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Is it just me, or is 1923 moving really slowly? Seriously, it’s still January. I hope they get out of winter soon because NYC was hella hot during shooting and those coats don’t look lightweight. Regardless, onto this episode.
Gyp’s main goon is sitting in the hallway shuffling cards while a pair of cats are fighting in the bedroom. Oh, no. Never mind. That’s just Gyp getting the ginger waitress to choke him with his belt while he jacks off. Cookies for anyone surprised by this development. Ginger’s concerned that she’s hurting him so Gyp has to explain that’s the point. One last yank all around and Gyp’s vision goes blurry as he falls to the bed. Ginger’s worried that she killed him but he just shot his load and needs a wet towel. Um, ew, but I’m thinking one of my take-aways wasn’t supposed to be “Damn, Cannavale’s got a nice ass,” so maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental.
Eli’s in Nucky’s office explaining to Rothstein what happened and Arnold decides to take a cheap shot at Eli managing to survive. Eli’s got no dog in Rothstein’s hunt so he just throws it back at Arnold that eleven men died was he supposed to get killed, too? But Eli’s really had the hothead knocked out of him because he looks to Nucky for reassurance that he can sass Arnold like that.
Unaccustomed to someone not being compelled to kiss his ass, Arnold recaps the situation from Tabor Heights and Owen has to correct him that Gyp burned the sheriff, he didn’t just “commandeer the sheriff’s department.” Potato, immolation. Arnold suggests other routes and NOW Nucky’s says they’re not viable. Luciano wonders about Nucky’s “million dollar fucking highway,” and Nucky’s gentle sensibilities are offended. That and he’s reminded of all the money he lost when Margaret got all Catholic on him so he snits at Luciano that a) it’s not his highway b) it’s two years away from being finished and c) the other routes are still not viable no matter how many times Arnold asks.
Eli, the unlikely voice of reason, tries to explain it in business terms but gets jumpy when he feels Nucky staring down at him. Nucky’s softening on his brother and tells him to go on. The volume they need to move through to NYC is too much for the dirt roads and they’d never make it though all the mud, ice and cops not on their payroll.
Nucky backs Eli’s assessment as Arnold twitches with the impotent rage he feels whenever he has to deal with imperfection. Eli’s still anxious around Nucky so Nucky thanks him for his input and Eli’s free to go. Bye, Eli. I’ll miss you.
With Eli gone, Nucky wants to discuss options. Arnold starts talking in circles about how long Nucky’s known Rosetti, even though Arnold introduced them, so Charlie has to exposit. Rosetti’s part of Masseria crew and Rothstein’s still trying to finesse that relationship after Jimmy killed two of Masseria’s guy who tried to kill him.