Boardwalk Empire
William Wilson

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | 55 USERS: A-
Purnsley Breaks All the Commandments

Back to the church now, darkened at night, with Deacon Cuffy confronted by Purnsley, who tells him he found out who's been "runnin' that poison round here." Nice try, Purnsely, but Deacon Cuffy already knows who it is, and he's on his way to tell Mr. White right now. He just had to cut through the atmospheric and thematically significant church, I guess. Purnsley talks a little bit about seeing the error of his ways, and Cuffy says a guilty man will say anything to save his own skin. "Pray with me, Deacon," says Purnsley, who reaches out a hand to Cuffy. I guess Cuffy wants to believe Purnsely means it? Because I can't see any other reason not to run away from the man you've just threatened to rat out for dealing heroin, especially when he's got one hand behind his back. Cuffy, of course, takes Purnsley's one hand, and Purnsley's other hand stabs him to death and leaves him lying on the floor of the church.

Finally, we're in Daughter Maitland's dressing room, where she's quoting scripture to Narcisse, who's sitting, head bowed in a chair, as Daughter brings over a wash basin to him. She unbuttons his shirt so we can see the scars on his chest, and she tells him that Chalky -- Narcisse corrects her to say "Mr. White" -- doesn't seem pleased to have to answer to Nucky Thompson. She's wiping his chest with a washcloth, by the way. Narciss asks if Chalky is pleased with her. "I believe he is," she says, and then they chat to let us know that Narcisse was the john burned by Daughter's mother; that's what the scars are. "It burned for but an instant. Her pain is everlasting," says Narcisse, while daughter runs her hand over his scars. He touches her face and says these hands set her free, and put Daughter on her path. "You'll sing for me now," he says, and Daughter kisses his hand, and goes to the door, and moments later we hear the Onyx's emcee introduce her. Narcisse buttons up his shirt and closes his eyes as we listen to Daughter sing about how there is someone for everyone out there. Even crazy bible-quoting, hooker-killing, heroin dealers, it seems.

Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. Do Baptists do confession? Because that's a lot of Hail Marys that Purnsley's going to have to say. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at

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Boardwalk Empire




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