|“||You don't understand one thing about it! You clean their fucking toilets, and you kiss their ass! You are all so fucking weak, and I am tired of being weak!||”|
|— Mateo to his family|
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Tiago scours Sister Molly's beach house for clues, leading to disquieting revelations. Councilwoman Beck proposes an alternate route for the Arroyo-Seco motorway, infuriating Townsend. Peter Craft invites Elsa to a party at his home, inflaming the suspicions of his wife Linda. Lewis asks the gangster Benny Berman to help battle the growing Nazi menace in LA. And after Josefina Vega has a harrowing encounter with the police, Mateo seeks retribution with his new Pachuco friends as Josefina pursues spiritual enlightenment with Sister Molly.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Late at night in Ensenada, Mexico, Santa Muerte is walking through the streets of a Mexican village. A truck stops as she’s passing through and two Jewish men get out. They sit at a nearby table as they talk in Hebrew. She stops by another family who are speaking Spanish, and a little girl turns around. She smiles at Santa Muerte. A short while later, a car with three men inside pull up and open fire on the men who were speaking in Hebrew. A lot of the nearby people become collateral damage and are killed, including the Mexican family. The shooters jump in the truck and pull off with the goods belonging to the Jewish men. Once the men who caused the massacre leave, Santa begins to walk, but is now carrying the body of the little girl who smiled at her earlier.
Back in Los Angeles, Tiago comes to work and finds that countless Chicanos have been arrested. As he continues to walk, he comes across one of the interrogation rooms where Officer Reilly is beating up Diego Lopez for allegedly trying to bite him. Tiago gets angry and slams Reilly up against the wall, vowing to kill him if he doesn’t stop. Captain Vanderhoff calls Tiago into his office after he breaks up the fight between Reilly and Tiago. Vanderhoff tells Tiago that he needs to work the case and give him something of value. He mentions that before Lewis took some personal days off, he had mentioned that Hazlett was building a love nest with Sister Molly Finnister. An angry Tiago asks his boss if that will get them to stop the unjust and inhumane interrogations on the Chícanos. Vanderhoff replies by saying he needs a reason to stop, so now he’s dismissed and should go do his job.
Meanwhile, at the Town Hall, Councilman Townsend reports to the Los Angeles City Council that Via Hermosa Development has agreed to take over the construction of the motorway at no additional cost. He proceeds by saying that they should be able to break ground as soon as the full City Council votes next month. Councilwoman Beck however, reveals that she has talked to some engineers, put some questions to them and found an alternative solution. The experts she talked to came up with an alternate route that entirely bypasses Belvedere Heights and goes through the hills, where no one lives. Only a few coyotes and jackrabbits; none of whom vote. She does mention that this route is four minutes longer. But that if their goal is to truly heal the city, this is the best plan. Councilwoman Beck further states that after speaking to her many old friends in the City Council and in the mayor’s office, she can assure those gathered in this meeting today they also agree.
After the meeting ends, Alex mentions that they can fight this proposal and put their own engineers on the task. But Townsend refuses to listen, and instead tells her to cancel his speech tonight. Alex tells her boss that they can’t cancel this evening. But this just gets Townsend angrier and he yells at Alex to do what he says. Which causes those around them to stop.
At a Cafe, Lewis tells Dottie that he knows a Nazi killed his friends. He just can’t prove it yet. Dottie asks him what he will do now about Anton and Sam, and he confesses to her that she talked to a gangster named Benny Berman. When Lewis defends Benny by calling him a Jew, Dotties tells him that he better hope that he is a good Jew. Lewis admits that this is about a lot more than Anton and Sam now. He admits that he needs help knowing what he knows about the Germans because he can’t do it alone. Dottie tells Lewis that he has her. She asks him to be careful because at her age, she can afford to lose any more friends.
The Crafts hosts Tom’s birthday party in his backyard. Peter has invited his German comrades. As the kids play, Ackermann talks about how the Bund has to get to the radio. While the Jews own most of the stations, the Catholic stations remain a possibility. Peter mocks Ackermann’s plan of having them work alongside a radio show cult. Peter then greets Elsa as she arrives at the party. Trevor approaches and tells Frank to come join him and the other kids with the piñata. Elsa mentions that she baked a cake and brought Frank’s sleeping bag over as he’ll be spending the night. Before Peter can get the chance to introduce Elsa to his wife, Ackermann joins them. He detects from her accent that she’s from Berlin, even pinpointing exactly where. Peter, seemingly growing jealous, invites her to meet the rest of the guys. Elsa scolds them for turning Peter’s backyard into a beer hall. They ask Elsa to sing a beer house song. She proceeds to sing in German with the rest of the Bund joining in, including Peter. Elsa inches towards Peter as they continue to sing, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Linda, who watches from the top of the hill at the open bar.
On the outskirts of town, Tiago overlooks the beach, before he sets his eyes on the love nest that Hazlett had purchased to be with Sister Molly. He gets inside and does some investigating. Eventually, he comes across a closet that has some of Molly’s things on one side and Hazlett’s on the other. Further snooping leads him to the bedside drawer that has a pack of Trojan condoms. Shortly thereafter, Molly makes her presence known and Tiago goes to her. He asks her why she lied to him. But Molly gets defensive and tells him that it wasn’t any of his business. She eventually admits to having slept with James Hazlett, and even says that he wasn’t the first. She asks for Tiago to leave her be. She leaves the house and tells him that she never wants to see Tiago ever again.
Back at Tom’s birthday party, the piñata has been broken and all the children sans Frank rush to get some candy. At another part of the party, Elsa asks Linda where the powder room is. Linda informs her it’s down the hall and past the kitchen. Elsa begins to walk away, but Linda stops her in her tracks as she tells the blonde woman that Peter is not who he pretends to be. She tells her to ask Mr. Craft about Essen and his family before she starts measuring the fucking drapes. She continues by telling Elsa that she won’t let her turn her into anything so banal as the rejected wife. Linda smiles and purposely bumps Elsa’s shoulder as she walks away. Elsa heads inside and Peter, who witnessed the exchange from afar goes in search of her. He eventually finds her in his home office, and he asks her if she’s alright. Peter closes the door and kisses her neck. He hikes up her dress and proceeds to have sex with Elsa from behind.
At the cemetery, Dottie and Lewis say their final goodbyes to Anton and Sam, when Benny Berman shows up. Benny gets out of his car and the first thing he tells Lewis is that he’s one annoying Jew. Lewis asks Benny if he has ever heard of a man named Wernher Von Braun. Benny says he hasn’t. So Lewis proceeds to tell him about how he is a rocket scientist in Berlin, who’s working on a rocket with a big engine called the V-2. Apparently, everyone is racing to catch up, including a bunch of kids at Caltech over in Pasadena. He proceeds to tell Benny that if hypothetically these kids beat the Krauts to figure out how to make this new rocket fly. Then the Germans will likely steal that science and get it back to Berlin. Which in turn would mean that Hitler suddenly has a rocket that can reach London, Jerusalem, and New York. He reveals to the gangster that is precisely why the Nazis are in LA. He goes on to say that he is here with him because they killed two of his friends, he is scared and doesn’t know what to do.
Benny asks how he fits into all of this. This leads Lewis to explain that he sees through Benny and his associates. That the reason Benny is here is due to the opportunities. The city of Los Angeles is wide open, and the police are fucked. Not to mention how the Mayor’s office is on the take and the City Council only wants to make money. Thus, the Nazis are here for the same reason. New York is closed to them because Mayor LaGuardia is half-Jewish and he’s not about to let a pack of Germans take over his city, but that LA is ripe for the picking and promised land of sorts. Benny angrily asks what the Jews have ever done for him. He even confessed to Lewis that he tried to join many temples in Los Angeles, but none would take him. Lewis asks him to look around and see how they have been burying Jews here for a hundred years. Before he leaves, Benny tells Lewis he will be in touch.
Tom and Trevor have a sleepover at their house. The young boys are shrouded in darkness as Trevor tells a scary story that eventually makes the other boys jump in fright. He laughs and calls them suckers, and then asks if anyone has another story. Frank raises his hand and asks for permission to tell it. Trevor hands over the flashlight and tells them the real story of Florence Moore. She was 12 years old when a man kidnapped her right outside her school. Her father arranged to pay the ransom and drove to meet the kidnapper. He saw Florence sitting in the passenger seat of the man’s car, staring at him. The father paid the ransom, but the kidnapper drove off with her. He stopped at the end of the street and dumped Florence out of the car. He had cut off her arms and legs, and held her eyes open with wires so that she would look alive. Florence lived in Pasadena. Just a few blocks away. Later that night, once all the boys have gone to sleep, Tom is tossing and turning. He eventually wakes up and sees the girl from Frank’s story earlier. She tells Tom that it hurt a lot when the man cut her up. Tom closes his eyes, but when he opens them, the torso of Florence Moore is on his bed and her eyes are opened up wide with wires.
At some motel, Skip is counting his money and tells Townsend that he had previously said five. Townsend tells him he did and is about to walk away, when the aforementioned male prostitute curses him off and calls Townsend a faggot. Once he opens the door, Kurt is already there and first aims his gun at Townsend. But ends up shooting Skip. Kurt drags him out and throws him into a waiting car before he drives off.
That same morning, Josefina and Mateo are walking home with some groceries for their mom when they get stopped by Officer Reilly. They throw the groceries on the ground and Reilly asks one of the other cops to hold onto Mateo. He then tells Josefina to hold onto the fence while he supposedly searches her for weapons. He grabs Josefina’s breasts and sticks his hands up her dress before he drives off with the other cops. Mateo tries to comfort her but she cowers in fear from her own brother. She eventually tells her brother that he can’t under any circumstances tell their mother, Tiago or anyone else for that matter. She makes him promise her as Mateo apologizes for being powerless to stop it from happening. She shushes him and tells him just to not talk.
At the Vega's house, Maria is in the kitchen cooking while Raul and Tiago are in the living room talking. Tiago admits to not knowing what to do when it comes to Molly, and calls her a complicated woman. He further admits to Raul that ultimately, he doesn’t know if he can trust her. Raul surmises that Tiago is dating a white woman, because with Chicanas, you always know where you are with them. That they make you chase them until they catch you. But gringas are crazy and if Tiago wants a big family, he should give up on that idea because birthing too many kids will ruin their figure. The conversation ends when their mother calls them to come eat because the good is ready. Maria and Raul share a laugh when he tells her how Tiago is dating a gringa.
Josefina and Mateo return, and Maria tells Mateo she is ashamed of him after she discovers the Pachuco tattoo he got. Mateo explodes and tells his family that for once in his life he feels proud of being Chicano. He calls out his mom for how she degrades herself day in and day out cleaning the white folks’ toilets and how Tiago is always kissing their asses as a cop. He ends his rant by calling them all weak and storms out. But not before Maria kicks him out and tells him to go to his gangsters and get killed. Then she switches to Spanish and yells out to not return to her home until he’s really thought long and hard about it. Josefina takes the opportunity to try to tell her mother that she was molested, but Maria doesn’t have time for it. Thus, Josefina goes for a walk and comes across a Sister Molly poster.
Meanwhile, As Kurt drives to his destination, while locked in the backseat, Townsend claims that he doesn’t hookup with men all the time. They only blow him when he doesn’t have time for a woman. Kurt, for his part, remains quiet and doesn’t speak a single word for the whole drive. He eventually stops at some railroad tracks and Townsend tries to get out. Kurt tells him to not do that since those doors lock from the front of the car. Upon hearing him speak for the first time, Townsend realizes that Kurt is American. When he asks about it, all Kurt cryptically says that he is a lot of things. Eventually, they arrive at a hotel that looks to be in the middle of nowhere. He drags him out of the car once more and into a motel room. Townsend continues to plead for his life as Kurt gets closer. Surprisingly, instead of killing him, Kurt kisses him instead. He briefly breaks up the kiss to ask Townsend if he prefers to be the top or the bottom. Townsend shortly answers bottom, and Kurt smirks as he begins to undress him. They continue to kiss unbeknownst to Townsend that behind a mirror Alex is secretly recording the whole thing.
At the Crimson Cat, Mateo tells Fly Rico and Rio how one of the cops molested her sister, and he couldn’t do anything. Rio says they need to teach him a lesson, instead of just sitting there and talking. Bernadette tells the guys that Reilly likes to keep little girls down in Sonoratown, puts them on smack, and they’re his bitches. She goes on to say that she knows the current girl by the name of Sofia. Bernadette defends her by saying she was a good girl. When Fly Rico asks her if she knows the place, she nods and tells him it is over in Alameda. Rico is still unconvinced but realizes he’s outnumbered when Rio, Mateo, and Diego are ready to do something about Officer Reilly.
Josefina finds herself at one of Sister Molly’s sermons where she tells the women in the audience to stand up and be heard. Up on the stage, Molly continues her sermon by telling the people gathered at the Ministry that Satan walks among them now. That the children are not saved and they need the Lord to save them. She then closes her eyes and begins to mutter indistinctly. Molly yells out and opens her eyes and asks everyone to come to her and be saved. Josefina rushes to get to Sister Molly who touches her tenderly. She cries as Molly blesses her.
At his home, Lewis is having dinner and listening to the radio when some men break into his home and put a sack over his head. Despite putting up a struggle, the strange men drag him out into the night.
Meanwhile, the Pachucos pay Officer Reilly a visit in Alameda. They break into a room where Reilly is in bed with Sofia. Reilly calls them monkeys and yells at them to get out, but instead Fly Rico slashes part of his skin while Rio pushes a screaming Sofia out. Rico throws Reilly on the ground, as Rio locks the door behind them.
Lewis eventually arrives at a mystery location, where Benny has dragged him to. He shows Lewis, a guy named Leonard Schiff, who is being hung alongside some fish. Benny proceeds to tell Lewis how a couple of days ago Mr. Schiff made his way down to Mexico. Where he hijacked a shipment of Mr. Lansky’s weapons intended for Palestine. Schiff, who is supposedly a good Jew, killed two good guys in the process and a boatload of spics. When Lewis admits to not knowing what Schiff did with the weapons, Benny reveals that the man in question sold them to Nazis. Benny hands over a gun to Lewis and asks him to kill Schiff if he wants to do business with him. Lewis hands the gun back and tells Benny to go fuck himself. Benny takes it back and shoots Schiff in the head. He then gets close to Lewis’ face and tells him how by blood and fire Judea fell. But that by blood and fire, Judea shall rise. He and his men leave and Lewis finds himself alone with the body of Schiff swinging around.
Fly Rico hands over his blade to Mateo and tells him to kill Officer Reilly. Rio goads him further by telling Mateo that Reilly has seen them and knows who they are. Reilly gasps and tries to crawl to the door, but Mateo slits his throat. He cuts and cuts until Reilly is dead and some of his blood splatters onto him. A pool of blood gathers around Reilly’s body.
At Richard Goss’ home, he and Alex watch the video she recorded of Townsend engaging in sexual relations with Kurt. Goss hopes they don’t have to use it. Alex tells Goss that it’s better for everybody if Townsend is with Kurt than with some hustlers in the street. This way they can protect him from himself. Goss assures her that Kurt will see to it and knows precisely what to do.
Later, the Pachucos drop Reilly’s body at the cop station and drive off. An unknown cop sees the body and rushes to it.
In the kitchen of Joyful Voices Ministry, Molly is washing some dishes when she’s interrupted by Tiago. She hands him a plate, and he helps her do the dishes.
Cast[edit | edit source]
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Trivia[edit | edit source]
This is the first episode title of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels to directly reference a character by name.
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