Peaky Blinders: Off to the Races

Peaky BlindersPreviously on Peaky Blinders: Tommy had a busy week, starting a war with some gypsies, striking deals with Campbell and (maybe) Billy Kimber, and asking Grace out on a fake date.

Tommy heads into Harry’s and asks Grace for a bottle of Irish whisky and three glasses. She hands them over and tells him she’s not going to the races unless he gives her more money. Now she’s just starting to annoy me. She says the dress is expensive and poutily asks if he wants her to go looking like a ‘flower girl’. He tells her it doesn’t matter what he wants, because she’s not actually looking good for him.

He settles down in the back room with two Irish guys and pours the whiskies. The two guys—whose names I never catch, so let’s call them Seamus and Patrick, down theirs in one go and start on round two while Tommy lets his just sit there. Seamus, who seems to be the one in charge, tells Tommy that they’ve heard that there are some nice weapons in the wind, and if Tommy just so happened to know where they were, they’d be willing to pay good money for them, to send them home to the IRA. Grace, of course, is listening in just on the other side of the door. Tommy, not being an idiot, does not commit or admit he has the weapons, which pisses off Patrick, who starts singing a song about how all good Irishmen join the IRA. Seamus tries to shut him up, probably fearing the razorblade hat likely sitting nearby, while Tommy just bores into him with those super-blue eyes.

Seamus hustles a rather drunken Patrick out and Tommy returns the bottle to Grace, who asks if he has sympathies with them and suggests she translate the next time someone with an Irish accent comes in. Subtle, Grace. I can see why you’re a secret agent trusted with a highly delicate mission. Tommy hands over the extra cash she asked for and tells her to buy something red to wear.

Freddie waits for Ada to finish slow-mo running, in wedding dress and veil, through the neighbourhood to join him. He greets her with a kiss and tells her the vicar’s waiting. She asks him how she looks and he tells her honestly she looks like an angel. Oh, they are kinda cute.

Campbell summons one of the local coppers and asks what he knows about a pub known as the Black Swan, which he’s heard is a popular spot for local IRA. Copper rolls his eyes and says it’s just a bunch of drunks singing songs. Campbell informs him that two customers are looking to buy guns, so I guess all this info came from Grace. Copper suggests sending some men to the Black Swan to ask questions, but Campbell doesn’t want to scare everyone off.

A man drunkenly stumbles out of the Black Swan and is followed by Grace into a rather crummy neighbourhood. I think the guy may be Seamus, but don’t quote me on that. He evidently saw her very obviously following him, grabs her, holds a gun to her head, and tells her he’s taking her in for interrogation. She manages to get her hand on the little gun in her purse and shoots him dead, then backs away, looking completely freaked out.

Tommy arrives at Polly’s and she immediately asks him if he’s armed. When she hears he’s not, she tells him that Ada and Freddie were married but have defied Tommy’s orders to leave the city. Tommy’s not pleased, because he promised Campbell he’d see to it that Freddie got lost. Naturally, this whole deal is news to Polly, who’s not pleased, because they’re supposed to be making decisions as a family. Tommy tells her to get Freddie out of town, or Tommy will be forced to deal with him.

In her own rooms, Grace throws up, finds blood on her hand (subtle), smokes, and looks pretty shaky. But she got a lovely red dress, so I guess the day wasn’t a complete wash.

Seamus’s body has been found and the news is being reported to Campbell, along with the news that Seamus was seen being followed by a woman. Grace is a terrible spy. Campbell says Seamus was killed by one of his own, and the woman is irrelevant.

Polly pays a visit to Freddie and hands him £200 and tickets to America to get the hell out of town already. Ada clearly wants to go, but Freddie’s a moron who clearly cares more for himself than he does for his little family here. He thinks he can handle Tommy, completely ignoring the fact that it’s not just Tommy he’ll have to deal with, it’s the whole damn Shelby family and all their followers. Freddie does ask for time to think about it, but we know he’s going to stay. Idiot.

Grace visits the museum again, where Campbell scolds her for going beyond her brief and going after a guy just because he was IRA. He admits he worries about her and she reassures him that she’s going to be just fine.

Tommy wanders into Chinatown and visits a tailor who has a suit for Billy Kimber hanging up. Tommy knows that Billy’s on his way to pick it up, and speaking of, here he is, with a couple of his goons. The tailor begs them not to start fighting but Tommy says it’s fine, he’s come in peace. The tailor takes off. Tommy brings up the Lees again and tells Billy they’ll be showing up at the race and robbing him. Billy says he can handle them. Tommy shrugs that he was just warning a friend and heads off. Billy calls after him to bring that pretty barmaid to the race and Tommy reassures him it’s already happening.

Freddie, proving he’s an even bigger idiot than I thought, is not only not getting out of town, he’s leading yet another rally (though both of his rallies have been so scarcely attended I’m starting to think Socialism isn’t that popular in Birmingham). The crowd hears police whistles coming their way and Freddie takes a few moments to call for a strike and whip up the crowd before they all flee.

Out on the street, Tommy’s brother, John, catches up with him and Tommy catches him up on Freddie and Ada’s situation. John’s disgusted, but they have other problems: apparently Arthur’s been struck with the ‘Flanders Blues’ again.

Tommy finds Arthur at the church, already drunk and holding a bottle, which would really piss off Polly if she knew, and Freddie tells him people keep asking him questions he doesn’t know the answers to. Questions about Ada and Freddie and Seamus’s death and the missing guns. He focuses on the last bit and demands Tommy tell him about these guns. Tommy tells him they had a lucky break and these guns fell into their laps, and now they have The Man backed into a corner. He gets up and tells Arthur to follow him. Arthur grabs his bottle and stumbles out after Tommy.

They go to Harry’s, and Arthur’s magically sober now, just in time to be told he now owns Harry’s. Apparently, Arthur’s always wanted to own a pub, and Tommy figures they need some kind of legit front. Makes sense. Arthur asks if he can still get wasted whenever he wants and Tommy tells him his pub, his rules. What an excellent gift for someone who clearly has an alcohol problem.

Tommy heads out into the night later and finds someone’s punctured one of the tyres on his car. Copper comes forth and blames some kids before telling Tommy that Campbell wants some answers about a rally that apparently took place earlier that day. Tommy says he’s dealing with Freddie. Copper jokes about what a crazy family Christmas it’ll be, with Freddie now at teh table, and warns Tommy that Freddie and Ada could get sent up for sedition, which is four years in prison. Tommy gives him that hard stare of his and Copper bids him goodnight.

The next day, Ada rushes into Harry’s, looking for Freddie, but Grace hasn’t seen him, or Tommy. Ada’s freaked out, thinking the two men are going to kill each other.

Tommy and Freddie are currently at the waterfront, where Freddie has managed to get the drop on a contemplative Tommy and has a pistol to his head. Tommy calmly tells him they need to talk and asks Freddie what he wants. Freddie gives back the money and the tickets and tells him the bribes won’t work. Tommy pockets both and Freddie orders him to talk about the guns. Instead, Tommy remembers how they used to swim across the river as kids. Freddie glances away, and Tommy pushes the gun away and gets out his own, resulting in a good old-fashioned standoff. Tommy tells Freddie he’s not going to screw up Ada’s life for some stupid cause. Freddie lowers his gun and says he loves Ada and has since he was a kid. And she loves him. It’s not about getting his hands on guns. Nonetheless, Tommy tells him the marriage will not stand, and walks away.

Back at Aunt Pol’s, he hands back the cash and tells her that the police are threatening to arrest Ada, if they don’t turn Freddie in.

Then he goes to get high, and we see a bit more of his typical opium flashback. It looks like he and some other men, including Danny and Freddie, went into some sort of mine under the trenches, where they rather unexpectedly ran into some Germans and things got pretty bloody there, in close quarters. Looks like Danny went sort of Rambo on them, and one of the men got shot, but everyone’s so grimy and dimly lit I can’t really tell which one.

Tommy wakes to the sound of someone hammering on his door, and he opens it to find Danny standing there. Danny salutes and tells Tommy that he heard from a guy in London that the IRA higher ups think the Peakys were behind the shooting of Seamus. Was Seamus really so important that everyone’s that concerned with this? To the extent that news of this one man’s death is filtering all the way down to pubs in London? Danny asks if this rumour’s true and Tommy tells him it isn’t and they’ll have to send someone to have a chat with the IRA to clear things up. Danny reveals that he knows about Tommy’s drug problem, as he uses opium himself on occasion. They share a drink in solidarity and Tommy tells him how he can still hear the shovels and picks from that tunnel, sometimes all night long.

The following day, Tommy wakes and goes to Harry’s, where Grace tells him that Ada was there, completely freaking out, which is a bad thing, in her condition. She says she likes Ada and figures it must be hard for her, with her brother and husband fighting. She asks what he and Freddie are fighting over and Tommy dismisses her by grabbing the paper and starting to read, saying only that he’ll be picking her up at 9 a.m. for the race.

Race day. Tommy and Grace both get ready, in slow motion, because this show just loves slow motion, for some reason. Do we really need lingering shots of Grace putting on lip gloss? They both arm themselves.

Tommy’s gotten the car a bit souped up, in case he needs to make a quick getaway from the track, as his uncle, whose name seems to be Charlie, rather darkly predicts. Tommy refuses to be drawn into Charlie’s negativity and goes and picks up Grace, who asks if it’s just the two of them going. Well, it’s just the two of them going in the car. Arthur and John have a whole crew of toughs gathered to go and teach those Lees a lesson. Arthur invites them to help themselves to an impressive array of rather medieval looking weapons and tells them they won’t be keeping the cash they get off the Lees. This is a goodwill gesture. They load up and leave.

Grace and Tommy arrive, via the back way, and he gives her a story to tell to get them into the VIP area, which is apparently a nightclub. She passes and they enjoy the sights for a bit, though Tommy says he prefers Harry’s. He does ask her to dance, and she accepts, so out they go onto the dance floor, where they quickly catch Billy’s eye. He admires Grace and tells his business manager, Roberts, that the Blinders have arrived.

One of the Lees finds a bookie in the washroom and robs him, only to swiftly receive a vicious beatdown courtesy of the Blinders. Arthur removes his cap and uses the blades to slice a bit of the man’s ear off, warning him never to touch Billy  Kimber’s men again. Arthur then takes the cash off the man and hastens through an exit.

The exit somehow gets him to the VIP room, where Tommy takes all the recovered cash and delivers it back to Billy, who looks astonished. Tommy warns him that Kimber’s own security is clearly failing, and he suggests Kimber use the Blinders instead. All they want is a percentage of the take and three legal betting pitches at every race south of the River Severn, rising to six after a year if everyone’s satisfied. Kimber tells him to talk to his accountant while he goes to dance with Grace. Roberts, meanwhile, gets down to business. Kimber returns and, out of Grace’s hearing, throws in another condition.

Tommy approaches her and says Kimber wants them to go to his place for dinner, but Tommy has some business to settle with the accountant first, so Grace will have to go on ahead, with Kimber. He promises to throw in an extra £3 for her trouble, which is actually really insulting, because we all know what’s really going on here. She accuses Tommy of thinking she’s a whore and he says that if she wants to be part of his organisation, she has to make sacrifices. He’s promised Kimber two hours with her. Grace says nothing, which apparently means, ‘ok, fine, whatever,’ and Tommy tells Kimber it’s a go. Kimber lays £10 he’ll have gotten laid in one hour. Yeesh. I think we understand that this guy’s an enormous sleeze.

Tommy and some random woman drive down the road and park near Kimber’s place. She bitterly asks if Kimber said Tommy could have her and goes on to chatter that she’s not a prostitute, she was a milliner when she met Billy. She made her hat and everything. She asks if Grace is a prostitute and Tommy admits he has no idea what she is.

Inside, Kimber puts on a record and asks for another dance. She asks for a faster song, clearly really uncomfortable, and he tells her to loosen up. And then he tries to kiss her, so she pushes him away and says she wants a cigarette. Billy goes to the sideboard, picks up a glass, and drops it, then orders her to pick it up. She refuses, but he says she’s a barmaid and he’s giving her an order. She lunges for her gun and he bends her over the billiards table and gets ready to rape her, but thankfully Tommy comes in and says he can’t allow this to happen, because Grace has VD. Wow, that was actually some pretty slick thinking.

He and Grace leave, and in the car, she calls him a bastard but then asks him what made him intervene. He says nothing.



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