Gillian really ramps up her recent trend of cozying up to the Commodore for Jimmy's benefit, but her Diana-the-woodland-nymph burlesque routine ends up giving the old man a stroke. So with the 'Dore out of commission, Gillian, Eli, and Jimmy have a contentious meeting about what they're going to do without him greasing the wheels, politically. They're going to need to expand their customer base to outside of Atlantic City. This leads Jimmy, Harrow, and Mickey Doyle to Philadelphia, where they make a deal with a friendly/scary Jewish butcher there who's eager to buy his booze from anyone but that damned Waxy Gordon.
Meanwhile, Nucky is still boxed in from shipping anything in or out of Atlantic City, so he makes a deal with Arnold Rothstein to use Philadelphia as an import point, under a partnership with, yes, Waxy Gordon. You can see where this is going. And we're one step closer to a Waxy sighting!
At a skanky birthday party at the Ritz for Mayor Bader, the whores/dominatricies on hand make mention that they were shipped in from Philly last November in order to trump up Republican votes. This gives Nucky's lawyer an idea, and soon enough, Fleming brings the whores to Solomon Bishop, where they swear to the crime. How is this good for Nucky? Well, transporting prostitutes across state lines for the purpose of committing a crime is a federal charge, which means Nucky's whole case will now fall under the purview of the Attorney General, who Nucky feels confident will sway things his way.
At the Bureau, Van Alden's underlings have noticed his weirdness, and Agent Clarkson in particular caught him in cahoots with Mickey Doyle. Clarkson and Sawicky think Van Alden's gone dirty, so they head out one night to check out Mickey's warehouse and make a bust. Unfortunately, they go on the same night that Owen Slater, at Nucky's instruction, has planted a bomb at the warehouse. The explosion sets Clarkson ablaze, and even though Sawicky is able to stop-drop-and-roll his ass, Clarkson's still pretty well burned.
Speaking of deforming injuries, Angela and Harrow make awkward, sad conversation while Jimmy is away, and she decides to draw him, with his face-plate removed. It's sweet and sad and if you think Boardwalk Empire is boring it probably drove you crazy.
Chalky White is going through some internal shit. After getting vociferous grief from the widows of the men killed in the warehouse massacre, Chalky goes to Nucky to demand that vengeance be served to the Klan. Nucky once again puts Chalky off, as his position in town is too tenuous at this point. Though he does promise to throw some money at the problem. Chalky knows this won't help, and it contributes to his ambivalence over his own wealth and privilege and how it runs counter to his country upbringing. This all boils over at a family dinner where Chalky makes a scene in front of his daughter's new boyfriend.
Margaret takes it upon herself to cut the wages of the house staff, despite Nucky giving her bonus money, because apparently the whole Lobster Thermidore Affair last week at Babbette's turned her into a stone cold bitch of an employer.
And finally, with the Commodore now helpless and useless to her cause, Gillian finally lets her decades-long resentment of the man who stole her youth bubble over. After feeding him his mush, she recollects the night he plied her with wine and forced himself upon her. Now all he can do is whimper wordlessly while Gillian slaps the shit out of him.
At Mickey Doyle's distillery, Jimmy is checking on their vast stash of booze. Just crates and crates of the stuff; they're running out of space in the warehouse. Mickey's impressed, in his wheezy, unsettling way. Next summer, Jimmy tells him, the plan is to be the biggest distributor in the whole northeast. He gets his payment from Mickey, and then leaves with Harrow.
Elsewhere, the HBO portion of the evening kicks in, with Gillian dancing for the Commodore. Her breasts only halfway covered, she's performing one of her burlesque routines for the old coot. She is Diana, daughter of Jupiter, and no man may look upon her nakedness as she bathes, et cetera. Once Commodore is allowed to peek at her, he likes what he sees. But he says he never liked the idea of her dancing for others. She tells him he should have married her, then, but he says he had a city to run. Gillian: "I understand. I always have." Still dancing, as she brings up Jimmy, and how happy she is that he's under the Commodore's wing, after all this time. "You're going to take care of him, aren't you?" she says. Shimmy, shimmy. Pretty clear the game she's running here, though Commodore is likely too preoccupied to notice. "Get your ass over here," he says gleefully, and Gillian strips down fully. She grabs her bow and arrow prop at bounces an arrow off of the Commodore's chest. It's all very PG-13 smutty, and then the Commodore starts shaking. He's not responding. Gillian calls to him, but no response. "Louis? LOUIS!" Yeah, well, that's the danger when you're sexing up old millionaires. They could always stroke out.
Nucky and Margaret are home with the kids. He says he won't be home for dinner tonight, as its Ed Bader's birthday. Just a small little celebration at the Ritz. Owen Sleater shows up, eagerly greeted by Katy. Not sure whether it's Katy being smitten with the guy that turns Margaret off or if it's how much he reminds her of Ireland (and all that attendant business), but she's incredibly cold to the both of them. "Top o' the mornin'," Nucky says. "Isn't that what you people say?" Sleater smiles and says, "We also fix your shoes if you leave them out at night." Katy laughs (it's a pretty adorable joke), but Margaret is totally unimpressed. After he leaves, Margaret grouses to Nucky that the guy's a little "cheeky," though she has to explain to Nucky what "cheeky" means. He tells Margaret that Sleater serves a purpose, though he declines to elaborate. He then hands Margaret a stack of cash for the weekly expenses, plus a little extra for the staff. Margaret, whose opinion on the staff has taken a serious nosedive since she was caught boozing with them last week, is all, "What the hell for, man?" Nucky's like, um, for appreciation? And also because they make just above nothing? Margaret says they shouldn't be frivolous with money. Nucky says it's a pittance for them but a windfall for the servants. Margaret: "You do know they steal from us. It's what servants do." She'd know, I guess. Nucky says yes, and they pretend not to notice, and life goes on. This isn't sitting well with Margaret, who grumbles, "No one ever gave ME a bonus."