Nucky is in Chicago for the Republican National Convention, where Senator Edge is hoping he'll work his backroom magic to secure Edge the VP nomination. He asks Nucky to meet with Harry Daugherty, a serious political operator who's managing the campaign of some nobody from Ohio named Warren G. Harding. Nucky senses an opportunity and approaches Daugherty with an offer to back Harding if Daugherty denies Edge the VP slot (this would be revenge for Edge fucking him out of that road money). Nucky also offers to house one of Harding's mistresses (she's got a baby, so obviously she's got Nucky's attention) in Atlantic City until after the election. So Harding wins the nomination, but Nucky's not even there to see it, because of Eli. See...
With Nucky out of town, Eli is in charge of Atlantic City and determined to be an even better Nucky than Nucky. This doesn't go too much farther than watching nun porno with the boys, but he does offer to make a collection for one of Nucky's Aldermen who has a family obligation. Eli's best intentions go awry when he goes to collect at the casino on the night the D'Alessios have arrived to rob it. So Eli gets shot -- he'll be okay, but the news shakes Nucky in Chicago. Fearing some kind of coup, he calls up Margaret and asks her to secure some sensitive documents from his office. She does, but she also takes a look at them, and for the first time sees the scope of Nucky's criminal enterprise. Nucky also approaches Jimmy (who he'd earlier rebuffed pretty harshly) and asks him to return as his consigliere of sorts -- he's going to need Jimmy to do some dirty work. Jimmy balks, because of pride and also because he's got a good deal in Chicago, but Nucky convinces him that, as an Irish among Italians, he'll always be an outsider. Seem like this works, because next thing we know, Jimmy's asking his Ma for info on Luciano.
Elsewhere, it turns out (not all that surprisingly) that Van Alden has been the one intercepting Jimmy's money to Angela, who is still trying to make money off of paintings of her lady lover's naked form. Gillian is so totally onto her, though, and essentially suggests she get a paper route instead. But back to Van Alden, whose wife, Rose, is a weeping ball of emotion, because she can't conceive, and Val Alden is either too cheap or too Jehovah's Witness-y to allow her to see a doctor about it. It seems for a moment that he's going to relent and use the Darmody money to pay for such a procedure, but SWERVE! He sends it to Angela in one lump sum (for reasons that probably make some twisted Van Alden sense, but really because the show wanted to misdirect us for a second), then sends Rose a letter that might as well be titled "So You've Decided to Make Peace with Your Barren Womb."
Meanwhile, Rothstein is still sweating out this World Series scandal in New York, and Margaret and Lucy have one HELLACIOUS confrontation in the lobby at the Ritz. Lucy-haters, I hope you didn't miss that one.
Want to immediately access TWoP content no matter where you are online? Download the free TWoP toolbar for your web browser. Already have a customized toolbar? Then just add our free toolbar app to get updated on our content as soon it's published.
This week's episode opens with Eli Thompson, one of the more tiresome characters on television today, sitting at the metaphorically (and physically) large desk of his brother Nucky and obsessively making sure everything in its place. Nucky's out of town -- in Chicago, in fact, for the Republican National Convention. Deputy Halloran is serving in place of Eddie Kessler, and he notes that there isn't anybody waiting for an audience. Eli is perturbed, noting that the lobby is packed when Nucky is in town. Once again, Eli is transparently envious of his brother and equally dismissive of what Nucky actually does to obtain (and more importantly keep) his power. To Eli, it's all "glad-handing and back-slapping." Ward Boss O'Neill then walks in -- he's the one who got mugged for his honorarium a few weeks back -- and stops in his tracks when he sees Eli, with a simple, "Oh." Eli's all, "What 'Oh'? I can do whatever Nucky can do, wah wah wah, my arc is incredibly obvious and repetitive!" O'Neill says his daughter is being fitted for leg braces tomorrow, and he wanted to take the day and be with her. Neri usually fills in on these occasions, but his indictment has taken him off the collections trail. Eli, with as much authority as he can muster, tells him to take the day, then gets rankled when O'Neill asks if he's sure. Of course he's sure! And incredibly defensive!
The Thompson family's better half, meanwhile, is checking into his hotel in Chicago. He argues (and bribes) his way into the Presidential suite, elbowing past one General Wood, who is only one of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. As will be argued later in this episode, "looking the part," be it the part of President of the United States or occupant of the Presidential suite, is more than half the battle. Nucky's throwing his weight around both because it works and because somebody in his position would throw his weight around. Nobody told Eli about any of this.
Nucky moves on to the dining room, where he and Eddie await Senator Edge. A little bit of expository dialogue reveals that Edge is hoping (expecting?) to receive the nomination as Vice-President, despite the fact that nobody quite knows who will get nominated at the top of the ticket. Nucky is all smiles with Edge, addressing him as "Mister Vice-President" and such. Edge wants to send Nucky to a reception thrown by Harry Daugherty -- he's Warren Harding's campaign manager. Nobody cares about Harding, Nucky says -- Edge agrees, but Daugherty has a reputation as a major player and someone valuable to know. Daugherty was, unsurprisingly, a real-life guy, and the man whom historians have credited with masterminding Harding's run to the White House. Sound familiar? Anyway, Edge is riding high. "We're gonna take this thing, Nucky," he says. "And when we do, the sky's the limit." Nucky, once again, says he doesn't care about skies, just roads. Edge doesn't bite, just once again thanks Nucky for meeting with Daugherty. "You know me," Nucky smiles. "I'll see 'em all."