Peaky Blinders' Polly actress hints at brutal Tommy Shelby betrayal as Michael takes over family business

PEAKY Blinders' fifth season ended with a cliff-hanger of epic proportions.

The acclaimed BBC drama is famed for its twists and turns, with subterfuge and betrayal all part and parcel of life in the Shelby Company.

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Now Helen McCrory, who plays Polly Gray, has opened up about her relationship with son Michael (Finn Cole) and the potential impact of their bond on season 6.

Reflecting on his introduction into the family, she stressed that Polly felt conflicted about her role in his corruption.

“When Michael joins up with his true family, he’s drawn to the dark side of the Shelbys and I’ve brought him to that life," she explained.

“He was living in a lovely place with little apple trees in the garden, where he could play football," she continued to Express Online.


"Then I introduce him to a mob of gun-slinging, coke-snorting maniacs – this is my family!"

She added: “So there is a dichotomy, where Polly wants him close, but she’s worried for Michael as he becomes something very different.”

In season 5, fans saw Michael make a contorversial proposition to Tommy (Cillian Murphy) that he retire and let the younger generation of the family take control of the family business.

The offer was promptly rejected, causing a major rift across the family.

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Polly slapped Michael across the face, but he seemed undeterred, with his wife remaking that they would have to "go with plan b" to get their way.

McCrory said of the heated exchange: “He later begins to threaten Tommy’s power in his role as part of the new generation of the Shelby business.

“He says to the old school, ‘Your way is s**t.’ But that’s the way of the world."

Gushing over the scripts, she went on: “That’s what’s fantastic about Steve Knight’s writing – he’s taking a family over different dynasties, showing how they’re going to fight, and where the tensions are within their lives and relationships.

She ominously concluded: “She wants to save her son from the pain she experienced herself, which is what every parent wants.”

Does this mean Polly will side with Michael duign the in-fighting to come?

She has certainly made her loyalties to him clear in the past and even resigned from her role in the family business towards the end of season 5 as tensions boiled over.

Michael believes financial success for the Shelby Company will sink or swim on their US trade, namely the distribution of opium.

Perhaps he will take advantage of his American wife's connections and cut Tommy out altogether – but something tells us Tommy won't go down without a fight.

Peaky Blinders seasons 1-5 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix now.

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