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Happy Valley: 10 things we learned from the final episode

What an ending to series two

So that's that: the end of Happy Valley series two. And what an ending.

In a finale where Sgt Cawood was in the thick of the drama from start to finish, we saw Frances' real identity uncovered, a mother in turmoil, a special delivery for Tommy Lee Royce and the end of the line for John Wadsworth.

It was a fast-paced, tense finale, with scenes where you could hear a pin drop - and a good dose of northern humour too.

I'm sad to say we've reached the end - roll on series three.

Here's what we learned from the series finale:

Catherine was on the warpath

Catherine gets a cold, slightly manic look in her eyes when she's on the warpath - and after discovering who was dripping poison into Ryan's ears, Granny took action. Of course the head described her as a 'very king, caring, lovely woman'... but as Catherine rightly pointed out: "People are weird. People are mad, and they don't always have tattooed across their foreheads."

And then of course Frances/Miss Wheland was walking into school as Catherine walked out. If looks could kill, she would have dropped dead then and there. Frances looked terrified (good) - and Catherine looked even more determined.


Alison attempted suicide

Some of you thought there would be a further twist to Daryl's confession - but nope, he was definitely the killer, and Alyson's next move was to kill herself. Catherine and Shafiq paid a house call - and found a truly gruesome scene. Daryl's splattered head, blood everywhere and a semi-conscious Alyson, whose cocktail of diazepam, whisky and vodka hadn't quite done the job.

And so it all came out - Catherine put two and two together as soon as Alyson confessed to shooting her son and she saw the battered van - but it was a hard truth to swallow. Catherine held her in her arms as she arrested her, utterly bewildered - as someone who had lost her daughter, she couldn't fathom how a parent could kill their own child.

Vicky Fleming was back on the agenda

While the crime scene had 'more detectives than prime time TV' (brilliant line from Sally Wainwright there), Catherine fed back to CID that Daryl was adamant he didn't kill Vicky Fleming - in fact, the final murder was a direct result of Vicky Fleming being wrongly associated with the other murders. John, trying his best to look calm (and failing), went white as Jodie Shackleton announced the need to find her 'mystery boyfriend'. The net was closing in and there was nothing he could do about it.

John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Andy Shepherd (VINCENT FRANKLIN)
John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Andy Shepherd (VINCENT FRANKLIN)

Frances was found out

So Mrs Wheland wasn't just a false name, it was a stolen identity. And not any old identity - Cecilie Wheland was Frances' sister, who died nine months before. Catherine told an utterly baffled Clare what was happening before police were dispatched to the school. Frances was brought in, arrested, and upon realising she had been found out, muttered "sorry". Then spouted some nonsense about Ryan needing to talk about his father, showing just how brainwashed she was.

Frances Drummond (SHIRLEY HENDERSON)
Frances Drummond (SHIRLEY HENDERSON)

"Think about Ryan," she repeated, as if she was willing to martyr herself for Tommy Lee Royce's cause. Hats off to Shirley Henderson - her heavy breathing, darting, fearful eyes and mouse-like voice created a truly creepy character.

Shepherd got suspicious

Treating Vicky Fleming's death as a stand alone case (finally) cast a new light on the case: one that pointed to the murderer being right under their noses. Whoever burned the flat knew exactly what they were doing, and how to treat Fleming's corpse so it would look like the same serial killer.


Shepherd began to suspect someone from his own team, leading to a tense conversation between Shepherd and Shackleton while John desperately eavesdropped in the most casual way he could muster. I don't think he even breathed while Jodie sat across from him, speculating as to why someone would murder Vicky Fleming. "People use secret shagging phones," he said. Classy.

Catherine went to face Frances

Despite pretending to Clare that she was going to (sort of) stay away from Frances, Catherine was in Upper Brunswick Street before Frances even got home. Frances' face when she opened the door to her was one of sheer terror - and I must admit, I expected Catherine to just barge her way in. But she had a different approach - she simply wanted to figure out why Frances had done what she had. "I want to understand you and I want you to understand me," she said.


Then, with Catherine sat by the fire, and Frances slightly hyper ventilating, the true extent of Frances' crazy came out. She began rabbiting the same line about Ryan knowing his father, and for every horror story Catherine had about Tommy Lee Royce, Frances parroted the deluded explanation or denial Tommy had fed her. And of course they're engaged. Good god. It became clear that Frances thought she could save him - believing that Tommy was the product of a bad childhood (which he was, to be fair), she had convinced herself she could make him a good person. Aided by him spinning her weeks of lies about how he only murdered people in self defence and never raped Ann Gallagher.

I think Catherine spoke for all of us when she called her 'unhinged'. Frances is deep in denial, and all because of Tommy's rogue-ish good looks, it seems. "It's you who's deluded about this dangerous man because he's pretty," Catherine said, reeling off the names of other evil men, including Peter Sutcliffe and Jimmy Savile. "But he doesn't look like them," Frances whimpered. Point proven.


In the end, Frances was found out before she could carry out any wicked plan against Catherine, and Catherine, somewhat amazingly, faced her tormentor with pity, not rage. Considering how on edge she has been about Tommy Lee Royce throughout the series (in a somewhat mutual obsession), Catherine handled her face off with Frances like a pro - realising she wasn't dangerous, just deluded.

John lost the plot

John, however, had lost the ability to handle anything professionally. Alone in a Tesco car park (anybody recognise which one?), John wailed and shouted and utterly lost the plot - believing he was in fact a victim in this whole debacle. "What have I done? Nothing! Why me?" Looks like Frances isn't the only deluded one.

John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE)
John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE)

As he skulked around work, pale and panicked, it was hard not to laugh when Catherine said he looked like he had flu. If only. And his bewildered expression only got worse when Catherine revealed Neil's previous encounter with Vicky, and the CID conference brought forward two witnesses who had definitely seen him with Vicky before she was murdered. Kudos to Ann Gallagher too, who once more showed herself to be a detective in the making, remembering John's money worries and frantic phone calls.

Catherine's record was spoiled

The final nail in the coffin was Graham Tattersall, Amanda's fancy man from Mirfield, who'd had a bit of a thump from John and then pieced the whole thing together. Catherine's face was a picture when he said John's name - but paled in comparison to John's face when he saw Graham. John legged it, and of course Catherine was the one in pursuit, with possibly the worst sidekick ever ("HANDBRAKE!"). John sped off to Sowerby Bridge train station, then legged it on foot - he didn't seem to have a plan, he just set off down the tracks.

John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE)
John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE), Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE)

Catherine ignored ordered (of course) and followed him - leading to a darkly comic suicide scene where John played the role of negotiator... with himself. The irony that he'd saved 17 people in suicide prevention cases, and Catherine hadn't even had the training. He calmed down, but he knew he was finished - even with Catherine's reassurance that he'd probably only face a manslaughter charge. Still, when he crouched I thought, like Catherine, that he was climbing down, before that sickening moment where he fell backwards and smashed onto a car below.

Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Gorkem Tekeli (METE DURSUN)
Catherine (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Gorkem Tekeli (METE DURSUN)

His last words about his love for his children pushed Catherine over the edge after the trauma of finding Alyson and Daryl and meeting Frances face to face, and it was amazing she managed to find her legs again after collapsing by the bridge. "WHAT A SH*T WEEK!" Bit of an understatement, if you ask me.

Tommy Lee Royce got a letter

We saw Frances get her comeuppance, so it was only right to show Tommy Lee Royce have some bad luck too. Suspended visits and phone calls, no explanation why - enough to send him into a cell-smashing rage. Wasn't it satisfying.


Catherine made one last attempt to save poor, deluded Frances, letting her know that as well as her, Tommy Lee Royce had fiancées in Warwick, Essex and Leicestershire. Send a psychopath to prison, he'll just find others to do his bidding. Although it makes you wonder: Frances was the only one trying to get to Ryan, so what were the other three doing for him?

Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON)
Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON)

But just as he was cut off from the outside world, a new connection formed. Ryan's letter arrived, complete with return address. Acting on it would be fruitless, he'd breach the no contact order and only make things worse for himself - but I have a feeling that still won't stop him from tormenting Catherine through Ryan.

Secrets were revealed

Catherine went to visit Calderdale Royal to see Alyson, who will presumably go from hospital to prison after confessing to shooting Daryl. Catherine reached out to her, one bereaved mother to another, and offered to lend her an ear. So Alyson told all - the fact that Daryl was the result of her father's sexual abuse, and she raised a child she simultaneously loved and hated, and protected him from the horrible truth. She didn't have the 'language' to explain everything to him - just like Catherine doesn't know how to explain to Ryan why his mother died, and why Tommy Lee Royce can't be his father.

Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH), Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS)
Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH), Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS)

Series two ended in the same spot as series one, this time with Daniel, Clare and Ryan joining Catherine on her walk. But instead of the relieved, happy look Catherine had at the end of the first series, the final shot showed a worried Catherine watching Ryan run ahead. Everything she'd seen that week proved that secrets never end well - whether they're used to protect someone, used to facilitate a false identity, or used to avoid capture for a hideous crime.

She knows, eventually, she'll need to tell Ryan everything - especially if Tommy does contact him - but will she have the language to do it?


A sombre end to series two - and I have to say, I miss it already. Lucky for us series three has been given the green light - all we have to do is wait!

While most of the loose ends were tied up tonight, Tommy Lee Royce's plans for Ryan after receiving the letter are unknown - and we know whatever happens, it won't be good.

Sassy Catherine one-liners - Finale edition:

"Man up princess, use your initiative!" Catherine instructing Shafiq on how to lift a barely conscious woman.

It's you who's deluded about this dangerous man because he's pretty." Catherine on the strange allure of Tommy Lee Royce.

"You're just going to break your legs and make a mess." Catherine's initial attempt at talking John down off the wall.

"So what are you going to do? Mess me record up before I've even started?"Attempt no.2 at talking John down. Maybe she should go on that course...

What did you make of the series finale? Was it everything you hoped for? Tweet me at @Exsaminer, comment below, or email Samantha.Gildea@trinitymirror.com



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