- Main: Paris Green
This recap of "Paris Green" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.
Hardeen struggles with an escape act as Nucky Thompson and Margaret Schroeder watch. They are joined by Harry Prince and Annabelle. Nucky is impatient when he takes over than six minutes to perform the feat. Margaret remains enthralled throughout. The trick far exceeds the musical cues prepared by the orchestra. An audience member calls out for Hardeen's brother - Harry Houdini. Annabelle notices something is wrong with Harry but he claims he is just nervous about the trick. Hardeen finally completes the escape to lukewarm applause.
Agent Nelson Van Alden eats dinner in a Chinese restaurant with his partner Agent Eric Sebso. Van Alden observes Sebso's skill with chopsticks and wonders where he learned. Sebso explains that he used to clerk for an import business named Black & Gettys on White Street in Manhattan and regularly ate in Chinatown. Van Alden extrapolates that he joined the bureau of prohibition looking for more excitement. He says that Sebso found it in the form of mortal combat with their witness, Billy Winslow. Sebso says that he does not want to talk about it. Van Alden counters that there is no shame in defending yourself in the line of duty. Van Alden probes Sebso's story again, wondering how Winslow came to hit Sebso in the forehead when he claims that he was surprised by the attack. Sebso cannot explain away the gaps in his lies. Instead he changes the subject, asking Van Alden if he is going to eat. Van Alden replies that the thought of the ingredients that might be used in the "filth" turns his stomach.
Hardeen shows Margaret a magic trick in Nucky's suite; distracting her while he shifts a bracelet from her wrist to Annabelle's. Margaret says that she knew that Hardeen was misleading her but he succeeded regardless. He tells her that deception requires complicity, and that people want to be deceived. Annabelle jokingly asks if she can keep the jewellery. Hardeen says that he is a magician not a thief as he returns the bracelet to Margaret. Nucky jokes that Hardeen has given them all a useful excuse.
Nucky tells Hardeen that he saw Houdini do the straight jacket escape. Ward Boss Damien Fleming adds that Houdini was hanging from a pier at the time. Hardeen says that the principle is the same at any height. Nucky counters that Hardeen's assertion only holds until the rope snaps. Hardeen tells them that Houdini used to do the escape behind a screen and that doing it in the open was his idea. Margaret says that it is a great improvement. Hardeen claims responsibility for another trick; the milk can escape. He performs a sleight of hand card trick for Margaret as he says that it is no small feat for a man to fit into the milk container. Annabelle jokes that he should try a corset and heels. Nucky dryly comments that he is sure that Hardeen has had occasion to help many women escape from those. Hardeen calls it the most challenging trick of all.
Harry angrily asks them if they read the newspaper. He says that he is ruined. Nucky realizes that he is talking about Charles Ponzi. Harry confirms that he was in up to the limit. Hardeen unsympathetically says that every trick needs a mark. Nucky says that no real investment could guarantee the returns Ponzi was offering. Harry says that he is dead. Annabelle is disturbed by the news and storms out, calling Harry a fat, worthless fool. Harry chases after her. Nucky asks Hardeen what other tricks he knows.
From his New York home Arnold Rothstein calls his attorney Bill Fallon, who is in Chicago. They discuss the Black Sox world series fixing scandal and the charges that Rothstein was involved. Rothstein says that he has never sought notoriety. Fallon says that it is seeking him now that half the team is indicted. Rothstein maintains his innocence, asking where he could have met the players involved. Fallon cautions that Rothstein is known to have met Abe Attell and "Sleepy" Bill Burns who are named in the charges. Rothstein says that Abe has taken one too many haymakers to the head. Fallon warns that if Abe goes down on the charges he could take Rothstein with him. Rothstein compares Abe to a girl who has been to bed with ten men and claims that an eleventh is the father, saying that no one will believe him. Fallon says that he admires his client's sangfroid but that he needs to convince someone else. Fallon reminds Rothstein that he was concerned enough to retain his services and states that his concerns were justified. Rothstein asks what Fallon proposes. Fallon asks him to come to Chicago after considering who in the town would do him a favor.
The Commodore lies in bed with the corpse of his dog in an open casket across the room. Louanne checks that he is breathing, frightening him awake. She announces that his visitor has arrived. He motions to show them in.
Louanne fetches Jimmy and The Commodore dismisses her. She goes to take a plate of biscuits away but he tells her to leave them. Kaestner pours Jimmy a drink and invites him to try a biscuit. He takes in Jimmy's suit and calls him a proper gentleman. Jimmy retorts that his mother raised him well. Jimmy notices the coffin and Kaestner explains that the dog died the previous night. He says that it was whimpering, vomiting and could not get comfortable. He chokes back tears as he laments not being able to do anything about it. Jimmy is dismissive; "it's a fucking dog."
Kaestner calls Jimmy a "stoney little bastard" and Jimmy counters that he is what time and circumstance have made him. Kaestner says that Jimmy's mother keeps him informed. Jimmy sarcastically guesses that they have pleasant conversations. Kaestner says that Jimmy must have a concept of the ways that people can be close. Jimmy says that he has a pretty good idea and points out that Kaestner was 54 while Gillian was just 13 when they met. Kaestner says that Jimmy would have done the same thing. Jimmy asserts that his father does not know him very well. Kaestner says that he knows him backwards and forwards and that he is just like he was; he wants anything he can get his hands on and nothing will stop him from getting it.
Jimmy drains his glass and puts it down, asking if the meeting is over as he makes to leave. Kaestner announces that he is dying. Jimmy says that he will call a priest. Kaestner asks if Jimmy knows what the town was like before he came to it. He elucidates that it was a swamp that he drained the swamp and made the city.Jimmy jokes that it was him and his giant blue ox, referencing the Paul Bunyan legend. Kaestner tells Jimmy not to sass him and that he was trying to tell him something. Jimmy urges him to get to his point. Kaestner says that the wrong man is running the town. Jimmy walks off and Kaestner asks where he is going. Jimmy says that he does not feel well.
Jimmy goes to the bathroom to splash water on his face. As he looks at himself in the mirror he suddenly vomits.
Angela visists Mary at Dittrich's Photography to discuss their plans to move to Paris together. She tells Mary that while Jimmy knows that she is unhappy he would never dream that she would leave. Mary says that Robert is the same. Mary urges Angela to pack lightly, just a single suitcase, adding that they will buy what they need once they are abroad. Angela leans in, saying that she needs a fresh start anyway. Mary nervously looks around to see if Robert is watching. Mary relays instructions from her contact to be at the dock an hour early and asks Angela to meet her at the store.
Robert noisily struggles to open a door while walking on his crutches. He complains that he has spilled developer all over himself. Mary pulls up a chair for him. Angela quickly says goodbye. Robert asks what they were conspiring about. Mary is evasive and he says that she enjoys her little games. She says that he enjoys them too. He speaks French to her, telling her that she is very wicked. She kisses him on the top of his head and then looks at the door.
Agent Sebso makes a nervous phone call to Nucky, concerned about Van Alden's constant questioning. Nucky tries to reassure him, waving Eddie away when he enters the room. Nucky suggests that Sebso distract Van Alden by finding some bootleggers. Nucky gives Sebso a tip about illegal distillery in the woods on the road to Mays Landing. Sebso asks for specifics and Nucky sarcastically asks if Sebso wants him to make the arrest too before saying that it is just past mile marker 14. Nucky tells Sebso to go be a hero and warns that they should not talk again.
Nucky leans back and then calls for Eddie to come in, knowing that he is waiting outside the door. Eddie says that there is a lady in distress to see Nucky and shows Annabelle in. She calls Harry a son of a bitch as she enters. Nucky silences her and warns her that while she can say what she likes he does not want her to scream, cry, or throw anything. She sits down demurely and explains that Harry took her stash, all $3,682. Nucky surmises that she wants him to have Harry arrested and she confirms his guess. He explains that he cannot arrest Harry for taking back the money she stole from him. She begins to cry and says that she "worked [her] tail off" for the money. Nucky carefully walks behind her and then pulls $300 from his bankroll when he is out of sight. He hands it to her and says that it will see her through the summer. Annabelle stares up at him and he asks if they can skip to the part where she says she will do anything for him. She agrees that she would and suggests that if he were to draw the curtains they could do it there and then. Nucky wonders what happened to her tears. She smiles and promises to soak the pillow through if he rides her like he used to. Nucky caresses her cheek and says that he will keep that one in his pocket.
Margaret speaks up from the doorway, announcing her presence. She says that he will and that his gift is never forgetting who owes him what. Nucky says that it is a good principle to have and explains that Harry found and stole Annabelle's stash. Margaret reveals that she already knows and asks Annabelle if she mentioned that Margaret had already given her $50. Nucky says they are both a soft touch. Annabelle stands and thanks Nucky before leaving.
Margaret explains that she came to tell Nucky that the League of Women Voters has decided to formally endorse Edward Bader for Mayor. Nucky calls the news wonderful and Margaret coldly says that she is glad to have been of use to him before leaving.
Jimmy goes to see his mother at her apartment. She asks how The Commodore looked during his visit and Jimmy says that he looks as though he is dying. Jimmy asks about The Commodore's claims that he has been seeing Gillian. She says that they have Jimmy in common and that The Commodore was very concerned when Jimmy enlisted, having lost a brother in the Battle of Vicksburg. Jimmy says that he needn't have worried and Gillian expands that she told him that Jimmy would come back, because Lady Jean told her so. Jimmy is concerned about his mother's faith in the boardwalk fortune teller. Gillian counters that her prediction was right. Gillian says that she has rhubarb pie. Jimmy regretfully states that Gillian was just thirteen and alone when she had him. Gillian says that she was not completely alone and that Nucky was a big help to them. Jimmy asks why Nucky helped her and she replies that he was the sheriff and worked for The Commodore. She pulls out a photograph of the May Day Parade in 1897 where The Commodore first saw her as one of King Neptune's Consorts. She explains that it was Nucky who brought her to see The Commodore after he noticed her at the event. Jimmy says that Nucky is a pimp. Gillian counters that he was an ambitious young man who wanted to get ahead. She rationalizes that he had a wife and wanted to start a family. She asks Jimmy if he remembers Mabel Thompson and notes that her death was a tragedy. She tells Jimmy that Nucky has been kind to both of them, in his way. She strokes his hair and posits that the whole affair has always bothered Nucky. She asks Jimmy if he remembers how long his hair was. She then tells him that she has agreed to meet Dr Surran at The Commodore's house, admonishing that no-one deserves to die alone.
Sebso takes Van Alden out towards May's Landing in search of the still. They find nothing and Van Alden is dubious of the motivations of Sebso's anonymous source. As they search the woods they come across a congregation singing as their priest performs baptisms. Van Alden approaches and introduces himself, asking what they are doing. The priest introduces himself as Deacon Lemuel Cuffy of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Atlantic City and explains that they are conducting their "week of miracles". Van Alden expresses his doubts in the presence of god in the wilderness but is moved by the preachers faith and asks him to continue.
Sebso impatiently asks if they should keep looking. Van Alden questions him about his own faith, checking that Jews do not believe in heaven. Sebso confirms this. Van Alden watches the service. Sebso interrupts to say that he knows Van Alden is under a lot of strain. Van Alden asks him how he can conceive of hell if he does not believe in heaven. Van Alden turns back to the ceremony, answering "Amen" to the preacher's words. As the priest moves into the water he hangs his head and rubs the bridge of his nose. Sebso asks if he is alright and he says that he is but that the real question is if Sebso is. He walks back to their car.
Doctor Carl Surran assesses The Commodore at his home. Gillian tries to feed him soup but he refuses. Surran notes jaundice and confirms anuria before diagnosing multi-organ failure. Surran decides to run some tests. Gillian asks if that is really necessary and The Commodore asks to be left alone to die. Louanne adds that The Commodore does not like to be fussed with.
Surran announces that he needs a hair sample and The Commodore panics, scared that Surran is trying to kill him. Jimmy intervenes and calms him down. Surran cuts a small piece of his hair and leaves. The Commodore tells Jimmy that he is a good son. Jimmy looks at his mother and asks if she has eaten anything. She says that someone needs to stay with The Commodore. Jimmy offers to stay for the night. She leaves Jimmy alone with his father.
Margaret talks with Nucky while preparing to go out. She wonders what the purpose of the gathering they are attending is. Nucky says that she does not have to go if she does not want to. He warns that most of the women in the Daughters of the Revolution are against suffrage and also not keen on immigrants. Margaret pointedly wonders how their own ancestors reached America. Nucky jokes that they grew in the ground like pumpkins and marched off with George Washington to Valley Forge. Margaret says that she will do what is required of her. Nucky says that is not really the right answer and she asks what he would prefer.
Nucky changes the subject, knowing what is on her mind. He says that the encounter she witnessed with Annabelle was not what she thinks and could not have been more innocent. Margaret smiles and counters that Annabelle is far from innocent while Nucky has some experience himself. Nucky admits that they had a relationship years ago. He expands that it meant nothing and he was just helping her. Margaret wonders if it is the same way he helped her. Nucky counters that he thought Margaret was friends with Annabelle. Margaret challenges "so you wouldn't fuck her". Nucky says that the bad language does not become her.
Margaret responds that he prefers her demure but he says he wants her to be rational. She asks if she is supposed to say nothing about what she sees and hears. Nucky wonders what she is referring to. She says that Van Alden told her that Nucky is capable of anything. Nucky says that the encounter could not have been very upsetting as she did not tell him about it. Margaret says that it made her sick to her stomach, as does their arrangement, standing and walking away.
Nucky asks what arrangement she means. She explains that she feels that she is expected to accept what she is told and asks nothing more while aiding him in his business while saying nothing about what the business really is. Nucky challenges that she has never said no to the things he provides and just makes a little noise every now and then to remind him that she is a good person. He says that a good person would not be there. Margaret asserts that he does not know what she is. Nucky is disbelieving and goes into the bathroom to fetch Margaret's concealed bottle of Lysol. He reveals that he knows that she has been using it as a contraceptive, comparing her to a whore.
Margaret asserts her refusal to have another child. Nucky wonders if she means by him and she explains that she means by any man. Nucky shouts that it is not her right to decide. Margaret asks why he cares, pointing out that they are not married and asking what he is expecting. Nucky says that he thought she needed saving. Margaret asks if that was why Nucky chose to frame her husband.
Nucky suspiciously asks what she is talking about. Margaret rants that Nucky knew nothing about Hans before she came to him. She asks why Nucky made her a widow. Nucky warns her to be careful. She asks if he is threatening her. He responds that he is advising her. She raises Eli bringing her money and Nucky says that he was trying to help her. She counters that it was to keep her quiet. Nucky points out that she has been quiet about Hans, saying nothing about the man who beat her and murdered her baby. He says that he has lost no sleep over what was done and neither has she. She slaps him. He rounds on her, and then throws the Lysol against the mirror, smashing both. He says that she will not be needing it any more and storms out.
Louanne announces that Richard has come to see Jimmy. Richard asks about The Commodore and Jimmy says that he is on his way out. Richard offers his condolences and Jimmy says that he does not know what he is doing there. Richard says that he is there for his mother and is doing his duty. Richard reports news from Chalky; they have found the D'Alessio brother's family in Philadelphia including their mother, sisters and their brother Adrian, a dentist. Richard suggests that he go to Philadelphia and kill their family to draw them out of hiding. Jimmy is hesitant and then notices Surran arriving. He tells Richard that they will talk it over later.
Surran reports that he has information. He asks if Jimmy is the next of kin. Jimmy says that he is sure that he is not in the will. Surran asks who stands to gain from The Commodore's death. Jimmy wonders what he is talking about. Surran elucidates that the tests show that he is being poisoned with arsenic.
Angela packs for her escape with Mary while trying to explain the trip to Tommy as a sailing holiday to Paris. Tommy is dubious about leaving his father and grandmother. Angela says that they do not like Paris. She leaves a note for Jimmy on the bed before departing.
Nucky visits Eli at his home. He notices their father Ethan Thompson sat listlessly on the porch and asks what he does all day. Eli answers that he just sits their, explaining that he is still upset about his house. Nucky says that it is a miracle the place did not burn down sooner, dissembling his responsibility for lighting the fire.
Eli says nothing and instead asks about Nucky's row with Margaret. Nucky says that things got very ugly. Eli sympathises, saying that he fights with his wife June all the time, taking their arguments out to the shed so their children do not hear. He says that Nucky would be surprised at the things June says. Nucky tells his brother that Margaret knows about their involvement in the death of her husband. Eli is dismissive, challenging that she can only suspect.
Nucky says nothing and Eli is concerned that he has told her. Nucky admits that he did not deny it. Eli is angry and asks what he was thinking. Nucky says that he wanted to hurt her. Eli suggests that he use his fists next time. Nucky says that is not who he is. Eli reminds Nucky that he was willing to use violence to get rid of Margaret's husband. Nucky responds that Hans deserved to die. Eli criticizes Nucky for sitting in judgement. He warns Nucky to leave that to God and focus on taking care of business. Eli worries what will happen if Margaret starts to talk. Nucky insists that she won't. Eli counters that he has no way of knowing, also blaming his recent gunshot wound on Nucky's lack of knowledge. Nucky asks his brother to calm down. Eli tells Nucky to wake up, also worried about the gains Fletcher has been making politically. Nucky says that he already knows. Eli continues that if they lose their political power the people will come after them with pickaxes. Eli says that Nucky has created a liability through his relationship with Margaret and challenges that Nucky is deluding himself that the relationship as redemptive. Nucky says that he did not ask for Eli's insights. Eli angrily asserts that his life is at stake, referencing his eight children and accusing Nucky of treating their business like a circus. Eli says that Nucky is the king of the freak show and that people do not care about him, only the money he can give them. Eli says that Margaret is the same, calling her an "Irish chippy", and accuses Nucky of handing her a blank cheque.
Nucky carefully puts down his cup and tells Eli it is a shame he did not see Hardeen. Eli is confused and Nucky says that he has an entertaining act but no one would care about him if his brother were not Houdini. With Eli silenced, Nucky walks out.
Jimmy goes to see Gillian at her apartment. She asks about The Commodore and Jimmy reports that he has survived another night. Gillian says that she is surprised and offers him coffee. Jimmy asks if she knows how much money The Commodore has. She says that she is uncertain but that he does not seem as though he is wanting. Jimmy asks if they have discussed what would happen to The Commodore's estate. Gillian says that she is not sure what he is getting at. Jimmy tells her that whatever she wants to do is fine with him, then reveals that The Commodore is being poisoned. He explains that he was sick after eating a cookie at his house and then found a pot of arsenic hidden in his kitchen rubbish pail.
Bader entertains Nucky's ward bosses with a joke about a prostitute. Nucky criticizes him for mixing up his facts, correcting that Peter Minuit bought Manhattan. Nucky harangues his people for not taking the election seriously. O'Neill is unconcerned, saying that the people know who they can trust. Nucky counters that the people are looking for reform. Nucky announces a change, confirming his support for Bader but saying that Eli has resigned as Sheriff. Nucky invites Halloran to run in Eli's place. Halloran accepts and says he will not let Nucky down. The others applaud and shake Halloran's hand. Eddie announces that Richard is calling for Nucky.
Angela arrives at Dittrich's Photography to find that the place is already being advertised for rental. She enters and finds the manager Donald Flance sweeping up. He tells her that the Dittrichs snuck out in the dead of night. He complains that they did not clean the property. Angela asks where they went and he says that he is not sure, adding that Mary was always talking about Paris. Angela is devastated at being abandoned. Tommy brings Angela a blurred photograph of a bride and groom, telling her that it shows ghosts.
Sebso comes to see Van Alden to tell him that he has put in for a transfer to Detroit. He says that they are looking for ages to curtail bootlegging over the Canadian border. Van Alden sarcastically states "only the best men". Sebso feigns modesty leading to an awkward pause. Sebso asks for permission to speak freely. He says that he is aware of Van Alden's distrust although he is not sure why it arose. Van Alden asks what made him think that. Sebso cites Van Alden's incessant questioning about the Billy Winslow shooting, dirty looks, and insinuations about his religious belief. Van Alden insists that Sebso's story about the shooting does not hold water. Sebso counters that he had no reason to want him dead. Van Alden enigmatically replies that temptation knows no rank. Sebso asks what that is supposed to mean. Van Alden points out Sebso's brand new wing tips. Sebso defensively explains that he bought the shoes on sale at Driscoll's. Sebso says that Van Alden's implication is exactly what he means and that he does not like it. Van Alden says that what Sebso likes is none of his concern and that he needs men he can trust. Sebso insists that he is trustworthy and asks what he has to do to prove it. Van Alden stares at him thoughtfully.
Van Alden takes Sebso back out to the site of Deacon Cuffy's week of miracles, where the congregation are still performing baptisms. Cuffy asks if Van Alden has come to be returned to the arms of christ. Van Alden says that he has never left them, but has turned away. Cuffy reassures him that he cannot turn away because the lord is everywhere. Van Alden says that Sebso is the one who needs to be baptised. He invites Sebso to join him in the water. Sebso is reluctant to take part but eventually complies. He leaves his gun on a rock and hands his shoes to a member of the congregation, pointing out that they are new. Van Alden asks for Cuffy's permission to perform a baptism himself and Cuffy agrees.
Van Alden asks Sebso to accept Jesus as his savior. Sebso is bemused and Van Alden pushes him back into the water. He lifts him up and asks him to confess his sins and accept Jesus as his savior. Sebso gasps for air and Van Alden pushes him back down. He hauls Sebso up and repeats the question. Sebso says no and Van Alden pushes him back under. Cuffy tells Van Alden that it is not a battle. Van Alden disagrees, insisting that he is fighting for Sebso's very soul. He says that he has seen the devil and will cast him out. Sebso's struggles end. Van Alden shouts upwards "thou hast fulfilled the judgement of the wicked." He draws his badge and gun and walks through the shocked congregation, leaving Sebso's corpse floating in the river.
Nucky comes home to find that Margaret has left. He questions Harrow about her departure. Harrows says that when he arrived the day before she said that she did not need him and said that Nucky knew. When he arrived in the morning she had her bags packed, then she sent him to run an errand, and when he returned she was gone. Nucky finds the bracelet he gave her on the table.
Angela returns to the apartment she share's with Jimmy. She tells Tommy that she is going to take him to bed and he complains that he is not tired. She takes her suitcase into her bedroom and finds the note she left for Jimmy already gone. Jimmy announces his presence, shocking her. Jimmy takes the case from her and puts it under the bed. She asks about his father and he says he is a little better. Jimmy says that he knows what they have been up to. Angela is terrified. Tommy is disbelieving and Jimmy says they have been to Abe Klein's pharmacy. Tommy wonders how he knew and he says that Tommy has chocolate phosphate around his mouth. Jimmy urges Tommy to go to bed. He asks if he had fun staying up late and says that in a few years they will be keeping all hours together, just the boys. He says that Angela will tuck him in and closes the door. She lets out a sob.
Nucky strolls the boardwalk with Eddie. He stops outside Lady Jean's fortunetelling shop and then goes in. Her window sign announces that she provides "advice in business and love". Eddie watches through the window as she picks up her tarot cards.