Original air date: February 27, 2022
Following Tommy’s failed suicide attempt, he receives a call from IRA agent Captain Swing who takes credit for foiling the attempted assassination of Oswald Mosley. She returns the bodies of Barney Thompson, Aberama Gold & Polly Shelby (Helen McCrory) who were also killed during the assassination attempt. The entire Shelby family gather for Polly’s funeral with Michael swearing revenge on Thomas for his role in Polly’s death. In 1933, Thomas now alcohol free, sets up a meeting with an estranged Michael and business associates of Jack Nelson, a south Boston gang leader and uncle of Gina Grey (Anya Taylor Joy) on Miquelon Island. Following unsuccessful talks to renter into business, Thomas lands Michael in prison for possession of opium. Meanwhile, back in Small Heath, Arthur’s drug addiction continues to spiral following Polly’s death. Later, Thomas is phoned by Lizzie who announces she and the children cannot travel to Canada due to Ruby’s sudden illness. Believing her sickness is a message and gypsy related, Tommy decides to return to England. This episode was dedicated to Helen McCrory, and rather than music, the end credits comprised the song of a male blackbird.
* * *
The man we’re about to meet is the devil.
My name’s Mosley. Oswald Mosley.
You’ve come to my attention.
You lost all your cousin’s money in America, playing the fool.
And poor old Arthur Shelby.
His wife, she’s been seen with another man.
May you Peaky Blinders all rot.
If you’re going to England, I’m coming with you.
I want to meet your family.
No, you don’t.
Mr Thomas, it is the purest opium that has ever arrived in Europe.
All we have to do is keep it here for a week.
I vote against it, Tom.
Those in favour?
We’re talking about an empty chair, Ada. My chair. My throne.
Someone wants my crown.
I think it might be Michael.
Mr Shelby, my name is Captain Swing.
Michael, your kin, was making deals
with the very men who want you dead.
I’m doing this for you, Tommy.
And you know it.
Let me guess…
..don’t fuck with the Peaky Blinders.
There will be a war and one of you will die,
but which one I cannot tell.
I’ll do what I have to do, Pol.
I have a job for you.
I’m going to shoot Oswald Mosley.
Kill the man, kill the message.
I think it’s about time we got off the stage, old man.
The Chinese, the Italians.
Mosley knew nothing!
He knew nothing!
Talk to me.
Maybe I’ve found him…
..Arthur, the man I can’t defeat.
Mosley. I don’t know.
I don’t fucking know.
Doesn’t make sense.
Let’s go inside.
We’ll work it out, have a drink.
I need to walk.
The work’s all done, Tommy.
It’s all done.
We can walk away from all of this.
It’s so easy. It’s so soft.
Such a small change.
Arthur took the bullets out.
On the way back.
He said you stopped at a crossroads to throw up.
You’re not even a soldier any more, Tommy.
You didn’t check your weapon.
You’re not a soldier, you’re a coward.
I heard you pull the trigger.
Leaving your family behind without a goodbye…
If you still need a way out…
..here are six of them.
They let you pass through.
They wouldn’t let me pass.
As if there were to be another consequence.
Mr Shelby, I imagine you’re curious as to who it was prevented
the assassination last night.
If you look out your window, you’ll see a flag of truce.
It’s a unit of volunteers bringing the bodies of your dead to you
to send to heaven in your own way.
Last night’s operation was carried out by soldiers from three
Dublin brigades of the Irish Republican Army.
We need to keep Mr Mosley alive.
That’s all you need to know.
Also, you should know that saving
Mosley’s life wasn’t our only intervention last night.
We’ve made some changes to the structure of your organisation.
Ever since you began to build your empire…
..you’ve had a crutch to lean on.
Last night, we kicked away that crutch.
From now on, it will be us that you lean on.
Please be aware, Mr Shelby, that the deaths of your people…
..are your own responsibility…
..because you consistently fail to understand your own limitations.
WIND CHIMES TINKLE
..it was the ambitions and strategies
of one man that caused this.
And I swear in the name of Almighty God…
..no matter what it takes…
..no matter how many lies I have to tell…
..I will take revenge on Tommy Shelby.
BELL RINGS LOUDLY
You want a drink?
I’ll have a glass of water, please.
Windows got broke because a lot of people here are drunk and angry.
Half the men on this island made their living
bootlegging till today.
The other half fixed their boats.
Maybe you should take your water into the hall.
I learned a lot of things in France.
Island is crawling with you fucking commissary men.
Closing our warehouses down.
Throwing men out of work.
Ten years our boat ran whisky down the President Roads to Boston.
Now we have fucking nothing.
And you sit in front of us and order fucking water.
Is that meant to be a joke?
I ordered water because I no longer drink alcohol of any kind.
You, my friend, are going to drink a toast.
You will raise your glass to the poor people of Miquelon,
whose lives you bastards have destroyed.
You’re not leaving this bar until you have raised
a toast to the people of Miquelon.
I understand that, today of all days, you would be angry.
But if you had read my card instead of burning it,
you would realise that this is a misunderstanding.
Now, I’ve been very patient, given the circumstances,
but you need to sit down and let me read my newspaper.
Il est bon lui, hein?
Before this goes any further, please let me explain.
I will not drink your toast
cos four years ago, I forswore alcohol.
Since I foreswore alcohol,
I’ve become a calmer and more peaceful person.
Sometimes, in moments of personal conflict…
..I can resort to my old ways.
If this were to happen now,
it would indeed be a black day in Miquelon.
Now, my guests will be arriving shortly.
I need to prepare the room.
Can you show me where?
Excusez-moi. Ou est L’Hotel Robert?
They think we’re distillery men here to take our whisky back.
We’re late. He’s always early. Let’s go.
POLLY: There will be a war and one of you will die.
But which one I cannot tell.
There’s a man out there having his face stitched back up.
That was a misunderstanding.
I wasn’t sure what I’d think when I saw you again, Tom.
What do you think?
Since my mother passed away four years ago,
Tommy and I haven’t even spoken.
Well, we’ve both been very busy.
You’ve been too busy to punish the people who killed her.
You know, Michael, when you’re dealing with a very powerful enemy,
taking revenge sometimes requires time.
You have to…pick your moment.
That moment will come.
But now we have a business interest in common
and any bad blood will be diluted by time and a practical self-interest.
Well, Tommy, we’re all keen to hear what you have to say.
I’m very much looking forward to working with you again, Michael.
You look very well.
How is the family?
CHILDREN LAUGH AND SHOUT
This projector is a gift from Charlie fucking Chaplin
and he sent it all the way from Hollywood.
Now sit down and watch the film.
Oh, God. No, Elizabeth, Elizabeth,
don’t do that, you’re going to hurt yourself.
Yes, hi. Is that the Bell Tavern?
If there’s a gypsy in there called Johnny Dogs, can you tell him
to come and round up his fucking kids?
It’s Christmas. A time for family.
Mum, I was watching that.
OK, everyone, OK.
We’re having this Christmas party early
because tomorrow, me and Charles and Ruby are going on a big ship
to Canada, to be with their daddy.
But we told Father Christmas about the party…
..and he has brought you all presents.
CHILDREN EXCLAIM Oh! Yes!
Race ya! Ada, where the fuck is Father Christmas?
I don’t know. He was supposed to be here by now.
Yeah. Where the fuck are you, Santa?
You’ve got me!
I’ve got a gun. You’d better run!
You’d better run!
Gentlemen, today is the last day of prohibition.
But rather than see it as the end of something, I believe that,
for men like us, it can present… a new beginning.
A new opportunity.
An opportunity I would like to share with people I know I can trust.
For the last 12 years, the men of this island have been
making their living from bootlegging whisky,
from navigating the waters
and avoiding American border patrols.
But now that whisky is about to become legal,
the trade will fall back into the hands of capitalists from New York,
Boston and Toronto.
..when one door closes…
..another one opens.
We can take advantage of the systems that are in place on Miquelon Island
and offer selected boat crews the opportunity to carry on working.
But this time with a different cargo.
You want me to pour?
Now it’s all over the fucking island.
This is an island with no morals and no opinions –
just a load of fucking boats
with nothing to carry and nowhere to go.
The reason why Miquelon was used to run whisky in the first place
is cos it sits outside the territorial waters
of both America and Canada.
Technically, it’s French territory.
The FBI, the RCMP have no jurisdiction.
Where do you get this stuff?
I have established a supply chain over the last four years
with associates in Belfast.
We decided it was time to break into the American market.
That, my friend, is the finest opium in the world.
Delivered to my warehouse in Liverpool directly from Shanghai.
Michael, when it comes to this shit, you’re the expert.
I trust him.
What about the French police?
I have been in communication with the Miquelon Prefet des Gendarmes.
We fought in two of the same battles in France.
We consider each other comrades.
I have offered my comrade 12 million francs
if the boats between Miquelon and Boston keep running.
We will have to take your proposal to Uncle Jack in Boston.
Perhaps we can meet after you’ve spoken with Uncle Jack, Michael,
who I believe is your wife’s uncle, Jack Nelson.
The guy knows things that can get him killed
and he says them out loud.
I have a high regard for Mr Nelson.
He has a history not unlike my own.
Jack Nelson’s past is forgotten.
Not forgotten. Fucking gone.
No, not gone, just erased from the records, like my own.
Give him my regards, will ya?
You haven’t touched your drink, Tom.
You know, since we last met, Michael…
..well, I’ve become a better man.
I now realise that whisky is just fuel for the loud engines
inside your head.
Catch yourself on!
What is this guy, a fuckin’ poet? Eh?
Oh, I do read poetry, but I don’t yet write it.
They say the fog is going to get worse.
We’d better get off this island before it traps us here.
Uncle Jack decides everything, OK?
And I decide when a meeting is over.
So sit down till I say.
TOMMY CLEARS HIS THROAT
Put some fuckin’ hair on your chest, huh?
Now, give us all a poem before we go.
Want to hear a poem?
Want to hear a poem?
What about you, Brainbox?
I was angry with my friend
I told my wrath, my wrath did end
I was angry with my foe
I told it not…
..my wrath did grow.
It’s from The Poison Tree by William Blake.
You won’t have heard of him.
Oh, and by the way,
my friend, the Police Commissioner, told me that he’d spoken
to his FBI liaison officer,
and he told him that there is an informant in your organisation
in South Boston.
I tell you this in the spirit of corporate hygiene.
Here you are, Michael.
Beware the man with a bleeding heart tattoo
with “Maria” written in red.
Have a good day, gentlemen.
This time, don’t burn it.
Come on, come on.
Oh, God, if Polly was still here,
she’d never have let it get this bad.
Come on. Come on, Arthur.
I am not Polly, but I am still your fucking sister.
You swore to me you would stop using.
It’s Christmas Day, Ada. Christmas Day.
Yes, it’s Christmas.
So where the fuck are the fucking presents?
I’ll be all right in a bit…
My brother off his face on junk.
Every day there’s a question without an answer.
A leak without a bucket.
Me without a clue what to do.
I love you, Ada.
Children! Father Christmas has been!
What did you ask for?
What have we got? LIZZIE SIGHS
Father Christmas got stuck up the chimney again, did he? Mmm.
What ship are you on tomorrow?
Oh, the best, the most expensive one.
And then we’ll get there and Tommy will say,
“Hello, Lizzie. Hello, children,” in that dead voice.
Come on, Lizzie, he’ll be on holiday.
Being away might change him.
Even on holiday, Ada…
..even on top of a rocky mountain,
he’ll be the same way he’s been since Polly died.
No more Polly, no more whisky, no more Tommy.
Yeah, I’m calling from Miquelon Island,
from the police station.
There is a boat leaving the island now, heading across the border.
When it docks at St John’s,
a man named Michael Gray will board a ferry to Boston.
Listen very carefully.
He’s wearing a dark coat, a blue suit,
and carrying a black briefcase.
Inside the briefcase is five pound of pure, refined opium.
Yeah, my name is Mr Jones.
Yes, I do.
But I don’t drink any more.
I have business.
I need to get off this island.
You shouldn’t be in here, Karl.
Are you going to answer it?
No, I don’t work for him any more.
It might be important.
That’s why I don’t want to answer it.
Can I answer it?
Do you know who this man is?
All right, come on, Arthur.
Hey, that tickles.
His brother, Thomas Shelby, says don’t serve him opium ever again
or someone will write Arthur Shelby’s name on your chest
with a bayonet.
MUSIC: Disorder by Joy Division
So…what the fuck?
I can’t talk about anything in here.
I just wanted to see your face and smell your perfume.
Tommy Shelby steps back into your life and, right away,
this is what happens.
No names in here.
Sorry. Let’s just call him the devil.
Take a seat.
How is Laurence?
Oh, you know. Missing his father.
What the fuck happened, Michael?
It’s in hand.
No, really. Whose fucking hand, Michael? Hmm?
Like everything else in this city,
it’s in the hand of your Uncle Jack.
I need him to get the charges lifted and get me out of here.
I already talked to him.
He told me what the devil proposed.
Tommy Shelby wants to do business with Jack Nelson?
He wants to take on Boston?
No-one is taking on anyone.
It’s in hand.
There are deals being made at a high level,
but there are some people at the middle level
and lower levels who cannot be trusted.
Michael, this sounds fucking…
Shut up and listen.
It was Tommy himself who warned us of the informant.
We’re guessing that the informant
was the one that tipped off the police about me.
Then the devil’s plan has already begun.
What’s the point of ships and planes if you can’t get away?
Gina, in today’s paper, you will read about a man being fished out of
the Boston Harbour with a bleeding heart tattoo
and the name “Maria” written on his arm.
Single shot to the head.
Yeah, I know, I read it already.
His death will lead to others.
For this business to work, we must only use men we trust.
And while the clean-up is being carried out,
you must keep things to yourself.
You talk loose to anyone, it’ll be me in the harbour
and you’ll be the Maria with the bleeding heart.
Do you understand?
Michael, I just want the truth.
No, fuck that – I need the truth!
Why are you doing business with him again?
Gina, tell me what you’re thinking of getting Laurence for Christmas.
There are plenty of men who can supply powder all over the world.
I don’t understand why it needs to be him.
Some of my business with Tommy Shelby is unfinished.
This is my opportunity to finish it.
So speak to your uncle and get me the fuck out of here.
MUSIC: Sixteen Men Swinging by Count Basie
Sure. Why the hell not?
I heard you were in town and I thought, well, hey.
Little man hitting the big time.
You like jazz?
What do you want? Whisky?
I don’t have any water. What else do you want?
I have a message for your Uncle Jack.
Have a fucking drink.
You know my uncle’s planning on buying the United States import
licence to all the best Scotch and Irish whisky distilleries.
He’s on his way to London right now to make those deals.
Every drop in every state will be another dime for Uncle Jack.
Yeah. He’s a very powerful, very impressive man.
I’ve only seen photographs – when he was young, police mug shots,
and, more recently, in high-society magazines.
I think this represents progress.
And before you tell me what you want me to tell him,
I have a message from him to you.
In England, when someone gets this close to Tommy Shelby,
it’s, “Oh, the horror.
“Oh, the desire…
“..to fall on your knees, open your mouth and say,
” ‘Yes, sir. Please, sir.’ “
So it’s Uncle Jack you fall on your knees for, eh?
He says no deal, Mr Shelby.
You smell of jail, Gina.
And you drink too much.
Yes, but booze is legal.
Your white powder’s not.
Jack has friends in the government now.
Do you have any idea how far he’s risen?
All the way to the fucking top.
Can’t have white powder on his shiny black boots when he’s on his way
to meet the President of the United States cos,
yeah, that’s where he goes now.
So he can’t really be taking such a big risk on such a little deal.
Go home, boy.
Bye-bye, Mr Shelby.
Yeah, you have another whisky, Gina.
Another dime for Uncle Jack.
You mind if I smoke?
If it’s legal, it’s OK.
Before I go, you should know…
..that it was me who tipped off the border police
about the contents of Michael’s suitcase.
I’m the reason he’s in jail.
I wanted to give your uncle a dilemma.
His favourite niece’s husband banged up in Boston for smuggling opium.
What does he do?
If he intervenes and has him released,
how will that play in the Oval Office?
If he does nothing, how does that play in South Boston?
Oh, fuck you.
Die here, for all I fucking care.
Die at whose hand, Gina? Eh?
My message to your uncle is this.
If he doesn’t want to buy my opium, I will sell to the East Boston Jews.
Do you want to start a fucking war?
With that amount of opium,
the balance of power between the Irish,
the Jewish and the Italians
would shift heavily in favour of the East.
I have excellent contacts with the family that runs East Boston.
The Solomons family.
Maybe you’ve heard of ’em?
Once you people have accepted that you must treat us as equals…
..then I think our families will work together very well.
Have a good day, Gina.
Yes, I’ll accept the call.
..it’s Ruby. She’s not well.
She’s got a temperature of 101. Doctor’s just left.
What did he say?
He says he thinks it’s flu,
but he’s going to come later to check on her.
She’s been coughing and…
Tommy, he said it’s not a good idea for us to travel.
We can’t board that ship to Boston today.
That’s all right, Lizzie, don’t worry.
Don’t worry, you just stay there for now and get her better and, er…
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT Can I speak to her?
Yeah, well, let her sleep.
Let her sleep.
Lizzie, I’ve got a bit more business to do here.
Look, you just book a new passage when Ruby’s feeling better.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t get here for Christmas,
just as long as you get here, right?
And then I’ll get this business done,
you get here with the children, and then no more.
And it’ll just be us and the clean air out in the west.
I’ve found a place in the mountains.
There’ll be snow.
Tell Ruby, tell Ruby I’ll build her a snowman.
How long has she been coughing?
A few days.
She’s been out running wild with Johnny Dog’s kids,
out in the cold by the river.
Are you OK, Tommy?
Your voice, it sounds different.
It’s just cold.
I’ll get this business done in Boston…
..and that’ll be the end of it.
And then I just want to…
..I just want to pick Ruby up and hold her in my arms, y’know?
I miss the weight of carrying her.
I gave her her presents early.
She loves them.
But last night, she was burning up.
She was delirious.
She kept talking.
Johnny’s kids have been teaching her to speak Gypsy.
Teaching her to rob and steal, more like.
When she was delirious,
she kept saying these Gypsy words, er…
..”Tickner maura, tickner maura, o beng, o beng,” over and over again.
What? Lizzie, what…?
What did you say? What did Ruby say?
“Tickner, tickner maura.”
Something like that. Did she say any…
..did she say any other words that you didn’t understand?
“O beng, o beng.” I don’t know.
No, Lizzie did she say any other words in Romany?
Fucking listen to me!
I don’t know Romany words, Tommy.
I don’t think so.
Just “tickner maura” and “o beng”?
Could she see anything when she was burning up? What could she see?
Oh, fuck. Lizzie, please, just answer the fucking question!
She said she could see a man.
A man with green eyes.
She was delirious. She was burning up.
What the fuck is the matter?
Right, listen, Lizzie, I’m coming home.
Tommy, it’s just a fever, love.
Listen to me, I’m coming home. I’ll be on the next steamer back.
You keep her out of school. You hear me?
You keep her out of school, you keep her away from…
Tommy… ..keep her away from the river.
Don’t let her ride a horse or go near a horse.
Tell Johnny Dogs and his wives the words that Ruby has been saying.
Do you hear me?
Tell Johnny’s eldest wife to put a Black Madonna around her neck.
You listen to Esmeralda the same way you listen to a fucking doctor.
You hear me?
Fucking Gypsy stuff.
Yes, it is Gypsy fucking stuff, Lizzie! Yes, it fucking is!
And you get Curly there.
Tell him to stay in the stable with Ruby’s horses,
and you do everything that Johnny Dogs and his wives fucking tell you,
do you understand me?
I’m sorry, Lizzie. Do you understand?
OK. I’ll do it.
All right, I’m coming home.
They know I’m trying to get out.
..they’re coming for me.
# There ain’t no grave
# Can hold my body down
# There ain’t no grave
# Can hold my body down
# There ain’t no grave
# Can hold my body down. #
You son of a fucking bitch.
You sound American, Michael.
I have to go back to England early.
Let’s make this quick, eh?
You just fuck people up and you run away.
No, this business will continue.
Jack Nelson is also travelling to England.
To London and to Edinburgh, to buy import licenses.
How the fuck do you know where Jack Nelson’s going?
Well, I have copies of his itinerary.
Of his personal correspondence.
Letters from the President of the United States
and his many mistresses.
I have contacts in his organisation.
An Irishman with a mortgage is a powerful resource, Michael.
You’re dead, Tommy.
You’re out of your fucking depth.
You’re dead already.
You threatened to sell to the Jews.
And I have contacts in this prison.
These boys here will look after you during your stay.
I don’t need your fucking people to look after me.
Jack Nelson’s getting me out of here.
Oh, yeah? Is he?
This is a letter.
Here, give him this letter, will ya?
This is a letter from the President’s personal secretary,
suggesting Jack Nelson keep you in here for a while longer.
Just until the press lose interest, Michael.
You’ll be released eventually.
And then you can execute your business with me as before.
Our business being $5 million for a shipment of powder.
And when the exchange is done, we can shake hands
and go our separate ways once more, eh?
So, you didn’t learn.
When my mother died at the hands of your ambition,
you didn’t learn your limitations.
I have no limitations.
Oh, and by the way, Michael,
according to Jack Nelson’s personal accounts,
he bought passage for five people from Boston to Liverpool.
Five people – his wife, his mistress,
President Roosevelt’s son, himself…
..and Gina Gray.
Gina’s coming to London, Michael…
..where I will be happy to show her the sights.
Fuck! You fucking bastard, Tommy!
Spirits, Boston Irish and Uncle Jack. You’re the devil, Tommy Shelby!
You’re the fucking devil! I’m ready for the conversation.