There was quality everywhere in Peaky Blinders tonight and right from the opening, which saw Iggy Pop brought in to cover Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ opening.
We picked up the action with Tommy being tailed by the mafia but well aware of it thanks to intel from Polly, who Luca Changretta really should have known would not have given him up.
After having his numbers decimated by the Peaky Blinders yet again, Luca was determined not to make the same mistake twice, seeking the help of Alfie Solomons who seemed much more reluctant to give up his friend and expecting a lot more in return. Tom Hardy absolutely stole the show, showing knavish insolence toward the Mafia that made you want to slap the nearest surface with delight. “Add another tonne for being a cunt,” will, I’m sure, make fans’ list of favourite Peaky quotes.
Alfie struck a hard bargain and yet Changretta didn’t even attempt to negotiate, leading Alfie to believe he had no intention of going through with his demands and intended on murdering him along with the Shelbys. “You plan to kill us all,” he said in romani. Is it ominous that he called Luca’s strategy out to his face, or can we just chalk this up as ‘things necessary to say so the audience knows what’s happening?’ My guess is Alfie may be presented with a dilemma next week – possibly some kind of Mexican stand-off – but ultimately will side with his British allies. I could also see Alfie dying in the finale.
Elsewhere, Lizzie revealed she is pregnant with Tommy’s baby, Michael went into hiding, Polly got it on with Aidan Gillan’s Mr. Gold (while threatening to murder him, of course), Ada had a run-in with the territorial army and Tommy had dinner with communist union leader, Jessie.
I say dinner, it was a very delicate scene that was somewhere in-between date, business meeting and political stand-off. Woke to the suffragette cause, Tommy noted that since Emily Davison threw herself in front of the King’s horse he’d seen “women with serious faces everywhere”. He also showed respect for her cause, traded anecdotes about their poor upbringing and promised his support in the revolution. All this was enough to woo her it seems, but this budding romance is going to sour fast given Tommy is also working with the army.
It was a gripping and deft episode that did what Peaky Blinders writer/creator Steven Knight does best, wrapping plot points inside allusions to history and poetic dialogue that also conveys something about character. Impressive stuff.