Top Boy‘s Dushane Hill can be labeled as one of the most interesting characters in the entire series. When we first saw him making a comeback in Netflix’s Top Boy Season 1, we truly believed that he was a man among the savages. He had left the world of crime and fled to Jamaica until he was forced to sell drugs to save his cousin Donovan’s life. But upon his return to London, Dushane decided to do things in a much more organized way without spilling unnecessary blood. It won’t be wrong to say that Dushane was the only one who understood the meaning of the word “organized” in organized crime.
As soon as Dushane rose up the ladder and saved up some millions, he quickly purchased a lavish apartment so that he could leave Summer House as soon as possible. Dushane was indeed a man of taste who wanted to become more than a gangster or a peddler. In his lavish apartment, we often saw him standing on a balcony like a king looking over his kingdom, and Dushane was literally the king of the street in a way.
In Dushane, we saw a man who meant business, not bloodshed. He wanted to maintain peace in the neighborhood so that everyone could make some real money. Even his approach to dealing with the rivals was way more tactical than violent, unlike that of his partner, Gerard “Sully” Sullivan. The way he set a trap for Jamie Tovell in Netflix’s Top Boy Season 1 and then persuaded him to join the Summer House gang was nothing short of genius. Dushane wanted money, status, and power, which he ultimately achieved after making a direct deal with the Moroccans and forming a truce with Jamie. But Sully, driven by his own insecurity, destroyed everything Dushane had built.
As Netflix’s Top Boy Season 3 began, we believed Dushane was done with Sully and his erratic behavior. Sully forced Dushane to retire, and even though Dushane wasn’t happy with the decision, he stepped out of Sully’s way because he didn’t want to start another gang war, at least not with his own brother. He decided to leave the drug business to live a peaceful and comfortable life with Shelly. He even tried to invest his drug money into a chain of salons that Shelly wanted to manage until he figured out that he had been double-crossed by his money-laundering partners, Lithe and Lizzie. That was the beginning of the end for Dushane Hill.
Throughout the series, Dushane acted like a reasonable man who didn’t fall prey to his own anger. He was not a monster like Sully, yet he ended up becoming one in the end. It is said that our true nature is revealed only after we have lost everything, and maybe the same applies to Dushane Hill. In a fit of rage, Dushane murdered Jeffrey mercilessly. Dushane was never a monster, but in that moment, he became one and began his downfall. After this point, Dushane was slowly drifting towards madness. He became terribly narcissistic and insecure and made decisions that destroyed all the relationships that he had built so far. Dushane Hill became the lonely man in denial who was too afraid to ask for help.
The man who had decided to retire had to return to the world of crime because he lost all his power and money in a matter of days. Dushane was back to square one, and therefore, he had no other option but to help Sully get rid of the Irish mob, the McGees, so that he could get his cut without any delays. The two rivals-turned-brothers crossed paths again, perhaps for one last time.
Dushane and Sully dealt with the McGees and ended up shooting them without leaving behind any evidence. However, in their individual lives, both of them had created a huge mess, which they failed to handle. You see, whenever they worked together, there was hardly any scope for error, but whenever they made any decision on their own, they often ended up creating a mess that they couldn’t deal with. One might remember how Sully shot Jamie and ended up making more enemies than before, while Dushane killed Jeffrey and left a lot of evidence behind, which invited the Feds to hunt him down. For both of them, the end was near, but they were too arrogant to ask for help from each other and save themselves. Instead of working together, the gangsters turned against each other, and that is how they dug their own graves.
Dushane needed money to leave the country, but instead of asking for it from Sully, he decided to steal the drugs, therefore betraying his only friend. Both of these men considered themselves top boys. They thought asking for help would mean accepting defeat. In the race to become kings, the two forgot that they were once friends. Sully did remember their friendship until the end and had tears in his eyes when he had to kill his own friend, but maybe Dushane’s practicality took over his emotions. He might have thought to start things over again in Turkey, which is why he tried to steal 25 kilos of drugs. But his denial and his selfishness not only distanced him from his family and friends but also led to his death.
During the final chase, Sully tried to stop Dushane and might have even tried to talk to him, but it was Dushane who fired first. In a gunfight, Sully lost his most loyal man, Junior, and even though Sully didn’t want to shoot Dushane, he had to pull the trigger because he couldn’t let him run away with the drugs. In the end, Sully made the hard decision and shot Dushane in the abdomen, after which he fell off the gate he was trying to cross and ultimately lost his life due to excessive blood loss.
In the final moments, Dushane reveals to Sully that he respects him like a younger brother and even considers him family, but he couldn’t ask for money even when he needed it the most because Sully ended things between them. At this point, we believe either it was bad writing or maybe Dushane was trying to rationalize his own impulsive action. I mean, the man literally helped Sully shoot the Irish gangsters and then roamed around with him, searching for the stolen drugs. Sully even visited Dushane’s apartment after he found out about Jeffrey’s murder and might have wanted to help his friend, but Dushane was too egotistical to admit that he made a mistake.
To be honest, Dushane’s arc was pretty messy and rushed in the third season, and he really deserved a better ending. We know he had to die for Top Boy to finally come to a conclusion, but it could have been done in a better way. Dushane was never a petty thief who would steal drugs from someone like Jaq. Especially considering Dushane had given money to his sister to run away from the country so that she could be saved from Sully’s wrath. After he punched Jaq, we wondered if he was still the same character we saw in the previous two seasons. Nevertheless, what’s done is done forever. The Top Boy universe ends here, and with it ends the story of two brothers: Dushane Hill and Sully Sullivan.