I've been missing our Sarah Lancashire and feeling a little bit guilty for dipping on the ghastly MotherFatherSon; that means it is definitely time for some more Happy Valley. Let's roll into the penultimate episode of the first series, I've forgotten how ugly it gets before it turns a corner. See you after the break!
We ended last episode with a brutal assault on our Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) by rapist and drugrunner Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton). She had just found Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy), who was kidnapped four days previously and was being held in Tommy Lee's mum's basement after their hideout was blown. Watching Catherine fight for her life as she's savagely beaten by a man twice her size, then dragged up the stairs by a viciously abused kidnap victim to finally lock said victim inside her police car for protection before collapsing has been very difficult to watch.
Honestly, there's just so much that's happened, go on back and watch and read the recaps, you can find them here:
We open with the police arriving after Ann's frantic call, she's still locked in the police car with Catherine passed out on the street next to it. They're all over Ann, did she do this? Ann screams for them to get away from her and go get Tommy, still in the basement. Ah one horrible moment when she says she doesn't even know his name, after all he's done to her. Someone whose name she doesn't know has affected the rest of her life.
Tommy's long gone, though, he only just got out of jail so no way was he sticking around to get nabbed again. Catherine sprayed him with tear gas, so he can't see who he's calling, but manages to get Ashley (Joe Armstrong), not that it's much help. Technically, Ashley is Tommy Lee's boss and the one in charge of this failed kidnapping, but one he hears that Ann is in the wind, he tells Tommy "you're on your own, pal" and destroys his phone SIM card. Tommy Lee eventually calls Lewis Whippey (Adam Long), who agrees to pick him up for no reason I can see. Lewis, while ostensibly a bad guy, has been beaten more than once by Tommy Lee for trying to protect Ann.
Another of the kidnapping principals is about to have a very bad morning, Kevin Weatherill (Steve Pemberton) was immediately suspected by the CID of being involved with the kidnapping, as well he should have been. He was the mastermind behind it, although he had no idea what he was dealing with. Or doing. He's been nursing a grudge against his boss Nevison Gallagher (George Costigan) his whole life; the refusal of a raise lit the fuse of the long smoldering resentment and he came up with the plan of kidnapping Nev's daughter Ann.
Part of the reason Kevin is under suspicion is that he was requested specifically to deliver the ransom money to his co-conspirator Ashley. CID detective Phil Crabtree (Alan McKenna) and friend will be interviewing Kevin at his office.
Kevin lies like a sweaty child, he has no poker face whatsoever. They've got him with CCTV, not dropping off the money where he was supposed to. And since he didn't go, he can't tell them what the places looked like.
Phil gets the call that Ann is safe in the middle of the interview, he doesn't waste any more time messing about and arrests Kevin on suspicion of abduction, etc.
Catherine lies in her hospital bed, still covered in blood and imagining her deceased daughter Becky as a young girl, beckoning her into the great beyond. Out in the waiting room is her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) and son Daniel (Karl Davies).
Ashley is arrested at his house while his wife argues that he can't have abducted anyone: they have caravans! They have a games room for people in wheelchairs!
Catherine's grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) is picked up at school by his (recently converted) granddad Richard (Derek Riddell) and new wife Ros (Kelly Harrison), he wants to be happy to see his granddad again but knows something's up with his granny.
Catherine sleeps on.
Tommy Lee and Lewis watch the news, they've both been named as suspects and are hiding underground. There is the weak link of Lewis' friend.
Ann gets home, coming down from the forcibly administered drugs and trying to settle with her parents Nev and Helen (Jill Baker) not knowing what to do.
Catherine wakes up! She's a little confused.
But happy to see her son Daniel.
**I make no apology for how many gifs I include of Sarah Lancashire
Catherine flashes back to her beating, at least the bastard has been put away.
Phil explains the state of the investigation to Catherine, they were able to tie Tommy Lee, Lewis and Ashley to the kidnapping AND murder of Constable Kirsten McAskill (Sophie Rundle). But Tommy Lee is gone, he finally explains.
Ahh that keening, like a wounded animal.
Ann visits Catherine in the hospital, she asks if Catherine could not tell her parents about her rape by Tommy Lee Royce. Her mother is dying, but her dad could wait a bit, maybe Catherine could tell him herself? When she's out of there?
Three weeks later Catherine's back at home, but not answering the door for her boss Mike Taylor (Rick Warden) who walks in with her sister Clare. He passes on news of the case, oh no, I did not realise that Kevin had been raped in jail. From what I remember, he'd been assaulted but it's spelled out very clearly here.
Ashley's up for a likely bail, looks as though he's made a deal, and Catherine's up for the Queen's Police Medal for Bravery.
Catherine couldn't give one toss about a medal, she's practically catatonic with suppressed rage.
Mike leaves and Clare gently asks if Catherine's ready to start picking Ryan up from school again? He just wants things back to normal. Catherine doesn't answer, rather she wants to go visit Becky's grave again.
While Catherine stares at Becky's grave, Clare tries to engage her in chitchat about her birthday, fancy doing something? Catherine can't believe she missed Kirsten's funeral, but of course she wasn't even able to stand then. She wonders aloud if (deceased) Kirsten was disappointed because she didn't show while Clare and I aren't sure where to look.
Kevin's out of the infirmary and in visiting hours with his wife Jenny (Julia Ford), who probably won't be coming by again unless she can get a lift. Jenny is one of the people who use the wheelchair-accessible games room and she's left him. Jenny listens to Kevin blame everyone else but himself for the state he's in, anyone could end up in this situation! Anyone!
Catherine does pick up Ryan, but it looks like his teacher needs a word again. Dangit. There's very little more exhausting and draining than trying to understand why children act out as they can do. This time he ripped up a classmate's painting; she called him a loser and the teacher wouldn't do anything about it. Or rather, he admits that he "might of."
That made my grammatically incorrect heart SING! Of course Catherine would stop in the middle of a lecture to correct his speech.
She's not happy that he's not taking responsibility for his actions, like Kevin, blaming everything on reacting to to people's choices.
Just for posterity, I'm throwing in the bit about parenting.
Ah but then it gets much worse at home and it's not so funny. Ryan calls his granny the B-word and threatens to run away. When that doesn't come off as planned he threatens to call Childline; she offers him the phone number while Clare watches in disbelief.
The problem is, you can't tell a child they've ruined your life. You just can't. Clare calls Catherine on it once Ryan's run off (screaming "cow b***h wanker) but suddenly we're to the real issue. Catherine closely monitors Ryan because of who his dad is. Did I explain that Tommy Lee Royce above is Ryan's dad via Catherine's dead daughter Becky?
Okay: quick history. Catherine found the hideout where Ann was kept because she was following/stalking Tommy Lee Royce, whom she believes raped her daughter Becky. Becky took her own life not long after giving birth to Ryan, her dad Richard (above) blamed baby Ryan and refused to have anything to do with him. Catherine divorced Richard and raised Ryan on her own with her sister Clare. She's been very worried that Ryan's inability to listen to authority and violent outbursts are related to the Royce side of his DNA, but calling your grandson a psychopath for ripping up a painting isn't really on.
Ryan trashes his bedroom while Catherine smashes up the kitchen with a kettle, perhaps the angry part isn't all Tommy? Clare does all the calming.
We're four weeks in and Tommy and Lewis are continuing to hide, but not for much longer. The police are conducting a house to house search so they're hidden carefully. Lewis's nervous friend is practically vibrating, they'd have to be blind not to notice his affect.
The police finally leave, Lewis the first to be liberated from under the sofa where his friend has been sitting. Lewis is neither a good judge of character or a great criminal, he tries to talk his friend into giving Tommy Lee up to the police. Lewis's friend is much more attached to Tommy than him as Tommy is much scarier and maybe has money, I'd suggest Lewis GTFO and quickly but we're not exactly on speaking terms.
Ashley does indeed get bail, his wife Julie (Rachel Leskovac) begrudgingly picks him up at the prison while Catherine meets her ex-husband Richard for a pint. They've switched sides on Ryan, Catherine can barely stand to look at Ryan, she only sees Tommy Lee. Richard gives her a fantastic speech about the difference between Ryan and Tommy Lee and how Ryan's going to be mostly Catherine and Clare and honestly: she made her decision.
He brings up her birthday the following week, Catherine can't imagine celebrating her existence when a child of hers is dead. Part of her is dead. Richard tries, but Catherine is somewhere else.
She leaves; her vigil on a windy mountaintop is interrupted by Phil Crabtree, who has information about the case for her, if she'd like to hear? The case is the only thing she has a stomach for these days.
Ashley got out of jail because he had information about the UK drug distribution network; that's perfect for the short term but dangerous for him and his family from now on. The news that Ashley will be in a kind of purgatory for the rest of his life helps Catherine feel better. The storm has passed.
And she'll do something for her birthday, sure.
Lewis's friend finds Tommy Lee bleeding in the kitchen, he's been stabbed by Lewis, whose throat he then slit. Is it really all over for Tommy Lee Royce? He had ideas, he was going to be somebody. He has a son! He cries thinking of his own lost potential (wanking motion) and of his son living with an old woman and no dad, I've heard of worse. At least Ryan is loved and safe, in a stable environment with people who generally put his needs before their own.
Brett! Lewis's friend's name is Brett (Adam Nagatis); we find that out literally 3 seconds before Tommy Lee murders him. A gravely injured Tommy Lee makes it outside, spying a charity shop nearby.
Definitely a new look; nice reading choice, psycho.
He waits outside in disguise, watching as Catherine sends Ryan off to school on his bike, and we're out.
Hmm. I'm finding violence much more difficult to watch these days; I'm glad the first four episodes are done with as they were much tougher than this one. I will say that writer/creator Sally Wainwright doesn't use it gratuitously, but rather pops it up realistically where deemed necessary. I will thank her for skipping the murder of Lewis Whippey; but it makes it difficult to accept the story as narrated. It's impossible to believe that the downtrodden Lewis would scrape up the nerve to attack much larger Tommy Lee, especially as he'd been beaten by him previously. And then Tommy carefully placed Lewis back in his sleeping bag? I'm overthinking.
The Netflix version of this series is much more graphic than I thought; I would remember if I knew Kevin was raped in prison. I would have recalled the expression "every hole is a goal" because now I can't forget it. We also get much more Becky in this one, and more Catherine, so I will take.
Until next time, which is the last time until the third season drops this year. Cheers!