Comments of Peaky Blinders creator on the fate of Alfie Solomons make for interesting reading
The recent episode has left a big question for Peaky Blinders fans.
As always, if you haven't seen the most recent episode of Peaky Blinders, consider this to be your spoiler alert warning.
Seriously, look away now.
Does Alfie Solomons live, or is he brown bread? (Yep, our use of slang is ironic here, considering Alfie used a bakery as a front for his illegal distillery.)
On a more serious note, we know that Tommy Shelby is a man who chooses his words very carefully, which is why a certain conversation in the most recent episode seemed extremely loaded.
After Tommy agreed to Oswald Mosley's terms and relinquished the race tracks that the Peaky Blinders own in northern England, the leader of the Billy Boys, Jimmy McCavern (Brian Gleeson) decided to question Tommy about the new arrangement.
Under the new terms, Tommy will remain in charge of race tracks in the midlands, but control of the south is still an issue yet to be decided.
As Tommy stood by the banks of the canal and waited for the shipment of opium to arrive, the following conversation occurred.
Jimmy McCavern: I hear you agreed to give up the north?
Tommy: I hear there needs to be some certainty in the south. Some of my people were attacked by members of the Titanic.
Jimmy McCavern: Mr Mosley is open to suggestion regarding who he can rely on to support him in London.
Tommy: I would suggest the most competent organiser of men in the south is Alfie Solomons.
Jimmy McCavern: He’s dead. And, he’s Jewish and I’d say him being dead would be less of a obstacle for our boss than him being Jewish.
At this point, Tommy stayed silent and didn't give anything away.
Of course, the last time we saw Alfie was during that fateful meeting at Margate Beach when Tommy shot him after the Jewish gangster betrayed the Peaky Blinders by aligning with Luca Changretta.
Alfie's death made sense as far as the storyline is concerned - don't forget that he was also diagnosed with cancer - but shortly after that episode aired, Paul Anderson (Arthur) gave an interview with Digital Spy and said that there was "debate and discussion" about the decision to remove Alfie from the show.
"I didn't know that was coming," he said.
"We were unsure... there was a whole thing about whether or not Alfie would live or die, or get shot or not. It was up for debate and discussion. I know that Tom didn't want to go. So there was this whole thing."
One man who definitely knows about Alfie's fate is Steven Knight, the writer/creator of Peaky Blinders. In a previous interview, he was asked directly by the Birmingham Mail if Alfie Solomons is really dead.
Knight simply gave a one word answer: "Pass."
As fans of the show will know, a return for Alfie isn't beyond the realms of possibility.
Granted, he was shot multiple times, but the most recent episode showed that even Linda could survive a gun shot, as did Inspector Campbell in Season 1.
Prior to the premiere of Season 5, Steven Knight told JOE about his reluctance to kill off characters in the show.
"I don’t like to kill any characters off," he said.
"Usually, deaths are forced by an actor not being available. I don’t believe in the idea that you’ve got to kill a family member to keep everyone interested because death is quite rare, even among gangsters. I try not to make it too common but it’s funny when it is a decision and you say ‘I’m afraid, it’s time.'"
Hardy's appearance in Season 5 would have been tricky, however, as it's likely he would have been busy shooting Venom and Fonzo at the time, thus making him unavailable for the majority of Season 5.
Will we see the return of one of the greatest characters in Peaky Blinders?
We shall wait and see.