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- Main: Gimcrack & Bunkum
This recap of "Gimcrack & Bunkum" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.
Nucky Thompson addresses Atlantic City dignitaries and residents on the beach North of the city to mark Memorial Day. The crowd have come to memorialize their fallen soldiers and mark the beginning of the construction of the Atlantic County War Memorial. Among the audience are James Edison Darmody and family, Thompson’s driver Owen Sleater, Sheriff Eli Thompson, Ward Bosses George O'Neill, Al Neary and Boyd and, separate from the others, Damien Fleming. On the platform with Nucky are Mayor Edward Bader and elderly politician Leander Cephas Whitlock with his associates from the memorial committee. Nucky is careful to note the absence of the Commodore and the presence of Attorney General Harry Daugherty in his speech. Nucky unexpectedly invites Darmody up to the stage, challenging him to succeed on unfamiliar ground. Darmody’s left hand shakes initially but he composes himself and speaks humbly about his service during World War I and his motivations for fighting. He receives a round of applause and then proceeds to read the list of departed soldiers.
Richard Harrow leafs through his scrapbook, filled with images of happy family life. He pauses on a spread juxtaposing a pre-injury photograph with the sketch drawn by Angela Darmody. He packs a lunch into his satchel, takes his shotgun, checks his appearance in the mirror and leaves his home.
While preparing to play a round of golf, Nucky complains about Darmody to the Attorney General and his travelling companion and aide Jess Smith. Nucky refutes Darmody’s claims that he fought for democracy and tells the others that Darmody enlisted because he could not cope with studying at Princeton. Daugherty is more concerned with his expanding waistline. Daugherty informs Nucky that he has found a cooperative federal prosecutor; Charles Kenneth Thorogood. Daugherty leaves the changing room and Smith asks Nucky about George Remus. Smith wants Nucky to vouch for him with Remus so that they can get into the bootlegging business together.
After the speeches, Eli and Jimmy go to the home of memorial committee member Jackson Parkhurst for drinks with the committee's other members; Whitlock, Mr. Darlington, Mr. Ennis, Mr. Markham and Mr. Webber. Whitlock and the others congratulate Darmody on his speech. Parkhurst is the dissenting voice, dismissing sentiment as cheap and reminding the others that he is the only one to have served in uniform. Eli asks about Parkhurst’s service and is told that he served at Fort Carney, Wyoming with the 9th Cavalry. Parkhurst describes his unit of just 32 men slaughtering 2000 Indians with the new Springfield rifles. Whitlock reminds Parkhurst that he has been more successful in recent conflicts — making over a million dollars supplying chipped beef to the army in World War I. Jimmy remembers hating eating the beef while in service. Jimmy calls Parkhurst a great man and Parkhurst demands that they talk business. The committee then begin to berate Eli and Jimmy for the destruction of their warehouse and their failure to return on the investment they made. Eli tries to reassure the committee, but they want to hear from the Commodore. Jimmy claims the Commodore has given him the authority to handle the matter. The committee warn Jimmy that they are not to be crossed and he laughs at the potential consequence of being thrown out of the yacht club. Parkhurst strikes Jimmy on the temple with his cane, breaking the skin. He tells him he needs to learn respect. Jimmy stands and exits the meeting. Eli pursues him but cannot convince him to return. Jimmy tells Eli that he is finished with the elders and warns Eli to stay out of his business.
Harrow hitchhikes out into the woods. He spots a grouse and then looks up at the other birds in the trees.
Back at his home Jimmy has his cut cleaned by his mother. He worries about the loss of the warehouse and his failure to deliver the promised shipment to Manny Horvitz in Philadelphia. Gillian urges Jimmy to show that he will not be disrespected. She refuses to be dismissed until Jimmy confirms that he knows what he needs to do. She tells him the story of John D. Rockefeller’s early years and his fortune.
Harrow finds a spot to sit and eat his lunch. He takes off his mask, exposing the gruesome wounds in his face. He then puts on his dogtags and prepares to shoot himself. With the barrel of his shotgun in his mouth he hears a dog growl. He sits up and the dog seizes his mask running off. Harrow gives chase ineffectually, yelling: "I need that mask!"
Nucky returns home sunburned from golf. Margaret anxiously informs him that Eli is waiting for him in the conservatory. Eli asks Nucky how many homes he has had since leaving home. Eli compares his 3 homes to Nucky’s 8 or 9. Nucky reminds Eli that he visited Eli’s home for Christmas. Eli asks about the offer Nucky made to forgive him if he gave up his plans to usurp Nucky. Nucky tells him the offer has passed and that they have nothing to discuss. Eli tries offering the names of those who will testify against him. Nucky says the information is of no value because of his plan to have the charges dismissed at a federal level. Nucky insults Eli and demands useful information. Desperate, Eli confesses that the Commodore has been incapacitated by a stroke and that Gillian and Jimmy are trying to conceal the illness. Eli observes the strangeness of Gillian and Jimmy’s relationship. Nucky asks if Eli blames him for Gillian’s situation, but Eli denies it and talks passionately about how Nucky has cared for their family. Eli admits his mistake and confesses his desperation. As Eli becomes more emotional Nucky agrees to sort everything out but only if Eli gets down on his hands and knees and kisses Nucky's shoes. Eli is perplexed and hurt. Nucky then pushes and slaps Eli, telling him that he has no sympathy for him or his co-conspirators. Eli finally pushes Nucky back. They struggle and break through the conservatory door into the adjoining greenhouse. The noise summons Lillian, who sees what is going on and leaves. Eli gets the upper hand as the struggle moves back into the conservatory. He tries to strangle Nucky but his hold is broken when Nucky bites his hand. Nucky tries to restrain Eli from drawing his sidearm. Margaret puts a shotgun to Eli’s forehead and tells him “Enough.”, abruptly ending the fight. As she escorts Eli out of her house he tries one last appeal to Nucky, mentioning their father, but Nucky is not moved. After Eli has left an exhausted Nucky shows Margaret that the shotgun was not loaded and warns her to check next time. She is distraught and asks him “Is this to be our life?”
Harrow, exhausted from chasing the dog, is approached in the woods by a hunter who asks Harrow to follow him. Harrow hides his dog tags and goes with the hunter. The hunter leads Harrow to a small camp where he finds the dog and an older man. The hunter returns Harrow’s mask at the older man’s behest. The men have caught and skinned several squirrels; they offer one to Harrow but he declines. The older man confirms that Harrow is not a prohibition agent and then shares moonshine with Harrow. The men introduce themselves; the hunter is Glenmore and the older man is Pete. They ask Harrow where he is from and discuss Atlantic City. They again invite him to share their food.
Nucky goes to his suite at the Ritz Carlton and apologizes for his lateness to his waiting guests. Waiting for him are Daugherty, Smith, US Attorney Charles Kenneth Thorogood and Nucky’s own attorney Isaac Ginsburg. Daugherty notes Nucky’s somewhat battered appearance and Nucky explains it away as sunburn. Daugherty introduces Nucky to Thorogood. Ginsburg confirms that they have discussed their plans. Ginsburg explains that Thorogood will submit a motion to transfer the charges against Nucky to federal court. Thorogood clarifies that he will argue that the combination of the election rigging charges and the Mann Act violations constitute an ongoing criminal enterprise operating across state lines. Smith explains that once the case is before a federal court the Department of Justice will intervene and drop the charges due to insufficient time and resources. Daugherty notes the absence of a thank you from Nucky and laughs off Nucky’s request for a guarantee. Ginsburg leaves telling the others he has to catch an early train. Daugherty tells Nucky that his party is free all evening.
Having finished his meal, Harrow wonders what to do with the squirrel bones. Glenmore asks him not to give them to the dog because he will choke. Harrow pockets the bones and asks what the dog's name is; Glenmore says that he does not know, but describes the dog as an old soldier who keeps on fighting. Harrow wonders what the dog is fighting for. Glenmore says: "You'll have to ask him." Pete asks Glemore what he plans next and learns that he will stay out for the night. Pete plans to go home and Glenmore says Pete is getting soft. Harrow plans to return to town and Pete offers him a lift in his Ford. Glenmore tells Harrow that the woods are not for foolishness and should be used for hunting, fishing, bird-watching and ultimately living. He confirms that Harrow understands his point.
Eli attempts to fix a toy six shooter in the garage with his son Brian. Eli is drinking from a hip flask and tells Brian it is medicine for his sore throat. George O’Neill arrives and Brian lets him in. O’Neill mistakes Brian for his brother, Patrick. Eli sends Brian to borrow an imaginary tool from a neighbour so that he can talk to O’Neill in private. O’Neill annoys Eli by asking him to confirm that they are alone. O’Neill tells Eli he has heard a rumour that the Commodore has been paralyzed by a stroke; Eli tries to reassure O’Neill by telling him they had breakfast together that morning, but O’Neill wants Eli to accompany him to the Commodore’s home to disprove the rumour. Eli says he cannot leave Brian and O’Neill suggests that he could go alone. Eli stands and crowds O’Neill who is then convinced that the rumour is true. Eli grabs O’Neill by the lapels and O’Neill threatens to tell Nucky about their plans. Eli takes a wrench from the workbench and strikes O’Neill in the throat with it. O’Neill dribbles blood, gurgles and collapses to the floor. Eli repeatedly hits O’Neill in the face with the wrench, killing him. Brian returns having been unsuccessful in borrowing the tool and Eli sends him away, blaming his sore throat.
Angela and Jimmy Darmody sit at their kitchen table, and she asks how he is feeling. He has told her he injured his head by accident on a car door. She asks him about his earlier speech and he tells her that he is content with their comfortable home life. She believes there must be something more to life, and he kisses her. There is a knock on the door and he lets her answer while he retrieves a handgun from his jacket. Harrow has arrived and Jimmy is relieved. Angela asks Harrow where he was earlier saying they missed him. He says he wasn't "interested in that", he then asks to see Jimmy. Angela gives them privacy and Jimmy puts the gun down on the table. Jimmy asks Harrow about his activities that day and Harrow says he needed to take a walk. Jimmy says he should have joined him and Harrow mutters "We're both back now." Jimmy then asks Harrow if he is up for a job that night, Harrow pauses; Jimmy asks if there is a problem. Harrow asks Jimmy: "Would you fight for me?" Jimmy replies: "Of course I would. Right down to the last bullet." Harrow looks moved and says, "Then lets go to work." Jimmy cups the back of Harrow's head in a brotherly sign of affection.
Eli sits in the darkened garage, still drinking. He gets up and leaves.
Mr. Parkhurst examines a new acquisition in his study. He is momentarily distracted by something at the window. His butler, Alexander, comes in to offer him Cocoa. Parkhurst shows him the item, a Sioux breach cloth. Shortly after Alexander, leaves Jimmy Darmody enters, spins Parkhurst around in his wheelchair and pins his arms in place using his own cane saying "I'm gonna teach you something now". Jimmy is joined by Harrow. When Parkhurst asks who Harrow is, Harrow simply says "A soldier". Harrow grabs Parkhurst's hair and cuts off his scalp with a knife.
Margaret is awakened by a scream. She checks on her children who are sleeping soundly. As she leaves their room she finds Katy, the housemaid, also awake. Katy says she was roused by Margaret’s movement and denies hearing a scream. Margaret says she has had a strange day and sends Katy back to bed. When Katy returns to her room, Owen Sleater is naked in her bed. They discuss Margaret and Katy tells Sleater about Margaret’s family in New York who have disowned her. Katy disrobes and returns to bed with Sleater, asking him not to get her into trouble.
Eli returns to the garage, now in his uniform and accompanied by Deputy Halloran. He offers an obviously false explanation to Halloran, telling him the corpse is Mary Pickford and asks Halloran to assist him in carrying the corpse to his car.
Nucky tries to work while his allies party with prostitutes in the next room of his suite. Chip comes into the office to ask Eddie to fetch oysters, ice and champagne. Nucky tells Chip to close the door.
Eli buries O’Neill in a corn field.