Sometimes you really look forward to watching the series finale of a gripping drama on TV, but unfortunately it turns out to be a right big letdown. ITV1’s Prey(series one) and The Replacement from BBC One, are two recent examples of being very guilty of this. Nevertheless, some do indeed live up to the much trailed hype, therefore I give you BBC Two’s utterly brilliant Peaky Blinders!
The last episode of series four aired this week and it was everything that I had hoped for. It was superbly written by creator Stephen Knight. We had spine tingling suspense throughout the episode, we had snippets of glitz and glamour puncturing the dramatic action, and we also had some downright glorious bloody violence as the mafia finally met their match in the form of the Shelby family.
I wrote the end of the last paragraph with some slight hesitation because in some quarters, this family crime drama has been criticised for being too violent. This criticism is wrong though because none of the violence say for example in last night’s episode, was gratuitous in nature. The brutal violence is intrinsic to this drama because it is intrinsic to the Shelby way of life. Furthermore, it gives the programme a rawness and edginess quality that is appealing to watch.
Last night’s action centred around the final showdown between Tommy Shelby(Cillian Murphy) and his adversary of this series, mafia boss Luca Changretta(Adrien Brody). The backdrop and spectacle to their showdown was via a brutal and very bloody boxing fight between the two characters Goliath(Dino Kelly) and Bonnie Gold(Jack Rowan). The plot beautifully twisted and turned as we continued to watch. The first big shock was us being told that Arthur Shelby(played by the fantastic Paul Anderson) was dead……..I certainly fell for it!
Was I alone when we saw Lizzie(Natasha O’Keeffe), Polly(Helen McCrory), Ada(Sophie Rundle) and Linda(Kate Phillips), all stood together in the ladies chatting to one another, thinking to myself, one if not all of these women are going to go for a right burton here??? The action was that tense and the editing so on point that it really felt like any of this could happen.
Like with all good stories, equilibrium was restored in the end as the Shelby’s won the battle with the menacing Luca Changretta and his mates. I say his mates, but in the end they all ended up deserting him. I thought Adrien Brody played the role of this villain character superbly. Lets just say he certainly put the wind up me a few times, what with his menacing New York Italian twang and his deathly stares. I thought he was a great addition to the cast this series.
Another shock saw the demise of the brilliant Alfie Solomons character played so well by Tom Hardy. Ultimately, he double crossed Tommy and so he had to go, but I found myself feeling rather sad that we’ll never get to see him ever again in this great show(unless he does a Bobby from Dallas).
The other main storyline at the end which was more humorous, saw Tommy Shelby becoming a Member of Parliament. This was due to him gaining the trust of female union agitator Jessie Eden(Charlie Murphy), whilst at the same time doing a deal with the British government.
I sat there at the end marvelling at what a performance I had just witnessed from Irish actor Cillian Murphy. It was one the finest performances that I’ve ever seen from a lead male in a British drama. He really is the glue that holds all of this show together. It’s quite simple, without the majestic Cillian Murphy, there would be no Peaky Blinders in my view. The sheer quality of his performance was that great that I felt like applauding him as the ending credits rolled.
Peaky Blinders, series four, has to go down as one of the TV shows of the year without question. It’s big, it’s ballsy and it deserves high critical praise. Roll on 2019 I say, because series 5 has already been commissioned! 5/5.