Kane Roninson as Sully and Ashley Walters as Dushane are back one final time in Top Boy (Picture: Netflix)
After 12 years Top Boy is coming to a dramatic end. Soon the cast will say no more, fam for good.
Over the course of five series, we’ve watched Dushane [Ashley Walters] and Sully [Kane Roninson] make up and break up more times than Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
The sometimes competing gangsters, other times co-conspirators, constantly going back and forth, as well as fighting with their own loose moral compasses. Now we’re finally getting an epic conclusion, and the answer to who really is the top boy. But as Sully once said, just because you didn’t lose doesn’t mean you win. However, there is one clear winner in the series – the viewer who is going to feel immensely satisfied by the conclusion.
Last series, we saw Dushane attempt to start going legit, Summerhouse residents get handed eviction notices, sisters Jaq [Jasmine Jobson] and pregnant Lauryn [Saffron Hocking] murder her abusive boyfriend, and finally things concluded with the shocking death of Jamie [Michael Ward], after Sully decided to end his life.
Things pick up right where we left off, and as always in Top Boy things move on quickly – mourning a main character is something we’ve had to quickly become accustomed to in this Netflix revival (although we may never emotionally recover from the death of Keiyon Cook’s Ats).
In the final outing, the series proves itself as one of the best crime dramas of all time, and this is down to its unique approach to the material. It has never presented the main characters’ lifestyle as glamorous and desirable like some pieces in the genre, such as Power or Euphoria. Aside from Dushane’s swanky apartment, the fancy cars and occasional nightclub scene, it’s pretty rooted in realism.
These aren’t characters who’ve been given many options in life, so we weirdly find ourselves rooting for the anti-heroes.
Sully’s relationship with his daughter Tash [Felicia Mukasa] continues to soften him, and Dushane’s relationship with Shelley [Little Simz], who is desperate to remove him from the game – an almost impossible ambition.
Jamie was always humanised by his role as sole carer for his two brothers after their parents died, and the story of the Tovell family is far from abandoned in the final outing.
The series’ executive producer is longtime fan Drake (Picture: Netflix)
Little brother Stefan [Araloyin Oshunremi] and girlfriend Erin [Savanah Graham] deliver standout performances as young teenagers experiencing love for the first time while navigating their difficult surroundings.
Having both had a family member killed by Sully [Erin’s dad Dris, played by Shone Romulus, was killed at the end of series one, but also featured prominently in Top Boy: Summerhouse seasons one and two], they bond over their pain but find joy in the estate together. This is perfectly contrasted with Stefan’s need for violence following Jamie’s death.
There’s a new baddie in town (Picture: Netflix)
Once again we’re invited to look at the bigger picture and understand decisions. For every shoot-out at an old people’s home (yes, that happens) or kidnapping, we see a dad trying to bond with their child, or a hardened criminal caring for their sick mother.
Something is different this time round too – the characters feel more guilt for their actions. Jaq watches on in pain as a loved one becomes addicted to the drugs they profit off, which leads to disastrous consequences for all. While Sully powerfully tells another character ‘Don’t be me’ showing the extent of his self-loathing.
We don’t just see the impact within their world, the stories are placed in London and UK as a whole, with an ever-present political spin. Never is this clearer than the attempted deportation of a longstanding Summerhouse resident, which forces a community to come together led by Mandy (MC NoLay).
Of course, Dushane and Sully always need someone to war with in order to briefly unite them. This time it falls to Irish gangsters Jonny and Tadgh, played by Barry Keoghan and Brian Gleeson, who are old-school baddies that wouldn’t be out of place in a gritty James Bond movie. You’ll love to hate them.
With just six episodes compared to the usual ten, the pace is even quicker and the tension is heightened, so get ready.
Top Boy shows just how unafraid they are to tell stories that feel truthful, even if it is going to hurt us a little bit.
Top Boy is available to watch on Netflix.
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
It’s the ending we deserve.