Did Peaky Blinders just kill off two of its main characters?

SPOILER ALERT! Two members of Tommy's gang might have just met their maker...

BBC, SL

***SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FIRST EPISODE OF PEAKY BLINDERS SERIES FOUR***

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To say Peaky Blinders is back with a bang would be something of an understatement. The “bang” was quite literal as main characters John Shelby and Michael Gray were pummelled with a barrage of bullets in the closing moments of the series opener.

The men behind the guns? The Mafia, at the behest of Luca Changretta (played by Adrien Brody) who had issued each of the Blinders with a ‘Black Hand’ – aka a kiss of death. Faced with annihilation, Tommy moved to gather his family members on their home turf – Small Heath, Birmingham – to take on their most dangerous adversary yet.

BBC Pictures, SL
BBC Pictures, SL

And his plan might have worked had the gangsters not intercepted John and Michael at John’s rural home and – in front of his wife Esme – fired multiple rounds at the two Blinders.

Tommy’s brother John, in particular, took a stream of bullets and fell to the ground alongside Michael – Polly’s biological son. Both looked to have met their maker but, as the credits rolled, their fate was unclear.

Did they die? Or could Peaky Blinders be hiding a trick up its sleeve for next week’s episode?

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Peaky Blinders continues next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC2