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The Ending Of Peaky Blinders Season 5 Explained

It's been nearly a year and a half since Peaky Blinders wrapped up its fifth season with a stunning cliffhanger. Since so much time has passed, fans of the series haven't given up on awaiting news that the sixth and final season is incoming. After all, there are many questions to be answered, most importantly about the fate of one of the series' most vital characters.

The bad news is that season 6 production was temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. The good news is that as of January 2021, it's back up and running, which means that fans are closer than ever to finding out what happens next on Peaky Blinders

That's as good a reason as any to get our heads around what exactly happened in those critical final moments. Let's take a look at what happened at the end of season 5 of Peaky Blinders — and in case there's any doubt, there will be big spoilers for the series ahead!

Tommy Shelby reached a new low in Peaky Blinders' fifth season

Throughout Peaky Blinders' run, Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) has been battling PTSD due to his time in the trenches in World War I (via BBC Sounds). It has manifested in various ways, including his experiences with flashbacks and night terrors. Throughout season 5, his mental health deteriorated, as we saw him experiencing hallucinations of his dead wife Grace (Annabelle Wallis), who appeared to him multiple times, trying to convince himself to commit suicide. 

It's easy to see that these visions are a manifestation of the guilt he has over her death — which she, at one point, directly blames him for. That alone would be enough to bring Tommy to a breaking point, but throughout season 5, he also had to face other stressors, including trying to outwit Oswald Mosley (Enola Holmes' Sam Claflin) and Jimmy McAvern (Brian Gleeson). When Tommy's attempted assassination of Mosley went awry and the politician was able to escape, the Peaky Blinders leader reached a point of no return.

Peaky Blinders fifth season may have ended with a bang

So, to recap Tommy Shelby's mental state has been gradually deteriorating for quite some time, and his plot to take out one of his biggest enemies has been thwarted, likely due to a betrayal amongst his trusted allies, and he is lucky to escape with his life. The closing scene of Peaky Blinders' fifth season sees Tommy running into an empty field, where Grace and a black horse are waiting for him. She seemingly encourages him once more to commit suicide, saying, "The work's all done, Tommy. It's all done. We can walk away from all of this. It's so easy and so soft. Such a small change." He holds a gun to his temple and screams — and then, the credits roll, leaving us to wonder if he will actually pull the trigger.

While this moment is shocking, in regard to the emotional punch it packs, it was clearly foreshadowed, both throughout the season and even twice in the finale — when Charlie (Ned Dennehy) says that suicide runs in the Shelby family, and again when Alfie (Tom Hardy) tells Tommy he's had a recurring dream about him standing in a field with a black horse and saying goodbye. 

Even though it's clear how the series arrived at this tense moment in the finale, it doesn't make the waiting for the resolution of the cliffhanger any easier. We'll finally find out what happened to Tommy when Peaky Blinders' sixth season premieres.