Much like many people last weekend, Gangs of London took Memorial Day off. The crime drama returned this evening with its penultimate season one episode. When we last left the series, there was so much conflict between the different factions and characters. Sean cut ties with the Dumanis, Luan deals with the fallout of losing his business partner’s money, and Elliot’s superiors lose faith in their undercover detective.
Elliot continues his dark descent after his actions lead to Anthony’s cover being blown. When told to save the undercover agent by the detective chief inspector, he shows no urgency and it’s almost as if he let Marian’s men kill Anthony before trying to cover up his involvement and stage the crime scene.
Has there been any other character in Gangs of London to fall so much? He was the only “good guy” in this criminal underworld, but he’s becoming as corrupt. Sleeping with the boss’ daughter. Letting colleagues die. The arrogance to think he’s the only one that can close the case and his tunnel vision to taking down the people on top. To what lengths will he go to in his pursuit and will he be forgiven for it all?
Luan is able to solve his Mosi problem in brutal fashion. He is double crossed but snaps when the Nigerian threatens his family. In one of this episode’s few action sequences, the Albanian leader shows off what a desperate person is capable of. There’s as much violence that is shown as there is implied. The scene where knives penetrate the door and we see it from the hallway paints the picture of exactly what’s happening without being graphic.
Sometimes when you’ve reached the top, you have underlings to do the dirty work, but here, Luan shows what he can do dispatching Mosi similar to how the Mountain kills Oberyn Martell. We know Luan is ambitious and has the people skills to navigate the politics of the different gangs of London, but we see firsthand that he has the ruthlessness needed to rule the city. With Sean’s grip weakening, will he fill the leadership void?
Meanwhile, the pressure is on the Danish mercenaries to find Sean and they plan to use his sister as leverage. Luckily, Billy anticipates the move and convinces Jacqueline to run away with him to some place safe. He’s always had in his back pocket a means of escape stashing cash and new IDs for him and his sister. Maybe at least someone can have a happy ending in this dreary world.
Did I mention that Leif has the creepy habit of smelling the belongings of his prey? It might help with his tracking skills but it can make you feel uncomfortable. The way he barely misses catching the Wallaces adds a sense of tension and suspense in their cat and mouse game. Failing to catch Jacqueline isn’t Leif’s only problem. After giving birth, Floriana kicks his mom down a staircase and breaks free. What are the investors going to do when they find out and what are Floriana’s plans now?
Like Elliot, Sean is experiencing his own descent. Feeling the pressure of leading followed by the revelation that his father had no faith in him makes the Wallace leader disillusioned at his present situation. While in hiding his thoughts overwhelm him and he contemplates suicide but he’s able to gather himself.
Ever the wildcard, Sean has one last FU to give to his haters with an explosive situation at the end of the episode. His actions are to show his disregard for his investors but it seems a little too extreme and jumping the shark a bit. Plus, the optics of having the Kurdish militant carry it out doesn’t reflect well.
Episode eight brings up some interesting questions for Gangs of London leading up to the season one finale but the ending is a little too extreme and suffers from poor optics.
Gangs of London airs Sunday nights on AMC.
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