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Main article: Margaret Schroeder

Margaret visits her family in Brooklyn. ("Peg of Old")

  • Eamonn Rohan: "You did what you wanted, Peg. You always have. Nothing you bring and nothing you buy will change that." ("Peg of Old")

Margaret Schroeder remains a major character in the second season. This article details her actions in each episode of the season.


Main article: 21

On February 12, 1921 Margaret wakes up in their new house in Margate and realizes that Nucky has not slept at home. When he arrives Margaret is arguing with Teddy in the kitchen while their maid Katy feeds Emily. Teddy is sitting under the table and refuses to go to school, angering Margaret because he is upsetting his sister. When Nucky inquires about the reason he learns that Teddy was hit with a ruler by his teacher, Sister Bernice, for misbehaving in class. Margaret eventually convinces Teddy to leave with his sister to wash himself. She then reminds Nucky that it is almost 8:00 AM, but he is not ashamed. Nucky then attempts to intimate, but decides to sleep in his office in the Ritz Carlton Hotel when the children start making noise again.

Margaret visits Sister Bernice at the school and is informed that Teddy was punished for playing with matches in the coat closet. She also tries to direct the conversation towards Margaret's extramarital relationship with Nucky, but she changes subject by asking if her son will be expelled. “No”, the nun replies, “Father Brennan intervened. Apparently, he is close with your Mr. Thompson.”

At night, Nucky tells Margaret that he encountered Jimmy during Herman Dacus' wake in the W. B. Shuyler Funeral Parlor. He recognizes to be angered by Jimmy's recent drift-apart, claiming that he was a sustitute father and mother to him, and suspects the influence of the Commodore. Margaret thinks that he is jealous and changes the subject by suggesting that Nucky talk to Teddy, worried that her son is developing pyromania.

The Kid movie

Margaret and the children watch The Kid in the Royal Theatre.

The next night, Nucky reads the newspaper when the phone rings. It's Eddie Kessler, who says that there is a man from the State's Attorney office in his room at the Ritz. He doesn't know why, other than the man wants to speak urgently with Nucky but that he won't talk over the phone. Nucky, who was planning to see The Kid at the Royal Theatre with Margaret and the children that night, tells them to leave without him but assures that he will meet with them there after a quick visit to his office.

Margaret, Teddy and Emily watch the film keeping one seat free for Nucky. Although people keep entering the room, Nucky is nowhere to be seen. First Margaret, and then Teddy, direct an impatient glare at the entry while they wait in vain for the Atlantic County Treasurer to appear.

Ourselves Alone[]

Main article: Ourselves Alone

A Dangerous Maid[]

Main article: A Dangerous Maid

What Does the Bee Do?[]

Main article: What Does the Bee Do?
What does the bee do

Emily Schroeder performs the poem from which the episode takes its title.

Margaret, Teddy, Katy and Lillian hear Emily sing a children's song about the roles of members in the family (the titular What Does the Bee Do?) before breakfast. Nucky arrives and tells them that he will spend the whole day outside attending Mayor Edward Bader's birthday; he has also made Owen Sleater his new driver. As the others leave, Margaret says that she finds Owen a bit impertinent. Nucky shrugs and hands her some extra cash for a raise in the house staff's pay. Margaret finds it inapropiate on account of Nucky's legal problems and says that the servants likely steal from them anyway, since "it is what service does". Nucky argues back that it is a mere $2 rise: it makes no difference to them but it is a windfall for the service, and that it is better to have them happy precisely now that dire times are coming. Margaret comments that when she was a maid back in Ireland she never got a raise.

Contrary to Nucky's orders, Margaret tells Katy, Lillian and Pauline that the extra $2 are for this week only and they will, in fact, suffer a pay cut in the future. The women are surprised because they had heard otherwise from Nucky, but since he said so when he was "in a rather jolly mood", Margaret brushes it off as an empty promise made when drunk.

The next day, Margaret reads in the Atlantic City Daily Press that Nucky trucked prostitutes from Philadelphia with the purpose of offering their services in exchange of Republican votes during the 1920 Atlantic City local election. Nucky reassures her that it is just a scheme to get the case to the Attorney General's office and that he had no relations with those women. Margaret then asks for $100, claiming that it is for "clothes for the children". Nucky pays her with no hesitation and she places it in a secret stash hidden inside her dressing table, following the advice that Annabelle gave her the previous year.

Gimcrack & Bunkum[]

Main article: Gimcrack & Bunkum
Eli Nucky Peg

Margaret saves Nucky from Eli.

Nucky returns home sunburned from golfing with the Attorney General, Harry Daugherty. Margaret anxiously informs him that Eli is waiting for him in the conservatory. Eli has come to apologise about his betrayal and attempt a reconciliation but Nucky is unmoved and provokes Eli into a brutal fight. The noise summons Lillian, who sees what is going on and fetches Margaret. 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 also tries to restrain Eli from drawing his sidearm until Margaret puts a double-barreled 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 still 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 if “Is this to be our life?”

That night Margaret is awakened by a scream. She checks on her children who are sleeping soundly. As she leaves their room she finds Katy, the housemaid, also awake. Katy says she was roused by Margaret’s movement and denies hearing a scream. Margaret says she has had a strange day and sends Katy back to bed, pausing for thought as Katy leaves.

The Age of Reason[]

Main article: The Age of Reason

Margaret and Nucky take Teddy to see Father Brennan.

Margaret and Teddy sit in front of their priest, Father Ed Brennan, as Nucky looks on. Brennan questions Teddy about sin and confession. Nucky intercedes to answer a question when Teddy gives the wrong answer and encourages Teddy when he gets an answer correct. Nucky is impatient when the priest brings up Hell. He asks Brennan to wrap up the discussion, using the priest's first name. Margaret reminds Nucky that the meeting is Teddy’s final chance to prepare for first confession. Nucky wagers that the three of them can save Teddy’s soul and tells Margaret he will wait in the car. Brennan informs Teddy that at age 7, which Brennan calls the age of reason, he can expect God to judge his actions. Brennan encourages Margaret to have Teddy ready to confess and also asks her to prepare her own confession. Margaret is surprised and the priest tells her that she needs to set an example for Teddy.

Owen Sleater carries Teddy into the house as Margaret holds the door open. Sleater deposits Teddy on the floor next to housemaid Katy likening him to a sack of potatoes. He jokes with Teddy that he should get inside before Katy tries to cook him. Sleater asks if there is anything else and Margaret dismisses him. Before he leaves he compliments Katy's appearance (the two are involved and barely trying to hide it). Pausing at the door he amuses Katy by pulling a face behind Margaret’s back. Margaret asks Katy for a word and admonishes her for her behaviour with Sleater. She reminds Katy that there are children in the house. Margaret leaves and Katy shakes her head.

Nucky and Margaret have unpassionate sex in their bed. Afterwards Nucky tries to smoke a cigarette but finds his lighter out of fuel while Margaret stares at the ceiling. Margaret asks him if he is still attracted to her and worries that he seems distant. Nucky denies it and asks what is bothering her. She admits that Father Brennan has asked her to make a confession. Nucky observes that salespeople will always claim their product is necessary. Margaret explains that her confession is to be an example to Teddy. Nucky is concerned about what she might reveal. She feels protected by the trust between a Catholic and their priest. He observes that she has more faith in others than he does. She highlights his mention of faith as being the purpose of her confession and gets up to go to the bathroom. Nucky warns her not to talk about sensitive matters like their shared history. Margaret suggests that Nucky might need a confession of his own.


Owen flirts with Margaret.

Margaret sweeps up in her conservatory. Sleater lets himself in through the back door and greets her as "Mrs Thompson". He asks what happened and she explains that she spilled cornflakes. He asks why Katy is not sweeping them up and Margaret replies that Katy has taken the children to the market. Sleater jokes that Margaret is selling her children. Not amused, she reminds him that her surname is Schroeder. He apologises and says he forgot her situation, receiving a pointed stare in response, he goes on to say that her situation is not his business. Katy has told him about the reprimand she received because of their behaviour. He takes responsibility and promises to show respect in Margaret's home in future. Margaret instructs him to respect Katy and he claims that he does. Margaret asks if he is “in the habit of toying with women”. He says it is not a habit and then offers to help with the sweeping, touching her hands as he takes the broom. Nucky comes in to fetch Sleater and say goodbye. As he leaves Sleater puts his hands on Margaret’s shoulders and says that he is always happy to be of service.

A row of parents and children wait beside the confessional at Father Brennan’s church, Saint Finbar's. Margaret and Teddy are next in line. Margaret begins her confession and admits that it is about four years since her last. She initially says she has nothing to confess but after Brennan reminds her of the rationale for confession she admits having impure thoughts about a man that she knows is bad. Brennan believes she means Nucky, asking if it is the man who provided for her family. She clarifies that it is a man she has not known long that her family employs.

Back at home Teddy poses for a photograph to commemorate his first communion. Margaret and Nucky look on as the photographer gives Teddy a candlestick to hold. Nucky asks Margaret about her confession but Sleater enters before she answers. Sleater tells them that he will bring the car around to the front of the house, smiles at Teddy and leaves. With Sleater gone Margaret tells Nucky that he does not need to worry about what she said. Lillian brings Emily through to watch, calling Teddy a new soldier in God’s army. The picture is taken and the smoke from the flash floats towards the ceiling.

Peg of Old[]

Main article: Peg of Old

Margaret visits Brooklyn, New York City to see her estranged siblings. The street is bustling with traders and customers. She finds their small apartment, removes her hat and knocks on the door. Her youngest sister, Aylesh Rohan, answers the door and gives a traditional Gaelic greeting ("Health to the men, and may the women live forever) but does not translate it. Margaret does not understand and Aylesh is disappointed. Another Rohan sister comes to the door and offers that Aylesh had practiced all day. Margaret correctly guesses that the older girl is Beth Rohan and surmises that the younger is Aylesh. Aylesh asks Margaret not to call her that and suggests Juliet when Margaret asks what she would prefer. A third sister, Nuala, enters as Beth goes to fetch Eamonn, their elder brother. Margaret asks Nuala if she recognises her and Nuala says that she does. Eamonn comes in and greets Margaret, calling her Peg. Margaret thanks Eamonn for replying to her letter and Nuala pointedly says that they could not abandon her, looking at Eamonn. Eamonn tells Aylesh to let Margaret in; Aylesh stands aside from the door and then closes it after Margaret walks through. Margaret presents Eamonn with a gift of taffy from the Boardwalk. He remarks that he can get the same in Louanna Park; he looks at Nuala who nods at Margaret prompting him to tell Margaret that he is sure the taffy is grand and thanks her. Margaret smiles at her sisters. After a moment Eamonn suggests a hug and they do, awkwardly. Eamonn says they have prepared a roast dinner with potatoes and asks the girls to take Margaret’s hat and make her feel at ease before going through to the dining room. Aylesh examines the intricate embroidery of the hat and Margaret points out a bee in a rose. The girls go through and Nuala tells Margaret that Aylesh takes after Margaret in terms of their boundless energy.

Rohan family

Margaret dines with her siblings for the first time in 12 years.

The Rohans dine together. Aylesh asks if Margaret came on a boat, calling her Miss. Beth tells Aylesh that Margaret is not a Miss and Nuala says that Margaret is their “Peg of old, just.” Margaret says that she came on the train and explains that she lives in Atlantic City, not Ireland. Aylesh asks what Margaret does and Margaret says she is raising her children, Theodore and Emily. Nuala asks their ages and notes that they have American names; Margaret jokingly says her children are patriots. Eamonn asks about the father of the children and Margaret explains that her husband Hans died a year ago. Nuala is shocked that Margaret is widowed so young and says she could cry. Margaret says that Nuala has a good heart. Eamonn asks how Margaret makes a living explaining that he wonders how she can afford to take a trip to New York without her children. Margaret explains that she employs a nanny and Eamonn calls this a luxury. Beth asks why Margaret should not have luxuries if she can afford them and Eamonn has no reason. He checks his watch and Nuala chides him and explains that he works night shifts. He offers that he is digging the fourth avenue line and Aylesh explains that he means for the New York subway. Eamonn explains that Nuala is a seamstress and that Beth presses clothes in a laundry while Aylesh is still in school. He suggests that Aylesh might be working too if it were not for the threat of a truancy officer. Margaret tells Eamonn that she knows that he works hard and offers help. Eamonn says they have not asked for any. Nuala announces that Beth has made a trifle for dessert.

Eamonn Rohan infobox

Eamonn Rohan, Margaret's older brother.

Before serving the promised trifle Eamonn asks for some time alone with Margaret. Nuala takes the girls to see their neighbour, Mrs Gillebrand. Aylesh complains and Nuala tells her that it is the Christian thing to do. Eamonn offers Margaret a cigarette, calling it a fag. Margaret declines and says that she is not as American as Eamonn thought. Eamonn tells Margaret that their mother is dead, assuming that it will be news to Margaret. Margaret reveals that she knows their mother died from her correspondence with their cousin Martin Hennessey, also an immigrant in America. Eamonn is bitter that she stayed in touch with Hennessey but not them and responds to Margaret mentioning the graveyard where their mother is buried, saying that she is beside their father, the two finally not arguing. Eamonn recalls their mother asking to see Margaret in her final days and lying that Margaret was on her way back. Margaret is visibly hurt by Eamonn’s memory and he asks her if she is going to cry now that it doesn’t matter. She whispers that she did what she had to and then repeats it more forcefully when Eamonn does not hear. Eamonn says that is the justification everyone uses in their mind and Margaret asks if he would rather see her in a Magdalene Asylum. Eamonn confirms that he agreed with the punishment their priest chose and asks why Margaret considers that fate suitable for others but not herself. She angrily asserts that it is not right for anyone and asks if he would wish it on her sisters. She also asks if she is the only sinner he has met. Eamonn asks who the father of Margaret’s baby was. She admits that it was Douglas Walton, the son of the barrister who employed her. She believes Eamonn must have already known but he pleads blindness in such matters. He asks if Walton forced himself on her as she said back then and she denies it. Eamonn realises that with Teddy being seven he must have been conceived after Margaret reached America and wonders what happened to the baby that caused her to flee. She explains that she had a miscarriage during the voyage. He offers condolences. She gives him cash saying that it is to return what she stole. Eamonn claims that she stole from their mother, not him, and she responds that the money she took was going to pay for Eamonn's own passage to America in the first place. He asks if guilt over the theft is the reason she has come to visit and Margaret denies this saying she wanted to be among those who know her. Aylesh returns early and Eamonn quickly hides the cash. He wonders why she was so quick and she explains that Mrs Gillebrand wants her to go out to buy pig trotters. Aylesh wants to have dessert before running the errand.

Eamonn shuts the bedroom door on Margaret as she clears the table with her sisters. Nuala offers to walk Margaret to the guest house where she is staying. Margaret explains that she has hired a car for the trip. Nuala worries at the cost and Beth guesses that Margaret is seeing a man who will pay for it. Nuala chides Beth and Beth asks Margaret what her man is like. Aylesh guesses that he is mysterious and powerful with minions at his disposal. Nuala does not know the meaning of minions and Aylesh explains. Margaret is initially shocked at Aylesh’s accuracy but plays along. Aylesh says that the man has a secret tragedy and will not let anyone get close to him and Margaret wonders where she is getting her story from. Beth and Nuala explain that Aylesh is always reading. Margaret offers to send Aylesh a book and Nuala says they will need Eamonn’s permission. At the door, Beth asks Margaret to think of them and Margaret reminds them that Atlantic City is not far. Nuala marvels at seeing Margaret again after so long and hugs her goodbye. As Margaret descends the stairs Aylesh comes out to tell her she was joking about her man. Aylesh wonders at Margaret being both a stranger and her sister and Margaret introduces herself with her maiden name. The sisters shake hands then Eamonn comes out and orders Aylesh to bed. Aylesh asks Margaret to send books and says she likes any story with a horse in it.

Margaret has her driver bring her back to her sibling’s address where she finds Aylesh playing in the street. She gives her a book as a present; The Girl, a Horse and a Dog by Francis Lynde. Margaret checks that Aylesh has not read it before and asks Aylesh to tell her about it once finished. Aylesh asks how and Margaret suggests they write to one another, Aylesh is pleased with the notion of a secret correspondence. Margaret calls this a “good crack” and Aylesh does not understand the colloquialism. Margaret explains that their mother used it often to mean fun and Aylesh, too young to remember, asks what their mother was like. Aylesh worries that the horse will die in the story and Margaret assures her that it does not. Margaret invites Aylesh to visit her in Atlantic City in the summer so that Aylesh can meet the children. Aylesh notes that it is strange to be such a young aunt.


Eamonn finds Margaret and Aylesh together after coming back from work.

Eamonn arrives, on his way home from work. Aylesh offers to make his breakfast but he sends her to read her new book saying that that is what she really wants to do. Margaret asks about Eamonn’s shift and he ignores the question saying that he thought she had left. Margaret reminds him that Aylesh is her sister too. He asks if Margaret is trying to rescue Aylesh to assuage her guilt. Margaret asks if Eamonn has to hate her and he claims that he feels little about her at all. He gives back her money saying that he does not know where it is from. Margaret asks if Eamonn is honest and he says he never asks for trouble. She lists things he will not do including talking back, asking questions, making a fuss and standing up for her when she asked him and had nowhere else to turn. He says she always does what she wants and that money will not change that. Margaret believes she can make Aylesh’s life better and Eamonn asks her if she has improved her own life. He tells her to go home and leave them in peace. He ends by telling her that there is no one there who knows her. Margaret gets into her car, crying.


Margaret and Owen sleep together for the first time.

Margaret arrives home and her driver carries her bags into the house’s ground level. She tips him and calls for the servants. Sleater emerges from the back, rinses his hands and offers to help with her bag. He asks about her trip and she avoids giving details. She asks after the children and learns that they have gone to the beach with Lillian and Katy. She says that this is not Katy’s job and Sleater remarks that Nucky gave them the afternoon off. She also asks why Sleater is not with Nucky and he says that he had personal business and just missed him. She asks then why Sleater is not trying to find him and he avoids the question by asking where to put the bag. She tells him to leave it at the foot of the stairs. Sleater asks is Margaret finds it odd being in America and confesses that he has feelings of depersonalization. She is moved and he says that it might just be the summer and life passing him by. She says if he feels that way he should be with Katy at the beach. He reminds her that she wanted him “after Mr Thompson.” The dual meaning halts her passage up the stairs and she says either way he can go. He agrees to leave if she tells him to. Instead she tells him to bring the bag up with him. In her bedroom he calls her cool and she says she is not at all how he sees her as she lets down her hair. She asks him to keep what they are about to do a secret and he says it is “all between strangers anyway.” They kiss with mounting intensity and undress one another. She bites his cheek; he gasps and pushes her onto her back. She moans in passion as he enters her. Meanwhile, a gunman tries to kill Nucky in Babette's Supper Club, but only manages to shoot him through the hand.

Two Boats and a Lifeguard[]

Main article: Two Boats and a Lifeguard

Margaret interrupts Dr Surran as he changes Nucky's dressings. She is concerned about her daughter, Emily, and asks Surran to check on her next. Emily is feverish with reduced appetite.


Carl Surran examines Emily.

Surran examines Emily while Teddy eats in the next room. Margaret anxiously waits for the doctor’s findings while Owen Sleater drinks a cup of coffee. Surran announces that Emily’s temperature is 99.8 and asks Margaret to call him in the event that she spikes a fever. Margaret wonders if it is something Emily ate. Katy comes in and suggests that Emily over-exerted herself on a trip to a lake. Surran believes that it is nothing serious, probably a virus that is going around. Nucky comes through, looks Emily over and then sends Owen to get the car as he goes into the dining room. Owen finishes his drink and hands his empty cup to Katy. He says goodbye to both ladies, showing considerably more warmth towards Margaret. Margaret wonders if Owen is eating at her home now and Katy reassures her that it was only a coffee. Margaret asks Katy to take the children to see Lillian and she complies.

Margaret follows Nucky into the dining room and helps him to fasten a collar clip. She asks him where he is going and he says that he is meeting his attorney. Margaret wonders if he could come to the house and Nucky explains that they are seeing the federal prosecutor, Esther Randolph. Margaret confesses that she is afraid about Nucky going out and he reassures her that Owen will be with him constantly. Nucky pauses and then suggests that he have his assistant Eddie Kessler pick him up and leave Owen at the house. Margaret declines and offers breakfast; Nucky says he will eat at the office. The phone rings and Margaret answers. She is initially speechless and then consoling. She hangs up and tells Nucky that June was on the phone with bad news: Nucky's father has died. Nucky pauses, says OK, allows Margaret to help him with his jacket and then leaves, repeating that he will get food at the office.

Nucky Margaret TBAAL

Nucky tries to calm Margaret.

Nucky drinks in the sitting room after coming back home. Margaret descends the stairs and tells him that Emily is asleep. She offers condolences and he says that people die. She wonders if he has more to say and he asks what she would like, going on to say that he pretends all day and does not want to pretend with her. They hold hands as she asks what will become of them following his meeting. He confides that Randolph knows about their relationship and his other dealings. She wonders if he will go to prison and he cannot answer. She expresses concern for herself and he reassures her, telling her that she has done nothing wrong and that he will let nothing happen to her. She observes that those are two different things and wonders if the risk of Nucky’s racketeering is worthwhile. She worries how long he can continue before he is killed and he responds by stubbornly refusing to back down to jealous greedy rivals. Margaret suggests that with his life in the balance, it is greedy to oppose them and reminds him of their good fortune in having one another. She asks if he ever feels that God is sending him a sign. He tells her a joke about a drowning man who refused help from two boats and a lifeguard because he believed God would save him before succumbing. On reaching Heaven he asked God why he was not saved and was rebuked with the reminder that he turned down several offers of help. Margaret does not smile and tells Nucky that she would be more amused if she knew that he was not worried. He kisses her on the cheek and promises that they will get through their problems.

Margaret, Nucky and Teddy play the board game The World's Globe Circler while Margaret holds Emily. Teddy’s turn takes him to the Southampton space and he is curious about its location. Margaret explains that it is a large port in England and says that she sailed to America from there. Teddy hopes to sail the voyage himself. Nucky is transfixed by the painting of a ship in the corner of the board. Teddy has to remind “Uncle Nucky” of his turn. Nucky returns his attention to his family and says that he would like the children to begin calling him “Dad.” Teddy looks to his mother and she asks if he would like that. He says that he would; Nucky reaches out to brush Emily’s cheek and tells her that he means her too. Teddy tries the prompt again: “your move, Dad.” Margaret smiles and Nucky agrees that it is. Nucky later announces that he will stand down as Atlantic County Treasurer and tells his rivals that he is retiring.


Margaret holds a feverish Emily.

Nucky awkwardly carries a bottle and two glasses into his living room. He finds Margaret talking quietly with Owen in the hallway. He interrupts them by announcing that a bulb is out in the kitchen. Margaret resolves to have the servants replace it in the morning. She tells Nucky that she is going to bed and asks him not to stay up to late. Owen wishes Margaret good night as she passes. Later, Nucky awakes to find Margaret nursing a feverish and moaning Emily next to their bed.

Battle of the Century[]

Main article: Battle of the Century

Margaret 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 snarks that there is no miracle in steam ships. Lillian interrupts to say that Emily is refusing to get out of bed. Margaret sends her to get Teddy up and goes to see what the problem with Emily is herself.

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 continues her play saying 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 says 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 her mother holds her close, telling her that it is nothing and calling her “Cushla” (Irish Gaelic, meaning "beat of my heart").

Later, 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, instructing her to do as he says. Margaret anxiously orders Lillian to take Teddy downstairs, and after thinking better of it, to get Teddy out of the house altogether. 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 asks Surran if 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 and outlines a plan to admit her to quarantine at the children’s hospital. Margaret attempts to approach Emily and Surran reminds her that the disease is contagious. Margaret tearfully says that she cannot drive and asks Surran to take them to the hospital himself.


Margaret cries as Surran forbids her to come near Emily while she is being treated.

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, since the child 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 that 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 but Surran argues that she needs to care about the other people she comes into contact with. Surran encourages Margaret not to watch. Emily screams as Holt inserts the needle; Margaret cries and puts a hand on the glass, unable to comfort her daughter.

Margaret, Katy and Lillian collect Emily’s things at her home. Margaret pauses when she finds Emily’s doll, Miss Wheatley, 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 as they throw 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 orders Teddy not to say it again. Pauline comes downstairs with a case packed. Margaret asks where she is going and the cook apologises. Margaret tries to reassure her that they are taking every precaution, but Pauline is not contented. She 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.

Emily margaret cushla

Margaret ignores the warnings and embraces her daughter in the hospital.

Back in the children’s hospital, the staff listen to the Dempsey-Carpentier fight on their own wireless. While they are distracted, Margaret sneaks into the restricted patient room 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. Margaret later sends a telegram to Nucky telling him that Emily has polio and urges him to come home as soon as possible.

Georgia Peaches[]

Main article: Georgia Peaches

Margaret, Nucky and Teddy visit Emily at the Atlantic City Children's Hospital. It is July 23, 1921 and her polio has progressed to the point where she is no longer quarantined. Dr Holt greets them in the corridor and Nucky introduces Teddy. Margaret asks how Emily is and Holt admits that she has had a difficult time, suffering from nausea. Margaret wonders why she was not informed and says that she would have stayed with Emily. Holt explains that he appreciates the strain on the family and felt that it was better to allow them to rest while Emily was cared for, adding that Emily will need love and patience from her family later. Margaret wonders what sort of time frame he means and Holt defers the question, telling Nucky and Teddy that they can go in to see Emily. Nucky takes Teddy in, urging him to be quiet. Now alone, Holt tells Margaret that the polio is not affecting Emily’s lungs, heart or upper limbs but admits massive damage in her lower limbs. Margaret wonders if Emily will be crippled by the illness and Holt avoids speculation, saying that he has seen children with worse symptoms recover fully. Margaret suggests that Nucky is able to pay for any treatments that might help and Holt laments that there are things that are outside of their control. Margaret looks at Nucky comforting Emily through the window and Holt tells her that his own 9-year-old daughter prays for the patients every night, without ever being asked. Margaret observes that one is supposed to ask God to intercede on behalf of others and Holt relates that he has always found that difficult. He advises that they are awaiting test results that they expect to have by Friday and can talk more about prognosis then. He tells Margaret to go in to see Emily and heads off down the corridor. Margaret watches a family helping their son to walk with crutches before entering.


Nucky and Margaret visit Emily at the hospital.

Once inside Margaret asks how Emily is feeling and Nucky tells her that she has been missed at home. Margaret shows Emily a doll that she has brought with her and Emily wonders where her favourite doll, Miss Wheatley is. Margaret avoids the question since they burned Emily’s things for fear of spreading the infection, and tells her that the new doll is Miss Wheatley’s sister. Margaret asks if Emily likes the dolls hair and Nucky says that Emily has prettier hair. Teddy sits at the foot of the bed, feeling ignored by the rest of the family.

Margaret prepares Teddy for sleep and listens as he recites the prayer “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”. She asks him to say a special prayer for Emily and he does so. Margaret kisses him and wishes him goodnight. As she leaves he claims that he cannot move his legs. She rushes to his side and checks his feeling. As she touches his feet he begins to laugh. She slaps him hard on the cheek. Nucky comes in and wonders what happened. Margaret runs out of the room as Teddy cries.

Nucky follows Margaret to the bedroom and tries to console her. She says that Teddy has the cruelty of his father, Hans. Nucky says that Teddy is seeking attention and Margaret says that Teddy knows that Emily is paralyzed. Nucky says that knowing is not the same as understanding and Margaret asks him what she should do, wondering if she should abandon Emily to focus on Teddy. Nucky says that Margaret needs to rest more and she refuses to do so. Nucky says that he needs to go to New York City for the day and will take Teddy with him. Margaret wonders why he is going and he explains that he needs to hire a new lawyer. She cautions him not to leave Teddy alone, to makes sure that he brushes his teeth and does not pick his nose.


Father Brennan converses with Margaret in church.

On July 24, 1921 Margaret prays alone in Saint Finbar's while Father Brennan collects donations from boxes in the end of the pews. He approaches her and asks if something is wrong; she relates the news of Emily’s polio diagnosis. He apologises and she tells him that she is frightened. Brennan sits down in front of her and tries to reassure her that God is with Emily. Margaret wonders if God was with Emily when she got the illness and let it happen. Brennan subtly dismisses this as a childish view of God and reminds Margaret that she came to the Church for help. Margaret says that she had nowhere else to turn and he reminds her of her recent confession regarding temptation. Margaret tries to change the subject and he says that she is asking God for help without offering something in return. She claims that she is offering devotion and he explains that devotion is an act and she must find her own way to demonstrate her devotion. His tray of coins and bills jangles as he leaves her to consider his meaning. That night Margaret speaks to Teddy and Nucky on the phone about their day in Manhattan.

The next day (July 25, 1921) Margaret goes through her jewellery and selects several pieces to go in a bag. She retrieves her stash of money from its hiding place in the dresser and adds that to the bag.

Father Brennan listens to a record in his lavish study. His housekeeper announces Margaret and he hides a glass of wine behind a floral arrangement before allowing her in. He turns off the record and puts it away as she enters and she apologises for disturbing him. He invites her to sit and explains that the records are easy to get out of order. He asks about Emily and Margaret says that her doctor is reluctant to make predictions. Brennan guesses that the doctor wants to avoid giving false hope. Margaret says she would not mind and Brennan asks her if she would prefer to believe in something real. Margaret says she wants to believe that Emily will recover and Brennan wonders if Margaret is looking for a miracle. Margaret admits that she is and details her hopes for Emily to have a normal life without suffering. She catches herself before she gives a reason for that suffering. Brennan asks if Margaret recalls their earlier discussion and she confirms that he means an act of devotion before removing her possessions from her bag. He wonders what it is for and she explains that it is a donation to the church. Brennan says that he is not accustomed to receiving cash or jewels directly and Margaret asks if there is another method he would prefer. He asks about her motivation and she tells him that there is a weight on her soul that she wants to be free of and calls the donation a show of willingness. She asks if they can begin there. Brennan checks the contents of the envelope and agrees that they can. He then invites her to pray with him.


Holt informs Margaret and Nucky of his bad prognosis about Emily.

At the children’s hospital Nucky and Margaret meet with Dr Holt. He tells them that the results are unfortunate and confirms infiltration of the spine by the polio virus with complete destruction of nerve cells. He explains that this indicates permanent paralysis and asks if they understand. Nucky prompts Margaret, she looks up and asks if Holt’s daughter prayed for them last night. He believes that she did and Margaret blesses her. Nucky has more practical concerns and asks what they should do now. Holt says she will be fitted for braces and then allowed home before beginning physical therapy. Nucky tells Margaret that this is good advice but she remains silent.

Under God's Power She Flourishes[]

Main article: Under God's Power She Flourishes

Brennan continues to shake down Margaret for money.

Margaret watches as Dr Holt reviews her daughter Emily, who now has her leg braces fitted, at the Atlantic City Children's Hospital on July 26, 1921. Also present are Margaret’s priest Father Brennan and a nurse. Holt asks if Emily is willing to try walking. Emily looks to Margaret who encourages her. They help her down from the couch and into a standing position, Holt supporting her on one side and Margaret on the other. Margaret asks how it feels and Emily tells her that her legs are rubbery. Holt warns Emily that they are going to let go and Margaret reassures her that they will remain by her side. When they do so Emily begins to collapse so they quickly help her back onto the couch. Nevertheless, Holt tells Emily that she did well and Margaret praises Emily for standing straight up. Margaret asks Brennan to confirm this and he tells Emily that she was right there with the best of them. Holt offers her a lolly from his coat pocket and Margaret prompts her to say thank you. The doctor asks for Emily’s permission to talk to Margaret in private, which she grants. He tells Margaret that Emily needs to develop strength in her upper body and cautions her not to let Emily revert to crawling. Holt goes to sign Emily’s discharge papers and Brennan takes Margaret to the corridor. Brennan reassures Margaret that God will hold her up, just as she has held up Emily. Margaret worries that she needs to support herself and Brennan tells her the parable of the spoons to illustrate that it is necessary to help others and to accept help. He tells her that her donation has been added to the fund to construct a new parish hall and that they now have enough for walls and flooring but not for the roof. Margaret offers more and Brennan claims that this was not what he meant before leaving. Margaret looks back at Emily, holding her new doll.

At home Margaret has told Nucky the parable of the spoons but he sees an error in the logic, wondering why the sinners did not hold the spoons higher up the handles in order to feed themselves. Margaret says that Nucky has missed the point and he says that he finds parables nonsensical. Margaret reminds him that he used a joke to illustrate a point recently. He says that this is different and she asks how. He says that the story he told was about helping yourself with whatever is available. Margaret wonders if he believes in any higher power and he cites the federal government. Margaret brushes her hair and Nucky tells her that he is unsure of God’s existence but is sure that there is no divine retribution. Margaret asks what he thinks of the evidence and he says that her experience is coincidence not evidence. Emily calls for help going to the bathroom and Margaret goes to aid her.

Nucky works through his financial records. Margaret comes in to the office and confirms that the children are asleep. He offers her a drink which she declines. He asks what is wrong and she says that she is there because he said that he wanted to speak to her. He tells her that he is expecting Eli to testify against him and Margaret wonders what Eli will say. Nucky says that Eli knows enough to put him in jail or even the electric chair. Nucky tells her that his money could be seized as a result of a conviction and details a plan to hide it in her name. She wonders why it is important to him to give money to her and he complains that he cannot talk to her when she is like this. She asserts that it was a sincere question and he tells her that he cares what happens to her. She responds that she believes he is trying to convince himself that something good is going to come out of his life. She thinks that he is looking for salvation by providing for her and she tells him that she wishes it could save him. He wonders if Brennan has put these thoughts into her head and she claims that they are her own. Nucky returns to the subject of his land ownership and tells her that there are 160,000 acres held by a company owned by Mayor Bader’s brother but that he currently controls the voting stock. He plans to transfer the stock to Margaret so that she can later move it on to an out-of-state corporation. She sinks back in the chair, tuning out his scheme.


Katy surprises Margaret and Owen in the kitchen.

Margaret fiddles with Emily’s leg braces in the servant’s quarters of her home. Owen Sleater comes down the stairs and pauses when he sees her. He apologises and says he did not know that she was there. He has come down looking for food and Margaret says that he will not disturb her. She explains that the braces are chafing Emily’s legs and that she is concerned that they will do damage because Emily has no feeling there. He offers to help and she hands him the offending brace. He says that there is a rough grommet that he could smooth out. She is reluctant until he describes himself as good at rigging things. He sits down, takes a folding knife from his waistcoat and scrapes at the brace with the blade. As he is working he asks her is she thinks about him and confesses that he thinks of her. She tells him to stop and he asks what she will do if he is unable. She tells him she will pray for him and he says that will at least mean that she is thinking of him. Margaret notices Katy listening and Owen looks up at her. Katy turns and runs out of the room.

On July 27, 1921 Margaret drinks alone at home after receiving a subpoena for testimony about Nucky. Nucky is surprised to find her drinking at all and offers to join her. She shows him the subpoena and he tells her to ignore it. She wonders if that is all he has to say and he reassures her that Fallon can handle it. She wonders what has changed as the day before he was convinced he was going to prison. He tells her that Van Alden is not a credible witness and that he hopes to think of something regarding Eli. Margaret says that they began in sin and he cuts her off. She repeats it and goes on to say that they will end in sin unless they change. Nucky tells her that he only cares about the present and she asks him to look at what is happening. He says that what is happening is that she is talking rubbish. She says that he is wrong and that she is more sure of it than anything in her life. He says that Emily was stricken with a disease and she asserts that it was caused by her sin. He asks what she has done and she lists stealing, cheating and deceiving.


Nucky threatens Margaret for the first time.

Nucky asks Margaret to be specific. She admits stealing from her family, her employer and Nucky himself. He asks who she has deceived and she says anyone who thinks that she is good. Then he asks who she has cheated on. He steps closer when she hesitates and dares her to continue. She says that she lives with the man who had the father of her children murdered. Nucky denies his involvement and retracts his earlier implications in that regard. Margaret says that he is lying to her. They shout at one another. He believes that she is trying to martyr herself for accepting the lifestyle that he works hard to provide. She believes she is being called to account. He wonders if she is really contemplating testifying against him. She tries to leave and he grabs her by the wrists. She struggles until he tells her to listen. He says that he cannot stop her from punishing herself but will not permit her to sacrifice him. She asks what he means by "permit" and he warns her that he is good to his word. Nucky asks if she understands him and she asks if he will hit her now. He snatches the subpoena from her and reminds her that he has given her everything before leaving.

To the Lost[]

Main article: To the Lost

Margaret and Brennan meet Esther Randolph at the post office.

Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph greets Margaret and Father Brennan in her post office headquarters. She introduces herself to Margaret and Margaret introduces Brennan in turn. Brennan interrupts Margaret and asserts that he is there for moral support. Randolph jokes that she doubts that she will need it. Brennan clarifies that he meant for Margaret and Margaret tells him that Randolph understood that. They take their seats and Brennan tells Randolph about Emily’s illness. Randolph offers sympathy and Brennan adds that Margaret is a widow and devoted mother. He goes on to say that Margaret is active in the church and ignorant of the charges in the case against Nucky. Randolph counters that she was unaware that they taught law at seminary school. Margaret asks to speak to Randolph alone and dismisses Brennan over his objections. He jokes that he will go and buy some stamps.

Margaret asks if it is difficult to become a lawyer and Randolph says it takes determination. Margaret says that she cannot believe it is that simple and Randolph confirms her doubt. She says that she began her career as a public defender and that all of her clients were women. Margaret wonders what kind of women she represented and Randolph says that they were “the kind that didn’t have any other choice.” Margaret asks if Randolph is trying to say that she did have a choice. Randolph invites Margaret to tell her own tale, reminding her that she asked for privacy. Margaret says that Hans used to beat her and their children and that he was a drunk and a philanderer. Randolph observes that Margaret has moved up in the world. Margaret enquires if Randolph hates Nucky and Randolph admits that she actually likes him. Randolph says that her opinion of him does not matter and asks Margaret if she hates Nucky. Margaret pauses and Randolph asserts that her feelings for Nucky must be complicated. Margaret says that the truth is also complicated. Randolph says she would be interested in hearing what Margaret has to say and Margaret wonders if she would have to appear in court. Randolph admits that she will compel Margaret’s testimony irrespective of her co-operation. She explains that the nature of Margaret’s appearance is in her hands; she can be painted as a sympathetic, hoodwinked helpless widow or as a shameless gold digger. Margaret asks if Randolph cares that neither is true and Randolph counters that it matters to her that Nucky go to jail, raising her voice. Randolph pauses, leans forwards and asks what Nucky has given Margaret besides money. Margaret says that Nucky has never been cruel to her. Randolph argues that he has been cruel enough to others and Margaret says that she has never seen it. Randolph states that Margaret knows his cruelty anyway. Margaret reminds Randolph of her children and Randolph asks if their wellbeing supersedes that of everyone else. Margaret says that Randolph would not have to ask that question if she had a family of her own. Randolph counters that if she had children she would not be able to bear knowing that she had bought their comfort with the blood of others because she would know they would find out for themselves eventually. She tells Margaret that it would not be a happy day. Margaret wonders what Randolph expects to become of her family if she does as asked. Randolph assures her that she would never have to see Nucky again and asks her to set herself free. Margaret hesitates, pursing her lips.


Nucky proposes to Margaret as a way to escape justice.

Back at home, Margaret knits a scarf in the servant’s quarters. Nucky comes downstairs and wonders at the usefulness of the garment given the heat of the summer. Margaret says that it will soon be winter and Nucky asks to speak with her. She puts her craft aside and turns her attention to him. He gathers himself and then reminds her of their common upbringing as Catholics before noting their divergences in their approach to religion. Margaret says that Nucky has lost his faith. Nucky jokes that if God was real he would not have made him so ugly. Margaret cannot conceal a smile. Nucky admits the possibility of a deity but says that his relationship with the potential higher power does not need rules. Margaret wonders if Nucky’s god asks for nothing and he states his belief that it expects that he love, care for and protect his family. He claims that there is more God in his love for Margaret and the children than in all the churches in Rome. Nucky reassures Margaret that things will get better for them if they stick together. He says that he adores her and their family and that his entire universe is contained within the walls of their home. Margaret wonders what will happen if she believes him and he admits that he needs her to marry him so she can't be forced to testify against him. She notes his use of "need" and he adds that he wants her to marry him. She wonders why he did not put it that way first and he says that he did not want to insult her by pretending that she would not be saving his life. He admits committing horrible misdeeds that he has justified to himself. He says he knows that was wrong and that irrespective of the presence of God no-one is sorrier than he is. The kettle begins to whistle as it boils on the hob. Nucky says that he is afraid of dying. He says that he would never admit this fear to anyone but her. She turns off the burner and tells him that he is always surprising.


Nucky motivates Emily to walk on crutches under Margaret's window - A genuine interest on his 'daughter' or emotional manipulation of her mother?

Margaret awakens to the sound of Nucky and Teddy encouraging Emily to walk outside. She watches her daughter’s progress from the window and is moved. Later, Margaret approaches Nucky on the porch and asks him to come with her. The children are being entertained by Lillian behind him. He wonders where they are going and Margaret says that she is going to the church to confess and that then they will be married by Father Brennan. Nucky stands and begins to thank her. Margaret interrupts him to tell the children that they will be back later and prompts them to say goodbye to their father. Inside the house Margaret calls for Katy to accompany them.


Nucky and Margaret's wedding.

Margaret makes her confession, exits the confessional and is met by Nucky and their witnesses, Owen and Katy. Brennan conducts the marriage ceremony and describes the sanctity of marriage. Margaret confirms her marriage vows. Nucky does the same and Brennan tells Nucky that he may kiss his bride.

Jim Neary, a key witness against Nucky, is found dead in his office, an apparent suicide. The next day, the judge grants a mistrial given the death of Neary, Margaret's marriage and the fact that Al Boyd and Paddy Ryan have suddenly recanted their testimonies.

At night, Nucky enters the bedroom of his home and is pleased to find Margaret awake. He tells her that he is drunk and then realises that it was not the most romantic greeting. She says that honesty has its virtues. He explains that he has been celebrating with Bill Fallon and she congratulates him on the mistrial, calling it a stroke of luck. He says that he knows what she is thinking. She wonders what that is and he expands that she must think he engineered the mistrial. He claims to have had nothing to do with Neary’s suicide. She says that she believes him. He continues anyway, saying that it did benefit him but that Neary was a very troubled man who knew that he was involved in something wrong. She folds her arms and he asks if he is to be held responsible for all the misfortune in the world. She reminds him that she has already said that she believes him. He asks if she has seen the evening paper, pointing out a story about Congress being about to approve the road appropriations funding he had hoped for with 10 million going to New Jersey. Margaret says that it is a good day for the state and Nucky says it is good for them and that the land he bought will be worth a fortune. Margaret notes that he has already told her this. He asks her to sign the deed back to him as soon as she is able. She says that she will and calls her ownership safe keeping. Nucky wonders if they are going to return to sharing a bed and she says that it is fitting as they are married. Nucky suggests that Margaret could be right and that God may be giving him another chance.


Margaret gives millions of dollars in land to the Church to punish Nucky.

Two days later, Margaret tells her children that they needn’t be afraid of storms, because they are just as angels bowling in Heaven. Katy serves the children breakfast. Nucky comes in and greets his family. He pours coffee and Margaret asks if he is not staying for breakfast. He says that he has an early meeting and she says that she was worried about his late return the night before. She asks where he was and he avoids specifics. She wonders what he was doing amidst a rainstorm and he says that he ran into Jimmy Darmody. He claims that they cleared the air and that Jimmy is going to re-enlist in the army. Margaret can't hide her suspicions and says that she is surprised. Nucky changes the topic to the weather, cooler since the storm the night before. He kisses Emily and pats Teddy on the head as he leaves, saying that he will be home for dinner. Margaret then retrieves the deed for the land he signed over to her and caresses the outline of the tract on a map. Margaret writes her name on the deed, crossing out Schroeder and replacing it with her second married name, Thompson. She then signs the land over to St. Finbar’s Church. She calls for Katy, telling her that she wants the deed to be delivered to Brennan.

See also[]