The deadly shootout in the closing seconds of “It’s A Small World After All” left Vincent “Chin” Gigante and Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson in a peculiar place. The two men must work together because of their business arrangement, but they couldn’t hate each other any more than they already do. It would not have been surprising to see the two at war to start this episode, but that’s not exactly what went down. ALERT: This recap contains spoilers from the fifth episode of the second season of the Godfather of Harlem.
What You Missed
The Ballot Or The Bullet
— Godfather of Harlem on EPIX (@GodfatherHarlem) May 23, 2021
Synopsis: Three Freedom Riders are murdered in Mississippi and Bumpy Johnson wants justice, as well as a hedge against Federal investigation. Chin Gigante evades imprisonment with an insanity defense and Malcolm X delivers his most fervent call to action.
Five Burning Questions
When will Elise Johnson be kicked out of Mosque #7 in Harlem?
Elise Johnson was nearly kicked out of Mosque #7 because she had developed a friendship with Malcolm X. However, she was allowed to stay after she publicly chastised Malcolm X in front of other members of the mosque. One of the conditions of her stay with the mosque was to stay away from Malcolm X. In just a few episodes, she’s visited his home and had lunch with him in a crowded Harlem diner. It is not possible for her to be more publicly supportive of Malcolm X than she already has. While it would sting for her to be kicked out of the mosque, I don’t know how she hasn’t been kicked out to this point. Is no one seeing them hanging out all of the time?
Will Adam Clayton Powell Jr. become a casualty of Robert Morgenthau’s investigation?
In the early stages of season two, U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau appeared here and there. It was clear that he was gearing up for a federal investigation, but it appeared that it would take some time to put his case together. Well, it appears that five episodes were all he needed. This week, Morgenthau threw the house at Gigant and Johnson. Thankfully, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. bought Johnson some time to sort things out. In the process of protecting Johnson, he made it very clear to a federal prosecutor that he was looking to protect Bumpy Johnson. While it’s unlikely Morgenthau would investigate Powell Jr., the federal prosecutor just might not run things by Powell Jr. in the future because he feels that the congressman would be biased and alter his investigation. More importantly, Morgenthau could threaten Powell Jr.’s political career by telling others in Washington, D.C. that he’s protecting Johnson.
How will Godfather of Harlem portray the final year of Malcolm X’s life?
It is clear that the series is not entirely following an exact historical timeline. Malcolm X delivered “The Ballot Or The Bullet” on April 3, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio. The remains of Freedom Riders James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were not discovered until August 1964. However, both events seemingly happened at the same time in this episode. With that said, it is clear that the show is currently in the summer of 1964. Malcolm X was tragically assassinated in early 1965. Keeping that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the show portrays his final months. Will there be a point when Nigel Thatch is removed from the show to travel to Mecca? How will the show depict his relationship with Muhammad Ali in his later days? There’s so much to cover in such a short amount of time.
Will Monsieur #98 and Bumpy Johnson have a stable working relationship?
Robert Morgenthau’s investigation into the drug endeavors of Vincent Gigante and Bumpy Johnson is held up by the testimony of two informants. The first informant in question is Jean Jehan. Hours after being released from prison, Johnson, Del Chance and Nat Pettigrew head down to meet with Jean Jehan and Monsieur #98. Armed with the knowledge that there is an informant working with the government and INTERPOL, Johnson begins asking questions that he already knows the answers to. Ultimately, he twists things to indicate that Monsieur #98 is the informant. As a result, he puts a gun on the table and tells Jehan to shoot his friend. Little did he know, the gun wasn’t loaded. It was a test to see if Jehan would shoot his friend when he in fact was guilty. Johnson reveals to Monsieur #98 that he was willing to snitch in order to avoid two warrants that were out for his arrest. From there, he asks him to work for him. However, it’s unclear where Monsieur #98 stands. While his friend was willing to snitch on Bumpy and Chin, that was still his friend. He could seek revenge himself.
When will Stella Gigante get caught?
Lucy Fry has delivered a great performance throughout the series, but she portrays one of the more frustrating characters in the show. From Stella Gigante’s point of view, everything and everyone is in the wrong and she has no faults. Therefore, she has the right to turn in her father, Bumpy Johnson and ruin his family as well as her own.