open/close all folders
- Say what you like about Campbell, but his beatdown of Arthur and his rousting of the Bolsheviks show his effectiveness and what an intimidating presence he is.
- Polly showing what a stone-cold badass she is in 1.02—first, she psychs out Campbell by refusing to be intimidated by his manhandling her, instead kissing him because she knows it'll unnerve him. Second, she stands up to Tommy about Ada and confronts him about fixing races behind Billy Kimber's back, even takes a fireplace poker to threaten Tommy with when he burns Ada's letter to Freddie.
- Tommy's bonfire designed entirely to get up Campbell's nose. He even invites a reporter from the Birmingham Dispatch to paint himself as a war hero and Campbell as an invader, the resulting article going straight to Churchill, who calls out Campbell for his failure.
- Tommy's long-con on the Lees, proposing an alliance with Billy Kimber against both the Lees and Campbell's investigation.
- Ada's response to Tommy asking her who the father of her child was: "Rudolph Valentino". As Tommy himself says, no one dares to so much as look the wrong way at him, and here Ada is, sassing her extremely volatile gangster big brother.
- Ada running through Peaky Blinders territory in her wedding dress. If that isn't the biggest "fuck you" to her brothers in existence, I don't know what would be.
- Polly vs. Grace at the Garrison. The entire damned scene, starting with Polly telling Grace they all know about her and drawing her hairpin out. Grace pulls a gun on her, dispensing with the "sweet innocent barmaid" act, which doesn't faze Polly a bit, and she continues telling Grace precisely what she is, a narc, an Ulster girl who hated low people like Polly until she met Tommy. This strikes a nerve with Grace and she puts her gun down, threatens Polly with her fists—to which Polly laughs, replaces her hairpin, and tells Grace to pour them a whiskey, they're more civilized than that.Polly: But I should tell you this—I will never forgive you, or accept you, or take you in. And it's me who runs the business of the heart in this family. As far as I'm concerned, you're a snitch from the parish, and if you're not gone from this city by tomorrow, I'll kill you myself.
- The battle between the Peaky Blinders and Kimber's men isn't won by either side, but by Ada Shelby, pushing her baby carriage into "no man's land" and telling Kimber off for trying to kill her brothers and husband. It's ruined by Kimber getting a little Trigger Happy, but the fact remains that Ada fucking Shelby faced down two dozen trained gangsters bent on killing her family, and she won.
- Tommy scoring a single shot Boom, Headshot! on Billy Kimber
- And before all of that, Kimber's men have the Peaky Blinders outmanned and outgunned. So out comes Freddie Thorne, sporting the last missing machine gun to reconcile with the Shelbys and back up his brothers-in-arms. Kimber's men go from overly confident to nervous in a heartbeat.
- The winner of the Grace Burgess vs. Campbell showdown— Grace, who shoots Campbell through her purse with the derringer he gave her, permanently injuring him and walking away without a scratch.
- The three Shelby brothers swaggering into London, walking into a club owned by notorious Italian gangsters, and causing and winning a huge melee.
- In 2.03, John very quietly and calmly tells Polly off when she refuses to let Michael go to the horse auction with the boys, reminding her that at Michael's age, he had already "killed a hundred men and seen a thousand more die".
- Tommy bypassing Campbell in the chain of command and going straight to Winston Churchill. Not only does Tommy's war record and self-sacrificing nature make Campbell look weak and petty, but Churchill and his advisors all acknowledge that Tommy's request of an international export license is a paltry reward for everything he's done.
- The Peaky Blinders' takeover of the Eden Club, lead by Arthur at his most terrifying.
- Michael and Isaiah throwing down with the racists at the Marquis, proving that badassery runs in all of the assorted Peaky Blinder families (Michael being a Shelby and Polly's son, Isaiah being Jeremiah's son).
- The Epsom Derby in 2.06 is a crowner for the entire Shelby family, but in specific:
- Tommy's plan coming together nearly perfectly: the Field Marshal and Campbell are dead, Sabini's pitches now belong to the Shelbys, and Alfie Solomons is an ally once more. Plus, Tommy escapes execution due to a double-agent in Campbell's Ulster Volunteers, and is on his way to meeting Churchill himself.
- Polly at Epsom, as she corners Campbell in a telephone booth in a crowded betting parlor, shoots him in what is strongly implied to be the genital area, and watches him die. Then caps it off by telling him not to fuck with the Peaky Blinders, and strolling out of Epsom, blood staining her immaculate white dress.
- In a strange way, Tommy writing the letter to be sent in the event of his death qualifies as this, as well as making him come across as weirdly noble.My name is Thomas Shelby, and today, I'm going to kill a man. Today is Derby Day. The murder will take place this afternoon, at the Epsom Races. It may be that I am able to escape after the killing. The odds are not good, which is why I'm writing this letter. I have been forced by agents of the Crown to carry out this murder, and in the event of my own death, I want the following facts to be known: my family is innocent of any involvement, and while some of them may be guilty of other things, I have not shared details of this mission with any of them, and no company assets were used. Agents of the Crown have joined forces with pro-treaty Fenians to arrange this murder. I believe the governments intend to blame the anti-treaty IRA. Therefore, the bullet I fire this afternoon will be the starting gun for civil war in Ireland. The man I've been instructed to kill is Field Marshal Russell, formerly a Black and Tan commander who committed many atrocities in the county of Cork. There is no remorse in my heart at the prospect of his death, however, the conspiracy behind the killing is cause for international concern. Such is the gravity of my secret mission that after I've served my purpose, I believe they intend to kill me. I therefore want to name a particular individual in this letter. The agent who has initiated and orchestrated this crime is Major Chester Campbell of the British Secret Intelligence Service. He chose me for this dirty business as an act of vengeance, prompted by hatred of longstanding. In the event of my death, it is imperative he be brought to justice. If you're reading this, then I'm dead already. I hope that living as you do in a truly free country, you'll be able to make the above facts known to the world.
- Arthur's brutal fight against the Russian spy is a standout moment, and one of the very few times we question if Arthur will prevail.
- The final scene of the first episode: the four leaders of the Shelby family (Tommy, Polly, Arthur, and John) driving their gorgeous Bugatti cars back into Small Heath, returning to where it all began. They enter the tiny old betting shop, now expanded even further to include a vault. Under their coats, it turns out Tommy and Polly have been carrying the $10,000,000 that the Russians gave them, and they enter the vault to place the money atop piles and piles of the rest of the money the family has amassed.
- John and Arthur standing up to Tommy in 3.03. Tommy's gone completely off the rails in the wake of Grace's death and demanded the entire Changretta family wiped out. This includes Mrs. Changretta, who John and Arthur balk at hurting because she was their teacher. They disobey Tommy's rules and allow Mrs. Changretta to board a boat for America instead of killing her, and while they do bring Mr. Changretta to Tommy, they stop him from torturing the old man for what a deranged Tommy claims will be hours and instead Arthur shoots him in the head, giving him a quick and relatively painless death.
- John and Arthur get an earlier one when they shut Polly and Michael up by shooting 12 glass vases in order, dead-center. In the dark. Drunk.
- Linda telling Esme, Polly, and Lizzie about Jessie Eden's walk-out for oppressed female workers and the four women closing down shop to take part in the march.
- Tommy's seemingly indulgent behavior toward Tatiana showing up at his home, drinking his wine, having sex with him, stealing his weapon, threatening to shoot both him and herself, and stealing his car all served a purpose: Tommy now knows how to get into the Russians' safe house and where they'll be keeping the money they owe the Shelbys for the Boston job.
- Michael completing his second kill: stabbing Father Hughes in the throat in revenge for abusing Michael and all the other children, rescuing baby Charles and returning him safely to Tommy.
- Polly's Batman Gambit plan to convince Luca Changretta that she's turned on Tommy, selling him out and setting him up for assassination in exchange for Michael's life. It works flawlessly, Polly tipping off Tommy by putting a black star in his diary on the day the attempt will take place, Tommy evading the assassins, and Polly hiding Michael among the Shelbys' Romany relatives in order to foil any retaliation from Luca.
- Tommy's game of Xanatos Speed Chess in the finale, where he uses Arthur's Disney Death, Mrs. Changretta's knowledge of him, his personal friendship with Alfie Solomons, business contacts in America he's been quietly developing for two years, his prior association with Winston Churchill and Special Branch, and bedding Jessie Eden in order to keep his business empire afloat, survive the Changrettas and the Mafia, and get himself elected MP.