Margaret’s gone. So are the kids. As it turns out, Nucky had no idea. He was just keeping people on their toes with his creepy innuendos. The box that contained Sleater has been put away and there’s a bunch of people in the Ritz suite for security. Eli is unreachable in Chicago. Doyle is unreachable in Philadelphia. Nucky begs Eddie to leave, but there’s no time to chit-chat: three paesanos barge in, shooting everyone on sight. Nucky manages to trick them with the good ole “I’m hiding behind the door” trick. Takes cares of these three. As they drive away from the scene, Eddie passes out: he took a bullet to the stomach while warning Nucky. And when the pair drives to the hospital, they get shot at too. Nucky’s been ran out of Atlantic City.
Well, the white part of it anyway: he soon finds his way to Chalky’s house, where Purnsley is quick to remind him to always be on the lookout for crazy fuckers hanging out in the back. Of course, for a second, Chalky busts his balls since just a few hours ago Nucky turned down his business proposal, but Chalky’s allegiance goes far beyond a few bills. Or even a lot of them: soon enough Rosetti arrives and offers him $25,000 in exchange for a look in his house. Chalky refuses. The two most intense characters, meeting. Rosetti insists, but there’s a small army guarding Chalky’s compound, and his Sycillian charm just never hits the mark. Rosetti put the bounty up for grabs: there’s twenty five grands for anyone who brings him the head of Nucky Thompson.
Giuseppe Colombano Rosetti. He sat down for a minute in Nucky’s office. Took back his dog. But he cannot bear the sight of a lovely epigraph from Nuck’s father on a Horatio Alger book, and swiftly moves in to the Artemis house (including Nucky’s desk), turning the formerly classy gentlemen’s club into the de facto whore house that it kind of always was in spite of Gillian’s efforts towards the contrary. The latter is a bit peeved. Shooing the goons away from her girls with a broom. She walks into Tommy’s room, where Richard is dressing up the little boy to go for a walk. Earlier in the episode, she had found out, by reading Richard’s scrapbook/diary, that he has a girlfriend. And she admitted to be jealous. And she was not about to let Richard get away with her little boy – she immediately relieves him of his duty. We see Richard packing his guns. He’s got a lot of them.
Meanwhile on the other side of the tracks, Eddie is under the care of Chalky’s future son-in-law who successfully performs kitchen-table surgery. Nucky learns that his faithful butler has a wife and two kids. How… Sad. I’ve always loved Eddie, and admitted part of his charm resided in his taking Nucky’s insults, sure. Then again, he didn’t know Chalky’s phone number either. But Nucky’s alive, and he’s slowly realizing that. And he thinks about escaping for a second, in the back of a farm truck, but after Chalky and Purnsley refuse to give him up again, he decides that cannot leave his town. The trio finds refuge at the asphalt factory where Eli’s son is working. Family. And as they start to devise a plan for the future, a posse drives in: Chalky’s men. And Eli. Who’s cut a deal. With Capone. Blood lust in his eyes: the last episode of the season is going to be real good.
The title of the episode comes from Kipling, as Eddie recites If… in German (interspersed with a few expletives directed at the Black people surrounding him in the makeshift op room).
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same
Of course Nucky has met these two imposters this season, and it’s looking like it will take a little more than an inspirational poem to save him. Perhaps he would do well to remember a later line:
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
Chalky is teaching Nuck a lesson in trust, of course, and more importantly: the price that Nucky will have to pay for his own safety is to integrate the Boardwalk. Which is, technically, not even a price – but still 30 years early. Also, if Nucky thought he had had it rough, Chalky is there to show him a real struggle – and that’s also why when Rosetti plays that same card, Chalky chuckles.
Quick vignette in Chicago, where Luciano is trying to cut a heroin deal with some Sam guy from Buffalo. Five pounds, $15,000. But upon hearing that shit has hit the fan in Atlantic City, Lansky recommends to let that deal go. Lucky says he agrees, but he cannot wait: as they meet on a rooftop, and as he puts the heroin in the bag, two men jump out and he gets arrested. The fools, they rush in. This is most likely setting up for the next season, but as Lansky reminded him: “everything is connected, whether you know it or not”… Strange warning after they went again Rothstein’s will, but whatever. I can’t see Maseria being too bothered about the kid, but that may lead Rothstein to make some moves of his own.- Gnou