The Milkmaid's Lot
Boardwalk Empire | Season 3 | Episode 9

The Milkmaid's Lot

TV-MA | 53 MIN

Written by Rolin Jones
Directed by Ed Bianchi

Nucky, suffering from tinnitus and mental confusion from a concussion he got the night of the Babette's explosion, is examined by Dr. Surran. Margaret unsuccessfully attempts to lay down the law with Teddy and Emily who are frustrated about having to live at the Ritz for safety. Margaret finds Owen alone and presses him for information about the explosion. Reluctantly, he tells her it was Gyp Rosetti. He begins to tell her they will run away together when the situation is resolved, but they're interrupted by Nucky, who wants to discuss Emily's birthday pony. When Margaret reminds him they never got one, he fights back tears.

Gyp Rosetti and his army arrive in Tabor Heights. Sheriff Ramsey attempts to hide in his office, but Gyp finds him and beats him within an inch of his life. Later, Gyp and his men assemble the townspeople, informing them they will be doing business in Tabor Heights. In return for their cooperation, everyone will receive $200 a month.

Nucky meets with Eli, Chalky White, Mayor Bader and Damien Fleming to discuss a statement for the press regarding the explosion, wavering between lucidity and confusion. Teddy interrupts the meeting to tell Nucky the "Gypsy man" is on the phone. When Nucky picks up, Gyp reads him an article mourning the death of Billie Kent before offering condolences - from him and Joe Masseria. Nucky tells Owen and Eli to call in the other bosses for a meeting - he needs their support to kill Gyp and Masseria. When the men doubt his orders, Nucky insists, "What I'm saying makes perfect sense."

In Cincinnati, Treasury agents headed by Esther Randolph arrest George Remus who tells them he has receipts for the protection money he paid to Jess Smith.

Margaret finds Owen to continue their earlier conversation. He tells her that he's planning to leave in a year or two but she presses him to go sooner. When he asks if that's what she wants, Margaret doubts his sincerity, believing he's only saying yes because he doesn't think she'll leave. He assures her, "I'm not as complicated as you."

At the American Legion, Harrow takes Julia to a dance. They sit on the sidelines until Julia pulls Harrow to the dance floor. With everyone watching, she tells him "Let's give them something to think about," and kisses him on the lips. Unsupervised at the Artemis Club, Tommy looks for Josephine, an Artemis girl who played with him earlier. Another girl directs Tommy to her room, knowing he'll see Josephine with a John.

Owen and Eli speak with Nucky about the meeting he's called. Margaret excuses herself, but Nucky insists she stay. They warn him the meeting could go either way, and they're concerned that the men won't feel confident supporting him in his current state. Nucky refuses to listen, stunning Margaret with a declaration: when the meeting is over, Masseria will be dead and he'll wear Gyp's "guts like a necktie."

On the beach in Tabor Heights, Masseria tells Gyp that the failure at Babette's has made problems for him. He hands Gyp a stone from the beach, telling him it took thousands of years to get smooth. "This business we're takes time. Maybe one day you make a good general."

Before the meeting, Nucky finds Billie's lost hummingbird earring; confused, he presents it to Margaret who tells him it belongs to someone else, prompting him to have another vision of Billie and the explosion. He tells Margaret, "she's dead and it's my fault," warning her that he can't get out of the business: "I do it to them or they do it to me." He fears that the meeting won't go well and he'll be alone, "which is as good as dead."

Harrow returns to the Artemis Club where Gillian blames him for not being there to prevent Tommy from seeing too much. Catching lipstick on his mask she says, "I'm sure you had a stimulating ‘meeting.'"

The bosses gather at the Ritz, where Nucky tells them about upcoming opportunities he intends to share, wanting to set rules "they can all prosper by" in exchange for their help in the war against Rosetti. Rothstein breaks the silence, wishing him "all the luck in the world" for the future. Rothstein has told everyone that business with Nucky is "more trouble than it's worth" and no one wants to enter a war with Masseria.