In a beautiful, but devastating twist, Peaky Blinders Season 6 Episode 1 explains what happened to Helen McCrory's Aunt Polly. Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) is dealing with the consequences of the botched assassination of Oswald Mosley four years after the end of Peaky Blinders Season 5, with new conflicts, new strategies, and a new destiny for the persistent antihero.
How Aunt Polly Died in Peaky Blinders Season 6 Episode 1
Peaky Blinders Season 6 Episode 1 picks up Tommy's story right where it left off, in the fields, with a pistol to his head. The vision of Grace begging him to let go actually convinced him to commit suicide, which is clearly a tremendous deal, but Arthur removes the bullets.
Unfortunately, Tommy gets home to discover the murders of Barney and Aberama Gold, as well as a mystery third victim wrapped in white sheets and dumped outside his front door.
A phone call from IRA leader Captain Swing says that they were responsible for foiling Tommy's assassination attempt on Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin), and that they used the opportunity to "restructure" Tommy's group by executing Barney and Aberama. It's then revealed, shockingly, that they murdered Aunt Polly off-screen while the rally was going on, and Tommy's attention was diverted.
Why Was Polly Killed By The IRA In Peaky Blinders?
Tommy regarded Polly as important both for what she prevented him from doing and for what she assisted him in accomplishing. Polly regularly discussed the impact of women on the Shelby firm and the town of Small Heath, especially when the men were gone at war.
Women, and Polly as one of their flag carriers, were crucial in molding Shelby's success and repairing Birmingham's battle wounds. Ada told Polly in Season 5 that Tommy relied on her, and the IRA correctly identified her as a critical crutch to remove in order to make Tommy more vulnerable.
The ending of the first episode of Peaky Blinders Season 6 reveals that Tommy still feels Polly has an impact on his life. Polly may have passed, but her unfinished business will define Peaky Blinders' final season.