'Peaky Blinders': Will Arthur return to take up his place in the fifth season?
Arthur almost died in the fourth season, only to return to kill Luca, however, it is doubtful if he will return to take up his role in the family business.
Thomas Shelby might be the protagonist of BBC One's Steven Knight-created show, 'Peaky Blinders', but it is his eldest brother, Arthur Shelby, who truly represents what the Peaky Blinders stand for. Starring Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby, Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, Helen McCrory as Polly Gray, and Kate Philips as Linda, the show is set to return for the fifth season where the notorious Birmingham gang will face their most ruthless enemy, a mafia from Glasgow; and probably Arthur, too, will return to take up his place as the Deputy Vice President of the Shelby Company Ltd.
In the fourth season, following the death of their youngest brother, John (played by Joe Cole), Arthur was almost on the verge of giving up everything related to the family business. Known for being more about brawn than brain, the eldest Shelby brother is one of the rare characters on the show who has completely embodied the rugged genus of the Peaky Blinders. After returning from the First World War, in France, where he had fought in the trenches alongside his brothers, Thomas and John, Arthur had assumed that he would be spearheading the Shelby business but his lack of leadership qualities only saw him relegated as Thomas' right-hand, who in spite of being second in line, assumed the role as the family's head.
What Arthur lacked in intellect, he made up with his rowdy nature which more often than not helped him dominate people around him. It was under Arthur's leadership that the Peaky Blinders had taken down Sabini's Eden Club in the second season; but from the third season, Arthur's character saw a certain turn which was influenced by his wife Linda's religious believes. Arthur soon became what his family feared the most, he was no longer threatening the enemies or even accompanying the Peaky Blinders in their quests of defeating their enemies. However, Arthur is struck by guilt when John takes the bullet for the entire family from Luca Changretta (played by Adrien Brody) in the fourth season.
He almost succumbs to the grief when he begins to abuse himself with drugs and self-harm, in spite of Linda trying to persuade him to choose "God's way". A former assassin, Arthur had promised Linda that he would never kill, but following John's death, the only way of venting out his anger was by abusing himself. Arthur almost turned his back to the family who at the time were struggling to encounter Luca, who had come down with his own vendetta of taking over the Shelby business. However, following the heated encounter where Arthur is almost killed by Luca's men, he wastes no time, towards the end of the fourth season, in finally pulling the trigger and killing Luca.
peaky blinders will literally never ever be the same without arthur ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️— jess x (@_jessbent) December 20, 2017
Arthur is one of those characters who has been hued in many shades, but he continues to be the loud-voiced member of the Shelby family. As the eldest brother, he might not have succeeded in becoming the heir to the family business but he has never complained about his younger brother, Thomas, taking over the reins. Arthur almost gave out the ultimatum in the fourth season claiming that he wants to have nothing more to do with the family business, but with the enemy of Glasgow coming down, it is doubtful if he will be able to flee to California with Linda as they had earlier planned. Arthur will probably stay back in Small Heath and help Thomas encounter yet another enemy when the show returns with the fifth season in late spring in 2019.