TV Review: Peaky Blinders (Season 4, Episode 2)
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We have waited so long for the Shelby family to be together again under the same roof. And while the first episode of season four provided us with a reason for this unlikely reunion, it is not a happy one at all. Episode one ended with John Shelby being shot right on his doorstep by members of the Italian Mafia. Michael was also wounded and their fate was left to be unveiled in episode two. The second episode of this season has finally pierced the subtle veil of immortality which has been spreading over the Shelby family. Somehow they all managed to survive Inspector Campbell’s plots, the IRA’s games, Sabini and the Russians. While their soldiers and loved ones (yes, we’re still not over Grace’s death) fell victim to the plots of Shelby’s enemies, the family always managed to stay intact. Until now. John Shelby is gone. And after an episode of wild rage, so is Esme with their kids and John’s rings. Michael Gray, meanwhile, is fighting for his life, and you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Polly at this moment - though we can easily understand the horror she is going through as she only recently reunited with her son - and now he might not wake up. While Michael's fate remains unclear, Tommy sets a funeral for John in a traditional Romani fashion. His body is burned in a wagon funeral pyre, while Tommy’s speech finally reveals the truth of what happened to all of them in France. We now know that Tommy, John, Arthur, Danny, Freddie and preacher Jeremiah were convinced that they’d die in France. They sang The Bleak Midwinter and the attack they expected never happened. It was then that they all agreed to treat the second life they were given as “extra”. We finally understand the significance of In The Bleak Midwinter — the hymn, which was sang at Tommy and Grace’s wedding and the prayer Arthur muttered with the rope around his neck. The Bleak Midwinter is their phoenix song of rebirth and we’re sure we’ll be hearing it at least one more time this season.
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