Nucky decides to bring Arnold Rothstein in on the Tampa land deal, at least until the normally unflappable A.R. loses control ever so slightly after a night of losing at cards. That's OK, where Nucky is concerned, because Meyer Lansky is prepared to step in for Rothstein (and in more ways than just a stake in the land deal).
Meanwhile, Eddie Kessler is learning that with a moderate uptick in power comes great responsibility, as he's targeted — after a hell of a good time getting to know Ralph Capone — by Bureau of Investigation agents. Knox's plan to take down Nucky — with an eye to the overall web of criminals across the United States — involves him infiltrating Nucky's world by focusing on the weakest link. Which would be Eddie. And the Capone brothers are having a grand ol' time in Chicago, throwing people out of windows.
Machinations continue at the Onyx Club, with Dunn Purnsley lying about a dying relative in order to skip off work, just so he can have a meeting with Narcisse. Chalky's a little too starstruck with Daughter Maitland to pay too much attention to what's going on behind his back.
After last week's humiliation — in which his classmates learned from his engorged penis that he wanted to have sex with Doris, the shame — Willie plans revenge on Henry, and spikes his drink with a concoction that's supposed to make him crap his pants. It winds up killing him, gruesomely. So it looks like we're going to continue to spend a lot more time on Fast Times at Temple University. Well, here's hoping the crazy dancing blonde student is around for all of it.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. Somehow this must be how the punchline "'Rectum'? Damn near killed 'im!" originated. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Chicago, a heavyset gangster named Jake is undone by a set of stairs whilst making his collections for the Capones — both in the sense that he has difficulty ascending them, and the much more rapid descent may kill him. He lies groaning on the landing, while we reflect on the fact that — up until Jake took a tumble — this was the most cheerful mob collection probably ever seen on television or in movies. Seriously, Jake and the guy paying up practically asked about each other's kids.
Over in Washington, D.C., Agent Knox is briefing a roomful of irreverent bureau agents on the Nucky Thompson hierarchy. The agents crack wise until the humorless J. Edgar Hoover decides to remind them that the men they're discussing are murderers. But Knox is looking at the bigger picture: the country-wide network of criminals, including Johnny Torrio and Waxy Gordon. Hoover's not convinced that it's an overarching conspiracy or anything -- even criminals have friends, he says. Knox says he'll prove it by finding the weakest link in Nucky Thompson's chain, and break it.
Speaking of Nucky: He's back from Florida, and from the way he's talking to Eddie — demanding a sandwich and a beer — he seems to have forgotten the promotion he gave him. Eddie politely says he'll get Tom to do all the shit that Nucky is ordering Eddie to do, and Nucky's all, "Oh right, that." I mean, if Nucky'd known that promoting Eddie would mean he might have to wait a little while longer to have a beer, he never would have done it. Tom can't do it right now because he's on his way back from the train station. Nucky wants Eddie — that is, Tom — to make sure A.R.'s got everything he needs. "I want him receptive to this offer," says Nucky. Eddie's attending to the business Nucky has given him to do, with the bank deposits or whatever, and positively glows over Nucky saying he has his utmost confidence in Eddie, even if Nucky's saying it mainly to keep Eddie from bugging him. And Eddie's even more pleased when Nucky sends him to the train station to meet a "Mr. Brown" and exchange cash for Mr. Brown's package. It's all very cloak and dagger, with the instructions to wear a white carnation in his lapel. Eddie solemnly shows Nucky the weapon he's got stashed up his sleeve, and Nucky tells him to not be so melodramatic: "It's only money." Maybe Nucky can explain what else he has going for him other than money?
Over at the Onyx Club, Daughter Maitland is rehearsing. I have no idea if this actress is also a singer, but whoever's doing the singing — I could listen to it all day long. So could Chalky; he hangs out and listens for a while, but is a little standoffish when Daughter halts rehearsal for some banter. Chalky allows that her accompanist can play, and Daughter's all, essentially, "What about me?" Chalky says he's got no complaints. "No compliments, either," she says, and Chalky tells her to just go on singing "'til the folks need to hear you." He heads for the bar, Daughter looking pissed, like she didn't get the reaction she was looking for.