Tulsa King – Season 1 Episode 2 “Center of the Universe” Recap & Review

Center of the Universe

Dwight looks up details about her daughter, Cristina, on a website at the start of Tulsa King episode 2. To proceed further, it requires a card number but he does not have one.

He tries to send a package to New York (presumably the cut for the mafia) but is found short when the cashier informs him they don’t accept “cash”. At the coffee shop, the barista doesn’t serve it in glass anymore and coffee costs five times more than it did back then. Stacy enquires about Dwight’s file to dig deep. He committed two murders in his file – one outside the jail, and one inside in self-defense. He had the chance to flip but did not turn and instead did time.

While Stacy admires his integrity, she is asked to be careful around Dwight. He walks around the city and stumbles onto something called “the center of the universe”, a woman informs her. She says that when someone stands inside the circle, people on the outside cannot hear a thing. He tries it and seems it works. Vince expresses his anger at Chickie for not doing anything to Dwight for his actions against him. The rules of the organization dictate that when a Capo is struck, the person who does it needs to be killed to respect the chain of command.

Chickie calms him down and tries to find a settlement. Dwight goes to a bank to get a card. He needs to reconnect with his daughter and a card is in his way. But the banker informs him that his ID has expired. To get a new one, he has to go to the Department of Public Service, where he cheats his way through the driver’s exam and bribes the attendant to get an early date.

Manny is informed that Ike (a.k.a. Dwight) is back in town and he takes it as an indication he has come to kill Manny. Chickie calls Dwight and lets him know that to resolve the dispute, he must eke out a hundred grand to Vince. Dwight aggressively resists the offer but knows it is the right thing to do. Stacy decides to visit Dwight and come clean about her identity. Dwight does not take it kindly and rants about his messed up personal life. He is rude to Stacy. who calmly leaves the hotel and Dwight instantly regrets his behavior.

We see Tyson’s dad encouraging him to work on his career by going to college instead of working for a gangster. They share a healthy, friendly relationship and Tyson assures him that he is doing it to learn business insights. Bohdi accompanies Dwight and Tyson the Jimm the Creek’s farm. Bohdi warns Dwight about his cousin, Bad Face, who is the first person he meets when they reach the farm. Bad Face and Dwight almost come to blows as Jimmy flies in to calm things down. The next scene is quite a sight for viewers as we see why Dwight was at the top of his game in his prime. And why he has still got it.

He negotiates the prices down with Jimmy for taking his raw material with great insights into his vast expanse of land. He knows that Jimmy is upselling them in the absence of them not knowing about his other businesses and he appreciates Dwight’s intellect. They shake on a deal and Dwight smokes weed on the way back home. Under its influence, he rants about today’s generation and their ways and laments the lack of traditionalism in modern society.

Dwight gets his card in the mail and is finally able to set up an account on the site. He gets Cristina’s details but her husband, Emory, picks up the phone. He informs Dwight that she does not want to talk to him. Dwight hears kids in the background and asks just to hear her voice. She obliges but disconnects when Dwight says he wants to see her.

Heartbroken, he goes to the center of the universe and speaks his heart out. He regrets not being there for Cristina and stopping seeing her as it was hard for him to be like this. Dwight wanted a different life for Cristina and hopes he can one day reconnect.

The Episode Review

Episode 2 has more of the old charm that Sheridan has tried to infuse in his storytelling through Dwight. For some reason, despite being a show about crime and the mafia, Tulsa King has a way to ease through its motions.

There is a warmth that you get from the cinematic universe and it reflects in episode 2, where you see the main characters bond with Dwight. He seems like a very personable, intelligent operator, fully capable of establishing his own empire in Tulsa.

Episode 2 also unfolded a layer of his character where he is filled with regret for not spending enough time with his daughter. He turned her away to make it easier on himself rather than her and cannot reconcile that truth with his situation.

We saw emotional depth in the acting and structure of this episode. Sheridan’s MO certainly means that the story will take its own sweet time to get going and that is all right with us. Keep this smooth rolling on and we will be good.

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