Jimmy's reading on the floor of his room when he's spooked by a knock at the door, particularly when no one answers him. He pulls out his gun, but of course it's fucking Al at the door. Tellingly, Jimmy doesn't even drop his gun until he sees what's behind Al's back. It's only steaks, though. This scene really emphasizes the height differential between these two. Enhances Al's overgrown-child persona. So Jimmy invites him in, and Al makes a half-assed apology for "running off at the mouth." But he just as quickly chides Jimmy for saying what he did about Al and the war. "That ain't how you treat a buddy." Jimmy's like, "That's what we are?" He figured more like "accomplices." Al invites him to come round the house sometime to cook the steaks. Then, having mentioned "home," he bluntly tells Jimmy that his son is deaf. Jimmy, obviously, knows. Al laments that Sonny's being punished for shit that Al has done. Jimmy says to take him to a doctor, but Al ignorantly says they can't fix it. "It's in the blood." Mmm hmm. He says he plays the mandolin sometimes and sings, and he puts Sonny's hand to Al's throat, so he can feel it. "But he doesn't know what it is." Jimmy knows he's not of much comfort, but he says anyway to keep at it. "Medicine now ... they're finding new things every day." Al pulls it together enough to tell a moronic joke about how Sheridan and flat beer are the same -- "No head." He came up with that one himself.
In the week's strangest bit of symmetry, Al's sad story of playing the mandolin for his deaf son transitions into a naked lady playing the mandolin while Nucky and Hague sit fully-clothed, smoke cigars, and talk about road appropriations. Which have become to Boardwalk Empire what intergalactic trade routes were to the Star Wars movies. Hague is still reluctant to shake on a deal, but while Nucky is annoyed, he comes to attention when Hague says he shouldn't trust Edge. "He's a silent partner in a paving company," he says, and it operates out of Jersey City. Nucky is perturbed, then asks Hague why he's spilling this bit of intel. "Guys like Edge will come and go," Hague says. "Bosses, like us, are here to stay." Oh man. If only someone could tell these HBO characters that all their shows are about how nothing ever stays the same and OH! Painful progress!
Margaret's at home, telling stories to the children, waiting for Nucky. She's talking to Mrs. Charlton, the black babysitter who says she sits for "the other ladies" too. Margaret, still living the high life, brags a bit about seeing Hardeen tonight. As if she'd ever heard about Hardeen before a few hours ago. Anyway, the phone rings and it's Eddie, who delivers Nucky's blow-off. "Nucky wishes to say he has business tonight," is Eddie's delightfully German way of conveying the news. "He will call." Margaret is crestfallen. At that moment, Anabel, one of Margaret's neighbors, pops in. She's all dolled up, flapper-style, and couldn't be nicer as she introduces herself to Margaret's kids. She's got her own girl, Ruby, in tow, and essentially she wants to glom onto Mrs. Charlton's services for the night. Looks like somebody's got a hot last-minute date. She beseeches Margaret -- "Us girls all help each other out here." Margaret, confused, asks which girls. "You know," Anabel says, "the concubines." Oh, ZING! Margaret feels that one. Anabel promises to return the favor, then asks if this is the three-bedroom. Margaret, still stunned at being made a concubine all of a sudden, says it is. "Your fella's certainly sweet on you," Anabel says. I'm sure Margaret sees it that way.