When Tommy confronted Alfie in season 3, Alfie revealed Tommy is a murderous villain just like the rest of them. Tommy finally seems to accept this.
Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 5 saw Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) finally admit to a sad fact that Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy) predicted as early as Peaky Blinders season 3. The globally-acclaimed BBC show is coming close to a wrap-up, with season 6 concluding the TV run before a feature-length Peaky Blinders movie concludes the story. The end seems to be around the corner for Tommy, as he has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tuberculoma. But there's a darker side to Tommy's ending: it took him a long time, but he finally admitted he is a murderous villain like all his enemies.
In the Peaky Blinders season 3 finale, Tommy confronts Alfie for betraying him and indirectly causing his son's kidnapping. Alfie gets enraged at Tommy for saying that he crossed a line, retorting: "How many fathers, right, how many sons, yeah, have you cut, killed, murdered, f*cking butchered, innocent and guilty, to send straight to f*cking Hell, ain't ya? Just like me! You f*cking stand there, you, judging me, stand there and talk to me about crossing some f*cking line." Alfie Solomons (who has great spin-off potential) reveals something Tommy doesn't want to accept: that Tommy is fundamentally a criminal who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, just like Alfie, and just like all the enemies that Tommy despises.
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We're now only a couple of days away from the Peaky Blinders series finale.
Exactly what lies in store for the final episode is still currently under wraps, but in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, season 6 director Anthony Byrne has given us a few hints.
Talking about the overall season's structure, Byrne said: "Episode 5 is classic Peaky. It starts and is absolutely relentless. And there's a lot going on. It's a really busy episode. And it's Tommy Shelby highly motivated and putting everything in motion. And then 6 is revenge. That's how I kind of view it."
Exactly whose revenge Byrne is talking about is unclear. Could it be Tommy, seeking revenge against the Black Cat for his betrayal? Or Michael, who blames Tommy for his mother's death, and is on a vendetta to kill him? Or could it be someone else entirely? Only time will tell.
Speaking about the finale's extended runtime, he added: "It’s 81 minutes. We were like, 'F**k the 10 o'clock news.' It’s such a Peaky thing to do for the last hurrah. It’s the 10:22 news for one night only. Episode 6 is a feature-length episode.
"It feels very, very different to the rest of the season. It feels very, very different to anything that was done before, I would say. It's very epic in scope. It feels like a film. It's a kind of dry run for the feature film."
It seems like Tommy's diagnosis is the element that made him ultimately come to terms with his villain status. In the same Peaky Blinders episode "Road to Hell," Tommy tells Hayden Stagg (Stephen Graham) what has kept him in the game for so long when he could have quit anytime. It's his power over life and death, his addiction to criminal power is so strong ("junk doesn't even come close"), Tommy doesn't want to "get out." Throughout the series, Tommy promises those around him (and himself) that he will complete one last deal, then stop. But deep down, Tommy doesn't want to stop: much like Breaking Bad's Walter White, he's addicted to the power game.
Tommy sleeping with Diana for a business deal in Peaky Blinders season 6 episode 5 confirmed to Tommy that Alfie was right. He confesses to the fascist crowd: "For all I try to hide it, I'm just one of you. Could there be a sadder ending, eh?" It's a dark ending to the episode, and to Tommy's story. He hasn't been carrying out his criminal schemes as a means to a good end, or to escape people like his enemies. He belongs with them, in the "wicked world" that Alfie Solomons urged him to embrace, the world he is addicted to.
'You're putting yourself out there to be poked and ridiculed... but being naked in an incredibly cold Turkish bath brings that vulnerability, it was 10 hours.'
The former Hollyoaks star stripped down to his birthday suit while transforming into ex footballer Billy Grade, before mobster Jack Nelson (James Frecheville) ominously appeared.