I watched it several days ago, and only now just caught on:

At the end when he goes back to the brothel to rescue the boy from Rosetti's men, he was alone. It wasn't part of some plan of Nucky's. This means that not only did he just massacre a dozen hardened killers by himself, but that he had intended to do so even if Masseria's men hadn't been pulled out. He was like a force of nature or something... on a scale of 1 to Brock Samson, he's a 9.8.

Is he just crazy (and lucky), or is he really that damned good?


2 Answers 2


Richard Harrow is an ex US Army sharpshooter who on meeting Jimmy Darmody gets swept into the life of being a gangster.

His character is complex, he seems very sensitive, plus he is loyal and caring to friends, including the Darmody family in Season 2, and even Gillian Darmody to an extent in Season 3.

This contrasts with the fact that he seems particularly cold blooded and ruthless when performing his duties as a hit man. Throughout Series 2 and 3, we regularly get to see Harrow without apparent emotion shoot others, either from a distance or even at point blank range. His skill is a level above the average gangsters in the series, and he seems to exercise that skill in a cold blooded way, not appearing to fear death, or acting out of anger like other gangsters.

When we see Harrow prepare his weapons at the end of the episode before the finale, it seemed clear to me that he would try something like this - and that he would not hesitate to carry it through until either everyone he faced or himself was dead.

He does nearly come unstuck when he ends up grappling with one of Rosetti's men, and then he could easily have been shot as he appears to put the rifle down in the stand-off with the gangster holding the boy. The raid could easily have ended with his death.

I think we are to infer that he really is that good - but that he did have one or two lucky breaks too.


I don't feel as though Richard Harrow had any politcal or motivation or intentions of revenge when he re-entered that brothel fully armed and ready. He has been crafted as a character of loyalty and integrity, who strongly values the commitments he makes. When he killed Manny Horvitz it was only to avenge Angela's death, because she was an innocent victim. If you recall, he met with Nucky shortly after that incident and ensured him that he was not in danger. Jimmy's death didn't need to be avenged because he was a soldier who went to war, already knowing what he was in for. Richard Harrow is a man who acts on loyalty and morals. He made a promise to Jimmy, that Tommy would be taken care of. And for that this little boy is the number one priority in Richard's life. He considered the circumstances of a child, living in a brothel currently occupied by a ruthless gang of criminals. When Jillan casted him out of the picture he knew that Tommy would not be safe, and he was driven by his responsibility to do something about it. He also knew his re-entrance into that home wouldn't happen without a fight, so he was prepared to go to war. I believe that his only objective was to get Tommy out, no matter what it took to do so. Despite the political impact of his final act of valor, politics was not his intended purpose. I credit the writers with placing him in the position of an inadvertant hero. It's been said that acts of selflessness often speak the loudest. Richard was a force of nature, a very loud and poetic one at that. And he really is just that damned good!

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