Essex Boys - Detailed Storyline

Last Update: 31 March 2000
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Warning! Spoilers!

Billy Reynolds (Charlie Creed-Miles) is an Essex "wide-boy". Young, good-looking (or handsome enough to get by), he's willing to make money however he can - although driving for the local mini-cab firm will never make him rich. He's done some jobs before for John Dyke (Tom Wilkinson) - a local well-to-do gentleman with a dubious past - mainly delivering parcels with no questions asked. He's only too delighted to help Dyke for a couple of days driving one of the most famous local villains, Jason Locke (Sean Bean), who's just got out of prison.

He soon realises that will be no ordinary driving job when Locke immediately visits one of his erstwhile "colleagues" to settle an old score. In a rabidly violent attack Locke beats the man to the ground and throws acid in his face, before abducting him and leaving him in the middle of nowhere. Still, at least Jason likes Billy! Billy's girlfriend Nicole isn't so sure about his new employer, and warns him about being sucked into the glamorous world of violence and organised crime.

It is not only the unfortunate with the new face with whom Locke is angry. He believes that he took the "rap" for his friends, and they have got rich while he did time. Encouraged by his beautiful wife Lisa (Alex Kingston), Locke seeks some compensation from his "work mates" - Chase (Michael McKell) and Lovell (Larry Lamb). They have both prospered in the meantime through a "security business", or, more to the point, they control the security men on the doors of the local night-clubs. Not only do they get paid for this, but it also allows them to run their own exclusive drug operation within the premises - effectively excluding any other dealers. When a club is in the control of one of their competitors, they simply take it by force.

Locke is impressed by the £5000 his mates have given him, but Lisa claims it is derisory - a thousand pounds for each year in prison. Lisa wants more.

Billy's driving skills, and his ability to keep his mouth shut, earn him a regular job with Locke. But the unconventional hours, and the unconventional duties, leave Nicole sorely unimpressed - even if he is earning more in a night than he used to earn in a month.

On Lisa's advice, Locke goes to visit Dyke at his faux country mansion (where he lives with his handyman Hobbs). Dyke owes Jason a favour from prison, and now it's time to call in that debt. Dyke is unwilling to go into business with Locke, mainly because he is currently shipping drugs into the country for Locke's main competitor Perry Elley. However, to repay the debt he finally agrees to arrange a shipment.

Chase throws a party for Jason's "coming out". The mock Tudor, mock splendour, mock congeniality ... all paid for by Jason's prison term, infuriates Lisa. She doesn't get on with any of the gaggle of wives and girlfriends she is forced by convention to mingle with. The whole event angers her, but at least she gets to speak to Christou, the equivalent of the local bank manager for the criminal fraternity. With a typical mixture of ambition and business sense, she all but promises herself as collateral for a loan to Jason.

And how is she rewarded? At a party attended by everyone she hates, she discovers her husband having sex at the bottom of the garden with Suzy - a beautiful 18 year old friend of Billy's (Billy has already warned her to stay away from Locke, but to no avail). Infuriated by the ignominy she attacks Locke and they have a bitter, vitriolic and very public fight. Filled with rage, Lisa returns home to pack her belongings and leave.

Thanks to the loan from Christou and Dyke's contacts, Locke takes delivery of a huge stock of ecstasy tablets that will gain him a £250,000 clear profit. Once they have delivered the drugs to the clubs controlled by his firm, Locke also takes delivery of Suzy and they drive to Billy's beach house - popping some of the tablets as they go. But something is not quite right with these pills. Suzy begins to panic at Locke's irrational behaviour, but because of the effect of the "Es" Billy can do nothing to help her.

Billy wakes in the morning, to find Suzy throttled to death. Jason is right out of it. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Nicole and her daughter have turned up, but of course Billy cannot let them in. His girlfriend immediately suspects that there is another woman in the house and departs, never to see him again.

Chase and Lovell show with the news that the tabs were all rogue. There's 20 kids in the hospital and their reputation is in tatters. No one but Billy seems concerned about Suzy; they are more interested in why Dyke has apparently double-crossed them.

Billy is given the job of disposing of Suzy's body. He is helped by Dyke, who tries to console the young driver. Billy now realises that he is in far, far too deep. He wants out, but Jason has no intention of letting Billy go.

Locke, Chase and Lovell pay a visit to Dyke, shooting his beloved gun dogs and threatening both him and Hobbs at gunpoint. They want their money back, plus the profit they were going to make ... or else. To make matters worse for Dyke, Perry Elley has heard that he did a shipment for Locke and has cut him out of their business arrangement.

Unbeknownst to Jason, Dyke and Lisa meet up regularly in a sleazy hotel for illicit sex sessions.

Facing up to his situation, Dyke offers to double-cross Elley and provide Locke's team with details of a million pound airlift of cocaine. Locke and the boys make arrangements to meet the shipment, kill the couriers and make off with the booty. They also secretly plan to kill both Dyke and Billy, to leave no loose ends. But at the supposed rendezvous, Dyke and his handyman, Henry Hobbs, ambush the gangsters and shoot them all dead.

The police are obviously suspicious. But as only Dyke, Billy and Hobbs know what happened they feel safe. Dyke asks Billy to work for him - driving Lisa (who he still lusts after, but cannot have until a suitable "mouming" period has been observed) and maybe helping him with a shipment due soon. In the meantime Lisa spends her energies taking over the business, and some nights later she seduces Billy.

As the young driver lies in Lisa's arms he gets a call from Dyke ordering him to drive to a deserted farm to collect a new shipment. Unbeknown to Billy, Dyke is actually ringing from just outside the motel. Angered at what he sees as a sexual betrayal, Dyke tries to ambush Billy. But, although shot in the shoulder, Billy manages to escape with the drugs. Without another friend in the world he calls Lisa and they arrange to meet back at the motel.

Lisa puts Billy into the bath and then goes out to clean his clothes and get some disinfectant for his wound. Later Lisa's mobile telephone rings in the other room. Billy answers the phone to hear Lisa say "Good-bye" and ring off. A figure suddenly darts behind a hedge outside. Billy panics and screams out for Dyke not to kill him.

It is a great relief to find the police, not Dyke, hiding in the bushes. Lisa has tied up all the knots: Billy is caught with a bag load of drugs, and the only knowledge he can trade with the authorities is that of the Range Rover murderers. Thus Dyke and Hobbs are put out of the way too, leaving Lisa top of the criminal pile in the county - the Essex Girl who beat all the Essex Boys!

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