The final episode of Peaky Blinders, the beloved period crime drama, has aired. The sixth and final season is now available on Netflix, bringing an end to the story of the Shelby crime family of Small Heath, Birmingham. Because of how the show ends, creator Steven Knight has some leeway in developing a sequel film. There was a lot of heartbreak and trauma in the final season, but there was also some redemption. Without a few surprises along the way, Peaky Blinders just wouldn’t be the same.
When Season 6 of Peaky Blinders aired, the thrilling drama had already spanned five seasons, but it added a few more chapters to a few storylines. We’ll be honest and say that not all of them were addressed, but since we’ll be seeing even more Shelbys in the future, that’s not too much of a cause for alarm. Yet, there were a few inferences made. As an example, in a fight between Michael Gray (Finn Cole) and Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), who do you think would win?
It’s officially less than 2 weeks until the launch of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom 👀 🎉
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— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) February 24, 2023
As he had been throughout the show, Tommy was the focus of this final episode. He made his way up in the world by constantly putting himself in danger and never truly fearing death. He became much more willing to take calculated risks after his time in France during World War I.
At the end of Season 5, forces that Tommy didn’t know about at the time stopped him from killing Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), the leader of the fascist group. He would learn later that these were members of the Irish Republican Army. In his prime, Mosley served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and founded the British Union of Fascists. He lived until 1980, when he passed away from Parkinson’s disease. JFK’s father, Joseph Kennedy Sr., was the model for the character Jack Nelson, who was played by James Frecheville. In that case, Kenedy wouldn’t have died until 1969, so his early demise wouldn’t make sense. Tommy’s planned feature film, which may take place during World War II, seems like it could aid him in exacting his revenge on the two antagonists.
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— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) February 23, 2023
Tommy has never once expressed worry about his own mortality on the show. There was a much greater emphasis on leaving a lasting impression. Given that Tommy has been given a terminal diagnosis of tuberculosis and only 18 months to live, it is established by the season finale that he will pass away. Given that Tommy has had suicidal thoughts in the past, he makes the decision to kill himself rather than continue to get sicker and die in the show. To put it bluntly, if anyone can kill Tommy Shelby, it’s Tommy Shelby.
But during the act, Tommy has a vision of his daughter Ruby (Heaven-Leigh Clee) that leads him to realize the diagnosis was false. Dr. Holford (Aneurin Barnard) is his doctor and a friend of Mosley’s, who persuaded him to lie to Tommy about his health so that Mosley could watch him commit suicide. Because of this new information, Tommy decides not to kill the doctor. Tom announces, “Eleventh hour,” as the tower clock strikes eleven. Armistice. I can finally rest easy, alluding to the signing of the treaty that officially ended World War I. In the nick of time, the Armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918. To rephrase: “I have returned. Tommy then tells Holford that he has returned from the underground. This was a way to symbolically rebirth a character whose foundation was laid during World War I.
"All the tired horses in the sun. How am I supposed to get any riding done?" 🎵
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— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) February 3, 2023
In regards to the Shelbys, there is a lot of mystery to be solved. Polly Gray (Helen McCrory) predicted that if Michael and Tommy went to war at the end of season 5, one of them would die, and as usual, Aunt Polly was right. Michael’s death does leave Tommy with an angry relative across the Atlantic in Gina Gray (Anya Taylor-Joy), and she has powerful allies who may yet come for him. As he prepares his sister Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle) to replace him in Congress, his political career as an MP comes to an end.
The Peaky Blinders had put Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) in charge of exacting revenge on the IRA for their treatment of Aunt Polly. Simply put, he delivered the goods. When his brother breaks the news of Tommy’s diagnosis to him, he is unable to say his goodbyes to him. Unfortunately, only Arthur in Shelby knows that, and he’s devastated by it. Now that there is a Peaky Blinders movie in the works, perhaps they will reconnect. After bringing in a traitor, Billy Grade (Emmett J. Scanlan), both of Finn Shelby’s brothers disown him (Harry Kirton).
In the bleak midwinter…
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Finn sends Duke Shelby (Conrad Khan), Tommy’s oldest son and heir, into exile. He says he will get even with him. After Tommy’s affair causes his wife Lizzie Shelby (Natasha O’Keeffe) to leave him, Lizzie takes Charlie, Tommy’s son from his previous relationship with Grace, with her. Because Tommy believes he is dying, he gives up, trusting that he will be cared for. But there could be trouble between Tommy and his two sons because Charlie feels like his father doesn’t care as much about him as he does about Duke. In the upcoming movie, could Tommy’s sons get along with one another? To be determined, I’m afraid.
To make way for more low-cost housing for Birmingham’s working class, Tommy blows up his house in one of his final acts on the show. In other words, he is essentially living in a caravan that will be set on fire by Holford’s henchmen in the final scenes. Tommy starts a new path in life after deciding that the diagnosis is wrong and taking care of his business. He rides away on a white horse and feels refreshed.
Since Tommy first appeared on the show riding a black horse, the change to a white horse serves as a visual metaphor. After Tommy’s wife Grace passed away, he shot and killed his trusted black horse, Dangerous. The white horse recalls a time when he was younger and his mother enjoyed watching him ride. It’s symbolic of his struggle with his demons and eventual triumph over them. He plans to be a good person from now on, as he told Arthur. Given that the world is likely to be at war when we next see Tommy Shelby, can this revitalized version of him put an end to the reign of terror? When Peaky Blinders finally comes back to wrap up its feature film finale, we will know the answer. For the time being, however, the Peaky Blinders have ordered us to wait and see.
A movie adaptation of Peaky Blinders has been in development for some time. Cillian Murphy, in an interview with Today FM (as reported by NME.com), said that he had not read the script but that he had heard it was “close to being finished” and that he expected the film to be released in 2024.