My dear friends. Today we are assembled to witness the power of the Lord. He, omniscient, knows what you did, but still expects you to tell a priest, because the poor man has an otherwise piss poor life and needs some way to take part in the scuttlebutt. So Margaret’s son Teddy’s first communion is a perfect device for Margaret to clear the air about her attraction for Sleater. Duh. Nucky is not satisfying her in bed, because he is still preoccupied with his indictment business, and it turns out that after a visit from Sen. Walter Edge the Attorney General has decided to put Nuck’s future in the balance once again. Duh. Rothstein and Waxy Gordon are visiting from out of state in order to assure Nuck and Chalkie that their booze shipment would make it safely to Atlantic City. That is, until Jimmy catches a glimpse of Manny Horvitz’s associate out on the Boardwalk with Nuck, duh.
The Lord giveth! Paz De La Huerta gotta have lemons because she’s awfully pregnant, so Nelson Van Alden, a true man of God, accepts to bring some back after he visits his awfully burned agent in the hospital. Last we heard from Van Alden he was pretty unrepentant about his indiscretion with Lucy, but this accident – which occurred as his agents were investigating Doyle’s warehouse as part of a spontaneous internal affairs hunch – has apparently shaken him up a bit. Must be catholic guilt. Also it may be that when he starts to say a prayer for the charred officer, the man wakes up from his medicated coma to point at him and yell “i know what you did!” That’s an awful lot of weight on the IRS agent’s shoulders, and he calls his wife to apologize (again) fully prepared to confess to his superior that he might have been embezzling some confiscating money. But it turns out that the poor agent is delirious and has been pulling the same stunt with every visitor to his room. Praise be! Van Alden is off the hook and goes home. Where Lucky has givethed birth to a baby girl all by herself (it took her two days, barely broke a sweat). I guess there was an understanding somewhere that she could not go to the hospital? Anyway, after the phonograph, that’s the efficiency of early twentieth century home deliveries for ya. Truly another era. Van Alden goes to get a doctor and when he returns, a midwife who is actually his own wife is tending to Lucy’s bedside. And so the Lord taketh away.
The Lord giveth! Jimmy gets some one-on-one time with one of the Grumpy elders who turns out to be not so grumpy, and actually admirative of Nucky. After he catches Horvitz’s boy double-crossing him, he pays a visit to the slaughterhouse and learns all about the Philly port of call, with enough time to spare to set up an ambush. Horvitz is pretty hilarious in this scene, nudging Jimmy to kill his former associate as an initiation, pretexting that he is an injured and his killing him would be treif (this is theologically unsound, which is why it’s funny). Jimmy obliges with some compassion for the poor animal and delivering a proper shechitah. That night, he, Horvitz and Harrow intercept the convoy which is driven by Lucky and Meyer who are obviously outnumbered but manage to call a truce. They strike a deal with Rothstein’s men to mule their heroine; Jimmy points out to Horvitz that “you can’t kill everyone, it’s not good business” a rule by which Horvitz abides by only killing the disposable character. And so the Lord… giveth more?
The Age of Reason heralded by the title is conspicuously Teddy’s, and underhandedly Jimmy’s. He is on a pretty solid path to be a boss now, learning to respect his enemies and bargaining more, even if it is with the Devil. The deeper implication is that he polarized Black and White works for a while, but as we have seen many times, the grey characters are longest lasting in this game. And you always need a back-up plan. We will see where that leads Jimmy – it seems that he is growing more awkward with his mom, and nothing really bad has happened to him in a while.
Harry the Attorney General drops another masonry reference, cracking a joke about their funny hats. I suppose that’s what’s to come in the second half of the season. Now that Lucy has had the baby, maybe Van Alden will get back to prohibiting again, which would logically take him to cross paths with the Commodore’s operations. Nucky still has enough leverage to get the whores out of his fancy-shoed attorney’s room, but he is otherwise kind of going with the flow at this point.
It’s midseason, so the main plot needed a kick in the balls after a few episodes of gratuitous fun, I’m cool with that. Bringing in religion was convenient; those who think they are gods are quickly dethroned – it’s not about the deity, it’s about the faith (as Margaret points out) and the values (as Grumpy points out).