6. Nucky Kills Jimmy
Show: Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
One of the biggest TV moments of 2011 came when Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) proved that Atlantic City was no country for young men. Traditional narrative expectations had us leaving season one thinking that Jimmy (Michael Pitt) was a man on the rise. Season two showed us just how wrong we were. The finale of the second season was a violent reminder that Steve Buscemi is the star of the show (as Alan Sepinwall said in his review of the episode, "check the credits if you don't believe me") and that Nucky Thomspon is a darker man than we would like to believe. As Nucky put it, "You don't know me, James. You never did. I am not seeking forgiveness."
Being spoiled on this episode was tough because the only person who seemed sure that Jimmy Darmody was going to die was Jimmy. Even up the final moments, when Darmody went to meet Nucky without a gun, we wanted to believe that this was going to end with the two men realizing they needed each more than they had thought, with a prodigal son returning home. Whether you found out on Twitter or firsthand that night, you learned that Nucky Thompson surely was not seeking forgiveness.