'Boardwalk Empire' Creator on the Show's Ending: 'It Was the Most Effective Story'


'Boardwalk Empire' Creator on the Show's Ending: 'It Was the Most Effective Story'


'Sometimes bad people get away with things and good people suffer. Sometimes crime pays. Sometimes the world is unfair,' executive producer Terence Winter says of the characters' fates.
Nucky's empire ended as "Boardwalk Empire" closed the curtain for good on Sunday, October 26. The series finale gave a closure to most story arcs, including revealing the gloomy fates of some main characters.

As several teasers for the final season hinted, [SPOILER ALERT!] Nucky did lose his business. He agreed to give up his Atlantic City empire to rival Charlie Luciano in order to save his nephew Willie. It appeared that the show would end in a good note for Nucky as he made $2 million from manipulating the stock market with his former wife Margaret, until a teenaged Tommy Darmody (Jimmy's son) confronted him and shot him in the face.

Dr. Valentin Narcisse met his demise as well, being killed by Luciano's henchmen outside his church. Al Capone turned himself in on tax evasion charges. Things were better for Margaret, who is "financially successful," says series creator Terence Winter, "She's in the best place we've seen her in 11 years."

Talking about the show's ending, Winter tells TV Guide, "I loved the ending of The Sopranos and I thought it was brilliant. I knew it was one less thing I could do. I couldn't do thatagain." He continues, "There are aspects that are not completely crystal-clear. Obviously, Nucky's story comes to a very definite conclusion, [but] Eli may or may not have gone back to his family. We don't really know what's going to happen with Margaret. So we didn't really consider it in that way. It was really just what was the most effective story."

Despite his death, Nucky wasn't brought to justice for his crimes. Regarding this, Winter tells NY Daily News, "In life, it's not that simple. Sometimes bad people get away with things and good people suffer. Sometimes crime pays. Sometimes the world is unfair."

The show revealed in the last minutes that in 1897, Nucky handed a 12-year-old Gillian Darmody over to the Commodore, a pedophile, to win his favor. Asked if he tried to make moral judgment about Nucky, the executive producer says, "It wasn't meant to render any kind of judgment on him at all." He explains, "I wasn't trying to send a message that crime doesn't pay necessarily because for some people it does pay very well. I think Nucky's a guy who lived by the sword and unfortunately died by the sword. It came full circle."

Before his shocking death, Nucky gave his brother Eli some money and told him to ask his wife to take him back. Winter confirms there's a glimmer of hope for Eli as saying, "I think Eli will do that. Of course, you don't know for sure. I didn't want to make everything too specific. You want people to wonder a little, give them something to talk about."

As for Margaret, Winter thinks "she does have a lot of accumulated baggage. I see years of therapy ahead for her, if they had that then."

On his decision to kill Dr. Narcisse, Winter says, "It was really just in with the new, out with the old. Luciano and the guys who at the beginning of the series were the young punks at the sides of the Johnny Torrios and the Big Jim Collisimos of the world have now taken over. Torrio has been marginalized and put out to pasture, Nucky is killed, Narcisse is killed, Capone's in jail. It's a new day, as Luciano says, and he's in charge of it."


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