Happy Valley S2:E4 The Trojan Racetrack Recap


Are you as ‘cited about Happy Valley and Sarah Lancashire‘s return as I am? ARE YOU????? You know you are, let’s get to it with a quick spoil of the last couple after the break.

Previously On shows us we’ll be dealing with the Sheep Farmers again (epi. 1 where poor old not-Tabitha met her end twice with the help of Catherine, a large garden rock and a metric tonne of phenobarbital), Vicky’s murder by John, Leonie the prostitute (helpfully named directly, so clearly marked for death), the creepy Frances Drummod being wound up firmly by Tommy and the thwarted romance of Ann and John which doesn’t make sense to me anyhow.

Catherine’s visiting the prostitutes (just the two? In all of Halifax? They must be EXHAUSTED. A biscuit factory might not go astray, but not the type Ilinka wants to return to) in their flat and wow, it looks like the sitting room on Sherlock Holmes!! The wallpaper! Sorry, sorry, I distract easily, it’s my hamster-brain.

Leonie has been attacked, strangled but it still alive and crying. Now we know Annette’s name and I’m worried for her too. Ahh Leonie has to come downtown, she’s been assaulted and I promised myself I wouldn’t go off too much, but do you know that there are people alive that believe that a sex worker can’t be raped? ARGH. Okay, sorry, sorry, mustn’t.

Catherine is transcribing the interview on the inside of a cigarette pack and I swear I won’t fangirl all over Sarah Lancashire the whole time because that’s embarrassing and nobody will know where to look and I’m trying to give some kind of semblance of impartiality, but this scene, so effortless for her. So natural and REAL. And back to the horror

The assailant was in a van and she offers unprotected rates?? Come on Leonie!! Anyway, negotiations over, they’re off to the Cricket Club car park and is it all right if I sum it up quickly? All the triggers. He insisted on unprotected after paying for protected and then choked her almost to death while threatening her with bottling. The police that showed up were of the flavour I mentioned above, “has he not paid you then? Boo hoo” and they wouldn’t take a statement. I sincerely hope Catherine tracks down exactly who they are.

The ladies didn’t know him, hadn’t seen him before, but Leonie did write down his tag number and it’s Sean Bamforth’s. At this point, I have to change my opinion that Sean is the murderer, I sincerely doubt they would offer him up to us so early in the series, quite a few people knew about the bottle business and unfortunately, a lot of frustrated, angry men take that out specifically on women.

Which leaves? Well, there’s Neil, who jumps like a rabbit in Catherine’s presence and Ann and although Catherine brought up it could have been a woman…I’m not that worried about our Ann just yet. Although. Anyway, the important thing is that Catherine says she’ll be dealing with the two Specials.

And she does, quite thoroughly. The Specials are two women and I don’t know why that disappoints me more than anything, although I did read a line once that enforcing standards of eyebrow maintenance is women enacting the patriarchy on each other and why should standards of sexual assault be any different? Ergh. She won’t be reporting them to Professional Standards, but they’ll have to make reports. One understands and is ashamed and contrite, but the other… does not and is not.

Catherine has to start shift in an hour and she’s off home to change but she cries in the car, and some of us may already be, but we don’t need to go on about it.

Clare asks Catherine where she was; she thought maybe up to the graveyard to see Becky and it is Ryan’s birthday and they just have to get through it. “Big smiles.”

Present time! Ryan’s very excited and there was a present left on the doorstep and ergh, that must be from Tommy and that won’t be well-received by sleep-deprived Catherine. It’s a giant model car race track and Daniel thinks that might have been from him after all! Ryan says “Calm down, dear” to Catherine and if I could make gifs I’d be making that RIGHT NOW because that was MAGIC. They think it’s from Nevison, yay! Crisis averted, for now.

The Serial Killer Investigative Squad is focusing on Sean Bamforth now. Apparently he’s a registered sex offender as well and his van’s already been picked up. He had rope and beer bottles and they’re even maybe thinking of him for Vicky and you can actually SEE hope flood John’s body.

They’re doing a deep run on Sean, and in the meanwhile, Telecom has found John’s number on Vicky’s mobile, but I guess not the pictures, because they’re still talking casually. WAIT. HE MET VICKY AT THE BUILDING SOCIETY??? Was I right about her running a game on loads of married men, including Neil, who met his downfall at the Building Society?? Note to self: find out what a Building Society is, if there’s more than one, and if it deserves capital letters.

The supervisor listens to John bluster on unbelievably about how he knew Vicky only slightly and blah blah thought I recognised her blah wasn’t sure blah blah etc, moving in slightly and lowering his tone to say “you should have said” and hmmm, this fellow might be smarter than I’d noticed previously. He finishes up with “so that’s the only contact you’ve had with her?” and it sounds like it could maybe be belief, but also perhaps a rope to trip him with later. John has to make a statement as to how he knew her and it appears that the supervisor (my kingdom for a title or name spoken anywhere in the direction of the camera!) noticed that John looks like he’s been swallowing wallpaper paste for breakfast and asks how he is. He bluffs away; Jody approaches and teases him about his date with Ann; he’d completely forgotten it, just like that!

Ann is looking down, Catherine asks if she knows Sean (she doesn’t) and Ann really does look terrible. Mike is excited, though, their work made him look really good and hey, that is why Catherine does anything, to make Mike look good. Not a hint of sarcasm in that.

Oh and of course, Goran the crotch-tazed hanging man was NOT suicide, it’s been ruled murder and Ilinka and I picked that up right away. Of course it was the Knezevices, but they can’t prove anything, so in between Catherine asks Ann about Ryan’s present?

Ryan and his uncle playing with his new racetrack present, he’s off to school so Clare takes a run at it and finds an envelope for Ryan and doesn’t open it, whut? OPEN THE ENVELOPE!! HE’S 10, HE DOESN’T GET TO OPEN HIS OWN ENVELOPES UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN THEM! Does that sound sMother-y? I just know what’s innit is all, and I know it will be bad and just want it done.

The sheep rustlers are at the farm of Darrell again; there are three of them and just one of him and how does that work?? Oh wait, I thought the other farmer was his wife, that was his mother and they’re teasing him and knocking him down but he makes it to his car, where he pulls out a large hammer and starts swinging.

The police show up at his house to arrest Darrell and that’s bullshite! Are they going to jail for kicking him down and beating him up? I mean, I understand that you shouldn’t start hitting people with hammers but they were planning much worse for him. Sod that!

Oh wait. I just saw rope in the boot of Darrell’s car. Is he a viable suspect as well? Hmm

Sean is being arrested for rape and assault, he’s using the popular defense of “because prostitutes can’t be raped” and I fear I will not be able to not rant for much longer.

Jody is there to interview him, and informs him that he is ALSO arrested for the murders of the prostitutes AND Vicky, he protests violently. John watches with a straight face but you know inside he’s dancing ’round a maypole.

Catherine is examining a VERY reluctant Darrell for DNA. I am staring at his hands.

Ryan races into the house to get to his new present and he tells Catherine to open the card, and immediately she starts packing up the track; he can’t keep it, it’s from his dad and there is shouting and crying and it’s awful. Such is the nature of children, they’re much more resilient than and just as self-focused as we think; they remember the visits with their estranged parents and not the terrifying bits and the trying to kill their grandparent parts. The important thing is that Clare latches on immediately to the fact that Tommy must have a close accomplice.

Sean is in for official questioning; and oh, awesome, John’s in there with Jody. This whole investigation is a complete wash, evidence-wise, absolutely everything they are doing is useless, what with fruit of the poisoned tree personified sitting there with yet another hangdog look on his face. I know that’s not the point, but somewhere in the back of my head an American TV police sergeant is shouting “tainted! All TAINTED!!”

They want to talk to him about the serial murders; Sean cannot give an alibi for any of the time period of the deaths and you can see John hold his breath throughout.

Catherine is second-guessing herself about how she handled the racetrack, she thinks she should have just disposed of the card and gotten Nevison to lie for her, but now she and Clare are trying to figure out who the accomplice could be, being close enough to know when Ryan’s birthday is and everything, since Tommy didn’t know. She’s bringing the racetrack to work so Forensics can check it all out and I have to say: check the cellotape, I’m pretty sure I’ve left most of my DNA at every single birthday party over the last 7 years.

Clare and Neil cuddle while Catherine goes to kiss Ryan gnight, Neil seems awfully interested in the news report about the prostitute murders. The cuddle in bed later and AHHHH!!!! Vicky WAS the woman who was in the affair with Neil, I knew it!!!! He cries while he asks her to not tell Catherine and he feels nauseated and she blackmailed Neil too! I was SO RIGHT about her! Just not about how dangerous John was, I guess. She humiliated Neil as well and how many other men??

Special Investigations has found out all sorts of connecting lines between Sean and the murdered women, but I find myself trying to debunk them all and make them fit Darrell instead. They did find the Croatian woman’s hair in his van (not unusual as he admittedly frequented prostitutes), Lynne Dewhurt’s number in his contacts (did he use drugs? Probably, also: prostitutes) and they can put his van around the area of Vicky’s death and the arson of her apartment.

Mike is sending the racetrack for testing and they’ll be investigating Tommy more thoroughly. She says it’s just this week, and this must be to do with Becky. He says quite firmly that he understands.

At some point, you know, later, I would like to know more about the circumstances of Becky’s ending and Ryan and have that whole question settled. Like they did in Broadchurch, maybe, a prequel, or maybe an After so Catherine can sort it a bit.

The solicitous Miss Weiland is grilling Ryan over what he got for his birthday; commiserating with him over the loss of his “must be expensive” racetrack. Oh my goodness, Frances goes right to it and tells Ryan that she’s Googled Tommy and she doesn’t believe he did half of those things he went to jail for, with his “kind face.” By the way, in case you haven’t watched the first series, Tommy Lee Royce did all he was convicted of and worse besides, we saw it all, there wasn’t a question whatsoever. Right, as you were. That seems very aggressive for her to brace Ryan so strongly and directly about his dad, I wonder if Clare will pick something up. It’s just a matter of time.

Jody, the head of the investigation and John are discussing the case while driving, Jody doesn’t believe for a second that Sean is “forensically aware” enough to have not left any DNA at any of the crime scenes and huh. I don’t think Darrell is either, although maybe he watched enough telly? Ann is, though, and I’ll stop that now, I’m sorry.

She pushes to separate Vicky Fleming’s murder from the serials, the burning of the flat points to personal and none of the other crime scenes showed any signs of trying to destroy evidence. Jody is a great thinker and I would strongly suggest she not spend any time alone with John.

She’s asking Sean about the hairs found in his van, he says “no comment” and then when asked about Lynne’s phone number in his phone “no comment” again and I didn’t know you could do that. Isn’t the lawyer supposed to interject?

Nev and Catherine are meeting for lunch, she asks about Sean and Nev says “I wouldn’t put it past him” and wow. He asks about Ann, she’s doing well but Catherine wants to know if she’s drinking. And THAT explains that Ann finishing a bottle of wine solo while waiting for John last time. It was slightly about her being upset from being stood up, but really, about drinking an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. Now. I’m probably double Ann’s size and a bottle would have me puking up teeth.

This is not news, Nev says she used to drink a LOT and he thought she was doing better, but Clare wasn’t the only one who fell off the wagon at Helen’s funeral. He thinks something at work has her off and Catherine promises to look into it. He asks why she’s so down and she explains to him and us; Becky died six weeks after Ryan’s birthday and did anyone look at post-partum depression? There have been several cases in Canada of women murdering their children and themselves in the grip of it and it’s all heartbreaking. I had it with my first, never to the psychotic level, but it was months before I could drive without another adult, without crying the whole time.

Clare is visiting Neil at work, she thinks he should tell Catherine his story, it might lead to a motive check. He doesn’t want to, saying the police have it all sorted and he doesn’t want to keep going over and over it.

Catherine is back at the station and runs into the contrite Special from earlier, she’s just resigned, devastated that she could have let the murderer slip through her fingers with her shoddy work. Catherine tells her she made a mistake but was led astray by lazy Brionne (NOT contrite), who’s been on the job for 5 years treading water doing the minimum and who Catherine would prefer was resigning. Catherine tells her she’ll be pissed off if she does resign and THAT is how you mentor women on the job.

At supper, Ryan brings up forgiveness and asks if maybe his dad was trying to apologize with the racetrack and it goes about as well as you expect. Clare says that maybe if his dad was the kind of person who cares about other people, then perhaps he wouldn’t be in prison in the first place and I mostly stared hard at the side of Neil’s head during that.

John arrives home to find his things on the step and the locks changed; possession being 9/10 of the law and all. He tries to rouse the children to help him, and tries to break in the glass door with a brick and it’s over.

Ah our Ryan is writing a letter to his dad and hides it when Catherine comes in, and when he says he loves her we all tear up but stop going on about it, will you?

Darrell’s mom is asking him where his car is, he’s scrapped it and ooooooh. Sally Wainwright is definitely leading us down more than one path at a time.

Frances is visiting Tommy in prison; I was right, he didn’t know it was Ryan’s birthday and the whole thing is a set of chess moves to get Ryan asking questions and alienating him from his grandmother and let’s just say: it’s all a little too subtle for Tommy, however effective we know it is. Y U NO KILL CATHERINE YET?? Is what Tommy wants to know, he doesn’t want her to put a fine point on it. She suggests that it wasn’t Catherine that killed his mother and he argues and I just don’t know if Frances is quite as Manson-Girls-like as he wants.

She wants to keep picking away at Ryan but he really, REALLY wants to get her started with all the murder-y business, and he threatens to end their relationship if she doesn’t get at it at once. He’s very skilled at manipulation, you can see her try to pull against it, particularly when he says that Catherine killed his mother, but we’ll soon see if he was able to talk her off that homicidal ledge.


And we’re out. That was a heavy one, as to be expected, but really. My goodness. A new suspect opened up for us in the form of sMothered Darrell, my suspicions around Neil have solidified (although that really would be too coincidental) and my previous number one murderer Sean has become less of a sure thing, for me. And yes, let’s do an After about Becky, and maybe set Catherine’s mind at ease. Peace oot Script Kiddies.

5 thoughts on “Happy Valley S2:E4 The Trojan Racetrack Recap

    1. Thank you! So is there just one really large one, or bunches of them? I’m just wondering, I’d flagged the Building Society mention a couple of episodes ago, but if there are loads of them, maybe it was supposed to not stick out so much? If that makes sense?

      1. There’s quite a few different building societies in the UK. I don’t think it’s a significant part of the story where exactly they all met her, it’s just to show it happened in the same place ?

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