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  • Hello there.

  • In anticipation of the long-awaited Season 5 of Peaky Blinders,

  • we thought it would be good to catch everyone up on what's happened with the Shelby family

  • and their gang over the past several years.

  • It has been quite a tumultuous time, after all.

  • Right then, so, we're going to run through the main characters of Season 1 before we dive in,

  • and we're going to do it quickly.

  • Very, very quickly.

  • And here we go:

  • Tommy Shelby is the second oldest brother, in charge of the family

  • and more importantly, the family business.

  • And for the sake of summary and concision here,

  • he's the main character of this particular program.

  • Arthur Shelby is the eldest brother, and Tommy's right-hand man.

  • John Shelby is the third oldest, and he is also deeply involved in the family business.

  • Then we've got the sister, Ada Shelby,

  • her communist fiancé, Freddie Thorne,

  • and also their aunt Polly Gray.

  • Polly ran the business while the three boys were over in France fighting the Huns.

  • On the other side of the fence you've got Chief Inspector Chester Campbell,

  • who is a massive prick to the Shelby family,

  • his beautiful undercover agent, Grace Burgess,

  • and the racetrack-running gangster, Billy Kimber,

  • whoif we're being forthright hereis also a fairly huge prick.

  • Oh, and also, they're called thePeaky Blindersbecause they sew razorblades

  • into the brims of their caps to use as a weapon.

  • Properly badass.

  • OK, onto the meat of the matter.

  • We start in 1918 Birmingham, England

  • in the charming neighborhood of Small Heath,

  • with the Shelby family,

  • an Irish-Romani family of bookmakers.

  • But you already know about them.

  • As we discussed, the three eldest brothers run the Shelby Company Limited

  • after all returning from fighting in France during the Great War

  • you probably know it as World War I,

  • where Tommy won several medals for valor.

  • Birmingham is an industrial and downright gritty place,

  • and most of the people who live there are hard laborers

  • steel workers and boatsmen and the like.

  • But not the Shelbys.

  • The Shelbys have shirked their humble beginnings

  • and are de-facto bosses of the city in which they were raised.

  • Tommy wants to knock off the main racetrack bookmaker in the region,

  • Billy Kimber, to make the Blinders the largest bookmaking operation around,

  • and sets out an elaborate plan to enact this.

  • Beginning, of course, with stealing an enormous cache of machine guns

  • which are quite new and fancy and very hard to come by at this time

  • as well as a full lorrie's worth of ammunition, from the local BSA factory.

  • Since it is suspected that the Peaky Blinders were behind the robbery,

  • If you see any guns,

  • check the serial numbers against that list.”

  • the IRA, communists, and British government (in the form of Major Campbell)

  • are all in town looking for them,

  • and looking for them very hard indeed.

  • With great purpose.

  • What bloody guns, Tommy?”

  • Now at this juncture, Tommy purposely starts a war with the Lees,

  • another travelling Romani family,

  • and proceeds to use the hidden guns as leverage to play all the parties off against each other.

  • What's our mission, boy?”

  • To stick it to the Lee family, Arthur!”

  • Basically, everyone wants the guns,

  • but only Tommy knows where they are hidden away,

  • and well, you get the idea.

  • He's basically untouchable under this particular arrangement.

  • “I'm in your hands, completely.”

  • But if you marry her,

  • our family and the Lee family will be united forever,

  • and this war will be over.

  • Now, it's up to you, John.

  • War... or peace.”

  • But after an encounter with the IRA at the Peaky-owned pub,

  • The Garrison goes awry and ends with two extremely dead Irishmen on the floor.

  • Tommy is betrayed by his barmaid Grace,

  • who as I mentioned earlier was an undercover officer

  • working for the Chief Inspector and the fuckin' Crown.

  • So the government recovers the guns, effectively destroying his hand.

  • Tommy is properly fucked.

  • With the investigation into the missing guns all wrapped up,

  • Major Campbell declares his love for Grace,

  • but she rejects him

  • as he later learns that she has fallen for Tommy during her time undercover.

  • Which, of course, the Major is not too pleased to hear.

  • With the IRA dealt with

  • and Winston Churchill recalling the Chief Inspector to London,

  • but also with no leverage to speak of,

  • the Shelby family seeks a new way to protect themselves from Kimber

  • and his frankly much larger operation.

  • After much rumination and whiskey,

  • Tommy settles on John marrying a Lee daughter

  • unbeknownst to John, unfortunately.

  • But meaning that the Shelbys and the Lees are now allied

  • which is fantastic news from an organizational-security standpoint.

  • Yeah, all right.”

  • The boys seek to stand off against Kimber at the racetracks way out of town,

  • but are betrayed again,

  • and with the Lee clan en route to the wrong location,

  • Kimber and his men come to Birmingham, right to Small Heath,

  • to kill the Blinders.

  • And of course there are no coppers about

  • because Major Campbell has recalled them all from the streets.

  • A tense standoff in the street is ended when Kimber opens fire,

  • clipping Tommy and killing Danny Whizbang, a good man.

  • Tommy promptly puts a bullet in Kimber's head,

  • declares that they had fought this war one-on-one,

  • and that Kimber had lost.

  • Everyone then disperses.

  • Now for the big Season 1 cliffhanger,

  • which I for one don't think anyone saw coming.

  • In the final scenes, we see Detective Campbell,

  • humiliated and furious that Grace has fallen for Tommy and not him,

  • raise his pistol to her face on the train tracks,

  • cutting to black before we hear a single gunshot.

  • What the fuck?

  • Did he kill her?

  • Apparently, we will have to wait.

  • But no need to wait too long because, hey, we're already back with Season 2 of Peaky Blinders,

  • or at least a brief little retelling of it.

  • We've got all the same characters as Season 1, with a few new additions:

  • Finn Shelby, who is no longer a small child but a teenager,

  • nearly a man, learning the family business.

  • Michael Gray, Polly's estranged son,

  • and Esme Lee, now Shelby, the shotgun bride of John from the previous season.

  • We've also got Alfie Solomons, the leader of the Jewish gang down in London,

  • and of course, Darby Sabini,

  • the volatile leader of the Italian gang that controls most of England's capital city,

  • and just a nasty little fellow all-around.

  • Remember a few minutes ago when I told you that Chief Inspector Campbell tried to shoot Grace at the train station?

  • Well, guess what?

  • That sneaky lass has a hidden purse-gun and she shot first,

  • seriouslybut not mortallywounding him such that he walks with a limp and a cane now.

  • Sometimes that's the way it goes.

  • And he's a complete tosser anyways.

  • So, onto the main event.

  • Several years later, we find the Peaky Blinders in Birmingham's Small Heath,

  • with Shelby Company Limited running smoothly and making a lot of money.

  • But almost immediatelyand I mean, like, first few minutes of Episode 1 –

  • The Garrison, Tommy's pub, is blown up by the IRA,

  • who, it turns out, are interested in having him commit a murder on their behalf.

  • Hell of a way to get a man's attention.

  • Tommy also decides that this, of all times, is the time for the Blinders to move into London,

  • where the rival Italian and Jewish gangs are engaged in a brutal turf war.

  • Suffice to say, there's a lot going on for the Shelbys at the moment...

  • You blew up my pub.”

  • ...which is not lost on Polly and Esme,

  • who are not really on board with the rapid expansion plans that Tommy has unilaterally begun.

  • On a brighter note, Tommy discovers the child that Polly had taken from her when she was young,

  • a teenager named Michael,

  • and the two arewith some troublereunited.

  • “I think she might be my mother.”

  • After a tense negotiation, Tommy agrees to ally with Alfie Solomons and his Jewish gang,

  • and the Blinders start taking over London swiftly and without mercy.

  • To borrow a phrase from Mr. Sabini,

  • Alfie hadinvited a horde of wild animals, and unlocked the fucking gates.”

  • My face is the last thing you'll ever see on earth.”

  • In the meantime, a faction of the IRA has allied themselves with Major Campbell,

  • who is tasked by Winston Churchill with the assassination of a British military official,

  • and who has decided that Tommy is to be the triggerman.

  • There are fucking rules for a fucking reason.

  • Quite simply they have to be obeyed.

  • All right?”

  • The gang heads to London to buy a horse and carry out the task at hand,

  • Thomas Shelby!”

  • and are attacked by Sabini's men, killing or wounding all of the assassins.

  • As it turns out, Sabini's triggermen were no match for Arthur and John's rage.

  • The pro-treaty Paddies and the King want the same man dead.”

  • After a night of violent revenge against Sabini,

  • This place is under new management

  • by order of the Peaky Blinders.”

  • the Blinders are betrayed by Alfie in favor of Sabini,

  • and Arthur is framed in London for the murder of Billy Kitchen, a Blinders lieutenant,

  • and sentenced to the gallows.

  • Back in Birmingham, Michael is arrested by Campbell due to the spite he holds for Tommy and his brothers.

  • Tommy is able to strike a deal with Major Campbell for Michael and Arthur's freedom,

  • even though his eventual plan is to betray Tommy upon the completion of his assasination task.

  • You see, Campbell is intent on blaming the assassination on a specific faction of the IRA,

  • which would spark an all-out civil war back in Ireland.

  • John blows up the residence of Tommy's target,

  • making it possible to move the actual assassination to the location of Sabini's biggest horse race.

  • At the race, Tommy is approached by Grace,

  • who has returned from America to tell him that the child she is pregnant with is his.

  • Tommy departs to kill the military official,

  • while Polly corners and kills Major Campbell with a single shot to the heart.

  • Don't fuck with the Peaky Blinders.”

  • The ensuing panic draws all the police away from the track,

  • and the Blinders move in to take over the betting operations.

  • Unfortunately, Tommy is abducted by three IRA members in police uniforms,

  • under the orders of the now-deceased Campbell.

  • But as he stands over a rural grave, waiting to be shot,

  • one of his would-be assassins shoots the other two,

  • informing Tommy that Churchill still needs him in the future.

  • Overwhelmed with emotion,

  • Tommy sets off home to propose to Grace,

  • telling no one of what just happened.

  • And there we have Season 2.

  • You get to catch up on it right fuckin' away, don't you?

  • You lucky bastards.

  • As we open on Season 3, two years later, things are going very well for our boy Tommy.

  • He lives in a palatial estate outside of the city – I mean this thing looks like a proper castle

  • and it is the day of his wedding to the love of his life, Grace.

  • The wedding is beautiful and joyous, but at the reception following the ceremony,

  • we learn that Tommy has business plans tonight, too,

  • plans with the Russians.

  • And a little killing, too.

  • For students of history, around this time there was something in Russia called the Bolshevik Revolution.

  • Communists took over the government, created the USSR, and oh yes,

  • killed off as much of the Royal Family as they could find.

  • Some of the Romanovs managed to escape to the West,

  • and these are the ones Tommy finds himself meeting with on his wedding night.

  • The Russians tell him they are interested in protection,

  • given their precarious political standing in the country,

  • and while feigning poverty for the government,

  • have a copious amount of jewels and treasure they smuggled into the country.

  • As payment, Tommy is offered a truly enormous sapphire necklace, which he gives to his new wife, Grace.

  • Prior to the wedding, the Blinders burn down an Italian-owned shop in town,

  • to dissuade its owner, Angel Changretta, from attending the wedding as Lizzie's date.

  • Angel's father confronts them about this,

  • and John responds by blinding Angel.

  • This will come up again in a bit.

  • Around this same time, Tommy is approached by a priest,

  • a very odd priest who claims to represent a very odd group: The Oddfellows.

  • The Oddfellows, otherwise known as the Economic League, is a shady group of wealthy right-wing elites in Britain,

  • who are very interested in making sure that labor movements like that of the Bolsheviks don't take hold in the West.

  • In Tommy's case, they are supposedly interested in facilitating an arms deal

  • between the Blinders and the Russians, but we'll talk more about that later.

  • At a party the following evening, Tommy is laughingly informed by the Russian princess, Tatiana,

  • that the necklace he has been paid with bears a curse.

  • He rushes to find Grace, who is wearing it,

  • but it is too late,

  • and an Italian gunman hired by Angel fires a shot meant for Tommy directly into her heart.

  • Furious, Tommy retreats to his home,

  • but not before sending John and Arthur out to kill Angel and his parents.

  • But since Mrs. Changretta had been the boys' schoolteacher growing up in Small Heath,

  • they allow her to leave on the condition she not tell Tommy.

  • Tommy plans to torture the old man,

  • but Arthur takes pity, and puts a bullet in his head before he can.

  • Meanwhile, Tommy sits down with the Russians to negotiate the terms of the planned arms deal.

  • With the help of Alfie, an accord is struck