There is a whole lot going on with The Offer Season 1 Episode 4.
There's more Francoise than we deserve, Brando makes an appearance, big egos nearly come to blows, and Al gets a peek at a day in the life of Joe Colombo, and it scares the pants off him.
And finally, The Godfather gets the greenlight.
There's a line late in the episode that pretty much says it all where Al Ruddy is concerned.
It's what the movie needs.Al
That's a rarity in Hollywood, and it's hard not to imagine that it somehow played into why Ruddy was the last solitaire producer on a film in the business.
It certainly didn't do anything for his personal life, and it also jeopardized his burgeoning professional life.
When Al met Francoise, she had already been around a while. On the other hand, Al was new to the luxurious and thrilling world of making television and films.
He's been given an opportunity to work with genuine talent for the first time, and it's all-encompassing. He wants everything, and he wants it now.
Francoise tried to get closer to Al by becoming interested in production, but she didn't have the skills or tact for it. She tired of the nightlife and Al's travels.
If things were bad enough that they were already in therapy, then that was not a relationship worth salvaging. They met at the wrong time in life, and their stars didn't align.
Al is already shooting for the stars making The Godfather, and there's only room for one great love in his life.
The Godfather was cast from a top-down approach as they tried to score Brando for the role. As it turned out, they didn't even need to sell him on it. His annoyance with Frank Sinatra did the trick.
Who knew that Sinatra had so much to do with The Godfather? His mob ties ran deep, and he just kept taking them deeper.
I'll tell you what. Ol' blue eyes better start usin' that microphone for singing or I'm going to strangle him with it.Colombo
I've always wondered how Brando looked like Don Corleone when he didn't resemble the character in real life. I have to admit, I'm not sure Justin Chambers was the right person for Brando, but he had fun with the shoe polish and cotton ball transformation into the Don.
Francis: Holy shit. Tissue paper and shoe polish, and Brando disappears!
Mario [laughing]: He's a genius!
Al: Francis, you're actually smiling.
Francis: Let me tell you something. John Ford, he once said that you make one for them and you make one for yourself. Well, guess what? I just realized that the one I'm making for them could be the best one I'm makin' for myself.
But Brando wasn't known for being an easygoing guy on sets, and he already had a taste of being turned away for his bad behavior. Still, Al fought for him because Francis's vision grew around his preferred casting for specific roles.
Selling Bob on Brando wasn't going to be easy. And Al and Bob were already on an uneven keel after the Love Story premiere.
Brando: You'd like to know my motivation for being here, sitting with you.
Al: You like the part.
Brando [chuckles]: Sinatra hated that I sang Luck Be a Lady in Guys and Dolls. He hates The Godfather. So, I thought I'd piss 'im off. [chuckles] That's the real reason. It's not for the money.
It wasn't Ruddy's moment; it was Bob's and Ali's. It might have seemed like a little thing, but it compounded when he was swindled into watching Brando's footage and again when Brando plugged Al Pacino.
There was a scene from The Offer Season 1 Episode 2 when Bob gave Al all the information he needed about making people feel as if it was their call all along, no matter how much maneuvering you put into a deal.
Instead of gently moving Bob in the right direction, Al went over his head more than once. That kind of move can get you a reputation, and nobody wants to work with someone who will continually buck the system no matter how good the picture is in the end.
Ironically, Bob's words of wisdom from the aspect of doing anything for the picture stuck with Al, but he forgot all of the nuances that Bob also shared.
When you look at it from afar, Al's initial lack of tact and Hollywood awareness had him beating down doors to get the picture made that could have been opened with a little less aggravation had he tried different routes to accomplish the same thing.
When Colombo called Al to the 'burbs and showed him how he does business, Al should have taken that as a lesson not to follow in Joe's footsteps.
Bettye: What happened?
Al: We got the Staten Island house back.
Al: Colombo bullied the owner into giving it back to us. The guy pissed himself he was so scared. He thought they were gonna fuckin' kill 'im. So did I, actually. [lights a cigarette] I've never felt so dirty in my life.
Bettye: Why would you ask him for help?
Al: I didn't. He overheard Francis tell me about it. The last thing I want is to be in his debt, trust me. I can't get the picture of that guy out of my head.
At this point, Al's got two mentors, Bob and Colombo. One is cherished despite running a low-hanging studio because of his charm and business insight, and the other is revered because he can and will harm you if you don't comply.
Read the room, Ruddy. You don't want to be a Colombo!
Or, maybe part of him did because when The Godfather is finally greenlit, Al caves to Francis bemoaning about Pacino needing to be Michael.
Looking back, it makes sense, but they had just scored Brando by going around Bob. And Al just got his eyeful of a grown man pissing his pants in fear of Colombo.
Charlie: A word to the wise, Ruddy. When you fail alone, there's no one else to blame.
Al: That's the only way I want it.
Al used the financial prospects of The Godfather with Charlie so Charlie would put his foot down, demanding Pacino in the role. It got a little uglier between mentor and mentee, but at least Bob scored a small win with Jimmy Caan in as Sonny.
Francis took Bob's small win as a personal affront, again whinging about his cast, but Al wisely told him to take the damned win.
Still, it was a little satisfying when Pacino, being young and honorable, turned down the role because of his contract with The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight for MGM.
You remember that movie, right? Uh, no. That wasn't Pacino's destiny, but it sure did feel painful at the time.
And I'll give you one guess who Al will turn to for a favor with Pacino. Hint: It sure as hell isn't Colombo.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.