First rule of Fight Club – don’t talk about Fight Club
Second rule of Fight Club – don’t talk about Fight Club
Third rule of Fight Club – Take the family’s money to open a dodgy casino, then do a runner.*
Another episode and another Bradford-based location standing for Brum. This week it was the turn of Undercliffe Cemetery which doubled as St Andrews churchyard, and looked like Boot Hill. Did the Beeb’s location scouts even venture to the atmospheric Warstone Lane with its catacombs, or Key Hill? It didn’t remotely resemble the Midlands, but could have worked well in a Bronte adaptation.
Rant over. Back to episode five: Ada is still traumatised that Freddie the Horny Bolshevik is rotting in prison while she and her baby are rotting in a bed-sit, and refusing Aunt Polly-Queen of Darkness’ charity baskets of rotting vegetables. ‘Babies don’t have principles’ sniffs AP – Obviously this is in a time before Stewie Griffin.
Tommy tries to sell the guns back to the IRA while staging a double-cross, which inevitably goes wrong. This is because he uses Grace, the world’s worst secret agent/ singer/ whatever as an accomplice. All she has to do is point a gun, but she shoots one IRA goon while Tommy has to smash in the face of the other WITH A SPITOON!!!! What a disgusting way to depart this mortal coil. Nice one Grace. Still, the Gods take note and Grace’s punishment is to be proposed to by C.I.Campbell; the disgusting nature of this development cancels out all her murders. She refuses, but the mental flashbacks will last forever…
*Meanwhile dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks-Arthur Shelby runs into his dear ole Da in an illegal boxing den. Arthur Snr is a low down loser; drunk and dangerous to know as we see when he challenges his own son to fight club. ‘I don’t want to fight you Dad’ wails Arthur as daddy proceeds to knock seven bells out of him. It reminds me of the Competitive Dad sketch in The Fast Show. Arthur Snr would whip even Tyler Durden in a bout:
Yup, the fight was obviously a tactic to part Arthur Junior with his last living brain cell; having stolen £500 from the Shelby kitty (although ‘stolen’ is a bit rich where the Shelbys are concerned), to finance the rotten venture, Arthur Snr runs off with the cash (but not before beating up Arthur Jr again in public – and leaving him heartbroken). In a scene of tragic-comic excellence, Arthur Jr tries and fails to hang himself. Paul Anderson who plays Arthur has been brilliant in Peaky Blinders and I really hope we get to see him in more stuff.
Tommy still doesn’t know Grace told Campbell the where-abouts of Freddie… and the guns. All he knows is that she killed for him and that brought out all his Tom-Cat feelings, especially when he needed a place to lie low from the police. Grace duly sneaks him back to her place.
So obviously, Tommy and Grace proceed to make the two-backed-beast in highly stylised fashion. I’m not sure what it is about modern period dramas and sex; obviously it happened, but programme makers seem to treat it as recreationally as modern-day film sex, i.e. no thought for protection or consequences in a society way more conservative than today’s (yes, sorry to burst anyone’s liberal bubble but hardly anyone was living like a libertine back then), multiple positions, ridiculously clean and pampered bodies in industrial-England, where you’d have a bath a week if you were lucky. Tinkling piano music stood in for the Boom-Chicka-Wah-Wah, because they didn’t have sexy music in those days. Oh wait, they did – it’s called jazz and it literally was the soundtrack to post WW1 bordellos.
FUN FACT – Watching the sex scene was made slightly more annoying by the presence of my husband, now returned from the States, who hadn’t seen PB before, but made up for his unfamiliarity by doing what he always does; namely, tapping into his inner Beastie Boy and chanting ‘GETTIN-IT-AWN-TILL-THE-BRIKKA-BREAKA-DAAAAAAAWN’ in strangulated Brooklyn tones throughout the whole scene (and doing a highly suggestive, crap dance). I swear to God, he wishes he was from Brooklyn instead of Detroit. The accent is slightly more obnoxious which suits him to a tee.
Anyway, if the viewers at home were finding it a little hard to stomach, then C.I. Campbell certainly was and called off the search because he couldn’t handle the idea of finding Grace in flagrante. It still looks like he’ll try to get his revenge though, as he promised to clean up ‘one last thing’ before leaving town, like some sort of Belfast Columbo. Let’s hope Tommy can lay his hands on the remaining missing gun. The final episode should be good.