The Boardwalk Empire Finale Gave Us Everything The Sopranos Didn’t

Entertainment, Featured — October 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm by

Hopefully by now you have been able to catch up on all past episodes and view the series finale of Boardwalk Empire. If not, don’t continue reading, as spoilers are included.
The finale of Boardwalk gave us the one thing the Sopranos never did- closure. Every little storyline from season one up through season five was resolved and explained. In the end, I feel that’s all we are really suckers for is closure.  Audiences used to expect a happy ending, but that has gone by the wayside over the years.
All throughout the eight episode final season, we saw flashbacks of Nucky as a child. We saw his dysfunctional family life, and his rise up the ranks as a public official in Atlantic City. It really added a dimension to the show by filling in so much of Boardwalk’s backstory. I really liked how, in the final episode, the backstory was running concurrently with the present day narrative.

The whole season, hell even last season, I wondered why they kept Gillian’s storyline going. It didn’t seem all that important- even up until the very last episode. But I love how they threw that twist into the end, that really brought the entire series full circle. It turned out that Gillian’s character was the emotional and moral catalyst of the show. I truly never saw it coming. Nucky’s decision to allow a young Gillian to be taken advantage of by the Commodore was such a pivotal moment in Nucky’s life. It’s like that was the exact moment that his moral fiber turned, and he started to become what he was.


Everyone remembers the now infamous black-out ending of the Sopranos. Some loved it, and most hated it. To me it was genius, because it left the show’s ending up to each individual audience member. There was plenty of potential foreshadowing up to that point, the scene was set with so many potential gunmen in the restaurant. Were one of them Tony’s demise?  Did he get a quick bullet to the head?  Or did the show simply end with Tony content with his real family? Was that the point? That these were the ones that really mattered the most to Tony in Tony’s dark and dangerous world?   Was it all that simple? And even if the frustrating ending was pure genius, it still left you with no closure. Did Carmela, AJ, and Meadow get shot?  Did Tony?  Did he even die or even get shot?  Either way ,you don’t feel satisfied by the ending the way you do with Boardwalk. Boardwalk neatly closed every book, and tied every knot. That’s what leaves me walking away satisfied with a great ending to a fantastic show.

On a side note, the casting of the younger versions of all the characters in the flashbacks was genius. The young British actor who played Nucky was impeccable, and the resemblance was uncanny. I even appreciated the subtle nuances of the kid who played young Eli, and how he was able to replicate Eli to a tee with his movements, the way he talked, and his behavior patterns. And how big of a dick was the Commodore?

I’m sad to see Boardwalk go, but their timing was perfect. The story was told, and it was time to exit stage left. In my mind, Boardwalk will undoubtedly go down as one of HBO’s best ever.


cover: gentlemansgazette

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