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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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2 of the best shows*

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Lol, still endless comments about never watching the show again! Did u people stop watching The Sopranos when they killed Pussy in season 2? Or The Wire when they killed String in season 3? If so then u missed of the best shows ever & are getting ready 2 miss how great this one becomes!! You'll all be back for season 3 premier tho & u know it!!

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Why wasn't Eli killed off instead?! Jimmy was the only Eye Candy on the show. Nucky has been wearing that same brown suit for 2 years now. How Good-Looking is Michael Pitt??!! What a beautiful face and what a gorgeous body. And... a very good actor. Now we are just left with a cast that no ones cares about or wants to look at. Besides...William Forsythe should have played Nucky. He was great in "Devil's Rejects". Now....I can catch up on Dexter and WILL NOT be watching "Boardwalk Empire" AGAIN. "Boardwalk Empire" was hard enough to watch....with all those dark tones. Now there isn't one "handsome" face on the show. Jimmy was the only reason I watched every week. We all wanted to see what kind of "man" Jimmy would have turned out to be. This show could have been another "Godfather" with all the drama set around Atlantic City. I know how Atlantic City turns out...I go there all the time. The writers or whoever wanted this season it to end this way really screwed up this time. You have just lost all your women viewers and most men are asleep by the time the "show" comes on. Seems like whoever has final say over the show must have wanted it to be "CANCELLED" early. HBO has made a "Big Mistake" this time.

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I have never read more ignorant comments. The show is flawless. There is no mistake they made in killing jimmy. Jimmy was a fictictous character used to give us a glimpse into chicago and new york and other aspects of what was going on at this time. I read every comment and realize that no one who posted here really understands the show at all. We fastforward to 1923 now which will give use the rise of cappone and lucciano. I see people's rediculous predictions and get the impression that most people have the brains of five year olds.

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I'm so pissed off at this show. I will try other ones and hope they don't screw up like this one. What a let down.

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Without Jimmy, I wont be wasting my time on this show..He was the best character in the series hands down, and the most intriguing.To kill him off in the 2 season NOT COOL.

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I liked Jimmy as well, but I'm more upset about what this does to the Nucky character. IMO, killing Jimmy took Nucky from a thinking man who was a definite cut above to a stupid thug.
Nucky had a conscience and a code of ethics that at times he wrestled with, but always followed. I liked Nucky, and actually admired him. No more. If I want to see mindless two dimensional sociopaths I'll watched Tony, Barney Rubble, Soprano or ABC's resident bi-polar sorry excuse Sonny Corinthos. Nucky was something special played by one of my favorite actors. Too bad the writers went for a shock and awe quick decline of the character. The dark side of characters has been done to death. One that raises above it while being engulfed in it is rare. I am longer interested in the character.

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They can't go back and rewrite the show. We saw the end of Jimmy and the writers have done interviews stating that Jimmy is done 100%. The fact that Darmondy isn't part of history is also a factor here. If Darmondy existed this show would not have a season 3 with this move. They will lose many viewers over this and its a shame. James Darmondy was the center of the web and true heart of the series. He brought Dicaprio-type qualities to the screen that people really love. He exubharated youth, passion and rashness that no-one else did. His story connected Richards, His wife's, part of Nuckys, Tommys and certainly Angelas. We did not get any satisfaction watching him die and Manny live happily. We all wanted to see Manny go after what he did to Angela. Its beyond tragic that the writers took it in a completely different direction on this last episode. I thought everything before the season finale was going great and was just amazing. It was all so interesting. Now its like after a bomb goes off- its just a quiet mess. By far the most shocked I've ever been on t.v. next to Breaking Bad. Richard I am getting the impression will go after Nucky and want to be near him. He was honored to have a friend like Darmondy and will not let him die in vein. He'll find out what happened. Clearly, his mother will be broken and my guess is very power hungry to destroy Nucky. We may see a whole new thing there...She is off the rails already. Watch the Irish guy (can't remember his name) that follows Nucky and has a thing for Margaret. Bud Matheson is a new character they are talking about...I don't think anyone can replace Darmondy. I hope Michael Pitt moves on to something just as interesting. Fantastic actor, great series up until this move...I have faith I'll be interested in Season 3 but I will be depressed to realize that an entire storyline/family is wiped out.

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Thank you, idiot writers, for killing off Jimmy. Now there's a show I don't have to record anymore. Another hour to do something more constructive than hang on the words & actions of Jimmy & Company! Because it WAS Jimmy and cast, not Nucky and cast - no disrespect to the great acting of Steve Buscemi. Goodbye, BDE; Goodbye Jimmy. I admit I kept hoping someone would kill off his vile mother, or maybe she'd just fall down the steps drunk & take herself out. Too bad, it was such a good show - emphasis on the "was."

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You know I'm usually not one of those people that says im going to stop watching a show because something I don't like happens, or Ill say that but I don't really mean it. But in this case I do. If there wasn't going to be a third season I could understand this move. But it wasn't a total shock because it seemed like things were going to smoothly. How could Nucky not at least try to find out who ordered the hit on him? There were more people in the room than just Jimmy. And there was so much room for Jimmy to grow and Nucky too. Now, other than Richard and Owen, I don't even like any of the characters. I think it's one thing when killing off a main character moves the plot along and gets fans talking, even if it makes them angry or upset. But this didn't advance the story. It ended it.

Boardwalk Empire Quotes

Kingdoms rise, kingdoms fall. Pretenders reach for the throne but only Caesar can rule and the pretenders fade away. What does it all mean? In the words of Marcus Aurelius, the universe is change, our life is what our thoughts make it. And my thoughts are this, everybody in this room, is going to get rich.

Salvatore Maranzano

Why must it always be pandemonium?

Van Alden
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