Boardwalk Empire
Battle of the Century

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Fighting Irish

Nucky and Owen join Fitzgerald at his family's whiskey distillery, which has fallen on hard times with the Irish-English conflict, the collapse of the Irish economy, and Prohibition. Nucky is prepared to work out a deal to take 10,000 cases of whiskey off his hands, but Fitzgerald wants to wait and see if he can broker a deal after the peace is negotiated. Nucky is skeptical, and Owen confirms that the peace negotiations will take a good six months minimum. Still, Fitzgerald refuses to go against McGarrigle.

Back in AC, Esther is busting balls as Halloran enters the office. He finds the concept of "a lady lawyer" novel, and she says drily, "What's next? Horses carriages?" The irony is totally lost on him as he says obliviously, "They already got those," which gives her exactly what she needs to move forward with her interrogation. Lathrop brings up Eli, and Halloran mentions Mr. Thompson's passing. They get to talking, and Halloran calls Eli his friend. Esther says that must be complicated, and she and Lathrop begin tag-teaming Halloran about how friendship and employment create different relationship dynamics. Namely, you can tell your friend all sorts of secrets, but you have to maintain a certain professional decorum with your boss. Again, this is all lost on Halloran -- though the obvious sizzle between Esther and Lathrop isn't. He's canny enough to realize there's something there between them, just not smart enough to stop himself from asking, "Are you two married or something?"

Esther meets his innocent but perceptive question with an icy silence before basically spelling out the fact that Eli (Halloran's boss-slash-friend) had Halloran booted out of his position as sheriff. Halloran's all, "Well, Nucky's... the boss." There you go again with the boss versus friend. Lathrop says obliquely, "It seems some people here are fed up of getting bossed around." Halloran's all, "I just keep Snooki from annoying the tourists too much." Oh wait, wrong decade. Point is, Halloran isn't exactly a strategic thinker. He's more a of a boardwalk heavy, which prompts Esther to turn the conversation toward the night that Hans, Margaret's husband, died. Halloran reveals his hand by saying, "I thought this was about election rigging," then adding, "That fellow had nothing to do with that." He tries to backpedal and says he needs to check his files, which only gives Randolph ammo to smirkingly wonder that he has files at all. Seeing that Halloran's in a corner, Lathrop nudges, "We're not after you. We're after the men who boss you around." Adds Esther quickly, "And we're prepared to do a lot for our friends." Halloran claims he doesn't know what they're talking about, but the message has obviously been received loud and clear -- if nothing else by the fact that he turns beet red and screams, "I know the law, and I don't have to keep on sittin' here if I don't want to!" Beat. "Do I?" Annnnnnnnd we're done here. Well, not with one more snarky remark from Esther: "We'll be sure to let Sheriff Thompson know that you stood up for him." Translation: You're an idiot, Halloran. She gives him a curt smile, and he leaves in a befuddled shuffle.

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Boardwalk Empire

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