Paul Sagorsky (played by co-star Mark Borkowski) is a recurring character in the third season. He is an alcoholic veteran of the Philippine-American War that Richard Harrow meets at the local hall of the American Legion and the father of Julia Sagorsky. He first appeared in the episode "Ging Gang Goolie".
Paul Sagorsky is a veteran of the Philippine-American War and a member of the American Legion. He lives in Atlantic City with his daughter, Julia, who takes care of him and the house. His only son, Fred Sagorsky, was killed in 1918 near the end of World War I. The news broke Paul's heart and he fell into depression and alcoholism. He is now a shell of his former self, bitter, cynical, and always picking on other people. ("Ging Gang Goolie")
Politically, Sagorsky is a supporter of the Socialist Party and extremely critical of Religion, corporations, the Harding administration and the US Government in general, although it's possible that this developed only after his son's death and he feeling mad at the world at large as a result. ("Sunday Best")
Ging Gang Goolie
- Main article: Ging Gang Goolie
Several WW1 veterans discuss the lack of compensation they receive from the government. Paul Sagorsky interrupts and calls their complaints "bellyaching", and demands something to drink. As he is served, he begins mocking the fact that they're complaining about service in France. The bartender, Tuckman, snarks back and calls Sagorsky their hero of the Philippines. Sagorsky says that they went there under the excuse to "bring democracy to the savages" but that the whole war was just made on behalf of the Sugar Trust. A naive veteran that was earlier defending President Harding states that Sagorsky talks like a bolshevik; Sagorsky tells him to grow up and get his diaper changed. He also realizes that Richard Harrow is watching him and asks what is he looking at, calling him "half moon". Tuckman gives Sagorsky his drink and tells him to shut up. Sagorsky then tells Tuckman that he will give him a lesson some day. Tuckman points to a poster identifying the hall as an amateur boxing club and says that there is a fight next day. Sagorsky takes the banter and calls Tuckman a farm boy. Tuckman challenges Sagorsky to a fight, and he accepts, toasting to the general audience and calling them a "bunch of fucking saps".
The next night Tuckman nearly knocks Sagorsky out with one punch, making him fall over a wheelchair bound veteran, but he gets up, laughs, and taunts Tuckman by asking if that is all he can do. Nearly all the audience is cheering for Tuckman. Tuckman punches Sagorsky again; Sagorsky asks if that's how he "kissed" the Kaiser. The fight continues. Tuckman has the upper hand but Sagorsky makes a successful comeback and knocks him to the ground. With the support of the audience, the surprised Tuckman gets up again, punches Sagorsky several times and finally manages to knock him out. "That is how I kiss the Kaiser", he says, while the other men cheer. They all leave for the bar then, with the only exception of Richard who comes to help Sagorsky.
Richard, Sagorsky and the wheelchair veteran wait outside for a car lift. Richard helps Sagorsky dress when he murmurs "Catubig". Richard does not understand and Sagorsky explains that it was a battle. The other veteran clarifies that it was in the Philippines. Sagorsky says that the Americans lost the battle but that they didn't give up the war. Richard quotes part of the US Army's oath of enlistment: "To serve honestly and faithfully against all enemies". Sagorsky looks up to him and asks for his bottle. He takes a sip and derides the Volstead Act as "bullshit", saying that if the country wants its men to fight for it is should let them drink if they want to. The wheelchair veteran announces that Sagorsky's daughter, Julia, has arrived. Julia is annoyed to see that Paul has gotten on another fight again. Paul says that he is fine and she asks sarcastically if she should see the other guy as she examines his wounds. Julia and Richard then help Paul get into the car. Paul says he does not need help; Julia sarcastically agrees, calling him Gentleman Jim, and helps him anyway. Julia thanks Richard and leaves with Paul, but Richard realizes that they have forgotten Paul's jacket on the hall's steps, and with it, a war medal.
Richard goes to the Sagorskys home the following afternoon to return the items and is received by Julia. As he hands her them he asks if Paul feels better. She initially says that he is asleep and excuses herself for not inviting him in. Richard assumes that it is because of his appearance and begins to walk off saying that he understands. Julia stops him and says that it actually is because her father is in one of his moods and she doesn't want to set him off again. She then explains that the medal belonged to her brother Fred who died right before the armistice of World War I. Paul can't forgive that and goes to the Legion hall as if he expected to find his son there, getting into fights in the process.
- Main article: Sunday Best
Julia invites Richard to dine in their home for Easter Sunday and he brings Tommy Darmody with him. Richard also buys a bouquet of flowers for Julia and Paul jokes if they are for him. The dinner is also attended by Jack Corbett and fellow American Legion members Wellman and Phil Gardner, who says grace. Paul criticizes Gardner's pray as childish and says that he bets that Tommy liked it. Tommy says it was okay, making Julia smile. Paul then asks Tommy who is he and why is he at his table. Tommy responds that they came to eat because his "mother" is sick and Paul snarks that that makes it all have sense now. Julia tries to shut her father, reminding him that she told him that Harrow takes care of Tommy. Corbett jokes then that their relationship is just like that of Paul and Julia, minus the fact that Tommy doesn't need diapers. Paul tells Corbett that he can go eat somewhere else for all he cares, and then goes on a tirade against Easter Sunday and Christianity in general despite Wellman's suggestion to contain himself in the presence of a child. Nevertheless, Paul continues and after Julia tells him to stop again he asks Richard what did Religion do for him. Richard merely responds that things can still be true even if you don't think they are. Paul quips that Richard is shaping into a disappointment and calls everybody to eat. Julia then asks Richard to follow her to the kitchen, and Paul jokes that she should put an apron on him.
In the kitchen, Julia says resigned that things are going well. Richard says that he is used to Paul and Julia replies that he only thinks so. Richard comments that Paul has her and Julia snarks that what is a boxer without a sparring. Richard misses the beat and asks Julia if she means her father hits her, and she denies it. Julia says that Paul likes Richard: otherwise he wouldn't have asked for his opinion. Richard eats on a separate plate in the kitchen while Julia keeps an eye on Tommy in the dining room.
Paul discusses with the other men the plundering of the Veterans' Bureau by Charles R. Forbes as Richard returns to the room. He says that if there was justice ("which there isn't") all those implied would be hanged starting by Forbes. Corbett asks Paul who is he going to vote for in 1924 and he says Eugene V. Debs. Gardner replies that Debs is a bolshevik, Harrow corrects him saying that he is a socialist. Gardner asks what the difference is and Paul asks him back what difference is there between him and a baboon. In that moment, Tommy gets up and tells Paul that he has to use the toilet. Paul says that it isn't his problem. Julia calls him on it and Paul acquiesces to tell him the location of the bathroom only after Richard guarantees him that Tommy is toilet trained.
However, instead of returning to the dining room after he is finished, Tommy enters Fred Sagorsky's room and plays with his toy soldiers until Paul discovers him. Paul grabs Tommy by the collar and his screams alert Julia, Richard and the other guests. Paul is furious, saying that Tommy was in Fred's room and putting his "paws" all over Fred's things. Julia tells Paul to let Tommy go, saying that he is only a child and that Fred's things don't matter, to which Paul responds that they do matter to him because they are his son's, and that they do in fact matter more than "that freak" she invited or Julia herself. She says that he is drunk and doesn't mean what he is saying, but he keeps by his word. Richard then tells Paul to let Tommy go or he'll kill him. As he releases Tommy, Paul orders Richard to leave his house and says that all of them are a bunch of strangers before he retires to Fred's room and breaks down crying. The guests leave and Julia accepts Richard's awkward invitation to visit the fun fair with them.
At the fair, Julia and Richard see a poster advertising the Crocodile Boy, and she asks him if he believes in his existence. He says that they can find out for a nickel. Julia declines, although she clarifies that she is not afraid of looking at a circus freak, stopping herself just short of saying the word. She then apologizes saying that it's difficult to talk to him trying to avoid words that he might take as an offense because of his injuries. Richard encourages her to say whatever she wants without worrying. Julia then asks Richard to not threaten to kill her father. "He is a mean drunk, and a horse ass" she says, but she doesn't like it. She also notices that Tommy has wandered too close to the camel. Believing that he is angry for what happened at her home, she asks if he is going to be in that mood for all day just because her father is a dope.
The Milkmaid's Lot
- Main article: The Milkmaid's Lot
The Legion throws a party and Richard invites Julia. They are noticed by Phil Gardner who asks Julia if her father is coming too but she says that this is not his kind of occasion.
A Man, A Plan...
- Main article: A Man, A Plan...
Julia and Richard talk on the Sagorsky home's kitchen when thear Paul coming down the stairs. Julia attempts to let go Richard's hand but he holds onto hers. Paul is drunk and when he sees them he asks if they have no other place to go. Julia says that she invited Richard over; Paul asks if he came sniffing like a dog. She gets up to make her father a coffee but he yells that he doesn't want one. He continues saying that Richard came because Julia is "strutting around like some mongrel bitch in heat". Richard gets up. Julia tells both to stop, but Paul shouts her to shut up, saying that he is his father and he won't allow her to "spread her legs for some sideshow freak". Richard seizes Paul by the throat and then tackles him. He takes out his tin mask and asks Paul if he'd pay a dime to see what is under it. Ignoring Julia's pleas to stop, Richard orders Paul to apologize while choking him. Unable to move, Paul says that he's sorry. Richard clarifies that he means to Julia. Paul looks at her but says nothing. She puts her hand over Richard's shoulder and he releases Paul; Richard then puts on his mask and exits the room while Julia is on the verge of tears. She follows Richard shortly after, walking over Paul who is still on the kitchen floor.
- Main article: Margate Sands
An unusually sober Paul Sagorsky surprises Richard when he attempts to deliver a sleeping Tommy to Julia after storming and taking him out of the Artemis Club. Paul turns on the lights on the hallway, revealing that Richard is covered on blood, which he had tried to keep secret from Julia. Upon seeing him, Paul orders Julia to take Tommy to Fred's room and turn off the lights. Paul asks Richard if someone saw him coming and he negates. He then tells Richard that he can't "come home" like that, whatever "war" he is fighting, because it is not what a soldier does, and tells him to wash up. He offers to talk to Julia and let him in the next morning but Richard declines, saying that the fact that Tommy is safe now is the only thing that matters before he leaves. ("Margate Sands")
Nine months after Richard delivers Tommy to the Sagorsky's, Paul goes to a veterans hospital for a check-up. After the check-up, he spots Richard and chases after him until he trips on the steps. Richard eases Paul up and asks if he's alright. The two go to a bar and talk things over. When Richard starts to explain what happened, Paul stops him and tells him a story about a 13-year-old Phillipines girl from when Paul was serving in the war. Paul asks to see the girls papers, and she refuses, saying "I am who I am, who else would I be." Paul then put a bullet in her head. Paul tells Richard that he has cirrosis, and that he'll be dead in another year, leaving Julia alone to take care of Tommy, unless Richard was to come back.Paul says that he doesn't care what Richard had done, and that he should return to Julia and Tommy.
- Julia Sagorsky: Daughter
- Fred Sagorsky: Son (deceased)
- Richard Harrow: Son-in-law, American Legion member (deceased)
- Tommy Darmody: Julia's friend, Richard Harrow's charge
- Jack Corbett: Family friend
- Phil Gardner: Family friend, American Legion member
- Wellman: Family friend, American Legion member
- (to Richard Harrow) What ya lookin' at, half-moon? ("Ging Gang Goolie")
- France, big fucking deal. At least you were fighting white men! ("Ging Gang Goolie")
- Of all days in the calendar, this one takes the cake. He dies, comes back to life, disappears for 2,000 years but don't worry! He'll turn up again. Suckers. (...) Put all this nonsense in their heads. Man in the sky, everlasting life. Ten years later we dump 'em on some godforsaken shore with a rifle on their hands waiting to get their heads blown off. ("Sunday Best")
- You're all bunch of goddam strangers. Every one of you. ("Sunday Best")
|Season three appearances|
|"Resolution"||"Spaghetti and Coffee"||"Bone for Tuna"||"Blue Bell Boy"|
|"You'd Be Surprised"||"Ging Gang Goolie"||"Sunday Best"||"The Pony"|
|"The Milkmaid's Lot"||"A Man, A Plan..."||"Two Imposters"||"Margate Sands"|
|Season four appearances|
|"New York Sour"||"Resignation"||"Acres of Diamonds"||"All In"|
|"Erlkonig"||"The North Star"||"William Wilson"||"The Old Ship of Zion"|
|"Marriage and Hunting"||"White Horse Pike"||"Havre De Grace"||"Farewell Daddy Blues"|