I am very excited, I hear this is a FANTASTIC episode of Last Tango in Halifax and I can't wait to get at it! Let's roll!
Last episode saw all KINDS of shakeups, Caroline and Gillian bonded over shared worry about their missing parents, Caroline told John that she's seeing someone, Robbie revealed his love for Gillian lurking behind all the vitriol (TOTALLY called that), and Raff is softening, somewhat. And could still maybe use a clock across the mouth. Right, are we ready??
Personally, I think it's hilarious that old easy-going John (Judith was just a mistake, didn't mean anything!!) lost his shite entirely when he heard that Caroline was seeing someone, I just hope...he's not a big problem. He seems like a tosser, but he's hung on longer than I expected him to.
We open at Caroline calling Kate from her mobile as she pulls up in front of the school; could Kate please come to her office? Caroline's tone is super sweet and I am nervous for Miss Kate, although I don't suppose Caroline can break up with her again if they aren't actually dating yet?
Ohhh and Kate is as nervous as I, but not for long, as Caroline sweeps her up into a kiss and pushes her against the door, sliding her hand under Kate's blouse and wow. Kate and I need a moment.
Caroline is riding the wave of exhilaration from telling John, Kate unsurely asks if she wants to come 'round tonight? Kate's barely got the words out and "YUP!" from Caroline made me clap it was so awesome, yay!
Caroline's wired from lack of sleep, and it's as though she sees Kate for the first time; "you're very pretty." "You're magnificent" replies Kate and then Caroline whispers something "technically difficult" in Kate's ear and Kate and I DEFINITELY need a moment. Is it hot in here?? Caroline's assistant Beverley comes in with tea and to advise of Caroline's meeting at 2 with the Board of Governor's. No, no tea, love, just ice water for me.
Beverley leaves and Caroline crumples to the floor, crying. She was so worried about Celia last night. The thought that Alan and Celia might die right after finally finding each other after six decades apart...that's just cruel. And Alanis-Morrissette-Ironic. Kate kindly asks if maybe Caroline should be at home right now? But no, Caroline will meet with Gavin of the Board of Governor's at 2 and then may as well stay on until 3:15 and will Kate be home by 4? Some serious eye-cuddling, more questions non-verbally asked and answered and it is set. Yay! It's lovely that Caroline was able to show that vulnerability in front of Kate, she's always been so taut previously.
Alan watches a beautiful Celia sleep on the couch, a little while later settling a tea tray just a little too firmly so as to wake her. I am more worried about Alan's heart that I am the onset of Alanis-Morrisette-Irony, to be honest, I hope he did remember to ring the surgery after everyone left last time.
She watches him, smiling, and they cackle delightedly about their most recent adventures. They keep getting up to shenanigans! The ghost from Southowram (thank you Lesley B for the information about the correct name AND where it actually IS!) is hanging with Alan, though, and he can't shake her off. It's prompted him to want to tell Celia about Eddie's death, there's more to it than the straightforward suicide he described. Just as he's about to solve the mystery, down the stairs falls Paul Bloody Jatri, wrecking the opportunity for us to find out what the Sam Hill is going on AND requiring that Celia get a introduction and probably an explanation of sorts.
Side note: I've been thinking about Robbie's revelation last episode, where he thought that he, Raff and Gillian would make a great team and it's as though he didn't know she was back on the market and once he did, he was all over it. Like, I didn't know you were interested in bouncing around, I'll bounce! Lookit me, I'm bouncing right now!
Anyway, Paul..oh?! *eyebrow raise* would like to put the kettle on, he's got to keep his fluids up and Gillian's been neglecting him, see. Just then the doorbell rings, it's Harry and Maurice! They're there to take Alan for his Tuesday lunch.
Celia's calling Caroline; WHO ANSWERS THE PHONE DURING HER MEETING. I mean. Caroline wouldn't even have her phone turned on while she's at school before, remember? And now here she is chatting away during her meeting with Gavin with the Board of Governors (he's much younger-looking than I expected) and not even pretending someone's trapped under something heavy or some other emergency. Huh.
Celia is planning to stay on a few days to sort out the wedding, but she hasn't any ginch. Can Caroline pop 'round to Halifax with some *whisper* knickers, a nightie and a toothbrush? Caroline and I mentally review the timeline, no, we've got Kate at 4 and that needs to be at least a couple of hours and then it will be dark, so no, why doesn't Celia pop into Halifax to a Marks & Spencer (I figured out the M&S all on my own!!)?
This leads off a magic exchange that should really be transcribed in full but I fear would lose some of it's original flavour; I will summarise. Celia: I could have got a chill and died last night, pneumonia and everything! Caroline: but you didn't (and Kate at 4), and I'm at work in a meeting with "smarmy beggar" (Celia: tell him to eff off) Gavin, and not I can't tell you right now what I would like for my birthday and I've got to go right NOW.
Oh, and Celia sends her regards to Gavin. HAHAHAHAHA
Poor Paul is keeping his fluids up in the pub, sitting by himself spilling a pint all over himself. "D'ya want a straw?" asks Harry and he does, but I think they're just making fun. They tell Alan of a truck for sale to replace Gillian's Land Rover, 4000 pounds sounds like a LOT. No matter, it's Gillian's birthday tomorrow and Alan will make up the difference after insurance covers what they will. Paul hears that; it's Gillian's birthday? How old is she? Alan says "around 40...summat" and that makes Paul smile.
Wait a minute. How is it possible that Gillian and Caroline have birthdays so close together? And I'm pretty sure Raff said Gillian is 45, and I KNOW Caroline said she is, so what kind of coincidence is that? I mean, back in the day when premarital sex was frowned upon, I gather they pretty much got to it immediately after the minister said "Man and Wife" back then (which made it awkward for the guests, but I bet they understood) but that seems...weird.
Maurice asks Alan, has he thought at all about who the Best Man will be? He himself is used to public speaking, you see, and he's been oft "complimented on his humourous turns of phrase, wit AND illuminating insights" lots of non-committal chuckling ensues. And don't forget the being sober and not screwing everything else up, too, "obviously." Shall he tell Harry or? Er-ooh, let me handle that side of things, says Alan.
Celia arrives back at the table just then to drink her medium dry white wine (red only, please! I promise not to be obnoxious and look for legs or any such nonsense. Sod it, I'll have a pint) and is concerned about Paul mixing painkillers with alcohol. He asks for a straw and I STILL don't think he's gonna get it.
Gillian rings Celia; has she seen Paul? It gets very shouty, it's very loud inside the new Land Rover that's stuck in mud, but everyone save Paul is in a great mood. They're either "up Soylan!" or "up soiling" and that sounds fun! There is a town around there called Soylan (on Lesley B's handy ordnance map!) but A Celtic Dragon told me it might mean tearing up soil, like what we call mud bogging in Canada. Either way, they're having a blast. **edited for clarity after posting.
Gillian wants Harry and Maurice to bring Paul back to his ACTUAL mother's, not all these women he keeps trying to get to take care of him. Also; knickers, shouts Gillian! Caroline's rang. What size and what type? Celia's not about to get into that just then in a truck full of men, she rings off.
Other than the buggered clutch, the truck is in near-perfect condition! Off to get a whatsit-ed one for 70 quid and done!
It's 4, woo hoo! Caroline's popped 'round to Kate's, lots of sighing and eye cuddling and Caroline doesn't quite have her nerve up like this morning, but they lean in and just then, Caroline's mobile rings. It's Gillian and she needs to know what size knickers Celia wears? HAHAHAHAHA
Kate thinks it's funny too, laughing out loud so Caroline has to cover her mouth and that's broken the ice!
At the junkyard, picking up an unbuggered clutch for 75 quid, Harry braces Alan; he's going to want a Best Man that people like for the wedding, isn't he? One that won't drone on about himself ad inifinitum, right? And he's never been a Best Man! More non-committal chuckling from Alan, should Harry go tell Maurice right now? Er-oooh, no, he'll handle that bit. Alan's going to have to choose Raff or something before this gets ugly.
You know, I don't think I've ever been a Maid or Matron of Honour, come to think of it. I've been asked twice, but I was young and let's just say...deadlines and "schedules", other than the four or so jobs I was always holding down: more of a suggestion than a rule. And I don't think I realised at the time how much of a big deal it was. I'd have just shown up inebriated and tried to shag all the groomsmen anyway; they were better off without that in the wedding videos. God, sometimes I miss my early twenties.
They're hiding the new Land Rover in the barn, Celia asks what he's going to do about the Best Man situation? And no, he can't have two Best Men, that would look daft and what was he going to tell her earlier? Let's put the kettle on first. It probably "summat and nowt", but when Eddie killed himself, it didn't go exactly as Alan OR Gillian said; Eddie was drunk and threatening to kill himself, then went out in the barn and did gravely injure himself with the log splitter (I tell you, I don't even know how that's possible! I've HAD a log splitter!), but he wasn't dead when she found him, not even unconscious. She stood there and watched him die, THEN she called the police, but did not call an ambulance. So she didn't kill him, but she failed to provide care, and I'm pretty sure that's illegal, but probably tricky as hell to prosecute. Alan thinks he was complicit because he didn't say anything to the police, and that of course is why Robbie thinks Gillian killed Eddie. I'd say he's gotten over that part, hasn't he?!
Alan is worried that Celia will be disappointed in him or Gillian, and desperate that she doesn't tell Gillian that she knows, but I was very much reminded of what Celia said about Kenneth, how she'd smother him next time he knocked himself out anywhere near her. As was Celia, and no, of course, she isn't disappointed, it's time to let it go. Eddie isn't living in the barn, just let it go. There's this lovely moment where he says "I love you" and she says it back and we all tear up, whew, time to snap out of it! Remember all that jiving they used to do?
Gillian comes back from shopping to find Alan and Celia cutting a rug in the living room (I'm so worried about Alan's heart!), she delightedly sneaks pictures and then comes right out in front and they stop, embarrassed. And she's already texted them to Caroline! I would like to thank the bobs and the small white fishies for there not being camera phones around in my early twenties.
Gillian is almost giddy, Robbie and Raff are coming to dinner that night and Raff's moving back in! And oh yes, Robbie's apologized for all that crap and nonsense, but I really am distracted quite sincerely by Alan looking as though he hasn't caught his breath yet.
John is pacing when Caroline gets home, where's she been? Just tell him who it is, he won't be cross! Caroline makes me laugh when she says "ooh. Lucky me" and pours herself a glass of wine. He starts running through a list of names, and nobody likes Gavin, do they? First Celia with her "smarmy beggar" and now even John calling him an "unctuous git", what's he done? Anyway, WHO IS IT, CAROLINE??
She says there are more people that need to know before he does (William and Lawrence? Celia?) and hey, was Judith pretty? John says no, but I disagreed until he said once you've seen her fall down the stairs and covered in pee and vomit it takes a bit of the shine off, and clearly, he knows her better than I. And Gavin is married, do you really think Caroline would do that, John? (clear subtext: AS JUDITH DID)
John is quite concerned about Caroline bringing a lover around here and just like that, she turns another corner; if she likes and trust someone enough to have sex with them, she doesn't want them stuck away in a corner, she wants them here! So they might as well get divorced. She'd had an idea that they could live together until the kids are done school and share the house, but she doesn't want that any more. John blurts that she'll not have the house, but she says she WILL have the kids, since she didn't walk out on them, and no court in the land is going to take the boys away from the family home. She suggests he get a good lawyer as she plans to.
Now here is where it gets amazing, this gorgeous speech from Caroline in which she tells him that it's "not a he" and better to get that out of the way first thing and she would appreciate his discretion with telling the children and Celia and if there WAS anything he wanted to say to her, she would prefer to her face. Although, "being a liberal-minded intellectual, I assume you won't need to do that anyway." *long pause* "Yeah. You might need to think about it" and HAHAHAHAH. I mean. Caroline's FACE!
The phone rang in between, it's Gillian, she's picked up a bathrobe for 45 quid on a robe for Celia to give to Caroline for her birthday, is that all right?
Caroline wanders around during the call, saying "perfect! That's perfect!" in the general direction of the kids and it's off a bit? I can't tell if it's happiness or unease. John is still in the kitchen staring at the counter, trying to process Caroline's revelation.
Gillian asks, hey, when is your birthday anyway and they've figured out they have the same birthday! It's tomorrow and they ARE both turning 46. So very odd! They're twins!
John is pensively smoking on the lawn; ringing Judith and greeting her with "are you sober?" I'd have hung up just then
Gillian is walking Robbie out, who's all right when he's not being a twillock. (What's a twillock??) They stand outside and stare at each other's mouths and is she doing anything for her birthday? He invites her out for supper and then they kiss and it's all tingly and lovely! It feels like the culmination of so many years longing.
This IS a great episode, you lot were right! All the snogging and carrying on!
She invites him in, but he demurs, she's been drinking and he doesn't want her to regret it, so yay to insisting on proper consent! It's really lovely and Gillian looks like a school girl, all happy and free. So much eye-cuddling as he walks away.
They take Gillian outside to see her present the next morning. It's were free on the side of the road, it was and she's excited because it's got wheels and everything! What it doesn't have is an installed re-whatsited clutch, but she likes mucking about in engines, doesn't she? And he's a pillock! Ocks everywhere!
Raff is off to school, Alan offers him a ride, he and Celia are off to the Registry office to have a look. Just then an SUV comes roaring up, it's Susan Jatri and she's dumping off Paul, she won't have him! And it's not just that, but Susan is Ishia Bensimmon, who was Joyce in Happy Valley! Isn't that cool? Gillian insists she can't leave Paul here?! And that's it, Paul is their problem again. Happy birthday Gillian!
John is over at Judith's place, obsessing about Caroline while she types on her computer (presumably writing chapter 5 of her debut novel). Caroline can't be a lesbian, for one thing, she doesn't look like a lesbian. They have them on campus, he knows. Judith laughingly asks what decade he lives in? But she doesn't look like a lesbian, does she, asks John? But no, Judith hasn't seen her, but says "No, but I'm warming to her" hahahaha
They have a conversation that doesn't sound very much like one between liberal-minded intellectuals, I'm afraid. I've brought this up in another series I recap; people who fall somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum in small towns get asked the MOST inappropriate questions about their sex lives (I ask you, when's the last time you asked a straight couple you know who likes to pin who? Or what gets put where?) and the speculation. You know, I'm sure it's not that difficult to figure out what lesbian carrying on is like, John, since you have at least a passing idea of the parts involved. Rumour has it there are instructional videos, online even.
Judith taunts him; his wife of 18 years has been faking it, each and every time. Or pretending he's a "girly-whirly" and it's true, you never do know what's going on in someone else's head at the moment of truth. There may be leather or whips or feathers or latex bodysuits for breath play. You just never know.
Caroline rings just then; she wants to know what he's up to that night. She's planning to cook for her birthday for her... friend... and the boys, she'd *pause* like him to join them. This flabbergasts John "oh piss off you patronising, sanctimonious mad bitch!" and we shall take that as a "no." He works out that her friend must be the friend from the Witches Coven in the garden the other day, the one Lawrence called a lesbian. He's not going, doesn't want to seem that interested!
That disappoints Judith, who was hoping he'd go and actually, just GO in general. She thinks he's a bad influence on her and off he goes, chucked out.
Celia doesn't really like the Registry Office, although it looks much nicer than I would have guessed, lots of gleaming wood. Too bad about that vicar taking such a short term view, and what about Southowram? Not after that night, Alan said wild horses wouldn't drag him back, even after they offered. But if it's the only place...? Celia mentions a little chapel at Caroline's school...what about that?
Gillian's putting the new clutch in while Paul watches when John rings, Paul's got a lot of nerve asking who it is! John stammers and stutters but he can't come right out with it, can he come over? Er-ooh sure, what's it about? Caroline.
Caroline, for her part, is looking marvelous and so relaxed puttering in that kitchen with that giant Aga stove. She's drinking wine and looks just so...happy. The doorbell rings, she and William answer it and yay, he smiles! He offers to play Scrabble with Kate and goes off to get Lawrence, he can't spell but it's good for him. Caroline's told William, he's been brilliant about it but hasn't had the right moment to tell Lawrence yet.
They kiss and the sun comes over them and it's just glorious.
Caroline asks if Kate's going to stay the night and she says sure. And John is...? No idea
So. Gillian has, on her settees, all at once time: a wanker, a Twat, a twillock and a teenager and I don't have any clue at all how that will sort out. They all look very grouchy.
Alan and Celia arrive back at the farm; they're exhausted but making progress! He's still concerned about what he told her yesterday, is she sure she's okay with it? And she is, of course, even if it was manslaughter. She says that "one of the great things about getting older is...that very little shocks you any more and that certainly doesn't."
They go inside to find this great jeezling gang watching TV together, John's been there all afternoon drinking, so this will not go well. Gillian tries to explain about Caroline, but there is lots of spluttering there too and then John spots Celia. "Oi!" and then it comes out. Celia is extremely upset and it takes ages to get John outside. Celia doesn't want a cuppa, she wants to go HOME.
At Harrogate, Caroline, Kate and the boys are having a lovely dinner and is that cleavage I see, Caroline?? That IS!! They're discussing Celia and Alan's upcoming wedding and what would happen at the chapel, there's a touching moment where Caroline talks about how sweet it is that Celia will be happy, she deserves it even if she's had to wait all this time to get it. William and Kate beam at her from across the table as Lawrence ask is he can get drunk (no) and the doorbell rings.
It's Judith, but of course. Caroline hasn't seen her before so doesn't recognise her. A very drunk Judith, as a matter of fact, who's smashed a birthday bottle of wine and is looking for John. She needs to apologise. She then waxes poetic about her torrid history of same-sex crushing, she's just like Caroline! Well done! She goes on to say that well, it can't have been ALL John's fault then, in the end, what with stuff not working...and then drunkenly stumbles and falls on the broken wine bottle.
Gillian and Caroline are having the WORST.BIRTHDAYS.EVER. It's a good thing the day before was so fantastic!
Caroline sits in the hospital, covered in blood and waiting for Judith, while Kate is at home with Lawrence. He asks Kate if she knows who his mum is seeing? Who? And before Kate can assemble a whole lot of an answer, Gillian rings: Celia and Alan and their poor eyesight are headed back to Harrogate, she couldn't stop them. Celia was too upset about Caroline's relationship with..."Kate" finishes Lawrence, staring at her and oh it would have been better if she'd taken a chance to tell him first.
An unruly and intoxicated John sits on the couch opposite Paul, Robbie asks Gillian if she'll be all right? And then he's off, with a small kiss and I still liked it!
John apologizes and swears he didn't come over to do exactly what he did, but rather to see her. Whut?? All of a sudden she had potential lovers coming out of nowhere! That business with Paul must have reminded everyone that she's an attractive, single woman with her own farm who knows her way around a whatsited-clutch.
Celia and Alan have pulled off so Alan can rest his eyes, Celia is looking out the window with a 1000 yard stare and I'm sad that it's affected her so. I guess there's that feeling that she should have shared it with her.
Gillian is trying to work out whether John is a evil git or that his interest is flattering but he says neither; he's just "disappointingly human." They are cuddled up quite closely on the Twat-less settee and Gillian drunkenly invites him upstairs with a thigh rub. We're oot at his much-less drunk surprised eyes.
So, you guys were right, I LOVED this episode! So.much.snogging!! I am so very disappointed in Celia's reaction to Caroline's relationship with Kate, though. That's leaving it very bittersweet for me. I love how Sally Wainwright never writes anything predictable and it's all very REAL, you know, but Gillian shagging Caroline's ex-husband: I do not see a way clear of that. Until next time, and every time, I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any discrepancies you'd like to point out or just to say hi! Cheers
**all pictures borrowed from various tumblrs, thank you!