Lock and Key
Do Lizzie and Tommy break up?
Episode 6 of Peaky Blinders Season 6 starts at Norfolk Prison as Michael is released, guided by one mission – to get revenge on Thomas Shelby.
Following Diana’s scandalous reveal about her sleeping with Tommy, Tommy heads up to see Lizzie, who’s grief-stricken and shocked over her husband’s actions. She calls Tommy cursed, bitterly retorting that this is not going to be lifted anytime soon.
Tommy’s leaving, but so too is Lizzie. After saying goodbye to Ruby in her own way, Charlie decides to leave and stay with Lizzie, pointing out that his father has never really been there for him.
What is the fate of Shelby Ltd?
With Charles and Lizzie out the picture, the attention turns to Tommy’s business as he tells Arthur he’s on his way to Canada to sort out a business transaction to sort them 5 million. This will be shared out among the Shelby family, as Tommy ignores his brother’s concerns.
Tommy is also working with the housing minister to sort out some contracts worth £10 million so the Shelby company can continue to make money “in the interest of a fairer future.” Tommy is keeping his condition a secret from everyone else, demanding Arthur keep to this too. “When the time comes, I’ll call you.” Tommy goes on, hurriedly going over the logistics of his funeral.
Arthur is angry, but that anger soon dissipates to grief as he hugs his brother and shakes his head. Tommy reminds him he’s not dead yet as they continue forward with their mission to wrap up loose ends.
Tommy brings all the Shelby family together, encouraging them to party this Sunday. For Arthur though, he’s going to be having dinner at the bar.
After being released, Michael heads over to Boston. He’s not drinking, wanting to keep a level head, as Billy feeds back what he’s learned to Gina on the phone. Gina is cold, deciding they should kill Arthur at the same time, given Tommy’s death will spark a rebellion. In 3 days time there’s going to be a bloodbath, and Gina has already made all the arrangements to see this through to its conclusion.
How does the confrontation between Oswald and Tommy end?
In parliament, Tommy is given an invitation to Diana and Oswald’s wedding. They’re actually bound to be wed in front of the fuhrer but Tommy declines, pointing out that he’ll be in Canada at the time. Oswald warns Tommy not to try anything with Diana or he’ll have him killed. When he leaves, Tommy’s hand shakes.
Does Michael get his revenge?
Tommy flies out to Canada, where Michael begins putting his plan into action. He’s lying in wait on Miquelon Island, with a bomb no less. Tommy shows up at the pub – the same one he and Michael spoke during their meeting way back in episode 1 of this season. Michael demands Tommy show them where he’s stored the opium. Only then will be get his 5 million dollars.
The plan is simple, and with that aforementioned bomb sitting in the trunk, Tommy sits in the car waiting for Michael to join him. Polly’s son sits in the pub though, and as the music crescendos, the cars outside suddenly explode into a fiery inferno. Michael breathes deeply. “Mum, it’s done. It’s over. May god forgive me.” Thomas Shelby is dead… or is he?
It turns out Tommy is still alive. He had Charlie switch the cars and as such, the car behind Michael’s is blown to smithereens. Charlie decides to go and look at the fog. In his absence, Tommy and Michael come face to face. Eventually Tommy shoots Michael right through the eye, pointing out he has no limitations and ending Michael’s revenge mission once and for all.
With Michael dead, Tommy heads inside the bar where Alfie Solomons shows up. He’s married now to a woman named Edna but Tommy isn’t in the mood for celebrations. A long trail of dead bodies lie in his wake but as he mentions this, Alfie encourages him to go and see someone *checks notes* who gives a sh*t. Righteo then. After downing his drink, Tommy prepares for the final act.
Does Captain Swing die?
Back in London, Duke takes the reigns of the Shelby family, shooting Billy in cold blood and promising Finn that he’s no longer part of the Shelby family, “by order of the Peaky f*cking Blinders.”
At the Garrison Tavern, Gina’s goons show up but it’s not Arthur sitting waiting for them. Arthur blindsides the assassins, led by Captain Swing, and takes them outside. As a really tense game of cat and mouse ensues, Arthur eventually gasses them out, donning his own gas mask and following the trail of coughs to where Captain Swing sits, choking. Arthur eventually shoots her in the chest, avenging Polly’s death.
The Final Supper
Tommy heads back to London, where he blows his house sky high, detonating charges that drop it to the ground. He’s back where he began, with horses and wagons. The difference here is that he’s actually done some good, allowing the housing plans to go ahead. He toasts to family and encourages Ada to run for parliament if a position opens up.
Arthur isn’t there, unwilling to say goodbye, as he promises to join him very soon via a letter read by Linda. Tommy hugs Curly, whispers something in Duke’s ear and says goodbye to everyone as he walks away. He refuses to tell Ada what’s going on – or where he’s going.
Does Tommy die from his illness?
We then skip forward one month later. Tommy is a mess, out in the countryside alone. With a solitary bullet, engraved with “Tommy” on the side, he prepares to shoot himself in the head. Only, just before he does, Ruby comes to him, encouraging Tommy that he needs to live, urging him to light the fire.
Interestingly, a charred newspaper clipping happens to be there, depicting the wedding of Oswald and Diana. And who else is in attendance? His doctor.
It turns out Tommy was never actually sick to begin with. It was all a big ruse to make Tommy reckless and believe that death was coming for him. He doesn’t have TB but that doesn’t stop his doctor from telling him he’s sick; sick of death at his own hand and who he was. “The gun no longer belongs in your hand.” He says, as Tommy tells his doctor he’s back from under the ground with a vengeance.
Tommy doesn’t shoot him though, instead turning and walking away. As he does, his wagon is set alight and goes up in flames, which Tommy sees and eventually rides away.
The Episode Review
A tense, climactic final episode rounds out what’s otherwise been a rather tumultuous and uneven season. The conclusion to Michael’s storyline is arguably the best part of the whole episode, while Arthur manages to redeem himself and gain revenge for Polly’s death, shooting Captain Swing outside while she chokes on gas.
The big reveal that Tommy isn’t actually sick after all is definitely unexpected, and pretty shocking too, although it does undermine the emotional weight of that final supper outside.
The ending with Mosley was never going to be fully resolved, especially those who know their history, but the final scene in parliament just felt like set-up for that aforementioned movie rather than adding some closure for Tommy. There’s nothing wrong with that of course but as the last ever episode of Peaky blinders on the small screen, it would have been nice to get something to sink your teeth into.
On that same note, the lack of resolution for the whole Jack Nelson story is a bit disappointing and the fact Finn gets such a non-ending while Duke is elevated up to head-honcho (presumably anyway) feels, again, like set-up for the movie. That’s to say nothing of the whispering at the end which is never fully explained. What did Tommy whisper in his ear?
Season 6 has been a slow burn of the highest order and the series has taken a bit of a dip in recent seasons, especially when it comes to narrative structure and closing out all the story beats properly.
However, the upcoming movie will, presumably, look to tackle this but then it’s a catch-22 situation – how do you produce a big budget movie and appease both fans and newcomers to a series that has such a long and illustrious history? We’ll have to wait and see.
For now though, Peaky Blinders rides out on a relative high, with a nice subversion of expectations and plenty of promise for the future of this franchise.