The Gentlemen episodes 4-5 review | More swearing, less plot

the gentlemen episode 5
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Episodes 4 and 5 of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen get increasingly ridiculous, but the plot is also becoming a little convoluted. Our review. 

The first three episodes of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, a Netflix spin-off series of his film of the same name, were a cocaine-fuelled thrill-fest with plenty of big belly laughs and a good helping of violence. It was a solid, promising beginning to a series that seemingly had no reason to exist. 

Episodes four and five, then, hit a bit of a narrative rut. By episode three, The Gentlemen already seemed a bit formulaic, but the consecutive episodes prove that there is very little left in Ritchie’s tank in terms of creativity. 

Episode four might just be the most ridiculous of the whole lot. It has some stiff competition in episode four, in which Freddy pretends to be an eclectic Russian who wants to buy a car from Mercy, who also deals cocaine on the side. The episode ends in a bloodbath as Mercy quite literally hacks a doublecrossing baddie with a machete, but that has nothing on the revelations of episode four, which finds the gang tracking down a blackmailer. 

We won’t spoil what happens in the episode, but believe us, you won’t see the ending coming. We’ll let you decide whether that’s a good thing or not. 

The Gentlemen episode 4
Credit: Netflix

Episode five is a bit of a slower affair then, but this being The Gentlemen, ‘slower’ still means plenty of violence and uncouth language. In this episode, Eddie and Susie party and do business with a group of travellers. As per usual, Ritchie and his co-writer Matthew Read only deal in extremes and thus, the episode borders on insensitive as the writers throw every terrible stereotype about travellers on screen.

In fact, The Gentlemen seems to be very keen on showing off the worst in its characters. Every character, except perhaps Vinnie Jones’ charming groundskeeper Geoff, represents the worst humanity has to offer, from the Horniman family to the paper-thin villains in each episode. 

Even Eddie, who swore he wants nothing to do with Susie’s criminal empire at the beginning of the series, seems pretty content with his part in these violent exchanges. Meanwhile, after being in the centre of the action for most of the first couple of episodes, Freddy takes a step back in episodes four and five. Daniel Ings remains a highlight, but the cast of The Gentlemen is a little too large to give the actor enough moments to shine. 

Kaya Scodelario, however, is still thoroughly compelling as Susie. You’re never quite sure if you should be rooting for her or if she’s going to end up being the ultimate baddie of the story. Scodelario delivers each of her lines with purpose and an icy cool demeanour, that makes me wish I could rock a blazer like she does. 

We’re five episodes in and over the halfway point, but The Gentlemen remains a show about absolutely nothing at all. Much like Saltburn, it’s purposely style over substance and indulgent in its approach to plot. If you go in searching for any kind of deeper meaning or theme, you’ll be disappointed. The huge cast (there’s a lot of names to remember) and constant backstabbing demands that you give The Gentlemen your full attention, but the reward just isn’t quite as satisfying as it was with True Detective, for example. 

While episode four was a bonkers, deranged delight, episode five felt like the series was coming to a full stop for no good reason. We’re hoping things will improve in the last stretch before the big finale. 

The Gentlemen is now streaming on Netflix. 

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