Magic City: Review/Recap of Episode 2-03 – Adapt or Die

One down, one up, and one held steady. I’m talking about the three TV series (Magic City, Graceland, and The Killing) that I have been following of late. The show that went down, and has been in a rather severe downward spiral since the season premier is Magic City on the Starz Network.

I think the show conceptually was a good idea, but Mitch Glazer has fallen into his own trap of trying to keep too many stories going at once. What is ironic is that all the separate story lines do tie together, but the show seems to drag severely.


When we first met Nicky Grillo (last week) he looked like a guy interested in Mrs. Diamond, and he seemed a bit innocuous, even while being portrayed as someone Ben Diamond should ‘give a fuck’ about. Now we find out that he’s an arms dealer and he is selling guns to Esai Morales, who has set up shop in Ike Evan’s Miramar Playa hotel. Morales, as Carlos Ruiz, is plotting to overthrow Castro and reclaim Cuba.

Speaking of Ike’s hotel – another new face has shown up, a casino manager, and he’s already working with blue prints to redesign the hotel lobby with slot machines. You will recall that Ben Diamond has that Florida politician in his pocket via booze and broads. Diamond believes that the vote to legalize casinos in Florida will pass. Me? I’m sure it won’t.

Then we had Ben Diamond managing to get Stevie Evans ’employed’ as a dealer in his poker games. Diamond promised Stevie at least a grand a week to do so. What got to me was that the scene when Ben is laying all of this out to Stevie. It went on forever. Slowed the show down to a crawl. Really.

Another scene that went on far too long was the wake at Victor Lazaro’s home. Lazaro is the hotel manager for Ike Evans. You will recall that Ike managed to bring home Maria Lazaro’s ashes from Cuba. Which he did by making a deal to allow the CIA access to tap Ruiz’s phones at the hotel.

When Ike was in Cuba he was in the process of working a deal with one of Castro’s ministers to get his hands on the hotels that were once (pre-Castro) controlled by the Chicago mob headed Sy Berman. We will have to keep an eye on that because there are three questions – will Ike get the Havana hotels, will he sleep with the attractive lady minister, and who really killed Maria Lazarus – one of the Castro soldiers told Ike that ‘we didn’t do it’.

Another reason why the wake went on so long was so we could watch Ruiz’s assistant, Antonio Rivas, make google eyes at Mercedes Lazaro.

Speaking of Mercedes, that brings us to Danny Evans who is buying into all the snake-oil that State Prosecutor Jack Klein (above) is selling. When Danny sits down with his father Ike to tell him about it, Ike is thoroughly disgusted. ‘Take the fucking job’ (it is only an internship) he tells Danny. Danny’s reply: I already did.

Then there is Vera, Ike’s wife who is trying to 1) trust her husband, 2) resurrect her dancing career, and 3) fend off Meg Bannock (below) who is stealing Ike’s daughter, young Lauren Evan’s heart, every week.

And that’s not all – Vera has been away from dancing and keeping in shape for a while (as Mrs. Ike Evans) – so she’s sore and aching. Stevie fixes her up with someone who gives Vera an injection. Vera was told that it was vitamin B-12. But if it was just a vitamin, there would be no reason to show us the injection.

Got all that? The show is slow, dreary, and has much too much to keep track of. Ben Diamond is still watching his wife have sex with Stevie as well as participating in a 4 way lesbian tryst. But guess what – the sex doesn’t help and somehow they’ve managed to ask us to keep all of these story lines in our heads and yet, we still have to sit through scenes that are excruciating to watch. And Sy Berman hasn’t even arrived in town yet.

Did I leave anyone out? I sure did – that would be the prostitute Judi Silver who took a sit-down with Danny Evans but refused to tell Danny if Ike had any part in the murder of Jimmy Shoes. And as we know – Ike didn’t have just a part – he engineered the whole thing. Which is murder.

I think Glazer should jettison a few characters, and story lines – and soon. All talk and no bloodshed makes for a dull show.

Until next time –

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