Watch Of The Week: Top Boy Season 5

No plot should have a beginning and a middle but no end in sight. Otherwise, aside from making money, what’s a story for? So it’s good news that, 12 years on with pauses caused by cancellation then COVID, Top Boy (Netflix) is paying a conclusive visit to the Summerhouse estate in six punchy episodes. The fifth season begins more or less where the fourth, which ended with two executions and a stabbing, left off.

In the opener, an unsavoury gift awaits Sully (Kane Robinson) and his secondin-command Jaq (Jasmine Jobson) when they open up a transit van to collect a delivery. Without revealing what it is, hats off to the design team. This turns out to be the calling card of a pitiless gang barging in from Ireland.

Lest we forget, the progenitor of this breakneck epic is Belfast-born Ronan Bennett. Jonny, their bantamweight enforcer, is played by Barry Keoghan. Prepare to be chilled and mesmerised: Oscar Nominated for playing naïve in The Banshees of Inisherin, he’s quite as adept at almost casual thuggery.

Top Boy S3. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Meanwhile, what of Dushane (Ashley Walters)? At the start of the first episode, he’s pushed aside by the leaner, hungrier desperado Sully and sagaciously opts to sink some winnings into the legit nail bar business of his girlfriend Shelley (Simbiatu Ajikawo, aka rapper Little Simz). “Can we cheers to that?” she says hopefully in a swanky restaurant.

Probably not it is a cast-iron rule with Top Boy that whenever anyone has a smile on their face, it won’t be there for long. The plot soon plunges Dushane in the dark labyrinth of Hackney’s less-thancertified banking system.

The first four episodes are directed at pace by Myriam Raja, who also shot the fourth season finale. Her biggest challenge here is a teeming set piece in which Summerhouse residents protest to thwart a Home Office deportation.

Perhaps a storyline inspired by the Windrush Scandal feels a bit behind the curve. Not a script that entraps a fresh generation of children and even babies. While this addictive saga will exit with a satisfying bang, that’s the real story that never ends.

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Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.


About Author / Boluwatife Adesina

Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.

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