Onward we roll through the surprisingly sunny north of England, Last Tango in Halifax series 2 episode 2 recap starting now!
We open at Celia sitting glumly in the registry office, bouquet of flowers in hand. She's sitting next to a man in an apron, he and a copper Alan brings in are their witnesses. Azeem doesn't want to stay, though, he doesn't have half an hour and Celia looks more and more distressed. She asks the copper if he's on duty? And says surely they can't bother him if he is! This police officer is more than willing to spend 30 minutes in a registry office, fanks.
Alan offers Azeem and the copper a 20 pound note to stay, each, confirms the copper, settling in. Celia tries shooing him away; she does NOT want to do this here and now. "He's a POLICEMAN, he shouldn't be fleecing PENSIONERS!" She asks Azeem if he knows Paul (Bloody) Jatri, he doesn't think so. And it's their turn!
In runs Gillian just in time! Oh sure, carry on, don't worry about your DAUGHTERS!! Caroline, asks Celia? Nooooo, because not even Caroline can beam over from Harrogate in 15 minutes, no matter how Spock-like she may be! Gillian accuses Alan of having his head turned (the clear implication is Celia) by his posh new Harrogate pals and it's not as though they've not been talking for two weeks and now to not tell her about the eff-bloody wedding!
Gillian storms out, leaving Alan and a dismayed Celia staring at each other, only to stomp right back in, crying. Do they have any idea how upset and worried she's been? They haven't a eff-pity clue! And she's gone again, this time for good.
Celia takes this opportunity to press her case for not going ahead; she hasn't turned Alan's head, has she? It doesn't seem so funny now, that they know and are so hurt. Alan wants to go ahead, but I'm pretty sure that is not what will happen.
Gillian is devastated, crying in her car when Caroline calls her cell; she swears and sends it to voicemail. Caroline leaves an awkward message; Gillian rings Robbie instead. When's his dinner break again? At just that time, John calls Caroline's office: stay with me, this could get confusing. There's someone passed out (or ailing? probably passed out) in the foreground, but I can't quite make it out. John needs to see Caroline; when's HER dinner break? She'll give him 30 minutes at the school and no more.
Lunch with Robbie and Gillian, ohhhh he doesn't know the basis of the rift between her and her dad. Ah jeez. One drunken bounce, allllls this angst. Robbie chides her to not be jealous, just because Alan loves Celia doesn't mean he thinks Gillian's scum and er-ooh. He kind of DOES. Gillian goes off about Caroline, who walks on waaater, while Robbie pokes around a bit in the dark, like me on these recaps! She's only given him half the information and she expects that he'll help and she isn't really being fair. Yeah, sure, you were single when you shame-shagged John, but the ramifications are reaching far past a pissed birthday boning, she's going to have to tell him, and I suggest soon. It will get worse for him, in the remembering all the times she didn't, the longer she doesn't.
Robbie pokes around a bit more: have they argued about sommat? No, noo. He offers to ring them, no, no, should they get married and not tell anyone? He just proposed!! Gillian smiles and it's so sweet.
Truly, so far this episode has been brilliant, and it's ALL Nicola Walker (Gillian). She's walked the fine line of fourteen emotions at once superbly and made it fun besides.
John's in with Caroline, he doesn't know what he's DOING! He looks like shite. S
he asks him what he wants? In life? In the future. He wants the past, though, her, their life, but she's moved on and he's going to have to accept that and just then he bursts in with: his publisher has dropped him. That stops her, she thinks on it and then asks if he wants tea? While stroking his upper thigh. Do you think it was the taking care of someone that she was drawn to originally with John? Lots of people do that. The first thing that went through my head when he said he had been dropped just then is that they have to sell the house. He needs his part to go buy a cottage to drink himself into oblivion and she and Kate need to start somewhere not quite so large.
Side note: someone has sent me some Sarah Lancashire fanfic and I'm afraid I blush whenever Caroline's on the screen.
Gillian arrives at the farm to see the Lexus parked there, walking inside to find Alan and Celia on the settee of destiny. She er-ohh "may have over-reacted." Alan says it was just about a bit of fun; why would she think it was all about HER? The last time they saw each other, of course, when he was moving in and told Gillian she broke her mother's heart.
There's a complicated talk, but the upshot it: Celia and Alan ARE married now and they didn't tell them because they didn't want the fuss, but to tell everyone after so they could see their happy faces. I think they just didn't want to wait any longer, Alan's latest heart attack lighting a fire under their bums. Gillian does NOT understand and rues the day the settee of destiny coughed up that card, she would have been happy to find out and see them..and yes. She's overreacted. They're very much adults and weddings are shite anyway. That last part I think is just me. Gillan has full-on moved into open rudeness with Celia, so unfortunate.
I am so surprised they got married; I really thought Celia was putting a kibosh on THAT.
Alan and Celia drive away while Gillian waves from the courtyard; it's her turn to shoot herself with her fingers. Heading on, Raff calls, is it all right if he bring Ellie (Kathryn Rose Morgan) home for tea? Gillian wasn't very nice about Ellie previously, and the fact that Ellie's ALSO a dozey vegetarian AND she laughs when she hears Raff's grandad got married...
Caroline and Kate arrive home at the same time in separate vehicles, is that for propriety's sake? Is there a problem with them being in a supervisory relationship, or is it fine because Kate isn't a student?
I can't quite look Kate directly in the face either after than fanfic. She does look lovely in green!
Caroline tells Kate and the boys about Celia and Alan's maybe marriage, saying she can't get hold of anyone. She thinks Gillian is mad because Caroline wasn't upset about the elopement, she doesn't have time to get her own divorce, let alone go to other people's weddings! Kate tells her she WILL find time to get her divorce, and hey, says Lawrence, wasn't dad at school today? Kate asks why? Caroline will tell her later.
Lawrence takes a shot at Kate before he goes, implying she's the reason they weren't invited to the wedding and to her credit, Kate immediately asks Caroline if she thinks that's the case? Caroline doesn't answer, just asks why Kate thinks THAT? But Kate doesn't rat Lawrence out just then.
It's a very tense tea with Ellie, Raff, Gillian and Robbie; Gillian snapping out that Celia's not glamorous but a bitch and responsible for Alan's heart attack; Raff cuts in and gives the BEST description of our Caroline; posh, really brainy, really clever and really nice and what PLANET is Caroline nice, sputters Gillian?
I really don't like how Gillian is acting, but I think I can understand it. She was sommat okay when she was being added to Celia and Caroline's circle as an equally loved daughter-figure, but now she's on the outside, due to a truly unfortunate shag with her almost-brother-in-law and the thing is: she's not in the wrong. There wasn't any reason to not sleep with John, they were both unattached, both with intentions elsewhere, but who doesn't like to be wooed at by a learned man of letters after a tipple or eight? Okay, I had to hold my breath all the way through that, it stunk so bad, but on paper...she's in the clear. Caroline had started her physical relationship with Kate the day before AND told John that in no uncertain terms their marriage was over, so he was good to..er, go and maybe Gillian's just angry that she's being treated so poorly, AND she herself apologized, setting her wrong-footed, when she doesn't have anything to sorry for? She's so jealous of Caroline, I have to wonder if that was part of the motive in messing with John. At any rate, she'll have to stop dancing around it in front of Robbie, he's not the least bit stupid.
Back at Harrogate, the newlyweds have arrived (Celia driving?), hoping for a much better reception at Castle Elliot. They try to sort out what they used to do before they met up again and went on daily adventures; farting about and bugger all seems to be the consensus. I did that once, tried to figure out what I did before children and before marriage, I think there must have been a lot of sleeping and reading a metric tonne more books, the years must have moved so slowly! Celia and Alan are very excited about their wedding night, 60 years later! Let's go in and tell Caroline!
Caroline alone greets them with champagne, Kate's gone home for the night (??), William's got a job washing up at a restaurant downtown and Lawrence is in his room sulking; Kate told Caroline after all what he said and Caroline took him off at the knees.
So where will the newly married pensioners be living? asks Caroline. It's not an idle query, though, it seems Caroline and I WERE on the same page; with John being broke, he's not going to be able to buy her out, so she may have to buy him out (was him buying her out ever an option? Really?) and failing that, they'll have to sell up. So. If they want to stay in their little flat in the back, they'll have to chip in, but Celia protests that she's already put money in. They'll need to pony up to the tune of 100 grand. Is that POUNDS?? I need to sit down a minute. The number hangs in the air, until Celia asks if Caroline can get the rest? Caroline is planning to ask Kate to sell her house for their share, but she hasn't asked her yet. I mean. That's MADNESS. Sell that gorgeous Aga, I mean house, and truly move forward. Kids stability or no, I mean.
Just then, Caroline realises this is not necessarily the BEST time to be asking Celia and Alan for that much money, she shoos them off with the rest of the bottle of champagne, Celia staying back for a chat. Celia wants to explain why they really got married so quickly; they'd been told by the consultants that if Alan had another heart attack, no matter how minor, he wouldn't survive. So, The clock was ticking and that was exactly the reason, none other, not Kate, not mad at Gillian, anything.
Robbie and Gillian are doing the washing up, Raff nervously comes up and asks if Ellie can stop over? Er, NO, teenage love is gross and has cooties, says Gillian, but I knew what he was going to say before he even got it out: it was written all over his face. Ellie is pregnant with his baby and she's been chucked out by her family and that's the past all over again, isn't it?
Gillian tells Alan, saying Raff's in a bit of bother and he might benefit from Alan's presence. She doesn't want to explain it over the phone, it's a bit complicated, but there's a girl and Raff wants to leave school and chuck his life away like she did and yeah. Come visit! If you can. Alan tells Celia he's got to drive to Halifax but ah! He's not allowed to drive, that's why she was when they pulled up. My goodness.
Kate and Caroline are talking at school, Kate is shocked at Caroline's suggestion that she sell her house, it's all happening very fast. She tries to digest, but Caroline backs away and then reiterates; she wants to spend the rest of her life with Kate!
This isn't how she pictured this happening, and so soon, but she feels certain about them, and if Kate doesn't, then say no, but think about it. Kate says she can't kiss Caroline there, and no, um um, no, HAHAHA that was gorgeous.
There's another thing, then, if they're seriously talking about the future and being together forever and the like: Kate will be 42 the following week (wow, she does NOT look 42, I would have thought twenties! And happy birthday next week, Kate!) and holy shite. She wants a baby. Now. Only people with no hands-on experience with babies can say they've always wanted a child exactly as you'd say you've always wanted an Aga stove; babies aren't the answer to anything. They're a completely new way to look at the world. But holy shite: she wants a BABY?? Caroline bursts out laughing but Kate's serious! Music is over, time to ascend the school throne.
Gillian looks first happy then irritated to see the Lexus; that's the order she saw the occupants, I'd imagine. She manages a "Celia" and then starts to explain, looking like she's being smacked every time Celia chimes in. So this Ellie, who blows hot and cold, is 8 months pregnant and is staying with them. She didn't know she was, adds Gillian, or maybe she would have done as Celia gently suggests "get shut of it," which is English Pensioner for abortion, I gather. 5 months too late for that.
Alan asks if he is SURE it's his baby, and later why didn't he take precautions and those are the wrong questions! Ellie's inside, Gillian's taking her to the surgery later, so they go inside to meet her. Ellie had a too-hot bath and she finks she's having contractions. WHUT?
I think I've seen this show: I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant!
Someone watch Alan's heart and stress level! He and Celia are rushing Ellie to the hospital, Gillian is off to get Raff at school. She takes a strip off of Raff on the ride to the hospital, and I understand that girls sometimes lie about WHO the father is, picking the more stable possible donor, but Gillian, I mean, she's been there, surely she could have more compassion for everyone involved? I'll see how compassionate I am if I'm ever in that particular situation with any of my lads.
Celia calls Caroline, who sputters and stammers when hearing Celia's off delivering babies in Halifax. I must have the wrong end of the stick, she also thinks the paternity is in question and I can't see that being settled quickly unless the baby is a different hue. It gets a little...mucky and we start to see the two sides emerge more fully, money being that great separator. Celia calls Raff a mudlump (put-about?) like his mother and not to worry, she won't be taken in for money, she'll watch out for THAT. Speaking of money...Caroline did ask Kate, oh yeah, yeah! Yeah, *that look and tone that says OH I BLOODY TALKED TO KATE ALL RIGHT, D'YOU KNOW WHAT SHE SAID??*, but out it comes: Caroline can't sell that house. I've been saying since day 1 that she needs to sell up and get an awesome condo, but that apparently will not be happening any time soon.
Amy Poehler described divorce as laying everything you love and that matters the most to you in the world out on a giant blanket and throwing it up in the air and that sounds about right. Caroline, as Kate did before, will have to see that the house is the least of her needs being met.
Kate wasn't quite sure and Celia gently asks if it's a wee bit soon for selling houses and moving in after 5 minutes? Oh and Kate wants a baby; I have an idea!! It would be too pat to suggest that Kate and Caroline adopt Raff's baby, wouldn't it?
Speaking of the baby, Ellie thinks she's too young for a baby! She doesn't know what to do with a baby anyway! What if it's got more than one head? This is medieval! This shouldn't be happening and in fact, she's of the firm opinion that she's not even here. I wish they were that free with the laughing gas when I gave birth!
The nurse comes in, explaining Ellie's 3-4 centimetre dilation (need ten before things get really exciting!) to Gillian, who says she's not Ellie's mother, fanks. She shouts very clearly and slowly at Ellie: HAS SHE RUNG HER MOTHER? IF NOT, THEN GILLIAN WILL. And "no"s all around while Raff looks conflicted.
Celia is walking down memory lane with Alan, when she had Caroline she lost 3 pints of blood and that sounds like a lot. She nearly died and even saw a tunnel and it was all very Is That All There Is? by Peggy Lee and now I have to put that here because I love it and it was invoked and everything.
She got almost to the light, but it slowed down and then she turned around. Celia asks if he thinks the baby is really Raff's? Apparently they were at a party and Malibu reared it's ugly head, as it tends to do at teenage parties, but there they are. They're the same age that Celia and Alan were when he asked her out back then. Celia is determined to smear her small mind all over about the disgrace of it all; surely Alan isn't going to make out like it's a good thing. They would never have carried on like that at their time. But Alan is good with babies! They love him! I can't think of babies now without thinking of Hannah from Girls trying to french them and I JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
Alan is excited to be a great-grandad, he never thought he's live to see the day! Celia pokes some more at the paternity angle; he doesn't know he WILL be a great-granddad, but he intends to help them out financially, you know. And now the lines are further set by the demon money: Celia wanting to help her daughter keep her beloved home and Alan wanting to help his grandson and his new baby. So.
Gillian can't reach Ellie's parents; they wouldn't turn their backs on them, would they? "Mmm perhaps they're Christian" murmurs Celia HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Gillian's got to go to feed the stock, can Alan and Celia stay to watch out for Raff and his brand new family? Alan asks Celia, who answers Gillian and it's all still very awkward. I shouldn't say it, but maybe now there will be a easing in Gillian's attitude now that Celia hasn't been the only source of recent excitement in Alan's life. But I doubt it.
John's let himself into Judith's flat, greeting her with black garbage bags full of his things and the news of his publisher's dropping him when she comes in with her clanking bags of booze. How did he not notice what an absolute hard-core alcoholic this woman is? She says she's only surprised it took that long, he hasn't had IT for ages, if he ever had IT and he's a nancy, picking away at the edges of dangerous thing but never COMMITTING to hurting himself properly.
Sounds like she's gotten another soggy chapter written, eh? What's that make, five? Six?
She also wants to know what John wants, what does he REALLY REALLY want? She doesn't care, though, she's not listening, she would just like him to piss off out of her flat and go chase whatever it is PDQ instead of just clinging on to what's familiar. And that's what I said! But I said bagina, meaning familiar. Who wants to put $10 on John cruising out to Gillian's next? She's got that settee of destiny, after all, and lets just anybody stay for ages. I've not seen John with anyone else, either, he seems to have an extraordinarily small circle of support. That can happen after long marriages, but also if you are a right wanker, and I tend to lean that way in John's case. He gathers his black plastic luggage and goes without another word.
I was about to go into a long, rambling story about how I managed to find my way away from what was familiar but toxic but then realised we're almost done this episode and you lot probably need a break from my endless tangents. YOU'RE WELCOME!!
Lawrence and the presumed Oscar (who saw John at school and told Lawrence) are watching Kate and Caroline walk round the yard (looks very much like prison yard strolling! But much more fashionable); Oscar asking all kinds of inappropriate questions about CK's physical relationship. No teenager wants to think about his mother snogging ANYONE, so you probably shouldn't write it down in a journal and stick it in the family bookcase for your daughter to find with her best friend one winter day. Just for an example. Ah, Lawrence going to live with his dad comes up and he always was closer with him, wasn't he? We know where William will be.
Kate's sussing out whether Caroline is even entertaining the idea of another baby, but really, Caroline can't work out the logistics of it; it wouldn't be HER baby too, would it? It couldn't be? Now I remember watching The L Word back in the day and THAT didn't end well, so...Kate's thought this through, she has a sperm donor in mind, a fella she went to university with (and hey! I was asked to carry a baby for my MostlyGayBestie and his husband; I think I only didn't because I couldn't promise I'd hand it over if it was a girl. And I'm old. Sorry, I swore I'd try to keep the tangents to a minimum: it's like I can't help myself!) so she's done quite a bit of thinking about this. His name is Greg, they dated a bit and slept together and she thinks he'd be a good choice. Um. She doesn't mean to have him donate the old fashioned way, does she? Was that where that "I've slept with him" was going? Sorry sorry, my mind is so provincial some times. Caroline asks why she didn't marry Greg then, if she liked him so much? AHHHHHH and that was EXACTLY where Kate was going with that, sleeping with Greg again and Caroline's face says it all: WHUT?
You know, Kate's 42 next week, it can take a bit longer to get things rolling at that age, fewer eggs, etc (I had my last at 39, so I know from whence I speak) and if she's planning to go the traditional route, she may as well give up on it right now. Presuming a lifetime of trying NOT to get pregnant at the wrong times, hormone imbalances, scheduled sex. I mean. It can take years! Of sleeping with a fella on the side. Oh.my.goodness. And Kate says it's the best way, better than medical intervention? WHAT KIND OF BOLLOCKS IS THIS???
Caroline is FULL of questions about Greg, why did he divorce? Does he have children? Is he firing blanks? Does he want children? How often are you in contact? When last? She should meet him, no she shouldn't, bloody hell, it's a bit much right out of the blue, izzint it? Caroline just doesn't want ANY old sperm on her shared baby, there will have to be a meeting.
It seems Kate had been trying with Richard and had four miscarriages. Oh my goodness, add in a problem with carrying the baby to term on top of the age and eggs and she STILL wants to go the traditional route?
I was just thinking about this yesterday, how mating and birthing and living, all those things are fundamental biological processes, it's only us humans that have mucked it up with forcing things when we shouldn't, and the whole pregnancy industry! I mean. I was watching a lot of nature programs with my hooligans. Anyway, the point is that Caroline thinks that having babies is a fundamental drive, and who is she to tell Kate not to do what she wants with her own body?
They have a beautiful moment then, gazing at each other and I've never seen anyone kiss anyone without touching before. It's just brilliant and the light is there again.
The spell breaks when Caroline takes out her phone to text Celia, who's delivering a baby just then. Delivering a baby, says Kate?? Oh not her, says Caroline, she'll just be standing by the door making droll comments and it's like Celia's ME! Celia is, in fact, standing by the door, being shouted at by the labour nurse for the noise from Caroline's text arriving. Raff is about to faint, so the nurse sends Celia and him out in the hallway. "What about me??" asks Ellie, but I'm pretty sure she'll have to stay there as part of the main show. Alan holds Ellie's hand and I'm so worried about his heart! That's a lot of excitement!
Ellie wants HER grandad there, not Alan, ring him! It's in her phone, it's Harry Wallace and now I'm trying to remember if I've heard the name before, it caused Alan to start.
John strides across campus with his plastic garbage bag luggage, oh and calling Gillian! I was so right. He knows she's with Robbie, but that's a disaster just waiting to happen, isn't it? Well, yeah, Robbie's been kind and supportive, he cooks and cares about her and Raff, sounds like a NIGHTMARE, she better get well shut of him and move on to this pitiful arsehole who's attached like a lamprey eel to a food source. JOHN: GO MAKE SOME MORE FRIENDS. SPENT TIME ALONE. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT INSTEAD OF GRASPING AT EVERYTHING THAT HASN'T SLOUGHED YOU OFF YET.
He's been thinking about it, though, he figures he will have about $400-450 thousand from the sale of the house, cash, he could put that into the farm and no, he for sure is not trying to buy her, noo noo. He just thought...is she doing anything this weekend? And she doesn't say no... Is it the being chased? Is it that he can talk all fancy and calls their shame-shag making love? Is it screwing over the perfect Caroline? I mean
Ohhhhhhhhh, Harry is Alan's Harry!!!! He's there at the hospital with Yvonne, his daughter and Ellie's mom and none of them knew she was pregnant! Didn't Raff say that Ellie told them and that's why they chucked Ellie out? Ohhh, Yvonne is a business executive, been in meetings all day and no idea what's been going on! The allegations start flying; someone's son doesn't use condoms, someone's daughter puts it about all over the place and then the coup de grace: how do they even know it IS Raff's baby girl? Ahhh a baby girl, Celia reports cheerfully, texting Caroline at the same time.
Gillian and Yvonne are slugging it out verbally in the hallway while Raff comforts Ellie and Celia and Alan cuddle the baby. Well, she remarks,"they've got married and had a baby, all in just 48 hours!" They're on fire, they're cooking with gas! They kiss over the baby and all is right with them. We're oot.
I don't know if anyone else is doing all right; Gillian not rebuffing John immediately, I mean. Alan's oldest friendship about to be tested, Gillian firmly at odds with EVERYONE and Celia and Alan drawing money lines in the sand. Complicated. But that's what this show does, complex beautifully wrought and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I do worry about Kate and Caroline moving so quickly, I mean, I know they're both grown and actually do know what they want (unlike John), but that much movement so quickly can have you end up with the wrong end of the stick. HOWEVER, the last one to say so should be Celia, who manged to get engaged within hours to someone she hadn't see in 6 decades. It could be noted that our Caroline is ALSO clinging to what is familiar in that house, but it's nothing like John and his inability to move forward. See you next time for more shenanigans in the north of England!