Nucky and Chalky both begin the episode in jail, but only one of them ends the episode there. Nucky is bailed out pretty quickly, but Chalky stays to get thrown in with the other black prisoners, one of whom is a real hardcase. It looks like Hardcase is going to bait Chalky into a confrontation that won't end well for Chalky, but it turns out that being the Nucky Thompson of the black community makes you more than a few friends; the kind of friends who can help you beat hardcases senseless and then read you some David Copperfield to help you calm down.
Jimmy travels to New York for a meeting with Arnold Rothstein. He's looking to expand his business and wants Rothstein as a buyer, but Rothstein seems more interested in examining the schism between Jimmy and Nucky than actually committing to anything. Meanwhile, things are as frosty as ever between Jimmy and Lucky Luciano, but Lucky still invites Jimmy to a meeting with him and Meyer Lansky, who want to get into the heroin business with Jimmy. Later on, Jimmy baits-and-stabs a couple Lower East Side mafia types, which officially makes him more of a New Yorker than I am.
Back in Atlantic City, the Commodore gathers together all of Nucky's ward bosses -- two of whom, Jim Neri and skinny little puissant Patrick Ryan, were the ones who turned evidence against Nucky to the state -- and tells them to climb aboard the Commodore express. (The Commodore Express, by the way, has been freshly grease-painted about the hair and mustache, which is just the greatest thing that has ever happened, and is able to lift whole elephant tusks clear over his head.) They're all prepared to get with the winning team, except for Fleming, who is loyal to Nucky.
Margaret is obviously freaking out once she gets the news of Nucky's arrest. To her credit, she musters up her resourcefulness, dresses up like poor, Season 1 Margaret (even faking pregnancy!), and gets the state investigators to let her into Nucky's office. Later, back at home, Margaret answers the door to one Owen Slater, advance man for Nucky's imminent dinner guest, a Sinn Fein bigwig looking for a donation. Slater mistakes her for 1) the maid, and then 2) the maid's MOTHER, but he's cute and he's Irish and he charms the hell out of the maids.
Nucky returns to his office to find his ledger gone, and then just before Fleming has the chance to rat out his fellow aldermen, Nucky gets a call from Eli. With the Commodore over his shoulder, Eli declares civil war against his brother. Then the Commodore introduces him to Uncle Junior Muttonchops and ... the Secret Mason Elders of Atlantic City? This situation is developing ...
At Nucky's house for dinner, the Sinn Fein guy, McGarrigle, turns out to be a stiff prig, and he's mean and insulting to Margaret for assimilating. That's before Nucky shows up and satisfies the guy with booze and a check. The good news is that Slater is sticking around. After the Irish leave, Nucky is an open book with Margaret about the coup, though it's left to her to correctly intuit that Eli is among the betrayers. She also reveals -- duh -- that she took the ledger (and $20,000 in cash) before the investigators could find it. They burn the ledger, and it becomes clear that Margaret may well be Nucky's best asset.
It's early morning at Chateau Nucky when Margaret comes downstairs to find the maids huddled around the newspapers, whispering and worried. It's awkward when they notice Margaret there, and their frightened expressions around Margaret make you wonder if she's turned into a mean dowager lady. Turns out, she's kind of using her station to cover up her nervousness/anger at Nucky not coming home last night. When the maids show her the newspaper, telling of Nucky's arrest, her face falls. She then changes the subject to the weather and marches forward with plans for tonight's dinner. One of the maids hands her a card the children made her, one that captures the sweet/weird quality of Margaret's kids quite well ("Cherished Mother, you have our hearts"). The maids wonder if there will be a dinner, considering. Margaret just plows forward, saying the rug must be taken out and beaten before Mr. McGarrigle and the other guests arrive. She sounds scary a little!
At Nucky's office, Eddie tries to maintain the illusion that he is supervising as state investigators ransack the premises. You have to feel for him as he looks upon all this barbarism. Cutting into upholstery, I mean! On the phone with Margaret, Eddie assures that Nucky is being bailed out, but he rushes off the phone before she can ask anything. One of the maids is caught eavesdropping, but rather than upbraid her, all Margaret asks is "What sort of coat do you have?"
At the jailhouse, Nucky and Chalky are sharing a cell, with Nucky trying to explain why Chalky's been locked up for his own protection. Chalky understands but is nevertheless angry. After all, isn't Nucky's power supposed to keep him protected from things like Klan attacks? Why are they now so emboldened? The answers to that don't bode well for Nucky and he knows it. Nucky asks Chalky about election night; what were the other ward bosses up to? Nucky goes through their names -- Neary, Boyd, Fleming, O'Neill -- and Chalky settles on Neary. Why? "He's been a sumbitch forever." [Note: I've been calling Neary "Neri" all this time, probably because of The Godfather, Part II. Anyway: corrected.] Chalky says the right question isn't who squealed, but who told them to squeal. Before Nucky can think too hard on that, his bail is posted. And what about Chalky? Nucky tells him to be patient. Chalky says he's getting his own "Jew lawyer," so ... And hey, good for him! After Nucky leaves, Chalky stares out after him. "Precarious motherfucker."