by S.A. Prince
What good is it go gain the whole world, yet lose your soul?
That scripture in Matthew 8:36 is the central theme of season 3 of the Peaky Blinders, and we knew this season had to be baroque, as equally beautiful and abstract and diametrically opposed to itself. Let’s not forget the end of season 2, where the entire Peaky Blinder enterprise was almost lost on the backroad of a backroad next to God’s vastness. “In the bleak midwinter.” That’s an inside kicker you’d only understand if you have watched the previous seasons.
If you have not, here’s the 411 on the Peaky Blinders. They are a gypsy-Catholic street gang from Birmingham, England. Led by Thomas Shelby who is assisted by his brothers Arthur and John, the Peaky Blinders have worked their way up through the crab-in-the-bucket rancor of the English underworld. The Peaky Blinders’ strength is in their sense of family, but in season that’s put through the fire and tried by both God and the Devil operating through others.
I’m a film student, so I look at these shows vastly differently than most. There are key things that many viewers don’t notice, but if affects the viewing experience. These “key” things are what separates the Peaky Blinders and the House of Cards from many other shows. The show can only go as far as its writing. Writing is typically noticed more in sitcoms, because of the dry jokes that you can see coming from a mile away. Writing in a show like the Peaky Blinders is much harder to appreciate if you aren’t aware of it. It’s the metaphors, and the conversation that create strong bonds waiting to be torn apart and thrown asunder. It’s the keen digs at issues we are now facing as a society, issues like women’s rights, child molestation, and mental health which we fall short of addressing. It’s the statements like “All religion is a foolish answer to a foolish question” spoken by Thomas Shelby in a compartmentalized rage, in a way that only Thomas Shelby can do, and it sends chills up your spine while making the hair stand up on your neck.
In season 3 of the Peaky Blinders we see the gypsy gang fighting an uphill battle against an elusive and ominous entity. Thomas’ desire is to legitimize the family business, and of course it is. Who wants to look over their shoulders for their entire life? The only problem is that the road to legitimacy is long and windy with a lot of underhanded deals along the way. In season 3 you’ll see a coming of age for the gang. All the characters have grown and morphed, and the gang struggles to trust each other and those outside of the family. You can see season 3 on Netflix right now.