Boardwalk Empire

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Liars and Tight-asses and Baders, Oh My!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: Do not piss off Chalky White, Arnold Rothstein. Do not stare too long at Richard Harrow's half face, everybody. Do not show your whole faces near Atlantic City, D'Alessio brothers. Do not strike up a three-way with a gangster's wife, weird photographer swingers. Do not show us any more sexual scenes of Van Alden (please!), writers. Do not underestimate your woman's growing desires and cunning, Nucky. And for the love of God, do not shoot at Nucky, people. There'll be Hell to pay for that one.

We open with an idyllic beach scene. Ol' Dick Harrow frolics in the surf with a beautiful young lady and, more importantly, his entire face. He looks at her lovingly, his handsome mug glimmering in the sun. She scampers away. When she comes running back, she stops short and begins to shriek. Cut to the mangle-faced Harrow we've come to know and recoil at. We get a proper view of the face that makes children cry out in terror -- as Little Emily Schroeder is doing at the moment. There's a gaping hole where his left eye used to be and a sickening scar swirling down his cheek. Startled from his dreams, Harrow apologizes for several seconds before reaching enough consciousness to cover his face. He slips on his mask just as Margaret and Nucky run down the stairs. "We're on edge here as it is," chastises Nucky. Harrow apologizes, explaining that he can't sleep comfortably in his mask. Nucky and Margaret take Emily, still wailing, upstairs as we zoom in on Harrow, who continues apologizing to no one in particular and is utterly broken that he has become the de facto town monster. And in this town! To his misfortune, the monsters in A.C. are not as obvious as he, but far more insidious. With their dandy suits and their whole faces, they glad hand, they crusade for the law, they bloviate about morality. You have to look extra-hard to recognize true evil on the boardwalk... especially as it begins to engulf us all.

Elsewhere, one of evil's minions is making excuses. Agent Sebso, he who smashes rocks into his skull for the betterment of a story, rotes his story about Billy the Rat needing to take a piss on the drive to Manhattan. He lies that he uncuffed Billy so he wouldn't have to touch his junk, allowing Billy to attack him. Van Alden grows ever more frustrated and more vocal that his obsessive crusade has been debunked by something as petty as modesty. Well we can't all self-flagellate to achieve such singular focus as yours, Nelson. Elliot gives Van Alden a final warning to pipe down. Sebso acknowledges he did wrong and ices the cake with some crocodile tears, saying that killing Billy will haunt him for the rest of his days. He is exonerated by virtue of self-defense then ingloriously dismissed to take a week's leave.

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Boardwalk Empire

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