Peaky Blinders’ cursed sapphire, Bethany Boswell and Esme Shelby-Lee explained
**Spoiler warning for Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 3**
Well, that was a hard-hitting episode.
Last week in Peaky Blinders, Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and wife Lizzie (Natasha O’Keeffe) were left devastated when daughter Ruby fell sick with consumption after visions of a "Grey Man".
Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 3, titled ‘Gold’, saw Tommy attempt to uncover the truth behind Ruby’s illness, convinced that it was a Romani curse related to death.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s sister Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle) stepped in and dealt with the likes of new arrival Jack Nelson (James Frecheville), spiteful Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) and the scheming Lady Diana Mitford (Amber Anderson).
Elsewhere, Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) handled thieving Liverpudlian docks worker Hayden Staggs (Stephen Graham).
However, Tommy’s quest was the chief focus of the instalment and saw him track down Esme Shelby-Lee (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) for answers and found tales of sorcery, cursed sapphires and revenge.
Here is everything that happened and the connections to past seasons of Peaky Blinders.
**Spoiler warning for Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 3**
Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 3 explained
Who is Esme Shelby-Lee in Peaky Blinders?
Last seen in season 4, Esme Shelby-Lee is the widow of John Shelby (Joe Cole), who died at the hands of the Changretta crime family.
A member of the traveller Lee family, Esme was wed to John in an arranged marriage to join the Lees with the Shelbys.
Esme grew to have a passionate relationship with John and raised his four children by his late wife and also had two children by him too.
After their home was attacked by the Changretta crime family, Esme was devastated and blamed Tommy and his family, cursing them.
Esme departed to “live with decent people" on the road.
Tommy tracks her down after his daughter Ruby falls sick with tuberculosis and is convinced a curse has been placed on the family.
He hopes Esme will reveal she placed the curse or knew who had.
What is the cursed sapphire in Peaky Blinders?
The cursed sapphire was a gift from fugitive Russian aristocrat Grand Duke Leon Petrovich Romanov (Jan Bijvoetto) to Tommy Shelby as payment for the murder of Soviet Union refugee Anton Kaledin (Richard Brake) and also any future business between them,
However, Leon is duplicitous and planned to kill Tommy.
When Tommy met with and discussed business with Leon’s niece Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna (Gaite Jansen), however, she revealed that the sapphire was “cursed by a Gypsy”.
She added with a laugh: “Nothing on Earth would make me wear it.”
How is this connected to Grace Shelby?
In the second episode of the third season, Tommy gave the sapphire in a necklace for his beloved wife Grace Shelby (Annabelle Wallis) to wear at the dinner for the Shelby Charity Foundation.
At the dinner, Tatiana informs Tommy that the sapphire being worn by Grace was "cursed by a Gypsy".
A concerned Tommy attempted to get Grace to take off the necklace before a man hired by the Changretta crime family shot Grace in the chest, killing her.
Grace died in Tommy’s arms, despite him calling for an ambulance and the Shelby family raising the alarm.
Who was Bethany Boswell in Peaky Blinders?
Bethany Boswell, portrayed by Frances Tomelty, featured in the third episode of the third season of Peaky Blinders.
She was a wise older woman of the prominent Romani family the Boswells and resided in Wales when she received a visit from Tommy in his caravan, accompanied by his son Charlie Shelby and friend Johnny Dogs (Packy Lee).
Tommy offered Boswell the sapphire and she confirmed she would take it.
He asked Boswell if she would wear it - to confirm that the sapphire that Grace wore when she died was indeed cursed as Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna claimed.
However, it is clear that Tommy just wanted her to confirm the sapphire was so that he could rid himself of guilt for Grace’s death.
“You want me to tell you that this jewel is cursed and then her death won’t be all your fault,” noted Boswell.
Tommy responded: “If I believed in priests, I would confess and ask for forgiveness, but all I have is you Madame Boswell.”
After he notes that he has a son and a business and needs sleep, Boswell responds: “It is cursed. I feel its curse burning through my hand.”
Tommy departed the camp, leaving the sapphire in the possession of Boswell.
As he walked away, Boswell called out: “Bless you, Tommy Shelby. You’ll have good fortune from now on.”
Finally, a cynical Tommy then described the meeting to a baffled Johnny by saying: “All religion is a foolish answer to a foolish question.”
Why was a curse placed on Ruby Shelby?
The third episode of season 6 suggests the curse was indeed very much real.
A visit to a graveyard with Esme revealed that Boswell returned to her camp and gave the sapphire to her own sister who then handed it to her seven-year-old daughter, Connie.
The young girl then swiftly fell sick with a cough and died that same night.
Esme shows Tommy the grave of young Connie, with her grave noting that she died due to a “cursed stone”.
Suspecting that Connie’s mother laid the curse, she also suspects the curse was done so as to hurt Tommy’s own daughter when she reached the age of seven so “he’d know how it feels”.
Tommy vows to find the girl’s mother and Esme offers to help him but only if he pays her in gold.
Sadly, Tommy later returns to the hospital to find that the curse was apparently successful and Ruby had died after falling ill with consumption and he was not there to be with her, to the distress of her mother Lizzie.
What will happen in Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 4?
Intriguingly, the fourth episode of Peaky Blinders season 6 is titled ‘Sapphire’, suggesting that the curse placed on Tommy’s family and claimed the life of Ruby Shelby will continue to carry great importance.
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The official plot synopsis for the episode reads: “Tommy establishes a connection between crime and political power that could alter the course of history.
“He also receives life-changing news from an unexpected source.”
The episode will also feature Esme according to the released cast list so expect her to continue to aid Tommy in his quest.
- Read More: Peaky Blinders season 6 cast: Meet the returning characters and new faces
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- Read More: Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight teases Alfie Solomons "chaos" in season 6
Peaky Blinders airs on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm and is available to catch up on iPlayer now. Check out our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features or find something to watch with our TV guide.
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