Peaky Blinders, Season Four Overview

Peaky Blinders is back and with a vendetta against them.  Revolution, family, and vengeance is the order of the day.

The season is all about family.  Whether it’s the family business, which seems to be going well, family vendettas, which never ends well, or loosing family, family ties are tried and seemingly broken throughout the season as the vendetta against the New York Mafia, specifically Luca Changretta (Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody) against Arthur (played by Paul Anderson) for killing Luca’s father in a mercy killing a few seasons ago.  Don’t remember?  Neither did I.  I had to go back and watch to remember who the hell they were talking about.  The Changretta’s arrival from New York is felt immediately as the Peaky Blinders receive Black Hands Christmas Eve which are indicators that the whole family is set for death.

Before the Changrettas, Arthur (Paul Anderson), John (Joe Cole), Michael (Finn Cole), and Polly (Helen McCrory) are literally minutes from death as a corrupt magistrate sped up their execution date.  Saved at the last second, they seem to resent Tommy for putting them in that position in the first place and are seeking peace anyway they can.  Paul, his wife Linda, and their son are living quietly on a farm, John and Esme are taking solace living the Gypsy life away from the city, and Michael is still working for Shelby Co Limited but his relationship with Tommy obviously strained.  Polly’d been hit the worst by literally having her neck in  a noose, and was addicted to pills thanks to the prisoner’s doctors.

On Christmas Eve, they get the Black Hand, and all hell breaks loose again.  The Italians have infiltrated their lives unbeknownst to the Shelbys, and were trying to take them out  quietly.  When that doesn’t work, Tommy takes matters into his own hands and takes out an assassin.  He tries calling a family meeting, but is unable to get a hold of John, and sends Michael out to get him.  The Italians are there waiting, and John is killed instantly and Michael is seriously wounded.  This is just the start of the season.

Newcomers Abrahama Gold (Aiden Gillen, Game Of Thrones,) and his son Bonnie join the crew at John’s funeral and the Shelbys take them on as hired killers.  Bonnie is an undefeated knockout fighter, which Tommy and Arthur plan to use in the ring.  Mr. Gold and son take on the Changrettas at various points, and help Tommy even the odds.

Revolution is always on the menu, especially after the war, and there’s a new leader in town.  Jessie Eden is now the head bitch in charge and taking no prisoners as she tries to negotiate better wages for the women working in Tommy’s factories.  Strikes take place, but not everything goes to plan.  The Changrettas use the strike to their advantage and infiltrate the factory, nearly taking out Arthur.  He kills the two hit men instead, showing the Changrettas why you don’t mess with the Peaky fucking Blinders.  Jessie Eden, however, remains a force to be reckoned with and one woman that even Tommy can’t charm over (at least until it suited her).  She’s so good at organizing the revolution that the British Army and Parliament have taken an interest in her and are interested in making sure the strikes to become armed strikes like in Russia.  Tommy uses his connection to her and his standing in the community to strike a deal with the Prime Minister and agrees to infiltrate the communist party leadership and undermine it.

Family ties are tested over and over this season, the most notably by Polly Gray (Helen McCrory).  When her neck was in the noose, she claimed her Gypsy powers came back, and has been able to see the dead ever since.  Haunted by the near death of her son Michael, she seems to make a deal with the devil himself, Luca Changretta, Tommy for Michael.  When Michael learns of her “deal” however, he chooses Polly over Tommy, which is something Tommy doesn’t forget.  This leads out to a shoot out in Small Heath.

Alfie (Tom Hardy) is back as the rum swilling, foul mouthed Jew.  Luca Changretta tries to buy his allegiance from Tommy but Alfie tells him to fuck off.  In the end though, bad blood wins out between the two that leads to a shoot out on the beach.  Unfortunately, Alfie won’t be coming back for next season.

During a main event fight between Bonnie and Alfie’s nephew, Italians posing as Alfie’s trainers slip out, leaving Arthur suspicious.  He follows them into the locker room, where he’s ambushed and seemingly killed.  Tommy kills the two henchmen and fakes Arthur’s death to lure Luca into a false sense of having won the vendetta.  They meet to sign over Tommy’s companies to him, but Tommy pulls out his Ace of cards, and Luca realizes he’s been had.  Not only is Arthur alive, but Tommy’s made arrangements with Luca’s enemy in Chicago (the one and only Al Capone) to do business with him in exchange for manpower to help end the vendetta.  Arthur comes in and shoots Luca in the head, ending the vendetta for good.

With peace on the horizon for the first time since leaving for the war, Arthur tells Tommy to take some time off.  The time off doesn’t sit well with Tommy, however, and his demons come and threaten to engulf him.  After talking with Polly, he decides that he needs to work and puts a plan in motion to start to infiltrate the communist party by running for office.

This season was one of the best.  It had intrigue, vendetta, family ties tested, new family bonds made, and everything in between.  This show is one of my favorites because it deals with matters beyond just being a gang show.  Big government vs the little person, class divide, women’s rights, morality, are all questioned in this series and sometimes the lines between what’s wright and wrong get murky.  The show questions why it’s necessary for the little man to have to lie, cheat, steal, and kill just to survive when the upper classes who take advantage of them never have to lift a finger to get by.  Is the end worth the means is a question that’s asked over and over but never gets answered because in real life, sometimes there just isn’t an answer.  You just do what you have to to survive.  We lost some beloved characters, met new ones, and delved deeper than ever before into the world of the Peaky fucking Blinders.

This show gets better every season and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Shelby Company, Limited, next.