Tensions are high as the war between the Shelbys and the Changrettas rumbles on, with the Shelbys hunkered down in Small Heath for safety. We’re treated to a shot of the Shelby men strutting through the Small Heath streets accompanied by an anachronistic rock song – it’s a classic Peaky Blinders trope and there haven’t been enough of those moments this series.
Arthur is invited to a memorial tea by the mother of a boy whose death he was responsible for. The Shelbys see through the obvious ploy to get Arthur on his own, and place armed men in strategic positions in order to ambush The Changrettas, who they suspect are behind it. At the last moment, they realise that this isn’t the trap they thought it was. Instead it is a distraction to keep all the Shelbys busy while Luca Changretta visits Michael in hospital. Luca holds a gun to Michael’s head and pulls the trigger, except it is unloaded. Luca tells Michael to tell his mother that they have a deal.
The Changrettas just wanted to demonstrate to Polly how easy it would be for them to kill Michael if she doesn’t keep up her end of the deal – to deliver Tommy to them. Michael now knows about the deal and he is torn between his loyalty to his mother and his loyalty to Tommy. He doesn’t tell Tommy about the deal for now, but I get the feeling that he wants to. Polly might be having second thoughts about the consequences of making a deal with the Changrettas now she’s seen what will happen if she doesn’t follow through on her end of the agreement.
May Carleton returns hoping to find Tommy a changed man after the death of his wife and brother, and she seems disappointed to find that he is exactly the same. After Tommy and Lizzie’s encounter by the canal, Lizzie is furious at the return of May, and angrily gets drunk in the office. Polly finds her and reads her tea leaves, warning her that drinking so much whisky isn’t good for the baby she can see in the leaves. If Lizzie is pregnant with Tommy’s baby, that’s going to complicate his life even further, and make her a prime target for the Changrettas.
Tom Hardy returns as Alfie Solomons and manages to steal the show in two short scenes, injecting some much-needed comic relief into the show. His portrayal of Solomons as eccentric, volatile and downright crazy is spot on yet again, and I can’t wait to see more of him in the next two episodes. His quip about Aberama Gold’s hair was my personal highlight. Alfie Solomons is in Small Heath to pitch his terrifyingly huge boxing protegé against Aberama Gold’s son Bonnie, a prospect which Bonnie seems to relish.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger as Tommy drives off in his car, followed by a van full of Changretta’s men, watched by Polly. The series is headed towards its conclusion, and it’s going to be explosive.