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Happy Valley episode five talking points, from much-needed truth bombs to a Spanish escape

Penultimate episode tees up events for an explosive finale

Annabel Nugent
Sunday 29 January 2023 22:00 GMT
Happy Valley series three trailer

It’s almost the end! The finale of Happy Valley – meaning the last ever episode given that this is the last ever season – is just around the corner, with the penultimate chapter airing this week. Lucky for us, it’s a doozy.

Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) is a newly free man with a plan, but Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) – who is already facing family dynamics almost as messed up as a Greek tragedy – won’t let him go easily.


With Tommy on the loose, it’s time to board up the doors and lock up the windows for Catherine and co. Good thing Nev (George Costigan)is such a hospitable host. He invites Catherine, Clare (Siobhan Finneran), Neil (Con O’Neil) to stay until Tommy is caught. Of course, Ryan (Rhys Connah) too – only he goes MIA for a moment after ditching Richard’s (Derek Riddell) house, where his granddad momentarily left him with Ros (who is busy necking down glasses of white wine) to meet up with Darius Knezevic (Alec Secareanu) who cancels at the very last-minute. All that faff for nothing.

Not only has Nev opened up his home but he’s even offered to pay for all their flights to Marbella for a little family holiday while the police search for Tommy. Catherine shuts the idea down, though, telling a heartbroken Clare that she wants nothing to do with her or Neil. Only she uses much harsher, meaner words.

Terrible twosome

Fresh from their successful mission in helping free Tommy from prison, Matija (Jack Bandeira) and Ivan (Oliver Huntingdon) feel they’ve earned a little treat. Or at least Ivan does; after all, he was the one who had to suffer the brunt of Darius’s wrath. Ivan wants to collect the backpack full of cash that they stole from Darius and hid in the woods. Matija isn’t keen on the plan but has no choice but to go along with it.

The two gangsters have other trouble heading their way. Ryan spotted them at the courthouse where they intentionally caused a fight to distract the security guards away from Tommy. On the way back from Leeds, Ryan and Richard even found themselves on the same train platform as Matija. Ryan managed to snap a picture of him, but not without Matija catching him in the act and shiftily shuffling away. It’s a lucky thing that Catherine previously noted down the number plate of Matija and Ivan’s little Honda when they were loitering around Josip’s flat.

(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

Best buddies

Tommy is free as a bird – and while his Spiderman skills climbing out of that defendant booth in court were surely impressive, he had help in organising his prison break from Darius who picks Tommy up from the side of the road in the country side. The pair of criminals are friendlier than one might have thought, with Darius even bringing a long some whisky for Tommy to celebrate with. How thoughtful. I guess Tommy covering for Darius with the police in the Gary murder has earned him a new pal, and a powerful one at that.

Explaining that the police are sniffing about his house thanks to Danielle’s murder in Elland, Darius tells Tommy that he’ll be staying elsewhere until Monday. What’s happening Monday, you may ask. Well, it turns out those Spanish lessons Tommy was taking in prison haven’t been for nothing. Darius has passports ready for Tommy and “one for the boy”. The plan is to go through Dover hidden in a van that will drive to Brussels. From there, Tommy (and Ryan?) will fly to Malaga and travel onto Marbella, where a man named Phillipe will sort them out with everything they want: job, house, car.

There’s just one thing, though. Tommy has unfinished business he’s determined to finish before starting his new life in Spain. You already know what it is: killing Catherine. Darius tries to talk Tommy out of it – after all, killing a policewoman is certainly going to make it harder to disappear – but he is adamant. “Getting even with this b*** is as important to me as getting to Marbella,” says Tommy. Darius knows Tommy won’t be swayed on the matter but maintains that he won’t be supplying Tommy with any guns. At least there’s that, I suppose.

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(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

New roomie

While Darius painted a pretty picture of Tommy’s temporary digs (gaming console, booze, tobacco, anything he wants), the reality is far grimmer with a stained mattress and dirty digs awaiting him Admittedly, though, there is the gaming console, booze, and tobacco that was promised. Tommy has traded a cellmate for an elderly man who seems to be the one person unafraid of him – no matter how much Tommy glowers.

Time for a wake-up call

Ryan is due a reality check and Ann (Charlie Murphy) is more than happy to give it to him. Ryan shows up at Ann and Daniel’s (Karl Davies) house asking if he can live with them given that Catherine won’t want him home since he continued to see his dad. Ann – traumatised by the news that Tommy is back on the streets – tells Ryan exactly how she feels about him going to see Tommy in prison, and where he can shove his lodging request.

Ann tells Ryan the sad truth that not only did Tommy rape and kidnap her, but he had made Becky’s life so miserable that “ending her life became a desirable option”. When Ryan protests that Tommy told him that he had loved Becky and so it was “probably more complicated than that”, Ann doesn’t hold back. She tells Ryan that he was never wanted, and that his existence was a “headf***” for everyone involved, which is why Daniel and Richard wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. “Have you any idea what Catherine did for you? She was the only one decent enough to take you on,” says Ann. “And now he’s using you and you’re letting him.” It’s an upsetting moment, even moreso when Daniel interjects and reminds us that Ryan is only 16 years old.

(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

The outburst is followed, however, by a sweet heart-to-heart between Daniel and Ryan, during which Daniel – who was only 19 at the time Becky died – apologises for having previously distanced himself from Ryan. Opening up, Ryan divulges the reason why he began visiting Tommy in the first place: “I went to see him because I wanted to make my own mind up about him without other people’s opinion.” Daniel asks what we’re all thinking: “What have you concluded?” Ryan replies: “I feel sad for him, that he was born like that – needing to be so nasty to people.” Some of what Ann said might’ve gotten through, though, because when Catherine comes to take him to Nev’s house, he tells her: “Granny, I love you.”

All signs point to Rob

Rob (Mark Stanley) is guilty of many things, such as abuse, but he did not murder his wife. Joanna (Mollie Winnard) – whose body was discovered last week stuffed into a suitcase –  was killed by Faisal (Amit Shah). Still Rob knows how it looks, which is why he’s sweating bullets as the police search the crime scene. Even West Yorkshire’s finest copper is on the wrong track. Catherine suggests to her boss: “I had an inkling it would come to this.”

Meanwhile, Faisal is having flashbacks from that terrible afternoon he killed his neighbour with a rolling pin. Making matters worse is his wife’s suggestion that he tell the police investigating Joanna’s murder about his recent fender bender with Rob since it may help shed some light on Rob’s demeanour that day. Not wanting anything to do with the police, Faisal insists that they do not get involved in the matter. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing of it.

And if Faisal thinks he has got off scot-free, he has another thing coming. The investigative team may be looking at Rob as a prime suspect, but one thing is for sure: they are determined to get to the bottom of who was supplying her Diazepam.

(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)


Tommy may not have a phone at the moment but he’s a resourceful guy with (apparently) a stellar memory. Tommy uses his gaming console to reach out to Ryan, whose gaming name he had memorised from years ago. Ryan answers and the two have a phone call during which Tommy divulges his plans to run away to Marbella – and asks Ryan if he will come with him.

Ryan is hesitant and cagey throughout the call. He asks Tommy where he is but it’s unclear whether it is out of fear for his dad or fear of his dad. Regardless, Ryan agrees to think about running away with him. Tommy is convincing. “I know right now you might be thinking it’s mad but if you dwell on it, you might start to think it could be an opportunity, an adventure… for us,” he tells his son. “I do love you, you know? You’re all I’ve got. You’re all I’ve ever had.” Now we wait... will Ryan run off with Tommy? Or will he tell his granny of his nefarious plans?

(BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

On a side note...

The episode begins with Catherine being reprimanded for letting a “joke” go too far. In a previous episode, we saw the police officers – including Catherine – play a prank on one of their own by telling alien enthusiast PC Tekeli (Mete Durson) that the division is recruiting an “Alien Life-Form Liaison Officer”. Takeli applied for the position before discovering he was being made the butt of a joke. Now, Tekeli has filed a complaint of bullying and racism against Catherine and PC Shafiq Shah (Shane Zaza) – something which Catherine shrugs off.

Could things turn sour between Tommy and Darius?

Sure, the two men seemed pally in the van but we know Tommy is a wild card. When Darius laughed at him for having never been abroad before, you could almost see the anger in his eyes.

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