So from 9:30 on part three to maybe a minute into part four is one of the best speeches I’ve heard on television. What makes it so great is how universal and specific it is at the same time. Proposition Joe’s elevated diction used to describe the security of the drug co-op . . . it feels like it could have been delivered by any powerful man if you changed a few words around. I imagined a sheriff saying them, then a mob boss, then a politician. Proposition Joe seems like more of an allegorical figure than a real character.
It really doesn’t matter how persuasive the speech is because Marlo has no choice but to join them. He makes himself sound like a tough guy by asserting how he doesn’t need the co-op while shooting up his hand, desperate to gain back the money he lost.
My favorite part is the visual imagery of the free pigeons flying above the coop while Marlo shuts himself in. It seems like a grim foreshadowing of Marlo’s new place within the co-op. He’s been trapped by his own foolishness.