‘Boardwalk Empire’ Death: Yep, They Went There

Killing off major characters is becoming a bit of a thing at HBO

(Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the second season of "Boardwalk Empire" because you're planning to watch it in nickel-matinee installments on Atlantic Avenue, don't read this.)

Jimmy Darmody, we hardly knew ye.

Well, we sort of knew ye. We saw you rise from right-hand man to "Boardwalk Empire" mastermind Nucky Thompson to become, ever so briefly, the crime boss of Atlantic City. We flashed back to your World War I and Princeton days. And we saw that one time you had sex with your mom.

Also read: 'Game of Thrones' Shocker Separates Readers From Viewers

Okay, maybe we knew you pretty well.

The death of Darmody (Michael Pitt) in Sunday's season two finale marked the second time this year an acclaimed HBO drama has killed off a main character. The last one — spoiler alert — was "Game of Thrones," which shocked us with Ned Stark's beheading in its first season.

In retrospect, maybe Darmody's death shouldn't have been such a surprise: What else could the show do with a character after we've seen him go through all of the experiences enumerated above, as well as witnessed the death of his wife? And once he relinquished power to Thompson (Steve Buscemi), what was left for him to do? Claim it again?

But still: a beautiful twist by show creator Terence Winter. And kudos to HBO for letting "Boardwalk" and other shows get away with this kind of thing.

But please don't kill off Leon on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."