Peaky Blinders: 3.02

Is the honeymoon over for Tommy and Grace? Will their nuptials be overshadowed with Russian conspiracies, and fights not sought after?
Peaky Blinders continues.

So, the secret is out; if you watched last week’s episode of Peaky Blinders you know this season’s surprise that Tommy finally married Grace. The wedding was glorious, marred as it was by Churchill’s business, conflicts cavalry and infantry, and tensions between Grace and Polly. But Peaky Blinders has always been as much about Tommy and Grace as it has been about stunning visuals, dodgy dealings and Tommy’s rise in power and wealth. Unfortunately, one suspects that from this point on they freshly married couple will be beset by trials and tribulations. But for now, this gloriously dysfunctional family has expanded once more.

Weapons shipments. It can sound almost benign, when you imagine rifles and handguns; not so much when we’re taking tanks and armoured cars. Tommy might be following in the footsteps of Hugh Laurie’s Roper, but the difference is that in The Night Manager, the arms dealer was in control. Everyone seems to be pulling someone else’s strings. Tommy’s Russian intermediary, the emigré Grand Duke Leon Petrofina, is being given his marching orders by the Grand Duchess Izabella, who truly pulls the strings. She dictates his letters, orders his actions, ruling and controlling in his name. A mere puppet for a stronger force. By turn, Tommy has his string pulled by the Secret Services, represented by Paddy Considine as Father John Hughes, a man of the cloth who comes across as dangerous as Thomas Shelby himself.

Peaky Blinders feels odd when the locations are grand halls and estates; factories, shipyards, betting shops and filthy streets. These are the spiritual homes of the Shelby’s. A home that John Shelby still lives in, cannot seem to escape from, even as he starts a war within it. A war that Tommy relishes, representing a past he longs to return to, to Polly’s dismay. But those worlds collide in the final moments of this unrushed episode, a beautifully shot finale; a brutal moving tableau that can’t but lure audiences in even deeper into the world of the Shelby’s.

Stephan Burn

Updated: May 13, 2016

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