"Boardwalk Empire" the HBO show about Atlantic City and prohibition in the 1920s surpassed itself on the Sunday night episode which had a complete Irish theme.
"Only for Nights in Ballygran" is a title taken from the ballad 'Carrickfergus" which was sung quite beautifully throughout the episode.
The episode was set in Atlantic City on the eve of Saint Patrick's Day 1920 as the forces for and against prohibition arrayed against each other.
As a snapshot in time of Saint Patrick's Day 1920, the first year prohibition was introduced, it was a fascinating look back.
The authenticity of this series lies in its almost perfect recall of a time and a place long gone, a place imagined but never seen, yet somehow a place and a time brought unerringly back to life with incredible attention to detail.
Such is/was St.Patrick's Day 1920 with prohibition in effect and city fathers trying desperately to get the booze distributed for the countless St.Patrick's Day parties that were held along the boardwalk and elsewhere.
On this eve of Saint Patrick's Day in 1920 city treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Johnston, based on a real character, is the lord of all he surveyed in Atlantic city.
In the episode he was was throwing his annual Irish party, arranged by the Ancient Order of Celts-- read Ancient Order of Hibernians. With an election coming up Nucky needed the Irish clout to deliver
The party scene with Irish leaders arrayed at a banquet table, listening to a tenor sing 'Carrickfergus" and later given gifts by dwarves dressed as 'leprechauns' was a classic.
Earlier in the episode Nuckey's haggling with the chief dwarf over what to pay the 'leprechauns' was a wonderful scene.
A speech by Nucky's brother ELi, involving the irish Rising and the need for American support for Irish independence almost sparked a riot as the Irish-born and irishAmericans argued over who was doing the most for Irish independence.
Somethings never change.
Later the prohibition cops bust up the party and Nucky falls hard for a Kerry woman Margaret Schroder, her married name, played by Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald.
The last scene shows them kissing. Does Nucky know it is the Kerry woman who betrayed his secret booze factory and her fellow Irishman Alderman Neary who has been arrested for the booze factory ?
I guess we'll find out next week.
We'll all be tuning in next week to a show that is gradually coming to rival "The Sopranos"