The wait is finally over: Dushane, Sully, Jaq and the rest of the crew from the Summerhouse estate are back for one last time.
The final season of Top Boy, the London-based Netflix crime thriller, executive produced by Canadian rapper Drake, landed on the streamer today. It has been called one of the best shows on the streaming platform – bringing through amazing talent in front of the camera and behind – and its return is highly anticipated.
While Netflix calls it the third season, technically it’s the fifth. The show started on Channel 4 and ran for two series from 2011 to 2013, but despite gaining a solid fanbase and some stellar reviews, it was cancelled.
Fast forward three years and it was announced that Drake, a big fan of the show, was interested in reviving the series. It was picked up by Netflix, lead actors, Ashley Walters and Kane ‘Kano’ Robinson returned to lead the cast, and it re-launched in September 2019. To indicate a fresh start, it was called season one, and the original Channel 4 shows are on Netflix as Top Boy: Summerhouse.
Now, the third season of the Netflix Top Boy has been released. For those who don’t have the time to binge-watch the preceding episodes, fear not: here we bring you up to speed so you can dive straight into chapter three this evening.
What’s the show about?
Set in London’s Hackney, on a fictional estate called Summerhouse, the series follows gangsters Dushane, played by former So Solid Crew member Ashley Walters, and Sully (rapper-turned-actor Kane ‘Kano’ Robinson), who have ambitions to become the estate’s leading drug dealers.
Is there a trailer?
Yes. The first teaser trailer dropped three weeks ago, giving fans a glimpse of all the upcoming drama. Then, earlier this week, Netflix released the final ever Top Boy trailer – and it doesn’t half get the heart pumping as Sully and Dushane seem to gear up for one final showdown. We’ve added it to the top of the page.
What happened in Netflix’s season one?
Picking up six years after Channel 4’s second series, Netflix’s Top Boy series one begins with Sully in prison and Dushane in Jamaica.
But even when they’re not in Hackney, the gangsters are all about business: Dushane makes a deal with imprisoned drug dealer Sugar, and returns to London to sell his new bounty. When he gets home he meets single mother Shelley (Simbi ‘Little Simz’ Ajikawo – the show has an amazing track record of casting rappers and musicians who turn out to be brilliant actors), his sick mother’s new carer, and the two start up a relationship.
Jamie (Micheal Ward), who leads a London Fields gang, isn’t happy about Dushane’s ambitions to become top boy again.
Meanwhile, in prison, Sully is making enemies. He throws boiling sugar at Modie (David ‘Dave’ Omoregie), who is from Jamie’s London Fields gang, which means that when Sully gets released he needs to watch his back more than ever. Now free, Sully starts selling in Ramsgate alongside old companions Jason (Ricky Smarts) and Gem (Giacomo Mancini). But after a terrible house fire in which Jason dies, Sully joins forces with Dushane again.
It’s not an easy partnership, to say the least. In Top Boy: Summerhouse, Dushane and Sully ran the Hackney estate together, but increasing friction from outside forces put a huge pressure on their relationship. The duo had to deal with a rival dealer stealing their drugs and a mole in their crew, as well as the ambitions of Sully, who tries to break off and set up his own gang.
The two friends’ intertwining lives mean that although they often compete to be number one, they often need each other’s help too, making their relationship tangled and constantly strained.
Season one follows Dushane and Sully’s attempts to take on London Fields’ Jamie, who has formed a new business partnership with a high-class drug-dealing couple, Lizzie and Jeffrey. At the end of the 10-episode show, Dushane sets a trap for Jamie, getting his rival sent to prison, and therefore taken out of the picture.
What happened in Netflix’s season two?
It’s six months later, and Dushane is trying to grow his business by making new deals across London and abroad. His sick mother now knows about his job, and he’s been grappling with her disappointment. Sadly, by the end of the eight-episode season, she has died.
Jamie is already out of prison. Dushane sends him to fix a drug deal in Spain and Morrocco, and Jamie obeys because his crew have started to work with members of the Summerhouse gang. Lizzie (Lisa Dwan) has been whispering in Jamie’s ear, trying to get him to betray Dushane and when Dushane finds out, he asks Jamie to kill someone to prove his allegiance. Jamie has to decide whether to flee or kill; he decides to kill her.
Sully, meanwhile, is struggling with his mental health following Jason’s death, and after murdering Dris (Shone Romulus), a longtime collaborator who had been working as Dushane’s right-hand man. He’s also finding Dushane and Jamie’s new business partnership odd, to say the least. He turns up in Morrocco too, trying to organise the murder of a police officer who is getting in the way of business dealings.
Jaq (Jasmine Jobson) has now replaced Dris in Dushane’s crew, and there’s a spin-off plot where she tries to help her older sister Lauryn (Saffron Hocking), who is pregnant, escape her abusive boyfriend Curtis (Howard Charles). In the end, Lauryn takes charge and stabs Curtis to death.
Carer Shelley is being blackmailed for having helped her ex-boyfriend bury someone he killed. At the same time, she and some members of the Summerhouse community are not happy with Dushane’s redevelopment plans for the estate.
The season ends with an utter shocker: catching Jamie when he’s at home eating dinner, Sully shoots his rival twice in the chest and once in the head, murdering the gangster because he was afraid of being replaced.
What have the critics said?
The reviews for season three landed this morning, and by nearly all accounts, the show is going out with a bang.
“This takes previous series’ established formula, with taut writing and thrilling action, well-loved characters, extraordinary guest stars and stunning cinematography and cranks it up to another level,” said the Standard.
“It goes at breakneck pace – viewers will spend much of the last episode wondering how everything is going to be wrapped up in the run time. But it is, and it’s done brilliantly.”
Top Boy is available now on Netflix