“Bad Eye” lets a new threat loose on the streets, as new alliances begin to form in the shadows.
This recap of Top Boy Season 1, Episode 8, “Bad Eye”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The morning after the night before, Dushane (Ashley Walters) wakes up at Shelley’s (Little Simz) house — the cuddle having evidently turned into the no-pants-dance — on a hunt for coffee. What he finds instead is every conceivable variety of Twinings green tea and Tish, whom he gets on with rather well. But that’s perhaps the most positive relationship to be found in Top Boy Episode 8, “Bad Eye” — even the reliable partnership of Ats and Stefan breaks down, as they have a fight at school over the lost rucksack and what Jamie (Micheal Ward) really does for a living.
The big plot of “Bad Eye” is the return of Modie, who escapes from prison with the help of Jermaine (Ashley Thomas). In a funny string of scenes in a swanky restaurant where he’s also trying to conduct a meeting with a client, Jermaine arranges for Modie’s break-out. It’s a success, in a sense, though Modie being back on the streets can’t really be considered a success for anyone but himself — least of all Jamie. When the ZTs read about his release on the news, Jamie acknowledges it’s going to be a problem. He just doesn’t know how big of a problem it’s going to be yet.
The state of Summerhouse in Top Boy Episode 8 is questionable too. None of the kids are willing to work the streets, and many have already jumped ship. Nobody wants to be on the losing team, according to Dris (Shone Romulus), which is not what Dushane wants to hear. He and Sully (Kane Robinson) move into a hovel in “Bad Eye” as a low-key base of operations, while they try and figure out who’s supplying Jamie and the ZTs. Pretty soon it hits them that they’ve never seen Jamie with anyone except one person: Lizzie.
Someone else doing their own investigations is Stefan. He pokes around Jamie’s room and discovers his money stash, and after having been told by Ats that Jamie is a roadman, he questions Aaron (Hope Ikpoku Jnr) about it. Aaron evidently struggles to lie to his brother, but he also says that what’s important is that Jamie provides: The food, the electric, the rent, everything is paid for by Jamie. But it doesn’t do much to set Stefan’s mind at rest since he’s worried that Jamie is going to be arrested. The truth is likely to be much worse, as we’ll see.
While Dushane and Jaq (Jasmine Jobson) visit the antique shop and find out Lizzie’s location, Jamie meets with Aaron and Stefan at an Italian restaurant; he also invites Abby, in no small part to let Aaron know that he’s aware she has been visiting the house (he was watching the CCTV footage on his phone). It’s a nice scene; the family dynamic here has been a highlight all throughout the season. But it’s sullied by the appearance of Jermaine, who insists that Jamie go and see Modie immediately. And Modie isn’t pleased to see him, holding him at gunpoint and interrogating him about his self-appointed leadership and the death of Leyton. Modie has every intention of sticking around.
In another heartwarming scene in “Bad Eye”, Sully joins Taylor and Paul for dinner. Though she’s initially reluctant, his daughter, Tash, warms to him, showing him her room and asking her to read to him. Sully has always been the most complicated character in Top Boy, but he has rapidly become the most sympathetic. As we begin to like each of these characters, every scene is becoming laced with dread about what might happen to them. And the future, if we’re being honest, doesn’t look good for anyone.
When Sully and Dushane ambush Lizzie, she wisely proposes a new deal. If they get rid of Jamie, she’ll be in need of another business partner. And Sully and Dushane will need a supplier who can be trusted, and who won’t threaten to slaughter their relatives. But that would mean getting rid of Sugar. At the end of Top Boy Season 1, Episode 8, Dushane places a call to Jamaica.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.