Last Tango in Halifax S3:E1 Tall Oaks Recap

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Welcome back to Last Tango in Halifax! I've been all over the place this week, to see Doctor Foster and gone Below Deck in the Mediterranean, it's been a blast! So nice to come back to this awesome show with Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker and Anne Reid! On we roll, into season 3, where I've been told there are plot-dragons lurking and we must be at our most observant. Isn't that picture brilliant?? I'm very happy I didn't see that before, it would have spoiled everything, what with the bebes everywhere!

We're with Celia and Alan at dinner; he's telling her a dirty joke about a face cream and the front of a man's trousers: guess how old I am? They laugh to tears but wait, he has news! Their Gillian has a date!

Whut? Last we saw Gillian, she was waking up Christmas morning with a furry Robbie in her bed. What's this going on a date bit?

Oh good lord, it's Rupert Graves, too. I joke about Sally Wainwright (I know FOR SURE she wrote this one!) recycling, but Rupert was in Scott & Bailey too, just like Suranne Jones! Suranne's also in a show called Doctor Foster that I am recapping which is NOT WRITTEN BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, in case anyone had any confusion about that. I know Mr. Graves from Sherlock Holmes, but here he's Gary Jackson and he's forgotten it's Valentine's Day. I know it's not the norm, but the best Valentine's Day I had in decades was when I was upset with the mister and refused to let him give me any gifts. No extra chocolate, no over-priced flowers, no jewelry I didn't need; just another day and that's exactly what Gary thought it was.

Gillian met Gary (alliteration!) when he came into the shop a few times; I've dated customers before! Highly recommend, if you're 20 and fancy changing your job every two months. Gary's concerned he gave Gillian the wrong impression by asking her out for a meeting on the most romantic of all day (herk), he just wanted to talk, not imply he wanted to float in a heart-shaped tub with her while Savage Garden plays or anything. She's fine, she's not offended! She's been offended by the best, he'll have to try a lot harder than that!

They're both so smiley and attractive! Also lovely are Caroline and Kate, snogging on the couch while eating chocolates and ignoring the TV. Well, not ignoring completely, Caroline answering TV quiz questions ahead of the answers and wow I bet that's annoying. I have never done that. Or lied to you good people. Kate turns it off, and where are they? Kate's house? That makes sense! She's already been through her divorce and sorted out all her property from the unseen Richard. Kate tells Caroline about Gillian's date with Gary, why would Kate know before Caroline? That's very odd. It's only been 6 weeks since the wedding. Kate can't ever figure out if Caroline loves Gillian to bits or thinks she's a plonker, but I guess BOTH! Whatever a plonker is. Hahahaha and Caroline says both too!

Plonker

Caroline has another present for Kate; she got something else besides the chocolate and card, and PULLS OUT A RING, placing it on Kate's belly.

Why don't they get married?

I will need a minute to pull my mouth upwards from agape.

Kate laughs and snorts and giggles and then finally nods as they kiss some more and SQUEE!!

They are getting married??? Wheee!!!!! That's so awesome!! How did I miss that on Tumblr? Thank the old gods and the new that I did, but that seems pretty important! You'd think that would be there spoiling Twitter for me. I'm so glad it didn't!! Wait. Is there equal marriage in England? I understand there isn't in Ireland, another part of the UK, will have to ask the Google. It's been available in Canada for ages, was such not a fuss, can't believe the ruckus in the US. Ah yes, the Google tells me it is available everywhere in the UK BUT Ireland, I should probably not talk about church stuff right now. There is an online petition for Ireland, though, if you want to sign it.

Gary is completely misleading, telling Gillian he's gonna tell her about this thing that happened to him recently *bright face*. Gillian (big smile!) and I gird our loins for an amusing anecdote from this attractive gentleman (although he's such a smoodge on Sherlock that I find myself looking at him like that), whose mother just died. That is NOT what we were expecting. "Oh God" says Gillian, but no, it's okay, it was several months ago and she was old and had been ill. He was looking through her things after, and found his parent's marriage certificate, they've lied to him his whole life, married a year before because she was pregnant, in 1966 not 1967. And it goes on from there, but I need to have a little sit down with my head between my knees.

It turns out Gary's dad wasn't actually Gary's dad, either, his aged aunt told him.We COULD get into an discussion about what being a dad actually means, but I don't think that's germane here. Gary's mum had a fling, and got pregnant by that "Buttershaw fella." Gillian and I are confused: which Buttershaw fellow? ALAN BUTTERSHAW? Her dad? Two things: Alan had an affair 9 years after he got married? And Gillian isn't on a date right now but rather a meeting with her long-lost half-brother? What the?

He wants to finish the story, though, his auntie recognised Alan from the Courter, who had run a feature on his and Celia's 6 decade long love story. Oh. Gillian's got more fight in her than me (well, obviously), suggesting senility or sommat else: her dad isn't like that. He asks her to do a blood test. And yeah, not a date, he had her scoped out so all of Gillian's expectations are dissolving, along with her certainty that she knows her dad completely.

Now, I'm not the vengeful sort, but as J mentioned in an email, Alan chose to publicly humiliate Gillian about her long-ago indiscretions, there's no reason judgement shouldn't come for us all, is there? Having said that, Alan had previously characterized he and his first wife as "great pals" and I can see where a certain lack of passion can lead to something else, as it does go sometimes. Not for John, though, he can swing for it.

And that's the reason for that awkward conversation at the beginning, about not wanting to give her the wrong impression about their meeting. Gillian argues that she was only just born in 1965, no way her dad would have been mucking about. It's impossible to know what other people's relationships are like, though.

Oh. Never mind that bit earlier about Kate and Caroline being at Kate's house (but feel free to comment on it, I know exactly what it's like when you've noticed something wrong and you've got to say something, even after it's been corrected, I understand completely!), they were at Harrogate after all, I just didn't realise it because I didn't see the Aga.

Caroline's in a gorgeous grey fitted dress with skinny belt, just beautiful, she's there to tell her mum about the engagement, I suppose. I'm sure this will go over swimmingly. Don't give a monkey, Caroline!  Celia instead wants to know why Caroline assumed she wouldn't like hearing this news? There's no-one more broadminded than her and Alan! Er-oooh, Caroline and I don't know exactly where to look. But Celia often flicks through the G-2 when Alan's bought a Guardian, she's right with the times! Far out of the Dark Ages!

Are we just ignoring that part where she alone was unhappy to see Kate and Caroline back together on Christmas Eve? Let's revisit that for a bit! We need some of that right now, with Robbie on the wayside and Alan possibly a philandering husband.

Kisses

Caroline and Kate have chosen a date, yay! A nice quiet little function seems completely reasonable, and they just want to make it as official as possible before the baby. Celia with the completely open and broad mind asks what will "it" call Caroline when "it's" born? Dad? Sounds like it's time for a classic!

Heather

There, that's dealt with. Oh no, now we've got to go over it in detail. Celia sticks to her guns; a child needs a father. Well, that's not actually true, Celia, I'd hesitate to tell the whole world what their families OUGHT to look like, but we've gone over this with her before. The fact is that having a father doesn't guarantee a better kiddo, any more than Heather Having Two Daddies would make for a super extry AWESOME fambly. Families look like all kinds of things, and if they're anything like the ones I've seen involve a lot of shouting, book reading and long-worded debates over who had more ice cream.

Caroline protests that gay couples bring up children all the time, it's completely normal. Well, it's not "normal", izzit, retorts Celia? And now we're fully into it; a child needs a dad and Caroline is the way she is because of how bad of a father Kenneth was. Oh ho, but didn't she tell Kate she thought it was HER fault Caroline turned out "this way"? Oh well, that's because Kenneth was so ineffectual and Celia projected "expectations" onto Caroline and I'm not an expert, but I'm absolutely positive that isn't how sexuality works. I will not quote Lady Gaga, but Caroline does and with that, she's off. To Celia shouting that she doesn't think Lady Gaga is a lesbian, any more than Caroline herself is, but Caroline can't get into it right now, she has to work. Ta ta dear!

This is it, isn't it? It's a completely rigid mindset, but ALSO friends and family, if they can't understand, it's as though you've lost them too, so you don't talk about it, if you can help it, and end wrenching small-minded conversations with "ta ta dear!"

Celia brings in a tea tray to Alan with the news; they're getting "married." "The lesbians." She's just thankful it will be a "little" do. Alan asks "are we going all Atilla the Hun again, dear?" Then she hilariously mentions how broadminded she and Alan are while Alan goggles at her. He thinks Caroline and Kate are very well suited! Aside from the fact that they're both innies, says Celia. Alan sighs, he thought they were all done with this. Celia repeats hers and Caroline's conversation, it's so awesome when people use children as an excuse to be small-minded and bigoted! Children can only think two mummies are odd if they are TAUGHT that by yerks like you, Celia. They just need the book above, there's a good grandma, Celia, grab it from Amazon UK.

Oh it's even BETTER than that, Celia drags race into it! FANTASTIC. Alan doesn't like it, but he goes past it, another thing that happens in families! You have these old arseholes going on in whatever fashion they like, not giving a monkey's fig who they offend and everyone just sloughs it off: that's just old so-and-so, she'll never change. She just spreads poison on the daily; dozey old sod! Ha ha. No.

Harry's got to go to court, Gillian's there to take Calamity, hey, how was the date, asks Harry? Er-oooh, not her sort (she's not a Lannister) and what's Harry done? By the way, Harry, do you and Alan know a Mary Kershaw from up Siddle? Noo, don't think so, and just then rolls up Harry's ride.

Caroline's at work, having her packed schedule read to her by her assistant (my kingdom for a name! I'm sure I heard it once, will ponder and listen very hard), oh and Gillian called, please call back ASAP.

Alan, Harry and Celia are wedged into Gillian's Rover, she'll just take the Lexus to the vet with a sick ewe, if that's all right? She'll lay down some straw first, she's not a barbarian! Celia doesn't think it's so funny.

Just then Caroline calls back, ASAP as requested, but Gillian can't talk just then, which confuses Caroline, what with ASAP being invoked. 10 minutes then! Gillian explains the whole story from Gary, what should she do? She doesn't want Gary approaching her dad without warning, but then if it actually happened, Alan's fully aware, right? There was a funny thing the night before, though...she asked Gary for a picture of his mum from back then and when she saw it, she recognised it. When she was little, she found a little box with a broken lock, "Tall Oaks from Little Acorns Grow" and there was a tiny picture that might have been Mary. So that's it, isn't it? I don't understand the problem, whether it's true or not true. This is NOT your problem, Gillian, this is Alan's deal and has less than nothing to do with you. Children are so arrogant.

She cries and Caroline comforts her, and then asks Caroline to talk to Celia, see if maybe she could tell Alan...WHAT?? HOW does that makes sense??? Just ask him, Gillian, pass it along! God. Caroline doesn't want to do that, she's still looking out for her mum, after all those horrible things from this morning: it about killed Celia when she found out Kenneth was cheating on her. Gillian stops crying; why would this bother CELIA? Alan hasn't cheated on HER. But there are those that believe that once a cheater, always a cheater and maybe Alan would be tarred by that brush by Celia and who knows how that would affect his marriage? Gillian will have to be the one to talk to Alan, gently, due to his heart condition, and I'm tempted to mention that Celia accepted Alan being an accomplice to murder, but it's probably not the time and place.

Alan and Celia are in the pub trying to cheer up Harry, and I don't think in the history of time has a sentence like "on the plus side, once you've sold up your house and paid off your fines, you'll have quite a lot of money left over to rent somewhere" every raised anyone's spirits. What did Harry DO?? I'm not sure I follow exactly, but he tied up his houseboat to the gate and when the tide went out, it stayed attached, but the bottom went down and he could have been killed! And then something I couldn't make out. It may have had to do with being drunk. Poor Harry

Things are moving fast! It's a glorious day outside as Caroline returns home from work; Kate is clearly NOT at work, covered in paint and waving around a paint brush. Nursery, perhaps? She wasn't able to book the date they wanted for the wedding at half-term, but they could do it in two weeks..? Do what, says Lawrence? That's how fast this is moving, she hasn't even had time to tell her kiddos! Lawrence's eyes go very wide and he's quiet for a moment. Then snotty. Teenagers.

Caroline and Kate go in for a cuddle, mind the baby and the paintbrush! The phone breaks that up, of course it's that twat John, I was just wondering where he was. Oh he isn't all right, Judith has lost the baby. Oh no. Oh feck, it was past 30 weeks and she had to give birth. Oh no. Kate rubs her belly as John asks if he can pop 'round. Of course he can. My goodness, how awful.

John tells them about their lost little girl, was it a girl for sure, asks Kate? Like they're going to have. Caroline asks from across the table if she's okay, this is probably a good time for extra cuddles and no more painting.

Ellie's screaming at Harry, and yes, he was drunk when everything happened and he only has 28 days to raise the money for the fines. I don't know if they're stringing the information along or I just misunderstood the damage caused the explanation for what Harry's done, but it seems expensive, anyway!

Gillian asks Alan to the barn (which he hates, with the Eddie connotations) to talk about Gary and his claims, starting with Mary's picture in the little box. Did he know a Mary Kershaw? No, no, he doesn't think he did. She starts out with "I won't be cross if you just tell me the truth" and then asks. Did he have a fling? No no, of course not! She explains about the "date" and Alan angrily refuses a blood test, cheeky beggar! Huh.

He walks away and stops, saying "I did love your mom" and "I didn't know there had been a child" and that's it then. Gillian looks devastated. Marriage is complicated.

At dinner, Ellie and Raph discuss poor Harry's dilemma while Gillian and Alan pick at their food. Neither can sleep later, so they finally talk about it. It were ridiculous, and an embarrassment and it was over before it started. What does Gary WANT? Gillian thinks just for a fact, to know if true. Alan asks what Gary looks like? Like Alan, actually, and very tall and dapper. Should he tell Celia? He doesn't like to keep secrets from Celia, fussing away, while Gillian steps in cold and collected, just keeping secrets from her mum. And her. She says that she didn't tell Celia already because Caroline advised against it, what if Celia paints him with the same brush as Kenneth and decide he's not worth it? Alan LOSES it: getting shirty bertie; he can't believe she told Caroline! I will say I knew that was shite.

Will Alan meet with Gary? He'll have to think about it. And Celia's off to get another hat in the morning, Caroline and Kate are getting married, didn't Gillian know? No.

Celia's helping Harry get his house ready for market; she's very good at selling houses, she's sold 4! AT the asking price, thank you very much. But where will Harry go to live after? Not with Yvonne (chorus of NOs), he's on a list for housing, but there is a waiting aspect. D'you think he could stay at the farm? No! Well couldn't he just - NO! snaps Alan.

Lawrence and Angus are walking along debating the properties of lesbean-o wedding poetry when a couple of young men slap a paper on Lawrence's back in passing. Angus pulls it off, and when Lawrence reads it, he goes right for the two older boys, and there's a fight.

Caroline's looking at the sign later, it's "My mum sips from the furry cup", who was it? Angus coughs up the name; Caroline's assistant is off to call Sebastian's parents with the news he's been involved in a homophobic incident. Lawrence sputters, but NOBODY will be bullied or ridiculed in this school for homophobia, not even for Lawrence and however embarrassing that might be.

Um

Gillian's in bed with Robbie? Didn't she just accept a date from her dashing half-brother? I love you Gillian, but Robbie, you should probably clear out now. I don't think this one thinks you're quite enough for her. They're talking about Alan's racy past, does she think there were others? She can't imagine so, but then Caroline said earlier than she couldn't imagine HER dad either, so there it is. How did it even happen, asks Robbie? They nekkid-chat and it's lovely and sigh. He's still with Cheryl. So. Gillian can't believe how her dad could possibly cheat on her mother, but here she is with Robbie, who's cheating on Cheryl. Desire doesn't know from social conventions. 'Cept for John, no pass.

Celia is staring at her new coral hat while Alan stares at his toes. What's UP? Asks Celia? Celia babbles while Alan weighs the odds of coming clean with her. She wants to spend all their money doing something daft, like a grand trip to see Ted and the vegetarian or somefing? Sure!

Gary comes to see Gillian at work, she's texted him and she wants to go for coffee on her break, but the upshot is: they are related, Alan's his dad. They have coffee, Gary asks carefully in several ways: does Alan want to meet him? He just wants to say hello, does Alan want to? Did he say so? Gillian smiles; she's never had a brother. He smiles back, he's never had a sister! She drives back to the farm across the fields with dark clouds hanging low to find Alan waiting for her. He gets apoplectic when she asks if he'll meet Gary, he doesn't KNOW!!

Caroline and Lawrence are going in to school, Lawrence is very worried about the upcoming meeting with Seb and Seb's parents. He thinks the fact that his mom is a lesbian is a weakness, see, an opening that Seb's stupid parents can exploit to explain this deserved behaviour. That's what he's acting like, but Head Teacher Caroline explains very clearly that she will not be taking any of that lying down, she's very good at her job and her personal life is her own.

Gillian's working under a tractor when Caroline calls, have there been any developments? About that...

Caroline's explaining the works to Kate at dinner later, I'm ashamed to admit I checked Kate's wine glass. I really do try to not mom-shame, it's just like a tic sometimes! Alan and Gary are meeting up for tea while Gillian and Celia have a pretend-girly-day-out as a ruse. Caroline took umbrage with Gillian's subtext, that she would never willingly spend a day with Celia (I wouldn't either, the homophobic troll - and hey! This is what I mean, you accept all that shite from family, I'm glad Caroline's not taking it at work at least) and spits out that SOMEBODY better tell Celia soon, because Kenneth deceived her for years and she will.not.have.it.

Gillian doesn't think it's about deception, she thinks Alan just wants to take one step at a time, meet Gary and go from there. Caroline deflates and then Gillian says congrats, but I think she covers the microphone for the "for being a lesbian" part

Lesbian

Caroline invites her to the wedding. Kind of. After mentioning all the OTHER people that will be there, including friends from Oxford (with short hair?), some senior staff, you know, don't feel obliged. I'm actually shocked that Caroline didn't invite Gillian, Raph and Calamity previously, I thought that was an oversight, but Gillian and I are pretty sure that if she had time to invite all those other people... Gillian declines and Caroline doesn't press. My goodness.

Back at dinner, Kate points out that Alan wasn't unfaithful to Celia, after all, but Caroline doesn't think it matters, Celia will be gutted. And extremely angry if she find out Caroline knew and didn't tell her.

The big day arrives; Gillian and Celia are off clothes shopping, no, no, Alan doesn't want to go with, he hasn't any interest in that sort of thing! (Anyone with one working eye can see that Gillian isn't either). He dresses and goes off to meet Gary, we end when they are face to face. And we're oot!

Good lord. What an episode, you lot! I did not expect that Alan storyline and I did NOT expect our ladies to get married! From long-ago flings to found children to horrifically lost babies to Caroline and Gillian fighting again. At least we've got a small, quiet affair of a wedding to look forward to, two weeks next Saturday! That seems very rushed, I hope Kate's doing all right after that terrible news about John and Judith's baby. I was very glad that John called first before coming over, but I only realised it after, does that make me less petty? Until next time, feel free to email me at gingesbecray@gmail.com or tweet at me @gingesbecray, or I'm on Facebook as well. Cheers

  • PLL

    👏👏👏👏👏👏
    Fasten your seatbelt!

    • I hear there be dragons! I was really surprised by the Alan storyline and glad Caroline and Kate are tying the knot, especially since it’s very small and no fuss *nodding sagely in approval*

      • Colleen O’Shea

        Great recap! Just a little correction tho. Caroline DID tell Kate about Gillian’s date with Gary, not the other way around. No wonder you thought it was a bit odd Kate knowing before Caroline! A plonker is British slang meaning someone silly or inept. It’s a funny and descriptive word isn’t it? Enjoy the next episode!

      • Colleen O’Shea

        Great recap! Just a little correction tho. Caroline DID tell Kate about Gillian’s date with Gary, not the other way around. No wonder you thought it was a bit odd Kate knowing before Caroline! A plonker is British slang meaning someone silly or inept. It’s a funny and descriptive word isn’t it? Enjoy the next episode!

    • Dixie M

      Fasten it, tighten it, double knot it, and hold on! LOL. Great recap once again GBC 😊👍🏼