Owen’s looking over a pony and Margaret’s impressed with how serious Owen’s taking it. As thunder sounds in the background their conversation is basically, blarney blarney blarney, Coleraine, teeheehee, we’re magically delicious and the pony passes muster. But they did manage to have a conversation that’s not full of sexual tension and recrimination so PROGRESS!
Ah, sure and begorra, I’m a hoary old stereotype.
Billie’s at her screen test and blinded by the lights. She’s young, fresh-faced and charming and for every question the producers have she has a sweet answer. She doesn’t think she’s too good for the movies, she loves them. They let her forget who she is. The producer is a little surprised by that, since most people want to forget where they are, but Billie’s got an answer for that to.
He looks at her face from different angles then sets up for the actual test. She’ll be working with a guy named Gil Longacre who gives her the sage advice not to look at the lens and keep her lips closed when they kiss. She’s all “Wait, we kiss?” but the director’s moved on to tell her what the scene’s about. Gil’s a gangster, she’s a showgirl, but not the lead…the funny one. Billie tells him that’s “the pony” and our episode title has its mirrored meaning. The test goes over well, and Billie’s a hit.
Nucky’s in the opulent Union Club, seeing how the “legitimately rich” live and eyeing Mellon, who tells one of the valets to turn off the market ticker. Nucky sees this as his chance to approach Mellon, asking if he’s not interested in the market. No, and he’s not really interested in your riff raff ass, either, Nuck.
Nucky tells Mellon that he won’t take up much of his time and Mellon dismissively asks why he’d take up any of it. Because they have a common enemy: Harry Daugherty. This briefly catches Mellon’s attention who just drones that Nucky’s not a member of the club. The valet comes to escort Nucky out but Mellon stops him. Nucky tells Mellon he’s Enoch Thompson and Mellon might have heard of him, but the blank way Mellon stares down his long, patrician nose knocks Nucky’s ego back down to size.
To his credit, Nucky doesn’t personalize the rebuff and tells Mellon that he and Daugherty had “dealings” circumventing the Volstead act and wonders if Mellon would like to continue the conversation. He would. Nucky launches into a speech about how he makes no excuses for himself but for Harry Daugherty to be at the head of a large criminal conspiracy is just wrong, WRONG, Nucky says. Mellon sneers at Nucky about his “patriotism being offended,” but Nucky turns it back on Mellon.
Mellon thinks Daugherty’s a “shabby little huckster” and true to his plutocratic nature, Mellon’s offended by democracy itself, because all it gets you is a bunch of bandits fighting over a cut of the loot – AKA the income tax which actually expects the really big hucksters and bandits who robbed the country blind to pay back some of it.
Taxes are for peasants.
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