That was a tense hour.
Nucky’s in Belfast, with Randolph’s permission so there goes my theory of him pulling a Polanski, ostensibly to bury his dear departed father but he’s actually bringing a sampling of Tommy guns for McGarrigle to supply the IRA. McGarrigle’s still, in Owen’s words, a “flinty old geezer” and has the righteous hypocrisy of a zealot when he sneers at Nucky for wanting to trade the guns for liquor rather than just buy the liquor outright AND give them the guns, I guess, when McGarrigle just came to Nucky to beg him for money a few months earlier. But what McGarrigle thinks won’t really matter by the end of the episode, so let him stand on his own crumbling pedestal.
Meanwhile, Esther Randolph has her inaugural nude scene as she and Chief Investigator Lathrop make pillow talk by discussing the fact that both Thompson brothers held funerals for their late father, Eli’s in Atlantic City and Nucky’s in Belfast, again, with Randolph’s permission. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt Nucky. Then they discuss exactly how to use a nutter like Van Alden effectively since Lathrop doesn’t believe most of what Nelson’s collected in his file. Still they follow up on the Hans Schroeder accusation by calling Halloran in for a discussion. It goes as well as you’d expect a meeting between a super smart cat and a really stupid, blond mouse with a chip on his shoulder to go.
Jimmy is in full meltdown mode and alienating everyone, including Richard, but oddly enough, not Mickey because Mickey’s a roach and they have no loyalty or standards. He convenes a meeting of the young’uns (sans Richard) with George Remus to discuss George Remus acting as their supplier. They make George Remus an offer he can’t refuse and George Remus does not refuse it because Jimmy promises not to make him pay his phone bill. As soon as George Remus is gone, though, Lansky shows why he’s the true alpha when he asks what about Manny, because he knows it’s the details that will kill you. Meyer suggests paying him the $5K, Mickey suggests cutting him in on the Remus action but Jimmy says he’ll handle it. Disastrously.
Margaret, still thinking her iron will and practicality is all it takes to keep her family safe, happy and healthy, learns that some things can’t be controlled when little Emily did not have Scarlet Fever but Polio. The girl is paralyzed and quarantined and the room she shared with Teddy has to be cleared out of everything that may have been contaminated. With Nucky in Belfast, Margaret’s left on her own to handle this trauma and I’m reminded again why Margaret will always be a sympathetic character, no matter how bitchily she treats Katie. Because even if she is a practical woman, she’s had to handle a whole lot of shit, and mostly on her own, since she came to the States. Even now when she’s supposed to be comfortable and well taken care of.
And Dunn Pernsley done came back to overact his way into Chalky’s good graces by working in the service kitchen at the Ritz and staging the general strike Nucky advised. Why people listen to Dunn Pernsley is beyond me because he’s the acting equivalent of a ham and cheese sammich, but he gets the job done for Chalky, who’s more than happy to put Pernsley’s ass on the line.
Then Jimmy and Richard have a heart to heart like they’re a married couple and Jimmy just wants to know what Richard’s thinking. Richard’s thinking Jimmy’s kind of a jerk and made fun of him at Babette’s when he talked about finding a nice girl for Richard, but I’m on Jimmy’s side. He really was sincere with Richard. But he’s half dead inside so everything sounds like he’s being sarcastic. Later that night while listening to the Dempsey/Carpentier fight Jimmy tries to make it up to Richard, but Jimmy just can’t do anything right anymore.
Full recap will be up in a few days. Until then, you can catch up on last week’s recap here.