Peaky Blinders: Season 1 Episode 4 Review
So, this episode was interesting because we finally got to learn more about John. Out of the brothers, I feel like he’s the most neglected in terms of screen time and exposition (except for Finn, and it took me a while to realize that he was actually their brother, so that’s saying something).
In this episode, John decides he wants to marry a prostitute named Lizzie Stark (who also happens to be the prostitute Tommy has been seeing since he got back from the war. Awkward, huh?). They really seem to have genuine feelings for each other (or, at least, John has feelings for Lizzie; it’s a bit harder to tell how she really feels), so it kind of sucks that Tommy decided to bust up that relationship. Basically, Tommy reveals to John that Lizzie has continued to work after becoming engaged to him.
I feel like it’s a bit harsh for John to dump her over that. Like, let’s keep it real, she needs to support herself. How is she supposed to earn money if she can’t work? Presumably John would support her if they got married, but they haven’t gotten married yet. I get that John and Tommy feel that she’s been disloyal, but what is she supposed to do?
Honestly, I think Tommy was just looking for a reason to marry John to one of the Lee girls. Like, all props to John, if my sibling (not that I have any) tried to force me to marry someone, I would not take it as calmly as John did. However, in fairness, I think John just wanted a pretty woman who could take care of his kids.
Anyway, as I implied, the Lees and the Shelbys make peace in this episode, which is good because I don’t think the Shelbys want any more hand grenades in their cars.
Man, was that scene ever STRESSFUL.
When Tommy came out and saw Finn in the car, I was immediately like “something TERRIBLE is going to happen.” But, fortunately, we didn’t have to see a little boy get blown up in this episode. THANK GOODNESS! When Tommy is holding Finn after the grenade goes off and says, “that’s why you should never pretend to be me,” I was actually kind of moved. I mean, that was an EMOTIONAL moment. Plus, it kind of gives us an indication of Tommy sees himself and how he thinks about his actions in the world. He acknowledges that he has to do dangerous things for his family, but he doesn’t want them to have to face the same darkness. He understands that what he does is bad, but also realizes it has to be done and he is the only person who can do it.
Speaking of the Lees, we learned that the Shelbys are related to the Lees on their mother’s side. So I guess that that confirms that they’re Romani? I was a tad bit confused about that before. I hope we learn more about their mother in a later episode; we know very little about the family’s background at this point. I also realized that the Shelbys are Catholic in this episode! (Well, nominally Catholic I guess. Based on their lifestyles, I don’t think they’re practicing). I’m glad I figured that out because it was kind of bugging me. It looked like they were visiting a Catholic church, but some Protestant churches use similar iconography, so it’s hard to tell. I’m guessing this comes from their Irish heritage, as I imagine the vast majority of people in England would be Anglicans at this time.
But this conversation is completely irrelevant, so let me move on!
On another note, poor Freddie and Ada! I mean, I’m still slightly annoyed with Freddie for not leaving the city when he had a chance (I still don’t understand why they stayed all that time), but he didn’t deserve to be dragged away from his son! I mean, COME ON! I’m assuming Grace was the one who turned him in. I get that she’s a double agent and all that, but, if I were in her shoes, I would have let Freddie have his moment with his baby. Like, it’s just common decency! Also, she’s clearly starting to like the Shelbys (one Shelby in particular); why can’t she just let it go??????
Also, I have to recognize John for delivering the best line of the episode. When he’s like “you do pick your times, Ada!” when she’s going into labor, I just burst out laughing. It was so great!
Originally published at https://fantastical-musings.blogspot.com on December 19, 2019.