Still in Progress
I always liked British dramas. They are like oil paintings, multi-layered. And you really have to look to appreciate. It's never just about the goodies and the baddies, or the anti-hero and his enemies. And sometimes we find British drama disturbingly dark is because they are telling a story about strive to exist and they tell in a way that is too close to reality: tide is always bigger than men and to weather the constant fear and anxiety of drowning is life.
To barely survive one could still manage to stay in a stretched comfort zone. But Thomas didn't want just to survive. So he has to gamble, all the time. Once a card table has been set, no-one could control how many players may turn up, and more often than not some players are only puppets. Some puppets might not realise it, until it's too late. Other puppets fight back. And even occassionaly, a few puppets break free. Each party has their own thin, delicate story line, interwinding into a tread. This is a story about not making mistakes. Every second is like walking on blade.
The Shelby Co., Ltd. sits at the center of a storm. It took me quite some time to see the mission of this series beyond its robbery facade. Each move satisfies certain parties and upset others. There are Italian gangsters, Jewish gansters, white russians, communists, socialists, Irish nationalists, oddfellowes, Soviet government, British (Labour) government, you name it. And it falls to one man to see through and steer clear out of the storm.
Even for the audiences, it is difficult to keep tracks. Blink and then you will miss out vital information which eventually turn out to be life-and-death matters for our antihero and his family. Hard to imagine what life is like for Thomas in reality. And I call that proper suspense.
Try first to contemplate it as a chess game. There are quite a few pawns and foot soldiers, a couple of knights, bishops, rooks and even queens. They are all but means of the king's survival. Then imagine the knights turn againt the king. Even queens can be turned. Now add the possibility that the some bishops want to replace the king. And finally it's not just black and white.