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Boardwalk Empire Boss Explains Season Finale Death, Teases Season 3 Time Jump

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SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you have not yet watched last night's Boardwalk Empire season finale. Seriously. You've been warned...

On "To the Lost," this HBO drama delivered a true-game changer, as Nucky killed Jimmy Darmody, fulfilling the latter's first season prophecy that "you can't be half a gangster." Why did showrunner Terence Winter and his team go in this direction?

Winter tells EW it was a matter of taking developments to their "logical extreme."

Jimmy and Son

"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,'" Winter said. "I wanted people to say [when it seemed like Nucky and Jimmy would reconcile], “Oh great, after all that, it’s all going to be forgotten and Jimmy is going to be back in Nucky’s good graces.” I wanted them to think right up to the very end that Nucky is going to forgive him and take him back. It was a really hard decision."

Looking ahead, viewers can expect to see a time jump that will elevate the status of Al Capone in Chicago. Regarding season three, Winter previewed:

"We’re thinking about 16 months and starting the [third] season around the beginning of 1923, then maybe run through the end of 1923. It was an exciting year. All the people who stockpiled liquor started to run out, so competition between bootleggers became really fierce."

Read Winter's full interview with EW now and sound off: What did you think of the finale?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Right, first things first; what a series! Absolutely love it. The death of Jimmy was a shock I thought his friend was going to save him or a double cross by one of them, Nucky shooting jimmy I didn't se coming; nobody did! The land being signed over, Al Capone is going to come up and take over (love Stephen Graham), and hopefully Lucky and Arnold will get what's coming to them. Can't wait for the next series, i love the thought that it's a "Jimmy dream" again, but alas it wasn't so here's to the long wait; when will it be back on Sky Atlantic????

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I am so disappointed that Jimmy was shot, why oh why oh why did it have to go this way. He was ONLY the BEST character on the series, please, please please I bed Martin Scorcese to open series 3 with it all being just another dream that Jimmy was having, come on - he really was the best character - it just can't be like this. Bet you will loose a lot of viewers for next series unless you undo this ending. i definitely won't be interested in watching if he is no longer a character.

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Most people who have commented here on this forum,seemed to have lost all perspective of what makes a good tv show,who wants predictability,jimmy's charachter was made up,its a story about a world where good guys do come second,in 2 or 3 episodes they will get it back on track,great series great acting,I think it will only get better,and I know 99% of viewers will be back for season 3

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Good idea killing off the most interesting character on the show. Creators must be hanging around with the winners who wrote lost.

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i have litteraly just watched the finale of season 2 and my god i am in absolute shock!! BUT....the show wasnt based and never was meant to be based on the life of jimmy darmody. it was always set out to evolve around nucky thompson. as fans of the sopranos we have become acustom to theese sort of shocks yet the show ALWAYS moves on! look at pussy, look at ralph who played a huge part in season 3 and 4 and adriana...who saw that coming?!? if im honest i fought it was a a bad mistake on the writers part to play out so much of jimmys life in season 2 and with the death of jimmys wife we, well i, was looking forward to the destructive aftermath that built up over ep.11 and ep.12 that never happened. but again its not a show about jimmy, its supposed to be real life and theese things happen!we've still got the overthrow of arnold rothstein and jonny torrio to come AND maybe the st. valentines massacre. i have full faith in terrance winter and the writing team and look forward to the destruction that is lucky luciano and al capone in season 3 and hopefully many more series

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"to the lost" must be a reference to the writers

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Without Jimmy I simply have no interest! Nucky is a good character, but Jimmy made the show. I found it hard to get into the beginning of the 2nd season, it did get good, but with no Jimmy I won't be bothering with the third. Shame...

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this is not a historically accurate show to begin with, so real versus fictional is all the same, might as well just kill off SPY from SPY versus SPY and just call it SPY, Sopranos was crap after season 2 anywas it sucked just like the ending and the wire could not relate to the getto at all so good by B.E. and hello American Horror Story and such !!!!!

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Yeah, it's depressing. While I'm not inclined to lose my mind and threaten to never watch the show again I think it was unfortunate to kill off one of the more interesting characters I've seen on television in some time. The rest of the show is intriguing but it was Darmody's character that made it worthwhile to spend the extra for weekly cable access. I might check back in a few years and see how the show developed but I'm not interested enough in who's left to pay to watch it weekly. Thanks for the great story so far!

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I never write reviews, but I have to say the finale was awful. Just as soon as it starts getting good again they kill Jimmy. Big mistake.... I don't think I'll be watching season 3.