Peaky Blinders season 5: Who is Barney? Why did he end up in the asylum? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Peaky Blinders season 5: Who is Barney? Why did he end up in the asylum? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

BBC drama Peaky Blinders is coming to a head now with just one more episode to wrap up the latest season. The penultimate instalment of season five had its share of thrills as Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) formulated a plan to take down fascist politician Oswald Mosley. However, he needed some help from an old friend and headed to an asylum to find the one man who could help him.

Who is Barney in Peaky Blinders?

Barney Thompson (Cosmo Jarvis) knew Tommy and Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) from their time on the frontline during World War One.

They had fought together at the Black Water and they called Barney “sergeant” when they initially met at the asylum.

Barney was incarcerated due to his mental health problems and referred to as an “animal” by the guards in the hard-hitting scenes.

Tommy visited the asylum in a bid to enlist Barney to assassinate Oswald, who has been a thorn in his side throughout this season.

By getting rid of Oswald, Tommy can re-start his war with the rival Glaswegian gang the Billy Boys.

READ MORE: Peaky Blinders season 5: Will Oswald Mosley have an affair with Gina?

Before asking him to kill Oswald, Tommy offered a pill to Barney that would end his pain and incarceration. 

But Barney was optimistic about the future and had no plans to end his own life when presented with the option.

Tommy seemed confident about using Barney’s skills from the war as the best sniper to take down Mosley.

Whether Barney is going be carry out the hit on Oswald remains to be seen but Tommy is intent on ridding himself of his powerful foe. 

READ MORE: Peaky Blinders: Who was Freda Kempton? Did she know Brilliant Chang?

This isn’t the first time that Peaky Blinders has dealt with mental health and the impact of the war on the ordinary men who were sent into battle.

Tommy, too, is struggling with his demons – some of which are due to his time during the war.

In the last season, Tommy struggled with nightmares of digging tunnels and trenches.

His brother Arthur also struggles with his anger which has consumed him and led him to do terrible things throughout the course of the show.

READ MORE: Peaky Blinders: Did Brilliant Chang exist?

Perhaps most tragically, fans saw the character of Danny Whizz-Bang (Samuel Edward-Cook) suffering from PTSD and sacrificing his life for Tommy.

To add another layer of poignancy and perhaps foreshadowing to the scene between Tommy and Barney, the gangster promised there would be “a big f***ing bang” when the Peaky Blinders would him out of the institution.

Barney was heard repeating the words over and over, harking back to the dearly departed Danny. 

Prior to his role in Peaky Blinders, actor Cosmo Jarvis featured in 2016 film Lady Macbeth as well as roles in Vera and BBC drama My Mother and Other Strangers.

Peaky Blinders season 5 concludes on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm

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