WARNING: this post contains major plot spoilers from the last season of Boardwalk Empire. Turn back now if you haven’t seen it all!!
My regular blog readers will know that Jack Huston’s “Richard Harrow” is my absolute favorite character on BOARDWALK EMPIRE. And I was in disbelief when Richard died last week in the fourth season finale.
I recently read a quote from Huston that the writers killed off Richard because there was nowhere left to take the role. I disagree. Did they for a moment even consider a Richard spin-off? For example….
1. THE FACTS OF RICHARD
Richard becomes the house mother to a group of precocious boarding school girls. Just imagine Richard guiding them through boy troubles or explaining the beauty of their first period. “I’ve shot. A lot of people. But none of them ever took seven days. To bleed out.” he would say in the stop-and-go cadence of his gravelly, yet reassuring, voice.
2. RICHARD AND SHIRLEY
Richard moves to Milwaukee to work at a beer bottling plant… even though it’s still Prohibition. There he meets a spunky roommate and moves into a basement apartment where he sews a giant “R” on each of his shirts, when not working on his scrapbook.
“Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer. Incorporated!”
Radio is becoming a big thing in 1924 and Richard is leading the pack. He moves to Seattle and uses his raspy, soothing voice to dispense homespun psychiatric advice to people contacting him through the equally on-the-rise technology of the telephone: “Your husband doesn’t. Understand you? Have you ever considered. Shooting him in the face? I once waited three days. To shoot a German sniper.”
Richard leaves his friends behind and moves to Hollywood to pursue his dream of being in silent pictures. However, once they realize how limiting it is to only be able to film the right side of his face, the spin-off is cancelled after three episodes…which means it lasted just a little longer than JOEY.
7. RICHARD LOVES CHACHI
It’s just as well. Chicago is Al Capone’s territory anyway.