“Bonfire Night” was a tragic and shocking episode as karma caught up to those who deserved it — and some who didn’t.
This recap of Top Boy Episode 4, “Bonfire Night”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
There’s an easy charm to the opening of “Bonfire Night”, as Sully (Kane Robinson), a notorious gangland serial killer, and Jason (Ricky Smarts), a terribly abused and abandoned junkie, enjoy a day at the beach in Ramsgate, a worn-out seaside town blighted by the abuse and exploitation of immigrants. The frolicking — Jason, upon catching a crab and explaining how he’s going to cook it, is asked by Sully what he plans to make with it and replies, “Lobster” — doesn’t last, however. Walking down the street they’re harassed by racist locals. And by the end of Top Boy Episode 4, the ramshackle hideaway where they, too, have been exploiting local immigrants, is burned to the ground — with Jason still inside.
The sobering senselessness of this act is reinforced elsewhere in “Bonfire Night”, as the immigrant family with whom Sully and Jason are staying are repeatedly harassed and victimized within the community, being eyeballed in shops — admittedly while committing minor theft, though after seeing that the stolen items were nappies and baby food, one of the arresting officers foots the bill in a surprising scene — and having their house constantly vandalized. Yet the family are welcoming to Jason, asking him to dine with them, much to Sully’s annoyance, as he believes paying them is already more than anyone else is doing for them. After their home is set alight and Jason has burned to death, Sully still gives them what they’re owed.
Back in London, Dushane (Ashley Walters) is told to expect Sugar’s first shipment in the morning — the only problem is he doesn’t have the ten grand deposit he needs to retrieve it. He’s informed by Dris (Shone Romulus), whose bizarre episode during the attempted burglary was apparently just down to him not having taken his meds, informs Dushane of a kid holding money for a wealthy Muslim in a fortified tower block. It’s an incredibly risky plan, but might be Dushane’s only chance to acquire the money.
Before that, though, he visits his brother, Chris (Richie Campbell), to ask for a loan; this goes about as well as you might expect, with Chris demanding that Dushane get on his knees and beg for the money, which presumably he has no intention of lending him anyway. Out of options, Dushane tells Dris, whose physical condition is clearly worsening, to prepare for the heist job.
The radical differences between Jamie’s home life, as a father to his brothers, and his road life, as one of the most ruthless criminals in London, are further explored in Top Boy Episode 4 to great effect. When he gives Aaron (Hope Ikpoku Jnr) advice about his girlfriend, they have such a genuine and honest rapport that it’s hard not to root for Jamie (Micheal Ward). But within the same episode, he has kidnapped a man and beaten him to death, before dropping him out of a high-rise window as a message to his friends. This is juxtaposed with scenes of Aaron meeting his girlfriend’s parents and explaining in more depth the loss of both his mother and father within days of each other and the responsibility Jamie took on having only just turned eighteen at the time. At around the time that the body is splattering on the concrete, Aaron’s girlfriend’s parents declare that Jamie sounds like “a remarkable young man.” Quite.
“Bonfire Night” concludes with Sunny returning to London and approaching Dushane about his business proposal. At gunpoint, Dushane explains how it’ll work, how lucrative it could be, and how equally they’ll split the profits. Sully, now with presumably nothing to lose, bankrolls the first shipment with the money he made in Ramsgate, and they pick up Sugar’s shipment together. They’re back in business.