The final season of Peaky Blinders is here at last, and it was known that it was going to be sad and bizarre watching the show without the performances of Helen McCrory as matriarch Polly Gray.
The actor tragically passed away last year at the age of just 52, following a private battle with cancer. However, her presence lived on in the first episode of season six.
The show picked up where the last season left off. Tommy Shelby, played by fan-favourite Cillian Murphy, is told over the phone that his aunt Polly has been killed and her body delivered to his home.
The ensuing act has reportedly made fans bawl their eyes out as in a beautifully shot funeral scene, Polly is laid to rest alongside her portrait. As the camera pans between the grief-stricken faces of family members, the fire blazes and we follow the smoke up in the air as her eyes can be seen looking down from the sky.
Social media was subsequently filled with references to the wonderful but somber scene, with many saying that the way the cast and crew worked around the untimely passing was absolutely touching and genius.
It seems as though the death of her character will guide the story arc for the final series, as her son Michael holds Tommy accountable for her death. Indeed, the cast has confirmed that McCrory will remain very present in the show.
Most of the cast have also claimed that making the show without her was very difficult, but her memory will live on through all of them. Were it not for the pandemic, the star could have finished the final season with her colleagues. RIP Helen.