'Boardwalk Empire' finale, emotional goodbye, some thoughts
By April MacIntyre Dec 12, 2011, 5:27 GMT
"Boardwalk Empire" ended season two on a shock note, powerful in its delivery and the ramifications for the rest of this story\'s run.
"To The Lost" was written by creator Terence Winter and directed by producer Tim Van Patten.
"Boardwalk Empire" ended season two on a shock note, powerful in its delivery and the ramifications for the rest of this story's run.
It drew blood from James "Jimmy" Darmody, and tears from me, not ready to say goodbye to this moody, complex young Turk of Atlantic City.
Hats off to the beautifully stitched Scorsese-quality montages of Margaret and Nucky marrying in the church; attorney Esther Randolph dressing for battle in court and Jimmy and Richard Harrow bursting in on Ward Boss Neary in flagrante delicto, only to persuade him to pen his confession/exit suicide note.
In the end, the Irish luck of Nucky Thompson is aided by Darmody, who hat in hand apologizes to his former father figure, only to be ruthlessly paid back by a wincingly slow death. Nucky sets up Jimmy, shoots him in the head, and then had to do it again. "I'm not seeking forgiveness," Nucky says to a dying Darmody. We believe him now.
The payback for Nucky of course will be cunning Margaret, who married Nucky to keep from having to testify against him.
Out of loyalty and penance, Darmody made sure the chief witness against Nucky had an unfortunate end, so the dreaded trial is now behind Thompson.
Yet Margaret - not so sentimental and completely guilt-ridden - knows Nucky inside and out. She knew he lied to her in the end about Darmody. The pen was mightier than the gun, and the parlor maid who managed to escape Irish poverty and an abusive husband got her Golden Goose where it matters.
Season two ends also with Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) and his Swedish au pair and baby in Cicero, Illinois, starting over. Wonder if we will ever see him again.
Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) finally gets the revenge he seeks thanks to Darmody as well. I like this character and look forward to seeing more of him next year, and his sullen seething sidekick, Dunn Purnsley.
But in the end, "Boardwalk Empire" will feel a bit hollow to me without Darmody, who I loved from the beginning of the series, especially when he found his right hand in Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), these Great War (WWI) walking wounded, their scenes together poetic and powerful. I worry for Harrow and what is to become of him now.
Even Angela, mismatched as she was to Darmody, undoubtedly was idolized by him. Last week of course what we all suspected, the inappropriate closeness between mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol) and son Jimmy was revealed. Darmody was led astray by his mum and his real father and together their hubris and greed set Jimmy up for the execution by Nucky.
Darmody was many things, but a tactician he was not.
The only upshot for the shock end of Damody was the character of Manny Horvitz (William Forsythe) used as bait by Nucky to get Jimmy. Manny will hopefully turn up in season 3.
What's left to look forward to in season 3? Owen Sleater, Margaret's fling and Nucky's driver, our beloved Richard Harrow. Capone, Luciano, Rothstein, Lansky? How will Manny and Doyle exact their revenge? Will Nucky find out Jimmy was not the one who ordered his murder, but Eli, calling for a bullet to Nucky's head?
Still mourning the death of Jimmy. Michael Pitt was beautiful in this role, and the camera caught his intelligence and soul in framed shots that just blew me away.
Next season, Margaret and Nucky's union will be one for the books.