Say it isn’t so, we’re already more than halfway through this season of Happy Valley. We’ve been waiting seven years for a new series and all we get is a measly six hours? It doesn’t seem fair. But by this point, we’ll take what we can get. Luckily enough, Sally Wainwright has made those six hours thoroughly entertaining – and the drama certainly kicks into high gear with episode four…
Tweedledee and Tweedledum run into trouble
Matija (Jack Bandeira) and Ivan (Oliver Huntingdon) begin this week’s episode in a less than ideal situation. The terrible twosome must tell Viktor (Anthony Flanagan) that the police got to Josip before they did – meaning that Josip is currently in a cell possibly spilling the beans on the criminal activities of their gang boss Darius Knezevic (Alec Secareanu) and his ominous brother Zeljko (Greg Kolpakchi). Plus, they stole a bag of cash from Josip’s flat that could land them in even hotter water than they’re already in. They decide to ditch the bag – after taking a few hundred each for themselves. Something tells me it’s not the last we’ll be hearing about that.
Darius has got wind of their incompetence, however, and demands to see Matija and Ivan in an abandoned building he has just purchased. And as we all know, nothing good ever happens in abandoned buildings. It’s the first proper look we get of this season’s Big Bad, and Darius is every bit the smarmy suited-and-booted criminal you were imagining. Both Matija and Ivan get a good telling off, but it’s Ivan who is at the receiving end of a pounding – and a pissing. After Darius beats Ivan, the gangster feels the need to relieve himself over his employee, too.
Once all is said and done, the bottom line, says Darius, is don’t mess up again. He puts them to the test, instructing the two men to don their suits and go to Leeds. Well, we know what’s happening in Leeds: Tommy Lee Royce’s court date… Dun dun dun. More on that later.
Time to face the music
It happened to Clare (Siobhan Finneran). It happened to Ryan (Rhys Connah). Now it’s Neil’s (Con O’Neil) turn to face the cold wrath of Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) who pops into Neil’s shop for some paracetamol – and to “sincerely” ask him to stop taking her grandson to see his father in jail. Eventually, after a good dressing down, Neil promises that he won’t. It seems no one is immune to a guilt trip from Catherine. One interesting thing to emerge from their conversation, however, is that Catherine says there are things about Tommy’s relationship with Becky that no one knows but herself and Richard. “There were facts no one else knows,” says Catherine. “It’s worse than you think.” One does stop and think that if she’d just tell them then surely Ryan would stop banging on about seeing his father and their problems would be solved. Moving on...
Neil also lets slip that Tommy (James Norton) had asked Ryan to come to Leeds to see him in court, which prompts a raised eyebrow from a suspicious Catherine who agonises over the question: Why? Why would Tommy want Ryan present at court? We’ll find out soon enough.
Back at home, Clare and Neil break the news to Ryan that they won’t be taking him to the prison any more and that he needs to make up his mind on who is more important to him: his granny or his father. Catherine has made it perfectly clear that he can’t have it both ways.
Games coach Rob Hepworth (Mark Stanley) comes home with his kids to find an empty house. Joanna (Mollie Winnard) is nowhere to be seen – probably because the last time we saw her she was being murdered by Faisal (Amit Shah), who was in a fit of rage. (No one has noticed but her phone has been forgotten between some cabinets; Faisal is going to want to get to that before Rob or the cops do.) Being the awful man he is, Rob downplays the seriousness of the situation and insists to police that Joanna is probably hiding out somewhere as she normally does. After speaking with Joanna’s concerned parents, however, Catherine manages to get Joanna’s case sent to the Missing Persons unit.
On a side note, Joanna’s mum and dad do shed some light on their daughter’s relationship with Rob. They met when Joanna was young, and Rob was a teacher at her school who convinced her to drop out of her A-Levels and marry him. Now, they say, he’s a “control freak” who withheld Joanna’s prescribed Diazepam from her, flushing the medication down the loo. “If anything bad has happened to her,” says the mum. “It’s him that done it.” We’d be inclined to agree if we didn’t know the truth ourselves.
To make matters worse for Rob, he rear-ends Faisal’s car on the road. Little does Rob know that he is about to come face-to-face with the man who murdered his wife. Rob – already on the brink – expectedly flies off the handle at Faisal. Meanwhile, Faisal unexpectedly keeps his cool. Has the local pharmacist turned into a cold-hearted killer?
Towards the end of the episode, Rob is paid a visit by an officer in the Missing Persons Unit who has a look around the house for any clues that might point to Joanna’s whereabouts. The phone, people! How can you not see the phone? Instead, the policeman asks to be let into the garage where a black suitcase catches Rob’s eye. As soon as he is alone, Rob heads back to the garage and goes to open it. It’s heavy. Very heavy. Of course, we know what’s inside before he even zips it open: Joanna’s corpse.
Tommy’s big day out
Everything, it seems, has been building up to this moment: Tommy’s sentencing in Leeds. In preparation for his day in court, Tommy trades what appears to be some tins of tuna for a fresh trim from a prison mate. Tommy’s long-do is no more. Now, he sports the sort of short-on-the-sides crop befitting a financial advisor. The haircut scene also shows off Tommy’s huge back tattoo: a cross with wings, and the name Ryan scrawled across it.
It’s finally the day, and Tommy appears in court. Of course, Ryan – who has lied to his family and ditched school – is there. But so too is his granddad Richard (Derek Riddell), who has come in a professional capacity as an investigative journalist looking into the Knezevics. Also present are Matija and Ivan, looking sharp in their suits. The plan soon becomes clear when Ivan picks a fight with a stranger outside the courtroom, luring security out of the way. Tommy takes advantage of the distraction, climbs out his testifying booth (Spiderman who?) and escapes out the front door. He dashes into a nearby shop where he trades the suit for a red cycling outfit and disappears into the crowd, on a bike, with a grin on his face. It was bound to happen. No way would Sally Wainwright keep her favourite criminal locked up for the whole season.
We need to talk about Ann
It looks like Ann is struggling to keep her head above water in her new role adjacent to the Criminal Investigation Unit (CID). She has started smoking again, and she is clearly not sleeping enough. Can you blame her? In this episode, we see poor Ann coming to terms with how unfair the judicial system can be. She is incredulous to learn that Josip will not be charged in relation to the death of Danielle, who fell out of the window of her flat trying to escape him. The news that her rapist and kidnapper Tommy Lee Royce has now broken out of jail will certainly see Ann take a turn for the worse.