Freddy In ‘The Gentlemen’ Explained: Did The Wannabe Gangster Learn From His Mistakes?


When Freddy Horniman, the eldest son of the former Duke of Halstead, was introduced in The Gentlemen, he seemed like a genuinely chill guy who was distraught about the passing of his father and loved his younger brother, his sister, his wife, and his mother. But when the will reading began, he started to reveal his true colors as he expressed too much confidence in the notion that he was going to inherit the ancestral property and wealth. However, when Eddie was given the title of Duke, and Freddy was given nothing, the latter lashed out like a madman. The whole sequence was hilarious, but once the laughter died down, it became apparent that Freddy was a truly pathetic man because he wasn’t in mourning. He just wanted the money. You know what? I would’ve respected him a little if he was greedy and wanted the money for himself and his wife. That said, when he disclosed that he owed an insane amount of money to a Scouse crime family and that if he didn’t give them what they were owed, they’d kill him, any sense of respect simply evaporated.

Generally speaking, when a character starts at such a low point, they usually improve over the course of the show or movie. But it’s both hilarious and mean that the writers of The Gentlemen Season 1 maintained a steady downward slide for Freddie. They presented him with numerous opportunities and then made him squander them like his life didn’t even matter. He did next to nothing to repay Tommy Dixon. Eddie and Susie went out of their way to acquire the money that would bail Freddy out of the sticky situation he was in. All he had to do was wear a chicken costume, act like a chicken, and let Tommy film it all. However, he was under the impression that he was holding a dignified position in society. He was the son of a duke, after all. So, doing a song and dance was beneath him. Hence, he picked up a gun and painted the walls of his house with Tommy’s brains. For some reason, he thought he had done something amazing by showing Tommy who was the boss. When Tommy’s elder brother, Gospel John, showed up at his doorstep, he realized that he was nothing when compared to the world he had stepped into because of his greed and stupidity.

Freddy got a second chance to prove his worth by helping Eddie steal a Lambo. He and his wife performed pretty well. But when Eddie told him to go back home while he completed the heist, what did he do? He got caught by the people Eddie was stealing from, i.e., Mercy. Thankfully, Eddie and Susie figured out that they were being ripped off by Toni Blair (no, not that one); they gave Toni and the Lambo up to Mercy and rescued Freddy from her clutches. He saw Toni get butchered before his eyes. Did he learn anything? No, because he stole a bag of cocaine and then proceeded to make a cocaine-infused brand of weed with Jimmy’s help. Okay, you can say that was very entrepreneurial of him, and he was trying to do something to help Susie with her business and showing her that he was as good as, or better than, his younger brother. Since he had such a bad reputation, nobody was ready to listen to him, and that was understandable. If the only thing that you have acquired is a mountain of debt, who the hell can trust you with a business venture? Am I right? Now, instead of cleaning his act up and being more presentable, he floated the idea of straight-up killing Eddie to Susie so that he could become the kingpin. Thankfully, Susie wasn’t an idiot; she brought him crashing to the ground, and she made him realize the gravity of what he was proposing.

Given how Freddy explicitly apologized to Eddie for even thinking about killing him, I think viewers will be under the impression that he has become a changed person. I want such viewers to keep their expectations in check because the only thing Freddy will be synonymous with is pathetic behavior. You see, Freddy has known nothing but privilege. He wants to be a hustler. He aspires to be an aristocrat. And he dreams of being a gangster. But the issue is that he is not good at any of those. At best, he is an intentional distraction, and at worst, he is a liability. Despite being aware of his shortcomings, he doesn’t want to improve. He just wants to delude himself until he can’t see his flaws by doing copious amounts of drugs, and he wants everyone to respect him. News flash: those two wishes are contradictory in nature. Of course, he can clean up his act, take guidance from Geoff (the man gives free advice all the time), care for the women in his family, and support his brother. Sadly, he is too egotistical to do any of that, and hence, he’ll continue to be a thorn in Eddie’s path until he gets a rude wakeup call or Eddie simply removes him from his path.

Freddy’s characterization and Daniel Ings’ performance reminded me of John Cazele as Fredo Corleone in The Godfather (1 and 2), Alfie Allen as Iosef Tarasov in John Wick, and maybe even Jerry Smith in Rick and Morty. He is so laughably awful that it’s painful to watch him try to do the bare minimum, but since you know that he belongs to a family that cares for him, you can’t help but hope for their sake that he gets a bloody hold of himself. Will he though? I very much doubt it. By the end of The Gentlemen Season 1, it did seem like he had understood his place in the family and in the crime organization. He knows that Eddie is going to lead, along with Susie, and he and the rest of the crowd have to follow. That’s basically it. However, the way Freddy told that story about how he couldn’t kill a deer as a child, and Eddie slit its throat, made me feel like he was going to keep trying to be the killer that he really thinks he is. Will the consequences be devastating? Absolutely, yes. Does he have to depend on Eddie to bail him out again? Yes. Is there a chance that he is going to join an enemy camp to occupy a position that’s equal to that of Eddie’s? I hope not, but yes. Whatever happens in a potential second season of the Netflix series, I am here to watch Ings and Guy Ritchie flesh out Freddy and turn him into the most iconic loser in TV history.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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