Boardwalk Empire

Season 1 Episode 5

Nights in Ballygran

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 17, 2010 on HBO

Episode Recap

The episode begins at the Schroeder residence with Margaret, Teddy, and Emily asleep. Margaret is awoken by sounds of men talking outside. She gets up and looks out her window to see men rolling barrels of alcohol into a garage behind her house. Ward Boss Neary is supervising the shipment. He turns on the tap on one of the barrels and tests the alcohol that is in the barrel. Satisfied, he continues to work. Margaret goes to her kitchen and turns on the stove. She decides to bake some Irish soda bread. In the elevator, Nucky isn't too happy that Saint Patrick's Day is coming up and wishes people would forget about the holiday. Eli notes that their father thinks Nucky hates being Irish. Nucky says that what he hates is the day of yelling, crying, and drunkenness that occurs after it. Eli says that centuries of loss make the Irish a sorrowful people. Nucky hopes it snows. The bellhop, Martin, greets Nucky and asks if he wants breakfast. Nucky declines the breakfast, but he takes some coffee. Martin walks away and Eli asks him if he's invisible to him. Martin apologizes and asks Eli if he wants breakfast. Eli says that he doesn't. Martin nods and walks away. Eli asks Nucky why Martin didn't ask him for breakfast. Nucky says that it's only because he lives here. Eli asks him if he has to live here to get served breakfast. Nucky notes that he's a big tipper. Nucky tells Eli that the Celtic Dinner has to be moved up to 7:00. Eli notes that is early. Nucky notes that one of the older Civil War veterans fell asleep during the Attorney General's speech. Eli says that isn't a big deal. Nucky asks Eli if he can do better. Eli mentions that he was actually hoping to say a few words at the dinner. Nucky asks him why. Eli notes that it's an election year and people are looking to replace him. Nucky doesn't think it's a good idea. Eli says that it's a captive audience of some of the most important men in the city. Nucky says that they want to eat food and celebrate their heritage, not listen to boring speeches. Eli notes he's been taking lessons at the YMCA and shows Nucky a Public Speaking book. Nucky notes that they have to deal with their father all night and doesn't think it's a good idea. Eli insists that he wants to say his piece. Nucky gives him the go ahead. As he stands up, Margaret walks into the hotel and Eli notes she's arrived. Margaret greets Nucky and says that she was just coming up to his office to see him. She shows him the soda bread and says that it's for him. Nucky tells her to leave it with the bellhop so he'll get it. Margaret starts to ask him about his birthday party, but Nucky informs her that he's very busy today and has to get moving. Margaret says she understands and leaves. Eli notes to Nucky that Margaret is a very fine woman. Nucky notes that his life is complicated as it is. He leaves Eli and heads out to the boardwalk. Margaret is very upset and throws the soda bread in the garbage. In the locker room, the little wrestlers get ready for their fights. One of the wrestlers complains that the uniforms don't look like they're clean. Another wrestler notes that he had to be Baby New Year last year and he even thinks the diaper was secondhand. The wrestler says that there is blood on the uniforms and the wrestler notes that someone fell off the balcony wearing that. Carl comes into the locker room and tells Green that he's up next to fight. Green tells Carl that they are done and he's not doing any more stunts to embarrass them. Carl notes that's what they are getting paid to do. Green says that he's not mad about the wrestling, but he is mad about the leprechaun act that they are doing tonight. Nucky wants them to dress up as leprechauns and hand out gifts to the Celts tonight. Carl notes that Nucky is depending on them. Green notes that Nucky should dress as a leprechaun. Carl thinks he can get them a raise to $10 a man. Green is content with doing the act for $10. In Chicago, Jimmy squeezes some orange juice for Pearl. He apologizes for making a mess, but Pearl tells him that he likes the smell. Jimmy notes that these oranges are from California. He states that a few nights in a sleeper car on a train and they'll be in California. He says that she'll be able to see the ocean from there. Pearl tells Jimmy that she loves him. A loud bang is heard and Pearl jumps in fright. Jimmy insists that it was only a door and promises that he isn't going to let anyone hurt Pearl again. He notes that the doctor told him she was doing well. Jimmy tells Pearl to leave the wound alone. Pearl complains that it itches, but Jimmy says that's a sign that it's healing. Pearl asks Jimmy if his leg itched in the hospital. Jimmy says that it did. Pearl likes Jimmy in his new suit. Jimmy promises Pearl that everything will turn out fine and gives her the orange juice. Pearl asks Jimmy to put the laudanum in it. Jimmy asks her what happened to the other bottle. Pearl admits she drank it all. Jimmy pours some inside and Pearl drinks it. Pearl says it feels like the sun just came out. Nucky and the ward bosses meet up to give their collections to Nucky. The group is ready for the Irish Celt tonight because it will be good business. The ward bosses toast the Irish for helping their sales. Ward Boss Fleming notes that his old district is putting in orders. Nucky says that everyone wants what they aren't allowed to have. Bill McCoy tells Nucky that he's going to need to get another boat. Everyone agrees that their shipments need to be larger. Bill McCoy announces that he's heading out tonight for the ocean. Nucky asks about the green beer. Neary tells Nucky that they are putting the dye in the beer right now. Nucky says that they are going to need to make the men really drunk for Eli's speech. He tells everyone about the speech and the ward bosses start to chuckle that Eli is taking speech lessons. Eli doesn't appreciate their jokes. Neary says that in a few days this town will be swimming in money. Nucky says that the town can drown for all he cares as long as he gets paid. Neary assures Nucky that he will get paid. Bill McCoy starts to sing a parody of Danny Boy in relation to money. Margaret arrives at her Women's Temperance League meeting where Mrs. McGarry is giving her speech. She notes that Prohibition wasn't going to end all drinking. She sees Margaret arrive and she is glad that she is back. Margaret insists that she was busy working nights so she couldn't attend the meetings. Mrs. McGarry announces that Betty Ann has a story to tell everyone. Betty Ann reveals that she got a letter from her cousin. She says that one of her neighbors was a widow that fell on hard times with six children. She says that the woman mixed gin in the bathtub so they could sell it in town. Betty Ann reads the letter and says that her little daughter got into the alcohol-filled tub and was poisoned by all of the alcohol. The women are horrified. Another member tells everyone that she passed by a restaurant the other day and all of the men were drinking alcohol from their coffee cups. Mrs. McGarry says it's clear that the local authorities are not handling the problem, and with their numbers dwindling they need to work harder to stop alcohol from getting out. Mrs. McGarry asks what they are going to do about it. The women suggest that they march on Saint Patrick's Day. Mrs. McGarry reminds them that they need to stop the alcohol. Margaret tells everyone that she saw barrels of beer in the house behind her garage. Mrs. McGarry says this is what she is talking about. Margaret thinks that Nucky could help them because he's helped her a lot since Hans died. Mrs. McGarry asks her to reserve a meeting with Nucky to see if he will help. In New York, Rothstein meets with his attorney, Bill Fallon. He reads the article that talks about the World Series being fixed and placing a big-time gambler as the source of it. Bill notes that the article didn't state him by name. Rothstein retorts that it did everything except naming him. Bill says that it's simply speculation and it means nothing. Rothstein notes that he had a lot of public meetings with the people that have already been indicted for this. Bill notes that having dinner is not a crime. Rothstein reveals that the man pitched him the idea of fixing the World Series on the player on the White Sox. Bill finishes and says that was something that Rothstein didn't go along with. While we know that Rothstein did, Rothstein states that he didn't. Bill says that he has nothing to worry. Rothstein asks what he's supposed to do about the newspaper article. Bill says that if a person gets horse manure on their pants they don't just wipe it off because it will smear. They need to wait and let it dry. Then, they can brush it off easily. Rothstein notes it's been six months since the World Series and it still hasn't dried and been forgotten. Back in Atlantic City, Nucky makes notes in his book. Eddie comes in and tells him that Carl wants a word. Nucky asks what he wants. Carl says he just needs one on one time with him. Carl asks Nucky how his father, Ethan Thompson, has been and asks him if he's coming to the dinner. Nucky asks Carl to get to the point of his coming here. Nucky tells them that every day people come in and ask how his family is doing, how his health is, or something of the matter. He says that then there's something they need. Carl insists that isn't what this is, but Nucky sees through him and asks him what he wants. Carl tells him that he and the boys want a raise for the Celtic Dinner. Nucky says it isn't going to happen. Carl informs him that $5 per man isn't enough for them to endure the embarrassment of putting on leprechaun outfits. Nucky asks if he really calls it humiliating and notes that he boxes for him. Carl says that the Irishmen get tough on them and they think it's funny. Nucky asks them how much they want. Carl says they want $10 per man. Nucky notes that this year it will be easier because with Prohibition there won't be alcohol. Carl reminds him that he isn't a child. Nucky says he'll give them $7 for the night and then he'll give Carl $12 for the night. Carl isn't sure that it'll work, but when he gets the money he tells Nucky that he'll tell the boys to get ready. Margaret and Mrs. McGarry come in to see Nucky. Nucky greets the women. Margaret asks Nucky if he enjoyed the soda bread. Nucky lies and says that he did. Nucky asks if they want anything. Mrs. McGarry tells Nucky that Margaret saw something that she needs to tell him. Margaret informs Nucky about men that were putting barrels of alcohol into a garage behind her house. She admits the supervisor was familiar to her. Nucky thinks it's outrageous, but Margaret says she saw it with her own eyes. Nucky asks Margaret if the birthday celebration was a lot for her to take in. Margaret reveals to Mrs. McGarry that she was making a delivery. Nucky replies that it was a night of festivities. Nucky thinks that whiskey was drunk. Mrs. McGarry is sure that the men drank in appropriation. Nucky admits most of them don't drink at all. He thanks Margaret for the information and tells Eddie to get Eli on the phone. He promises Margaret that they will shut the garage down. Mrs. McGarry thanks Nucky. Margaret thanks him as well, but Nucky insists that this isn't a personal favor. Margaret nods and says she realizes that. She and Mrs. McGarry leave. Back in Chicago, Jimmy tries to feed Pearl some soup, but she doesn't want any. Jimmy notes that she can't live on laudanum, but Pearl thinks that she can. A knock is heard at the door and Jimmy goes to answer it. It's Torrio. Pearl says hello and Torrio asks her how she feels. Pearl says she's feeling swell. Jimmy and Torrio step out into the hallway. Torrio realizes that Pearl is looking pretty bad. Jimmy doesn't think it was that bad. Torrio retorts that if she was a filly they would shoot her. Torrio knows that Jimmy likes her, but since she isn't earning any money she has to leave the Four Deuces. Jimmy notes that she hasn't had her stitches out yet. Torrio reminds Jimmy that this is a whorehouse. Jimmy says that he'll cover her expenses. Torrio says that it's $100 per day. Jimmy is shocked that she made that much money for the whorehouse. Torrio offers to let her stay until Friday, but then Pearl has to go. Jimmy goes back into the room with Pearl. Pearl asks Jimmy what Torrio wanted. Jimmy says that Torrio just wants him to work the door for the night. Pearl tells Jimmy that she'll eat the soup for him. Back at the Schroeder residence, Margaret is once again awoken by the sounds of the men unloading the barrels of alcohol. Margaret goes outside and walks across the street. She asks them what they are doing. One of the workers says they are just unloading the truck. He informs her that they have some green beer to deliver to the Celtic Dinner tomorrow night. Margaret asks the worker who is in charge. The man comes out and it's Neary. Neary greets Margaret. Margaret asks Neary if Nucky spoke with him about the illegal business that is going on here. Neary assures her that they will be moved out tomorrow and tells her that most of it is for the Celtic Dinner. Neary tells the men to keep it down so people can sleep. Neary offers to give her a barrel for Saint Patrick's Day. Margaret says nothing and returns to her home. The next morning, Margaret wears the green dress under her purple dress. She looks at herself in the mirror to find that she is beautiful. She goes to the Ritz Carlton to see Nucky. She sees Neary enter the room where all of the men are celebrating. Eddie comes out and tells everyone that Nucky is not available to talk. Margaret retorts that he knows she's been waiting. Eddie tells her that he is dealing with urgent business. Margaret returns home and tears apart the green dress that she stole from Belle Femme. She throws it in the garbage can. At the post office, Van Alden marks several locations in Atlantic City where alcohol is rumored to be and how much of a quantity is rumored to be at the location. He sees Margaret walk in. Margaret asks Van Alden if she's intruding, but Van Alden insists that she isn't. She introduces Margaret to Sebso. Margaret asks if the post office is in charge of Prohibition. Van Alden states that they aren't. Margaret remembers that Van Alden told her to come to him if she needed to tell him something. Van Alden tells Sebso to bring Margaret a chair and then block the doors. Sebso does so. Margaret tells Van Alden about the Hiawatha Garage that is full of beer barrels. Van Alden asks how many barrels she thinks there are. Margaret thinks there are 93 barrels and gives Van Alden the address. Margaret asks him if he'll close it down. Van Alden asks when she wants it closed down. Margaret wants it shut down immediately because children are in plain view of it. Van Alden informs her that there are 117 locations where alcohol is being warehoused, manufactured, or stored. He admits that he doesn't have the resources to even shut down ten percent of them. Margaret understands that. Van Alden also tells her that he is only at the tip of the iceberg for locations that alcohol may be at. He knows that there are more out there. Van Alden knows that boats unload alcohol from Canada and the Caribbean. He adds that others are selling poison to people and they see murder as a means of doing business. Van Alden notes that most of the people that die aren't better than the criminals, but others are innocent individuals. Van Alden says he's just being honest. Margaret asks about the laws that create the criminals. Van Alden tells her that her information is going to help her enforce that law. Van Alden asks if he's misreading her intentions. Margaret says that she has been lectured all day by men that speak empty and nothing. Van Alden asks Margaret who else lectured her. Margaret doesn't think it's anyone else's business who lectured her. Van Alden replies that she doesn't want to tell him. Margaret asks if he'll arrest her. Van Alden says that she hasn't committed a crime. Margaret tells him that it's Neary and he owns the garage behind her house where the alcohol is being kept. Van Alden asks if his first name is James. Margaret says that she only knows for a fact that James Neary works for Nucky. This makes Van Alden interested. Back in Chicago, people are being frisked when they walk into the Four Deuces and there are armed men guarding the place. Jimmy is sitting down with Capone. Jimmy and Capone argue about the expression that involves closing the barn door when the horses have already entered. Capone says that the point is that Torrio doesn't like headaches and Sheridan gave him a huge one. Jimmy notes that Torrio definitely has a headache right now. Capone says that they need to hit Sheridan tomorrow. Jimmy asks Capone if Torrio wants to see that happen. Capone tells Jimmy that if he worries about what everyone else wants then he'll start to go crazy. Suddenly, Pearl walks downstairs under the influence of laudanum. Her face isn't bandaged and everyone can see the long scar down her face that is covered with stitches. Pearl asks if anyone wants to buy her a drink. Jimmy asks her what she's doing. Pearl says she's working. Regina tells her that she doesn't have to work today. Capone orders Jimmy to get Pearl upstairs. Jimmy tells Pearl he'll make her orange juice and takes her upstairs. People start to laugh and Pearl wants to know why they're laughing. Jimmy thinks someone told a joke, but he knows people are laughing at Pearl's scarred face. Pearl asks Jimmy who is going to love her now. Jimmy doesn't have a response and he takes her upstairs. At the Darmody residence, Gillian put Tommy to bed using some milk and a little whiskey. Angela wishes that Gillian would have asked her to do this. Gillian notes that she used to do that to Jimmy all of the time. She shows Angela the magazine cover and asks her if the woman on the front looks attractive. Angela says she doesn't have a lot of time for movies. Gillian remembers how that was, but she admits that the girls used to help her babysit Jimmy. She notes Jimmy got enough feminine attention. Angela tells Gillian that she has to head out because she is meeting with a friend. Gillian suggests that they go to a movie. Angela notes that they are going to the boardwalk for a walk. Angela promises that they'll be careful. Gillian tells Angela that she can be a free agent if she wants. Angela asks what she means. Gillian notes that Angela is a beautiful woman who is waiting for Jimmy and he might not come back. Gillian insists that she should go find someone else and leave her to raise Tommy. Gillian says that Angela should have more youthful adventures. She tells Angela to talk it over with her friend. Angela says that there is no need to think about that and can't believe Gillian would make such an offer. Gillian insists that she didn't mean to offend her, but thought that she might be open to the idea. Angela insists she isn't up for the idea. Gillian apologizes for mentioning it. Gillian tells her to get moving so her friend isn't waiting for her. Angela leaves. At the Celtic Dinner, Duncan O'Connor sings the song Nights in Ballygran for all of the Irishmen. Nucky and Eli's father, Ethan, cannot hear very well and talks loudly to Nucky. He asks where Eli is. Nucky assures Ethan that Eli will arrive soon and tells him to keep his voice down. Eli arrives and walks up to the table. Nucky asks Eli where he was. Eli admits that his sons were using his sash to play Tarzan. Ethan shouts and asks where Eli was. Others at the table, including Kaestner, are annoyed with Ethan. Everyone starts to sing Nights in Ballygran. Mayor Bacharach takes the podium and welcomes everyone to the Celtic Dinner. He turns the podium over to Nucky and everyone claps. Eli asks Nucky when he gets to talk. Nucky suggests that Eli let everyone enjoy themselves first. Nucky gets up on the podium and tells everyone that since it's an election year, Eli would like to say something to them. Groans are already heard and Ethan notes that he can't believe Eli is actually going to talk. Eli stands up at the podium. The Irishmen note that Eli's hands are shaking and he should have a drink. Eli cracks a joke to start out the speech and he starts to tell the Irishmen that Saint Patrick should have driven out the English. He also notes that Oliver Cromwell was the one that started the famine in Ireland. The Irishmen support his words and they clap for him. Eli says that the murdering Brits are at it again and he starts to name names. He goofs one up and someone corrects him. Another tells the man to stop because Eli was born in the United States and doesn't know anything about the old country. This starts an argument asking the Irish born if the ones that were born in the United States are less committed than they are. The man says he was just saying that he saw everything in Dublin and they didn't. Eli continues his speech, but the men are starting to argue with each other. An American born Irishman notes that he raised $2,000 for the fight. An Irish born says that he had to hold the British off with faulty weapons. The United States Irish note that they provided better weapons for them. Eli continues to talk while the men fight. Kaestner notes that they are about to have a riot on their hands. Nucky stands up and starts to clap for Eli. Eli sits down. Nucky tells them that it doesn't matter where they are from because all of the Irishmen are Irish. The men agree with Nucky's words and they clap. The bagpipes are played and the leprechauns come out to give gifts to the Irishmen. It is alcohol, but it isn't green like tradition. The men are angry, but Nucky informs them that Prohibition agents found their stash of green beer. Eli is very angry with the ay the speech turned out. Back in Chicago, Jimmy tells Pearl that she needs to take it easy on the laudanum. Pearl thinks she's been a bad girl, but Jimmy tells her that it isn't a big deal. Pearl thinks they should go down to China Town to get some more. Jimmy asks her if she heard a word he said. Pearl tells him it's better if it's smoked. Jimmy promises they'll do that when she's healed. Pearl wants him to tell her a happy story about himself. Jimmy tells her that he was seven and he looked almost like he did now. He says that his mother thought he looked like an aristocrat and everyone else thought he was a girl. Jimmy tells her that there was a man named Mr. Lancaster who was worth some money. Gillian tried to get Mr. Lancaster to marry her and he adds Mr. Lancaster had a nice sailboat. Pearl wants it to be a yacht and Jimmy makes it a yacht. He says that on the 4th of July, Mr. Lancaster took them out on the yacht and Gillian looked beautiful. He says that they sailed near the spot where pirates used to land and Mr. Lancaster let Jimmy dock the boat. He remembers that they went on shore and he had to go away for a little while so Gillian could spend some private time with Mr. Lancaster. He says that he ran around pretending he was a pirate and when he came back, there was a fire going and they had lobster. He says that they ate like kinds that night. Jimmy says that when the sun began to set, he got this box out of the boat and inside was a U.S. flag that his father carried at Gettysburg. He remembers that they put the flag in the grass and they sang patriotic songs. He remembers watching the fireworks that went off from the boat after that. Pearl asks him to tell her that Mr. Lancaster married his mother. We know that he didn't, but Jimmy tells her that she did and they lived happily ever after. Jimmy picks up the orange juice, but ends up spilling some of it. Pearl notes that he's really going to need to be taken care of in California. Jimmy tells her that he has to wash this. Pearl asks for a kiss and Jimmy kisses her on the cheek. Pearl meant a real kiss and pulls him in for one. Afterwards, Pearl tells Jimmy to go get himself cleaned up. Jimmy washes his shirt off in the bathroom. Suddenly, he hears a bang. He runs out to find all of the patrons looking down the hall. Someone screams and Jimmy enters the room. Pearl is lying on the ground dead. She shot herself with Jimmy's revolver. Jimmy kneels down on the ground next to Pearl and starts to sob. Back at the Celtic Dinner, Nucky tells Eli that there is a time and a place for every speech. He tells Eli that he needs to know his audience better the next time he gives a speech. Eli says that he had to give them what they wanted. Nucky asks him if his book told him to do that. Eli just takes another drink. Nucky advises him to slow down on the drinking. Nucky says that he's trying to help him when he's drunk. Eli notes that this is the only night of the year that Nucky refuses to drink. Nucky tells him that the men are judging them every second and when a position opens up they remember the man that showed good form. Eli says that it's so easy for Nucky to say that. He says he'll keep at it and hopes that he lies as well as Nucky. Nucky tells Eli that if he wants to be as good as him he needs to learn how to speak. He leaves Eli alone. Suddenly, Van Alden, Sebso, and other Bureau agents burst into the room. The men are angry and want to know what is going on. Van Alden announces that this is a raid. Ethan yells at them, but Nucky tells him to calm down. An attorney walks up to Van Alden and asks him if he knows who they are. He says that this is a private party with esteemed men and reminds Van Alden that consumption of alcohol is not illegal. He tells Van Alden about the Volstead Act and Van Alden socks him in the face. Van Alden asks if anyone else wants to challenge the duties of a Bureau Agent. Nobody else moves. Van Alden tells them that if anyone makes a run for it they will be shot. Van Alden walks up with a summons and asks for James Neary. He says that he has an arrest warrant for Neary. He reads him his charges and says that under the Volstead Act, he has been manufacturing and transporting alcohol. Neary denies this charge, but Van Alden tells him that he's under arrest. The Bureau Agents lead him out. Van Alden tells them that this party is closed and the building will be shackled shut. He tells them that they are to gather their things and exit in an orderly manner. Neary is led outside to reporters, but he doesn't say anything. Outside, Mrs. McGarry, Margaret, and the Temperance League Women chant and sing for Prohibition outside while Neary is led to jail. Nucky comes outside to see all of this. The men ask Eli if there is anything he can do, but Eli says that he can't do anything. Van Alden has the agents lock up the building. The Temperance League leaves. Eli is very drunk and notes to Nucky that it was a great night that left quite an impression on his Republican friends. Nucky tells Eli to go home to his wife. Eli says that he will and asks Nucky where he's going. He tries to punch Nucky, but he misses because he's drunk. Nucky asks why he did that, but Eli has no response. He stumbles down the street. We see many scene changes at this point. Jimmy seeks shelter in China Town. Angela walks down the boardwalk towards Dittrichs Photo Shop. She is let in by someone we don't see. She smiles and goes inside. At his house, Eli vomits all of the alcohol into the toilet while his wife, June, sits by to comfort him. Jimmy does some opium in China Town to forget about Pearl. Gillian looks in the mirror to see wrinkles starting to form. At the Hiawatha Garage, Van Alden and his agents break the barrels of green alcohol open and pour them into the street. Margaret lies in bed awake with Teddy and Emily sleeping beside her. A knock on the door is heard. She gets up to answer it. It's Nucky. Margaret asks what he's doing here so late. She asks if he needs anything. Nucky tells Margaret he has no time for games and no interest in them. He calls her by her first name and then pulls her in for a kiss. Margaret and Nucky begin to kiss passionately and the episode ends with the scene of them kissing passionately.