Last Tango In Halifax S2:E3 Malibu Fueled Passion Recap

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LTiH Sarah

I hear some pretty epic stuff happens over the next few episodes of Last Tango in Halifax, so I'm pushing ahead a bit, they got me! Rolling after the break!

We left our pensioners holding onto Raff's brand new baby girl, Kate wanting a baby in the most unrealistic way possible, and Gillian NOT getting well shut of John as she should. Sigh. On we roll!

Good god Caroline's house is magnificent, isn't it?? I mean. All that STONE! See? I managed to not mention That Kitchen for a whole sentence. Until right then.

Alan, Maurice and Harry are talking over a pint while Alan feeds the bebeh, who still hasn't a name. How about Kate and Caroline's daughter? How about THAT?? Speaking of that, I must go into yet another aside:

I've always wondered at the parentage of Raff, AND I'M NOT SAYING ROBBIE IS THE FATHER, but what if he is? It would explain a lot. Right, as you were.

The lads are disappointed that they weren't at the wedding, to be honest, but it's done! Done! They're pondering possible names and I'm so glad there doesn't appear to be a problem with Harry and Alan about the contretemps with the underage birthing and all. I think Tempered Beetroot is a great name for a wee girl! They're putting him a bit against Celia, though, blaming the speed of the wedding on her and taking it in the most personal way possible: what IS it about weddings that everyone's feelings but that of the betrothed have to be bloody considered?

It's like this segment I saw called #MoreThanMean on Twitter, where random gentlemen had to read mean tweets sent to female sports reporters. It seemed awfully affecting for THEM, thankfully the women were there to comfort THEM at having to read that filth ONCE. I mean. I get the point of it, but that was a textbook exercise in looking at women's issues through a male lens and I'm pretty sure we have quite quite enough of that.

Celia and Kate are sitting in The Kitchen discussing Ellie and her surprise pregnancy and it sounds like a bit of a dream, doesn't it? Find out you're pregnant and deliver, all the same day? No time to get nervous and overbuy pink clothing (you can never overbuy onesies OR sleepers, for the record), just hey! And done. John walks in, cause Celia to remark "Oh, I thought he'd moved out" and awww man! Me TOO! I do love how she completely ignores him for the entire conversation.

Ah we find out lots in the retelling; no name yet, as we knew, but Gillian's already picked up a paternity test at the chemist's and that's magic you can do it over the counter these days and not have to go on Maury like we had to back in the good old days. Ellie's mom Yvonne is a muckety-muck at the NHS, and not prepared to give up her high-powered job and why should she? Ellie's dad lives in Dewsbury and has anyone talked to him about throwing in his lot as a quantity surveyor and becoming a Stay At Home Grandad so Ellie can finish school? I didn't think so! But yes, of course, the women must address things as they are.

I'm all rammy this morning, I'd better take it down a notch or none of you lot will want to finish reading!

It turns out the baby has several names! Flossie (Gillian), Emily Jane (Alan - ooooh I like that!), Foo Foo Tinkerbell (Harry) and I would just like to throw an Elisabeth Beatrice into the pot. It was my GirlBaby name and since I apparently had no need for it, you may have it, LTiH. Celia has no clue how very much her ruminating about people who want children and not able to have them is hitting home with Kate, asking her what she would name a child if she had one? She likes Emily, also and just about every other name in the book and it's best not to get hung up on gendered names, Kate. Take it from me. Ohhhhhhh at the end of approximately 100 girl names, she says "I don't know! It will all depend on what Caroline thinks" and ohhhhhhh. And now she's got to explain how les-ladies have babies together. Go on, explain about how you're planning to shag an ex-boyfriend for months without end to do it the Easy Way!

Celia isn't very supportive. She gets cold. Surely Caroline is too old? And where is Caroline anyway? Oh, off to King Lear, so she'll be wanting to slit her wrists later on and maybe lie down, no discussion today.

Yay!! Sheep vaccination time! Look at all those glorious sheep! Is it wrong that I can't wait for the shearing? I understand that some people think it's cruel, and it's not that, I just love watching and I can't explain. ANYWAY, Gillian's mobile rings and why would she answer? It must be impossible to figure what sheep you just squirted at after you've lost your rhythm. Oh yay, it's John, he gave her a bit of space due to becoming a grandmother. He can't stop thinking about her, he's writing again and it's all about her and it's also exactly what I bet Gillian LOVES to hear: it's not about this Mad Bitch (he must mean Caroline, funny how someone ELSE is the bitch) or her mousy girlfriend (WHUT? Nina Sosanya is LUMINOUS) here, it's about linchpin heroine Gillian. He's wooing her with words, and she's still not answering... and then says she's can't. Whew.

Oh fantastic, Ellie and Raff are playing video games, no even looking up when asking how little Elizabeth Beatrice is doing, and I can't really say what Harry says cuz it's racist AF. He does turn off the TV and insist they change EB's diaper, though, so good on him. Were they saving the universe? His bad! Then follows a history lesson, which I didn't really understand... but someone got confused as to where Manchester was exactly.

Raff storms off to cry and I think it's time to start looking at the reality of the situation... if there was ever a time to adopt out a baby... Has that come up and I missed it? It's pretty much how adoption was invented, wasn't it?

Alan and Celia are discussing later. Alan really wants Raff to stay at school and Celia's saying things like "I guess we can't get a little bungalow now" while arranging viewing for available properties? Is she being disingenuous and manipulative or am I misunderstanding? Hm.

I just going to randomly shout ADOPTION. PREFERABLY BY CAROLINE AND KATE periodically, if that's all right? I mean, these kids have zero interest in this baby, nor any idea how to care for her, so how this hasn't come up yet is baffling to me.

Alan doesn't want Raff to throw his life away on a few moment of "Malibu-fueled passion" hahahahaha, and sorry, it's not really funny. Teen pregnancy is practically an epidemic in the small town I grew up in, but this situation could probably be best resolved by ADOPTION, not by the throwing of marital assets.

Celia's been gone for a week?? A week away from her new husband?? Hm

Celia spies our Madame La Zonga returning to the family home. Hey, how about Cordelia from King Lear? Or any of the three daughter's names: Cordelia, Goneril (NO!!) or Regan?

Caroline walks in to find Kate asleep on the couch, waking her gently, but Kate's been crying. She's feeling sorry for herself; it's about the baby. KISSES! WOOT! Sorry, sorry. Ahhhhhh Kate deathly allergic to whatever Caroline's eaten, peanuts or maybe popcorn?? She goes into shock and Caroline gives her the epipen and calls the ambulance. Caroline is so collected!

Lawrence walks by just then, seeing Caroline rubbing the injection site on Kate's thigh while Kate tries to get her breath. I've never seen Caroline so inarticulate before. I just said she was all calm and collected!

Robbie and Gillian are watching TV with Raff, she shoos him to bed for school, but he thinks he'll sleep down her on the settee of destiny, fanks. He doesn't want to crowd Ellie. You know what would uncrowd this whole situation? ADOPTION TO A LOVING FAMILY. LIKE CAROLINE AND KATE.

Back in Harrogate, Kate's still at the hospital (I fink), Caroline's given her the morning off work. Celia brings up the "funny thing" Kate said yesterday, whispering for the Lawrence's benefit and should they really have that beautiful island in wood? With the sink in the middle of it? Wouldn't a granite or quartz work a bit better? Sorry, sorry. Just then John stomps in and demands to know where his laptop is? Caroline's not telling him. First she'd like to know about Allison Waterhouse, a "flaccid, over-ripe fruit of a woman" and her "DUSKY NEGRESS????" Dafuq, MAN??? You've got to be joking, John. I was trying to be FAIR. It goes on from there, but Gillian's description doesn't sound very much like a linchpin heroine to me: sullen, sinewy 40-something with the body of a 16-year-old boy? He storms out with his (dropped by Caroline) laptop.

You know, I've just been looking on Tumblr, which is always fraught when you are looking for pictures for a show that aired a significant time ago, and I am still struck by how different Sarah Lancashire IS as Caroline compared to when I first met her in Happy Valley. I mean. Catherine wouldn't be caught DEAD in this adorable pink cashmere cardi over black gabardine dress combo!

Celia wants to know what's John doing there anyway? He hasn't anywhere else to go, not rushing sullen, sinewy Gillian's gate just yet. Did he REALLY think that was going to woo G? Also, if you're only writing exactly what goes on around you with a moronic bent, isn't that lazy writing? I mean, use your imagination! *She says while typing out recaps of a show written by someone else*

Caroline decides to level with Celia, ushering Lawrence out of the room first. Yes, Kate is down to sell her house and move in here, but yes, Kate does want a baby, and it's very important to her, but not to worry! Caroline has a plan. For one thing, she thinks it's highly unlikely that Kate is able to get pregnant, given her age, history of miscarriage and having the most ridiculous birth plan even involving shagging Greg for god knows how long. Okay, that last one was just me. Secondly, Caroline thinks clever Kate ought to be focused on her career instead, so she's taking Kate away for the weekend to celebrate her birthday and talk her out of it.

I.am.horrified.

Is this what people do?? Give the appearance of agreeing with something that is KATE'S ONLY DESIRE (save Caroline), secretly undermine them to their secretly still small-minded parents and then plan to talk them out of it anyway?? For their own sake?

Jeebus wept.

Caroline asks Celia to watch the boys that weekend, can't have John bringing Judith around to fall down the stairs again. Celia agrees, but oh, she's off to look at a bungalow for sale in Rippendon just now. WHUT?? Says Caroline?? Oh no, just looking!! says Celia. Harumph at BOTH of you.

The Buttershaws arrive at the lovely house for sale; what a view! And Alan still has Elizabeth Beatrice. Why does Alan still have the baby? Is there NOBODY else to take care of the wee bebeh, save an elderly great-grandad with a heart condition?

They have the realtor on for a bit (at our age,there's no time...) then spill the real nature of their relationship to the baby. Celia asks Alan what he thinks? They can afford it, together. He says they need to win the lottery, so everyone will be covered. Are they kidding themselves? They are

Celia has a plan as well! She asks if Alan had ever thought of having his little house valued and offering it to Darren and Kimberley to buy? Oh and there's more! She thinks he should tell them his circumstances have changed and one more thing: not allowing Raff to feel the consequences of mucking his ticket (is that what they're calling in these days??) will not allow him to grow. Alan's got some home truths for her as well; she can't go on giving massive packets to money to Caroline, either. Caroline doesn't need a house that big and she's expecting the capital to come from every other place, it's time for her to sell up and move on. Celia's circumstances have changed! It's like Alan has been transplanted with my voice!! Now say ADOPTION!!!

Even with all that flying about, they're still good and I find myself tense when they are together, they're really still getting to know each other and I'm wary of them splitting again. They end on a good note and a hilarious line: "If you keep taking that baby so much, it's going to get very confused about who it's mother is" hahahaha

Celia's in Halifax, Alan stretched out looking exactly like Elisabeth Beatrice in her chair; everyone is relaxing and Celia and Robbie are gassing. Oh no, CAN NOBODY IN THIS FAMILY KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT??? Robbie asks why Gillian and Alan weren't getting along before the wedding and just before she gets it out I am positive that Robbie was the father of the baby Gillian aborted at 15. AND $10 says she didn't tell him either. Sweet baby Jeebus. Robbie looks like his face fell in. Oh yes, great Celia, say "don't tell anyone" now, that's like explaining where your jewels are stored to a thief and asking him to keep it to himself: THERE'S NO POINT NOW.

Back in Harrogate, Kate and Caroline are cuddling and watching TV when Kate throws in a btw - Greg's coming over for my birthday and he is totally down to bone for no good reason for however long it takes to probably not get pregnant anyway. Caroline had plans, though, she booked a hotel! That's all right, Kate will have him come by the hotel! Happy birthday, Kate!

Okay, well, I guess it's time to have that talking-out-of chat! Caroline tries, clever Kate will be the next Head of Languages, no contest, right? But Kate "wants to be somebody's mum" and nobody can argue with that.

Alan, Celia and Elisabeth Beatrice are all passed out on the settee of destiny; Raff asks Ellie if maybe they should get married? I'd forgotten until just then that Raff is Our Raff, we've seen him go through a lot of growth and he does love his grandad so much. I'd forgotten that he wasn't just some AfterSchool Special about teenage pregnancy. To sum up: Ellie does NOT want to marry Raff.

Robbie waits at the table for Gillian. But not to talk to her, when he hears the Rover he stands up and puts his coat on. Oh no. Why didn't she tell him? He rushes out and she's coming in and a sentence in, he comes out with the one-two punch: did she have an abortion at 15 and was it his? Yeah and yeah. Oh and then after she was off with Eddie and Robbie's child would have been 31 and it's too much to take in right now. He's off home. She asks if he's dumping her? All bravado and vulnerability at once. He just says he can't be there right now and he's off.

Gillian rushes the truck and defends herself; she's the one that had to leave school and never did her A Levels (they sound important, they come up a LOT), she never asked anything from him and didn't inflict anything either. He drives away and Gillian mouths "Bitch" about Celia.

I can absolutely relate to Gillian just then; I'm miserable at asking for help, not realising until it's too late that people WANT to help usually, to be involved. I always try to do everything myself and take everything possible on as a responsibility and that goes about as well as you would think.

I saw Gillian's full Aga! And I'm glad I did, because there had to be something good about this scene. Gillian is FURIOUS and comes right for Celia, who had no idea it was Robbie's baby. Neither did Alan! Now. Gillian's right in that there was no reason at all to answer Robbie's query with such personal information, but Gillian HATES Celia, it's as clear as day, calling her poison. Celia makes to leave, just as Raff comes down. Gillian is mid-rant, perhaps Celia would like to tell Raff too? Tell me what, he asks innocently? About a quarter of the way through that, Gillian realises this is NOT the way she should be telling Raff and it slows her down some, but her venom directed at Celia never wanes. Celia goes upstairs to get her things, Alan sends Raff up to get Ellie and he and Gillian have it OUT. He never said anything to her with all the losers she picked, laughing like it was funny, when it wasn't, but she WILL NOT say anything to him about Celia. And he's leaving with Celia back to Harrogate.

It's very quiet in Harrogate while Celia relates what happened "Poison! I could have been in tears!" and why wasn't she, come to think of it? Celia reckons Alan's about done with Gillian, who's been a bloody nuisance all her life and whatever, man. You don't get done with children. Even the godawful poor sods that have addiction problems and break into your house when you're sleeping to steal stuff for meth. Even then you're not done with them.

Alan's told Celia all about their trials with Gillian, which I don't know is the BEST idea. It sounds pretty typical, weird hair and nose piercings, shoplifting, etc. Caroline asks if maybe she should ring Gillian? Not bloody likely, since she hates you, responds Celia, and you just can't SAY things like that, replies an exasperated Caroline. But Gillian does hate Caroline, she's so jealous her head hurts with it. Caroline says she'll stay out of it.

Gillian's mucking hay about when Raff calls her in, she has a phone call, and Ellie's disappeared. But left Elisabeth Beatrice behind! He's got school and she has a shift at the store, who will take care of Flossie? Gillian says she'll manage; holding the baby just as Caroline calls. She wants to impress upon Gillian how sorry Celia is, and it gets quiet when Gillian relaxes a bit and lets her guard down. How is the baby? The baby is a baby as they are, and they can do so much. I wish these almost-sisters could make up. Gillian calls her Auntie Caroline to Elisabeth as she hangs up and it's so sweet.

Alan HAS asked Darren and Kimberley about buying the house, yay! Celia comes in with the papers (The Guardian for him and the Daily Mail UK for her, without apology) and they talk. Celia's decided to tell Caroline she's putting her money elsewhere, when Madame La Zonga gets back from her mucky weekend. Just then, Caroline's telling Lawrence! Yay, this ought to be fun!

As soon as they get to school, Lawrence attacks: why don't Caroline and Ms. McKenzie drive to school together? They aren't fooling anyone and she's just making herself look like a hypocrite. Then something about muff-munching shirt-lifters and I think I understand the first part but what's lifting shirts got to do with it? Have I got the wrong end of the stick as to where the muff is located? Are they really long shirts, like tunics?

Wow, Caroline just lets that pass without correction, that sounds like something that needed at least a virtual if not actual hand-smack.

Lawrence has this sorted, though, he's going to have ANGUS over for a party while his mum's away on her dirty weekend.

Ah gross, Gillian called that wanker John, who rushed right out to see his sullen, sinewy ladyfriend, of course. She's all smiley and offering tea and I wanna throw up. He asks about Ellie, who's mum is saying she ISN'T home, but Harry is saying she is indeed. DOES NOBODY IN THAT FAMILY WANT ELISABETH?? I like to switch back and forth between Elizabeth and Elisabeth, Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice but I like the "s" better in the full version. In case anyone was wondering.

He asks how she is, and she says she's fallen out with everyone, while making moo eyes at him, honestly! That's WHY she fell out with everyone, entertaining the likes of this mingeing arsehole. She says them together is mad, but he disagrees. She asks if he really meant it about her and Robbie going south. Robbie's just mad because you didn't tell him, Gillian! That's it! He cooks, he's supportive, he does more than this shirtwasted piece of shite! She didn't think it would go very far, though and she finally says why, after dithering a bit. She coughs it out, this thing she did, but oh. It's not about the abortion, she's telling him about letting Eddie die. Oh I have all the bad feelings about this.

Alan and Celia are having a lovely, posh lunch, to the manor born they are! She's feeling very guilty about coming between him and Gillian, though, but he has more to tell her about when Eddie died. This is getting to know people, see, it's in layers. Just when you think you've got it all, they shock you with more they haven't been able to bear telling you until then. Relationships. Anyway, this business had been weighing Alan down, and Gillian too I imagine. Not only did Gillian not call an ambulance, she DID kill Eddie, with a block of wood.

Bloody hell. Bloody.hell. Is it a farm thing? Like when Catherine Cawood had to put down a hurt sheep in the season opener for Happy Valley series 2? Because Eddie was dying and she didn't want to see him suffer? So Robbie was right all along. He knew for sure, and back then he tried to have Gillian arrested, as we knew. Also, Eddie and Robbie were adopted, so the fact that Gillian became pregnant by both is slightly less squicky. No, I'm lying, that's still a little close to the collar.

Gillian doesn't give that version to John, though, just the first part that Alan had shared with Celia. Alan is still having nightmares about it, I can't say I blame him, but Alan doesn't even know if it was even suicide in the first place. Wow. That's quite the allegation. Alan's done covering for Gillian, he wants to buy the bunglalow, be gone and be done with all of it.

Ahhh, Gillian called John to look after the baby, that's why he's there and he says he can, he's good with babies and they kiss and I throw up in my mouth a little. Yurk. I mean. I suppose he would be good with anyone that can't understand the bilious nonsense that pours out of his face on the regular.

And we're out! Well. Honestly, have I shouted about ADOPTION enough? Apparently they do have it in the UK, what with Robbie and Eddie being adopted by parents fond of alliteration. And this bit with Gillian killing Eddie isn't really that much of a surprise, I mean, we know Robbie tried to have her arrested and being a copper it could be assumed it wasn't all shite. I can't BELIEVE that John is still kicking about write tripe about people! How is that even possible?? He has the attachment skills of a Madagascan hissing beetle and I don't even know what that means!

I am really disappointed in Caroline's plan to subvert Kate's wishes. I mean. She's not considering the implications of pretending to support Kate's plan but undermining it as much as she can. It seems that maybe she's just focusing on holding onto that giant symbol of a house and it hurts me to see her be so blind to how little she's considering how important having a child is to Kate. Now. It seems Caroline's got it in the end, and I get that some people would sooner grow an extra head out of their necks than have another child at 46, especially when the first two are poised to leave within years and the Finish Line is within sight, that just felt so...not awesome.

I can't believe Ellie just off and left Elisabeth Beatrice like that! I mean. We don't know about Raff just yet, but we're SURE the baby is hers, at the very least. You watch, the paternity test will come back and there everyone will be, looking after someone else's baby. Send her over here, I'll take care of her, there's a good lad.

Until next time! As always, I can be reached on email at gingesbecray@gmail.com in case of discrepancies, or just for a chat! I'll put on the kettle. Cheers!

  • ltr

    Back in the day, there were some in depth and ongoing discussions/debates over the Caroline/Kate relationship in series 2 which i think you would have found interesting on the Sarah Lancashire Fans FB page. I am enjoying your take and looking forward to your comments regarding episode 4. And i so agree with what you are saying about S. Lancashire from role to role. She has abundant star charisma, but she is also gifted “character” actor and her characters tend to not only behave but often look quite distinctly different.

    • She really is, I’m looking forward to seeing the other shows she’s been in.

      I woke up thinking I’d been kind of harsh with Caroline with regards to how she’s treating the whole Kate-baby situation, it seemed HORRIBLE last night but slightly more understandable today. It would be interesting to hear what other people thought of that.

      You guys are making me very nervous about episode 4!

      • ltr

        I would not be one who thinks you are being too hard on her, though i don’t think the fundamental problem revolves around the baby or not issue. From the beginning of this series 2, what we see is Caroline taking Kate hugely for granted, from at first heading off on a whim to Halifax (which is fine) but then showing up with 2 kids in tow that night on Kate’s doorstep when it suits her needs (which is not so fine) and then asking Kate to move in (when it suits Caroline) primarily to get John to move out and, well, to put it bluntly so she “can have her anytime she likes”; all while basically still shunning their relationship in public and even to an extent at home, for example how she acts around Kate when Celia’s in that beautiful kitchen. (Remember, Caroline has actually never told anyone about this relationship herself except for John, who she for good reasons wanted to rub his nose in it.) So, how exactly is this “relationship” going to work long term starting out as it is? And right now, for Caroline what motivates her and just how much experience does she actually have in an honest/healthy intimate adult relationship?

        Don’t be nervous about episode 4. It’s very good and well written, but people definitely had diverse opinions about how those two characters were treating each other and especially communicating (or not) with each other.

        • Well this is it, it has always seemed very much skewed in Caroline’s favour but I’m concerned that this important wish of Kate’s will be passed by, even if it is the most ridiculous birth plan EVER.

        • See that’s exactly what I was wondering. I love Caroline’s character and how Sarah Lancashire plays her, but everything is so far skewed in her favour and Kate just follows along. She’s very understanding. I also didn’t realize that they weren’t officially Out yet, that adds a wrinkle

          • ltr

            I keep wanting to put up a longer reply but can’t quite get it right in my head, but i hear you. But just to say, I absolutely love the character of Caroline, too. In good part because Sally W. writes her as so “imperfect” but understandable and human. (i also find her often quite noble.)

          • I can’t say enough about Sally Wainwright’s writing, she writes real people so beautifully. I mean there are just so few shows out there that have flawed, graceful, spiteful, loving REAL characters and she has just the best cast to pull it off. Not just Sarah Lancashire, whom I adore, but Anne Reid as well, and Derek Jacobi. I was really impressed with Nicola Walker S2:E2, she pulled off a massive range of emotions just beautifully. There just isn’t much to compare it with.