Everyone is praying for a Happy Valley happy ending for Sergeant Catherine Cawood on Sunday night. Yorkshire’s finest is due to hang up his police hat and retire in a few days, but not before ironing out a few loose ends.
She must first unravel the Knežević gangster family, aka the Halifax Mafia, solve the murder of Joanna Hepworth, the school’s gym teacher’s wife, and bring psychopath Tommy Lee Royce back behind bars, where it belongs.
His dream then is to drive his restored Land Rover in the Himalayas, to hike there in the open air of the foothills, far from the ‘tw*ts’ and ‘sh*tpots’ that soil his professional life, criminals as well as colleagues. But will she make it out alive? Not if Tommy succeeds.
The triple killer and rapist wants a gun and he wants to finish his “unfinished business” with the police officer he loves to hate.
At 9 p.m. tomorrow, Happy Valley will boil down to its primal essence, a simple battle between good versus evil as Catherine and Tommy fight to the bitter end. The question is who will triumph in the latest episode of this popular drama? It just can’t bear to think about it.
I’m so scared of what might happen to our heroine that I can’t even bring myself to watch the new BBC trailer.
Everyone is praying for a Happy Valley happy ending for Sergeant Catherine Cawood (pictured) on Sunday night
JAN MOIR: First she must sort through the gangster Kneževićs family aka the Halifax Mafia, solve the murder of gym teacher Joanna Hepworth’s wife and bring psychopath Tommy Lee Royce back behind bars where he belongs
Meanwhile, social media sites and chat rooms are blazing with speculation and assumptions about what will happen to whom and why. On Twitter, even TV presenter Dan Walker wants to share his thoughts on Happy Valley and posted “my climax theory”. Not now, Dan!
We’re all too busy wondering if Catherine will show up for her going away party and what the cops are going to buy her with their whipround collection – hopefully a new scarf.
After six long years, Happy Valley has returned to BBC1 for a third and final series on New Year’s Day.
This farewell outing to the moors and valleys has drawn millions over the past five weeks, with even latecomers who missed the first two series frantically watching every episode to be part of the unmissable last hurray of the one of the greatest dramas of British television.
I’m serious. Happy Valley is damn close, about perfect. The cast, characters, dialogue and plot are all superb, while the various themes – the abusive husband, the family tragedy, the organized crime, the casual sexism – are all put together in a believable and satisfying way.
Happy Valley will boil down to its primal essence, a direct battle between good versus evil as Catherine and Tommy fight to the bitter end
Plus, it’s all so firmly rooted in time and space, like Yorkshire like a patch of ginger, but never slipping into syrupy parody. And while any show that has dazzling supporting turns from James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce and Siobhan Finneran as Sister Clare has to be special, there’s no doubting who the real star of the show is.
In Sergeant Catherine Cawood, writer Sally Wainwright and actress Sarah Lancashire have created a vibrant and unforgettable character, with every detail beveled of her impeccably observed personality, from her simple manners and moral code to her hideous knitted scarf.
Women especially like Catherine. We loved her from the very first scene of the very first series in 2014, when Sgt Cawood showed up, fire extinguisher in hand, to a gasoline-soaked junkie threatening to set himself on fire.
“I’m Catherine, by the way,” she said. ” I am 47 years old. I’m divorced. I live with my sister, who is a recovering heroin addict. I have two grown children—one dead, one who doesn’t speak to me—and a grandson.
She was wearing a cheap pair of sunglasses she had just bought from a corner store.
Why? “He can send himself to heaven – it’s his choice – but he doesn’t take my eyebrows with him,” she told a colleague at the time. That was all it took to etch Catherine in our hearts and minds, but she was more than that, so much more.
Triple killer and rapist Tommy Lee Royce (pictured) wants a gun and he wants to finish his ‘unfinished business’ with the police officer he loves to hate
The central tragedy in Sgt Cawood’s life is that his daughter Becky committed suicide, after being raped by Tommy Lee Royce and giving birth to their son, Ryan (played as a child and now teenager by the same touching actor, Rhys Connah ). Granny Catherine raised Ryan and her decision to do so cost her a husband and a son because none of these weak men could cope with Ryan’s presence in the family home.
Catherine has just gotten into it and all parties are now reconciled, but sometimes her expression reveals everything; the weight of femininity, the anxiety of motherhood, the anxiety of a grandmother in the face of the difficulties to come for this poorly educated boy and, at the base of it all, the instinct of a policewoman who hopes for the best but prepare for the worst.
She knows that Tommy Lee Royce is incapable of rehabilitation or regret, that he is unworthy of respect or a second chance, but no one will listen to her.
Because Catherine is the epitome of the neglected middle-aged woman. Both superiors and inferiors often ignore her opinions, even though she speaks common sense. Maybe it’s because she looks so chaotic; outspoken and overweight, her hair is messy and her mascara sticks to her face, darkening the shadows under her eyes.
Catherine has just gotten into it and all parties are now reconciled, but sometimes her expression reveals everything; the weight of femininity
Yet appearances are deceiving, for Catherine is tough and smart, experienced and savvy in the ways of the world, a woman who has been around the block too many times to count, most of them in a high-waisted waistcoat. visibility and in a bad mood.
“You’re getting too old for this, Catherine, darling,” she thought to herself as she ran after a drug dealer.
She doesn’t suffer fools willingly because she doesn’t suffer fools at all and her contempt for prank is heightened by having had to listen to so much of it for years.
Yet everyone thinks they know better than her. ‘Why is no one listening to me?’ she cried recently. Why indeed?
The first episode of series three took us straight back to the wicked streets of Sowerby Bridge, while more people watched the second episode than saw Tom Bradby’s ITV interview with Prince Harry to promote his new book. Not surprising.
His privilege-steeped grunts about the lack of sausages in royal life were no match for an unbearably tense low-speed car chase that took down HMP Sheffield and a coffee.
Catherine is tough and smart, experienced and savvy in the ways of the world, a woman who’s been around the block too many times to count, most of them in a high-visibility, moody vest
Only Happy Valley could twist so much top-notch, breath-holding drama from two middle-aged women in anoraks chatting at a table or someone chopping a beet on a wooden board.
The pressure has increased with each scene, and the show’s grip on the nation has tightened as we move towards tomorrow’s denouement. But what’s the secret to Happy Valley’s award-winning success and the light it shines where other cop shows fail?
Maybe because it’s equal parts police procedural and family drama. Perhaps because matriarch Catherine’s struggle to do her best for her blended, blended family resonates with so many.
Maybe it’s because James Norton is such a handsome psychopath. Even Joanna Lumley is a fan. “Tommy Lee Royce, he makes my valley happy,” she joked on a recent radio show.
Sally Wainwright is a genius and Happy Valley has its own seam of dark humor, but it would be foolish to expect a lot of laughs, not if Tommy Lee Royce pulls it off.
He was last seen shivering under a dirty candle wick in a seedy hideout, pouring poisonous daydreams of escape and redemption into the ears of his impressionable son, Ryan. Tommy talks about rot. He talks about bungee jumping, Marbella and living a new life together – but what is his real plan? Kill Ryan to get revenge on Catherine? To kill them both?
Oh my God! How much more can we take?