'Godfather of Harlem' Episode 10 review: 'Chickens Come Home To Roost' is a fitting end to what has been 10 weeks of great storytelling
This review contains spoilers for 'Godfather of Harlem' episode 10: 'Chickens Come Home to Roost'
'Godfather of Harlem's hour-long riveting finale comes to a gripping end leaving the door open for a potential season 2. Every episode of the gangster drama has managed to be a compelling affair and 'Chickens Come Home to Roost' just joins the bandwagon. The episode also goes on to prove that this was a series that did more than just establish Bumpy as a man out of prison looking at claiming back what was rightfully his. This series was meant to be a look at mobsters' personal lives and the creators have managed to bring in that element seamlessly while also chronicling the historical moments of the time.
The Italian Mafia is miffed and wants Bumpy's head on a platter. Each of them has their reasons as they "summon" Bumpy for a round table warning. Except, Bumpy still walks out making the most epic statement the series has seen— "I am the mob's worst nightmare" and rightfully so. This was a man who fought tooth and nail for his people and he's not letting scums ruin it for him. And he promises that this would end in one way— "Mutually assured destruction".
The finale's plot heavily centers around President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the repercussions it has on the people of Harlem. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (Giancarlo Esposito) mourns the death of his friend while Bumpy sends off Mayme (Ilfenesh Hadera) and Margaret off to a safe place. Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch) uses the opportunity to make his feelings clear when Elijah Muhammed asks him to take his place on the Lester Wolff Show. Despite a stern warning to not comment on Kennedy's death, Malcolm speaks about the white man's error and uses the famous and controversial phrase "Chickens come home to roost". A phrase that made the headlines after Kennedy's assassination.
The episode also ties up the Ernie (Rafi Gavron)- Stella (Lucy Fry)- Teddy Greene (Kelvin Harrison Jr,) love triangle. And Ernie is a man now who has serious doubts about his career as a Mafia man. He loves Stella and despite Chin Gigante's (Vincent D'Onforio) warning to leave Teddy alone, he goes to meet the couple. Teddy strikes it big and performs live, but it proves to be his last gig as one of Ernie's colleagues shoot Teddy dead point-blank. It is a bitter end for the Romeo-Juliet pair and for Ernie who starts accepting the fact that Stella would never be his.
Meanwhile, Chin orders a whack on Bumpy and gets a gangster from Italy to do the job. And while he does have the upper hand on Bumpy, he is killed by Elise (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy) despite her being stabbed in the scuffle. Bumpy warns Chin he's coming for him while Malcolm quits the Nation of Islam following the largely misunderstood quote.
Family and personal lives were one of the themes captured in 'Godfather of Harlem' and this episode sums that storyline up perfectly. One of the many wishes Bumpy has is to see Mayme, Margaret and Elise spend time together as a family. A wish he hopes is fulfilled at some point in his life. Chin gives up on his plans to kill Teddy for the sake of his daughter and while that doesn't end up as planned, it still goes on to show that he was a man with a heart despite his wily, cruel demeanor.
'Chickens Come Home To Roost' is a fitting end to what has been ten weeks of great storytelling. The show started off as an ambitious, rich project and is definitely one of the top mob -genre series that's made in the recent past. The pleasing fact is that it's managed to keep the two elements going. With a cast of powerhouses, this wasn't a show meant to fail. And it didn't.
'Godfather of Harlem' episode 10 will premiere on Epix on December 1.