Peaky Blinders: War and Peace

Peaky BlindersPreviously on Peaky Blinders: Grace helped Campbell find the guns, and he rewarded her with a marriage proposal she totally didn’t want. Instead, she threw her lot in with Tommy, sleeping with him, finally, and giving him a little of the love his family’s withholding in the wake of Freddie’s arrest. And speaking of families and withholding love—the Shelbys’ low-life dad reappears on the scene just long enough to swindle Arthur and completely destroy his self-esteem, leading to a failed suicide attempt.

Things are quiet in Chinatown. The tailor checks out his wares, but ducks out of sight when he sees Campbell coming. Campbell calls him out and really awkwardly asks for information as to where he might be able to find something that’s either a prostitute or drugs, it’s not clear yet.

Tommy bursts into Harry’s, wakes Arthur, and tells him to pull himself together, because they’re ‘doing it today.’ He then goes and collects Charlie and pulls the cover off the car before interrupting John, who’s seriously enjoying his new wife’s company. At the house, Polly prays for her boys, then turns to find Tommy behind her. He promises that’s the last time she’ll have to pray for them. Yeah, right. He calls a family meeting for half ten.

Prostitute it is. A pretty young woman hurries into an elaborate bedroom where Campbell’s waiting, clearly still uncomfortable with all this. She starts to undress him, noting not at all pointedly that his tie is knotted really tightly. She guesses he’s a first timer and tells him it’s no big deal and starts to unbutton her robe while we cut briefly to Grace buttoning her blouse up. The prostitute lays Campbell back and climbs on top of him while Grace enters the art museum and finds Copper with a Speaking Role waiting for her. He hands her a letter, calls her a whore, and leaves. Nice. In the letter, Campbell makes it clear that he knows what she and Tommy have been up to and he’s completely disgusted with her and her father would be ashamed. While she reads this, we see him with the prostitute, and it’s clear that he’s not what one would call a gentle lover, not by any means. When he finally finishes, the poor girl climbs out from under him and puts her robe back on. Campbell, slightly horrified, notices her bleeding lip and asks if he did that. She says it’s ok, because he’s a very special customer. Trying to make up for it, he asks her to sit with him, but she rushes out of there.

Tommy arrives at the tailor’s and finds him comforting the girl. He gives the Tailor some money, and the guy shakes him down for more to give away Campbell’s current whereabouts. Tommy pays up, then goes in the back to taunt Campbell a bit. Campbell ignores him and says he has a meeting with Churchill that day about the located guns, and isn’t Tommy annoyed that he doesn’t know how they found them? Tommy doesn’t play ball, and the pleasant smile never leaves his face. Campbell goes on about how they’re on opposite sides of the law, but they have a fair bit in common, in that nobody likes them and everybody fears them. He promises Tommy will have his heart broken by the end of the day, just as Campbell did, because men like them are destined to always be alone. Tommy says he has his family to lean on and Campbell just smiles and tells him to have a nice day.

Ada’s finally emerged from her hellhole to pay a visit to Polly, who cuddles the baby and briefly remembers her own children. She asks Ada to sit down and tells her the story of how she lost them: they were taken away because the police found an illegal still in their home. Wow, that’s pretty harsh. Polly goes on to say that the same won’t happen to Ada, because they have Tommy to protect them. She asks Ada to forgive her brother, especially today, when he might very well end up dead by sundown.

A policeman goes to Freddie’s cell and Freddie, scared out of his mind, begs to get a message to Campbell, because if he’s moved to Brixton prison, he’ll be dead. The policeman coldly informs him he’ll never get as far as Brixton. Because he’s free. Ok.

Campbell’s meeting with Churchill, who asks about his undercover operative and asks if she was involved in the discovery of the guns. Campbell says she was instrumental and a loyal servant to the crown. That was big of him. Churchill asks about the Blinders and Campbell says that, if they make arrests, the whole thing will end up in open court, and nobody wants that. But don’t worry, he has plans for the Blinders.

Tommy gathers his men and announces they’ll be replacing Billy Kimber. Right, ‘replacing.’ They’re going to the Worcester races, supposedly to fight the Lees, but now that the Lees are kin, they and the Blinders will be taking Kimber and his men out. Tommy’s going to deal with Kimber himself. Polly asks to bring in a newcomer and ushers in Ada and the baby. Everyone applauds and Tommy welcomes her home. She tells them the baby’s named Karl, after Marx. Arthur goofs off with the baby for a bit, and it’s cute, and Tommy asks his sister if he’s forgiven. She nods and hugs him, so I guess Polly convinced her that Tommy didn’t rat out Freddie.

Speaking of Freddie, he’s driven out of town and the copper tells him he was told to do this by the Peakys. That was big of Tommy.

The Peakys walk in slow motion through the streets of Birmingham so we can all get a good look at how big and tough they are.

Freddie’s ride, meanwhile, meets up with Danny and a machine gun in the road, so they can make this whole thing look like a jailbreak. Freddie’s freed.

The Peakys stop by Harry’s for a pint and a chaser to get their courage on. Grace asks Tommy if he has all the tickets and things he needs. He says he’s good, and furthermore, he’ll make sure she’s at the next family meeting. She says it would only make sense if she’s family, and he tells her that can be arranged, but they’ll talk about it later. She whirls into the back to cry and he follows her and she tells him she’s leaving. Tommy tells her he’s going legit, plus, she has a contract of employment. He promises he’s going to make a success of all this and she cries and admits she did something terrible to him. Before he can get more details, Arthur comes in with Jeremiah, who tells them he’s heard that two carloads of Kimber’s men are on their way to Manchester.

Tommy rushes to Polly’s and tells her and Ada to go hide somewhere, because they’ve been betrayed. And all the Lees are on their way to Worcester, so they can’t even get their help. Polly asks him who else he told that today was the day he was moving on Kimber, and then realises he must have told Grace. She promises to take care of her.

She goes over to the now-empty bar and announces that they all know who she is. She very slowly pulls a giant hairpin out of her bun and Grace pulls her gun. Polly doesn’t even blink and says she feels sorry for Grace, thinking she’d come in and stitch them all up, but then she went and fell for Tommy for real. Grace lowers the gun and puts it on the bar and offers to fight Polly with her fists. Polly returns her hairpin and asks Grace to pour them both a drink. She does and Polly asks if she really did fall for Tommy. Grace admits she did, and that she thinks he’ll try to kill her. Polly thinks he’s too soft and that the family owes her for saving Tommy’s life the night the police came. Grace asks what he was like when he was little and Polly remembers him laughing and wanting to work with horses. She suggests Tommy might forgive Grace after all this is over, but Polly never will, and she will never accept Grace either, and if you’re out of Polly’s good graces, you’re pretty much screwed. Polly tells her to get lost within the day, or she’ll be back to kill her herself. Grace gets up and beats a hasty retreat, but pauses at the door and says she thinks what really upsets Polly is the thought that one day she might lose Tommy.

John reports to Tommy that the police are letting Kimber’s men through, so it’s looking pretty bad for them. Tommy gathers the boys and tells them that things have changed and they’ll now have to fight Kimber’s men on the home turf. He figures the Kimbers will come for the pub and gets them riled up, despite the fact that they’ll be outnumbered 3-1. Even Jeremiah agrees to pitch in, despite a vow of nonviolence.

Copper with a Speaking Role tells Campbell about the vehicles heading into the city and Campbell tells him to let them come, and to also pull the patrols from the Shelbys’ areas.

Harry finds Tommy in the bar and guesses Grace is gone. Tommy says nothing. Harry goes on to say that Tommy always gets what he wants, by any means necessary, and yet everyone loves him. He asks if Tommy will go looking for Grace but Tommy says she’s in the past, which is no longer his concern. Harry asks what does concern him, but Tommy’s too busy thinking of the impending battle to really engage here. He sees they only have about a minute to go and calls it a soldier’s minute, that brief pause you get before it all goes to shit. Finn bursts in and tells Tommy the Kimber boys have arrived, so Tommy goes outside, loads his pistol, and waits for the row of rather nicely-dressed thugs to come his way.

Joined by his own rather nicely dressed thugs, he goes forth to meet them. Kimber’s come personally and tells his boys to load up and show the Peakys what weapons they have. The two gangs meet and Arthur tells Tommy to just give the order.

Polly paces nervously.

CwaSR tells Campbell the Kimbers have arrived, and furthermore, there’s been reports of machine gun fire outside the city. He reminds Campbell that one of the Lewis guns they were after was never recovered. Campbell is unconcerned. CwaSR says that he was relieved when Campbell first arrived, but now he’s not happy at all. Campbell tells the man he’s not looking away from this, he’s got a plan.

Kimber announces that he’s going to be taking over the Peakys’ territory, and Tommy says that, if they’re going to use guns, they should use proper guns. Out comes Freddie from a nearby warehouse, toting the missing Lewis gun. Everyone raises their weapons and gets ready for the bloodbath, but then Ada comes out of nowhere and wheels the pram with the baby in it right in between the two gangs. This moment was so ridiculous to me that I actually laughed out loud. What an incredibly stupid move on her part. Yes, the Peakys aren’t going to open fire on her, of course, but she has no such reassurances from Kimber’s men. What do they care about her and her kid? They could just as easily shoot them down and use the pause in the Peakys’ defences to take them out. Stupid, Ada. Stupid.

Anyway, Ada tells them all she’s wearing black in preparation for inevitable mourning and tells the men to look at her and think about the person who’s going to be wearing black for them. She invites them to fight if they want, but she and the baby aren’t moving. Kimber says she’s right—all of these people shouldn’t have to die, just the ones who’ve caused this problem. And then he draws his pistol and shoots Tommy. Wow.

Danny, enraged, rushes Kimber and gets a bullet through the chest himself as Tommy staggers backward. Someone shouts for Ada to move, and the sound gets all echoey for a moment. Then Tommy remembers he’s pretty badass and he shoots Kimber perfectly through the head. Woah. Kimber’s men have no idea how to react to that. Tommy informs them that he and Kimber just fought this one-to-one, so I guess they can all go home now. They all look at each other, realise there’s nothing for them to really fight for, and back away, taking Kimber’s body with them. Tommy directs some of his guys to take Danny and Freddie shoulders his giant gun and kisses his wife.

Grace arrives at Campbell’s office and asks what he said to Tommy, to give her away. Campbell tells her about the heartbreak line and tells her she’s broken two hearts now. Three, including hers, she tells him.

Tommy is enduring some seriously rough-looking kitchen table surgery at Jeremiah’s hands. There isn’t a doctor in this neighbourhood they can go to? Jeremiah gets the bullet out, and then everyone gathers around Danny’s body, including Polly, Ada, and Finn. At least his grave’s available again. They raise a glass to him and are quite sad for a bit, and then Tommy reminds them that they’ve won, and so should celebrate. They leave Danny in the back room.

Campbell’s late at the office when CwaSR comes in and announces that Kimber’s dead and the Peakys won. Oh, and Freddie’s free again, and thanks to Campbell pulling all the officers off the streets, he’s now utterly in the wind. Also, since there were no officers around to witness the altercation between the two gangs, the Peakys will get away with murder. As always. Campbell looks wrecked, like he couldn’t have even begun to anticipate this turn of events.

The Peakys celebrate loudly and drunkenly at Harry’s while Arthur gets ready to go bury Danny. Tommy watches them go, then goes back inside.

Campbell gets on the phone to Churchill and tells him he’s made a decision about his future.

Tommy heads to Grace’s and finds her getting ready to leave. She asks him what she can say and he’s not sure. He tells her that someday he’ll throw his gun in the canal and live legit, and she comes over to him. They hold each other’s faces and she whispers that she loves him, but he tells her there’s no chance of anything between them now. She tells him she’ll be in London in a week and invites him to join her, because she has an idea.

Harry’s is quiet when Tommy gets back. Polly offers him a drink and he tells her to bring out the bottle of champagne that’s behind the bar. He tells her it was a good day, because while Kimber’s men were occupied in Manchester, the Lees took all the pitches at the races, so they own the legal betting now. Shelby Bros, Ltd are now the third largest legal betting organisation in the country. That is impressive. He pops the champagne bottle, raises it, and pours a glass for Polly, who smiles sadly, knowing what this victory cost him. She drinks from the glass as he swigs from the bottle, takes a look around, and goes back to the betting room, where he sits down and types out a letter to Grace. In it, he tells her he can’t leave Manchester, because he has responsibilities there, and people to protect and care for. But, he knows that Grace really cares for him, so he’ll consider her idea, which was apparently to go to New York together, and give her his decision in three days.

Except she may very well never get that decision, because while she waits for her train, Campbell shows up and points his pistol at her. While she faces him down, Tommy flips a coin, slaps it down on the table, and we cut to black over the sound of a gunshot.

I’m not sure if this is coming back for another series or if it was a one off, but if it does come back, much as I love the actors, I doubt I’ll watch. It picked up at the end there, but I couldn’t help but feel there was something somewhat lacking. I really didn’t care about any of these people, so I wasn’t invested in their success or failure. If they had died, well, that would have been that, and their victory was equally uninteresting to me. But I’m just one person. What did everyone else think?



2 thoughts on “Peaky Blinders: War and Peace

  1. i disagree slightly with this review- thought it was bloody brilliant. The settings, the acting was phenomenal esp, from cillian murphy (he’s a fantastic actor) and the script was great. I loved it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.