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Main article: Eli Thompson

Eli Thompson is a major character in the second season. This article details their actions in each episode of the season.

Gimcrack & Bunkum[]

Main article: Gimcrack & Bunkum

Nucky Thompson addresses Atlantic City dignitaries and residents on the beach North of the city to mark Memorial Day. The crowd have come to memorialize their fallen soldiers and mark the beginning of the construction of the Atlantic County War Memorial. Among the audience are Eli, James Edison Darmody and family, Thompson’s driver Owen Sleater, Ward Bosses George O'Neill, Al Neary and Boyd and, separate from the others, Damien Fleming. On the platform with Nucky are Mayor Edward Bader and elderly politician Leander Cephas Whitlock with his associates from the memorial committee. Nucky is careful to note the absence of the Commodore and the presence of Attorney General Harry Daugherty in his speech. Nucky unexpectedly invites Darmody up to the stage, challenging him to succeed on unfamiliar ground. Darmody’s left hand shakes initially but he composes himself and speaks humbly about his service during World War I and his motivations for fighting. He receives a round of applause and then proceeds to read the list of departed soldiers.

After the speeches, Eli and Darmody go to the home of memorial committee member Jackson Parkhurst for drinks with the committee's other members; Whitlock, Mr. Darlington, Mr. Ennis, Mr. Markham and Mr. Webber. Whitlock and the others congratulate Darmody on his speech. Parkhurst is the dissenting voice, dismissing sentiment as cheap and reminding the others that he is the only one to have served in uniform. Eli asks about Parkhurst’s service and is told that he served at Fort Kearny, Wyoming with the 9th Cavalry. Parkhurst describes his unit of just 32 men slaughtering 2000 Indians with the new Springfield rifles. Whitlock reminds Parkhurst that he has been more successful in recent conflicts — making over a million dollars supplying chipped beef to the army in World War I. Jimmy remembers hating eating the beef while in service. Jimmy calls Parkhurst a great man and Parkhurst demands that they talk business. The committee then begin to berate Eli and Jimmy for the destruction of their warehouse and their failure to return on the investment they made. Eli tries to reassure the committee, but they want to hear from the Commodore. Jimmy claims the Commodore has given him the authority to handle the matter. The committee warn Jimmy that they are not to be crossed and he laughs at the potential consequence of being thrown out of the yacht club. Parkhurst strikes Jimmy on the temple with his cane, breaking the skin. He tells him he needs to learn respect. Jimmy stands and exits the meeting. Eli pursues him but cannot convince him to return. Jimmy tells Eli that he is finished with the elders and warns Eli to stay out of his business.

Worried, Eli goes to see Nucky. Eli asks Nucky how many homes he has had since leaving home. Eli compares his 3 homes to Nucky’s 8 or 9. Nucky reminds Eli that he visited Eli’s home for Christmas. Eli asks about the offer Nucky made to forgive him if he gave up his plans to usurp Nucky. Nucky tells him the offer has passed and that they have nothing to discuss. Eli tries offering the names of those who will testify against him. Nucky says the information is of no value because of his plan to have the charges dismissed at a federal level. Nucky insults Eli and demands useful information. Desperate, Eli confesses that the Commodore has been incapacitated by a stroke and that Gillian and Jimmy are trying to conceal the illness. Eli observes the strangeness of Gillian and Jimmy’s relationship. Nucky asks if Eli blames him for Gillian’s situation, but Eli denies it and talks passionately about how Nucky has cared for their family. Eli admits his mistake and confesses his desperation. As Eli becomes more emotional Nucky agrees to sort everything out but only if Eli gets down on his hands and knees and kisses Nucky's shoes. Eli is perplexed and hurt. Nucky then pushes and slaps Eli, telling him that he has no sympathy for him or his co-conspirators. Eli finally pushes Nucky back. They struggle and break through the conservatory door into the adjoining greenhouse. The noise summons Lillian, who sees what is going on and leaves. Eli gets the upper hand as the struggle moves back into the conservatory. He tries to strangle Nucky but his hold is broken when Nucky bites his hand. Nucky tries to restrain Eli from drawing his sidearm. Margaret puts a shotgun to Eli’s forehead and tells him “Enough.”, abruptly ending the fight. As she escorts Eli out of her house he tries one last appeal to Nucky, mentioning their father, but Nucky is not moved. After Eli has left an exhausted Nucky shows Margaret that the shotgun was not loaded and warns her to check next time. She is distraught and asks him “Is this to be our life?”

Eli attempts to fix a toy six shooter in the garage with his son Brian. Eli is drinking heavily from a hip flask and tells Brian it is medicine for his sore throat. George O’Neill arrives and Brian lets him in. O’Neill mistakes Brian for his brother, Patrick. Eli sends Brian to borrow an imaginary tool from a neighbour so that he can talk to O’Neill in private. O’Neill annoys Eli by asking him to confirm that they are alone. O’Neill tells Eli he has heard a rumour that the Commodore has been paralyzed by a stroke; Eli tries to reassure O’Neill by telling him they had breakfast together that morning, but O’Neill wants Eli to accompany him to the Commodore’s home to disprove the rumour. Eli says he cannot leave Brian and O’Neill suggests that he could go alone. Eli stands and crowds O’Neill who is then convinced that the rumour is true. Eli grabs O’Neill by the lapels and O’Neill threatens to tell Nucky about their plans. Eli takes a wrench from the workbench and strikes O’Neill in the throat with it. O’Neill dribbles blood, gurgles and collapses to the floor. Eli repeatedly hits O’Neill in the face with the wrench, killing him. Brian returns having been unsuccessful in borrowing the tool and Eli sends him away, blaming his sore throat.

Eli sits in the darkened garage, still drinking. He gets up and leaves. Eli returns to the garage, now in his uniform and accompanied by Deputy Halloran. He offers an obviously false explanation to Halloran, telling him the corpse is Mary Pickford and asks Halloran to assist him in carrying the corpse to his car. That night, Eli buries O’Neill in a corn field.

Peg of Old[]

Main article: Peg of Old

Jimmy Darmody hosts a meeting at The Commodore’s house. Charlie Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Al Capone, Mickey Doyle and Richard Harrow are present but Eli is late. They start without him. As the meeting progresses Gillian Darmody enters and announces Eli’s arrival. Eli complains that they have begun without him and Doyle jokes that his lateness is due to losing the keys to the jail. Jimmy introduces Eli to Capone, Luciano and Lansky. Luciano angrily recalls his earlier meetings with Eli when he was roughly questioned about the mugging of George O'Neill. Gillian makes her exit, calling herself a geisha. Jimmy continues with his proposal to use Atlantic City as a port for bringing in contraband. Doyle reinforces the advantage of having the coast guard and the Sheriff’s department on their side. Capone points out that Torrio already has other supply routes from Canada via George Remus. Jimmy reminds Capone that Torrio is profiting from this and not Capone. Lansky asks about Jimmy’s plans for Nucky and Jimmy explains that he expects Nucky to go to prison on the election rigging charges and that his organisation will then accept Jimmy as its new leader. Jimmy explains the importance of public perception in Atlantic City. Capone believes fear will produce loyalty well enough but Jimmy disagrees. Capone reminds Jimmy of how they killed Charlie Sheridan in Chicago to take over his territory. Luciano is unimpressed by Capone’s story and points out that they all get their hands dirty. Annoyed, Capone asks if Luciano wants to count notches and the discussion descends into argument until Jimmy interrupts and reminds the others that they are in his city. Eli speaks up when Jimmy again talks about a political coup and urges Jimmy to kill Nucky. Eli is irritated by the useless competition between the young gangsters and at Nucky’s back room negotiating with lawyers and politicians. He believes the solution is simple. Jimmy urges Eli to discuss killing Nucky later, in private. Eli is insistent that they talk about it there and then and the others all believe Nucky has to be killed. Harrow asks Eli if he is willing to kill Nucky. Eli responds that he would be willing to let it happen. Capone offers to provide an assassin. Jimmy is dismayed and shakes his head as the others form the plan. Eli asks for Jimmy’s confirmation and Jimmy reluctantly agrees.

Two Boats and a Lifeguard[]

Main article: Two Boats and a Lifeguard

At Eli’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 as he passes away.

Eli is surprised when he finds Nucky visiting Ethan’s corpse at a funeral home. 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. 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 Nucky alone with Ethan's body. Nucky later announces that he will stand down as Atlantic County Treasurer and promises to let Jimmy Darmody take control of Atlantic City.

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 they have a quiet conversation. Eli tries to initiate a private discussion with Jimmy but is interrupted by the arrival of Mickey Doyle and Manny Horvitz. 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.

Dancer’s fill the floor at Babette’s as Mickey talks to Jimmy on the balcony above. 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. Eli leaves and Jimmy later vents his mounting frustration by throwing Mickey from the balcony.

Battle of the Century[]

Main article: Battle of the Century

Ethan's funeral is held on July 1, 1921 in Atlantic City. Eli, June and their family, including 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’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. Unseen by the mourners federal investigator Clifford Lathrop watches the funeral through binoculars. Lathrop later brings Halloran in for questioning about the death of Hans Schroeder but he does not reveal anything.

Nucky does not come to the funeral and lies to the federal investigators about wanting to bury Ethan in Ireland to get permission to leave the country. He arranges to trade surplus US Army Thompson machine guns that he has stolen for liquor with the Irish Republican Army while away.

Georgia Peaches[]

Main article: Georgia Peaches

Jimmy Darmody holds court in The Commodore’s home on July 23, 1921. Meeting with Jimmy and The Commodore are Eli, new Treasurer Jim Neary, Mayor Bader, The Commodore’s attorney and advisor Leander Cephas Whitlock and three hotel owners. The Commodore’s butler Langston is attending to guests and hosts alike. The hoteliers have come to discuss ending the citywide strike by African American workers. They all complain vociferously about the situation and suggest that it should have already been dealt with. They suggest involving the Ku Klux Klan as The Commodore once did to handle Chalky. Eli dismisses this suggestion, saying that he does not want to be indebted to the Klan. Jimmy asks the businessmen why they are having this problem in the first place and they resort to racism as an explanation for their workers demands. Neary jokes along with them and The Commodore bangs his walking stick against the ground. Jimmy tells his father not to get worked up and Whitlock says that he is trying to speak. Jimmy reassures The Commodore that he will handle the problem. Jimmy suggests negotiating and one of the businessmen turns to Bader as though this is insanity. Bader urges the hotelier to listen, calling him Dan. Jimmy suggests offering a 5 cent raise to all the workers and points out that they can afford it. Neary observes that no-one negotiates with the African Americans and Jimmy elucidates that the cost of a raise is nothing compared to the profits lost in the strike. The hoteliers wonder what will happen next year and foresee never ending pay rises. They tell Jimmy that their window to make money lasts from Memorial Day to Labour Day. The Commodore again interrupts, furiously banging his walking stick and repeating no. Jimmy tells the business men that his father needs to rest, over protestations from The Commodore himself. One of the hoteliers angrily instructs Jimmy to do what he is paid to do and end the strike on his way out.

Bader says that Jimmy is handling things in the right way and Eli says that he is lying. Eli suggests using strike breakers; fifty men armed with billy clubs. Neary agrees and Jimmy wonders if they are serious. Eli says that violence is how strikes are handled and Neary recalls a strike in 1909 where workers were thrown into the sea. Jimmy worries that this will cause a riot and Eli claims otherwise. Eli asks for The Commodore’s opinion and he shrugs. Neary asks who Eli has on the strike and he says that Ray Halloran is watching the boardwalk. Neary reveals that he saw Halloran meeting with Esther Randolph. Eli says that he instructed Halloran not to speak with Randolph. Neary relates instructing Halloran to blame any actions related to election rigging on Nucky. Whitlock asks Jimmy if he will follow their strategy and Jimmy sarcastically wonders if he means the billy clubs or the pier. Whitlock tells Jimmy that his predecessor kept the African American community happy and Jimmy angrily asserts that he is not Nucky and still needs a plan to end the strike peacefully. The Commodore profanely calls Jimmy a woman and instructs him to show the workers his female genitals. The room is confused so The Commodore stands up, using his weakened right side and repeats the statement cowing Jimmy. Whitlock is impressed at the action, having thought The Commodore paralysed. The Commodore instructs Neary to get him a drink and he does so. Eli is lost in thought, tapping his finger against his closed lips. Neither the strike breakers nor Jimmy's negotiations are successful in ending the strike. Eli instructs the strike breakers to beat Halloran as a warning not to co-operate with Randolph's investigation.

Eli visits Halloran on the day of the attack, July 24, 1921, Halloran lies battered in his rented bedroom. His jaw is fixed with external wiring, his head bandaged and his left arm held in a sling. He is able to speak with difficulty and says “come in” when Eli knocks on the partly open door. Eli tells Halloran that he has brought peas, fresh from his wife June’s vegetable garden. Halloran wonders what he is supposed to do with them and Eli tells him to ask his landlady to prepare them. Eli asks how Halloran is feeling and Halloran sarcastically reflects the question. Eli asks Halloran what happened and Halloran says that he was jumped by two men from behind while standing aside from the violence. Eli suggests that once Halloran is able they will drive around the North Side so Halloran can find his attackers. Halloran tells Eli that they were Caucasian strike breakers, upset and not understanding why he was attacked. Eli wonders if they mistook him for someone else and Halloran reminds Eli that he was in uniform. Eli calls this puzzlement. Halloran complains that he is barely able to talk and Eli wonders if there is something else Halloran needs to say. He tells Halloran that he has a philosophy when faced with misfortune; he considers how he might have triggered the unfortunate events. He then tries to avoid repeating the causal action telling Halloran it is a good time to reflect. He puts the peas on the bed and tells Halloran to ask for them to be mixed with butter and salt.

Eli sits in a cell in the Atlantic County Jail on July 25, 1921. Randolph talks to him through the bars, wishing him a good morning. He complains that he asked to see a lawyer and she tells him that she is a lawyer before formally introducing herself and her role as an AUSA. He whinges about being arrested in his own home and she says that her professional courtesies don’t extend to murder suspects. Eli says that she is grasping at straws. She tells him that she has one in the form of Halloran, now willing to testify against Eli. She tells him that if he is willing to give evidence against Nucky she is willing to speak to his lawyer. She leaves him alone in the cells.

Under God's Power She Flourishes[]

Main article: Under God's Power She Flourishes

A Sheriff’s Deputy lets Eli’s lawyer Douglas Wallbridge into his cell in the Atlantic County Jail and tells him to shout when they are finished. Eli asks what the discovery process has revealed and Wallbridge says that he has brought Halloran’s deposition. Wallbridge wants Eli to read the file but Eli guesses that it contains Halloran’s accusation that he murdered Hans Schroeder and dissembles that it is untrue. Wallbridge wonders what motivation Halloran has to implicate Eli. Eli claims that Halloran is bitter after being forced to stand down as Sheriff and over the beating he received during the strike breakers' attack. Eli falsely blames the striking African Americans for Halloran’s injuries and lies that he was not involved. Wallbridge folds his arms and reminds Eli that he is there to help. Eli asks Wallbridge to get him bail and Wallbridge says that Eli is viewed as a flight risk. Eli says that Atlantic City is his town and that he has nowhere else to go. Wallbridge says that Randolph would be willing to remove the death penalty for Eli from her case if he will testify that Nucky ordered him to kill Hans.

To the Lost[]

Main article: To the Lost

Jimmy Darmody attempts to make amends for his betrayal of Nucky Thompson, despite knowing that Nucky will never forgive him. Nucky demands insight into the assassination attempt and Jimmy lays the blame on Eli. Nucky asks him to sabotage the legal case against him which includes charges of election rigging and the murder of Hans Schroeder. Jimmy fails to convince his co-conspirators to implicate Eli instead of Nucky. He has Harrow murder Jim Neary on the eve of the trial. They force Neary to write a statement implicating Eli at gunpoint before staging his death as a suicide.

The judge grants a mistrial given the death of Neary and the recanting of other witness statements. Nucky stands and shakes Fallon’s hand. Eli’s lawyer Douglas Wallbridge proposes a motion for Eli to be released and the judge grants it. Eli sits unshaven next to Ray Halloran who is still recovering from the beating Eli arranged. Nucky stares across at his brother. Halloran’s lawyer dashes forward with an identical motion for his client. The judge reminds him that Halloran confessed to the murder of Hans Schroeder. The lawyer protests that they had a plea deal and the judge asks him to check the terms, which include a requirement for Nucky to stand trial before a jury on the charge. The judge remands Halloran to Leavenworth federal penitentiary and Halloran tries to protest, struggling to make himself heard through the wire work on his jaw. Eddie, Fleming and Bader surround Nucky as he exits the courtroom, shielding him from the throng of reporters.

Eli sits on his front porch drinking Maryland whiskey. His children play around him. He watches as Nucky’s Rolls Royce pulls up. Owen lets Nucky out of the car. As Nucky walks over to Eli he is greeted by Brian and says hello to Dermot. Eli offers Nucky a drink and Nucky says that it is a bit early in the day. Eli says that he was released under his own recognisance which means he can make his own rules as Nucky pours himself a glass. Behind Eli Patrick hold two of his sisters’ dolls out of their reach. Nucky sits down and Eli mentions the heat. Nucky mocks the small talk and reminds Eli that he tried to have him killed. Nucky quotes Julius Caesar “et tu [Eli]”. Eli does not understand and Nucky explains that it is from Shakespeare. Eli remains uncomprehending and asks if there was a character named Eli in the play. Eli lies that he was not involved in the assassination attempt. Nucky counters that Jimmy has said otherwise. Eli asks what Nucky expects and calls Jimmy a liar. Nucky asks Eli to at least be honest with him. Eli asserts his honesty and falsely claims that he tried to stop his partners. He says that they threatened his life and livelihood. He reminds Nucky that he came to him to beg forgiveness and that Nucky turned him away. Eli shouts at Patrick, warning him not to rip his pants. Nucky instructs Eli to plead guilty to the current charges. Eli protests and Nucky says that he has spoken with Attorney General Harry Daugherty who has assured him that Eli will be convicted to two years maximum. Nucky says that he will take care of Eli’s family. He warns Eli that he will not do better and reminds him that it could have been a lot worse. Eli tearfully nods his acceptance and sighs. The brothers share a drink.

The rain lashes against the Atlantic City War Memorial, still under construction. Jimmy pulls up in front of the monument and Nucky and Owen get out of their vehicles to meet him while Eli stays out of sight. Owen is escorting Manny Horvitz, whose wrists are seemingly bound together. Nucky greets Jimmy and Jimmy says nothing. Manny calls out that Jimmy can have his revenge as Eli sidle up behind Jimmy, shotgun in hand. Jimmy asks if that is what they are there for. Eli racks the gun and Jimmy turns around to look at him. Jimmy turns back to Nucky as Manny casts off the sham restraints. Owen walks over to frisk Jimmy and Eli calls out to check his boot. Jimmy says that he is unarmed and Owen confirms this. Jimmy tells Nucky that this is the only way they could have ended. Nucky disagrees, asserting that it was Jimmy’s choice. Jimmy shakes his head once and then says that he died in a trench, years back. He asks who is going to kill him. Nucky says that he will do it himself and draws a revolver from his jacket. He aims the weapon at Jimmy and Jimmy recounts his first kill. He says that he vomited for two days afterwards but did not even think about it the second time. Nucky calls him stupid and he urges Nucky to make himself calm. Nucky says that Jimmy had everything going for him and Jimmy urges him to breathe. Nucky straightens his arm and says that Jimmy had his whole life ahead of him. Jimmy says that Nucky will get through it and only needs to worry about running out of alcohol and company. Nucky’s hand shakes as Jimmy cautions him about being judged. Nucky fires, hitting Jimmy in the face and snapping his head back. Jimmy collapses backwards into the mud. Eli lowers his weapon and stares down at Jimmy. Jimmy splutters and coughs on the ground and Nucky steps alongside him. Jimmy bleeds from his right nostril, an entry wound below his left eye. Nucky says that Jimmy does not know him and never did. He aims the weapon again and says that he is not seeking forgiveness. He fires another shot into Jimmy’s head, killing him. Manny and Owen turn away as Nucky looks back at them, Eli holds his gaze and nods. The statue of a soldier stands over Jimmy’s corpse as the rain beats down on all of them.

See also[]