Peaky Blinders Made Tommy’s Darkest Ending Theory Way More Likely
Season 6 episode 4 revealed the reason behind Tommy's hallucinations and seizures, but it also made Peaky Blinders' darkest ending theory more likely.
Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 4 revealed the cause of Tommy Shelby’s most recent seizures and hallucinations, but in doing so, it also made the possibility of the series ending with Tommy’s suicide much more likely. Because of how instrumental Shelby Limited’s work has always been for Tommy (Cillian Murphy), and how Tommy could be seen saying, “one last deal to be done and then we Peaky Blinders rest” in the season 6 trailer, the likeliness of Peaky Blinders ending with Tommy’s death has always been high. Tommy’s terminal diagnosis following tests, prompted by his daughter Ruby’s illness, might be the final blow that prompts his veer towards suicide.
Peaky Blinders season 6 focuses on what Tommy describes as his “last deal to be done.” That is, to import Shelby Limited’s opium to North America’s shores by making a deal with Boston gangster and Gina Gray’s (Anya Taylor-Joy) uncle, Jack Nelson (James Frecheville). Tommy has always described this deal as the last one before he and his family can rest, and the final one for the Peaky Blinders as a criminal enterprise. The deal can only be achieved by letting Nelson meet with high-ranking promoters of fascism like Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) or IRA’s Captain Swing (Charlene McKenna), which is what Tommy organized for season 6’s first half. Tommy’s eagerness to finalize this deal sees him persevere despite Michael’s (Finn Cole) anger, as he deemed Tommy responsible for Polly’s murder by the IRA, and his daughter Ruby’s death from tuberculosis, making him ignore his mental and physical health.
Tommy’s neglect of his deteriorating health becomes more evident in Peaky Blinders season 6 episodes 3 and 4, especially after tests for tuberculosis are conducted for Tommy’s family by the sanatorium that tried to cure Ruby’s illness. Tommy spends both episodes avoiding the doctors who are trying to speak with him, until his personal physician Dr. Holford (Aneurin Barnard) is contacted and has to inform Tommy of the inoperable tuberculoma found at the base of his skull. Dr. Holford’s news might be the thing that pushes Tommy over the edge, especially because he had already contemplated killing himself in the past.
Peaky Blinders season 5 had Tommy feeling suicidal in multiple moments, and it usually happened when he hallucinated his dead wife Grace (Annabelle Wallis) telling him to go through with it. The second-to-last season famously ended with a cliffhanger, where Tommy ran to the fields pointing a gun at his temple, but previously he had also considered jumping off a bridge under which he saw Grace in a passing boat. Season 5 episode 6 revealed that Tommy’s mental health issues weren’t foreign to the Shelby family, as explained by Charlie (Ned Dennehy), who also revealed to Tommy that both his mother and grandfather died by suicide. Tommy’s recent tuberculoma diagnosis might lead him once again to suicide once his “last deal” is done.
The theory Tommy Shelby might die by suicide in the end could also be confirmed by the questions he asked Dr. Holford. After being assured his illness wasn’t infectious, Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 4 sees Tommy asking Holford how long it will take him until he needs people around to care for him full-time. Learning that he has between 12 and 18 months left of self-sufficiency might not only put more pressure on Tommy to close the deal with Nelson as soon as possible, but it may also convince him that between the two options, the easiest way to go would be to take his own life. Peaky Blinders never avoided dark themes throughout its six seasons, but letting its central character Tommy die by suicide would definitely be the darkest possible ending to the Shelby family story.