Attempting to predict the future is a dicey business at best, but as Peaky Blinders approaches the beginning of filming for Series 3, here are my best attempts.
- Tommy Marries Grace — For me, this one is a no-brainer. Tommy and Grace fell in love, a moment that was solidified in The Garrison the night they saved each others lives. They both tried to get over it: Grace went to America and married; Tommy tried to move on, even having an affair with May. In the end, however, they came back to each other. That Tommy is fond of May is clear, but he doesn’t love her — and he’d planned to end his relationship with her even before seeing Grace. Some are predicting that Tommy will marry May for her rank, but Tommy Shelby “likes to take his fights onto the mud,” to quote Freddie Thorne. If he’s fighting the British class system, as Steven Knight suggests, he’ll want to do it on his terms. (That’s part of the challenge for Tommy.) It’s possible May will return, but it won’t be as a serious love interest.
- Tommy and Grace Will Have a Baby — Tommy is always described as someone who “isn’t afraid to die.” Really, though, he’s had nothing to lose. When he marries Grace and when they have a child, Tommy will have a lot to lose. I think Knight wants to see how Tommy handles this. I’ll go even further: I predict the child will be a girl (too many boys already), and I predict that rather than Grace singing to her (though I expect that), the big moment will be when Grace walks in on Tommy singing to her. As Annabelle Wallis told Digital Spy, “He [Cillian Murphy] actually wanted to get up there himself and sing. I told him we should do a duet in the next series. A nice little duet on the bar.” I’d argue for Tommy’s solo in the nursery.
- Grace Goes Back to Carrying a Gun — Another reason I think Tommy marries Grace is of her past as a British agent (although I’d argue this factors into Knight’s thinking more than Tommy’s). From the end of Series 2, we know that Churchill has plans for Tommy, which means his career of political intrigue will continue. I think Grace will participate in that. (I’m not quite willing to say that her return is part of Churchill’s conspiracy, but I think a case could be made for it.)
- Churchill’s “Job” Involves the Assassination of Michael Collins — In the Series 2, Episode 1 script, Knight mentions a picture of Michael Collins in the Black Lion that “will be important much later.” Collins was killed in 1922, and his death remains a mystery. I think that’s where we’re headed next — in addition to whatever business Shelby Brothers Ltd. takes on.
- Polly Rejects Grace (Just as She Promised She Would) But Comes to Accept Her — I would argue that this will be the focus of the “family business” in Series 3. The scene involving Grace and Polly was electric; I predict that will be explored more fully.
And here are my other family predictions:
- Arthur Deteriorates but Lives — Since the beginning, there has been fan speculation that Arthur will die. He may at some point, but not now. The character is just too rich, and he provides an essential contrast with Tommy. Plus, he is the best illustration of the lack of treatment strategies for mental illness.
- John’s Marriage Collapses — Things were rough with Esme all season; at the end, she was laughing with Johnny Dogs; she has made clear that she doesn’t not share the Shelby’s desire for empire. And her status as a marginal member of the family puts her in an impossible position. John’s wandering eye has also received increasing emphasis. So I’ll predict that the marriage ends; that John takes up with Lizzie; and that the problems with the Lee family return.
- Finn Develops a Substance Abuse Problem — If you watch, you’ll see Finn discreetly hitting the bottle since Series 1. And he’s the one who introduced Arthur to Tokyo. I don’t see this story as getting much time — this show already has many rich story lines — but I think this is where Finn is headed, in part to illustrate what growing up in the Peaky Blinders can do to a child and in part to differentiate this generation from the ones who fought in World War I.
- Michael Begins to Fashion Himself as the Leader of the Junior Peaky Blinders — We know that Michael and spoiled and childish. When Polly remarks, “You look just like your father” as Michael emerges in one of his father’s suits, which fits him perfectly, Polly tells him that his father “fell in with the wrong crowd.” I predict that will happen again, and that, in a Sopranos moments, Tommy will have to make a hard decision. Whether this will play out over one season or two, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the end of Michael’s character this series.
- Ada Continues to Stay Away from her Family to Provide Insight into the Labor Movement — Last season, Ada’s character didn’t have much to do. I think that will change this season. I don’t see her fully returning to the family (although in accepting Tommy’s house she has), but I think she will provide another perspective on the Shelby family’s undertakings.
- Arthur Shelby Sr. Returns — I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arthur Sr. return to capitalize on his sons’ hard work and create havoc in general.
So those are my best guesses. I don’t gamble for a reason — I’m not very good at it. And I’d be curious to hear the predictions of others.
Now, just get the show on the air….
Publication Date: 6 Sept. 2015
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