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Series / Mob City

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Hecky Nash: This city... so damn beautiful. But only from a distance. Up close, it's all gutter.

Mob City is a period drama that premiered on TNT on December 4, 2013, which stars Jon Bernthal and Milo Ventimiglia with the show mainly created and produced by Frank Darabont. It was first reported to be broadcasted under the title ''L.A. Noir'', before it was changed to ''Lost Angels'' and then to the current title to avoid trouble with the viewers on confusing it with the videogame L.A. Noire. A six-episode first season was broadcast over a compressed three week period in 2013, but the show was not picked up for a second run due to poor ratings.

Set in 1947 (with occasional flashbacks to the 1920s), the drama tells the story of how the Los Angeles Police Department and the mob are waging war on each other in order to claim dominance over Los Angeles after the end of World War II. The LAPD is about to come under the leadership of William Parker, who is determined to get rid of the mob from LA's streets. One of the detectives involved in the war against organized crime is Detective Joe Teague, an ex-Marine who fought in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese Army before he retired and joined the force.

At the helm of the mob is Mickey Cohen, who is determined to make LA his power base in the western part of America. And along the way, Joe has some secrets that he needs to keep from his superiors in the LAPD and from various mobsters if he wants to stay alive.

Mob City provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: Series regular Gregory Itzin only appears in four of the show's six episodes, only has lines in three of them, and even then only appears in one or two brief scenes in each of those.
  • Amoral Attorney: Ned Stax, the Siegel-Cohen organization's go to lawyer.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Siegel killed Greenberg in 1939... in New York City.
    • Tri-X film in 35mm format wasn't available until 1954.
    • When Bugsy leaves Las Vegas after executing a mook, his car passes next to the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign - built in 1959.
  • Ass Shove: Mickey Cohen shows a mook how he can "have a banana another way".
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The LAPD is seen as this in the local media. Parker and Morrison's unit are an attempt to correct this.
  • Batter Up!: A common "non-killing" weapon of the gangsters. It does kill people.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Sid Rothman is a fictional center piece in the Mickey Cohen organization and has been a friend of Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky for decades. Joe Teague kills Siegel and sets the ball in motion for William Parker to become LAPD chief.
  • Big Bad: Bugsy Siegel in the first season.
  • Blackmail: Nash tries to blackmail the Siegel-Cohen organization. After he is killed, his associate Leslie Shermer tries to blackmail Nash's girldfriend, Jasmine Fontaine.
  • Broken Pedestal: Happens to Carl regarding the mob when they try to have him killed.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hecky Nash could continue to be a terrible stage comedian, but his jealousy and inferiority complex towards his childhood friend Mickey Cohen leads him to blackmail him and his boss, Bugsy Siegel.
  • By-the-Book Cop: William Parker and Hal Morrison.
  • City Noir
  • Cliffhanger: Once per Episode.
  • Cowboy Cop: Teague.
  • Dead Star Walking: Hecky Nash, Simon Pegg's character, dies at the end of the pilot episode.
  • Dirty Cop: A major problem of the LAPD, which ties to Truth in Television at the time that the city government's trying to weed out corrupt cops from the force.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Siegel gets killed off only six episodes into the series, and Mickey Cohen replaces him as the head of the mob.
  • Disposing of a Body: Siegel has a man shot and dumped on the foundation of a future casino in Las Vegas.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Two mob hitmen dress like cops to murder a police informant.
  • Eye Scream: When Teague kills Bugsy, one of the bullets hits him in the left eye, and Rothman is horrified when he finds said eye on the floor.
  • Fanservice Extra: Many in the nightclub scene of the Pilot.
  • False Flag Operation: Detective Teague and Attorney Stax make one after the former kills Hecky Nash, blaming it on another mob group.
  • Flashback: At the beginning of the first two episodes.
    • "A guy walks into a bar" begins with Siegel, Lansky and Sid Rothman murdering bootleggers in 1925 New York City.
    • "Reason to kill a man" shows Cohen's first arrest in 1922 and Parker as a rookie in 1927.
    • "Oxpecker" begins in 1944, showing Jasmine and Joe's dysfunctional marriage.
  • Film Noir: The genre is invoked.
  • For Want Of A Nail: The series begins with Hecky Nash's attempt to bribe Teague into acting as his bodyguard while blackmailing Mickey Cohen. Then Teague murders Nash. And everything else spirals from there.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who knows about the history of the Mafia in America probably saw Bugsy's death coming early on in the show.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When Lansky comes to see Siegel after he spends the night with some party girls, he comes to the door wearing only a guitar.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Joe Teague is a subversion.
  • The Heavy: Despite Siegel as the Big Bad, Sid Rothman is far more present of a villain and has much more of a direct impact on the plot.
  • He Knows Too Much: Subverted. Nash blackmails Mickey Cohen and gets away with it... for a few seconds, when he is murdered for reasons that are more complicated than it first appears.
    • Carl too.
  • Historical Domain Character: Mickey Cohen, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Jack Dragna, William Parker, Mayor Bowron and Police Chief Worton.
  • Hot-Blooded: Many characters. Chiefly Joe Teague, Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel.
  • In-Series Nickname: Parker is called "Bill the Boyscout" by his peers in the force after he got recruited.
  • Kosher Nostra: Mickey Cohen, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky make apparitions.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Joe Teague kills Nash part out of jealousy, part to avoid Jasmine being a target of the Mob when they come inevitably after him.
  • The Mafia: Jack Dragna's Italian gang.
  • Mob War: After the investigators make their move on Siegel, Cohen's rival Jack Dragna tries to muscle in their operations.
  • Prevent the War: Stax, an Amoral Attorney for the Mob, tries to prevent the situation in Los Angeles from escalating into a Mob War. He invokes Pragmatic Villainy to convince rival mobsters to not hurt the patrons and staff at a casino run by Mickey Cohen and later arranges a sit-down between Cohen and rival mob boss Dragna where they agree to a temporary peace. However, his efforts seem to be for naught when at the end of the season Teague kills Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel and a massive power vacuum opens up.
  • Private Eye Monologue: By Teague (although he is not a private eye), before every episode.
  • Red Herring: In the first scene of the series, Lansky, Siegel and Rothman bring violin cases to a meeting with bootleggers. They contain violins. The guns are in a baby cart down the street.
    • This gets a Call-Back later in the series - the only scene where the 3 men are in the same room again has them joke about "violin lessons", and in a Hidden Depths reveal for Sid Rothman, we first glimpse his sensitive side through an extended sequence that shows he kept up the hobby.
  • The Reveal: The first two episodes.
    • "A guy walks into a bar": Stax set Nash to hire Teague as his bodyguard, so that Teague would murder him.
    • "Reason to kill a man": Teague was once married to Nash's girlfriend, Jasmine, before he fought in the Pacific with the US Marines.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Teague's coming to Morrison, joining his unit and staging a police bust on Nash and the mobsters he's blackmailing is actually Teague's cover to murder Nash and get away with it, blaming it on Nash not following his advice and having himself killed before Teague could appear and alert the other cops.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Teague betrays Nash and murders him, then gives the money Nash extorted from the Mob back to the Mob. All because he is still in love with Nash's girlfriend.
  • Shellshocked Veteran: Joe was in quite the bad shape when he returned from the Pacific. He got better by the time of the show.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Jasmine.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Teague assassinates Bugsy by shooting him at least nine times through a window. He even went through the trouble of shooting him in the head three times.
  • Troubling Unchildhood Behavior: Mickey Cohen was first arrested at age 10.
  • Wild Card: Joe Teague.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After Carl, who works at a restaurant, tells Rothman that his targets are working there, he is willingly beaten in the back alley so he can claim innocence when the cops show up.