Season 5, what have you done?
Literally all of the spoilers, honestly you probably shouldn’t read this. I need to vent and don’t want any lip that I didn’t warn you.
It was an impossible task, I’ll say that. Following up Season 4 of Peaky Blinders, literally the best season of television I have ever seen, was a tall order. I honestly don’t even know why they bothered. It could have ended right there, with a beach, a bullet, and a rigged election and I could have just moved forward in life knowing all was handled in Birmingham. I wish they’d just wrapped it up like that, in a big red bow with a razor blade inside, letting us bask in Shelby success like we do every season following some deeply intricate but miraculously pulled off caper. But we didn’t get to bask. There was no basking. Because Season 5 came out, and fucking ruined everything.
First of all, fuck cliffhangers. Cliffhangers are for mainstream television programs like CSI and shit that take the holidays off and then come back to set things right again. Cliffhangers are not for Peaking Fucking Blinders which will take what, two years to tell me who the fuck actually betrayed Tommy and who the fuck is actually this mythical man he can’t beat? Shelbys win, do you hear me? This is a family of winners, a family that gets shit done, a family that eventually figures out how to stick the fuck together, and a family that delivers to me a satisfying fucking ending. I have no idea who these people are and quite frankly I don’t like them.
I see where we’re going, what with the fascism and nazis and whathaveyou. I do have a grasp of history. And where the Shelbys fit into that I have no idea. That’s actually the fun, the not knowing, because over the years Peaky Blinders has built up my trust. I don’t have to worry or wonder what’s going to happen to the Shelbys. Because the Shelbys always fucking win. Unless you leave them in field with a gun to their heads in a most dramatic fashion except we know this shit ain’t ending til Season 7 and obviously Tommy is still alive. Please, I’m not a peasant.
Next, fuck Gina. I didn’t like the way blondie looked behind the eyes from moment one. Something is going on there and I don’t feel this season did shit to communicate to me exactly what. Pot stirrer? Sure—but give me more than a few salty lines. If I’m meant to champion this person as a villain tell me why. Also tell me why she can’t seem to pronounce the better “B.” Seriously what the fuck is happening there? I cannot stand that the last time we heard the famed, “don’t fuck with the Peaky Blinders,” it came out of her sarcastic and unworthy mouth. Further, don’t have her and Mosley share a sly ass glance at a ballet and then just never follow through on anything beyond that. Something is afoot with this slick American ho and I want to know what it is. Also, I don’t understand Michael. Like, you’re 12. Tommy is young and not even close to having a Corleone Coronary—it ain’t exactly time for a coup. You’ve been back in this family for about ten minutes and ya haven’t been the most loyal of members. Have you met your kin? Do you know them? Maybe don’t give speeches about the new way of things before you’ve graduated from Peaky Prep. Sit down child, Uncle’s busy.
Also, fuck Lizzie. I want to like her, I want her to make shit happen but she’s been written as an annoying whiner and I think she deserves better. She used to be a sex worker and is now living in a mansion bigger than Brooklyn City Hall. Give this woman some lines of substance, maybe? I have never like the notion of Tommy being married to Lizzie, it doesn’t fucking fit because he seems to literally not love her which is maybe also evidenced by the Ghosts of Graces past that keep popping up every time Tommy remembers what he does for a living.
And fuck Linda more than anyone else. I was so happy when she got shot and then was immediately disappointed to discover she was still in possession of a pulse. Can we stop with Linda? I am so annoyed. There was the briefest of moments in Season 4 where she removed the broomstick from her rectum and became one of the boys, getting shitfaced and actually enjoying herself at a boxing match, but apart from that she’s been the human equivalent of a vanilla ice cream cone dropped on the floor. Enough.
Yeah, you’re right, I am super disappointed in the way this show writes female characters. I need more than just one cool scene where the board of directors walks out of a building in slow motion and half of them are women. If you’re going to give me powerful females, give them something to…I dunno, do?
Because my wounds weren’t crusted thoroughly enough in salt, our beloved gypsy boy Bonnie popped out of his wagon to reveal to us all that he has GLOWED THE FUCK UP since last year only to die less than 60 seconds later in an absolutely infuriating fashion. Did he even have one speaking line? What the fuck is wrong with people? You can steal my parking spaces, cut in line at Trader Joe’s, even steal my Amazon box full of gummy vitamins, fine. Just don’t fuck up a television show I hold near and dear to my downtime. I will not go quietly. Especially not when an entire season of television accomplishes nothing more than setting up the season to follow. It’s rude.
Polly, I need you to be like 20% less cryptic moving forward, if at all possible. Love you, live for you, so sorry Tommy keeps killing your sweet pieces of ass. It isn’t fair, you deserve better. But we deserve to know which fucking side you’re on because this flip floppage is driving me to drink. Like, you resign from Shelby Company Limited but only after you slap your son in the face for trying to take it over? Who actually are you, apart from my favorite character? I needed more from you this season, I really did. Come back to me.
Jesus Arthur, see a therapist. Also is he part cat? The man has more lives than Super Mario with a cheat code, good lord.
Reader, they tried. They tried to make up for this utterly watery season by giving us the greatest gift of all time. And I’m going to beg of anyone reading this who hasn’t watched this season to stop reading now if you have any interest in continuing on with the series at all because I don’t want to ruin something epic for you. I’ll give you a bit of spacing here to make your mind up but I implore you to stop. Just walk away now and save yourself a surprise, donating a clap or two for me on your way out if you wouldn’t mind.
You’ve been warned…
HE’S ALIVE! ALFIE SOLOMONS, UNKILLABLE TRIBEMATE OF MINE, IS ALIVE. It’s almost enough to get me back in a synagogue on Friday night, it really is. The second I heard the word “Margate” come out of Tommy’s mouth I lept from my seat. Not since the great return of Sam Seaborn have I been so delighted to see a discontinued character’s face—albeit a mangled one.
They tried to hang their Season 5 hopes on the best surprise entertainment has served in a long, long time. I see their worry, their fear that what they were doing with this season would incite rage not unlike the variety you’re reading now. So they gave us a gift. A wonderful, wonderful, gift. But it didn’t work. Because it was way too late.
As the clock on the screen ticked down and shit hadn’t started getting awesome yet, I worried about how Season 5 was going to end. I began to get concerned that the fears I’d had all along were coming true, that they weren’t going to wrap things up well, or even mediocrely, and that they’d just leave me hanging for Christ knows how long until I could see my Shelbys come out on top again. I mean my goodness this country will have a new Commandress in Chief by the time the new season comes back, won’t we??
In my perturbment, I went back to Season 4. I rewatched “The Duel” and “The Company” to remind myself how Peaky Blinders actually ends a season of television. I was able to sleep after that. But I’m awake again now and while I can’t fathom the amount of work, effort, time, and talent it takes to pull of a season of television, this was not good. Because it wasn’t them. It didn’t look or feel like the Peaky Blinders I know and love, because right now the Peaky Blinders are out of control. This doesn’t leave me excited for the next season, it makes me not care about it. It’s a damn shame.
I know we all have quite a bit of time to process our thoughts and feelings before this show comes back, so I implore those in charge, who I’ve been a massive fan of for six years, to remember why we love this show in the first place. It’s hard to get an audience to love bad people. But they did, they really did, and now without that sense of evil genius and control, there’s nothing left to like. You have a year, please fix this. I want my Blinders back.