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Why Season 6 Of Peaky Blinders Is Important For The Movie

With "Peaky Blinders" Season 6, the family of Birmingham gangsters said their goodbyes to the TV format. Premiering first on BBC One in late February and then hitting Netflix a few months later, the sixth season of the Steven Knight-created series was, far more than any of the previous five, a character study of the ever-complex and highly intelligent Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy).

Coming off the back of a crushing defeat against Oswald Mosley (Sam Claffin), Series 5 left the Peaky leader in an incredibly dark place mentally. Series 6 was not any easier on Tommy, as it saw him at some of his lowest points in great part due to the death of two of his beloved family members and then to some despairing news about his own health. In director Anthony Byrne's words when speaking with Radio Times: "Season 6 is a character piece about the darkness of Tommy Shelby's soul and it's how far down is he going to have to go before he can get out." 

And does he get out? If you've watched the final season, you should know the answer to this.

Tommy's character arc prepares him for the final chapter

In Season 6, Tommy went through his ultimate character arc. Metaphorically, he died and was reborn as a new man. The change that Thomas underwent is much deeper than the difference in character he acquired after Polly's (Helen McCrory) death. Although we don't get to see the result of this essential shift in Tommy's psyche, because when he does he rides off on a white horse to somewhere we don't know but can speculate, we still understand that "the war" has finally ended for Tommy. The bells rang signaling the eleventh hour: armistice. And thus he's ready to face the final chapter in this epic historical drama.

The war has ended for Tommy and a new one will begin, which he'll be far more ready to navigate politically now that he's emotionally, mentally, and perhaps even spiritually, unencumbered. Speaking to Digital Spy, Knight said in regard to the final chapter: "We're going to make a film — a feature film — which will move the world on, and then once we've moved the world on into the Second World, we'll see where that takes us." And Season 6 served to get Tommy to be at a point where he can face the challenges and political intricacies of the historical period head-on.

The King is set on the board, as are the other pieces

The most important piece in the game is positioned, so are the other pieces. The conflict with Michael Gray (Finn Cole) might be over but Tommy still has Mosley and Jack Nelson (James Frecheville) to deal with — who are arguably way more threatening than Polly's son ever was. The other members of the Shelby family are also set. Arthur (Paul Anderson), is perhaps the biggest question mark of all because of where he left off in Season 6, but we can assume that he'll be ready to back his younger brother in the obstacles to come. Ada will likely also have her own issues to deal with taking into consideration who her children are and the social implications and prejudices that came along with World War II.

Another seed of conflict that was also obviously planted in the final episode of Season 6 was between Duke (Conrad Khan) and Finn (Harry Kirton). We're left to see in which direction Knight will be taking the bad blood between Tommy's little brother and his recently found son. However, we can count on Knight to surprise us, as he said conversation with Digital Spy: "I think what we want to do is keep surprising people, and keep breaking new talent."

The movie will bring some surprises

In an interview with Deadline, Murphy also attests to Knight's ability to take the story on unexpected turns: "Steve always surprises. Whenever you read a script from him it is never how you expected or what you thought might happen. It's always in fact completely the opposite. He manages to kind of subvert that gangster narrative very well I think. I don't know, I really, really don't know." 

We can therefore assume that, as much as we think we know about the upcoming film when judging by the events of Season 6, we'll be nevertheless amazed by the (plot) twists and turns we'll see unfold in the highly anticipated movie. We can expect to see some popular faces return as well as some new players that will take part in the conflict-ridden feature-length final chapter in the Shelby family's story.

The whole six seasons of "Peaky Blinders" can be binged on BBC iPlayer or on Netflix.