“Boardwalk Empire” did many things well in its run, which comes to an end on Sunday night at 9. The thing it did best of all – and therefore the thing that fills me with excitement about finale – is bring stories to an end. This is a show that killed off many characters in its five seasons, but always did so with aplomb, usually making sure that a character’s final moment would be as memorable and appropriate as possible. But it also found expert, precise closure to stories that didn’t involve death, so that the end of each season would inevitably make the episodes before feel like more than the sum of their individual parts.
As often happens when a show I love is concluding, I spent much too much time this week on YouTube, watching clips of my favorite scenes from the series. And, yes, many of them involved characters dying, and/or moments from the previous finales. What’s embedded below isn’t necessarily a definitive list of the show’s best moments – there’s no Arnold Rothstein monologue below, for instance, and I chose a Chalky/Narcisse scene from this season, rather than one of the many magnificent encounters between them in season 4 – but ones I thought about often as I got ready for Sunday’s very final finale.
So take a look through, and then tell me what some of your favorite moments from the past five seasons have been.