Happy Valley: Season 3, Episode 6
February 5, 2023 2:38 PM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Scores are settled for good on Catherine’s final shift, and Ryan faces a moral dilemma.
posted by penguin pie (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
OMFG. So, so brilliant, so much to process. First thoughts:

I sobbed when Clare pulled up. That hug was the moment we all needed. And the previous moment between them, when the tiniest of thaws indicated a turning of the tide: "Are you stopping?" "Can do."

Some things that I thought would be the big drama of the episode were actually neutralised early on - Tommy was physically incapacitated, and it became clear Ryan wasn't even vaguely tempted to go off with him. Which meant the inevitable showdown, instead of being a big physical, dramatic set piece, had the space to be a battle of words and emotions rather than just a physical fight. Which was so much better. A total masterpiece of writing and acting.

The moment when she asked what would happen to the Hepworth girls and was told: "There's a grandmother". Her face just saying: "Of course there is."

Love that we saw her driving her Land Rover at the end - fixed and on the road and ready to whisk her off to the Himalayas.

So many magic lines: "We’ve had a bit of another bit of a tussle. I won. Obviously.”

I missed what happened to Darius Knezevic? I mean, I assume he got lifted in the wake of his two henchmen getting arrested, but were we just supposed to just assume that without seeing it, or did I miss something?

I liked this tweet pointing out a parallel to the first episode (which I don't actually remember, but I like it anyway...).

Next question - do I have the stamina to go back to the beginning and rewatch the first two series, which I haven't seen since they were broadcast?!
posted by penguin pie at 2:50 PM on February 5, 2023 [3 favorites]

I liked this tweet pointing out a parallel to the first episode (which I don't actually remember, but I like it anyway...).
I happened to be re-watching the first episode over the weekend. In it, we hear that Catherine get upset about a character called "Tommy" who has just got released from prison. I read that Sally Wainwright wanted to wait seven years between the first and last episodes so that she could continue to use the actor playing Ryan as he grew up - but there is also quite a deliberate reference to the finite duration of prison sentences and the way a convict's release casts a shadow over victims. It feels like a circle because it is.

I liked that there was a plausible storyline of TLR getting a redemption here: belatedly sorry about Becky who he claimed to love, appreciative of Catherine's role as a grandmother and her support of Ryan and taking an overdose out of a sudden sense of regret. Would Catherine maybe see it in herself to forgive him? In a show that is centred on women's experience of violence, abuse and rape - it seems right to show the contrast between society's desire to forgive an forget - and Catherine's visceral feeling that that would never be possible; the story was only going to end only when either she or Tommy died.

Another final episode mystery solved for me: I believe Catherine is the one who does the crocheting here: her jumper and her sister's scarf.
posted by rongorongo at 10:56 PM on February 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Darius Knezevic doesn't really employ the best people, does he? "Okay, I want you to go whack Royce somewhere quiet, but for God's sake don't make the setup super-obvious by sending three guys and telling him to ride in the trunk. Oh, and make sure you hide the gas can you're going to burn his body with."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:37 AM on February 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

We were really looking forward to this, and wondering what nasty stuff was going to happen to which character. Fantastic choice from Wainwright to end up playing the big face off for laughs as well as for serious emotional payoff.

Interesting decision to have all the violent male thugs (except TLR obvs) get nicked off camera, resolving everything while allowing the main centrepiece to breathe.

I put off starting the first series of Happy Valley for a few years as I am generally not a fan of Sarah Lancashire, hated Last Tango in Halifax and other stuff she has been in, but she has been fantastic throughout, and especially in this final series, with the weight of he world on her, having to make decisions to try and allow herself to come through without being totally broken, even as she might cut of her sister and grandson (albeit that it turned out to be temporary). Absolutely excellent.
posted by biffa at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2023

Darius Knezevic doesn't really employ the best people, does he?

All his henchmen had names suggesting they were coming from home. How many top quality East European crims are likely to be around Halifax at any particular moment? He's probably been hit by Brexit too.
posted by biffa at 6:44 AM on February 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm oddly delighted at the thought of sinister but not-so-bright henchmen trying to get through post-Brexit Immigration at Heathrow. (The purpose of my visit is... crime? No! Not crime, I mean... uh... *dissolves into rapid Croatian*) Or trying to find the paperwork to prove they're entitled to Settled Status. I hope Darius remembers to issue monthly payslips.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:06 AM on February 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

This was so good. Slightly weird how they wrapped so much up off-screen, but focusing on Catherine was absolutely the right thing. So many questions, though - does she get together with Nev? (I think no). Were Tommy's words really sufficient to get Darius arrested? What happened to the henchman's prospective bride, who was meant to be getting married on Wednesday?

penguin pie, I have watched the whole lot in the past three weeks, not having seen any of it previously, and do recommend going back if you have the time. No detail is ever wasted in this series.

Giggling at the thought that Brexit may have reduced the calibre of the available organised criminals :)
posted by altolinguistic at 6:09 AM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

My heart aches that we won’t get any more of this series, which has been so, so fantastic from start to finish, but there’s some gratitude, too, that the writers and actors were united in saying, This much and no more. What an incredible ride. I’ll be returning to this again and again.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 12:31 PM on February 8, 2023 [1 favorite]

I believe Catherine is the one who does the crocheting here

I think you may be wrong there. In the final hug scene, she said to Clair "I think I may have singed one of your crochet rugs".
posted by Paul Slade at 1:40 PM on February 14, 2023 [3 favorites]

I think my favourite moment in this was Catherine wrapping up the chemist murder in 10 seconds as she walks out the door. Like, I would have liked to see Joanna's death get more substantial justice somehow, but I found the sudden conclusion of that a) funny because of course Catherine can see through that situation, she's supercop, and b) satisfying character-wise in that it showed one last time in a nutshell exactly what makes her this show's version of 'supercop' - a mix of community policing, and being a massive take-no-sh!t badass. Smooth moves writers, you nearly had too many threads there, and you tied them up with class.
posted by threecheesetrees at 2:01 AM on February 15, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yes! Great point, threecheesetrees - and also that she becomes supercop by:
a. Caring about the most vulnerable people and wanting to help them even when it's not easy.
b. Nonetheless wanting to see the RIGHT justice done, not just ANY justice (so not putting away Hepworth just because he was easy pickings).
posted by penguin pie at 4:19 AM on February 15, 2023 [2 favorites]

Also shout-out to James Norton as TLR, if you have watched him play such different characters in other stuff like Grantchester, he's so good. I mean, he made me lowkey root for Tommy to survive the clearly-telegraphed "you're gonna get whacked" car ride. WTF?? But he did!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:52 AM on July 27, 2023

Yes, it seems to be Clare who's the crocheter. And possibly knitter. In the first two seasons, Catherine wore a crocheted scarf, and in the third, she wears a knitted one.

I did enjoy seeing Rob Hepworth squirm his way though an interview with the cops. I'm glad they found something to charge him with.

Did anyone else notice Ryan's pleased grin after Shepherd says to him, "I really did think you were a new recruit. Something about you"? I think that was the show's way of signalling that Ryan is going to join the police in due course. He has always known his grandma is a badass, and I think he'll take pride in following in her footsteps. Also, he does seem suited to the work.

I can't see Catherine getting together with Nev. What I can see happening is Richard's second marriage ending and him getting back together with Catherine. He regrets ever having left her and he and his second wife are clearly not happy together.

I didn't buy that Catherine would go into the house without backup, but I suppose the end somewhat justified the means.

Everyone keeps calling Tommy Lee Royce a psychopath, but I don't think he is one. I don't think he's a sociopath either, because he does seem to be able to feel love though he's not capable of maintaining healthy relationships. Narcissist is my best guess.

I can't think of another cop show that has done anything along these lines, of delving into the long-term consequences of crime, on its effect on a family. This is a series I don't believe I'll ever forget.
posted by orange swan at 9:42 PM on August 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

James Norton is so good at being malevolent. In the end, Tommy understands that Ryan has a chance because he had love from Catherine and Clare, and he doesn't say it but he understands that he didn't have a chance because he grew up in a housing estate with an abusive mother, no love, no opportunity except crime and violence. spoilerHis last act is self-destruction, because that's the culmination of his life, but also because they needed to finish the series

I got Acorn so I could watch this final season, it's so well-acted and filmed.
posted by theora55 at 9:05 PM on March 31

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