Hey Guys! Apologies for last week’s absence – it won’t happen again, and here’s a brief “What did we learn?” to catch you all up:
The Fifth Man is taken to the hospital after scaring the bejeezus out of Claudia and Baxter, and even though he managed to survive three days in the winter’s cold with a shotgun wound to the stomach, it doesn’t look good. Nucky orders Elias to make sure the man never talks, but Van Alden walks in on the Sheriff’s attempted smothering, and the feds take possession of the witness. When it looks like he’s about to croak before they can get any information out of him, Van Alden confirms his own identity as Capone without the sense of humor when he sticks his fist in the witness’ open wound until the man reveals that one of the shooters was a tall, fair-haired man.
Once it gets back to AC that the feds are on the lookout for one Jimmy Darmody, Nucky calls Jimmy to his office, hands him a wad of cash and tells him to skip town. Which he does, on the Broadway Limited train bound for Chicago. What did we learn? Jimmy’s in Chicago, and Angela’s a single mom.
Van Alden only got more and more intense this episode, so his boss orders him on a mandated mini-vaycay to the homefront where he shares a wordless roast with his cardboard cutout of a wife. What did we learn? Van Alden likes the chase for a reason.
And remember that character I didn’t really recap in the pilot? The black guy who sat outside Nucky’s office impatiently waiting for an appointment? Yeah? Glad you’re with me. Well, he’s Chalky White, an ironic black man, who’s taking over the bootlegging business from Mickey Kusik/Doyle. At first he’s content with Nucky’s offer of 35% of the proceeds, but then, when one of his young employees is lynched right outside the warehouse, his fee goes up to 50%. Part of that cost encompasses his permission for Elias to shoot the kid to make it look like a domestic dispute rather than a lynching to avoid a race riot in an election year. What did we learn? Chalky’s a badass and Nucky’s new man on the bootlegging front.
As for Mickey, he’s down, but far from out. Turns out he’s got dealings with some Philly mobsters that include Vinnie Delpino (hi!) and a $7000 debt to settle with them. What did we learn? Mickey’s got some serious motivation to shut down Chalky and regain his spot as AC Bootlegger Number One.
Margaret gets a job in a French dress shop courtesy of Nucky. She gets good hours and to wear pretty clothes, but it’s not all silks and cotton candy. Nucky forced the owner to get rid of a much more experienced employee to make room for Margaret, so Madame Isabelle Jeunet (le boss) isn’t too excited Margaret’s around. Another person who isn’t super-excited? Lucy! She stops in to do some shopping and shits all over Margaret in the dressing room to make sure the other woman knows that Nucky is all Lucy’s, all the time. Margaret ends the episode asleep next to her children, the one part of her world she can fool herself into thinking she has control over. What did we learn? Margaret has a job and Lucy’s a bitch.
Speaking of Lucy, she wants to marry Nucky. She tells him as much while eating breakfast in bed with him, topless, dripping heavy cream all over her breasts. What did we learn? Not much, there, really.
I’m saving the best for last – Gillian’s my new favorite character. She meets up with Nucky and acts way more with it than she did when she was making out with her son in the previous episode. She forces Nucky to level with her about what Jimmy’s got himself into (she knew all along that he stole the necklace back from her – she’s swift), and reminds him of his promise to keep Jimmy safe. Nucky begrudgingly promises her she’ll have nothing to worry about, and they part ways. What did we learn? Gillian’s great, and Nucky’s probably Jimmy’s dad. Or killed his dad.
Either way, she’s a badass.
All righty, think that catches us up. Onto Episode 4! Credits roll, and so too the bottles to shore. This episode’s all about the lies we tell ourselves, the happy little fantasy worlds they create, and what it’s like for those worlds to come crashing down. Or, in some cases, what it takes to keep the fantasy going just a bit longer.
It’s a snowy night in Chicago and Al Capone sneaks across a street to what is most likely a house of ill-repute. Sidenote: I’ve always wanted to refer to a home of mine as a house of ill-repute, but I’ve never had enough rooms. “I’ll See You in C-U-B-A” is playing in the background as Capone tiptoes through the house, pistol in hand. Jimmy’s sound asleep in a purple room, complete with a stole made of naked lady.
If you divide Jimmy’s general attempts to be honorable by his obvious lack of restraint, you’ll get the amount of time it took him to forget about Angela and shack up with someone else. I got a week.
The girl wakes up to Al holding a gun over Jimmy’s head and giving her the “Shush or die” sign (that’s a finger over a mouth curled in a psychotic smile). He lowers the pistol right next to Jimmy’s ear and fires. Because they’re pals! Jimmy falls out of bed and Al laughs like a maniac – he was “fuckin’ playin’!” Apparently he just needed the keys to the car and some cheap laughs. Jimmy whips a glass at Al’s head and yells that he can’t hear out of his left ear. Okay, that was kinda funny. Al tells him to man up and go back to sleep before heading out to probably actually shoot someone in the head. Jimmy sits on the bed to comfort his lady (who, incidentally did jack crap to protect him when it looked like Al was going to get his execution on), and she points out that his ear’s bleeding. Jimmy gingerly touches the wound and mutters that “This is never gonna work out.”
Probably not. Karma’s a bitch. Go back to your lady.
Cut to Atlantic City and Nucky sporting two pieces of a three-piece purple pinstripe suit and a lilac shirt in front of a mirror. Nucky, you may not think you’re a gangster, but your wardrobe does. He’s practicing being surprised when Eddie walks in frightening the bejeezus out of the boss. Eddie intelligently answers, “Very shortly,” when Nucky asks how long he’d been standing there. Apparently he’s rehearsing a speech he’s giving next week. You know, to the Restaurant Workers Association? I don’t know what’s more adorable. The fact that Nucky Thompson of all people is humble enough to be embarrassed at being caught practicing for his own surprise party in front of a manservant he belittles on a regular basis, or the fact that Eddie is sweet enough to act nonchalant about the whole thing and just start going over the party guest list.
It’s a testament to the strength of their marriage.
Lucy flounces in all silk, furs and gonorrhea and announces she’s going shopping. This is code for, “Allowance, please,” and Nucky strolls over, hands her some cash and tells her to get something pretty. They exchange a peck and she comments that he “tore her apart, last night” embarrassing Nucky in front of Eddie for the second time in as many minutes. He chides her a bit, and she’s on her way. Considering we’re all already well-versed in just how much of a semi-retarded slut Lucy is, I’m guessing this will be a Margaret-heavy episode in which her saintly intelligence will be compared and contrasted with Lucy’s drunken skankitude at every turn.
After she leaves, Nucky instructs Eddie to invite Governor Edwards to the party, despite Eddie’s protests that the “asshole democratic no-hoper” will not come. Sheesh, no frigging wonder. Nucky orders Eddie to grab his shoes, and when he questions which one, Nucky metros out like nobody’s business with a quick vogue to his purple ensemble indicating the choice of spats should be OBVIOUS.
How many times have we been over this?
Eddie has booked suites for the Senator Edge (whom I’m guessing is a Republican) and Mayor Hague of Jersey City. Nucky calls the two men visiting royalty and instructs Eddie to get everybody laid. Edge is the ticket to Nucky’s receipt of part of the $30 million in road appropriations money, and Eddie can bet his keister that AC’s getting a piece of that pie. Eddie looks up from his position on the floor (he’s now tying Nucky’s shoes) in wonder at this new American idiom, and Nucky rolls his eyes at the German preoccupation with strudel as opposed to pie.
We talked about this in counseling. I would work harder on recognizing your shoe choices and you would stop insulting my heritage.
It’s same-sex marriage morning in AC as we head to Margaret’s. She’s getting ready for work as Edith, her neighbor watches over the children. Edith reads aloud the story of Anastasia – the Romanov princess thought dead for three years, but perhaps come back to life in the form of amnesia victim Anna Anderson. You might recognize Anastasia from such films as “Anastasia,” “Anastasia,” and “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.” She threatens the children with a spanking when they get too loud and Margaret tells her that’s not necessary. Edith mildly scolds that she spoils her children, and Margaret, probably thinking of the amount of times her less than five-year olds were traumatized at the hands of her late husband, snatches the paper from Edith’s hands and reads the story of the missing princess to her children before she leaves for work.
Edith doesn’t buy the Anna’s story for a minute, and Margaret questions her sense of romance. Apparently it left along with her husband. Interesting. Margaret’s sense of romance seems to have returned with the exit of hers.
Speaking of romance! Pearl the hooker’s helping Jimmy the gangster clean up his ear. He flinches a bit, and she recommends an opium den – good for whatever ails you! Not really…. Ask Midge… Hanging with the hopheads doesn’t sound good to Jimmy (even though it feels like he’s hanging with one now with the irritating stoney as fuck delivery Pearl is inserting into every line), so Pearl changes the subject. How ’bout that Capone?! He’s a psycho! Feeling more magnanimous toward Al now that some of his hearing has probably returned, Jimmy counters that no, he’s just from Brooklyn. And all the psychosis that entails? Jeez, I knew you could be racist and classist, but… bourrough-ist?
Anyway, this leads to a conversation about where both of them are from (AC and Silver City, WI), whether or not Jimmy went to college (no, Nucky wanted him to, but all that’s over now…), and what Jimmy wants to do with his life from now on (no idea – maybe California?). Pearl’s headed west, too, as soon as she saves up, and she and Jimmy discuss how much prettier she is than Lillian Gish and her almost certain successful transition from hooker to actress. Because it’s worked out for so many of her sisters before her. Boy, that’s a true statement with or without the sarcasm.
She offers to take Jimmy along because he needs “taking care of,” and then they make out. Aw, lovebirds. Sorry I kind of rushed through that last scene. But the girl who plays Pearl is TERRIBLE, and her character is obviously only here to get killed or maimed or syphilis or something to spur Jimmy onto Al’s kind of violence.
Ugh, at least she’s not talking anymore.
Back in AC, Nucky’s badgering Elias about why there hasn’t been more headway in the investigation of the murder of Chalky’s driver. The younger Thompson protests that nobody’s really interested in solving the murder of a colored kid, despite the elder Thompson’s protests that Chalky and the colored vote (20% of the population) are pretty fucking interested. A city official in the background points out that 20% is a pretty hefty portion for Nucky to be so capricious with, and Elias waves the man off. The coloreds are going to vote for who Nucky tells them to, so what’s all the excitement for? Nucky corrects his brother that the coloreds vote the way Chalky tells them to, not Nucky, so basically what we have here is an, “If Chalky ain’t happy, Nucky ain’t happy,” situation.
Elias grumbles that Chalky drives a Packard and lives in a house bigger than the mayor’s, all thanks to Nucky, so why would the man risk all of that to tell his people to vote democrat? Nucky agrees, that no, Chalky probably isn’t going to break ties with the Thompson administration at this juncture, but Nucky’s not about to start pushing him in that direction. Everyone works together in AC, and that’s how things get done. It takes a village to corrupt a town. Then Elias’ partner makes a comment that’s both racist, dumb and unfunny, and Nucky tells him to wait in the hall. Halloran’s the man’s name, and despite what Elias may feel about him, he just stepped even farther onto Nucky’s bad side. Nucky tells his brother to step it up, and that’s the end of that. The best part about this scene is that while Nucky’s talking a big game about solving the murder to appease Chalky, it’s clear he’s just doing what he believes is the human thing to do.
I love that so many of Nucky’s problems stem from the fact that he’s not that sexist, not that racist and a pretty good friend.
Oh! Yay! We’re visiting Gillian, Jimmy’s sister/mother! Angela’s brought Tommy to his grandmother’s house so she can do some errands. When Angela comments on Gillian’s insistence that Tommy address her by her first name rather than “grandma,” she blithely informs her notdaughter-in-law that her peaches are still ripe, and while they are ain’t nobody gonna be informed of her official status. I’ll say. If anything it would probably just lead into a long discussion about what conditions were like for child prostitutes in the early 1900s. Angela goes, and Gillian and Tommy hang out for a bit before there’s a knock on the door. Who could it be but a one Mr. Charles Luciano, looking for Jimmy. Oh, and SASS? Thy name is Gillian. Luciano doesn’t get a single sentence out before Gillian is onto him like white on rice, giving him whatfor and the runaround and all manner of Old Tymey trouble. The scene goes something like this:
Luciano: Excuse me, Mrs. Darmody?
Mistress Gillian: What? Bitch?
Luciano: Uh, I’m a friend of James’ and…
Mistress Gillian: His friends call him “Jimmy,” so who the fuck are you? Bitch?
Luciano: I’m, uh, an acquaintance… from New York.
Mistress Gillian: I could tell from your lameass accent. Bitch.
Luciano: Is he here or isn’t he?
Mistress Gillian: (direct quote!) Maybe he’s up your ass. Have you checked there? Bitch?
Luciano: You got a smart mouth on you for a broad-
Mistress Gillian: Shut the fuck up, bitch. We were done before you even opened your femmy little mouth. (doorslam)
Now Gillian worked that scene with a little more grace and a lot less swearing, but you get the jist. Gillian’s awesome, Lucky got served, but if she was worried about her son last week, she’s a helluva lot more worried now.
Bitch, please. I was eight years old when I had my son and I still managed to turn him into a man who could kick your ass and steal your booze. Move along.
Hey, remember in the pilot episode I mentioned that there were several moments in history I’d love to have the opportunity to sit in on (Women’s Temperance Meeting being one of them)? Well, here’s another one! An early Klan meeting! When they used to actually command an audience on the eastern seaboard! Fascinating. Of course, God or Dr. Who or whomever controls time travel would probably revoke my privileges when they saw me running around throwing wet coffee grinds on those in attendance and trying to see how many pointy hats I could grab before getting tackled.
Anyway some dude in purple is speechifying about of all the threats to the superior white race (Christ-Killing Jews, anarchists), it’s the COON that poses the biggest threat. They come from the south to infringe upon the white man’s opportunities and they must be eradicated. But before the purple cone can tell all the white cones how they’re all going to go about it, Elias and Halloran barge in with shotguns. Elias tells them all to freeze and then asks the dumbest question I think I’ve heard on television:
Who’s in charge, here?
And it’s a one-two punch for me, because Elias’ question spurs on the dumbest ANSWER I think I’ve heard on television: Joseph Earl Dinman, Grand Cyclops of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Atlantic County Branch. That’s right. Grand Cyclops. If ever anyone needed proof white supremacists were (and are) painfully dimwitted and straight BAT. SHIT. CRAZY – one need only do a modicum of research on the customs and costumes of the KKK.
Well, no one’s taking us seriously, so we should probably kill something.
Halloran recognizes the GC as the man who owns the hardware store on Pacific and is apparently horrified to have purchased linseed oil from such a person. Elias arrests Dinman and hauls him away in cuffs. When one of the attendees protests that there’s nothing illegal about belonging to the Klan, Elias agrees, but semi-heroically counters that while being in the Klan ain’t illegal, killing darkies is.
Elias and I have an on again/off again thing. It’s on at the moment.
It’s nighttime and the strains of “C-U-B-A” fill the air once more. Gillian walks out of her brownstone as an entranced Lucky watches from across the street. She lights a cigarette between elegant fingers and strolls away. Luciano hops out of his car to follow, and the chase is on. I am so excited about the prospect of more interaction between those two I can barely fucking breathe.
In Chicago, Al’s in a restaurant trying to convince a heavily mustachioed man to buy booze from Torrio as opposed to someone named Torrio. Mustache is, of course, unwilling, due to the fact that Sheridan probably threatened his life or wife or something, but Al keeps pushing. Mustache is Greek, right? He is (holla!), and Al reasons that the Greeks are intelligent (we are)- they invented math (we did. Also, Skyline!). Surely he can see what happens next. Al will say that the Greeks will buy from Torrio, the Greeks will give him lip, and he will… kick the shit out of them. Which is what happens right then. Jimmy rolls his eyes and half-assedly tries to get Al to stop beating up the restaurant owner (which, fyi, is more than any of the 10 or so Greek patrons in the restaurant did. Way to go, ANCESTORS.), and Al, of course, doesn’t. Because he’s crazy! He does stop for a minute to threaten to break every bottle of booze in the restaurant if the owner doesn’t start buying from Torrio, and the Greek finally assents. Business finished, Capone tells the owner to have Sheridan come to the Four Deuces if there are gonna be any problems.
Big, fat Greek beating.
In AC, Nucky’s walking through Babette’s surveying the party setup and Eddi’es going over the menu. He’s still pretty stressed about the Chalky affair, it seems because he flips the fuck out over finding lipstick on one of the glasses. Eddie’s promises to have every glass washed twice make no difference whatsoever, as Nucky proceeds to have full-blown tantrum about how hard he works and how he stuck by Eddie through WWI and all the anti-Kraut bullshit and this is the thanks he gets. Eddie promises once more to have everything shipshape, but Nucky still feels the need to turn over a table and stalk out in anger. A hangdog Eddie tells the waitstaff to do their best.
For better or for worse, Eddie. For better or for worse.
At the Sheriff’s department, the Purple People Hater is cuffed to a chair and has been there all night. Elias saunters in, asking how the man slept, but receives no answer. The sheriff marvels at how loud clansmen are in front of a crowd, but tied to a chair all by their lonesome, they get much quieter. Dinman protests weakly once more that he doesn’t know who hung the boy. Elias kindly assures the man that he believes him – he really does, but, unfortunately, it’s not his opinion that matters. He replaces the purple cone atop Dinman’s head and exits.
Must you make a mockery of my hat? We all know the outfits look silly out of context. That’s why we only wear them at meetings.
Margaret’s enjoying her work day among the clouds, dreaming of getting amnesia and faking her way into royalty when Madame Jeunet summons her for an assignment. Margaret is to stay late that night to deliver a dress to Miss Lucy Danziger at Babette’s, for Nucky’s party. Margaret agrees, but insists that she will have to make arrangements for her children. Madame Genet sniffs that Rosalie didn’t have any children and so was far, FAR less trouble than Margaret, who obviously pees on the clothing and hurls expensive jewelry at passers-by. Anyway, Margaret is to run the dress to Babette’s wait for Miss Danziger to complete some sort of surprise, and then help Lucy put on the very delicate garment. I can’t decide if Madame Jeunet is just very committed to the care of her wares or if she knows that by the time Margaret arrives at Nucky’s party, Lucy’s probably going to be so plastered she’ll forget to be wearing a dress at all, much less be able to dress herself.
It really could go both ways.
In Chicago, Torrio’s gifting Al with the benefit of his extensive criminal experience as Jimmy looks on. He’s fine if Al wants to branch out on his own, as long as it makes the operation more money. But this business with Sheridan in Greektown has become a royal pain in his ass, and he expects Al to fix it – by doing something other than kicking the shit out of people. Good luck with that, T. Al promises that Sheridan’s on his way there at that very minute, and there will be a deal brokered that benefits all parties. Satisfied with that, Torrio leaves, and Al proudly brags to Jimmy about the obvious faith Torrio has in the Capone Way. Jimmy grumbles something about Torrio having his own plan, but Al shushes him and tells him not to be jealous. He assures Jimmy that his coattails are big enough to carry along a lot of friends, Jimmy included, as he moves up the ladder. By far the most intelligent person in the room at that point, Jimmy makes it very clear to Al that he’s not interested in moving up in the Torrio organization – he’ s just passing through.
Nucky and Eddie these two are not.
That doesn’t seem to bother Al too much, so Jimmy takes the opportunity, when Sheridan arrives a moment later, to advise his friend that this operation is like taking over a country. It should be done little by little – Al should be nice, negotiate for a portion of the business right now, and then gradually, and quietly start to take over.
Whatever, Dreamweaver. I’ll be surprised if Sheridan makes it through this meeting.
Sheridan arrives and he is one hot and bothered Irishman (holla!). Well, cold and bothered is more like it. He’s not happy to have traveled all the way downtown to meet with a flunky (Al) and not Torrio. Surprisingly, when faced with Sheridan’s obvious contempt, Al does not break the man’s face, but holds it together long enough for Jimmy’s grace under pressure to prevail and Sheridan to sit down. But before they can get down to business, Pearl strolls in to say goodbye to Jimmy for the day. About eight pairs of eyes follow her as she strolls over to her lover of what? Three days? She whispers that she’s heading to Chinatown and Jimmy wishes her well. The literal predatory look that Sheridan gives her as she leaves changes her name in my head from “Pearl” to “Leverage.”
Al opens the meeting with a playful query about how the Greek guy is doing, and Sheridan coldly answers that the guy’s probably at the dentist getting shoe leather picked out of his teeth. Sensing these gentlemen do not share Al’s sense of humor, Jimmy steps in to smooth things over. Greektown’s surely big enough for both organizations so can’t they work out a compromise? Sheridan behaves exactly as I would if a bunch of jerk-offs from a different state started infringing on my territory, beating up my customers and then asking for a compromise – pissed. There are a lot of “boyo”s and “listen here”s and “I don’t give a fuck where yer from, yer in Chicaaaago now”s before he lets loose his shitty, shitty trump card. His organization won’t be pushed out of Greektown because their territory was given to them by Colosimo. You remember, the late Colosimo?
This is where I facepalmed. I’m 0 for 2 on the favorable ethnic representations so far.
Al gleefully points out that Colosimo is dead dead dead and Torrio’s in charge now, and Sheridan is immediately pacified. Now he’s ready to negotiate. Why doesn’t Torrio just take a piece of the Irish action. Say 10%? Al’s more in the 25% range, and Sheridan reluctantly agrees. But just as Jimmy is about to let out the longest breath he’s ever held, Al’s spectacular negotiating techniques lead him to snap, “Why not 50?” Too far!
With a smile to his gang reminiscent to one I’m sure Al’s worn on occasion, Sheridan agrees – Torrio gets what he wants as long as there’s no trouble in Greektown. With that, the meeting’s over and the Irish exit stage right. Al laughs and sips his coffee – he knew the loudmouth would cave. But Jimmy, because his brain cells aren’t all contaminated by crazy, isn’t so sure.
I really think you may have just insulted the living shit out of that very big, very armed man, Man.
We return to AC and the second most exciting meeting of the episode is about to take place (first obviously being the second encounter between Gillian and Lucky): Chalky’s come to visit the Sheriff’s Department, and just who do you suspect he’s there to see?
You are correct, Sir!
Chalky pulls Dinman’s hood off and starts a long, slow story about his father. Chalky’s from Elgin, Texas and his father was a self-taught carpenter who serviced the black community. Then one day a wealthy white man by the name of T.O. Purcell hired Chalky’s father to build bookshelves for his home library. The job, she was taken, and ten months were spent on the creation of T.O.’s shelves. When they were finally done, Chalky’s dad brought his son to Mr. Purcell’s house and asked if he could show Chalky the finished product. And not only was the answer “yes,” he and Chalky were allowed in through the front door. When Chalky laid eyes on his father’s carpentry, apparently full of incredible detail and skill, it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Then, a month later, another white man came seeking Chalky’s father for more work, but this time it didn’t go as well. As I’m sure you could imagine. The prospective client drove Chalky’s father out to the edge of town, supposedly to look at a houseful of lucrative carpentry jobs, but really, to hang him from a pepper tree as six other clan members looked on.
See how it’s dumb to have really recognizable costumes and an M.O. that never changes? See how that might make you stick out to the wrong people?
His story finished, Chalky opens up a leather bag of his father’s tools. He introduces them to Dinman and strokes them lovingly. Dinman, obviously tired of waiting for his fate and now interested in just moving it along, asks what Chalky plans to do with said tools. Chalky looks up, disgust in his eyes and spits, “Well I sure as hell ain’t building no bookcase.”
Violence I’m sure ensues, but we cut to Gillian’s girly show instead. She’s the star of Ancient Rome this week, sporting a gorgeous mane of red curls, and making it really uncomfortable to sit for a lot of men in the audience.
Not that he seems to mind…
Back at the Sheriff’s department, Chalky steps out and informs Elias that it wasn’t the Klan that hung his driver. The sheriff asks how he can be sure, and Chalky simply states that Dinman told him so. Chalky knows this because apparently if a man sticks to his story after a certain point (of torture, I assume), he is most definitely telling the truth. Chalky hands Elias Dinman’s finger wrapped in the Klan hat and tells him they passed that point two hours ago.
See, that exchange, minus the monologue would have been enough for me. Thoughts?
SURPRISE!!!! It’s time for Nucky’s party! He walks into Babette’s to hundreds of friends and well-wishers, and acts the perfect amount of surprised – just like he practiced. Lucy greets him with a kiss and the festivities begin. And by festivities, I mean food, drink, dancing, and the telling of sexist jokes. Nucky’s seated around a table with the Commodore, Senator Edge, Mayor Hague, and a host of other men and drunk ladies. The topic of the Women’s Vote comes up, and Nucky proudly states that the 19th Ammendment will surely be ratified – those suffragettes really did their job. The Senator admits that on the record, he’s in favor, but off the record, any given woman has no mind for politics. The Commodore jokes that that’s assuming they have minds at all. Lucy decides this is an appropriate time to insist she has brains, and predictably embarrasses Nucky when the Commodore asks her what her thoughts are on the League of Nations. Nucky thankfully sends her to get him a fresh drink, and tries to remember how tasty her breasts were last week. After her departure, he’s forced to admit that she’s probably not the best example of a thinking woman, and I start counting down the minutes until Margaret shows up to quote some more Georges Sand.
I’m not with her for the frigging conversation, okay? You happy now?
Time to see what’s up in Chicago.
Al and Jimmy are having what I can only assume is the 1920s male equivalent of a spa day, as they sip coffee in their underwear at a suit shop, waiting for their pants to arrive. Al’s trying to reassure Jimmy that the Sheridan affair is zipped up nice and tight, but Jimmy’s not buying it. He’s asked around, see? Sheridan’s a serious fellow. Al doesn’t listen – Irishmen are big talkers, but it’s just the booze. He insists that if they were Sicilian, it’d be different. Mmm, probably. But I’m betting the difference is going to be in the type of retaliation, not the degree. We’ll see.
The gentlemen are presented with their suits, and Jimmy sincerely thanks Al for what must have cost him a pretty penny. The two men take a look at their silhouettes, and shouts that his wife’s gonna shit!
I know I would!
Back at Nucky’s party, it’s time for Margaret to make her grand entrance into the real Atlantic City. And she’s lovely – her sea green dress, and delicate makeup just the contrast Nucky’s been looking for all night. He spots her from across the room, and, breath taken away, puts his drink aside to go greet her. She’s all starry-eyed with wonder taking in the scene when he arrives, and offers him a gleeful happy birthday in greeting. Babette strolls up and Margaret remembers herself, announcing that she’s to deliver a dress to Miss Danziger. Babette offers to put it in the dressing room, and before Margaret can follow, Nucky inquires about her job. Any amount of small talk to keep her there. Margaret answers that Madame Jeunet treats her quite well, and then the moment we (at least I) have all been waiting for – Senator Edge and Mayor Hague walk up! Prepare to get owned, Gentlemen.
Nucky introduces everyone and announces that Margaret is a member of the Women’s Temperance Movement when Edge offers her a drink. There’s an hilariously awkward exchange that takes place as the Senator and the Mayor both agree, drinks in hand, that the movement is a wonderful cause. Luckily it doesn’t last too long and Edge chuckles that he’s stepped in it. He apologizes to Margaret and hopes that she at least isn’t a member of the Suffrage Movement. She answers that she isn’t – not officially – in Ireland women already have the right to vote, as they do in most civilized countries. Senator Edge counters that in America, all the men are trying to do is shield women from the harsh truths of life. Because getting your period before the invention of sanitary napkins was such a walk in the park. But Margaret’s no Lucy, and she counters right back that denying women the right to vote is denying them the opportunity to take a meaningful part in life. And most women feel that way. And if you thought this argument was going to leave Edge with the impression that there were two kinds of women in the world – a floozy and a bitch, Margaret wins the day by coquettishly pointing out that if man denies a woman something she deeply desires, she’ll find something to deny him right back. Edge questions what that might be, and Margaret sweetly answers, “Alcohol.” Satisfied that she’s charmed the pants off of his dickweed “friends” Nucky whisks Margaret off to the dressing room.
Eat it, Assface. Eat it.
On their way, Nucky mentions that he hopes the alcohol flowing at the party doesn’t offend her – old habits die hard. “If they die at all,” she responds. Nucky, delighted at her tolerance (because maybe it’ll translate to more in the future), comments that hers is a very practical point of view. When Margaret announces that she’s a very practical woman, Nucky insists that if that’s the case, they should dance. A song’s just started, and it’s bad manners to walk through a dance floor. After a little initial awkwardness, Margaret allows herself to waltzed (think it’s a waltz, correct if I’m wrong) into a fairy tale.
Magucky 4 life!!
When the song is over, Nucky bids Margaret farewell, and thanks her for the pleasure of her company. She responds that the pleasure was all hers, and exits to the dressing room.
Then Lucy pops out of a cake and ruins everything! Luckily, Margaret’s in the background, so Nucky can look in Lucy’s direction and smile without having to fake it.
Lucy has a serious kink for food and sex.
With that, we head back to Chicago, but not to Jimmy and Al – to Jimmy and Al’s hangout as Sheridan comes by looking for Leverage. Uh-oh. See ladies, this is why you stay away from Bad Boys.
Now her name’s Leverage C. Damage. The “C” is for “Collateral.”
Fun’s over at Nucky’s birthday, it seems. Now it’s time for champagne, cigars and road appropriations talk. Nucky wants his piece right up front, but Edge insists that there’s a democratic governor in office now, and the democratic mayor (Hague) seated to the left has a bit more leverage than he once did. And he’s insisting they need money for roads up north. In Jersey City. A stone’s throw from Manhattan. Nucky, inspired by Margaret’s incapacity for bullshit, calls Hague on his. The mayor doesn’t want the appropriations money, he wants a payoff to back away. Hague awkward nods that yes, that is indeed why he attended the party, and tells Nucky he’ll get him a number as soon as possible. So that’s resolved, but there’s still the matter of Edge not hopping to Nucky’s immediate aid when it came to the road money, as well as possible future dealings with the governor. Given that Nucky basically handed Edge his political success, he’s understandably offended. But Edge is classically drunk on power, and brushes Nucky off. What he is not drunk on, however, is Pimm’s, which Eddie regretfully informs Nucky they could not acquire. Edge laughs it off and reiterates to Nucky that he can’t expect to have everything. Neither should Atlantic City.
Bet you miss Jimmy now, huh?
In Chicago, Sheridan and Leverage have finished their business and she can’t get rid of him fast enough. He asks what her hurry is, and she snaps (well, sort of monotone slow-talk snaps) that “this isn’t a love story.” Sheridan starts going on about how lovely and classy Leverage is, not like a whore at all! She drily comments that she’ll pass on his compliment and applies some lipstick. Sheridan calls her over so he can look at her, and, sensing no danger, Leverage goes. He takes her face in his hands and wonders aloud at her angelic beauty. Then he takes a pocket knife and slashes her from brow to chin.
My people are not faring well this episode. Are there any Swedish pedophiles you’d like to introduce, Winter?
The bouncer hears screaming from upstairs, but one of Sheridan’s men shoots him before he can run upstairs. The Irish shoot up the place providing cover for Sheridan to run out, and that’s that…
The next morning, in AC, Margaret is blithely walking down the boardwalk, her fantasy yet to be slashed to bloody ribbons, when a newspaper headline catches her eye. The Russian Princess was revealed to be a fraud! Margaret appears to be a little disquieted, but shakes it off and keeps walking.
At the Ritz, Nucky’s nursing a hangover as Elias tells him about Chalky, Dinman and Dinman’s finger. He apologizes for letting things get out of hand, and then, with his customary timing, Eddie pops in to serve Nucky with Edge’s $1800 bill. The dance he shared with Margaret the night before fades away as the reality of his life starts to set in. Nucky stares at the aspirin cocktail Eddie’s mixing for him and realizes he’s currently experiencing his foreseeable future.
Could it be possible that crime DON’T pay? Except in stress and bullshit?
In Chicago, Jimmy waits outside Pearl’s room with flowers. The madam informs him kindly that she’s not up to receiving visitors. Half her face is covered in bloody bandages and when Jimmy asks if “it’s bad,” the madam’s avoidance of answering tells him all he needs to know. Pearl is not going to be hitting the silver screen anytime soon.
And ho ho ho! Mickey Doyle’s back with his Italian buddies! Why would he appear so late in an episode? Oh… that’s right. He’s the one who had Chalky’s boy offed. But it was supposed to be Chalky and the Italians fucked up. Which doesn’t really do anyone any good considering they still don’t have the $7000 Mickey owes them because the murder didn’t put Chalky out of business. Mickey proposes that he can get them $3000 in cash immediately and they’re pretty interested. All it involves is knocking over one of Nucky’s ward bosses on his way to the Ritz for a weekly delivery. Candy from a baby, Mickey says. Candy from a baby.
Dear Mickey, Have you ever wondered why NOTHING IS EVER AS EASY AS YOU MAKE IT SEEM???? Love, Alex
In DC, Senator Edge receives a delivery. One of his staffers awkwardly opens it to reveal several cases of Pimm’s Cup and a note from Nucky. It’s addressed to Edge and the message inside reads, “I do expect to have everything.” In case Edge forgot whom he was dealing with.
Well, that was dinner, Kids. I hope you all saved room for dessert. Lucky Luciano waits outside the Gillian’s theater, and she still gets the drop on him! She asks if he’s waiting for someone and he answers that he is – for her. She cuts through the shit (slightly nicer about it this time than the last) and asks him what he wants – he’s been following her around for days, after all. Lucky for his part doesn’t even flinch at being found out so easily – he’s got it bad. He whispers that she knows what he wants, and Gillian steps forward and disagrees. She only knows what she only knows what she wants, see? And right now, it’s to grab his crotch and make out. She pulls away after a few seconds and tells him to meet her after the last show. Is it weird that I find this couple so ridiculously hot?
Ma’am, yes, ma’am!
I feel like the episode should have ended there, but it doesn’t. We still need to destroy Margaret’s sad little dreams a bit more. She’s closing up shop with Madam Jeunet and spots Nucky and Lucy heading out for yet another night on the town. They look madly in love (well, as madly in love as they can look) and all of a sudden that Anastasia story hits a little closer to home than it did this morning. Madame Jeunet instructs Margaret to return at 9am for inventory the next day, and bids her good night. Margaret’s about to leave when she just can’t help herself anymore – she steals a silk chemise off of a hanger right by the door and stuffs it in her bag. This way, when she walks home from along the boardwalk, she can take a little bit of the fantasy with her.
Not everyone was so lucky this week.