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Happy Valley Recap: Series Three, Episode Five – Is Tommy About To Launch A Siege?

Spoiler alert: this recap is published after Happy Valley airs on BBC One in the UK. Do not read on if you haven’t watched episode five.

A nerve-rattling hour left events in Calder Valley painfully poised for the finale. Here’s your forensic report on the tense penultimate episode …

Giving Bradley Wiggins a bad name

He’d “jumped the dock and had it on his toes” from Leeds Crown Court. Now we rejoined the freshly shorn Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) in his cycling gear, flogging across the Dales. For someone who hasn’t ridden a bike for a decade, “Bradley fucking Wiggins” was pretty proficient. He stopped by the roadside to savour a stunning view of Widdop Reservoir before an unmarked van pulled up to collect him. At the wheel? Crime lord and wannabe local politician Darius Knezevic (Alec Secareanu).

“Teflon Darius” explained that he was under police surveillance, so there’d been a change of plan. He’d take Tommy to a safe house to lie low for five days, supply fake passports for both him and Ryan (gulp), before smuggling them to Dover, then Brussels and on to Marbella. As suspected from those language lessons in prison, Tommy was off to sunny Spain. “I’ve never been abroad,” he confessed guilelessly, much to Darius’s amusement. Tommy looked momentarily offended. Beneath the pair’s bonhomie, alpha aggression simmered.

Target … Sgt Catherine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire. Photograph: Matt Squire/BBC/Lookout PointBefore he fled to the Costa del Crime, he had one last “piece of business” – namely getting even with “the policewoman”, something he’d been stewing on in his cell for the past nine years. Darius counselled him to “let it go” – he’d be home free within a week, why attract extra heat? – and refused to procure a gun, despite Tommy having kept his side of the bargain by refusing to implicate the Knezevices in the reservoir execution. I thought Darius was going to buckle but he didn’t get where he is by being a pushover. “Do what you have to do but there’s no guns,” he concluded. Tommy would “find her, follow her, bide my time and look for an opportunity”. Sinister words but hey, it’s all been heading inexorably to this point. The fugitive and his nemesis, Sgt Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), are on a collision course.

‘They’ve found a body’

“I had an inkling it’d come to this.” Catherine’s weary heart sank at news that her “misper”, abused wife Joanna (Mollie Winnard), had been discovered dead in that suitcase. Her husband, toxic PE teacher Rob Hepworth (Mark Stanley), loudly protested his innocence as he was hauled in for questioning. His longsuffering mother took over childcare duty but perma-coated, po-faced younger daughter Poppy (Bonnie Stott) was unimpressed. Could the Fisher Price Miss Marple have seen something key to cracking the case?

As DSI Andy Shepherd (Vincent Franklin) investigated, cause of death appeared to be blunt force trauma to the head. The air bubble injected into her bloodstream was untraceable. There were traces of blood all over the house, presumably down to previous domestic violence, as well as the rolling pin attack. Shepherd sagely warned his team not to jump to conclusions about Rob’s guilt before they’d found out who was illegally supplying Joanna with Diazepam.

Flashbacks to murder … pharmacist Faisal Bhatti with his family. Photograph: Matt Squire/BBC/Lookout PointCut to Walter White-alike pharmacist Faisal Bhatti (Amit Shah), struggling to keep calm as their cul-de-sac swarmed with cops. His curtain-twitching family pestered him to report his car prang and altercation with Hepworth that morning. When Faisal insisted “we’re not getting involved in anything tawdry”, his wife looked suspicious. He was haunted by flashbacks to the murder: bludgeoning and injecting Joanna, nearly losing his lunch in the kitchen sink, cleaning up, hiding her phone. But why was he dabbing at his bottom lip in the bathroom? Did he sustain a scrape in the tussle that might come back to bite him? I was reminded of handy Thandiwe Newton in Line of Duty. Mother of God.

All back to mine. Bring a bottle

As Catherine’s ex Richard (Derek Riddell) escorted grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) back from Leeds, there seemed to be danger at every turn. On the train platform was gang flunkey Matija (Jack Bandeira), who Ryan had spotted starting the diversionary courthouse fracas. Matija clocked Ryan surreptitiously taking a pic but slunk away, rather than confronting him. Phew.

Ordered to get off the streets and avoid any address that Royce might know, Richard took Ryan back to his house, much to the irritation of #wineoclock-loving wife Ros (Kelly Harrison). Journalist Richard unwisely left them alone while he went to interview Darius Knezevic but the elusive kingpin didn’t show. Was it a ruse to get Richard out of the way? We feared the worst when Ros couldn’t find Ryan at home. “I’m not a babysitter,” she shrugged. “No, you’re a pissed-up, lightweight, empty-headed … noo-noo,” snapped Catherine, running out of steam insult-wise. Somebody’s been watching Teletubbies.

Happily, the awol teen soon reappeared. Realising he was unwelcome at Roz’s, he’d gone to see Uncle Daniel (Karl Davies) and PC Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy). She’d also been chugging back the vino and hit Ryan with a volley of home truths: how he was the product of rape, how he was unwanted, how Becky’s subsequent suicide tore the family apart but Catherine refused to see baby Ryan put in care. A lot for a 16-year-old to take in. When Daniel took his nephew aside for a much more tactful chat, Ryan admitted that he’d gone to visit his biological father to make up his own mind. Ultimately Ryan “felt sad for him. He was born like that, needing to be so nasty to people”.

Finally the clan assembled at the more comfortable, secluded pile of Ann’s millionaire father Nevison (George Costigan), who’d offered to put them all up until Royce was caught. Frazzled with worry, Catherine launched into a coruscating takedown of sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) about her “idiotic dependent personality” and “getting talked into doing something so repugnant and offensive to me”. Hugging her cardigan close, Clare looked bereft. The sisters’ relationship, the soul of the show, seemed irreparably damaged. Catherine returned to work. She couldn’t relax “while that bastard is still out there”. Us neither, Sarge.

Tweedledum and Tweedledumber

Puffa-jacketed gofers Matija and Ivan (Oliver Huntingdon) were rattled. Having taken a vicious beating from Darius which left him decidedly unphotogenic for his nuptials the next day, Ivan insisted they’d earned a cash sweetener. Despite Matija’s misgivings, they headed off to dig up the £30,000 of laundered drug money they’d stolen from the cuckooing flat and buried at the allotments. Maybe it will have grown into a magic money tree by now.

It was clear that Royce being sprung was highly organised, so one-woman manhunt Catherine put the Organised Crime Unit on to the hapless henchmen, connecting them to the Knezevices. She’d got their Honda hatchbacks’s licence plate outside the house raid, Ryan’s snap from Leeds station, the CCTV footage of them leaving the flats and probably the courthouse too. The net was closing.

‘Are you armed and dangerous, dad?’

As Tommy holed up at his hideout, his landlord wasn’t much company – an old stager of few words, chopping beetroot with a lethal-looking knife, blood-like juice staining the board. Tommy instead entertained himself with beer, whisky and a first-person shooter game (fingers crossed that’s not foreshadowing), before reaching out to Ryan via the gaming handle he’d memorised. They soon switched to voice call.

During a cagey chat, both avoided revealing their respective whereabouts. Tommy had wanted Ryan to witness his jailbreak (“Were you not impressed?” he asked needily. “Didn’t you think it was cool? What did they say on the news?”) before telling him he loved him. This blindsided Ryan, since Ann had just told him that: “All love means to him is a weakness in other people that he can use to exploit them.”

Making a break … Richard (Derek Riddell) and Ryan Cawood (Rhys Connah). Photograph: Matt Squire/BBC/Lookout PointEyes shining in the darkness, Tommy then laid it out. He had a chance to start a new life in Spain and wanted Ryan to come with him. Ryan’s upcoming GCSEs and apprenticeship plans weren’t an issue. They’d be set up with a house, car, money, jobs. It would be an “adventure”. Ryan agreed to “dwell on it” (a recurring phrase this series) and talk again tomorrow. Oh, Ryan. What chance he lets slip his location and Tommy lays siege to Chateau Nevison with the extended Cawood clan inside?

Following last week’s fireworks, this was a lower-key episode, broodingly ominous as it put the pieces in place for the final showdown. Some fine performances, though, not just from Lancashire and Norton but young Rhys Connah, too. Pray for that precious boy.

Line of the week

“Granny.” “What?” “I love you.” “What’s brought that on? “Nothing.” “Right” – a no-nonsense Yorkshire exchange between Ryan and Catherine that somehow said it all.

Notes and observations

The alien prank subplot got more screen time. Mere comic relief? Intended to illustrate Catherine’s exasperation with the idiocy all around her? How she’s out-of-step with modern policing and ready for retirement? Or will it somehow prove significant?

No “wankatron” to describe Tommy this time but we did get “subhuman braindead moron” and, pick of the bunch, “twat-faced bastard”.

Alison Garrs (Susan Lynch) was absent but I still hope she’ll have an heroic part to play.

Actor Amit Shah suggested this week that the outcome of next week’s finale had even been kept secret from the cast, with multiple endings filmed. Not daft, that Sally Wainwright.

The finale’s running time will be slightly extended to 70 minutes. Clear your diaries, savour those 10 bonus minutes and see you back here at 10.10pm for one last debrief.

As we endure an agonising wait for the last ever episode, will wedding bells ring? Will the bespectacled nerd or the bearded sporto go down for murder? Any predictions for the surely inevitable Royce v Cawood face-off? Please share your thoughts and theories below …

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