Netflix released the full six-episode third season of this BBC series about the gangster Shelby family in 1920s Birmingham, London. Thomas Shelby is the chain-smoking leader of the family with his two brothers, sister and Aunt Polly. Cillian Murphy plays the main character who survived very close calls in season two to find himself on top with everything he wanted, a home, a wife, a child, and a flourishing business, but as many shows about a criminal empire go, his desire for more leads to a great downfall.
The first episode consists of the wedding of Thomas Shelby with the woman he pursued for the last two seasons, Grace Burgess. Grace is played by the increasingly popular Annabelle Wallis from the horror film Annabelle and the upcoming Mummy movie that is supposed to set up a conjoined monster universe. The wedding introduces new villains and reintroduces the family.
Arthur, the more volatile brother, who I think is the oldest, is now married and off the cocaine and drink. That doesn't last long but he does have plans to move away from this troubled life and out to the American West. Paul Anderson brings strong emotion to this character who is one of the most enjoyable to watch because at any second he can pop off with wild behavior.
Helen McCrory continues to do brilliant work as Aunt Polly, the reluctant matriarch of the Shelby family. After McCrory's turn as the villain in season two of Penny Dreadful, I was looking forward to seeing her again on screen. She falls for a painter played by Alexander Siddig who was Doran Martell in Game of Thrones. This storyline was interesting to follow as Polly is usual cold but slowly comes infatuated with the artists.
Dropping Sam Neil's inspector for the third season took away the villain but now Thomas and the Shelby gang have to face all sorts of obstacles from a Russian duchess to a corrupt priest. Tom Hardy reprises his role as the Jewish gang leader Alfie Solomons to serve in a crucial role during the end. The Shelby's are resilient but this season proves their toughest yet. It was a bit slow and some of the stories were convoluted but the end had a payoff and lots of twists throughout the short season had me continue watching.