‘I’m planning on getting married’ said Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) in the finale of Peaky Blinders’ second season back in November 2014. After a gruelling wait filled with guessing whether the bride-to-be would be Tommy’s old flame Grace (Annabelle Wallis) or wealthy widow May (Charlotte Riley), our questions have finally been answered. I think the majority of the audience breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed in the Season 3 premiere that Grace was Tommy’s bride, and not May. Let’s be honest, we all knew it’d be Grace.
With a jawline sharper than the razorblades in his cap, Cillian Murphy returns as Tommy Shelby at the helm of a fantastic cast. Helen McCrory returns as Polly, the iron-willed matriarch of the Shelby clan, sure to give an outstanding performance this season. Paul Anderson reprises his role as Arthur, Tommy’s troubled brother and second-in-command of the Peaky Blinders; Arthur now has a wife to keep him on the right(ish) path, but will she come between him and his family? Likely returns this season include Tommy’s Hackney business partner Alfie Solomons, played by Tom Hardy, and Wallis’ May, whose ties to the business could cause problems for Tommy’s marriage.
Set two years after the Season 2 finale, the Season 3 premiere sees the newlyweds travel straight from the church to the reception in their new Warwickshire manor where they live with their son Charles; things have drastically changed since we last checked in with the Shelby clan. Their book-keeping business Shelby Brothers ltd. is making huge profits after their competition was ousted last season, and things genuinely seem to be going well. This is Peaky Blinders, however, so the placidity soon comes to an end, not that there was much to begin with. Threats to the family, both foreign and domestic, soon begin to show their hands; Russian threats and acquaintances appear, while Tommy’s cousin Michael’s ambitions could pose a threat to Tommy’s leadership. It wouldn’t be a Shelby wedding without the good old gratuitous violence that we’ve all come to love; Tommy’s brother Arthur silently assassinates a Russian threat to the family a few minutes after his wedding toast by the order of the “Peaky fookin’ Bloinders”. The episode ends with the clan heading back to Birmingham to the business, a business whose success is sure to be challenged by the coming drama of the season.
The year-and-a-half long wait for the return of the show was also an excruciating wait for the return of the show’s stellar soundtrack. With Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ ominous Red Right Hand opening the episode, we are welcomed back with open arms by the familiar theme. The same week of their new album release, Radiohead join the soundtrack this episode with ‘You and Whose Army?’. The familiar bass-heavy soundtrack can be expected this season to compliment the bleak industrial Birmingham backdrop, with bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood expected to lend their rhythms to the show again. The music of the late, great David Bowie, who was a fan of the show, has been rumoured to feature this season, as if the soundtrack wasn’t astonishing enough.
It’s been a long wait, but it’s marvellous to be back in Birmingham with the Peaky Blinders, and this season promises to be the most dramatic and thrilling yet.
Image courtesy of The Independent.