The last episode of “Happy Valley” had all of our main characters going into a very dark place. Clare has fallen off the wagon and is drinking heavily, Catherine is being accused of a murder she didn’t commit and John just killed his ex-lover after she tried to blackmail him. If that’s not enough for you we also have Tommy Lee Royce’s girlfriend growing closer to his son Ryan right under Catherine’s nose.
We jump into this episode two weeks after Clare’s misstep with alcohol and Catherine is in therapy (because of her attendance at Tommy Lee Royce’s mother’s funeral) talking about her son and how he had a fling with his ex-girlfriend while his wife was giving birth and that’s why he was thrown out and is getting a divorce.
Catherine also learns that the new TA at Ryan’s school is asking him about his dad and putting ideas in his head. Frances shares what she’s been doing with Tommy and tells him how much Ryan thinks about him and talks about him even though Catherine has told him that he’s not to talk about his father. Tommy suggests to Frances that Catherine needs to be killed and that Ryan needs to be taken from Catherine and Clare.
Vicky’s murder has surfaced in that her apartment went up in flames (likely thanks to John) and Catherine is leading the investigation into finding Vicky to learn more about what happened since the evidence points to arson – not knowing of course that John murdered her. As it turns out, Vicky was not in the apartment when John torched it, but instead was placed out in the open with the same evidence behind it to back it up as the work of the serial killer they are chasing.
John is not dealing with what he did to Vicky all that well, and to top off his night of horrors, when he went home he discovered that his wife was also having an affair! To add to his stress, John has to sit through a post-mortem of Vicky and listen to the pathologists dissect the crime, but at the end they conclude that she was killed by the same serial killer. He thinks he’s in the clear until a co-worker starts to put the pieces together that the woman missing from the apartment that burned down, might be the same woman they found dead and after DNA matching they learn that it is Vicky.
With a show as dark as “Happy Valley” we like that sometimes they find a way to infuse a little humor in some of the episodes like this one where we saw Catherine put on her detective’s hat and try to solve the mystery of what her nickname is around the office (which turned out to be Broom Hilda) The one thing we were happy to see is that Catherine found the alibi she needed to clear herself of the murder of Tommy’s mom and we were hoping that this story line was going to be cleared up long before the end of the season. Episode grade: B-
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