The Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Finale Death Sweepstake

“And We Talk About Who’s Gonna Die”

The most recent Boardwalk Empire was quite possibly the most downright exciting of the entire series to date – but really, all of the real action looks like it’s going to be saved for next weeks episode, the season 3 finale, ‘Margate Sands’ – after that we’ll be posting an extensive Season 3 review. But for, now let’s speculate on who we’ll be saying goodbye to on sunday night.

Watch the promo below for the finale below, which doesn’t give anything specific away, but I’d recommend staying away if you want to remain entirely unspoiled – if we refer to it later, we’ll make sure we have it clearly marked as a spoiler.

Rosetti’s Goons / Chalky’s Men – 1/100

Every battle needs it’s redshirts. This one’s self-explanatory and the only deaths I’m entirely certain of.

Gyp Rosetti – 1/3

What a guy – for me, he’s been the character responsible for making Season 3 Boardwalk’s most entertaining season to date. An archetypal man of the gangster genre, Gyp is in the psychotic Joe Pesci mold, an unpredictable hothead who’s every scene has you on the edge of your seat. For me, he’s the most likely death of the finale – first of all, I’ll get the boring “TV land” explanation out of the way – his particular storyline is based entirely on his existence, and as much of an entertaining presence has been, if he survives, his storyline must continue in next year’s season, and that would become stale fast – unless he goes through a major transformation, or is imprisoned, we’ve seen enough of Mr. Rosetti – we’ve seen characters of his ilk before in The Sopranos – Steve Buscemi’s character Tony Blundetto, or Ralphie Cifaretto – and these kinds of characters rarely last more than a season.

To look at where the story itself is going, Gyp is enemy #1, and who will be the one to kill him is anyone’s guess. Fearing for the safety of Tommy Darmody, Richard Harrow may be the one to pull the trigger. Nucky Thompson is the most obvious candidate, being the arch nemesis of sorts, or it could be any of his crew.

My prediction – Gillian Darmody. Perhaps it would be an anti-climax, with the focus of the entire season on Nucky vs. Gyp – but you can see it coming, angry at the way he has treated her and her girls, Gillian certainly has the motivation, and as we’ve seen already this season, the capacity for murder. The method? We’ve already seen that Gyp has a thing for her, and has a suitably disturbing fetish for asphyxiation – perhaps Gillian will go just too far…

Gillian Darmody – 1/2

Fairly certain of this one. The death of her son Jimmy in last season’s finale demonstrated that the writers aren’t afraid to be rid of their major characters, and in terms of plot it transformed Gillian from a conniving sociopath into an out-and-out psycho of Joffrey Baratheon proportions. In the last season alone she has murdered an innocent lookalike to get closure on her son’s death, bullied everyone’s favourite character Richard Harrow, and denied her grandson any knowledge of his parents, all the while raising him in a brothel. This last episode, she kicked out Harrow, whilst remarking he’s “only half a person”, whilst he’s deluded for any dreams of having any kind of relationship with the woman he loves. No character has ever had it coming so much. This final shot of Richard Harrow in the last episode suggest that Nucky isn’t the only one preparing for battle – and mild spoiler alert, this screencap from the final season suggests he’ll be getting his hands face dirty.

William Thompson – 1/1

Eli’s oldest was only introduced this season, and in my eyes it seems like he’s only been brought in, in order to die and develop Eli’s chracter further – though he’s had his finest season to date. I can see this for a couple of reasons – the slower Easter episode midway through this season, ‘Sunday Best’ gave a detailed look at how much Eli’s family means to him. And in one of his very brief appearances, in the last five minutes of ‘Two Imposters’, there were two telling lines – Nucky tells him “You’ve handled yourself well”, and it also shows his father’s indignation at him being involved – “you brought my son in on this?”

Eli Thompson – 3/1

You could perhaps interpret the above paragraph, not about his eldest son about Eli himself – after his stint in prison, Eli has become a lot more assured and at peace – the most dangerous state for any character to be in. Whilst things aren’t perfect with Nucky, he proved himself to be a far more astute right-hand-man than Micky Doyle, and has once again come to Nucky’s aid at the end of this episode. He’ll certainly be getting himself into dangerous situations.

Dunn Purnsley – 5/1

This one feels a little bit cheap, as there’s been little foreshadowing to his possible demise. I’m including this one because he is precisely the level character that Boardwalk could, and would, kill off – it would up the drama stakes in the finale, and drive Chalky’s character somewhat, all the while proving no great shakes to the bigger picture of the show. I think he’s been a really interesting presence in season 3 and one of the strongest of the new characters, so I hope I’m wrong – if only because it’s less interesting to speculate on deaths because of “how television works” as opposed to what makes sense in the Boardwalk Empire universe.

Chalky White – 8/1

I think Chalky has a lot more life in him yet, but like Owen’s and Angela Darmody’s plans to run away before him, the future tense is a dangerous thing in the world of television – perhaps he’ll see his life cut short before his ambition to have a “negro club” where Bebette’s used to be on the Boardwalk. I for one, hope not, because the race relations aspect has been one of Boardwalk Empire’s most interesting elements.

Julia Sagorsky – 10/1

The character responsible for Harrow’s turnaround this season, it would be typical for the most tragic character in the show to lose the love of his life. There’s nothing to suggest that this might happen just yet, apart from possibly the foreshadowing of Gillian’s line about Richard being with as “fantasy”  – she’s not been caught up in the Nucky/Rosetti shitstorm, and the only hint of her death would come at the hands of her drunken father. If this was to happen, I can imagine it would be not in the finale but perhaps during Season 4, post Harrow saving Tommy from the hands of her psychotic grandmother and getting close to living the life he’s dreamt of with her. captured in his prized photograph, only for it to be torn away from him.


Richard Harrow – 30/1 – Probably the most unpopular decision the writers could possibly take. He’ll be getting himself into real danger – and perhaps he could die at the hands of Gillian, just to take her bellendry to brand new levels. I don’t see it though.

Margaret Thompson – 50/1 – The last we saw of Mrs Thompson was her totally bereft at the sight of Owen’s dead body. We think that Season 4 will explore the depressed, now-sham relationship of the married couple as they grieve the partners they separately, genuinely, cared for. We think we’ll see her grieving during the finale, with a little screen time. Suicide is the only possible way we could see her going, but it’s hugely unlikely.

Mickey Doyle – 50/1 – “how the fuck are you still alive?” – the slimy cockroach should survive, and as he’s been AWOL for a few episodes, we may well never even see him in the finale – I, for one, will be cheering at the screen if he finally gets his comeuppance.

Eddie Kessler – 70/1 – Suffering from his bullet wound, perhaps we’ll see him have a slow and painful death, after Nucky finally showed some compassion for the man who once saved his life. We hope not though, as he’s been the best comic relief the show has.



Of the above characters, I can see two dying for certain – and definitely one of Rosetti and Gillian Darmody. Perhaps, they’ll be 3 or 4 major deaths –  but it really would be a shock to kill off any of the long shots, or any of the major characters I’ve not mentioned – Al Capone, Nucky Thompson, Rothstein, Torrio, Luciano, and Meyer Lansky are all protected by historical realism, and Nelson Van Alden is clearly planned for big things in the next season.

Red shirt, on-screen death prediction – 27.

– Nestor Watach

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