“Prove Yourself” is an action-packed but quietly melancholy and tragic finale that sets up yet another season of masterful crime drama.
This recap of Netflix’s Top Boy season 2, episode 8, “Prove Yourself”, contains spoilers, including a discussion of the Top Boy Season 2 ending.
You have to open a finale with a bang, and “Prove Yourself” takes that mandate very literally, as Curtis and Vee, armed with those grease guns, run into Shelley’s nail bar and shoot the place to bits. It’s a clear message and it’ll be received pretty clear. As if Dushane and Sully didn’t have enough problems.
Netflix’s Top Boy season 2, episode 8 recap
One of those problems is Ruben, who you’ll recall decided to snitch in the previous episode. Naturally, Dushane and Sully conspire to have him murdered in prison by a lifer on his wing. Jamie also arrives in the cafe to report what Kit said, wanting to prove he’s loyal in the aftermath of this obvious betrayal. Predictably, Dushane instructs him to kill Kit — and if he doesn’t, Dushane will kill him (or, more likely, get Sully to do it). Knowing what we know about Jamie, it’s really no surprise that he tells Kit straight away and tells him they both need to get out of London ASAP.
Jamie springs this on Aaron and Stef at their dad’s grave on his birthday, which isn’t exactly the right time. Neither of the brothers is having it; neither wants any part in his affairs. Jamie’s conflict has always been that the manner in which he provides is also just as likely to endanger his family as it is to protect them, and here we see the consequences of that.
Family is obviously important to Curtis, too, since he’s determined to get Lauryn back. Jaq calls him to arrange a meeting, claiming she’ll exchange Lauryn for the stolen drugs and money, but it’s obviously a set-up, so Curtis comes up with another plan — he’s going to snatch Jaq and exchange her for Lauryn. The wait for all of this is agonizing, with Jaq out in the open, and everyone else in cars nearby. But the scene takes a swerve when Lauryn herself calls Curtis. She tips him off that he’s being set up, and tells him she wants to come home. She’ll only meet him, though, if he comes alone, and given Curtis is so unwilling to entertain the idea that Lauryn doesn’t actually love him, he falls for this obvious ruse. He goes to meet Lauryn, alone, and when she gets the opportunity she stabs him to death. Lauryn has been nothing but trouble all throughout Top Boy, but she sells the hell of out her distress in this scene. By the time Dushane and Sully arrive to clean up the mess, it’s almost as much of a relief for the audience as it is for her.
Vee and Speaks leave London, in the end. After calling Curtis’s phone, they’re told by Sully that they have two options — they can either stay and be killed, or they can leave. Either way, Curtis won’t be going with them. It’s a no-brainer, really.
In a bit of a random deviation that is just a bit too contrived for this show’s usual standards, Tia finds a gun in a playground that she and Stef try to sell to some local goons, who get a bit lairy during the sale. Stef pulls the gun on them and flees, so they give chase, and Stef is forced to call Jamie for help. Of course, Jamie arrives in the nick of time, and for once Stef is glad to see him. Reminded of how much he cares for his brothers, Jamie realizes — internally, though it’s made obvious by what comes next — that he can’t put them through the stress of hiding out in Wales while London’s most notorious criminals hunt them down. So, he kills Kit, as Dushane told him to.
Netflix’s Top Boy Season 2 ending explained
With most of the big drama having been handled, “Prove Yourself” begins to work through some concluding scenes to build a satisfying ending. Pebbles, feeling bad about what happened with Sully, fixes him some regular visitation with Tash. Dushane goes to visit Ruben in prison and threatens to kill his family if he snitches — understandably, he decides not to snitch. Then Dushane goes to visit Jeffrey and — obviously on a roll at this point — threatens to kill Lizzie if he doesn’t guarantee that the Summerhouse redevelopment provides enough housing for all the displaced occupants to return there if they want to. The development plans are subsequently canceled. That might be problematic for Dushane’s retirement plans, but we also see Mounir overseeing a huge shipment and see the operation continuing apace in London, with Jamie and Jaq as the top lieutenants, so he’s not going to be short of money in the short term.
Oh, and that kid in Morocco uses Jamie’s watch to secure passage to Spain.
But despite all the progress made in Dushane and Sully’s relationship this season, they still have fundamental differences, and their way of doing things won’t align. They discuss this in a candid chat on Dushane’s balcony, and while their conversation is amicable, it’s obvious that there’s truth to it. It’s even more obvious when Sully goes to Jamie’s home and shoots him twice in the chest and once in the head, right in front of Aaron and Stef.
This final development is just about the only aspect of this finale I’m not sure about, and I think it’ll be massively contentious for the show’s fans. Sully, who has always been the show’s most complex and sympathetic character, has killed off the show’s second-most complex (though not necessarily sympathetic) character. And he might have done so for no better reason than he wanted to. Of course, we know Jamie tried to betray him and Dushane earlier in the season. But we also know that Jamie proved his loyalty by killing his best friend. So, while it’s a possibility that Dushane ordered his death, it seems unlikely, especially on the back of that whole alignment conversation on the balcony. Instead, it simply seems like Sully couldn’t let his mistrust of Jamie go, and that spells dark things for the future of his character in subsequent seasons. Then again, in Top Boy, dark things are pretty much the only kind.
You can stream Netflix’s Top Boy season 2, episode 8, “Prove Yourself”, exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on Netflix’s Top Boy Season 2’s ending? Let us know in the comments.