0-100 In 30 Minutes
Episode 5 of Gangs of London begins with a flashback of Darren in the past, digging up an old gun and convincing his friend to carry out this hit. As we jump forward in time, we see Darren in the safe-house with Mal waiting for a boat and anxious about his time inside. As he fingers his gun, Kinney meanwhile watches as a man named Leif arrives, scouring the area and finding a phone in the dirt with messages about the safe house.
Mal heads out for supplies while Kinney gets away from the dangerous armed guards thanks to a rogue white horse he manages to hitch a ride from. After surviving out in the open, he takes a man’s car and shotgun before phoning Mal and leaving a message, informing him what’s happened and that there’s a “wolf” after them.
That “wolf” happens to uncover the location of Darren’s safehouse and as Kinney slips away undetected, the pub nearby is full of people disguised as regular punters. Only, they’re definitely not. After Leif kills the pub owner, the facade is shattered and the armed guards spread out and march on the safe house while Mal drives back home with the supplies.
As Darren heads inside, he looks out the window and sees Kinney running toward them. Behind him are a whole line of soldiers that blast a barrage of bullets at the group gathered outside. Killing most of the men and women there, those inside manage to lock the place down as the soldiers start to flank the property.
Using C4 and ladders, the soldiers blast a hole in the roof as Mal tries to defend the property from an onslaught of bullets. As the fighting continues, C4 blows the front door off its hinges and with it, engulfs the soldiers in flames.
With everyone else dead, Kinney takes Darren down to the basement while Evie refuses to go with them, sacrificing herself to keep them safe. In the basement, Darren berates his Father for what’s happened but he leads him to the boat. Only, the soldiers attack them on the dock as Kinney defends his son, using his body as a human shield as bullets rip through his back. It’s not enough though and Leif kills Darren and Kinney in cold blood.
In the aftermath of this, Leif phones through to his boss and as the scene cuts, it’s revealed that Jevan was the one who ordered the hit.
Episode 5 is arguably one of the best episodes of this series. While the opening 90 minute episode had a real Godfather-esque vibe to it as the story unfolds, this is the one that ultimately manages to tell a consistent self-contained story arc surrounding the defence of this house, and it does so while progressing the main narrative slightly too. The first 30 minutes are admittedly pretty slow, with little in the way of action, but this is why the episode works as well as it does.
The sleepy pacing lulls us into a false sense of security and when everything does hit the fan, the tension ramps up and delivers a non-stop onslaught of action. In a way this episode actually borrows heavily from Lone Survivor in terms of pacing, with that film very slow to begin with before descending into all-out maniacal chaos toward the end.
Here though, all of this combines with the sound design which is utterly gripping and equal parts eerie and explosive. The final twist really seals the deal though and delivers one heck of a bombshell as Jevan is the one behind what’s happening. Whether Asif is actually aware of what he’s is up to or not remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – this story just went from 0 to 20 real fast. Roll on the next episode!