A tragic death becomes the focus of “How Do I Fix This?”, as Dushane ventures abroad.
This recap of Netflix’s Top Boy season 2, episode 2, “How Do I Fix This?”, contains spoilers.
The death of Ats — which occurred offscreen and wasn’t revealed until the end of the first episode — is one of the more tragic things to have happened in a show that delivers almost nothing but tragic developments. The last season did such a fine job of characterizing this troubled young man and the people close to him, including his best friend Stef and his mother Amma, that knowing he suffered a senseless death at the hands of an as-yet-unknown attacker really stings. All his potential bled out of him at the bottom of a dirty skip, and someone has to answer for that, so there’s no wonder that an investigation into his death becomes the primary focus in “How Do I Fix This?”
Netflix’s Top Boy season 2, episode 2 recap
Luckily, Kieron has a lead. CCTV footage from outside a relative’s shop reveals that Ats was snatched off the street by a man and a woman, and bundled into a sporty yellow car. Jaq sends the picture of the girl around to everyone but warns them that the matter needs to be handled in-house. Everyone is keen since they’re mortified over Ats’ death. Amma is facing deportation while also grappling with the loss of her son, Stef has lost a best friend after finally deciding to reconcile with him, and everyone in Dushane’s crew feels a sense of responsibility for having involved Ats in their drama in the first place.
Speaking of Dushane, he’s in Spain with Lizzie. Together, they go to see Emilio for some backstory on Juan El Bueno, the corrupt National Police officer who evidently saw an opportunity in Emilio stepping down. Switching sides to the bloodthirsty Los Duques gang, who wanted retribution against Emilio and Antonio for the boat killing we saw in the previous episode, he took a payrise to set Antonio up. But since the Los Duques being in control cuts Dushane out of the Moroccan deal, he can’t be having that, so he needs to go straight to the source.
To facilitate this, Emilio sets him up with a man named Mounir, who resides in a rough part of town called La Linea, and gives him a gun for protection. Dushane dismisses Lizzie, telling her he doesn’t need her, and heads out to the Spanish equivalent of Summerhouse to meet with Mounir, who isn’t very forthcoming. When Dushane insists on meeting his boss, even if he doesn’t like it, he’s driven to a remote area where two goons put a bag over his head and a gun to the back of it and drive him to meet a giant dude with a surprisingly familiar accent. This guy’s name is Chaash, and he’s the ostensible leader of the Moroccan outfit. He assures Dushane that everything is under control, and he’ll provide Dushane with a starter pack until the main shipment is ready. If only someone had said that to begin with!
The bulk of the drama here, though, takes place back in London, focusing primarily on the repercussions of Ats’s death, but also developing some other subplots, including a new one. We see Sully’s neighbor Delphine attempt to bond with him more, Sully attempt to provide money to Dris’s baby mama Mandy, and Stef visiting Amma to give her his condolences in a scene that genuinely moved me. Women like Amma, whose first thought amidst the loss of her son and the threat of deportation is to console Stef, are a gift to us all.
Top Boy is underrated as a drama, which is something I’ve always said, and I think the ease with which it develops all these elements and begins to organically interweave them is really a testament to that. Stef visiting Ats’s memorial allows him to hook up with Tia, a young girl from incredibly underprivileged circumstances who is stealing the chocolate bars people are leaving in Ats’s memory. When she takes Stef back to her place, he finds her unwashed little sister alone there, and they all play a game around the house. Jaq, meanwhile, gets word that the girl from the CCTV footage has been spotted, and runs her down in a shopping center only to discover she’s the wrong person. She heads from there straight to a date with a posh woman named Becks who Lithe has set her up with, and as they’re walking home, they suffer a homophobic attack that there will absolutely be hell to pay for.
But Jaq also gets a call from her sister Lauryn. You’ll recall that Lauryn was banished from London after almost getting Sully killed with her pillow talk, and since then she has shacked up with a crazy Liverpudlian gun dealer named Curtis who lives with his sister, Vee, who absolutely despises Lauryn. Curtis fronts as a nice guy who loves Lauryn deeply, which is just as well since she’s heavily pregnant with his baby, but he’s really a psychopathic, controlling abuser, and Lauryn secretly begs Jaq to get her out of there. But Jaq’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. She’s trying to live her own life after spending most of it cleaning up her sister’s messes, and she knows that loyalty to her biological family is going to test her loyalty to her surrogate one given Lauryn’s banishment. It’s a difficult situation, but something has to give — probably sooner rather than later.