Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Happy Talk

Three episodes in to Happy Valley and it’s time to put on your wank wellies and brush up on your grammar, says Hannah Dunleavy. Contains SPOILERS.

Don't worry, Ann (Charlie Murphy): being stood up was probably for the best this time. Photos: Ben Blackall/Red Productions.

Don’t worry, Ann (Charlie Murphy): being stood up was probably for the best this time. Photos: Ben Blackall/Red Productions.

Our Brynhildr

It’s a brave man that takes on the role of counselling our Catherine, but there you have it, she probably needs it. Not that I’d ever say it to her face right enough.

Even with an alibi, Catherine’s clearly struggling to keep it all together – and who could blame her – but with what’s looming on the horizon? I think we’re going to need a bigger cactus.

I suspect that Neil is also correct that she doesn’t like him. I (literally) adored the fact the conversation sprang (not literally) out of a rejected cup of tea, as it’s both a display of how excellent Sally Wainwright is at writing domestic minutiae and, I’ve always found, the perfect way to show your displeasure at someone. (Swiftly followed, of course, by “Piss off you little turd I’m not doing what you want.”) I raise my mug to you SW.

Things got worse for Vicky

So, there was a moment when I thought we might flashback to a ‘Pine Barrens’-style episode when Vicky made a break for freedom and John wandered round looking for shoes, but he took the path of pretending she’d been done for by the serial killer. (Or, as it should be known, going the Full McNulty.)

And then, in a piece of unexpected karma, he comes home from murdering his mistress to find his wife shacked up with someone else. And then gets Ann to agree to go out for a drink and never shows up. And I’ve been to that pub recently, it was lovely. Only this twat, right?

Detective-turned-killer John Wadsworth (Kevin Doyle) wonders if he's got away with it. All photos: Ben Blackall/Red Productions.

John (Kevin Doyle) wonders if he’s got away with it.

Meanwhile, Vicky’s murder makes the story big enough to gain the attention of the national press. (No doubt the Daily Mail did a story about how embarrassing it is for her to have been wearing the same dress in both photos.)

Never mind that, what about that tiny glimpse of John post murder? Best flashback ever. EVER.

Gangmaster McSoreballs

Dead by his own hand – or someone else’s – he was found with his tongue all hanging out. Not sure if this puts Winnie in more or less danger (and I suspect Catherine doesn’t know either, but she’s still in the conservatory). Either way, Winnie’s likely retirement plan of “watching Pointless and not being hunted by gangsters” might still veer off course.

Lady McFrances of No Personal Space

Such a smart choice to keep Shirley Henderson on the sidelines for another episode. While she literally exudes menace – even just rubbing the cross around her neck was scary – I reckon too much of her too soon would make my telly explode.

I don’t want to think about what’s coming here, because it’s bound to be horrible, but it’s interesting to see a female character being so weak and so powerful at the same time.

I reckon this whole series is going to hang on the advice Sarge gave to Ann in the car: “It’s not a matter of ethics; it’s about whether it’s wise or not.” Shudders.

The big questions

Who did Catherine dress up as when they went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

No further questions.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.