Eli confronts Willie about his attitude - what effect does his "pep talk" have on him?
The pep talk is ineffective in that Eli wants to connect with his son and make him feel better, but it's a bit too general for Willie. He's expressed a lot of conflicted feelings about college and the people he's surrounded by and all his father can say is, "Buck up, you gotta get through it. Work hard." I don't think that really answers any of the questions Willie has. His father doesn't understand him.
With his father home from prison, Willie is no longer the man of the house. Do you think that contributes to a lack of understanding between them?
Definitely. Willie has different feelings for his father and his uncle. With Eli, there's a sense of, "You should be treating me with respect. I took care of the family while you were in prison, but instead you just brush me off and treat me like a kid." Willie doesn't see himself as a kid. I believe Nucky really listens to Willie in a way that his father doesn't.
Why is Nucky able to treat him more like an adult than his father?
A big thing for Nucky is family; he's always had these mentor/father-figure relationships with younger men. It probably comes from the father he didn't have or the childhood he didn't have. Willie picks up on that and sees an opportunity to learn something from him.