Last Tango in Halifax series 3 -review: A thankful return to form as we're hit with some believable drama

Episode 4: A moving episode that gives the audience time to grieve in real time

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The Independent Culture

All is forgiven but not forgotten – Kate (Nina Sosanya) is still dead, after all. Tonight Last Tango in Halifax returns to the true-to-life drama that we know and love it for.

The focus is on Kate’s death - and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Compared to all the melodrama last week, this is a sombre and sensitive affair that is given the screen time it deserves. The pace is slowed right down to let the grieving process play out in real time.

Sometimes deaths on television are rushed affairs, but Sally Wainwright does not do viewers this disservice. We, along with Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) are mourning for Kate.


The scenes featuring the imaginary Kate are poignant and never feel cheesy or clichéd. There is something truthful about these moments; these are conversations we could all be having with ourselves after the death of a loved one. For a moment Wainwright almost nearly makes us believe that the previous instalment was all just a bad dream à la Dallas.

Celia (Anne Reid) and Caroline’s heart-to-heart is another one of those believable moments that Wainwright can write without thinking. Last Tango in Halifax is based on elements from Wainwright’s own experiences and you do wonder if she went through something similar. It certainly feels like it.

Although most of the episode is devoted to Kate, Gillian (Nicola Walker) and her complicated love life are coming to the fore. She’s marrying Robbie (Dean Andrews). Yes, that’s right: the brother of the ex-husband she bumped off. Awkward doesn’t even cut it but more of that next week.

Tonight feels like a return to form. Whatever weird writing glitch audiences were confronted with has been fixed. It’s back to business as usual – and what a relief!