We had left Tommy Shelby at the height of his personal realization. With difficulty and ingenuity, the Peaky Blinders had managed to defeat the Mafia of Luca Changretta. From an economic point of view, the company’s legal affairs were booming even overseas where Michael had been sent to manage them. Above all, Thomas Shelby had reached the highest point: his unstoppable ambition had brought him nothing less than in the palaces of Westminster, elected as MP, Member of Parliament.
However, in this fifth season, the man is facing the biggest setback in his life. We know that of all the enemies Tommy can face, the most dangerous always remains one in particular: himself. Tommy is a man who lives a constant war against himself, entangled in the past that torments him with the ghosts of guilt.
This season more than ever, Thomas Shelby is forced to confront himself. He must face not only the sense of guilt for the death of Grace that he has never really overcome but also the awareness that the links of his criminal actions are now so tight that the consequences can only be devastating for those around him, also when he tries to do something good. In what is the darkest season so far, we go into the darkness of Tommy’s mind, a mind that is not even allowed to take refuge in the unconsciousness of sleep. His mental weakness is increasingly evident.
While his external empire is holding up with difficulty, his internal world is on the brink of the abyss.
Indeed, the fifth season of Peaky Blinders opens on October 29, 1929. In what has gone down in history as the Black Tuesday in which the Wall Street stock market collapsed ruinously undermining the world economy, Shelby Ltd. also suffers huge losses. The company then turns its gaze again to the illegal activities and in particular to the bets that are entrusted to Finn, the youngest of the Shelby who should somehow make up for the lack of John, victim of the mafia, but who is far from the footsteps of his brother.
Arthur’s marriage is in crisis and this is also reflected in his actions. Polly is forced to divide between the affection for her son and the suspicion that he may have betrayed the family. Michael himself has a new life with his wife Gina and dangerous new ambitions.
The personal stories of the Shelby family are joined by that of Tommy now married to Lizzie. Tommy has always been confronted with a series of enemies who moved in the shadow of illegality, but now he finds himself clashing with an antagonist who is born directly in the institutions, in the palace of power.
This is Oswald Mosley, leader of the future British fascist party. Mosley is certainly the most interesting new entry of this fifth season of Peaky Blinders, also thanks to the fact that he is a character who really existed. He is played by an extremely convincing Sam Claflin, capable of transforming his face as a good boy into a disturbing mask of coldness.
Thomas realizes he has a powerful enemy in front of him and above all he feels the responsibility of preventing his fascist thought from expanding into Great Britain. For the first time, Tommy Shelby acts not out of his strict interest, but out of a hitherto unknown moral thrust.
Between double games and complex strategies, Tommy will do everything to put Mosley at the wheel. But he will soon realize that perhaps for the first time he has found someone he cannot defeat.
The fifth season of Peaky Blinders confirms the extreme quality of the series both from an aesthetic and content point of view. However, at the end of the vision there remains a sense of incompleteness that had never occurred in the past few seasons.
It almost seems that this season has been somewhat too fast, but without making the story progress much. Steven Knight this time opened the doors to rather large storylines that would need more time to be developed in depth. The feeling at the end of the six episodes is that to develop really well the themes of this season would have needed at least twice as much.
It is clear that, unlike the previous seasons, the events of this fifth series are destined to continue in the next. It was a transition season, the link between Tommy’s past and his present and future as Member of Parliament.
The quality is always very high and Peaky Blinders confirms itself as one of the best TV series out there, but this time there was a small – forgivable – flaw.