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 third episode of the first season of The Godfather of Harlem
Synopsis: “Our Day Will Come”
“Bumpy unexpectedly finds himself at Elise’s side when her shoplifting arrest and subsequent abuse is the catalyst for a protest where conflicting interests cause tensions to rise,” IMDb writes.
The Nation of Islam
Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam prove yet again to be an immovable force in Harlem. When things go wrong down at Fiddler’s, it’s Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam who keep in mind that this situation is larger than the city of Harlem. It’s all part of a movement for Black liberation around the world. While Bumpy Johnson and Malcolm X have their disagreements, Bumpy Johnson continues to call on Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam because he recognizes how important they are to the neighborhood.
Curiosity is a big winner in this episode. During the opening moments of this episode, we find Malcolm X, Bumpy Johnson and Margaret Johnson having lunch. It’s at this moment that Bumpy Johnson learns that his oldest daughter had been raped at Fiddler’s. While he’s taking in the news, he tells Margaret to go finish eating at the counter, but she’s a lot like her father.
In the first episode, Mayme Johnson mentions that Margaret traded her dolls for books while Bumpy Johnson was in jail. Simply put, she’s astute, intelligent and always listening.
After hearing her father and Malcolm X talk about Elise, Margaret goes on a search to find out who Elise is. Despite Mayme’s efforts to keep Margaret away from her mother, it’s only a matter of time until she fully figures out what is what in that household.
As much as it pains me to write this, Teddy Greene emerged as a winner in episode three. He comes back to Harlem to have his mother kick him out and learn that his friend was murdered because of his girlfriend. Through all of that, he gains a sense of direction and control over his own life. The breaking point Teddy Greene comes during his long-awaited record company audition. While it’s clear that he has the talent to make it big, nothing about it feels right. Before he even starts playing, the record store owner calls him “boy.” Then, he’s asked to perform soft pop music in front of a crowd of cheering wealthy white men. He eventually storms out and is confronted by his self-centered, naïve girlfriend. With all of that on his mind, he ends up creating some of his best work.
New York Police Department
Much of “Our Day Will Come” centers around Elise Johnson being raped by an unnamed Black police officer. While Elise Johnson attempts to save the Black police officer by claiming that a white police officer raped her, her father can’t see right through the lie. In the end, the unnamed Black police officer gets a one-on-one meeting with a man they call Big D*ck Buster. Had the officer simply arrested Elise for stealing and moved on with his day, none of this would have happened.
The central location for “Our Day Will Come” is Fiddlers. Unfortunately, the owner, Sol Fiddler, has no control over his own store. Vincent Gigante is using the building to store illegal items and Bumpy Johnson has taken over the store because his daughter, Elise, was raped there. He is caught in the middle of two powerful men and the NYPD with no say over what happens next. Sol Fiddler is simply just there to see if he can salvage what’s left of his business.
Somewhere In The Middle
Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. is an interesting figure throughout this series. It is clear that he is an effective and influential politician not only in New York, but he also has a great relationship with President John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, he tends to be his own worst enemy. As a Black politician, he is held to a higher standard than his white colleagues are. Therefore, exposes about him having a relationship with his secretary are not brushed under the rug like Kennedy’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe is. In the end, Powell Jr. is able to garner great press during the Fiddlers protest and use that to push forth legislation that will benefit Black communities. Still, it’s clear that his actions when he’s not on the clock will stifle his ability at some point in the future.
Costello is retired, but he appears to still be working incredibly hard to keep the peace between Johnson and Gigante. While he was able to prevent the destruction of Fiddlers, it is clear that Johnson knows Gigante is hiding a secret in Fiddlers. Furthermore, it is clear that eventually, Costello’s calls to keep the peace will fall on deaf ears. The war between Gigante and Johnson is imminent.
It is impossible to say that Elise Johnson was a “winner” in this episode because she was raped. It is also impossible to say that she was a “loser” in this episode after she delivered a moving speech in front of Fiddlers. Elise Johnson is a refreshing character in this series because she is the most honest person in Harlem. She knows her strengths and her weakness and she does not run from any of it. Her honesty is on full display when speaking to her father in the back of Fiddlers. During the conversation, she is quick to point out that he is a “sh*tty father,” but she does not hesitate when calling herself a “sh*tty daughter.” The only person she will humble herself for is her daughter because Margaret is the only one that has not wronged her.