Least interesting things first: Al Capone's smelly friend gets beat up by some Irish jerk, and since Al's deaf son is also getting beat up at school, he decides he hates bullies and takes out all his rage on the Irish guy, beating him to death in front of a bar full of people.
Back in Jersey, Nucky's gotten word that the Tabor Heights sheriff has been roasted, so he declares that all his shipments to New York will go through the backroads. Mickey is dubious of this plan and even appeals to Owen, in front of everyone, which only makes Nucky angry. Mickey's Mickey, though, and after a trip to Tabor Heights where the local cops assure him they're taking care of it, he decides his shipment is good to take the direct route. Eli heads out ahead of the convoy, but the drivers' instructions to stop for nobody mean they ignore Eli's warnings that it's an ambush. The entire convoy is slaughtered.
Where was Nucky during all this? Well he and Owen -- with whom Nucky has been very impatient lately -- finally track down warehouse-bandit Rowland Smith outside Philadelphia. He's got a safe house packed with crates of pilfered liquor, but he's also being hunted by Waxey Gordon's men. Owen offers to kill the kid so Nucky won't have to, but before that gets a chance to happen, Waxey's guys surround the house, so Nucky, Owen and Smith have to hide out in the basement, overnight, until Waxey's guys go away. During the siege, all three men bond, and the cocky upstart Rowland manages to sell himself as an asset to Nucky's operation. And then, after Waxey's men leave, Nucky shoots Rowland in the head, because don't ever assume he's reluctant to kill anyone.
Meanwhile, Margaret and Dr. Mason encounter the charming Catholic attitude towards sex ed, and Lucky Luciano has a very tense and very Italian sit-down with Masseria.
Oh, HBO, you shouldn't have. After two-plus seasons of any old excuse to get a woman topless, we're finally getting some male objectification on this show. And it's not even Nucky, cruel irony though that would be. No, Owen Sleater is railing the hell out of Katy in her bedroom filled with porcelain figurines, and we're treated to a (tasteful! Artfully framed!) shot of his butt as he's doing so. The phone rings, and Katy scurries to get it and brings it back to the bed, but Owen can't even answer before they're back at it again. Katy finally picks up the call -- mid-thrust, if you don't mind the description -- and tells Mr. Thompson that Owen is right here. Sleater obviously doesn't want to take the call, and Nucky, who knows exactly what's going on, is sighing like a motherfucker. So Katy gets to work below deck while Nucky asks Sleater if he's read the paper yet. He says he hasn't. "Well read one and meet me at Mickey's," a perturbed Nucky says, then hangs up. Sleater does too, and tells Katy he should go, since Nucky seems to be in one of his moods again. "Then it won't matter if you're late," she says. "Will it, Mr. Poofles?" Yep, that's his dick she's talking about. Blowjobs were weird undertakings even back then.
In Chicago, Al Capone comes home and ... okay, I mentioned this on Twitter over the weekend, but seriously: Capone storylines on this show are like Kate flashback episodes on Lost, right? In that everybody hates them and thinks they're a waste of time? Particularly the ones where Kate is retrieving that airplane figurine and/or Al learns a lesson about parenting a deaf child. Anyway, hooray, we're At Home with Al. He sees his son lying on the floor, reading the newspaper comics, on a schoolday, and asks his wife why he's home. She says he has a bellyache, but when Al goes to talk to him, he sees a giant bruise on his cheek. Mrs. Capone says it's from a bully at school. Al's like, "Picking on a kid that's almost stone-cold deaf?" but his wife's like, "They all are. That's why we sent him there." Oh, man, bullies at the deaf school. We also see that Mrs. Capone is using proper sign language with Sonny, while Al is just being demonstrative and loud with him. He waves his hand at the situation, declaring, "Kid's gotta toughen up."
At Mickey's warehouse, Nucky is addressing his people about the newspaper account of the "accidental" demise of their contact in Tabor Heights, one Sheriff Victor Sickles. And considering the lone eyewitness to the attack was one Gyp Rosetti, it seems that a message has been sent. Nucky spots Eli across the room and sighs an annoyed sigh. First time he's seen him since prison, and I guess that's where things stand. Also, we see Sleater shows up late, which should only serve to further sour Nucky's mood. Anyway, Nucky declares that under the circumstances, and until further notice, all shipments to Rothstein are to go over back roads. "In the middle of January?!" Mickey pipes up. "Those roads are gonna be sheets of ice. And where are we supposed to gas up?" Nucky bluntly says that's Mickey's problem.