With gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (Ed Burns) in jail for murdering a mob informant, LAPD Det. Joe Teague (Jon Bernthal) and ex-wife Jasmine Fontaine (Alexa Davalos) find themselves in mortal danger on “Red Light” and “His Banana Majesty,” Episodes 3 and 4 of TNT’s “Mob City.”
Along with taking photos of Clover Club customers, Jasmine covertly snaps pictures of Bugsy gunning down stool pigeon Abe Greenberg (Michael Mallory).
“We have to burn these,” a frightened Jasmine says of the incriminating photos. “All of them.”
But boyfriend Hecky Nash (Simon Pegg) refuses to destroy the prints.
“They’re stacks of money and a new life — the one I always should have had,” Hecky exclaims. “Wise up and come along, or get left behind.”
As viewers learned in the “Mob City” pilot, those photos cost Hecky his life when he blackmailed Bugsy.
And the killer wasn’t a mob hit man. It was Joe, callously breaking the law to protect Jasmine from Bugsy’s wrath.
Although Hecky’s dead, Jasmine’s problems are very much alive. Her late boyfriend’s partner, Leslie Shermer (Iddo Goldberg), wants half the blackmail money. But Jasmine never collected a dime.
Leslie won’t be deterred. He leaves a bloody note on Jasmine’s door, promising to “be back soon.” That’s why Jasmine seeks help from mob fixer Ned Stax (Milo Ventimiglia), Joe’s World War II buddy.
“Why not take this to Joe?” Ned asks. “He’d handle it off the books.”
Jasmine wants Joe to back away, however, not become further involved. So she accepts $5,000 from Ned to pay off Leslie. But that’s not enough. Leslie wants 10 times that, plus the pix.
Bugsy’s second-in-command, Mickey Cohen (Jeremy Luke), also inquires about the photos. Actually, he’s more interested in the photographer. Does Jasmine know anyone with the expertise to shoot in the dark without flash?
Mickey pretends to believe Jasmine’s lies about being clueless. But he’s seen a red light in her bathroom and realizes the space doubles as a darkroom.
As for Bugsy, he’s arrested after flying back from Las Vegas. Waiting on the tarmac is LAPD Capt. William Parker (Neal McDonough) and his squad of organized crime fighters.
“What’s the occasion?” Bugsy asks cockily. “You want to put me in the electric chair?”
“This is California,” Parker replies. “Here it’s the gas chamber.”
With Bugsy behind bars, rival gangster Jack Dragna makes a move. His goons start busting up Bugsy’s illegal operations, including a bookie joint and a casino for well-heeled clients.
Even though Bugsy is confined to a cell, he’s not lacking in amenities. Thanks to friends in high places, he’s free to talk on the phone as he’s pampered with a haircut and manicure.
Bugsy also gets his arraignment date moved up, giving Parker just one day to assemble all the necessary evidence.
The key, Parker emphasizes, is finding Bugsy’s ruthless hit man, Sid Rothman (Robert Knepper). The cops have a witness who’ll testify that Sid killed two gangsters at a restaurant. But Sid will get off easy if he betrays Bugsy in court.
“Sid Rothman is the glue that makes it stick,” Parker says. “We find him, we decapitate the mob in Los Angeles.”
So where is Rothman? He’s lying low, sawing off the barrel of a shotgun. And he’s breaking into Joe’s apartment.
“You’re crazy coming here. You’ve got every cop in town looking for you,” Joe says as he’s forced to hand over his revolver.
“Look, I don’t know what’s on your mind,” he adds. But before Joe can utter another word, Sid whacks him with the shotgun.
“We’ll get to that,” Sid says, menacingly.
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