In the history of Boardwalk Empire, one death will go down in history as the most shocking to fans, and that’s quite an accomplishment. Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) is gunned down by Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) after crossing him for the last time. Read on to learn about the unfortunate way Michael Pitt learned about his character’s fate.
Nucky Thompson kills his former protégé
Nucky Thompson is a corrupt gangster living in Atlantic City. When Jimmy takes a hit out on Nucky, that’s the last straw for him. He chooses to kill Jimmy himself and it’s a surprising end to a father and son relationship. Nucky shoots Jimmy twice in the rain in the middle of the night and the scene couldn’t have been more dramatic.
The unfortunate way Michael Pitt learned about Jimmy’s fate
The series creator and showrunner Terence Winter told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 that killing off Jimmy was a difficult choice and one of the “hardest decisions” he’s ever had to make as a writer. Winter knew that Jimmy would be killed by Nucky eventually though.
“I always knew he would die at Nucky’s hand,” Winter revealed. “In plotting season 2, it became clear that if we were going to tell this story honestly, it was going to happen at the end of the year. He was such a huge character, and we love Michael. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make as a writer.”
Michael Pitt was on a fishing trip when he received the news
Pitt was on a fishing trip in New York at the time and he was losing phone service. Attempts were made to get him on the line to break the news to him, but eventually executive producer Martin Scorsese told Winter to email Pitt instead when they couldn’t get ahold of him.
“Marty was like, ‘Let me just e-mail him,’” Winter continued. “I said: ‘We can’t e-mail. We have to have this conversation.’ But we couldn’t get him back on the phone. So ultimately, I felt horrible, but I had to send him an e-mail: ‘I don’t want you to get the script and read this, but you sort of knew where this was going.’ He was totally fine with it.”
Jimmy’s death is eventually avenged in season 5
Nucky might have killed Jimmy, but he doesn’t plan on Jimmy’s young son, Tommy, to grow up and look for revenge. He gets close to Nucky as an adult, and one night he walks up to him on the Boardwalk and shoots him in the same way his father was shot. Tommy gets his revenge for his family, especially the murder of his father.
It was a fitting end after everything that Nucky does to the Darmody family. Nucky meets his end at the hands of Jimmy’s son. In Boardwalk Empire, the death of Jimmy Darmody is still the hardest pill to swallow.