Spoilers for Peaky Blinders ahead.
With the finale of cult series Peaky Blinders approaching on Apr. 3, hysteria surrounding the infamous Tommy Shelby’s future is at an all-time high. In last week’s episode, Shelby was handed his fate by a doctor in the form of a diagnosis of a tuberculoma in his brain stem and given just 18 months to live. But with the vitriol between Tommy Shelby and Michael Gray escalating, it’s possible that the producers have other ideas about his final hour.
Famous for promising to “kill” Tommy Shelby, Gray might beat the course of nature to it in the season six finale. Sure, Shelby has his enemies in the form of Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford, portrayed by Sam Claflin and Amber Anderson respectively, but the threat of Gray feels very real. Insisting that he has “one last thing to do” before he dies, Tommy Shelby’s passing is inevitable, as it always was. So, it is not a question of if, but of when and how.
Of course, it would make sense for the producers to direct attention toward Shelby’s tumour. Earlier on in season six, his seven-year-old daughter, Ruby, died from tuberculosis, which would be a natural explanation for the tuberculoma in his brain stem. Receiving a letter from his GP, Shelby’s state was described as a “matter of urgency”, but fans have other ideas about his prospective passing, with one Reddit thread even speculating that the diagnosis might have been orchestrated to put the Shelby family under pressure.
Commenting on the final season in an interview with The Guardian, Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby) recognised that this is the end of an era. A feature film has been confirmed, but as far as the TV series is concerned, this week’s finale is it.
“It feels like the end of something. It’s strange talking about it. I don’t have a grasp on it yet. Maybe when it’s done I’ll have some perspective”, Murphy pondered. “It’s the end of 10 years of my life; a big adventure with lots of colleagues and people that you became very close to.” Whichever way, this finale will reveal all, and Tommy Shelby’s fate – possibly – sealed.