Tulsa King’s pilot follows the same pilot playbook, introducing and establishing characters. However, Stallone is entertaining and promises greater things to come.
We recap the Paramount+ series Tulsa King season 1, episode 1, “Go West, Old Man,” which contains spoilers.
The new series, Tulsa King, has a talented roster of writers, directors, and producers behind the camera. Shocking; it may be as good as the impressive cast. That includes legend Sylvester Stallone, Garret Hedlund, Andrea Savage, and scene-stealer Domenick Lombardozzi, equipped with an awful toupee. Created by the great Taylor Sheridan and directed by The Sopranos‘ Terrance Winter and The West Wing‘s Allen Coulter, Tulsa King may be poised to be the next big streaming hit. Or, at least, one Paramount+ desperately needs.
Tulsa King season 1, episode 1 recap
Sylvester Stallone stars as Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a man who has just spent 25 years in federal prison for being a standup guy. He has just done a stretch for the Invernizzi family. Manfredi expects a celebration of sorts, like the strip club at a place called Scores. Except, Dwight is summoned to a house he hasn’t seen before. It appears to be of Don Charles “Chickie” Invernizzi (Lombardo). Now a captain and the son of Dwight’s former boss, Peter, he gets a cold welcome home. Two enforcers insist on standing behind him, and the captains, including Boardwalk Empire’s (and the unfairly dismissed The Passage) Vincent Piazza, are flexing their muscles, intent on not giving him any of what’s theirs in the Big Apple. They are sending him somewhere in the Midwest. The oil capital of the world is Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Why was Dwight “The General” Manfredi sent to Tulsa? They let him know there’s nothing left for him in New York anymore. Pete is backing his son, and when Dwight makes a stink, Piazza’s Vince gets too close to “The General” and is knocked out in one swift overhand right. Dwight then leaves, going to Tulsa, where he wonders what insect the size of his c**k ran into his torso? A Christian lady lets him know it’s a grasshopper and then promptly sprays holy water in his face before he corrects the misrepresentation of his endowment.
There, he meets his future driver, Tyson (Evil‘s Jay Will), outside the airport, who Dwight likes but keeps calling a gangster. Dwight is a little off, Tyson notices. He doesn’t realize there is a thing called the internet, smartphone, and apps that can call you a car. They stop at a local pot dealership which Dwight finds is an all-cash business that the owner, Bodhi (Martin Starr), is not reporting profits to the feds. Immediately, he becomes his partner by sheer brawn and will, taking 20% off the top to keep the gangs (and the law) away from them. He finds a local watering hole owned by Mitch (Mudbound‘s Garrett Hedlund) and befriends some patrons. Dwight hires Tyson for a couple thousand a week to be his driver and stands up for him when they won’t sell him an SUV. He gives him the money to purchase one.
Everything seems to be going well for The General. He has his hands in a very profitable business. He has “hired” a staff. And he meets a pretty middle-aged woman at a bachelorette party, Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage). He takes her back to his hotel, spends the night with her, and comments on how he is out of practice. Stacy enjoyed herself, however, until she found out Dwight is not a hard fifty-five but 75 years of age. Stacy is so, what’s the word, freaked out about it; she excuses herself and practically calls him “Sir” before she runs out the door.
Tulsa King season 1, episode 1 ending
As we reach the end of Tulsa King season 1, episode 1, a local cop (Max Cassella) sees Dwight in town and immediately notifies the ATF. When the ATF in charge brings up Dwight’s picture, one of the ten agents sitting at the conference table turns their head. It’s a familiar face of Stacy Beale. The ATF agent slept with the newest gangster in town.
What did you think of Tulsa King season 1, episode 1? Comment below.
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