Sean was looking to make an example of Lale on the previous episode of Gangs of London for not only defying his orders but for stealing from another member of their organization. In a sadistic display of mind games that include kidnapping Lale’s sister and nieces, Sean eliminates one suspect in his father’s murder while beginning a new and potentially lucrative relationship. At the same time, Ed is becoming wary of Elliot for his overall demeanor and insubordination as well as his close relationship with his daughter.
The stakes continue to raise for Elliot and he never seems to get time off. His face hasn’t fully healed from his skirmish with Cole and he’s out running errands for Ed. The undercover cop is joined by Wallace enforcer, Mark, to punish jewelry robbers that stole from Sean. The torture scenes are graphic and even when the camera pans away, the sound effects are still haunting.
Elliot must walk a fine line doing as he’s told but not going too far since he’s supposed to be a good guy. It’s interesting here how much of a conscience he has carrying out Mark’s orders compared to the bar fight in the premiere. He doesn’t hesitate as a one-man wrecking crew violently taking out Albanian thugs then, but now he has nothing to gain, he doesn’t have the stomach for it? You don’t normally make your way up the criminal underworld ladder by doing less heinous things at each rung.
Gangs of London is taking Elliot to a darker place each episode and his struggle to not completely turn is pretty compelling. Ed is already suspicious and paid a visit to Eliot’s dad as a warning. Mark even correctly surmises he’s a cop. There must be a time where someone won’t accept no from him and it will have dire consequences.
Being in this life isn’t all a bad influence. Hanging around Shannon and her son helps him stay in touch with his humanity since they remind of his own family that we learn passed away. Also in Shannon, he might have a savior if things go bad now that they’re growing closer.
The episode slows down the series’ pace while maintaining the high level of intensity. We spend more time with all the gang leader’s plots and schemes. Asif learns about Sean and Leal’s partnership but can’t risk a war that would bring unwanted attention. Instead, his son, who is running for mayor, campaigns on being tough on crime. It would be curious to see if Nasir is elected, if he could use his political clout to hinder or arrest any rivals.
Elsewhere on Gangs of London, Sean seems to have turned a new leaf and isn’t as reckless and irrational. He plans to reaffirm the Wallace/Dumani bond by hosting a dinner. He remembers the words of his late father, that as long as you keep family close, everything will be fine. But could the Dumani’s have other plans? Though Sean may be the head of the underworld, Ed and Alex attend a dinner with the world’s most powerful and wealthy. These influential people value Alex and his ability to launder money more than the Wallace figurehead.
There are more intriguing developments as well. Finn’s mistress, Floriana, is alive but held captive by someone who doesn’t want people investigating her disappearance. Elliot’s handler, receives a creepy threat after she scours surveillance footage and discovers Floriana is pregnant.
We return to the action the show is known for with an intense firefight at the end. When Luan and Sean meet for a parley, they are ambushed by a sniper. Much of Sean’s protection are killed, including Mark (luckily for Elliot). Sean manages to escape but not before Elliot is seriously injured. They all regroup at the Wallace household where another assassin strikes but is dispatched by a returning Alex and Ed.
The final sequence as everyone gathers themselves and scramble to save Elliot is stunningly shot. It perfectly captures the chaos and panic through the use of a freestanding camera. The movements throughout the house and panning from character to character makes you feel like you’re witnessing everything firsthand. There’s the added emotional impact of Shannon’s son, Danny, seeing everything.
The only thing that seems off in the conclusion of this episode of Gangs of London is the inclusion of the random jewel thief. How does he help the Wallace gang without anyone questioning who he is? From a narrative standpoint, the show tries to foreshadow his importance with close ups of his reactions early on. However, his involvement seems sudden, disjointed, and forced.
The fourth episode effectively builds upon the overarching mystery with powerful entities in the shadows, Finn’s mistress, and the Wallace assassination attempts and could be setting up how they might be all interconnected.
Gangs of London airs Sunday nights on AMC.
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