Angel Batista is dreaming of retiring and opening a restaurant on the beach. Joey is feeling guilty about the dirty money he took from the Koshka Brotherhood.
NB it’s not pure altruism from Joey; earlier in the episode Batista ‘suggested’ he may be the one who stole the evidence against the Koshkas, which of course he was.
INT. MIAMI METRO POLICE – NIGHT
All is quiet in the office. Joey writes a check for $10,000 and hands it to Batista.
It’s for your restaurant.
It’s ten grand.
You know I got that inheritance a while back. I’ve been looking for the right place to invest.
I can’t take this. What are you crazy?
Come on, are you too good for my fucking money?
No. This is way too generous.
Bullshit. It’s family money. You’re family to me.
Look, you’re stuck with it. I’m not taking it back. I do expect a few free meals, though.
This is a loan you asshole. I’m gonna pay you back.
So, let’s take the last line of Batista and see what we can glean. What does it tell us about Batista’s character?
First of all, considering the context, that earlier in the scene Batista put his professional relationship before his ‘friendship’ with Joey, Batista falls easily for Joey’s snake-like charm.
For $10,000, Batista is ready to accept Joey as ‘family’ – a man, who, a few scenes ago he was ready to lock away and ruin forever.
With Batista, money talks.
But is he greedy? Or simply so desperate for his restaurant, to retire from the stress of police life, that he is willing to ignore the evidence staring him in the face – that this money is dirty.
Does Batista really believe this 10 grand is from Joey’s inheritance? If he does, does it make him naive, or gullible? Or is he just blind to the truth, unable to see what is in front of him?
John Lennon said, “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”
I would say here Batista is living with his eyes closed. Where he showed discernment earlier when he confronted Joey over the missing evidence, here he is either lacking discernment or willing to turn a blind eye. If he is lacking discernment that makes him kind of wavering, easily tricked. Is Batista, this hard-nosed, authoritarian, super-ambitious cop so easily susceptible to Joey’s charm? Is he really that gullible? On a positive note, his refusal to take the money as a gift shows Batista is fiercely proud and independent.
So, for me this dialogue suggests Angel Batista is:
Gullible, independent, and proud.
Would you agree?