Alfie Solomons – king of Camden Town, the Wandering Jew, once a dead man, and Tommy Shelby’s (Cillian Murphy) close personal friend. It is safe to say that Tom Hardy’s scene-stealing character is just as crucial to Peaky Blinders as the Shelby family.
Alfie commands the screen with his rambling monologues, his “Jewish air of absolute certainty,” and his ability to stand up to Tommy, gaining his respect as an equal and trusted friend (despite a betrayal here and there). After all, they’ve been through everything together–Italians, Russians, fascists, and starlings. Relive some of Alfie’s best scene-stealing moments.
Alfie meets Tommy for the first time
Tommy meets Alfie for the first time in Season 2, Episode 2. From their very first meeting, it’s evident that Tommy has met his match. Alfie recounts the story of delivering his “own personal form of stigmata” to an Italian in the war, asks Tommy if he would like to visit “Timbuktu” and expresses his disappointment at Tommy’s lack of nose jewelry.
It is also the first time audiences meet Alfie, and it’s difficult not to be drawn by his odd speech, his self-assuredness, and the unique way he deals with Tommy.
Peace talks with Sabini
In Season 2, Episode 4, Alfie goes toe-to-toe with Italian gangster Sabini (Noah Taylor). He plays dumb when asked about his alliance with the Peaky Blinders, telling Sabini, “I know what I know. If you don’t know then you don’t f**cking know.”
Alfie negotiates the terms that benefit him, making sure that everything is written down, agreeing to peace between the Jews and Italians, and war against the Romani. Everyone knows Alfie plays by his own rules, and he intends to do whatever is best for business.
Passover Seder with Arthur
In Season 2, Episode 5, Alfie invites Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) over for Passover Seder dinner. Alfie regales his guests with the tale of the “evil f**cking Egyptians” and how they “pushed their luck,” resulting in the Jews rising up to kill their king. And to kill a king, a goat must be sacrificed.
Alfie’s story holds a double meaning which Arthur realizes when Alfie tells him the goat’s name is Tommy Shelby. This is the first time Alfie betrays Tommy in favor of Sabini’s crew. The night ends with all the dinner guests dead (including the goat) and Arthur in jail for their murder. Well played Mr. Solomons.
Alfie makes amends with Arthur
Tommy summons Alfie in Season 3, Episode 5, to help him deal with the Russians. The scene starts with their signature greeting, “Morning Alfie… Yeah, it is.” Alfie is seemingly impressed with Tommy’s ability to “summon Jews to the gentile wilderness” and even shows him his glasses that can “see into the future.”
Enter a visibly shaken Arthur, who Alfie greets with an enthusiastic “Arthur, Shalom!” He then apologizes to Arthur for getting him thrown in jail and praises him for “allowing Jesus into his life.” Arthur refrains from smashing Alfie’s skull with a crystal ashtray despite the relative ease with which Alfie is able to get under his skin.
Alfie the jeweler
In Season 3, Episode 5, Tommy brings his trusted jeweler, Alfie Solomons, to the Russian treasury to select pieces for payment. Alfie surprises the Russians with his ability to speak the language due to the persecution of his mother by Russians.
Alfie owns the room, selecting the most valuable pieces while insulting the Russians and getting away with it. He scores Tommy a rare Fabergé egg with his unnerving wit and easy confidence, proving that Alfie is the ultimate showman.
Alfie’s visit to Birmingham
In Season 4, Episode 4, Alfie brings his nephew to Birmingham for a boxing match. Alfie delivers his own early morning wake-up call via his car horn which he doesn’t let up on until Tommy is right in front of him.
The pair hold their meeting in Tommy’s gin distillery. Alfie so kindly advises Tommy that “you’ve got f**cking starlings, mate,” and proceeds to shoot one. He delivers another classic line when Aberama Gold (Aidan Gillen) arrives, and Alfie remarks, “When a pikey walks in with hair like that, you’ve gotta ask yourself, have I made a mistake?” Alfie sure knows how to make a first impression.
A proposal from Luca Changretta
In Season 4, Episode 5, Italian gangster Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody) pays Alfie a visit to ask him to assassinate Tommy Shelby. Changretta catches Alfie during his daily half hour of “blind time.” After Alfie has done his thirty minutes, he proceeds to detail the “costs pertaining to the assassination of a dear friend.”
These include the export of 200 barrels of rum, a fee for killing an oppressed person, a fee for Arthur’s inevitable revenge, a fee for Changretta being a “WOP,” a fee for killing a good friend, and finally, an extra fee for Changretta being a c**t. All Changretta’s men need to exude a “Jewish air of absolute certainty” and be circumcised. Despite all these demands, which Alfie is clearly throwing up because he doesn’t really want to kill Tommy, Changretta agrees.
Shootout at Margate
In Season 4, Episode 6, after yet another betrayal from Alfie, Tommy is led to the seaside retreat of Margate, where Alfie waits on the beach with his dog, Cyril. Alfie reveals he has cancer and leads Tommy to a place where he could die on his own terms, knowing Tommy would inevitably take his revenge.
Tommy is hesitant to shoot his friend despite the betrayal. After making sure that Cyril will be cared for, Alfie tells Tommy to “f**king get on with it” and shoots him in the leg to provoke him. Tommy fires back, his bullet catching Alfie in the eye. Much to fans’ dismay, Alfie is dead.
After receiving a letter from a dear friend who is meant to be dead, Tommy returns to Margate in Season 5, Episode 6. He finds a very much alive Alfie at his retreat, whose daily activities consist of shooting at seagulls and passing boats and reveling in his newfound god-like status among the Jewish community. Alfie is surprised to see Tommy and asks him how he knew he was alive. Tommy responds, “You wrote me a letter asking about your dog.”
Alfie regales Tommy with the story of how he woke up on the beach, thinking that hell looked a lot like Margate. He tells him that “life is so much easier to deal with when you are dead.” There’s a hint of a smile from Tommy, who seems to be secretly happy that his eccentric but dear friend is still alive.
Alfie writes an opera
In Season 6, Episode 2, Tommy pays a visit to his old friend Alfie, who is officially back from the dead and holed up in his basement listening to opera. There’s a story about an Irishman punching a statue after Alfie finds out his uncle was killed by the Boston Irish.
Alfie then tells Tommy he’s writing an opera and needs a final act. Tommy has this final act in the form of an alliance against the Boston mob. Tommy tells Alfie, “You are my friend,” to which Alfie replies, “Do you regret it?” Tommy answers with a swift “No.” The ultimate bromance.