We left Gangs of London last week on quite the cliffhanger. During a meet with Luan, a hired mercenary tries to assassinate Sean Wallace. Though most of his guards are killed and Elliot is critically injured, the crime boss manages to escape. Back within the relative safety of the Wallace compound, Elliot’s life hangs in the balance when there’s another attempt at Sean’s life.
Tonight’s episode leaves the chaos in the city and catches up with the Welsh travelers following the massacre at their campground. Darren, Finn Wallace’s murderer, is stashed away at a safehouse awaiting a boat ride out of the country. Meanwhile, his father lingers at the campsite and observes the same two killers contracted to take care of Sean combing the area for clues and intel. Fearing they may be after his son, Kinney sets out to warn Darren.
What follows is a gripping race between Kinney and the mercenaries. There are real hardcore gangsters in the series and he is one of them. He manages to perform gruesome improvised and make shift first aid along the way. Despite the strained relationship, the Welsh travelers’ leader will stop at nothing to reach his kid. Though he manages to stick to a moral code when he commandeers a car without killing its owner. The back-and-forth scenes between Kinney and the killers build the nail-biting suspsense.
There is a nice prelude to the big confrontation at a nearby bar where the different stories intertwine. Mal, Darren’s chaperone, picks up supplies while a nosy patron monitors him. The subtle clue of the cute hound dog uncovers he’s allied with the assassins. The surprising reveal that the bathroom Kinney is treating himself in is in the bar ups the tension seeing how close everyone is and there’s even a tense, well-crafted standoff at the bathroom stall.
Gangs of London has utilized creative camerawork to create well framed shots and scenes all season. Here we receive the token bad ass slow motion walking cut with all the mercenaries decked out in tactical gear. Then to further play with angles, there’s a switch to a full-on ariel view showing the different players and their positioning as they approach the safehouse. Seeing where everyone stands in this foot race raises the urgency.
This episode is the second that co-creator, Gareth Evans, directed and it’s fitting that it has the most complicated battle scene so far. The entire siege of the safehouse is raw and breathtaking as Kinney, Mal, and the rest of the gang make one last stand and try to give Darren a chance at escape. It’s a very loud action sequence characterized with explosions and a high body count.
In the end, we have a heartbreaking conclusion for the Welsh travelers. In spite of being shot and managing a combative and ungrateful son, Kinney can see the boat approaching. However, the assassins catch up and shoot the legs from right under him. You can only sympathize with him seeing what he endured and how close he came from saving Darren. There will be no getting revenge on Sean Wallace as the father and son are taken off the board.
We’re left with one final reveal when the mercenaries contact their employer after the job is done. On the other end of the line is the big shot investor who’s been meeting with Alex and praised his money laundering abilities. He’s the man responsible for all the drama in Gangs of London including the hit on Sean Wallace. It should be interesting now that we know the shadowy figure, learning what his motives are.
Episode 5 is a compelling and tragic story exploring the lengths a father will go in order to save his son with the biggest and most impressive action sequence yet. The final scene raises some interesting questions leading into the final half of the season.
Gangs of London airs Sunday nights on AMC.
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