Boardwalk Empire
To the Lost

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Dead and Gone

The next day, at Nucky's house, Katy and another maid help Emily practice her walking, and it's very sweet. Nucky returns home with Owen, so of course immediately Katy starts acting weird. Of course, Owen greets Lillian and Emily but not Katy, so it's not like she's the only one acting weird. Anyway, where is Margaret? She left, say the maids, though she didn't say where she was going.

In fact, Margaret is at the Post Office, meeting with Esther Randolph. Margaret brought Father Brennan with her, who is immediately all over Randolph about how Margaret has no knowledge whatsoever of the crimes Nucky's been charged with. He even brings up Emily's polio for added sympathy points. Randolph wonders if maybe Margaret can speak for herself, and Margaret does tell Brennan she can do this alone. Brennan: "Well, I suppose I'll just buy some stamps." Nice. Once he's gone, the feminist pas des deux begins. It's all subtext so I'll do the best I can. Margaret: "Tell me right now that it's easy for a woman to get any kind of social position, much less High Inquisitress of America, without making some serious compromises. Extra credit if you can claim to have started off in abject, off-the-boat poverty." Randolph is all open to hearing Margaret's story. She has no doubt it's complicated, though it's not hard to think Randolph's already made up her mind on this one. Still, she's not unsympathetic. She even admits to rather liking Nucky, apart from his crimes. But she WILL compel Margaret to testify. However she paints Margaret -- helpless widow or shameless golddigger -- is entirely up to Margaret. "Does it matter," Margaret asks, indignantly, "that neither of those are true?" Randolph: "It matters that Enoch Thompson goes to jail." Then we get into serious moral territory: Nucky has never been cruel to Margaret, she says, or to her children. But he has been cruel to many, many people, says Randolph. Margaret has never seen that -- but she KNOWS about it anyway. Margaret plays the child card, but Randolph manages to parry even that, saying if she had children of her own, she couldn't bear thinking their comfort was bought with the blood of others. "Because sooner or later," she says, "they'll find out themselves. And that won't be a happy day." Margaret asks what happens if she agrees to testify against Nucky. Randolph assures her she'll never have to see Nucky again. "Set yourself free, Mrs. Schroeder. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel."

Nucky and Fallon are in his office, musing on how ridiculous these charges of "asking someone to commit murder" are. Who ever heard of THAT as a crime? Nucky yells at Eddie for the empty bourbon bottle, while Fallon changes the subject to Eli. Can Nucky make him an offer? Nucky says Eli isn't the real problem. Ah yes. Margaret. Fallon says her testimony is what will sink Nucky, even if she doesn't know anything concrete. She will be the one who turns all the accusations and hearsay and makes it all seem plausible, if not probable. If Margaret testifies, bottom line, it's all over. Nucky thinks it over, as Eddie comes in with a call from Chalky.

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Boardwalk Empire

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