Previously on Happy Valley, “Episode 4”
Despite not being able to remember whether he killed those women or not, and having explanations for why their DNA was in his van and one of their numbers was in his phone, Sean Balmforth is charged with the murders of the prostitutes and Vicky Fleming. Wadsworth is so overjoyed by this that he bullies his way back into his home and orders his wife to move out with her lover – he even threatens to expose her affair to her boyfriend’s wife.
The wind is promptly knocked out of his sails, though, when a new body is found while Sean was in custody. Wadsworth’s crime will most likely come to light in the finale as the real killer of the other women – Daryl Garrs – confesses to his mother Alison. She takes matters into her own hands once it dawns on her that her son isn’t sorry for what he’s done and wouldn’t survive prison.
Perhaps more than any episode before, sobriety featured heavily in episode four. Ann, upset at being stood up by Wadsworth, goes out with Catherine and Joyce and proceeds to get completely wasted. Throwing up in the bushes is the least of worries after she realizes she had unprotected sex with a stranger. Catherine is supportive, almost to a fault. She allows Ann to sleep it off at her house instead of taking her home where Ann’s father would surely see his daughter’s condition. And she provides Ann with the morning after pill the next day.
Catherine’s decisions there are shocking because she knows firsthand what a slippery slope sobriety is. Clare’s new beau goes missing for three days and Catherine finds him after receiving a call about a shirtless man causing a drunken scene at a pub. After he’s dried out in jail overnight, she warns him to not let his issues affect Clare’s sobriety. Yet it feels like she’s letting her soft spot for Ann enable some equally damaging behavior.
Catherine, Daniel, and Clare finally put the pieces together in figuring out Ryan’s newfound fascination with his father. As she promised, Catherine purchases another train set like the one from Tommy (really creepy-ass Frances), but Ryan doesn’t want it. While at the store, she persuades the shop owner to show her video of Frances purchasing the toy. This means nothing to her until Daniel notes that Ryan is always most inquisitive about his father and mother when he returns from school. Clare then points out that the woman on the video is Ryan’s new teacher.
With the fallout from Alison’s actions, Wadsworth’s plan blowing up, and Catherine confronting Frances, the finale is sure to be explosive.
Happy Valley S2E5 = 9.7/10