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"Blackbird" is the third episode of Series 4 of Peaky Blinders and the twenty-first episode overall. It first aired on November 29, 2017.


Luca Changretta understands the complexity of his enemy, as the weight of gypsy tradition hangs upon Arthur. But could there be a traitor within the Peaky Blinders


Michael's mother visits him in hopsital

Due to the events that happened previously on Christmas Day, Michael is in hospital enduring a slow recovery. He is visited by his foster mother, who reveals that she heard the news in the local paper and has brought him apples. She also reveals that his foster father passed away peacefully in his sleep, which seems to sadden Michael. Despite initially having a close relationship, Michael tells his foster mother that she should leave, as he is with his real family now and is expecting them soon. With this, she hugs him and leaves, remarking that she has as much right to be there as anyone else.

The photographs of Luca and the Changretta men

Shortly after, Tommy and the board of Shelby Company Limited arrive at Michael's hospital room for a general meeting. Tommy is shocked to see that Arthur is not in attendance — unknown to him that he is in his office with Linda — and announces his official absence before starting the meeting. Tommy first welcomes back Polly Gray to her position as company treasurer, with an improved contract subject to the boards approval. All members of the board approve Polly's return to the company. Second, Tommy acknowledges that due to Michael's recovery, all accounting duties have been passed to the Head of Acquisitions, Ada Thorne. This is the final thing on the company's agenda and Tommy ends the meeting to deal with Peaky Blinder business.

Having finished the company meeting, Tommy raises the issue of Luca Changretta and their proposed solution. Tommy passes around two photographs of Changretta, proposing that they circulate the photos to Peaky-controlled pubs and street corners, offering a reward to anyone with information. He also suggests that they pass the photographs onto Aberama Gold, who has been helping them with protection. Without Arthur's opinion, they vote in favour of passing the photographs on.

The factory workers revolt

Meanwhile, Arthur is interrupted by one of the factory workers, who alerts him that the workers are revolting. On the factory floor, Arthur finds workers throwing paint on the machinery in hopes of setting the factory on fire. Arthur manages to scare a couple of the men away, but gets into a heated fight with one of the workers, who punches him in the fact. However, hoping to change his old ways, he lets the man live. Unbeknownst to him, two Changretta men have entered through the back of the factory and begin firing at him. He is able to evade their shots however, returning behind them and killing them both.

Luca meets with two of his men, revealing that the two men he sent after Arthur did not return, therefore are more than likely dead while Arthur still lives. He expresses his sadness at their death, given the two both had families, asking the two men before him to wire their families and announce their passing. Luca becomes more angry, however at the fact that they cannot defeat the Shelby family due to their large influence in Birmingham. One of the men however, reveals that the Shelby family have many enemies, including the mother of a man Arthur killed in a boxing match four years prior.

Linda and Arthur argue

When Tommy goes looking for Arthur at the Shelby office, he asks why Arthur missed the meeting, remarking that he feared Arthur had been killed by Changretta. Arthur reveals that he has killed two of Changretta's men, but is angry that the company voted without him in favour of involving Aberama. He is angry that Tommy replaced him in the company while he was recovering from drug abuse also. Having realised that Linda visited him earlier in his office to distract him from the meeting, he confronts her at home, pleading that she let him be the one to kill Luca and fulfil tradition. He also warns her that she, as his wife, has a place at his side and should stop making plans with Polly behind his back.

Tommy meets with the manager of the factory, questioning why he left the back door of the factory open. The man denies leaving the back door open, however Tommy begins to threaten his family, revealing that he is aware he bought tickets for a train to Glasgow. However, the man admits that he leaves the keys hanging in his office and, in a hurry, left his office unlocked therefore anybody could have taken them. The man admits that the Shelby family has many enemies and one could perhaps be an informant in the factory.

Tommy goes to see Jessica Eden claiming to have an improved union offer, much to her dismay for disturbing her at home. Once inside, his story changes to an investigation for the purposes of national security, handing her the Changretta photograph and asking if she recognises any of the men in it. Ignoring the photograph, Jessica admits that she researched Tommy before coming to Birmingham, including information about his past love, Greta Jurossi. Jessica reveals that Greta's sister, Kitty swears that Tommy used to be a member of the communist party before he left for the war, to which he scowls. Tommy turns the tables, admitting that he too has done his research on her, bringing up an ex-lover who committed suicide after returning from the war. With this, Tommy leaves the copy of the photograph at Jessica's apartment. Once Tommy has left, Jessica burns the photograph, hinting to the possibility that she may recognise some of the Changretta men.

Listening to advice from Linda, Arthur fires the bullet that had previously had Luca's name engraved on it, much to Tommy's shock, who comes rushing when he hears the shot fired from Arthur's house.

Linda arrives at the Shelby betting shop, admitting that she wants to keep her mind occupied whilst in Birmingham and will take bets over the phone due to her skills in mental addition and subtraction. Polly laughs at the idea, but realises that she’s serious when she admits that both Arthur and Tommy have approved of the idea. Not long after, Finn enters, revealing that Tommy has left him in charge for the day, which humours Polly, who sarcastically remarks that they should endeavour to give the new "boss" a great first day. Lizzie reveals to Tommy that the girls have discovered that Finn is still a virgin and have set him up with a low-status prostitute from Aston. Tommy tells Lizzie to tell them to pay her extra and get someone nicer.

Tommy takes Lizzie to the canal, revealing that he used to wait there for Greta prior to France, and that he hasn't been back there since, but wanted to be there with Lizzie. With this, he kisses her, and the two have sex by the canal. After, he instructs Lizzie that Shelby Company is to increase non-taxable donations to charities by 25% as of that moment and he is to build two new institutes for destitute children, with Lizzie in charge of the project. She questions the reason, with Tommy admitting that he promised someone he would change the world.

That night, Finn reports back to Tommy. Tommy gives Finn a pep talk and alludes to him that he can fill John’s now-empty role in the family.

Polly pleads with Luca to spare Finn and Arthur

Polly meets with Luca Changretta, pleading for Michael, Finn, and Arthur to be spared from the vendetta in return for Tommy. Luca questions why she’s to be trusted and she mentions that the history between her and Tommy is public knowledge. Luca reveals that his mother is the one giving him the information about the Shelby's and that ironically Tommy was right to want her dead. Nonetheless, Polly pleads that John and the others are good men and not like Tommy. Luca asks her to dance but Polly leaves him to his drink.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • Polly Gray officially returns to her position as company treasurer at Shelby Company Limited.
  • It is revealed that in light of Michael's recovery, Ada Thorne has taken over his duties as the accountant at Shelby Company Limited.
  • Polly takes money out of the Shelby Company petty cash to pay for a prostitute for Finn.
    • This marks the episode that Finn loses his virginity, although he did not enjoy the encounter.


Polly Gray: "Just me and someone unsuitable."

Polly Gray (to Ada Shelby): "Whilst working for this company, I have killed a man, I have lost a man, I have found a son, I have almost lost a son, I have almost lost my own life. Now, I will accept my job back if the terms on offer are favourable, but I will not behave myself."

Thomas Shelby: "Concentrate on what unites us. This is all temporary."
Polly Shelby: "Yeah, temporary, right."

Linda Shelby: "Keep his balls empty and his belly full." 

Niall Devlin: "Mr Shelby, may I tell you something? You have a lot of enemies." 

Niall Devlin: "Before you, I was an ordinary working man." 

Linda Shelby: "It's not me that's doing the gambling. I'm just taking the bets."

Polly Shelby (to Luca Changretta): "You take Tommy. Spare the rest."
Luca Changretta: "You know, my mother used to say this about you. She said, "That Polly Gray, that child would never let go of a grievance."
Luca Changretta: "You want to dance?"
Polly Shelby: "I don't dance any more."
Luca Changretta: "That's a shame, ’cause you're dancing with me."


Last.fm_play.png "I Wish" – Rachel Unthank & The Winterset
Last.fm_play.png "Heart of a Dog" – The Kills
Last.fm_play.png "Devil Inside Me" – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Last.fm_play.png "Bye Bye Blackbird" – Gene Austin