Peaky Blinders season 3 episode 6 finale review: Tommy finally accepts who he is in crushing finish

"See you then, Tom."

Christopher Hooton
Friday 10 June 2016 13:16
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There were shades of both Tony Montana and Walter White in Tommy Shelby as Peaky Blinders season 3 came to a close. There he was, sat behind a desk like Scarface but without the mountains of cocaine - moneyed, powerful but utterly friendless. His narrow escape came with a Heisenbergian acceptance though as he formally addressed the family. I was expecting the mea culpa, but not how this twisted into a despairing, imploding rant about how all he has to offer is money and why the dream of a simple, honest life is a lie.

It was all precipitated by the folly of the Shelby children’s charity, which was open for approximately 10 minutes before a child was kidnapped over mob/maniacal clergy business, and it became clear to Tommy that crime’s deathly touch would be upon him wherever he went in life.

Helen McCrory (Polly) was on brilliant form as ever, slashing at her portrait as she questioned her own judgement (I’m glad they didn’t have her shoot her painter lover under false pretences, which would have turned the episode into some kind of Shakespearean tragedy), while Michael was set up nicely as a major player next season following his first kill and his relish for it.

I’m glad they found a way to insert Alfie Solomons into the mix, as Tom Hardy should be used wherever possible in the show, so hypnotising and unpredictable is his character. Last week I was extolling how he manages to convey menace through a ‘cheeky chappy’ demeanour, but this week he was a fiery inferno, unleashing a blistering (and justified) dressing down on Tommy - possibly the first time we’ve seen the Shelby leader completely beaten in a war of words.

The cinematography was beautiful as ever, the show’s misty vistas being almost hyperreal by this point, and the three threads of the train bombing plot ratcheted up the tension nicely.

I don’t think Paddy Considine’s antagonist was as compelling as Sam Neill’s, his motives being a little unclear and his wickedness almost cartoonish, but Russian princess Tatiana has been a great addition this season, and the finale left the door open for her return at some point.

Creator Steven Knight has said that Peaky Blinders will remain a “Birmingham story” and it must, but damn, wouldn’t it be exciting to see Tommy head to America next season?

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