Magic City – Review/Recap of Episode 2: Angels of Death

Oy Vey! The megillah continues over at the Starz Network’s Magic City. The second episode of Season 2 was called Angels of Death ( A Jewish Passover reference) and it wasted a ton of time on a unnecessary Passover Seder at Ike Evan’s.


We get it. The Evans family is Jewish, and Ike’s wife Vera has converted to Judaism. But it feels like show creator Mitch Glazer thinks that we need to be reminded over and over to make sure we know it.

The show is a rather curious mix of early 1960’s fictional criminals, historical facts involving the CIA and its dealings with Cuba, sex, and violence – all of it seasoned by tossing in Yiddish expressions in what feels like every 6 or 7 minutes.

Vera pushed Ike away when he wanted to fool around because she had to go make the gefilte fish. Bel Jaffe calls Stevie Evans boychick. Jimmy Caan finally showed up as Sy Berman and had one scene this week. He managed to get the word fercockt into a conversation he had with Ben Diamond. Fercockt is the Yiddish equivalent of ‘all fucked up’.

I don’t know about you – but I am once again losing patience with this show. Last year, I bailed on the show after the first three episodes. This year, I’ll give the show a few more chances. But I think Glazer and his writers have to tighten the show up. Things don’t have to be served up and spelled out for us.

As an example – Caan’s Berman is having a talk with Danny Huston’s Ben Diamond in his greenhouse in Wilmette, Illinois. Seems like Sy had to give Benny a good talking to.

But Ben Diamond didn’t like being told what to do. Diamond tossed away the the potted tulips than Berman gave him to take back to his wife. It seems certain that we will hear about this again, when Berman shows up in Miami Beach. To make sure we understood the dynamics – back in Miami Beach, Diamond was ranting and raving about how Chicago (Berman) was not going to tell him what he can and cannot do, or who should live and who should die.

So a conflict be tween Berman and Diamond has been set in motion.

Another part of the show seems painfully obvious – and that is Ike’s relationship with his dead wife’s sister Meg Bannock, who is played by Kelly Lynch (above) who is married to Mitch Glazer in real life. So Meg has a yen for Ike. Probably always did – only her sister Molly married Ike. By the way – did you notice when Ike referred to his deceased wife as Mo-Li rather than Molly. And that was left in rather than re-shot or edited out. Vera is quite jealous of Meg even though nothing has happened between Meg and Ike except for some stuff involving the hotel and money.

But I expect things will change.

Speaking of other relationships – does anyone really care about Ike’s Danny and his g-f Mercedes Lazaro. She’s played by Dominik Garcia-Lorido (above) which makes her actor Andy Garcia’s daughter.

A few new characters were introduced. The first would be Nicky Grillo. Seems like we now find out that Lily Diamond was involved with him back in Chicago. We also find out that that Lily Diamond, besides going around behind Ben Diamond’s back with Stevie Evans, is also working for Sy Berman. She is the conduit for information about what’s going on in Miami Beach back to Berman. That was surprising.

Steven Strait as Stevie and Jessica Marais as Lily

Steven Strait as Stevie and Jessica Marais as Lily

But in the 5 cornered relationship of Sy Berman, Ben Diamond, Lily Diamond, Stevie Evans, and Nicky Grillo – the smart money bet is that at least two of them will be dead by the end of the 2nd season. Which two? It all depends on whether the series is renewed for a 3rd season.

The other new character is Carlos Ruiz played by Esai Morales. He’s going to be the Cuban that CIA will attempt to utilize in some way.

As for a third season – according to Wikipedia the number of viewers for Magic City’s Seasonal 2 Opener fell from 0.50 to just 0.34 in the second episode and that represents a serious drop. So we will just have to wait and see.

*****Speculation Ahead*****

Now this is just my thoughts. I have no info to back up any of these projections. It all can be filed under the heading of “Suppose”. Nicky Grillo puts pressure on Lily Diamond. Lily tells this to Stevie. Stevie kills Grillo. Then Ben Diamond has had enough of the passion regularly on display between Stevie and Lily. So Ben Diamond has Stevie killed – maybe on the Venetian Way (below) which connects Miami and Miami Beach (this is shades of Sonny Corleone’s painful demise in The Godfather).  Diamond is then killed by Danny Evans. Why not – he seems to be the least likely candidate. Okay – I’m just creating. What do you think is ahead?

In case you didn’t know – the word I used up top – megillah – means a story that is long, complicated, and boring.


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