1. Corinne or Cory. They have kids. One of the show's ironies is Luca has a stabler personal life, which he arguably doesn't deserve, than Torello.
2. Chuck Adamson.
3. Manny Weisbord, probably based on Meyer Lansky (born in Russia). Joseph Wiseman's most famous role was as Dr. No in the first James Bond film.
4. False. But famous people who appeared on the show include Kevin Spacey in one episode as a Kennedyesque senator and Debbie Harry as Bambi, the high-end prostitute who is with Luca for a while. The regular cast member who later became the most famous is Andrew Dice Clay, who played Max Goldman.
5. To shift operations to Las Vegas, initially skimming money off the casinos they own but also laundering money and gradually getting out of crime, eventually, by 1983, 20 years from the show's setting, becoming a legitimate business. Weisbord is sold on the idea and Luca supports it against the more old-fashioned criminals. Later Luca shifts his interest to the international drug trade.
6. The key is the episode "Hearings" in which the Gulf of Tonkin incident is announced, starting the Vietnam War and signalling the end is near of the wonderful era the show is set in. "The 60s" as most people think of them are about to start. That was in August 1964.
7. Ha ha, a trick question! They don't tell us so we don't know! It's in South America south of the equator.
8. Jann Wenner, co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone.
9. Wes Connelly, Torello's friend with whom he "came up" in the force. Luca shoots him in the back of the head in a phone booth after he catches Connelly following him. Nate Grossman replaced him in the MCU.
10. Bronze Star for bravery in combat.
11. Pochenko. He wanted to meet Elvis Presley.
12. Frank Holman.
13. Phil Bartoli.
14. The Patch.
15. His accent! Dennis Farina and John Santucci (also the show's technical adviser) are obviously really from Chicago with very broad, flat accents. Anthony Denison (on TNT's "The Closer" as of 2009) has a slight New York accent. Italian-Americans don't all sound alike!
16. Izzy (short for Israel?).
17. Suzanne Terry, a magazine reporter, played by Pam Grier, famous for 70s blaxploitation films. That's why her relationship with Abrams was controversial in 1963 Chicago including with some blacks (in 1963-64 people said "Negroes") like Walter Clemmons in the MCU/Strike Force: she's black so it was interracial (black-white).
18. Joanne. Ray Luca seduces her just for the power of it.
19. Ted Kehoe. Luca uses him as a puppet to take over a pension fund but he turns on and slugs Luca when Luca murders his fiancée. When Kehoe stupidly tells Luca he'll tell on him, Luca and Pauli Taglia push him through a high-rise window.
20. Black 1959 Ford Galaxie.
21. Miles Davis.
22. Polish. They speak it to each other and in "Abrams for the Defense" when the nasty landlord Sturkowski (a 1950 refugee from the Communists) berates Krychek for siding with a black man (whom he calls an animal) against "your own people" Krychek says to him "You're not my people!" and then in his language, "A ty prosto swinja! Rozumiesz?" (You're just a pig! Understand?)
23. "Keep Searchin."
24. Pauli Taglia may not seem very bright but John Santucci was a master jewel thief and safe-cracker.
25. Dennis Farina once arrested John Santucci.
Some more thoughts on the show
The Chicago episodes were dead accurate - "Abrams for the Defense" is just like an earnest social drama from the period. I understand why the critics didn't like the second season/series. It was entertaining, you cared about the characters and the period detail was still believable, but the main story had become unbelievable if you thought about it: in a year and a half Luca went from being in charge of a Chicago crew robbing stores to an international drug lord?! Nobody is promoted that fast. After the A-bomb he was more cartoonish, like a comic-book supervillain: Radioactive Punk. That was from last-minute rewrites: in the original timespan from 1963 to around 1980 Luca's moving so high made sense. It cost too much to make that progression and besides both the writers and the audience loved the period so it remained in the early 60s, moving very slowly. Also by the end the Strike Force guys didn't have lives, dropping everything to follow Torello (Captain Ahab) anywhere to get Luca and the Outfit.
There weren't many anachronisms; sometimes the writers would fudge a year or two on the music as long as the song fit the era. It worked.
So how might it have ended?
As fans of "Crime Story" know the show was suddenly cancelled after only two years so it ended with a
cliffhanger. Which of course is frustrating. We want to know: Did Torello
catch Luca? Did he bring down the Outfit? Did this happen still in the golden
50s-early 60s or did it take 10 or 20 years?
Who else would like to see this story resolved with a full-length movie?
possible endings up to you but here are some hints based on the real people
some of the main characters were based on.
In the end the law didn't
catch up with the main bad guys but other things did.
The real Manny
Weisbord, Meyer Lansky, died of lung cancer in 1983.
The real Ray Luca was probably
Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro. As
happened many times on the show and almost to Luca himself, eventually, after
his boss's death, his mob associates turned on him, murdering him and his
brother... in 1986, the year the show first aired.
The Mafia in America
largely self-destructed that way and today seems a shadow of its former
And Mike Torello?
Chuck Adamson, the
show's creator, died of natural causes in 2008. May he rest in peace.