I know I'm late to the party--having just recently binge-watched this fabulous show. But my mind was officially blown today when I started reading on the internet that people thought that Tommy was planning to marry May--not Grace, as I automatically assumed. It never really occurred to me that it would be anyone BUT Grace for him, so my heart soared that it might be May. I don't want Tommy to be soft and stupid over shallow, manipulative Grace. May is SO much more interesting and his intellectual match (and Charlotte Riley is a much better actress). But I don't know. Charlotte gave birth to a child with Tom Hardy around the beginning of filming--so I'm not sure she'll be back for a big role.
Tommy, who says that "the past is past" and he only lives for the "soldier's minute" may realize that Grace is the past, but May is the future. (I mean, really--Grace is soooo 1919.) I think at the "darby", he realized that the Grace ship had sailed, literally, and was heartfelt and emotional when he told May he'd come back and find her. Then Grace had to pop up annoyingly and pull him back in. When Grace told him she slept with him to prove she wasn't infertile-why in the world wasn't he furious? Why didn't he kick her manipulative ass to the curb? I would have expected him to go into a cold fury for her using him--but instead, he was sympathetic. Is Tommy that blind in love? Or is it more that he knows exactly who she is and is beyond caring? After their lovemaking, they seemed like two people who have been holding an idealized torch for each other and now realize they have to deal with reality. Yes, she is all he has thought about, and yes, she has been his great love--but they have both changed. And he clearly doesn't trust her--twice making jokes about how she is working undercover, and she slaps him ) bitch!) and says has never lied to her husband. He challenges her to tell her husband the truth about him. But later at the Derby, when she tells him she didn't lie and tell her husband the baby was his, Tommy doesn't seem all that thrilled. I also though it was telling that he didn't tell Grace about May. When she needily asked if he had someone, he said he had a racehorse, either because that's all May means to him, OR because he wants to keep May his little secret. He is a man who hedges his bets, after all.
The writing is SO good in this show, so Tommy marrying Grace seems too obvious and soap operatic. This isn't "Dynasty" for godssakes. And if he does, I don't see them living happily ever after. Most likely, his lifestyle will endanger Grace and the baby, or she may be killed. Or, once he realizes how shallow and boring she really is, he'll look for love elsewhere, possibly with May. If he marries May, well--then he'll probably still be pining over Grace--and I REALLY don't want to see that either.
Why would Tommy have made that pointed speech at the "darby" about how he will come back for May? He said win or lose (meaning live or die), he'd come back for her, and to remember that. It's true--he HAD thought Grace was sailing away--so he could change his mind. But still--that scene was so pointed. Other hints about May: they hold hands when they're walking together--very husband/wife. When he is in the car driving to May's, the song on the soundtrack is about "coming back home" as he pulls up to the mansion. During the goldfish scene when he dumps her, he seems genuinely in awe that May doesn't rumble into a quivering heap. She's strong and unpredictable. She is the one person who throws him off his game and is a challenge. If you watch that scene again, Cillian plays it as if he's truly seeing her for the first time.
After he dumps her, she tells him he's free to go. She lets him off the hook. He starts to go, but then thinks better of it, and he slowly circles back to her--literally doing a 180. Why? If he's so in love with Grace, why come back to make inane comments about how "happy" the goldfish are? (Rather obviously in the symbolism department, there were THREE goldfish). Is he just hedging his bets, because he thinks Grace is leaving and he wants to leave things open with May? Then why break it off with her in the first place? She then says that she will win him, and cooly walks away--leaving his jaw on the floor. I think that scene was the moment when he realized his feelings for her are more complicated than he thought.
It's also interesting that in her scene with Grace, she is wearing the vintage red dress that her mother wore when presented to Queen Victoria, reminding us that she is part of an outdated aristocracy, a woman who, like her dress, is a bit tattered and torn but a survivor. May has just gotten down in the mud with the horses, and is wearing red, the color of passion. Conversely, Grace is dressed in girly pink and comes across as wanting Tommy to rescue her. That she thinks she can just waltz back into Tommy's life and win him--I honestly hope he's not that dumb. She seems to be an annoyance, an interruption to Tommy. Granted, he's in the middle of his mission, but he wasn't that way with May. The first thing he wants is for Grace to pass the baby off as her husband's. When she tells him that the thing is she loves him--he softens and says "That is the thing". But he doesn't tell her he loves her. And he doesn't say "I'll come back for you" like he did May. He says he'll make a decision after the race, but gotta go--time to whack the Field Marshall!
I think he loves Grace as an ideal from his past. But I don't think he trusts her. Remember all the cracks he made to her about being "unarmed" and "working undercover"? And is the baby even his? How long after they slept together did she realize she was pregnant? Days? A few weeks? That's awfully fast to know that you're pregnant. Either it's lazy writing to create a deus ex machina, or the baby isn't Tommy's. If she and her husband were "trying" to have a baby---they were probably having sex. They didn't have surrogates or IVF back then.
So then we have the scene were Tommy is telling Campbell at the bar that Grace loves him. At first, you think it's because he's happy about it. But it could just be that he is just bragging about Grace to taunt Campbell. He doesn't say "She loves me and I love her--nyah nyah nyah!" But only that she loves him. He has used Grace to taunt Campbell before--when he called Campbell to say he was about to sleep with her. Would you do that to a woman you truly love? Maybe if you're Tommy Shelby. But May is absolutely right--business (or revenge) will always trump love with him.
The most ambiguous piece of the puzzle is his declaration at his grave about how there's a woman that he loves. We are meant to believe that's Grace--which seems most plausible. We are meant to think that his being close to having "fucking all" means Grace and the baby. But what if it means May--and her influence? What if near death--he has an epiphany about what he really wants--not the woman of his past, bu the woman of his future? Remember May is the one he promised to come back to, not Grace.
If he does marry Grace, I don't look forward to scenes with a baby and domestic bliss. And you know it will be short-lived. She and the baby will be endangered by his lifestyle. The old Grace I could see as a "mob wife", but the new Grace, who has had a taste of wealth and respectability with her NY husband? Not sure. I could totally see May packing a gun and being tough and Tommy's equal, though.
So bottom line--I'm not sure whom he will marry. Maybe neither of them. As you can see, I've thought about it WAY TOO MUCH. I'm obsessed with this show! The only thing I AM sure of is that Cillian is an AMAZING actor and the most beautiful man I have ever seen.