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Happy Valley: 10 things we learned from episode two

WARNING: This blog contains spoilers for the second episode of Happy Valley series two — do not read until after you have watched

Well, that escalated quickly.

Only week two of Happy Valley and we've collected a serial killer, a house full of trafficked women, the Halifax mafia, a murdering copper and a relapsed alcoholic.

This week's episode saw the past come back to haunt some of Happy Valley's biggest characters, with poor decisions left right and centre. It was gripping viewing - and gave us plenty to ponder over before next week's installment.

Here's what we learned from episode two:

Catherine brought her work home with her

As Clare said to her this week, Catherine never quite knocks off, does she? Her dedication is admirable — but you have to wonder what mental toll it's taking. This week saw Catherine bring home one of the woman rescued from people traffickers after it proved too hard to find homes for them all. Luckily her neighbour, Winnie, speaks Croatian and can help out.

Frances Drummond (SHIRLEY HENDERSON)

There's a new teaching assistant

Oh my days, how on earth as Frances Drummond landed a TA job in Ryan's school so flipping quickly? Background checks don't seem to include questions about prison boyfriends. Her grinning away at Ryan in assembly was chilling — what is she plotting? Has Royce set her up to kidnap him? 'Miss Wheland's' conversation with Ryan about his 'other grandma' didn't have the desired outcome, luckily — "We don't talk about my dad," he said firmly.

Don't mess with a woman who's had Taser training

Was there anything funnier in last night's episode than Catherine shrieking 'Get back! Get back! Drop the bat! Taser! Taser!" then electrocuting a bloke in his, ahem, nether regions?


Her own realisation at what she'd done and her guilty laugh were brilliant. Just a shame the anecdote was ruined by that daft police officer who made a crude joke about Catherine having a bottle. The rumours have started — but luckily Sgt Cawood knew exactly how to shut him down.

Is Winnie in danger?

Ilinka was able to help police with the murder investigation after revealing that the unidentified victim was Aurelia, a woman trafficked to the UK with her. But the police might not be dealing with one twisted murderer here — clearly terrified, Ilinka kept mentioning the Knezovich family — or Halifax mafia — who she says kept them enslaved and could be behind the spate of prostitute murders. Then it turns out Catherine could have been followed — placing sweet Winnie and Ilinka in clear danger. It's all well and good sleeping with a cricket bat, Catherine, but can you really take on a whole gang alone?

Farewell Helen

It was a tale of two funerals this week as the Gallagher family said goodbye to Helen, and elsewhere, Tommy Lee Royce was told he was allowed to attend his mother's funeral. Both were held at Elland crematorium — while the police wanted to inform the Gallaghers of Royce's release, did they not think to try and prevent the funerals taking part on the same day, at the same venue? Seems like an oversight.

Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON)

But defiant Ann is refusing to let what happened to her ruin her life, even when faced with a return visit to the street where she was held prisoner. "I'm not scared of that street and I'm not scared of him. I'm not scared of anything," she said. Good for her.

Catherine can't leave Tommy Lee Royce alone

In the first of a series of bad decisions featured in tonight's episode, Catherine decided to leave Helen's wake to go back to the crematorium for a Tommy Lee Royce showdown. I had a feeling she wouldn't be able to stay away — and it seems she got what she wanted, which was to torture him a little at one of his most vulnerable moments. Her standing at the back of the room was enough to send him into full-blown meltdown, screaming that she'd killed his mother.

Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON)

Even when she was told off afterwards, Catherine didn't care — she can't let go of Royce and what he did to her family. Even when she should be focusing on other things, like finding a way to be cleared from the serial killer investigation even though she doesn't have a proper alibi.

John took action

Bad decision number two was made by Det Sgt John Wadsworth, who decided to deal with his little blackmail problem by telling Vicky he'd left his wife for her. He managed to play it cool for all of ten minutes before breaking into a barrage of questions and demands about the phone pictures, giving forced smiles and muttering about 'trust' in the least convincing impression of a caring boyfriend I've ever seen.

John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Vicky Fleming (AMELIA BULLMORE) - (C) Red Productions - Photographer: Ben Blackall

Vicky won creepy points by making food sound like a veiled threat: first with her perky "I've made moussaka", then her shrill offer of "pudding?" mid-row. She didn't seem to be buying John's sudden devotion.

Sean said sorry

I'm reconsidering my suspicion that Sean's a dodgy prostitute murderer after his encounter with Nevison at Helen's wake this week. Apparently Helen helped Sean turn his life around after he was released from prison, and he'd worked for Nevison ever since — and it seemed he may get his job back after apologising at the wake. But he still seems a bit iffy to me... and with a mean temper, too.

Matthew Lewis plays Sean Balmforth

Clare fell off the wagon

Clare completes our hat-trick of bad decisions this week after deciding dodge boredom at Helen's wake by getting drunk. She was under a lot of pressure this week — her fledgling romance with Neil was stomped on by Catherine, who'd done a background check after he flinched at her police uniform; Daniel had spilled the beans to Ryan on her alcoholism and her friend Helen had died. The change in her personality — from meek and caring to bolshy and nasty — was certainly a surprise, and despite Catherine's usual tough attitude, she struggled to take control of the situation. Can Clare stop before her relapse takes over?

John Wadsworth (Kevin Doyle)

John lost control

What an ending. John must have thought his fake reunion with Vicky would be a breeze: he says he's left his wife, she deletes all the pictures, he scurries home again in time for tea. The situation had already disintegrated into a row, then he went to destroy her computer and suddenly the fists were flying. I did not expect that level of nasty from him — the line "you've had that coming" revealed a new side to John. Then suddenly they're on the floor and he strangles her with a computer lead, while mouths across the UK fell open in shock.

How's he going to cover this up? It's a shame there isn't a serial killer targeting women for him to pin it on. Oh, wait...

Sassy Catherine one-liner of the week

"Obviously I was trying to shoot him in the chesticles, not the family jewels." Catherine on tricky Taser aiming issues.

Questions for next week

What's Frances' game plan here? Will Ryan be daft enough to wander off with a stranger again?

Will Clare get back on the wagon? Will Neil help or use her relapse as an excuse to join her on the bottle?

What on earth is John going to do to cover up Vicky's murder?

Only a week to wait to find out...

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Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent