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In the history of Boardwalk Empire, one murder has stood out from all the rest, and that’s saying something. Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) was the protégé of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), that is until he crosses Nucky for the final time. Nucky decides that Jimmy needs to die, but the most surprising thing is who does the killing.

The murder of Jimmy Darmody couldn’t have been more dramatic

Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi | Marc Stamas/FilmMagic

In the finale of season 2, Jimmy seems to know his end is near. He arrives in the middle of the night in the rain to find Nucky and his men. They meet between the cars and Jimmy tells him he isn’t armed. He asks if this is the only way things could have ended.

“This is your choice James,” Nucky insists.

“I died in a trench, years back,” Jimmy responds, in reference to his time fighting in WWI. “I thought you knew that. So who’s going to do it?”

Nucky tells him he will be the one to do it, and he pulls the pistol out to show him. “You had everything going. Your whole life,” Nucky says. He shoots Jimmy, but he’s somehow still alive. Nucky stands over him and tells him that he never knew him. “I am not seeking forgiveness,” Nucky says as he shoots Jimmy again.

The death of Jimmy was coming for a long time but the way it happened was more than hard to handle. Jimmy has a lot of fans and his death wasn’t an easy pill to swallow.

What surprised Steve Buscemi about Jimmy Darmody’s death?

Buscemi spoke with Deadline via Awardsline in 2012 and he discussed the death of Jimmy in more detail. He said the surprising thing to him personally was that Nucky chose to do the deed himself. He could have had any number of men do it, and even Jimmy figured Nucky would have someone else to do when he first arrives on the scene.

“What was more surprising to me was that Nucky chose to do it himself,” Buscemi said. “He could have had someone else do it. I talked to (Boardwalk director and executive producer) Tim Van Patten about this. He directed the final episode. Tim said over the course of prohibition and gangster history, there’s the names of guys we don’t know because they didn’t make it. And that’s Jimmy’s story.”

Fans react to Jimmy’s death


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Fans on Reddit still talk about the murder of Jimmy. Although many saw it coming, it was a sad end to an already tragic story. Some think Jimmy got what was coming to him for trying to kill Nucky, while others think the show was never the same again after his death.

“The show was never as great again after that. Huge mistake to kill him off,” a Reddit user said.

One fan has a very different opinion. “He deserved it. As much as I like Jimmy, he did try and kill the most powerful man in Atlantic City,” said the Reddit user.

In another thread on Reddit, fans continue to discuss the death of Jimmy. “Jimmy was the character I sympathized with and loved. His death was depressing to me,” a Reddit user wrote.

Another fan doesn’t think Jimmy needed to die since he was reaching out to Nucky to repair things. “I really felt like it didn’t need to happen though. You could clearly see how Jimmy reached out to Nucky in that last episode of season 2, and he wanted to be forgiven and kinda go back to the way things were before,” another fan said.

Fans are still conflicted about how Jimmy Darmody was murdered by Nucky Thompson on Boardwalk Empire.