Peaky Blinders series 2 finale, review: Dramatic climax sees Tommy Shelby's fate on a knife edge

There was nothing predictable about the final instalment of the gangster drama

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The Independent Culture

Thomas Shelby has more lives than a cat. Just as he’s about to get bullet in the head and buried in a nondescript field, the Brummie gangster is given a last-minute reprieve with the promise that Mr Churchill “will be in touch”.

Writer Stephen Knight certainly knows how to keep viewers guessing until the very last moment.

Absolute torture just about sums up what it’s like watching Tommy Shelby’s fate hanging in the balance and it’s a blessed relief when he’s sent on his merry way.

And now Tommy’s getting married. Who would have thought that the mafia don would be getting sentimental in his old age? Let’s hope that if there is a third series things don't get too schmaltzy.  

Kudos to Cillian Murphy, who holds the whole show together - it does make you question whether Peaky Blinders would work without him. Murphy’s Tommy Shelby is to Peaky Blinders what Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone is to The Godfather series (excluding part three).

The other big moment is Polly’s revenge on the lecherous Chester Campbell. If you’re going to mess with a Shelby, expect there to be consequences.

That’s not to say this series has been perfect, the eagerly anticipated appearance of Tom Hardy’s Alfie Solomons proves to be a bit of a damp squib.

The only saving grace is the final scene involving the hand grenade bluff but there’s little of the Christopher Nolan magic that audiences may have been hoping for.

In fact, the whole London gangster expansion plot failed before it could even get off the ground.  

But qualms aside, Peaky Blinders is the kind of television show we need more of in the UK. It has the perfect recipe: a strong cast, high production values and some powerful writing.

Read more: Peaky Blinders needs a third series - Grace Dent