Pearl (played by Emily Meade) is a prostitute at the Four Deuces brothel in Chicago, Illinois owned by Johnny Torrio. She becomes Jimmy Darmody's lover after he moves into the Four Deuces. Pearl gets caught in the crossfire of a continuing dispute over alcohol distribution between Torrio and Charlie Sheridan. Her face is brutally slashed by an associate of Sheridan's named Liam. This unfortunate event destroys Pearl's career as a prostitute, her dreams of being an actress and ultimately her life. Pearl later commits suicide in an opium induced haze.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Pearl was born in Star Prairie, a small town in Wisconsin. Her grandfather was the first white man in her hometown, her father was the first townsman to go to prison and her mother was killed in a car accident. She dreams of working as an actress in California and is trying to save up to go there.
A sweet and spirited young woman, Pearl works as a prostitute at the Four Deuces brothel in Chicago, Illinois owned by Johnny Torrio. She is one of the most successful girls in the brothel earning over $100 a day.
Season 1[edit | edit source]
Al Capone enters the Four Deuces in Chicago. He ascends the stairs and draws a pistol from his coat. He goes into the room of Pearl, one of the prostitutes, where Jimmy Darmody is asleep next to Pearl. Pearl wakes up and Capone holds a finger to his mouth to quiet her. He raises the pistol and fires into the pillow next to Jimmy. Jimmy is startled awake by the shot and falls out of the bed. Capone finds Jimmy’s response hilarious. Jimmy is furious and throws a glass at Capone, missing him. Capone explains that he came for the car keys and tells Jimmy to go back to sleep. Jimmy reassures Pearl and then notices his ear is bleeding. ("Anastasia")
Pearl cleans Jimmy’s ear and asks if it is painful. She suggests that he could try opium at a den in Chinatown. Jimmy is dubious and she says that it is divine. Pearl confesses that she is sometimes afraid of Capone and Jimmy says that Capone is alright and that his roughness comes from growing up in Brooklyn, New York. Pearl asks where Jimmy is from and then reveals that she comes from a small town in Wisconsin. Jimmy asks what it is like and Pearl tells him her history and jokes that she has a lot to live up to. She asks Jimmy about Princeton, having heard Capone use it as a nickname. Jimmy admits that there was a person who had ideas about his path in life. Pearl guesses that Jimmy is talking about his father but he says his father would not do that explains that he means Nucky, comparing Nucky to Johnny Torrio in Chicago. He says that his relationship with Nucky is over now. Pearl asks Jimmy what his ideas about himself are and he says it is a good question but does not answer. Pearl admits that she has been reading Jimmy’s book (Free Air by Sinclair Lewis) and that she plans to travel West like the main character. Jimmy realises that she wants to be an actress. He calls her pretty and she dodges the compliment. He insists, calling her prettier than Lillian Gish, and says he would watch her act. Pearl attempts to joke about Jimmy saving her from her brutish father but he misses the reference to Gish’s role in the film Broken Blossoms. Nevertheless, he plays along and Pearl says she might let him come with her to California. He says he would come and she says she thinks he needs taking care of. He laughs, kisses her and pushes her back onto the bed. ("Anastasia")
Jimmy and Capone meet with Charlie Sheridan and his thug Liam at the Four Deuces to inform Sheridan that he will no longer be selling liquor to George Anastos in Chicago's Greektown; that Torrio is now the supplier for Anastos' speakeasies and to negotiate for Torrio to receive a share of Sheridan's business in the neighborhood as a tribute. During the meeting, Sheridan takes note of Pearl kissing Jimmy on the cheek. ("Anastasia")
Later, Liam returns to the brothel with two thugs and asks the Madam, Regina, if Al is there. She says that he is not and Liam asks about Jimmy. She tells Liam they do not cater for homosexuals. Liam claims that Jimmy recommended a prostitute but that he cannot recall her name. Regina refers him to Pearl and he nods and approaches her. ("Anastasia")
In her bedroom Pearl washes herself as Liam dresses. She urges him to leave, he asks why she is impatient and she says they are not in a love story. Liam calls Pearl classy and says she does not seem like a whore, he then compliments Jimmy’s taste. He calls Pearl over and tells her he wants to give her a memento. When she complies he caresses her cheek and she reminds him that they are not allowed to kiss. He surreptitiously draws a knife, compliments her again in an aggressive tone and then slices her face from her forehead, across her left eye and onto her cheek. She screams in pain and collapses. Her cries draw the attention of a bouncer but one of Liam’s men shoots him before he can go upstairs. The men fire at the walls and ceiling and Liam escapes as the crowd flee. ("Anastasia")
Jimmy arrives back at the brothel and tries to bring flowers to Pearl, but Regina insists she needs rest. ("Anastasia")
As she sits in bed with bloody gauze wrapped around her head, Jimmy squeezes fresh orange juice for her. She persuades Jimmy to pour in a bit of laudanum, an opium based tonic, into her juice. He remarks "it's not a milkshake." Torrio visits and asks to speak to Jimmy in the hall. He tells Jimmy that Pearl cannot stay in the brothel if she is not bringing in money. Offering to cover her earnings, Jimmy, stunned finds out that she made over $100 a day, an amount he can't afford to pay. Before Torrio walks away he says "She's got to go." ("Nights in Ballygran")
Pearl, dressed in lingerie with her freshly healing wound unwrapped for everyone to see, stumbles down the stairs of the Four Deuces in search of customers. She is high on laudanum and causes a scene. Jimmy takes her up the stairs and the room erupts in laughter. On the way up the stairs to her room and she asks Jimmy; "Who's gonna love me now?". Once in her room Pearl tells Jimmy that she loves him, but he does not reply. After finishing a bottle of laudanum, she tries to get Jimmy to take her to Chinatown in search of an opium den. Instead, Jimmy takes her in his arms on the bed and tries to calm her by telling a story from his childhood. The story moves Pearl to tears and she attempts to kiss him, but he pulls away after a few seconds. Jimmy leaves the room to use the sink in the bathroom and he hears a gunshot from the down the hall. He runs back to Pearl's room to find her on the floor dead from a gunshot to the head, his gun lying next to her. Jimmy strokes Pearl's face as her colleagues gather behind him, screaming. ("Nights in Ballygran")
Later, while flipping though his copy of Free Air, Jimmy stumbles upon a caricature she had drawn of them kissing. ("Family Limitation")
In retaliation for Pearl's death, Jimmy meets with Liam at a cafe telling him a foreboding story. His new associate, Richard Harrow, shoots and kills Liam with a sniper rifle from a room across the street. ("Home")
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- Johnny Torrio: Employer
- James "Jimmy" Darmody: Lover (deceased)
- Al Capone: Bouncer colleague
- Regina: Madam
- Odette: Colleague
Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "We should go down to Chinatown for a bowl."
- "This ain't a love story, bub."
- (referring to opium) "But it's so much better when you smoke it. Palm trees and sunshine."
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Season one appearances|
|Boardwalk Empire||The Ivory Tower||Broadway Limited||Anastasia|
|Nights in Ballygran||Family Limitation||Home||Hold Me in Paradise|
|Belle Femme||The Emerald City||Paris Green||A Return to Normalcy|