(Beware, spoilers below!)
I’m excited to both see and review the final episode of this season of Peaky Blinders. If nothing else (seriously, nothing else) convinces you that TV is the medium to beat these days, I’m hoping this does (seriously though, nothing else?!).
The opening of this episode lays it all out on the table. Tommy’s spending the morning at Ada’s, writing a letter he instructs her to post to The New York Times should anything go awry. He first makes a stop at Solomons: the man tries to get Tommy to hand over 100% of his business. However for once Tommy’s ahead of the game. It’s a tense scene which ends deftly as the upper hand is swiftly exchanged.
With that done and dusted – it’s derby day. As the threat of Campbell hangs over his head he briefs the lads on when they can make a move. Tommy’s truly working solo this time – no other man knows about the hit Tommy has planned. At the same time, he’s caught up between Mae and Grace, the latter of whom has also turned up. She’s turned up to tell him that she’s pregnant with his baby. With everything hanging on the assassination, Tommy’s in no place to make up his mind, and he tells her just that.
He uses Lizzie as part of his plan, but she’s clearly nervous and unhappy about being asked to isolate the target. As the clock ticks, there’s a beautifully symmetrical shot as Tommy and Campbell speak across the race bar. They’re both men that dabble in the dark side, and it’s a bitterly amusing scene. Which is greater – the love of God or the love of Grace? It’s clear Campbell doesn’t have as much love from God as he thinks he does. However, the plan with Lizzie has already about to go wrong. Tommy pulls it off (if with just a bit of difficulty) and the Peaky Blinders go to work right on cue.
It seems derby day means everyone has been swarming around – Zabini is but one of them. Whilst it seems Tommy has manoeuvred Zabini out of the way Campbell’s goons are put into place, and take Tommy in. As the race winds to an end, May and Grace meet for the first time. Both women aren’t willing to give Tommy up without a fight. It’s a silent scene we’re confronted with as Tommy is shown the grave that’s been dug out for him. Is this the end?
Meanwhile, Polly has been trying to send Michael home. She tells him to wash himself clean of the city, but we’ve seen already the boy is determined no to go. The toughest woman in the show turns up at the derby ready to finally kill Campbell. It’s a sexually charged scene where she finally elimiated what’s been a thorn Tommy’s side for a long time. She walks out, blood on her dress but a woman stronger. “Don’t f***” with the Peaky Blinders” she says.
The ending is somewhat of a shock. In fact, shock doesn’t even begin to start. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it for a second (though don’t read the last sentence of this review if you really want to avoid the biggest spoilers). It’s magic, beautiful beautiful magic. “Who’s gonna stop us?!” screams Arthur at the end. Who indeed.
It’s been a great season 2 that has only become better and better with each episode, and I can’t wait for season 3 to come back next year. Both the music and the direction is superb, as is the performances which are upped across the board from last year. Props go to lead Cillian Murphy who almost completely carries this episode entirely on his shoulders. The MVP of the show, Helen McCrory, should be nominated for the brilliant work she’s done throughout the whole season. Now I’ll just spend the next weeks between now and next season wondering just which woman Tommy truly chose, if Michael will become a successor of sorts, and what that look from John at end will lead us to next season.
(photo credit: The Mirror)