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Gangs of London Season 2: What to expect? How did season 1 end? Unanswered questions from the story so far...
With Sky Atlantic's British gangster drama back on our screens, here's a reminder of everything that happened in season 1 and how it sets up the plot of season 2.
Stream Gangs of London season 2 weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW
Gangs of London exploded onto our screens over two years ago, and with the highly anticipated second season airing last week, it’s high time we brought ourselves up to speed with the events of the first season plus how it connects to the new season.
With an underworld story like Gangs of London, there is a network of characters that intertwine and overlap so it’s very easy to forget how it all fits together. The chess match that unfolds over the streets and boroughs of London are excellently brought to life in this modern-day crime drama.
So let’s remind ourselves what we loved so much about the debut season and how that sets up this new chapter for the show.
Season 1 revisited
Set in the heart of London, one of the world’s most complicated and opportunistic cities. Season 1 tells the story of a city being torn apart by rival gangs clambering for power and control of the streets in the capital.
A power vacuum arises when the head of the city's most powerful crime family is assassinated. Finn Wallace had run London for 20 years via his organisation through which billions of pounds flowed, and his death sets a motion of unrest and unbalance to the landscape of underworld of London.
His family's power now rests on the shoulders of impulsive son Sean Wallace, with the help of allies, the Dumanis. This inheritance of power causes a domino effect within the criminal network that consists of Albanian Mafia, Kurdish freedom fighters, a Pakistani cartel and Welsh travellers as well as various other criminal chess pieces. Many of these organisations now sense a sudden vulnerability and feel that now is time to act to claim more territory, wealth and power.
Amongst the mayhem and chaos the high-level assassination has caused there is a pawn on the board to keep an eye on. Elliot Finch has worked his way into the Wallace family organisation as they look to bolster their muscle amidst the new threats coming their way. Looking to gain the gang's trust and make an impact by helping track down Finn’s killers, Elliot’s body count starts to tot up. Although he looks to be an asset to the Wallace family, there’s more that meets the eye to the resilient character - and sure enough he is, in fact, an undercover cop looking to take the crime family down from within.
Throughout the rest of the season the show follows the turns and turmoils of each gang as they form alliances with some and double-cross others. The Kurdish gang, led by female antagonist Lale and Asif’s Pakistani regime, are in a drug war stemmed by revenge, while the Albanians' threat of blackmail over Finn’s construction dealings begin to haunt the Wallace family from beyond the grave.
Sean finally tracks down the culprit for his father’s death as Welsh traveller boss Kinney admits his son killed him, but that the hit was ordered by an unknown group. This breakthrough in the storyline sets off a chain of events that gathers momentum in the latter half of the season as we head towards an explosive finale. The mysterious group is revealed to be ‘The Investors’ and their presence begins to dominate proceedings as they attempt to orchestrate this opera of crime.
How it ended
As the season nears its end, the Dumani family's conspiring comes to light and intensifies against the Wallace family. There’s a power struggle between the former allies, with ‘The Investors’ seeming to pit them against each other for Finn’s succession. Secrets on both sides are revealed in a face-off at the safe house, and Sean gets revenge on ‘The Investors’, hitting them where it hurts by blowing up their skyscraper.
Meanwhile Elliot’s entanglements get further complicated by the arrival of a second undercover cop and police superiors starting to weigh in on the operation. The body count piles up as collateral murders occur throughout the streets of London. In a stand-off in an abandoned warehouse, Sean confronts Elliot about his identity, but this is interrupted by Alex who is tasked with killing his childhood friend. Alex chokes at the last moment but Elliot takes his chance and shoots Sean for him.
The ending of season 1 leaves us with a few more questions than it does answers. Is Elliot a confirmed criminal now or is there way back into his life as an police officer? His key undercover contacts all seem to be dead and with him owing The Investors for getting him out of the underground torture room, his mind may now be set on a darker path. Perhaps Elliot wants to make a move for gang leadership, and to prove that pawns can be kings after all.
In terms of the gangs of London themselves, there’s a lot of open-ended situations. Asif, the leader of the Pakistani cartel, will be seeking revenge for the murder of his son by Lale, who left to return to her Kurdish people after a night of passion with Sean – It remains to be seen whether she’ll feature in season 2.
There’s also a small possibility that Sean survived the shot to the face, if the bullet went through his cheek rather than his head – could that be significant and could Sean return?
Sean’s mother Marian is another character who was shot in the final episode by long-term friend Ed Dumani, but If you hung around to watch the post-credit sequence you would have seen that Finn’s mistress Floriana came to her aid in the cemetery and takes her away.
It’ll be interesting to see what this means for her character arc but also what the attempt on her life could mean for Ed Dumani. Plus, with Floriana potentially being more of a threat to the balance of season 2 if she teams up with Marian in a bizarre turn of events, there is also the notion that she has access to billions of pounds syphoned by Finn too.
With Alex able to escape the hands of the law, will we see him fulfil The Investors’ wishes to become head of the Wallace gang? Or will the more cool-headed but notoriously cautious character resist the sort of power that puts a target on your back.
Where does season 2 pick up?
Set one year after the dramatic ending of season 1, the new season promises much more of the same. Similar to season 1's beginnings where there was a power struggle in the wake of a gang leader’s death, we have the same situation in season 2 - since Sean Wallace was killed there’s a collapse in the leadership of London’s ganglands.
The Investors' presence will no doubt be felt much stronger as its tentacles wrap around more characters since the end of season 1. We know they wish to install a new leader, cold-hearted antagonist Koba who doesn’t play by the rules of the streets. He will team up with Asif to take control of the capitol.
The threat of Koba is something which is highly anticipated as a new level and breed of evil that’ll cast a shadow of the city. No doubt we will see plenty of chaos and destruction in season 2.
We’ll also see the ambitious and resilient Elliot take centre stage once again and follow his treacherous path to the top. He had to prove himself time and time again in the first season, starting from scratch within the criminal underworld while balancing the fear of revealing his true identity as an undercover police officer. He narrowly escapes season 1 with his life on several occasions, so it’ll be interesting to see how those events have changed him in this new chapter of his story.
Stream Gangs of London season 2 weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW