The final part of The Moorside was never going to make for anything other than utterly depressing viewing.
You know how the story ends, you know what's coming - but you don't quite anticipate how far the ripples of despair will spread once the truth is out.
Shannon was found, but not coming home. Mick Donovan was arrested, then Craig Meehan, but the gaping holes in the story spreading around the estate meant no closure was had.
Sheridan Smith's Julie Bushby was the temperature gauge, clinging optimistically to the idea that all was well. It may seem naive now, but how do you reconcile yourself with the idea that the grief-stricken mother you fought so hard for was lying all along?
Karen's (Gemma Whelan) behaviour was almost childlike. Rabbiting the questions police questioned her for not asking, repeating sentiments about missing her kids in monotone. Swapping best mates and declaring "best friends forever" like she was back in the playground.
The confrontation in the police car was a mess of tears, shock and deception. Predictably, the estate turned on her, even on Julie, desperately trying to exorcise their betrayal and disgust with rage and revenge.
Not everyone will understand Julie's decision to stand by her friend, but it has to be admired. She never denied Karen's guilt, but she refused to strip her down to the monster the press made her out to be.
Karen was abusive because she was abused - and abuse was something both Julie and Natalie remembered, from childhood molestation to the feelings of being used and degraded by men.
Still, all the understanding in the world couldn't prevent the unfair damage the story of Karen Matthews did to Dewsbury's Moorside estate. Residents dealt not only with the betrayal of what happened, but a battering in the national press, tarnishing the town with a reputation remembered to this day.
Because that's what a story like this can do. Some national reporters swoop in, rush to judge a town they'd never set foot in until then, spill the darkest elements over the front pages then leave the shell-shocked - and often angry - community to pick up the pieces.
Natalie, leaving the estate after her relationship breaks down (another ripple), tells Julie she was admired for her courage, for standing by her friend during the hardest of times.
I really hope she was. She deserves to be. In the same way the Moorside estate deserves to be known for something other than the horrible events of 2008.
The Moorside has been accused of being exploitative, crass, trashy - but I said it last week and I'll say it again, this was a story that deserved to be told. This community was betrayed in an unthinkable way - and while justice may have been done in the case of Matthews, Donovan and Meehan, can we say the same for Moorside?