Where is Peaky Blinders’ Finn Shelby?

Peaky Blinders season 6 spoilers ahead.

Peaky Blinders is now steaming towards its finale at the speed of light, with just two more episodes to go before the no-doubt dramatic last scenes are upon us.

Tommy (Cillian Murphy) has been put through the wringer more than ever before during season six, with his mental health continuing to take a knock, his daughter Ruby dying, his family falling apart at the seams and now, on top of it all, an inoperable brain tumor that sees his days numbered.

All the while Arthur (Paul Anderson) has been battling with opium addiction, Ada (Sophie Rundle) has been forced to step up and keep the family together (while simultaneously battling against fascism and racism in both her house and the outside world), and Oswald Moseley (Sam Claflin) is using Tommy as a pawn in his latest game to increase his political standing.

BBC

But among the dramatic pile-on (which now includes Tommy’s secret son, Duke Shelby) there is someone who has been somewhat lost in the fray of the storytelling, and that’s Finn Shelby (Harry Kirton) the youngest Blinders brother.

Throughout season six, Finn has somewhat turned into the Where’s Wally? of the Shelby clan. His moments of him on screen have been fleeting and brief, usually tucked in a group shot at a funeral.

In episode one, we caught a glimpse of his face during Polly’s funeral, then in episode four, you get one passing shot of the back of his head next to sister Ada, as Tommy walks away from Ruby’s funeral … and that’s about it .

Finn has been given nothing to say or do thus far this season, apparently becoming so irrelevant within the course of the series run that even when Ada takes over the family business, her first port of call is not him, but Isaiah (Daryl McCormack) .

When she commands the Blinders to head to Liverpool, it’s the barely-capable-of-walking Arthur that’s told to go “for the power of the family name” alongside Isaiah and a number of new, nameless recruits, rather than Finn. Surely he would have been an obvious choice to send along as well?

harry kirton as finn shelby, peaky blinders season 5

Caryn Mandabach Productions LtdBBC

And now we’re past the halfway point, with two episodes to go, and he is practically a no-show. Which is a shame considering the tremendous amount of growth and potential we’ve seen from him up until now.

Over the course of the show’s run, Finn has gone from a young boy who needed protecting, to his own man, running an arm of the business himself with Isaiah, not his boss but his sidekick, helping him establish his own position within the brothers . This was, naturally, kicked up a gear following the death of John (Joe Cole) back in season three.

By the time season five came around, he had gone full-blown Blinder – even being shot in the arm, having the bullet pulled out by Aberama Gold (Aiden Gillan) and dealing with the football-betting side of the business alongside Billy Grade ( Emmett J Scanlan).

It’s at this point his naivety comes into play, revealing Tommy’s plans to assassinate Moseley, ultimately scuppering the plans when Billy passes the information on to Captain Swing (Charlene McKenna) and the IRA.

cillian murphy, in character as tommy shelby, sits on a horse in a scene from peaky blinders series 6

Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd / Robert ViglaskyBBC

If you think about it, he’s the reason Polly, Aberama and Barney ended up dying, as the foiled plan cost them their lives.

Speaking to Digital Spy ahead of season six, actor Harry Kirton did tease there was something in store for the character, which included both emotional and physical development within the ranks of the organization.

“[We’re] seeing an emotional side to Finn that we perhaps haven’t seen before, “he told us.

“Usually, it’s quite a physical reaction, whereas I got to play quite a few scenes that were more of an emotional reaction, which naturally, as an actor, you get to sink your teeth into more, and explore with that the character.”

“There’s a lot of violence, and there’s a lot of quarrels, and there’s a lot of mistrust and misdirection. And just Finn being his own person now – becoming his own man, and less so just following orders all the time, even though there are still orders to be followed.

“There’s just freedom given now, and more trust, I guess, because he’s not a kid.”

peaky blinders season 5, billy grade

BBC

The thing is, if Finn storms in now with something massive, it can’t be helped but to assume that he’s either coming in half-baked, or with a full plotline that’s been developed off-screen. There’s been a four-year time jump after all, and viewers don’t really know what he was doing during that time.

Those are formative years for Finn too – he’ll now be in his early 20s and living without his de facto mother Polly for that entire time. He could have done anything: gone off the rails, shunned the family business like Polly had wanted him to, or become more dedicated to the cause in a bid to get revenge.

But none of this has even so much as been alluded to in a passing comment by his siblings yet. He’s just in the periphery of fans who know he exists.

After watching him grow into the family underdog over the past five seasons, it’s a shame to see him once again being pushed aside for other characters – some of which didn’t even turn up until this season.

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Finn is a character who could have, by rights, become the next in line to the Shelby throne after Tommy. He deserves to be more than an afterthought.

Peaky Blinders series 6 airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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