RECAP: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 2 Finale Shocker
If you DVR'd Sunday night's season two finale of Boardwalk Empire, then be forewarned: SPOILER ALERT! James "Jimmy" Darmody (Michael Pitt) was shot — murdered — by none other than his father figure and mentor Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).
We'll wait while you try not to hyperventillate.
Of course, looking back, Jimmy's death seemed to be foreshadowed all season, but still. You never know with these wiley TV writers and what kinds of red herrings they'll be dropping.
Much of the finale deals with negotiations relating to Nucky’s impending trial. Throughout the episode Jimmy attempts to make ammends with Nucky for his recent treasons. He invites Nucky to his house and tries blaming Eli for the murder attempt he himself planned on Nucky. To show penance, Jimmy also sees to it that Nucky’s trial does not occur. He orders everyone who would be asked to testify to recant their testimonies. Yikes!
As the boardwalk’s self-appointed power broker, Jimmy realizes he isn’t up to the job. He sets about putting all his affairs in order. In a little homage to the series pilot, he has a backwoods hold-up, but unlike the first time, Jimmy doesn't mess up the mission. He delivers a bunch of dangerous Klansmen to Chalky White.
Jimmy was a huge part of the show; some would say even the heart of it. Was killing him off a big mistake on the show's writers' part? It goes to show that Nucky will not be trifled with. He wasn't going to let Jimmy's mistakes go, even though Nucky was a sort of father figure to him.
Part of what keeps us watching shows like Boardwalk Empire is that we hold out hope that there is at least a bit of decency in the main character — that they can somehow be redeemed. With the way Nucky offs Jimmy, it's clear he truly doesn't care. Indeed, this is Nucky's first real personal kill, where he really gets his hands bloodied carrying out the murder himself.
And in the closing moments of season two, Nucky proves he was not who we thought he was. Nucky's line before killing Jimmy — “I'm not looking for forgiveness" — demonstrate a coldness and that he truly doesn't care if he is a decent human being or ever becomes one. He had no problem offing Jimmy.
We have other questions: Where will Gillian be without Jimmy? How will she rely on the man who killed her love? Will she have no problem forgetting her feelings for Jimmy? Unlike her son, she will not back down without a fight.
And what will become of Margaret? She's proven to be calculating. She chose to save Nucky by marrying him and then gave the land for his highway to the church in a vengeful act. She betrayed Nucky, and as he has shown his true, scary colours, she has much to be fearful of.
Harrow lost his only friend – what will become of him? What will Rothstein’s move into the heroin trade mean for the Atlantic City contingent? Rothstein essentially gave the go-ahead for the murder of Manny Horvitz. Does he have a chance of sticking around?
Fans have reacted strongly, with many viewers who thought Jimmy was the best part of the show, vowing not to watch Boardwalk Empire again. Others are alright with it, thinking it's unrealistic to expect a character to survive a mob show. One thing's for sure, Jimmy will be missed.