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Peaky Blinders season 6 ending explained

Peaky Blinders season 6 marks the end of an era for Tommy Shelby and his family - what happens, and how does it all set up the movie?

Peaky Blinders season 6 ending explained

How does Peaky Blinders season 6 end? It’s been a long road for Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), who’s taken the titular gang from the streets of Birmingham to international territories. In the final season of the TV series, Tommy’s expansion comes to a head against Michael Gray, his rival in Boston – warning, spoilers inbound.

Coming into the climax, Tommy’s been diagnosed with tuberculoma, an infection that will prove fatal. Methodical to the end, he makes plans for what’s left of the Peaky Blinders and sets about tying up every loose end before he sees himself off. You can imagine how smoothly this goes, him being a Shelby and all.

Needless to say, creator Steven Knight has made it clear more from the Blinders is on the way with a conclusion that, as he told us earlier this year, it’s “the end of a certain part of the story”. What happens, and who’s still standing? If you’re unsure, we have everything you need to know right here, taking you through the events of the episode and what it might mean for the Peaky Blinders movie.

What happens in the Peaky Blinders season 6 ending?

The conclusion of the Peaky Blinders saga thus far is explosive, to say the least. Tommy Shelby and Michael Gray finally come to blows, as Polly’s prophecy foretold, but the odds were not in Michael’s favour.

An assassination attempt on Tommy by car bomb is dodged with the help of Johnny Dogs, who plants the explosive device in one of Michael’s cars, killing a number of his best men. Afterwards, Tommy and Michael stare down, and Tommy shoots him, finishing their blood feud in appropriate fashion.

Believing he’s going to die from tuberculoma, Tommy had spent the back half of the season giving away his empire in anticipation of his own passing. He tells the remainder of the Shelby family he’s leaving for good, only filling Arthur in on his diagnosis, and sits down to shoot himself.

Nothing is ever simple for a Shelby, though, and it turns out that Tommy’s diagnosis was part of a scheme by Dr Holford, in concert with Oswald Mosley. A vision featuring Tommy’s daughter Ruby indicates that there’s more going on than meets the eye, and when he realises he’s been had, he confronts Holford.

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Proving he is indeed a changed man, Tommy spares the doctor, choosing instead to use this new lease on life to follow another path. The last we see of Tommy, he’s riding away on his horse to destination unknown, what remains of his time at the head of the Peaky Blinders burning behind him. When will we see him again? A perfect question for the upcoming movie.

Sophie Rundle as Ada in Peaky Blinders season 6

Who’s still alive in Peaky Blinders?

Most characters, actually – the body count is relatively low. Lizzie, who was breaking up with Tommy anyway due to his infidelities, has left with Charlie in tow, who feels alienated from his father.

Ada (Sophie Rundle) was handed the keys to the Shelby kingdom in Birmingham as part of Tommy’s handover, pushing her into the family business in a way that she’d only ever teetered on before. Arthur, who’s now sober, is left to sit with the idea that Tommy has died of an incurable illness, still unaware that his brother is still alive.

Alfie Solomons is now the lead bootlegger in Boston, and presumably, Gina is now in hiding, having been blackmailed by Tommy to betray Michael. The show has left everyone in a relatively safe holding position for whatever comes next.

We’d speculate, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Tommy Shelby, it’s that he’ll always find a way to defy expectations. For now, the Peaky Blinders are resting ahead of a new era.

Peaky Blinders season 6 is on BBC iPlayer now, before coming to Netflix for international viewers on June 10.