Season two of the Godfather of Harlem is set to return to Epix on April 18. Given how season one ended, there’s a lot to look forward to and many questions that need to be answered. Before we enter into season two of the Forest Whitaker-led drama, take a look back at season one. Through the “Rewind” series, examine the highs, lows and mind-boggling moments from each episode of season one. A new edition of the “Rewind” series is available each day at 9 a.m. ET. NOTE: The article below contains spoilers for the sixth episode of the first season of The Godfather of Harlem
Synopsis: “Il Canto de Malavita”
“To cover his debt, Bumpy is tasked with killing a witness testifying against the Genovese family. Elijah Muhammed tours Malcolm X’s mosque where he meets Elise and asks her to spy on Malcolm. Chin finds out Teddy is alive, leaving Ernie Nunzi to correct his mistake. Meanwhile, Esther James sues Adam Clayton Powell Jr. for slander,” EPIX writes.
Five Moments That Matter
For much of the first season of the Godfather of Harlem, Vincent “Chin” Gigante must fight the stigma of being his boss’s former driver. Many use his former title as a way to dismiss him, but one thing is very clear. Chin Gigante is a lot smarter than many ever gave him credit for. Last episode, Gigante was able to execute a plot to put Bumpy Johnson in debt. This episode, his back is up against the wall as a former member of the family names him during a congressional hearing. With the FBI ready to serve him a subpoena to testify, he decides to not only plead insanity, but act insane as well. When an FBI agent comes to serve him his papers, he finds himself in the shower with his clothes on as he holds an umbrella. He also starts to walk around the neighborhood with his handler to really convince the FBI that he’s not well. It’s actually brilliant.
Elise Johnson continues to be the most honest character in Harlem. During episode six, the honorable Elijah Muhammad comes to visit Mosque #7 in Harlem. While he’s there, he invites Elise to spend time with him one-on-one. During a car ride, he formally asks her to be his “eyes and ears” at Mosque #7 because he fears that Malcolm X is becoming too political. Following through on this task could do a lot for Elise’s standing within the Nation of Islam, but she can’t go through with it. Instead of reporting back to the honorable Elijah Muhammad, she tells Malcolm X about what happened. Elise Johnson appears fearful for his safety and his position with the Nation of Islam, but Malcolm X remains unshaken as he always is. However, there’s a piece of him that is concerned as well. He just doesn’t feel comfortable showing it in front of Elise.
Is there anyone having a tougher time in Harlem than Ernie Nunzo? First, he pisses of Bumpy Johnson. Then, Chin Gigante sends him out to kill Teddy Greene, but he kills the wrong guy. Making matters worse, Teddy Greene comes back to Harlem and he gets arrested for kissing Stella Gigante in public. Somehow, this news gets back to Chin Gigante and guess what? He’s pretty mad about it. As a result, Vincent Gigante tells Nunzo that he’s not allowed back into his social club until Greene is dead.
After spending all of his time and effort trying to find the real Teddy Greene, he finds out that he’s scheduled to play at Minton’s. In true Ernie Nunzo fashion, he shows up to Minton’s and tries to shoot him as he’s performing in front of a packed crowd. Thankfully, Stella Gigante stops him before he does something that will certainly land him in prison. At this point, it’s clear that Stella Gigante has more of a hold on Ernie Nunzo than his own boss.
Say it ain’t so! The tragic death of Guapo is the first loss of a major character thus far this season. As Bumpy Johnson’s best friend, it appeared that he would be the most likeable and loyal character this season but it was apparently all for show. When the congressional hearings take a left turn, Guapo is asked to testify which leads the Five Families to ask that Johnson kill him. At first, Johnson is completely against it because Guapo has always been loyal to him. Before killing him, Johnson shows up at his bar and asks him if he’s been approached to testify. To his surprise, Guapo quickly says yes and that he plans on providing information about everyone except for Johnson. Being the loyal guy that he is, Johnson is just not ok with that answer. Ultimately, he makes the tough decision to take out a man that is almost like family to him.
After killing Guapo, Johnson finds himself having a late dinner at Woolworth’s. While he’s eating, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. interrupts him to provide some much needed information. Powell Jr. gloats about the fact that Guapo has been called to testify because he is still angry that Johnson didn’t help identify any members of the Five Families earlier. Little does he know, Guapo is already dead and Johnson’s name will not come up in these hearings. Again, Clayton Powell Jr. falls short.