Stallone’s fantastic performance proves that Hollywood should’ve let him take on gangster roles a long time ago. That’s not to say that Stallone is the only reason this series is a smash hit though, as the supporting cast help to make the show more enjoyable.
Tulsa King Series Premiere Recap
The series premiere begins with Dwight “The General” Manfredi (Stallone), a New York City mafia capo spending his last day in USP Canaan, a prison located in Northern Pennsylvania. Dwight reveals that twenty-five years ago, he took the blame for the crimes committed by his boss, Pete “The Rock” Invernizzi (Alan C. Peterson). As a result, Pete walked free and continued to lead the Invernizzi crime family, while Dwight lost his freedom, family, and position in the family. Dwight kept his mouth shut for an entire 25 years in prison to honor his word with Pete. After being released from prison, Dwight returns to the Invernizzis.
Instead of a warm welcoming party, he receives a cold greeting from Pete and his son, Don Charles “Chickie” Invernizzi (Domenick Lombardozzi), the new underboss of the mafia enterprise. The Don explains that business is at an all-time low, and they need Dwight’s help to rebuild it. Therefore, he wants Dwight to go to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and begin new operations there, so the family can start a new revenue source. Dwight considers this an insulting banishment and argues with Don and Pete. Don insults Dwight by saying there is nothing left for the old man in New York City.
Ultimately, Dwight reluctantly heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Once arriving into town, Dwight meets Tyson (Jay Will), a young cab driver who takes Dwight to a local motel. However, Dwight sees a marijuana store on the way and questions Tyson about it. He explains that such stores are legal in the state as it sells legalized marijuana.
Dwight enters the store and speaks with the owner, Bohdi (Martin Starr). He makes a deal with Bohdi and claims 20% of the shop’s income in exchange for protection against rival gangs and federal agents. Due to being in prison for a long period of time, Dwight fails to grasp the idea of marijuana selling being legalized in the state. Dwight claims his share from the shop and hires Tyson as his personal driver. He also pays Tyson to buy him a new Lincoln Navigator car at the nearest car dealership.
Later in the evening, Dwight visits a local bar and bonds with a couple of patrons. He also starts a conversation with the bartender, Mitch Keller (Garrett Hedlund). The next morning, Tyson arrives at the motel to pick up Dwight. He reveals that a car salesman refuses to sell the Lincoln Navigator for cash to a black man, assuming he is a drug dealer. Frustrated, Dwight arrives at the car dealership and violently convinces the salesman to let them buy the car.
Returning to Mitch’s bar, Dwight learns that Mitch also went to prison for eight years following a drug addiction caused by a failed bull riding career. While talking with Mitch at the bar, a woman attending a bachelorette party asks Dwight for a picture, and he immediately denies her request. One of her friends returns and confronts Dwight over his rude behavior. Dwight apologizes and decides to take the group of women to a local strip club. As the partying continues, Dwight and his new lady-friend decide to leave the party early and retreat to Dwight’s new hotel room.
The two enjoy their time together at the hotel until Dwight reveals his age, scaring her off as she is no longer interested in him. The next day, it is revealed that the woman who originally hooked up with Dwight the night prior is named Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage), an officer working for the ATF. Meanwhile, one of their informants (Max Casella) is at a local mall and recognizes Dwight as a member of the Invernizzi family and informs the ATF. As a result, the ATF conducts a briefing about Dwight’s arrival in town with Stacy now learning of Dwight’s true identity.
Tulsa King Draws Inspiration From Mafia Classics
It’s without a doubt that Tulsa King has quite the inspiration from the classics of the mafia film genre such as Goodfellas and The Godfather. With the series just recently premiering, Tulsa King may be one of Sheridan’s best projects to date. The series premiere runs at a very steady pace with roughly a 40-minute runtime. The first episode wastes no time jumping right into the story that features plenty of violence and comedy. Tulsa King is off to a promising start while we’re also seeing Sylvester Stallone simply dominating his entrée into series television with his tailored suits and impressive performance.
Tulsa King premieres on November 13th exclusively on Paramount+ with new episodes rolling out weekly on Sundays.