The fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire begins this Sunday, which means we’re only eight weeks away from judging the entirety of the show based on a single episode. OK, that’s unfair, but considering the reaction to David Chase’s “did Tony die?” comments, it sure seems like a lot of people who hated the fade-to-black finale now don’t like the series as a whole. That’s probably the most famous example of a polarizing finale, but Boardwalk creator Terence Winter, who also wrote for The Sopranos (including one of the show’s best episode, “Long Term Parking”), didn’t let the LOUD reaction influence how to end his show. Here’s what he told HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall in an interview.
You were there at the time David [Chase] wrote that ending, and I know at times you argued for more closure than David wanted to provide. Given that, and given the reaction to that finale, has that in any way informed how you’ve chosen to end Nucky’s story?
It didn’t influence me at all. It never would have been my intention to do the same thing anyway. I never thought, ‘Oh, let’s do this or not do that.’ I just took Nucky’s story to the place where I thought it should naturally end up. As it turns out, it’s not ambiguous; it’s pretty much there for you to see. That said, it could have been. I wouldn’t have avoided ambiguity if that’s where I felt the story took us. David gave us absolutely one of the all-time great endings. Certainly, people talk about it every day. So I think it’s apples and oranges. (Via)
“It’s pretty much there for you to see.” Obviously that means that the last scene is going to do a Six Feet Under-esque fast forward to the year 2012. Nucky’s dead, as is Margaret and Capone and Van Alden. In fact, all of the main characters are gone, except Lucy Danziger, who became president for some reason.
FADE TO BLACK.
Nothing ambiguous about that.