Tulsa King premiered this Sunday with “Go West, Old Man,” an action-packed episode that introduces us to Mafia capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi as he establishes a new criminal organisation in the titular Oklahoma city
Dwight (Sylvester Stallone) begins the film with an opening monologue played over his character as he prepares to be released from a Pennsylvania prison. He describes the monotony of his 25-year sentence in great detail, his voice tired and also his tone even.
Every new thought collides with the one before it, his ruminations devolving into a syllabic pileup that hammers home the idea that this guy is exhausted.And obviously yearning for his freedom.
“I married this life, and after keeping my mouth shut for all these years, I’m going to see if it married me back,” Dwight says as the cell bars slide open and he walks out.
Dwight is whisked away to a posh Long Island estate and escorted into a room by jumpy bodyguards immediately after his release. There, he reunites with the mafia bosses for whom he was imprisoned:
Tulsa King Premiere Recap Dwight’s main character’s
Don Charles “Chickie” Invernizzi (Dominick Lombardozzi from The Wire) and his father, Pete Invernizzi (A.C. Peterson). Chickie orders Dwight to Tulsa to build a new criminal empire from the ground up after some expository outrage (in which we learn about Dwight’s estranged family).
An uproar Dwight gives in and travels to Tulsa, where he immediately forces his “protection” on local dispensary owner Bodhi (Martin Starr from Silicon Valley) in exchange for a weekly commission.
Dwight has already threatened dispensary employees, knocked out a security guard with a water bottle, and threatened to break Bodhi’s foot at this point.
To further complicate matters (for everyone except him), Dwight extends a hand in, um… his version of friendship. Bodhi, aware that he is one wrong move away from paralysis, wisely asks, “Do I have a choice?” The simple answer is no.
Dwight ends up at a cowboy bar called Bred2Buck after checking into his motel, where he meets Mitch (Garrett Hedlund). Mitch is friendly but reserved, which piques Dwight’s interest.
(Dwight later returns to the bar and discovers Mitch’s previous life as a bull rider.) Remember that we still don’t know what Dwight is up to; we have an idea of his long-term goals but no idea how he intends to achieve them.
Tyson (Jay Will), Dwight’s driver/assistant, arrives the next morning in a beat-up Nissan. Tyson had been picked up in a cab from the airport, and Dwight had given him a wad of cash with the instructions to go buy a Lincoln Navigator.
Tyson explains that the car dealer refused to sell him the vehicle. Dwight is so irritated that he has Tyson drive him to the dealership, where he assaults the owner. The two drive away from the dealership in a sleek new vehicle.
Their first stop after the dealership is the mall, where Dwight laments how long it’s been since he’s had dessert that wasn’t prison tiramisu over ice cream. As they leave the mall, Dwight unwittingly attracts the attention of a man who appears to recognise him.
Dwight returns to the dispensary and hands new security cameras to a perplexed Bodhi, who hilariously remarks that they had no problems prior to Dwight’s arrival. Dwight stays at Tulsa’s popular Mayo Hotel on the advice of Bodhi and Tyson.
He then returns to Bred2Buck and meets Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage from Veep). He takes Stacy and her friends to a local strip club and sleeps with her after some flirting. The encounter is going well until Stacy discovers that Dwight is 75 years old. Stacy leaves without telling Dwight her name, disturbed by the “age canyon” between them.
The episode concludes on two interesting notes. The first is that the man who saw Dwight at the mall knew exactly who he saw and has begun calling interested parties. The second is that Stacy is an ATF officer who has been assigned to an active investigation into Dwight’s dealings due to fate’s twisted sense of humour.
Dwight reads an old letter (written by his daughter) to the Tulsa skyline, telling it that the city is his….