In Peaky Blinders season 6, episode 5, the show included a new scene with Polly Gray, however, her reappearance is bad news for Tommy Shelby. The acclaimed gangster series will come to an end with season 6, with the main narrative finally concluding with the Peaky Blinders movie. Before then Tommy’s story is done, Polly’s son Michael Gray has a score to settle with Tommy Shelby, and season 6’s final episode might finally see their showdown.
Season 6 of Peaky Blinders opens with the tragic revelation of Polly Gray’s death. Due to actress Helen McCrory’s death in 2021, Polly’s character was mostly written out of the show, although she still has a thematic presence. After the IRA thwarts Tommy’s plan to assassinate Oswald Mosley, they inform him that they have restructured his organization by killing Abarama Gold, Barney Thompson, and Polly Gray. Michael makes it obvious that he intends to kill Tommy since he blames him for Polly’s death. In season 6, episode 5 Michael is gifted the chance to get his revenge by Gina’s uncle, Jack Nelson. In exchange for being let out of prison, Michael agrees to kill Tommy when he meets Jack Nelson in Canada.
Before being let out of prison, Michael dreams of a previously unseen encounter with Polly and Gina. Polly pricks Michael’s finger for blood and the blood drips into a swirling bowl of water. Meanwhile, Polly’s voiceover that has haunted season 6 reoccurs: “There will be a war in this family and one of you will die.” An image of Tommy flashes in Polly’s mind, and a look of concern etches across her face. The scene shows that Polly chooses to take Michael’s side in the conflict before she dies. The use of Michael’s blood also implies that Polly set the curse upon Tommy, as she has previously claimed a connection to the supernatural, seemingly communing with spirits. Whilst the fulfillment of her prophecy appears inevitable in the final episode, her look of concern suggests that something compels Polly to believe that it will be Michael, not Tommy, that dies in Peaky Blinders’ finale.
The scene in Peaky Blinders season 6, episode 5 demonstrates that Michael is haunted by Polly’s death and his quest for revenge. He twitches in the night whilst Polly’s funeral pyre flashes before his eyes. Since this is not dissimilar to Tommy’s recurring nightmares and visions of his time in the trenches, Michael may be more like Tommy than he believes, and their upcoming duel is necessary for both of them to let their ghosts rest. Although Tommy believes in season 5 that Michael is after his “crown,” this scene proves that Michael’s motivation for revenge is much more straightforward by linking his desire to kill Tommy directly to Polly’s death. In the intervening years, Michael has clearly established a place for himself within a different organization and would have little need for Tommy’s “crown” at this point.
When Polly pricks Michael’s finger for blood, it adds credence to theories that Polly was the one who placed the curse upon Tommy. It has previously been implied that Polly has supernatural abilities and visions. Even the late Helen McCrory said in 2019 that she thinks Polly has “second sight.” Tommy also believes in her connection with the supernatural and this was compounded by the vision of her eyes in the could in Peaky Blinders season 6. In season 6, episode 1, after Tommy finds out about Ruby’s illness and visions he calls out to Polly as if he believes her to be in the room with him. Or even, because he believes that she was responsible for the tragedy befalling him. Due to Polly’s prophecy that either Michael or Tommy will die, there is a logical suggestion that Polly might place a curse upon Tommy to secure Michael’s safety. In the scene, her tears also suggest that her second sight could have informed her that Michael will be the one to die. Even if she placed a curse upon Tommy, it is hard to imagine that Polly wouldn’t have told Michael. If so, Michael’s desire for revenge could be his downfall, or he could spring a surprise and choose forgiveness. The inclusion of this deleted scene with Polly promises that one way or another, Michael and Tommy’s conflict will be resolved. However, like this scene, Peaky Blinders’ final episode will keep audiences guessing until the last moment.