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Main: Battle of the Century

This recap of "Battle of the Century" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.

Scene 1[]

On July 1, 1921 A customs official calls for passengers to have their documentation to hand in the arrivals area of the port in Belfast, Ireland. Nucky Thompson and Owen Sleater reach the front of the queue for passport checks. Another official asks for their documentation and has to prompt Sleater to hand his over along with Nucky’s. Sleater says that it is good to be home. The official asks for the purpose of Nucky’s visit and he gestures to a coffin behind him and claims that he has come to bury his father. Ethan Thompson, in his homeland. The official asks Nucky for the repatriation documents and death certificate for Ethan. The official asks if there was an accident, Nucky assumes he is referring to Ethan’s death and states that it was natural. The official clarifies that he meant Nucky’s bandaged hand and Nucky jokes that it was caught in the wrong cookie jar. He doesn’t get so much as a smile out of the bureaucrat and asks Owen if they have cookie jars in Ireland. The official stamps their documents and welcomes them to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Sleater hesitates and then offers a salutation to King George V.

Margaret Schroeder receives a telegram from a Western Union delivery man and tips him. He thanks her and leaves as she opens the envelope. Katy closes the door behind Margaret as she comes inside. Margaret reads the telegram and, realising that Katy is hovering behind her, announces that Nucky has arrived safely in Ireland after a six day journey. Katy says that the speed of the crossing is almost miraculous; Margaret is more accepting of the speed of steam ships. Lillian interrupts to say that Emily is refusing to get out of bed. Margaret sends Lillian to get Teddy up while she goes to see what the problem is with Emily.

Margaret finds Emily awake in her bed. She jokes that Emily cannot be sleeping beauty with her eyes open. Emily says that she cannot move and Margaret says that Emily needs to get up to find a fair prince. She sits on the bed and feels her daughter forehead, asking if she is still not feeling well. Emily repeats that she cannot move her legs. Margaret draws back the sheets and squeezes Emily’s knees, asking if she can feel it. Emily says that she does not know and the concern on Margaret’s face deepens. Margaret asks Emily to wiggle her toes and then repeats the instruction more forcefully when there is no movement; Emily insists that she is trying. Margaret calls for her servants and Katy answers, sensing the distress in her voice. Margaret instructs Katy to call Dr Surran to see Emily immediately. Katy hesitates, looking at Emily and Margaret scolds and then hurries her. Emily reaches up to Margaret and Margaret holds her close, telling her that it is nothing and calling her “Cushla” (Irish, meaning beat of my heart).

Jimmy Darmody has coffee at his beachfront home with his bootlegging partners Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky while his distiller Mickey Doyle gazes out the window with his back turned. Al Capone arrives and introduces Jimmy to George Remus. Remus wonders if Jimmy makes a habit of holding meeting in his home and Jimmy says that it is only until he finds an office. Remus says that he enjoys visiting the shore and admires the view from Jimmy’s windows. Jimmy glances at Capone, perturbed by Remus’ habit of referring to himself in the third person; Capone raises his eyebrows in response. Jimmy turns the subject to business saying that he understands that Remus has government bonded whiskey for sale. Remus asks if Jimmy speaks for the group and Luciano confirms that Jimmy has their proxy while in Atlantic City. Remus agrees that he has licensed liquor for medicinal purposes. Jimmy jokes that Atlantic City is full of sick people. Doyle turns from the window revealing a neck brace and adds that there is practically an epidemic. Remus clarifies that his permits will allow him to sell to legitimate drug companies only but that he cannot be held responsible for what happens to the liquor while it is in transit to such a sanctioned buyer. Jimmy wonders how they will track Remus’ trucks and Remus confirms that it will cost them. Capone says that they are willing to pay $300,000 with each of them contributing $60,000. Lansky adds that this is only an initial offer. Remus offers 5000 cases for this price. Luciano says that the liquor must be bona fide and Remus, irked by the implication, asks for payment upfront. Jimmy nods and Remus presses further, checking that Jimmy will cover the expenses of his weekend in Atlantic City. Jimmy agrees to this too saying that Remus is an honoured guest. Remus says that he will forward the details through an associate and shakes hands with Jimmy. He looks at Capone and says that he is finished; Capone nods, stands and asks Remus to give him a minute with his partners. Remus goes out onto the beach leaving his buyers to talk.

Jimmy marvels at the volume of liquor they will be getting and Doyle estimates that he can reconstitute it to a resale value of $3,000,000 if they do things right. Capone says that they won’t do things wrong and laughs. Jimmy smiles and Mickey giggles but Luciano shares a humourless look with Lansky. Lansky says that he is worried about spoiling the mood. Capone, who had stood up to leave, sits back in his chair. Luciano explains that they are still being pressed by Manny Horvitz for the $5000 that Jimmy agreed to pay back to him after failing to deliver a shipment of liquor that Manny bought. Luciano calls Manny a Gavone (Italian American slang for pig-man) and Jimmy profanely says that he plans to ignore Manny. Lansky suggests that paying him might be the better option. Doyle offers an alternative; cut Horvitz in as a partner in the deal with Remus. Jimmy balks at rewarding Manny’s irritating behaviour. Jimmy promises Lansky that he will handle the situation over warnings from Doyle. Doyle sarcastically calls Jimmy the “grand poobah” earning a withering look. Capone calls the matter settled and Luciano mentions Jersey City. Capone says that he is also headed there to see the Dempsey vs. Carpentier boxing match. Luciano says that he has booked good seats and Doyle interjects that Dempsey will “plough a field” with the French fighter. Capone predicts blood all over the canvas. Lansky invites Jimmy to join them at the Fairmount Hotel. Jimmy cannot face two nights in Jersey City. Luciano adds that Arnold Rothstein is taking bets on the fight. Jimmy says that he plans to listen to the wireless broadcast of the fight. Capone cannot see the purpose in this and Jimmy imitates Remus’ self-referential speech patterns saying that “Darmody wants to see what all the fuss is about.” Capone laughs and says that Jimmy might as well read a book. The others leave Jimmy alone with his view.

Nucky examines embalming equipment in the corner of a mortuary basement. The coffin stands closed next to the gruesome display. A mortician stands in the entrance to the basement behind Nucky. The mortician asks if Nucky is American and Nucky confirms this. He asks permission for an additional question and Nucky tilts his chin in acceptance. The mortician asks for Nucky’s opinion regarding Carpentier’s chances in the fight. Nucky believes Dempsey’s weight advantage makes him a clear favourite. The mortician calls Carpentier a puncher, citing his win over British champion Joe Beckett. Nucky dismisses Beckett as a bum and the mortician is offended, saying there is no call for casting aspersions.

A door is heard opening upstairs and Sleater descends with Irish Republican Army (IRA) fundraiser John McGarrigle and his driver. Nucky and McGarrigle greet one another and McGarrigle says that he has heard that misfortune has found Nucky. Nucky light heartedly says that it comes to everyone eventually. McGarrigle notes that Nucky has travelled a long way to bury the dead and Nucky signals Sleater to open the coffin; it is packed with Thompson machine guns. McGarrigle is shocked at the incongruous arsenal and Sleater says that a single Thompson can kill a platoon of men in seconds. Nucky calls the guns a donation to the rebellion against English rule. McGarrigle asks how many guns there are and Nucky informs him that there are 12 in the coffin and then reminds him of his need for the guns. McGarrigle says that 100 might make a difference and Nucky responds that he has access to 3000 via the Atlantic City Armoury. McGarrigle turns to Sleater with a disbelieving look, Sleater grins back at him. McGarrigle wonders what Nucky wants in exchange for the guns and Nucky asks for Irish whiskey. McGarrigle turns back to Sleater and disparages Nucky’s character along with Sleater’s association with Nucky. Sleater looks at Nucky who angrily reminds McGarrigle that he found him good enough when he wanted money. McGarrigle offers to present Nucky’s proposition to the leadership of the IRA. Nucky is unimpressed with this, stating that he thought they wanted weapons. Sleater says that Nucky is speaking the truth and Nucky asks McGarrigle to confirm interest. McGarrigle insists on discussing the offer and Nucky asks McGarrigle to bring him to the man in charge. McGarrigle stubbornly asserts that they will tend to their own affairs. He promises to send word and follows his driver up out of the basement. Nucky asks Sleater to explain McGarrigle’s reluctance and Sleater describes McGarrigle as “flinty”. Nucky tells Sleater to close up the coffin and retrieves his hat.

Department of Justice investigator Clifford Lathrop observes the funeral of Ethan Thompson through binoculars in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Eli Thompson and his family, including his wife June and their sons Michael, Patrick and Brian, stand in the front row of the mourners. Representatives from the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office (including Eli’s first deputy Halloran) and the Order of Ancient Celts are also present; Ethan was once Sheriff himself and was an esteemed member of the order. Ethan’s grave stands next to his wife Elenore. The tombstones note Ethan’s year of birth as 1839 and Elenore’s lifespan as 1848 to 1903. The congregation respond en masse to the traditional Catholic burial ceremony delivered by their priest.

Margaret, Lillian and Teddy watch as Dr Surran examines Emily. He passively flexes and extends her right foot and then asks her to attempt the same movement with no response. Surran says that she is doing well and then asks Margaret if Teddy sleeps in the same room. Margaret confirms that he does and Surran asks her to take him out. He says that he will need to examine Teddy too. Margaret asks what his diagnosis is and he ignores the question and instructs her to do as he says. Margaret anxiously instructs Lillian to take Teddy downstairs, and then thinks better of it, telling her to get Teddy out of the house. Lillian wonders where she should take him and Margaret says that it does not matter before deciding on the porch. Lillian does as asked and Margaret turns back to Surran and tells him that she believes that Emily has polio. Surran says that there is no point in speculating and Margaret angrily wonders if he is attempting to soothe her. Surran admits that Emily has all the symptoms of polio and outlines a plan to admit her to quarantine at the children’s hospital. Margaret makes to approach Emily and Surran reminds her that the disease is contagious. Margaret tearfully says that she cannot drive and asks Surran to take her to the hospital.

The African American staff of the Ritz Carlton Hotel prepare food in the kitchen. Travis Elkins is chopping vegetables. Dunn Purnsley, still bruised from his recent incarceration and sporting a new gold front tooth to replace the one he lost, is washing dishes. The Caucasian kitchen manager enters and warns Purnsley to be more careful with the plates. Purnsley clatters more china as he works and the manager reprimands him, calling him “boy”. Purnsley tells the manager that he has a name and the manager responds that he does not have to remember it. The senior cook, Otis, calls for lunch reminding the staff that they have just ten minutes. The workers line up next to Otis to receive their meal. Purnsley looks disappointed in his food; a mashed potato and vegetable slop. While the others eat Purnsley loudly asks the chef if he has bitten him. The chef is confused but admits that Purnsley has not. Purnsley goes on to wonder why the chef is feeding him dog food drawing a laugh from his colleagues. The chef states that he is following instructions from management. Purnsley complains about the constant influx of appealing room service leftovers that they are not allowed to eat. Purnsley’s fellow dish washer Franklin reminds him that he is the new man on the kitchen crew; having been there just a week and nevertheless should know their rules. Purnsley decries the rules as racist – they consider the workers unfit to eat the leftovers of the Caucasian customers. Louis says that the food tastes good to him. This draws a sidelong glance from the head chef, who remains quiet. Purnsley derisively asks his colleagues to look at themselves calling them “Uncle Toms” (slang for an African American who will betray the interest of his people to maintain good standing with Caucasian masters, derived from the play Uncle Tom’s cabin). His rhetoric compares the workers to loyal slaves and the head chef tells him to be thankful that he has a job. The older workers echo the head chef’s sentiment. Purnsley recites their long hours and little free time and says that he has served easier time in prison. Purnsley ignores a warning from one of the workers that their boss is coming and his argument wins some of the workers back to his side. Purnsley says that he was fed better food in prison and Elkins says that he believes Purnsley is being truthful. The manager asks if the staff have a problem, now referring to them all as “boys”. The head chef denies an issue and Purnsley says that they are discussing their poor quality meal. The manager checks Purnsley’s name and Purnsley confirms it, calling the manager chief. The manager sarcastically calls Purnsley a lord, looking around at the other workers and warns him that if he continues then he will be fired. The manager instructs them to finish their lunches and return to work. Purnsley keeps silent allowing sympathy to build amongst his colleagues. When the manager is gone he tells the others to do as instructed and “eat it up.”

A team of nurses in surgical protective gear assist Dr Edward Holt as he prepares Emily for a lumbar puncture. One nurse cleans Emily’s back with an iodine solution while another holds her hand, strokes her hair and explains what is going to happen. Margaret and Surran watch through the window of the door into the procedure room. Margaret’s attention falls on the crucifix hung on the wall. She then notices Holt checking the action of a syringe and wonders if he is going to give Emily an injection, worrying that Emily is afraid of needles. Surran explains that Holt is about to perform a spinal tap; a procedure to take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from Emily’s lower back. The fluid will be tested to confirm the diagnosis of Polio. Surran adds that Holt is an expert in cases of infantile paralysis and reassures Margaret that Emily is in capable hands. As Holt approaches Emily rolls to face the door and calls out for Margaret. Holt calls for a nurse to hold her still. Margaret says that she will go into the room to hold her daughter and calm her down. Surran holds her back telling her it is out of the question because of the highly contagious nature of Polio. Margaret says that she does not care if she contracts the disease and Surran argues that she needs to care about the people she comes into contact with. Surran encourages Margaret not to watch. Emily screams as Holy inserts the needle. Margaret cries and puts a hand on the glass, unable to comfort her daughter.

Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph enjoys a post coital cigarette in her hotel room, Lathrop lies next to her. She complains about his long toe nails, calling them talons. He turns the complaint into a compliment, saying that she thinks he is like an eagle. She observes that they are actually rather unpleasant birds. She reaches for a file and Lathrop complains that she is bringing Nelson Van Alden into the bedroom by reading his notes in their bed. She wonders if Lathrop considers Nucky capable of murder. Lathrop ignores the question and says that Van Alden’s notes are equivalent to reading the Black Mask because he has not supported his claims that Nucky ordered murders. She wonders how Nucky was able to sit calmly in his office and joke at their last meeting considering the assassination attempt. Lathrop observes that Nucky is corrupt but doubts Van Alden’s notes, saying that Prohibition Agents are not real investigators but Katzenjammer (German, meaning discordant sound) cops, referring to The Katzenjammer Kids comic strip. Randolph observes that Lathrop has made up the saying and smiles. Lathrop again doubts Van Alden’s claims that Nucky was behind twelve murders. Randolph observes that Van Alden’s list of victims includes his mistress’ husband, Lathrop clarifies that she means Hans Schroeder and states his belief that Hans was a bootlegger. Randolph points out that the reports of Hans’ involvement in bootlegging originate with Nucky, showing Lathrop a newspaper article. Lathrop says that they have a case to pursue already, and wonders about the purpose of having Van Alden testify in court. Randolph believes that Van Alden will be useful to establish violations of the Volstead Act and plans to carefully rehearse his testimony. She jokes that they will keep him away from small children and nursing mothers. Lathrop takes her cigarette and calls her good girl. She takes offence and reminds him that she is his boss on her way into the bathroom. Lathrop reveals that he attended Ethan Thompson’s funeral in Atlantic City earlier in the day despite Nucky getting permission to go to Ireland for that purpose. Randolph is annoyed that Lathrop waited to tell her this and realises that he wanted to sleep with her first. Lathrop says that he struggles to get her attention. She tells him to bring Eli in for questioning and he reminds her that he ignored their subpoena. She asks him to bring in his first Deputy instead saying that she wants answers. She brushes her hair and wonders what Nucky is up to in Belfast.

On the estate of an IRA leader Nucky fires a full drum of machinegun ammunition into a grandfather clock as a demonstration of the Thompson. His audience includes Sleater, the owner of the estate, Patrick, Daniel Fitzgerald, Bill Neilan and another IRA leader. The clock is torn apart by the hail of bullets and Nucky tells the impressed onlookers that the gun holds 50 .45 calibre rounds per magazine. He hands the weapon to Sleater who gives it to Neilan. Nucky says that it was known as a “trench broom” in World War I. Neilan gives the weapon to Patrick who says that with a few thousand of the guns they could fight their way to Buckingham Palace. Fitzgerald assumes that Nucky invented the weapon, given their shared surname. Nucky is momentarily discombobulated but dismisses the link as a happy coincidence. Neilan wonders how Nucky got hold of the weapons and Nucky simply says that they are American made and that he is an American. Nucky takes a cigarette from Sleater and Sleater lights it for him. McGarrigle drives onto the estate in a red town car. He gets out and his driver closes the door behind him. Patrick jokes that McGarrigle missed the fireworks and Fitzgerald adds that Nucky easily defeated the clock. McGarrigle observes that nothing stops Fitzgerald’s merriment. Fitzgerald counters that death is long. Neilan asks McGarrigle for his news and McGarrigle reports that the English have offered a truce. Sleater is irritated that this is being considered. McGarrigle adds that Sinn Féin president Eamon de Valera is travelling to London to negotiate terms. Nucky wonders what is on the table and McGarrigle explains that the English are offering a free state. Patrick angrily asserts that a free state is not independence. Their host interjects that Patrick has not yet heard the proposals. Patrick believes they would still be under English dominion and Fitzgerald asserts that it is good enough for de Valera to consider. Patrick reminds the others that they swore to fight to the bitter end and McGarrigle suggests that they may have reached it. Patrick is disbelieving and asks McGarrigle if he really thinks this. McGarrigle says that there is enough blood on the ground for both of their lifetimes. McGarrigle says that he will fight if he must and make peace if it is wise while Neilan shares a sideways glance with Sleater. McGarrigle’s man turns the care around and he gets in. Fitzgerald tells Nucky that McGarrigle’s youngest son was killed while fighting a month ago and then invites Nucky for a drink, saying that he knows a quiet place.

Jimmy lights a cigarette in front of his own clock, on the mantelpiece of his home while Richard Harrow sits behind him, thinking. Jimmy realises that Harrow has something to say and prompts him to do so. Harrow is confused and Jimmy explains his meaning. Harrow brings up the victory party at Babette’s Supper Club a week prior. Jimmy assumes that Harrow is talking about him throwing Doyle from the balcony and says that it was a laugh and intended to keep Doyle in line. Harrow elucidates that he means Jimmy’s promise of settling down with a nice girl. Jimmy repeats the wish for Richard. They are interrupted by the arrival of a car outside. Jimmy says that it is their visitors and puts on his jacket. Harrow asks if Jimmy is his friend and Jimmy has him repeat the query and then confirms it. Harrow then asks why Jimmy made fun of him. Jimmy says that he was not mocking him. A man calls out from the door and Jimmy goes to answer.

The visitors are Waxey Gordon and an associate. Jimmy asks if he can call him Waxey and then wonders if it is short for something or a nickname. Waxey chastises his man for his overzealous use of a toothpick and the man complains that he has a piece of meat stuck between his teeth. Waxey reminds him that his is in company and calls him Alfred. Waxey says that they have an associated in common and Jimmy clarifies that he is referring to Horvitz. Waxey denigrates Manny’s profession as a butcher, saying that he works with animals and fits in with them. Jimmy agrees with this assessment of Manny. Waxey wonders what Jimmy can offer him and Jimmy suggests information. He tells Waxey that Manny killed Herman Kaufman and another in a hijacking attempt outside Philadelphia. Waxey names the second man, Nathan Klein, and Alfred adds that his corpse was desecrated by animals before it was discovered; half of his face chewed of by racoons. Waxey glances at Harrow and then back at Alfred who realises his mistake and says he meant nothing by it. Waxey wonders how Jimmy knows of Manny’s involvement and Jimmy admits that he was stood next to him at the time. Waxey wonders if Jimmy could have stopped the killing and Harrow interjects that Horvitz did not ask permission. Waxey asks Jimmy to explain what happened to Kaufman and Jimmy warns him to be careful where he buys his meat. Waxey asks if Jimmy is going to offer him a drink and Jimmy turns and nods for Harrow to do so while they sit down. Waxey says that he dealt with Nucky last time he was in Atlantic City and Jimmy asserts that he should deal with him from now on. Jimmy states that with their cities in close proximity they can do great things together. Waxey says that before they proceed Alfred needs to take care of business at home. Alfred understands his meaning and jokingly says that they have an unpaid bill at the butchers. Waxey puts it more plainly saying that Horvitz is a dead man and asks if this is a problem. Jimmy says that it might be but that it is not his. Waxey raises his glass and Jimmy gives his habitual toast “to the lost.”

The next day (July 2, 1921) Margaret, Katy and Lillian collect Emily’s things at her home. Margaret pauses when she finds Emily’s doll on her bed and then casts it into the basket with the rest of the contaminated items. Katy and Lillian wear masks to cover their faces and place the collected possessions on a bonfire outside. Margaret watches from the window with Teddy. Teddy wonders if Emily is going to die like Hans did. Margaret denies this and angrily instructs Teddy not to say it again. Pauleen comes downstairs with a case packed. Margaret asks where she is going and Pauleen apologises. Margaret tries to reassure her that they are taking every precaution. Pauleen says that she has to worry about her own children and leaves. Teddy watches the fire from the window as Emily’s favourite doll is consumed by the flames.

Fitzgerald takes Nucky and Sleater to his distillery. He pours them whiskey and raises a toast saying “Sláinte” (Gaelic, meaning to your health). He asks Nucky’s opinion and Nucky says that the whiskey was worth the trip. Fitzgerald chuckles and then bemoans the current state of his business. He had been distilling 2 million gallons a year. Sleater jokes that he drank his fair share of the output. Nucky wonders if the rebellion has stopped Fitzgerald from exporting to England and he confirms this and adds that America accounted for 80% of his foreign sales prior to prohibition. He complains that the struggling brewery has been in his family for 90 years and Nucky commiserates. Fitzgerald says that it is only money and raises his glass to his health and family. Nucky looks around at the stockpiled crates and asks if they are all filled with whiskey. Nucky wonders if Fitzgerald will give him 10,000 cases on consignment. Fitzgerald defers, saying that if a peace agreement is reached he can resume trade and will be able to talk to them then about making a deal. Sleater removes his hat and sits down and Nucky asks when this would be. Sleater shakes his head and says the word is that it will take at least 5 months, until December 1921. Nucky says that the time frame is too long for his needs and Fitzgerald offers his regrets. Nucky interrupts, guessing that Fitzgerald is going to say that he has no use for the guns with peace around the corner. Fitzgerald adds that he will not defy McGarrigle’s leadership given his success and sacrifice. Sleater nods and Nucky draws on the whiskey again.

At her post office headquarters Randolph dismisses acting Treasurer Jim Neary warning him to be more punctual in future. Neary rolls his eyes and exits, outside Halloran is waiting to be questioned. Randolph watches as Neary whispers to Halloran. Halloran removes his hat as Randolph introduces herself. He marvels at meeting a lady lawyer and she sarcastically says that they will soon have horseless carriages in the modern age. He misses the joke and says that they already do. She offers him a seat next to her desk and Lathrop comes in from the partition positioning Halloran between them and bemoaning Eli’s failure to come in himself. Randolph says that Eli seems busy and Halloran offers the excuse of Ethan’s death. Randolph notes that Halloran attended the funeral and he explains that he is Eli’s friend. Randolph and Lathrop note the complications of a personal relationship with your boss. Halloran does not understand and Randolph elucidates that friends confide in one another while subordinates must avoid certain subjects with their boss. Halloran is amused by Randolph finishing Lathrop’s sentence and jokes that they sound like a married couple. Randolph wonders why Eli had Halloran ousted as Sheriff after he won the election in 1920 and Halloran says that he thought Nucky was behind that. They say that it appears that some people are displeased with Nucky’s leadership. Halloran says he stays out of such unrest and focuses on his job. Randolph wonders if Halloran was doing his job on January 19, 1920. He says that he was if he was working and she confirms that he was and has records that indicate he responded to a domestic disturbance involving Hans Schroeder along with Eli. Halloran says that he doesn’t recognise the name and Lathrop repeats it. Halloran questions the line of interrogation, saying that he thought he was there to discuss election rigging. Randolph says that they haven’t said otherwise. Halloran asserts that Hans was not involved in politics and Randolph catches him in a lie; reminding him that he claimed not to remember Hans. Halloran dissembles and claims he would need to review the files, Randolph counters with sarcastic surprise that the Sheriff’s office keeps records. Halloran again misses the tone and explains that it is necessary because of the transient population of the tourist driven Atlantic City. Lathrop notes that Hans just disappeared after the domestic disturbance call. Halloran is silent and Randolph asks if he remembers the events. Lathrop says that they are not targeting Halloran but want to prosecute his supervisors and Randolph adds that they are prepared to be helpful to their friends. Halloran denies having any knowledge and says that he does not have to talk to them; he then shows his uncertainty by asking if this is true. Randolph thanks Halloran for his time and tells him that they will let Eli know that Halloran stood up from him. Halloran remains seated until Randolph flashes him a false smile and he then makes a hurried escape.

Chalky White sharpens a knife in his garage. He looks up as Dunn Purnsley enters. Chalky comments on Purnsley’s audacity on coming back to the garage on his own accord. Purnsley reminds Chalky that he told him they could talk any time, Chalky glares at him, and Purnsley removes his hat and adds the respectful address “Mr White.” Chalky snorts and reminds Purnsley of their fracas in prison. Purnsley says that they started badly and Chalky says that their current relationship is copacetic. Purnsley describes it as “sweet as Cracker Jack” referring to the popcorn brand. Purnsley describes Purnsley’s much improved situation since coming to Baltimore; a good job in a fine hotel, a gold tooth and plenty of cash. Purnsley agrees that things have turned out for the best and Chalky says that it is how he sees the world. Chalky asks for news and Purnsley relates progress seeding unrest among the kitchen staff. Chalky instructs Purnsley to bring things to a head.

Nucky eats dinner with McGarrigle at his home. McGarrigle marvels at Nucky’s proposal to trade arms for whiskey. Nucky comments that he does not have the funds available to buy the liquor. McGarrigle insults Nucky by wondering if he even has access to the guns and says that Nucky has only proven that he has a dozen and performed a stunt in a field with one of them. Nucky wonders if McGarrigle can afford to decline his offer and McGarrigle says that it is his to live with if he does. Nucky is perturbed by his stubbornness and looks back at Sleater. Nucky argues that Britain has given no considerations in the run up to peace talk; no prisoner releases, further troops in Ireland, weapons seizures and threats of martial law. McGarrigle asserts that one side must take the lead if the fighting is to stop. Nucky criticises this as a strategy that puts McGarrigle’s people at risk. McGarrigle says that the risk is worthwhile eliciting a sigh from Nucky. Nucky reminds McGarrigle that he was helpful when McGarrigle was in need and wants McGarrigle to reciprocate. McGarrigle doubts Nucky’s belief in his cause and wonders if Nucky has considered the lives that his automatic weapons will cost. McGarrigle believes that Nucky is without conscience. Nucky angrily demands honesty and says that whenever men like McGarrigle need to win a conflict they will turn to those who can deliver. Nucky leaves the table and asks Sleater to take him back to the farm.

McGarrigle asks Sleater for a word in private. Sleater sighs and remains behind. McGarrigle wonders what Sleater has been doing with Nucky. Sleater says that he has followed Nucky’s orders and continued to pursue his own goals. McGarrigle observes that Nucky is self-interested and Sleater offers that Nucky is in a war of his own. McGarrigle wonders what Nucky is fighting for and Sleater says money. McGarrigle believes this is all American’s fight for and Sleater says that it keeps them busy. McGarrigle says that Sleater has changed and the younger man laughs and denies it. McGarrigle asks Sleater to stay in Ireland and Sleater interrupts, saying that he is not a peacemaker. McGarrigle counters that he has always known that Sleater is sensible and admits that he wants him close. Sleater looks away and McGarrigle tells him that he must understand that all battles end. Sleater smiles and McGarrigle asks for his help. Sleater says that he will serve as needed, takes food from the table and leaves.

Horvitz counts cash in his closed shop on the Sabbath. A man knocks on the door and begs Manny to open for him claiming an emergency in Yiddish. Manny sighs and the man explains that he has burst pipes that have ruined his planned meal. Manny waves him away and tells him to go to the Polish butcher as they will be open in English. The man persists with his begging in Yiddish and Manny relents, complaining that it is the one day he has to himself. Manny opens the door and the would be customer runs off. Alfred emerges from around the corner with a sawn off shotgun. He fires and hits Manny in the left shoulder. Alfred tries to get into the store and Manny closes the door on his gun arm. Manny punches through the glass of his window and hauls Alfred into the shop. Alfred drops the gun and Manny pushes him onto a table. They struggle knocking over Manny’s good. Manny pushes Alfred away and pulls his cleaver from his butchers block. Alfred runs towards him and Manny chops down into his head. Alfred sinks back dead against the table, the cleaver stuck in his skull. Manny rifles through Alfred's pockets and finds a box of toothpicks from Heilig’s chop house on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The staff at the Ritz Carlton eat their lunch. Purnsley looks around and then asks the head chef if he is happy with the meal. He counters that he is happy to get paid each week. Support is mixed among the other workers – some shake their heads while some vocalise agreement. Purnsley complains about the low rate of pay ($15 a week) and Travis guesses that the hotel manager makes ten times as much. Purnsley complains that they work harder than the managers and looks at his fellow dishwasher Franklin as he says the manager does not clean any dishes. Otis the cook adds that the manager does not have to stand over a hot stove. Another worker, Louis complains that the manager doesn’t have to gut fish until his hands bleed. Purnsley lists examples of the demeaning way they are spoken to and says that the manager does not have to kowtow to this. A buzzer sounds and the head chef says that they need to get back to work. Purnsley asks who says so and the head chef warns that the manager will be there shortly. Purnsley derisively repeats manager and asks how long they have been putting up with the poor working conditions. Louis says that he has been their almost four years. Franklin announces that he has five and others join in. Purnsley wonders if they have ever had a raise and Otis admits that they have not. The head chef stairs at the plate in his hand as the others vocalise support for Purnsley. Purnsley says that the hotel takes them for granted. Travis leads a murmur of agreement. Purnsley adds that they do not appreciate their hard work. The head chef says there is nothing they can do about it and that complaining will lead to them being replaced. Purnsley wonders what the hotel can do in the face of united action. The head chef is unconvinced saying that they might replace them all. Purnsley points out the logical fallacy in this, saying that if they all demand better conditions then their employers will have no-one else to hire.

The manager enters and claps, saying that the break is over. Purnsley sits down and the manager clicks his fingers and orders them back to work. No-one moves and Purnsley says that they have not had lunch yet. The manager asks what Purnsley has in his lap and Purnsley says that it looks like mule excrement. The manager observes that Purnsley is still complaining about the free food and Purnsley insists that they are not given food. The manager says that Purnsley can complain in his own time and fires him, shouting at him to get out. When Purnsley does not move the manager asks if he is deaf. Purnsley stands up causing the manager to step back in fear. He threatens to call the police if Purnsley does not get out. Purnsley asks for a raise and meals that the manager would eat himself. Travis stands up next to him. The manager instructs Otis to get back to work and Otis joins the defiant group. The manager says that Otis has orders to prepare and tells him to get on with it. Met with inaction he turns to Louis and tells him that he has a dozen crates of fish to scale. Louis stands up and folds his arms. The manager tells Franklin to get on with washing the dishes and he agrees to do so but is held back by Purnsley. The remaining workers stand up, surrounding the manager who shifts his feet nervously. The head chef slams his plate onto the floor at the manager’s feet as he tries a final warning. The other workers join in, throwing kitchenware down onto the floor. Purnsley throws his plate straight at the manager and he ducks out of the way and responds with racial abuse. The workers then direct their aim at the manager, throwing produce along with crockery.

Nucky and Sleater exit the home of their host and he tells them his door is always open. McGarrigle puts a hand to Patrick’s arm and Patrick looks away. Sleater holds the door of the car open for Nucky as McGarrigle says that Nucky is heading back to America. Nucky observes that he is empty handed and McGarrigle says that Nucky will doubtless land on his feet. McGarrigle’s driver stands behind Nucky. Nucky says that he is not so sure. McGarrigle says that he thought all American’s were optimists and Nucky says that Irish Americans are not. McGarrigle laughs and wags his finger at Nucky. Nucky is surprised to find Neilan waiting in the car for him. Neilan invites him to sit, Nucky glances at Sleater who gives a slight nod. McGarrigle asks Neilan to see Nucky safely to the port and Neilan promises to do so. Neilan taps on the door and Sleater pulls away. Nucky glances at Neilan, through the windshield Patrick draws a gun and shoots McGarrigle in the head. He stands over the body and fires again. Neilan is expressionless throughout and then announces that Nucky will deal with him from now on. He offers to exchange 1000 machine guns for 10,000 cases of whiskey. Nucky looks at Sleater and then nods agreement.

The crowd at the wireless broadcast of the boxing match are firmly behind Dempsey as the commentator announces that he has bloodied Carpentier’s nose. Jimmy and Harrow are among those on their feet. As Carpentier strings together a series of counters the crowd take their seats. Jimmy notices that people in the crowd are staring at him. A man approaches with his hand held behind his hat and a look of panic crosses Jimmy’s face. The man hands him a folded note and Jimmy snatches it, annoyed. The note simply says “watching you closely”. The bells tolls for the third round and a uniformed woman walks across the stage with a corresponding numbered card. Jimmy gets a wave from a redheaded female admirer in front of him. He smiles at the woman and her friend, a brunette, and they come over to join him, flirtatiously convincing his neighbours to swap seats with them.

The staff at the children’s hospital are listening to the fight on their own wireless. While they are distracted Margaret sneaks into the restricted patient clinic to see Emily. She sits on the bed next to her sleeping daughter, brushes her hair and comforts her in Gaelic. She asks for forgiveness and kisses Emily on the cheek. She lies down with her daughter holding her close.

Jimmy asks his new companions if they are listening and the brunette says that she is more interested in the crowd. He asks if they came alone and she jokes that they dressed themselves as well. Jimmy admonishes them about passing notes to strangers and the redhead says that he is not a stranger. Jimmy asks if they have met and she says that everyone knows the new king. The brunette says that they saw him at Babette’s and they burst into laughter as the redhead mimes diving. Jimmy turns to whisper to Harrow and the brunette grabs his tie and pulls him into an aggressive kiss. Jimmy says that she is drunk and she awards him a verbal gold star while her friend mocks bowing and then plants a kiss of her own on Jimmy. She stops when she notices Harrow watching her and stares at his mask. Jimmy asks what the matter is and puts his arm around Harrow telling the girls that Harrow is with him. The redhead says what the hell, considers it something to talk about when she is old and takes her friends hipflask. She takes a swig as she climbs over the seats to be next to Harrow as the brunette passionately kisses Jimmy. The redhead puts her clutch in Harrow’s lap and slides in next to him. The brunette pushes Jimmy’s hand between her legs. The redhead kisses the unscathed side of Harrow’s mouth.

At the port Nucky looks around and notices a businessman buying a baked potato for his daughter. Sleater arrives with the luggage and two telegrams. Nucky wonders how long Sleater knew McGarrigle and Sleater says that he was seventeen when they met. He remembers McGarrigle twice refusing to allow him to fight because of his youth. Nucky asks if Sleater knew what was going to happen to McGarrigle. Sleater smiles ruefully and says that there was nothing he could say to stop it. He points out that it allowed Nucky to fulfil the purpose of their trip. Sleater ends by saying that he no longer lives in Ireland. Nucky warns him that he does not like secrets and Sleater nods in acceptance. Sleater reads the telegrams as they walk; the first is from Nucky’s lawyer Isaac Ginsburg and announces that Nucky’s trial is set for August 23, 1921. The second is from Margaret and gives Sleater pause. She writes “come home ASAP, Emily has polio.” Nucky takes the telegram, his jaw slack. Boarding opens and the two men head for their ship.