Who doesn't like a night out on the town?
I suppose it depends on the company you keep. The Muldoon's didn't make the best choice for their dinner partners on Public Morals Season 1 Episode 4, but some graft-in-trade may have saved the detective in more ways than one. Out on the streets, Jimmy Shea brought down the mood for O'Bannon as he picked up prostitutes.
Things heated up in the intra-gang struggle between Richie, Smitty and Rusty. The cops might not have any evidence to investigate Mr. O's murder, but Richie Kane is not bound by such constraints and is more than willing to take matters into his own hands, damn the risks and the consequences.
Christine was given some evidence tonight her husband and his coworkers might not be the poster-boys for truth, justice, and the American way, but she was quickly distracted by...more evidence of police corruption. Sure, Terry's explanation that the hotel would rather handle matters discreetly makes sense, but payment in trade is still payment.
Her ignorance of his "bonuses" and "overtime" makes me question if Muldoon is really the hero that we've been led to believe he is. We knew that his armor was a little tarnished from his bribe taking and such, but hiding the money from his wife? Is he trying to protect her or protect himself?
And more importantly, where does the money go? Certainly spending the way that Latucci spends is thoughtless; a huge red flag to anybody who might happen to investigate the unit. But using a discrete portion of the funds to move into a two or three bedroom apartment in a safer neighborhood seems like it would be reasonable.
Vince Latucci: Speaking of the kids, Christine, they must be getting big. What are they up to now?
Christine Muldoon: You know, they're just your regular, all-American kids. Obsessed with their dead uncle, who was recently shot down outside a bar a few blocks from their luxurious one bedroom walk-up apartment.
Muldoon wasn't the only cop raising my suspicions tonight, though. Jimmy Shea's been a little too polished from the get go, and his behavior in Public Morals Season 1 Episode 2 complicated our understanding of him. The other cops obviously suspect him him of being some kind of internal affairs plant, suspicious of his clean cut looks, college education, and police brass father.
At this point, I'm finding it hard to believe that's the case, if only because he just does not fit in. Sure, he screwed the hooker at Harry Hardwares. But his over eager questioning of fellow officers, shadiness about his own background, and stick-in-the-mud behavior with O'Bannon just don't make sense if he's trying to infiltrate the unit. He's hiding something, but unless he's just really bad at his job, it's not an internal investigation.
I'm always amazed when I see a really good looking hooker. It's like, how did they end up on the street like that?Sean O'Bannon
While the cops were busy with the ladies, the gangsters were making progress on Mr. O's case. Or at least one faction was. The depiction of the fractured internal politics of mob life is where Public Morals shines brightest. The younger generation is still struggling against the establishment to find it's place, with Richie Kane facing off against...everyone.
Richie, in all his hot-headed, ill-conceived glory may drive the action, but Smitty is quickly becoming the more interesting character. He's ambitious and loyal, but also practical; Richie's impulsiveness creates more fallout, but I've always been a fan of the well thought out, meticulously devious takeover.
Richie Kane: You know it was Rusty, and you want to do nothing?
Smitty: I don't care who did it. There's nothing to be gained by doing anything.
Richie Kane: It ain't a matter of what's to be gained. It's a matter of respect.
Deirdre is another character shining from the background. Her revelation that she hopes to be a journalist probably should have set off alarms for O'Bannon, but I'll be happy to see the relationship continue. In addition to the drama and intrigue of hiding the activities of the PMD from his girlfriend, her moral struggle with what to do with that information will make for good television down the road.
Of course, their relationship will have to survive his expectation of traditional gender roles and her burgeoning liberation before any of that matters. For a show that's centered on the male dominated police force, and a division that is charged with rounding up prostitutes as one of it's major tasks, Deirdre helps to round out the experience of women in the era.
Sean O'Bannon: I could get used to this.
Deirdre: What's that?
Sean O'Bannon: Watching you in the kitchen.
Deirdre: Well, you've got the wrong girl for that.
Sean O'Bannon: What's that supposed to mean?
Deirdre: Means I've got bigger dreams than cooking and cleaning.
Don't miss Public Morals Season 1 Episode 5 next week, when impulse control challenged Rusty will surely take revenge on impulse control challenged Richie. These two both need to learn to take a beat and think about what they're about to do. We'll also get deeper into Latucci's Italian connections, and see the fallout from Bullman's ill-advised attachment to Fortune.
Watch Public Morals online and let us know what you thought of "Ladies Night" in the comments!
Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.