Boardwalk Empire
William Wilson

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

Roy says they all carry their burdens. She asks what his are, and he says ambition, which is like when you have a job interview and you give one of those bullshit answers like, "My biggest weakness? Well, I don't know when to stop. I refuse to go home until the job is done right." She asks him what's wrong with that. "The expense of family, of love," he says, and starts rambling about getting to know her the last little while, and how none of it means anything without someone you care about. For example: he never would have been able to stand the blowhard from the A&P if she hadn't been with him. Looking concerned, she apologizes if tending to her caused his affairs to suffer. He assures her that she's important to him. "Everything else can go hang," he says. And then he kisses her, and they don't even move from the fainting couch to the loveseat. What will the neighbors think?

O'Banion cracks open a bottle of beer in the distillery he's selling Johnny Torrio, while Torrio looks over the paperwork. Dean opened the bottle so Torrio could see what he's buying, but Torrio's not interested and makes O'Banion give it to one of his goons. There's some discussion of the way the Irish like their beer warm, but Torrio's impatient to just get the job done, and a handbag full of cash is handed over. Torrio signs the papers, sounding pissed about the whole thing, and his mood does not improve when a couple dozen police officers raid the joint and arrest the lot of them. Torrio is even less impressed when O'Banion makes a big show of letting the cops know that this isn't his distillery anymore. But they're both in back of caps cars right now!

There are plenty of people looking out for the Libyan community already, and they're in Shiloh Baptist Church, where normally they'd be filing their grievances with Chalky, but Chalky's not there, and at any rate, some of the grievances (like the horrid jazz music playing) involve him. Instead, Purnsley's fielding the complaints, and Narcisse is sitting in the front row, as is Deacon Cuffy. Purnsley's making excuses for Chalky missing his third meeting in a row, saying he's "indisposed," but a man shouts that's because Chalky's on the boardwalk disposin' himself with the white folk. Way to set that guy up, Purnsley! He's probably had that line locked and loaded since the walk to the church.

There's a lot of murmuring going on, and then Deacon Cuffy silences everyone when he stands up and points out that there have been two heroin overdoses in the past month. Purnsley promises they're looking into it. That's not good enough for Cuffy, who says that if things continue, he's going to have to talk to Chalky White. Narcisse decides it's time to intervene and introduces himself. "Though I am not from here, I am of here, just as I am of anywhere the Libyan makes his home," he says, adding that their community is plagued by the scourges and heroin. But the real problem is apathy on the part of their leader. Narcisses doesn't throw Chalky -- who Narcisse says he knows better than Chalky himself realizes -- completely under the bus. "He's a good man, but a man whose true purpose has been clouded by misguided ambition," says Narcisse, who adds that with Chalky's permission and Purnsley's assistance, he has come to help breathe new life into the community. The agreements and "Amen"s get louder as Narcisse says that with Deacon Cuffy, they will restore the community to its "full and glorious potential." While the rest of the crowd applauds, it's worth noting that Deacon Cuffy looks rather grim, and Purnsley is giving him a total death stare.

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Boardwalk Empire




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