Previously on Happy Valley S2E2
Throughout this episode it felt like a few important events were simmering in the background while our characters remained focused on other things. First, the sex trafficking case becomes more complicated when the man Catherine arrested, Goran, is released on bail and then commits suicide in the park. Clearly, this is the work of the people the Ilinka is hiding from, but Catherine can’t give it her full attention as she deals with the aftermath of crashing a funeral.
Catherine is given two choices: either see the department psychiatrist (and complete the therapy this time) or take an early medical retirement. Catherine chooses the former, but later admits to Joyce that she fills the silence in her sessions with bullshit. The biggest lie, apparently, is that she doesn’t regret not killing Tommy on the boat. She most certainly does regret not doing it, and she’s pretty sure she’d have gotten away with it.
She’s also paranoid and taking it out on those around her. When Joyce offers to check her calendar to see if she can provide Catherine an alibi for the nights of the murders, Catherine suspects her of filtering information back to their superiors, and basically threatens Joyce to keep her mouth shut. Catherine later apologizes, is forgiven, and then spends the remainder of the episode trying to learn the nickname her co-workers have given her, sure it’s offensive. I love seeing this softer, more vulnerable side of Catherine. She’s rough, but treats her fellow officers like they’re her children. It matters to her what they think of her.
One of the more interesting parts of this episode was watching how two separate cases collide to make Wadsworth’s life pure hell.
Catherine fills in her team on a suspicious apartment fire, but the tenant was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Wadsworth’s team learns another body was found in an abandoned building with all indications pointing to the serial killer who killed Tommy’s mother. The connection between the two – Vicky – remains undiscovered until the very end when Ann, eager to make an impression on the detectives, pieces it together, to Wadsworth’s dismay.
To add to his troubles, after making it look like the serial killer got Vicky (including vaginally penetrating her with a broken bottle), he went home early to find his wife in bed with another man. He, of course, behaves as though he wasn’t also having an affair… and then murdering his mistress. This also doesn’t stop him from asking Ann out for drinks, and she inexplicably accepts.
Catherine and Clare have made up (somewhat) after Clare’s relapse. Catherine even goes so far as to apologize for leaving Clare when she knew she was vulnerable. Almost in passing, Clare mentions that Ryan’s new teacher has been asking about his dad. Catherine questions Ryan, who eases her fears by saying he did as instructed: he told her he’s not allowed to talk about his father.
But this isn’t what Francis tells Tommy when she visits him in prison. She fills his head with ideas that Ryan misses his father and thinks of him every day. If she thought this would make Tommy go all soft and loving, she clearly hasn’t been paying attention. All it did was increase his desire to kill Catherine, and it appears as though he’s going to require Francis’ assistance. It’s terrifying that the viewer can’t tell if Francis is appalled, or willing and turned on by his request.
Happy Valley S2E3 = 9/10