Season 1, Episode 8
Vito Genovese and Carlo Gambino make their move; the police raid a mob summit, arresting Genovese; Gambino takes over.
The Making of the Mob is currently not in-season.
In 1951, mob boss Vincent Mangano is murdered under the instruction of his own underboss, Albert Anastasia. It marks the first time since the Commission's founding twenty years earlier that an acting mob boss of one of the Five New York Families is violently removed from power.
Lucky Luciano, still in Italy, watches helplessly as the mafia system he created begins falling apart as gangsters begin vying for power. He continues to rely on Meyer Lansky and his acting boss Frank Costello to keep his operations running. But Costello's testimony to the U.S. Senate has made the Luciano family look weak.
Vito Genovese meanwhile hopes to use Costello's increasing weakness to his advantage, angling to reclaim power as head of the Luciano family. As the pressure mounts on Costello, he makes the unorthodox decision to seek out a psychiatrist and when word quickly gets back to the Commission, Costello looks even more incapable of leadership.
Fearing for his life, Costello makes a call to Meyer Lansky to come up with a plan for protection. Lansky enlists a man named Willie Moretti who begins to protect Costello around the clock with a crew of 60 thugs.
Genovese begins to meet secretly with a new ally, Mangano family underboss Carlo Gambino, to strategize on how to move against Costello in the face of extensive protection. They decide to order a hit against Moretti, but first they must get permission from the Commission and Luciano. Gambino argues that Moretti is losing his mind due to advancing syphilis. Still, Luciano refuses to allow the hit.
Going against Luciano's orders, Genovese orders the hit on Moretti who is murdered in a New York restaurant.
Realizing the future of the family is at stake, Lansky calls a meeting with influential Commission member Joe Bonanno. Bonanno defends Vito's actions.
With Moretti out of the picture, Gambino convinces Genovese that the time has finally come to move against Costello. In May of 1957, Costello is shot in the head and, miraculously, he survives and recovers.
In one last attempt to retain power, Costello reaches out to Albert Anastasia, the one man left who he knows will be loyal to him, and forms an alliance against Genovese. Before long, Anastasia is murdered in broad daylight while getting a haircut and a shave. Gambino moves up the ranks, taking over Anastasia's position, and the Gambino family is born.
With his last ally dead, Costello asks Luciano's permission to step down. He then meets with the Commission and is allowed to retire from the mafia, ending two decades in power.
With Costello out of the picture, Genovese takes control and renames Luciano's crime family the Genovese family. His first act back in power is to bring together a meeting of the major crime bosses in the country in a remote area of upstate New York. Local police quickly notice the fancy cars and strange characters pulling into town and the meeting is raiding, leading to twenty arrests. The bust makes headlines around the country and is a huge embarrassment for Genovese.
Luciano, still in Italy, gets an unexpected visit from Gambino, who has an unexpected request: He hopes to forge an alliance with Luciano to put Genovese in jail and get rid of him once and for all. Recognizing that Gambino is both intelligent and ruthless, Luciano decides to help, even if it means relenting control of the New York mafia to a new leader. Luciano calls in a tip to the Narcotics Bureau in New York and Genovese is sentenced to 15 years in prison for dealing heroin.
With Lucky Luciano's blessing, Carlo Gambino is named the new head of the New York mafia. Luciano, who continues to enjoy influence in the world and settles into a long-term relationship with an Italian dancer, lives until 64, passing away in 1962. He finally gets his wish of returning home and is buried back in America.
Genovese continues to run his crime family from prison and dies in jail in 1969. Costello, known as the Prime Minister of the Underworld, lives out his retirement in peace, passing away in 1973. Meyer Lansky outlives them all, retiring to Miami, living into old age. He passes away in 1983, marking the last of the old New York mafia regime.