‘Peaky Blinders’ season 6 premiere reveals Polly’s fate and pays tribute to Helen McCrory

Image via BBC / Peaky Blinders

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Peaky Blinders season six, episode one

Peaky Blinders dealt with the tragic passing of Helen McCrory by dedicating the season six premiere to her name, while also revealing the fate of her character Polly Gray in a way that really raises the stakes for the Shelby family in this final outing.

Since it’s been more than two years that we had a Peaky Blinders episode, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane by recounting the events of the season five finale. As most of you will probably recall, Tommy’s plan to take out Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, went awry when someone from inside the Brummie gangster’s organization spilled the beans on the assassination plot.

Major spoilers for season six’s premiere follow

The fifth season ended on a grim note, showing Tommy losing control and putting a gun to his own head. Last night’s premiere episode starts exactly where we left off, with the main protagonist actually going through with his suicide attempt and pulling the trigger. Luckily for him and every fan, Arthur had taken out the bullets, which gave Tommy time to settle himself.

When he returns to the mansion, a truck bearing white flags passes him by. The phone then rings to announce an Irishwoman who says the previous night’s operation was carried out by the Irish Republican Army. “We need to keep Mr. Mosley alive… Also, you should know that saving Mosley’s life wasn’t our only intervention last night. We’ve made some changes to the structure of your organization,” she says.

The scene then cuts to Tommy opening body bags. “Ever since you began to build your empire you’ve had a crutch to lean on. Last night, we kicked away that crutch,” The voice on the phone continues. We never see the contents of the body bags, but Tommy’s utter stupor clearly reveals that one of them bears Polly’s body.

After years of battling cancer, acclaimed British actress Helen McCrory – who portrayed Polly in the show – tragically succumbed to her illness in April 2021. That’s why the show concluded her character’s journey off-screen, though it’s safe to say that the occasion also drives the high stakes of the final season home.

Be careful, Mr. Mosley, because Tommy Shelby is coming for your crown.