Liam Hoofe reviews the third episode of Peaky Blinders season 6…
In the same week as International Women’s Day, Peaky Blinders shifted its focus onto the women behind the gangsters in the third episode of season six, ‘Gold’. Ada, Esme, and Lizzie were the main attraction in this week’s episode, but it was a younger girl whose fate is going to have had the biggest impact on Tommy going forward.
The main talking point coming away from this episode is no doubt going to be the death of Tommy’s daughter, Ruby, at the very end. Tommy spends the episode desperately trying to find out the curse that has been put on his daughter and how he can lift it. This reintroduces Esme to the show, with her eventually informing Tommy that it was his own actions that have indirectly led to the situation. The impact of the death will no doubt send shockwaves through the show, and it will likely redefine Tommy who, once again, has lost an important woman in his life.
The scenes with Esme were an interesting addition to the show. The more spiritual side of the show is not going to be for everyone, and I fall into that category. Seeing Tommy run around the mountains felt like it went on a little too long and took up too much of the episode’s runtime. That said, the emphasis on Tommy’s want to play god was not lost on me, and it definitely furthered helped to shape a man who is clearly wrestling with his demons.
Ruby’s death will be what everyone is talking about it, but Ada Thorne was the star of this episode. Sophie Rundle is fantastic in this role and Ada has established herself as a woman not to be messed with. Watching her dismantle the fascists was one of the season’s best scenes, and everyone else played their part fantastically. The rise of fascism taking place in the show is horrifying to watch. Realising that this was something playing out so openly is a sobering thought, and the fact that people like Moseley and Nelson still have an influence all these years later is even more so.
Elsewhere, Arthur Shelby got himself together for five minutes and went on a trip to Liverpool with Isiah and some heavies. The purpose of this trip was to hand out a beating to an opium dealer called Hayden Stagg. This finally brought about one of the most anticipated moments of the season – the arrival of Stephen Graham, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Graham was electric as he tore into Arthur’s demons. Graham delivered a short speech about the effects of addiction and the impact of war. It was powerful stuff and would have stolen the show had it not been for Ada. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of Stagg and given the way the scene played out, it does feel as though Arthur’s decision could come back to bite them.
On the whole, Gold was a mixed bag of an episode. Ada was exceptional here and looks like she could really step up as the family patriarch, while Stephen Graham’s debut did not disappoint. The scenes with Esme felt a little too mystical though, and it gives the entire episode a little bit of an imbalance overall.