Peaky Blinders season 6 ending explained: What happened to Tommy Shelby?
We recap the drama's final ever episode below. ***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD***
The end has finally arrived for our legendary Birmingham gang - and is now out on Netflix too, internationally.
The Peaky Blinders season 6 finale saw mobster Jack Nelson organise the release of his niece's husband Michael Gray (Finn Cole) - on the condition that he be the one who will kill Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy).
Meanwhile, the apparently terminally ill Shelby patriarch himself set about organising the final leg of all of his business arrangements – including a trip to Miquelon Island near Canada to collect $5 million for a heroin shipment for Nelson.
As all of this is going on, Duke Shelby (Conrad Khan), Isiah Jesus (Daryl McCormack), Finn Shelby (Harry Kirton), Billy Grade (Emmett J. Scanlan) and various other Peakys descend upon Tommy's mansion Arrow House to remove the bodies buried on the grounds before the contractors move in, and to collect other items and documents.
Elsewhere, Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) pulls up a chair at The Garrison pub, where he claims he will be drinking champagne with his wife Linda Shelby (Kate Phillips), leaving him vulnerable to an attack by the IRA, led by Captain Swing/Laura McKee (Charlene McKenna).
Finally, Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) and Lady Diana Mitford (Amber Anderson) depart London for Berlin, where they plan to marry in the presence of Nazi leader and German chancellor, Adolf Hitler.
Yet, the finale did not go quite according to plan for the enemies of Tommy Shelby.
**Spoiler warning for Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 6**
Peaky Blinders season 6 ending explained
Who dies in Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 6?
There were three major character deaths in the series finale of Peaky Blinders.
- Billy Grade
- Laura McKee/Captain Swing
- Michael Gray
Firstly, 'Black Cat' Billy Grade is shot dead by Duke Shelby – cross dad Tommy Shelby at your own peril – with his son then banishing uncle Finn Shelby from the family for his failings, in turn, birthing a new feud as Finn swears to come for the newbie.
Secondly, IRA figure and fascist collaborator Laura McKee aka Captain Swing arrives at The Garrison with a group of soldiers to murder Arthur, but he's ready for them, with Charlie Strong, Jeremiah Jesus and another in tow.
After a shootout in the shadowy mists, Arthur employs mustard gas to weaken Laura to the point of death, before delivering the fatal shot to the heart for her murder of Polly Gray.
"Rest in peace Pol," he says.
The finale wraps up with Michael and Tommy coming face to face once again and it ends with the death of Michael Gray.
After a swift drink, the pair exit the bar, before Michael slips back inside, claiming that he has forgotten his cigarettes. But we know that it's all part of his grand plan and as expected, there is an explosion, the windows blazing orange behind him.
But unbeknownst to Michael, the ever-reliable Johnny Dogs had switched the bomb, leaving Tommy unscathed and free to traverse his road to redemption once again. The same cannot be said for Michael, however, who suffers a bullet to the head from Tommy.
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A short time later, in swaggers Alfie Solomons, loquacious as ever, babbling on about a wedding and elephants and God knows what else to confirm his stake in the heroin operation.
And with that, Tommy travels home to bid his family farewell, before heading out on his own once again.
What happened to Tommy Shelby and his health condition?
Time hops forward one month, where we meet Tommy inside a caravan at an undisclosed location, filled with pictures of his loved ones and various trinkets. He loads his gun and holds it to his head, set to pull the trigger when Ruby appears to him.
"You must live," she says. Ruby also informs Tommy that he is not sick, contrary to what he believes, and a newspaper clipping from the charred remains of the fire confirms that he is not due to dying anytime soon – although the argument made by many, repeatedly, is that he is already deceased.
The tuberculoma was a total fabrication.
Dr Holford (Aneurin Barnard) who had informed him of his faux fate is, in fact, a Nazi who runs in circles with Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford.
Tommy learns this from a newspaper clipping that shows Mosley and Mitford married in Germany and Holford is pictured among the wedding guests.
Tommy confronts him, the pair exchange words, and we brace ourselves for Holford's death. But it does not come.
The head of the Shelby clan is, it appears, a changed man.
The episode wraps up with his caravan set ablaze as instructed by Holford to a servant, signalling a new chapter in Tommy's life as we head into the feature film.
By order of the Peaky F**king Blinders, Tommy will live on.
Where do we leave all of the central characters in Peaky Blinders?
Thomas "Tommy" Shelby
Last seen galloping off into the distance on a white horse, his future now reclaimed after learning his terminal diagnosis of a tuberculoma was a lie. Will he start afresh? Will he want revenge? Will he return to his family?
Last seen grieving over the presumed loss of Tommy from his life, Arthur missed the family meal where Tommy said his goodbyes before going into self-imposed exile.
Will a reunion with his wife Linda Shelby help Arthur to heal?
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Shelby
Lizzie walked away from Arrow House and her marriage to Tommy in the finale after learning he had slept with Lady Diana Mitford. Joined by her step-son Charles Shelby, Lizzie is looking to start again elsewhere.
Tommy's widowed sister-in-law Esme was last seen in episode four after receiving payment of gold for helping him track down Evadne Barwell and also united Tommy with his son Duke.
Last seen flanked by her son Karl at the family meal where Tommy said goodbye, Ada was encouraged by her brother to become a politician and seemed to be recognized for her good handling of the business.
Tommy refused to confide in her regarding his health situation, however.
Shot dead by his cousin Tommy Shelby on Miquelon Island. RIP.
Arthur's estranged wife returned in the final season and took money from Tommy for her charitable foundation in return for praying and guiding Arthur.
In the finale, Linda was seated with the Shelby family and was asked by Tommy to take care of Arthur, hinting at a reconciliation.
The youngest Shelby sibling was exiled from the family by Duke Shelby under Arthur's orders after he refused to execute his friend and traitor Billy Grade. Finn even turned his gun on Isiah and Duke but it was firing blanks.
Afterwards, he was excommunicated from the gang and swore he would come for his nephew, Duke.
Shot dead by Duke Shelby for being a traitor to the Peaky Blinders and informing on Tommy's plans for the IRA.
Captain Swing/Laura McKee
Shot dead by Arthur Shelby outside the Garrison Pub in revenge for killing Aunt Polly Gray.
Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana, Lady Mosley
The fascist couple were last seen departing for Berlin, Germany to marry in the presence of Adolf Hitler.
A newspaper clipping seen by Tommy confirmed that this indeed took place - but also helped him realise they had tried to trick him into self-destruction by faking his health diagnosis.
Tommy's loyal housekeeper Frances was present at the Shelby family meal at the end of the series, and out of respect, Tommy asked her to take a seat with the family.
Johnny Dogs, Charlie Strong, Jeremiah Jesus, Isiah Jesus, and Curly
The Shelby family's loyal followers were all alive and united with the clan by the end of the series and were bid farewell by Tommy in the final episode as he believed he was leaving to die.
Jack Nelson and Gina Gray
The Boston gangster Jack Nelson and his niece Gina are back in the US but were not seen after their plans on Miquelon Island went awry without their knowledge.
Both are still alive, but Alfie Solomons confirmed he had seized territory from the Nelson family in Boston.
Erasmus "Duke" Shelby
After killing Billy Grade and exiling his uncle Finn Shelby, Duke fully took a place amongst the Peaky Blinders and was seated at the Shelby family table in the final scenes.
Duke now displayed the Peaky trademark undercut to underline his part in the group, Tommy whispered something in his son's ear but we do not know what he said.
Alfred "Alfie" Solomons
The Jewish gangster seized more territory in Boston and got married. Alfie was last seen advising Tommy on his future while in a bar on Miquelon Island.
The Liverpudlian docks worker agreed to be a trading and transport point for the Shelby organisation in the penultimate episode after a talk with Tommy but was not seen afterwards. However, maybe we will see him in the Peaky Blinders movie.
Tommy's son by his late first wife Grace Shelby (Annabelle Wallis), Charles (Billy Jenkins) chose to leave Tommy and live with his beloved step-mother Lizzie in the final episode.
However, Charles did appear for Tommy's goodbye dinner with the family and Tommy asked him to take care of Lizzie for him.
Charles also gave a slightly concerned stare when Tommy whispered in Duke's ear.
- Read More: Peaky Blinders director responds to season 6 criticism: "It has to evolve"
- Read more: Who is Duke Shelby in Peaky Blinders? Actor and character details explained
- Read More: Who is Diana Mitford in Peaky Blinders season 6?
- Read More: Peaky Blinders’ Captain Swing explained: Why did she kill Polly?
- Read More: Peaky Blinders' Amber Anderson says viewers will be "quite shocked" by what’s in store
- Read More: When is Peaky Blinders season 6 released on Netflix?
Peaky Blinders is available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Read our guide to the best series on Netflix, check out our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features or find something to watch with our TV guide.
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