In his first appearance on the show Meyer Lansky gives a very earnst and well-worded but fake business proposal, forces someone to shake his hand (and thus acknowledge him) and muses on the future importance of the petrol industry, all of which allow for a good character defining moment. His main motivation and driving force through out the series is his own ambition to gain money, power and respect. While it 's not not hard to connect this ambition to a childhood of poverty and ethnic oppression, it goes even deeper than that: in 1931 Lansky has achieved more than he could have dreamed of as a child and yet still looks to take even more - Atlantic City, the Commission, etc. etc. There 's an undercurrent of nothing is enough with Meyer and…show more content… In late season one, Jimmy (another gangster) ties him up and threatens him with a gun - a few months later Meyer has absolutely no problem going into business with him. After Rothstein 's betrayal Charlie is enraged but Meyer is the one who recognizes that continuing to push A.R. will lead to nothing but their deaths, even telling Rothstein he understands his actions. This pragmatism and desire for professionalism is present even in Meyer 's personal relationships - his friendship with Charlie Luciano is somewhat unique, as the gangsters generally tend to stick to people within their own ethnicity (and Charlie is Italian) but first and foremost it 's a lucrative partnership. Even the way they met is good example of this - Charlie and his gang would ambush Meyer on his way to school, demanding he give them their money. Meyer would spit on them and refuse to give in and in exchange they would beat him up. After a few days of this Charlie asked him to join his gang and they have been partners in crime ever since.
During the show Meyer is generally shown as the book-keeper and organizer of his and Charlie 's operation and as such there is no denying his intelligence and keen sense of business. He is methodical and meticulous in his approach to crime, keeping track of every action (sales, purchase, murder, bribery..) in a neat little notebook. He researches his