted last 5 years watching

  14. mike says:

    Excellent ending to a very good series. The last scenes were as good as I have seen in a TV series. They were crafted perfectly to bring it to a proper culmination

  15. Kevin says:

    Great series finale, especially consdiering how many shows didn’t end fittingly

  16. Murray says:

    you realize now Nucky’s still wife is a very rich widow .. and since his recent money was earned legit all she has to do is pay her taxes and be on her merry way.

  17. Ritterrater says:

    Ehhh..the acting was awesome (Steve Buscemi was amazing) but the past two seasons have been painfully agonizing at times. Despite the poetic justice served up by Tommy Darmody, overall I found the finale somewhat of a disappointment. The entire last season felt forced-it seemed like they were running out of ideas. I get what the writers wanted to do in the last episode. But the whole young Nucky/Gillian story, was all just to set up for the predictable assassination they were going for all along. And what happens to Eli..???!! The complete opposite of a lovable loser, the unloyal downtrodden drunk was like a cockroach the last few years; simply refusing to die. I give the finale a C-, however I’d give the overall series a solid B grade, with stellar acting and well written for the most part.

  18. What?! says:

    It was great! My only compliant; you stick to the history of Luciano and Capone but you kill off Enoch?! C’mon really? Why do writers/creators feel they have to kill ppl off?

    • Mike says:

      I agree with you. I thought he was going to prison and then run off with a girl.

    • Jonny says:

      Don’t forget… with the exception of the made-up/original characters .. I.e.. Richard, Eli, Margaret… All of their names were real.. Like Luciano, Rothsetein, Siegel, Lanksy… etc… Nucky’s name was the only one that was tweaked.. “Nucky Thompson” (real last name Johnson) .. So some things were true in the series and some weren’t.. Like his death. Make sense?

  19. Katie says:

    We all knew Nucky had to die, but I don’t know if I buy that Tommy would have been the one to do it. I think Julia would have done everything and anything to keep him as far from AC. I think she would have try to keep his whole past from him, and I certainly don’t think Julia would have ever allowed him to view Gillian sympathetically. I was going to say how could he even know about Gillian’s true connection to Nucky, but then I just remembered that we know that Gillian has been writing letters from her institution, so I guess that would include letters to Tommy to try to persuade him to come to her side.

    • RicFule says:

      When Nucky said “Go home.” he was answered “I don’t have one.” Maybe Julia died off-screen at some point during the break. As to why he was actually IN Atlantic City and not the midwest in the first place, well maybe after her death, he was given personal belongings of his from when he was a child and there were pictures of Atlantic City. And since he had no home, he returned to where he was born in an attempt to find one.

      • Lucy says:

        That was a rather large plot hole, I thought. Last we saw Tommy had a good, stable home- so did Julia die, did something else happen or did Tommy just run away? And how would he even remember that much about his birth family or what Gillian told him, much less go on a vendetta against Nucky at 14 (or however old he was by then?) I just wasn’t impressed.

        • Gaby Atamoo says:

          That was my point of contention with the finale as well. Tommy was 7 the last time he saw Gillian. Richard made certain she did not leave a lasting influence on Tommy. That’s the whole reason he entrusted him to Julia. So, a teen, who last spent any significant time with his ‘MeeMah’ at age 6, and even then seemed to be growing increasingly distant from her, comes back to seek vengeance in her name against Nucky? Does this ean that Richard’s death was in vain? That’s what bothered me about the finale. It would have been more fitting if the threads and screws that bound the final act of a great series would have been paid more attention to by Mr. Winter and company. Great series, captivating finale, but a weak copout to use Tommy in that way. Undermines alot of the series’ past.

    • Historikitty says:

      Gillian was given supplies to write one letter, and only one. But even if that weren’t true, which member of Tommy’s Wisconsin family would have let him see any letters from New Jersey? No, it was all bogus.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Julia would have intercepted them.

      • Rev Cleodus Jackson says:

        Yeah, we’re left to ponder what transpired between seasons 4-5 from 1924-1931 for every one of the characters. Gillian somehow finagled a way out of jail and into an asylum. She could do “favors” for the lady supervisor and write letters, but we never know how often or to whom. You gotta think she wrote more often than not. Anything to get herself out. We don’t know what Tommy remembered, but he surely had memories of both his mother and father. We don’t know what he did in those 7 years, but we know where he landed in 1931.

    • Cathy says:

      I agree with that – having Tommy kill Nucky made no sense at all

  20. Sarah says:

    Gillian wasn’t Tommy’s mother, she was his grandmother.

  21. biznesschic says:

    Too predictable. Social media already called this one, when they introduced the “kid”. Tommy would have been all of 15, yet they set him up with the mind of a 30 year old. Too much Gillian, when I would have loved to see the character development of those who were more interesting. The past of Nucky was unnecessary. It was as if they forced you to understand, why he was had to died in the end. Grade: F

  22. Dave says:

    My big problem with the Tommy Darmody theories–which of course ended up being true–is that if he’s 2 years old when the show started in 1920, then he’s only 13 in 1931. There’s a big difference between 13 and 16.

    Also, teenage Tommy hiding out in AC invalidates Richard’s death and Julia Segorsky’s upbringing. In a show full of awful people doing awful things, that was the one pure thing.

  23. Michael says:

    Glad all little people were “taken care of” (Eli and Mrs. T). Dr. N should have beened wacked long ago so glad to see him dead. Nukie was a piece of garbage- great death.

  24. Mitchel Eisenstein says:

    what an amazing series. Held me in its grips do five years. The prequel to the godfather, and both with a moral message about the cost and tragedy of criminality.

  25. Gator says:

    What goes around comes around will miss watching this show this has been one of my favorites. Hated to see Nicky get killed, but I guess you had to end it that way.

  26. Rick says:

    I Particularly loved the way Narsite’ got it. Exposed him to be the fraud that he was. He died the way he deserved to die.

  27. kerrysomalley says:

    Eye for an eye …

  28. Kevin says:

    Don’t confuse an ending that didn’t go your way with a poor finale. Name for me a better series over the last five years? A hypnotizing story connecting the violence and beauty of the period perfectly.

  29. Lory says:

    I suppose it was fitting that the final death on the show would be Thompson’s — and yet, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Both for Nucky Thompson and for Tommy Darmody who had shown himself to be a lost soul after all, in spite of Richard Harrow’s efforts to “save” Tommy before his own death, and the home he had tried to provide for Tommy as a child.

    I imagine that the final scene, where the young Nucky is swimming deep to catch a coin, and finally achieving it in his mind before dying, yet never swimming back up for air, meant that in his dying dream, he finally got the prize. And that prize was his own restful and perhaps merciful death.

  30. Sue Hohl says:

    Knew Nucky could not just walk away but had a moment of hope when he was with Margaret. I did not know that was Tommy so when he said his name it took a second to connect. You really can’t walk away from a corrupt past. Eli is happily back with his wife and everyone else is either dead, in jail or starting the life of the new mafia. Thanks for tying up loose ends. Ending was a surprise by who shot him. Sorry to see it end. Truly enjoyed the series.

  31. Mark T says:

    Nucky got what he deserved & in the tradition of Italian vendettas which they weren’t! Nucky should’ve thought about Jimmy’s son coming back later in life for his much deserved revenge! “The Italians can stay but we don’t want the Irish”

  32. lucky says:

    Great show great ending perfect rip nucky

  33. vikki says:

    Because the man this series was written about, lived years longer..thought Nucky might ride off into the sunset..As bad as he was, he always seemed the”best of the worst.” It was a just finale.

  34. Schwaz says:

    while I knew Nucky would die in the final episode, I didn’t know how. This episode tied up all the loose ends and answers all the unanswered questions using flashbacks. Well done BOARDWALK EMPIRE, well done!!!

  35. John says:

    Just wanted to add this observation. Lansky and Luciano put out a hit requesting two men be used and that it be done in public. We didn’t know if this was in reference to Narcisse or not. It was asked that it be cleared up before the new bosses meeting but we didnt see any hit carried out before the meeting and the Narcisse hit was show immediately after. Later in the episode and before having their identity revealed, this gave the viewer sufficient evidence to believe that the two agents who were about to witness Nucky’s death were actually instead men out on the hit to kill Nucky themselves. Beyond that, it is plausible to think Nucky (noticing them before the incident of his death) himself was suspicious that they were out on a hit. It’s interesting because it gives two dimensions to the agents as if they are two sets of people instead of one. This allows Nucky’s death to represent the convergence of multiple fates…. all at once. Having all these different fates represented almost simultaneously. The Law. The betrayals, deals and all the misgivings of his Underworld Associates. And certainly in more finite terms, his sins of betrayal to the Darmody’s. Just before this plays out he passes what looks to be college students, one of them reciting the poem “The Spell of Yukon” which is also of note in this concept as well. There was a plurality in the ending if you read between the lines. It’s clear to me the writters wanted all the players to be represented as being there for Nucky’s murder, and in a sense intended a convergenceas and the closing of a loop of greed and betrayal. You agree?

  36. Alison says:

    I’m so sad that was the last Boardwalk Empire ever! !!Love this show 😳

  37. jay says:

    Saw it coming but didn’t know who

  38. Craig Schadt says:

    Truly one of the finest T.V. Series produced in the last decade. Pulled together all the events of that era in time when the foundation of organized crime came to be. Character choices and acting traits were beyond impeccable. Many congratulations to the writers, producers and actors/actresses of perhaps one of the best produced. The only negative to add is that it had to end.

  39. Sharon says:

    Gonna miss boardwalk empire!!! Never thought Jimmy’s kid would end up killing nucky! Wonder how he knew that it was nucky who killed his father. Poor Gillian guess she’ll never get out now nuckys dead!! Poor Eli!! What will happen 2 him now maybe his wife can take him back.

  40. Michael Rabish says:

    Nucky got what he deserved some would say. Historically he was more composed however do it’s a little itchy. He was the business guy who knew he made money from bad doings and such with clubs but wasn’t involved in the grit, he was smarter then that. But this showed the crime doesn’t pay and may have a lesson or blah blah. Anyhow Luciano had a legacy as the father of organized crime families so his part was good but Lansky was about the only to keep out of jail(post mobbing) so I feel he deserved more from the show. Capone was played to a tee, hats off. Hopefully Margretts 2 mill richer with nuckys passing. Overall spectacular show, sad it ended, what seemed swiftly, and get back to it. Anything Scorsese touchs turns to a great piece of work.

  41. Michael Rabish says:

    Excellent show, hats off. Most of em played their part as history proved for them, besides nucky of course

  42. LOL i called nuckys demise two weeks ago. I knew “joel harper” was tommy darmody; i remember saying id be disappointed if he wasn’t. the second-to-last episode tried to lead people away from that idea by trying to show his character as one that was just a reflection of a young nucky; you figure he takes the thousand dollars, leaves, and thats that. However, I thought of the $1000 dollars as symbolic because he handed Jimmy a grand in the first ( or second) episode.

    They did this finale perfect–tied up most of the loose ends–and killing off nucky in the most poetic way possible. If Luciano’s guys took him out, or conversely, if they let nucky sail off into the sunset, it wouldn’t have been as satisfying. killing jimmy set off a chain of events that ended up destroying–or severely disrupting–at least 2 lives directly, and a few indirectly. He had it coming for the longest time, and it was fitting that Tommy was the one to do it. Jimmy was at the end of the line; but nucky didn’t have to kill him.

    When I heard him say “Mima” i smiled ear to ear. I wish this wasn’t the last season, but they picked a good year to end it; i just wish they had longer than 8 episodes so they could divulge into nuckys past a little more, and make it feel not so rushed. I liked seeing narcisse get taken out, but it was just really a footnote.

    I feel like a spin off with Luciano, Meyer, and Segal could do pretty good.

  43. tim wynes says:

    Once you get past that the real Nucky died in his 80s after serving a brief prison term the ending was okay. Series never really lived up to the hype.

  44. Miranda says:

    I was kinda figuring out that it was comings or Nuky, but I kept believing that well they’re just trying to make us think that it might happen, but there’s just no way they were going to Kill off Nuky! Well, I was shocked! I’m totally upset they killed him off. :( So Sad…..

  45. Jane says:

    Holy Cow! I really didn’t realize that tonight was the finale? I realized it once Nucky was being shot up. I was so shocked….As shocked as I was when Nucky shot Jimmy. I can’t believe it’s over! I really enjoyed this show! What will I watch now? They need an Al Capone spin off. The actor who played Capone was fantastic! This is one of thoes shows that I will look forward to watching the entire series over and over!! Oh Boardwalk….I will miss you so!!

  46. Mark says:

    There’s no way Richard Harrow’s ex-girlfriend, or her family would have allowed Tommy to have any contact with Gillian. So, how would Tommy know about his family’s past with Nucky? I didn’t like that ending, at all.

    • biznesschic says:

      Agree. This 14 year old kid infiltrated the operation of the biggest bootlegger in Atlantic City? Predictable writing and terrible ending.

    • Ugh, YES! Thank you, Mark. There’s NO WAY Harrow’s wife (not girlfriend, and not his ex, actually) would ever have allowed a single utterance regarding Nucky, Atlantic City and certainly not Gillian to young Tommy. And I think Tommy was way too young to remember Gillian at all, let alone what her opinions on Nucky were. Not only am I not buying it, it’s incredibly disappointing and surprising that such a huge flaw slipped by them. Jaw droppingly lazy writing.

  47. Ryan Patrick says:

    Spine chilling ending.. Hands down Buscemi’s best acting. If you love this show then you will certainly love the movie “Once Upon A Time In America”.

  48. Doris says:

    I feel cheated, I am so use to 12 episodes, the show ending in 8 made me wanting more but it was well done.

    To all the Actors/Actresses/Producers and crew…Thank You!!!!

  49. Amira Esk says:

    Ok.. waiting for Terence Winter! :)