One of Nucky's ward bosses gets jacked of his honorarium, as per Mickey Doyle's plan of a couple episodes ago. The thieves are described super-vaguely as "Italian," which is enough for Nucky to have Lucky Luciano hauled in for questioning. Luciano has been sticking around town, banging the holy hell out of Gillian with his miraculously hard horse-cock (her words, not that we don't get a peek anyway), but his good time is deflated somewhat when Rothstein calls and informs him his bed-mate isn't Jimmy's wife, it's his mom. Nucky and Eli rough him up for the perceived robbery, and a little extra for talking crudely about the territory betwixt Gillian's legs.
Meanwhile, Nucky now finds himself juggling a scratchy Lucy and content Margaret, whom he's set up in a swell new flat. At the boutique, Lucy makes Margaret model panties that are barely a whisper, probably to size up the competition. There's something of a half-naked face-off, where Margaret shows significantly more backbone with Lucy, then promptly quits her job.
In Chicago, Torrio thinks Capone really fucked up the Irish situation, and he asks Jimmy for advice. This leads to a meeting with Sheridan on Irish turf. Torrio plays the part of the conciliatory oldster, but Jimmy and Capone stage a hellacious ambush that pretty much stomps on the neck of the Irish when it comes to control of organized crime in the city. Jimmy also spends time at the Capones' and takes notice of Al's deaf son.
Van Alden continues to run his investigation of Nucky Thompson right through the prism of Margaret Schroeder. Even his Fed bosses are like, "Dude, this is getting weird." But after getting an earful from Margaret's suddenly bitter neighbor Edith, Van Alden finds out that Margaret's now living in Nucky-provided quarters. He later ups the freaky ante by producing a photo of a 16-year-old Margaret... and proceeds to (non-euphemistically) flog himself.
Finally, Nucky meets Jersey City mayor Haig, as he's still trying to get that road appropriation money. Unfortunately, this meeting means he has to blow off Margaret, after promising a night on the town (and Houdini's brother!). Double unfortunately, her extra time waiting around at home leads Margaret to the revelation that she's now living with the other concubines of Atlantic City bigwigs. CONCUBINES! Boy, if that isn't a splash of cold water.
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It's a beautiful, sunny day on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Lovers ride on horseback down the beach, children frolic and such, and an old, pudgy bureaucrat is making the last of his bribe-collecting runs around the local businesses. As he crosses the latest shop off his list, a kid runs up to him and, unprovoked starts giving him shit, then spits in his face. Pudgy gives chase, yelling at the "guinea bastard," despite the kid not seeming all that stereotypically Italian. He's almost caught up with him when he rounds a corner (things go all slo-mo, because whoever directed this episode felt like impressing Uncle Marty), only to be met with an adult-sized thug, this one with a sock full of quarters or whatever kind of blunt-force whacking tool was of the style at the time. He clocks Pudgy but good, then clears out his collection envelope. Hey! This is awfully similar to the plan Mickey Doyle was talking about two weeks ago. Hmm...
Nucky and Lucy are in bed, naked if you can believe that. She's being her usual, charming self: aggressively naked and calling him "daddy" in that baby voice that every straight man must be dying to hear from their girlfriend. Who doesn't want to be made to feel like a pervy old pedophile first thing in the morning? If I have one major criticism of this show so far, it's that some of the characters show very few shades of gray. This is remedied somewhat this week in folks like Capone and Dana Ivey -- and obviously the major characters, Nucky, Jimmy, and Margaret, are all sufficiently complicated -- but folks like Eli, and Van Alden, and especially Lucy are just so predictable in their awfulness. Lucy being the worst offender. Yes, we're supposed to be rooting for Nucky and Margaret, but I think we would be anyway even if Lucy weren't the off-putting, baby-talking Jennifer Tilly of this show. Alas. This time, she starts talking about being Nucky's "little tiger cub," and as she slinks her (franky marvelous and unbelievable) naked form atop his, she suddenly scratches the shit out of his chest. Like, he's bleeding. He has wounds. This is what happens when you let half-retarded, over-developed woman-children into your bed. He yells at her and she pouts. We've seen this scene before, albeit with less blood.
Speaking of Ms. Dana Ivey -- whose character finally gets a name this week, sort of. It's Mrs. McGarry, and she's at her office when Margaret comes calling. She wants to "speak about a private matter." A man has made an offer to her. Mrs. McGarry inquires as to whether the nature of this offer is financial? Domestic? Sexual? Um ... yes? When she asks who with, Margaret replies, "He runs things." Ahh, say no more. McGarry asks if he's going to marry her. That'd be a big NOPE. McGarry: "There are various words for that sort of woman. None of them are flattering." The words could not be more harsh, and after the display of judgy eyes McGarry shot at Margaret all through last week, you might expect her tone to be, but it's actually not.