‘Boardwalk Empire’: How Fans Feel About the Way the Series Ended

Boardwalk Empire may have concluded a few years ago, but that hasn’t stopped fans from obsessing about how it all ended. Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) met his end in a very fitting way. Read on to learn what fans think about the way things were concluded on the hit HBO series.

How did season 5 of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ conclude?

After years of corruption and greed, the infamous Nucky was gunned down by someone he used to know, well sort of. Tommy Darmody is the son of Nucky’s old protégé, Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt). Nucky killed Jimmy himself. Many years later, Tommy is grown and looking for revenge. He shoots Nucky three times for everything he has done to his family, and it’s a lot. Nucky dies right there on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, a fitting end to a life of corruption.

At the same time that Nucky meets his end, viewers see flashbacks to a young Nucky taking a young Gillian (Madeleine Yen), Jimmy’s mother who is only a child at the time, to see the Commodore (Dabney Coleman). Viewers know that the Commodore sexually assaulted Gillian when she was a child and she ends up giving birth to Jimmy. This is Nucky’s worst crime and something that follows him for the rest of his life.

How fans feel about the way the series ended

Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Fans are still known to discuss the ending of Boardwalk Empire. A fan recently posted on Reddit that Tommy finally got revenge for his father after so many years. “Sucks he lost it all but Tommy avenged his father,” a Reddit user said.

Another fan thinks Tommy could have acted because he was never really “given a chance” to know his father after Nucky killed him. “Or maybe his actions were in revenge for not even being given a chance at having a relationship with his father,” a fan wrote.

What Nucky does to Gillian is ‘his original sin’

RELATED: ‘Boardwalk Empire’: Michael Pitt Reveals What Filming Jimmy Darmody’s Final Scene Was Like

One fan thinks that what Nucky did to Gillian is “his original sin.” After that, he can’t wipe the stain clean. Tommy’s life was turned upside down because of Nucky and it can never be the same again.

“What Nucky did to Gillian was his original sin, so it makes thematic sense that a child who only exists because of that action destroys him. Nucky wasn’t the only one who screwed up Tommy’s life, but he was a major contributor,” said the fan.

In another Reddit thread about how things ended in the series, a fan said the ending made them sad. Another fan weighed in by saying Nucky’s death was a long time coming.

“It’s been foreshadowed since he killed Jimmy that all of Nucky’s ambitions would end up with no one on his side. Also, Nucky getting murdered for his first sin (which started his climb to power) was fitting imo,” said a Reddit user.

Not everyone thought the ending made sense

Another fan didn’t like the ending because Tommy’s actual motives are never revealed. It can be assumed he did it for his family and revenge, but he never comes out and admits why he kills Nucky. It’s left up to viewer interpretation.

“I wish they had done it without the twist ending. I spent four seasons caring about the shooter, yet have no **** idea how he got from where his story left off at the end of season 4 to shooting Nucky. There was drama and tragedy in that missing chapter,” said a Reddit user.

Fans have a lot of strong opinions about the way Boardwalk Empire ended. We’ll never know for sure what Tommy’s motives were, but it can be assumed he wanted to avenge his family and it was all a long time coming.