In these last two episodes
of Mob City's
first season, "Oxpecker" and "Stay Down", such a multitude and variety of crappy things happen to people that it's hard to find a place to begin. The first thing chronologically takes place in 1944. Teague has a massive case of PTSD from the war and attacks Jasmine, whom he is still married to at this point, in his sleep. They're both horrified, and it's safe to assume that this is a big part of why they broke up.
Back in 1947, Teague's life is still terrible, since he's being held captive by Rothman and interrogated for information about Carl's safe house. Rothman says a lot of things, ranging from his respect for the army to how being a bloodthirsty sociopath somehow makes him not racist, but Teague only really starts listening when Rothman reveals that he knows about Teague's past with Jasmine and is more than happy to kill her if Teague doesn't cooperate. In the end, interrogating Teague wasn't even necessary because the mole on the police force found Carl's location. We'll get back to that in a minute.
The Femme Fatale
Naturally, Jasmine chooses this moment to visit Teague. Rothman doesn't harm either of them, since they provide an alibi for the events at the safe house. Jasmine administers some sensual wound care and pretty soon they end up having some no strings attached sex. You know how sexy first aid can be. The next morning, Jasmine steals back the key to the bus locker containing her pictures of Siegel's crime. Did she sleep with Teague simply to this end, as a true femme fatale would, or did she do it because she still loves him? I think it was a little of both.
While they're getting in on, a creepy figure watches from outside. Of course it's none other than creep extraordinaire, Shermer. The next day he breaks into Jasmine's apartment, having already kidnapped a little girl who lives nearby. He threatens to kill the girl if Jasmine doesn't take him to the pictures. His plan is to blackmail Siegel just like Nash did, except smarter. Nothing can go wrong there, am I right?
Since she has no other choice (except asking Teague for help, but that is way too practical a solution), Jasmine confesses to Cohen that she took the pictures and sets up a plan to double cross Shermer. She plays up the fact that she was a mere woman caught up in men's corrupt affairs, which is probably the smartest thing she can do. The whole idea of a femme fatale is a woman who uses her sexuality and agency to get what she needs, and while Jasmine doesn't really fit the clichÃ©, she definitely manages to manipulate being a woman to her advantage. I think the character was underdeveloped in this season, as were several others, but I'm glad they managed to work that angle at least a few times.
By the end of the season, Jasmine has rid herself of Shermer, thanks to Siegel's crew and Teague. She doesn't have the pictures, because Teague moved them in order to remove her from danger, and he sends her off to San Francisco. Before she leaves he tells her about killing Nash, and she's appropriately disgusted. All the rationalizing in the world can't make her approve, and she exits with a few hard slaps and an even harder glare.The Honest Cop
Back to Carl and his now compromised location! Two mobsters go in pretending to be cops and kill nearly everyone in sight, including Carl. Only one police officer survives, but he is unable to identify the shooters. Since they no longer have any witnesses or evidence against him, Siegel walks on his murder charges.
This causes quite a stir, but Parker takes responsibility for the entire thing. Despite the colossal failure, the mayor is impressed with both Parker's willingness to take the blame and his unflinching disgust for police corruption. He wants Parker to take over as police chief someday, since the current chief is corrupt, and the episode ends with Parker creating the first Internal Affairs department in order to take him down. Assuming Mob City
has a second season, it seems that this plot is going to be central.The Mobster
Things are going pretty well for the mob at this point. They've reached a very tentative peace agreement with Dragna's organization and Siegel is a free man. The only problem is those damn pictures. Teague has them, and despite being a cop, he's willing to give them to the mob in return for Jasmine's safety. Siegel and company agree, but before they can meet with Teague, their old friend Meyer Lansky arrives from New York. Lansky was the guy killing bootleggers with Siegel and Rothman in the flashback at the beginning of the series, and having the three of them together and reminiscing adds a nice element of symmetry to the season. Unfortunately, Lansky is in town to deliver bad news: the people back east have decided to stop funding Siegel's Las Vegas project. True to form, Siegel reacts by trying to stab someone.
This whole business has put Siegel in a very bad mood. Though Stax tries to warn him against it, Teague approaches Siegel about the pictures, and Siegel loses his damn mind
. He beats the crap out of Teague, steals the pictures, and promises to kill Jasmine. Stax stands back and watches, since his self-preservation instinct is too strong to let him interfere, but he stays behind to help Teague up and tell him to quit while he's still alive. I'm a little disappointed with how little we've seen Stax this season, and that the hints of complexity in him have gone unexplored. Perhaps the Mob City's
biggest flaw is relying a little too much on clichÃ© and style rather than character complexity, but since it seems like they're setting up for a second season that could change.The Loose Cannon
By this time pretty much everything has gone wrong for Teague. His ex-wife slapped him silly after he said he'd burn down the world for her, he's in trouble at work, he may or may not be on the mob's hit list, and Jasmine's life is in danger. Having really and truly reached the end of his rope, he drives to Siegel's house, gets a gun, and SHOOTS SIEGEL LIKE THREE THOUSAND TIMES. He shoots his eye out! His eye! Somewhere, every character in A Christmas Story
is saying "I told you so." He then indulges in a post-murder cigarette and drives right back to the house when the rest of the police arrive as if nothing happened. The actual Bugsy Siegel was really killed like this, eye popping out and all, by a shooter who was never found. I love that they managed to work that bit of history so seamlessly into this story.
The rest of the episode is basically just people reeling from this horrific death. Cohen finally takes over Siegel's mob, Lansky is out for blood, and Stax seems to be completely done with Teague. There's still a lot of unanswered questions and history to play out, so here's hoping the show comes back!
(Image courtesy of TNT)