It is a great tribute to the skill of the fourth generation1 actor Jack Huston that most aficionados of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" choked back a tear when his character met his end in the Season 4 finale, "Farewell Daddy Blues," this week.
"Richard Harrow" was an expert marksman fighting on the battlefields of The Great War, and returned from Europe with the left half of his face, including an eye, shot away and his vocal chords, damaged by mustard gas, able to speak only in a raspy whisper.
By no means "kill-crazy," the farm boy from Plover, Wisconsin did however exhibit a talent for efficient lethality when called upon to stroke the trigger of his handgun, shotgun or M1903 Springfield rifle.
I have no idea what will happen with the series when it returns for season 5, without a character as sympathetic and likeable as "Richard Harrow," but in a cast peopled almost exclusively by sociopaths, sadistic brutes, crooked cops, power-hungry criminals and Federal agents, as well as bootleggers, racketeers, dope-pushers and yeggs, who will provide relief from our distaste?
Our final image of the slain veteran, his painted tin prosthesis fallen from his ruined face, in the sand beneath the Atlantic City boardwalk:
My favorite character in the series.