Previously on Happy Valley, “Episode 5”
“What a shit week!” – Sgt. Catherine Cawood
That is putting it mildly, Catherine.
Catherine shows greats restraint when she comes face-to-face with the woman who’s been secretly grooming her grandson to have a relationship with his father, Tommy Lee Royce. She allows her colleagues to investigate and they discover that Frances has been using her dead sister’s identity in order to obtain the teaching job at Ryan’s school. When Frances is charged and released from jail, Catherine visits her at home and shows a very careful and measured response. This wouldn’t have occurred just four or five episodes ago, but Catherine is tired and she does try to see the good in people, to appeal to their better nature when she can.
She attempts to convince Frances that Tommy is guilty of all of his crimes: he raped Becca, killed a police officer, killed his friends, and tried to kill her. Frances is blinded by her love for the felon and won’t see reason. Catherine takes little solace in the fact that Frances won’t be able to contact Ryan anymore; she suspects the damage is already done.
Upon visiting the Garrs’ residence, Catherine finds Daryl dead at the kitchen table and Alison barely clinging to life after overdosing on pills and liquor. She admits to killing her son after he confessed to killing “those women.” Unfortunately for Wadsworth, Daryl insisted that he didn’t kill Vicky Fleming, and only killed the most recent woman because the police included Vicky with the others.
Wadsworth is eventually found out thanks to a new plea to the public for information on Vicky’s personal life. Neil finally comes forward and admits Vicky had blackmailed him about their affair. Then, the man Wadsworth’s wife was sleeping with goes to Catherine with his suspicions since the night Vicky was killed just so happened to be the night Wadsworth came home early and discovered the affair. On its own, this might have been thin, but Catherine is already looking at Wadsworth sideways thanks to, once again, some amazing detective work from Ann, who remembers thinking Wadsworth was having an affair and that he once mentioned needing a lot of money. What if he were being blackmailed by Vicky as well?
Before he can be questioned, Wadsworth makes a run for it and despite Catherine’s efforts, he takes his own life by jumping off an overpass.
All of the crimes may have been solved by season’s end, but their ramifications will be felt beyond season two. Tommy’s visitor and phone privileges have been revoked – and Frances is made aware that she’s not his only fiancee – but he still receives mail, including a letter from Ryan thanking him for the birthday present.
After Catherine visits Alison in the hospital, she tells Clare that Alison’s father molested her and he was Daryl’s father. Though they never spoke of it, Alison believes Daryl figured it out. They lived as outcasts – a mother who both loved her son fiercely, but also hated him as the reminder of her greatest shame. Catherine can relate to this as she has her own contentious relationship with Ryan, who is a living reminder of why she no longer has a daughter.
As always, Sarah Lancashire was simply amazing as Catherine Cawood, one of the best women characters on television now or ever. She’s both tough and vulnerable, smart and capable, and flawed. It’s a shame each season is only six episodes, but writing and storytelling is so tight it makes the most of the short season, and each episode is a mini-feature on its own. I anxiously await season three.
Happy Valley S2E6