Boardwalk Empire Finale

December 12, 2011 by staff 

Boardwalk Empire Finale, Raise your hand if you didn’t see that coming! In the wake of last week’s mind-blowing, how-did-they-fit-all-that-in-one-hour?! episode, I suspect many us went into tonight’s season finale wondering what was left to say and do. Because, really, once you go Oedipal, really what else is there? Well, plenty apparently. To name a few key (and often overlapping) developments: The amassing of a stack of bodies that reached the ceiling, a scuttled trial, a wedding, and several acts of betrayal. Series creator and showrunner Terence Winter (who wrote the episode — and who discussed the shocking finale with our own James Hibberd) lit a fuse at the beginning of this episode — at the beginning of the season, really — that was quietly sizzling in the background, lulling us into a sense of calm (especially after last week, which, did I mention was insane?!) and then… BAM!

As they say, every man’s loss is another’s gain. This was never truer than in Nucky Thompson’s Atlantic City. It’s hard to know where to start. Tonight was such a simmering episode that it makes sense to begin at the boiling point: R.I.P. James Edison Darmody (1897-1921). Generally speaking, the bulk of the season 2 finale centered around the various power negotiations concerning Nucky’s impending trial. That said, Jimmy was as much the show’s lynchpin as his ambivalent father figure Nucky. And, if you really think about it, that’s been the case since the show’s beginning. Jimmy was not the smartest member of Nucky’s crew, and he was a truly terrible leader for Atlantic City, but he was an integral part of how the city operated. Nucky himself would never be where he found himself at tonight’s finish without Jimmy.

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