The long wait is over. Peaky Blinders is back for season 5. Given that Peaky Blinders' season 4 finale aired nearly two years ago, fans could probably use a little refresher of every vendetta, business venture, and near-death experience to get us up to speed before we dive back into the underworld of 1920s Birmingham.
Season 5 starts off in a wildly different place than Peaky Blinders season 4 did. Two years ago, we came upon the Shelby family behind bars and believing they were headed for death row only to be released in the eleventh hour due to one of Tommy Shelby’s (Cillian Murphy) many schemes. This season sees Tommy in local government after supposedly planning on leaving the family business for a more legitimate career path. That is, after he settled his vendetta with American mafia boss Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody) and went after the man who betrayed him, Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy).
We thought the eldest Shelby, Arthur (Paul Anderson), had been killed by an intruder sent by Changretta during an underground boxing match. Much to our surprise and relief, Arthur was actually alive and well and ready for revenge. Tommy had all but signed over all his assets in order to end the vicious vendetta with the mob boss; however, just as he is about to do so, Arthur bursts in and shoots Changretta, ending the violent back and forth between the families.
It was all in the name of settling the vendetta Changretta had against Tommy for the deaths of his father Vicente and brother Angel. Killings that only happened because Tommy’s first wife Grace was accidentally killed in an attempt on his life by the Changretta family. In the crossfire of this vendetta, younger brother John Shelby (Joe Cole) was also killed.
Tommy had another vendetta to settle before he could retire to a life of politics and legitimacy. He decided to seek out Solomons to uncover why he betrayed him to Changretta only to discover that Solomons was dying of cancer and tracking him down and killing him actually proved to be a dark and twisted mercy killing in a way which is exactly how Solomons wanted to go.
Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle), Tommy’s sister, spent much of last season under investigation by the British government for her Communist affiliations in part because of her late husband, Freddie Thorne (Iddo Goldberg). She probably could have inspired less suspicion had she decided to name her son after someone other than Karl Marx. Now, after distancing herself from her family and her past, she has rejoined the ranks of the Shelby clan.
It’s not all bad news. Lizzie Starke (Natasha O’Keeffe), Tommy’s second wife, tells Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) and Ada that she is pregnant with Tommy’s child. Michael Gray (Finn Cole), one of the youngest of the extended Shelby clan, was sent to America to increase their importing and exporting businesses which will be of great importance to season 5.
The last season of Peaky Blinders ended in 1925. There’s been a bit of a time jump in between with season 5 starting off in 1929. Tommy will be a few years into his public life as a politician, no doubt they have multiple under-the-table business ventures well under way since the last time we saw them. Tommy might have said that he’s retiring from his gangster lifestyle, but we don’t believe that for a minute.