‘Full Circle’ Episode 1 Review/Recap: Who Did The Guyana Mafia Kidnap?

HBO has been known for bringing out some groundbreaking television shows over the years. Television shows in the mafia genre like The Sopranos were HBO’s flagship stories, which remain cult classics. Full Circle, created by Ed Solomon and directed by Steven Soderbergh, gives us a glimpse into a Guyanese family living in New York City and the mafia ring they have been running for some time. The crimes they are committing and who they are targeting is what the first episode is all about.


Spoilers Ahead

The Guyanese mafia

The opening credits’ begin with a picture of a rich family, and from the shot, it is clear that the plot of the show will revolve around this family. They would either be the target of some crime, or part of a crime syndicate. The show kicks off with a person being murdered, and the killer runs off with a bag of money. The murder sets the precedent for the show, and it will just be a bloodbath from here on and only time will tell how things will go down.


Quincy Mahabir’s funeral is taking place. He was the one who was killed in the previous scene. It turns out the deceased man was a part of the Guyanese Mafia syndicate, which is run by Mrs. Mahabir and Garmen now that Quincy’s gone. The mafia syndicate seems to have seeped into the fabric of the city, and the family runs an insurance company as a front to make their business look legitimate.

Aked, Mrs. Mahabir’s nephew always remains on the edge because he is young and believes he can help run the syndicate since he is family, and his words will have some weight. Aked does not have the expertise to take on bigger jobs, but the wounds are still fresh from Quincy’s death, and he would want the family to retaliate as quickly as possible. So far, the family is not sure who killed Quincy, but Mrs. Mahabir is going to Guyana for some answers.


Mrs. Mahabir, aka Savitri Mahabir, is the matriarch of the syndicate, and she’s a woman in desperate need of an elaborate plan to get rid of the enemies lurking around them and establish their family’s power. The lady is given a photograph of a family, which was seen in the opening credits. She knows the family has some connection to Quincy’s death, and she seems keen to put the plan in motion. Revenge is what she wants, and by the looks of it, Savitri would not stop at anything.

The Browne Family

They are the target of the Guyanese mafia, and they don’t even know it yet. The family consists of a famous chef named Jeff, who is known for his cookbooks, philanthropic work, and traveling around the world. His daughter Sam and son-in-law Derek are his team that handles every business proposition that comes along, and they are on the verge of opening three flagship restaurants in three prominent casino-based cities in the world. They are rich and unapologetic about it. The family has a huge apartment, which is a luxury in a city like New York, and their wealth could be the reason why the Guyanese mafia is after them. Still, their connection to the murder of Quincy is not established yet. One of them may owe money to the mafia, or the family may have been blackmailed into offering them some protection money.


Sam and Derek’s son Jared keeps losing his expensive devices, and it seems as if the teenage boy might be selling his stuff for extra cash. The only bit that does not make sense in this subplot is that Jared or his parents could have approached the police to help them track his lost devices instead of hoping someone would return them out of goodwill. Their concern is genuine, but they seem not to make a big deal out of it. Jared comes across as a curious teenager who is trying to figure his life out amid the opulence around him.

Xavier, Louis, And Natalia

Savitri and her team plan on kidnapping Jared and asking for ransom from the family. Her team requires more younger men to make sure this task goes smoothly, and she asks her masseuse Natalia to get her brother Louis and his friend Xavier from Guyana. Savitri and her syndicate sell the dream of living in America, but all she does is force young men and women such as Natalia to commit crimes under the pretext of giving them a green card and enough money to sustain themselves. Louis and Xavier reach America excitedly, only to find themselves stuck in this organized crime family, and there seems to be no way out. Louis and Xavier might be of Jared’s age, but one can see the contrasting lives they are leading. Natalia does not want her brother to do anything that would get him arrested, but her hands are tied as well.


Inspector Mel Harmony’s concerns

Mel Harmony, U.S. Postal Inspector, has been wanting to take down the Guyanese mafia for a while, and all she needs is approval from her boss to start investigating their insurance company. Her boss, Manny, asks her to back off. There is a possibility that her department, including her boss, is on the payroll of the mafia. Mel comes across as the clean one, and she’s keen to find out more about them. Her obsession with this mafia might be an indication that Mel has a history with them. She has not been officially assigned the case; but she goes rogue and starts looking for snitches in the mafia. Mel locates Xavier and asks him to provide information about his organization. Only time will tell if Xavier will go ahead and rat on his employers.

Who Did The Guyana Mafia Kidnap?

Xavier and Louis are assigned to kill a wheelchair-bound man, but only Xavier fulfills the task. Louis freezes on the spot, for this is his first crime, and he is overwhelmed by Natalia’s words about staying out of trouble. Louis  and Xavier are also asked to be at Washington Square Park for another task, and the latter wonders if there is going to be another murder. Out of fear, he informs Mel about it. This was a gamble he took to save himself.


There is uncertainty, fear, and nervousness that have engulfed Xavier and Louis, as they did not come to America to get trapped in a crime spree. If they are caught snitching, Savitri will make sure they are brutally killed to send a message to other rats. They want to find a way out, and approaching Mel is the only option left with Xavier, even though he is uncertain about the outcome of his intel.

Aked, Xavier, and Louis are ordered to kidnap Jared from Washington Square Park after tailing the boy for two weeks. The plan is solidified, and they follow the boy, who is wearing a red hoodie and riding a bike around his neighborhood. Sam and Derek are under the impression that their son is sleeping in his room. They receive a ransom call from Aked and his team, informing the family about Jared’s kidnapping, and demanding a big ransom in exchange for his life. The kidnappers also inform the family about the exact time and spot for the money to be dropped.


Sam and Derek, who are now joined by Chef Jeff, Sam’s mother, and their family friend Joey, understand the gravity of the situation, and to their astonishment, Jared is back home. The viewers are also relieved to see Jared alive, but the million-dollar question is, if Jared is back, who did the mafia kidnap? His return is proof that Aked and his team botched the kidnapping due to their misjudgment, and the worst part is that they do not know they have the wrong kid. The mafia does not accept that they are a chaotic bunch of members who have one too many voices, and there seems to be no proper system to make things work.

Jared reveals that a young boy named Nicky approached him and confessed to having stolen Jared’s devices and was willing to return them at Washington Square Park. At their brief meeting, Jared offered Nicky his bike because he felt sympathetic toward the boy’s poor background. The boy was maybe trying to emulate Jared and was fascinated by the wealth that Jared possessed. Unfortunately, his curiosity led to the situation he was in, and luck was never on his side. Nicky was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since he was wearing the same hoodie as Jared, and riding his bicycle, Aked and his team ended up kidnapping Nicky, which Jared witnessed.


It was luck that saved Jared, and now he knows his life is indeed in danger. The episode ends with the family coming to terms with the fact that someone is after their money, and they must decide if they will rescue Nicky or not. A fluke was all that saved Jared, but they need to find a solution to safeguard the boy from more harm if the mafia ever comes to know that they have the wrong kid. Since Chef Jeff is a popular man, the mafia would want to bank on it and try to show their power to the other syndicates in the city. As the series goes along, the viewers will get to know more about the dynamics of the Browne and Savitri Mahabir families.

Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.


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As the series goes along, the viewers will get to know more about the dynamics of the Browne and Savitri Mahabir families.'Full Circle' Episode 1 Review/Recap: Who Did The Guyana Mafia Kidnap?