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On the beach in southern New Jersey sits Atlantic City, a spectacular resort known as "The World's Playground" a place where rules don't apply. Massive hotels line its famous Boardwalk, along with nightclubs, amusement piers and entertainment to rival Broadway. For a few dollars, a working man can get away and live like a king, legally or illegally.
The undisputed ruler of Atlantic City is the town's Treasurer, Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, (Steve Buscemi) a political fixer and backroom dealer who is equal parts politician and gangster and equally comfortable in either role. Because of its strategic location on the seaboard, the town is a hub of activity for rum-runners, minutes from Philadelphia, hours from New York City and less than a day's drive from Chicago. And Nucky Thompson takes full advantage.
01 - Boardwalk Empire
Corrupt kingpin Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) carves out a brutal niche in Atlantic City as the country heads into Prohibition.
02 - The Ivory Tower
Nucky closes ranks after arousing the suspicion of straight-arrow Prohibition Agent Nelson Van Alden.
03 - Broadway Limited
Jimmy’s future is clouded by an unlikely witness to the woods massacre, Margaret takes on a new job snd Chalky’s team pays a big price for his success.
04 - Anastasia
Jimmy forges new relationships in Chicago, Chalky takes a finger from a lynching suspect and Margaret and Lucy clash.
05 - Nights in Ballygran
Nucky’s attempts to usher in a joyous St. Patrick’s Day are undermined by Eli, Margaret and Van Alden.
06 - Family Limitation
Nucky investigates a boardwalk theft, Jimmy scores points with Johnny Torrio in Chicago and Margaret stands up to Lucy.
07 - Home
Nucky purges some bad childhood memories, Jimmy forges a new alliance with a fellow veteran and Luciano and a friend cut a deal with the D’Alessio brothers.
08 - Hold Me in Paradise
With Nucky in Chicago for the Republican Convention, Eli fills in, certain he can do the job just as well. Only one man shows up: Ward Boss O'Neill, who needs a day off, but worries that there won't be anyone to sub in for him since Neary's arrest. Eli grants him leave and promises to make arrangements with the other men to handle his collections.
In Chicago, Nucky greases a hotel manager's palm to upgrade himself to the Presidential Suite and bump presumed-Republican candidate General Leonard Wood down to the Ambassador Suite. Senator Edge, in town looking for the vice presidential nomination in the upcoming 1920 election, meets up with Nucky and asks him to stop in at a party being hosted by Harry Daugherty, campaign manager for Warren Harding.
Margaret is enjoying tea in the Ritz lobby with Annabelle when Madame Jeunet approaches asking for help: Lucy insists on purchasing items on Nucky's credit. Arriving at their table, a drunk Lucy accuses Annabelle of being a false friend. Margaret tries to control Lucy, but ends up slapping her.
Gillian, aware that Angela has bills past due, suggests she consider some type of work, like sales or stenography. Angela is uninterested, and confides she's hoping that an art dealer in New York will represent her paintings. At the post office, Van Alden intercepts a letter from Jimmy to Angela stuffed with money. Van Alden scans its contents and drops it into a drawer filled with similar letters.
Rothstein meets with his lawyer again to practice his testimony about the World Series fix. "Not only was I not in on the deal, I furthermore did not bet one red cent on the Series..." he recites.
Nucky attends Daugherty's party and hears the campaign manager out about his candidate, Warren Harding. "The field has no first-raters and Harding's the best of the second-raters," Nucky agrees. Taking notice of a woman and her baby who are refused entrance to the party, Nucky chats with her later in the lobby and discovers she's Nan Britton, a "friend" of Harding's. When Nucky compliments Nan's baby, she asks if he has any of his own. He reveals he had a son who died.
Rose Van Alden weeps through breakfast with her husband; she's infertile. Rose tries to discuss a surgical solution, one that proved successful for a friend, but Van Alden refuses to hear it and is upset she is discussing private matters outside of their home. Van Alden points out that they can hardly afford the $275 procedure, but promises to consider it to get his wife to stop sobbing.
Eli joins the ward bosses for a screening of a porn film. The men arrange to cover O'Neill's beat - Eli will handle the pick-up at Lolly Steinman's casino.
Nucky sits down with Torrio at the Four Deuces. Torrio, who is full of praise for Jimmy, introduces Nucky to Judge Graves of Ohio who can tell him more about Harding's campaign manager Harry Daugherty. Graves acknowledges that Harding is just a puppet, but he approves of Daugherty, a man who knows how to take care of friends. Jimmy comes downstairs to toss a disrespectful john out, and spots Nucky. Noticing his new suit, Nucky suggests Jimmy consider sending money to his family rather than spend it all on himself. Jimmy is confused - he's been sending money home every week.
Eli arrives at the casino for the pickup and is shot in the stomach by one of the D'Alessio brothers, who have already held up the place. Nucky, who gets news of the heist while at dinner with Edge, phones Margaret and asks her to safeguard a ledger in his office at the Ritz. He instructs her to move her kids to the hotel as well until his return the next day.
Nucky waits for Jimmy at the Four Deuces. When he finally shows, Nucky asks Jimmy to come back to Atlantic City. "We're at war, kid," he says. Jimmy reminds Nucky that he was hardly hospitable during their meeting earlier and there's still the matter of Van Alden. Nucky counters with an offer of five percent of any liquor arriving by boat, 10 percent of what comes on wheels, and a promise to take care of Van Alden. Jimmy says he'll think it over but Nucky cautions Jimmy not to overestimate himself; the Italians who run Chicago will stop him from getting too far.
Margaret retrieves the ledger but resists the urge to open it. The phone rings while she's in Nucky's office, but there's no one on the other line. As he prepares to leave Chicago, Nucky notifies Daugherty that he'll swing New Jersey's votes for Harding - in exchange for blocking Senator Edge from the vice president spot. To further sweeten the deal, Nucky arranges to bring Nan to Atlantic City to keep her out of the way until the election. As his final order of business, Nucky confronts Edge with the information that he knows the Senator already promised the road money he wanted to Frank Hague. "The only chance you have of entering the White House is on a guided f***ing tour," he informs him.
Jimmy calls Gillian and gets a report from her about Luciano. Meeting up with Torrio's crew later, he is unable to join the Italians as they laugh it up playing cards in their native tongue.
Van Alden receives a letter from Rose with a pamphlet about the surgery she is interested in. Reaching in the drawer full of Jimmy's letters to Angela, he starts piling up the cash. Rose begins to cry when she gets his reply: Van Alden has refused the surgery and advises her to "trust in God's plan." In Atlantic City, Angela is surprised to receive an envelope stuffed with money.
Nucky returns to Chicago by train, accompanied by Nan Britton and her baby. En route, Nan reads a poem that Harding wrote her, "I love your poise of perfect thighs. When they hold me in paradise." While still on the train, Nucky gets word that Harding has won the nomination.
Nucky visits his brother and lets him know he asked Jimmy to come back too. "It's a new world," concedes Eli. At the Ritz, Margaret opens Nucky's ledger and begins reading.
09 - Belle Femme
Recuperating at home, Eli scans the mug shots of the D'Alessio brothers that Halloran has brought him and Ward Boss O'Neill to look at. In private with his brother, Nucky also expresses concern about what's being reported in the papers -- they're alleging corruption in the sheriff's office -- bad news during the election season.
Nan Britton tells Margaret that she fell in love with Warren Harding at first sight. "But America needs him and so I have to sacrifice," Nan says wistfully. When the two stop in at the Belle Femme dress shop, Madame Jeunet appeals to Margaret to approach Nucky on her behalf, since she can't afford the increase in payoff money that Nucky is demanding. Although Margaret protests that she can't intervene, Jeunet reminds her, "You have power you do not suspect."
Not having received Jimmy's telegram with his arrival information, Nucky is surprised by his appearance in his office. Before officially accepting Nucky's offer, Jimmy gives two more conditions: his conversations with Nucky remain private, and Harrow joins him. Nucky agrees and instructs Jimmy to take care of the D'Alessios. Jimmy presses Nucky to state his murderous intentions out loud, but Nucky avoids the actual words. "Politician to the last, eh?" notes Jimmy.
Rothstein, Lucky and Lansky welcome Mickey Doyle and two of the D'Alessio brothers to New York. Rothstein proposes they import the best liquor from Europe and charge a premium price, but because the alcohol will come in through the port of Atlantic City, Nucky will need to go. To complete the deal, Rothstein has Doyle and the D'Alessios sign large life insurance policies he's taken out on them to assure they won't chisel him.
Margaret puts her kids to bed and broaches the topic of Madame Jeunet's financial woes with Nucky, trying to reason with him. Nucky resists her arguments and tells her the topic is unsuitable for discussion before leaving in a huff.
Robert Dittrich assesses Angela's paintings and compares her work to Mary Cassatt, raising Angela's hopes that his art dealer friend will give her a professional evaluation. When Mary opens a bottle of wine, she exchanges a kiss with Angela, and then Robert tries to draw Angela in, explaining, "Everyone in Paris is doing it." The moment is interrupted by Jimmy's sudden return; Mary and Robert leave. Angela is surprised to find Jimmy back - she never received a telegram either. Although she tries to resist, Angela eventually succumbs to Jimmy's sexual advances.
Van Alden receives a call from Western Union - Eddie inquired about the missing telegram, but Jimmy's cables were all passed on to Agent Sebso. Confronting his deputy, Van Alden questions his loyalty and competence. Sebso explains he was trying to protect their careers: the Supervisor already thinks they're obsessed with the Schroeder murder.
At breakfast with his family, Jimmy catches Angela off guard by asking for another baby. When he gets a call from his mother, he heads over to see her. Lucky Luciano luxuriates in bed while Gillian goes to fix coffee, but he's stunned when it's delivered by Jimmy. Lucky, led off by Jimmy at gun point, tries to bargain: He'll call off the D'Alessios and cut Nucky in on the deal with Rothstein. Van Alden traps Jimmy in the hallway and arrests him, cutting Lucky loose.
With Mayor Bacharach unhappy about the opposition's campaigning, Nucky instructs Halloran to fine shops that are displaying posters for Fletcher. Halloran convinces Nucky to appoint him acting sheriff, and drops hints that he's ready to take the spot permanently now that Eli's reputation has been tarnished.
Van Alden interrogates Jimmy about his whereabouts during the heist - but seems more interested in Margaret's relationship with Nucky. Jimmy insists that he was at the movies, and knows nothing about Hans Schroeder's death. His confidence flags when Sebso leads him to a cell and he encounters Billy Winslow.
In bed with Margaret, Nucky discusses the upcoming election. He praises the way she held her own against Edge at his birthday party and asks her to help the Republicans get the women's vote. Margaret seizes her chance and brings up Madame Jeunet again, this time passing off her concern as vanity: "She knows how to make me look pretty." Nucky acquiesces.
Nucky visits Jimmy in jail and gives Sebso a friendly pat on the shoulder. Jimmy reveals that the D'Alessios are backed by Rothstein and Lucky, and gets bad news from Nucky in return -- there is no bail for five counts of murder. Desperate, Jimmy suggests turning to his father, an idea that surprises Nucky. He tells Jimmy that the legal system is not his ticket to freedom.
Van Alden impresses Supervisor Elliot with news of Darmody's arrest. Sebso apologises again for the telegram mix-up and advises Van Alden to move Winslow to Manhattan to keep him safe from Nucky.
Nucky calls on the Commodore, who is still ailing. The Commodore is full of complaints: his health, his sick dog, the six years he spent in jail instead of Nucky. When Nucky informs him that Bacharach is a weak candidate, the Commodore advises Nucky to replace him - and Eli too - to give people the change they want.
10 - The Emerald City
Richard Harrow dreams of walking on the beach with Odette, the whore from the Four Deuces -- but wakes up in the Schroeder home to find a horrified Emily screaming at his unmasked face, rattling a household already on edge. Margaret tries to soothe her frightened daughter.
Sebso recounts the series of events that led to Billy Winslow's death: Sebso uncuffed him so that Winslow could urinate. Supervisor Elliot is sympathetic and exonerates Sebso. He directs his wrath at Van Alden for botching the case and gives him a final warning.
Jimmy surprises Angela by expressing an appreciation for her art: "Two weeks in the trenches and you forget there's anything beautiful in the civilised world." He helps her mix some paints and the two share an intimate moment.
Margaret and Nucky discuss the possibility of the 19th Amendment being ratified by Tennessee, granting women the right to vote. Margaret also broaches the subject of Harrow: He scares the children. Nucky insists that Harrow is necessary to provide protection and rejects Margaret's suggestion that she and the children go away for a while.
Rothstein meets with the D'Alessio brothers and Doyle and berates them for bungling Nucky's assassination. When the brothers ask how they can make it up to him, Rothstein tells them that "Nothing says I'm sorry like money."
In Chicago, Torrio sits down with Jake Guzik about expanding into new territory. Capone, who has already tried Torrio's patience, offers his boss a novelty cigarette that explodes in his face. Furious, Torrio chews Capone out for his immaturity, then makes plans to reconvene with Guzik at his son's bar mitzvah.
Nucky tells Jimmy to instruct Harrow to keep his mask on in the house so as not to scare the children. The two are caught off guard by a visit from Mickey Doyle who apologises to Nucky and explains his connection to the D'Alessios - and that he had no knowledge of the attempted shooting. Crossing sides, Doyle reveals that the brothers were behind the lynching of Chalky's driver, the assault on O'Neill and the casino heist. Furthermore, it was Lansky who approached Chalky. Nucky decides that Chalky should lure Lansky in, just as Eddie interrupts with news that the amendment was ratified.
Harrow comes upon Margaret reading 'The Wizard of Oz' to her children. He turns to leave but she invites him to stay, and he listens as she reads a passage and shows an illustration of the Tin Woodsman. "That's me," he notes, tapping his mask, instantly winning over the children.
Margaret indulges in champagne with Nucky to celebrate women winning the right to vote. Nucky pitches the Republican ticket to her and asks her to speak on behalf of Bader for mayor at the League of Women's Voter meeting. Unsure, Margaret grills Nucky about Bader's qualifications, and is not entirely satisfied with his answer that though Bader is seemingly unqualified, Nucky will be the guiding hand of government.
Tommy Darmody runs ahead to the Dittrich Photo Studio while walking on the Boardwalk with his parents. Spotting a photo of the Dittrichs, he points and says it's "Mommy's kissing friend." Jimmy tears into the studio and beats up Robert Dittrich, first inside, and then outside of the building while everyone looks on in horror.
Van Alden pays a visit to Margaret and takes notice of her improved surroundings. He shows her a photo of her 16-year-old self and describes her as a girl filled with hope and yearning, then criticises her for consorting with Nucky, the man responsible for Hans' death. "I see into your soul, Margaret. At night when I look at this picture," he explains. Startled, Margaret orders him to leave and to surrender the photo. Van Alden leaves - with her picture - and warns her of the fires of hell that await.
In attendance at the Guzik boy's bar mitzvah, Capone strikes up a conversation with a fellow attendee who explains the Jewish philosophy of transitioning into manhood. The man points out that Capone should switch to a yarmulke rather than "the cap of a boy".
Nucky briefs Chalky on their plan for Lansky and the D'Alessio's, telling Chalky to feign acceptance of whatever deal they present.
Margaret has trouble calming herself at the League of Women's Voter lunch she is attending with Nucky. Assuming it's just pre-speech nerves, Nucky tries to inspire confidence: "After a while, you could get up there and sell snake oil." Margaret sings Bader's praises, but feels uncomfortable afterwards.
Capone, wearing a fedora instead of his usual cap, goes to the Four Deuces to apologise to Torrio. He asks to work at the brewery and offers to help fix the distribution side of things: Inspired by the bar mitzvah, he tells Torrio "I'm ready to be responsible for my actions."
Chalky meets with Lansky as well as Lucien and Matteo D'Alessio, full of complaints about Nucky's business practices. Lansky tells Chalky he'll need 500 cases a month of the real stuff, while Matteo wagers Chalky will be able to keep himself in new Packards with the money he'll make. Realising they were responsible for the lynching of his driver, Chalky draws his guns and asks, "How you know I drive a Packard?"
Angela apologises to Mary for Jimmy's brutal beating of Robert. Mary plants the idea of the two of them running off to Paris with Tommy, and leaving their men behind.
Home from the League meeting, Margaret sits with Harrow and expresses regret for her initial unfriendliness toward him. Harrow admits he has trouble with his face too - he looks in the mirror and can't remember who he was before.
Van Alden goes to a speakeasy and orders a drink. Noticing Lucy, he goes over to her table and joins her. The two end up at Van Alden's and they have sex.
Nucky and Jimmy arrive at Chalky's to find Lansky and the two D'Alessio brothers tied up. Lansky tries to negotiate, but Jimmy is offended by Lucien and shoots him dead. Matteo's defiant mention of Chalky's driver only spurs Chalky to strangle him. Nucky lets Lansky go, instructing him to tell Rothstein what he just witnessed.
Nucky returns home late and explains to Margaret he was working on election strategy. Getting up, she stares at her own reflection.
11 - Paris Green
At home with Angela, Jimmy remarks on how distracted she is. When the phone rings, Jimmy asks the caller: "What am I supposed to do about it?" He tells Angela it was Gillian: His father is dying.
Eating noodles at a chop suey house, Agent Van Alden quizzes Sebso about Billy Winslow's death, clearly unsatisfied with the answers he's getting.
Hardeen continues to entertain the ward bosses and their wives in Nucky's suite. When he transports Margaret's peridot bracelet onto Annabelle's arm, the magician explains that duplicity is most successful when people want to be deceived. Harry announces to all that he has been ruined by Charles Ponzi, causing Annabelle to storm out.
The Commodore lays in bed beside his deceased dog. Visiting his dying father at his mother's behest, Jimmy has a bite of a biscuit. The meeting is tense: Jimmy is annoyed with the amount of grief his father is expressing for the dead dog and criticizes him for pursuing Gillian when he was 54 and she was just 13. When Jimmy accuses the Commodore of not knowing him at all, his father counters: "I know you backwards and forwards. You want everything you can lay your hands on." He gives Jimmy a lesson in Atlantic City history and then states that the wrong man is running the city. Jimmy excuses himself and vomits in the bathroom.
Rothstein checks in with his attorney Bill Fallon about the White Sox scandal. Fallon suggests that Rothstein face things head on and testify before the grand jury in Chicago -- but consider first who he can call in for a favor.
Angela and Mary make plans to sail to Paris with Tommy. Robert hops in on his crutches, still recovering from Jimmy's thrashing. After Angela leaves, he asks Mary what they were conspiring about.
Sebso calls Nucky from the lobby of the Ritz to share his concerns about Van Alden's unwavering suspicion. To help, Nucky gives him a tip about an illegal distillery outside of town.
Annabelle goes to Nucky for money -- Harry has run off with the $3600 she had saved.
Aware of how Annabelle accumulated her stash, Nucky is less than sympathetic and offers her $300. The two share a memory of earlier times together and Margaret walks in to hear Annabelle's proposition. She brusquely informs Nucky she already gave Annabelle $50, and that the League of Women Voters has endorsed Bader.
Jimmy reports back to his mother about his visit to the Commodore, expressing surprise at their apparent friendship. She explains they got back in touch when Jimmy enlisted. Jimmy brings up the age difference between his parents and that she had to raise him alone. Gillian assures him Nucky looked after them as it was Nucky who procured her for the Commodore. Jimmy dismisses Nucky as a pimp, but Gillian has fonder memories of Nucky as a young man, married and ambitious.
Van Alden and Sebso drive through the woods looking for the distillery and stumble upon congregants witnessing a baptism. Exchanging greetings with the deacon in charge, Van Alden is impressed by his religious conviction. Turning his attention to Sebso, Van Alden tells his deputy that as a Jew, he is doomed to damnation. The two leave as the baptisms begin.
Gillian is joined by the doctor at the Commodore's. Inquiring as to his condition and symptoms, the doctor asks to run some tests. Jimmy surprises Gillian with his arrival and offers to spend the night so she can get some rest.
Still smarting from the day's events, Margaret is unhappy about attending a Daughters of the American Revolution dinner with Nucky. Nucky suggests she stay behind, but Margaret retorts, "I'll do what's required of me." As they argue, Margaret remarks that she's sick of their whole "arrangement"; Nucky goes to the bathroom and reveals that he knows she's been using Lysol to prevent pregnancy. As the fight escalates, Margaret tells Nucky she knows he made her a widow. Nucky smashes the Lysol, "You won't be needing that anymore," and storms out.
Harrow checks in with Jimmy at the Commodore's house. He updates him about the D'Alessio clan, and offers to murder their extended family to draw them out. Harrow leaves so Jimmy can talk to the doctor -- who brings news that the Commodore is being poisoned with arsenic.
Angela packs up her things and tries to convince Tommy the trip will be fun, even if Jimmy and Gillian aren't coming. She leaves a letter on the bed for Jimmy.
Nucky confers with Eli about his fight with Margaret. Nucky admits that he didn't deny Margaret's accusation about Hansâ€™ murder, setting off Eli. Eli argues that Margaret is now a liability, and that like everyone else in town, "the Irish chippy" only cares about what Nucky can give her. Enraged, Nucky mentions Hardeen to Eli â€“ if he weren't Houdini's brother, "nobody would give a f**k."
Jimmy visits his mother and quizzes her about the Commodore -- how much money he has and who would inherit. Jimmy explains that eating the biscuit the other day made him sick â€¦ and then pulls out a can of arsenic which he found in the house.
When Nucky meets with his ward bosses, his mood is still sour. He criticizes one for a mistake, "lack of attention to details is what's killing us." He then surprises everyone, including Halloran, by letting them know that Eli has resigned and Halloran will run for sheriff on Election Day.
Harrow calls Nucky with news: Margaret and her family have left the apartment. Nucky arrives to find the space empty, and Margaret has left her bracelet behind.
Angela and Tommy arrive at the Dittrichs' to find it already vacated. The landlord, who has been stiffed his rent, has no information about their whereabouts, but remembers Mary always spoke of Paris.
Sebso tells Van Alden he has requested a transfer to the Detroit office and tries to bury the hatchet with him. Van Alden remains unconvinced, insisting "temptation knows no rank," and remarks on Sebso's expensive new shoes. Sebso promises to do whatever it takes to convince Van Alden of his integrity. The two return back to the baptisms by the river, and Van Alden offers him up to the deacon. Alarmed, Sebso initially refuses to go into the water but finally does so. Van Alden dunks Sebso repeatedly, ultimately drowning him. Brandishing his gun and badge, he leaves the body behind with the stunned congregation.
Angela returns to her apartment with Tommy. Her letter is gone, but Jimmy is there. Jimmy embraces Tommy but says nothing to Angela.
Nucky walks the boardwalk and enters the palm reader's storefront.
12 - A Return to Normalcy
Agent Van Alden addresses a room full of prohibition agents and warns them that whoever replaces him in Atlantic City will be "bribed, coerced and tempted on a daily basis." When one agent jokes that they should bring on the dancing girls, Van Alden slaps him, claiming that Sebso died in the line of duty (from a heart attack); the humor is inappropriate. Van Alden refuses Supervisor Elliot's suggestion he reconsider his resignation.
With Fletcher leading the race for mayor and accusations of corruption filling the papers, Nucky meets with his ward bosses to strategize about the upcoming elections. The men assure him they will get the women, men and even the dead out voting. Chalky informs Nucky that Fletcher approached him to rally the black votes, but he'll stick with Nucky in exchange for a new car, $10,000 and an invitation to the victory party.
Margaret entertains her kids and Nan Britton at Nan's cottage. Nan reminds her that once Harding wins the election, she'll be off to D.C. and asks Margaret what her own plans will be. Margaret, in the middle of baking a barmbrack cake with a ring, a coin and a rag inside, says she'll let the brack decide. Each object symbolizes the future: a wedding, wealth or poverty.
Sheriff Halloran and the doctor confront Louanne with the evidence of the Commodore's poisoning while Nucky, Jimmy, Gillian and the Commodore look on. Louanne initially attributes the toxin to an accidental mix-up and then admits, "If I used a shotgun, I'da had to clean the mess up myself." Nucky intervenes before she can be arrested - sympathetic, he hands her a wad of bills and instructs her to leave Atlantic City and change her name. Louanne gives Nucky her Bible in thanks and leaves, while the Commodore rages at Nucky for his gesture.
Rothstein packs up for Chicago and tells Lansky and Lucky that he has booked passage for Scotland should he be indicted. Lucky and Lansky urge him to reach out to Torrio for a connection to Nucky, the only man with enough political clout to help Rothstein dodge an indictment.
Angela lets Jimmy know that Tommy is afraid of him not for the beating on the Boardwalk â€“ but because he's heard Jimmy scream out at night when he's having nightmares. "I'm afraid you're going to hurt us," she admits. Moved, Jimmy quits giving her the cold shoulder and admits that the war changed him, and he used to dream of the feel of her hair against his face while he was in the trenches. When he asks Angela if she was in love with Mary, she replies, "I was lonely." The two agree to try and make a fresh start.
Margaret and the children walk through a church graveyard with Nan and the baby for an All Hallows Eve service. Spotting a headstone for Enoch Thompson Jr. and Mabel Thompson, Margaret stops short.
Torrio arranges a meeting with Nucky but won't reveal any details about the business he wants to discuss. Dressing for a Halloween dinner party, Nucky puts on a mask just as Margaret walks in. Margaret describes him as a dapper villain; Nucky counters that her disguises include devoted wife and crusading suffragette. She brings up his lost baby and tells him she's not there to play games, but rather to learn who Enoch Thompson really is. Nucky lets it all out: His son was born seven years ago when he was just elected treasurer. Busy with work and terrified by the fragile newborn, he neglected his wife and child. Returning home one night, he realized the baby was dead, but his wife was caring for him all the same. His wife committed suicide weeks after the burial. Touched by the story, Margaret asks how is it then that Nucky does what he does. "We all have to decide for ourselves how much sin we can live with," he replies.
Van Alden tells Rose he feels unfulfilled at work and has resigned his position. They will be moving to Schenectady where he will work with his uncle in his feed business. When Rose protests, he declares it will take a sign from God to change his mind.
Angela receives a postcard from Paris: "Forgive me, but don't forget me."
Nucky feels ambushed by Torrio when he realizes his meeting is with Rothstein. Torrio advises Nucky to let go of the past and hear Rothstein out. Despite Jimmy's misgivings, Nucky agrees to have the White Sox indictment quashed in exchange for a million dollars in cash and the location of the remaining D'Alessio brothers. Nucky instructs Eddie to call an emergency press conference.
With all the media gathered, Nucky announces that the men behind the massacre in the woods have been identified - Hans Schroeder, abetted by the D'Alessios. As Nucky speaks, Harrow, Jimmy and Capone track down and kill the remaining brothers.
The following morning, Election Day, Nucky strolls the Boardwalk, and is hailed as a hero by all. He exchanges a look with Margaret, who is on line with Nan, but the two say nothing to each other.
Jimmy returns home to find that Angela has cut her hair short.
Nucky and his men celebrate the returns that night. Eddie whispers to Nucky that Rothstein has escaped indictment. Although Eli is still smarting about being passed over, Nucky assures his brother that blood is thicker than water. "Why'd it have to be my blood?" retorts Eli.
When news of Bader's win is announced, the new mayor replaces Halloran with Eli as sheriff, to the surprise of both men. Drunk, Jimmy mouths off to Nucky, "You'll use anybody. Man, woman, 13-year-old girl." Jimmy tells Nucky he knows now that it was just guilt that propelled Nucky to look out for him, not love. "Stop acting like you give a sh*t," advises Jimmy.
Margaret, Nan and the children enjoy the barmbrack cake. Nan is overjoyed to find the ring in her slice, and does not answer Margaret when she questions whether Harding will really send for her. Margaret finds the rag in her slice, and dismisses its meaning to her children as a silly superstition.
Van Alden packs up his office only to be surprised by Lucy. She announces that he made her pregnant.
Jimmy meets with the Commodore and finds his mother fussing over him. The Commodore rails on about Nucky: He not only let Louanne go, he's the reason he went to prison. The two were caught election-rigging, but only one would take a fall, in an arrangement made with Woodrow Wilson. The Commodore spent five years in jail, only to find Nucky in control of the city when he returned. Jimmy and the Commodore agree that Nucky is a master of manipulation: He makes you think you've got a good deal so you'll do his bidding. The Commodore enlists Jimmy to help him -- and Eli -- take back the city.
At Babette's, Nucky spots Annabelle with her newest sugar daddy -- Baxter, the cutlery salesman. Nucky also sees Margaret and the two end up toasting with champagne. Margaret tells him that the children miss their "Uncle Nucky." The news comes over the radio that Harding has won the election and has called for healing and a "return to normalcy." As Eddie Cantor sings, Chalky sits with his date at the bar.
Jimmy, Eli and the Commodore plan their next moves as Gillian watches over them. Nucky's men count Rothstein's delivery of cash. Later that evening, Jimmy walks along the beach while Nucky and Margaret stroll the Boardwalk.