The fifth season of Peaky Blinders begins on the eve of Black Tuesday. The Blinders are experiencing prosperity like never before but Michael’s (Finn Cole) failure to sell the family’s shares on time is about to torpedo that. He is forced to return home from New York in disgrace with a new wife (Anya Taylor-Joy).
In the meantime Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) political career is proving very successful, leading to some interest from the sinister, Oswald Mosley (Sam Clafin) whose ambition could be even more expansive than Tommy’s. On the surface it may look like things are peachy but Tommy is disintegrating and Arthur (Paul Anderson) is in an even worse state. They’ve both become disconnected from their wives and children and Finn (Harry Kirton) is being given far too much free reign.
As Tommy attempts to face down fascism from the inside while also trying to develop an Opium empire and keep his secret service contacts onside, he fails to realise that his biggest threat might be a lot closer to home. And when you buy loyalty there is always the possibility that you could be outbid.
For me season 5 was the best season since season 2. Tommy’s ambition is once again at the forefront, his hopes of doing something good for the Birmingham community have resurfaced. Watching both Murphy and Paul play characters on the edge of losing their sanity is in equal parts fascinating and disturbing and both their performances are outstanding. Tommy’s constant flirtations with suicide and the hopelessness of his life despite the fact that he has money, power and a beautiful wife and family are an intense watch and make more and more sense with Charlie’s (Ned Dennehy) revelations in the final episode. Clafin is epic as the truly loathsome Mosley and he is obviously relishing playing an absolute bastard.
Polly (Helen McCrory) takes a bit of a backseat in this season but any time she spends on screen is an absolute joy. I expect to see her taking a principal position in the next season with the impossible position she has been placed in. I enjoyed Aberama Gold (Aiden Gillen) way more in this season and I loved the gypsy rituals that took place between him and Polly.
I can’t help but mention the incredible soundtrack and the inclusion of multiple tracks from Idles who are one of my favourite bands currently dominating the punk scene. The juxtaposition of a historical setting with modern music is hard to get right but Peaky Blinders always smashes it.
The final episode is absolute TV gold and I was on the edge of my seat for every second of it… especially seeing an old favourite character come back. I won’t spoil for those who haven’t watched it but that interaction was one of the best things of the whole season.
Bring on season six… there is a war coming in more ways than one!