If you’re here in one hour, I swear to God I will cover you in tar and f**king feathers”
One of the many great strengths of Peaky Blinders is the unpredictability of its narrative. It never adheres to a set formula and that is shown off with great dexterity tonight. The first half plays out like a series finale. Teapots are shaking and guns are blazing as a woman from the past comes back to haunt Arthur. The second half takes the foot of the pedal and even the loud reintroduction of Alfie Solomons can’t shift the gloom encompassing Small Heath.
Mrs Ross, the mother of a boy killed in the ring at the hands of the moustachioed one, offers Arthur round for a nice cuppa and a big slice of decoy cake, which tastes even worse than last week’s dry scone. It’s all a trap so Mr Changretta can sneak into the hospital unchallenged and he’s not turned up with grapes. Turns out, this is just more gameplay too. He pushes an unloaded gun into Michael’s sweaty forehead and pulls the trigger. It’s all about the drama and that was a truly dramatic way to open the show.
As Luca saunters away, turbo charged on his own raging gangster pheromones, things soon come to a standstill at a road block. This time it’s Luca who has been lured into a trap. One of Aberama Gold’s making. Gypsies assemble (now that’s an idea for Marvel) en masse and shoot to kill. Changretta gets away. Of course he does, but the driver isn’t so lucky. It establishes just how dangerous the two sides are and shows that Tommy being between the two parties means he is the very epicentre of the storm.
“Sometimes he sees something glamorous and expensive.. he just can’t resist it. He’s so weak”
Lady Carter is back on the scene and even though she’s smelling of paraffin it won’t put Tommy off. They talk about horses and drink gin but it’s quite obvious the chemistry between them is as explosive as the factory when he walks through it. The train strike that never happened was another trap. but this one didn’t catch its intended target. They kiss but the lady isn’t for turning. She has his horse but he doesn’t have her heart.
Speaking of long faces, this brings out Lizzie’s exquisite bitchiness (“f**k Tommy and his cock and his gin”). Her seething jealousy is not in the slightest bit hidden, yet Tommy remains oblivious. He might have to take notice soon if Lizzie is pregnant, as is hinted here.
It is a typically grand introduction for Tom Hardy, clearly still loving the role of Alfie and making his potty mouth sound so ridiculously poetic. Which side is he on? What kind of world is this for kids to live in? Answers on a postcard. He squares up to Aberama Gold with great comic pathos. This is a verbal wrestle but they set up a proper one and Gold’s boy is, as ever, up for the fight. Quite where this storyline is heading is a mystery but it’ll certainly be an entertaining spectacle.
“Just tell us where and when. We’ll do the rest”
Of course, Michael is now wise to Polly’s deal with the devil and we have to wait most of the episode to know what he does with the information. As it turns out, he simply wishes his boss a good weekend. Which is nice, isn’t it? If you disregard the fact he’s letting Tommy leave that building knowing he could be dead by Monday morning. Still, Australia is nice this time of year..
As Tommy sets of, his car is followed by Luca and his gun toting team while a pensive Polly looks on. Is Peaky Blinders brave / mad enough to kill Tommy Shelby? Answers on a postcard to:
1 Smells of pig road
Peaky Blinders Continues Wednesday at 9.00pm on BBC Two.