So. This is it, the very last known episode of Last Tango in Halifax until Christmas. I've been dragging my bum a bit on this, not wanting it to end, but time's up! I've distracted myself with River, Tipping the Velvet and Doctor Foster, but it's time to roll S3:E6. I've heard it's a blast!
Guests are arriving at a posh hotel; WHY IS JOHN CARRYING FLORA??? Wanker. Greg's with him, holding the diaper bag, so there's that. They meet up with Gary and his family; lovely morning for it! Felicity thinks that's wonderful, "gay couple with a baby. Who are they?" HAHAHAHAHAHA. But really, soooo close. Gary has no idea!
Inside, Alan's nervous, where's Gillian? I dunno, shagging greasy young Ollie from the cheese counter at the grocery store? Surely he has an hour! Caroline pats him down, going to look for the errant bride. She finds Gillian in a bedroom , panicky and frightened. She can't do it, she can't marry him! It's not about murdering Eddie, though, she just didn't want a big 'do! It's pre-wedding nerves x 1000. She only accepted the offer because she felt guilty, Alan was so shocked about Gary's "Meet My Adulterous Dad!" article in the Courier and she had to play the role of mediator.
Raff explained it even more clearly to Gary at work; Gary's humiliated his newly found pater familia, that's why Alan's stopped bothering with him. Gary really doesn't understand, it's a heartwarming story and at any rate, HE'S the one who should be upset, he only found out his dad wasn't his dad (totally was, he raised you, you plonker, whatever your DNA profile is) but Gillian and Raff persist: he's told all and sundry that Alan cheated on his wife, Raff's granny and Gillian's mum.
Gary blames it on Celia, cooking up an excuse to make Alan feel bad again, but Raff insists it's not her at all, she's been trying to help. And on that, he's decided he want to go to University after all, but thanks for the offer. On balance, he'd rather stick to the original plan.
Gary thinks maybe Alan SHOULD feel a little bit guilty, which is absolutely not the problem, Alan feels extraordinarily guilty. He's just not a big fan of public humiliation. Gary begrudgingly realises he has to apologize, heading to Harrogate for a sitdown with Alan and Celia.
He sits, arms crossed, explaining the interview. It didn't START as being about Gary and Alan, but once the reporter heard the story, which Gary was spilling to anyone who looked at him twice at the time, the reporter knew a better story when (s)he heard it and that was the lede. Besides, nobody reads the Courier anyway! EXCEPT all of Alan and the late Eileen's friends, GARY! Well, the ones still alive.
Celia asks, surely Gary must have thought about talking to Alan first? But Alan is furious "you knew damn well what you were doing" wow, that's a bit rough. He thinks Gary is angry with him and he's furious in return, he didn't know about Gary! Or he would have done sommat! And he figures Gary's mad about that too, not knowing and even if Gary has the wherewithal to understand how irrational that anger is, he's still very much in the grip of it. AND HE KNOWS IT'S ALL ABOUT HUMILIATING HIM, FANK YOU VERY MUCH, GARY!
Gary doesn't know what to think about that, it's "interesting. Rubbish, but interesting" and he thinks he'll go and that's not really what Alan wanted either. What a mess. There's still not talking at the present time, explains Gillian to Caroline and Raff's declined the on-the-job training offer, which leaves Gillian in this "ffffff...fix": peacekeeping for the whole family.
I hate weddings. I'll just say it once today, will try my best anyway. I love marriage, I think it's a terrific way to FORGET EVERYTHING YOU WERE AS A PERSON before the vows, but weddings are typically ridiculous displays of monetary plumage and I have to drink too much to get through all the speeches to make me an agreeable guest. I'll send gift certs, just let me know when the happy occasion is!
Gillian's entire wedding is a glorified peacekeeping operation HAHAHAHA. Caroline helps, Gillian needs to push through and by the end of the day, she'll be having a good time! Or realising it's not that bad after all. That doesn't calm Gillian much, so Caroline asks if there's something else? Perhaps something Ollie-shaped? I didn't see anything attractive about it, but Gillian has awful taste.
How she's feeling is completely NORMAL, Caroline reminds her: people get nerves all the time before getting married. Just have to push through, or Alan will think it's all about him. Well. Maybe it is, counters Gillian.
Robbie's looking dapper at the venue, but a bit worse for wear as well, I'm guessing Bachelor Party the night before, given Harry's offer of a hair of the dog. Harry looks fine, all perky, I'm guessing training will do that for you! Ah, it WAS a Stag Night until 3 am, and Celia has no pity, which I'm guessing she's said more than once. Harry's off to forage for him as Gary and family approacheth.
Robbie spies John, that "lanky streak of greasy shite", Gillian insisted on his being invited. Yaaaayyyy. Oh and Lawrence and Angus are making inroads with the young ladies in Gary's family, the emo-gothy one smiling at Angus and another FAR TOO NICE FOR THE LIKES OF LAWRENCE turning around as well.
Caroline, Gillian and Alan are off to the wedding in the Jeep (someone pointed out to me that Kate was most likely killed walking to get milk, not in the Jeep, and that makes sense as to why the Jeep looks exactly the same EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE), Gillian saying her and Robbie have done nothing but fight since they accepted this wedding payment offer. We get to watch just that!
Robbie just wanted Gillian to relax! Go with the FLOW! Is this about sommat else? I have a very bad feeling about what that sommat else could be...
Gillian's FURIOUS that she's lost control of her own wedding day, turning her day of celebration into a circus ceremony for Mr. MoneyBags! She just wanted it to be "NORRRRMAAALLL!" Robbie takes his life in his own hands, saying "stop being a twat" to Gillian, while she's holding an axe.
Oh sweet Jeebus, I was only joking, but yes, Gillian has been fixated on Ollie of the suggestively-fondled-salami at work, the johnson-not-to-be-taken again has been working on her brain.
We're back in the present with Caroline stopping to get gas; Gillian finally spills what the sommat else is: she's shagged Ollie, "when?" is all Caroline and I want to know "this bloke from work "WHEN GILLIAN?? and it's 4 weeks ago. For the love of.
GILLIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU COMPLETELY UNABLE TO KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS, OR JUST DETERMINED TO MAKE SURE YOUR MARRIAGE WILL NEVER, EVER WORK??
I've said it from the start, I really like her and Robbie together, but I don't think he's enough for her. Plonker.
We're in the back of Ollie's van with them now, why do men always giggle, Gillian wants to know? Because sex is silly, says even greasier-looking-than-normal Ollie. Sigh.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES, GILLIAN!
This is apparently the repercussions of Robbie calling her a twat, see, it's as though it was someone's else's decision, I gather. Once she heard that, it was a ticking clock and Caroline just wants to know if this was just the once recently? Yes, yes, he's an old, well not old, 24 (oh come ON, I'd sooner John than bounce my aged arse on the likes of a 24-year-old. No offense to young people, I just aren't one any longer and somewhere around 35 they started to look like puppies with their eyes not quite open) pal...that she knew from before. Caroline confirms: it's not the start of something new, is it? Just a bounce and young Ollie knows that too, right? Oh sure, but by the way, he'll be there. She sent the invites before she...and really? She invited the DELI CLERK to her wedding? WHY? Anyway, he won't say anything, will he? No, no, well, she doesn't know. Caroline and I can't believe it. For the love of
After a brief moment to collect ourselves, Caroline and I are still trying to sort this out: is this something Gillian wants to tell Robbie, to get off her chest? No, no, Gillian just needed to tell SOMEONE and thank goodness it was Caroline, who is usually a great secret-keeper (minus the whole Gillian slept with John thing). I don't believe whatsoever that it just happened the once, for the record.
Gillian doesn't like feeling trapped, owned, like chattel, and do you hear that, Gillian? Those are all words you could use! Not acting out with your vagina, which is presumably more fun, but less defensible with partners, etc. I am starting to wonder if Gillian's inability to make a clear choice and her need to create drama whenever possible (telling Caroline about Alan and Mary, for instance, sleeping with John repeatedly in the most inadvisable way, etc ET-BLOODY-CETRA) is because she still hasn't herself come to terms with killing Eddie, or somefing that makes her feel she's not able to be in a committed relationship again. Or she's just completely unable to stop her wobbly bits.
Caroline tells her she's just got to shoulder the burden, the guilt, put all that behind her, it happened, it won't happen again, she needs to move forward. Celia calls just then, giving Alan a hard time for not being there already, they've only made it to Sowerby Bridge (where Neil was going mad in Happy Valley series 2!), they'll be another 20 minutes yet! Don't rush, though! Robbie hears "delayed" over the phone and looks worried.
Celia warns Alan that Gary and family are there, she hopes he'll be civil. Of course, appearance would be everything to someone like Celia WHO DIDN'T BOTHER TO SHOW UP FOR HER OWN DAUGHTER'S WEDDING over Gary but manages to have an opinion about how Alan should be treating Gary. I mean.
I'm sorry, I just got mad all over again, need a small break to pace and point at things in the air loudly.
Oh man. It wasn't just Ollie, Gillian's been shagging John, too, and this part is Caroline's fault. Caroline unbuckles her seatbelt, oh we can't wait to hear this!!
It was when John thought Greg was Caroline's new boyfriend and just then Alan returns to the car and no more can be said. Celia tells Alan that he needs to get over it, move on, and Gillian shouts: it's because of Gary that she has to have this big silly 'do anyway! And THEN she has to go spend two weeks in Majorca and awwwww, POOR GILLIAN. Caroline and I do not understand.
Caroline asks if Gillian wants her to turn around then? Alan spits out that she bloody well better not, which infuriates Gillian, she's never allowed to have her own response to things! Alan counters that it was her that wanted this big 'do, which causes Gillian to pound her forehead in frustration, followed by smoothing her hair again. HAHAHAHAHA I totally thought "don't mess up your hair!!" as she did that. I've got my eye on the prize, anyway.
Caroline offers to ring best man Dave (Malcolm Pitt), he can let Robbie know the wedding's off. She doesn't think it's fair to Robbie at this point, but she'll do it if that's what Gillian wants? Gillian screams that Caroline didn't want her to marry Robbie anyway, which confuses Alan and puts Caroline in a very unfair spot. Er-oooh, just with the being married to his brother bit (which is a completely reasonable objection, to be honest) but she knows she can't say now't about the murder, as she's the only one who knows.
Two can play that game; tell us about John, then, Gillian? It was back when Greg first moved in, a morose John approached Gillian at work while Ollie watched. John didn't know anyone else to talk to, asking when she gets her break. Ollie struts over just then, giving John the up and down and once over, HAHAHAHAHA. I mean. I think Gillian might have more on her hands that she thought with that one.
She agrees to meet him after work for a pint, he tells her about the Greg, whom everyone loves, including his wife (EX), who's moved in, and who has a penis, which is the real problem. Kate was fine, that wasn't the same as him, she was an innie, but Greg is absolutely an outtie like him and he doesn't like it. "Who is he? What is he?" and HAHAHA I mean.
They shit-talk Caroline a bit, Gillian throwing in that of course Caroline loves Greg now, if it means she'll be able to get back to work AND IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS EPISODE TO MAKE ME HATE GILLIAN? It's WORKING!
John is picking at Greg, he's gauche, wearing flip-flops! Flip-flops in HIS house and finally Gillian calls him on somefing: they , the Lesbians, bought him out, didn't they? And he has an adorable flat not far from work? Well, yes, but one still has an attachment *mumblemumble* to the old place...oh and he asked her to get back together, let's get that off our chests right away, shall we?
He blames it all on "bloody Judith"; he STILL thinks the problem is that she was an alcoholic, NOT that he was sleeping with someone outside his marriage. It's as though her drinking completely explains his culpability in the whole matter, had she been a teetotaller, I'm sure Caroline would have absolutely understood. Gillian and I roll our eyes in sync. She has an idea, though!
Greg's caring for Flora in flip flops while on the phone, there she is! There she is!! She's got her eyes open and making little noises, oooooh!!! I may have rewound that part a few times. He wants to do something tribal for the comic strip, John arrives just then and he hangs up. John's not there to see Caroline anyway, he's here to see Greg, which leads into a super fast conversation that Greg has with himself, the upshot being: he was talking to his partner not-gay Simon, who's not his Life Partner OR someone he would fancy should he be that way inclined. Simon writes the scripts, Greg illustrates.
Greg's trying to work out the exact nature of John's relation to Flora while John is internally screaming at all the comic strip pages taped to the walls of his (former) residence. Greg's had too much caffeine and for once, it's not John talking too much. Ahem.
This was Gillian's hand, wasn't it? Suggesting that John make friends with Greg and insinuate himself into Caroline's life again, there was absolutely no need for it and it makes me almost as mad as when Gillian advised John to stay and fight for his half of the house IN the house. Wow. There are some things (and people) that I will not miss from this show.
Caroline came home one day to find John looking after Flora, Greg had a meeting in Manchester and he had forgotten to tell Caroline, and since John "just happened to be passing"...I'm not going to lie, I just stared at the Aga during the scene because Flora was turned the other way.
Okay, I understand, John just wants to be involved in Lawrence's life, but so SHADY!! I got to see Flora twice again, though yay! She's so adorable. And her colic is getting better!
Caroline doesn't understand: okay, okay, but what does this have to do with the "thing" about the wedding *side-eye at Alan*? Oh see, it was right after that...They're so wrapped up in the story, Caroline didn't see the car bearing down on them from the middle of the road, she had to swerve off and one of the tires is flat. Everyone's all dressed up and there's NO cell signal!
Gillian thinks this a sign from God: she shouldn't show up. Caroline figures they can together fix a wheel in 10 minutes. And get covered in shite, yes Gillian, but at least they aren't just standing around doing nuffing!
At the venue, Celia's chatting up Ollie, who goes waaay back with Gillian *leer at someone's bum going by* "In what capacity?" asks Celia. Ohhh
Caroline's lovely powder-blue dress is already covered in grease while Alan's up the road trying to get a signal; what happened with John then?
They were in a pub, discussing Caroline's sexuality, surely she's bisexual, figures John. They had married people sex for 18 years, it can't be like turning off a fawcet. And I suppose because there's a penis in the house she won't be able to resist I guess? His penis, even, for the love of. And he's telling this to Gillian, which is setting off ALLLLLS her jealousy and I sense a bad decision coming.
She tells him, though, right off, so that's good, but then follows it up with thinking maybe she'd made the wrong choice that Day of the Two Proposals. John's a bit of a one, and Robbie's probably very good for her, but she doesn't know if that's enough. I CALLED THAT!!! Sorry, sorry, she wonders if maybe people need a little madness in their lives? And yes that would be madness.
They have very uncomfortable car sex, or a fumble, anyway, logistics got in the way, and Caroline just doesn't know how things got to this point. I will say: weddings are incredibly difficult to call off, they take on a weight and pace of their own after awhile, they're near impossible to halt once they get going.
Gillian knows how to get the tire changed, but no! Caroline reminds her, they're keeping Caroline clean! She tells Caroline to stand on the wrench, in STILETTO HEELS, causing her to fall off into the actual shite. I mean. Gillian soothes her, she's covered in shit all day, every day! It's nice, it's good for you, they're not carnivorous. (I don't know what that means in relation to being covered in animal feces) And then the heavens open up; I'm with Gillian, these are bloody signs.
So. At Gillian's wedding, Caroline gets covered in actual shite and grease while Gillian gets to stand by and tell her about shagging her ex-husband out of jealousy. All this is completely different from Caroline's wedding, which neither Celia OR Gillian bothered to come to, but that also ended with Gillian shagging John. Sigh.
Back at the hall, Robbie's slamming back brandy and saying Gillian had better not have changed her mind! Two can play at that. Ollie watches with a smirk and I have a bad feeling about that slimy young man.
Felicity is confronting Gary: is it true that he paid Harry's costs for the damage to the lock? 6 thousand pounds for someone he doesn't know, and really, that was to soften up Alan. It did not work. Also, lest we forget, that was Felicity's dad that rendered that judgement on Harry, so that's undermined his authority as well. They fight over it as Greg and John listen indiscreetly, until a bunch of noise signals the arrival of the wedding party.
Caroline is drenched and filthy, literally covered in shite, Alan looks fine but Gillian is just a bit soggy. She'd like a washroom to get cleaned up, but Robbie does NOT understand and they fight; has he been drinking? Yes, hair of the dog (which doesn't do anything but get you drunk again and isn't a defense at your wedding in any case) and why is she twenty minutes late? She sticks to her guns, she needs a wee and some sympathy, she'll be back shortly.
In the bathroom, washing up, Gillian finally fesses up the rest: OHDKJDBSHJBHJABHJBJAS&^%$^%^&&^^HJAVS!!!!!! I mean
Yesterday, something happened with Robbie before he set off for his Stag Night. He wanted to tell her somefing; the night she told him about how Eddie used to knock her about: he knew, he did know but he should have done something and he didn't because Eddie was his brother and he feels bad for that. He calls himself a coward and there it is hanging on her lips...that was why, the night she was arrested, why he was sure she had done it, because he knew what she was going through.
He doesn't want to start this marriage off on a lie; it couldn't survive a deceit like that: he knew and he did nothing and he wanted to tell her before they married. She asks if she had killed Eddie, would he have understood? She lived in fear the whole time, for herself, for Raff, would he have blamed her? And no, he says, and you didn't, thank god for that, because "murder is murder." Gillian and I had been really hoping that wouldn't be his response; we'd both imagined some kind of parallel universe where she could tell him and he would understand. That's what the real problem is today, she doesn't think she can go through with it, the rest was excuses and stress and shite.
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE FIND CAROLINE A COMB??
Caroline is trying to process, wow. How would she explain it if she called it off now? Well, luckily there are all sorts of other things to use: Ollie, John, Gary paying, Robbie knowing about the abuse and not saying anything, all kinds! Caroline doesn't know what to say. Like really, really doesn't know what to say. What is there?
"On the other hand ," says Gillian "he's such a nice man and he's had such a rubbish life, his brother was mur...died" and now...how could she stand him up in front of the altar in front of his friends? And you know, Caroline faintly chimes in "you could always get divorced."
This is so reminding me of Lauren Weisberger's book "Revenge Wears Prada": on the say of the wedding, regardless of whatever else happens: "you WALK!"
With that faint hope in her heart, Gillian and Caroline turn back to the mirrors "I look ridiculous" says Caroline and yes she does, confirms Gillian. Gillian couldn't ask for more at her wedding, could she?
At the altar, Gillian looks fine but Robbie is a sweaty awful mess, looking as though he's about to vomit. She says her vows as he pukes in a bucket; EVERYONE is going to remember this wedding! Robbie apologizes, he thinks its the 'flu, it's not like he can't take a drink, right? "No problem" she says and that just bought Ollie another couple of van-bounces I bet!
The registrar prompts Gillian to continue; and she does and they're married.
Gary approaches Alan after, a super awkward conversation ensues. Gary wants to settle it, though, he thinks there might be something to what Alan said about Gary being angry, and that it's even perhaps irrational. Which makes it even harder to deal with, because there isn't any rational way to go into it.
For example (oh nooooooo), why didn't Alan try to find Mary before he just "wrote her off" and he didn't just write her off, Gary!! He stayed late and searched filing cabinets, he asked questions, as well as he could and Gary understands that part, but then there's more! (Oh please no). Okay, Gary doesn't go into it, he sees how he may not have handled it the best. And maybe, when Celia and Alan get back from Australia and New Zealand, they could meet up for lunch. Gary walks away.
Celia asks Alan what he thinks? He wants nothing to do with Gary! Whut? Alan! Celia and I are horrified; it's not Gary's fault Alan's embarrassed about his past indiscretion and if he handled it poorly; kids are allowed to make mistakes! (Apparently parents are too, on this show) Alan protests; Gary isn't a kid! They're all our kids, Celia says and thank the old gods and the new Alan said something about Caroline just then, I was about to hurt myself shouting at the screen. Ah, she admits she's not perfect (coughing fit), right, here it is . Gary wants to upgrade their tickets to first class (TAKE IT!!) as a gesture to say sorry and Celia would like to say yes, it's a bloody long way to Aukland. And Tipperary, I hear.
Caroline pulls Gillian aside, she's going home to clean up with Flora so Greg can have fun. Gillian and Robbie are leaving that afternoon for Majorca, though, whut? Who leaves for a honeymoon abroad 6 hours after the wedding? That's insane!
Flora and Caroline are heading to New York to see Ginika on Monday, same day Alan and Celia are heading to New Zealand. They smile at each other and hug, thank jeebus the poop has dried and it doesn't get all over Gillian's wedding dress (you can't tell me I was the only one that looked) and it's really lovely. Even covered in shit, Sarah Lancashire is luminous.
Caroline goes out to the Jeep with Flora, where she talks to Kate about the one day they had married, one day that Caroline spent the whole time mad at her mother. She's been meaning to tell Kate, she wouldn't be without Flora, it's been tough but she loves her more and more every day and she couldn't imagine her life without her. All the tears
She just wishes Kate was there too, she just wishes she was there. Kate puts her hand on Caroline's shoulder then, she's got to go and WHY???? And then she's gone and even Flora is sad. Oh man. Oh man. So many tears.
Right, where were we? Alan's feeling bad about being so cold to Gary, coming up to him to thank him and accept the upgrading of the tickets. He will meet Gary for lunch after, see if they can find a way forward. They smile at each other as Alan walks away and Felicity walks up "well. What have you offered to pay for this time?" She really is quite odious.
Everyone's getting along smashingly, Ellie even asks if her and Raff will get married before he goes off to Leeds? But NO he doesn't want Gary to pay for it, looking horrified.
Celia and Alan toast each other; "anything for you, Mrs. Buttershaw" while I try not to roll my eyes. Sorry. These two and their mechanizations. She's right, though, "you can't put a price on avoiding deep vein thrombosis" and we're oot for good, until the special at Christmas.
I probably don't need to do much a sum up, but I will anyway, because I haven't talked NEARLY enough. I loved this show, all the thanks to the awesome Dixie and Patty for suggesting it lo those many months ago. It was an emotional roller coaster, though, within each episode but also through all the three series. There has been much said about the storyline in series 3 that lost us Kate, I'm probably not able to add anything further to that particular discussion. I mourned her loss, more the loss of a happy Caroline if I was being truly honest, but I understand that decisions much be made. And ain't anybody gonna make everybody happy.
It's been magic getting to know everyone from the Sarah Lancashire Fan Page on Facebook, as well as the fellow SL fans I've met on Twitter, I hope I will see some of you on other recaps or those places, as always you can find me at email@example.com ; @gingesbecray on Twitter and Tumblr and also on Facebook at Ginges Be Cray. Thanks always to Dixie for posting these on her page, and you can always check out our main page here to see if there is something else you might like. You never know! Thanks much for everyone who's emailed me or tweeted at me about this series, it's been really helpful with some plot points, but it's been invaluable to get a sense of how things were when this show first aired.
Cheers, you lot, love you all!
**pics borrowed from Tumblr