Peaky Blinders season 6 finale explained: what happened to Tommy Shelby and Michael Gray in final episode?

The season finale of Peaky Blinders had one major twist in store for Tommy Shelby

The hit BBC series Peaky Blinders went out with bang on 3 April, as Birmingham gangster Tommy Shelby came up against his cousin Michael and the IRA.

Several major characters met their end in the feature-length finale as Tommy’s plan was put into action, and a major twist was revealed.

Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter

With an upcoming film following on from the finale apparently in the works, it looks like the Blinders have at least one more hurrah left in them.

But what happened in the season six finale, what does it mean, and what was the big twist? Here is everything you need to know.

(Major spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen the Peaky Blinders finale.)

What happened in the Peaky Blinders finale?

The episode opens with Lizzie, Tommy’s wife and Charles, his youngest son, deciding to leave him because he is unable to let go of the past.

Tommy was told in the fourth episode by his doctor that he is terminally ill, and because he didn’t want those he loved to see him in pain, he didn’t put up a fight when Lizzie and Charles left.

Lizzie left Tommy at the start of the finale

Tommy then meets with his closest allies and asks them to empty his Arrow House estate of valuables (and dig up bodies buried on the grounds) before he moves away.

We then find Michael and Gina discussing their plans to have Tommy killed in revenge for Polly’s death.

Michael tells Gina he doesn’t want to hurt other members of the family but Gina reminds him that anyone who isn’t killed will come after Michael, so the whole Shelby clan must be eliminated.

After another meeting with Diana Mitford and Oswald Mosley, in which the fascist threatens to kill Tommy if he sleeps with his wife again, Tommy flies to an island off the coast of Canada to meet with Michael.

As Finn helps to clear Arrow House, it is revealed that Isiah and Duke know that Billy is a traitor, and they give Finn a gun and tell him to kill Billy.

Finn tries to shoot Duke and Isiah but the first two chambers of the weapon have been left empty.

Duke then shoots Billy dead and tells Finn that he has been kicked out of the Shelby family for bringing a traitor into the ranks, and Finn flees, swearing he will be back for revenge.

Finn was kicked out of the family in the season six finale

Next up, it’s time for the IRA to get their comeuppance as they are ambushed at a pub.

Brought out into the street to be executed by Arthur and Charlie Strong, the plan is disrupted when one of Michael’s men tries to shoot the eldest Shelby brother from a sniper’s nest on a nearby roof.

The sniper is eventually dispatched and a shootout, one of the best scenes in the show, takes place.

Cutting the battle short, preacher Jeremiah arrives with mustard gas and a machine gun while he, Arthur and Charlie don gas masks.

Arthur gives the IRA’s Captain Swing a mask so that she can get her breath back before shooting her through the heart.

Back on the Atlantic island, Tommy and Michael have agreed to a $5 million deal.

But Michael prepares to double-cross his cousin by having a bomb planted in his car and leaving the vehicle before it detonates to retrieve his cigarettes.

However, Tommy had Johnny Dogs move the bomb into the rear car and, when it detonates, it takes out Michael’s entourage.

Tommy then shoots Michael through the eye, killing him instantly and fulfilling Polly’s prophecy that there will be a war between the cousins and one of them will die.

Michael Gray met his end at Tommy’s hand in the season finale

Alfie Solomons appears, having also travelled to the island, and agrees to sign his Camden trade over to Tommy in exchange for his role in securing his control of Boston.

After returning to England and having Arrow House destroyed to make way for homes for Birmingham’s working men, Tommy hosts a farewell dinner with his friends and family.

The gangster then leaves to live in a caravan with his horses and plans to kill himself when his illness progresses.

But as he holds a gun to his head, Tommy hallucinates and a vision of his daughter tells him that he is not really sick.

Looking at a burnt up newspaper, Tommy realises that the doctor who diagnosed him was a close friend of Mosley, and lied about his illness with the hope that Tommy would end his own life.

After confronting the doctor and deciding, grudgingly to let him live, Tommy sees that his caravan with all the memories of his past life, of Grace, Polly and others has been set alight.

Instead of fighting the fire, Tommy rides off on his horse to whatever the future holds.

What does the ending mean for a Peaky Blinders film?

Well the big takeaway is that Tommy Shelby is not dead, which means that a Peaky Blinders movie would almost certainly feature him.

Many plot points were resolved in the finale - Michael Gray, Captain Swing and the traitor Billy have all been taken care of.

Equally, Alfie will be a satisfied customer, having become king of Boston, and will be unlikely to bother Tommy in the future.

But, there are many threads which have been left unresolved and may be revisited in the film.

Castrator-in-chief, Jack Nelson didn’t feature at all in the finale, and he and Gina may seek revenge for the killing of Michael.

The IRA may retaliate for the death of Captain Swing

No doubt the IRA will also have some complaints about three of their crew being executed by the Blinders.

Finn has also vowed revenge on Duke and Isiah so the stage looks set for his return.

Additionally, Oswald and Diana had expected their scheme to end with Tommy’s death at his own hand - now that hasn’t happened they may try to find other ways of removing him.

And with a slow death no longer hanging over him, Tommy may well plan to get Lizzie and his son back.