Duke isn’t the only surprise Tommy gets in ‘Sapphire’. After the X-Rays, he was forced into a sanatorium where Ruby was treated and died, Tommy also receiving a diagnosis. His lungs were TB free, but he developed a TB tumor. It was rapidly expanding and inoperable, said his doctor, who estimated that Tommy had only one year to 18 months to live.
Tuberculosis was a rapidly expanding mass on Tommy’s brain stem, caused by the same bacteria that killed Ruby. The doctor said it spreads through families and can be transmitted through a simple kiss. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection can lead to different outcomes depending on whether the TB bacteria are ‘active’ and infectious (such as Ruby disease) or latent and non-infectious, in which case it can persist. in the body without developing tuberculosis, sometimes for years.
Ruby’s death is not the first time Tommy Shelby has been exposed to tuberculosis, aka “consumption” as it was previously known. In season four, episode three ‘Blackbird’, we learned through Jessie Eden that before France, Tommy was in love with an Italian girl named Greta Jurossi. Jessie is friends with Kitty, Greta’s sister, and gives Tommy a souvenir photo of him and Greta at Blackpool Beach one summer before the War. Greta was sick, and Tommy devotedly sat by her bed for three months. At the age of 19, Greta died of digestion, the same illness that killed Tommy’s daughter and is now killing him.
In season four, after Tommy is mentioned to Greta, he plans to expand the Shelby Foundation’s trusted children’s homes and hospitals. When Lizzie asked him why, he told her “Because I promised someone, I would change the world.” That person must be Greta, the young communist who was Tommy’s first love.
With Duke’s unexpected appearance and the return of tuberculosis in Tommy’s life, there’s a sense of his past going back in time before his death. Not known as a medical journal, Den of Geek It’s obviously not possible to comment on the possibility that Tommy’s tuberculosis was caused by a bacterial infection that spread from Greta and remained latent since before World War I, but there’s something poetic about the idea that Tommy Shelby’s has long harbored the seeds of its own destruction. He’s definitely had the hallucinogenic symptoms of tuberculosis since before Ruby got sick, either by cruel coincidence or by an evil gypsy curse, depending on how you choose to view it.
‘Sapphire’ causes Tommy to pay a metaphorical “bill” he didn’t expect, to deal with a son he certainly wasn’t expecting, and still manages to live up to his childhood promise to Greta that he will change the world. It’s been a long and dark tunnel for Tommy Shelby, and at his darkest point, he’s starting to see light at the end.
https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/peaky-blinders-duke-shelby-tuberculoma/ Peaky Blinders: Duke Shelby, Tuberculoma, and Tommy’s Past Return