The ending has some satisfying moments, but it’s much more setup for Season 3 than any type of conclusion. Although is that really a bad thing?
This Gangs of London season 2, episode 8 recap contains spoilers, including a full discussion of Gangs of London Season 2’s ending.
The finale of Gangs of London season 2 begins with a lot of bad news and decisions. Following the shenanigans of Gangs of London season 2, episode 7, Sean is having parts of his brother mailed to him, has figured out his mother has been stabbing him in the back, and still has no heroin. Saba is being accused of facilitating Elliot’s assassination attempt and is forced, along with Faz, to kill Hakim. Oh, and Shannon has the heroin, much to Ed’s consternation.
Things aren’t looking good, are they?
Gangs of London season 2, episode 8 recap
In the previous episode, Elliot said something — to Billy, but really to us — about wanting the powerful to feel weak and scared, and that’s the situation that he creates for Sean, who is forced to do Elliot’s bidding in order to try and get Billy back. But the episode also begins to reframe Billy, the quintessentially “weakest” member of the family, as being possessed of real strength. We’re reminded, in a conversation between Sean and Koba, about that whole thing with the snitch and the bucket from Season 1. In his recounting, Sean lies and says he took the shot, but we know it was Billy. As Sean acquiesces to Elliot’s demands, showing weakness, Billy tries to engineer his own escape. He has always quietly been the sturdier of the two brothers.
One of the things Elliot wants Sean to do is kill Koba, and he manages that, at least, but poisoning his burger and chips. Is there a worse place to die than a service station? I imagine not. It’d seem like an anticlimactic conclusion for Koba, but he fights the poison until the very end — even after becoming paralyzed, he almost manages to pull his gun. But eventually, he bleeds from the nose and eyes and mouth and drops dead, to be unceremoniously crammed into the boot of the car.
Elsewhere, Luan’s men arrive to reclaim the heroin from Shannon, and she and Ed butcher everyone through a motel wall while The Raid — a nice nod to Gareth Evans’s involvement here — plays on the TV. Poor Danny must be scarred for life. Regardless, Ed, having done Luan a solid earlier in the season, has some negotiating power left over, and compels him to wait until the morning — to see what happens between Elliot and Sean, in other words — before making a decision. After all, would he really want Marian to accumulate all that power?
Eventually, Sean meets with Elliot at the right spot, and predictably, the two fight. Billy contributes by stabbing Elliot a couple of times with a screwdriver he secured earlier, and that certainly helps, as does Sean throwing oil in Elliot’s eyes. But at this point Elliot is virtually indestructible — he’s too full of rage at how violently and consistently he has been wronged, betrayed, and manipulated. After getting the better of the scrap, Elliot hangs Sean by the neck from a crane, and he’s totally ready to watch him die until he decides that isn’t quite enough. Instead, he lets Sean live but decides to take everything he has ever built — to take his seat at the table. The final scene of Gangs of London Season 2 makes this idea literal, as Elliot takes his position among Ed, Shannon, Luan, Marian, and the other high-ranking criminals of London. Elsewhere, we see Billy visiting Sean in prison, and Asif, in exile, offering Lale a cigarette. They’ve now teamed up, it seems.
Season 3, anyone?
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