Boardwalk Empire Wiki
Main: A Return to Normalcy

This recap of "A Return to Normalcy" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.

Scene 1[]

Agent Nelson Van Alden meets a group of prospective new agents and warns them of the temptation they will face should they replace him, comparing Atlantic City to the historical city of Carthage. By extension he compares himself to Saint Augustine, dwelling on the knowledge that the Saint succumbed to the temptation of the city. One of the recruits jokes about bringing on the dancing girls and Van Alden slaps him, full force, across the face. The recruits are stunned into silence. Van Alden announces that his partner Agent Sebso died in the line of duty of a heart attack and that he will not have Sebso's memory sullied by their infantile humor. He tells them that Supervisor Elliot will review their applications and they place them on the desk and file out.

Elliot stands to shake Van Alden's hand and urges him to reconsider. Van Alden says there is nothing left for him in Atlantic City.

Scene 2[]

George O'Neill reads the Atlantic City Press. The front page features a story asserting that Fletcher is poised for victory in the Mayor's race with corruption a key issue in the coming election. Nucky walks into his office and snatches the paper out of O'Neill's hands as he passes. He tells his men to buy drinks, promise jobs, or do whatever they need to in order to get their people to vote. Jim Neary jokingly announces that they should then be sent to his ward to vote again. O'Neill speaks up, claiming that he has already said that replacing Eli was a mistake. Nucky objects to O'Neill's assertion, challenging that he hasn't said a word before now.

Nucky demands that his people deliver a big turn out at the Tuesday election. Damien Fleming jokes that Nucky will even get spooks. Chalky White takes offence, assuming that Fleming was using a racial epithet. Fleming explains that he means dead people still registered as voters. Ed Bader muses that he will not be the first Atlantic City politician elected by dead people. Al Boyd points out that it is Halloween and urges Bader to get in the spirit. Bader jokes that they are talking about absentee ballots. The others laugh but Nucky grimly tells Bader that he hopes that he is half as amusing during his concession speech.

Nucky goes to pour a drink and Chalky approaches him for a private word. Nucky nods at the others and they vacate the room. Nucky pours a drink for Chalky and hands it to him. Chalky says that he has been approached by the Democrats. Nucky is not surprised and Chalky expands that they painted him a nice picture of the future. Nucky sarcastically asserts that being a savvy businessman Chalky believed them. Chalky responds that he was savvy enough to take their money. Nucky wonders if that means that Chalky is sticking with him. Chalky says that recognition for his loyalty would be nice.

Nucky puffs on his cigarette and sits behind his desk. He asks Chalky if he realizes that he puts the bite on him every election year. Chalky warns that this time Nucky could actually lose. Nucky asks what he wants. Chalky asks for $10,000, a new car, and an invite to the victory party at Babette's Supper Club. Nucky swallows and worries that the last item is a tall order. Chalky counters that his delivering of the colored vote is just as difficult.

Scene 3[]

Margaret Schroeder bakes a cake while reciting her children a ghostly poem. She is staying with Nan Britton having left Nucky. Nan plays with her own daughter in the next room. Margaret sends her children to clean themselves up while she finishes baking.

Nan asks her if the poem was by Frost and Margaret informs her that it was Robert Burns, adding that her grandmother used to read it every All Hallow's Eve. Nan asks if it will be recited again in the church yard. Margaret explains that the evening gathering is more of a religious service to pray for the souls of the dead. Nan says that Catholics have a flair for the dramatic. Margaret rolls her eyes and agrees. Nan wistfully says that Warren Harding loves poetry.

Nan asks if Margaret has thought about where she will go after the election, explaining that she expects Warren to move her into the White House when he wins the presidency. Margaret says that she is thinking of moving to Margate to work in a shop. She adds that she might be rich, depending on what the "brack" says. Nan is confused and Margaret explains that she means her cake, which is called Barrenbrack. She tells Nan that it is baked with a sixpence, a ring, and a small piece of rag inside. If your slice has the money you will be rich, while the ring foretells marriage, and the rag destitution. Nan practices the sound of "President Warren Harding" and then asks Margaret to visit her at the White House, receiving a doubtful look in response.

Scene 4[]

Dr. Carl Surran chairs a meeting at Commodore Louis Kaestner's home to confront Louanne about the Commodore's arsenic poisoning. Jimmy, Gillian, Nucky, and Sheriff Halloran are also in attendance. Surran explains that when the arsenic is put in the victims food they can be unaware of being poisoned. Gillian says that The Commodore had been complaining of an upset stomach since Christmas. Surran expands that the poisoning would been going on for some time to reach the levels detected in The Commodore's system. He reveals that he has found toxic levels in stew, tea biscuits and even the toothpaste. Halloran asks Louanne to explain the findings. She says that it must have fallen in by accident. Halloran challenges that her food remained uncontaminated.

The Commodore accuses her of killing Jerry. Jimmy interjects that he ate one of the cookies. Halloran asks who Jerry is. Surran explains that he is referring to his dog, and Nucky adds that Jerry used to eat his leftovers. Louanne notes that The Commodore always treated the dog better than her. The Commodore says that Jerry was the best friend he had, and calls Louanne a "goddamn ignorant bitch." He harangues her about everything he did for her, shouting that she is a murderer. Surran asks about her motive. She says that if she had used a shotgun she would have had to clean up the mess herself and had taken all she could of The Commodore's abuse. The Commodore asks Halloran if he is going to arrest Louanne. Nucky interrupts to say that he is not, to The Commodore's dismay.

Nucky takes Louanne aside. He tells her that while he understands why she would want to she cannot go around poisoning people. He gives her cash and asks her to go far away, change her name, and not come back. She thanks him and gives him a bible. As she leaves The Commodore angrily asks Nucky what he is doing, reiterating that Louanne tried to kill him.

Scene 5[]

Arnold Rothstein leaves his New York residence with his associates Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. He tells them that he has booked passage out of the country for himself and his wife Carolyn Rothstein. He tells them that he will flee prosecution if he is indicted and asks them to contact his attorney to get in touch with him should that happen. Lansky wonders at the wisdom of going to Scotland in November. Rothstein says that he has heard that the golfing is terrific. Luciano is doubtful that the weather can support the sport outside of the summer. Rothstein suggests that he can tour the distilleries and perhaps take up the bagpipes to occupy himself until the allegations of fixing the world series blow over. Lansky worries that an indictment will make the allegations stick.

Luciano suggests bribing someone in Chicago to avoid prosecution. Rothstein is defeatist, saying that the world series is so high profile that he has become a pariah. Lansky suggests using a buffer to arrange the bribe and Luciano reminds Rothstein that Torrio is in Chicago. Rothstein dismisses the suggestion as Torrio is new in town and does not have the political connections. Luciano suggests that Nucky Thompson does and Torrio can put them in touch. Rothstein does not believe Nucky would help him, given their conflict. Lansky questions the purpose of the war with Nucky. Luciano blames the D'Alessio brothers for their failure to gain ground in Atlantic City. Rothstein agrees that they were not Luciano's best suggestion. Lansky says that Rothstein should be businesslike and cut his losses. Rothstein chafes at being told what to do by his underlings and points out that he is not paying them to give advice. Luciano answers that the advice is free while they are paid to get their hands dirty. Rothstein gets into his car to consider their suggestion.

Scene 6[]

Jimmy comes home to find Angela preparing for Halloween. He asks Tommy what he is dressed as. Tommy does not answer until Jimmy prompts him. Tommy tells him that he is a pirate. Angela asks Tommy to put his shoes on ready for the Halloween party and he runs off to his room.

Angela asks if Jimmy is coming home for dinner. He does not answer. She asks how long they are going to maintain the tension between them, citing his silences and dirty looks. Jimmy says that if he was a different kind of man then it would be more than looks. Angela asks if Jimmy wants them to leave. Jimmy objects to her use of "us", asserting that Tommy is his son too.

Jimmy asks what is wrong with his son, concerned that he is disrespectful. Angela says that Tommy is terrified of Jimmy, adding that they both are. Jimmy angrily asks what she is talking about. She reveals that he is still having nightmares and screaming in his sleep. She says that Jimmy grabbed her, shook her, and shouted at her in German. She says that she is concerned that he will hurt them. He says that he will always protect them. He asks her to sit down with him.

He confesses that he did not write to her when he was in France because he did not think he was coming back. He says that there are things inside of him that he brought home from the war. He tells her that he spent nights in the trenches where he dreamed of coming back to her and Tommy.

He says that they both did things while they were apart. He asks if Angela was in love with Mary. She says that she was lonely. He asks if they can start afresh and recapture the early days of their relationship. She asks if he can do that. He says that he thinks he can and asks about her. She agrees to try. He kisses her and she moves closer to him, sitting on his lap and embracing him.

Scene 7[]

Margaret and Nan attends All Hallow's Eve mass in a church graveyard. The priest leads the congregation through the cemetery. Nan asks Margaret if she prays much. Margaret confides that she prays for her children, including the ones she lost, and also for forgiveness. Emily asks Margaret what she needs to be forgiven for and Margaret says only "for my own sins".

Margaret is stopped in her tracks by the inscription on a tombstone. Nan reflects on the peacefulness of the setting before realizing that Margaret is distracted. She joins her and reads the carved stone - Margaret has found the grave of Enoch and Mabel Thompson. The inscription shows that Enoch lived for just a week from December 15 to December 22, 1912 and that Mable died a month later on January 19, 1913.

Nan notes that Margaret and Nucky have the loss of a child in common. Margaret looks at her, surprised. Nan explains that Nucky told her that he lost a child when he first met her in Chicago.

Scene 8[]

Torrio proposes a meeting to a reluctant Nucky. He asks Nucky to have more faith in him, reminding him that they have been friends for a long time. Nucky says that he likes to know what he is walking into. Torrio insists that it will be a business meeting and urges Nucky to keep an open mind. Nucky says that he has already bought the Brooklyn Bridge, if that is what Torrio is selling. Torrio suggests that they arrange a location near Atlantic City the next day. Nucky is distracted by Eddie scraping his ankle as he shines his shoes, saying "ow goddammit." Torrio mishears him and thinks he is asking "how" and defensively explains that they will get the train. Nucky's buzzer sounds and he sends Eddie to answer. Torrio is increasingly irritated at Nucky's inattention and asks what is going on. Nucky explains that he is late for a party and ends the call.

Scene 9[]

Nucky puts on his jacket and a mask for the party. Eddie announces a visitor and shows Margaret in. Nucky is shocked to see her and slowly removes the mask. She says that he should keep it on as it suits him, likening him to a dapper villain in a Sunday serial.

Nucky bitterly asks what she has come as, a devoted wife, a temperance firebrand or a crusading suffragette. Margaret notes that he left out kept woman. Nucky quips that there wasn't any keeping her. Margaret recalls that she was pregnant when they first met before losing the baby. She says that she knows that Nucky lost an infant son and his wife. Nucky tells her that it is a bit late to play this game. Margaret asks what he means and he explains that he believes she is looking for him to tell her is sorrows so that she can pretend to be sympathetic before they wind up in bed together. Margaret assures him that will not happen.

She sits on the couch and Nucky asks why she has come. She says that she wants to find out who Nucky really is. He sighs deeply and then begins to reveal his tale. He begins seven to eight years earlier, having just become treasurer, and says that he was very busy. He says that Margaret had just given birth and they named the baby Enoch, Mabel wanting to name the baby after Nucky.

Enoch Jr. was sickly and underweight. Mabel was determined to nurse him to health but she had little support from her husband, who was terrified of the frail baby, afraid to hold him or even look at him. Nucky avoided them completely and put everything into his new job as county treasurer.

A week after the birth, Nucky returned home late and finally found the courage to look at his son, at which point he immediately realized the baby was dead. According to him, Mabel had “completely broken with reality", caring for the infant's corpse for days as if he were alive.

Mabel was diagnosed with melancholia shortly before or after Enoch Jr.'s burial. Doctors assured Nucky that she would recover with time, but Nucky knew better. Nucky admits that he knew Mabel needed him, but he was "so very, very busy.” Mabel, left alone once again while her husband worked, slashed her wrists with his shaving razor a few weeks after the baby's burial, on January 19, 1913.

Margaret is overcome with empathy for Nucky's sad story and wipes away a tear. Nucky tells her that the times he spent with her and her children in the house are the happiest and most terrifying in his life. He says that she now knows more about him than any other person. Margaret wonders how he could think that she was the one in need of saving. He asks if she didn't and she answers "not the way you chose." He asks if she plans to leave Atlantic City. She says that it might be for the best. Nucky reaches for his bankroll but she quickly stops him. She tells him that there is kindness in him and wonders how he can do what he does. He tells her "we all have to decide for ourselves how much sin we can live with." She says his name formally and tells him that she is pleased to have finally made his acquaintance.

Scene 10[]

Van Alden returns home to his wife Rose. She serves him a cup of tea and offers him a biscuit. He declines, complaining that the molasses hurt his filling. He tells her that he was offered a permanent assignment in Atlantic City after discovering a large still near where Sebso expired. Rose is thrilled, noting that Supervisor Elliot must have been pleased. Van Alden agrees that he was, adding that he was offered a raise and two agents under his command before revealing that he declined the post. He tells Rose that his Uncle Byron offered him a partnership in his feed business a year ago. Rose is hesitant at the prospect of moving to Schenectady. Van Alden reminds her of a trip they took, saying that she enjoyed wintering there and wearing snow shoes. He says that he would have to buy into the business but that it is a "going concern."

Rose says nothing and Van Alden notes her quietness. She admits that she likes being the wife of a federal agent. He asks her if that is what is important, accusing her of vanity and wanting to impress her friends at the green grocers. She says "of course not" and he tells her that he is increasingly unhappy, particularly since Sebso's death. She tells him that he is doing god's work. He says that if god wants him to stay in Atlantic City he should give him a sign.

Scene 11[]

Angela returns to her apartment and finds a postcard of the Eiffel Tower in Paris among her mail. It is from Mary Dittrich and asks Angela to forgive her and not forget her.

Scene 12[]

Eddie drives Nucky and Jimmy out to a coastal highway. Torrio, Capone, Rothstein, Luciano and Lansky are waiting for them. Jimmy approaches with his gun in hand. Torrio greets him, placing a calming hand on his forearm. Nucky asks what is going on, complaining that he does not like being sandbagged. Torrio urges patience, saying that it costs nothing to listen. Nucky turns his attention to Rothstein and tells them to start talking.

Torrio reminds them of their last meeting when another was also present, Big Jim Colosimo. He says that Colosimo was a good man but did not look ahead. Luciano quips that Frankie Yale told them that Colosimo did not look behind either. Capone warns him to show more maturity. Torrio says that they must be forward thinking to survive in their business. He urges them to let go of the past and then says that Rothstein asked for the meeting.

Nucky angrily asserts that Rothstein tried to have him killed. Rothstein says that he is interested in putting an end to their hostilities. Jimmy observes that he would be too, if things were going as badly as they are for Rothstein. Rothstein counters that the conflict could continue for years with no benefit to either side and he has enough problems already. Nucky interjects that he has seen the papers and Rothstein says that he must know about the looming indictment over fixing the world series. Nucky dismissively suggests that he pay someone off. Rothstein explains that he is well known, but not well liked, in Chicago. Nucky says that it sounds as though Rothstein is asking for a favor. Rothstein counters that he is looking to make a deal. He says that he needs Nucky's political influence to quash the indictment. Nucky says that it could be arranged and Jimmy asks what he is thinking. Nucky silences him by saying that they are talking. Rothstein asks what Nucky would want in exchange. Nucky asks for a million dollars in cash. Capone, Torrio and Luciano exchange glances over the steep demand. Rothstein repeats the amount and Nucky asks for the location of the remaining D'Alessio brothers in addition. Rothstein hesitates and Nucky suggests that he could take his chances with his good friend Hartley Replogle. Rothstein is impressed that Nucky knows the States Attorney.

Rothstein sets out the terms. Their war is over and any bad blood and past transgressions are nullified. Luciano shifts his feet, warily looking at Jimmy. Rothstein says that the cash will be delivered in the morning while Luciano has the information. Rothstein shakes Nucky's hand, wishing him good luck. He says that he hopes that they haven't seen the last of each other and asks them to excuse him as he has a train to Chicago. He pats Torrio's shoulder as he departs. Capone and Jimmy take the information from Luciano. Nucky orders Eddie to call Eli and arrange an emergency press conference at County Hall at three o'clock. The gangsters part ways.

Montage 1[]

Nucky greets the newsmen from the podium at County Hall. He tells them that the passing of the eighteenth amendment has given rise to a new breed of criminal; vivious thugs emboldened by the promise of an easy dollar.

As Nucky speaks to the press the remaining D'Alessio brothers are tracked and killed by Jimmy, Capone and Richard Harrow. Richard finds Ignacious D'Alessio and Pius D'Alessio holed up in a store room. He brazenly knocks on the door. Ignacious is distracted by his appearance and tells him that halloween was last week. Richard pulls a sawn off shotgun from under his coat and shoots Ignacious in the chest, sending his corpse flying back into the room. Richard steps inside as Pius scrambles to load a revolver. Richard pauses for a second before shooting the boy.

Nucky reminds the reporters of the Hammonton hijacking massacre where five bootleggers were killed by a rival gang. He repeats his cover story that the killers were led by Hans Schroeder, whose body washed ashore days later. says that his brother Sheriff Eli Thompson has worked tirelessly to bring the culprits to justice has uncovered a link to the D'Alessio brothers of Philadelphia. He announces that they are being sought for questioning.

Capone surprises Sixtus D'Alessio as he returns to a wharf side house with shopping. He shoots Sixtus in the head and then takes an apple that rolls out of his bags.

Nucky argues that the democrats have made unfounded accusation of corruption and softness of crime for political gain. He tells the press that while the crime occurred on the Republican watch, the apprehension of those responsible did as well.

Jimmy finds Leo D'Alessio getting a wet shave in a barbers. He slices his throat with his trench knife, wipes the blade on the towel around his neck and walks out. The sound of a train is heard in the distance. He pauses in the doorway to resheath the knife.

Nucky urges people to vote for Edward Bader to keep the city safe and ends "God bless America". He marches out of the room, surrounded by his aldermen and reporters with more questions.

Scene 13[]

The Atlantic City Daily Press leads with a story titled "Woods Killers Found Dead" on election day. Nucky electioneers among the crowd on the boardwalk, shaking hands and greeting voters. He calls out to people he knows and is taken aback when he sees Margaret in line. He pauses to smile at her but moves on without saying anything. Someone asks who he is voting for and he announces "Ed Bader and the straight Republican ticket, and I suggest you all do the same!"

Scene 14[]

Jimmy comes home to find Tommy playing with a truck. Angela emerges from the bed room. Jimmy is surprised to see that she has cut her hair short. She tells him that his father called, asking to see him. He strokes her hair before heading out again.

Scene 15[]

Nucky hosts a party for the Republican party in his suite as they await the election results. Ward Boss Jim Neary urges Jimmy to go easy on his drinking. Jimmy waves him off.

Eli waits for Nucky in the office. Eddie comes in to report that the Chicago States Attorney has announced that Rothstein will not be indicted. Nucky nods, pleased, and asks about the local election. Eddie tells him the polls will close shortly. Nucky tells Eli that they are almost home. Eli is still upset at being forced to resign the Sheriff's post and says that Nucky expects to wave his scepter and be forgiven. Nucky points out that Eli has just had a healthy payday from the Rothstein money and sarcastically wonders if he should have sent flowers too. Eli presses on, telling Nucky that he "fucked [him] over." Nucky says that he has already told Eli that he will make it right. Eli says that Nucky is so used to talking "bullshit" that he has forgotten that what he says actually affects people. Nucky asks if Eli is reciting Dale Carnegie again. Eli says that he is serious, that Nucky needs to know there are consequences to what he says and does that cannot be assuaged with money. Nucky apologizes unconvincingly for hurting Eli's feelings.

The phone rings in the next room. Nucky says that Eli has to trust him. Eli wonders what Nucky means. Nucky asserts that blood is thicker that water. Eli asks why it had to be his blood. Eddie enters to announce that Edgar Kaufner is on the phone from campaign headquarters. Eli rejoins the others.

Scene 16[]

Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague joins the group. George O'Neill jokingly asks who let the Democrat in. Hague counters that you don't have to be Irish to drink on St. Patrick's Day.

Nucky rejoins the party, greeting Hague bemusedly as a fellow Republican. He asks for their attention and announces that Bader has been elected Mayor. Nucky whispers to Bader. Bader thanks the others for their support and then says that he is going to get right down to business. He tells Sheriff Halloran that he is accepting his resignation. Halloran wonders if he is joking and O'Neill shushes him. Bader reappoints Eli as Sheriff and Nucky points his glass to him.

Jimmy stands up and approaches Nucky. Paddy Ryan greets him. Jimmy remembers that Paddy got the job he was once hoping for as Chief Clerk of the Fourth Ward. Ryan asks how he has been and Jimmy says that he is "aces", clinking his glass against Ryan's. Jimmy asks about life in politics and Paddy says that Nucky is taking good care of him. Jimmy says that Nucky must have pimped Paddy's mother out as well. Ryan asks him to repeat the remark. Nucky overhears and pulls him out to the lobby.

Scene 17[]

Nucky releases Jimmy once they are out of the room, asking what is wrong with him. Jimmy downs his drink and squares off to Nucky. He says that Nucky is his hero. Nucky asks what he is talking about. Jimmy says that he admires the way Nucky works; clean, fast, and totally devoid of emotion. Nucky explains that Halloran wasn't working out. Jimmy asserts that Nucky will use anyone, including thirteen year old girls. Nucky rationalizes that Gillian was an orphan living in a home for wayward girls and that The Commodore took good care of her. Jimmy compares it to the way Nucky took care of him. Nucky challenges that he did take care of Jimmy, asking if he ever wanted for anything or missed a meal.

Eli jealously watches Nucky talking to Jimmy.

Jimmy asks if Nucky was acting out of guilt. Nucky says that Jimmy is a grown man now and asks what difference it makes if it was guilt or duty. Jimmy says that he thought Nucky loved him. Nucky pauses and then tells Jimmy that he is not his father. Jimmy says that he needs to go and take it up with him, turning to leave. Nucky grabs him by the arm and asks him to go home to Angela and sleep it off. Jimmy tells Nucky to stop acting like he cares and unsteadily walks out.

Scene 18[]

Nan, Margaret and their children eat the Barrenbrack. Nan reminds them to look for the prizes inside. Nan finds the ring in her own slice, pleased that it signifies marriage. She imagines herself as the First Lady of the United States. Margaret asks what she will do if Harding does not send for her. Nan refuses to consider the possibility, blindly trusting in his promise.

Emily complains that she has not had a prize. Margaret reassures her that there is more cake left before finding the rag in her own slice. Emily asks her what it means. Margaret doubtfully asserts that it is just a silly superstition.

Scene 19[]

Van Alden packs up his desk at the post office. One of the postal works announces that he has a visitor. Assuming that it is Margaret Schroeder he tells them to send her in and hurriedly tidies himself up. He is disappointed to recognize Lucy Danziger.

She tells him that she went looking for him at his rooming house and they told her that he worked at the post office. He asks what she wants. She wonders if he is a post man. He clarifies that he is a Prohibition Agent. She takes this in and then tells him that she is pregnant with his child. He stares at her balefully.

Scene 20[]

Gillian tries to get The Commodore to drink a glass of milk. He tells her to put some bourbon in it and she reminds him that they are trying to rebuild his stomach lining. He asks her to stay and she whispers something in his ear. Jimmy watches her flirting with a scowl. He says that they are suddenly a happy family. Gillian tells him not to be so fretful all the time before leaving.

The Commodore holds out his glass and asks Jimmy to pour in some whiskey. Jimmy complies and thoughtfully notes that it is the first time they have had a drink together. The Commodore jokes that Jimmy should not tell his mother.

The Commodore laments that Luanne tried to kill him and Nucky just let her go. Jimmy says that Nucky has an odd sense of justice. The Commodore says that Jimmy should not talk to him about justice. He recalls his own prosecution at the hands of Woodrow Wilson, then an ambitious State Governor looking to run for President. Jimmy asserts that Wilson is the reason The Commodore went to jail. The Commodore counters that Nucky was responsible, explaining that they made a deal with the prosecutor that one of them would go to prison on the election rigging charges so that Wilson would get his headlines and the other could keep running things. Jimmy wonders why it was The Commodore and not Nucky who took the fall. The Commodore explains that Nucky was an untarnished "golden boy" figure in local politics at the time so it made sense. The Commodore confides his resentment for what he perceives as Nucky for forgetting about him during the five years he was in prison. He resents Nucky's diamond stick pin and mannered speech, commenting that he first knew him as the "spawn of a drunken piney".

He holds out his glass for another dram and Jimmy refills it. Jimmy says that he hated coming to visit The Commodore as a boy. He admits that he was afraid of the stuffed animals. He says that Nucky urged him to come to be strong for his mother. The Commodore calls Nucky manipulative.

The Commodore tells Jimmy that he knows that Nucky brought him back from Chicago to do the dirty work that Nucky cannot stomach. He wonders what Nucky is paying Jimmy for his services. Jimmy insists that he made a good deal. The Commodore challenges that Nucky made him think it was a good deal because that is the way he operates. He says that he thought he had made a good deal too before going to prison. Jimmy observes that The Commodore knows Nucky well. He answers that Nucky was like a son to him but Jimmy is his flesh and blood. Jimmy responds "so". The Commodore says that Jimmy is going to take back Atlantic City for the both of them. Jimmy wonders how that is supposed to work. The Commodore tells him to look around and that he did not accumulate his wealth by being stupid.

Langston enters and announces Eli. Jimmy is surprised to see him there. Eli asks The Commodore if he has told Jimmy what they discussed.

Scene 21[]

Eddie Cantor entertains the Republican victory party guests at Babette's Supper Club. Alderman Al Boyd tries to listen to the wireless for the presidential election results. Eddie delivers a routine about running the country like a broadway show; trying out the cabinet in Atlantic City first in front of the best audiences. The band chimes up after his punch line and the crowd begin to dance. The other aldermen drink with their wives.

Scene 22[]

George Baxter interrupts Nucky talking to his date to show off his own escort; Annabelle. Nucky shakes his hand and Annabelle says that George has been telling her about his business. He delivers a lame joke.

Margaret walks into the noisy bar. Nucky notices her standing inside the door. They share a look across the dance floor. Nucky excuses himself and approaches her.

He greets her and says it is a pleasant surprise to see her. She says that she heard the news about Bader and congratulates him. He says that he owes her a debt of gratitude. He asks if champagne is Ok. She quotes him "good news just isn't the same without it." They chime their glasses together. He asks about the children and she tells him that they miss their Uncle Nucky.

Scene 23[]

Babette interrupts the proceedings to announce that they have news on the wireless. The announcer lists states have declared for Harding. He repeats his name, Frank Conrad, and says that he is broadcasting live from Pittsburgh. A woman exclaims surprise at how far away he is and Babette shushes her. Conrad calls the election for Harding with 60% of the popular vote and announces that his opponent has conceded moments ago. The crowd break into applause. Nucky puts his arm around Margaret as the announcer recites the president's acceptance speech calling for "a return to normalcy." The crowd claps the sentiment and Margaret kisses Nucky.

Montage 2[]

Babette's band strike up again and Eddie sings "Life's a funny proposition, after all." As Eddie sings Van Alden sits at home trying to decide how to handle the news: Jimmy, The Commodore and Eli plot their coup against Nucky; Gillian smokes in the next room; Lansky receives a shipment of liquor and pays the driver off before Luciano murders the wheelman; Chalky enjoys the party with a date; Nan tries on Margaret's engagement ring; the Grey Haired Man and Eddie arrange a payment from Rothstein to Nucky; Angela sits alone at her dining table; and Jimmy awaits a shipment of liquor on the beach; as the sun comes up Nucky and his cronies leaves Babette's; Nucky and Margaret stare out over the ocean from the Boardwalk rail, uncertain about their tentative reconciliation; the camera drifts up to take in the city's skyline before turning out to sea.