'Peaky Blinders' season 5 episode 3 review: Who will win the battle between gangster Thomas Shelby and fascist Oswald Mosley?
Thomas Shelby faces danger from all sides in this racy episode. Cillian Murphy is the ultimate mafioso but Sam Claflin is truly the nemesis he wasn't expecting.
The review contains spoilers for 'Peaky Blinders' Season 5 Episode 3 — 'Strategy'.
Fascism is in the air as 'Peaky Blinders' snucks out with its third episode on BBC One. Thomas Shelby faces danger from all sides. In the rip-roaring struggle for power, Cillian Murphy is the ultimate mafioso, but Sam Claflin is a nemesis he wasn't expecting. "The man we're about to meet is the devil," Tommy catalogs Oswald Mosley before his devil-may-care entry. In Tommy's trademark style, he lights a cigarette and blows the smoke away.
All of Tommy's rivals seem to be in the same boat. Thomas quizzes Mosley about his connections with Jimmy Avern, the head of Billy Boys. But, that's not the only danger for the Shelby family. Political colors pervade into the crime-riddled milieu and Tommy's strategy seems to fizzle out.
The episode begins in high spirits with Tommy and Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) strutting down their way to St. Hilda's Orphanage in Birmingham. Cillian Murphy makes hearts skip a beat in his sinfully debonair look as he shows off his sacrilegious side. In a class move, he slams spectacles on the table and screams: "Look at me!!!" Dressed in black from top to bottom, she spectacularly threatens, "Listen for my footsteps."
It's a special day for the Shelbys. Polly celebrates her 45th birthday and Tommy raises a toast: "45 years old, and still breaking hearts!" Tommy insists Polly visit Aberama Gold. "Why me?" she asks, and Tommy brashly breaks it to her: "Because Aberama Gold is in love with you. The smell of your perfume will ease his pain."
Thomas exudes power in every scene as he gives orders to each of his family members. He is still the main man, who has to run the show. As expected, Linda (Kate Phillips) reveals her plans to leave Arthur (Paul Anderson) and he seethes with anger. The family is against her plea for divorce and Tommy declares, "Marry a Shelby, stay f**king married!" He also warns his brother: "Arthur, do not let these people get inside your head."
However, the crazy side of Arthur takes over as he tracks down Linda’s Quaker friend and suffocates him to death. Beating his chest, he cries out loud, "I am a God-fearing man, and there is good in my heart but these hands belong to the devil." A visually enticing scene, it manifests how love can turn a man into a heathen and leaves onlookers in a daze.
No matter how villainous he may be, he still has his heart in the right place. The fifth season charms its way with another unforgettable moment as Annabelle Wallis comes back as a beautiful ghost. The makers pay tribute to the iconic sing-a-song scene from season one. "Happy or sad, Thomas? I warned you, I will break your heart." Tommy overhears. He still has only one on his mind. Yes, Tommy just cannot let Grace go.
His relationship with his wife Lizzie (Natasha O'Keeffe) is just a give-and-take deal both try to fulfill their own desires. "People are loyal to those who pay their wages. So I'll be loyal to you but this is the deal," Lizzie tells Thomas, as the two share a steamy scene in bed.
Eager to avenge his son's death, Aberama (Aidan Gillen) goes wild to hunt down the Billy Boys. He manages to slash one of the members' face in a brutal scene and sends him back with a message: "When the time comes for his crucifixion, it will be me who drives in the nails." Fans may not be able to forget the chilling episode as he pours piping hot tar on his face.
In a clever twist, when the Billy Boys slam open Gold's door to take revenge, a bomb blows up right in their faces. It's a trap, but the leader Jimmy McCavern seems to be pleased. "So, Tommy Shelby, it's war that you want. It's war you shall have," he smirks as flames rise in the air. Thomas needs a grand strategy to move the Billy Boys and Mosley out of his way.
The episode is yet another one to follow suit in the brilliance of 'Peaky Blinders'. Get set to be impressed as one masterpiece shot floats after another on the screen.
Missed the review of the second episode? Read it here: 'Peaky Blinders' Season 5 Episode 2 — 'Black Cats'.