Let me get this out of the way quick: Two episodes in and I’m already pretty psyched on Peaky Blinders Season 5, which is now available for streaming on Netflix. Episode 2, titled “Black Cat,” begins with Tommy Shelby waking up, knocking back a little morphine for breakfast and traipsing across his front yard with a machine gun because someone crucified a scarecrow in front of his house. A note addressed to “Thomas Shelby OBE” says “Look down on Earth and see the seeds you have sown.” Tommy looks down to see, he’s standing in the middle of a minefield. GODDAMNIT!!! Though seriously, why didn’t they just plant more land mines rather than leave a note telling him where they are? It reminds me how James Bond’s villains would tell him their evil plans then leave the room before killing him and of course he’d escape. Like, what did you think was going to happen?
Tommy seems unfazed by the land mines and uses his machine gun to set them all off. (I guess in the 1920s people didn’t care if you set off a bunch of military grade explosives in your front yard?) He’s considerably more troubled to receive a phone call from the I.R.A. who tell them they caught cousin Michael hobnobbing with some Scottish gangsters “who want you dead” and intend to take over the Shelby’s racetracks, which, if you remember, were a major part of Peaky Blinders seasons 1 and 2.
OK, let’s pause for a moment, because, Scottish gangsters? HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! So far the Peaky Blinders have taken on and taken down Irish gangsters and terrorists of both Catholic and Protestant persuasion, Italian Mafiosos of both English and American origin, and the London Jewish mob of Alfie Solomons. Now we’re going north of the border to battle the Scots who are guaranteed to be awesome on their accents alone. Who’s next, the Welsh?
Tommy and Arthur go roust Finn who’s passed out at a bar with a girl. They tell him to stop running around getting shot with a pistol in his hand and act more like, “A general.” He says there’s a girl he wants to marry. “She likes the life,” he tells his older brothers. Tommy tells him, “Find one that hates it.” Sage advice.
You know what girl I think likes the life? Michael’s girlfriend, whose name we learn this episode is Gina Gray. Yep, her and Michael got married on the boat ride over from America. Also, she’s preggers. The Shelbys meet with Michael who tells them he only betrayed Tommy “in my heart,” which is like…totally…not…reassuring. Tommy says he believes him but adds a little Gypsy curse, saying, “Your unborn child has witnessed what you said and it will be born accordingly,” which REALLY pisses Michael off. Gina soothes him, saying Tommy’s just in trouble and needs his help, which brings me to my PEAKY BLINDERS SEASON 5 PREDICTION #2: Tommy and Gina get it on.
Thanks to Michael, we also now learn the name of those pesky Scottish gangsters the Peaky Blinders will be battling this season: THE BILLY BOYS! OK, so it’s not the scariest sounding name, but the Billy Boys were a real street gang from Glasgow, Scotland, from the 1920s who were tough as nails. They were also sectarian Protestants and had ties to British fascist organizations. Hmmmm, that reminds me of another historical figure that’s been introduced this season.
Speaking of Oswald Mosley, Ada and Tommy meet up with him for drinks. Actually, Ada’s not drinking since she’s pregnant with the child of the Shelby’s contact in British Intelligence, Ben Younger. Tommy orders, “Whiskey, Irish,” which is the first time anyone in Peaky Blinders has specified what kind of whiskey they’re drinking all the time, which is a pet peeve of mine in movies and TV shows because no one ever just orders “Whiskey” at a bar without the bartender asking, “What kind?,” and like, they drink a lot of freaking whiskey on this show. But I digress. Mosley asks for Tommy’s help in communicating with, “certain elements in Belfast with whom we don’t officially have any dealings.” Tommy says nah. Mosley gives him a smug “hurumph” and takes a smug sip of his personal bottle of Irish whiskey which they keep it the bar for him which is a totally smug thing to do.
After the meeting, Tommy tells Ada he’s been having dreams about black cats, hence this episode’s name. That means someone’s going to betray him and take his crown. He thinks it’s Michael. But it could also be Arthur, whose wife Linda says he should take over, or maybe Linda herself, since her and Lizzie, Tommy’s baby mama, are pissed off the Shelbys are still all up in that gangster shit.
When we finally meet The Billy Boys they announce themselves with a song as they descend upon Aberama Gold’s caravan, which is totally not scary. It’s actually the real gang’s real chant and is still heard at Glasgow Rangers football games. After shooting Aberama in the arm, they beat up his son Bonnie, crucify him and shoot him in the head. Honestly, it seems like a lot of trouble to go through to kill a guy, but whatever floats your boat fellas. They give a message to Aberama to share, “Tell Tommy Shelby it’s time to fucking share.”
Will the Peaky Blinders be able to hold onto what they’ve got?
Will Aberama avenge his son’s death?
Did Michael betray Tommy Shelby?
Will Tommy sleep with Michael’s wife?
Will Tommy kill himself? Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, Tommy’s gotten kind of suicidal these past two episodes. Man, there’s already just so much going on. Until next time…
Benjamin H. Smith is a New York based writer, producer and musician. Follow him on Twitter:@BHSmithNYC.
Stream Peaky Blinders Season 5 Episode 2 (“Black Cats”) on Netflix
Original Post https://decider.com/2019/10/05/peaky-blinders-recap-season-5-episode-2/