BBC’s Peaky Blinders
Directed by Anthony Byrne
Written by Steven Knight
* For a recap & review of 6×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×04, click here.
Tommy and Lizzie rush Ruby into a hospital. They’re cautioned that the girl has “consumption,” so everybody’s masked up and trying to keep the Shelbys safe, just in case. Tommy makes a scene and Lizzie calms him, telling everybody that her husband’s “recovering from addiction” and it’s just that making him wild. Naturally, Tommy and Lizzie have to be checked over to be sure they haven’t contracted anything themselves. It’d probably be best if they generally had a look at Tommy, not just an x-ray. A while later the Shelbys find out Ruby has a tubercular infection in one of her lungs. It was caught early, but there’s still a long, troubled road ahead for poor little Ruby. That also doesn’t stop Tommy from continuing to believe there was a curse placed on the Shelby family, and he’s determined to find out who did it to them.
Tommy enlists his sister Ada to do his business in London while he takes care of other matters. This sends the reluctant, socialist Ada to see Ms. Mitford, walking straight into the lion’s den. But Diana is highly disappointed it isn’t Tommy coming to see her. Oh, my. That’ll definitely be interesting to watch play out further. Diana is proper nasty, talking about racist genetics and colonialism flippantly. She insults the Irish-Romani a bit, though Ada doesn’t sit by idly, either. She goes on to reference her bisexuality, too, before mentioning “The Great Cleansing” and that she thinks “the Gypsies should be spared.” Good heavens!
Tommy’s busy heading into the countryside to visit Esme Shelby-Lee for the first time in a long time. Eventually the two meet again. Tommy roundabout asks Esme whether she placed a curse on his family, but he doesn’t think, by her reaction, it was her doing. Before he can leave, Esme stops him and says she does know something about what’s been going on.
Ada continues waiting for Jack Nelson to arrive while dealing with both Diana and Oswald. She also makes very clear who’s holding the power in their meeting. Soon, Jack arrives with Gina, seeming a bit too close for niece and uncle. He’s concerned about the Shelbys, whom Gina claims are “all witches and sorcerers who speak freely with the dead.” Quite a racially hostile room for Ada to be in with her Irish-Romani bloodline. There are wild politics banging around in that place. Ada does what she can to represent her brother and the Shelbys as a whole, in spite of all the hostility against her.
She continues her brother’s business in his absence down at Shelby Co. Ltd. First order of business? A drink of whiskey. Later, she talks with Isiah about his position in the company, asking him to go to Liverpool to deal with people stealing their opium and selling it off. She further charges Isiah with taking the 10-days-clean-Arthur along. Ada’s also changing Tommy’s plans to kill the person selling the stolen opium, Hadyn Stagg (Stephen Graham), deciding that a beating will suffice.
Lizzie gets together with Ada, telling her that Ruby may now have tuberculosis in both lungs. No good news for the Shelbys at the moment. Next, Ruby has to take gold treatments, sure to make her more ill before any potential recovery whatsoever. Lizzie’s glad Tommy isn’t around because all he wants to do is fight somebody, constantly playing soldier whether it’s in the hospital or in the streets. She is a tough woman with a lot on her shoulders, which makes the scene perfect as Ada’s in the same situation perpetually as a Shelby. All the same, Lizzie wishes she could make contact with Tommy, angry that he’s off with “horse thieves and sorcerers” in the woods instead of at the hospital with their daughter.
In Liverpool, Arthur joins Isiah and his cousins to visit the warehouse where they’ve stored the opium. They ask around about Stagg and the workers don’t seem to love the man, neither is anybody giving up info on him. Shortly, Haydn returns, confronted by Arthur on “Black Star business.” The Peaky Blinders know all about what Stagg’s been doing and he needs to be punished. Arthur’s ready to beat Haydn when the latter brings up his heroin addiction. Haydn was a soldier in WWI, he got addicted to morphine and knows the struggle of addiction. His little speech gets through to Arthur, deep down: “Don‘t build mountains. Walk like it‘s a flat plane; easy step by easy step.” When Isiah wants to continue the beating he’s stopped by Arthur, who’s felt a lot of truth in Stagg’s words.
Esme takes Tommy deeper into the mountains where they have to go on horseback to their next destination. She’s bringing him back to his Irish Traveller roots in a way. Eventually they reach an Irish graveyard out in the wilderness. Tommy talks about wanting to “make amends” for all the horrible things he’s done over the years. Esme tells him about a sapphire used to place a curse; a stone connected to Tommy’s past, his dead wife Grace, and a dead little girl named Barwell. Tommy wants to find the dead girl’s mother, whom he believes placed the curse on him, so he can pay her off to rescind the curse. Esme will help if she gets gold in return: “In uncertain times, gold is always certain.”
But when Tommy gets back to the hospital and Lizzie he discovers his daughter died while he was gone. Utter tragedy.