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The General's 12 Best Moments In Tulsa King Ranked By Toughness

Depending on one's rank in the organization, being a mobster seems to require a unique combination of soft skills, hard skills, and personality traits. First and foremost is the ability to keep a secret, since mob types tend to frown on anyone leaking deets about the family business. The ability to compartmentalize also seems to be pretty crucial, whether they're keeping their side chicks separate from their wives or emotionally walling up the trauma of the many crimes they've witnessed. And one of the most fundamental gangster traits is toughness — something Dwight "The General" Manfredi has in spades.

Dwight's journey into America's heartland begins when the General finds himself unceremoniously exiled to Tulsa after 25 years in the clink. Thanks to his unifying personality and resilience, he quickly makes a home for himself in Green Country, creating his very own version of cosa nostra right in the buckle of the Bible Belt. In the land of concealed carry and cannabis dispensaries on every corner, the future is wide open for an enterprising mob boss who's up to the challenge. Tip your Stetson for the General, because we're ranking Dwight Manfredi's toughest moments in "Tulsa King."

12. Taking on Tulsa

Even for a mobster, there are different types of strength. There's the raw muscle of an enforcer like Luca Brasi or the strong, silent Gary Cooper strength favored by Tony Soprano. Sometimes, knowing how to stay in one's own lane and take orders is one of the toughest things a mafioso can do. It's that display of powerful masculinity that the General displays when his Invernizzi welcome home party turns out to be more of a slap in the face.

Upon Dwight's release from prison, he expects to be lauded for his years of silent suffering or at the very least, given "adequate compensation." Instead, he is greeted with distrust and disrespect from nepo baby underboss Chickie, who tells him, "I don't know what you're expecting, okay, now that you're back. But we can't just rewind the clock." 

When Chickie banishes him to Tulsa, effectively going back on Pete's deal with him, Dwight is insulted. But being a loyal capo and having limited options, he dutifully accepts his fate and makes his way to T-Town (as seen in Season 1, Episode 1 "Go West, Old Man"). Because he's the General, he doesn't even make it to his hotel room before he has found his first business venture. 

11. The Higher Plane

Dwight barely makes it inside the Tulsa city limits before zeroing in on a potential cash cow in the Higher Plane Dispensary. When Tyson (Jay Will) explains that there is no "crew" running the neighborhood, the General steps into the pot shop for a little recon mission. After discovering that the place has minimal security and only deals in cash, he senses a business opportunity and decides to make them an offer they can't refuse ("Go West, Old Man").

Like any good businessman, he begins his presentation with a product demonstration, in this case showcasing the facility's security holes by coldcocking security guy Fred with a tire iron to draw out store owner Bodhi. Armed with nothing else, he coolly demands Bodhi (Lawrence Geigerman) show him where the money is kept, threatening to break his foot if the owner refuses. It's in this scene that Manfredi establishes he would rather threaten violence than use it, but he isn't above getting his knuckles bloody. Without breaking a sweat, the capo secures himself a neat little extortion gig, demonstrating the gentleman gangster ethic that will serve him well as he begins to build his own red dirt regime.

10. Driver's test

Nobody loves dealing with the DMV, but it's an inevitable part of life, especially when you've spent the past couple of decades sitting in a prison cell. While it might be a boring way to spend an afternoon, though, in Season 1's third episode ("Caprice"), Dwight learns the hard way that the last thing anyone wants is an exciting driver's exam.

Manfredi's driving test takes a serious detour when a man in a ski mask pulls up next to him at a stoplight and opens fire. While most civilians would scramble to get safely clear of bullet trajectories before calling the cops, Dwight is no normal civilian. As the would-be assassin takes off, Dwight peels out after him, initiating a high-speed chase through the mean streets of Tulsa as his bullet-grazed driving test administrator Paul cowers in the passenger's seat. The relentless pursuit ends when Dwight slams his vehicle into the other driver's Caprice and the shooter uses the aftermath to flee the accident scene. You can practically smell the testosterone emanating from Dwight's ruggedly handsome pores as he uses Paul's blood to scribble a partial license plate on the Navigator window. Quite possibly the most macho driver test ever taken, the scene proves that a true gangster never really clocks out.

9. Music festival beatdown

When Dwight Manfredi stumbles onto a business model that will seem familiar to anyone who has been to a Phish concert, deciding to sell nitrous oxide at the Ogallala-Land Music Festival, not everyone thinks it's a great idea. Outlaw biker gang boss Caolan Waltrip (Ritchie Coster) hates the idea of anyone else making money, and apparently, nitrous is his stock and trade. While Tyson and Bodhi are doing good business selling their cheery yellow happy balloons, a pair of bikers show up and give them a hard time, later returning with reinforcements to beat the bananas out of them, swiping their cash and nitrous tanks at the same time.

Not one to let things slide, Dwight rallies the troops to deliver a well-deserved smackdown at the end of some baseball bats. Tyson's dad even gets in on the action, and security guard Fred shows his own leadership potential when he offers up a battle plan the General seems to like. Under the General's direction, the crew confronts Black MacAdam head on, leaving the skirmish victorious with their tanks as prizes. Not only is this a great chance to see the General's wartime leadership in action, but it also gives Team Tulsa a chance to prove they're more than just a bunch of pothead Okies.

8. Buying a car

Every good gangster needs a fly whip, and for Manfredi, that means a slick-looking Lincoln Navigator that he sends his new driver Tyson to Donnie Shore's Auto Corral to procure. When a defeated Tyson shows up at Dwight's motel reporting that Donnie would not sell him one, instead calling him a crack dealer and threatening to call the police, Dwight is incensed. Having none of that nonsense, he rolls into Donnie's place and directly confronts him about it, telling the cowboy larper, "You see a young Black guy with a mountain of money and right away say, 'hey, he's gotta be a drug dealer,' but I walk in in a nice suit and you're not afraid anymore."

To expose the innate flaw in Donnie's logic, Dwight sets out to demonstrate exactly how scary a white guy in a suit can be, clocking the salesman in the face repeatedly with a landline receiver. The whole affair ends with Tyson driving away in a loaded Navigator for the low, low price of $50,000, proving a teachable moment for Donnie, who learns you don't have to be a woke stereotype to demand basic human dignity for everyone regardless of race.

7. Confronting Armand

After Dwight's hairy driving exam, he sets out to find the culprit behind the frightening encounter. When his conversation with Chickie yields no leads, the General asks DMV Paul to look into the whereabouts of his assailant's blue Chevy Caprice. In the episode "Caprice," a little Veronica Mars-style sleuthing leads him to the Fennario horse ranch, where he meets the lovely Margaret Devereaux (Dana Delany) and catches a glimpse of his former associate Armand.

Ever the gentleman gangster, Dwight waits until Armand's significant other takes their kids to school to ambush his old pal (played by Max Casella) outside their home. Convinced Armand must be working for Chickie, Dwight threatens his captive at gunpoint, demanding to know who hired him. It's one of those rare occasions when Dwight realizes he doesn't have to bust any heads — the whole thing is one big comedy of errors, with Armand thinking Chickie sent Dwight to kill him (in Season 1, Episode 4, "Visitation Place"). The whole thing turns out to be fortuitous when Armand reveals Pete betrayed him while he was in prison. The best part about this scene is watching Dwight pour a cup of coffee with his left hand while waving a gun with his right, waxing poetic about mowing lawns.

6. Meeting with Waltrip

One of the great things about the General is how cool he can be when facing a direct threat head-on, and one of the most fantastic examples of this can be seen in his inevitable tête-à-tête with Caolan Waltrip. The interaction takes place in Episode 6 ("Stable"), when the power-tripping Caolan, dismayed by his failed efforts to run Manfredi off, asks for a meeting. In an abandoned warehouse, he tells Dwight that he spent years building his business and sees the mafioso as an "interloper" in his community. Nonplussed by Waltrip's dramatics, Dwight reminds the Irishman that they're all interlopers on Native land, smirking, "To quote Woodie Guthrie, who actually was from Oklahoma, this land belongs to you and me."

When Waltrip dives back into his victim complex, Dwight reassures him that his crew is done with nitrous but emphasizes the fact is incidental and Team Manfredi has no intention of tiptoeing around the one percenters. The ballsy interaction leaves Waltrip apoplectic and all but ensures Dwight will live rent-free in the boss's head until their next fateful confrontation.

5. Raising an army

Whatever the reason that first causes Waltrip to obsess over the General, one thing is painfully clear: He's not giving up until Dwight Manfredi is out of the picture for good, and he's willing to tank his empire in the process if it comes down to it. Back in New York, Dwight would have had the entire Invernizzi family to back him up, but this ain't New York — it's Oklahoma. Fortunately for Dwight, one thing Oklahomans do have is a whole lot of guns.

With the help of bartender buddy Mitch, Dwight gathers his employees for a much-needed self-defense retreat complete with live ammunition. Although Grace proves herself pretty handy with a pistol, her colleagues need some serious work before they'll be battle-ready, and it's clear that Team Manfredi will need some more experienced backup. Here, Mitch proves himself useful once more, telling Dwight that he knows some rodeo guys named Moss and Ben who are up to the challenge and just happen to be ex-convicts ("Adobe Walls"). With the addition of Jimmy the Creek, Bad Face, and Goodie Carangi, the army is complete. As Dwight stands before his army preparing them for war, the only thing remaining is a rousing speech about coming together as a family. The General is happy to deliver, telling them, "When you come out on the other side, I guarantee you're gonna be stronger than you ever thought possible."

4. Quitting his job

Venturing out on your own can be difficult in any line of work. Even after learning about Pete's betrayal from Armand and directly suspecting Chickie is planning to take him out, Dwight continues working for the Invernizzis. To paraphrase the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, a true player knows when to hold them, fold them, walk away, and run. Under the cover of the family, the General works on putting together his own crew and growing his business until it's strong enough to stand on its own. But it doesn't take long before Manfredi has his own loyal family and it's pretty clear that they're equipped to take on anyone.

When Team Chickie shows up in T-Town, Dwight doesn't wait for them to come find him, instead surprising them while they settle in at their hotel. Fully fed up with Chickie's shenanigans and unwilling to continue paying out for a man who hasn't earned his loyalty, Dwight boldly saunters up and gives Chickie the old kiss-off, demanding that Chickie's crew get the heck out of town. Since Chickie's crew is already in transition after his father's death and Oklahoma is a two-day drive across the country from New York, it's hardly a high-stakes salvo, but one that still takes a fairly sizable set of polpettes to fire.

3. Shootout at the Mayo

After Dwight's DMV detour, the General more than proved his ability to think on his feet in the heat of battle. It's a trait he would demonstrate again and again throughout his time in Tulsa, much to the detriment of anyone reckless enough to move against him like the Black MacAdam crew. When Dwight's friend-with-benefits ATF agent Stacy shows up in front of the Mayo Hotel to tell him about a raid on his nemesis Waltrip, he is understandably concerned to learn that Waltrip and his lieutenant are "in the wind." Just as Stacy is going off about Dwight possibly having a girlfriend while pretending not to be interested in him, a couple of bikers pull up and open fire.

Both Stacy and Dwight pull out their firearms, and an old-fashioned shootout straight out of the wild west ensues, with Stacy even taking a bullet (Episode 8, "Adobe Walls"). Dwight quickly drops to the ground to apply pressure on Stacy's wound, and Waltrip scoots away leaving his own fallen lieutenant behind. Despite all of the animosity Stacy has just expressed toward Dwight, the image of the pair standing side-by-side as they take on the bikers is a powerful one, and Manfredi's rage afterward emphasizes how much of his motivation is driven by a sense of duty.

2. The Bred2Buck ambush

After the shootout in front of the Mayo Hotel, with the insider knowledge the Black MacAdams have gone completely off the rails, Dwight knows a showdown is imminent. To move things along, all he has to do is gather his people at the Bred2Buck and wait for the inevitable biker gang attack. But the one thing Waltrip doesn't count on is exactly how skilled at leadership the General is, and although he probably should, he has no clue he's about to walk his men straight into a trap.

After ripping off Waltrip for every last dime he has thanks to Bodhi's secret tech bro skillset, Team Dwight lingers around the saloon until they hear the sound of bikes approaching. On Dwight's word, they set up a tripwire and take their places. When the leather bros head straight into the establishment, guns at the ready, they walk right into the tripwire, sending a round of bullets flying and catching the bikers off-guard. Dwight and company pop up from behind the bar, weapons blazing, and they systematically pick off their enemies, taking only a few minor casualties in the crossfire. The melee ends with Dwight taking out his foe Waltrip, leaving the team free of obstacles and ready to move forward with the casino.

1. The fire and Dwight's sacrifice

By far, the toughest moment for Dwight Manfredi is the display of courage, compassion, and duty that takes place on the fateful day of his imprisonment. Although the event is alluded to throughout the season, the details are finally revealed in a flashback at the beginning of the ninth episode of the freshman season, entitled "Happy Trails." The trouble goes down when a young Chickie, aided by his ever-present idiot sidekick and would-be capo Vince, decides to torture one of their fellow mobsters, Ripple. A horrified Armand desperately dials Manfredi, just as Chickie is about to quite literally brand the handcuffed man's face.

Although the General arrives on the scene before Chickie can do the deed, Chickie drops the heated implement, catching the house on fire as they search for the keys to free Ripple. Faced with Ripple's gruesome, inevitable fate, Dwight makes a split-second decision to put him out of his misery rather than leave him to burn. If that wasn't hard enough, he escapes the engulfed building just as police are arriving and doesn't so much as flinch when taking the rap for the murder. The events of the night are a testament to the character of a man who, although ethically unorthodox, embodies resilience and strength without sacrificing basic human empathy.