The Gentlemen episodes 6-8 review | Not with a bang, but with a whimper

the gentlemen episode 7
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Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen comes to a close, but the final three episodes are a lacklustre affair. Our review. 

Warning: Contains mild spoilers for The Gentlemen episodes 1-5.

The headline of this review comes from a poem by T.S. Eliot. The full quote refers to the world ending, but in this case, I’m using it to refer to the last three episodes of Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen

In my first review of The Gentlemen, spanning episodes 1-3, I was enthusiastic. The show made me cackle a lot (specifically cackle, not laugh) and I was having a great time. By episode 5, my excitement was starting to falter. The plot felt convoluted and non-existent and the jokes became repetitive. 

It brings me no pleasure to say that by episode 8, the finale, I had completely lost interest in The Gentlemen. Ray Winstone, who appears in the show as Susie’s incarcerated father, gets a bit more screen time by episode 8 and while he’s always a welcome presence, his role feels like an afterthought. 

the gentlemen episode 8
Credit: Netflix

Let’s back up a bit though. Episode 6, perhaps the weakest of the lot, finds Eddie now aware that Susie had Jethro killed all the way back in the beginning of the series, despite promising Eddie the young lad would be shipped off to Australia. 

The rest of the episode works to create an even larger divide between Eddie and Susie. Eddie wants Susie and her weed business off his lands, but Susie is in no hurry. 

Episode 6 tries to ramp up the stakes, but The Gentlemen is fast running out of steam. This is a chaotic show, but there’s nothing going on under the surface, which ultimately makes this feel slightly like a waste of time. You’d be better off watching Ritchie’s earlier work if you’re in the mood for extreme violence and Ritchie’s trademark snappy dialogue. 

Episode 7 somewhat improves things, but only momentarily before episode 8, titled ‘The Ballad Of Bobby Glass’ fizzles out into the ether. Episode 7 promises a huge showdown between Susie and Eddie, both of whom feel betrayed by the other, but The Gentlemen attempts to pull off a different kind of ending. 

The thing is, Ritchie desperately wants this to be an elevated, smart TV show instead of your usual shlock. It tries to pull the rug out from underneath you but in a show where Hitler’s testicle is a big plot point, this was never going to happen. The payoff at the end of episode 8 is a disappointing one, nearly non-existent. 

I did enjoy The Gentlemen, just more in the beginning. The first episodes were more relaxed and funny, but the later episodes were bogged down by a plot that lacked proper stakes. It’s also always incredibly difficult to care about people who employ staff and to whom a million pounds is pocket money. 

Ritchie and his co-writer Matthew Read constantly hint at more exciting themes. Freddy starts off as the comedic relief, shooting someone’s brains off while dressed as a chicken, but as the series goes on, his confidence begins to crack. Eddie is the golden boy of the family, the strong, reliable man of the house and Freddy is constantly trying to impress his brother, to do something good, to provide some value to the family. It’s a shame this isn’t explored more. 

Daniel Ings and Kaya Scodelario come out of The Gentlemen strongest, especially Scodelario who is awarded more to work with, really. Her mix of grief and fury in episode 7 is particularly impressive, but as a whole, The Gentlemen feels like a missed opportunity. 

The Gentlemen is now streaming on Netflix.

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