(Beware, spoilers below!)
What’s up with all the goats this week (I apologise – if you don’t watch Gotham, you won’t understand)?! This week’s episode of Peak Blinders opens with a series of images that sets the tone for this week. After a nice bout of prostitute tupping, Campbell is out spying on Polly and her new son in Primrose Hill. By the first eight minutes of the show, the Shelby’s seem to have lost everything, with Arthur fated to hang. It’s a crazy and intense sequence that leaves mouths agape. Where’s Tommy in all of this? Off checking on his horse and lovely May Carleton at the same time. Both Campbell and Solomons are tricky little devils, and Tommy’s been spectacularly outmanoeuvred.
As I watch the family meeting, am I not the only one who wonders who the Shelby parents really were? Aside from Aunty Polly, there is no one else of her generation in the Shelby family ranks. There’s also a fine scene between Esmé and Tommy – ‘what family?’ she says. As we see Campbell coerce Polly into getting Michael free, it’s a harrowing scene that’s as awful as it gets. After it, Polly looks like a different woman, stripped of all the respectability she’s tried to build up. When she tell’s Ada Michael is being set free in the morning, the look on Ada’s face is indescribable: she knows what Polly’s done. As Polly and Michael exchange terse words after he’s been freed, the ‘what family’ phrase rings louder and truer than ever.
Annabelle Wallis comes back this week as Grace, a moment we were teased at the end of the last episode. She’s steals the scene like sh did last season, and she was much missed. a golden moment in the episode features Charlie Chaplin. It starts off as a tense conversation, but eventually they end up predictably entwined. Grace then drops the bombshell that they’re in London to try for a baby. We’re thereafter confronted realities of Tommy breaking it off with May. Whilst it’s been hard to sympathise with Charlotte Riley’s character, she manages to gauge sympathy well. “If you think your people are ruthless try mine.” she says. It’s a phrase that everyone can relate to, to a certain extent.
This week’s episode is a exciting one which is full of tension and drama. The build up is fabulous, as well as the writers deft abilities to makes us feel and believe that all the strands of the Shelby empire are unravelling and in flux between the various players. Sam Neill manages to be a despicable presence, one that actually makes us root for gangster Tommy Shelby.
It’s Tommy vs Campbell next week: sounds like a good ol’ Western showdown, and one which I wouldn’t miss for the world.