WARNING: Do not read any further if you have not watched the season finale of HBO's Boardwalk Empire and do not wished to be completely and devestatingly spoiled.
I'm serious, just stop. It's not going to be pretty.
Alright, well, you asked for it.
They killed my Jimmy. Oh my LORD, they executed my favorite character. This has never happened to me before!! I'm not 100% sure how to cope with this kind of loss. As a general rule, I get very emotionally attached to characters, and I mourn their deaths like you'd mourn the loss of a good pet, but I've never been subject to this. My favorites are always the main characters!! (I know, I'm boring and typical, sue me.) Main characters NEVER get killed off, unless G. R. Martin is involved, so I've never felt the crippling and devastating grief that comes from a beloved character death before. Spoiler alert: IT SUCKS ASS.
I feel like I went through all the stages of grief last night during the scene and after. Everything was going far too well, for everyone involved, and so I quickly became suspicious that something terrible was going to happen. James seemed to be tying up his loose ends, but then so had Nucky in the previous episode, so I didn't put too much stock in that. At the statue, it wasn't until Eli appeared behind him that I knew something terrible was going to happen. But honestly, I was in complete denial up until the moment that Nucky fired. I truly believed that he wouldn't shoot him, that the betrayal hadn't gone that deep. How wrong I was.
After denial, I was enraged. How could he do that?? How could Nucky choose anyone over Jimmy?? But Nucky has always been, at his core, a family man. So when it came down to Jimmy's word against Eli's on who initiated the attempt on Nucky's life, despite all of Eli's prior betrayals, Nucky believed his brother. Blood was the deciding factor for him. Even though Nucky practically raised Jimmy, he never treated him or loved him like son. When Nucky said, "You had everything!" I wanted to scream at him, ARE YOU FRAKING SERIOUS?! He had NOTHING. He had a mother who sexually abused him, a father who abused his mother and was in prison (unfortunately NOT for raping a 13 yo), and a surrogate father who gave him money instead of affection. Yes, that sounds like a man who had everything.
And then of course, after the anger, came crippling sadness. I cried for 30 minutes. I lay down in my bed and listened to emo songs and wailed for my lost love. I thought of Richard and Gillian and Tommy and how they're going to handle losing James. Needless to say, they're going to be devestated. Finally, I journeyed into acceptance, not because I want to, but because the more I thought about it, the sadder I became for Jimmy's life. After Angela's death, he sort of gave up. I don't think he ever expected to come back from the war and since then, he's been floundering, a lost soul, empty. Maybe this really is what was best for him. But it wasn't best for me.
I'm still floored by the choice from a creative perspective. How Terrence Winter made the decision to kill off James Darmody, (and say goodbye to the brilliance that is Michael Pitt), I will never know. I keep seeing Jimmy's head fly back and him falling to the ground, it's on repeat in my head. It was such a brilliantly written and shot scene, that I'm kind of traumatized, lol.
I've never been the person that stops watching a show when a certain character dies or a certain couple breaks up, but honestly, I have no desire to watch the next season. Maybe that will change in time, but for me this felt like a series finale, like the culmination of seasons of storylines, not just one. Will I be back for season 3? Probably. But right now, with the loss of my love still fresh, I'm not too keen on it.