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This recap of "Two Boats and a Lifeguard" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.
Nucky Thompson ascends in the elevator at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The elevator operator whistles something approaching a tune and then comments on the fight. Nucky is confused and the operator explains that he means the Dempsey vs. Carpentier match. Nucky notes that the fight hasn’t happened yet; he is dreaming. The elevator reaches Nucky’s suite on the eighth floor. He removes his hat as he disembarks and a baby is heard crying. His antechamber is full of unfamiliar faces in familiar clothes. Some of them respectfully remove their hats. On one chair is a catcher’s glove. Nucky goes through to the office and finds a boy sat at his desk. The boy raises his right hand; it is wounded like Nucky’s was in the shooting. Nucky tells the boy that “Daddy eats first.” The sound of an animal draws his gaze to a wounded stag writhing on the floor in front of his desk. The boy cocks a shotgun wrenching Nucky’s attention back to him. He fires and Nucky awakens from the dream.
Nucky finds himself safe at home with Dr Surran removing his dressings to check his wounded hand. Surran asks if Nucky is alright and he says that he has been sleeping poorly. Surran says that this is to be expected. Nucky looks at his hand and jokes that he has stigmata. Surran laughs and asks Nucky to keep the hand protected. Nucky notes that there are few people who want to shake his hand at the moment. Surran says it is probably slow everywhere since Nucky was injured. Nucky observes that Surran is busy and asks about The Commodore. Surran cites doctor patient confidentiality but Nucky knows that he is not above breaking the rules. Nucky reminds Surran about the medicinal alcohol licence that he arraned. Surran apologises and Nucky begins to give him instructions for next time but they are interrupted by Margaret Schroeder. Margaret is concerned about her daughter, Emily, and asks Surran to check on her next. Emily is feverish with reduced appetite. Margaret leaves and as Surran goes to follow Nucky tells him to remember who his friends are. Nucky attempts to knot his tie one handed.
At Eli Thompson’s home his children are playing noisily while he eats breakfast with his father Ethan. His wife June chides two of the children for running around. Eli’s older son Michael announces a visitor; Dick Halsey, clerk to Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph. Ethan is worried by the visitor and Eli tries to reassure him. Halsey complains that Eli has been avoiding messages at his work and Eli offers the excuse of the busy tourist season. Halsey is there to deliver a subpoena. Eli is enraged that Halsey came to his home. Michael is worried by Eli’s bad language and Ethan is also furious. Eli stands and Halsey says that they could have had him arrested. Eli grabs Halsey by the lapels and pushes Halsey out of the room. Ethan shouts after Halsey and then grabs his chest. June and Michael rush to Ethan’s side, Eli follows them and holds his father’s face in his hands.
Jimmy Darmody calls for his wife Angela to answer the phone because he is in the bathroom. It continues to ring so he comes out to get it himself, wrapped in a towel. Al Capone is calling from the Four Deuces in Chicago. Jimmy wonders why Capone has taken so long to get back to him. Capone denies avoiding Jimmy, saying that he is neither indebted to, nor afraid of Jimmy so has no reason to do so. Capone asks what Jimmy wants and Jimmy says that he is calling for an explanation, reminding Capone that the assassin he sent has been killed and failed in his task. Capone offers only religious wishes and Jimmy is angry at his brevity. Capone says that he is not one for eulogies and Jimmy asks him to be serious. Capone asserts that Jimmy should have killed Nucky months ago and Jimmy says that this is beside the point. Jimmy reminds Capone that he vouched for the hit-man. Capone calls this finger pointing and Jimmy loses his temper and swears at him. Angela interrupts the conversation, scolding Jimmy for his language in front of Tommy. Jimmy wonders how long she has been standing there and she tells him long enough and says that she is going to the beach. Jimmy ends the call and tries to follow her. Slowed by his limp and still not dressed he cannot catch her and angrily punches the wall.
Johnny Torrio comes into the bar and wonders who Capone was talking to. Capone admits that it was Darmody but sidesteps questions about the reason for the call. Torrio tells Capone that he is meeting with his bootlegging connection George Remus regarding his next shipment. He jokes that Romulus could not make it. Capone does not understand and assumes that Torrio means that Remus has a partner. Torrio pauses and then offers Capone some advice – whatever he is up to in Atlantic City keep Torrio out of it.
Surran examines Emily while Teddy eats in the next room. Margaret anxiously waits for the doctor’s findings while Owen Sleater drinks a cup of coffee. Surran announces that Emily’s temperature is 99.8 and asks Margaret to call him in the event that she spikes a fever. Margaret wonders if it was something Emily ate. Katy comes in and suggests that Emily over-exerted herself on a trip to the lake. Surran believes that it is likely to be a virus that is going around. Nucky comes through, looks Emily over and then sends Owen to get the car as he goes into the dining room. Owen finishes his drink and hands his empty cup to Katy. He says goodbye to both ladies, showing considerably more warmth towards Margaret. Margaret wonders if Owen is eating at her home now and Katy reassures her that it was only a coffee. Margaret asks Katy to take the children to see Lillian and she complies.
Margaret follows Nucky into the dining room and helps him to fasten a collar clip. She asks him where he is going and he says that he is meeting his attorney. Margaret wonders if he could come to the house and Nucky explains that they are seeing the federal prosecutor. Margaret confesses that she is afraid about Nucky going out and he reassures her that Owen will be with him constantly. Nucky pauses and then suggests that he have his assistant Eddie Kessler pick him up and leave Owen at the house. Margaret declines and offers breakfast. Nucky says he will eat at the office. The phone rings and Margaret answers. She is initially speechless and then consoling. She hangs up and tells Nucky that June was on the phone with bad news; Ethan has died. Nucky pauses, says OK, allows Margaret to help him with his jacket and then leaves, repeating that he will get food at the office.
Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden stands over his daughter in a wicker crib and checks his watch. He answers a knock on the door of his apartment and lets in a young woman. He asks if she is Ingrid, the nanny he is expecting, and she corrects him; her name is Sigrid. He offers to take her suitcase and then interrupts her as she goes to the baby, telling her that her room is the first door out of the hall and that she will be expected to keep the baby in her room at night. He points out the kitchen, bathroom and the Vitrola record player. She is delighted with the new technology and confides that she enjoys singing. He asks if she has questions and she enquires about the salary. He offers room and board, meals and $18 a month. She agrees to this and he points out that he expects her to work seven days a week. She asks for some time to herself and he concedes one Sunday a month providing that she prepares food in advance for the baby. She agrees and says that she is an excellent cook. She offers to make fish stew for Van Alden but he declines but says that the cupboards are well stocked. She asks him what the baby’s name is and he hesitates before saying Abigail. Sigrid picks Abigail up and rocks her gently. Van Alden puts on his hat and Sigrid wonders if he wants to kiss Abigail goodbye. He does so and then leaves as Sigrid tells Abigail that her father loves her and begins to sing.
At a stable Arnold Rothstein meets with his horse trainer Max Hirsch. Rothstein’s assistant stands behind the pair. Hirsch has been impressed with the form of Rothstein's horse Sidereal, who remains a relative unknown. Rothstein expects to net large winnings by making Sidereal a late entry on the busy 4 July 1921 race day at the Aqueduct Racetrack. He expects to ensure long odds with the late entry with an unknown horse. He will sustain the odds by surreptitiously betting through intermediaries. He believes that concealing his large bets while the bookmakers are too distracted to properly adjust the odds will keep them in his favour; a scheme he calls unorthodox but not illegal. Hirsch jokingly compares Rothstein to a spider charming a fly. Rothstein notes that Hirsch has also been known to spin webs. Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky arrive and Rothstein introduces them to Hirsch and tells them that Sidereal will be racing soon. Hirsch objects, saying that the horse has not yet been entered; Rothstein asks Hirsch if they can continue to talk about it. Hirsch jokes that Rothstein will talk while he will listen and then exits.
Rothstein asks how his subordinates are doing. Lansky says they are not making much money but are enjoying getting out in the sunshine. Rothstein observes that there are cheaper ways to get a tan than betting on losers. Luciano agrees and jokes that the last horse he backed is still running for the finish line. Rothstein asks for news from Philadelphia and Luciano says that it is business as usual. Lansky adds that Bill McCoy will be delivering another shipment that Thursday. Rothstein notes that with Nucky still alive they should proceed as planned. He wonders if his subordinates know anything about the assassination attempt. Luciano falsely denies knowledge and Lansky obfuscates, relaying a rumour that it was ordered by Nucky’s brother, Eli. Rothstein doubts this and suspects that Jimmy was involved. Luciano claims that Jimmy would not be capable and Rothstein wonders if this is pillow talk from Gillian Darmody. Luciano lies again, claiming that he has not seen Gillian in months. Rothstein nods and then sniffs the air. Lansky asks what is wrong. Rothstein says that he is bothered by the manure but that it is to be expected when conducting business in a stable. Rothstein wipes his hands and leaves Luciano and Lansky to consider his meaning.
At the Ritz Carlton, Isaac Ginsburg reads aloud from a list of charges against Nucky. Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph and her Chief Investigator Clifford Lathrop sit opposite Nucky and Ginsburg while Eddie pours tea. The allegations include tax evasion, bid rigging, embezzlement of County funds, graft, gambling, prostitution and multiple Volstead Act violations. Nucky sarcastically wonders if they have omitted fair beating (using public transport without paying). Lathrop offers to amend the complaint and Randolph compares Nucky to an onion citing his multiple layers of criminality. Nucky jokes that he considers himself an artichoke and says that he wants to go on the record that the charges are baseless. Randolph reminds Nucky that the meeting is informal and Ginsburg wonders if they are pushing for a plea deal. Nucky says he would decline any such offer and maintains his innocence. Randolph suggests they discuss Nucky’s shooting and he acidly says that there are more pleasant topics. Lathrop wonders if Nucky is curious who was behind the attack. Nucky jokes that he wonders who the shooter was but that the list of those who could be behind it is too long to consider. Randolph asks if Nucky knows Torrio, Nucky denies a connection. Randolph insists that Nucky knows Torrio and Nucky wonders why she bothered asking. Lathrop reveals that the shooter was Vito Scalercio and that he lived in a building leased by Al Capone. Randolph warns that Nucky’s friends are behind the attempt on his life. Nucky asks why his friends are not the target of the investigation. Randolph states that she plans to pursue Eli and Nucky’s aldermen. Lathrop relays that they have already questioned some of the aldermen and Ginsburg interrupts to assert his right to review the transcripts of these sessions. Randolph agrees and teases that they make fascinating reading. Randolph moves the discussion on to Margaret, pausing for Nucky to clarify their relationship; he describes Margaret as his companion. She wonders how they first met and Nucky suspects that Randolph is again asking a question that she already has the answer to. She suggests that Nucky might have additional information and he wonders if she expects him to do her job for her. She offers that she has ways of showing her gratitude, packs away her papers and stands. Nucky rises to meet her and she surprises him by saying that it was Lathrop who saved his life. She pointedly observes that Nucky has yet to thank Lathrop and they leave.
Angela and Tommy watch holidaymakers form a human pyramid on the beach. A beach matron approaches and instructs Angela’s neighbour to pull her skirt down. The matron admonishes the woman, explaining that her skirt is shorter than the legal requirement that it sit no more than 7 inches above the knee. Angela interjects that the matrons will actually measure. Her neighbour wonders what kind of town Atlantic City is and the matron archly tells her that she will write a summons to make it clear. The woman instructs the matron to make the fine out to Molly Fletcher. Angela guesses that “Molly” is a visitor and she confirms that she has come from San Francisco. She is shocked when presented with the ten dollar fine and says that she is unable to pay. The matron blows a whistle, calling over a Sheriff's deputy to arrest “Molly”, and she stands up drawing calls and whistles from the men on the beach. The matron complains that she is attracting the “beach lizards”. She is unperturbed and wiggles her legs at the gawkers. The matron explains the situation to the deputy she summoned and he asks if “Molly” really wants to go to jail. Angela intercedes, telling the Deputy that she is a cousin and offering to pay the fine. The matron agrees to this and instructs Angela to cover up her neighbour before continuing along the beach. Angela wraps a towel around her legs and invites her to sit. The woman introduces herself, her real name is Louise and Molly Fletcher is a character in a book that she is writing. Angela is amused by the deception and Louise wonders if Tommy belongs to Angela. Angela introduces her son and asks if Louise is a novelist. Louise confirms this and asks Angela’s occupation, aside from motherhood. Angela confides that she has not decided on a career.
Jimmy talks with Gillian in The Commodore’s lounge. He wonders if Nucky’s survival will be blamed on him and she says that while success has many fathers failure is an orphan. The butler, Langston, shows in Mickey Doyle and Manny Horvitz and Jimmy and Gillian stand to greet them. Manny calls Jimmy “boychick” and then assumes that Gillian is Jimmy’s wife. Gillian corrects him and he admires her youthful appearance. She says that Jimmy warned her of Manny’s charm and Manny says that Jimmy is a good boy. Gillian says that she will leave them to their business and exits. Mickey’s eyes follow Gillian out of the room as he hands Manny a drink. Jimmy thumps Mickey and Manny raises a toast. They sit down and Manny wonders why he had to read about the assassination attempt against Nucky in the paper. Jimmy lies that he found out the same way and Mickey giggles into his glass. Manny asks if they are to pretend with one another like children and Jimmy points out that Manny continually refers to him as a boy. Manny counters that a man honours his commitments and reminds Jimmy of his failure to deliver, or reimburse him for, the shipment that he paid for. Jimmy claims he does not have the alcohol yet. Manny wonders how Jimmy can afford the house and Jimmy says that his father owns it. Manny stands and turns to look at the hunting trophies and Jimmy angrily gestures at Mickey, who raises a pacifying hand. Manny tells a story about a man who asked him to prepare a deer head as a trophy. Mickey wonders if deer are kosher, considering “Santey Claus” and his reindeer. The man had not killed the deer himself and was not interested in the meat that Manny offered to chop from the carcass. Manny believes that killing in order to brag to your friends is wrong. Jimmy tells Manny that he has eaten venison. Manny accuses Jimmy of hiding behind his father while he fired the shot.
Nucky drinks in the sitting room of his home. Margaret descends the stairs and tells him that Emily is asleep. She offers condolences and he says that people die. She wonders if he has more to say and he asks what she would like, going on to say that he pretends all day and does not want to pretend with her. They hold hands as she asks what will become of them following his meeting. He confides that Randolph knows about their relationship and his other dealings. She wonders if he will go to prison and he cannot answer. She expresses concern for herself and he reassures her, telling her that she has done nothing wrong and that he will let nothing happen to her. She observes that those are two different things and wonders if the risk of Nucky’s racketeering is worthwhile. She worries how long he can continue before he is killed and he responds by stubbornly refusing to back down to jealous greedy rivals. Margaret suggests that with his life in the balance it is greed to oppose them and reminds him of their good fortune in having one another. She asks if he ever feels that god is sending him a sign. He tells her a joke about a drowning man who refused help from two boats and a lifeguard because he believed God would save him before succumbing. On reaching heaven he asks God why he was not saved and is rebuked with the reminder that he turned down several offers of help. Margaret does not smile and tells Nucky that she would be more amused if she knew that he was not worried. He kisses her on the cheek and promises that they will get through their problems.
Jimmy returns home and finds Tommy asleep in the bed and Angela sitting outside. He goes out to talk to her and observes that she has started smoking. She asks him why he married her. He pauses and then says that he loves her. She wonders if he tells himself this; he is annoyed and says that he has told her. She says that it is not true and he wonders the same of her. She says that she married him because of Tommy, societal expectations and Jimmy’s desire for the union. He sits next to her and laments the absence of romance. She says that she is being honest and asks the same in return. He says that he has not lied to her and she observes that he doesn’t tell her anything. She notes his long, unexplained absences sometimes followed by returning with blood on his clothes and wonders what he is doing. He admits that he is selling alcohol. She asks him if he tried to have Nucky killed and he confesses his involvement. He says that he did not want to but was forced into it by his partners. He tells her that he was approached by Eli and his father in fall 1920 with a plan to usurp Nucky’s power and have him imprisoned for his crimes. Angela reminds Jimmy that he used to love Nucky and Jimmy counters that Nucky is not what he seems. He says that he did not intend for the situation to descend into violence but that he kept breaking the rules that he set for himself. She asks what convinced him to go against his judgement regarding killing Nucky and he admits that it was his mother’s counsel. They sit in silence until Angela stands, stubs out her cigarette and thanks him for talking to her and leaves him alone.
Eddie drives Nucky out to the Atlantic City Armoury. On his arrival a guardsman is checking crates from the Auto-Ordnance company full of Thompson machine guns. The guardsman tells Nucky that his guests are waiting inside and Nucky asks him for a favour. He bribes the guardsman to lie to the federal agents following him by telling them that he has left with Eddie. Nucky looks at the guns and jokingly wonders if they are expecting an attack. The guardsman explains that there are 3000 of the guns, all surplus from World War I. He jokes that Eddie’s Kaiser chickened out of the war earlier than expected. Nucky goes inside and Eddie goes back to the limousine to provide the decoy, calling the guardsman an asshole under his breath.
Torrio and Rothstein are waiting for Nucky inside. Nucky thanks them for coming and apologises for the setting. Rothstein understands the need for privacy and Torrio asks how they can help. Nucky confuses Torrio by asking him to get his subordinates in line. Nucky explains that the shooter, Scalercio, is connected to Capone. Torrio reveals Capone’s frequent phone conversations with Jimmy and Rothstein confesses that Jimmy visited him in New York. Nucky complains that he has not been told earlier. Rothstein admits that it was the day after Nucky’s arrest and reassures Nucky that he turned down Jimmy’s offer to supply alcohol. Nucky asks if Rothstein will vouch for Luciano and Lansky and Rothstein defers. Rothstein tells Nucky about one of Waxey’s men being killed on the way to make a delivery in what Luciano called an attempted hijacking. Nucky tells his associates that “the pups have grown fangs.” Nucky asks for advice and rejects Torrio’s suggestion that he kill Jimmy given the ongoing federal surveillance. Rothstein turns away as the others talk, deep in thought. Torrio suggests retirement and Nucky admits that all of his capital is tied up in land. Rothstein suggests inaction; the others are disbelieving. Rothstein explains that in his experience as a gambler when no move is available the best action is to wait until an opportunity arises and to then bet heavily.
On the boardwalk in front of Cafe Frolic a barker advertises a freak show, luring customers in with a preview half-man half-woman performer. Along the boardwalk Van Alden eats lunch with his subordinate Stan Sawicki in an open cafe opposite the St. Louis Hotel. Sawicki notices tongue on the specials board and remarks that he has a friend who would eat it. Van Alden asks for the bill and the waiter says that it is covered. Van Alden wonders if he misheard and the waiter explains that they have a policy that police men eat for free. Van Alden states that they are federal agents and that accepting a gift is against regulations. Van Alden stares at Sawicki until the junior agent finally agrees with him. The waiter says that he was being neighbourly, writes out the bill and moves off to serve other customers. Van Alden recites the Latin phrase “Malum in se.” He explains to a baffled Sawicki that it means evil in and of itself. Sawicki suggests murder as an example and Van Alden agrees. Van Alden moves on to “Malum prohibitum.” He defines this as an evil prohibited by statute. Sawicki realises that Van Alden is referring to them accepting a free lunch and Van Alden confirms this but gives a second example; the sale of whiskey. Sawicki admits that he shares Van Alden’s doubts about the legitimacy of prohibition given the difficulty of enforcing the law. Van Alden says that they should leave, crumples the bill in his fist and leaves it on the counter, unpaid.
Louise takes Angela to a party near the sea. Cars are parked disordered on the sand and a ukulele player can be heard as they approach. Angela wonders what the place is and Lousie says that it is just a house. Inside the revellers are drinking freely and dancing. Angela wonders if Louise knows the other partygoers and Louise says that most of them are local performers. She finds glasses and a bottle and pours drinks for them both. Angela wonders at Louise knowing anyone when she is new in town. Louise mentions that she has a friend named Arthur who should be at the party. Lousie tells Angela about a sand sculpture she saw at a party a month earlier as they work their way through the crowds and find Arthur Lasch. He asks Louise if she dreamt about him and she relates a dream about a purple snake that she chopped up. Arthur claims the dream was about his penis and Louise jokes that everything is before introducing him to Angela. Louise tells Angela that Arthur is a hoofer (a professional dancer) and he invites Angela to dance with him. She declines and Louise sends him away before taking Angela’s hand and, sensing trepidation, reassures her that they are invisible to the crowd. Later in the night they sit on the deck next to the ukulele player and share a kiss.
Margaret, Nucky and Teddy play a board game while Emily sleeps in her mother’s arms. Teddy’s turn takes him to the Southampton space and he is curious about its location. Margaret explains that it is a large port in England and claims that she set sail for America from there. Teddy hopes to sail the voyage himself. Nucky is transfixed by the painting of a ship in the corner of the board. Teddy has to remind “Uncle Nucky” of his turn. Nucky returns his attention to his family and says that he would like the children to begin calling him “Dad.” Teddy looks to his mother and she asks if he would like that. He says that he would; Nucky reaches out to brush Emily’s cheek and tells her that he means her too. Teddy tries the prompt again; “your move Dad.” Margaret smiles and Nucky agrees that it is.
Nucky attends a viewing of Ethan’s corpse at a funeral home. He sits opposite the coffin, alone. Eli arrives and asks Nucky why he is there. Nucky asserts his right to be there and Eli says that he is just surprised. Nucky spitefully wonders if Eli’s surprise is because he is not in the casket. Eli lies that he was not involved in the assassination attempt and Nucky states that Eli had nothing to do with stopping it either. Eli sits in the row of chairs behind Nucky. He tells Nucky about the subpoena. Nucky wonders why Eli did not hold the wake at his home. Eli says that his children do not need to see Ethan dead. Nucky recalls Eli’s difficulty with attending the funeral for their Uncle Clarence and his terror when being made to kiss the corpse. Eli cannot remember. Nucky offers that he came early in an effort to be alone. Eli reiterates his surprise and Nucky says that he came for their mother and for Susan, their sister. Eli says that their relatives are all together now. Nucky scoffs at the idea that their father is in heaven. Eli begins to cry and asks Nucky if Ethan was really that bad. Nucky says that Eli has clearly forgotten much of their childhood and Eli counters that they both turned out OK. He credits Ethan’s parenting for their character. Nucky wonders what kind of men they are and Eli says that they run Atlantic City. Nucky objects to the collective and says that Ethan can rot in hell. Eli says that this is typical of Nucky’s incapacity for forgiveness. Nucky tells Eli to grow up and take responsibility. Eli leaves and Nucky approaches the casket. Nucky notices that Ethan’s right shoelace is untied and begins to correct the oversight but bursts into tears as he does so.
A delivery man brings Lathrop a bowl of peaches from Nucky. Lathrop opens the card and reads the message; “You're a peach, thanks for saving my life.”
Gillian, Jimmy, The Commodore and Leander Cephas Whitlock are in conference at The Commodore’s home. Langston shows in Nucky and Owen. Nucky thanks them for seeing him. Gillian offers a drink and he declines with awkward formality. He says that he is acutely aware of the finite nature of life following his father’s death and that he is going to end their difficulties. The Commodore offers condolences, his speech still marred by weakness after his stroke, and Whitlock joins him. Nucky says his brush with his own mortality has also provoked thinking. He says that his love for Margaret and her children is more important than his power and claims that he plans to retire. He believes that he will have adequate funds after selling property and plans to do so once his legal problems are resolved. Nucky addresses The Commodore telling him that he built Atlantic City and can now have it back. Nucky tells Jimmy that Mayor Bader is aware of his decision and will be cooperative. Whitlock wonders if Nucky will step down as Atlantic County Treasurer and Nucky confirms that he will. He gives his word that he will not stand in their way and offers them the chance to chose his successor. He turns and begins to walk out of the room and Jimmy stops him by calling his name. Jimmy pauses, swallows and then wishes Nucky luck. Nucky reciprocates and exits.
Van Alden arrives home to find Sigrid still serenading Abigail. He walks past them and closes the door to his room. He takes an evidence bag from his trousers, removes a wad of cash and hides it behind his bedroom mirror.
Nucky looks out over the city from the window of his suite at the Ritz Carlton. Eddie enters and announces the arrival of Chalky White. Nucky takes off his sling and fixes his hair. Chalky begins by saying that Nucky wanted to see him and Nucky offers a drink. Chalky is indifferent to the type of spirit and Nucky selects a whiskey. Chalky wonders where Nucky’s drink is, Nucky jokes that his hand injury has cut his drinking in half before pouring one for himself. Nucky toasts to the future and Chalky wonders if he even has one. Nucky assumes that Chalky is worried about his upcoming murder trial and assures Chalky that he can beat the charges if he follows Ginsburg’s advice. Chalky clarifies that he is worried about losing the support of the African American community because of their demands for justice after the warehouse shootings. Nucky says this justice is the subject that he wanted to discuss. Chalky wonders if Nucky is telling him to kill more Klansmen. Nucky says that Chalky is smarter than that and instructs him to exert his economic power by calling a strike. Chalky is concerned about such drastic action in the tourist season. Nucky explains that a strike will cost the city a fortune and empower Chalky in negotiations to end it. Chalky checks that Nucky is sure; Nucky reveals that he has given up control of the city in response. Eddie announces that the press are ready for Nucky’s announcement.
Jimmy hosts a celebration dinner at Babette’s Supper Club. Alderman Jim Neary reads the report on Nucky’s press conference aloud from evening edition of the newspaper. His fellow alderman Al Boyd snatches the paper and jokes about Nucky’s situation. Eli is unamused by the banter as Boyd continues the story. Mayor Bader has named Neary as the new treasurer. Jimmy and Whitlock congratulate Neary. Paddy Ryan jokes that the drinks are on Neary. Ryan and his companion sit down next to Richard Harrow. Jimmy approaches Harrow and says that they have achieved their goal. Harrow congratulates Jimmy and Jimmy reiterates Harrow’s importance in his success. Jimmy promises that Harrow’s wishes will be realised and Harrow doubtfully offers the proverb “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Jimmy expands his hopes for Richard; a new suit, a new mask and a nice girl to settle down with. Eli tries to initiate a private discussion with Jimmy but is interrupted by the arrival of Mickey and Manny. Mickey performs a mocking bow to Jimmy, calling him a king. Jimmy wonders why Manny is there and Manny says that he never misses a celebration. Eli again asks for a word and Jimmy puts him off. The aldermen call for a speech and the other guests join their urging. Jimmy obliges them and begins by recalling their last dinner together (in January 1920) and their subsequent dissatisfaction with Nucky’s leadership. Mickey interrupts with a joke about Nucky and Jimmy angrily silences him. He goes on to talk about his father’s vision for their city as a kingdom by the sea and his own vision to share the kingdom with its court. He says that the war is over and quotes Senator William Marcy “to the victor go the spoils.” Whitlock offers a toast to “Prince James” and his long reign. A dancer beckons Jimmy to join her, another caresses his shoulder as he notices Manny watching him.
Nucky awkwardly carries a bottle and two glasses into his living room. He finds Margaret talking quietly with Owen in the hallway. He interrupts them by announcing that a bulb is out in the kitchen. Margaret resolves to have the servants replace it in the morning. She tells Nucky that she is going to bed and asks him not to stay up to late. Owen wishes Margaret good night as she passes and then takes the glassware from Nucky. Owen pours the drinks as Nucky sits. Nucky pronounces that he is a lucky man and Owen agrees. Nucky tells Owen that they need to discuss the day of his shooting. He asks Owen to explain his whereabouts and Owen claims that he was with a friend and lost track of time. Nucky glances at the stairs and asks if the friend was from Ireland. Owen hesitates, looks away and then says that he is unsure of Nucky’s meaning. Nucky presses him again and meets only silence. Nucky relents and says that he means the Irish republican cause. He believes that Owen is still an active supporter and asks if this is why Owen stayed in Atlantic City. Owen smiles and confirms Nucky’s accusation. Nucky instructs Owen to set up a meeting with John McGarrigle in Belfast, saying that they will leave immediately.
Dancer’s fill the floor at Babette’s as Mickey talks to Jimmy on the balcony above. Jimmy drunkenly puts his glass on the tray of a waiter as Mickey promises that he can be operational within a week or two provided he gets booze to reconstitute; Jimmy tells Mickey that he heard him the first time. Eli pushes between them and Jimmy asks him what is wrong. Eli says he dislikes waiting in line and warns Jimmy that Nucky is both smart and dangerous. Jimmy is angry and profanely dismisses Eli, saying that he came to ruin the party. As Eli leaves Mickey turns back to Jimmy and presses him for details about re-establishing their supply. Jimmy explains that they will use Capone’s connection to Remus to obtain bonded government liquor. Manny waves up at them from the dance floor; Jimmy fakes a smile and chastises Mickey for bringing him. Mickey says that Jimmy does owe Manny money and Jimmy complains about the constant reminders. Jimmy insults Manny, knowing that he cannot hear them over the music. Manny gestures to his ear and Mickey warns Jimmy about using racial epithets around Manny. Manny beckons Jimmy to come down, Jimmy says they will and then hoists Mickey over the balcony. Mickey crashes into a table directly in front of Manny.
Nucky again dreams about the elevator ride to his suite. The same ethereally familiar people are waiting for him in different positions as the doors open. A child’s cries are heard in the background. His catcher’s mitt has also changed positions. He awakes to find Margaret nursing a feverish and moaning Emily next to his bed.