Fans Left Speechless, Showrunner Speaks

On Sunday's season two finale of Boardwalk Empire, one major player was shot dead. Keep reading to see why those in charge sent the character out with a bang.

A season finale is supposed to make viewers sit up and take notice, but Boardwalk Empire's season two shooting of James "Jimmy" Darmody was jaw-dropping.

When fans finally catch their breath after Boardwalk Empire's season two finale — which could take days — they'll probably understand why James "Jimmy" Darmody had to die at the hands of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi).

For now, it's just a shock.

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As loyal viewers know, Jimmy betrayed his one-time mentor, Nucky, by trying to have him killed — an unforgivable act in the Boardwalk Empire world.

When Jimmy went to Nucky on Sunday's episode to make things right, he knew in the grand scheme of things, he wouldn't walk out of the situation alive — more on that later.

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly posted after the episode aired, showrunner Terence Winter explained, "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."

Winter added of the reasoning behind Nucky doing the deed, "In the pilot, Jimmy told Nucky, 'You can't be half a gangster anymore.' We wanted with the first two seasons to follow that trajectory, where he goes full season from being the guy who doesn't want to get his hands dirty to actually pulling the trigger himself."

He went on to say, "Anything short of Nucky doing it himself 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.'"

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Terence Winter also confirmed our belief that while Jimmy was walking into the moment wanting to make a wrong right, he knew he'd end up on the receiving end of a bullet.

Winter said, "He fully knows what he's walking into at the end. He's not armed. He says goodbye to his son. He basically gives Richard Harrow permission to not come with him. He knows he needs to be punished. The circumstances of his life have unraveled to the point where he's willing to accept his fate."

On Twitter, fans are using the words "shocked" and "devastated" to describe their feelings.

We want to hear from you — did you expect the death of James "Jimmy" Darmody at the hands of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson or did you think there would be a different ending?

Head over to our comments section and sound off.

Photo courtesy of WENN/PNP


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Comments on "Boardwalk Empire finale delivers shocking death"

Nikkizpissed September 18, 2012 | 12:51 PM

Jimmy is the only reason why My friends and I watched this show...We don't care if his character was real(Historically) or not! We all agreed...WE ARE SOOOO OVER BOARDWALK EMPIRE! NUCKY is just not enough to keep watching! Even my super Alpha male gangster loving boyfriend agrees(& we NEVER agree about things like this) THE WRITERS SCREWED THIS ONE UP BIG TIME!... R.I.P...BOARDWALK EMPIRE!

deano February 13, 2012 | 6:36 PM

If Jimmy is real dead then his best friend Richard well fine out who kill him and kill each person that was here. I dont care if there are real charactors in the show. and if they dont do anything about jimmy's death or if no one dies for it then the whole show was point less i wound know why they even made it in the first place.

Rosie February 06, 2012 | 2:55 PM

I liked Jimmy well enough as a character. And he was very interesting. But all of us should have known that when he sanctioned that unsuccessful hit on Nucky, he was a dead man. To have Nucky forgive him after that would be ridiculous. I'll miss him, but Michael Pitt was not the reason that kept me returning to BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

double barrell January 28, 2012 | 11:01 AM

poor jimmy. rest in peace were hot as hell.

Tony January 22, 2012 | 12:17 PM

Jimmy was preceeding Nucky, writers could not handled Jimmy's success in roleplaying. he was the only reason I was watching really, empire ended for me too

Sam December 27, 2011 | 8:43 PM

He had to die. It isn't historically accurate for him to rise to power along with Capone and Luciano.

Dula December 21, 2011 | 7:01 AM

I agree with most of the sentiment here. Jimmy was by far my favorite character on the show, and I am terribly disappointed to see him go. He and Richard were the deepest, most interesting characters on BE. Honestly, there isn't a remaining story line that holds my interest other than how Richard will react to the killing of the only friend he had. I'm a little confused as to why so much was invested in Jimmy seizing power from Nucky only to lose it so quickly. A far more interesting storyline for season 3 would have been Nucky battling back from his legal woes and slowly taking back the power he lost to Jimmy.

Nita December 20, 2011 | 12:29 PM

very few characters get me stirred up................... Jimmy did............. I think Nucky is the heart of the show.... but Jimmy , he was the fear of the show.... whoever cast Michael Pitt.... and Steve ... they made this HBO series............... Richard has Enormous shoes to fill..I think he can .... but Steve will always be a superstar........ Michael was so great................ Richard ( the character) love him.... But Michael Jimmy Pitts.......he was odd, y, complicated, loved his little boy.......... screwed up mother, no fathe (to speak of), just a sad, intelligent, tender, ice in his blood, huge big TIME character........... for this magnificent series... I would NEVER let him go....... ever.......... so what if he's difficult ... who could live with that character..... that would drive all the best actors insane... maybe he quit..........

Mikey December 20, 2011 | 8:58 AM

Does everyone not see why Jimmy HAD to die? Was he a great character, yes. Was he my favorite, absolutely. But for all of you to complain on how terrible it was you either dont get it or you're refusing to understand it. Besides, he was a fictional character. Nucky Thompson (Johnson) was a real character. Meyer Lanksy, real. Luciano, Capone, A.R...real. Jimmy, fake. Now they can focus on how these past American icons came to be. I cant wait until they develop both Capone's character and Luciano's character. This is brilliant writing and an amazing show. For those who say the ratings will dwindle, i just laugh. Its just going to get more interesting from here on out. Accept the fact that Jimmy is dead. In my opinion he was one of the best and most intriguing TV show characters I have ever seen. I'm certain his death will play a pivotal role in the seasons to come. Enjoy the show for what it is. Its meant to portray the gangsters of the prohibition age in NJ, NYC, and Chicago (somewhat) and how they rose to power. Jimmy shoudlnt have been in it at all so thank the writers for putting in a great character and now its time to develop the real life characters. Cant wait!

buck December 19, 2011 | 5:44 PM

I think Jimmy was dreaming. Not dead. Next season he will wake up.

Katrina December 19, 2011 | 1:55 PM

HORRIBLE ENDING!! I will not be watching next season, this killed it for me!! Jimmy was the only reason I watched this show. Killing him off is not even historically accurate!

tony December 18, 2011 | 8:51 PM

Maybe now True blood could kill sookie, Dexter could be killed,Tom Cruise could be killed in mission impossible,John wayne could be killed in any of his movies,maybe the next Batman should kill him him and leave robin,these are all great ideas to get people not to watch your sorry excuse for story telling great job never will I watch a HBO series again 2 years of my life I never get back thanks so much!

Christopher December 18, 2011 | 5:30 PM

Killed Jimmy off, will not be watching the show anymore. Wow it was a great show up until now. Too bad

vee December 18, 2011 | 12:49 PM

Did they fake it? We did not hear all of Nucky and Jimmy's conversation. I believe Jimmy will be back.

deineity dave December 17, 2011 | 12:44 PM

that sucks---loved the show---will never watch again without jimmy!!!he was an interesting character, screw this show now

MaggieMay December 16, 2011 | 8:38 PM

Great show...will definitely miss Jimmy but I will still be a loyal fan!!

DEBBIE December 16, 2011 | 9:05 AM

i WAS SHOCKED AND DISSAPOINTED. iF THIS WAS THE SERIES FINALE THEN OKAY, BUT HE WAS ONE OF THE 2 MAIN CHAracters and his story was the one that was big. I am hoping they may change their mind! A dream would be to cliche. But maybe, Knucky staged it and the bullits were not real. I can hope, anyway.

Tripp December 15, 2011 | 9:19 PM

I wont be watching next season, that was too big a blow. Sucks bad cause it was a great show but i really only liked Jimmy and he is gone. Good while it lasted!

xboardwalkempirewatcher December 15, 2011 | 8:43 PM

I will not watch another episode. Yes, Nucky is the main character but the dynamic with him and Jimmy was a huge part of the show. That dynamic is gone. Eli is a loser and should have been written out. Nucky had a close relationship with Jimmy and would have forgiven but not forgotten the betrayal. They could have had Jimmy's character go back go Princeton and return later to spice things back up again. I think the writers blew it big time. The mom is a freak and needs to be dealt with also. They could have written this episode in so many directions but went the wrong way. I have recommended this show to sooo many of my friends and now have to say I won't be watching or recommending anymore :(

asher ray December 15, 2011 | 6:19 PM

where do i begin?... i expect the show to be canceled shortly into the third season. i most definitly had an emotional attachment to jimmy, and i think without him the show will just dwindle until its death. killing jimmy was killing boardwalk pire, whixh sucks becuase it had grwat potential and was already wildly successful. they had alot of money, fame, and satusfaction lined up, and they just conpletwly ruined it for themselves (the writers and prodicers).

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