The Peaky Blinders series concluded its narrative leaving open several ends to be tied in the film that will be made. And, clearly, led by the younger generation of the gang: Duke and Finn, of course.
Erasmus “Duke” Shelby (Conrad Khan) and Finn Shelby (Harry Kirton). Uncle and nephew, of similar ages, but opposite sides.
We were introduced to Duke only in the final stage of the story, the son that Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) only discovered he had decades later, but embraced without reservation and brought into the family. This approval generated the central dramatic point for the film, as Duke is like his father and inherited the leadership of the Peaky Blinders. Finn, on the other hand, never had the brothers’ attention and, without much surprise, ended the story antagonizing his relatives.
By the time we met the Peaky Blinders, the Shelby brothers had already returned from the war, traumatized and back in business, led by Polly Gray (Helen McCroy) when the men were away. And of all brothers and sons, the youngest, little Finn Shelby, always on the sidelines and watch, promises to be more dangerous than Michael Gray (Finn Cole). And bring even more pain.
During the hiatus before the final season, we theorized and revised details, but in the end – whether it was the original plan or the untimely death of Helen McRoy, which altered the narrative, one of the most obvious possibilities happened to be the true one. The big traitor was Billy Grande (Emmett J Scanlan). Taking advantage of Finn’s innocence, who shared the classified information, he revealed to the I.R.A. about the assassination attempt on Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) and caused a series of deaths, including Polly’s. Gina Gray (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Mosley were lovers, Michael changed his justification of wanting to kill his cousin Thomas out of revenge for Polly’s death, Thomas was working for Churchill and is unable to stop fascism in England, but manages to avenge the death of Polly. Along the way, he loses his daughter Ruby, and pushes Lizzie Stark (Natasha O’Keeffe) over the edge, separating from him and taking Thomas and Gracy’s son Charles with her. Charles is another one that should have relevance in the film.
Peaky Blinders had been showing the generation gap for some time now. Michael and Gina Gray had the tough summit where they wanted to take the reins and then declared war on the Peaky Blinders. It was all seeming to suggest that the competition and drama between Michael and Thomas would be vital to the plot, with Polly having to choose between the two. But this aspect lost its strength with the death of the actress before the recordings. So much so that Michael’s participation was radically reduced. His “blind revenge” motivation has gotten a bit strained and that’s what ends up costing him his life. No Polly, no Michael.
Another antagonist was Oswald Mosley, but being a real person, there were limitations to growing in fiction. Her fate could not be affected by Thomas and even the Americans, Gina’s relatives, are very mean, but they were not afraid. So while season 6 was about completing Thomas’ plan, it was without a real antagonist. And Shelby’s big predator is a genuine Shelby: “little” Finn.
Curious but profound choice. Of the brothers, Finn stands out the least, virtually “protected” by his older brothers and sister by being ignored and left out. Since the beginning of the series, Finn is “spared” or made fun of by his elders, without a defined role, never having managed to prove himself to his brothers. Raised as a son by Polly, he was always marginalized within the clan. Paradoxically, everyone’s overprotection led the boy to break up with his family. Finn is a dangerous unknown. His lack of connection to the Shelbys is so obvious that neither Thomas nor Arthur (Paul Anderson) will personally confront him for the betrayal that led to Polly’s death. They send Duke, newly arrived and still settling in. The two fell out right away and will be the great opponents in the film.
And as for Finn’s question of which side to choose, there’s a lot to explore. Early, he was taken care of by the Shelby women, but even his adoptive mother, Polly, leaves him when he meets her real son, Michael. Arthur and John even paid some attention, but they followed Thomas’ orders and formed families, Finn was at the mercy of the leftovers he took from everyone. Not even when John was murdered did the Peaky Blinders give Finn a prominent place in the group. Just like Duke now, Michael rose faster than Finn when he was brought back to the Shelbys, even though he didn’t stand out, there’s no doubt that Finn was painful to be a Shelby and to see others in greater prominence.
Billy Grande took advantage of the vacuum to give Finn the voice he’d always wanted to have, so it’s no surprise the lad was torn. The Shelbys were so protective of Finn that they took away from him the essential connection to being a Peaky Blinder. In this way, Finn Shelby is the great villain of the saga and his return will not be without pain. As for Duke, even Charles, who was treated similarly to Finn, should give Thomas a headache.
The feature film is a project announced many years ago, but it still hasn’t gotten off the ground. With Thomas surviving, there’s still something to show for his fight against Mosley, who will eventually be arrested. But it will be dealing with the pain of Finn’s betrayal that will bring the dramatic element to the Peaky Blinders. A new generation, the same pain as the previous one.
Let’s follow the production details!