Review: Peaky Blinders (Season 2, Episode 6)

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4.5 stars

 

This article contains spoilers of the final episode of Peaky Blinders.

The plot largely revolves around Major Campbell and Tommy.  Solomons hands over Arthur to the police in his first betrayal of the Peaky Blinders, while Campbell arrests Michael, all in a bid to force Tommy to carry out the assassination of a British Army Field Marshal, who had committed war crimes in county Cork. Tommy will carry out the assassination on Derby day at Epsom race course, so that he can simultaneously expel Santini’s gambling operation from the course. Campbell enlists three Ulster Volunteers to kill Tommy after he carries out the assassination. Michael is freed early as Polly engages in a sexual favour with Campbell in a highly disturbing scene. In Tommy’s personal life he has begun a relationship with May Fitz-Carleton but also had sexual relationships with his former love interest Grace.

Season two: episode six, is definitely the best Episode of the show to date. It begins with Tommy narrating a letter he has written, revealing the conspiracy behind his assassination, to be sent to a newspaper if he should die. He believes that this is likely due to the danger of his mission. The tone is set from here as the narration is used instead of the shows familiar opening scene. As a viewer I was convinced Tommy was going to perish in this episode.

Before the race, Tommy attempts to make peace with Solomons and work out a new business deal. Tom Hardy has been at his best throughout the season, and his final scene does not disappoint. Tommy informs Solomons that he has placed a bomb in the factory in which they are meeting – and the business negotiation takes place under the tense countdown of the supposed bomb timer. This scene is highly enjoyable, with two of the best actors of their generations in fine form giving us one of the best scenes of the show- which I could have watched for much longer.

Peaky-Blinders- solomons

At the Derby, Tommy says goodbye to both of his love interests, Grace tells Tommy she is pregnant with his Baby and that her husband does not know, while also confessing her love for Tommy. Tommy uses his ex-prostitute secretary to, reluctantly, seduce the Field Marshal and she is subsequently raped. Tommy comes to assassinate him but his gun jams and a brutal fight ensues where Tommy’s right eye is nearly gouged out before he turns the field Marshal’s gun on him before fleeing the premises. Arthur and the Peaky Blinders take over the race track and Tommy informs Santini that Epsom belongs to him, before being escorted off by police. Unfortunately these police are Campbell’s UVF trio in disguise and at gunpoint they push Tommy in to the back of a van and drive away.

In the aftermath of the assassination, Polly shoots Campbell in the chest exclaiming “Don’t Fuck with the Peaky Blinders.” I enjoyed this moment for several reasons. This season, Polly has constantly berated the family on how it’s not a good life being in the Peaky Blinders and that they shouldn’t allow her son to join, so her killing Campbell in the name of the family was a pleasant and unexpected twist. Furthermore Campbell’s death was satisfying revenge for Campbell’s abuse of Polly and it was great to see his incorruptible bible-quoting hard case exterior from season one, deteriorate into a lonely, corrupt and ultimately evil force in the second season. Sam Neill has given a great performance throughout and while his meddling character will not be missed his performance definitely will be.

Tommy is taken to a barren patch of land where a shallow grave lies half dug while being surrounded by three Ulster Volunteers. My stomach was in knots and I was certain this was where the character would meet his end as there was just no viable escape. Tommy had achieved all he set out to do but was foiled at the last hurdle. He lit his last cigarette and knelt down saying “Just gets this over with”. Then bullets are fired and two UVF members lie dead with the remaining one saying “At some point in the near future Mr Churchill will want to speak to you in person, Mr Shelby, He has a job for you. We will be in touch.” So Churchill was watching Tommy’s back the whole time despite earlier telling Campbell his death was acceptable. Tommy walks away in shock and disbelief. The scene is really well done, dragging out and detailing his final moments where you genuinely believe it is the characters end, but thankfully he lives to fight another day.

The series ends with May and Grace meeting at the Epsom bar and having a bitter exchange over whom Tommy will choose. May lets on she knows more about Tommy’s business than he thinks and she can help him take over more racetracks. Tommy returns to his office to find Michael who states his intention to work for the Peaky Blinders over his mother’s wishes- he wants to make money with Tommy, who accepts. The last line Tommy says is “I’ve got some ideas, Michael, for the future of the company. And also… I’m planning on getting married.” This is a nice ambiguous note to leave the season on and despite the obvious inclination, Tommy would have to marry Grace, as she is carrying his baby. I really hope he chooses May who is a lot more likable and stronger than Grace, who already had her chance but moved to America and moved on with her life.

Overall the second half of the season was successful in capping off the second season, with it improving with every episode. Just to note that not one single main character of the Peaky Blinders has died yet, not even the hot head Arthur, so I’m not sure that all of the family will remain alive in season three. Season two was a huge success and season three will be highly anticipated by all fans of the show.

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