Peaky Blinders: 3.05

Tommy Shelby is a broken man; broken by the clandestine men who seek to betray him, who want him to betray the Russians for political gain. But it is only his body that's broken, not his will, not his mind. When all things are arrayed against him, he still has one ace in the hole, one card unplayed. This is not dissimilar to Peaky Blinders, but whereas Tommy plays his card from a point of weakness, the show plays it's strong card from a point of strength. Welcome back, Tom Hardy.
Hardy is always good to watch, and he seems to have a lot of fun as the self-described Wandering Jew, Alfie Solomons. He does tend to dominate every scene he's in, he almost doesn't quite fit into a show that's restrained even when violent. But we don't fault him, he's too wonderful to watch. After all, it's not just us he feels off-kilter to, the Russian aristocrats, so used to getting their own way, don't know what to make of him either.

The Russian aristocrats are portrayed as crazy, hedonistic manipulators, pulling their strings and summoning their spirits. We though don't enjoy being manipulated as much as Tommy seems to enjoy it, some spirits should stay in the grave. Polly's got her own ghosts to exorcise; she may be enjoying the company of her painter friend, but still the assault on her haunts her. She relives it, breathes it, tries to forget it. A lot of looking backwards in a narrative lull, brief as it is. This is Peaky Blinders after all, there's always room for disaster.

Not this episode though, that's all saved for the finale. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, a lot of Shelby family business to take care of. No room for Alfie Solomons, but he's done his job now, and done it well. Thursday's episode is going to be a blinder...

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