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Top Boy, Series 2 Episode 2, Channel 4 Tuesdays 9-10pm

tvI don’t want to embarrass anyone, but WordPress gives me a panel showing what people have searched for in order to reach this site, and someone has typed in “top boy channel 4 rubbish”. If anyone with a gun is reading this, I promise you that these views are not endorsed by the owner of this site etc etc.

On the contrary, after Episode 2, I’m really into it.

For a start I’ve been doing my homework and come up with another helpful summary of the first series,

Armed with this and some subtitles, I sit down to enjoy Episode 2.

This week’s opener is darkly sweet compared with last week’s – Mike and Sully (someone enlighten me – is this a warped Monsters Inc reference?) are being offered an assassination job by a friend of theirs, who wants out of the business for family reasons.

After some wrangling over who is going to get what cut, Mike and Sully go off. This is when Sully reveals that the intended victim is his cousin Jermaine. What is he going to do?

Meanwhile, Dushane’s gang gets into trouble with the police when the young ‘uns go off on a misguided shoplifting trip. Thirteen year old Michael gets nabbed and the police get very interested in his relationship with Dushane.

The contrast between Dushane’s and Sully’s attitude to family is interesting. Dushane has a go at the leader of the shoplifting expedition for letting Michael get caught. (“What have I told you about stealing??”) He makes her give up the trainers as punishment, and there is a moment of menace when you see how vulnerable the girl is against him, but it goes no further than that. This is not what Dushane is about. You can see why the youngsters talk about the “love” he has for them all and how they see their gang as a replacement for family.

By contrast, back at Sully’s, he has kidnapped Jermaine at gunpoint for ransom instead of killing him. Jermaine can’t believe what is going on. Sully says, “I never liked you”. Jeremy Kyle, you ain’t seen nothing.

Elsewhere, Ra’nell continues to stay on the straight and you really root for him, especially as he touchingly worries about poor Gem’s enslavement to the Vietnamese (or Chinese? Who knows?) drug dealer. His mum battles with the problems of the developers taking over the block. I like this storyline. It’s very much a slow burner in the background, giving it more depth and texture. I like the way that, down the road, it impacts on Gem’s family too.

Apart from “top boy rubbish”, I also notice that there is great search interest in the female solicitor. She is an intriguing character. I wasn’t sure whether her quizzing of Dushane’s lifestyle was born of genuine difference between the classes, or whether she was sounding him out for something much dodgier than she would like her employers to know about.

After last week’s dramatic closing hit, it turns out that the Albanians didn’t make a very good job at polishing Joe off with their machine guns after all. How come he’s he still alive? Dushane also wants to know.  I was expecting great things from his Albanian stake out, but maybe that is for next week.

Also I have a feeling, from the trailers for next week, that Sully’s kidnapping adventure is going to come to no good – it just seems really shambolic and random, even apart from the fact that he doesn’t seem to have thought out the fact that the rest of Jermaine’s family are going to notice that he is missing…


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