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Nucky Thompson during a meeting at Babette's Supper Club. ("Boardwalk Empire")

"Everything you see here is mine. Buy a drink, place a bet, ride the fucking Ferris Wheel. [...] If you steal, Charles, from my men, you steal from me. So tell the pack of guineas you came down here with, and tell your boss in New York." ("Family Limitation")

Nucky Thompson is the main character in the series Boardwalk Empire. This article details his actions during the first season.

Boardwalk Empire (Pilot)[]

Main article: Boardwalk Empire

Nucky Thompson gives a speech at the AC Women's Temperance League.

On January 15, 1920, the eve of Prohibition, Nucky gives a speech to the Atlantic City Women’s Temperance League. He is introduced by Mrs. McGarry, the leader of the group, who reads a poem she has written about the evils of liquor. Thompson tells the audience the tale of a family driven to desperation in the winter of 1888 by the father's drinking. He describes the family's young son searching for food and resorting to killing wharf rats. He ends the story with the reveal that he was the young boy drawing cries of sympathy from his audience. Nucky's driver, Jimmy Darmody, watches from outside the room and, as Nucky heralds the arrival of the women’s right to vote, whispers to Nucky. Nucky ends by saying that good women like those in the league are responsible for the success of men like him.

Outside Jimmy marvels at Nucky having to eat rats and admits that he ate dog meat while serving in the trenches during World War I - but that rats were too much even for starving soldiers. Nucky tells Jimmy that the first rule of politics is to never let the truth get in the way of a good story and takes a swig from a hip flask.


"To those beautiful, ignorant bastards!"

Later that night Nucky hosts a dinner party at Babette's Supper Club. His audience includes his brother Atlantic County Sheriff Eli Thompson, the Mayor Harry Bacharach, Jimmy, young politician Paddy Ryan and several city council members including ward bosses George O'Neill, Jim Neary, Damien Fleming and Al Boyd. Nucky tells his guests that they are set to profit hugely from Prohibition. O'Neill is doubtful that Prohibition will inflate liquor prices as much as Nucky hopes and worries about law enforcement. Eli tells O'Neill that he will prevent any local involvement and Nucky dismisses the danger of federal prohibition agents. Nucky details the factors driving demand and notes that people will want alcohol more after Prohibition. Nucky instructs the ward bosses that they will be responsible for taking orders and collecting payment from businesses in their areas while Eli and his deputies will review the orders and make deliveries. Nucky announces the return of Darmody to work after his military service and announces that Jimmy will be working for Paddy Ryan who will be the new Clerk of the Fourth Ward. Jimmy is disappointed by the news.

At midnight the party pauses and counts down to the beginning of prohibition. Afterwards, Nucky dances with his girlfriend Lucy Danziger. Jimmy leaves, telling Nucky his stomach is bothering him.

The next day (January 16, 1920) Nucky sleeps late with Lucy in his hotel suite at the Ritz Carlton. He is woken by his assistant Eddie Kessler announcing a visitor; a pregnant woman named Margaret Schroeder, who saw him speak to the temperance league. In his office, Nucky invites Margaret to sit and offers drinks and food. She awkwardly declines. Nucky notices her Irish accent and she admits that her husband tells her she sounds like an immigrant. Nucky says they are all immigrants and pauses when he notices that she has a faded black eye. He asks what he can do to help and Margaret says she would not normally ask for anything but was moved by his speech to the temperance league. Nucky asks about her pregnancy and her family and learns that she has two children already. Margaret asks if Nucky has a family and he points to a picture of his wife, Mabel Thompson, and says that he lost her to consumption before they could have children. Lucy emerges from the bedroom and Nucky introduces her but does not know how to politely describe their relationship. Nucky asks about Margaret's husband and learns that he is a baker's helper but is out of work until the tourist season; Margaret asks Nucky to give her husband a job. He says he cannot until tourist season but gives her cash instead; she declines at first saying that she wasn't looking for charity but he insists. She offers to name her child after him in thanks and he says no-one could be so cruel as to burden a child with the name Enoch.


Nucky tells Jimmy to drive Margaret home. ("Boardwalk Empire")

Downstairs, Nucky asks Jimmy to drive Margaret home. Jimmy takes Nucky aside and tells Nucky that his friends from Chicago (meaning organised crime bosses Johnny Torrio and Big Jim Colosimo) and New York (Arnold Rothstein and Charlie Luciano) have arrived. Jimmy tries to speak to Nucky again but Nucky dismisses him. Nucky takes a stroll along the Boardwalk with the newspaper. He pauses before a shop front to look in; watching the nurses inside care for premature babies using new incubators. He smokes a cigarette and looks out over the sea. Nucky's gift has unexpected consequences for Margaret - her husband finds the money, believes she has been prostituting herself and hits her.

Nucky watches the catch of the day attraction. He meets with fishing boat Captain Bill McCoy. They joke about McCoy's recent visit to Canada. McCoy tells Nucky that he can supply Canadian Club Whiskey at 500 dollars a crate. Nucky offers to buy a 100 crate shipment for 35,000 dollars every week. McCoy agrees and Nucky tells McCoy that Eli will be in touch about the particulars. McCoy stops Nucky from leaving, saying that he was expecting them to go for a drink. Nucky makes him smile by saying they have nothing to talk about now that Nucky has what he wanted. Jimmy approaches Nucky and again tries to ask him about an alternative to working for Ryan and is again dismissed.

Jimmy drives Nucky to an out of town funeral home. Inside, the mourners are surprised to see Nucky. The widow is disbelieving when Nucky tells her that her husband was a fine man and that they spoke a month ago; her husband had a laryngectomy. Nucky and Jimmy are led down to the basement by the funeral director and find Philadelphia criminal Mickey Kuzik watching as a mortician prepares a female corpse.

Mickey tells Nucky that he has 10 shiners and expects to produce 2,000 crates a week. They are using fermented potatoes to bring up the proof of watered down liquor. Mickey explains that they use dyes to approximate the colour of the required spirit and carbonyl to give the appearance of the bead for whiskey. Mickey explains to Jimmy that the bead is the bubbles on the surface and is an indication of strength. Mickey offers Jimmy a drink and laughs when he spits it out, revealing that the glass contained only formaldehyde. Jimmy attacks Mickey and Mickey draws a gun, accidentally firing a shot into the funeral home above. Nucky breaks up the fight and sends Jimmy outside. When Nucky chastises Mickey and calls him a "stupid bohunk" Mickey says that he has changed his name to Doyle. Nucky wonders if the change was motivated by someone looking for Mickey but Mickey claims that it just sounds better. Nucky quotes Shakespeare; “A Rose by any other Name” but Mickey does not understand the reference. Nucky tells Mickey to "read a fucking book".

On the porch of the funeral home Nucky asks Jimmy what is wrong. Jimmy finally tells him that he does not want to work for Ryan and asks for a position with more responsibility. He compares his life to Nucky's and points out that Nucky was Assistant Sherriff at his age. Nucky reminds Jimmy that before getting that position he spent 8 years working for The Commodore. Jimmy has worked for Nucky since he was 12 but Nucky is angry with Jimmy for the last 3 years; when Jimmy left college and joined the military. Jimmy thinks Nucky is punishing him for wanting to serve his country. Nucky tells Jimmy only fools die for their country and asks Jimmy to slow down as Jimmy is so newly returned from the hospital. Jimmy tells Nucky that the war has changed him and Nucky offers him a wad of cash. Jimmy refuses the handout and tells Nucky he wants an opportunity. Nucky ends the conversation by snapping that no-one is stopping Jimmy from making his own.


Nucky Thompson (center) meets just as Prohibition is enacted with NYC gangsters Arnold Rothstein and Lucky Luciano (right) and Chicago's Big Jim Colosimo and Johnny Torrio in order to trade illegal liquor. ("Boardwalk Empire")

Nucky meets with Colosimo and Torrio outside the Traymore Hotel. As they enter Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden looks on as they greet Rothstein and Luciano. Nucky entertains the gangsters with a joke about a divorce. Colosimo does not understand. They talk about Rothstein not drinking and his massive success at gambling and Colosimo's restaurant and prostitution businesses in Chicago. Torrio reminds Nucky that he is expecting a matchmaking fee and then begins a verbose introduction. Luciano is eager to get straight to business. Luciano tells Nucky they will buy up to 200 cases a month. Nucky rebuffs him and notes that young people have no appreciation for conversation. Luciano goes to the bathroom and Rothstein makes a more subtle request to buy alcohol. Rothstein agrees to pay 60,000 for the shipment Nucky has bought from McCoy.

The next day (January 17, 1920) Eddie interrupts Lucy and Nucky having sex because Nucky has a phone call. Lucy is livid and storms into the bathroom. Casino manager Lolly Steinman is on the phone for Nucky. Steinman tells Nucky that Rothstein has been playing non-stop the whole night and has won over 90,000 dollars - the house has not as much money, but Rothstein wants to continue playing. Nucky asks Eddie to instruct Jimmy to bring the car around. Eddie tells him that Jimmy has called in sick. Jimmy, who is still annoyed about Nucky's refusal to give him a better position, is actually conspiring with Torrio's driver Al Capone to steal the shipment of liquor that Rothstein has bought from Nucky. Nucky tries to get into the bathroom to get dressed but Lucy has locked the door. Nucky has Eddie try to break the door down.

Eddie drives a fully dressed Nucky to Lolly's Casino. Nucky enters the casino and is greeted by Steinman. Steinman tells Nucky that he is sure Rothstein is cheating the casino and if it was not for his history he would be dead in the alley. Rothstein is eating breakfast with Luciano. Nucky approaches and after exchanging pleasantries explains that the casino is a small house that can no longer handle Rothstein's action. Rothstein offers to take credit from the house and Nucky suggests they should wait until they know each other better before getting into loans. Luciano is outraged at Nucky's refusal and stands up when Nucky jokes about his age; Rothstein restrains him. Rothstein takes the price of the alcohol from his 93,000 dollar winnings and calculates that Nucky owes him 33,000 dollars. Nucky instructs Steinman to cash out Rothstein.

As Nucky goes to leave he is interrupted by Hans Schroeder, who is gambling with cash. Hans asks Nucky about his relationship with his wife, Margaret. Nucky looks at the money Hans is betting and deduces that it is what he gave to Margaret; when told Hans recognizes it and throws the bills in his face. Nucky grabs Hans and bashes his head against the side of the table, he leaves the cash on the floor for the customers and instructs the staff to throw Hans out. Hans goes home and severely beats Margaret causing her to lose her baby.


Eli identifies Jimmy as the Hammonton hijacking's culprit. ("Boardwalk Empire")

Later, Nucky makes up with Lucy and takes her to see Eddie Cantor and then to dinner with Jim Neary and his wife. While Nucky enjoys the evening Jimmy and Capone hijack Rothstein's trucks in Hammonton, New Jersey and murder his men. Nucky gets a phone call from Eli who tells him about the hijacking. In the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Halloran holds off the press as Nucky arrives. Inside Nucky gets the details from Eli - four dead bodies have been found and the truck is missing. Eli also tells Nucky that the prohibition agents have their hands full with the funeral home raid and have not gotten involved. Nucky tells Eli about Mickey's name change. Eli notes the coincidence of the timing of the raid and the hijacking. Nucky suspects Rothstein himself is responsible. Eli reviews those who knew about the liquor shipment and Nucky lists Torrio and Rothstein. Eli realises that Jimmy also had the relevant knowledge and the opportunity given that he called in sick for work. Nucky reluctantly asks Eli to bring Jimmy in.

Back at Nucky's suite Eddie fends off calls from reporters as Nucky and Eli discuss Jimmy’s potential involvement in the hijacking. Rothstein calls and Nucky refuses to take it. Nucky leaves claiming he needs fresh air. Outside the hotel Nucky is met by Mrs McGarry. She gives him a framed copy of her poem and tells him that Margaret Schroeder is in hospital having lost her baby. Nucky throws the poem in the trash out of McGarry's sight.

Nucky visits his predecessor as Atlantic County Treasurer, Louis Kaestner (nicknamed "The Commodore") at his home on January 18, 1920. Nucky's arrival is announced by The Commodore's maid, Louanne Pratt. The Commodore has worked out that the story in the paper relates to Rothstein’s men. Kaestner shows Nucky a copy of Henry Ford’s The International Jew and blames Rothstein for their problems. Nucky tells Kaestner that his problems go beyond world finance and confesses that it is the anniversary of his wife’s death. Kaestner recalls that he had just been released from prison then. Nucky worries about a federal investigation and Kaestner tells him to set someone up. Nucky tells Kaestner that Jimmy is responsible and he is amused by the notion.

Back on the Boardwalk Jimmy approaches Nucky. Jimmy admits his involvement in the hijacking, apologises, and tells Nucky that it did not go as planned. Nucky chastises Jimmy for his stupidity. Jimmy tells Nucky that his service in World War I has made him into a murderer and that he believes he is going to hell. Jimmy claims that he wants to live well before he does. Nucky tells Jimmy that he is foolish to underestimate him and warns him that he could have him killed. Jimmy does not believe Nucky would go that far and tells Nucky that he cannot be half a gangster. Jimmy gives Nucky a share of his take from the hijacking and asks Nucky to let him help more with their business and leaves. On his way back to the hotel Nucky passes a fortune teller’s shop and pauses outside.

Back at the hotel Eddie shaves Nucky. Following The Commodore's advice, Nucky arranges to have Hans Schroeder murdered and framed for the hijacking. Nucky assigns the task to Eli. Nucky visits Margaret at the hospital and gives her flowers.

The Ivory Tower[]

Main article: The Ivory Tower

Nucky gets his shoes shined in his suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel while reading about the funeral of Big Jim Colosimo in Chicago. Colosimo was murdered on orders from Johnny Torrio after the Hammonton hijacking because of his resistance to bootlegging. Nucky looks at a photo of his deceased wife Mabel and reminds the servant, Harlan, to watch his socks. Nucky then asks Harlan if he has a family and learns that he has a wife and four children.


Nucky and Agent Van Alden.

Nucky's assistant Eddie Kessler enters and announces that Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden has come to see Nucky. Van Alden bursts into the office as Eddie is still talking and introduces himself. Nucky offers Van Alden a shoe shine, coffee or something stronger. Van Alden does not laugh and Nucky jokes that it is nice that the prohibition agents have a sense of humour. Nucky pays Harlan as Van Alden complains about having to wait to see Nucky. Nucky tells Van Alden that he is his own man and keeps unusual hours, like Atlantic City itself. Van Alden has come to discuss the murders in Hammonton. Nucky knows that the murders were committed by Al Capone and Jimmy Darmody when they botched the Hammonton hijacking and covered up the murders by framing Hans Schroeder. Nucky tells Van Alden that they can rest easy now that Schroeder is dead. Van Alden finds Schroeder an unlikely suspect as he worked as a baker's assistant for 11 years and has no criminal record beyond a citation for public drunkenness in 1912. Nucky remembers writing the summons himself when he was Sheriff. Nucky recommends that Van Alden speak to the current Sheriff and Van Alden points out that the Sheriff is Nucky's brother, Elias Thompson. Nucky recommends The Hottentot show if Van Alden has spare time and offers to find him a date if he has no-one to go with. Van Alden changes the subject to Hans' widow, Margaret Schroeder. He has been to her house but could not find her. He asks if Nucky knows where she is. Nucky, aware that Margaret is in hospital after being severely beaten by Hans, changes the subject and asks if Van Alden is working outside of his remit by investigating murders. Van Alden says he is also his own man.

Van Alden leaves and Nucky chastises Eddie for letting him in. Nucky instructs Eddie to get Eli on the phone. Nucky sends Eli to visit Margaret in the hospital to feed her the story about Hans involvement in the murders and to give her an envelope of cash.

Van Alden later submits a report on Nucky to his boss, Supervisor Elliot. The report details Nucky’s lifestyle and businesses and as Van Alden recites his findings a montage of scenes involving Nucky unfolds. Nucky and ward boss Damien Fleming make a collection from a bar owned by Abe Klein. Ward boss Jim Neary gives Nucky an envelope full of cash for the ice fund and the fire chief gives Nucky a roll of cash and is jokingly reprimanded for forgetting the envelope. Elliot is surprised that Nucky has managed to win re-election and Van Alden explains that he is popular, particularly among African Americans. Nucky and Alderman Boyd deliver cartons of cigarettes to African American kitchen staff. Sebso tells Elliot that Nucky is involved in casinos. Nucky makes a collection from Lolly Steinman at the Oceanfront Men’s Association casino.

As Nucky departs the Ritz Carlton and is stopped by cutlery salesman George Baxter. Nucky needs Eddie to remind him of Baxter's name. Baxter introduces his new girlfriend Claudia. Nucky is eager to leave but wishes them well. Claudia tells Baxter she wants to go roller-skating. After Nucky leaves she is suitably impressed with Baxter's connections.

Nucky meets with Eli at the jail and they discuss Eli's visit to Margaret. Eli reports that she took the money but was defensive about Hans. Nucky chastises Eli for not leaving Hans on the side of the road to allow an easy identification as Nucky wanted. Eli remembers Nucky's instructions differently and points out that Hans' body was both found and identified. Nucky is annoyed at the risks Eli took by dumping the body at sea, explaining that the corpse could have drifted out to sea or been disfigured by sea life. Eli goes outside leaving Nucky to talk to a prisoner, Mickey Doyle. Doyle was arrested after Van Alden raided his moonshine operation.

Nucky tells Mickey he is out and Mickey assumes he means out of jail. Nucky clarifies that he meant that Mickey is out of business and tells Mickey that Chalky White is taking over Mickey's role as a supplier of alcohol. Mickey wants to know why and Nucky explains that it is because Mickey was caught and is now known to the Department of Prohibition. Mickey claims he was set-up (he was indeed, by Jimmy Darmody in order to create a distraction for the Hammonton hijacking). Mickey asks for Nucky to pay his bail and Nucky refuses, not wanting to leave a link between then. Mickey complains about his Chinese cell mate and Nucky tells him to think of the imprisonment as a way to broaden his horizons.


Jimmy Darmody.

That afternoon Nucky is back to reading the paper in his suite. Jimmy arrives and pours himself a drink. Nucky asks Jimmy what he is doing and Jimmy says he is clocking in. Nucky becomes increasingly annoyed and says that he thinks their relationship has changed significantly. He asks Jimmy to tell him what happened with the Hammonton hijacking. Jimmy goes to sit down and Nucky stops him. Jimmy begins by saying he was speaking to Al Capone. Nucky interrupts, not sure who Capone is, and learns that he is Torrio’s driver. Nucky asks if Torrio sanctioned the hijacking and Jimmy admits that Torrio was not involved until afterwards. Jimmy claims to have apologised and Nucky asks when that was. Jimmy apologises and claims that they thought the job would be easy with no violence and no connection left to Nucky. Nucky complains that Van Alden has already questioned him. Jimmy goes on to explain that Capone started shooting when startled by a deer. Nucky is disbelieving that four deaths resulted from this. Jimmy remembers that there were five men and Nucky tells him there were four bodies recovered and not to quibble over small details. Jimmy rationalises that they could not leave witnesses and admits that he made mistakes. Nucky calls Jimmy an idiot and Jimmy offers to work extra hours to make it up to Nucky. Nucky tells Jimmy that he no longer works for him because of his actions. Nucky tells Jimmy to go and be a gangster but that he will have to pay if he wants to do it in Atlantic City. Nucky has calculated that Jimmy’s payment to him for the hijacking was 3,000 dollars short. Nucky demands the money from Jimmy. Jimmy tries to explain that he has spent most of his share but Nucky is insistent and gives him 48 hours to pay.

Nucky works late into the night. Eddie announces another phone call from Rothstein. Nucky tells Eddie to wear a black suit as he will be driving later. Eddie asks about a chauffeurs cap and insists that he needs one. Nucky takes Rothstein’s call, telling Rothstein it is a pleasant surprise. Rothstein has called several times about his missing shipment. Rothstein says he is willing to call the loss of the shipment a misunderstanding but wants 100,000 dollars to cover it. Nucky is shocked. Rothstein says that Nucky has sold the shipment to Chicago and murdered his men including his sister-in-law's nephew. Nucky denies having any involvement and tells Rothstein he does not care if his mother was one of the drivers. Rothstein asks if this is how Nucky does business and Nucky threatens to show him how he does business if he returns to Atlantic City before hanging up.

The next day (January 21, 1920) Nucky visits Commodore Louis Kaestner at his home to deliver his share of the collection money. ON his way there Nucky passes midget boxer Carl Heely on the boardwalk and presses him into a joke about his short stature. Nucky sees George Baxter getting a push chair ride with Claudia, a 19-year old girl from Baltimore. Claudia goes to buy salt water taffy and Baxter complains that despite taking Claudia out for dinner and to a show she has not given in to his advances. Nucky tells Claudia that she is perfect for a beauty contest he is planning and that Baxter will be one of the judges. He whispers to Baxter that she should warm up now as he leaves.

Nucky delivers an envelope of cash to The Commodore. As The Commodore counts the money he wonders aloud why it is cold. Nucky explains that it was in his coat and that he walked over to The Commodore's having let Jimmy go. Nucky explains that he thinks it is time for Jimmy to find his own way. The Commodore thinks it might be good for Jimmy. He also complains about his stomach and asks for a cognac. The Commodore then asks about the news from Trenton, New Jersey’s legislative capital. Nucky tells him that Senator Walter Edge and Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague will be visiting Atlantic City for Nucky’s birthday. The Commodore laughs at the idea of Nucky throwing his own birthday party and Nucky jokingly asks if he should cancel the prostitute he has booked for The Commodore for the occasion. Nucky tells The Commodore that he is hoping to convince Senator Edge to commit road appropriation funds to Atlantic City. The Commodore believes that Edge will be open to a deal because he is looking to advance in the next election and Nucky could help him. Nucky believes Edge has potential particularly given his popularity with women and the impending women’s vote. The Commodore finds women voting a frightening prospect. Nucky sees a vote as a vote. The Commodore calls for his maid, Louanne, and is irritated when she does not come. He rings a hand bell, annoying Nucky. Louanne eventually arrives and The Commodore berates her for being slow to respond. The Commodore asks Louanne to tell Nucky her thoughts about the League of Nations and she is unable to comment. The Commodore moves on to the Halliday Act and she apologises for not being versed in such matters. The Commodore was using Louanne to make a point to Nucky about how ill informed he believes female voters are.

TIT Margaret Nucky

Nucky and Margaret's second meeting in his office.

At Nucky’s suite, Lucy recommends that Nucky grow a moustache like the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Margaret arrives to see Nucky. Lucy asks who the visitor is and Nucky ignores the question and asks Lucy to wait in the car. Nucky goes through to his waiting room and greets Margaret. She apologises for the hour and he asks who is caring for her children, learning it is her neighbour. Margaret gives back the money Eli gave her. She tells Nucky she did not know what the money was for and that it weighed on her conscience. Margaret expresses concern about losing Hans. Nucky tells her he understands and takes her hand. Margaret asks if Nucky’s wife, Mabel, was very young when he lost her. He is taken aback and then tells her that Mabel was 28 and recalls her good qualities. Margaret promises to pray for Mabel and then asks for a job rather than for charity. She quotes George Sand to illustrate her point “Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it”. Nucky does not recognise the quote and Margaret tells him that it was by Sand, actually a pen name for a Baroness, and that she learned it while working as a parlour maid for a barrister. The barrister’s home was filled with books; Nucky believes that she would have read them all. She asks Nucky to help her to find work to provide for her children. She asks what Nucky wants from her. He hesitates and then asks her to vote republican.

Nucky entertains a group of gamblers at Steinman’s casino. Jimmy enters and gives Nucky the 3,000 dollars he demanded after going through great pains to re-collect them. Nucky takes the money to the roulette table and bets it all on black. Jimmy watches as Nucky loses the money he scraped together. Lucy comforts Nucky and Jimmy is left alone at the table. Meanwhile, Baxter drives Claudia back to Baltimore and they find Simon, a survivor of the Hammonton hijack, heralding further trouble for Nucky.

Broadway Limited[]

Main article: Broadway Limited

Simon is wheeled into the hospital by a pair of orderlies. His abdomen gapes open following the large shotgun wound he sustained as a victim of the Hammonton hijacking. A doctor and a nurse walk alongside the stretcher. Sheriff Eli Thompson is waiting in the corridor with a group of deputies as Simon is pushed past. Nucky and Jimmy Darmody arrive behind Simon; Eli goes to greet them. Nucky asks how Simon survived three days in the cold of the woods and Eli guesses that Simon’s obesity protected him, immediately undermining his assumption by stating that he is not a doctor. Nucky is annoyed at Eli for stating the obvious and turns his glare on Jimmy, the architect of the hijacking. Jimmy tells Nucky he thought all of the men they hijacked were dead. Nucky criticises Jimmy for thinking, sarcastically comparing him to the philosopher Aristotle. Nucky asks what the doctors are doing to Simon. Eli says that with Simon’s wounds the doctor’s interventions will be pointless. Nucky asks if Eli is now a doctor. Eli asks why Nucky is mad at him. Nucky ignores the question, checking his watch. He says he is running late and tells Eli to let Simon die naturally or to hasten his death if able. Nucky warns Jimmy to hope that Simon dies before he can reveal Jimmy’s involvement in the hijacking.


Nucky deals with Chalky White.

A cart driver steers his hearse into a livery. Inside, he is greeted by Nucky and African American bootlegger Chalky White. Chalky notes the driver’s tardiness and he says that his horse is not exactly Man’O War (a race horse). Nucky jokingly asks the horse if it has run at Saratoga. Chalky has his man open the hearse up – it is filled with crates of Canadian Club Whiskey. Chalky instructs his team to unload the hearse warning them that he will be doing a bottle count and will take a drop of blood from them for every drop of whiskey missing. Nucky jokes that Chalky is like Simon Legree from Uncle Tom's Cabin. Chalky mishears him and says he does not care if his team agree or not. Nucky pauses and asks Chalky what he thinks of the delivery. Chalky estimates that he can water the whisky down and turn 500 bottles into 3,000. Chalky asks how they will split the income from selling the whiskey and Nucky offers a 20% share to Chalky for repackaging it. Chalky is disappointed at the low percentage and Nucky reassures him that it is the same percentage he gave to Mickey Kuzik. Chalky notes that Mickey has changed his name to Doyle, calling Mickey “motherfucker.” Chalky offers 40% and tells Nucky that he skipped 30% because Nucky thought he would accept the same deal as Mickey. Nucky calls Chalky sensitive and counters with 35%. Chalky agrees and they shake on the deal. Chalky oversees the unloading while Nucky whispers to his assistant Eddie Kessler, asking if Eddie knows what motherfucker means; Eddie guesses it is a “schwarze” (German, meaning black) word.

On the phone in his suite, Nucky agrees to make a donation of $1,000 to the premature baby hospital on the Boardwalk. Eddie goes to remove a tray from the bedroom and Nucky chastises Eddie for taking it before he said he was finished. Lucy confesses that she finds the premature baby hospital spooky and then mentions that Broadway impresario Flo Ziegfeld is in Atlantic City casting for a production. Nucky says he thought Lucy was finished with dancing. She asks if that is what he wants and he tells her to do whatever makes her happy. She says Nucky makes her happy and offers to have a baby for him. He is shocked and she asks if he thinks she would be a bad mother. He says she has a loving disposition but he is worried that it is not the right time. He asks if they can revisit the issue after the election and she agrees. She spills cream onto her breasts and licks it off, calling it delicious before undoing Nucky’s dressing gown and telling him he looks delicious too.

Nucky has also arranged for Margaret Schroeder to work at La Belle Femme clothing store in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton. Lucy shops at the store and she calls Margaret one of Nucky's charity cases.

Nucky entertains guests in his suite at the Ritz Carlton. Eddie Cantor sings while Lucy and friends dance. Aldermen Jim Neary, George O’Neill and Damien Fleming are also there. Eli arrives and Nucky takes him aside. Eli explains that Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden has Simon under guard, preventing him from doing anything to hasten Simon’s death. Eli is excited when he notices Cantor; Nucky tells him the situation is serious. Eli tells Nucky not to be insolent and reminds him that Jimmy created the problem.

Gillian Darmody arranges to meet Nucky in the shop of boardwalk fortune teller Lady Jean. Her fortune begins with a dark and dangerous man but is interrupted by Nucky’s arrival. Nucky is impatient and Gillian asks Lady Jean for a few minutes of privacy. Nucky complains that Gillian could have come to him; she explains that she did not want to see Jimmy. Nucky asks what he can do for her and she tells him he needs to honour their agreement. Nucky claims Jimmy is fine and Gillian refutes the assertion, citing his theft of the necklace he gave her and rumours she has heard. Nucky calls Jimmy’s problems a rough patch and says that the war must have been difficult for him. Gillian remarks that Jimmy should have stayed in college and Nucky reminds her that Jimmy ignored his advice to do so. Nucky asks if he should have forced Jimmy to stay and Gillian tells him she thought he was capable of anything. Nucky says he is not God and she replies “Now you tell me.” Gillian leaves the shop.

Van Alden attempts to move Simon to New York. Simon dies en route but gives a dying declaration identifying Jimmy. News finds its way back to Nucky and he summons Jimmy to his office at the Ritz Carlton. Nucky offers Jimmy a seat next to Eli and relays the bad news. Jimmy is disbelieving until Eli and Nucky suggest that Al Capone might have used Jimmy’s name during the hijacking. Nucky regretfully relays his great expectations of Jimmy by recalling taking Jimmy to see President Taft give a campaign speech. Jimmy asked Nucky what it took to become president and Nucky advised study and hard work. Jimmy was surprised it took so little. Nucky compares Jimmy to Ragged Dick, a character from a series of books by Horatio Alger who rises from humble beginnings to respectability, and says he did everything right in his youth. Jimmy offers to do anything and Nucky tells him he must leave Atlantic City. Jimmy asks where he will go and Eli coolly interjects that California is nice and that Charlie Chaplin might need a comic foil. Jimmy worries about his family and Eli stands, telling Jimmy that he has eight children himself and therefore plans ahead. Jimmy faces off with Eli and asks if he is supposed to accept a lecture. Eli responds that given his way Jimmy would get more than a lecture. Nucky gives Jimmy a wad of cash for Angela and Jimmy tells Nucky he never meant to hurt him. Eli cruelly asks if Jimmy the war hero is now going to cry. Jimmy silences him with a stare and Eli instinctively puts a hand on his holster. Nucky wishes Jimmy good luck and Jimmy strides out of the room. Eli wonders if Nucky would be as understanding if he had made the same mistakes. Jimmy later leaves town on the Broadway Limited train to Chicago.

Chalky Kendall-dead

Chalky shows Nucky and Eli the body of his lynched driver, Kendall.

Nucky and Eli are called to the livery when Kendall, Chalky's driver, is lynched just outside. Chalky has brought Kendall's body inside. He laments that Kendall was less than twenty; Nucky calls it a tragedy. Chalky suspects a cover-up and glares at Nucky. Nucky insists that the means of the driver’s death must be concealed because it is an election year. Chalky accepts Nucky’s demands for now. Nucky lays out a cover story involving a jealous husband shooting Kendall. Chalky insists on a 50% split and Nucky nods. To support the tale Eli shoots the corpse twice - ignoring the fact that the family of the deceased is present.

Nucky walks through the lobby of the Ritz Carlton and takes the elevator up to his suite. As he turns around he notices the trail of muddy footprints that he has tracked into the building.


Main article: Anastasia

At the Ritz Carlton Hotel Nucky is standing in front of the bath room mirror practicing a surprised response for the birthday party he is throwing himself. His assistant Eddie Kessler calls from the bedroom of Nucky’s suite. Nucky is startled and asks how long Eddie has been there. Eddie has brought the guest list for Nucky to review. Nucky maintains that he was practicing a speech for the restaurant workers association when Eddie came in. Lucy Danziger comes in and announces that she is going shopping. Nucky gives her a handful of cash and tells her to get something pretty. She graphically references their sex the night before and Nucky is embarrassed. Nucky reminds Eddie to invite Governor Edward Edwards, knowing that Edwards will not attend because of their mutual dislike. He marvels at the Governor’s election calling him a democrat no-hoper. Eddie mentions that he has booked suites for Senator Walter Edge and Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague. Nucky confirms that they are to be treated as visiting royalty, particularly the senator. Nucky asks for his shoes and the gestures to his outfit when Eddie asks which ones; this is all the clarification Eddie needs. Nucky says that Edge is the key to Atlantic County receiving the Road Appropriations money he is hoping for, knowing that there is $30,000,000 to be distributed across the state. Eddie is confused when Nucky says he expects “a piece of that pie”. Nucky explains that it is an expression and asks if they have pie in Germany. Eddie shrugs and says they have Strudel. Nucky instructs Eddie to make sure their guests all get laid.

In his office Nucky berates his brother, Sheriff Eli Thompson, and Deputy Halloran, for their inability to catch the murderers of Kendall. Eli says they have asked around and that no-one cares about the murder of an African American. Nucky points out that his bootlegging partner, African American community leader Chalky White, cares and that means that he cares. He also warns Eli about the political ramifications of the murder remaining unsolved because they could lose Chalky’s support. From the bar, Alderman George O’Neill, offers the wisdom that control of Atlantic City gives control of Atlantic County and with that comes state wide influence. Eli has heard this before and demonstratively joins in. Eli believes the African American community will always vote in line with Nucky’s instructions. Nucky points out that Chalky is the intermediary in that process. Eli dismisses Chalky’s importance, saying that Chalky’s wealth and power come from Nucky’s support and that Chalky would never risk his position by defying Nucky’s instructions. Nucky insists that Chalky cannot maintain his credibility amongst African Americans if word of Kendall’s lynching gets out. Eli reasserts Nucky’s importance to Chalky. Nucky again tries to convince Eli of their interdependence using the analogy of one hand washing another and both hands washing the face. Halloran interjects with a racist joke and Nucky sends him outside. Once Halloran is gone, Nucky says that he never liked him. Eli calls Halloran a good man who is ready and able. Nucky concludes the discussion by ordering Eli to step up the investigation.

Eli responds by arresting Joseph Earl Dinler, the Grand Cyclops of the Atlantic City Branch of the Ku Klux Klan. He allows Chalky to torture Dinler and Chalky removes Dinler's finger before being satisifed that he was not involved.

At Babette’s Supper Club Eddie runs through the evening’s entertainment and menu for Nucky. He trails off as Nucky notices a dirty glass. Nucky complains and claims that he deserves better given the stress he is under. He reminds Eddie that he supported him through Anti-German sentiment during World War I. A trio of staff members silently watch Nucky’s tantrum. Nucky overturns a table and walks out. Eddie urges the staff to do their best.


Nucky entertains Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague during his birthday party.

Nucky delivers his practiced reaction as he is welcome to his birthday party. Later, with the band in full swing and the dance floor busy Nucky eats dinner with Commodore Louis Kaestner, Hague, Edge and their dates. Hague tells a sexist joke involving domestic abuse. Edge turns the subject to Women’s suffrage and Nucky recalls Edge as a supporter of the movement. Edge says that he is in public. Kaestner says he is for suffrage so long as women vote Republican. Hague says the Democrats have a similar attitude. Alderman Damien Fleming stands behind the guests of honour, also with a date. Nucky believes the movement will succeed with 32 states having ratified already. Kaestner believes the suffragettes all need sex; his date says that she does. Nucky says that they should not be afraid and just need to fulfil women voters' wants. Edge wonders what it is that women want and Hague says it does not matter. Edge jokes that Hague is assuming that women have minds at all. Lucy says she has brains and Nucky tries to quiet her. The Commodore asks for Lucy’s opinion on the League of Nations. Nucky explains that it was an international political summit in Paris three weeks prior. Lucy has no opinion but likes the sound of Paris and asks Nucky to take her. Edge observes that she is a thinking woman. Nucky asks Lucy to fetch him a drink and glares at Kaestner before saying Lucy may not be the best example of a woman voter.

The drinks flow freely at Nucky’s party while he smokes alone at the bar. Margaret arrives with the dress and is stunned by the scene. Nucky spots her in the doorway and goes to welcome her. Babette approaches and Margaret explains that she is delivering the dress to Lucy. Babette goes to put it in the dressing room and before Margaret can follow, Nucky asks how she is being treated by “Isabelle”. Margaret realises he means Madame Jeunet and says that she is being treated well. Nucky is amused that her employer insists on such formality. Edge and Hague approach and Nucky introduces Margaret. Edge offers a drink and Margaret declines, admitting that she is tee total. Nucky explains that she is a member of the Women’s Temperance League. The politicians nod and Edge notes the awkwardness. Hague asks if Margaret is a suffragette says that she is not officially one but that she comes from Ireland, where women already have the right to vote and that this is true of most civilized countries. Nucky is impressed with her argument. Edge says that they are trying to protect women from the hard truths of life in America. Margaret suggests that this is illogical as women are being denied a meaningful part in their own lives. Edge believes it is a shame Margaret has this attitude and she points out that most women feel the same way. Margaret jokingly suggests that the politicians must have experienced that withholding a woman’s desire must surely result in the woman withholding something the man desires. Edge smiles and asks for clarification. Margaret says that she means alcohol and Edge says the women have not done a good job, raising his glass. Margaret says the party has just begun and Hague tells Edge that he has met his match. Nucky offers to show Margaret to the dressing room.


Margaret and Nucky share their first dance together.

Singer Edith Day is announced by the band leader. As she begins to sing Nucky hopes that Margaret does not mind the drinking and says that old habits die hard. Margaret observes that they might not die at all and Nucky calls this a practical perspective. Margaret says she is very practical, and Nucky, having led her onto the dance floor, says that they should dance. Margaret complies but is a little uncomfortable initially. As the song continues a smile blossoms on her face and their dancing becomes more elaborate, even amusing Nucky’s guests. As the song finishes Nucky bows and thanks her for the dance. From the bandstand, Babette, asks for attention as a cake is brought in. Lucy emerges from the top tier of the cake as the revellers sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. She dances for Nucky as Margaret looks on from the balcony. Nucky stares past Lucy at Margaret but does blow Lucy a kiss when she is finished.

Nucky uses a private room for a discussion with Edge and Hague while Eddie watches the door. Edge tells Nucky that they need to be realistic with a Democrat for governor. Nucky is concerned that the road appropriations money he is expecting will go to Hague. Hague comments that people in Northern New Jersey need roads too and Nucky disagrees. Edge says there is plenty of money to share and Nucky says that he wants his there and then. Edge says that there are limits and Nucky reminds Edge that there were no limits when he helped Edge to run for governor and then the senate. Edge believes he has thanked Nucky enough and compliments his ability as a campaign manager. Nucky explains his need for better transport infrastructure to sustain Atlantic City’s tourism based economy. Hague points out that Nucky also needs roads for bootlegging and asks for plain speaking. Nucky insists that Hague’s constituents do not need the funding as much and says that Hague is looking for a payoff. He demands that Hague give a figure. Hague pauses and says he needs to make some calculations. Nucky jovially complains about Democrats and Edge urges Nucky to be more bipartisan. Nucky jokes that Edge is already packed for the White House. Edge becomes more serious suggesting that he might be able to aid Nucky by controlling Governor Edwards if he makes it to the White House. Nucky is annoyed by the lack of certainty and Edge refuses to be drawn into a firm commitment. Edge finishes his drink and asks for a Pimms cup. Nucky seethes when the drink is unavailable. Edge tells Nucky to relax, reminding him that he cannot expect to have everything.

At the Ritz Carlton Eli apologises to Nucky for not attending the party. He says he avoided going so that Nucky would not have to receive his bad news (regarding Chalky maiming Dinler) on his birthday. Eddie brings the bill for the guest’s suites for Nucky to sign and passes on a thank you from Edge. Nucky complains about the senator’s largesse. Eddie mixes Alka Seltzer for Nucky as Eli wonders if he should return Dinler’s ring.

Senator Edge's aide announces the arrival of a case of Pimms from Nucky. Nucky’s note says that he does expect to have everything.

Nights in Ballygran[]

Main article: Nights in Ballygran

In the elevator at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Nucky and his brother Eli discuss upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations and the coinciding annual dinner of the Order of Ancient Celts. Nucky does not look forward to the holiday, Eli remarks that their father (Ethan Thompson) believes Nucky hates being Irish. Nucky denies this and says that his dislike comes from the public displays of emotion and drunkenness that accompany the celebrations. Eli says that the Irish have experienced centuries of loss and are a sorrowful people. Nucky hopes for snow to calm the revelers. They exit into the lobby and are greeted by a waiter, Martin, who pours tea and offers breakfast. Nucky declines and Eli complains that Martin did not ask him. Martin apologises, then offers but Eli declines anyway. As Martin leaves Eli whinges to Nucky about being ignored; Nucky believes that the offer was made to him because he lives in the hotel and is known as a big tipper. Eli is annoyed that Nucky sees no meaning in the encounter and Nucky reasserts that it doesn't mean anything. Nucky changes the subject of the Celtic dinner and suggests they bring it forward because some of the civil war veterans slept through the Attorney General's address the previous year. Eli jokes that you need not be old to be bored by the Attorney General. Nucky asks if Eli believes he can do better and Eli takes the opportunity to ask to make a speech this year. Eli explains that he wants to electioneer because reformers are trying to replace him. Nucky is dubious but Eli insists that it is a good opportunity to reach many influential men at once. Nucky reminds Eli that the gathering is a celebration of their heritage not a chance to be bored and Eli claims that he has been practicing public speaking and taking classes at the YMCA. He shows Nucky a rumpled copy of "Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business" by Dale Carnagey. Nucky worries that he needs to look after their father and Eli promises not to ruin the evening. Nucky reluctantly agrees, comparing Eli to Daniel Webster.

Eli notes Margaret Schroeder’s arrival at La Belle Femme dress shop across the lobby. She approaches Nucky and offers him soda bread that she has baked. Nucky dismissively asks her to leave it with the bellhop. She begins to say that he must have had many gifts on his birthday but he interrupts, late for a meeting. Margaret goes back into the shop and Eli comments that she is attractive. Nucky says that his life is complicated enough and heads outside.


Eli practices his speech.

Nucky counts money in his salon while Aldermen George O'Neill and Jim Neary play cards with fishing boat Captain Bill McCoy at the table. Alderman Boyd is playing the piano while Eli sits next to Nucky reading notes for his planned speech. Nucky chastises O’Neill and O’Neill says that prohibition puts them in uncharted territory. Neary toasts the Irish and their prodigious drinking and Nucky jokes that he personally drinks to forget, but can’t remember what. Damien Fleming arrives with his collections money for Nucky and says that his ward’s speakeasies have been packed with people of all ethnicities. Nucky observes that people want what they cannot have and Boyd is impressed by Nucky’s grasp of psychology. Fleming says his people cannot keep liquor on the shelves, Eli interjects that it should be hidden under the shelves, while Fleming goes on to say he needs to increase his order. Eli asks if McCoy is listening and McCoy responds that he needs to get another boat. Fleming asks the others to deal him into their game and Nucky asks when McCoy is leaving port. McCoy jokingly says he leaves at “the stroke of midnight on a sea of green.” Fleming wonders if McCoy means that the sea is green from money or from the dyed beer they will serve later. Nucky wonders how the preparation of the beer is progressing and Neary reassures him that the food colouring has arrived and is being mixed with the beer as they speak. Nucky jokes that they will need plenty of beer to get the Celts through Eli’s re-election speech. Boyd is surprised that Eli is speaking and Nucky repeats his earlier comparison to Daniel Webster. Eli is annoyed at the jest but Nucky continues, revealing that Eli is taking lessons. Fleming toasts to “the great orator” and O’Neill requests a sample. Eli refuses and Nucky says the Irish are a surly lot. O’Neill suggests giving Eli a drink and Neary jokes that he can have green beer. Nucky says anyone can drink as long as they pay and Neary assures him that they will. McCoy bursts into song replacing the words from Danny Boy with an ode to Nucky’s bootlegging success.

Eddie Kessler, Nucky's assistant, announces that midget boxer Carl Heely wants a discussion. Nucky cannot remember who Heely is until Eddie gestures his height. Nucky asks what he wants and Heely lets himself in saying he just wants to talk. Heely clambers into a chair opposite Nucky and Nucky grimaces as Heely’s foot touches the leather of the seat. Heely begins with pleasantries and Nucky asks if they can skip to the purpose of the meeting because he is busy. Heely explains that he is asking for a raise for his group of performers working the Celtic dinner, citing the humiliation they endure and the risk of performing amongst drunken men twice their size. Nucky says that it is out of the question and attempts to claim that there will be no alcohol at the dinner this year due to Prohibition. Heely sees through the ruse, saying that he only looks like a child. Nucky calculates that a $10 raise for eight performers will cost him $80 and suggests a smaller raise to $7 for each and that he split the saving he will make with Carl – a $12 bonus. Carl is reluctant until Nucky puts the money on the table.

As Heely leaves, Margaret and Mrs. McGarry arrive. Nucky offers them a seat and Margaret asks if he enjoyed the soda bread. He is initially confused and then lies that he did. McGarry begins by saying that Margaret has seen something that Nucky should know about. Margaret relays her story about men unloading alcohol in the Hiawatha Garage behind her home, saying that she found the supervisor of the unloading familiar. Nucky feigns concern that she must have been uncomfortable at his birthday party. Embarrassed, she explains to McGarry that she was making a delivery for the dress shop. Nucky clarifies that there was some drinking and McGarry comments that she is sure that people of his class drink in moderation. Nucky asks Eddie to put Margaret on the phone with the sheriff and says they will take care of the garage. Margaret thanks him and Nucky says that it is not a personal favour. She coldly tells him she knows. Margaret tries to see Nucky again the next day but he instructs Eddie to tell her that he is too busy. Twice scorned, she goes to Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden behind his back.

Elis speech

Eli's speech turns out to be a disaster.

At the Celtic Dinner Duncan O'Connor sings Carrickfergus. The Commodore, Nucky, Neary, Boyd and Ethan Thompson are seated at the top table alongside the vocalist. Ethan shouts over O'Connor to ask Nucky where Eli is just before Eli arrives late, blaming his children playing Tarzan with his sash. The audience joins in with the ballad. As the crowd applauds Mayor Harry Bacharach thanks O’Connor and introduces Nucky. Eli asks when he can speak and Nucky again asks if it is necessary. Nevertheless, at the podium Nucky explains that Eli wants to give a speech. Eli is heckled by the audience as he unfolds his notes. His opening mangles a quote from Julius Caesar and is ridiculed. He seems to get the audience on side with anti-English sentiment and lists the names of Irish revolutionaries. He makes a mistake with one name and is criticised for having been born in America. The Celts begin to argue about the difference between first and second generation immigrants and Eli cannot regain their attention. The Commodore warns Nucky that a riot could erupt and Nucky announces the end of the speech. He entertains the audience with jokes about Irishmen and then brings on bagpipers and the leprechauns, saying they are carrying pots of gold. The crowd finds the leprechauns carrying bottled beer and complains about the absence of the traditional green beer. Nucky explains that the stash of beer was seized by federal agents.

Nucky tries to impart some of his public speaking experience to Eli, explaining that he needs to be more aware of his audience. Eli downs a glass of whiskey and gestures for another. Nucky suggests a break, telling Eli that he is drunk. Eli asks if Nucky is drunk too and then remembers that Nucky doesn’t drink at the Celtic Dinner. Nucky tells Eli that the powerbrokers of the Celtic Order are constantly judging them. Eli observes that politics is all a game and that it comes easily to Nucky. He says he will continue his efforts and that one day he might “lie as good as” Nucky. Nucky corrects his English and tells him that he needs to learn to speak properly before he can succeed. Soon after, Van Alden and a team of agents burst in and announce a raid. Ethan is furious but Nucky restrains him. An attorney from the crowd of Celts states that consumption of alcohol is not a crime. Van Alden knocks him out with a single punch and asks if there are further objections. Eli shifts in his seat and Nucky tells him to stand down. Van Alden orders Sebso to shoot anyone that tries to flee and then announces an arrest warrant for Neary giving his address as 1222 Chelsea Avenue. He has men take Neary away, ignoring his protestations of innocence. He announces the end of the dinner and tells the Celts to leave.

Outside the press and the women of the temperance league are waiting for the diners. The women sing a song in support of Prohibition and attempt to shame the Celts as they exit. On the steps outside The Commodore urges Eli to do something. Nucky notices Margaret amongst the singers of the temperance league and meets her stare. Van Alden has his agents lock the doors of the assembly hall. Eli tells Nucky that it was a great night and that he has surely impressed his friends in the Republican Party. Nucky tells Eli to go home to his wife, June. Eli says that he will, asks where Nucky will go and then throws a punch, missing by a wide margin. Nucky angrily asks what the swing was for as Boyd ushers Eli away.

Nucky goes to Margaret's home. He tells her that he has no time for games and then kisses her passionately, lifting her nightgown and pinning her against the wall.

Family Limitation[]

Main article: Family Limitation

Nucky Thompson and Lucy Danziger share a poscoital embrace at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. He is dozing as she asks him what makes him feel good and worries about his faithfulness. She describes herself as a little tiger cub and rakes her nails down his chest, drawing blood. The pain brings Nucky to annoyed wakefulness. He tells her to calm down, puts on a robe and goes to the bathroom. She smokes a cigarette, alone.

Alderman George O'Neill is robbed on the Boardwalk, in the day time while making his collections. In his office, Nucky quizzes O’Neill about the robbery. O’Neill cannot believe the audacity of his attackers. Eli asks O’Neill if the muggers were from his own ward. O’Neill says they were not and asserts his in depth knowledge of his constituents. He suggests that they might have come from Alderman Boyd’s ward because they looked Italian American, using a racial slur. Nucky asks for more detail and O’Neill says only that they looked feeble minded. He promises to have his people looking for the perpetrators. Nucky says they should let Eli handle it and recommends that O’Neill apply a steak to the swelling on his forehead. O’Neill leaves and Nucky worries about the appearance of the robbery occurring so close to home. Eli realises that the assailants must have known O’Neill’s route because they struck after his last collection, maximizing the amount taken. Nucky believes they must be from outside Atlantic City; Eli says that the Italians do not respect the rules. Nucky wonders if Luciano is still in town and has to explain who he is to Eli. Nucky believes Luciano is either behind the robbery or that knows who is. He is annoyed that Eli has not kept track of Luciano while he is in town. He rants about the robbery as his assistant, Eddie Kessler, knocks and enters. Nucky berates Eddie because he did not hear him knock and instructs him to knock more loudly. Eddie has a message from Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague who is annoyed at staying at the Shelburne Hotel to meet with Nucky regarding Road Appropriations funding. Nucky instructs Eddie to set up a dinner and dispatches Eli to bring Luciano in for questioning.


Nucky and Margaret in bed.

Nucky again shares a post-coital embrace, this time with Margaret in her home. He asks her the time and then corrects her proper English response. She jokingly feigns a strong American accent and he says not to go overboard. She wonders if he wants an Irish maiden and he asks what it is that she wants. She says that she has not thought about it but he believes that she must have considered his offer to take care of her financially. She admits that she is concerned about gossiping neighbours and he says that she will have new neighbours anyway. She notices the scratches on his chest and he says it was a hunting accident. She wonders who was hunting whom. She says that she needs to pick up her children and go back to work. Nucky says she doesn’t have to but she worries what she will be if she does not. Margaret accepts Nucky's offer hours later, after a difficult encounter with Lucy, and quits her job. Nucky has Eddie pick her up and take her to a house that he is renting for her.


Nucky and Eli interrogate Lucky Luciano.

Nucky rudely interrogates Luciano about the Boardwalk mugging. Luciano says that he thought Nucky believed in good manners and Nucky says that he treats people as gentlemen until their behaviour proves otherwise. He says that Luciano has passed that point and continues to show up where he doesn’t belong. Luciano asks if he now needs permission to look at the ocean. Nucky replies that it is his ocean, and that he does not believe Rothstein demanded $100,000 only to do nothing. Luciano comments that Rothstein has a different view and Eli interjects that Rothstein does not run Atlantic City. Luciano counters that Rothstein runs New York and sarcastically wonders if Eli has heard of it. Eli points out that Luciano seems to prefer it in Atlantic City and Luciano crudely says that he likes Gillian. Nucky slaps Luciano on the head. Luciano makes to stand and Eli restrains him with a billy club. Nucky tells Luciano that Gillian is a free woman but that he should treat her with respect. He reminds Luciano that he runs the city and warns him about the consequences of stealing. Nucky begins a message for Luciano’s travelling companions and Rothstein but Luciano says that he doesn’t know what Nucky means. Eddie knocks very loudly on the door, annoying Nucky again. He announces that Margaret is happy with her new accommodation. Nucky is pleased and dismisses Luciano. Luciano thanks Nucky for showing him how things are done in Atlantic City.

Nucky dresses himself in the master bedroom of the new house. Margaret comes out of the bathroom and he wonders what she was doing in the bathroom for so long. She claims that she was luxuriating and he says that he enjoys her happiness. She fastens his shirt and thanks him with a kiss for each button. She is startled by the phone ringing. He answers it and is annoyed, saying he will be there soon and ending the call. She is concerned but he says it is only business. He asks if she knows who Hardeen is and then explains that he is Harry Houdini’s brother. He invites Margaret to come with him to see his new act at the Globe Theatre and then for a light dinner with Hardeen at the Marlboro Hotel. She is thrilled by the idea and asks if Hardeen is also an escapist. Nucky jokes that he will escape from the dinner bill and she helps to fasten his collar.

Nucky eats dinner with Hague. Hague complains about his long wait and Nucky reminds him that he was being put up in a deluxe sweet at the Shelbourne Hotel. Hague says that he is a simple man and lists his needs as a bed, a woman, and an envelope full of cash. Nucky says that he delivered all three and asks if Hague plans to fight him on the Road Appropriations Bill. Hague says that he needs to look after his constituents and Nucky argues that there is enough for both of them. Hague wonders why Nucky cannot get his share guaranteed by supporters in Trenton. Nucky points out that Senator Walter Edge is on his way to the White House. Hague jokes about Edge being “the green thumb of the Garden State”. Nucky says that while Edge is not the Great Emancipator he will be a useful friend. Nucky suggests that if Hague is accommodating regarding the road money then Edge will be Hague’s friend too. Hague asks where they are going next and appears disappointed when Nucky is reluctant. Nucky offers to take Hague to see Hardeen, but he finds the idea ridiculous. They end going to a brothel.


Nucky takes Frank Hague to a whorehouse.

Hague and Nucky listen to a naked girl playing the ukulele while eating oysters, smoking cigars and drinking champagne. Nucky observes that it is a lot of noise from a little box and Hague asks which box. Nucky calls him a devil. Hague draws on the cigar and asks Nucky what he wants. Nucky asks for his highway, two lanes from Newark and another road to the Pennsylvania border. Hague notes that this will connect Atlantic City to Philadelphia and New York. Nucky asks if they can make an agreement. Hague defers, warning Nucky that he may be investing too much in Edge. Hague tells Nucky that Edge is a partner in a paving company in Jersey City and will therefore direct the money that Nucky wants to his own company. Nucky wonders why Hague is giving him the information. Hague believes that his relationship with Nucky is more important because it will last longer. He describes them both as bosses and more secure than ambitious politicians like Edge.

Nucky eventually cancels his plans with Margaret (without bothering to phone her) and continues the evening with Hague. Hague has sex with two prostitutes, one pours champagne into his mouth while he spanks the other. Nucky watches from across the room, still dressed, while the ukulele player is kneeling before him toying with his clothes. She asks him what he is thinking about and he says that he tries to be good. She tells him that it is too late in the night to be good and undoes his waistcoat.


Main article: Home

Nucky's father Ethan Thompson falls at his home and breaks his hip. Nucky arrives as Eli Thompson, Deputy Halloran and Dr Surran plead with Ethan to let them help. Ethan laughs when he sees Nucky and tells the others to look who is finally visiting. Nucky says that he came as soon as he heard and Eli interjects that he called Nucky’s office but that Nucky was out with a woman. Ethan sarcastically wonders if this was Mabel and Nucky reminds his father that his wife is dead and he knows it as the others lift him into a chair. Ethan complains that he was on the floor for five hours and worries that he might have lost a leg if Eli had not found him. Nucky thanks Surran as they carry Ethan out of the room on the chair. Nucky looks around the room and fixes on a shelf holding a photograph of Eli in an older style of the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office uniform, a certificate and cup from the Atlantic City Beach Patrol and two rosettes.

From the hallway Eli shouts to his departing father that he will visit him in the hospital. Eli returns to the kitchen as Nucky continues his inspection. Eli asks Nucky about seeing Margaret Schroeder, nervous because she can link him to the murder of Hans Schroeder. Nucky says that Margaret is a lovely person and Eli reminds him that she is a widow because of their actions. Nucky reassures Eli that Margaret does not, and will never, know anything about the murder. Nucky notes that the apartment smells of urine, Eli adds that it is cat urine and Nucky acidly says that there is that odour too. Eli takes down one of the rosettes. Nucky says that he will call Sailor’s Haven to ask if they have a room for Ethan. Eli objects and Nucky wonders if he is supposed to hire a private nurse for Ethan. Eli volunteers his home and says that he and his wife June will care for Ethan. Nucky worries about Ethan’s children and Eli states that his kids love their grandfather. Eli suggests that it is time to sell the house, Nucky stays silent and Eli becomes nostalgic. Nucky suggests giving the house to Damien Fleming and allowing him to renovate the property. He adds that Fleming has a growing family. Eli wonders about losing out on the value of the property and Nucky reiterates that he wants the house to go to a decent family who will turn it into a home. Nucky notices a toaster on the windowsill and picks it up. He complains to Eli that Ethan has clearly never plugged in the gadget that cost him 9 dollars. Eli gazes out the window, with his own photograph behind him, as Nucky exits the squalid dwelling.

Without Nucky knowing, Chalky White is approached by a young businessman from New York claiming to be called "Michael Lewis"; he is actually Meyer Lansky, a protege of Rothstein. He offers Chalky money to skim from the shipments he receives from Nucky and pass them directly to him. Chalky declines the offer, believing it is a ploy by Nucky to test his loyalty.


Nucky promises Lucy a date he will never go to.

Nucky invites Fleming for tea in his suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Fleming tells a story about his family huddling together during a storm; himself, his wife Eleanor and their baby were in their bed and soon after the storm started his son Georgie, his older daughter and their cat had all got into the bed as well. Fleming jokes that a bed bug could have collapsed the bed by getting in. Nucky nods and asks how old Fleming’s baby is. Fleming relates that the five months since her birth have flow by and recalls her frailty when she was born seven weeks premature. Fleming says that it is all down to his wife who seemingly did not put the baby down for the first month of her life. Sadness washes over Nucky’s face and Fleming says that he has talked enough. Nucky says that he wanted to discuss Fleming’s family but is interrupted by a furious Lucy Danziger struggling past his assistant Eddie Kessler. She angrily asks why Nucky is avoiding contact and he points to Fleming and tells her that he is in a meeting. She says that she does not care and that she loves him, wondering what Margaret has that she does not. Lucy profanely disparages Margaret citing her job in La Belle Femme. Nucky asks Lucy to calm down and she says that she has left clothes in the suite. Nucky takes her arms and promises to call her. She whines that she wants to see a film and he offers to do whatever she would like. She tells him the title Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and he agrees that they will talk about it later. She tells him that she feels empty without him inside her and Nucky says they will talk about that later too. Eddie pulls Lucy away and Nucky apologises to Fleming. Nucky pours a whiskey and asks if Fleming still lives in a flat on Vermont Avenue; Fleming confirms that he does. Nucky says that Fleming and his family need a house with a yard and Fleming says that he is saving up. Nucky downs his drink and tells Fleming that he wants him to have Ethan’s house. Fleming says that they cannot afford it and Nucky clarifies that he means to give it to him with no strings attached. Fleming is overwhelmed by the offer and Nucky prompts him to thank him. Fleming says that Nucky has made his wife and him the happiest people on earth. Nucky smiles.

Nucky brings Margaret, Teddy and Emily to the Flemings new house. Damien is outside paying Fire Chief Sweeney for the help of his men. Nucky jokes with Sweeney about bringing all of his men and Sweeney says that half of ladder 38 is there. Nucky asks Fleming if they can look around. Nucky passes an oil drum, smoking with burning detritus. Fleming tells him that it is all things that Ethan did not want. Atop the drum is the placard of demonstration knots from Nucky’s time in the Atlantic City Junior Beach Patrol in 1881. Inside the kitchen has been cleared and the walls have been repainted. Margaret asks if this is it and Nucky notes her surprised tone. She admits that the house is nicer than she expected from Nucky’s description. Nucky says that the house is better now but was previously filthy and shameful. He says that he once dreamed of fixing the place up. Margaret calls it cosy and Nucky notes that it seemed bigger when he was a child. Margaret points out that Nucky was smaller himself then. Nucky compares his frail elderly father now to the giant he seemed when Nucky was a boy. Margaret realises that Ethan frightened Nucky. He tells her that it was with good reason and Margaret wonders if he is still afraid of him. He says that there is nothing to be frightened of anymore. He notices the fire poker on the boiler and picks it up. He shows her a scar on his right palm and tells her a story of his father burning him with the poker when he reached for a piece of bread at the dinner table on his ninth birthday. His father told Nucky that he always eats first. Margaret says that she had wondered where the scar came from. Nucky begins to tell Margaret that he has sleepless nights thinking of his father’s treatment of him. She interrupts, saying that she is no stranger to cruelty and says that sometimes is better to forget the past. Nucky blinks and is silent, shut down by her words. She says that she needs to check on the children.

Nucky Chalky Harry

Nucky and Harry Prince at Chalky's joint.

Nucky and Margaret later visit a North Side speakeasy for the evening with Annabelle and Harry Prince. The two Caucasian couples stand out among the largely African American crowd. Mamie Smith sings next to the piano and there are several people dancing. While the women are in the bathroom Nucky is in conversation with Harry but is having difficulty following the business man. Harry explains that he has invested in International Reply Coupons via an Italian man in Boston. As Harry speaks he continues to eat peanuts, shells scattered across the table and down his suit. He explains that his contact claims that he buys the coupons in bulk abroad and then sells them in the US at face value to make a profit. Nucky wonders why everyone is not doing this if it is such an easy way to turn a profit. Harry says that he has been promised a 50% return in 45 days and has had successful returns twice so far and as now invested all of his savings. Harry is entranced by one of the dancers. Chalky enters and Nucky introduces him to Harry, saying that he is the proprietor of the bar. Chalky tells Nucky that he met his “boy” confusing him. Chalky offers a bit more; a little kid called Mr. Lewis that came with a bank roll to test his loyalty. Nucky says that he does not know what Chalky is talking about. Chalky doesn’t believe Nucky but wishes him a good evening before he leaves anyway. Harry grabs the waiter and asks for more drinks as the women return to the table. Annabelle asks what they were talking about and Margaret guesses that it was business; Harry asks what else there is. Nucky suggests that he is also interested in politics. Margaret says that those are Nucky’s two favourite subjects and Annabelle jokes that they are Harry’s only two. Harry disagrees pointing out that he is always willing to talk baseball. Nucky remembers that he had a catcher’s mitt signed by Hardy Richardson and calls it his prized possession. Annabelle drags Harry up to dance, promising that they can lie down later if he wants to. Nucky observes that they are a mismatch and Margaret says that Annabelle seems to like Harry. Nucky says that she seemed to like her last partner too. Margaret wonders what happened to the glove and Nucky says that it was stolen. When she asks for more details he says that it was taken by a group of kids who beat him up. She asks if he was hurt and he tells her that he does not want to talk about it, remembering her earlier admonition about leaving the past behind. The couple is left in an awkward silence.

At the dinner table Nucky recites a poem about indigestion; it cautions against germs in food and everywhere else. The children are amused and clap with Margaret afterwards. Margaret offers coffee and Nucky declines. Teddy asks to be excused and Margaret lets the children leave. She confesses regret about what she said in his father’s house, explaining that she took bad advice. She says that it was selfish of her and urges Nucky to feel safe to confide in her. She desires emotional intimacy. Nucky finishes his earlier story about the mitt. His father made him confront the group of four older thieves and they beat him so badly that he was in hospital for 11 days. Margaret says that it is horrible and Nucky observes that life can be that way.

The phone rings and Nucky answers. Teddy asks Margaret who it is and she tells him that it is a friend of Nucky’s. Eddie is calling to say that Sweeney and his men have finished work on the house. Nucky asks Eddie to pick him up so that they can see it and to invite Fleming to join them. Nucky invites Margaret to join him and she declines, saying that she needs to get Emily to bed for her nap. Teddy asks if he can come and Nucky agrees over Margaret’s protestations that he is busy. Nucky says that they should call him “Uncle Nucky”. Margaret smiles at him as Teddy goes to get his coat.

Nucky house fire

Nucky burns down his childhood home.

Eddie lets Nucky and Teddy out of the Rolls Royce at the newly repainted house. Nucky takes Teddy into the kitchen where Eli is showing Ethan around in a wheelchair. Nucky says that Ethan has seen it and tells them to leave. Ethan is carrying the poker but leaves it on the boiler. Ethan uses his walking stick to stop Eli from pushing him out of the room and venomously tells Nucky that he is worthless. Nucky does not respond and Ethan tells Eli to take him out of the house. A train whistles in the background and Nucky picks up the poker. He notices Teddy reading the side of a can of turpentine. Nucky sends Teddy to wait in the car as the sound of the passing train intensifies. He sprinkles turpentine all over the kitchen and then strokes a match on the door frame to set the house on fire. He watches from the gate as the house is consumed by flames. Fleming pulls up and runs to Nucky’s side, asking him what happened. Nucky gives Fleming his bank roll and tells Fleming to find a better place to live. Nucky gets in the car and Eddie pulls away. Fleming removes his hat, devastated. Teddy stares at the flames through the rear windscreen.

Hold Me in Paradise[]

Main article: Hold Me in Paradise

In June 1920 Nucky goes to Chicago, Illinois for the 1920 Republican National Convention. He leaves his brother Eli in charge while he is away. Before he leaves he buys Margaret Schroeder a peridot bracelet.

Nucky arrives at his hotel and tips the doorman. His assistant Eddie Kessler is accompanying him and complains to the hotel manager that he sent a telegram to request the presidential suite. The manager apologises and explains that General Wood has also asked for the suite. Nucky observes that Wood is jumping the gun since he 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.


Edge tries to get Nucky's support to run for Vice President.

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 before stopping on an ad for Colosimo's, the restaurant of the murdered 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 roads 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.

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.


Daugherty introduces Nucky to his presidential candidate, Warren Harding, and his wife.

The waiter delivers Nucky’s bourbon and Nucky notices the junior staffer barring entry to a woman carrying a baby. She argues with Daugherty's 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 Americans 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.


Nucky meets Torrio at the Four Deuces.

Nucky and Eddie take a taxi to the Four Deuces brothel on Wabash Avenue. Nucky is surprised to see that 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 take precautions as standard and that it is a new world. 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 at the bar 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 he 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 Belleand introduces her to Graves. Graves excuses himself and Torrio tells Nucky that he brings black girls in especially for Graves.

Hold Paradise Nucky

Nucky finds Jimmy working at the Four Deuces.

Jimmy Darmody 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 great 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.

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 for Nucky; Eli Thompson has been shot while making the collection from Lolly Steinman's casino and is in critical condition. 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 until he knows what is going on. 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.


Nucky strikes a deal with Harry Daugherty.

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 - as well as a good 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.

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.

On the train back to Atlantic City Britton reads the first erotic poem that Harding wrote for her while 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 "that imbecile" that wrote the love poem will be the next president of the United States.

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.

Belle Femme[]

Main article: Belle Femme

Eli identifies the D'Alessio brothers as his attackers.

Nucky convenes a meeting around the sickbed of his wounded brother Eli. Also present are Lolly Steinman, Deputy Halloran and Alderman George O’Neill. Eli was shot in the robbery of Steinman’s casino by the D’Alessio brothers. Steinman holds police records including mugshots of Leo D’Alessio. He uses his fingers to mimic the mask Leo wore while carrying out the robbery and observes that in the moment he felt like he would never forget but now can barely recall a thing. He shuffles through the records which also include photos of Ignacious D’Alessio and Matteo D’Alessio. Nucky asks Steinman to confirm that it was the D’Alessio brothers. Eli says that he is certain and Steinman agrees. O’Neill pulls out the card for Pius D’Alessio and identifies Pius as the lure in his mugging. Halloran describes the brothers as a “family of Dagos out of Philly”. Nucky holds the cards for Sixtus and Lucien D’Alessio; Lucien’s facial birthmark is clear in the photograph. They are known as a group of burglars who have graduated to stickups and Eli recalls investigating them for the robbery of Bookbinders in 1917 where two customers and a waiter were killed. O’Neill recalls that Pius called him fat, earning a sidelong glance from Nucky. Eli reminds O’Neill that the brothers are killers and tells him that he was lucky to avoid more serious injury. Nucky asks for time alone with Eli and the others leave the room.

Eli describes the criminals as desperados and says that they need to be stopped before more blood is spilled. Nucky says that he is worried about ink more than blood and asks if Eli has read the paper. Derwood W. Fletcher, a Democrat running a reform campaign for Mayor, has given an interview alleging corruption among the current administration including the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office. Eli wonders if he was mentioned by name and Nucky quotes Fletcher from the story “has Mayor Bacharach even questioned what Sheriff Thompson was doing at an illegal casino at 3 a.m.?” Eli wonders how they can assume he was not answering a call and Nucky says that the city knows the truth but that it has not made the paper before now. Eli dismisses the press and Nucky reminds him about the election. Eli pledges to campaign and Nucky reminds him that he has been instructed to rest.

Nucky and Halloran exit the elevator into Nucky’s suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Nucky instructs Halloran to have the Sheriff’s Office contact their colleagues in departments from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Jimmy Darmody interrupts them as they walk into Nucky’s office. Nucky complains that notice of Jimmy’s plans would have been nice and Jimmy says that he sent a telegram. Nucky’s assistant Eddie Kessler reports that they received no messages and says that he will complain to Western Union. Nucky says that he would offer coffee but notes that Jimmy has helped himself. Jimmy explains that the dining car on his train was out of service. Nucky is surprised that Jimmy has not been home and Jimmy offers that he wanted to come straight there. Nucky asks Eddie to order a steak for Jimmy. Nucky assumes that Jimmy has accepted his offer given his presence and Jimmy says that he has conditions; firstly that he wants Harrow to join him. Nucky jokes that Harrow is the Man in the Iron Mask and Jimmy counters that he is a war hero. Nucky wonders what is under the mask and Jimmy describes the extent of Harrow’s injuries. Halloran marvels that Harrow is still alive. Nucky motions for Halloran to show Jimmy the records on the D’Alessio brothers. Jimmy interrupts Nucky saying that he wants their discussions to be kept private. Nucky asks Halloran to wait outside. Halloran complies and Jimmy sits down to study the cards. Jimmy asks if they were responsible for the casino robbery and Nucky adds that they also mugged O’Neill. Jimmy recognises that the brothers are all named after popes and Nucky jokes that he should contact the Vatican for their whereabouts. Jimmy asks Nucky what he wants done when he finds the brothers. Nucky asks if Jimmy really needs it spelled out and Jimmy says that he wants to hear Nucky say it. Nucky wonders why and Jimmy says that he is a politician to the last. Jimmy wonders if Nucky is trying to maintain plausible deniability or if Nucky is trying to deceive himself. Nucky asks what he would be deceiving himself about and Jimmy calls Nucky a murderer. He asks if Nucky wants him to kill the brothers and Nucky confirms his intentions. Jimmy takes out the card for Pius D’Alessio, still a child, and asks Nucky if he means Pius too. Nucky is silent. Jimmy gathers his things and says that he is going to eat his steak.


Margaret has trouble trying to convince Nucky to ease the taxes on Madame Jeunet.

Margaret comes downstairs and says that her children are finally asleep. Nucky is reading "The Road to Oz" and suggests that he could have read them more of the story. Margaret observes that he seems to be enjoying it himself. He quotes a passage about the “wonderful love magnet”, an item that draws affection from others. Margaret jokes that it would be useful in the elections. Nucky notes that it would make winning cheaper and Margaret wonders at the cost of campaigning. Nucky jokes that winning is cheaper than losing. Margaret wonders at Harding’s chance of election. Nucky says that it depends and asks if Margaret is going to vote for him. She smiles and says that she has seen him in an unflattering light since meeting Nan. Nucky says that if only good men were elected there would be no leaders. Margaret wonders what qualities a leader should have if he is not good. Nucky tells her that they must be useful to their supporters. Margaret brings up her conversation with Jeunet. Nucky says that La Belle Femme is in a pricey location. Margaret presses on and Nucky recommends that Jeunet speak to her alderman. Margaret says that Jeunet already has to no avail. Margaret asks if there is something Nucky could do as Atlantic County Treasurer causing him to sigh and shut his book. He asks if Jeunet requested Margaret bring the matter up, which she denies. He wonders why they are discussing it and Margaret replies that Jeunet did her a kindness. Nucky points out that he made Jeunet give Margaret the job rather than it being an act of kindness. Margaret counters that he needs to recompense Jeunet for the burden he forced on her. Nucky asks what exactly Jeunet has said. Margaret explains that Jeunet said that she could not afford the increased payments. Nucky asserts that the payments are simply the cost of doing business in Atlantic City. Margaret observes that it is Nucky that sets the price and he interrupts, saying that it is not a suitable topic for them to discuss. Margaret says that she was not aware of the restriction. Nucky checks his watch and says that she is aware now. He goes to put on his jacket as she considers his dismissal. She asks if he is not staying and he says that he has an early meeting.

Later, Nucky and Margaret embrace in bed, discussing again the election. Nucky says that in the past you could count on voters to follow the party line. Margaret notes his concern and he says that he takes nothing for granted. She offers to help and he says that she can help to secure the women’s vote. She cautions him to wait until women have the vote. He says that he is an eternal optimist. He encourages her to speak to her contacts in the Women’s Temperance League and other women’s organizations. She modestly claims not to be much of an orator and he reminds her that he has heard her make cogent arguments to political dignitaries including Walter Edge, complimenting the way she comported herself. Margaret dismisses it as banter and Nucky says that she wiped the floor with the US Senator. She examines herself in the bathroom mirror as he lights a cigarette. He asks her to speak on behalf of the Republican Party and she hesitantly agrees, asking if he wants her to dress well. Eddie knocks on the door, announcing a phone call, as Margaret poses in the doorway. Margaret follows Jeunet’s advice and tells Nucky that Jeunet knows what suits her. Nucky wonders why Margaret did not put it this way earlier and she claims she did not want to show her selfishness as she sits on the bed. Nucky caresses her cheek and says that he never holds selfishness against anyone before picking up the one. Margaret purses her lips, thoughtful.

Nucky bribes corrupt Prohibition Agent Eric Sebso for information regarding the activities of his partner Nelson Van Alden. Jimmy is arrested for the Hammonton hijacking murders and Sebso tells Nucky. Sebso shows Nucky into Jimmy’s cell at the Atlantic County Jail. Nucky thanks him and pats him on the shoulder. Sebso says that they have ten minutes. Jimmy asks if Nucky has spoken to Angela and Nucky confirms that she is aware. Jimmy divulges that Rothstein is backing the D’Alessios surprising Nucky. Jimmy adds that he got the information from Luciano. Jimmy asks if Nucky can bail him out and Nucky tells him that there is no bail on five counts of murder. Jimmy asks for a lawyer and Nucky says that it would be pointless. Jimmy asks Nucky to call his father for help and Nucky wonders if Jimmy is really that nervous. Jimmy confesses that he has seen Billy Winslow and that Winslow’s testimony can put him at the scene of the crime. Nucky says that he knows and Jimmy wonders if he is just supposed to rot in prison, reminding Nucky of his promise to handle the fallout from the hijacking. Nucky says that he is but that the legal system is not the solution. Shortly after, Nucky pays Sebso to kill Winslow during a transfer to another facility.

Nucky visits The Commodore, who is in his dressing gown and coughing heavily. His housemaid Louanne Pratt tends to him and Nucky suggests that he see a doctor. Louanne says that he is stubborn and The Commodore tells her to get Nucky a drink. Nucky declines, thanking her. Nucky comments on The Commodore’s ailing appearance and The Commodore says that when the time comes you have to accept your situation. Nucky wonders who he is referring to. The Commodore angrily bemoans Fletcher and the Democrats and complains about the Sheriff being incapacitated. He then says that it is not so easy being the boss. Nucky sarcastically says that it is nice that The Commodore can still find joy. The Commodore reminds Nucky that he spent five years in prison following his time in the throne. Nucky counters that he knew that one of them had to go. The Commodore shakes his head and says that he had no choice. Nucky asserts that he also had none and that was the reason they made their deal, he asks if they can drop the subject. Nucky says that the party is in trouble and that Bacharach is weak and losing ground. Jerry moans and The Commodore complains that the animal is sick as well. The Commodore wonders what Nucky has on Fletcher and Nucky admits that he has nothing. The Commodore wonders what Fletcher’s motivation is and Nucky says that he obviously wants to be Mayor. The Commodore laughs and calls Fletcher a boy scout. The Commodore says they need to replace their candidates for Mayor and Sheriff to appease the desire for change. Nucky balks at the idea of replacing Eli. The Commodore says that he is dying and it is no time to be sentimental.


Nucky and Margaret at Babette's.

Sophie Tucker entertains the crowd at Babette’s Supper Club with a risqué routine. Nucky and Margaret are there having dinner with construction magnate Edward Bader and his wife, Katheryn. Nucky talks about opportunism as a positive quality and reminds Bader of his success exercising good timing in the building industry. Nucky lists Bader’s positive qualities; he is a churchgoer, a family man and well liked in the community. Margaret calls Bader impressive. Bader stares up at the ceiling and Katheryn wonders what he is looking for. He jokes that he is wondering when the other shoe will drop drawing a laugh from his companions. Tucker announces a song; Some Of These Days. Nucky suggests that Margaret take Kathryn to get a better view. When they stand he compliments her dress; a blue $480 number from La Belle Femme. Margaret admits that it was a gift and leaves Nucky to consider the implication. Bader asks Nucky the purpose of the dinner and Nucky asks Bader if he wants to be Mayor. Bader jokes that with Nucky as boss he would have more authority as a street sweeper. Nucky says that being Mayor would give him more time to handle his business. Nucky says that is time for a change and Bader wonders what will happen to Bacharach. Nucky says that Bacharach is ill and will not seek re-election. Bader wonders what the problem is and Nucky says that he will produce a diagnosis as soon as Bader answers. Bader says that he needs to discuss it with his wife and Nucky urges him to be decisive. Nucky promises the opportunity to build roads, hospitals, a convention centre and a stadium if Bader will work with him. Bader observes that it is the 1920s and the world belongs to the young. Nucky says they will let them think that it does. Bader tries on the title verbally. Nucky stands and offers a handshake urging Bader to consider the proposal. At the bar Eddie flirts with Babetteuntilhe notices that Nucky is ready to leave.


Nucky and Margaret after being shot at on the Boardwalk.

On the Boardwalk a barker introduces "Mumbo, the Zulu Warrior" to the crowd drawing gasps of shock from his audience. Nucky leads Margaret by the arm and Eddie trails behind them. As they promenade throngs of tourists watching entertainers. Margaret smiles at the sight and Nucky tells her that they need to go to the Ambassador Hotel to meet Jim Neary. Margaret wonders at the hour as Nucky is greeted by a passerby. Lucien D’Alessio spots them from a side street and calls out to Nucky, pointing at him and repeating his name. Lucien keeps Nucky’s attention by approaching with a hand outstretched. From the other side Sixtus D’Alessio emerges from the crowd with a gun in hand. He aims at Nucky but Eddie spots him before he fires, grabs his arm and causes his shot to go astray. He hits a woman stood near to Margaret in the back. She collapses into Margaret’s arms and her blood leaks across Margaret’s dress. Nucky takes hold of them both. Lucien flees as Eddie struggles with Sixtus. Margaret is pulled to the floor by the injured woman and Nucky kneels beside her. Eddie gets hold of the gun and Sixtus runs down the Boardwalk away from him. Eddie gives chase, ordering him to stop before firing at him. The bullet hits him in the back of his left thigh but he is able to limp around the corner. Eddie returns to Nucky’s side, concerned for Margaret when he sees the blood. She is visibly shaken and the wounded bystander has lost consciousness.

The Emerald City[]

Main article: The Emerald City

Nucky reads the morning paper at the breakfast table. The sporting section includes a report on the convening of a grand jury in the Black Sox series fixing investigation. Margaret begins to clear away the dishes and asks if there is anything about the ratification of the women's right to vote. She is excited at the prospect and reminds him that they need just one more state. She notes that he looks doubtful. He says that he does not want her to be disappointed and worries that the South is not known to be forward thinking.

Richard Harrow knocks at the door frame and announces the arrival of Nucky's driver, "Mr. Kessler". Nucky instructs Richard that he will be out in five minutes. Richard leaves to deliver the message. Margaret states her concern about Richard's scars upsetting the children. Nucky says that Richard is a war hero and is there to protect both Margaret and the children. Margaret asks if Nucky has done anything about the men who are pursuing him. He says that it is being handled. She wonders if he means by the Sheriff. Nucky expands that his deputies are also involved. Margaret wonders if she should take the children away for a while. Nucky says that it will not be necessary and he would miss them too much. He stands and puts on his jacket. Margaret asks if people shooting at him is part of being in charge. Nucky explains that success breeds enemies and jokes that Margaret will discover the effect after women win the right to vote. He kisses her on the head as he picks up his hat.

Nucky later discusses Harrow's appearance with Jimmy in his suite at the Ritz Carlton. He complains that Harrow is grotesque. Jimmy offers that Harrow told him that it looked much worse before the surgery. Nucky tells Jimmy to instruct Harrow to keep his mask on while he is inside his house.


Mickey is not welcomed back at the Ritz.

Eddie knocks on the door and announces the arrival of Mickey Doyle. Nucky is shocked and Eddie suggests that he could frisk him. Nucky jokes that Eddie thinks he is Tom Mix (a Western film star) now. He nods at Jimmy and tells him to do it. Nucky pours himself a coffee as Jimmy complies. Finding Mickey unarmed, Jimmy shoves him forward into the room. Mickey tries a casual greeting and Nucky ignores his pleasantries to ask what he wants. Mickey notes the tone and pleads that he has come to Nucky with his hat in hand. He pauses for a moment before remembering to take off his Derby. Mickey says that he has come to apologize and explains that he was rattled when Nucky took away his operation. Nucky says that Mickey should have picked himself up by his boot straps. Mickey reminds Nucky that he had partners. Nucky wonders what he is getting at and Mickey elucidates that he was working with the D'Alessio brothers. Nucky hesitates before asking if he means the Philadelphia crime family. Mickey confirms and looks around at Jimmy who stares incredulously back at him. Nucky grabs Mickey by the lapels and shoves him against the wall. He chokes him and threatens to throw him out the window. Mickey says that he is sorry and did not know what they were planning. Jimmy puts his pistol to Mickey's head and says that he is not half as sorry as he is going to be.

Mickey says that he can help them by giving them information about the D'Alessios. Nucky tightens his grip on Mickey's throat for a moment before releasing him. Nucky tells Jimmy to get their new informant a drink. Jimmy threatens to piss in it. Nucky shoves Mickey towards the chairs as Jimmy spits in a glass before filling it with whiskey. Mickey hangs his hat on a small statue and Nucky removes it and throws it back at him. He places the hat on the couch next to him as Jimmy drops the drink into his lap. Mickey catches it but cannot prevent half of it from spilling onto him. Mickey reveals that they arrived in Atlantic City months earlier looking for the money they invested in his business. He says that they decided to target Chalky White. Nucky confirms that they were responsible for lynching Chalky's driver. Mickey adds that they also robbed George O'Neill, calling him the fat ward boss. He admits that they robbed the casino. Nucky angrily asserts that they shot his brother, Eli, and shot at him. Mickey says that he knows and fears that he is next. Jimmy asks how Mickey knows and he says that they are always talking about him in Italian and laughing at him.

Jimmy asks how Luciano fits in. Mickey impetuously asks if Jimmy's mother did not tell him. Jimmy warns him to watch his step. Mickey confides that Luciano is working with Lansky and they approached Chalky to test his loyalty and find out how many bottles he is moving. Jimmy wonders why they would be interested and Mickey says the information is being passed back to Rothstein, who wants to take over the liquor business in Atlantic City. Nucky jokes that ruining baseball is not enough for him. Nucky orders Jimmy to call Chalky. Mickey asks why but is met with only silence. Jimmy announces that Eddie is on the line. Annoyed, Nucky calls him in and tells him to hang up the phone. Eddie explains that he has just taken a call from Trenton saying that women have won the right to vote. Nucky raises his eyebrows momentarily, then leans back with a sigh.

At night, Nucky opens a bottle of champagne as Margaret readies herself for bed. He says that he will not insult her by offering her a glass but hopes that she will not mind if he has a taste because good news is not the same without it. Margaret confides that Annabelle offered her some earlier. Nucky asks if he should try again to persuade her. She concedes that it is a special occasion and takes a glass. Nucky offers a toast to the women's vote. Margaret snipes that America has caught up with Ireland at last. Nucky counters that America is her country too. He reminds her that the Republican Party supported the women's right to vote and she calls this opportunism. He says that a simple thank you would be fine and she smiles and complies before taking a sip. Nucky asks Margaret to speak on behalf of Edward Bader at the women's luncheon on Sunday. He tells her that Harry Bacharach will be stepping down as mayor so Bader can run for the office. Margaret asks why Bader should be mayor and Nucky says that he is the right man for the job. Margaret wonders how owning a construction business qualifies him and Nucky adds that Bader is going to help him to build great things for the people of the city. Margaret again questions his suitability and Nucky cites Andrew Johnson's example, going from tailor to president. Margaret counters that Johnson was impeached. Nucky says that is beside the point before getting up to refill his glass.

Margaret asks what she should say. Nucky offers promises of reform with the new candidate. Margaret wonders if there will be any real change. Nucky argues that he is providing necessary continuity of leadership. Margaret says that Nucky is asking her to lie about Bader's qualifications. Nucky challenges that he is asking her to be realistic and that it is sometimes necessary to tell the people what they want to hear to ensure the smooth running of government. He reminds Margaret that the election is important both to the Republican Party and her personally.

Nucky meets with Chalky at his suite, keeping Mickey present. He explains that the man that approached Chalky was really Arnold Rothstein's associate Meyer Lansky and that he is working with the D'Alessio brothers. Chalky asks if they were responsible for shooting Nucky and Nucky confirms his assumption. Eddie corrects Chalky that while the D'Alessio's shot at Nucky they were not successful, still proud of his heroic intervention. Nucky asks why he is still there and Eddie takes leave of them. Jimmy arrives and apologizes for his lateness. Nucky notices his bandaged hand and Jimmy claims to have shut it in an ice box. Mickey giggles drawing a sharp stare from Jimmy. Nucky explains that he wants Mickey to set up a meeting between Chalky and Lansky. He tells Chalky to pretend to accept Lansky's offer. Jimmy suggests that Chalky feign unhappiness with Nucky's leadership. Mickey jokes that it should not be hard to believe and Nucky angrily reminds him that he is lucky to be alive. Jimmy advises Chalky to promise as much liquor as that they want in order to get several of them in the same place. Chalky asks what will happen with Rothstein. Nucky says that he plans to make him the richest corpse in New York.

Mayor Harry Bacharach announces his decision not to seek re-election at the League of Women Voters luncheon. Nucky prepares Margaret for her own speech at their table, telling her that it is natural to be nervous. He confides that he was a wreck when he first gave a speech but now feels that he could get up and sell snake oil. Margaret is perturbed by his unflinching dishonesty. Bacharach introduces Margaret and she takes her place at the podium. She thanks Bacharach and says that he will be missed. She begins nervously but delivers a rousing introduction for Bader, spinning his construction background as a major positive. She speaks of his ability to see potential and draws a parallel with his respect for women voters. She urges the assembly to vote wisely and elect a worthy man to office. Nucky claps enthusiastically as Bader takes the stage. Bader thanks Margaret and then launches his own speech. Margaret watches Nucky's ward bosses jovially congratulating him with a look of sadness.

Jimmy brings Nucky to Chalky's warehouse, where Lansky, Lucien and Matteo are tied up. Chalky introduces Lansky to Nucky. Lansky is able to muster a polite greeting. Nucky recognizes Lucien from his assassination attempt. Lucien says that he must be confusing him with someone else. Nucky coarsely counters by referencing Lucien's birthmark asking if "there's another dago walking around with dogshit on his face". The captives are silenced and Nucky nods at Chalky. They turn away to speak privately. Nucky asks why Chalky acted so soon instead of waiting to get them all in one place as planned. Chalky asks why Nucky did not tell him that they were responsible for lynching his driver. Nucky claims that he had yet to confirm their involvement. Chalky says he has all the confirmation he needs. Nucky cautions that there are four more brothers out there along with Luciano.


Chalky kills Matteo D'Alessio.

Lansky asks to speak to Nucky. Lansky suggests that if Nucky releases him he could work out an accommodation with Rothstein. Nucky is disinterested, saying that Rothstein has made his bed. Jimmy adds that they can now die in it. Lucien laughs and murmurs to Matteo that it is tough talk considering Rothstein is not even present. Jimmy asks Lucien to repeat what he said. Lucien takes the opportunity to suggest that Jimmy, Nucky and Chalky all go and "fuck each other". Jimmy draws his handgun and racks the slide. Lucien calls Jimmy a tough guy and asks if he is going to shoot him for mouthing off. Jimmy says that he wasn't going to but Lucien has talked him into it. He shoots him in the forehead. Matteo is covered in blood sprayed from the wound and begins to cry. Nucky looks at Jimmy, irked, but only asks his captives if there is anyone else who want to talk. They remain quiet. One of Chalky's men asks what to do with the body and Chalky tells them to leave it at the dump. Matteo threatens Chalky with lynching, just like they did to his driver. Chalky grabs him by the throat and throttles him to death. Lansky remains silent throughout. Nucky unties him and tells him to go back to Rothstein and tell him what he saw.

Nucky returns to Margaret, who is already in bed. She asks him what time it is. He says that it is late and asks why she is up. She says that she couldn't sleep. Nucky says that he had business down town. She questions what he was doing and he claims they were planning election strategy. He compliments her speech at the luncheon before she goes to the bathroom.

Paris Green[]

Main article: Paris Green

Hardeen struggles with an escape act as Nucky Thompson and Margaret Schroeder watch. They are joined by Harry Prince and Annabelle. Nucky is impatient when he takes over six minutes to perform the feat. Margaret remains enthralled throughout. The trick far exceeds the musical cues prepared by the orchestra. An audience member calls out for Hardeen's brother - Harry Houdini. Annabelle notices something is wrong with Prince but he claims he is just nervous about the trick. Hardeen finally completes the escape to lukewarm applause.


Hardeen entertains Nucky's guests in private.

After the act, Hardeen shows Margaret a magic trick in Nucky's suite; distracting her while he shifts a bracelet from her wrist to Annabelle's. Margaret says that she knew that Hardeen was misleading her but he succeeded regardless. He tells her that deception requires complicity, and that people want to be deceived. Annabelle jokingly asks if she can keep the jewellery. Hardeen says that he is a magician not a thief as he returns the bracelet to Margaret. Nucky jokes that Hardeen has given them all a useful excuse. Nucky tells Hardeen that he saw Houdini do the straight jacket escape. Ward Boss Damien Fleming adds that Houdini was hanging from a pier at the time. Hardeen says that the principle is the same at any height. Nucky counters that Hardeen's assertion only holds until the rope snaps. Hardeen tells them that Houdini used to do the escape behind a screen and that doing it in the open was his idea. Margaret says that it is a great improvement. Hardeen claims responsibility for another trick; the milk can escape. He performs a sleight of hand card trick for Margaret as he says that it is no small feat for a man to fit into the milk container. Annabelle jokes that he should try a corset and heels. Nucky dryly comments that he is sure that Hardeen has had occasion to help many women escape from those. Hardeen calls it the most challenging trick of all.

Harry angrily asks them if they read the newspaper. He says that he is ruined. Nucky realizes that he is talking about Charles Ponzi. Harry confirms that he was in up to the limit. Hardeen unsympathetically says that every trick needs a mark. Nucky says that no real investment could guarantee the returns Ponzi was offering. Harry says that he is dead. Annabelle is disturbed by the news and storms out, calling Harry a fat, worthless fool. Harry chases after her. Nucky asks Hardeen what other tricks he knows.

Agent Sebso makes a nervous phone call to Nucky, concerned about Van Alden's constant questioning. Nucky tries to reassure him, waving Eddie away when he enters the room. Nucky suggests that Sebso distract Van Alden by finding some bootleggers. Nucky gives Sebso a tip about illegal distillery in the woods on the road to Mays Landing. Sebso asks for specifics and Nucky sarcastically asks if Sebso wants him to make the arrest too before saying that it is just past mile marker 14. Nucky tells Sebso to go be a hero and warns that they should not talk again.


Annabelle tries to get cash from Nucky.

Nucky leans back and then calls for Eddie to come in, knowing that he is waiting outside the door. Eddie says that there is a lady in distress to see Nucky and shows Annabelle in. She calls Harry a son of a bitch as she enters. Nucky silences her and warns her that while she can say what she likes he does not want her to scream, cry, or throw anything. She sits down demurely and explains that Harry took her stash, all $3,682. Nucky surmises that she wants him to have Harry arrested and she confirms his guess. He explains that he cannot arrest Harry for taking back the money she stole from him. She begins to cry and says that she "worked [her] tail off" for the money. Nucky carefully walks behind her and then pulls $300 from his bankroll when he is out of sight. He hands it to her and says that it will see her through the summer. Annabelle stares up at him and he asks if they can skip to the part where she says she will do anything for him. She agrees that she would and suggests that if he were to draw the curtains they could do it there and then. Nucky wonders what happened to her tears. She smiles and promises to soak the pillow through if he rides her like he used to. Nucky caresses her cheek and says that he will keep that one in his pocket.


Margaret surprises Nucky with Annabelle.

Margaret speaks up from the doorway, announcing her presence. She says that he will and that his gift is never forgetting who owes him what. Nucky says that it is a good principle to have and explains that Harry found and stole Annabelle's stash. Margaret reveals that she already knows and asks Annabelle if she mentioned that Margaret had already given her $50. Nucky says they are both a soft touch. Annabelle stands and thanks Nucky before leaving. Margaret explains that she came to tell Nucky that the League of Women Voters has decided to formally endorse Edward Bader for Mayor. Nucky calls the news wonderful and Margaret coldly says that she is glad to have been of use to him before leaving.

Margaret talks with Nucky while preparing to go out. She wonders what the purpose of the gathering they are attending is. Nucky says that she does not have to go if she does not want to. He warns that most of the women in the Daughters of the American Revolution are against female suffrage and also not keen on immigrants. Margaret pointedly wonders how their own ancestors reached America. Nucky jokes that they grew in the ground like pumpkins and marched off with George Washington to Valley Forge. Margaret says that she will do what is required of her. Nucky says that is not really the right answer and she asks what he would prefer. Nucky changes the subject, knowing what is on her mind. He says that the encounter she witnessed with Annabelle was not what she thinks and could not have been more innocent. Margaret smiles and counters that Annabelle is far from innocent while Nucky has some experience himself. Nucky admits that they had a relationship years ago. He expands that it meant nothing and he was just helping her. Margaret wonders if it is the same way he helped her. Nucky counters that he thought Margaret was friends with Annabelle. Margaret challenges "so you wouldn't fuck her". Nucky says that the bad language does not suit her. Margaret responds that he prefers her demure but he says he wants her to be rational. She asks if she is supposed to say nothing about what she sees and hears. Nucky wonders what she is referring to. She says that Van Alden told her that Nucky is capable of anything. Nucky says that the encounter could not have been very upsetting as she did not tell him about it. Margaret says that it made her sick to her stomach, as does their arrangement, standing and walking away.


Margaret argues with Nucky.

Nucky asks what arrangement she means. She explains that she feels that she is expected to accept what she is told and ask nothing more while aiding him in his business even though he says nothing about what the business really is. Nucky challenges that she has never said no to the things he provides and just makes a little noise every now and then to remind him that she is a good person. He says that a good person would not be there. Margaret asserts that he does not know what she is. Nucky is disbelieving and goes into the bathroom to fetch Margaret's concealed bottle of Lysol. He knows that she has been using it as a contraceptive, comparing her to a whore. Margaret asserts her refusal to have another child. Nucky wonders if she means by him and she explains that she means by any man. Nucky shouts that it is not her right to decide. Margaret asks why he cares, pointing out that they are not married and asking what he is expecting. Nucky says that he thought she needed saving. Margaret asks if that was why Nucky chose to frame her husband. Nucky suspiciously asks what she is talking about. Margaret rants that Nucky knew nothing about Hans before she came to him. She asks why Nucky made her a widow. Nucky warns her to be careful. She asks if he is threatening her. He responds that he is advising her. She raises Eli bringing her money and Nucky says that he was trying to help her. She counters that it was to keep her quiet. Nucky points out that she has been quiet about Hans, saying nothing about the man who beat her and murdered her baby. He says that he has lost no sleep over what was done and neither has she. She slaps him. He rounds on her, and then throws the Lysol against the mirror, smashing both. He says that she will not be needing it any more and storms out.

Nucky visits Eli at his home. He notices their father Ethan Thompson sat listlessly on the porch and asks what he does all day. Eli answers that he just sits there, explaining that he is still upset about his house. Nucky says that it is a miracle the place did not burn down sooner, dissembling his responsibility for lighting the fire. Eli says nothing and instead asks about Nucky's row with Margaret. Nucky says that things got very ugly. Eli sympathises, saying that he fights with his wife June all the time, taking their arguments out to the shed so their children do not hear. He says that Nucky would be surprised at the things June says. Nucky tells his brother that Margaret knows about their involvement in the death of her husband. Eli is dismissive, challenging that she can only suspect.

Eli Paris-Green

Eli pressures Nucky to end his relationship with Margaret before she learns of his involvement in Hans Schroeder's murder.

Nucky says nothing and Eli is concerned that he has told her. Nucky admits that he did not deny it. Eli is angry and asks what he was thinking. Nucky says that he wanted to hurt her. Eli suggests that he use his fists next time. Nucky says that is not who he is. Eli reminds Nucky that he was willing to use violence to get rid of Margaret's husband. Nucky responds that Hans deserved to die. Eli criticizes Nucky for sitting in judgement. He warns Nucky to leave that to God and focus on taking care of business. Eli worries what will happen if Margaret starts to talk. Nucky insists that she won't. Eli counters that he has no way of knowing, also blaming his recent gunshot wound on Nucky's lack of knowledge. Nucky asks his brother to calm down. Eli tells Nucky to wake up, also worried about the gains Fletcher has been making politically. Nucky says that he already knows. Eli continues that if they lose their political power the people will come after them with pickaxes. Eli says that Nucky has created a liability through his relationship with Margaret and challenges that Nucky is deluding himself that the relationship as redemptive. Nucky says that he did not ask for Eli's insights. Eli angrily asserts that his life is at stake, referencing his eight children and accusing Nucky of treating their business like a circus. Eli says that Nucky is the king of the freak show and that people do not care about him, only the money he can give them. Eli says that Margaret is the same, calling her an "Irish chippy", and accuses Nucky of handing her a blank cheque. Nucky carefully puts down his cup and tells Eli it is a shame he did not see Hardeen. Eli is confused and Nucky says that he has an entertaining act but no one would care about him if his brother were not Houdini. With Eli silenced, Nucky walks out.

Bader entertains Nucky's ward bosses with a joke about a prostitute. Nucky criticizes him for mixing up his facts, correcting that Peter Minuit bought Manhattan. Nucky harangues his people for not taking the election seriously. O'Neill is unconcerned, saying that the people know who they can trust. Nucky counters that the people are looking for reform. Nucky announces a change, confirming his support for Bader but saying that Eli has resigned as Sheriff. Nucky invites Halloran to run in Eli's place. Halloran accepts and says he will not let Nucky down. The others applaud and shake Halloran's hand. Eddie announces that Richard is calling for Nucky.


Richard tells Nucky that Margaret and the children have left the house.

Nucky comes home to find that Margaret has left. He questions Harrow about her departure. Harrows says that when he arrived the day before she said that she did not need him and said that Nucky knew. When he arrived in the morning she had her bags packed, then she sent him to run an errand, and when he returned she was gone. Nucky finds the bracelet he gave her on the table.

Nucky strolls the boardwalk with Eddie. He stops outside Lady Jean's fortunetelling shop and then goes in. Her window sign announces that she provides "advice in business and love". Eddie watches through the window as she picks up her tarot cards.

A Return to Normalcy[]

Main article: A Return to Normalcy

George O'Neill reads the Atlantic City Press. The front page features a story asserting that Fletcher is poised for victory in the Mayor's race with corruption a key issue in the coming election. Nucky walks into his office and snatches the paper out of O'Neill's hands as he passes. He tells his men to buy drinks, promise jobs, or do whatever they need to in order to get their people to vote. Jim Neary jokingly announces that they should then be sent to his ward to vote again. O'Neill speaks up, claiming that he has already said that replacing Eli was a mistake. Nucky objects to O'Neill's assertion, challenging that he hasn't said a word before now. Nucky demands that his people deliver a big turn out at the Tuesday election. Damien Fleming jokes that Nucky will even get spooks. Chalky White takes offence, assuming that Fleming was using a racial slur. Fleming explains that he means dead people still registered as voters. Ed Bader muses that he will not be the first Atlantic City politician elected by dead people. Al Boyd points out that it is Halloween and urges Bader to get in the spirit. Bader jokes that they are talking about absentee ballots. The others laugh but Nucky grimly tells Bader that he hopes that he is half as amusing during his concession speech.


Nucky makes last minute negotiations with Chalky to buy the colored vote.

Nucky goes to pour a drink and Chalky approaches him for a private word. Nucky nods at the others and they vacate the room. Nucky pours a drink for Chalky and hands it to him. Chalky says that he has been approached by the Democrats. Nucky is not surprised and Chalky expands that they painted him a nice picture of the future. Nucky sarcastically asserts that being a savvy businessman Chalky believed them. Chalky responds that he was savvy enough to take their money. Nucky wonders if that means that Chalky is sticking with him. Chalky says that recognition for his loyalty would be nice. Nucky puffs on his cigarette and sits behind his desk. He asks Chalky if he realizes that he puts the bite on him every election year. Chalky warns that this time Nucky could actually lose. Nucky asks what he wants. Chalky asks for $10,000, a new car, and an invitation to the victory party at Babette's Supper Club. Nucky swallows and worries that the last item is a tall order. Chalky counters that his delivering of the whole colored vote is just as difficult.

Dr. Carl Surran chairs a meeting at Commodore Louis Kaestner's home to confront Louanne about the Commodore's arsenic poisoning. Jimmy, Gillian, Nucky, and Sheriff Halloran are also in attendance. Surran explains that when the arsenic is put in the victims food they can be unaware of being poisoned. Gillian says that The Commodore had been complaining of an upset stomach since Christmas. Surran expands that the poisoning would been going on for some time to reach the levels detected in The Commodore's system. He reveals that he has found toxic levels in stew, tea biscuits and even the toothpaste. Halloran asks Louanne to explain the findings. She says that it must have fallen in by accident. Halloran challenges that her food remained uncontaminated. The Commodore accuses her of killing Jerry. Jimmy interjects that he ate one of the cookies. Halloran asks who Jerry is. Surran explains that he is referring to his dog, and Nucky adds that Jerry used to eat his leftovers. Louanne notes that The Commodore always treated the dog better than her. The Commodore says that Jerry was the best friend he had, and calls Louanne a "goddamn ignorant bitch". He harangues her about everything he did for her, shouting that she is a murderer. Surran asks about her motive. She says that if she had used a shotgun she would have had to clean up the mess herself and had taken all she could of The Commodore's abuse. The Commodore asks Halloran if he is going to arrest Louanne. Nucky interrupts to say that he is not, to The Commodore's dismay.


Nucky pardons Louanne in order to not compromise the upcoming election, despite The Commodore's protests.

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

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

Nucky puts on his jacket and a mask for the party. Eddie announces a visitor and shows Margaret in. Nucky is shocked to see her and slowly removes the mask. She says that he should keep it on as it suits him, likening him to a dapper villain in a Sunday serial. Nucky bitterly asks what she has come as, a devoted wife, a temperance firebrand or a crusading suffragette. Margaret notes that he left out 'kept woman'. Nucky quips that there wasn't any keeping her. Margaret recalls that she was pregnant when they first met before losing the baby. She says that she knows that Nucky lost an infant son and his wife. Nucky tells her that it is a bit late to play this game. Margaret asks what he means and he explains that he believes she is looking for him to tell her his sorrows so that she can pretend to be sympathetic before they wind up in bed together. Margaret assures him that will not happen. She sits on the couch and Nucky asks why she has come. She says that she wants to find out who Nucky really is.


Nucky tells Margaret his tragic story.

Nucky sighs deeply and then begins to reveal his tale. He begins seven to eight years earlier, having just become treasurer, and says that he was very busy. He says that Mabel had just given birth and they named the baby Enoch, Mabel wanting to name the baby after Nucky. Enoch Jr. was sickly and underweight. Mabel was determined to nurse him to health but she had little support from her husband, who was terrified of the frail baby, afraid to hold him or even look at him. Nucky avoided them completely and put everything into his new job as county treasurer. A week after the birth, Nucky returned home late and finally found the courage to look at his son, at which point he immediately realized the baby was dead. According to him, Mabel had “completely broken with reality", caring for the infant's corpse for days as if he were alive. Mabel was diagnosed with melancholia shortly before or after Enoch Jr.'s burial. Doctors assured Nucky that she would recover with time, but Nucky knew better. Nucky admits that he knew Mabel needed him, but he was "so very, very busy.” Mabel, left alone once again while her husband worked, slashed her wrists with his shaving razor a few weeks after the baby's burial, on January 19, 1913.

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

The next day Eddie drives Nucky and Jimmy out to a coastal highway. Torrio, Capone, Rothstein, Luciano and Lansky are waiting for them. Jimmy approaches with his gun in hand. Torrio greets him, placing a calming hand on his forearm. Nucky asks what is going on, complaining that he does not like being sandbagged. Torrio urges patience, saying that it costs nothing to listen. Nucky turns his attention to Rothstein and tells them to start talking. Torrio reminds them of their last meeting when another was also present, Big Jim Colosimo. He says that Colosimo was a good man but did not look ahead. Luciano quips that Frankie Yale told them that Colosimo did not look behind either. Capone warns him to show more maturity. Torrio says that they must be forward thinking to survive in their business. He urges them to let go of the past and then says that Rothstein asked for the meeting.

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


Torrio brokers the peace between Nucky and Arnold Rothstein.

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

Nucky greets the newsmen from the podium at County Hall. He tells them that the passing of the eighteenth amendment has given rise to a new breed of criminal; vivious thugs emboldened by the promise of an easy dollar. Nucky reminds the reporters of the Hammonton hijacking massacre where five bootleggers were killed by a rival gang. He repeats his cover story that the killers were led by Hans Schroeder, whose body washed ashore days later. He says that the tireless work of his brother, former Sheriff Eli Thompson, to bring the culprits to justice has uncovered a link to the D'Alessio brothers of Philadelphia, and announces that they are being sought for questioning. In reality, Jimmy, Capone and Richard Harrow murder the surviving D'Alessio brothers as he speaks. Nucky also argues that the democrats have made unfounded accusation of corruption and softness of crime for political gain. He tells the press that while the crime occurred on the Republican watch, the apprehension of those responsible did as well. Nucky ends urging people to vote for Edward Bader to keep the city safe and ends with a "God bless America". He marches out of the room, surrounded by his aldermen and reporters with more questions.

The next morning (election day, November 2, 1920), the Atlantic City Daily Press opens with a story titled "Woods Killers Found Dead". Nucky electioneers among the crowd on the Boardwalk, shaking hands and greeting voters. He calls out to people he knows and is taken aback when he sees Margaret in line. He pauses to smile at her but moves on without saying anything. Someone asks who he is voting for and he announces "Ed Bader and the straight Republican ticket, and I suggest you all do the same!"

During the night, Nucky hosts a party for the Republican delegation in his suite as they await the election results. Ward Boss Jim Neary urges Jimmy to go easy on his drinking but Jimmy waves him off. Eli waits for Nucky in the office. Eddie comes in to report that the Illinois State Attorney has announced that Rothstein will not be indicted. Nucky nods, pleased, and asks about the local election. Eddie tells him the polls will close shortly. Nucky tells Eli that they are almost home. Eli is still upset at being forced to resign the Sheriff's post and says that Nucky expects to wave his scepter and be forgiven. Nucky points out that Eli has just had a healthy payday from the Rothstein money and sarcastically wonders if he should have sent flowers too. Eli presses on, telling Nucky that he "fucked [him] over." Nucky says that he has already told Eli that he will make it right. Eli says that Nucky is so used to talking "bullshit" that he has forgotten that what he says actually affects people. Nucky asks if Eli is reciting Dale Carnegie again. Eli says that he is serious, that Nucky needs to know there are consequences to what he says and does that cannot be assuaged with money. Nucky apologizes unconvincingly for hurting Eli's feelings. The phone rings in the next room. Nucky says that Eli has to trust him. Eli wonders what Nucky means. Nucky asserts that blood is thicker that water. Eli asks why it had to be his blood. Eddie enters to announce that Edgar Kaufner is on the phone from campaign headquarters. Eli rejoins the others.

Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague joins the group. George O'Neill jokingly asks who let the Democrat in. Hague counters that you don't have to be Irish to drink on St. Patrick's Day. Nucky rejoins the party, greeting Hague bemusedly as a "fellow Republican". He asks for their attention and announces that Bader has been elected Mayor. Nucky whispers to Bader. Bader thanks the others for their support and then says that he is going to get right down to business. He tells Sheriff Halloran that he is accepting his resignation. Halloran wonders if he is joking and O'Neill shushes him. Bader reappoints Eli as Sheriff and Nucky points his glass to him. Jimmy stands up and approaches Nucky, but he is stopped by Paddy Ryan, who wants to talk with him. As Jimmy attempts to insult Ryan, Nucky notices and pulls him out to the lobby.

NuckyJimmy Slider

Jimmy argues with Nucky.

Nucky releases Jimmy once they are out of the room, asking what is wrong with him. Jimmy downs his drink and squares off to Nucky. He says that Nucky is his hero. Nucky asks what he is talking about. Jimmy says that he admires the way Nucky works; clean, fast, and totally devoid of emotion. Nucky explains that Halloran wasn't working out. Jimmy asserts that Nucky will use anyone, including thirteen year old girls. Nucky rationalizes that Gillian was an orphan living in a home for wayward girls and that The Commodore took good care of her. Jimmy compares it to the way Nucky took care of him. Nucky challenges that he did take care of Jimmy, asking if he ever waited for anything or missed a meal. Meanwhile, Eli jealously watches Nucky talking to Jimmy. Jimmy asks if Nucky was acting out of guilt. Nucky says that Jimmy is a grown man now and asks what difference it makes if it was guilt or duty. Jimmy says that he thought Nucky loved him. Nucky pauses and then tells Jimmy that he is not his father. Jimmy says that he needs to go and take it up with him, turning to leave. Nucky grabs him by the arm and asks him to go home to Angela and sleep it off. Jimmy tells Nucky to stop acting like he cares and unsteadily walks out.

Eddie Cantor entertains the bigger Republican party's guests at Babette's Supper Club. Alderman Al Boyd tries to listen to the wireless for the presidential election results. Eddie delivers a routine about running the country like a Broadway show; trying out the cabinet in Atlantic City first in front of the best audiences. The band chimes up after his punch line and the crowd begin to dance. The other aldermen drink with their wives. George Baxter interrupts Nucky talking to his date to show off his own escort; Annabelle. Nucky shakes his hand and Annabelle says that George has been telling her about his business. He delivers a lame joke. Margaret walks then into the noisy bar. Nucky notices her standing inside the door. They share a look across the dance floor. Nucky excuses himself and approaches her. He greets her and says it is a pleasant surprise to see her. She says that she heard the news about Bader and congratulates him. He says that he owes her a debt of gratitude. He asks if champagne is Ok. She quotes him "good news just isn't the same without it". They chime their glasses together. He asks about the children and she tells him that they miss their "Uncle Nucky".


Nucky and Margaret reconciliate just as the news of Harding's election arrive to Atlantic City.

Babette interrupts the proceedings to announce that they have news on the wireless. The announcer lists the states that have declared for Harding. He repeats his name, Frank Conrad, and says that he is broadcasting live from Pittsburgh. A woman exclaims surprise at how far away he is and Babette shushes her. Conrad calls the election for Harding with 60% of the popular vote and announces that his opponent has conceded moments ago. The crowd break into applause. Nucky puts his arm around Margaret as the announcer recites the president's acceptance speech calling for "a return to normalcy". The crowd claps the sentiment and Margaret kisses Nucky. Babette's band strike up again and Eddie sings "Life's a funny proposition, after all". By dawn, Nucky and his cronies leaves Babette's; Nucky and Margaret stare out over the ocean from the Boardwalk rail, having just reconciliated. Meanwhile, Rothstein sends the Grey-Haired Man with the $1 million to Nucky's suite and The Commodore contacts Eli and Jimmy with a plan to dethrone Nucky.

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