Well holy shitballs, Batman. I did not see that coming. I was thinking another shoot out, maybe. Not that. Never that.
The lead up:
Van Alden is running a still for O’Banion, to pay him back for helping to dispose of that probie’s dead body.
Jimmy 2.0’s heroin OD ruled an “accidental drowning”. Right. Nucky, Eli (who’s back in favor) and Owen horrifically confused to hear that Jimmy’s dead. Again. Nucky calls by the Artemis Club to ‘pay his respects’. Gillian throws a drink in his face.
Nucky makes a trip down to New York to meet with Esther Randolph and Means. Means gives them a line on Andrew Mellon, the Treasury Secretary, who’s notoriously anti-prohibition – and who also has a colossal stake in a distillery. Nucky’s got an in.
In women’s health class, Margaret gets an uncomfortable (for her) request. Mrs Shearer, that woman whose miscarriage prompted all this, asks Margaret to hook her up with a diaphragm. She can’t ask the doctor herself because, she says, they don’t listen to women like her.
Over in Chicago, Johnny Torrio’s back from Italy. Al tells him about the bar fight. Al is worried after telling him because Torrio seems different now – is treating Al differently. He worries that what he did to O’Banion’s man has destroyed things between him and Torrio.
Nucky’s buying Emily a pony for her birthday. Owen and Margaret go shopping for one together. Can’t resist the sexual tension. When Margaret goes to Dr Mason for Mrs Shearer’s diaphragm, she asks for two.
In New York, Nucky offers to run Mellon’s distillery for him, at a profit, if Mellon arrests Remus.
Van Alden snaps in work. Can’t stand the mocking laughter anymore. Goes insane. Attacks one of his co-workers with a hot iron. Trashes the place. Is all set to leave town when his wife shows him what she did with the day – 14 bottles of whiskey (over half way toward what O’Banion asked them to produce in a week) and some aquavit for them to sell themselves in the Norwegian neighborhood. She’s a regular little bootlegger!
Gyp is back in AC and visiting Gillian at the Artemis Club. She wants Nucky dead, so tells Gyp that she knows where Nucky and Rothstein will be that evening.
Mellon calls Nucky and the plan is in motion – Remus is to be arrested within the week.
Nucky and Billie spend the episode fighting but, by the end, have made up. Just in time for tragedy to strike. She tags along on his dinner with Rothstein. Which is why I was expecting a shooting. I’m all, ‘oh yeah, typical. She’s all happy and junk, so she’s obviously gonna be the only one that actually dies from this’. And I was right, but only to a point. Because there was no shooting. There was a bomb. Rosetti blew Babette’s sky high. Nucky and Rothstein had been delayed outside by an annoying fat man, but Nucky had sent Billie ahead. Just as she stood in the doorway, *ka-boom*. Bye bye, Billie.
If I know Nucky, and I do know Nucky, this means war. – K
Quoteworthy: “Unlike steam irons, aquavit sells itself.” – Van Alden
PS With her husband and her new lover wrapped up in a war over booze and drugs, how will Margaret cope?