‘Boardwalk Empire’: Why Michael Pitt Says He ‘Sensed’ Jimmy Darmody’s Death Coming

In the history of television, there have been a number of shocking and unexpected deaths, and one of those is certainly the murder of Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) in Boardwalk Empire. However shocking, the death was a long time coming considering the man he took a hit out on is a corrupt and vicious gangster, Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).

Jimmy Darmody meets his end at the hands of Nucky Thompson

Michael Pitt
Michael Pitt | Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for RFF

Jimmy is Nucky’s old protégé, but that doesn’t seem to last long. Jimmy comes back from fighting overseas in WWI and he’s looking for new opportunities. He starts butting heads with Nucky, who warns him not to cross him. However, Jimmy takes a hit out on Nucky, which is something Nucky can’t just let go.

They meet out in the rain in the middle of the night. Jimmy seems resigned to his fate, and asks Nucky who is going to be the one to do it. Nucky tells him he’ll be the one to do the deed, and he ends up shooting Jimmy twice. He kills him, but not before telling Jimmy that he never really knew him.

Why Michael Pitt says he ‘sensed’ Jimmy Darmody’s death coming

RELATED: ‘Boardwalk Empire’: Steve Buscemi Reveals Nucky’s Motives for Killing Jimmy Darmody

Variety spoke with Michael Pitt in 2012 after the death of his character in Boardwalk Empire. Pitt says he knew from “the first script” of season 2 that his character would be meeting his end. It was something he “sensed” because his character was liked by so many people.

“Basically, from the first script of the second season, to be perfectly honest, I knew,” Pitt revealed. “The reason I sensed that was because I knew my character was really well-liked by the audience, and that made it very dangerous for me, because of the nature of the show and the nature of HBO being willing to take risks.”

Jimmy is avenged by his son many years later

Jimmy leaves behind a son, Tommy, who grows up seeking revenge for his family. He gets close to Nucky as an adult, and one night he walks up to him on the Boardwalk and shoots him in the face in exactly the same way his father was shot. Tommy gets revenge for his father’s murder, and it all comes full circle.

Nucky seals his own fate when he shoots Jimmy and kills him. He is then only living on borrowed time until Tommy was old enough to seek revenge.

Pitt says killing Jimmy Darmody was ‘a really powerful decision’

Pitt spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his character’s death. He enjoyed his time working on the series and was actually glad that Jimmy’s death “upset” some of Boardwalk Empire’s viewers.

“I thought it was a really powerful decision,” Pitt revealed. “I loved working with everyone, but it was a strong start and a strong end. That’s good for me. The ratings, apparently, go up the more you piss off the audience. It feels good to know that Jimmy’s death upset some viewers.”

The death of Jimmy Darmody is still talked about to this day by fans of the series.