In 1950 Kansas City, two criminal syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Together, they control an alternate economy of exploitation, graft and drugs. To cement their truce, Loy Cannon (Chris Rock), the head of the African American crime family, trades his youngest son Satchel (Rodney Jones), to his enemy Donatello Fadda (Tommaso Ragno), the head of the Italian mafia. In return, Donatello surrenders his youngest son Zero (Jameson Braccioforte) to Loy.
When Donatello dies in the hospital following a routine surgery, the tenuous truce is threatened. Josto Fadda (Jason Schwartzman) takes up his father’s mantle, but his efforts to stabilize the organization are undermined by his brother, Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito), who has joined the family in Kansas City after building a reputation for ruthlessness in Italy. The other Fadda men – including Ebal Violante (Francesco Acquaroli), Constant Calamita (Gaetano Bruno) and Antoon Dumini (Sean Fortunato) – must decide where their loyalties lie. Amongst the turmoil, Patrick “Rabbi” Milligan (Ben Whishaw), a man who once betrayed his own family to serve the Italians, watches carefully to ensure his survival.
Sensing an opportunity, Loy tests the Faddas for weakness, deploying his most trusted advisor, Doctor Senator (Glynn Turman), and top lieutenants, Leon Bittle (Jeremie Harris), Omie Sparkman (Corey Hendrix) and Opal Rackley (James Vincent Meredith) to do his bidding. However, to Loy’s dismay, his oldest son Lemuel Cannon (Matthew Elam) wants no part of the family business.
Intertwined with this tale of immigration, assimilation and power, are the stories of Ethelrida Pearl Smutny (E’myri Crutchfield), the precocious 16-year-old daughter of Thurman (Andrew Bird) and Dibrell Smutny (Anji White), an interracial couple who own their own mortuary; U.S. Marshal Dick “Deafy” Wickware (Timothy Olyphant), a Mormon lawman; Detective Odis Weff (Jack Huston), the Kansas City cop known for his compulsive tics; and Oraetta Mayflower (Jessie Buckley), a nurse who cannot abide others’ suffering.
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