The time has finally come. Peaky Blinders has returned for its sixth and final season. It seems only fitting to mention that the series just isn’t the same given the absence of Helen McCrory’s, who passed away from cancer in April of 2021; despite this, it is clear that the cast members carry her with them at every opportunity.
Tables have certainly turned in the first episode of season six, and it appears that Tommy has returned. At the end of the last season, we saw Tommy bent on suicide, and the first episode begins right where the last ended: in the field with Tommy. Unfortunately for Tommy — but perhaps fortunate for us — the revolver in which he was about to commit suicide with was lacking the most vital element: bullets. Lizzie appears momentarily and, whilst she is furious, she idly mocks Tommy for his lack of apprehension when it came to checking if the gun was loaded.
Shortly after, when Tommy has composed himself, it is revealed that the IRA leader, Captain Swing (newcomer Charlene McKenna) was responsible for foiling the Blinder’s attempts on Mosley’s life; it becomes clear that Mosley is an asset to the Republicans and therefore they have a devoured interest in keeping him alive at all costs.
Four years later…
Before this goes any further, please let me explain myself. I will not drink your toast, because four years ago, I forswore alcohol.Tommy Shelby
Four years after the failed assassination on Mosley’s life, Tommy arrives at Miquelon Island. Tommy enters a local bar and is greeted with a cold shoulder, made worse when he orders water instead of a proper drink. Despite repeated efforts to get Tommy to drink, it is futile and eventually, Tommy snaps and pulls a switchblade on Jean-Claude (Grégory Fitoussi) to warn him off. Finally, the old Tommy is back and means business.
Tommy makes Jean-Claude a proposal: smuggling Chinese opium from Shangai to Miquelon through Liverpool; the same Chinese opium they secured from the Triads in season five. Unfortunately, however, there is a snag that Tommy doesn’t want to admit. They require the approval of Jack Nelson, the uncle of Michael’s wife, Gina.
To entice approval, and in typical Tommy fashion, Tommy informs Connor (Nelson’s henchman) that there is an FBI informant in their ranks. The deal is sweetened a little bit more as Tommy gives Michael a 5lb sample of the opium to take home to Nelson. As double edged as ever, however, Tommy anonymously tips off the border police about Michael and the illicit drugs he is carrying.
The Peaky Blinders at Home
Back home, things aren’t exactly suns and rainbows, however, and both Lizzie and Ada have been saddled with the kids. Lizzie expresses her frustration when she is unable to take Charles and Ruby across the Atlantic due to Arthur’s overdose on opium. It’s classic from Arthur — didn’t she see it coming?
Linda, however, is nowhere to be seen, surprisingly. Rumours are that she will return sometime this series and we hope that it’s true; surely, she will appear to wrap up her storyline?
Travel plans are not only foiled by Arthur but further complexities arise when Ruby falls ill with a fever. Ruby begins having visions of the Romani devil and this freaks everyone including us out; but can this be prophesising the downfall of Tommy Shelby? Who knows? Well, apparently Tommy and the others do, and he briefly talks with Polly in his scared state and remarks that “they’re coming for me”. Finally, it’s been a long time coming.
Despite the attractiveness of working with the Peaky Blinders, Jack refuses; he’s not in the trade of dealing and dirtying his hands with illicit substances, and who can blame him? Of course, in typical Shelby style, however, Tommy has another trick up his sleeve and was planning ahead. Tommy planned to sell to the Jewish Mob ran by Alfie Solomon (Tom Hardy); this not only aids the Peaky Blinders but tips the scales of power against Nelson.
Overall, this was a solid episode in which we truly saw the return of the scheming Tommy Shelby and the Peaky Blinders. At the same time, we get an insight into Arthur’s life. He clearly hasn’t changed and it doesn’t seem like he will. Could this be the downfall of the Peaky Blinders? Keep watching to find out.