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Peaky Blinders: Season 6 Episode 1 Reveals Aunt Polly’s Fate

Peaky Blinders provided immediate closure for Aunt Polly (Helen McCrory) with a touching tribute and a realistic tie-in to the Season 6 storyline.

Aunt Polly Death Peaky Blinders Season 6
Photo: BBC

When Peaky Blinders: Season 6 Episode 1 aired on Sunday night, several lingering questions needed to be answered. Beyond the on-screen predicaments involving the Shelbys, a real-world event altered the show’s storyline. Helen McCrory, who portrayed Aunt Polly, passed away in April 2021. As fans mourned the loss of the talented British actor, questions arose regarding the show’s plans for Aunt Polly.


The last shot of Season 5 left viewers with a dramatic cliffhanger, which Episode 1 of the new season addressed immediately. In doing so, it also revealed Aunt Polly’s fate.

What Happened to Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders?

The final scene of Season 5 depicts Tommy Shelby holding a gun to his head after a failed assassination attempt on British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley. The beginning of Season 6 lets viewers know that Tommy did indeed pull the trigger, but his brother Arthur had removed the bullets from his gun.

After a talking down to — quite literally — from his wife Lizzie, Tommy emerges from the muddy field on his property and walks into his house to answer a ringing telephone. Captain Swing is on the line, and she has damning news for Tommy and the Shelbys.

Tommy learns that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) thwarted his attempt to take out Mosley. Captain Swing says the IRA needs Mosley alive and that’s all Tommy needs to know. But she also drops a figurative bomb on the Shelbys’ world when she informs Tommy of a delivery that just arrived in his driveway.

A truck containing multiple bodies pulls into Tommy’s estate so he can “send [them] to heaven in [his] own way,” as Captain Swing put it. Viewers know from the Season 5 finale that Aberama Gold and Barney Thompson are two of the casualties from the failed assassination attempt. But Captain Swing and the IRA have also “removed a crutch” that Tommy has leaned on in the past.

Tommy Aunt Polly Death Peaky Blinders
Photo: BBC

Of course, that “crutch” is Aunt Polly, who was murdered by the IRA. Captain Swing informs Tommy that the deaths of his people are his own fault, and he will now “lean on” the IRA.

The next scene depicts the Shelbys hosting a Gypsy funeral for Aunt Polly. Following close-up cuts to the solemn reactions of family members and associates, Polly’s son, Michael Gray, vows revenge against Tommy.

Aunt Polly’s eyes appear through the smoke of the burning wagon to conclude the Season 5 finale aftermath portion of the episode.

Aunt Polly Death Eyes in Smoke Gypsy Funeral Peaky Blinders
Photo: BBC

With Polly’s fate wrapped up, Peaky Blinders Season 6 Episode 1 jumps four years ahead to continue the story.

Before the end credits roll, a Helen McCrory episode dedication message appears on the screen.

Helen McCrory Aunt Polly Peaky Blinders Season 6
Photo: BBC

Moving on without Helen McCrory and Aunt Polly is a daunting task both on- and off-screen. But the show provided immediate closure with a touching tribute and a realistic tie-in to the Season 6 storyline.

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BS-Broadcast Journalism - University of Illinois 2016 | Editor-in-Chief at | Panelist on Four Feathers Podcast and Sox On Tap

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