Welcome back for episode 4 of the first series of Last Tango in Halifax! Let's get into details after the break.
When last we saw our intrepid lovers Celia and Alan, they were trapped with a lady ghost in creepy South Ouram Hall in while wedding planning in between arguing about politics and having marvelous illicit sexcapades. Gillian's Land Rover had just been firebombed, no doubt in retaliation for HER illicit sexcapades with the persistent and thoroughly beaten (and totally grody) Paul Jatri; she'd lost Raffy to his uncle over that self-same issue. Caroline and John REALLY had it out, for realsie reals and thanks to Gillian, he stuck up for himself and now Caroline has to do something about it. More importantly, Caroline and Kate have made up and reached a deeper level of understanding which will soon hopefully have them snogging like mad all over the small screen. Right, was that all of it? Let's roll!
Emergency Services are leaving Gillian's; she calls Alan but he doesn't have any reception in the creepy South Ouram Hall and she leaves another message. Paul asks about her truck and offers his car for her to use. Oh! Gillian and the police didn't think her Land Rover's torching was on purpose, they've got it pegged as accidental; lightning or electrical, but we very distinctly heard glass breaking right before it went up, so, yeah, it had to be a firebomb as Paul says just now. He thinks it's Hayley Cresswell's brothers, which is a pretty good guess since they planned to do the same to him. HOWEVER, Sally Wainwright doesn't do anything easy like that, so I'm wondering about Robbie or Raffy. Good thing none of the sheep are close enough to the house to be spooked.
Celia and Alan are making the most of things, looking not even a little concerned as they play cards by candlelight while cuddling under a blanket in bed and singing songs about the lady ghost wandering aboot. "We're in here, love!" hahahaha. Alan wonders if anyone is missing them yet?
Gillian sure is, she was expecting them for supper and it's quite late now. She calls Harrogate, which Caroline finds as soon as she walks in.
Small aside: I've never seen the physical embodiment of unhappiness before now, but Caroline carries it in her whole body. In another actor's hands, it would run to caricature in an instant, but Sarah Lancashire's ability to portray all the tension physically possible just in the over-bright tone of her voice on the phone with Gillian and the set of her shoulders, well. It's magic. It's like a workshop on how to recognise disharmony in our fellow humans as well as ourselves. As you were
Caroline isn't worried about Celia and Alan at this point, they're adults after all, as she says, but it may be that she's worried about everything else, like William's exams (good. ish) John and the mess ("Dad's cooking *knowing eye roll*). She says she'll call Celia's mobile, but more to placate in between mocking John for having Gillian's number stored in his phone. She is more concerned after just getting voice mail for Celia, and rings Gillian back to say she's had no luck. Alan's not the sort to be rude and not call, and Gillian doesn't know if he's got his heart pills on him, so now they're both summat wound up.
For their part, Celia and Alan are making trips to the Victorian, I mean Georgian WC, and reading up on the hall. Lots of creaking above prompts a "we're in t'cludgie, missus!"and don't have a clue what that means, but it makes them laugh so I bet it's dirty. Ah, it means "toilet" in ye olde Scottish slang. Footsteps approach so they start shouting; "we're not burglars, we're pensioners!" and two things can be true, Celia!
Gillian cuddles Paul's shoulder while she rings Raffy, who of course doesn't answer. Raff and his uncle have a shouty party about what a git Paul is and I would absolutely join in, if it wasn't for one thing; I think he may like her more than he's let on, or she's let him go on about. There was a moment when he turned up at the farm, in between bragging about his magazine-friendly penis he said "I kept hoping you'd text" and t'was the one thing he said that didn't make me want to throw up. It sounded sincere in it's yearning. So. He's being lovely right now, I just wonder is all.
Robbie tries to drag Eddie's death into Reasons We Hate Gillian but Raffy isn't having THAT, at least, shutting him down and then they apologize to each other.
John is STILL cooking and it has to be said; if you love to cook and cook a lot but don't clean up after yourself, you're a right wanker. There. I said it. Also, if you stand in front of the Aga while I'm trying to have a look at it, you're also a wanker. BASICALLY, if you are John, you're a wanker. Caroline is giving it until 9 and then she'll head to Halifax to look for them. Lawrence offers to come with her but she brushes him off impatiently; he's got school tomorrow! She doesn't have much of a relationship with him, does she? Much better with William, but she's still seems very much the headteacher with them both. That's just based on what I've seen, they could all be close as buttons!
Gillian gives up and calls Robbie, asking him to ask Raff if he's heard from his grandad. He grudgingly puts Raff on the phone, who asks eventually if she wants him to come 'round? Before she can answer, he asks if "that twat is still on the settee" and I'm very glad when Gillian tells him he's welcome to come help her think about what to do instead of trying to explain her own grown actions to her teenaged son. That is how I interpreted it, anyway. She asks about homework and he hangs up, disgusted, hahaha.
Celia and Alan are contemplating the mysteries of the universe and a candle that appeared out of nowhere as Robbie and Raff arrive at the farm, which was apparently Robbie's idea(r). Robbie asks about the Land Rover, which Gillian explains as "lighting, or an electrical fault, or someone torched it...*side LONG look* just after you left" which leaves Robbie speechless for a second and maybe a bit sheepish, although I may be reaching there.
A car pulls up, they think it's Alan's friends, but I'm wondering if it's Caroline and is it weird that I'm worried about a fictional character making it up that road in the dark, in the rain, when she had so much trouble finding it in the dry daylight last time? Although, maybe if she'd followed the sat-nav (British for GPS?) instead of Celia's vague directions (I think it's that way...I'm looking for something I recognise...).
Robbie asks if Gillian's reported Alan missing, she asks if she should? Is it that serious? He gets shruggy, not wanting to engage with the Debbil-Woman, but she presses: he's police, she needs his advice. He says she can report it any time, there's legitimate cause for concern, given his heart condition. Eep!
You can see how I wonder about her and Robbie, there's a depth of feeling there that seems to surpass typical in-law hate, but may be explained by the whole You Killed My Brother bit. But. We do know she has terrible taste in men and if I don't figure out where I know Robbie from soon I will lose my mind. I KNOW THAT FACE!
The Twat watches from the settee, and is it true that they use that word in Britain like a comma? I love it, it seems not so much a curse word as a throwback with FEELING, but if it offends I will endeavor to limit it's usage.
It is indeed Alan's friends coming in out of the rain, they're worried too and haven't heard from Alan either. The cavalry has arrived! They're kind of awesome, aren't they? They see Raff's face "you all right, Raff, lad?" and then sweet jeebus Paul's face "My God, what's happened to him?!?" and that is not a discussion anyone wants to have.
They ask what's been going on and the taller one says "How do you know he hasn't taken her off to a hotel somewhere for a wild night of nudge-nudge, wink-wink?" and yes, I really DO like him! Hahahaha! And that's Harry! Sorted!
They ask about the police, and when they hear Robbie's given the go-ahead for reporting, given Alan's *meaningful chest touch / head nod combo*. They do this several times and I know concern about someone's heart condition isn't necessarily a laff riot, but it's very funny.
Gillian doesn't want to overreact, I mean, Alan's turned up after being out all hours of the night with "you lot", trousers rolled up and coat inside out, but Harry protests "it were his birthday! What's up with ya!"
Ahhh and Caroline is driving and oh ho, she's called Kate! She's not that worried, right right, it's just that Celia doesn't go out after dark, see, her eyes not being what they were and I went through a period like that when I didn't go out after dark for a long time and when I did, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't see anything! Parenting, though, not advanced age. ANYWAY, Kate rung Caroline, not the other way around, and it's because Caroline said they should go away for a weekend (she did?? yay!) and Kate's looking at some vacation properties in Spain but first wants to know if she meant it and if she should be fixing something up? "Can we talk about it later?" asks Caroline and Kate closes the window on the internet.
Caroline enters the police station and meets Maurice and Harry, who immediately jokes to "Celia's lass" that Celia's been leading Alan astray. You know, there's something infantalizing about calling a grown woman someone's lass, as in Caroline is Celia's lass and Paul's former fiancee was Neil Cresswell's lass, or Paul is Susan Jatri's lad, but there's something lovely and embracing about it as well.
Harry asks Caroline to look at his foot and I'm confused until she explains that she's not a medical doctor, she had a doctorate in Chemistry. "Ignore him," says Maurice, "he's rural" and I must use that immediately! Harry offers up his hernia in it's stead, but that's not really her thing...
Gillian and Robbie come out to update everyone, as soon as the police get the go ahead to start working the case they'll be doing all the technical things possible, like using CCTV to recognise their license plates and tracking phones, debit cards and the like. Now I'm wondering; I can't remember, were they in the Lexus or the hire-car? I would assume Lexus but can't quite picture it. All they can do it go home and wait.
I don't want to keep going on about this, but there is strange dynamic between Robbie and Gillian, it's as though there's a truce but Gillian doesn't want to lean on him too much and he's...
Back at the farm, Caroline asks about the sleeping Paul, which again, nobody really wants to explain too much. He's their elephant snoring in the room! Raff says he didn't do THAT, "I just bruised him" and Robbie finishes with "he's not popular" HAHAHA.
And then it's out!!!!! I was right, my goodness. Robbie apologizes for everything and he can't believe she's messing with likes of Paul Jatri (right with you there, Robbie), she's better than that and...wouldn't they make a great team? After all he's done. Accusing her of murder, even to her own son. Telling everyone she's got a screw loose, but after all that, old murderous, insane Gillian is supposed to set up house with the likes of him? She asks if he torched her Land Rover, he swears not, and accepts his apology and that's where she leaves it.
The police ring, Alan and Celia's registration plates (yay, by they WERE in the Lexus) were caught on camera driving up Godfrey Lane, but there's nothing around there, just South Ouram Hall (for my more specific readers, I've got conflicting closed captions: South Ouram Hall and Southorwam Hall. Take whichever your TV says to you!) and Paul says "you can get married at South Ouram Hall" and that's it, they have it! Celian and Alan were looking for a wedding venue! Paul isn't useless after all! You can colour me shocked as well.
Police pull up to South Ouram Hall and I am sincerely hoping there are no sexy shenanigans going on, but no, just cuddles by candlelight.
Caroline apologizes for inflicting John on Gillian and she in turn apologizes for Raff being arrested in front of her, which seems like an odd thing to apologize for? That leads to a parsed explanation of Paul's presence on her couch with all kinds of half truths (not more than friends, girlfriend, not fiancee) but Caroline calls bullshit on the broken limbs for a misunderstanding?
Gillian asks how John is doing? She says it's beyond that and bursts into tears , she's tired. I gather John's been at it more than just the one fling-thing (like her father) and it's got to be exhausting being so angry and sad all the time. She's so worried about Celia and Alan as well and for once her controlled facade cracks. Gillian suggests brandy, met with a wholehearted of YES from Caroline while Robbie stares from the living room.
Gillian says it wasn't a misunderstanding, about her and Paul and she doesn't want Caroline to have the whole idea about Raff, he's a grand lad. Caroline listens with tears in her eyes and that makes ME well up, stop it! Gillian says she's a mess, but Caroline knew that, she put her finger on it right off. Caroline apologizes, sincerely and cries (stop that! Now we're both crying!) while explaining; she's been depressed lately, bottling things up and then...she feels like she's only just holding her job down most days and it's such a nice bonding moment, Caroline letting down her guard and Gillian seeing it.
The police ring then, they've found the car at South Ouram Hall but not them? Whut? And the curator arrives, they weren't even open and haven't had any visitors. WHET? They must be in South Ouram Hall, that's where Alan said he saw a ghost and then there they are talking about a ghost and surely they can't be just not seeing them? They've got candles burning everywhere! The police ask delicately if either pensioner as been depressed lately...? Just then we see Celia and Alan's last candle go out.
No! Not at all shouts Gillian, they've never been happier! Gillian gets off the phone and rages about what she thinks the police are implying and where are they anyway without their car?! Robbie tries to calm her down by explaining about police procedure, Caroline asks if they should go over there? Robbie says not to, the police know what they're doing but offers to go himself, see if he can find summat owt. She asks if he wants to? And he says yeah and I believe a whole lot else was asked and answered just then.
The next morning dawns and Caroline joins Gillian out on the stone wall to stare at the beauty if her land. What a view every morning, but "in summer" says Gillian. In the winter, the wind can knock you over and she tells Caroline that Alan had asked about he and Celia living there after they got married. Caroline can't quite picture Celia milking cows, but Gillian says she hasn't any cows anyway, "just sheep."
They talk a bit more, Gillian always wanted a farm, but she doesn't know why, exactly, she wasn't born into it and Eddie's two career choices of boozing and biking didn't have anything to do with it. She tells Caroline how Eddie died (I have had a log splitter and I don't understand the mechanics of committing suicide with one but that's neither here nor there) and that it wasn't an accident and then they're back to worrying about Alan and Celia some more. They smile, thinking of how much Celia and Alan love each other, but when they go grave I start to well up again, they're quite worried.
Gillian is bothered by her mother not passing that note on to Alan, she would have liked to think her mum would have been happy for him and it feels a bit trick-ish, right? And now that Alan is so happy with Celia, but his wife deceived him for 60 years and Gillian thinks it's upset him. Caroline says they ought to be grateful to the late Eileen or they never would have been born and known each other, but Gillian says they could have been sisters, which would have been "disaster" finishes Caroline and they both laugh.
Gillian's parents were happy, at least, great "pals" I hear, but it weren't the same in Caroline's family. She's never seen her mum like this, happy, and she seems so alive. I think that's also working on Caroline, to see that she doesn't HAVE to be unhappy in her life out of duty as she saw growing up.
The Curator is carefully explaining how likely it is that Celia and Alan are dead, just as they pop 'round with a "hello!" It seems Alan and Celia must have snuck in just as a delivery was being done, and were locked in when the delivery person was done and nobody set the alarm. They didn't know that the Hall wasn't open, OR that you had to dial 9 to get an outside line, but they've made the bed and eaten some chocolate, can they use that phone now? There will be people looking for them. And yeah, "half the Yorkshire police" says the Curator, staring at the completely useless alarm panel.
Caroline is on the phone with John when the phone rings, it's Alan! Everyone is very excited and they run out to tell Gillian and they all laugh and yay! Everybody hugs, including Gillian and Raff and we all cry some more and I swear, I'm not usually a box of tissues.
John sends Lawrence off to play X-Box, William is to revise, and er-ooh, he's off to the supermarket with a look at his watch. William and I eye him suspiciously, nobody sets a time to go to the supermarket, they generally have fairly forgiving hours. If that dozy pillock is off to meet up with that Judith again for a pint or ten...
Caroline and Gillian are trying to move Paul upstairs out of the way (he's got enough wits about him out of the pain to ask where she will sleep? On the settee, loverboy) but it't not going very well. Lot of grunting. Oh right, I forgot Alan doesn't know ANYTHING about what's going on or has been going on with Paul! That will have to be explained shortly!
Up roll Alan and Celia! Yay! In between all the hugs and explanations and welcoming there are all these fun questions "whose car is that?" "we had a full house here last night!" and "what happened to the Land Rover" and "whose car did you say that was again?" They absolutely need tea with a bit of sugar first.
A-HA! John is indeed meeting That Judith, to give her two months rent (OF SHARED MARITAL ASSETS), she says he's very kind, but what about the meeting with his publisher? She gets shrieky when he insists that a few chapters aren't enough to be published, so I'm guessing this is pre-drinky for her. She presses, he used to say she had potential as a novelist! And he says sure, but she still has to put the hours in. On a completely unrelated aside, I've never had any inclination to write novels. It's not just that I'd probably be shite at it, it's that I don't like to make things up, but I sure like reading or watching what other people make up. It's hard to explain. I can't make out if John is a complete patronising tool in this scenario or that she's lazy, so I will go with both, for their conspiring against our Caroline.
Back at the farm, Alan is incredulously laughing about Gillian's fling with Paul Jatri (for whatever reason, they always use both his names for the most part, as though there are a herd of Pauls roaming around and they have to be really clear which one Gillian was shagging) while Raff is adding indignant asides (you're 45!! Have you looked in the mirror lately?) and I'm not advocating corporal punishment, but sometimes a good clock across the mouth goes a long way. Gillian tries again with the "Paul's girlfriend" and Alan hilariously interjects "he's got a girlfriend? He's engaged to Neil Cresswell's lass" and HAHAHAHAHA. The upshot is that he doesn't have anywhere else to go, and he won't be crude or provocative in front of Celia. She thinks.
Alan can't believe that Raff's staying with his uncle, either, why's that? He doesn't want to stay there with Paul Jatri, and he's dismayed that Alan won't have him thrown out. Gillian apologizes for not being perfect, she's amazed he thought she was! And his explanation for why he's mad reminds me so much of a couple of my lesbian friends (and relative) when they came out to their parents: their parents weren't upset that they were lesbians, oh noooo, it's just that they picked the wrong partner! Otherwise Raff is TOTALLY okay with Gillian having a boyfriend. Uh huh. Raff storms out.
Alan sits and says he might pop 'round to the surgery in the next few days (I have to assume that's like a doctor's office, because here in Canada, surgery means someone is cutting into your body and they don't like you to pop 'round), he's had a couple of twinges and Gillian is worried. He didn't take his pills with him and he must! She bullies him into calling right after everyone leaves.
Caroline is off, she looks so much lighter and happier after her cry and bond with Gillian. Speaking of, they hug and it's just so MOVING. Robbie and Raff leave then too, she thanks Robbie and he takes it with a wry lip twist.
Caroline sits in a cafe (at the train station? airport? ferry?) and oh I hope she's waiting for Kate! She sees parents greeting their children, it looks as though they've been visiting with their grandparents (or other set of parents?) and she lights up, literally as a beam of light moves across her, and as though from within as well.
Gillian works on the farm as sheep mill about around her. Celia is staring into the hearth inside, Alan's running a hot bath for her and there is a radio and bubble and she seems a bit sad. Oh no, he looks terrible all of a sudden, his heart?
Caroline arrives home to see John, she's all tired but not would tight and it's lovely. He wants to talk to her, though, and yay! He tells her about the money he gave Judith and I take back all the things I said in my head earlier about that, because he's not going to lie to her any more. Good show, John. She accepts it, and tells him she thinks this might work there with all of them. And just as I tense up, thinking she's giving this awful marriage another chance, she says she's seeing someone. Well it's different now! John wants to know WHO?? She refuses to tell him and he won't let it go now, he's got a bug up his arse.
He's shouting up the stairs at her, she invites him to leave it he doesn't like her "having it off with someone", waking William, who is just as incredulous that his mother is seeing someone. John asks William if he's seen her be close with anyone at school, and yes, William has, but he doesn't say anything just then. He's seen how Kate and Caroline are together and I hope that won't be a problem for him. Kids, you know. They can surprise you, though!
And we're out! Another great episode, I loved seeing Gillian and Caroline bond. I also liked the easing of tensions between Robbie and Gillian, and to a lesser degree Gillian and Raff. Being terrified about the possible death of a close relative will do that, I suppose. I wish there had been just a scooch more Kate, but I'm sure we'll get into that later.
Until next time! As always, feel free to email me any discrepancies you've noted or just to say hi at email@example.com. Cheers!