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Synopsis

Written by Dennis Lehane and Howard Korder
Directed by Alik Sakharov

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER

In Chicago, Nelson Van Alden, using the alias George Mueller, continues to work off his debt to Dean O'Banion by delivering flowersand beatings. O'Banion wants to further employ Van Alden's muscle by sending him to help the Capones with their "election efforts" in Cicero. Recalling their previous run-in over aquavit, Van Alden protests, but O'Banion needs him to keep an eye on the Capones' future plans.

Emma, pregnant, orphaned and widowed, lays down the law with her brother, Richard, newly returned to Wisconsin. "I'm not going to ask you where you've been, or how you've lived," she says. "I just need to know one thing. Are you staying?" She warns him to not come back if he leaves again, but extends a peace offeringa novel she thinks he'd like. Inside, Harrow finds a notice that money is owed on the house.

Back in Atlantic City, Eddie finds himself growing weary of his role serving Nucky. Though still recovering, he resents Nucky for treating him like an invalid incapable of simple tasks, like selecting his "delicate undergarments." The two drive on to a new construction site where Nucky interrupts a mayoral press conference to remind Ed Bader he's due 10 percent of everything. Nucky is also unhappy that he had to go to Bader, not the other way around.  During Nucky's interrogation of Bader, Eddie comports himself well, impressing Nucky.

At the Onyx Club, Chalky turns on the charm and shows his daughter Maybelle's future in-laws around the club, which will be the setting for her upcoming wedding to Samuel. While there, Purnsley pulls Chalky aside, informing him that Alma Pastor still hasn't been found.

van alden

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Richard Harrow heads to Milwaukee to finish a job: kill a man named Liebling, one of three men who started a partnership together. Harrow is acting on behalf of Carl Billings, the disgruntled ex-partner of Liebling and Werner, the man Harrow killed in Michigan. After a struggle, Harrow finds he cannot finish the job knowing Liebling has a family. "When you see your children tonight, remember it didn't cost you anything," he says and lets the man live. 

En route to Washington, D.C., Supervisor Elliot and Agent Knox arrange a meeting with Nucky and Eli at Mickey Doyle's warehouse. With Agent Sawicki having been killed in the line of duty, Knox wants to "get off on the right foot."  Nucky, suspicious of Knox, asks Gaston Means to investigate him. Coming up short, Means assures Nucky, "Your Agent Knox is a hayseed of the purest variety." The next day in D.C. at a special meeting, Supervisor Elliot learns Agent Knox is an undercover agent with the newly formed Bureau of Investigation, reporting to Acting Director, J. Edgar Hoover. Supervisor Elliot is then arrested as a corrupt prohibition agent.

At the Onyx Club, Chalky is confronted by Dr. Valentin Narcissewith Alma Pastor in tow.  Dr. Narcisse reveals that Dickie Pastor actually worked for himnot Owney Maddenand he wants restitution for Dickie's murder. Chalky refuses to give up Dunn Purnsley, saying that last he heard, Dickie Pastor was heading to Newark.  As a result, Narcisse pulls the acts from the Onyx Club.

Eddie serves Nucky breakfast along with his resignation: "For 11 years I have tended to you. I have watched other men come and go. Lesser men. Duplicitous men. I am still here." Nucky tries to buy him off, but Eddie refuses, leaving him to decide whether he should be promoted or let go.

In Cicero, Capone recognizes Van Alden at a meeting and confronts him about O'Banion's motives. Frank Capone calms Al down, seeing an opportunity to use O'Banion's spy against him. Van Alden goes with the Capones to violently break up an election meeting and earns Frank's respect after he rescues him from attackers.

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SURPRISE ENDINGS

Emma finds Harrow and asks him to put their dying dog downshe knows about his hidden guns despite his attempts to hide thembut he can't pull the trigger. Sobbing, Harrow tells Emma he "doesn't want any more of it." 

With the Onyx Club at a standstill, Chalky brings in Nucky, who negotiates a truce with Narcisse: The Alma situation will go away and the acts will come back in exchange for 10 percent of the club. On the ride out of town, Alma suggests lynching Purnsley but Narcisse knows her accusation is a lie: "This is a tale I've heard one time too many." He has his men strangle her and leave her in a ditch on Mayor Bader's new construction site.

The next morning at the Atlantic City train station, Nucky promotes Eddie, telling him he will be in charge of bank deposits for the organization. To assure Eddie of his promotion, he tells him, "From now on, Tom can bring my meals." Nucky gets on a train heading for Tampa, Florida, to meet Bill McCoy to discuss a business opportunity.

Back at the Harrow family farm, Richard Harrow gets a call from the county assessor regarding the money owed on the house. However, the caller is not who he claims to be; it is actually Carl Billings, calling from Liebling's office, the dead Dolph Liebling on the floor. Billings finished the job Harrow was supposed to have done, in the process discovering the notice about the family farm Harrow unknowingly left behind.

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38: Resignation

Season 4