Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Happy Talk

Hannah Dunleavy reviews episode 5 and feels the need for a morning-after Happy Valley pill. Contains SPOILERS.

Catherine (Sarah Lancashire). All photos: Red Productions.

Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) edges closer to a confrontation with creepy Frances. All photos: Red Productions.

Strength in numbers

It’s easy to get carried away with how marvellous Sarah Lancashire is, but the bench is very deep in Happy Valley and it’s nice to see almost everyone getting some time on the pitch this week.

Rick Warden (who has a special place in my heart for his performance as super sarky Lt Harry Welsh in Band of Brothers) is always on fine form as the poor bastard whose job is it to keep a leash on Sgt Cawood; Julie Hesmondhalgh finally got a bit more to do (and out of that nurse’s uniform) and Matthew Lewis’s tearful pleas of innocence were rather touching, given everything else about his character is repulsive. And kudos to little Rhys Connah for being both believably confused and believably little shit-like. But the real star of the show this week was…

Of Mice and Daryl

Susan Lynch doesn’t get a great deal of screen time but who cares when she gets to do stuff like this? This week she answered my long-standing question of what euphemism people who already live on farms use for ‘he’s gone to live on a farm’ and permanently tainted the idea of a trip to Disneyland with my mum.

I’m not going to take any credit for thinking her son was involved because I certainly didn’t see that coming. So it’s farewell Daryl and, I’m assuming, your lovely jumper. Blood’s a bastard to get out. Whether or not she’s turned the gun on herself (well, not literally, it was a very long gun) remains to be seen.

All in all, it made me feel a lot better about the time I woke my mum to tell her I’d broken most of the bones in my hand falling over drunk. And been sick on the bathroom floor. Speaking of which…

Ann of heaves

So it was John standing her up that upset our favourite plastic copper, although credit to Sally Wainwright and Charlie Murphy for making that seem plausible. Loved that moment when she remembered calling Catherine “God” the night before. Fret not Ann, we’ve all done it.

Tell my wife I love her very much

TV’s best worst in-car singing award now belongs to John, who’s back to the ‘I can’t believe my luck’ stage of the cycle. He decides to celebrate with some supreme bell-endery in the marital home, leaving me wishing more than ever that he gets caught. I’m pretty sure it’ll be that inability to keep his thoughts from registering all over his puss that’ll be his downfall. Worst poker face in history? This twat.

A drunken Neil (Con O'Neill) is probably the least of Catherine's problems.

A drunken Neil (Con O’Neill) is probably the least of Catherine’s problems.

Can someone smell dog wee-wee?

Neil’s pre-planned slip off the wagon gave Con O’Neill a chance to shine, even if it was mostly topless ranting and a roll around on the floor. Also loved that three-door shit sandwich his potential sister-in-law gave him on the way out of the station, but I’ve got to say I’m relieved that while he might be a whole lot of trouble in a grubby jumper, he’s not mutilating women with bottles.

A chip off the old block

So Daniel was wrong about Neil, but he’s shown a great deal better investigative skills this week than most of the police – pointing his mother to Frances as the source of the Cawoods’ woes. Nice little call back to that row in the last series, which remains one of the most realistic family fights I’ve ever seen on TV.

“It’s Catherine, you twat.”

Nuff said.

The big questions

We’re all deleting numbers we never use from our phones, yes?

A brick through the window is less weird than a free Scalextric. Right?

Anyone else worried about what’s going to happen when Catherine stops sleeping in the conservatory?

Excited about a Catherine/Frances showdown next week? Or scared? Or both? It’s both, isn’t it?


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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.