Peaky Blinders: 2.03
The themes of Peaky Blinders have always been family and war and those were exemplified in this episode. While Tommy recruits an army of men to fight in a London war, Polly begins to form bonds with her formerly missing son. He was not at all put off by her appearance at the end of the last episode, and instead is more than keen to join this family. While Polly worries about how deep his involvement is, Tommy tries to dissuade young Michael from his path. But he is not to be dissuaded, revealing himself to be not dissimilar to a young Tommy; dark and smart and steadfast. No matter what he sees, no matter what he witnesses, he is a true Shelby.
It’s nice to see that Polly’s family storyline is re-integrated back into the larger narrative; previously it felt a little disjointed, a parallel story to the larger goings-on. But now all are re-integrated back into the whole.
However, season two suffers a little from insufficient threat. Campbell was a major threat in season 1, but he's been defeated already, he doesn't scare us. And Sabini is a paper tiger; paranoid, snarling and ineffective. I don’t doubt that war with Sabini, and conflict with Campbell’s crusade will ramp up in the last episodes of the season, but right now it’s all minor setbacks.
Elsewhere, Arthur’s descent into coke-fuelled madness continues and Ada still tries to distance herself ineffectually from the Shelbys. But, in the pursuit to buy himself an over-priced horse, the big news is a new love interest for heartbroken Tommy.
May Carleton, played by Tom Hardy’s wife Charlotte Riley, is a wealthy, privileged horse trainer and stable owner. She offers her services as a trainer, but when she asks 'So, will you consider me?', we are left in no doubt what she’s really offering.
Peaky Blinders continues to delight, continues to features strong women and beautiful cinematography, Cillian Murphy’s cheekbones and Tom Hardy. And is still very much worth watching.