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Main article: Nucky Thompson
Nucky season-2

Nucky Thompson after his murder attempt. ("Two Boats and a Lifeguard")

  • "You don't know me James. You never did. I. Am not. Seeking. Forgiveness!" ("To the Lost")

Nucky Thompson remains the main character of Boardwalk Empire in Season 2. This article details his actions in each episode of the season.


Main article: 21

Nucky Thompson begins the second season at Babette's Supper Club, partying and gambling the whole night of February 12, 1921 in company of his four ward bosses - Jim Neary, George O'Neill, Al Boyd and Damien Fleming - and some floozies. By the morning of February 13, when the staff is opening the curtains to let daylight, O'Neill drowsily dances with a floozy and Neary plays cards. Nucky flirts with another floozy until Eddie Kessler interrupts and tells him what hour is already.

Nucky returns to his new home to find Margaret arguing with Teddy in the kitchen while their maid Katy is feeding Emily. Teddy is sitting bellow the table and refuses to go to school, angering Margaret because he is upsetting his sister. When Nucky inquires about the reason he learns that Teddy was hit with a ruler by his teacher, Sister Bernice, for misbehaving. Margaret eventually convinces Teddy to leave with his sister to wash himself. She then reminds Nucky that it is almost 8:00 AM, but he is not ashamed. Nucky then attempts to intimate with her, but decides to sleep in his office in the Ritz Carlton Hotel when the children start making noise again.


Nucky and his cronies plan to make millions with the construction of highways in New Jersey.

However, Nucky does not go to the Ritz only to sleep. He is actually crafting an elaborate plan with Mayor Bader and the ward bosses to buy worthless farmland that they know will be expropriated to build roads and then sell it to the state of New Jersey for ten times what they paid. Bader’s own building firm will be contracted to make the roads. They offer Order of Ancient Celts member Ernie Moran, who has a paving firm, to join their partnership and provide the gravel. After seeing how advanced their plan is already he agrees and offers Nucky a bribe to make sure that they will buy from him. As the reunion ends, Moran also reminds Nucky that he is set to meet IRA leader John McGarrigle the next day. Nucky places the bribe money in a ledger hidden in his closet and adds its amount to the book detailing the contability of his illegal deals. Eddie arrives and tells Nucky that they have an emergency: Chalky White has shot a klansman and the press has already been informed. On the way out to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, Nucky exchanges glares with Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden, who is spending a free day with his wife, Rose.

Nucky and Eli visit Chalky at his home, where his son Lester is playing the piano. Chalky’s wife Lenore offers them something to eat but they decline. Chalky then tells his wife that they have to speak in private. Nucky and Eli compliment Lester as he leaves; Lenore comments that he is going to attend Morehouse College in two years. Once alone, Nucky recriminates Chalky that he had to learn of his altercation with the KKK from a reporter. Eli adds that the man that Chalky shot is Herman Dacus, a local school teacher, and that his companion has lost an arm. Chalky couldn’t care less: four of his workers were killed in the attack and six more wounded, including a woman. He throws back at the Thompsoms that they were supposed to protect the black community from the Klan and that by not abiding he’s ready to end their partnership, boasting that he’s got his family and his people behind him – “The ten thousand black folk who make this city hum”. Nucky is not impressed and claims that if problems arise Chalky's people have more to lose than he does. Chalky asks then if he’s going to be arrested; Nucky replies that he can handle the situation, but that Chalky should remain at home. After Chalky leaves the room, Nucky throws at Eli that he was supposed to have the Klan under control. Eli doesn’t respond, but calls Chalky an “uppity shine” as he leaves.


Nucky gives a speech at church.

Nucky gives then conflicting speeches in front of a black and a white church congregation. In the first he speaks of how he has always viewed African-Americans as equals and vows to protect them from the Klan. In the second, he says that the ‘coloreds’ need to be taught a lesson and vows to protect the white population from them. While in this last one, a townsman, John Wright, arrives and announces that Herman Dacus has died. This causes a huge stir and Nucky orders Eli to arrest Chalky for his own safety.

Nucky attends Herman Dacus' vigil at W. B. Shuyler Funeral Parlor and conforts the widow saying that he was "a pillar of the community". He then meets Jimmy who explains his presence saying that Dacus was one of his teachers in high school. Jimmy also claims to know nothing about the shooting at Chalky's. Outside the building the two discuss Jimmy's recent express marriage and that he didn't ask for Nucky's advice as he used to. Nucky advices Jimmy then to not trust The Commodore, saying that he is a duplicious man. He also notices the presence of The Commodore's long time lawyer, Leander Cephas Whitlock, at the funeral home.

Upon his return, Nucky tells Margaret of his encounter with Jimmy. He recognizes to be angered by Jimmy's recent drift-apart, claiming that he was a sustitute father and mother to him, and suspects the influence of The Commodore. Margaret suggests buying something for Jimmy on account of his recent wedding, to which Nucky replies that he has already taken care of. She then compels Nucky to talk to Teddy, worried that he is developing pyromania.

Nucky goes to talk with Teddy. To his surprise, the kid begins to strip down, authomatically assuming that Nucky is going to whip him with a belt like his father Hans Schroeder used to do. Nucky reassures Teddy that he is not going to hit him, and after telling him to not play with matches again and to obey his mother and the nuns, hands Teddy a bill to buy some sweets.

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


Nucky is arrested.

Nucky arrives at his suite in the Ritz. He finds Eddie talking to the other man, surrounded by three members of the New Jersey State Police. The man introduces himself as Solomon Bishop, Deputy US Attorney for the State of New Jersey, and a State Trooper arrests Nucky for election fraud.

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

The episode ends with Jimmy opening the wedding gift box alone in his home. Inside there is an envelope with money and a statue of a man and a boy hunters looking at each other over the deer they've just shot together. Jimmy looks at the statue for a while before putting it away in a closet.

Ourselves Alone[]

Main article: Ourselves Alone

A Dangerous Maid[]

Main article: A Dangerous Maid

What Does the Bee Do?[]

Main article: What Does the Bee Do?

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

Nucky, Eddie, Ward Boss Fleming and Bill McCoy go to his suite in the Ritz Carlton Hotel while planning the party for Mayor Bader. Nucky also tells Eddie to get Arnold Rothstein on the phone. Carolyn Rothstein answers it and passes the call to her husband, who is having stomach problems. Nucky tells Rothstein that his importation of alcohol is blockaded by the Coast Guard and that he needs a new port. Rothstein suggests Montauk, in Long Island, but McCoy refuses since it is too far. They eventually settle for a deal in which McCoy will unload liquor for Nucky in Philadelphia, giving a cut of 20% to Arnold Rothstein and another 20% to Rothstein's ally in Philly, Waxey Gordon. The alcohol will then be moved to Atlantic City under the supervision of Lucky Luciano.

Bader's Party

Nucky welcomes Jack Dempsey at Edward Bader's birthday party.

That night, World heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague arrive at the Ritz Carlton surrounded by an excited mass of fans in demand of autographs. Up on the 8th floor suite, Eddie sings a song in German over the piano while Nucky, his lawyer Isaac Ginsburg, Ernie Moran and Damien Fleming party with prostitutes. Meanwhile, the prostitutes' madam and two others play with and spank a blinded Mayor Bader with his pants down. As the song ends, the prostitutes bring a birthday cake and take down the Mayor's blindfold. "Make a wish", Moran says - "This was my wish", replies Bader. Bader is also surprised when Dempsey and Hague enter the room. The guests discuss the upcoming boxing match against Georges Carpentier, the European champion, and Hague shows off that he built a stadium solely for this fight. Fleming inquires if July Jersey City is a good place for boxing, and Dempsey recognizes that he doesn't like the smell of the sewage treatment plant. Nucky then proposes him to train in Atlantic City, where he will be able to enjoy the beaches and its other natural resources - in reference to the prostitutes present. The madame catches Nucky's comment and corrects him saying that they are not homegrown, but from Philadelphia. As Fleming promptly adds, they were brought in last November to perform sexual favors in exchange for Republican votes. The last comment brings Isaac Ginsburg an idea to get Nucky's case dismished: since moving women for immoral purposes across state lines is a federal offense, the addition of this charge moves Nucky's prosecution to federal level and places it squarely on the hands of Nucky's political ally, the Attorney General Harry Daugherty.

The next day, Nucky and Chalky discuss the issue of the four men's dead families in the latter's home. Nucky reassures him that they will be compensated; Chalky responds that they don't want money but revenge against the KKK. Nucky commands him then to not insist on the issue and when Chalky does so Nucky tells him to "be a good boy" and keep calm. Chalky is not the only one that wants to settle scores.

Following Nucky's orders, Fleming takes the madame and two of the prostitutes to Solomon Bishop's office and denounce Nucky for violation of the Mann Act.

Later on, Owen discusses his experience as a bomb maker while preparing another one for Nucky. His first bomb killed 12 Black and Tans in a constable station Tipperary, one of whom was decapitated. Afterwards, his group would plant a bomb per week, targeting British lorries, sentries, quarters, post offices, "even a rectory". In all of them he used gelegnite, a product used in quarries and mines that does not leak nitroglycerine like dynamite does. Once finished, Nucky tells Owen that they will plant it on Mickey Doyle's warehouse.

Margaret is reads the news that Nucky trucked prostitutes from Philadelphia to win Republican votes in the 1920 Atlantic City local election in the Atlantic City Daily Press. Nucky reassures her that it is a scheme to get the case to the Attorney General and that he had no relations with those women. Margaret then asks for $100 - "clothes for the children", she says. Nucky pays her with no hesitation and she leaves for the bedroom.

Gimcrack & Bunkum[]

Main article: Gimcrack & Bunkum

Nucky Thompson speaks in commemoration of Memorial Day.

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

While preparing to play a round of golf, Nucky complains about Darmody to the Attorney General and his travelling companion and aide Jess Smith. Nucky refutes Darmody’s claims that he fought for democracy and tells the others that Jimmy enlisted only because he could not cope with studying at Princeton. Daugherty is more concerned with his expanding waistline. Daugherty informs Nucky that he has found a cooperative federal prosecutor; Charles Kenneth Thorogood. Daugherty leaves the changing room and Smith asks Nucky about George Remus. Smith wants Nucky to vouch for him with George Remus so that they can get into the bootlegging business together.

Eli Nucky Peg

Margaret saves Nucky from Eli.

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

Nucky goes to his suite at the Ritz Carlton and apologizes for his lateness to his waiting guests. Waiting for him are Daugherty, Smith, US Attorney Charles Kenneth Thorogood and Nucky’s own attorney Isaac Ginsburg. Daugherty notes Nucky’s somewhat battered appearance and Nucky explains it away as sunburn. Daugherty introduces Nucky to Thorogood. Ginsburg confirms that they have discussed their plans. Ginsburg explains that Thorogood will submit a motion to transfer the charges against Nucky to federal court. Thorogood clarifies that he will argue that the combination of the election rigging charges and the Mann Act violations constitute an ongoing criminal enterprise operating across state lines. Smith explains that once the case is before a federal court the Department of Justice will intervene and drop the charges due to insufficient time and resources. Daugherty notes the absence of a thank you from Nucky and laughs off Nucky’s request for a guarantee. Ginsburg leaves telling the others he has to catch an early train. Daugherty tells Nucky that his party is free all evening.

During the night, Nucky tries to work while his allies party with prostitutes in the next room of his suite. Chip comes into the office to ask Eddie to fetch oysters, ice and champagne. Nucky tells Chip to close the door.

The Age of Reason[]

Main article: The Age of Reason

Nucky Thompson looks on as Margaret Schroeder and her son Teddy sit in front of their priest, Father Ed Brennan. Brennan questions Teddy about sin and confession. Nucky intercedes to answer a question when Teddy gives the wrong answer and encourages Teddy when he gets an answer correct. Nucky is impatient when the priest brings up Hell. He asks Brennan to wrap up the discussion, using the priest's first name. Margaret reminds Nucky that the meeting is Teddy’s final chance to prepare for first confession. Nucky wagers that the three of them can save Teddy’s soul and tells Margaret he will wait in the car.

In his office at the Ritz Carlton Nucky turns over an illustrated Young People’s Bible History in his hands as Harlan shines his shoes. Nucky completes the pre-printed inscription page and puts the Bible aside. Harlan asks if the book features the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, which is a favourite of Harlan’s sons. Nucky tells Harlan that the book is a present for his nephew. Nucky asks if Harlan goes to church and learns that he is a regular at the Shiloh Baptist Church on Arctic. Nucky pays Harlan and Harlan wishes him a blessed week. As Harlan leaves, the phone rings.

Nucky's assistant Eddie Kessler announces that it is George Remus calling. Nucky opens the conversation by telling Remus that he has been hearing his name frequently. Remus, continuing to refer to himself in the third person, tells Nucky that he had not expected any favours from Atlantic City. Nucky surmises that Remus means the introduction he made on behalf of the Attorney General’s aide Jess Smith. Remus discloses that he has made an agreement with Smith and will now buy licenses for the production of supposedly medicinal liquor from him. Nucky says that Remus sounds as though he is rolling in it and Remus jokes that he is in fact floating; telling Nucky about his indoor pool and claiming it is better than living on the seafront. Nucky pauses after the subtle insult and then asks when he will get a finder’s fee for the introduction. Remus laughs off the request and then tells Nucky that he has not changed. Nucky points out the irony that Remus works in Ohio but did not know any of President Harding’s administration (many of whom are part of the political group known as the Ohio Gang) before Nucky’s introduction. Remus tells Nucky that he dislikes what he sees as cheapness. Nucky asks if Remus is still complaining about the telephone charges he received when he visited Atlantic City. Remus tells Nucky that on visiting Cincinnati you are not billed for maid service. Nucky asks why anyone would visit Cincinnati. Remus says that Nucky is petty and resentful. Nucky swears at Remus and hangs up. Stinging from Remus’ insults, Nucky puts $10 in the bible as an additional gift for Teddy, thinks for a second and then switches the bill for a $20.

Nucky's attorney Isaac Ginsburg and federal prosectutor Charles Kenneth Thorogood visit Nucky in his suite to report that Thorogood's motion to take the election rigging charges against Nucky federal was successful. The mood is celebratory - they hope that the charges can be dropped by the Department of Justice if Thorogood throws the case. Eddie opens a bottle of champagne as Thorogood recounts his success in court for Nucky's benefit. He recalls that his father told him that addressing a judge would be exhilarating. Ginsburg infers that Thorogood’s father is also a lawyer. Thorogood is surprised that Ginsburg has not heard of his father. Thorogood asserts that Nucky must know his father. Nucky is distracted by his phone call being connected. Attorney General Harry Daugherty answers and observes that Nucky sounds happy. Nucky jokes about the joy of becoming a federal defendant. Daugherty claims that Nucky now owes him a favour and Nucky disagrees, stating that they will be even once the charges are dismissed. Daugherty passes on a thank you from Smith regarding the introduction to Remus. Nucky warns Daugherty to be careful and Daugherty cites his own leadership as reassurance. Standing next to Daugherty, Smith checks his watch and then tilts his chin upwards. Daugherty nods and brings the conversation to a close by asking Nucky to look after Thorogood and telling Nucky that he has a long friendship with Thorogood’s father. Hanging up, Nucky asks Thorogood to name his pleasure. Thorogood uses a nonsensical pie metaphor to request female company. Nucky refers Thorogood to Eddie and says they will get him a suite of his own.


Nucky, Chalky, Waxey Gordon, Bill McCoy, Herman Kaufman and Arnold Rothstein discuss the new route of importation through Philadelphia. Owen, Lucky and Lansky are also present as muscle.

That night Nucky chairs a meeting in the sitting room of his suite. Seated in the centre of the room are alcohol importer Bill McCoy, Nucky’s bootlegging manager Chalky White, New York crime boss Arnold Rothstein and Rothstein's Philadelphia connection Waxey Gordon. At the edge of the room are Nucky’s driver and enforcer Owen Sleater, Rothstein's protégé Lucky Luciano, Luciano's associate Meyer Lansky and Philadelphia gangster Herman Kaufman. With Atlantic City blockaded by the coast guard they are there to arrange delivery of McCoy’s shipments via Philadelphia. If the clear skies hold McCoy is planning to weigh anchor close to shore near Philadelphia at 2 a.m. the following night. Waxey explains that he will transport the liquor ashore in speedboats and that he has a dozen of them at his disposal. He estimates that this step can be completed in under an hour. Nucky and McCoy worry about the coast guard around Philadelphia and Rothstein confirms that Waxey has assured their safety. Waxey states that the guarantee of plain sailing is what he is being paid for. Nucky gripes about Waxey’s twenty percent share. Rothstein explains that once ashore the crates will be put onto trucks by Waxey’s men. Waxey points out Kaufman as the supervisor for this step and states that the trucks will be driven to the New Jersey border where Luciano and Lansky will complete the journey. Luciano complains to Rothstein that Waxey should earn his share by having his men complete the journey. Waxey compares Luciano to a woman asking to be walked home and Kaufman jokes about needing a good night kiss. Luciano threatens Kaufman and Lansky quiets Luciano. Chalky tells Luciano that he will expect delivery around 5 a.m. and reminds Luciano to signal his arrival with flashing headlights. Rothstein looks at Nucky and Nucky nods his assent.

Later, Jimmy watches as Nucky leaves the hotel with Waxey and Kaufman and rattles him to Manny Horvitz. Jimmy gets information about Nucky's new route from Kaufman before they kill him. Jimmy also attempts a hijacking but when he meets Luciano and Lansky guarding the load he instead agrees to work with them to take over the whole bootlegging operation.

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

In the morning Nucky interrupts Margaret talking to Sleater. Once they are at the Ritz Carlton Nucky take a call from Daugherty. Daugherty has had a visit from Nucky's enemy, New Jersey Senator Walter Edge. Edge has demanded Daugherty switch prosecutors in Nucky's case. Daugherty apologises and Nucky wonders why the Attorney General is acquiescing to a mere senator. Daugherty admits that Edge has threatened an investigation into the Veteran's Bureau proposal. Nucky still cannot understand, citing Daugherty’s short time in office. Daugherty refuses to comment further. Nucky asks who it will be and Daugherty does not follow, distracted by the newspaper he is reading. Once Nucky has clarified his meaning Daugherty admits that he has not chosen yet. Nucky requests an accommodating prosecutor and complains about his situation's vulnerability. Daugherty says he is also vulnerable and hangs up. After the phone call, Nucky has Eddie throw Thorogood out of the hotel.

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

Peg of Old[]

Main article: Peg of Old

Nucky converses with Jack Dempsey at the beach.

Nucky arranges for World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey to hold an open practice in a tent on the beach in Atlantic City. Afterwards Dempsey fields questions from reporters. On the sidelines with Nucky are Atlantic City Mayor Edward Bader and Dempsey's trainer Jack "Doc" Kearns. As they leave Nucky asks Dempsey to make a promotional appearance at Babette’s Supper Club on Friday to advertise the wireless broadcast of the fight. Bader explains that they will be charging $2.50 a ticket to listen to the fight live via the radio. Dempsey agrees on the condition that his trainer is on board. Nucky replies that with Doc expecting a 10% share of their takings he will gladly agree and Doc jokes about scientific progress. Nucky’s bodyguard and driver Owen Sleater waits by the car. A reporter from the Philadelphia Enquirer approaches with a final question – this one for Nucky rather than Dempsey and about the election rigging charges. The reporter has discovered that Nucky played golf with Attorney General Harry Daugherty on Memorial Day and wants to know what they discussed. Nucky claims they talked about sand traps on the Seaview golf course and has Dempsey drag the reporter away.

Nucky meets with his attorney Isaac Ginsburg in the office of his suite at the Ritz Carlton to discuss the assignment of a new prosecutor, Esther Randolph, to his case. Ginsburg has done his research and presents Nucky with a file on Randolph while describing its content. She is a USC graduate with 10 years of experience as a public defender. She became a prosecutor after impressing Governor William Stephens in California and has risen to the position of Assistant US Attorney. Nucky is surprised that she is working for Daugherty and Ginsburg suggests that Daugherty needs some of his people to appear honest. Nucky complains about having his case deliberately made federal based on assurances from Daugherty that he would assign a corrupt prosecutor who would throw the trial. The scheme was derailed when Daugherty came under political pressure to assign a competent prosecutor from Nucky’s enemies. As the originator of the plan Ginsburg says that he has been waiting for Nucky to complain and offers the defence that if the Attorney General cannot help Nucky then there is nothing he can do. Nucky laments that there are others in Atlantic City who will lose out from a thorough federal investigation and Ginsburg points out that Nucky is the one they are targeting. Nucky details his former allies – The Commodore is incapacitated following his stroke while George O'Neill is believed to be in hiding. Nucky suggests that if Ginsburg cannot target Jim Neary, Alderman Boyd or Paddy Ryan to provide a solution then he does not know why he is paying him. Ginsburg states that he is paid to put up with Nucky’s rudeness. Nucky's assistant Eddie Kessler enters and announces visitors. Annoyed, Nucky tells Eddie he is in a meeting. Eddie nevertheless shows in Lucy and her baby. Ginsburg takes the opportunity to leave.

PoO Nucky-Lucy

Lucy shows Nucky her baby.

Nucky, fearing Lucy will claim that he is the baby’s father, reminds her that they last saw one another on May 23, 1920. She tells him not to begin like that and he looks at the baby and then apologises and offers his congratulations. Lucy confesses that she considered telling Nucky the baby was his but knew he would not believe her and felt it would have been unfitting now that she is a mother. Nucky tells Lucy he is glad she is taking her responsibilities seriously. She twice draws his attention to the baby and having elicited a smile from him she reminds him of their shared history. She tells him her purpose every day they were together was to make him happy and that she now wants to apply that attitude to her daughter. Nucky believes she will be a good mother and she tells him that she wants to, but that to achieve that she needs money. Nucky asks where the baby’s father, is suspecting that Lucy does not know who is he. Annoyed, Lucy tells him she knows and that it someone he might know too.

Nucky summons Van Alden to his office. He has Lucy wait in the room with the baby until Van Alden arrives and Nucky then asks Lucy to give them privacy. She takes the baby outside, telling Van Alden that she did not know what else to do. Nucky offers Van Alden a drink, saying that this may be the time to start. Van Alden declines and Nucky pours one for himself and toasts to Van Alden’s new daughter. Van Alden bluntly asks what Nucky wants and Nucky says that Van Alden may want to charm him. Van Alden suspects blackmail. Nucky tells Van Alden that he is not in the habit of judging people and instead tries to help. He wonders if Van Alden’s disposition towards this attitude has changed. Van Alden asks what Nucky proposes to help him with and Nucky expresses concern about his ability to support his wife, mistress and daughter financially. Van Alden tells Nucky to stay out of his financial arrangements and Nucky reveals that he wants Van Alden to spy on Esther Randolph. Van Alden asks what Nucky offers in exchange and Nucky says he will take care of any budget problems and prevent questions being asked about Van Alden’s ability to support Lucy until now. Nucky asks what Van Alden has named his daughter and Van Alden admits that he has not chosen yet. Nucky sarcastically suggests choosing a biblical name and asks Van Alden to consider his offer and says that he has given Lucy a gift with no strings attached. Van Alden is shocked that Nucky has given money to Lucy.

Lillian tidies away toys as Nucky gets in the house. He asks if Owen has called and she tells him no but that Margaret is on her way home from her visit to her relatives in New York. She tells him she is going to take the children to the beach with Katy. He calls Eddie at the Ritz Carlton and finds that Owen has not been in touch there either. He asks Eddie to pick him up as he is already late.


Nucky is shot through the hand.

At Babette’s, Doc entertains Dempsey, Nucky and Bader with a joke before Dempsey’s speech. Doc reminds Dempsey to mention the Radio Corporation of America and hands him a copy of a prepared speech. Dempsey stands on the bar and addresses the crowd. As Dempsey entertains the assembly Nucky notices a woman in the crowd. Nucky is distracted by the brunette until he notices Jimmy approaching with his palms up. Nucky glances at Eddie and then asks what Jimmy wants. Jimmy says he wants to tell Nucky something and says “it doesn’t make a difference if you’re right or wrong...” Jimmy leans forward and whispers “ just have to make a decision.” Jimmy walks away and Eddie follows. As they wind through the crowd a man emerges with a pistol in hand. Nucky raises his hand and the man fires at him, hitting him in his right palm. Nucky collapses and Department of Justice agent Clifford Lathrop, who has been following Nucky under orders of Esther Randolph, shoots the would be assassin from the back of the room. As Jimmy exits he hears Bader say that Nucky is alive. Eddie rushes to Nucky's side and bandages the wound with table napkins.

Two Boats and a Lifeguard[]

Main article: Two Boats and a Lifeguard

Nucky ascends in the elevator at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The elevator operator whistles something approaching a tune and then comments on the fight. Nucky is confused and the operator explains that he means the Dempsey vs. Carpentier match. Nucky notes that the fight hasn’t happened yet; he is dreaming. The elevator reaches Nucky’s suite on the eighth floor. He removes his hat as he disembarks and a baby is heard crying. His antechamber is full of unfamiliar faces in familiar clothes. Some of them respectfully remove their hats. On one chair is a catcher’s glove. Nucky goes through to the office and finds a boy sat at his desk. The boy raises his right hand; it is wounded like Nucky’s was in the shooting. Nucky tells the boy that “Daddy eats first.” The sound of an animal draws his gaze to a wounded stag writhing on the floor in front of his desk. The boy cocks a shotgun wrenching Nucky’s attention back to him. He fires and Nucky awakens from the dream.

Nucky finds himself safe at home with Dr Surran removing his dressings to check his wounded hand. Surran asks if Nucky is alright and he says that he has been sleeping poorly. Surran says that this is to be expected. Nucky looks at his hand and jokes that he has stigmata. Surran laughs and asks Nucky to keep the hand protected. Nucky notes that there are few people who want to shake his hand at the moment. Surran says it is probably slow everywhere since Nucky was injured. Nucky observes that Surran is busy and asks about The Commodore. Surran cites doctor-patient confidentiality but Nucky knows that he is not above breaking the rules. Nucky reminds Surran about the medicinal alcohol licence that he arranged for him. Surran apologises and Nucky begins to give him instructions for next time but they are interrupted by Margaret Schroeder. Margaret is concerned about her daughter, Emily, and asks Surran to check on her next. Emily is feverish with reduced appetite. Margaret leaves and as Surran goes to follow Nucky tells him to remember who his friends are. Nucky attempts to knot his tie one handed.

Surran examines Emily while Teddy eats in the next room. Margaret anxiously waits for the doctor’s findings while Owen Sleater drinks a cup of coffee. Surran announces that Emily’s temperature is 99.8 and asks Margaret to call him in the event that she spikes a fever. Margaret wonders if it was something Emily ate. Katy comes in and suggests that Emily over-exerted herself on a trip to the lake. Surran believes that it is likely to be a virus that is going around. Nucky comes through, looks Emily over and then sends Owen to get the car as he goes into the dining room.

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

Nucky meets Randolph

Nucky is interrogated by Esther Randolph and her aide, Clifford Lathrop.

At the Ritz Carlton, Isaac Ginsburg reads aloud from a list of charges against Nucky. Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph and her Chief Investigator Clifford Lathrop sit opposite Nucky and Ginsburg while Eddie pours tea. The allegations include tax evasion, bid rigging, embezzlement of County funds, graft, gambling, prostitution and multiple Volstead Act violations. Nucky sarcastically wonders if they have omitted fair beating (using public transport without paying). Lathrop offers to amend the complaint and Randolph compares Nucky to an onion citing his multiple layers of criminality. Nucky jokes that he considers himself an artichoke and says that he wants to go on the record that the charges are baseless. Randolph reminds Nucky that the meeting is informal and Ginsburg wonders if they are pushing for a plea deal. Nucky says he would decline any such offer and maintains his innocence. Randolph suggests they discuss Nucky’s shooting and he acidly says that there are more pleasant topics. Lathrop wonders if Nucky is curious who was behind the attack. Nucky jokes that he wonders who the shooter was but that the list of those who could be behind it is too long to consider. Randolph asks if Nucky knows Johnny Torrio; Nucky denies a connection. Randolph insists that Nucky knows Torrio and Nucky wonders why she bothered asking. Lathrop reveals that the shooter was Vito Scalercio and that he lived in a building leased by Al Capone. Randolph warns that Nucky’s friends are behind the attempt on his life. Nucky asks why his friends are not the target of the investigation then. Randolph states that she plans to pursue Eli and Nucky’s aldermen. Lathrop relays that they have already questioned some of the aldermen and Ginsburg interrupts to assert his right to review the transcripts of these sessions. Randolph agrees and teases that they make fascinating reading. Randolph moves the discussion on to Margaret, pausing for Nucky to clarify their relationship; he describes Margaret as his companion. She wonders how they first met and Nucky suspects that Randolph is again asking a question that she already has the answer to. She suggests that Nucky might have additional information and he wonders if she expects him to do her job for her. She offers that she has ways of showing her gratitude, packs away her papers and stands. Nucky rises to meet her and she surprises him by saying that it was Lathrop who saved his life. She pointedly observes that Nucky has yet to thank Lathrop and they leave.

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

Eddie drives Nucky out to the Atlantic City Armory. On his arrival a guardsman is checking crates from the Auto-Ordnance Company full of Thompson submachine guns. The guardsman tells Nucky that his guests are waiting in the lunch area and Nucky asks him for a favor. He bribes the guardsman to lie to the federal agents following him by telling them that he was there but left immediately with Eddie. Nucky looks at the guns and jokingly wonders if they are expecting an attack. The guardsman explains that there are 3,000 of the guns, all surplus from World War I. He jokes that Eddie’s Kaiser chickened out of the war earlier than expected. Nucky goes inside and Eddie goes back to the limousine to provide the decoy, calling the guardsman an asshole under his breath.


Rothstein advices Nucky to wait for the proper opportunity to strike back.

Torrio and Rothstein are waiting for Nucky inside. Nucky thanks them for coming and apologises for the setting. Rothstein understands the need for privacy and Torrio asks how they can help. Nucky confuses Torrio by asking him to get his subordinates in line. Nucky explains that the shooter, Scalercio, is connected to Capone. Torrio reveals Capone’s frequent phone conversations with Jimmy and Rothstein confesses that Jimmy visited him in New York. Nucky complains that he has not been told earlier. Rothstein admits that it was the day after Nucky’s arrest and reassures Nucky that he turned down Jimmy’s offer to supply alcohol. Nucky asks if Rothstein will vouch for Luciano and Lansky and Rothstein defers. Rothstein tells Nucky about one of Waxey Gordon’s men being killed on the way to make a delivery in what Luciano called an attempted hijacking. Nucky states that “the pups have grown fangs” and asks for advice. He rejects Torrio’s suggestion to kill Jimmy right away given the ongoing federal surveillance. Rothstein turns away as the others talk, deep in thought. Torrio suggests retirement and Nucky admits that all of his capital is tied up in the land deal. Rothstein suggests inaction; the others are disbelieving. Rothstein explains that in his experience as a gambler when no move is available the best action is to wait until an opportunity arises and to then bet heavily.

Margaret, Nucky and Teddy play The World's Globe Circler, a board game, while Emily sleeps in her mother’s arms. Teddy’s turn takes him to the Southampton space and he is curious about its location. Margaret explains that it is a large port in England and claims that she set sail for America from there. Teddy hopes to sail the voyage himself. Nucky is transfixed by the painting of a ship in the corner of the board. Teddy has to remind “Uncle Nucky” of his turn. Nucky returns his attention to his family and says that he would like the children to begin calling him “Dad.” Teddy looks to his mother and she asks if he would like that. He says that he would; Nucky reaches out to brush Emily’s cheek and tells her that he means her too. Teddy tries the prompt again, this time with “your move, Dad". Margaret smiles and Nucky agrees that it is time for him to move, indeed.


Nucky and Eli coldly reunite in the wake of their father's death.

Nucky attends the wake of Ethan’s corpse at a funeral home. He sits opposite the coffin, alone. Eli arrives and asks Nucky why he is there. Nucky asserts that he has as much right to be there as Eli, and Eli says that he is just surprised. Nucky spitefully wonders if Eli’s surprise is because it's not himself who is in the casket. Eli lies that he was not involved in the assassination attempt and Nucky states that Eli had nothing to do with stopping it either. Eli sits in the row of chairs behind Nucky. He tells Nucky about the subpoena. Nucky wonders why Eli did not hold the wake at his home. Eli says that his children do not need to see Ethan dead. Nucky recalls Eli’s difficulty with attending the funeral for their uncle Clarence and his terror when being made to kiss the corpse. Eli cannot remember. Nucky offers that he came early in an effort to be alone. Eli reiterates his surprise and Nucky says that he came for their mother and their sister, Susan. Eli says that their relatives are all together now. Nucky scoffs at the idea that their father is in Heaven. Eli begins to cry and asks Nucky if Ethan was really that bad. Nucky says that Eli has clearly forgotten much of their childhood and Eli counters that they both turned out OK. He credits Ethan’s parenting for their character. Nucky wonders what kind of men they are and Eli says that they run Atlantic City. Nucky objects to the collective and says that Ethan can rot in Hell. Eli says that this is typical of Nucky’s incapacity for forgiveness. Nucky tells Eli to grow up and take responsibility. Eli leaves and Nucky approaches the casket. Nucky notices that Ethan’s right shoelace is untied and begins to correct the oversight but bursts into tears as he does so.

A deliveryman brings Lathrop a bowl of peaches from Nucky. Lathrop opens the card and reads the message; “You're a peach, thanks for saving my life.”


Nucky announces his resignation as County Treasurer.

Gillian, Jimmy, The Commodore and Leander Cephas Whitlock are in conference at The Commodore’s home. Langston shows in Nucky and Owen. Nucky thanks them for seeing him. Gillian offers a drink and he declines with awkward formality. He says that he is acutely aware of the finite nature of life following his father’s death and that he is going to end their difficulties. The Commodore offers condolences, his speech still marred by weakness after his stroke, and Whitlock joins him. Nucky says his brush with his own mortality has also provoked thinking. He says that his love for Margaret and her children is more important than his power and claims that he plans to retire. He believes that he will have adequate funds after selling property and plans to do so once his legal problems are resolved. Nucky addresses The Commodore telling him that he built Atlantic City and can now have it back. Nucky tells Jimmy that Mayor Bader is aware of his decision and will be cooperative. Whitlock wonders if Nucky will step down as Atlantic County Treasurer and Nucky confirms that he will. He gives his word that he will not stand in their way and offers them the chance to chose his successor. He turns and begins to walk out of the room when Jimmy stops him by calling his name. Jimmy pauses, swallows and then wishes Nucky luck. Nucky reciprocates and exits.

Nucky looks out over the city from the window of his suite at the Ritz Carlton. Eddie enters and announces the arrival of Chalky White. Nucky takes off his sling and fixes his hair. Chalky begins by saying that Nucky wanted to see him and Nucky offers a drink. Chalky is indifferent to the type of spirit and Nucky selects a whiskey. Chalky wonders where Nucky’s drink is, Nucky jokes that his hand injury has cut his drinking in half before pouring one for himself. Nucky toasts to the future and Chalky wonders if he even has one given. Nucky assumes that Chalky is worried about his upcoming murder trial and assures Chalky that he can beat the charges if he follows Ginsburg’s advice. Chalky clarifies that he is worried about losing the support of the African American community. Nucky says this justice is the subject that he wanted to discuss. Chalk wonders if Nucky is instructing him to kill more Klansmen. Nucky says that Chalky is smarter than that and instructs him to exert his economic power by calling a strike. Chalky is concerned about such drastic action in the tourist season. Nucky explains that a strike will cost the city a fortune and empower Chalky in negotiations to end it. Chalky checks that Nucky is sure; Nucky quips that in half an hour wether the city is running correctly or not won't be his matter. Eddie announces that the press are ready for Nucky’s announcement. That afternoon, the city's papers release a special edition where they announce that Nucky has resigned as County Treasurer.

Nucky awkwardly carries a bottle and two glasses into his living room. He finds Margaret talking quietly with Owen in the hallway. He interrupts them by announcing that a bulb is out in the kitchen. Margaret resolves to have the servants replace it in the morning. She tells Nucky that she is going to bed and asks him not to stay up to late. Owen wishes Margaret good night as she passes and then takes the glassware from Nucky. Owen pours the drinks as Nucky sits. Nucky pronounces that he is a lucky man and Owen agrees. Nucky tells Owen that they need to discuss the day of his shooting. He asks Owen to explain his whereabouts and Owen claims that he was with a friend and lost track of time. Nucky glances at the stairs and asks if the friend was from Ireland. Owen hesitates, looks away and then says that he is unsure of Nucky’s meaning. Nucky presses him again and meets only silence. Nucky relents and says that he means the Irish republican cause. He believes that Owen is still an active supporter and asks if this is why Owen stayed in Atlantic City. Owen smiles relieved and confirms Nucky’s accusation. Nucky instructs Owen to set up a meeting with John McGarrigle in Belfast, saying that they will leave immediately.

Nucky again dreams about the elevator ride to his suite. The same ethereally familiar people are waiting for him in different positions as the doors open. This time, an older child is moaning in the background rather than a baby crying. His catcher’s mitt has also changed positions. He awakes to find Margaret nursing a feverish Emily next to his bed.

Battle of the Century[]

Main article: Battle of the Century

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

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


Nucky presents the IRA with a dozen smuggled Thompson guns.

A door is heard opening upstairs and Sleater descends with Irish Republican Army (IRA) fundraiser John McGarrigle and his driver. Nucky and McGarrigle greet one another and McGarrigle says that he has heard that misfortune has found Nucky. Nucky light heartedly says that it comes to everyone eventually. McGarrigle notes that Nucky has travelled a long way to bury the dead and Nucky signals Sleater to open the coffin; it is packed with Thompson submachine guns. Nucky obtained permission to travel to Ireland under false pretences from Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph. McGarrigle is shocked at the incongruous arsenal and Sleater says that a single Thompson can kill a platoon of men in seconds. Nucky calls the guns his donation to the rebellion against British rule. McGarrigle asks how many guns there are and Nucky informs him that there are 12 in the coffin and then reminds him of his need for the guns. McGarrigle says that 100 might make a difference and Nucky responds that he has access to 3,000 via the Atlantic City Armory. McGarrigle turns to Sleater with a disbelieving look, Sleater grins back at him. McGarrigle wonders what Nucky wants in exchange for the guns and Nucky asks for Irish whiskey. McGarrigle turns back to Sleater and disparages Nucky’s character along with Sleater’s association with Nucky. Sleater looks at Nucky who angrily reminds McGarrigle that he found him good enough when he wanted money. McGarrigle offers to present Nucky’s proposition to the leadership of the IRA. Nucky is unimpressed with this, stating that he thought they wanted weapons. Sleater says that Nucky is speaking the truth and Nucky asks McGarrigle to confirm interest. McGarrigle insists on discussing the offer and Nucky asks McGarrigle to bring him to the man in charge. McGarrigle stubbornly asserts that they will tend to their own affairs. He promises to send word and follows his driver up out of the basement. Nucky asks Sleater to explain McGarrigle’s reluctance and Sleater describes McGarrigle as a “flinty old geezer”. Nucky tells Sleater to close up the coffin and retrieves his hat.


Nucky demonstrates the power of the Thompson gun.

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

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

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


Nucky gets his Irish deal - just not how he expected.

Nucky and Sleater exit the home of their host and he tells them his door is always open. McGarrigle puts a hand to Patrick’s arm and Patrick looks away. Sleater holds the door of the car open for Nucky as McGarrigle says that Nucky is heading back to America. Nucky observes that he is empty handed and McGarrigle says that Nucky will doubtlessly land on his feet. McGarrigle’s driver stands behind Nucky. Nucky says that he is not so sure. McGarrigle says that he thought all American’s were optimists and Nucky says that Irish Americans are not. McGarrigle laughs and wags his finger at Nucky. Nucky is surprised to find Neilan waiting in the car for him. Neilan invites him to sit, Nucky glances at Sleater who gives a slight nod. McGarrigle asks Neilan to see Nucky safely to the port and Neilan promises to do so. Neilan taps on the door and Sleater pulls away. Nucky glances at Neilan, but rather than him it is McGarrigle who is shot by Patrick as the car drives away. Patrick stands over the body and fires again. Neilan is expressionless throughout and then announces that Nucky will deal with him from now on. He offers to exchange 1,000 machine guns for 10,000 cases of whiskey. Nucky looks at Sleater and then nods agreement.

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

Georgia Peaches[]

Main article: Georgia Peaches

Nucky imports the whiskey he purchased on steam ships via the Port of Hoboken. He has Owen Sleater oversee distribution of the whiskey when it arrives on July 23, 1921. Sleater floods Atlantic City with cheap but high quality Irish whiskey, supplying businesses including the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Babette's Supper Club. This prevents Jimmy Darmody from selling his lower quality liquor made of diluted medicinal alcohol. Chalky White successfully drives African American workers across the city to strike by using Dunn Purnsley as an agitator. This also reflects badly on Jimmy who comes under pressure from business leaders to end the strike but is unable to do so.

At the Atlantic City Children’s Hospital Nucky, Margaret Schroeder and her son Teddy arrive to visit Emily; her polio has progressed to the point where she is no longer quarantined. Dr Holt greets them in the corridor and Nucky introduces Teddy. Margaret asks how Emily is and Holt admits that she has had a difficult time, suffering from nausea. Margaret wonders why she was not informed and says that she would have stayed with Emily. Holt explains that he appreciates the strain on the family and felt that it was better to allow them to rest while Emily was cared for adding that Emily will need love and patience from her family later. Margaret wonders what sort of time frame he means and Holt defers the question, telling Nucky and Teddy that they can go in to see Emily. Nucky takes Teddy in, urging him to be quiet.


Nucky and Margaret visit Emily at the hospital.

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

Nucky meets with his attorney Isaac Ginsburg in the lounge of his home to discuss his election rigging case. Behind Ginsburg, Nucky’s assistant Eddie Kessler and shoe shiner Harlan unload furniture from Nucky’s suite at the Ritz Carlton. Ginsburg is unenthusiastic about their prospects at trial and Nucky gets angry with him. Ginsburg complains about the prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph and blames her relentless nature for securing a court in Camden, New Jersey. Nucky latches onto Ginsburg’s claim that he has made calls and sarcastically says that his lawyer is worth every penny. Nucky wonders what Attorney General Harry Daugherty has to say and Ginsburg tells him that Daugherty believes that they are square after doing what he could. Eddie announces that Nucky’s desk is ready for use. Nucky complains to Ginsburg that the desk used to be in his suite at the Ritz when he ran the city. Eddie asks if there is anything else and Nucky dismisses him and then thanks Harlan. Nucky sits behind the desk and asks Ginsburg to detail his plans to keep the trial in Atlantic County so that Nucky can exert his influence on the judge and jury. Ginsburg suggests claiming medical hardship and Nucky bemoans the idea as his hand injury is not severe enough. Ginsburg tells Nucky that he will only be sentenced to five years imprisonment and will be released after just two. Nucky is dissatisfied with the idea of serving any prison time and acidly jokes that Eddie should call the Massachusetts anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti to recommend Ginsburg. Ginsburg says that the difference is that there is a possibility of innocence with the anarchists. Eddie enters and asks if Nucky wanted something. Nucky says to “get the fuck out.” Eddie leaves and Nucky clarifies that he meant Ginsburg and says that he is fired. Ginsburg sighs and exits. Nucky picks up a newspaper that announces the beginning of the trial for the Black Sox Scandal.

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

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


Nucky hires Rothstein's lawyer, Bill Fallon.

Arnold Rothstein and Bill Fallon meet with Nucky Thompson in Fallon’s New York offices on 24 July 1921. Fallon greets Nucky and says that he has heard only good things. Rothstein jokes that none of them came from him and Nucky plays along, saying that this narrows the list of suspects. Teddy looks at a baseball on the corner of Fallon’s desk. Fallon asks if the boy likes baseball and makes a gift of the ball, telling Teddy that it is signed by Ty Cobb. Nucky prompts Teddy to say thank you but Teddy instead remarks that Cobb is a bad man. Nucky tells Teddy that while Cobb does not like to be crossed he is a good player to have at bat if you are losing. Teddy goes out with Fallon's secretary. As the door closes behind them Fallon takes another signed baseball from the stock he keeps in a desk drawer and places it on the stand. Fallon says that Rothstein has told him that Nucky wants to take his case in a new direction; Nucky jokes that he would prefer away from jail. Fallon disparages Ginsburg as he pours drinks (milk for Rothstein) and Nucky says that he hopes Fallon is not charging him to hear that he is a fool for hiring Ginsburg. Fallon shrugs and agrees that part of the meeting will be free. Rothstein tells Nucky that if you can see past Fallon’s charm he is effective. Nucky asks if Fallon will be able to change the trial venue back to Atlantic City and Fallon admits that this is unlikely but reassures Nucky that he is skilled at sowing the seed of doubt in a jury trial. Nucky jokingly wonders at the cost of Fallon’s seed farming and Fallon announces a rate of $80 per hour inclusive of his ability to befriend judges. Nucky wonders what Fallon would say if he had no money for bribes and Fallon tells him that he would be relying solely on his legal acumen. Nucky asks Rothstein’s advice and Rothstein tells him that a gambler likes a long shot. Fallon laughs and Nucky nods and drinks deeply from his glass.

Teddy speaks to Margaret on the phone, holding his new baseball. He answers affirmatively to a series of instructions and then tells her about the ball. Nucky pours himself a cup of tea and tells Teddy that it is time to say good night. He takes the phone and tells Margaret that they will see her tomorrow. He explains who Cobb is, rolling his eyes at Teddy for Margaret’s lack of knowledge. They say goodnight and Nucky hangs up. Nucky observes that Margaret sounded in good spirits and Teddy is non-committal; offering a shrug and a grunt. Nucky sits on his own bed opposite Teddy. He tells Teddy about his own sister, Susan, suffering from consumption during his childhood and needing constant attention from their mother, Elenore. He admits that he and Eli were jealous but knew their mother loved them. Nucky sips his tea as Teddy wonders about his father. Nucky hesitates and then says that they knew their father loved them too. Nucky returns his cup to the room service trolley and picks up a cigarette. Teddy asks if he is in trouble. Nucky replies that he is in a little, with false accusations being made against him. Teddy wonders if they are accusing Nucky of burning his father’s house down. Nucky is surprised and wonders why Teddy thinks this. Teddy says that he saw Nucky and Nucky claims the fire was an accident. Teddy assures Nucky that he will not tell, calling him dad.

At the children’s hospital Nucky and Margaret meet with Dr Holt on 25 July 1921. He tells them that the results are unfortunate and confirm infiltration of the spine by the polio virus with complete destruction of nerve cells. He explains that this indicates permanent paralysis and asks if they understand. Nucky prompts Margaret, she looks up and asks if Holt’s daughter prayed for them last night. He believes that she did and Margaret blesses her. Nucky has more practical concerns and asks what they should do now. Holt says she will be fitted for braces and then allowed home before beginning physical therapy. Nucky tells Margaret that this is good advice but she remains silent. Across town Eli Thompson is arrested at his home for the murder of Hans Schroeder; Deputy Halloran having agreed to testify against him. Later that night Angela Darmody is murdered along with her lover by Manny Horvitz, a rival of Jimmy.

Under God's Power She Flourishes[]

Main article: Under God's Power She Flourishes

On July 26, 1921 Nucky meets with his defence attorney Bill Fallon in his new office at his home. Fallon has met with prosecutor Esther Randolph and jokes that she is vinegary for a cookie. Nucky asks about the judge and Fallon admits that he was not receptive to signals about bribery. Nucky instructs Fallon to press harder and Fallon refuses, saying that he cannot do more without exposing himself to charges. In the corner of the room Harlan decants whiskey. Fallon tells Nucky that Randolph is concentrating on the murder charges levelled against him for ordering the death of Hans Schroeder. Her case is largely based on the testimony of Deputy Halloran. Nucky asks about Eli and Fallon confuses him by saying that Eli is not talking. Nucky assumes he means to the investigators but Fallon clarifies that he means that Eli is not talking to them. Nucky lies that he is innocent and Fallon says that he would not have taken the case if he believed otherwise. Not quite believing Fallon Nucky asks for more news. Fallon reveals that Randolph is also having Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden testify. Nucky describes Van Alden as a bigamist and Fallon disagrees, correctly stating that Van Alden is an adulterer with a child by Nucky’s former mistress Lucy Danziger. Fallon says that it is best to keep such matters from the jury to avoid confusion, making a reference to ox goring in the Torah. Fallon points out that as an agent of the Treasury Van Alden may still seem sympathetic to some jurors. Nucky wonders why Harlan is still hovering behind Fallon having completed his task and dismisses him. Nucky asks how bad things look and Fallon warns him that it would be prudent to get his finances in order. Nucky asks Fallon to get him a whiskey; Fallon goes to the bar and pours from the freshly filled decanter. Harlan slowly picks up a tray and Nucky asks if he wasn’t clear earlier, Harlan is polite but remains in the room. Nucky asks what he has to say and Harlan begins by reminding Nucky that he has kept him working throughout the strike. Nucky says that he does not need a thank you and Harlan nods. Harlan moves on to reiterate his membership of the Shiloh Baptist Church and Nucky impatiently says that he appreciates Harlan’s prayers and again asks him to leave. Fallon realizes Harlan has more to say and asks him what it is. Harlan relates the story of Van Alden drowning his partner Eric Sebso in full view of the congregation during Deacon Cuffy’s Week of Miracles event the previous year. Fallon is impressed and checks Harlan’s name.

While Nucky meets with Fallon Margaret goes to the Atlantic City Children's Hospital. Emily has received her leg braces and is allowed home. Once returned, Margaret tells Nucky the parable of the spoons that Father Brennan told her in the hospital but he sees an error in the logic, wondering why the sinners did not hold the spoons higher up the handles in order to feed themselves. Margaret says that Nucky has missed the point and he says that he finds parables nonsensical. Margaret reminds him that he used the joke with the two boats and a lifeguard to illustrate a point recently. He says that this is different and she asks how. He says that the story he told was about helping yourself with whatever is available. Margaret wonders if he believes in any higher power and he cites the federal government. Margaret brushes her hair and Nucky tells her that he is unsure of god’s existence but is sure that there is no divine retribution. Margaret asks what he thinks of the evidence, meaning Emily's polio, and he says that her experience is coincidence not evidence. Emily calls for help going to the bathroom and Margaret goes to aid her.

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

On July 27, 1921 Fallon and Randolph confront Van Alden with evidence of his crimes. He flees when they try to arrest him, shooting Clifford Lathrop in the leg in the process. That night Margaret drinks alone at home. Nucky is surprised to find her drinking at all and offers to join her. She shows him the subpoena and he tells her to ignore it. She wonders if that is all he has to say and he reassures her that Fallon can handle it. She asks what has changed as the day before he was convinced he was going to prison. He tells her that Van Alden is not a credible witness and that he hopes to think of something regarding Eli. Margaret says that they began in sin and he cuts her off. She repeats it and goes on to say that they will end in sin unless they change. Nucky tells her that he only cares about the present and she asks him to look at what is happening. He says that what is happening is that she is talking rubbish. She says that he is wrong and that she is more sure of it than anything in her life. He says that Emily was stricken with a disease and she asserts that it was caused by her sin. He asks what she has done and she lists stealing, cheating and deceiving. He asks her to be specific. She admits stealing from her family, her employer and Nucky himself. He asks who she has deceived and she says anyone who thinks that she is good. Nucky asks then who she has cheated on.


Nucky threatens Margaret for the first time.

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

To the Lost[]

Main article: To the Lost

Mickey Doyle brokers a meeting between Nucky and Manny Horvitz.

Manny Horvitz sits in the basement of a synagogue and drunkenly talks about his hometown, Odessa, Ukraine. He says that everyone was a crook with the smallest criminals stealing from one another. The middle men would profit from the activities of these nobodies but remained hungry for more and worried about keeping their position. Manny notes that it is easier to fall down than to climb up from the middle. He says that the biggest crooks did not have to do anything to profit and were treated with respect. Manny says that he sometimes awakens and thinks that he is still in Odessa, aged 12 with his life ahead of him, before realising that he is in America and has to make the best of it. His audience is Nucky, Mickey Doyle and Owen Sleater. Nucky listens intently while Mickey seems impatient. Nucky tells Manny that he understands that they have both had a troubled time recently. Mickey says that he has explained Manny’s situation to Nucky. Manny continues regardless, saying that he is forced to stay away from his home, family and business and is living like a beggar. Sleater says that this is bad luck and could have happened to anyone. Manny counters that his bad luck has a name; Waxey Gordon. Nucky interjects that he is a business partner of Waxey’s. Manny asks if Nucky is sure and Nucky wonders if Manny knows something that he does not. Manny obliquely says that the question answers itself. Nucky glances at Mickey who tells Manny that Nucky is a busy man. Manny counters that he might have better things to do. Mickey reminds him that he is hiding in the basement of a synagogue and instructs him not to waste Nucky’s time. Manny tells Nucky that Waxey is in business with Jimmy Darmody. Manny asks if they have something in common and Nucky allows that they might have. Manny asks Nucky to let them help each other and offers to exchange Jimmy for Waxey before beginning a partnership of their own. Nucky wonders how Manny will give Jimmy to him and notes that Manny does not appear to be in a condition to do anything. Manny offers that if Jimmy’s wife Angela could still talk she would say otherwise about him. Nucky is shocked at Manny brazenly referencing the murder of Angela and says that they have less in common than Manny thought. Manny looks at Mickey and reminds him that he said that Nucky was open to discussion. Mickey counters that he only promised to broker the meeting. Manny wonders if Nucky is too big a crook to be seen with him. Nucky jokes that the federal prosecutor thinks so but offers to consider Manny’s proposition. He says that Mickey will know how to get in touch and leaves with Sleater.

Dick Heatherton infobox

Jimmy delivers the four klansmen that attacked him to Chalky White.

Jimmy attempts to make amends for his betrayal of Nucky, despite knowing that Nucky will never forgive him. He is aided by Richard Harrow. They end the African American workers strike by kidnapping the Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the raid on Chalky White’s warehouse and delivering them to Chalky along with compensation for the families of the men killed in the raid. Jimmy asks Chalky to arrange a meeting with Nucky.

Lillian and Katy encourage Emily Schroeder to walk using her crutches; her polio impaired legs are supported in their new braces. Nucky arrives home and Emily greets him as daddy. Lillian greets Nucky and asks how Philadelphia was. He ignores the question and asks where Margaret is. Katy informs him that she left twenty minutes earlier. Lillian adds that she did not tell them her destination. Nucky leaves his coat and jacket and heads upstairs. Sleater follows him in and greets the women. Katy stares after him.

Nucky pours bourbon from a decanter in his home office. He asks his attorney, Bill Fallon how you order someone to commit murder, dissembling the instances when he has done so and calling the idea ludicrous. Fallon agrees and says that he will take this position in court. Nucky wonders if the witnesses against him would follow his orders to their deaths and Fallon jokes that if they would his troubles would be over. The decanter is depleted and Nucky swears and calls for his assistant Eddie Kessler. Nucky asks why it is empty and Eddie says that someone drank the contents. Nucky warns him against wisecracking and orders him to fetch ice. Fallon says that they should talk about Nucky’s brother Eli Thompson, one of the witnesses against him, asking Nucky to speak with him. Nucky wonders how he will reach him in protective custody and Fallon suggests an approach through Eli’s lawyer. Nucky says that Eli is not the real problem and Fallon says that he has noticed the elephant in the room. Nucky confirms that he means Margaret. Fallon predicts that Margaret’s testimony could sink their case because the jury will give weight to her corroborating the stories of Eli and Halloran given that she is not directly involved. Nucky ignores the phone ringing as Fallon tells him that Margaret testifying would be catastrophic. Eddie announces that Chalky is calling.

Nucky’s Rolls Royce pulls up to Jimmy's new beach house. Nucky enters the house and calls out hello and Jimmy says his name. Nucky notes that the door was open and introduces Owen. Jimmy approaches Nucky and then tells Owen to wait outside. Owen does not move and Jimmy reassures him that he used to do his job. Owen counters that Jimmy is the reason that he is doing it now. Nucky nods to Owen who exits the house.


Jimmy tries to make amends with Nucky.

Nucky offers commiserations about Angela and Jimmy tells him that Manny Horvitz was responsible. Nucky claims not to have heard of Manny and Jimmy says that he used to work for Waxey Gordon and came to the house looking for Jimmy when he killed Angela. Nucky promises to let Jimmy know if he hears anything. Jimmy pours a drink and offers one to Nucky, who declines. Jimmy pours a dash of the liquor onto the floor and toasts "to the lost" before downing his drink. Jimmy announces The Commodore’s death and laments not killing him when he suggested betraying Nucky. Jimmy confesses that he has thought about killing The Commodore since his childhood and does not know what stopped him. Nucky reminds Jimmy that The Commodore was his father and offers that nothing looms larger. Jimmy recalls visiting The Commodore when he was expected to die before being diagnosed with arsenic poisoning. He says that The Commodore looked pathetic and afraid. He recalls that The Commodore said that he was a good son. Jimmy admits that this winded him. He says that he is aware that there is nothing he can say to repair their relationship but wonders if there is something he can do. Nucky asks him to tell the truth and Jimmy says that he was angry. Nucky asks what he was angry about, raising his voice. Jimmy summarises the causes as his identity, Nucky’s identity and his experiences during World War I. Jimmy brings up the assassination attempt against Nucky and says that he never meant for it to happen. Nucky asks why Jimmy allowed it to go ahead and Jimmy smiles ruefully before turning to the window. Nucky reminds Jimmy that he asked to talk and notes his sudden quiet. Jimmy says that Eli was responsible. Nucky asserts that Jimmy must have been involved. Jimmy offers to make things right, qualifying that he will make them as right as they can be. He asks Nucky to tell him how he can help.

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


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

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

Jimmy fails to convince his co-conspirators to implicate Eli instead of Nucky. In response, he and Richard force Jim Neary to write an incriminating letter at gunpoint and then murder him to simulate a suicide on the eve of the trial. Al Boyd and Paddy Ryan quickly recant their testimonies.

The judge bangs his gavel and calls for order at Nucky’s trial. Esther Randolph complains to the judge about the disintegration of her case with the marriage of Nucky and Margaret, the apparent suicide of Neary and the recantation of testimony by other witnesses. Nucky sits quietly at the defendant’s table; Mayor Bader, Alderman Damien Fleming and Eddie are seated behind him. Randolph accuses Nucky of witness tampering and Bill Fallon objects. Fallon characterises her case as unravelling and she says that the court knows what is really going on. Fallon suggests that she wait until she can prove it and the judge again calls for order before asking both counsels to approach. The judge tells Randolph that she has no chance of a murder conviction and says that she has lost her main witness on the election rigging charges. He offers her a chance to back out now, before jeopardy is attached to the charges, and get her “ducks in a row.” Fallon quotes the proverb “[She] who fights and runs away.” Randolph agrees to take the ducks. The judge announces that the defence motion for mistrial is granted and the courtroom erupts in noise.


Nucky exits the Camden courthouse, his case dismissed.

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

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


Nucky confronts Eli about his role in the assassination attempt.

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

Nucky calls Arnold Rothstein in New York. Rothstein congratulates Nucky on the mistrial and says that it seems that Fallon earned his fee. Nucky jokes that Fallon must think that he did. Rothstein asks what he can do and Nucky says that he is calling about Manny. Nucky asks if Rothstein would mind if Manny were dead and Rothstein enquires why Nucky is asking. Nucky says that it is a courtesy because of their shared association with Waxey Gordon. Rothstein pointedly says the proposal aloud slowly. He then adds that he would have no opinion either way. Nucky says that he then has a decision to make. Rothstein recommends that he stage a coin toss: he will know which side he desires it to fall on when it is in the air. Nucky sighs after Rothstein hangs up.


Nucky kills Jimmy.

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

The next day at home, Margaret tells her children that they needn’t be afraid of storms, characterising them as angels bowling in Heaven. Katy serves the children breakfast. Nucky comes in and greets his family. He pours coffee and Margaret asks if he is not staying for breakfast. He says that he has an early meeting and she says that she worried about his late return the night before. She asks where he was and he avoids specifics. She wonders what he was doing amidst a rainstorm and he says that he ran into Jimmy. He claims that they cleared the air and that Jimmy is going to re-enlist in the army. Margaret says that she is surprised. He changes the topic to the weather, cooler since the storm. He kisses Emily and pats Teddy on the head as he leaves, saying that he will be home for dinner. Margaret retrieves the deed for the land he signed over to her and caresses the outline of the tract on a map.


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

Eddie drives Nucky out to a field where another car is waiting for him. Mayor Bader jokes that they are in the middle of a highway. Ernie Moran pours champagne for them as Fleming pulls up behind him. Moran congratulates Nucky and they toast to their new riches. Fleming has another bottle of champagne and Bader commends his timing, saying that they were almost dry. Moran calls the tract the road to riches and Nucky says that he had considered calling it the Harding Highway. Fleming says that it never hurts to remember your friends and opens his bottle. Nucky toasts the future with his partners, ignoring that just as he does so Margaret is signing the land deed over to Saint Finbar's Church rather than back to him.

See also[]