Nucky's all alone in his fight against Rosetti and Masseria, so he's got to plan this stuff out perfectly. Aside from planning to run Remus's old operation out of Andrew Mellon's distillery and sending an emissary to Chicago to court Johnny Torrio's support, Nucky sends Sleater to New York with one simple mission: assassinate Joe Masseria. Before he leaves, Sleater and Margaret make their plans to run away, to St. Louis, in fact. Just as soon as this business is settled.
Meanwhile, one of Rosetti's boats dumped its cargo by accident, so liquor bottles are washing up on shore just like in the opening credits. Rosetti's pissed, and gets even angrier when one of his underlings, tries to explain that it might have been irregular wave patterns. You can imagine how much Rosetti enjoys being educated on the subject. Unbeknownst to him, Nucky has sent his (rabid anti-
dentiteItalian) ship captain to infiltrate Rosetti's business, and when he contradicts the underling, Rosetti decides the only acceptable punishment for being wrong is to bury him in the sand up to his neck and wait for high tide to roll in. The underling's cousin begs Rosetti for leniency, so as a compromise, Rosetti merely bashes the guy's head in with a shovel. Fun storyline, as always.
In Washington, Jess Smith is cracking up at the impending crackdown at the Justice department. Gaston Means manages to stoke the fires of that crazy, merely so he can point out to Daugherty that their only choice is to take Smith out, which he volunteers to do. Only Means gets caught in Jess's bedroom by Jess himself, but rather than kill his would-be assassin, Jess turns the gun on himself when he realizes that his good-buddy Harry had arranged his murder.
Back at home, Margaret and Nucky are back on very brittle ground, marriage-wise. She blames him for the hell that's raining down on them. Speaking of which, Nucky receives a delivery in the dead of night. It's a giant crate, and when he opens it -- in full view of Margaret -- inside lies the dead body of Owen Sleater. Guess that assassination attempt didn't go so well. Margaret breaks the fuck down, and in a flashback, we see her tell Owen that, as expected, she is pregnant and he's the father.
In other storylines -- and there were only a billion of them -- Richard and Julia go on a date and make out on the beach; the women's clinic gets shut down, though Mason does deliver the diaphragms to Margaret (too late, in her case); Van Alden's Norwegian hooch enterprise runs him afoul of Al Capone; and Chalky White wants to build a jazz club for black performers on the site of the still smoldering crater where Babbette's used to be, but Nucky callously shuts him down. --Joe R.
On the beach, there is some sort of batshit undersea kingdom set up with King Neptune on a stage next to Mayor Dingleberry. Neptune is greeting everyone there and I have no idea why this happening. Is this an American holiday I'm not aware of? Richard Harrow's carrying a couple of ice cream cones along the beach, pausing for a moment to take in the domestic bliss that is Julia and Tommy hanging out on the beach, while this Neptune guy is talking about shipwrecks and whatnot. There are women dressed up as lobsters, though. Is it Sexy Crustacean Day? At since it took some doing for me to figure out whether it was Julia or Gillian on the beach, the resemblance can't be coincidental. Their names even sound alike.
It's not important, what Neptune is saying, because even though everyone is apparently there on the beach on purpose for this, their attention is soon distracted by bottles of whisky washing ashore. It's not quite the liquor tide of the opening credits, but hey, free whisky, am I right? "Why is everyone yelling?" asks Tommy. "Maybe it's a sea serpent," says Harrow. It's not long before everyone is wading into the surf -- Neptune among them -- scooping up bottles. To be fair, he was inviting everyone to partake of the spoils of the ocean. You got whisky, he got whisky ... everybody got whisky!
Over to the beach by Tabor Heights, the unintended source of the free whisky. You can imagine how Gyp Rosetti feels about losing two crates of hooch, and he tells Tonino that he wants to see the pompinaio captain. This is a word I take to mean "cocksucker." Tonino feebly defends the captain by offering the excuse that the ocean was crazy. "It's a fuckin' ocean, Tonino, doin' what it's supposed to. Why ain't he?" yells Rosetti.
That's when Tonino's idiot cousin Franco speaks up, talking about "rogue waves." We all know how Rosetti feels about being spoken to as though he should know more than he does. Franco's new to the operation, though, so he doesn't know that as soon as he opened his mouth, he was a dead man. That's eventually, though; Rosetti first wants to hear more about the rogue waves, and Franco -- despite his cousin's best attempts to defuse things -- explains that sometimes when the wind shifts and different waves hit each other, they make giant waves. "It's easy to lose cargo when it's not strapped down," he says. Well, why wouldn't it be strapped down? Franco's not really offering the strongest defense of the captain, but Rosetti instead gets mad at Tonino for not learning all his cousin's fisherman-insider wisdom like "strap your cargo down." Then he stares at Franco for a moment, making everyone wonder when the hammer's coming down. Instead, Rosetti calls Tonino "fuckin' Sinbad over here," and then saddles up to ride off.