Ace but brutal crime thriller Gangs Of London has just landed on our screens in a hail of blood and bullets. It’s an ultra violent, incredibly complex story of the multiple criminal factions in the capital city as well as an intense family saga which begins with crime lord and head of the Wallace family, Finn (Colm Meaney), being assassinated.
What follows is an intense nine part thriller full of twists, turns, surprises and a massive body count. It’s also very complicated. Here’s our handy guide to what happens in the finale, what it means for a second series and where all the main players are left at the end of Gangs Of London.
Who killed Finn Wallace?
As we saw in the first episode, the actual hit was carried out by Darren (Aled ap Steffan) with Ioan (Darren Evans) driving him. Both are now dead. The Danish Militia ordered the hit, responding to an assignment from Jevan Kapadia (Ray Panthaki), who in turn was working for mysterious people known only as The Investors. They knocked out Finn because he was planning to leave the business and disappear to a private island that he’d purchased along with a luxury yacht called The Floriana. The yacht is named after Finn’s pregnant mistress (Arta Dobroshi) who he had planned to disappear with, abandoning his wife Marian (Michelle Fairley) and his family. Ed (Lucian Msamati) and Alex (Paapa Essiedu) were set up to be in charge of the business.
This flips our perspective on what the state of affairs was in London. At the start of the series we see Finn and Ed as the most powerful people in the city for whom no door was closed. Instead we discover that Finn was controlled by The Investors, was losing money hand over fist and robbing Peter to pay Paul. He had had enough. Putting Alex and Ed in the frame rather than Sean could even have been a kindness to Sean.
What happened to Floriana?
Jevan told Ed that Floriana was killed the same day as Finn but that wasn’t true. Instead Leif (Mads Koudal) from the Danish Militia was keeping her in the basement of the house he lives in with his mother. She’s promised them money but only when she knows her baby is safe. It’s suggested that Floriana may have access to the money Finn stole for various gangs and investors. Floriana gives birth but instead of allowing Leif and his mother to take the child and the money she pushes his mother down the stairs and escapes with her baby.
This episode is directed by Xavier Gens who made Frontier(s) and the shot of Floriana running down the street looks like a parallel to the scene where Frontier(s)’ heroine Karina Testa escapes the neo Nazis. Floriana didn’t play a major part in Gangs Of London but if Gangs Of London gets a second season, however, Floriana is sure to play a big part – more on that below.
What happened to Marian?
Marian is shot in the graveyard by Ed, we see her slump over and presume she has died. But in a cheeky flashback to the previous day, at the very end of the final episode, the tables are turned. A woman pushing a pram is seen wandering through the graveyard. She approaches Marian’s slumped body and when she says her name, we see Marian open her eyes. “Marian. I’m going to help you,” she says and we realise, OMG! It’s Floriana!
In this very brief epilogue Floriana looks healthy and well dressed. This short scene could hold the key to what season two could hold. If Floriana has access to the money Finn stole and she joins forces with Marian the two would be a force to be reckoned with. Marian has shown that she can be just as violent and ruthless as her husband. Floriana is clearly clever, resourceful and not above pushing an old woman down the stairs.
It’s possible The Investors don’t know that Floriana is actually even alive. The only people who know are Leif and his mother and they’re unlikely to tell since that would mean admitting to The Investors they were planning to take her money – money Finn had stolen from The Investors. It’s possible that Marian is also believed to be dead after Ed shot her, so the two could be a powerful counter force in the capital, possessed of money and invisible.
Who are The Investors?
We don’t exactly know, other than that they are at the very highest echelons of power and have influence everywhere and are unlikely to ever get their hands dirty – The Investors want control and order which Finn Wallace brought (before he started stealing from everyone and decided he wanted out of the business). In the credits The Investors are listed as Mr. Jacob and Ms. Kane and are played by Tim McInnerny and Amanda Drew. Exactly who The Investors are, how wide their reach goes and exactly how much power they wield could be the focus of season 2 if the show were to get one. The fact that these characters are named in the credits (but never in the show) suggest they have a bigger part to play. We also don’t know exactly who killed Jevan – he was thrown out of a window onto some spikes but it’s not clear who did this, and who is in the pockets of The Investors.
What happened to Elliot?
Vicky (Jing Lusi) is killed by Shannon (Pippa Bennett-Warner), Anthony (David Avery) is killed by one of the men Marian drafted. Elliot (Sope Dirisu) appears to now be working for The Investors. The Investors give Elliot instructions in exchange for guaranteeing the safety of Shannon and Danny (Taye Matthew). Elliot is arrested and water boarded for information in what he is told is now a terrorist investigation. While he’s there a medical professional who says she needs to check his vitals gives him a code: “I am protected under diplomatic immunity under the republic of Panama.” When Elliot speaks this, the chief interrogator calls his boss, and is forced to let Elliot go free, warning him he’s bought his way into a very dangerous world.
While he’s being interrogated Elliot is allowed to make a phone call to his dad (Jude Akuwudike). Using slightly cryptic references his dad would understand he tells him to leave London and head to Jamaica. Using a boxing reference from his childhood he tells his dad that it’ll look like he “took a fall in the third” but that he’s going to “take it all the way”.
It’s significant because it’s from this call that we understand that despite it looking like he now works for The Investors, instead he’s planning to take them down. He finishes by telling his dad that “pawns can be kings” (again, in reference to the early boxing match memory). Still in possession of the microchip given to him by Sean (Joe Cole), which holds information about The Investors, tax havens and high level corporate corruption, Elliot is now on a mission to take out the big boys.
Is Sean really dead?
Elliot shoots Sean in the face because The Investors have instructed him that Sean can never be allowed to take the stand (presumably because he knows too much) but that Alex has to stay in play. Elliot’s shot hits Sean in the cheek. Later we hear the police who have raided the club saying Sean Wallace is dead. But we don’t actually see his dead body. So we’re hoping he’s not dead and that he might return for a second season.
Elliot is too smart and well trained to shoot Sean in the cheek rather than the forehead by accident. The decision to show very specifically where he is hit but not his dead body very much leaves his death ambiguous. Perhaps the cops announced his death to convince The Investors he’s out of the picture. Could Sean be working with the police in a potential second season?
What happened to Luan?
Finn posthumously steals Luan’s (Orli Shuka) money and the money belonging to the Nigerians headed up by Mosi (Richard Pepple) which Ed had promised to wash for Luan. The transfer of the clean money via an investment bank does not go through and it becomes apparent that it must have been something Finn set up before he died, via offshore accounts.
The Mosi and Nigerians visit London, go to the investment bank and cut off the right hands of all of the employees there. They then go to Luan’s daughter’s birthday party and threaten to massacre his entire family if he doesn’t get the money back. Luan sends one of his men to take down the Nigerians but he’s chopped up and put in a laundry basket. Captured by the Nigerians and with his family under threat Luan takes them on and wins, killing them all. He is persuaded by his wife to leave town so the rival gang remembers remaining will kill each other and he can return stronger. Luan could definitely return for a second season and he’s clear that his intention is to come back to London and take over now many of his rivals are out of the picture.
Where does Lale end up?
With her business razed to the ground by Asif (Asif Raza Mir) and all her staff including her right-hand man massacred, Lale (Narges Rashidi) is bent on revenge. She helps Sean to assemble the materials he will need to blow up Belvedere Tower. Then she visit’s Asif’s son Nasir (Parth Thakerar) on the day of his victory party to celebrate his appointment as London’s new mayor and kills him, cutting out his tongue and marking his mouth with an ‘X’ – to denote an X in the box like on a voting slip. Wearing a blonde wig and glasses she approaches Asif and tells him she’s looking forward to hearing Nasir speak. She tells Asif that she gave his son her vote and when she shakes his hand she leaves it bloody. Asif rushes to the party where he finds his son’s body. Lale has sex with Sean and tells him she’s going back to Kurdistan, explaining she stands only for the freedom of her country while Sean stands for nothing. It’s possible Lale could return for a second season but it feels like her story has ended now her team have all been killed and her allegiance is with her home.
Who else is NOT dead at the end of Gangs Of London?
Billy (Brian Vernel) and Jackie (Valene Kane) are alive and have gone abroad and changed their names. Ed is still alive, as is Alex, and both are now presumably working for The Investors. Leif and his mum are still alive but have gained nothing from Floriana’s kidnap. Shannon and Danny are still alive and have fled London. Asif is alive but destroyed by grief.