McMafia episode 7: A taut hour of uncertainty ends on a cliffhanger

The penultimate episode of McMafia set the scene for what is bound to be an explosive series finale

McMafia Episode Seven (BBC, EH)

Oh, Alex. For a minute there it was looking like you could shut the door on all the havoc you caused in the criminal underworld, return to your cosy life in that swanky London flat and get stuck into some good old-fashioned banking.

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Alas, it was not meant to be.

The penultimate episode of McMafia saw Alex recovering from the shock of Rebecca being shot, and deciding to turn his back on his revenge mission against Vadim forever.

With the help of his father and a contact at the Russian Embassy, James Norton’s character managed to set up a meeting with criminal boss Vadim with the intention of making peace.

Both Alex and his former business partner Semiyon Kleiman jetted off to Istanbul to come face-to-face with Vadim and his right-hand man, Ilya.

The meeting was business-like and civilised. Semiyon agreed to all of Vadim’s conditions and only asked that Alex’s family be left alone. Alex and Vadim also had a bit of a deep and meaningful as they strolled through a Turkish villa, and it really did feel like they could put the past behind them.

But it was not to be. A vengeful Semiyon – who was blackmailed by Alex earlier in the series – met with Vadim secretly to tell him that the young Brit had other patrons he needed to look out for, aka Antonio.

This revelation eradicated any confidence Vadim had in Alex, and as they said goodbye he made an obscure statement: “Tell your father that Veniamin will be happy to see him.”

Alex thought this strange at the time, but later discovered that in Russia it essentially means: “I’m going to kill you.”

Realising that he’d never be free of his feud with Vadim, he set about breaking the ceasefire, and called up Antonio to plan how they could bring down the enemy together.

Meanwhile, Vadim had eyes on Alex, and ordered a hitman to kill him. The fateful shot was seconds from being fired when Vadim, in an apparently sentimental change of heart, ordered his assassin to “ABORT” the murder mission.

But his goodwill came to an abrupt end when, in a dramatic turn of events, Vadim’s daughter Natasha was shot outside the Russian nightclub the pair of them were in. It looked to be the work of Dimitri, but when Alex’s father heard what had happened, he frantically tried to warn Alex before he got on a plane to Moscow, knowing how vicious Vadim’s retaliation would be,

But it was too late – Alex’s phone was already on airplane mode, and he was about to fly right into Vadim’s clutches.

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We can expect next week’s finale to be a very explosive affair indeed…