Happy Valley S2:E1 Episode 2.1 Recap


Has anyone been watching the second season of BBC One series Happy Valley? I loved the first season and I couldn’t really say why, it was very grim and bleak, but I think Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood was just THAT good. On to the second season with a quick spoil of the last.

When last we saw Catherine, she’d put away Tommy (the presumed (maybe) rapist of her daughter and father of her grandchild) AND a crime ring.

We open at Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) and her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran)


discussing sheep rustling “North Halifax style”, which means no yee-haws or cowboys but rather one sheep and three lads off their heads on acid.

Oh man, the sheep got away and the dogs got the poor thing, it’s Tabitha from The Walking Dead all over again, that’s not right. Catherine’s got to put it down, it can’t even bleat.


She doesn’t have a gun (they don’t carry), and there aren’t any vets (?) so she raises a big rock to smash it’s brains in and then has to again “and then it seemed all right after that.” Good lord. Can you see why I like this show so much and how it makes no sense that I do?

Catherine is interviewing the farmers who owned the sheep, who they say were raised for breeding, not for eating, “it’ll be tough as an old boo-it.” but the really “funny” part comes after that, well, not funny exactly, more ironic: Catherine didn’t kill the sheep when she thought she did. A vet finally showed up and shot poor not-Tabitha up with phenobarb and the dogs decided to have another run at it and then THEY died, after ingesting the sheep-filtered phenobarb. So all over North Halifax are dead dogs just randomly on the side of the road.

In the meanwhile, Catherine got a line on the sheep rustlers and got them packed up properly, smelling some meat that had gone well off nearby. She opens a door to find a dead body covered in flies.

We finally get the credits and theme song, you’ve got to listen to it once, just to hear the beauty of it. It sounds like a coal-mining song, all guitars and I thought it was a woman, but no! It’s a very young man, Jack Bugg

This is such a female-centric and driven show that I think that’s why I just assumed that was a woman, but nope!

We’re at a family breakfast, lots of kids, very middle to upper-middle class and suddenly the dad gets a text; come outside and meet me in front of your house or I’m coming in (paraphrasing). He runs outside to find: a frantic skinny blonde angry and worried because he hasn’t rung or called in 5 days. She thought he’d DIED! They clearly are having an affair and he just as clearly is no longer interested, when she says “I love you”, he answers “Yeah, I’ll ring you” so the bloom is off that English rose.

We’re at the hospital, visiting Ann Gallagher’s (Charlie Murphy)


mother, who was dying of cancer last we saw. She’s still alive, but it’s not looking great. A very quick synopsis of the Gallaghers from  last year:

Kevin Wetherill (Steve Pemberton)


was another middle to upper-middle class gentleman with a family; he wanted to send his daughter to a good school, so he asked his boss, Nevison Gallagher (George Costigan)

Who I'm horribly attracted to but probably shouldn't say; some Freud thing I'm sure
Who I’m horribly attracted to but probably shouldn’t say; some Freud thing I’m sure

for what the British call a rise (and what the rest of us call a raise). Nevison said “no” in order to avoid the precedent, but then changed his mind shortly thereafter, given that Kevin’s father had helped start that very same company. Nevison had been distraught, he explained, and a little discombobulated, his wife has just been diagnosed with cancer. However, a very angry Kevin had already put a plan in motion to get the money he needed; he asked his friendly local mobster to kidnap Nevison’s daughter Ann for a few days, and take his school fees in ransom. Kevin subsequently tried to stop the plan going forward, but as these things do, they’d already taken on a life of their own. Ann was kidnapped, raped and assaulted for several days by a violent criminal named Tommy, who was connected to Catherine in ways we can talk about later. All caught up on the Gallaghers? Good! I clearly have no idea what the words “very quick” mean either.

At the bedside is Clare as well, she tells the Gallaghers about Catherine finding the dead body, so badly decomposed they can’t even identify gender.

Holeee shite, Ann is now a copper. I guess she fits in for Kristen McAskill (Sophie Rundle), a young PC (police constable?) who was killed in the first season by the thugs kidnapping Ann.

Catherine does her meeting spiel for the PCs, I love how she says that there are Forensic teams crawling everywhere because of “the body that was found, that I FOUND” and their deployments will all be messed up.

The dead body investigative team is brainstorming, they’re starting with CCTV and they want to know if John is absorbing it through osmosis? It’s the cheating husband from a little while ago! There’s a police sergeant present and he says he knows who the body is. The head of the meeting groans theatrically, but when the sergeant stops Catherine to talk about it, she groans for entirely different reasons. He thinks it’s Tommy Lee Royce’s mom, Lynne Dewhurst. I’d better explain about Tommy now.

Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton)


is the father of Catherine’s grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) and a violent career criminal with multiple convictions and jail sentences. Catherine had been told by her now-deceased daughter that Tommy raped her, and that was how Ryan was conceived. At the beginning of the first season, Tommy had just been released from jail again and Catherine tracking his movements is what lead her to everything else. Later on, Catherine’s son Daniel disputed the rape allegations against Tommy, but since we know he DID rape Ann Gallagher, it’s hard to say what’s true and what isn’t. At the end of last season, Tommy had found out about Ryan and kidnapped him, to be caught by Catherine and returned to jail. His mother was a piece of work herself, allowing him to keep Ann in their basement in exchange for a few hundred extra pounds in rent money. Caught up on Tommy? Good!

The body is between 3 to 5 weeks post-mortem, which means something important to Catherine I gather. Tommy is morosely watching TV in his cell, so much food and TV?? Really? In comes a man of the cloth, Tommy teases him “you looks troubled.’ The priest sits and explains that they’ve found a body, the person had been strangled and sexually assaulted and Tommy wants to know what it has to do with him? DNA says it’s his mom and right then it gets very dangerous for the wee religious man in the room. Tommy is all menace and eyes flat as a whip. Tommy cries as the priest goes on to say that detectives will be by to see him shortly to ask about her lifestyle, friends, etc.

Clare meets her old friend Neil (Con O’Neill) on the street while looking for work; they get caught up (he’s divorced, she’s had “entanglements”) awww and they eye cuddle and grin at each other goofily for a while. You know, that’s the great thing about old lovers and old potential lovers; they only see you as you were, and any extra bits or lines; it’s as though they don’t exist. They don’t even see it, because they’ve already gotten to the important bits, the person under alla that.

Ann is helping our nervous John; he gets another call from Anxious Blonde, who he summarily blows off AGAIN. Ann notes his behaviour and calls affair immediately to Shafiq (Shane Zaza); John’s mind just isn’t on the job at all. She asks Shafiq why they hate helping the Wooden Tops so much; he says it’s because the Plastic Tops (them) do all the actual work, while the WTs just sit around on their fat arses bending paperclips and everyone gets paid the same. The WTs don’t return the favour, either, so it’s all very unfair.

John finally does call his ladyfriend back, and she tries not to cry while he says he doesn’t want to do this any more. She says she has some of his things, though, including his warrant card and there’s a tone of blackmail under all that. She says she’ll be at the pub that evening and she won’t be waiting.

Nevison is having more trouble with staff; he’s firing an obstreperous young man for poor driving with the company truck, it’s very antagonistic. Just as he’s leaving, the fired former employee asks after Mrs. Gallagher, which sends Nevison rushing off.

Catherine is meeting with another member of the investigative team, discussing the discovery of Tommy Lee Royce’s mother’s body. That’s a problem, see, Catherine has had dealings with all of family and all of that will have to be checked out thoroughly. Catherine explains that Lynn had found out about Ryan being her grandson and had gone ’round to see him five or six weeks ago, violating the restraining order Catherine has against Royce directly or indirectly contacting Ryan. DO YOU THINK I COULD GET SOME MORE WORDS IN THAT SENTENCE? I’ll try harder next time!

Catherine stopped by to see Lynn, no answer, and left a few messages, which she says *may* have sounded threatening, which is probably the reason for this particular line of inquiry. You’ve got to see Sarah Lancashire in this role, you have to, she’s magic, truly. The understated gravity mixed with the tiniest suggestion of wonderment at the ridiculousness of it all: she’s incomparable.

The detective breaks it down for her; given the circumstances, Catherine has to “go away” and give an accounting of her wheareabouts for the two-week period in question: July 23 to August 6. She tells Catherine she’s not a suspect, who rebuts with a immobile eye-roll at “everyone was a suspect when I was in H-Ment(or whatever they’re called – haven’t made that out just yet)”

She doesn’t really say if that involves Leave or not, but next we see Catherine, she’s walking out with Ann at the end of the day. Ann’s flabbergasted at the housekeeping in North Halifax (dogfood, right on the floor! Out of the can! Catherine told her that they were the good owners: at least they fed their dogs) but really, she wants to pass on that she’s heard from her new partner that Lynne was sexually assaulted, and with a broken bottle, not. Anyway. Motherfcuk. Catherine reminds her that it didn’t have to be a man, there are sick people everywhere. The ones that really get me are the baby-takers. I can’t watch that AT ALL.

Neil has come ’round to see Clare already, not wasting any time! They’re talking about his kids and their teenager-hood. Neil says Clare was a rebel, but she says they were just trying to deal with their dad’s death when she was 13. In comes Catherine and Neil rabbits IMMEDIATELY. He said earlier he’d always been intimidated by her, but now I’m wondering if it has anything to do with her police uniform.

After Neil scoots, Catherine breaks down in tears, Clare finds her and they talk about what’s going on. Catherine explains that they think she’s offed and bottled (please don’t explain that again) Lynne  Dewhurst, her, with her Queen’s Medal of Bravery, who has shaken the Queen’s hand at Buckingham Palace. The detective that was questioning Catherine is D.I. Jody Shackleton (Katherine Kelly)

D.I. Shacklemore

about 15 according to our Catherine, and the daughter of David Shackleton, the Chief Commander and Catherine is having a hard time adjusting to being on the other side of the stick. Clare bursts in with the news that she once “snogged” Neil after a disco and I had to check myself: that means making out, I think, not exchanging ALL bodily fluids. Catherine doesn’t care, because it doesn’t affect her. She’s really a lovely copper, but kind of a crap friend and family member. I’m sure nobody would care if she were male.

John is meeting Vicki at the pub, funny how he has time to meet her now that his warrant card is on the line and not just her feelings and common decency. She’s got him a beer (only if he wants it), and he apologizes, he thinks things have  “not lived up to it’s early promise?” she suggests? He agrees immediately, and if he didn’t recognise that as a Female Trap with all the pink flags flying, it’s his own fault when he is hoisted on his own petard.

They’ve been together for two years and Vicky (Amelia Bullmore)


is not sad, just disappointed. In all that time, she says, what he got from it is that his wife isn’t that bad after all. You know he has three kids, after all! It’s complicated, she knows that, surely? She asks how he knows she isn’t going to make life difficult for him, and he asks if she will. He asks if she brought those things, and here is the accumulated detritus of two years of the most tepid-sounding affair ever: a  toothbrush (DNA), a black sock (that’s a poser, how do you get your shoes on and not notice a missing sock?), his police warrant card (SERIOUSLY a problem) and they drink to remaining friends. I think he should be very wary of her, and how did this jumpy milquetoast ever pull off an extra-marital affair?

At Catherine’s, her son Daniel (Karl Davies – you remember him! He was Alton Lannister!!)


shows up with plastic bags full of what must be his clothes, since he says his wife Lucy has kicked him out. A week earlier, but he’s been staying with his Dad, who, well, there’s a complicated history there, too. Do we have time to run through that? Sure we do!

Catherine and Richard were married, but divorced after the death of their daughter Becky. Catherine went off the rails and their marriage didn’t survive her obsession with Tommy Lee Royce or her decision to raise Becky’s son, Ryan, who is also Tommy Lee Royce’s son and may or may not be the result of a sexual assault ( I think not, given Tommy and Daniel’s behaviour last season, but Catherine is still clinging to it). Anyway, Richard remarried, to Ros, but he and Catherine were still sleeping together the whole time and eventually he came ’round and started to be a grandpa to Ray. All caught up? Yay!

Daniel says his wife wants a divorce, since their daughter Daisy was born, Lucy’s been off her…flaming trolley. Everyone comes in to find out why Daniel will be sleeping on the settee and I just love the kiddo that plays Ryan, it’s Rhys Connah and he’s just the best.


Back at the pub, Vicky has clearly drugged our quivering John, she manages to get him to his car and …cut to a nekkid John passed out in bed next to a pile of fluff. I’ve seen much more nekkid middle-aged male arse than I ever needed to, thanks for that, HV. He can’t find anything, no clothes, he appears to be in a hotel room, but passes out again.

He comes to once more, fully dressed and in his car, parked in front of the police station. He looks even more wigged out, and I didn’t think that was even possible. The investigative team has learned enough about the murder of Lynn Dewhurst to conclude that it matches the profile of a serial offender at work in the area – that’s good news for Catherine, right?

A very slight, very mousy woman is finding her way through the London transit system, to end up watching Tommy Lee Royce cry in the Visitor’s Lounge. This must be a sister? He knew about Catehrine’s calls; he’s the one that mentioned it to the police. MouseLady leans in for a kiss: NOT a sister.

NOT sisterWe’re back to the station, Catherine isn’t on Leave, and her boss wants to see her, it’s a serial, she’s off the hook, she says, yay! Except, er, instead she needs an alibi for the other two murders, please and thanks, then she can be completely eliminated. Thanks! She says “It’s wank. It’s toss” and she walks out. He follows and asks her to please just tick the boxes, yeah? But she hasn’t any time, she’s got to go murder and bottle some more prostitutes first. But has anyone checked with the ladies on Stoneybrook Road? Warn them?

Meanwhile, the sheep farmers are at the station, the male one has been beaten up by the sheep rustlers, they’re there to make a statement.

Out on Stoneybrook Road, Catherine is warning the prossies about the serial offender on the loose, she’s brought food and admires the new green eyeliner on Leonie. The brunette doesn’t care, just doesn’t want to be brought in; too many smackheads and processing takes too long; time being money and all.

Oh ho, Obstreperous Recently Fired Truck Driver is drunk and making a pass down the lane, he speeds off at the sight of Catherin, but based on that 3 second scene, I am willing to bet on two things: 1) he’s the murderer and 2) Leonie is not long for this world, snazzy lime eyeliner or no.

Clare and Catherine are gossiping about Daniel’s marriage and have come to visit Mrs. Gallagher, but a clean and empty bed tells them there won’t be any more. The only thing I really got out of that is that Clare is dying to move out, probably with Neil.

Daniel himself is at home having a beer while hanging with Ryan, who asks why he doesn’t have a beer while Aunt Clare is around? Some hemming and hawing later, it comes out that Clare is an alcoholic (that’s a big word for Ryan!) and that’s why nobody drinks around her. Now ‘splain, Daniel! What IS alcoholic?

Mouse is checking into a hotel, yay her name is Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson)!! I love it when they speak it directly into the camera like that! She was Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter!

John is at home being questioned by his wife when Vicki “from Forensics” calls; she’s sent a text, could he look, please? It’s pictures of him in lingerie with rentboy magazines and sex toys and she’s downloaded his contact book from his phone; should he not give her 1000 pounds a month from going on, it’s going out to them all. I mean. The pics aren’t THAT bad, he’s clearly passed out in them, I’d risk it.

Daniel and Ryan play cards and bond while all of a sudden creepy AF Frances lurks outside, what the hayull??

Ahhhh and that’s it, we’re oot! I love this show! It’s so terrible compelling. Until next time, stay dry, yo.

2 thoughts on “Happy Valley S2:E1 Episode 2.1 Recap

  1. That was the most uninteresting blog I’ve ever read. I watched it I don’t need some arsehole telling me word for word what happened. I might have known you’re a yank they never can shut up.

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