Posted December 12, 2011 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

Boardwalk Empire 2.12 – To The Lost

If you plan on seeing the finale to this season of Boardwalk Empire then you would do well to skip my recap being that it will contain a lot of spoilers. I intend to speak openly on what happened and would love to hear the thoughts of those of you who saw it.

For all the faults that James “Jimmy” Darmody had in this season, he was still the one person for us audience members to root for. Sure he was a killer and a whore-son with a mother who molested and took advantage of him but he was our whore-son and now he is gone. 

The episode felt like an hour long obituary as Jimmy makes his rounds trying to undo everything that he had done to the people he cared about most – namely Nucky. In order to talk to his “father” Jimmy and Richard Harrow took a trip to the Klans men’s gathering (by a body of water), they shot a few men to show that they meant business and forced a confession out of the rest in order to deliver the 3 murderers to Chalky White. When the men were delivered to Chalky and Purnsley, the phone call was made and before long Jimmy and Nucky Thompson are talking as he tries his best to apologize.

The court case against Nucky seemed like a sure thing, with Margaret Schroeder ready to testify but Nucky throws out the marriage card to her and squelches the hate that she had in her stomach for him. Well it at least settled the hate a bit until she sees him personally playing with her children and teaching her daughter how to walk. This last bit caused her heart to melt and she decides to marry him after confessing everything to her shady priest. Now as Mrs. Margaret Thompson, she was not allowed to testify against her husband so the State’s ace in the hole was trumped and Nucky was now a free man.

Well I wish it were that simple… see Jimmy and Richard forced the “witnesses” to rescind their statements at gunpoint (one poor bastard was made to look like a suicide) and Eli was paid a personal visit by his brother who had learned from Jimmy that he was the one who ordered his shooting. Of course Eli lies through his teeth and agreed to take the rap and do a year in the stripey hole for his big brother.

Not a lot went on outside of Nucky being let off on his charges but it was the end of this episode that had the meat… all because we see a side of Nucky that didn’t make any sense. For those of you who understand gangland terminology, let’s just say that Nucky “made his bones” with Jimmy as the target. Luring Jimmy to a trap under the guise of having Manny Horvitz, Nucky, Eli, Manny and Owen surround the veteran and Nucky of all people shoots him in the face. The bullet didn’t kill Jimmy but as he lay there suffering, Nucky walks over and shoots him in the head once more. It was interesting because Jimmy accepted it, at first telling Nucky how to deal with the anxiety after making his first kill (he said he threw up for 2 days), then informing Nucky that he had already died during the war.

This was the one time Jimmy had asked his best friend Richard to stay home, moments after they had shared war stories and him telling Richard to promise that he would try to move on past the wars and killing that his life had brought. It was a farewell speech and when Nucky pulled the trigger it dawned on me that Jimmy had done everything within this episode to make his peace prior to dying. Shocking does not describe it, and here I thought him sleeping with his mother was the worst.

When Jimmy died it felt as if the heart of Boardwalk Empire was gone; who are we to root for now when everybody else is an asshole? Margaret Schroeder is as slimy as her husband, Nucky has gone completely dark and evil, the boys in New York are jerks… the show is now The Game of Thrones, basically we have nobody to love. If there is anything however, there is the chance of a Richard Harrow reckoning with the loss of his only friend. Ironically Gillian Darmody was the one person who Jimmy didn’t make his peace with before taking the drive to die at Nucky’s hands. He spoke well of his father to Nucky and offered his son some advice on living the lonely life… he must have really hated his mother.

What a sad end to this wonderful season.

Greg Dragon

Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.