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Main: Hold Me in Paradise

This recap of "Hold Me in Paradise" features a detailed section on each scene of the episode.

Scene 1[]

Eli Thompson sits alone in Nucky Thompson’s office in the eighth floor suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Atlantic City. Voices can be heard in the waiting room outside the office. He is wearing a suit instead of his usual Atlantic County Sheriff’s uniform. Eli adjusts the items on the desk in front of him, ensuring that right angles and alignment are precise. Deputy Ray Halloran enters and disappoints Eli by telling him their visitor was just a drunken Motorists conventioneer who alighted on the wrong floor. Eli wonders if there is anyone at all waiting for him and Halloran notes that the waiting area is packed when Nucky is in town. Eli complains that the city is not closed for business and asserts that he is in charge while Nucky is away. Halloran wonders if it is a matter of habit and familiarity with Nucky. Eli asks Halloran to make him coffee and tells Halloran that he is capable of performing Nucky’s political functions. He believes all it would take to become the “toast of the town” is a joke book. Halloran serves the drink as there is a knock at the door.

Alderman George O’Neill lets himself in and exclaims “Oh” when he realises Eli is in Nucky’s chair. Eli is irked by O’Neill’s disappointment and asks what he wants. O’Neill says that his daughter is being fitted for leg braces on Friday and would like to take the day off. Eli wonders who typically covers for O’Neill and he explains that it is normally Alderman Jim Neary but with Neary under indictment for Volstead Act violations he has been covering his route too. Halloran wonders if O’Neill’s daughter has polio and O’Neill ignores him. Eli tells O’Neill to take the day off and is annoyed when O’Neill asks if he is sure. O’Neill thanks him and exits.

Nucky arrives at his hotel in Chicago, Illinois and tips the doorman; he is in town for the 1920 Republican National Convention. His assistant Eddie Kessler is accompanying him and complains that he sent a telegram to request the presidential suite to the hotel manager. The manager apologises and explains that General Wood has also asked for the suite. Nucky observes that Wood is jumping the gun and remains merely a candidate for the Republican nomination. The manager recommends the Ambassador’s Suite as an alternative to Nucky. Nucky suggests Wood take the Ambassador’s Suite and claims that the difference between them is that Wood is a war hero and former chief of staff while Nucky is a magnificent tipper. He hands the manager a wad of cash to ensure his preferred choice, ordering ice and whiskey for the parlour of the suite. The manager asks them to wait in the bar while the Presidential Suite is prepared for them.

In the bar Nucky comments on the spaciousness of the room and wonders where they hide their liquor. He flicks through the program for the convention dated June 6 1920 stopping on a cartoon referencing the murder of “Big Jim” Colosimo. State Senator for New Jersey Walter Edge arrives and jokes that Nucky is Marley’s ghost. Nucky jokingly wonders why Edge is in town assuming Edge is looking for the Vice Presidential nomination. Edge jokes that he had not considered it and laughs. They exchange pleasantries and Edge asks Nucky to attend a reception hosted by Warren Harding’s campaign manager Harry Daugherty on his behalf. Nucky wonders who cares about Harding and Edge tells him that it is Daugherty who is worth knowing. Edge claims that he has a pressing engagement that is preventing him from going himself and Nucky jokes that he should not press on her too hard. Edge wags a finger at Nucky and says that his friend knows him well. Edge assures Nucky that they will gain power together at the convention and that the sky will be the limit. Nucky reminds Edge that his primary interest is in funding for better road’s to Atlantic City. Edge nods and confirms that Nucky will see Daugherty. Edge moves on to another table of delegates and Eddie remarks that he seems in a good humour. Nucky sends Eddie to check on the room.

Margaret Schroeder and Annabelle have tea in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton. Annabelle admires the bracelet Margaret is wearing, telling her that the stone is peridot, which is not as valuable as emerald but still valuable. Annabelle asks if Nucky chose it himself and Margaret admits that she does not know. Annabelle jokes that either Nucky has better taste in jewellery than he should or someone is helping with his shopping; Margaret suggests Eddie as a possibility and Annabelle laughs. Margaret asks about Annabelle’s boyfriend Harry Prince and learns that he is fine. Annabelle suggests more cream cakes and then notes that life is good.

Madame Jeunet approaches them from her store opposite and asks Margaret for help. Margaret wonders what she needs help with as Lucy Danziger drunkenly walks out of La Belle Femme calling after Jeunet. Annabelle tries a polite greeting but Lucy shuts her down. Jeunet whispers to Margaret that Lucy is trying to use Nucky’s credit in the store despite his instruction to the contrary. Lucy haughtily tells them that American’s do not whisper. Jeunet tells Lucy that she has asked Margaret for help and Lucy notes that she is very helpful calling her Mrs MacDougall. Margaret corrects Lucy and Lucy loudly wonders if Schroeder is Irish for bitch, shocking the other customers. Margaret stands and tries to placate Lucy, who refuses to leave. Annabelle interjects and Lucy calls her a false friend. Lucy tells Margaret that she is stupid if she thinks Nucky is her friend or that she understands him. Margaret slaps her hard across the face and tells her that their next conversation will be less pleasant before leaving.

Angela Ianotti touches up a painting of a naked woman and asks her son, Tommy Darmody, for his opinion. He says the woman looks pretty and Angela smiles. Tommy’s grandmother Gillian lets herself into their apartment and tells Angela that her grocery bill is overdue. Angela wonders how much she owes and Gillian says that it amounts to almost 11 dollars. Angela asks if Gillian checked the post and Gillian says that she has also asked the postman but there is nothing for Angela. Gillian suggests that it is time for Angela to get a job. Angela notes that her friend Mary Dittrich said the same thing. Gillian asks if Angela has considered door to door selling for Little Dot and Angela admits that she is unfamiliar with the company. Gillian elucidates that they make perfume and Angela rejects the idea as not for her. Gillian says that bohemian types like Angela don’t wear perfume. Angela says that she has worn perfume but meant the job was not for her. Angela tells Gillian that a Greenwich Village art dealer has agreed to look at her work and that Mary thinks she has a good chance. Gillian is unconvinced and suggests a stenography course.

A postal worker interrupts Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden as he pours over flag markers he has placed in a map of Atlantic City. He tells Van Alden they have intercepted another letter addressed to Angela at 4313 North California Avenue postmarked Chicago. Van Alden opens the letter and counts the cash Jimmy Darmody has enclosed before adding it to a pile of similar correspondence in his desk drawer.

In New York City Arnold Rothstein sits as his attorney Bill Fallon pours a glass of milk for him. Fallon tells Rothstein that he has heard rumours of the District Attorney investigating the Chicago White Sox. Rothstein asks which players and Fallon tells him that it is Seacott and Jackson. Rothstein recognises that the authorities are targeting the farm boys. Fallon half-heartedly reassures Rothstein that Abe Attell will say nothing whatever the players reveal. Rothstein says that Attell has already been talking to their shared associated. Fallon wonders what will happen if he is questioned and Rothstein predicts that he will fold quickly. Fallon asks Rothstein to repeat his practice denial which he does; beginning with a commentary on his respect for baseball. Fallon improves the wording slightly. Rothstein goes on to say that he was approached by Attell but turned down his offer to fix the 1919 world series and then avoided betting on the series. Fallon plays prosecutor and asks if a man named “Sport” Sullivan also approached Rothstein. Rothstein says that he is approached daily by people with schemes and that suffering fools is not illegal. Fallon jokes that it is not too late for Rothstein to attend law school. Rothstein grins and counters that he prefers to make an honest living.

Nucky arrives at Daugherty’s reception and is greeted by a junior staffer who points out the host. Daugherty strides over to greet Nucky and introduces himself before offering a drink. Nucky requests bourbon and Daugherty snaps his fingers at a waiter. Nucky offers Edge’s regrets and Daugherty says that he will be missed but that he has been told Nucky is the man to talk to anyway. Nucky says that this depends on what you want and Daugherty says that he has been told that Nucky controls the votes of the New Jersey delegation. Daugherty tells Nucky that he believes Harding can win the Republican nomination and with Edge as his Vice Presidential running mate they could win the White House. Nucky doubtfully calls Harding a long shot. Daugherty counters that Wood and Governor of Illinois Frank Orren Lowden are front runners but have both been tainted by a recent senate inquiry started by Senator Hiram Johnson. He asserts that the inquiry also reflects badly on Johnson. Nucky summarises the field as devoid of first rate candidates with Harding being the best second rate choice. Nucky observes that Harding looks like a president and Daugherty says that with the female vote a possibility Harding’s appearance will be even more important. A pair of passing Harding supporters compliment Daugherty on the dinner and he promises them more than just steak if they vote his way. Nucky tells Daugherty that he has an appetite of his own and Daugherty offers to introduce him to the candidate.

The waiter delivers Nucky’s bourbon and Nucky notices the junior staffer barring entry to a woman carrying a baby. She argues with Department of Justice aide Jess Smith about being allowed to see Harding and he insists she return to her room where Harding will meet her later. Daugherty returns and introduces Harding and his wife Florence. Nucky tells Harding that he read a speech he gave in May entitled “Back to Normal” and compliments him on the content. Harding jokes that he could spend hours bloviating and expands on his belief that American’s want stability. Nucky is distracted by the cries of the baby and Daugherty moves Harding on. Nucky is left with Mrs Harding who tells him that a fortune teller predicted that Harding will die in office.

Nucky leaves the reception and follows the young mother to the elevators noting the receptionist calling her Miss Britton. He calls her baby beautiful and jokes that she is a young Republican. He asks why she is attending and she hesitates before saying that she is a friend of Mr Harding. Nucky caresses the baby’s head and says that it is good to have friends in politics. Britton asks if he has children of his own and he tells her that he had a son who died. She offers her condolences in response.

Van Alden holds hands with his wife Rose and says grace before they share a meal. He comments on the untidiness of the garden and she bursts into tears. He asks what is wrong and then says that she puts herself through the same thing every month. Rose says that her inability to have children means that she is not fully a woman and refuses to accept his reassurances. He urges her to eat; she dries her eyes and does so. She tells him that her friend Naomi Ellsworth has told her that she might be able to get help to conceive. Van Alden is angry that she has discussed their private life and Rose says that her friend had difficulties of her own. Van Alden argues that God would have given them a child if he wanted them to have one. Rose counters that God would not have given them modern medicine if he didn’t intend them to make use of it. He believes that her friend has fed her this idea. She shakes her head and says that she needs $270 to see an obstetric surgeon in Manhattan. He complains that his salary is barely sufficient. She tearfully says that she wants to give him a son. He purses his lips and puts a hand on her shoulder. He says that he wants her to be happy and promises to do what he can. He again urges her to eat.

Eli, Halloran, Neary and Damien Fleming watch a pornographic film in Nucky’s suite. Al Boyd turns the projector handle as the others whoop and whistle at the images featuring a nun having sex. Neary jokes that if his school had nuns like the one on screen he may have gotten past the sixth grade. Eli counters that nothing could have got Neary further in his studies. Fleming wonders where they find women who will appear in pornography and Halloran says that if he finds out he will keep it to himself. The reel ends and the others complain as Boyd tries to change it. Eli refills his drink and asks if they are happy with the arrangements to cover O’Neill’s collections. Boyd runs down the split; he will take the inlet to Maryland Avenue while Fleming will take the other side. Neary bursts into song and Halloran wonders who will handle Lolly Steinman’s casino. Eli says he will handle it personally after going to the wedding of a cousin of his wife, June. Eli jokes that he is thinking of joining the priesthood as the image gets stuck. Boyd struggles with the projector and the film bursts into flame. Boyd puts the fire out by covering it with his jacket and Eli raises a toast to the film that was too hot to watch.

Nucky and Eddie take a taxi to the Four Deuces brothel on Wabash Avenue. Nucky is surprised to when the doorman, Scozione, is carrying a shotgun and insists on frisking them both. Johnny Torrio comes downstairs and tells Scozione to stop. Nucky notes that Torrio held his objection until after the task was completed. Torrio tells Nucky that they takes precautions as standard and that it is a new world. He shows his guests into the bar and Nucky deadpans that Charlie Sheridan would agree with Torrio. Torrio says that Jimmy was responsible for planning the attack on Sheridan. Torrio orders two rums and then feigns remembering that they are out of stock. Nucky says that McCoy will have another shipment soon. Torrio tells Nucky that women are enamoured with the Mary Pickford cocktail, a combination of rum and grenadine. Nucky observes that the grenadine masks the taste of bootleg rum. Torrio brings up the convention and Nucky is distracted by Eddie enjoying the attention of one of the prostitutes. Nucky then says that he is a politician and that there are things that cannot be bought in a “cat house”. The barman brings their drinks and Torrio offers a toast. Nucky asks if Torrio knows any gossip about Daugherty. Torrio says that he has not heard of Daugherty or even Harding but when Nucky mentions their origins in Ohio recommends speaking with Judge Graves. Graves is drinking with the madam, Regina and Torrio calls him over before making introductions. Nucky offers Graves a visit to Atlantic City at his expense and Torrio pulls out a chair for him. Nucky asks about Harding and Graves describes him as a puppet for the “fast money boys” from Cleveland. Nucky asks for Graves’ assessment of Harding’s chances and Graves says that they are improved by having Daugherty as a campaign manager. Nucky calls Daugherty cagey and Graves counters that Daugherty knows how to treat his friends. Graves reminds Nucky that the political machine in Ohio has generated five presidents since the American Civil War. Regina shows in an African American prostitute named Belle and introduces her to Graves. Graves excuses himself and Torrio tells Nucky that he brings girls in especially for Graves.

Jimmy drags an unruly customer downstairs and warns him to respect the prostitutes. He threatens to castrate the man if he sees him again and has Scozione throw him out. Jimmy limps into the bar and halts when he sees Nucky. He asks why Nucky is there and Nucky dismissively says that he has been visiting Chicago since before Jimmy was born. Torrio jokes that Nucky set the Chicago fire. Jimmy licks his lips, taken aback. Nucky comments that he looks well and notes his new suit. Jimmy respectfully says that Torrio has been very helpful. Nucky notices Eddie still enjoying the ministrations of one of Torrio’s other employees and instructs him to call a cab. Jimmy offers to drive them back to the hotel and pats Eddie on the shoulder as he passes. Nucky comments that it would be like old times and then tells Jimmy that they have been managing to get along without him, including his family. Jimmy asks how they are and Nucky tells him to ask them himself. Jimmy says that he writes to Angela weekly and never gets a reply. Nucky tells him to consider sending them money the next time he thinks about buying something for himself.

Eli pulls up to the Oceanfront Men’s Association that fronts Steinman’s casino, June is asleep in the passenger seat. The usually busy casino is quiet and a record spins on the turntable despite having reached the end of the track. Eli calls out for Lolly as he walks in. Steinman is holding a bag of cash on a roulette table. As Eli walks up to him a masked Leo D’Alessio emerges from behind a door and aims a pistol at him. Eli asks what Lolly is doing as he notices bound and gagged customers and staff in the corner. Ignacious D’Alessio rolls around the corner of a doorway and levels a shotgun at Eli, instructing him not to move. Eli draws back his jacket, uncovering his holstered sidearm and Leo shoots him in the back. Eli collapses as Leo instructs Ignacious to get the bag. Matteo D’Alessio pulls Lolly aside as Ignacious complies. Ignacious threatens to kill all of the patrons if any of them follow them before firing his shotgun into the ceiling. Eli gasps for breath on the floor as the D’Alessio brothers exit. Pius D’Alessio pulls a car up alongside June as his brothers leave the building; she remains asleep. Inside Eli clutches his abdomen as a pool of blood spreads around him.

Nucky eats dinner with Edge in the hotel restaurant. Edge says that despite Chicago’s reputation for fine meat his money is on the Occidental in Washington DC. Nucky catches the reference to money and jokingly asks when Edge last paid for a dinner. Edge counters that it was immediately after William McKinley was elected in 1897. Eddie comes in with news of the casino heist for Nucky. Nucky excuses himself, saying that he needs to get to a phone.

Nucky calls Margaret at home, waking her. He tells her that Eli has been shot and she assumes that he wants her to go to the hospital. He says that he wants her to go to his suite and safeguard his records. She wonders why he cannot rely on an Alderman and he says he prefers to put his trust solely in her. He describes the position of a hidden compartment in his closet and instructs her to conceal his ledger book there. He asks her to stay in the suite with the children until he returns. She wonders when that will be and he says that he plans to take the first train the next morning. She asks if he is alright and he admits that he doesn’t know.

Nucky next goes back to the Four Deuces, waiting in the bar there at 4:37 a.m. Jimmy and Richard Harrow come downstairs and he offers them a drink. Jimmy asks for whiskey and Nucky deadpans that he expected Jimmy to drink solely champagne given his new sense of style. Jimmy admits that Al Capone bought the suit for him. Nucky asks who Jimmy’s friend is and Jimmy calls Harrow a war buddy. Harrow introduces himself and Jimmy toasts “to the lost.” Nucky says that he needs Jimmy to come home and Jimmy wonders if Nucky really needs him or merely wants him to do so. Nucky explains about the shooting and robbery and says that they are at war; noting the murder of Kendall and the mugging of O’Neill. Nucky posits that someone believes that he is weak and without means of retaliation. Jimmy notes that Nucky has the entire Atlantic County Sheriff’s office on his payroll and wonders what more he can offer. Nucky reminds Jimmy that the Sheriff has been shot and says that there are things he might require that he is uncomfortable asking of Eli, particularly given the impending elections. Jimmy comes around to the front of the bar and compares Nucky’s current behaviour to how he treated him earlier that day. Nucky warns Jimmy not to overestimate himself. Jimmy says that he is doing very well in Chicago and Nucky wonders how far he expects that to go given that he is an Irishman in an Italian gang. Jimmy says that his suit cost $70 and Nucky notes his lack of subtlety. Nucky offers Jimmy a 5% share of the profits for selling any alcohol brought in by boat and a 10% share of anything brought in on wheels. Jimmy asks about Van Alden, given that he has tied Jimmy to the Hammonton hijacking. Nucky promises to handle the problem. Jimmy asks for time to consider the offer and Nucky tells him he has it but warns him to never keep him waiting again.

Margaret kisses Emily as she sleeps in Nucky’s bedroom next to her brother Teddy. She walks back to Nucky’s office and retrieves the ledger, placing it in front of her on the desk. The phone rings and she jumps before answering it. She announces herself and the caller hangs up without saying anything.

Nucky meets with Daugherty in the otherwise empty convention hall at the Chicago Coliseum. Daugherty calls their meeting clandestine and Nucky jokes that Daugherty is no stranger to back room negotiations. Daugherty glances at their expansive surroundings and says that it is quite a back room. Nucky tells him that he needs to go home urgently. He tells Daugherty that he has made enquiries and has been told by Graves that Daugherty is a good man. Daugherty asserts that Graves told Nucky that he “plays ball”. Nucky wonders if this is true and Daugherty compares himself to Babe Ruth. Nucky smiles and says that he has considered Daugherty’s proposal and believes Harding has a slim chance. Daugherty says that he thought Nucky would back Wood and Nucky says that he expects Wood to deadlock with Lowden. Daugherty asserts that the delegates will cross over to Harding if this happens. Nucky tells him not to expect Harding to be nominated early but that by the time the fifth or sixth ballot is held the delegates will be desperate to nominate someone who can win. Nucky promises to put the Jersey delegation behind Harding if things go as they have predicted. Daugherty assumes that Nucky wants Edge to be nominated for Vice President in return. Nucky asks for the opposite and Daugherty asks what he is missing. Nucky elucidates that Edge double crossed him and gave away his road appropriations funding to Frank Hague. Daugherty wonders how Nucky knows this; Nucky observes that Hague is just as two faced and was his source as well as a friend. Daugherty calls Nucky’s request a rich play and laughs. Nucky asks Daugherty to tell him how they plan to handle Harding’s lady trouble, having deduced that Harding fathered Miss Britton’s baby. Daugherty asks which lady and Nucky is surprised that there is more than one. Daugherty says that he has lost count and that one woman is blackmailing Harding. Nucky wonders if this is Britton and Harding says that it is not her and that she is merely in love. Daugherty confirms that the baby belongs to Harding. Nucky offers to sequester Britton with Margaret in Atlantic City until Harding is elected and says that he expects to receive his road funding in return. Daugherty says he will need to sell the idea to Harding and Nucky asserts that Daugherty must be quite the salesman. They shake hands and Daugherty remarks that Al Jolson has agreed to write Harding’s campaign song. Nucky asserts that Eddie Cantor is better and strides towards the exit.

Jimmy calls Gillian while she is working at the Cafe Beaux-Arts. She says that she is surprised to hear from him. He tells her that he has seen Nucky and she assumes that he has heard about Eli. She bemoans the state of the world and then notes that he sounds lonely. He says that he was thinking of her and she asks if he has been eating. She asks him to come home and he asks for information about Lucky Luciano. She wonders where to start.

Eddie shows Nan Britton out of the hotel as Nucky settles the bill. Edge catches him as he goes to leave and says that he got his message. Nucky explains that he has to go home and Edge wonders who will control their delegates. Nucky tells Edge to ask Hague. Edge plays dumb; Nucky tells him that they have known each other for years and that he expects him to speak plainly. Edge reminds Nucky that he is a US Senator and Nucky asserts that he will never reach a higher office before stating his belief that he promised the road money to Hague. Edge denies having done so and Nucky angrily warns Edge not to insult him. Edge says that it was just politics and promises to make it up to Nucky from the White House. Nucky tells Edge that the only chance he has of entering the White House is on a guided tour.

Torrio plays cards with his men (Capone, Gino and Antonio) in the bar at the Four Deuces. They banter in Italian as they play. Jimmy comes into the bar and watches from next to the piano, unable to understand what they are saying.

Van Alden opens a letter from Rose. She has enclosed a leaflet about corrective surgery for childless women. He takes the money from Jimmy’s letters to Angela to send to Rose.

On the train back to Atlantic City Britton reads a poem that Harding has written for her. Eddie holds her daughter. Nucky comments that Harding has a way with words. The conductor opens the door to their room to announce that they are about to make a short stop. Britton goes to freshen up and Nucky asks for news from the convention. The conductor tells them that Harding received the nomination after ten ballots before moving on. Nucky observes that the imbecile that wrote the love poem will be the next president of the United States.

Rose opens a letter from Nelson. Angela receives an envelope stuffed with the cash Van Alden had seized. Van Alden’s letter tells Rose to trust in god’s plan for them. Rose tears up the note and bursts into tears.

At Eli’s house Dr Carl Surran checks his bandages. Nucky enters and June rushes to hug him. He tells her that everything will be fine and Surran adds that they will get Eli back on his feet in time. Nucky asks them to give him a moment with Eli. Eli says that his assailants came out of nowhere. Nucky tells him that they only lost money and that he should forget it. Eli says that it is more than that and asserts that they are under siege. Nucky tells Eli that he has asked Jimmy to return and help them. Nucky says that they have been running the city for years without an incident like this. Eli says that it is a new world.

Margaret sits at Nucky’s desk, the ledger in front of her. She taps the leather bound book as she looks around the room. She open it and finds it full of figures relating to bootlegging.