REVIEW Happy Valley (S2 E2/6)

After last week’s fine start, Happy Valley was – to the relief of many – well and truly back. Sally Wainwright’s folksy Western-like crime drama certainly gave us all the trademarks of the series: superb dialogue and acting, and an intriguing set-up to a couple of crimes (one committed and another in the pipeline).

Now the beginning was out of the way, we could settle into the narrative threads and see how they were being manoeuvred to, at some point, all come together.

Catherine was reeling at the news that Ryan had been visiting Tommy Lee Royce in prison. In fact, that seemed to be the whole cliffhanger of sorts at the end of episode one – who had taken Ryan to see his father in prison? You have t be a very strong show to make what seems like an innocuous cliffhanger into something far greater. Happy Valley is that show.

Many had guessed it was Catherine’s sister Clare and partner Neil, and this episode showed Catherine with what felt like a permanent frown on her face – disappointment, surprise, anger… it was all there as she was in a trance for seemingly much of this episode, while other events (conversations, developments) took place around her.

Ryan and Hepworth’s feud continued (as did the latter reprehensible physical abuse towards wife Joanna), and the continued permeation of the Knezevic crime family into the lives of everyday folk. In fact, there was an interesting scene where Catherine explained to Richard – who had been tasked by The Guardian to write a story about the family – explained how they work and what pies they have their fingers in. Look out Richard, I have a feeling that he might just have bitten off more than he can chew and might be in danger.

Speaking of biting off more than he can chew, Faisal’s predicament worsened considerably. Not only was he being squeezed by the Knezevics, but no Joanna – at her wits end after enduring another round of sickening blows from her husband – is now semi-blackmailing him to buy her a flat. Something tells me that Feckless Faisal, now well and truly backed into a corner, will make a(another) very bad decision soon.

Another strong episode, but like the many cups of tea featured in this show… it’s brewing.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


Happy Valley is shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK

6 thoughts on “REVIEW Happy Valley (S2 E2/6)”

  1. Great review (although tough mark given!), thank you. I thought the episode started slowly and it felt the little ducks were being lined up, but the second half of the episode was magnificent especially with THAT phone call. Lots going on, still not sure where it’s heading but it’s a wonderful journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to an interview on the radio where the presenter said it was great that they were showing each new episode at the same time every week, and one of the actors said it was great to be doing it the “old-fashioned way”.

    I think that dates me.

    Other than that, I’m enjoying it.


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