By Eric Dodds
September 8, 2014

The following post contains spoilers for the Sept. 7 episode of Boardwalk Empire.

If you’re a student of history (or reader of Wikipedia), you likely had an idea of what was in store for Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria when you saw that Boardwalk Empire was skipping forward six years to 1931 for its fifth and final season, which premiered on Sunday.

Here’s how TIME announced, on April 27, 1931, what Boardwalk viewers now know:

From the April 27, 1931, issue of

The HBO drama wasted no time in arriving at the New York crime boss’s demise, having him clipped by Bugsy Siegel and another assassin under orders from Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky in the season’s very first episode. And because this is Boardwalk Empire, it’s a safe bet that this death of a real-world character will be followed by the deaths of fictional characters (and ultimately other real-world ones as well).

Read James Poniewozik’s review of the final season of Boardwalk Empire here on


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