The plot of Season 4 has been held pretty close to the vest, but it kicks off with Tommy Shelby estranged from his family after an intense Season 3 ending that saw him turn the tables and have them all arrested. This season, it’s back to the family’s roots. When Tommy realizes they are in danger of annihilation, he flees his country house and summons the family to return to the streets of Small Heath, where a desperate fight for survival begins.
Murphy says that at the beginning of Season 4, “Tommy is trying to convince himself it’s okay. He’s trying to live with it and what happened to the rest of them. He’s not the sort of character who’s going to go to therapy… It’s an interesting place to find him completely estranged; family was his raison d’etre.” He also sees similarities to the first season. “These circumstances and the threat from outside mean the family has to regroup again and become good at what they were good at in series one. Obviously all the characters are older and all this water’s gone under the bridge, but I see a lot of parallels to series one and I think I do see as Tommy gets older in terms of his legacy and values and principals, if they were sort of atrophied within him, you can see them sort of beginning to stir.”