by Daniel O’Neill ’21 A&E Staff
Finally, after two long years, Peaky Blinders is back with its fifth season. The last time fans saw Thomas Shelby was when he was on top of the world, after becoming a newly elected member of Parliament representing Birmingham.
Season five opens with the stock market crash, which knocks the Shelby family off of its pedestal. This does not do much for character development, but instead acts as a warmup to the ensuing chaos that comes with every season of Peaky Blinders.
The real enemy of season five seems to be the new fascist ideas that are floating all throughout Europe. Tommy becomes acquaintances with Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Tommy is finally coming face-to-face with the institutions that he fought hard against to be successful. He eventually succumbs to those institutions, so Tommy’s character changes in a way that has not yet been seen in the series. The Shelbys’ next task is to stay in power and not let their guard down, since they are now at the helm of a rapidly changing world.
Another important aspect of the new season is the constant evolution of Tommy’s PTSD in the wake of The Great War. In past seasons, Tommy’s shell shock ranged from flashbacks of his tunneling days in the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme to the horrors he faces at home. In season five, he starts to see apparitions of his deceased wife, Grace. While it seems a bit cheesy, the new flashbacks Tommy has create a distinct change in his character. The apparitions of Grace are not just reminders of his past love but are ways for Tommy to come to grips with himself and his new ethical responsibilities. Grace’s “ghost” confronts him, and it seems that Tommy makes decisions based on these confrontations.
The end of season five is what fans are focused on the most, however. Tommy clearly seems to be taking certain aspects of his life more seriously. There is confusion with how Tommy’s character has developed with different political theories threatening to influence his decisions on a daily basis, and the rise of communism and fascism in the early days after World War I did not make his life any easier. This, however, does not seem like something that Thomas Shelby will have much time to think about. Seeing that he is in Parliament, and the fact that season five ends with the first sirens of World War II, the next season will most likely show a more decisive and morally stable Thomas Shelby.
While season five was not necessarily the strongest season thus far, the creators have put the show in a position to succeed in the ensuing seasons, as the Shelby family will now be forced to face off with the global crisis of World War II.
On Nov. 15, fans can purchase the first ever triple vinyl release of the soundtrack to all of the seasons thus far. PJ Harvey’s cover of the show’s theme “Red Right Hand” is released alongside tracks from Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, and more.