At Mickey's warehouse, our favorite weasel is supervising the preparations for tonight's shipment to New York, and who do we see there but Agent Sawicki, the federal agent who didn't get his ass burnt when Mickey's last warehouse blew up. Seems he's on the take now, and even though Mickey treats him like something he found on his shoe, he still makes his payment when Sawicki demands it. Eli shows up, a little later than 8 AM, but it seems he's changed his tune about working for Eli, and he starts loading crates.
Back in New York, Nucky and Billie are at the cabaret with Billie's flightly, airheaded, but ultimately well-meaning friend Viola trying to explain Billie's idea for a hummingbird routine. He seems to be merely putting up with their girlish gabbing, but he does get the kind of attention he so craves when he name-drops Lee Shubert. Billie gets up to go socialize, and Nucky is not only stuck at the table listening to Vi blab on and on about something stupid, but he's forced to watch Billie flirt with other patrons of the club in order to advance her career. You can tell that, despite what may be his best efforts to maintaining a casual, modern relationship, he can't tamp down that jealousy. Of course, moments later, Billie's back at the table with her hand on Nucky's crotch and they're both laughing at Vi, so life ain't all bad.
Mickey's warehouse. Sleater is apparently the lead soldier of this particular convoy, and he lays down the instructions (in an exceedingly formal manner, which I find funny): they'll be making exactly two stops, one for "petrol" (GO BACK TO IRELAND!) in Tabor Heights, and the second to unload their haul in Brooklyn. Two men per car, one armed; if they're arrested, they're to dummy up. As the men line up to get paid, Sleater approaches Eli about being back in town. I'm trying to decide whether the joint has made Eli less of a whiny asshole, and he seems to be -- more serious, more soulful, less of an ineffective striver -- but then he'll look at Sleater and call him "the new golden boy," and shades of that old resentment of Jimmy start clouding his face again, and I just don't know. Sleater offers him an extra $50 to make the trip to New York with them, and while Eli initially turns down such a handout (typical), he follows it up with, "and anyway, I don't have a piece" (more typical). Sleater eyes him warily before offering him his own gun.
It's basically every juke joint you've ever seen in a movie before: jazzy musicians playing peppy ragtime music, well-dressed revelers -- all of them black, unless I've missed a few interlopers -- dancing their legs off, the liquor being slung left and right. We see Chalky in a rare good mood, chatting at the bar. The place is crowded enough and loud enough that he doesn't notice that Maybelle and Samuel are sitting at a table across the room. She keeps trying to get him to drink and loosen the fuck up already, but he's clearly put off by the lack of intimacy in their surroundings. Guess it's not the most ideal place for her to respond to his proposal. He speaks too quietly for her to hear, trying to find a way to say "If you don't want to marry me, just say so," but she's all "Speak up! Yell! Do something for fuck's sake!" The dancing couple next to their table becomes a bit too free in their movement, and after the second time they bump the table, a frustrated Samuel raises his voice to ... politely demand that he guy "Watch where [he's] going, sir." Which I guess you don't do to people who are trying to get their dance on, because the guy takes a switchblade out of his pocket and slashes Samuel across the face! Seems reasonable. We're all just roiling savages underneath the surface, right? Or is it just people in places like this?