Sean Wallace has definitely not kept a low profile on Gangs of London following the death of his father. Not only has he shut down all of his empire’s criminal business, he also directs a revenge raid on a gypsy encampment slaughtering many people and bringing unwanted attention his way. Several of his allies are losing patience with the new leader. Asif pleads for reopening business while Lale goes one step further continuing her dealings and even stealing from the head of the Pakistani heroin ring.
With Lale in the crosshairs of several of her allies, we dive deeper into her character this episode. She has an awful backstory beginning with her time as a freedom fighter in Turkish Kurdistan. In addition, she has a history with Asif and her plans to steal his product could have been more than a mere opportunity but personal as well.
While we’ve seen many of the gang leaders so far just barking orders, her flashback shows she won’t hesitate to jump into the action and her ferocity and fearlessness are examples of why she’s the only woman seated at the table among the Wallace organization heads. Lale uses the money she earns to help fund her colleagues back home and it’s jarring to see the sacrifices she chooses to make for her cause. Although this can make her seem a little one sided since her focus is on her singular goal.
Last episode, I questioned whether Sean was the better Wallace to run the criminal underworld of Gangs of London. Whether it’s the trauma of the gypsy slaughter, the disrespect and lecturing from his inner circle, or another reason, he shows this week that he too can play the psychological games needed to rule.
His handling of Lale is a masterclass of dominance and deception. It’s so convincing that it has Ed and Elliott worried about the situation. We learn, unlike the Kurdish militant, there is a line he won’t cross. Sometimes the power of having someone believe the extent you’ll go is enough to scare them and keep them in line. Sean feels comfortable enough eliminating one name from his list of suspects in the murder of Finn and he begins to live up to the figure we were first introduced to in the series’ opening scene.
The jockeying continues with all the different gangs of London. Luan moves to find new business partners offering to launder money for a Nigerian crime lord. It is also interesting with all the attention to the illegal activity, so see the legitimate side of the Wallace organization. Alex Dumani seems right at home as the face giving pep talks to aspiring young entrepreneurs. It’s crazy to see how the company has such a high standing in society with no one whispering where all the money comes from.
There are intriguing developments in the personal lives of some of the characters as well. Sean’s mom, Marian, discovers Finn was having an affair and secretly purchased an island and a boat recently. The boat is even named after his mistress. This adds another possible motive to his murder. Meanwhile, Elliott is becoming a bit close with Ed’s daughter, Shannon, to the point where the Dumani patriarch is inquiring about their relationship. These soapier elements serve as a pleasant distraction from the dark and unrelenting London underworld.
The action is on point again and the show tries to find bigger and badder goons for Elliott to fight. I know he’s the muscle but even he must start questioning why he’s the one to always save the day and take a beating. For a nice change of pace, at least we see Narges Rashidi’s Lale kick some butt too in the opening.
The third episode of Gangs of London is the first time the narrative matches the high quality of the fight scenes. There’s additional intrigue into the private life of Finn Wallace with great and sometimes surprising character work elsewhere.
Gangs of London airs Sunday nights on AMC.
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