Now working as a "delivery man" for Dean O'Banion, Van Alden is ordered to keep tabs on Al Capone, joining the ascendant mobster to help keep Cicero voters "informed" at a political rally. Dr. Valentin Narcisse arrives in Atlantic City, clashing with Chalky and Nucky over the loss of an employee. In Washington, Agent Knox aligns himself with J. Edgar Hoover, acting director of the Bureau of Investigation. Harrow fails to finish a job in Milwaukee, while Eddie demands a promotion after 11 years of service. With a business opportunity on the horizon, Nucky departs for Florida.
Van Alden runs errands for O'Bannion and later for Capone. Dr. Valentin Narcisse, an educated, sophisticated thug wants retribution for the murder of Pastor.
- Van Alden is delivering flowers for Dean O'Banion, and delivering some brute force against a man who owes O'Banion money in the form of a punch in the nose before taking whatever cash the man had in his pocket. The man promises he'll pay the next day and Van Alden replies, "Better not to vow than to vow and not pay."
At her house, Emma gives Richard Harrow the update and says Sampson ran off. Harrow tells her his own dog didn't recognize him. They also talk about their father's passing, which Richard missed. Richard starts to apologize for having missed so much, but his sister interrupts:
"Orphaned in April, married in May, pregnant in August, widowed in November," she says. "And they say nothing happens in Plover."
She tells him she's not going to ask where he's been or how he's lived, but wants to know if he's going to stay. Richard says he has to go to Milwaukee for the day, to the Veterans' Bureau. She asks if he still reads and he says, "Of course." She hands him a book and says she couldn't get past the first 10 pages but he always likes "stories with sword fights."
She tells him if he doesn't come back this time, "don't come back at all." She goes to look for Sampson.
The book is "The Chessmen of Mars," and between pages 10 and 11 is a folded piece of paper. It's a past due notice from the Plover County Assessor's Office.
In Atlantic City, Eddie is shaky as he serves Nucky his morning coffee, spilling a fair amount on the table. Eddie insists on cleaning it himself. Eddie is also upset that he has served Nucky overcooked eggs. He doesn't know why he overcooked them or served them. Eddie is clearly having some problems but refusing to acknowledge them. He's preparing Nucky for a trip to Florida.
Van Alden is prepping roses out behind O'Banion's flower shop, asking Van Alden about his collections. He asks Van Alden about his family. He's still calling Van Alden "Mueller." He's sending Van Alden to Cicero to follow Al Capone and wants to know about any of Capone's plans to stay in Chicago.
Chalky is giving a tour of The Onyx Club to the parents of his daughter's finance, Samuel. Chalky notices Dunn Purnsley in a doorway and looks over. Samuel notices, too, and takes his family for the rest of the tour. Dunn comes to Chalky and reports that they still haven't found "that girl" -- the wife of Dickie, the talent agent Purnsley stabbed to death after Dickie caught Purnsley having sex with his wife and unleashed a fury of racist insults at him. Chalky is still not pleased with Purnsley and wants better news soon.
Mayor Ed Bader is giving a press conference in front of a church and school ground breaking. Bader is distracted when Nucky shows up and sends the reporters off for the rest of the tour. Bader comes to Nucky, who isn't pleased that he has to come to Bader. Nucky wants his cut of the church project, but Bader says this was done straight through the diocese. Nucky asks Eddie what he thinks and Eddie, surprised he's being asked to speak, turns from the driver's seat and tells Bader, "Mr. Thompson is part of everything. He is in the sky and sea. He is in the dreams of children at night. He is all that there is, forever."
Even Nucky looks a little surprised at this, and Bader promises Nucky he'll have his cut "first thing tomorrow."
Richard pays a visit -- gun pointed -- to the man in Milwaukee. He asks the man if he knows another man named Carl Billings. The man says they were partners -- he, Werner and Billings were "going to make a fortune together, but in the end Carl just got in the way." Richard says he met Billings on a train heading west from New Jersey and Billings paid him to kill him and Verner and the men they sent after him. The man asks how much Billings offered and Richard says it was $1,000 for each of them. The man says he'll beat that, easily, and walks to his desk. He opens a drawer and reaches for a gun, but Richard slams it shut onto his hand and pins him down on the desk. He asks the man if he has any family. He doesn't answer, instead telling Richard to "put the bullet in." Richard demands an answer. He says, "Wife, two girls." Richard tells the man, "When you see your children tonight, remember I didn't cost you anything." Richard leaves.
Nucky prepares to leave, giving Eli some last-minute instructions. Nucky meets Frederick Elliot, the supervising agent for the government who is in charge of enforcing the Prohibition Act. Fred introduces Nucky to the new agent, Warren Knox -- the eager young lad who we saw last week killed his partner, Agent Stan Sawicki. Knox plays up his green, over-ambitious persona for Nucky, even making a "joke" about how he intends to enforce the law to the fullest of his ability. Nucky isn't amused and tells Knox that he will communicate only to Eli and that he and Knox will not speak to each other again.
Sigrid, Van Alden's new Swedish babysitter-turned-wife, shows him the new Davenport sofa she bought. She's also bought more furniture. She's put it on credit, which should be paid off in a year -- at half of Van Alden's pay. She tells him she wants to make a home for him and their children.
Chalky is running things at The Onyx Club and moving like a man in charge. The two dancers Dickie had brought to him ask him for their pay because they haven't seen their agent since Friday (they don't know he's dead). Chalky hands them cash and tells them he'll square up with Dickie later. Chalky glad hands with an old regular customer, but smiles through his annoyance when the man (who is white) rubs Chalky's head for good luck.
Chalky comes upstairs and meets Dr. Valentin Narcisse, who is quoting The Bible to Mrs. Pastor, Dickie's wife. Dr. Narcisse works for Owney Madden, who oversaw Dickie Pastor's work. Narcisse says he has "business" with Madden but is not "his man." Chalky says he hasn't seen Dickie in three days but heard Dickie was headed toward Newark. Mrs. Pastor asks Narcisse if they can just leave, and they get up to go. Narcisse stops and tells Chalky he likes the room high above the club, where one can "look down in secret and see many things."
"You know what I saw?" Narcisse asks, before answering his own question. "A servant pretending to be a king."
A newspaper headline blares Attorney General Harry Daugherty resignation, with President Coolidge calling him an "embarrassment." Eddie brings Nucky his breakfast, more steady this time. He hands Nucky a package from Bader -- it's a bunch of cash. Nucky takes a look and puts it aside. Eddie then hands Nucky his letter of resignation, saying Nucky doesn't take him seriously. Eddie talks about how he's cared for Nucky for 11 years, also having watched "lesser men" come and go. He says he wants respect. Eddie asks him to demonstrate it and Nucky hands Eddie the cash from Bader. Eddie says that's "beneath" Nucky, who asks Eddie if he's quitting or asking for a promotion.
"This will be for you to decide," Eddie says, before walking out.
Richard is working outside when Emma comes and asks him for help. She's found Sampson hiding and says he won't move. She says he's dying. Richard bends down and pets the dog, who cries a bit. Richard asks Emma what she wants to do. They agree they need to put Sampson out of his misery and she suggests Richard use his pistol. He first denies he has one, but she tells him she knows he hid it when he got to the house and took it with him "to the Veterans' Bureau." Richard says nothing, pulls the gun out and points it at Sampson. But he can't shoot.
She takes the gun. Richard tells her, "Emma, I don't want any more of it." He walks around the corner of the house and we hear a gunshot.
Al Capone and his brothers are outlining a job for a roomful of men preparing to go send a message to some people that "voting Democrat is bad for their health." The room clears out but Capone notices Van Alden and asks why they don't' talk anymore. Van Alden insists he only delivers flowers for O'Banion. One of Capone's brothers notices Van Alden swollen fist and they realize he does more work for O'Banion than he's leading on. Van Alden says he believes O'Banion wants Capone to make Cicero his new home while he (O'Banion) stays in Chicago. Capone is livid and remembers that Van Alden was supposed to come to him with information after Capone showed him mercy when they last met. Capone's brother, Frank, intervenes and tries to calm the situation. He tells Van Alden (who is remembers as George) to get some food.
Chalky tells Purnsley about Narcisse and Mrs. Pastor's vista. Purnsley says he'll take care of both of them, but Chalky says he doesn't want Purnsley to go near him. Chalky looks down and sees there's no band and no show happening. There's a knock on the door and the dancers tell Chalky they can't go on stage because Dr. Narcisse won't let them. "He owns a piece of us, sir," one of them tells Chalky. He hands Chalky a note from Narcisse and Chalky tells the young many to read it.
"A servant is not greater than his master," he reads. "Nor is a messenger greater than the one who dispatched him."
Nucky gets the low down by phone from Gaston Means. There doesn't seem to be anything indicating Knox is more than "a hayseed of the purest variety," Means says.
Mayoral candidate William F. Pflaum holds a rally in Cicero, talking about how he's going to be tough on organized crime. Soon enough, Capone's group comes in with baseball bats. Capone interrupts the speech and asks, "Who's feeling like a hero?" No one responds and Capone points at a man near him and says, "Well, let's start with you." He clubs the guy and the rest of his men start clubbing everyone else in the room as Pflaum and his entourage clear out from the stage. Van Alden doesn't do much at first, but after he's hit, he starts hitting back. He saves Frank from a group of three men who were trying to hold his arms, then Van Alden takes a couple more blows. Frank hands Van Alden his hat afterward and pats him on the shoulder.
Mrs. Pastor is recounting her encounter with Purnsley to Narcisse, Chalky and Nucky -- rewriting the events as if Purnsley was raping her. She claims Dickie came in and tried to fight Purnsley off. She cries and Nucky offers a handkerchief. She asks for a powder room. After she leaves, Nucky has some questions for Narcisse. He questions Mrs. Pastor's proof, but Narcisse says the burden is on Nucky and Chalky. Chalky wants to know how much Narcisse wants so they can end it. Narcisse turns to Nucky, who says he's just there to help a friend. Narcisse questions this "friendship," which upsets Chalky. Narcisse then turns back to Nucky and asks Nucky how much the "friendship" is worth. Chalky doesn't want to pay a dime and starts to shout at Narcisse about how he wants him to go back to where he came from. Nucky interrupts and says Narcisse can take 10 percent of the club, the acts come back "and the other problem goes away." Narcisse accepts. Mrs. Pastor emerges and Narcisse says it's time to take her home. She walks out and Purnsley is sitting in the hallway. He gets up and asks, "Did you get your story all told?" She saying nothing and Narcisse walks out behind her.
Supervising Agent Elliot is being questioned about his dealings with Nucky, among other people. Elliot gets annoyed at the questions and asks, in reference to the youngish man asking the questions, "Who is this child?"
"You can address me as Acting Director Hoover," a young J. Edgar Hoover says.
"Director of what?" Elliot asks.
"The Bureau of Investigation," Hoover replies. Elliot asks what's going on and his advisor tells Elliot they're "cooperating" with Hoover "and his undercover operative." Knox walks in and puts an envelope on the table. He tells Elliot it's the cash he gave Knox after their meeting with Nucky Thompson. Elliot asks for a lawyer, but Hoover says, "No lawyers, Mr. Elliot. No calls, no telegrams, no alerting Nucky Thompson or anyone else who you are helping to subvert the course of justice."
Elliot claims he knows nothing about any of it and makes a grand statement about being a "natural-born U.S. citizen and a Treasury Department official." He stops and leaves. After he walks out, Knox asks, "Why can't they just admit when they're guilty?"
"The moral dimension is absent from the criminal's makeup," Hoover says. "Good beginning, Jim."
"I won't let you down, Edgar," Knox says.
In the car back home, Mrs. Pastor thanks Narcisse for coming to her rescue.
"Like a prince in a fairy tale?" he says.
"You are, to me," she replies before asking if he got what he wanted.
"We'll have to see," Narcisse says. "Dickie was a great loss."
She asks what happens to Purnsley and he asks her what she'd like to happen.
"What happened to Dickie, but worse," she says. "After what he did to me."
"A tree?" Narcisse asks. "Some rope, perhaps?"
"Well, why not?" she replies. Narcisse makes eye contact with his driver, who pulls over. He and another man get out to "check the tire."
Narcisse asks Mrs. Pastor how Dickie knew which hotel to find her in. She gets defensive and claims, again, "I was raped!" Narcisse says it's a tale he's heard one time too many. Just then, one of his men opens the door on her side and strangles her, dragging her out into the open field and the car drives off.
At the train station, Nucky talks to Eddie and tells him not to discuss with anyone anything he sees or hears. He tells Eddie to take the cash from Bader and open a trust in his own name. Nucky says Tom can bring his meals from now on, then leaves. Eddie smiles.
The phone rings at Richard's house. He answers and it's the county assessor's office calling for his sister. But we see it's not the country assessor's office. It's a man calling from the office of the man in Milwaukee whose life Richard spared. This man is looking at the past due notice Richard left behind and says, "The sooner we get this all squared, the better."
The next morning, Mayor Bader comes out to the field where Mrs. Pastor's body was left. It's swarming with workers and reporters. It's the site of the groundbreaking ceremony where the church and school are about to be built. Bader tells the cops to get her out of there.