Richard Harrow – the not so avenging angel **Boardwalk Empire Spoilers**

I’ve got to ask – was anybody else a little disappointed with the scene between Nucky Thomson and Richard Harrow in ‘Bone for Tuna’?

I was eagerly anticipating any plot strand in Season Three that dealt with the murder on Jimmy Darmody and saw some real potential in a possible revenge storyline involving Gillian Darmody and Richard Harrow.

We’ve seen lots of evidence of Harrow’s capabilities as a killer. He is, without a doubt, the most accomplished murderer in the show to date (there’s obviously going to be quite a contender in Gyp Rosseti, and Capone & Seigel have violent future’s ahead if the show remains historically accurate) and I felt certain that Harrow was going to be a significant, and violent, thorn in Nucky’s side. It would not be an understatement to say Jimmy gave Harrow’s life purpose and meaning and I really, REALLY wanted some explosive revenge action from the man for the murder of his brother-in-arms. While many of the killers in Boardwalk Empire did so for money; Harrow did so out of loyalty and some sense of misplaced soldier’s duty. While I didn’t really like Jimmy’s move to usurp Nucky I did find myself mysteriously rooting for the young upstarts (I think mostly due to the quality of acting) and I wanted some Boardwalk Empire style justice for Jimmy.

The manner in which Harrow dispatched Manny Horvitz in ‘Resolution’ teased his intent for bloody revenge. It was a bloody and efficient kill that was exactly what I expected from Harrow. So when he grabbed Mickey and dragged him down to Nucky’s office I moved to the edge of my seat expectantly. As Harrow held his gun to Doyle’s head I thought for a moment that he was going to shoot him right there & then and then threaten Nucky’s family, empire and life in that calm, detached voice.

He didn’t though. He confessed to killing Horvitz, let Doyle go, and assured Nucky that he did not intend to take revenge.

Now; I totally get the Angela Darmody revenge angle. It was clear in season 2 Harrow had a soft spot for her as she treated him very well. But the whole “Jimmy was a soldier who fought and lost” just doesn’t cut it with me at all. There was so much more to Jimmy Darmody and Richard Harrow’s relationship than that; how can it end like this? It seems to be such a waste of dramatic potential for the show to let Richard Harrow’s story all but fizzle out like this; just a caretaker to a brothel and glorified babysitter to little Tommy Darmody. It doesn’t feel right to me at all.

The episode hinted that the fallout to Jimmy’s murder has got some distance to go yet through Nucky’s conscious and Gillian’s weighted conversation with Gyp, but, sadly, it appears that there’s the possibility that the fascinating character of Richard Harrow is to not play a part.

Which, for me, will be disappointing if proven true.

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