I’ve heard a lot of good things about this episode of Last Tango in Halifax, woo hoo! I had to start it right NOW! Rolling after the break, mind your pelvic floors!
To sum up where we’re at: everyone is pregnant, okay, just Kate and Judith. Alan and Celia are planning to get married again, but fancy-like, Caroline and Kate are still broken up, William’s at Oxford (the OTHER ‘ford, thanks AB!), Lawrence no longer wants to live with his wanker of a dad and *may* be missing, Robbie’s about to shack up with his Latest Mistake and Gillian’s JUST told Caroline she murdered Eddie. Right; are we ready? Roll tide!
A nervous Gillian wakes Caroline with tea, she need to know if Caroline is angry, or upset or going to the police? Instead of answering, a very sleepy Caroline (half guarding, her body and head turned away and looking at Gillian from the side) asks why she told Caroline this monster of a secret? Ahhh, and through all of this, I’d still thought Eddie had started out messing with the logsplitter himself, but no, not at all, it was murder right from the jump. Alan didn’t know about the carefully controlled humiliations that Eddie was visiting upon Gillian either, which is maybe why she didn’t tell her dad what had really happened.
Caroline’s not going to the police, right? For sure? We know that, surely? Well, she says they will never speak of it again, so essentially that. I bet it was weighing on Gillian just that much that she felt she HAD to share it, the opening brush against the truth with John, then finally out with it with her almost-sister. Caroline, I BESEECH you, please do not go home and discuss this with Celia as you did the whole Gillian sleeping with John thing. I completely understand the desire to get things off your chest in that and this case, just…please don’t.
A lovely morning has dawned at Muriel’s house, but Celia is ropy and dying to go. All this wedding planning is driving her mad and since I have chocolate in hand so I won’t go on and on about large weddings and what a nightmare they are. Except for just then.
Muriel tentatively suggests a sort of Hen Party, but not that, she knows that isn’t for Celia, but since they can’t spend the night together before the wedding, what will they do? And then we have a masterful example of exactly why Alan and Celia are so good together; it’s a verbal tag team match assaulting Muriel, her provincial sensibilities and assumptions. At play are strippers and lapdancers of any genders; a sleazy night in Amsterdam is exactly what’s required! Alan’s already been, fallen down and got the t-shirt, but Celia is more than welcome to it, as far as his lateral-thinking, outside the box arse is concerned
Bravo Alan, Celia, and Sally! Slow claps all around.
Caroline is hungover and there they are, talking about it again. Why does Gillian think she told her? Wanted to feel better? Well of course, but Caroline wants to know if Gillian told her so she WOULD turn her in? I can see that too, finally having to atone; that indecision would drive you mental. But no, on Gillian’s assurance that was NOT why she told her, Caroline won’t be turning Gillian in to the police.
Celia and Alan are leaving Muriel’s house, while she shouts helpful things at them (“text when you get in!” “Like Hell” mutters Celia) do they really want to have a stag night? Well a pint in a pub wouldn’t go astray! And Celia could do something with Caroline, and Gillian and maybe even…Her (Muriel).
Ah thank goodness, Lawrence was safe, he went over to Kate’s and spent the night there. Hmm, now that’s interesting. I once and relatively recently ended a friendship over the question of when you should introduce your children to new partners; the point being is that the kids imprint quickly at almost any age. That wasn’t the whole reason for the end of the friendship, but that was very much the final fissure, ifyouknowwhatImean. So while Kate may have been completely through with Caroline, that doesn’t mean that Caroline’s kids are done with Kate.
John is explaining himself sheepishly to Kate; does Caroline know? Well, no, but she will, once she gets her messages. Cue Caroline phone call: WHERE IS LAWRENCE?? John CLOSES THE DOOR IN KATE’S FACE without so much as a “fanks for looking after my obstreperous offspring.” I mean
Caroline is furious and shouting at John, like you would; she can’t have ONE NIGHT OFF, he’s useless! She hangs up on him “jerk” as he wishes her a safe drive home and I’m starting to feel very strongly that I myself am on the wrong side of the driving platitudes line that Sally Wainwright has drawn. I like it when people call or text me when they arrive after driving long distances and I prefer they drive safely! I can’t help it! That doesn’t make me John or Muriel, does it?? John explains that Kate was just there and that’s it, Caroline will be headed back to town!
Caroline’s going, but she has a word of advice about Robbie first, Gillian was right in what she said. Gillian smiles this beautiful dreamy smile, yeah, she really likes him, but no, that’s not what Caroline means, she meant the part Gillian said about things never going any further with Robbie because of what had happened. She wants a promise from Gillian that she’ll move on, no more Robbie: no chance there and Gillian answers much like a teenager, eyes down, shifting from foot to foot guiltily. Now I’m wondering if Robbie WOULD maybe understand? I mean, he knew his brother better than anyone, and I think he does truly love Gillian. Ah well. It’s just that, out of anyone, he’s the one she should be telling, and also, the one that she really can’t tell.
Caroline arrives home to Harrogate to find that GIT in the kitchen touching stuff! I would be so angry ever single time I had to walk in and find that jerk fondling my Aga, I tell you… She asks why he isn’t home taking care of Judith? I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying; she either did or did not want to have an abortion, but either way, he won’t be marrying her and he is absolutely pro-choice. I think he’s making yet another run at how good he and Caroline were together and I want to SCREAM on her behalf, I mean. WHY does she have to keep putting up with this lummox who just lets himself in at will??? Change the locks!
Ah it’s later on and Caroline is thanking Kate (I can’t be the only one looking for a baby bump, can I? Even though I know it’s make-believe) properly with flowers, it makes my heart hurt to see Caroline so tentative, turning to leave, but finally marshals her courage and asks if she can come in, she doesn’t want to say it on the doorstep. Kate looks unsure, but stands back to let Caroline enter.
Caroline asks who’s Kate’s birthing partner; her mum, not Greg, never part of the equation, save the, er, donating. Caroline tells her a thankfully sanitized version of Gillian’s account of the evening before (suicide) and a description of Gillian’s nightmare marriage to inadequate prick Eddie. The point is that before things got weird, Caroline and Gillian were talking and Caroline realised amongst and amidst all the things that went wrong with them, she and Kate had something. Something real. And she had to ask again for Kate to accept her back. I’m all teary from Caroline’s heart-wrenching vulnerability and open beseechment and Kate looks at her and says “No. Thank you” and I don’t even know how long my mouth was agape. I mean. How can Kate be so cruel? Surely she knows that Caroline, while clearly having fumbled the birthday weekend, wasn’t ever being deliberately obtuse or cold? Wow. Kate. I expected more of you. C’mere, Caroline love, you deserve better and you didn’t want another baby at this stage anyway. Good DAY!
Alan and Celia are planning the Stag’s Night, it’s sounds very complicated, travel-wise. There is a lovely
piss-up meal planned as well as a night in Harry’s houseboat (which may or may not have been the boat Tommy Lee Royce lived in briefly on Happy Valley series 1).
Celia, Caroline and Gillian are going to play paintball? Whut? Harry wants to go too!
Celia and Caroline are visiting in the kitchen. Celia’s mourning the loss of the bungalow in Rippendon and thinking about asking John to give her away. WHAT?? Caroline’s face says it all for us; why is Celia even thinking of inviting John, let alone asking a man she’s never liked to give her away? Celia says it’s tradition, and if John is good at anything, it’s stringing a bunch of words together in a speech. But there are all kinds of things that ought to be left out of speeches, warns Caroline, what if he doesn’t? Just then Alan and Harry are going over what Harry’s going to leave out of HIS toast, I’m out of chocolate and that’s fair warning there.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA poor Gillian’s sheep and it’s unwelcome suitor, who kept coming back… to the same sheep… HAHAHAHHAHA oh nooooo
Harry, when pressed as to whether or not he misses Edith; is Alan sure he wants to get married? Old Spice, Manly Spice just wants to know what Alan wants, what he really really wants! And what about Alan’s speech?
Gillian comes in just then; has Alan remembered what tomorrow is, besides Sunday? It’s her mum’s birthday, she thought maybe they could take Calamity to see her. Of course, says Alan, he remembered, he did!
They’re having a lovely visit by Eileen’s gravesite, and I can hear Calamity but I can’t SEE her, there’s a good lad, Alan, pick her up and give this mam of only boys a thrill. In the meanwhile Alan and Gillian talk about the ill-fated bungalow; Celia doesn’t know, but he didn’t ever actually put his rental house on the market, Darren and Kimberley couldn’t raise the money for the mortgage and he didn’t want to add insult to injury. He’s just too nice a fellow, says Gillian.
He asks about her and Robbie, and it almost seems like she chokes back some quick tears, and then she’s off to visit Uncle Norman with one of the bouquets of flowers. Nobody with whom I was close, that has died, is buried anywhere I can visit; that always seems like such a lovely respite and a good way to stay connected.
Left alone, Alan is explaining his impending marriage to Celia, and he’s bringing up the letter now… life is for living and he doesn’t regret anything, he just hopes that Eileen would be happy for him. He needs her blessing. Just then a white flower petal falls in his hand and he takes that as The Sign.
He find Gillian in the field, awwww, there’s Calamity! And she looks exactly like a chubby miniaturized version of Septa Mordane from Game of Thrones! Awwww! Uncle Norman died at 19, so young. Alan’s talking, but Calamity is far too adorable to concentrate on mere words. Gillian stares at Eddie’s gravesite as she goes by, not really stopping.
Time passing montage: Caroline grieves, Gillian comforts Calamity, Harry and Alan work on houseboat Hotspur. I’m telling you, it looks a LOT like the boat from Happy Valley, and I’ve seen Scott & Bailey now; I know how much Sally Wainwright likes to recycle!
We’re watching Caroline’s legs walk up a staircase in a completely non-pervy way. She’s stopped on the landing by her assistant, who tells her that Kate has driven herself into the hospital, she has bleeding. Caroline turns immediately and just about runs out as her assistant shouts after her that Caroline’s meetings can’t be rescheduled! Until after Christmas! Caroline is GAWN.
She arrives at the hospital to find an extremely alarmed Kate all alone in the waiting room. As someone who has been through 4 miscarriages, I imagine this would be extra terrifying for Kate. Kate gets called just then, Caroline tentatively asks if she wants her to come in with her? Before she asks, she looks down, and you can just see her creating the courage to ask, after so many rebuffs. Kate just says “will you?” and Caroline and I are so happy! Cautiously. In the room, Kate takes Caroline’s hand in the dark as they look for the baby on the screen, the baby is fine! Heartbeat!! And it’s a girl. Sigh. A good friend of mine is having her third girl in a row and I’m trying to not take it personally, I mean, I know it’s not ABOUT me, but not that long ago I would burst into tears at the sight of a wee girl. Grandchildren, TTM, focus! Caroline is smiling and looks lit from within, watching the baby on the screen with Kate holding her hand, and just then Kate takes her hand back and Caroline is drawn and bereft again.
Sarah Lancashire makes me cry all the bloody time, why do I love her work so???
Alan’s brother Ted has done something awful to his leg, neither he, his large family including 13 grandchildren and a vegetarian will be in attendance at the wedding. Lawrence jumps in; can Angus come? How about Oscar, can Oscar come to the wedding? Celia asks about Kate, with Kate having offered to play The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba on the piano and Celia doesn’t know anyone else…can Caroline ask? Caroline offers Kate’s number instead and just then, William arrives.
Oh, William is all dashing now, with his hair slicked back and burgundy turtleneck, woot! And no, he’s not gay, Lawrence, he’s bringing a Roxy to the wedding. The womenfolk get up to clear the table and the men lean in, talking in hushed tones about some nefarious plan involving them and Lawrence’s plus-one Angus.
But look! There’s Ted after all! He hasn’t got a messed up leg, he’s there to see his brother, the wizened old bugger, get married and meet Celia! By that I mean grab a full handful of Celia’s arse.
At the pub for a pint, Raff and Alan are leading the full court press on Robbie, he can’t be with lightweight Cheryl! He needs to be with Gillian, who has personality. And balls. Robbie’s trying to be polite, but he doesn’t want to get into the ins and outs of why he and Gillian broke up, well, heh, that’s kind of why okay never mind. Harry must be the only person north of London who DOESN’T know about the whole sleeping with John business, but yeah, sure, she’s a handful. But only a man of Robbie’s caliber would be able to rise to that occasion, right?
Celia, Gillian, Caroline and Celia are having dinner with wine by candlelight and I’m a complete failure as a woman of this sort, I’d rather one thousand times be in that noisy pub having a pint than breathing in that rarefied air. I bet Gillian’d be with me.
There’s a tense conversation going on that Muriel are I are having a hard time following, ah yes, Gillian has told Caroline, who told Celia (whose hair looks great!), about the bungalow and why they didn’t get it. I thought that was a pretty important thing to keep from a spouse, personally. Celia is PISSED, while Muriel is just surprised that Celia hasn’t gotten Alan trained quite yet. Measured looks between Caroline and Gillian, we cut to: explosive laughter in the bathroom, there’s not laughing AT her, you know…just. Tears even!
Gillian asks again over lipstick; are they still cool, Vincent? They are.
Muriel brings up Frank. Bugger Frank. Celia asks if Muriel knew how bad things were for her and Kenneth? And she is able to talk about Kenneth’s infidelity and they have a genuine moment.
This is it? This is the big day? I’m not prepared!! Also, I will grudgingly admit that weddings are a fantastic time to get together with family from far away, I remember rolling from hotel room to hotel room slightly tipsy during my mother’s wedding, those are the best times.
I think this is, I think this is it! And that’s Kate plinking away down there! Gillian calls Caroline, they’re ready! Celia looks beautiful, and Caroline looks so happy, that is until Celia mentions that she’s asked Kate to stay after for the ‘do. If crestfallen, fear, and hope had a baby, it would be screaming on Caroline’s face right now.
Ah and Caroline’s giving Celia away! Yay! That’s as it should be! When Celia’s handed off to Alan, she immediately starts with the “oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive” and he’s all “sorry?” and she’s heard all about him not putting his house on the market and says she just laughed. I’m sorry, I don’t have subtitles, I must have heard wrong. Did she say she grew enraged and practically fumed at the nostrils, or did she say “laughed?” Sometimes I can’t quite work it out with these thick accents.
Celia tells the officiant they’re “ready when you are, kid” and off they go into the vows! Robbie sits next to Cheryl (who has a fascinator on her head that looks exactly like the plastic ribbon bows you use at Christmas for more expensive gifts) and stares holes through the back of Gillian’s head. Caroline’s staring at Kate, Gillian’s staring at the floor and they go through with it and all.
At dinner, Caroline is giving the traditional Father of the Bride speech and it’s just funny and lovely and touching. Not so much is Harry’s speech, but who cares, nobody’s listening, Robbie’s approached Gillian and we’re all tuned in on that very intently. Except Gillian, who blows Robbie’s “they think we should get back together” by listening to Harry carry on.
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA Alan’s singing If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me? with a full set of backup dancers and motions and HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. That was OSSUM!!
Gillian asks Alan after, what did they say to Robbie last night? Ohh-err they had a bunch to drink, see
Dancing! This is the sole redeeming feature of weddings, I wait until hubs is tipsy enough (lets play “If I Drink Too Much Will You Drive?”, I’ll get the bevvies!) to either dance or be cool with me dancing with someone else, woo hoo! Lawrence and Angus are not finding it as exciting. Neither is Caroline, lurking by the fireplace and watching Kate from across the room. Kate says “you have a nice Christmas”, Caroline snapping back “how likely is that?” and then Kate leaves.
Caroline and Gillian are drinking and moping in the corner at a table together. There’s that odd intimacy again, Gillian stroking Caroline’s arm in commiseration about Kate. Caroline invites them all for Christmas at Harrogate (I FINK anyway, the singing was very loud just then), which would be lovely, except who will feed the sheep? Livestock know not from holidays.
Alan and Celia are dancing to song after song; Alan’s not going to have a heart attack, right? Not at his wedding, right? Nah, it’s about love, and for that matter, Gillian’s gonna make Robbie dance with her, horrifying Caroline.
While dancing, as Caroline looks on in trepidation, Gillian asks why he’s here, anyway? He was invited, pfft, but also, what Alan said last night was true: Gillian is a challenge. She asks if he wants her to be Mrs. Bland and he just shakes his head and curls into her. I can almost feel it myself.
Oh and there’s KATE!!!! She’s come back!! She got home, walked in and turned straight around and came back. And she wants to dance with Caroline, who asks if it’s forever? I don’t know what Kate says because I’m bawling already, but I’m guessing it’s positive, because they get up and dance to Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and oh. They kiss and it’s glorious. Everyone sees! Lawrence is horrified, Angus interested, William and Gillian happy, Muriel can’t believe her eyes and Celia. Celia’s hateful face falls and she says “oh. I thought she’d gone” but I will not let her smallness undermine the beauty of this moment.
The next morning, everyone is asleep and content with their partners; Celia and Alan, Caroline and Kate YAY!!!!, John, Judith and wine, Robbie and Gillian, YAY!!!!!! Gillian looks worried. And we’re oot.
Wow. What an episode!! Kate and Caroline, I KNEW they were going to get back together, I’m so glad Caroline came out spectacularly like that in front of everyone and I knew That Celia was secretly a troll. Yay Robbie and Gillian as well, she’ll have to find a way to tell him about Eddie’s murder or make peace with it somehow, they are just too good together to leave be. I feel it would be remiss to not mention: I am happy for Caroline, but I was shocked by Kate’s coldness both times earlier on, so that makes me cautious as well, like when you’re glad a family member has what they’ve wanted, but you don’t exactly know about their partner… One more picture of the happy couple and parents-to-be!
As always, I can be reached at [email protected], or you can comment here, or I am also on Twitter at @gingesbecray . Cheers, you lot, I’m not crying, you’re crying! All right, we’re both crying, what of it? Until next time, mwah!