And here we thought September’s True Blood finale dropped a lot of hemoglobin. Sunday’s third-season ender of Boardwalk Empire boasted an almost three-figure body count, with the award for most pivotal death going to Bobby Cannavale’s ruthless gangster Gyp Rosetti. There were emotional casualties as well (we’re looking at you Margaret), as well as a handful of cliffhangers — several of which are about to be resolved right now.
In the following Q&A, Boardwalk Empire boss Terence Winter answers all your finale burning questions, including doozies like, Is Gillian dead? Was that Margaret’s final episode? Is there a future for Richard and Julia? And is Nucky 100 percent gangster now?
TVLINE | Gyp and Gillian’s big S&M seduction scene – what was that day on the set like?
[Laughs] Very tense. Completely professional. Both of them were at the top of their games. But it was very tense, very cat-and-mousy, very sexy. And it was also fun, too. Even [with] the most tense, dramatic scenes there’s a lot of laughter. We really have a great time doing the show.
TVLINE | Did Gretchen Mol and Bobby Cannavale improv any of that?
No. There’s almost no improvisation on this show.
TVLINE | Are you sad to see that dynamic end so soon after it began?
Absolutely. The temptation is to want to keep things alive, keep taking the same ride over and over again. For us as storytellers, the challenge is to do something different. People couldn’t imagine how we could continue the show without Jimmy Darmody. And that’s our challenge as storytellers. In a way you almost [have to] reboot the series and figure it out. And that’s what we’ll do now that we don’t have Gyp.
TVLINE | For the record, Gillian did not die from that injection, correct?
That’s correct. She’s not dead.
TVLINE | The Richard and Julia romance ended on an unsettlingly ambiguous note. Do you have big plans for them heading into Season 4?
I can’t really say. Certainly, both of them will still be on the show. Where that storyline goes you’ll have to tune in next September.
TVLINE | Her father really came around. What did seeing Richard standing there all bloodied trigger in him?
That took him back to his own days as a soldier. The one level on which these guys can see eye-to-eye and relate to each other is as soldiers. It awakened in him a newfound respect in Richard. Obviously, [he realized that Richard] has been through some horrific situation involving little [Tommy] and he respected that.
TVLINE | Will Season 4 usher in a new Big Bad to replace Gyp?
All I’ll say is there will be new challenges and new conflicts for Nucky. You don’t want to repeat yourself. It’s not just going to be the “Villain Of the Year.” That said, certainly, the essence of drama is conflict and it’s not going to be easy being Nucky Thompson.
TVLINE | Margaret has always been a guarded character. Will the one-two-three punch of Owen’s murder, her abortion and subsequent break-up with Nucky harden her further?
Again, hard to say. I don’t want to give anything away.
TVLINE | Can you confirm that Kelly Macdonald is still a part of the show?
TVLINE | The tagline going into this season was “You Can’t Be Half a Gangster.” At the end of the finale, where does Nucky fall on the gangster spectrum?
He’s completely crossed the line. He’s full gangster. One of the last things he says to Eli is, “I don’t want anyone coming near us that we don’t already know.” Even the guy on the boardwalk at the end says, “Hey, you’re Nucky Thompson,” and Nucky just sort of stares him down. He gets it. He can’t be the glad-handing public figure anymore. He’s got to go underground. He’s got to keep his distance. I think Nucky has learned that lesson.
TVLINE | Nucky and Eli appear to be a pretty solid team heading into Season 4.
That relationship has been rehabilitated — to the extent it could be rehabilitated, given the fact that Eli tried to have him killed — although Nucky doesn’t really know that Eli was exactly the guy who [did] that. But they are as close as can be given their past.