'Godfather of Harlem' Episode 6 Review: 'Il Canto de Malavita' sheds light on tarnished loyalties, pushes Bumpy on the edge
This episode contains spoilers for 'Godfather of Harlem' episode 6: 'Il Canto de Malavita'
An episode that rocks Bumpy and Harlem violently. Five episodes of 'Godfather of Harlem' in a way has been building up to this moment. The episode wastes no time in establishing that there are multiple competing story threads, each of them sure to have their own effects on the series' narrative. The chapter starts off with Joseph Valachi (Richard Petrocelli) before a senate and naming members of the Italian Mob. He is seen testifying and is urged by the enigmatic and enthusiastic Adam Clayton Powell (Giancarlo Esposito), while Bumpy (Forest Whitaker), Chin (Vincent D'Onforio), Costello (Paul Sorvino) and Joe Bonanno (Chazz Palminteri) follow the proceedings on television.
Note that each of these people is in deep s**t in addition to their rivalries. Bumpy and Bonnano went behind Chin's back in the previous episode. Chin, in the meantime, has stolen Bumpy's product and the money Bonnano had paid Bumpy for is past-due. And since we are talking about the men in trouble, Powell too has issues after Esther James for slander.
Call it a messy affair, but that's exactly what the episode aims in telling. Making an appearance is Clifton Davis as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who outlines his issues with Nigel Thatch's Malcolm X and his relationship with Bumpy. He is also the first person who firmly believes Malcolm and his Nation of Islam aren't exactly what Harlem would be needing right now. Credit to Davis as he plays a disgruntled man when it comes to talking about Malcolm X.
The Stella-Teddy affair has been one of those important storylines that have played a major part in the series. Ernie Nunzie (Rafi Gavron) was caught for failing to kill Teddy and hiding the fact about Stella's arrest. He's given a second chance only for him to find a note saying the two left town. Of course, the two haven't. Amidst all the gangster wars, this is has been that one thread that has managed to raise questions each time about how it ends for the lovers.
The episode also sees Bumpy's views about loyalty and this time its a harsh reality check for the man when he realizes there is an insider in his group. A devastated Bumpy realizes that it was Guapo (Luis Guzmán). To add to his already existing woes is Stella who approaches Bumpy for help. It has been that sort of an episode. The Bumpy we saw in the season opener — a swashbuckling, confident, ruthless man was now treading water. The man isn't the voice that Harlem would look at anymore should things go much south than it already has. He now has loyalty issues and a wily foe in Chin to combat.
Perhaps this is the episode that may finally see Bumpy hit back with vengeance. The series manages to still hold on to the gripping and intrigue factor. For those who have religiously followed the gangster drama, 'Il Canto de Malavita' is a must-watch.