Episode Title: 'Time and Tide'
Writer: Mitch Glazer
Director: Ed Bianchi
Previously on "Magic City":
In Cuba, Maria and a group of refugees await a boat to take them to the States only to be gunned down by the men aboard. Back in Miami, Klein (Matt Ross) questions Judi Silver (Elena Satine) about the murder of Jimmy Shoes. When she's unresponsive, he slaps her and tells the guard to turn off the lights and hold her food.
Stevie (Steven Strait) searches Divin' Dave's houseboat for the incriminating photos and eventually finds them in the fish tank. He then burns them in the sink. Meanwhile, Janice (Willa Ford) leaves an envelope marked "private and personal" in Ben Diamond's mailbox.
During a board meeting, Ike (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) learns that Vera's old flame, Cliff is back in town, as he's now directing 'The Garry Moore Show.' In fact, Cliff will be the one deciding which Miami hotel will host the show. In his back room sports book, Bel (Michael Rispoli) gets a call from Doug, offering up information that Ben will find valuable. Elsewhere, Vera (Olga Kurylenko) takes a dancing lesson with her old mentor, Caesar Ramos.
Ben (Danny Huston) agrees to cut Doug's vig in half for info on Judi Silver. Meanwhile, Ike meets with Meg (Kelly Lynch), who has now agreed to sign on as a partner in the Miramar Playa.
Klein visits Judi again in her cell and threatens to shoot her if she doesn't give him info on Ike. She finally breaks down and tells Klein that Ike killed Jimmy Shoes in order to save her life.
In the Atlantis lounge, Ike meets with Pierce Fuller, who gives him the bad news about Maria. Ike tasks Fuller with finding Maria's body. Meanwhile, Vick (Yul Vazquez) and Mercy (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) drive back from her stewardess school graduation. When Danny's name comes up, Vick insists to Mercy that he'll never marry her despite her love for him. When they arrive at the hotel, Mercy heads to Danny's room and the two have sex in the shower, while downstairs, Ike gives Vick the news about Maria.
Later that day, Vera comforts Ike about Maria and he asks her to join him for the pitch meeting for 'The Garry Moore Show.' Just as the presentation is about to begin, Klein and his men bust in and arrest Ike for the murder of Jimmy Shoes. Vera takes over the presentation and offers to host the show for free for six months as well as bring in Caesar Ramos to choreograph. She also volunteers to dance. Cliff and his partner agree to consider the offer.
Now in custody, Ike asks Sid to get him out of jail, but the bail is too high. Back at the hotel, Danny (Christian Cooke) and Stevie argue over the validity of the charges against their father. Later on, Vincent (John Cenatiempo) tells Stevie about the situation and asks how he wants to proceed. Meanwhile, Ben tells Al (Bradford Tatum) to kill Judi while her guard is away from his post. Just then, Ben opens the envelope from Janice and finds the pictures of Lily and Stevie inside.
Out by the pool, Ben grabs Lily (Jessica Marais) while she's underwater and begins to drown her. He then drags her out of the pool, shows her the photos and promises to kill both her and Stevie. Lily tells Ben about all the places she had sex with Stevie and seduces him in the process.
In a motel room, Doug (Todd Allen Durkin) asks Judi to write something for Ben. Vick breaks the news about her mother to Mercy while Lily calls Stevie and asks him to come over. The two have sex while Ben watches through the glass ceiling above.
In a jail cell, Klein tells Ike it's Ben he's after and threatens to put him away for good if he doesn't give Ben up. In the motel room, Al breaks in and attempts to strangle Judi, but Doug shoots him. Back in his cell, Ike looks up at the ceiling in contemplation.
Ike's in jail, Ben's onto Lily and Stevie, Meg's a partner in the Miramar Playa, Maria's dead and Vera's dancing. Just about everything we expected to go down in this season finale did. If you were hoping for some crazy twist, you're in the wrong city.
Well, there is the matter of Judi Silver. She's still alive and more screwed than ever, after Klein's crony, Doug saved her from Ben's crony, Al. And then there's those pesky photos. Maybe Stevie should have paid Janice a little more attention. Lucky for he and Lily, Ben's the kind of sexual sicko who gets off on watching his wife in bed with another man. His fetish means the tragic lovers will live to see season two. Beyond the premiere though, I'm not sure.
I predicted there'd be blood in the finale and sure enough, Al and Maria didn't make it out alive. Although there was the suggestion the latter somehow survived gunfire in a Cuban bay, watching her sink to the bottom doesn't leave much hope.
Indeed 'Time and Tide' delivered all the drama you'd expect from a season finale. We saw Vera rise to the occasion when Ike was hauled off in handcuffs at a most inopportune time. Mercy and Danny finally (?) consummated their relationship before she begins her career as a globetrotting stewardess and then there was the whole mess with Ben, Lily, Stevie and the polaroids.
Unfortunately, the drama in this season one finale rarely dipped below the surface. Maria's death in Cuba is tragic. As is the death of any mother and wife, separated from her family for so long. And like any young couple in love, Danny and Mercy's inevitable separation is also sad, but I'm not sure the past seven episodes have made it any sadder.
I'll give 'Magic City' credit for attempting to tell a story as sexy, mysterious and fast-paced as the city it's set in. Eight episodes isn't a lot to work with when you're trying to tell this much story. For that reason, I'm more than willing to return to the Miramar Playa next season in hope of some real storytelling magic.