In the episode, titled "You'd Be Surprised," after being detained in Washington by Daugherty’s henchmen, Nucky approaches Esther Randolph (Julianne Nicholson), his onetime nemesis, and later entertains an intriguing proposition from Gaston Means. In Atlantic City, Margaret copes with Teddy’s (Rory and Declan McTigue) demons, while Owen investigates a suspicious fire; Gillian feuds with Lucky and finds a surrogate for Jimmy.
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Atlantic City, New Year’s Eve, 1922: The Roaring `20s are about to begin in earnest. Despite a booming economy, alcohol is scarce and gangster violence is heating up. With his marriage to Margaret already on the rocks, Nucky Thompson faces the challenge of mending old relationships and encounters new competition from a hairtrigger gangster determined to siphon off his business.
Antoine does the “Cupid Shuffle,” as Desiree’s (Phyllis Montana LeBlanc) mother’s house collapses. Annie’s visiting parents learn about her record deal. Albert’s (Clarke Peters) kids learn about his lymphoma. Toni learns about Sofia’s (India Ennenga) boyfriend. Sofia gets stopped by Officer Billy Wilson (Lucky Johnson), prompting Toni to appeal to NOPD captain Marcus Grayson (John Eyez). Janette has a reunion.
First, the people came back. Then, the crime. Now, more than two years after the near death of a great city, the money is starting to arrive, which would sound like a solution if this were some place other than New Orleans, and this was some other era but America at the millennium.
For the people of New Orleans, even the promises of redevelopment come with strings attached, and every dollar that shows up – whether from government disaster relief, or from venture capital, or even from those seeking to remake New Orleans in the wake of Katrina – carries with it new dynamics and new risks. National interest has waned, moving on to the next headline, but those who know and love the Crescent City have no choice. They must find their way back to what matters in the life of their city. However, little of what they can bring to bear yields a quick result, and nothing about New Orleans – its government, its police department and courtrooms, its school system – works as it should. Nothing is easy.
In the end, their only weapons are community. And culture.