Ten weeks have passed in McMafia world. We begin somewhere outside Prague, where Karel Benes, who forcefully took over the operation from his defenestrated ex-boss, looks on as his friends in the police arrest two of Vadim’s operatives on suspicion of smuggling. “Business is good,” says officer Hancil, presumably a pal of Benes’ from his police days, as he’s handed a bag of Euros. “Maybe I should leave the force too.”
The disruption of his Prague operations has not evaded Vadim’s attention. He can’t figure out why the death of one of his business rivals should result in his losing trucks all of a sudden. Dissatisfied with the official explanation, he resolves to visit Prague to seek answers himself.
Dimitri, meanwhile, is undergoing physical therapy as he continues to recover from his fall. The consultant is anxious that Dimitri take up counselling, so that they can get to the bottom of why he attempted suicide. Alex is quick to smother this idea at birth. He has his family to counsel him. Nothing to see here.
Back at Alex’s, Rebecca glides in, prompting him to shut down his computer like a man caught streaming porn. If it were only that. She recounts to him a meeting with an Antonio Mendez at a function: a friend of his from Harvard, interested in investing in his fund. Alex, as becomes clear when he takes a call from him later at his office, has no idea who Antonio Mendez is. However, his first instinct is to go along with this stranger’s lie, sniffing something clandestine afoot. Mendez invites Alex to his villa in France to meet personally to discuss business. No need for Mr Kleiman to know about his and Alex’s meeting, Mendez says.
Kleiman himself is in Eilat, showing would-be investors, including Israeli government representatives, around his casino ship, trying to interest them in building a super-casino. Meanwhile, Lyudmilla is being groomed by Tanya to entice the investors by subtle means; to converse with them, posing as a woman of independent wealth; “not one of those girls”. Her job is to gather information in the conversations that ensue. She does very well and Kleiman himself assures her so with the gentleness of a Young Mr Grace as he puts her in the back of a car and sends her home. Lyudmilla initially looks understandably concerned; last time she was driven off by a male stranger things did not work out well. But she relaxes when she gets into conversation with driver Joseph, who turns out to be Moscow-born.
Back in London, Oksana walks in on husband Dimitri, just in time to hear him speaking on the phone intimately, in Russian, to another woman. Mariya Shukshina subsequently puts in a virtuoso performance, bristling and quivering with emotions ranging from the distraught to the homicidal beneath the lipstick and foundation. She uncovers a letter in Dimitri’s bureau. It’s addressed to Masha, whose brief appearance last week is now explained. She quotes it back at him when he returns home drunk; “without you I have nothing to live for,” she sneers, and the blood drains from his burst capillaries. Later, she meets Masha and invites her to take on Dimitri; clean up after he throws up, put him to bed when drunk. “You have him, all of him – or you get out of my life, daughter of a bitch!” – a curse that sounds much better in Russian.
Vadim is in Prague – he has brought his daughter along, and they light church candles together, say a prayer for her mother. But this is no pilgrimage. First, Vadim goes Sherlock as he visits Reznik’s apartment and reconstructs his probable death, discovering a tell-tale fingernail. He discovers the name of the officer who filed the investigation - officer Hancil. His man in Prague advises him to be careful in negotiating with the Prague police. Vadim notes the suggestion, then meets Hancil, who is tied, bound and bloodied on a railway line. He extracts from him the name of Benes then, as his sideman wince at the indelicacy of his negotiating tactics, beats him to death with a length of metal tubing.
Alex has invited Rebecca to Mendez’s idyllic villa, a real five star Tripadvisor job. Surprisingly, Alex takes the opportunity to propose to Rebecca – she accepts. They take a boat ride in perfect conditions; Mendez and Alex then go for a swim to discuss whatever is on Mendez’s mind. Turns out he wishes to avail of Kleiman’s cargo ships to expand his cocaine smuggling operation. He has a gift for Mr Kleiman as a gesture of good faith – a tip-off about an upcoming shipment of heroin through Mumbai, which would prove embarrassing to Vadim if it were thwarted. He also has a gift for Alex. Leading him into the dank basement of his villa, he opens a door into a room in which, hanging by his wrists and drenched in his own blood is one of Boris’s killers. Such are the violent secrets that lurk beneath the yacht rocking surface idyll of 21st century organised crime.