Chalky makes a move against Narcisse, bringing his men to blast the hell out of the United Negro Improvement Association office, but Chalky makes the classic television-and-movie "I assume we got him, so let's not make sure" mistake, not counting on Narcisse, you know, ducking. Narcisse survives, kills Chalky's men and wounds Chalky, who goes to ground while Narcisse goes to Nucky and demands Chalky's head. Nucky's not about to give Chalky up to an uppity Negro making all sorts of demands in Nucky's club, but when he learns that Narcisse is partnering with Joe Masseria (and Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano) in shipping heroin up from Tampa — discovered by Sally Wheet, much to Nucky's chagrin — things get considerably more complicated. Nucky's swayed by heroin's lucrative potential, and agrees to hand over Chalky for a third of all past, present and future heroin business. I think Masseria agreed to such a steep price a little quickly, but this is a man who we know still talks about revenge against Nucky — perhaps it's a price he doesn't intend to pay for very long.
Perhaps Nucky knows this too, and maybe that's part of why he doesn't actually intend to hand Chalky over. Instead, he tells Mayor Bader to send a couple of deputies over to Chalky's hideout to spirit him out of town, only later learning — thanks to his fortuitous placement of Willie in Bader's office — that the mayor had a meeting with Narcisse after Nucky talked to him. Chalky — Daughter with him — sniffs out the problem with the deputies before Nucky's able to do anything about it, so it's entirely likely Chalky thinks Nucky's responsible. But Chalky runs into Richard Harrow, who has to be anybody's first-pick of people they'd like to run into when they're in trouble.
Speaking of trouble, Johnny Torrio's a little miffed at just how comfortable Al Capone's getting with his growing power, feeling a little squeezed out. When Tommy guns blast through the room where the Capones are having a party — Al's life saved by an observant Van Alden — moments after Torrio leaves, it's a little suspicious, especially when Al expresses sincere relief at how lucky it is that Johnny just left.
Arnold Rothstein, to no one's surprise, pops by to visit Margaret, and arranges for her to give him a heads-up about her boss's financial wheelings and dealings. Margaret — struggling financially since she left Nucky, and his money, behind — agrees for a rent-free apartment for her and the children for five years.
And the episode ends with Nucky preparing for war. At his side is Eli, who seems resigned to Willie's involvement. "Isn't it what we do?" Willie asks his dad. Besides, Willie's still young. He can become a doctor later, right?
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. Hey, have they tried issuing a Narcisse-and-desist order? … Sorry. He'll show himself out. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
Eli assures Knox that Balanchuk is high up the ladder, Torrio’s second. Knox and Selby apparently don’t have any reason to know that Eli is feeding them a line of shit, and then Eli’s distracted when he sees a sailor sitting at the coffee shop counter. "My dad was a seadog," he explains to the agents. "See the world," says Selby, quoting an old recruitment slogan, and Knox says (and you’d really think he was sympathetic) that he bets that sounds good to Eli right about now. "I know this is difficult. But what you’re doing takes courage," he assures Eli, adding that he’s a good father. It’s just too bad that a quick glance at Selby and a slight pursing of the lips suggests it’s all he can do to keep from busting out laughing. The agents slide from the booth, leaving Eli alone to look miserable.
Down to Tampa, where a motorboat slowly makes its way up to the dock at Rumrunner Central under the cover of night with Sally Wheet and McCoy and a crew of men waiting. Then there is some background chatter of the show’s trademark on-the-nose kind (it's barely audible, so closed-captioning helps) while the men load up. But it’s not fast enough for Sally, who gets on McCoy’s back about how the trucks need to be on the road in a half-hour. He protests that he’s been at sea for three weeks, so he’s just catching up with those alligator-wrestling hillbillies who threatened him before (so I guess everything’s all copacetic?). Those dudes are passing a bottle back and forth and eying Sally appreciatively, and bothering her with their "looks like a woman" and "in the right light, I suppose" comments. Sally knocks the bottle out of Hillbilly Jim’s hand and expresses doubt that these "pole jockeys" would have any idea what a woman looks like, and tells them to get their asses back to work.
Now here’s Sally sneaking around the compound like Nancy Drew to a smaller building nearby. She discovers Petrucelli, Luciano and Lansky loading up some smaller crates with oranges and heroin, and talking about how Charles and Meyer should bring Joe down with them next time. Sally accidentally makes a noise and Lucky comes out to see who’s there (making me wonder why one of them isn’t keeping watch already) but she’s long gone.