‘Magic City’ Season 2, Episode 4 Review – Wheel of Fortune

Published 2 years ago by

Olga Kurylenko in Magic City Crossroads Magic City Season 2, Episode 4 Review – Wheel of Fortune

As far as storylines go, the involvement of Sy Berman in the lives of Ike Evans and Ben Diamond seems like it is the most promising of all the myriad plots just sort of lingering around during this season of Magic City. Not only does the show benefit from the presence of James Caan, but his aging and cranky Chicago mobster breathes new life into what is really the series’ main conflict between the proprietor of the Miramar Playa and the fetishistic mobster who’s still reeling from his dismissal from Cuba – which came courtesy of the Castro regime.

Although ‘Crossroads’ only gives us a brief glimpse at Sy’s life in Chicago, it also tosses in an unexpected flashback depicting a very young Ike Evans in 1924 watching as his father get roughed up by Sy in the business he built from the ground up for himself and his family. Obviously, this is intended to draw some comparison to the situation Ike currently finds himself in with Ben, but it also confirms that there is a history between the Evanses and Berman – and, tangentially, at least, organized crimes – long before the Miramar Playa existed and The Butcher was holding a 49% stake in the place.

I’m not sure if this revelation strengthens the story any – beyond Sy and Ike being acquainted to the degree that the old man would be compelled to leave the dinner table so as to take a call from Ike – as it would make just as much sense Sy might know of Ike due to his dealings with Ben and the Chicago outfit’s financial stake in the Playa.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Magic City Crossroads Magic City Season 2, Episode 4 Review – Wheel of Fortune

Moreover, it sort of paints Ike in questionable light, as his early experience, which seemed somewhat traumatizing, didn’t appear to have an impact on him in regard to not getting involved with mobsters. Certainly, it can easily be seen as a wrinkle in Ike’s character and a demonstration of how desperate he was to launch the Playa and succeed when his father-in-law played dirty to prevent that from happening, so, in that sense, Ike’s bad choices coming back to haunt him is definitely a recurring theme for Magic City. It would just be nice to see it played out more overtly, as the storyline moves ahead with Ike making risky gamble after risky gamble, to get him out of the corners he’s continually painting himself into.

While there’s been plenty of set up in season 2 regarding Ike’s next move and his quest to control the Playa outright, there are so many disparate character arcs going on, the storyline this season is beginning to feel a little disjointed. And it’s increasingly evident in ‘Crossroads,’ as the writers seem content to have the characters float along like Ben on an inflatable raft in his backyard swimming pool. Granted, this is only the halfway point of the season, so there’s still plenty of time to begin rounding things up and for the series to name its stakes, but right now, things feel as though they’re a little adrift.

A lot of this has to do with the overall structure of the episode. Much of what’s transpired so far this season has happened in relatively contained episodes that, more so than what Magic City has offered before, managed to include a clear beginning, middle and end. That’s not so much the case here, as it features so much jumping from plot to plot that there’s simply not enough time to focus enough on any one character that we get a sense of a complete chapter.

Danny Huston in Magic City Crossroads Magic City Season 2, Episode 4 Review – Wheel of Fortune

This is essentially the season clearing its throat and preparing to push into the final four episodes, which look increasingly as if they will focus more heavily on the gambling bill passing and the involvement of Senator Sloat in what will likely be the eventual disappearing act of Theresa, Ike’s favorite elevator girl, courtesy of Bel Jaffe.

With all the plot hopping going on, it’s time to start taking bets as to which arcs will actually pay off before the season wraps up. The good money might be on whatever it is Vera’s using to prepare for her show and Ben’s determination to sink Nicky Grillo and his arms deal with the Cubans – though Lily might get to him first after Grillo inadvertently dropped some details on her to Stevie. And now that the Evans boys have each fallen under the spell of a would-be mentor (Ben and Jack Klein, respectively), the race is on to see whose loyalty will shift away from their father first.

There’s a lot going on in Magic City right now, and hopefully, the next few weeks will see it come together in satisfying fashion.


Magic City continues next Friday with ‘World in Changes’ @9pm on Starz.

TAGS: Magic city
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  1. Series does not look like anything I would watch…except for the hoochie-cooch girl in the top picture, who can do the Dance of a Thousand Veils right on my kitchen table, somewhere between the salt-shaker and the napkin holder! Va-Va-Va-Voom!!

  2. I wasnt all that impressed with season 2 but now its starting to get good. Im looking forward to it. Who was the guy Danny recognized at the end? Was it his girlfriends father? I couldnt remember seeing him before

  3. I’ve started watching the series starting with season 2. I tried to watch season 1, but even as a young man, the porn stuff was irritating me because it had nothing to do with the story and I would prefer one or the other. Good mob story with great acting or a porn without needing good actors and good acting. You have to choose Mitch Glazer. One or the other. Having both just doesn’t cut it for this mobster lover. Anyway. First off. Poor Theresa! I think she had the hots for Ike Evans and that is why she wanted to help him. I liked her. Not too much with her tush being shoved into the Senator’s face (again not as bad as season 1, but really?). I also couldn’t figure out how Bel knew she was in the bathroom. What if it was Sy Berman taking a piss? I mean…really? Also, hitting a woman? Shame on Bel. I liked him before this little situation. Do we know for sure Theresa is dead? Are they just going to drop her in the water alive? Ugh! Also, tho I did enjoy Vera’s little dancing, it really didn’t impress me that much. I thought it was pretty ridiculous. I had hoped she would trip/fall/faint due to taking those injections. So what exactly was the purpose of her taking them? Just to show us she had to because she’s an aged dancer. She has the body for it I must say. Glad Nicky Grillo told Stevie (unaway of Lily & Nick’s past) about what a slut she is. I mean more power to any woman that wants to move up the food chain, but there is a proper way of doing it without getting yourself mixed up with bad guys and slutting around all over the place. Do we know if Lily was Sy’s slut also? He knew her very well and she made that phone call in season 1 to Sy about those photos. I predict deaths for either Vera or Lily or both of them in the upcoming episodes. I predict the demise of either Ben, Ike or Sy. I know my friend want Ben to die, but I prefer Ike to die to be honest. He acts all holier than tho, but I see thru him. He’s not that nice of a guy. He and Ben are very similar. Except Ben is honest with what a bastard he really is. What happened to Judi? I missed her. Also, anyone know when you have children in these types of shows how the actors/producers/directors do the pervy shots around them How do these children see their acting if there is porn/killings in every-other-scene? I don’t get it. Looking forward to the next episdoe and let’s hope there is some resolution soon.

  4. I enjoyed this episode. The only few things I didn’t really like or understand was (1) Vera’s dance. Were we to believe she was actually a showstopper show girl in Cuba? I don’t know. The dancing routine made me feel weird. Like I was watching a practice or a childrens’ dance recital. Didn’t have that umpf that I thought it should have had. (2) Who was that guy that got shot by Fed. It looked as if Danny recognized him. Were they friends? I couldn’t tell who he was or if I was suppose to know who he was. (3) No Judi in this episode. Hello! I need Judi Silver and her smart remarks. (4) Lily, Nick and Stevie. WTF?! So, Lily likes to whore herself around with different men. Hoping that with each one she will move up the food chain? How the heck is Stevie going to help her? Is she also planning on hooking up with Ike? I don’t get it. I felt for Nick tho. Poor guy. I think he truly loved her. I think Lily and Sy may have had relations also. They seem to know one another pretty frigging well. (5) Why is Lily stealing Ben’s money? Does she not think he will find out and kill her? He’s crazy b****! Run! (6) I couldn’t figure out the Cuban lottery deal. I must have missed something. Why is this important? (7) Oh dear Theresa, NO! Why did they have to make her a casualty. Why not Vera, Meg, Lily or someone else. How did Bel know she was in the bathroom as someone mentioned above. This is was not cool.

  5. Hard to believe this is the halfway point of the season, didn’t realize that as I assumed they would do a longer run than the eight episodes of season 1. Since that is the case, they sure need to put a lot of plot lines together pretty quickly to have it all make sense. I’m hoping that’s exactly what will happen, which should make for a frenetic, exciting final four episodes. The Sy Berman plot line is building now, and you just know that Mr. Caan will soon be featured front and center and that whatever happens with him the results will be pure dynamite. I also expect Esai Morales’ character to become a more integral part of the story, as he is too good an actor to remain as limited as he’s been so far. And although poor Theresa’s fate does not look very good, don’t be too hard on Bel. After all, he is a mob soldier and needs to whack someone now and then, so cut him some slack.

  6. Honestly, I thought this was the worst episode of the season so far, nothing is happening. And I doubt that they can make the story move in just 4 more eps. I gotta say, watching that episode, I really noticed Judi Silver’s absence. She is by far the most refreshing character on this show. Over-all that was a real snoozer.

  7. I have no idea what this show is.

    How does ScreenRant choose what to review and what not to review?

  8. I wish they would do longer seasons, not just 8 episodes. I like this show though, good characters.

    One thing I couldnt figure out is who is the kid that got killed during the raid? the one that looked at Danny, the one who he tried to save from being shot?

  9. I hope they can close this story in a good way. I liked Crossroads. I seem to prefer the episodes where there is less nudity. I concentrate better for some reason on the story, acting and scenary. I heard through the grapevine that a dearly liked character will be killed off. I’m a little disappointed in who it is, but I understand that you can only take this character so far and the actor is moving on to bigger and better opportunities. I am hoping Stevie will wise up a bit and realized Lily is only there to help Lily. I don’t blame her for using her sexuality to seduce men to get what she wants, but I do have issues with her doing it in such a whorish way not thinking she may be hurting people and hurting the people that can really hurt her: Ben Diamond, Stevie, Nicky Grillo and who knows how many will come out of the woodwork now. I feel for Theresa. She seemed like a really nice person and tho I don’t like nudity, she did have a cute tush. I think Ike is just as evil as Ben is, but at least Ben is honest about who he is and what he stands for. Ike acts o’holier than tho. I think Vera is a goner. She’s boring in my opinion. It’s not Olga’s fault. I think it’s just how the character is suppose to be. It’s hard to feel for her when she’s so insecure and that dancing was the worst. Looking forward to the next episode.

  10. the number one thing I’m wondering about is when will Stevie find/figure out the mirror and Ben and Lily’s part in it and how she and Ben are using him. can’t wait, don’t like Lily at all, but I must say I was scared for her when Ben reached up in her closet! also who was that guy that Danny saw?
    also I fail to see the point of all the nudity and yes I call it as I see it, porn. there are a lot more subtle ways of portraying that era than exploiting sex and nudity.
    once again, wait till Stevie finds out about the mirror!

  11. Yes! That two way mirror. How on earth did I forget about that? I can’t wait. Stevie is finally wising up, but it’s taking him too long. I was on TWOP and discussing this also, why didn’t Stevie stop screwing Lily once he realized she was married to Ben? Why risk it? I guess due to him being young and naive and loving sex,but he’s screwed a few other girls also so why a married one? Thank you for agreeing with me on the nudity/porn. I don’t want to come across as a prude, but it’s really overbearing on a lot of these cable shows nowadays. I couldn’t even enjoy Game of Thrones do to it. I think maybe a bit, but not over the top in every scene every second do we need to see it. I prefer watching the story not the sex.

  12. Theresa! WOW!! I’m a fan!!

  13. I saw a preview for the next episode. Lily is throwing herself on STevie to have more sex with him because of Ben. Stevie asks Lily if she’s a whore. WTF do you think kid? Of course she’s a whore? Really?