Harry Kirton has Instagrammed getting his Peaky cut, and filming on Peaky Blinders Series 4 begins on Monday (“And there was much rejoicing”), which means that it’s time for some predictions.
I want to publish this before filming begins so that I can truly guess before pics leak from the set and the gossip begins seeping out. Right now, I know nothing about Series 4, except that we’ll be spending more time in Birmingham. I don’t know who will be in Series 4 (beyond the usual cast) or who the director will be, so I’m truly guessing.
I did a similar post last year, and I didn’t get much right, but that’s beside the point. It’s like filling out your bracket for March Madness: The fun is in the doing.
So . . . .
The Shelbys are out of prison. Tommy had a plan — he always does — and the family is out of prison. They get along because they have to, but the relationships are strained, and they’re all learning to trust each other again.
Tommy and May have married. Tommy’s closing words about “finding a horse and getting it trained” made fairly clear what his plans were. Tommy’s a pretty pragmatic guy, and I think he’d take steps to bring in a mother for Charlie. Steven Knight tends to like to shake up the plot during the two-year gap, and I think the big change this year is that Tommy is well into his marriage with May.
The marriage isn’t going well. Knight tends to like his leading men conflicted and suffering, and I think that Tommy will never fully recover from Grace. May, who knew a happy marriage herself before her husband died in the war, doesn’t like being second best, which strains the marriage. In addition, she’s not handling the pressure from society. In other words, the glamor of being married to a gangster is gone. In fact, I’ll suggest that they live apart, which explains Tommy’s return to Birmingham.
Tommy has an affair with activist Jessie Eden. Last season, Polly and the women at the shop attended their first rally, and we learned that Polly gave a speech. I think that Jessie Eden will be the woman wearing the Red Dress in Series 4. The end of Series 3 suggests that Tommy’s politics will become increasingly liberal, and I think Jessie and Ada will encourage his political growth. In fact, I think Ada will introduce them. I also think the strike will be a significant factor.
Michael continues to enjoy working in the dark side of the company. In Series 3, we saw Michael embrace his love of violence. That will continue this series and provide growing tension between Tommy and Polly. He will also try to take over the business though I suspect that will be the dominant plot point in Series 5; this series will be about laying the foundation for that.
Polly is single again. Her relationship with Ruben never made sense to me, and I predict it will be well in the past when Series 4 begins. I think Polly’s main story will involve Michael’s attraction to violence.
Ada continues to move up in the company and hope she can change things. (She can’t.) Ada will be back from Boston, maybe with an American husband, but she will continue to bring Tommy around to a different political perspective. Also, we will see her continuing to evolve as a parent.
John’s and Arthur’s marriages survive. I think Series 4 will be the season of bad marriages. He will be a parent now, and he and Linda are still together, but the marriage is frayed. However, Linda will continue to torment Tommy with her power over Arthur. Esme will continue to yearn for her Romany roots but stay with John. Esme and Linda may become involved with the women’s movement, but I don’t think that’s a story that interests Steven Knight much. At the end of the day, he is interested in masculinity. The female characters exist largely to reinforce his understanding of masculinity. Despite all the talk of his “strong female characters,” they exist to further the stories of male characters.
Churchill is back. He will have helped Tommy get his family out of prison, and they will be engaged in some political activity.
Alfie Solomons will somehow be involved. Tom Hardy is back, and I’m going to argue it has something to do with the strike. Also, I think he will be having worsening health issues. And I hope Ollie is back. I’ve been worried about him since he wasn’t in Series 3.
Lizzie Stark will still pine for Tommy. She won’t be given anything, really, to do, but she will continue to hope Tommy will return her feelings. He won’t.
Finn still won’t get many lines. He’ll still just show up occasionally to help move the action along, but Finn still won’t get much character development.
There will be no Grace cameos. Although we’ll see pictures, Grace will not actually appear this series. Knight has made clear that he’s done with her character.
The music will be awesome! I thought the music was terrific last season, and I think it will continue. I’m thinking there will be more David Bowie, but I’m eager to see which new artists will be featured on the show.
So that’s my best attempt. Don’t bet the farm — I’m not very good at this. Now we’ll wait until the fall to see what happens.
Publication Date: 18 March 2017
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