Nucky and Eddie Cantor are having lunch in a private dining room at Babbette's (hey Babbette! Good to see your top-hat-and-tails attire is an all-day thing!). Nucky hands Eddie a gift: a bottle of Passover vodka, which Eddie eagerly accepts. It's interesting -- Nucky is obviously working Eddie here, but through the years it strikes me that Eddie is the one genuine friend Nucky has. He's the one guy whose relationship with Nucky isn't somehow connected to business, so the affection Nucky clearly has for him is different than anything we see with the other people in his life. You can see it even here, even as Nucky is preparing to taint his one un-sullied relationship with a power play. Talk turns to The Naughty Virgin (which, also, how did THAT not end up as the episode title?), and after Eddie makes a tasteless joke about livening up the show with some blackface (file THAT one away for later), Nucky declares that what the show needs is a star like Eddie, and when Eddie chuckles at the compliment, Nucky is like, "It's settled, then! You're going to star." Eddie says he's got a show starting next week, contacts signed, theater booked, "and besides, it's a great show." Nucky says he'll make it worth Eddie's while and he will "straighten things out" as far as contractual obligations go. Eddie finally gives a firm no, and tells Nucky he'd rather not be strong-armed this way. Nucky backs down, but he's visibly disappointed. Eddie assures him that Billie will be just fine and Nucky remarks that show business is a tough racket. "You know what they say," Eddie says. "Dying is easy." QUITE FORESHADOWING, DUDE! Nucky extends his hand and wishes Eddie good luck, saying he'll be fifth row center on opening night. Eddie's relieved that Nucky isn't angry, even though anyone with half a brain expects Nucky to pick up that bottle of kosher vodka and start swinging. He doesn't. Yet.
In New York City, Lansky is unpacking boxes of Buddha statues from The Orient and breaking them open to retrieve the heroin packets therein. I have to say, no judgments about doing the actual drug, but opiates in the early 20th century were so glamorous! Clandestine Asian shipping routes and dimly lit back rooms -- what a life! Anyway, while Lansky desecrates icons, Benny (Bugsy) is filing the serial number off of a gun. Lansky chides him for sloppy work, because of course Benny doesn't have the patience to finish the last two numbers. Lansky sends him back to finish, then sighs about today's slacker youth. (The Greatest Generation!)