Peaky Blinders Episode 5 (of 6)

I review the penultimate episode of BBC Two’s latest period drama, Peaky Blinders. Episode spoilers follow…

Peaky Blinders

Well, after a slightly disappointing drop in quality in the fourth episode, Peaky Blinders comes out all guns blazing with the fifth episode of the series, and in our penultimate episode is really where things start to go from very good, to great. This show could well end up being one of the best new dramas of 2013, right up there with the likes of Orphan Black. This show has been absolutely stunning so far and out of all the new shows this season, I think it’s easily one of the ones that’s most deserving of a second season – with preferably more episodes.

Things take a surprising twist this episode as we move back to the main storyarc that kicked this series into motion, and that is the mistaken robbery of the guns. The aftermath of Ada giving birth isn’t given as much attention as I thought it would, which is good – because to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of that subplot. However, the rest of the Episode is as usual top notch quality (of course, minus the accents, but if you’ve stuck with the show thus far then accents won’t be much of a problem for you), as Cillian Murphy, Sam Neil and Annabelle Wallis, the three main stars deliver some stunning performances as the series nears its conclusion.

If you asked me here to predict where this series is going in the last episode, then I wouldn’t have a clue. This, show manages to be very unpredictable indeed, with several threads needing to be wrapped up that I’m slightly worried whether it will do them justice in the last episode. Whilst we may have dealt (seemingly) with the Italians and the Lees for now, The Peaky Blinders still have to worry about Kimber, the possible retaliation from the IRA after the death of two members sent to buy the guns from Tommy Shelby, and of course Inspector Campbell, who currently has the guns – the items that he came for, but isn’t quite up for leaving Birmingham just yet, as he has a few scores to settle with Tommy – who has now become involved with double-agent Grace who has at last chosen a side, taking Tommy over Campbell, much to the Inspector’s regret – because as we find out this episode, Campbell had affections for Grace, which was something that pretty much came out of nowhere. There was literally no build up, no foreshadowing – it was just dropped on us unexpectedly.

Minus the teased confrontation between Grace, Tommy and Campbell, the conclusion of Episode 5 could also have easily been the conclusion of the entire series, ending on an most uplifting moment so far – that’s probably just going to be merely the calm before the storm due to the fact that I’m sure we’re not done yet with the enemies of the Shelby Family – just as it looks like we’re not done with the Freddie/Ada subplot yet.

Something else that I also felt Peaky Blinders handled well was Arthur’s (Paul Anderson) storyarc in this episode. With the introduction of an all new character in the form of his and Tommy’s father, things start to get a bit more interesting leading to a slightly darker turn when Arthur tries (and fails) to commit suicide as his dad tricks him into handing over money from the Shelby family. This is something that’s dealt with well and doesn’t feel as though it’s just a filler storyline designed to add some meat to the series, providing a decent spot of character development for Arthur which is good as it’s nice to see Peaky Blinders not focusing everything on the three lead actors, Murphy, Wallis and Neil, and giving some of the lesser known stars a chance in the spotlight.

Overall them, the fifth episode of Peaky Blinders is superb and may well be one of the best episodes yet. Gripping and enthralling stuff, this is just what I need to keep me entertained and I’ll be really disappointed to see this show end in the sixth episode, but at the same time – I can’t wait to see how it all gets wrapped up.

With that out of the way, look out for reviews of Orphan Black Episode 5 and Agents of SHIELD Episode 3 tomorrow. They both air in the UK tonight, and I’m eagerly waiting to see how they turn out – Orphan Black moreso than Agents of SHIELD, though – as the first two episodes of the show have been somewhat lacklustre.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

4 comments on “Peaky Blinders Episode 5 (of 6)

  1. Thanks for continuing to remind us how easy it is to keep television viewers entertained. The “surprising twists” are sloppy and schlocky, the “character development” is baffling (when it’s not downright ridiculous), and the loose ends are looking more untie-able by the second. If this is “superb,” I’d hate to see the dregs.

    • Well, everybody’s got their own opinion, I guess. I’m really enjoying this one though. Just a question though – if you think this show it terrible, why are you still watching it?

  2. Campbell’s affections for Grace came out of nowhere? Look at their meetings, from the very first. In the art gallery in episode 1 Campbell notices that Tommy has attracted her attention as a war hero. At the opera Campbell gets hot and bothered at the thought of her ‘doing anything’ (as instructed) to get close to Tommy. At all their meetings he touches her, and she pulls away. He plays the ‘friend of your father’ role – but there is something sexual in his response, which she senses and which makes her uncomfortaable. Campbell’s rage against Tommy is, as he admits, ‘personal’ – the explosive desire of a passionate but repressed man, expressed through violent rage against a rival. In other words, Campbell’s confession of love in Episode 5 was well-prepared. When it came it was sudden, but it absolutely did not come out of nowhere. That could stand as a comment on so many of the turns and twists in this beautifully crafted programme. We none of us can guess what’s going to happen in the final episode – but whatever does, it will not have come out of nowhere.

    • Came to comment, but you’ve said almost exactly what I wanted to. Have seen people complain that it was out of the blue elsewhere and had to wonder if they are actually any “good” at reading the gestures and tone of any particular scene. I had the prospect of Campbell being interested in Grace in a way other than professionally or fatherly from very early on the the series.

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