Previously on Happy Valley
Everyone cracks under the pressure.
Catherine is unable to supply an alibi for her whereabouts during the time Tommy’s mother was murdered. She doesn’t help her case by showing up at the funeral, which Tommy has been granted a temporary leave to attend. As expected, he explodes while Catherine murders him with her eyes. Oh, Catherine.
The funeral was on the same day – and at the same location – as the services for Ann’s mother, Helen. Catherine leaves Clare alone with the Gallagher family during the wake, and this proves too much for her. Not only did she lose a friend as well, but Clare is upset that Daniel told Ryan she’s an alcoholic, and she suspects Catherine doesn’t approve of her new beau. Later that night, Catherine finds Clare has fallen off the wagon. Oh, Clare.
But the most explosive break of all comes from Wadsworth. His former mistress, Vicky, has demanded a regular deposits of money or else she’ll send suggestive photos of him to his wife – photos taken after she’d drugged him. He devises a plan in which he’ll spend the weekend with her, making her think he’s left his wife. When she turns over the photos and any copies, he’ll be free. Wadsworth is unable to hold back his fury over the whole situation. They fight and he kills her. Oh, Wadsworth.
There’s a side plot involving human trafficking that may be tied to the dead prostitutes. I suspect Wadsworth will try to pass off Vicky as one of the victims of the serial killer, and since he doesn’t seem to give much thought to anything he does before he does it, I’m pretty sure it won’t work. Also, Ann’s father – grieving Helen’s passing – does what he thinks she would have advised him to do and rehires Sean (Matthew Lewis), who he’d fired in the premiere. Unfortunately, Catherine suspects Sean may be the guy in the van stalking hookers.
I’ve never found Catherine unlikable until this episode. It was so frustrating watching her stalk Tommy at the funeral because I knew (and she had to have known as well) that it was going to bite her in the ass. The one positive to my Wadsworth theory is that if he does manage to make the police (you know, the police not him) believe Vicky is another victim of the serial killer, this will clear Catherine as she has an alibi for the night he killed Vicky.
The best part of any episode of Happy Valley is when Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran share the screen. This episode, Clare reaches the belligerent stage of her drinking and insists on heading to the nearest pub, staggering down the middle of the street late at night. When Sarah’s quiet pleas and coaxing don’t convince Clare to go back into the house, Catherine unleashes all of her pent up anger on her sister, who slings it right back as Clare blames Catherine for her drinking. It would appear that Catherine agrees at least partially because she continues to chase after her instead of leaving her to drunkenly roam the streets with a serial killer on the loose as she threatened. This scene was absolutely heartbreaking, but you can’t turn away from the master class in acting being taught on the screen.
The second season of Happy Valley is available on Netflix instant viewing. We’ll be reviewing the episodes weekly.
Happy Valley S2E2 = 9.5/10