Dock workers at the bustling Port of Hoboken are unloading crates of Feeney's Irish Oats, but the jovial jazz music in the background -- and the fact that Owen Slater is overseeing the work -- gives the distinct impression that Nucky Thompson is back in business. The Irish Oats crates are delivered to bars around the city, and the contents are revealed: real Irish whiskey has arrived in Atlantic City.
Black workers are striking on the boardwalk while Slater carries a crate through the crowd and gets a nod from Dunn Purnsley (Erik LaRay Harvey
), who signals the men to let Slater through the doors at the Ritz. In an empty, dark kitchen, Slater shows the manager the goods inside the Irish Oats crate. He offers it for $30 a case -- "less than half the going rate," Slater says. The manager wonders who'll serve it and Slater assures him "they'll be back," noting that while he's no labor relations expert, he knows "what an empty stomach feels like." The manager asks for 400 cases.
Van Alden briefly chats up the live-in nanny, but is upset when he sees a letter from his wife that the nanny, Sigrid, hadn't shown it to him. He opens it and finds a petition for divorce with a note from Rose that reads, "Please attend to this as soon as your activities allow."
Margaret, Nucky and Teddy stop in at the hospital and learn that Emily has had a "bit of a rough patch." Dr. Holt tells Margaret about Emily's condition and it isn't looking good, but he says he's seen children with worse symptoms bounce back. He says he'll have more information after some test results come back on Friday. Margaret heads into Emily's room, but first stops to look at a young boy learning to walk with braces. Margaret and Nucky tend to Emily while Teddy looks on.
Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks
) is running things again, with crates of booze marked "Spiritus Frumenti
: Medicinal Alcohol -- Property of the U.S. Government" in a new warehouse. He has workers watering down the stuff that was provided by George Remus and his deal with Jimmy, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone. Mickey says they're halfway done and everyone wants it done faster. Rothstein and Torrio are getting suspicious. Mickey Doyle asks Jimmy about Manny Horvitz, and Jimmy tells Mickey to pay Manny. Then he adds that Manny is Waxey Gordon's problem now, not his.
Off in a corner, Lucky and Meyer show Jimmy and Al some heroin and talk about how much easier it is to handle than booze. Lucky says you can fit a million bucks' worth in a briefcase. Jimmy asks who buys it, and Meyer says the numbers are small but they're "enthusiastic." Lucky slips Jimmy a bit and tells him to get it out to the locals. Jimmy says fine, but tells Lucky to get the booze out to the locals first.
Nucky's lawyer Isaac Ginsberg (Peter Van Wagner
) tells Nucky that Esther Randolph is "relentless" and he's not thrilled with how the case is going. Nucky asks Icky if there's anything he can do to get the case back on his turf where he "can work the judge and jury." Icky suggests medical hardship (Nucky's wounded hand), which Nucky thinks is ridiculous, then Icky tells Nucky he'll get a light sentence. Nucky fires Icky. After Icky leaves the room, Nucky sees in the paper that the Block Sox trial is about to start and he gets his thinking face on.
At the Commodore's mansion, the old, powerful guys are upset that the black workers are cramping the tourist season, and the Commodore is getting worked up and struggling to speak. Jimmy assures him he'll handle it. Jimmy suggests they negotiate and offer a nickel raise across the board. The businessmen protest, and one of them tells Jimmy to handle it because that's what they're paying him for. When most of the men leave, Eli suggests "50 guys with billy clubs." Jimmy doesn't want to start a riot. Ward Boss Neary tells Eli about how Deputy Halloran has been talking to Esther Randolph. When Leander Whitlock tells Jimmy that his predecessor knew how to keep the black workers happy, Jimmy stands up and reminds him he's not Nucky. He wants to end it peacefully, and that's when the Commodore finds his voice. He quite colorfully tells Jimmy that he might as well "lift up (his) dress" and let himself get, well, taken advantage of. Eli thinks but says nothing.
Teddy is saying his nightly prayers and when Margaret suggests a special prayer for Emily, he dutifully adds, "And please make my sister Emily get better." Margaret kisses Teddy goodnight and he says he can't move his legs. She panics and he starts to giggle. He's not laughing for long, though. Margaret slaps him hard across the face, leaving Teddy crying. She tells Nucky that Teddy has "his father's cruelty." Nucky says he's going to New York to find a new lawyer, and he'll take Teddy along for the trip.
On the boardwalk, 50 men with billy clubs show up and a massive brawl ensues. A couple of the deputies on patrol (who are doing nothing in response) run away and Halloran (Adam Mucci
) is knocked the ground and beaten, intentionally.
In New York, Nucky is accompanied by Arnold Rothstein for a meeting with lawyer Bill Fallon (David Aaron Baker
), who gives Teddy a baseball signed by Ty Cobb that was sitting on his desk. When Nucky asks Teddy, "What do you say?" Teddy responds, "Ty Cobb is a bad man." Nucky says Ty Cobb "doesn't like to be crossed, that's for sure," then adds that if your team is down, you want Ty on it. Teddy leaves the room and the lawyer, Mr. Fallon, pulls another Ty Cobb autographed ball out from a drawer that has others in it, and puts it on his desk to replace the one he gave Teddy.
Fallon questions Nucky's original choice in lawyers, and says he probably can't get the trial moved to Atlantic City. But he says he's "quite effective with juries" at a cost of $80 per hour, which also buys his "uncanny ability to make friends with judges." Nucky asks Rothstein what he'd do. After a long pause, Rothstein replies, "No one likes a long shot more than a gambler."
Halloran is in bad shape -- severely beaten, with his jaw wired shut. Eli asks what happened and Halloran says two of them came up behind him. He says he was standing up by the railings. Halloran tells Eli his attackers weren't black, they were "normal, white men." Eli feigns surprise and when Halloran says he can hardly talk, Eli responds with, "Well, it ain't like you got anything else you want to say, is there?" Halloran's confused. Eli continues, saying that when things go wrong he wonders to himself what he may have done to deserve it. Eli steps closer to Halloran and says it's a good time to reflect on what he should make sure he never does again. Eli leaves and Halloran leans over to the phone to call Esther Randolph.
Margaret is praying alone in church when Father Brennan (Michael Cumpsty
) walks up and joins her. She tells him about Emily's polio. He says "God is with her," and Margaret wonders if he's with her "like he was when he let it happen." He brings up her recent confession about temptation and asks if that's "still a burden." She doesn't want to talk about that. He tells her she asks of God but gives nothing in return. When she says she gives her devotion in return, he says devotion "is an act -- it's something you demonstrate." She asks how, and he says that's for her to decide, then he leaves.
Chalky meets with Jimmy in a small church and Chalky asks "How Nucky's shoes be fittin' these days?" Jimmy admits they're "a little tighter than I expected." Chalky says they just "need some breaking in." Jimmy tells Chalky the strike needs to end. Dunn Purnsley, standing behind Chalky, who's facing Jimmy, says that the team of men Jimmy sent swinging baseball bats "struck out." Jimmy says that wasn't his idea. Chalky mentions the Klan shooting, and Jimmy says that wasn't his idea, either. Then Jimmy says he can make Chalky's murder charge go away. Chalky says he also wants justice -- $3,000 apiece for the families of the men who were killed. Jimmy agrees. He also wants the three men who did the shooting delivered to him personally. Jimmy says that's "not going to happen." Chalky stands up and says "that's the deal -- there'll always be next tourist season, right?" He walks out.
Teddy says goodnight to Margaret over the phone and tells her about his baseball signed by Ty Cobb. Nucky explains to her that Cobb is a very famous baseball player. He hangs up the phone and the tells Teddy about how his sister was sick when Nucky was young, and that he and his brother were jealous of the attention she got, but they knew their mother loved them just the same. Teddy asks about Nucky's dad, and after a brief pause, Nucky says, "Sure, of course. He loved us, too." Teddy asks Nucky if he's "in trouble." Nucky says he is "a little." He says some people said he did something wrong, "but it's not true." Teddy asks if he's in trouble for burning his father's house down. Teddy says he saw it. Nucky says that was an accident and Teddy responds, "Don't worry, dad. I won't tell."
Jimmy, Lucky, Meyer, Mickey and Al are in a panic because the whole city is flush with booze -- good, real Irish whiskey and it's cheaper than what they're offering. Jimmy is sure it's Nucky, and Al says that's why you cut a snake's head clean off. Jimmy shoots back, asking who screwed that
up. They all start yelling at each other and get more and more frustrated with Jimmy, who keeps promising he'll handle it. Meyer reminds them the booze needs to be sold and proposes they split up and sell it in their respective towns. Jimmy says Atlantic City is his town and when Lucky suggests Philly, Mickey tells Jimmy he shouldn't go there, "on account of Manny Horvitz." Jimmy tells Mickey to go to Philly and he'll head north. He kicks down a crate in frustration and walks out.
Van Alden is at the post office working on his testimony with Esther Randolph and her aides. When she brings up the murder of Hans Schroeder, Van Alden says he was just working on a theory but he was told to focus on alcohol. Off the record, she asks whether Van Alden thinks Nucky ordered Schroeder's death and Van Alden says he has no doubt about it. They break for lunch and Van Alden leaves. Once he's gone, Lathrope asks Randolph if she thinks they've "got enough" and she responds, "Let's bring him in."
Mickey Doyle drops in on Manny Horvitz at his home. Manny's injured shoulder is still healing and Mickey tries to assure Manny that Jimmy had nothing to do with the attempted hit. "That was Waxey all the way," Mickey says. Asked what he's brought, Mickey pulls out a bottle of booze and says he'll give him $5,000 worth to settle Jimmy's debt. Manny samples the bottle, then tosses Mickey the box of toothpicks he took out of the pocket of his would-be killer, which came from Atlantic City. Manny tells Jimmy, "He tries to kill me and fails" then sends sends $5,000 worth of crappy whiskey (though he said it more colorfully) "to get out of it." Mickey says Jimmy is just paying off his debt, to which Manny replies, "He who dies pays all his debts." Manny says he'll take the payback, but he pushes Mickey back into his seat and says he wants to know where he can find Jimmy for a quiet chat. Mickey, still in his neck brace from when Jimmy tossed him off the balcony at Babette's, says he's partners with Jimmy now and has an investment to protect. Manny begins to strangle Mickey in an attempt to change his mind.
Esther Randolph shows up to see Eli, who's sitting in a jail cell. She tells Eli that Halloran has "a lot to say about you and a man named Hans Schroeder." She tells Eli that if he's got anything to say about Nucky, he should have his lawyer get in touch.
Margaret clears out her jewelry and stashes an envelope full of cash into a bag. She then pays a visit to Father Brennan. He hides a glass of wine and asks his assistant to show her in. She admits to Father Brennan that she's looking for a miracle. She wants her daughter to be made whole, and "not suffer for no reason." He asks her if she recalls what they discussed earlier. "An act of devotion," she says. She then empties the contents of the bag onto a table. She says it's a donation for the church. He says he's not usually handed cash, let alone jewels. She wants to know the proper method. She says she wants to be free of it all and show that she's willing. He takes the cash. They pray.
Jimmy looks out his beachfront window at an overweight guy sitting in the sun. He's astonished that the guy has "not a care in the world." He tells his wife Angela (Aleksa Palladino
) he has to leave town for a few days, and assures her that he's going to get everything settled and can be the person she wants him to be. She tells him a joke and they kiss. She asks if he's sure he has to leave right away. He says he's not sure of anything, and she leads him to the bedroom.
Dr. Holt tells Margaret and Nucky he didn't get the results he hoped for and that Emily has spinal polio, meaning her paralysis will most likely be permanent. Margaret is speechless. She asks Dr. Holt if his daughter prayed -- referring to his previous statement that his 9-year-old daughter prays for all the children in the hospital each night." He thinks she probably did. Margaret asks what's next, and Dr. Holt says they'll measure Emily for braces and come back when she's ready.
Teddy looks at a family picture from when his father was alive, then puts it back into a cigar box, along with the Ty Cobb baseball, and slides the box under his bed.
Angela is sleeping alone when Horvitz quietly walks in, holding a gun. The shower is running. Horvitz finds Angela asleep, covers her mouth and walks her over toward the bathroom door, covering it with his revolver, waiting for the shower to stop. It does, and when someone walks out, he immediately shoots the naked wet form. But it isn't Jimmy. It's Louise (Christiane Seidel
), the woman Angela met on the beach and accompanied to a Bohemian party with later.
Manny flings Angela on top of her dead lover and asks where Jimmy is. She says he isn't there. She cries and asks Manny not to hurt her. She offers money, saying Jimmy can get "lots of it." He lowers the gun for a moment. Then he says, "The most important thing in life, darling, your health. Your husband did this to you." Then he shoots her and Louise a couple times more.
We see Jimmy driving late at night, passing a sign that announces that he is entering Princeton.