even if Tommy Shelby paints himself as a decent man, he has been exposed to far too many horrible things to ever be normal, or to ever live in his head again
The finale of hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders brought the series to a monumental ending on Wednesday, as Stephen Knight’s writing once again showed it’s true creative colours, rounding off a beautiful story line full of vibrant and rather troubled characters.
Well, what a series it has been, Tommy Shelby has definitely been getting up to his old tricks yet again, at the cost of a few more lives this time.
The finale of Peaky Blinders was always going to be a good one, with an impressive track record of ending episodes, ranging from a train heist through to a shoot out at Ascot- viewers sitting down on Wednesday knew what they were in for, and this episode did not disappoint.
Joining the Shelby family once again, as they try their hardest to avert the gaze and guns of the New York Mafia, the story started up with a boxing match, Tommy and brother Arthur nervously sitting on the side lines watching the whole affair, that is until Arthur spots something amiss and goes to find out.
Cue Arthur (SPOILERS) seemingly being killed, Tommy finding out, a mafia guy losing his eye and the whole boxing match coming to an abrupt end, leaving the Shelby’s ready to be at the whim of the mafia, who turn up the next day, demanding the whole Shelby company limited, or every body dies.
This episode certainly offered up more complex characters. There was the mother of the leader of the mafia gang, whose callous approach to life did seem shocking to some, before realising that the Shelby family murdered her husband AND her son.
Then there were the collection of Shelby women; Polly, the aunt, seemed cool and collective as ever, brutal in her responses and rather cutting with her new hair style. Ada, a Shelby sister, oozed a steel like face; Lizzie, the secretary, fretted about Tommy Shelby’s baby inside of her, conceived in a loveless union, whilst Linda, the wife of Arthur, once again frowned her way through the whole episode, clearly disapproving of the women’s actions, and also rather cut up about her husband’s death (understandable).
Scenes moved rather quickly to Arthur’s funeral, a clear indication that more drama and a possible twist was to follow, as the scene was far too quick and lacking in the emotion which was noted at the funeral of John Shelby, the deceased brother who met his maker in episode one.
Although Arthur was dead, there were of course countless questions, why did the boxing scene feel so flat and anti climatic, why was everything so rushed, as always, one had to trust in Knight’s writing, which, sure enough, saved the day.
As Luca Changretta, the leader of the New York mafia, turned up at Shelby company limited, it was somewhat apparent that the Shelby family had a coherent plan, one involving Al Capone, apparently.
After Tommy refused to sign the agreement, he proceeded to tell Luca that his whole gang had been brought, as the mafia will do anything for money, before telling Luca of his agreement with Al Capone, little name drop there, and moving to attack him rather bloodily, before the big reveal: Arthur walks in.
So, there you go, the twist, Arthur Shelby didn’t die, Tommy used his death to encourage Luca to think he had won, all a trick of the eye, as Arthur proceeds to finish off Luca with a bullet.
So, everybody’s safe, right?
Tommy, after being encouraged to take a holiday, returns to his rather impressive stately home, where his holiday proceeds to turn him mad.
From heavy drinking, shell shock and smoking, it becomes apparent that even if Tommy Shelby paints himself as a decent man, he has been exposed to far too many horrible things to ever be normal, or to ever live in his head again, so, he returns to work.
Heading back to the bookies and the dirt of Small Heath Birmingham, Tommy proceeds to tell Polly he has a plan, before moving to seduce Communist Birmingham Party Leader Jesse Eden, gaining the names of notable communists from her, and delivering these to the crown, yet not before asking for something in return.
So, what would Tommy Shelby possibly ask for from the government, from the crown, maybe the opportunity to be a Member of Parliament? Why not?
So, with Laura Marling’s cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’, Tommy Shelby walks the steps of Birmingham’s City Hall, an MP for Birmingham, and holding his new son, much to the wandering gaze of Jesse Eden.
You can watch all series of Peaky Blinders via BBC iPlayer’s box set initiative here.