Season 1, Episode 10, “Emerald City”
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A peek in to Richard Harrow’s subconscious reveals a longing for a lost love and the missing half of his face. He opens his one eye to find Margaret’s terrified daughter screaming bloody murder after discovering him sleeping without his mask. Margaret is uncomfortable with the new living situation, but when she suggests to Nucky that he might consider an alternative, he brushes her off, insisting that Harrow is there for everyone’s protection. Later, Harrow takes a cue from The Wizard of Oz and cleverly tells the children he is the Tin Woodsman. Everyone is convinced, and Harrow settles comfortably in the role of Manny. For now…
Chalky (who we haven’t seen nearly enough of) is called upon to lure members of the D’Alessio gang under one roof by telling Lanksy that he’s ready to make a deal. Nucky advises him to act as though he’s disenfranchised (which might not be too much of a stretch), and to offer the gang an unlimited supply of booze. When Chalky asks what he’s “fixin’ to do about Mr. Rothstein,” Nucky says “I’m going to make him the richest corpse in New York.” But first, they take out two of the D’Alessio brothers—the first by execution and the second by strangling. Only Lansky escapes with his life, and Nucky urges him to tell Mr. Rothstein exactly what he saw.
Little Tommy unwittingly reveals Angela’s affair to his father, and Jimmy assumes that Angela’s “kissing friend” is Robert the photographer, not his wife. Jimmy bursts into the studio, steps into Robert’s upside-down frame (nicely done) and beats him to a pulp before an audience of aghast but inert onlookers. It’s still very difficult to get a read on Angela, who plays innocent just as effectively (although differently) than the wily Margaret Schroeder—and who seems to be just as impressionable from moment to moment. Her intimate scenes with Jimmy are wholly convincing, but by the end of the episode she seems nearly settled on escaping to Paris with her lady lover.
Oh—the 19th amendment has been ratified, and women now have the right to vote. The entire season has been leading up to this event, but the news is received rather feebly. Nucky’s initial expression looks a lot like concern, with perhaps a shade of disappointment. But ever the politician, he evinces a celebratory air —even persuading Margaret to have a sip of champagne, the better to lubricate his pitch that she stump for Republican Mayoral candidate Edward Bader. While Margaret initially seems skeptical—demanding to know Bader’s qualifications outside of being one of Nucky’s pawns—she delivers an effective speech at a meeting of The League of Women Voters, despite being visibly conflicted. Still, her endorsement is spun only from facts about Bader she knows to be true: That he is a builder, and that he supports the female vote.
Agent Van Alden is steadily going off the rails, and foolishly reveals his creepy obsession with saving Margaret’s mortal soul. Devastated by her rebuff, he takes to the bottle and ends up in bed with none other than the puffy-faced and desperate Lucy Danziger. But later it looks as though his fire-and-brimstone lecture may have gotten to Margaret, as she contemplates her own image in a full-length mirror, perhaps remembering Harrow’s earlier speech about forgetting what he looks like until he faces his reflection. The faintly visible bulge from underneath her nightgown recalls her makeshift birth control measures from earlier in the season. She and Nucky have been sleeping together for five months now, using household cleaner as contraception. Then again, she has already had three pregnancies, and as Lucy previously pointed out, gravity hasn’t been kind. Will the fates be more merciful?