BOARDWALK EMPIRE “Nights in Ballygran” Review

BOARDWALK EMPIRE “Nights In Ballygran” Season 1 Episode 5- Irishness is front an center this St Paddy’s Day which can only mean one thing: alcohol, Prohibition be damned.

Margerat bakes a soda bread for Nucky, but he completely dismisses her. Both the dismissal by Nucky and Margaret’s reaction to it is understandable. She heads to the Women’s Temperance League, where she learns about the devil elixer and volunteers Nucky’s help. She brings news of a delivery of beer barrels to Nucky, who promises to shut it down, though again he assures her that it is not “a personal favor”. When he fails to keep her promise, she goes to confront him (all dressed up)…but he refuses to see her.

So she goes to see Agent Van Alden with the information. He is unimpressed; he already has the location of 117 storage houses for alcohol. The information she eventually gives him impresses him, and hopefully Nucky will have learned his leasson that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Eli wants to say a speech at the Civil War veterans dinner, but Nucy simply finds this highly amusing. He gives a rousing speech against the English, which almost begins a riot, but Nucky steps in to defuse the tension and Carl leads the dwarfs out in celebration. When Neery (Neary?) is publicly arrested at the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, in front of the Women’s Temperence League, Nucky is in no doubt who tipped off Agent Van Alden.

Jimmy is looking after Pearl, whose face is still heavily bandaged but she’s high on opium lemonade, which doesn’t resolve all problems when her $100 a day salary dries up and she is kicked out of her whore house, despite her tragically pathetic attempt to return to her job-high on opium. Jimmy tells her a story about his mother and a wealthy man called Mr Lancaster. “Tell me he married her” she says, and he reassures her that she did. Was this story true? Who knows. When she asks him to kiss her, he hesitates. The first chance she can get, she puts a bullet in her head. I suppose with her face scared, depressed, suffering from trauma of her attack mixed in with the opium was just too much for her, which is a pity. I really liked her.

It is a weird thing about this show; it is so well executed and every facet of society-from the dwarfs in the celebrations to the housewives in the peripheral-is examined that there is a certain lack of the unexplainable fun charm which makes other shows so successful. There are characters whom I really like, and the acting is uniformly excellent, but there are no, if you will, classic characters. Maybe you’ll disagree, but I wouldn’t rank anyone here with Starbuck from BSG or Omar Little from The Wire. For me, that is a key element in shows: there has to be at least one character whose story I am actually dying to get back to week to week.

Nucky goes to visit Margaret and after five episodes of skittering about each other, they finally get serious.

What did you think of this episode? Leave your comments below!

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