Boardwalk Empire

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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!

Chicago. Jimmy is feeding Pearl some soup, but she refuses. "You can't live on laudanum," he says. "Watch me," she slurs. Johnny Torrio comes knocking at the door with a smile for Pearl, whose own smile is both sardonic and opium-drenched. Torrio pulls Jimmy into the hallway, then laments her condition. Jimmy says she's not that bad, but Torrio says, "If she was a filly, they'd shoot her." He says this is a cathouse, not a hotel -- "she don't earn, I don't earn." Jimmy offers to comp her, but Torrio says she's a hundred dollars a day. Jimmy's shocked that that's how much she'd earn. Torrio tells him he's got til Friday to either pay up or get her out. Back inside, Jimmy lies about the nature of Torrio's visit. Pearl's looped, but not so looped she can't tell Jimmy is covering and upset. Wanting to make him feel better, she offers to eat the soup. Wow, a hooker who is sweet and beautiful and with big dreams of California and a drug addiction? Who's to say how this story will end? (And no, I don't want to hear about Richard Gere on any fire escapes.)

Margaret's sleeping in her bed with the kids when she's once again awoken by the clambering of the bootleggers. This time, she wraps herself in a blanket and heads out to complain. The first guy she talks to oafishly explains that this is the beer they'll be dyeing green. When he realizes that this admission might be a problem with a woman who's already come out to complain, he calls his boss, Mr. Neri, over. He and Margaret recognize each other, and he tries to butter her up with talk of her Irish homeland. She's not budging, though. He gives a lip-service-y admonishment to the rest of the workers to keep it down, then, because as you recall, he thinks the Irish are easily placated with booze, he offers to pour Margaret a taste of the old country, but she turns heel back to her house.

The next morning, she takes great effort to pick a dynamite dress -- I really hope she's not complaining too loudly about mean Madame Jeunet, because her wardrobe has been DYNAMITE since she's started working at Oh! Mon Dieu!. This one's a gorgeous lavender dress with embroidered beading and a plum hat to match it. Cut to Margaret waiting outside of Nucky's office with a few other undesirables. From Margaret's posture, you can tell she's been waiting a while. Neri gets off the elevator and doesn't so much as acknowledge Margaret as he breezes past and into the office. When he opens the door, sounds of boisterous laughter and carousing can be heard. Eddie finally exits the office and announces that Mr. Thompson is not available today. Margaret looks up expectantly and asks if he knows she's been waiting. Eddie only says Nucky's got important business to tend to. And... not like Nucky's being a prince by blowing her off like this -- and he'll certainly suffer for it later -- but I'm not sure where Margaret gets the stones to be offended that she didn't get ushered to the front of the line again after trying to blow the whistle on Nucky to the Temperance League. Cut to Margaret at home, back in one of her dowdier ensembles, as she gets angry and rips her silky green slip apart. It's quite a tantrum and a real regression after the complexity we saw in her last week.

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Boardwalk Empire

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