'Peaky Blinders': Season 5 will see the Shelbys clash with the 'Billy Boys', and Alfie Solomons might just be part of it
Alfie Solomons was killed in Season 4, but being as tricky as the show is, it wouldn't be a surprise if the character is seen again as the Billy Boys march in
BBC One's period street-gang drama, 'Peaky Blinders', is all set to return with Season 5 this spring, and it seems it is about to be the best season of the series, so far. Coming from creator Steven Knight, the show has been following the tale of the infamous Birmingham razor-gang, led by the Shelby family, as they confront several rival gangs, including one from New York (as we saw in Season 4).
However, this time the Shelby family is about to meet their match as the show will now bring in the saga of the Bridgeton Derry gang, most commonly known as the 'Billy Boys'. Starring Cillian Murphy as Thomas (Tommy) Shelby, Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Helen McCrory as Polly Gray (Aunt Polly), Finn Cole as Michael Gray, and Sophie Rundle as Ada Shelby, Season 5 is set in the late '20s and the early '30s, a time when Fascism was at its peak in Europe.
This is where the 'Billy Boys' come in. Led by a former member of the British Union of Fascists, Billy Fullerton, 'Billy Boys' was probably one of the most controversial gangs of the era. Originating sometime around the 1920s, this Protestant street-gang was infamous for its clashes with other street gangs, especially the Roman Catholic street gang, Norman Conks.
Under Billy Fullerton’s leadership, the Bridgeton Billy Boys ran American-style protection rackets in Glasgow 1920s pic.twitter.com/i3rzpnemf0— Vintage Wullie (@YoorWullie) August 31, 2016
Speaking with TalkSport about the upcoming season, Knight said, "This (season) is about a particular gang called The Billy Boys who become an issue for our friends in Birmingham", adding that with the Glasgow gang coming in, Arthur is about to lose it big time.
Although Knight did not divulge many details about why Arthur loses it, we can speculate the eldest Shelby brother probably misses his old-time enemy/friend, Alfie Solomons. Played by Tom Hardy, this character who was known as the "Wandering Jew" shared the most fascinating relationship with the Shelby family, especially with Arthur.
However, we know he was killed by Thomas in the season 4 finale when Alfie practically compelled him to pull the trigger since he did not want to die a horrible death suffering from skin cancer. Although we did see Thomas pull the trigger, and Alfie literally drop dead, it is still doubt about the character being completely written off.
On an optimistic note, it seems Alfie might actually return. According to a report on Metro, Hardy was spotted at Fleet services on Saturday, where he was seen sporting the same bushy beard as Alfie in 'Peaky Blinders'. Could it be the "Wandering Jew" is returning in Season 5?
If Alfie returns, it wouldn't be a surprise to watch him gang up with the 'Billy Boys', probably as yet another tactic to pull down Shelby's enemy while being their friend, which would be typical of Alfie! However, we cannot say for sure if Alfie will return but it can be said, as season 5 begins to follow the tension between the Peaky Blinders and the Billy Boys, the gang who went on to start a branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Glasgow, will surely give Thomas a hard time.
Thomas, who is now a Member of the Parliament, already has quite a lot on his plate as he managed to secure the position of being the head of the Communist Party for Birmingham. With the Glasgow gang, who are fascists, coming in, we can surely expect a nerve-wracking saga set in the early decades of the 1900s.