Spoilers for Gangs of London season 1 and 2
The first season on Gangs of London hit in 2020 right at the start of lockdown, it came out of nowhere and blew viewers’ minds. Created by Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery this was a slick study of ultra violence set in the capital city, which explored the game play between international gangs vying to control different parts of the criminal underworld. Events of season one are kicked off when gangland boss and patriarch Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) is assassinated and his headstrong son Sean (Joe Cole) takes over, hell bent on revenge. Meanwhile, Elliot Carter (Sope Dirisu), an undercover cop, is trying to infiltrate the Wallace/Dumani empire by becoming Sean’s right hand man.
Power struggles and betrayals come thick and fast – if you need a recap of what went down we’ve got you covered.
Season two arrived this autumn to shake things up all over gain. And now it’s been announced that, yes, we will indeed be getting a third season! And while the arc of season two is complete, that final episode gives us loads to look forward to for the coming season.
So here’s where season two leaves us and what it might mean for season three.
The Gangs: who’s left?
Season two kicks off a year after the finale of season one. Sean is dead (ostensibly…) the city is in chaos, and the investors are in control from behind the scenes, with Pakistani heroin baron..
They want order, and so they draft in Koba (Waleed Zuaiter) and his gang of Georgian thugs. No one is to sell guns but Koba, no one is to sell heroin but Asif (Asif Raza Mir). Fail to toe the line and the consequences will be severe – a lesson learned in episode one when fledgling gang the Algerians buy weaponry from somewhere other than Koba.
But not everyone is happy about this. By the end of the season allegiances have been made and lost and the bodies have piled up. So who’s left?
The head of the Albanian mafia, Luan (Orli Shuka) has had a pretty rocky time in season two but he has at least made it out alive. He is, however, a changed man. As punishment for defying Koba the Georgian bully breaks into Luan’s fortified house and kidnaps his wife (Eri Shuka – Orli’s wife in real life), who he buries alive. A crazed Luan does everything in his power to save her, and after an exhausting ordeal in episode 4, he succeeds. By the end of season two Luan understands the value of family. His regular goons have all been killed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) and his daughter Shannon (Pippa Bennett-Warner) after an altercation over the shipment of heroin stolen from Koba by Marian (Michelle Fairley) and Luan and then later stolen again by Shannon. Luan is still a powerful man in the capital but he knows where he is most vulnerable.
Ed and Shannon Dumani
Alex Dumani (Paapa Essiedu) is dead, having jumped to his death in episode one. Shannon’s been released from prison when the police couldn’t make the charges for Vicky’s (Jing Lusi) murder stick. At the end of season one, Ed shot Marian and left her for dead. And now Ed, ever the negotiator, has sided with Asif in an attempt to keep order in the city. But Ed is better than that, and while he initially betrays Luan, his conscience can’t stand it. At the final hour he fights back alongside Luan, even though it looks like certain death. Seeing what Luan almost lost, knowing how powerful and dangerous Koba is, and saved by Elliot (at the expense of his own father) Ed ultimately decides to side with his daughter and Elliot, who have joined forces to steal the shipment of heroin from Marian and Sean. Ed and Shannon wiped out the Albanians but he and Luan are remarkably still on speaking terms and may join forces once again.
Marian’s arc between the start of season one and the end of season two is something of a descent into hell. Wife of Finn, mother of Jacqueline (Valene Kane), Billy (Brian Vernel) and Sean, Marian began as a family woman. But after the revelation of her husband’s affair and plan to leave her, her betrayal by Ed and Sean’s anarchic take over has changed her. Initially joined forces with Finn’s mistress Floriana (Arta Dobroshi), and supplying weapons to Luan to distribute, she’s taking control for herself. But she pushes Sean too far. When Billy’s arm arrives in the post from Elliot she discourages Sean from going to Billy’s rescue. “Forget Billy, Billy’s gone,” she says. Sean blames her for Billy’s fate and almost strangles his mother and says he never wants to see her again.
But by the end Sean is in prison and Marian has a prime spot at the table…
In the year since the end of season one, Elliot has become a killer for hire for the Investors, hopping from country to country carrying out hits. What Elliot wants more than anything is to save his dad, but the investors are keeping him in a secret location as collateral to keep Elliot under the thumb. But when the revelation surfaces that Sean is in fact NOT DEAD Elliot has a chance to get his dad out of the country.
But a last minute decision to help Shannon and rescue Ed changes everything for Elliot. While his father waits for him at the airport Sean has sent a goon to assassinate him. When Elliot discover it was Sean who betrayed him it pushes him over the edge. A mission to destroy Sean in Paris results in extensive loss of life – Elliot’s a full on criminal now, and by the end of the series has vowed to take everything Sean ever had.
Saba and Faz
The young surviving members of the Algerian gang have been through a lot. Saba (Jahz Armando), one of the few characters who had no interest in organized crime, was dragged into the fray by Sean, who she later betrays on the instruction of Elliot. Koba sniffs her out and instructs her cousin Hakim (Aymen Hamdouchi) to kill her. Hakim has betrayed her uncle Basem (Salem Kali) already and under extreme pressure Saba kills him. Now she’s taken a life there’s no going back. She and Faz (Fady Elsayed), who has also seen extreme carnage and nearly died, are still alive but are small time players likely in hiding.
Asif and Lale
In a final episode twist we learn that Asif has in fact NOT killed Lale (Narges Rashidi). The two have a long standing rivalry after Asif killed Lale’s husband and Lale killed Asif’s son. Lale, whose Kurdish gang rescued Sean, is later horribly betrayed by him when rather than saving her, he returns her to Asif. But Asif says he wants an ally, a fellow exile, who will help him take back what has been stolen. Asif is NOT in the hotel room where the rival gangs meet, he’s in a separate, rather nicer room, making a deal with Lale. It is worth noting that as far as we know, none of the others know Lale is alive. Lale will also be hell bent on revenge for Sean’s betrayal (the two were lovers). Asif is never going to forgive Lale for killing his son but for the time being she might be a powerful weapon. Only season three will tell exactly how long they work together before one attempts to kill the other.
Sean and Billy
Billy’s got one arm, Sean is in prison, having been left hanging, perched on a car tire by Elliot. It’s not clear what he’s in for – his crimes are many, but what he’ll have admitted to is another matter. He certainly poisoned Koba whose body is there at the scene. So for now, Sean’s out of the running, but he’s such a huge part of the show we can’t imagine him not having a big part to play in season 3. Will he wheedle his way out? Will he form a new faction in prison? Or will he find that he suddenly has to grow humility from behind bars where he’s no longer the big man? Doubt it…
That will certainly be a big question in season three. Who is working with who and who will come out on top?
At the table in the hotel room in the final episode, the last two seats are occupied by Elliot and Marian who sit directly opposite each other. These two are definitely on opposing sides and their conflict may form the central tension of season three. Currently likely to side with Elliot are Ed and Shannon – he is sat between them, and Elliot saved Ed’s life and helped steal the shipment of heroin. If the young Algerians stay in the game, then Saba will likely side with Elliot too, over a member of the Wallace family.
Luan has a longterm relationship with Ed, but he also has loyalty to Marian. Ed sold him out and killed his men, while Marian backed Luan and neither betrayed the other, so we think Luan might side with Marian. It was Sean’s actions which indirectly lead to Luan’s escape and ability to rescue his wife too, while Luan doesn’t have any relationship with Elliot. He might well stick to the gangster he knows.
There are also some people in that hotel room who are not currently main characters and who may very well come into their own in season three. It’s notable that we don’t currently have any main character gangs from East Asia – the Chinese and the Vietnamese we met in passing in an early episode but we have no main gang from there or indeed Japan which could add an interesting dynamic.
Will Corin Hardy return for season 3?
There’s been no official word yet on whether season 2 lead director Corin Hardy will come back for the next season but if we had to guess we’d probably say not. Season 1 was led by creator Gareth Evans and had some of the action director’s signature sequences, including the massive episode five farm house siege. Season 2 has Hardy’s stamp all over it, upping the gore and horror and bringing in his own distinctive style, including episode one’s terrifying home invasion. We’d love to see Hardy back but we wouldn’t be surprised if a new director picked up the reins bringing their own flavor with it.
You can watch Gangs of London seasons 1 and 2 on Sky Atlantic and Now in the UK, and AMC+ in the US.
Dazzler Media presents Gangs of London: Season Two & The Complete Boxset on Blu-ray, DVD and Download-to-Own from 19th December