McMafia, episode 2 review: this crime drama remains an irresistibly intriguing and decidedly moreish affair

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McMafia, episode 2 review: this crime drama remains an irresistibly intriguing and decidedly moreish affair

The Telegraph

The international reach of modern organised crime was again the primary focus in episode two of BBC One’s thriller, McMafia, which is based on Misha Glenny’s scarily percipient book.

Following a blood-soaked opening episode that saw wealthy banker Alex Godman (James Norton) struggling to resolve the clash between his comfortable, civilised English upbringing and his Russian family’s violent past, events moved on apace as he became drawn still further into the shadowlands between criminality and high finance.

The episode opened in yet another foreign location, Egypt, where Lyudmilla Nikolayevna (Sofia Lebedeva), an innocent-looking Russian 22-year-old, was arriving at Cairo airport to take up a job as a beauty therapist. But the job offer was a scam.

Almost immediately Lyudmilla was kidnapped and – over a series of short, disturbingly brutal scenes – sold on as a sex worker/slave via a long chain of violent criminals.

This was just one strand in an episode where Alex’s principal storyline played out against a skilfully orchestrated series of subplots regarding his shadowy new Israeli investor Semiyon Kleiman’s (David Strathairn) efforts to expand his underworld business interests in Europe and Asia.

This with the aim, allegedly, of undermining Russian mafia kingpin Vadim Kalyagin (Merab Ninidze) – the man threatening Alex’s family.

It was all ferociously complicated, flitting from London to Moscow, Cairo to Prague and on to Mumbai via the Cayman Islands, Dubai and the Negev Desert.

Yet it remained involving and remarkably unconfused for the most part, thanks to the assured writing of Hossein…Read More

Lakeem Khodra
Lakeem Khodra
News Writer/Contributor at Tyranny News @lakeemk

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