Underbelly: Squizzy Season 1 Episodes

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Season 1 Episode Guide

Episode 1 - Squizzy Steps Out

Its 1915 and young Leslie Squizzy Taylor has had enough of grafting a living picking pockets. He might be a shorty but he has big ideas and an even bigger ego which only swells when he pulls off a daring heist from a city jewellers in broad daylight with his Bourke Street Rats inner circle of Snowy Cutmore, Angus Murray, Tankbuster McDonald and his best girl, prostitute Dolly Grey. Even if big crim about town and fence Henry Stokes doesnt give Squizzy quite the price he thinks his loot is worth, Squizzys taken his first step into a bigger, brighter, riskier world. But whats the use of being a criminal genius if no-one, including the police, rates you? While a more circumspect crook might rejoice in anonymity, Squizzys ego compels him to prove himself and he throws his gang into a much more challenging crime. Theyre going to rob the bank manager of one of the new branches springing up on the citys semi-rural outskirts. Only trouble is, its a fair hike and none of them can drive. Squizzy books a taxi under an assumed name, blithely assuming he will be able to convince the driver to play along with his plan. But it all goes wrong and the resolute young driver ends up with Snowys bullet in his head. Squizzys not too worried the cops are jokes. But one cop isnt laughing Detective Piggott is conscientious and committed and finds an eyewitness among the orchardists and dairy farmers who describe a very short man and another with a Panama hat.... Squizzy and Snowy are at the races, drinking a toast to Tankbuster whos joined up to fight the Hun, when in swoop coppers Leslie Taylor, you are under arrest for murder. It seems Squizzys circuit of Fortunes Wheel is destined to be very rapid indeed


Episode 2 - Squizzy Puts One Over

Facing a murder charge, Squizzys out on bail, thanks to a few quid slipped to the Bail Justice. He tracks down the Crown witness convincing him that his eyesight is unreliable. Detective Piggott can only watch in dismay as Squizzy is acquitted. But he resolves that one day hell bring down the cocky little so-and-so. Angus approaches Squizzy about a quick job to produce some urgent cash but Squizzy is under constant police surveillance now and needs to lie low to wait out the heat. With pressing expenses Angus pulls a solo bank robbery and gets away with 400 pounds! Sadly he is caught shortly afterwards and sentenced to fifteen years in the roughest prison in Melbourne.Meanwhile, Squizzy has a new plan another jewellery store robbery, but this time with the added bonus of giving the cops a small peace offering. Of course itdoes mean setting up the 2IC of Long Harry Slaters Narrows Gang as fall guy but thats a sacrifice Squizzys prepared to make! The elaborate scheme unfolds according to plan except that the cops leave their run a little late and fence Henry Stokes is arrested along with Slaters man and charged with major theft. Squizzy admits he miscalculated and attempts to set things to rights by bribing the trial jury, resulting in a surprising acquittal. However Long Harry is deeply suspiciousthat Squizzy and Stokes have pocketed the lions share of the takings and has both men severely bashed. Moreover, Slater declares that his end of town is offlimits to Squizzy and his gang. Snowy comes back from fencing the bulk of the jewellery robbery takings in Sydney to a city divided. And Dolly too, is distressed by the animosity she loves her Leslie but his crazy plans have led folk practically to war! She takes herself over to Long Harrys Narrows Gang hang-out to talk some sense into them all, taking in a bit of Dutch courage as she goes. But Long Harry and his boys send Dolly back to Squizzy scorned, humiliated and brutally raped.


Episode 3 - Squizzy Takes Charge

As Armistice is declared in Europe, in Melbourne, the battle lines have just been drawn. Squizzy sets about revenging the outrage against Dolly Grey and the Fitzroy vendetta is ignited. Shootings, bashings and an attempted canicide are the order of the day. Tankbuster returns a decorated war hero and a changed man. Squizzy embraces him, alienating Snowy Cutmore who is proving a dangerous man to have around. To complicate matters, the returning diggers have brought the Spanish flu home with them and the virus fells cop and crook, saint and sinner alike. Meanwhile, Squizzys roaming eyes land on the young and wholesome waitress Lorna Kelly. Neglecting Dolly, and motivated partly by a desire for respectability, he sets about wooing the girl. Tankbuster takes up the cudgels on Dollys behalf and gets himself shot in the process. Dolly confronts Lorna, telling her the truth about Squizzys nefarious gangster activities. Nave Lorna doesnt believe her and reveals that shes pregnant with his child. Dolly knows she has lost the man she loves. Its now that thieves fall out and the dangerous and erratic Snowy Cutmore turns on Squizzy. However, Snowys attempt to revenge himself on his former mate is foiled by Dolly and some cast iron cookware. Squizzy issues instructions for Tankbuster to execute Snowy but Tank doesnt havent the stomach for the job and banishes Cutmore to Sydney instead.Squizzys next masterstroke is to orchestrate a chance encounter between Henry Stokes and Long Harry Slater that results in a bar room shoot-out. Seriously injured, Long Harry Slater flees to Sydney while Stokes exiles himself to Tasmania to avoid a gaol term, leaving Squizzy in charge of his gambling operations. For now at least he is the undisputed king of Melbournes underworld.


Episode 4 - Squizzy Breaks Some Hearts

In Stokes absence Squizzy runs his gambling empire, showing no mercy to those who cheat or cant pay their debts. Squizzy is happy to spend Stokes dosh on thefineries of life but finds the day-to-day running of the empire boring. Lorna gives birth to baby June and the event has the potential to change Squizzys life. He feels a love for his daughter like nothing he has felt before. He spends even more of Henry Stokes money buying a grand home in Caulfield for his new family, and Lorna encourages him to find legitimate work. Meanwhile, honest Detective James Bruce is giving the gambling empire a hard time. In reprisal, Tankbuster bombs Bruces home which brings even more heat on the crooks. Weary of playing mine host, Squizzy turns to robbing warehouses of their fine cloth. For a time hes a man with a foot in both camps law abiding and law breaking, attending temperance meetings and running a sly grog empire. Henry Stokes returns from Tasmania unexpectedly, furious at how Squizzy has run his businesses into the ground. Squizzy throws a lavish party for him to heal the rift, but shortly afterwards Stokes is arrested for possession of stolen property fur coats gifted from Squizzy! However the little general brazenly intimidates a judge and Stokes get off the charge. Chastened, Squizzy takes to the racetrack, wondering if an honest career isnt the best policy after all. Yet old habits die hard; the moment he sees a punter with a fat wallet, he falls back to his old trade and nicks it problem is, he is caught redhanded by hard-headed Detective Brophy. Brophy locks him away in thewatchhouse to cool off but while hes locked away, baby June takes ill with the flu and quickly succumbs. Squizzy is devastated by the loss of his beautiful little girl. In his fury and grief he torches a police car.


Episode 5 - Squizzy Tempts Fate

The death of his daughter sends Squizzy into a downward spiral. Whats the point of trying to live a decent life when fate deals you such a blow? To hell with it all, he says, and starts another war with the Narrows Gang, not caring whether he survives it or not.On the home front Lorna struggles to keep the faade of the good wife true. She knows what her husband does, if not the detail. Turning a blind eye is growing harder with every day. With Squizzys crimes attracting a great deal of police attention, it is Lorna who must bear the brunt of it. Loyal 2IC Tankbuster knows that Squizzy is running on empty and heading for a wall, but what can he do except try to protect him from himself? Just when things are spinning out of control Squizzy meets a new flame ingenue Ida Pender. Could she be the voice of reason to help avert disaster? Unfortunately, Ida proves to be less the voice of reason and more a fan for the flames, inspiring Squizzy to abscond while on bail for a burglary matter. He is now a man on the run for an insignificant crime. The madness of this festers betweenTank and Ida who jockey like teenage brother and sister for Squizzys attention. Only one can win. The balance tips in Idas favour when Squizzy decides to use her in a robbery that doesnt go to plan. Is this the end for Tank and his best mate? Needing time to regroup, Squizzy finds himself drawn back to the arms of safe, dependable Lorna. Maybe she is the stabiliser he needs. Maybe they can make a fresh start. Maybe they can have another child? But after a night with Lorna, Squizzy realises he was wrong. Being with his wife stifles him. It is only Ida who allows him to breathe! However, Idas inexperience in criminal matters lands both herself and Tankbuster in gaol, which inevitably threatens her lover Squizzys freedom.


Episode 6 - Squizzy Makes the Front Page

Squizzys twelve months on the run mark the pinnacle of his notoriety. Feted by the press as a criminal with class, he is known as the dapper pimpernel running circles around a police force at a complete loss to catch him. He has finally arrived as Australias first celebrity criminal!However the police are wising to Squizzys tricks. Ida, who has been manipulated into giving evidence against him and Tankbuster, is secreted away and out ofreach in one of this countrys first attempts at a witness protection program. If she makes it to court her testimony could see Squizzy deemed an habitual criminal to be locked away for all time if hes ever apprehended, that is. Squizzy organises an elaborate kidnapping of Ida but when she falls back into his arms all is forgiven. Then the stars miraculously align with Squizzy and Ida approached to star in a movie about race fixing. Meanwhile, the police regularly raid Squizzys Caulfield House, upturning Lornas life, looking for something, anything that will lead them to Squizzy Taylor. Detective Bruce befriends the pregnant Lorna and tries to convince her to turn her husband in. She may be devastated by Squizzys disappearance and the fact hes taken a lover, but she is a loyal wife no less and wont budge. Idas loyalty reconfirmed, the polices case in disarray and with a film to be made, Squizzy decides to turn himself in, convinced he can beat any court case. In classic Squizzy style, he arrives at police headquarters at a time of his own choosing, on his own terms, with a contingent of press to witness the event. And as he predicts he is immediately bailed yet again. But he discovers theres a price to fame when a former admirer turned stalker guns him down in the street. Although Squizzy survives, the film does not the government censor bans it in the public interest for its unsavoury association with such a notorious criminal as Mr. L. Squizzy Taylor.


Episode 7 - Squizzy Loses the Plot

Squizzy arranges the breakout of his good mate Angus Murray from prison in an attempt to reunite the Bourke Street Rats inner-circle of three, Squizzy, Tankbuster and Murray. The team, however, will never be as it was. Murray has done the last five years in Pentridge tough, hes a broken man by the time he gets out, his only ambition being to leave town to start a quiet life afresh, somewhere far, far away. But Squizzy has gone to considerable trouble and expense to free Murray and isnt about to let him go so easily. Murray owes him, right? One last job a straight forward bank robbery Meanwhile, Lorna gives birth to Squizzys second child, another daughter, Lesley. Tankbuster delivers the news but Squizzy doesnt want to know. The bank robbery is a disaster. The bank manager is shot and mortally wounded. Murray is arrested, while the triggerman, a brutal ex-con called Richard Buckley, escapes capture. Squizzys old tricks of threatening witnesses and jury tampering fail for once and Murray is inevitably found guilty and sentenced to hang. Tankbuster pushes for an attempt to break Murray out of prison a second time but it ends badly and Anguss fate is sealed. When Squizzy wont face the condemned man in prison, Tankbuster sees him for what he is a hollow, emotional fraud and coward. The bond between these two old friends is broken the day Angus Murray swings.


Episode 8 - Squizzy Cooks a Goose

Convicted of harbouring the executed murderer and bank robber Angus Murray, Squizzy is sent to gaol where he is confronted by his enemies, the Narrows GangsWhiting brothers. His punishment at their calloused hands is brutal and soul destroying. Meanwhile, surviving on her own, Ida gives birth to their baby girl, Gloria, and the young mother begins to grow-up fast. When Squizzy is released, his health compromised, he again flirts with the idea of going straight and opens a mens barber shop, and he and Ida, whos loyally waited for him, set up house in a room above Dollys brothel. But a leopard finds it difficult to change its spots and it isnt long before Squizzy strikes a deal to sell cocaine in partnership with former foe Long Harry Slater. Once again, Squizzy dreams of re-establishing his criminal eminence. A turn of fate leads the former Governor of Victorias wife, Lady Stanley, to Squizzy. She encourages him to turn his entrepreneurial mind away from crime. She allows him to see what he could be and for one glimmering moment he looks to an altogether different future. But Squizzys die is cast, and he discovers he has more enemies outside gaol than in. A plot is hatched to kill him and on a cold day in October, 1927, in a humble cottage in Carlton, he dies in a gunfight. So who was it that fired the fatal shots? Snowy Cutmore returned from Sydney? Snowys vengeful mother? Long Harry Slater? Henry Stokes? Long Harry and Stokes acting in concert? A hired gunman from Sydney acting on yet another partys orders? Or a bent cop with a grudge to settle? The truth may never be known, but one thing is for sure; Squizzy Taylor was the architect of his own downfall.



Season 1

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