Review by Kyle Mcleod
After the return of Peaky Blinders last week, the drama’s final season continued with Episode 2, Black Shirt.
The season premiere kicked off last week by painting a picture of where this season is heading, and Episode 2 made that picture all the more clear.
The series first took place not long after the First World War, and with WWII now approaching, the concept of fascism is becoming a key factor in the series and Tommy’s plans. It appeared strange Tommy would not only make a deal with the woman responsible for the death of his aunt, but also betray his socialist beliefs and aid the rise of fascism.
The reason this felt so strange is it was not Tommy’s plan at all. Despite making a deal with Captain Swing, buttering up Oswald Mosley and having a face-to-face conversation with Jack Nelson, Tommy plans on undermining all of them.
We see his true intentions with the return of fan favourite Alfie Solomons (played by Tom Hardy). The two converse about their changes as men before Tommy proposes his plan of giving Alfie control of the Opium trade in order for his family to regain power in Boston.
Even with all the foes standing in the protagonist’s way, his own mind proves to be the most formidable adversary. After suffering a seizure early in the episode, we see him hallucinating, both times reflecting on his first kill during the war. With everything that has played out throughout the series, it appears Tommy’s sins are finally catching up to him mentally.
What would usually serve as more of a sub plot could be the final season’s biggest story, Tommy’s daughter Ruby. In the last episode there was clear emphasis that Ruby may be cursed, seeing and hearing mysterious figures. This time around… things only got worse.
Ruby’s curse is not only derailing Tommy from his plans regarding politics and power, but also continuing to play with his own mind.
This episode may not have had the same action as the season premiere, but it did bring back key characters onto our screen as well as introduce new ones in their physical form.
With the series reaching its conclusion, viewers will be on edge to see who, if any of the Shelby family can survive. Tommy’s sister Ada wants to distance herself, his brother Arthur still struggling to cope with his wife’s ‘disappearance’. Whether they get involved in Tommy’s master plan or not, they remain in great danger and time will tell if they can make it out the series alive.
Black Shirt may not reach the same highs as Black Day, however, it is significant in driving the plot forward and we now are much more aware of what’s to come.
With four episodes to go, Black Shirt keeps us guessing as to what will come next- will the show rewrite history with Tommy’s plan being a success? Or will it all unravel and show that Thomas Shelby does in fact, have limitations? The next four weeks will tell us more, but the show continues to keep us gripped and guessing until the end.