Be glad to start episode 3 of Last Tango in Halifax in your happy place because you’re in for a bumpy night by the end.
Every word that follows is a spoiler.
Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) and Kate (Nina Sosanya) recite their wedding vows as Alan (Derek Jacobi) drives home from the wedding venue after Caroline’s dismissal. We hear the vows as Celia (Anne Reid) and Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) watch cartoons in Celia’s cottage.
Celia thinks as Caroline and Kate continue their vows.
Caroline and Kate look both thrilled and happy to be getting wed. William 2.0 (Dean Smith) and Angus (Felix Johnson) are watching as the two are pronounced spouses for life. There’s applause, a kiss, and huge smiles from both women.
When Alan gets home, he asks John (Tony Gardner) to take him to the train station. John, who senses an opportunity to see Gillian again, insists on driving him all the way to Halifax.
Alan leaves the Lexus keys and says he’s going to Halifax. Maybe some distance will help them focus their thoughts. He’s said everything he knows to say about Gary; it’s up to Celia now.
Gillian (Nicola Walker) and Harry (Paul Copley) argue about Ellie (Katherine Rose Morley) quitting school. Raff (Josh Bolt) wants to know why they weren’t invited to the wedding. They were, actually. Raff asks if Harry knows about Gary (Rupert Graves). Raff wants to ask Gary for a job when he comes round tomorrow.
Gillian forgot she invited them for dinner, now she’s upset about it.
Robbie (Dean Andrews) arrives and says he’s seen the light. He wants Gillian to marry him. They’ll be equals. She tells him he’s a good man, but she doesn’t commit.
All the wedding guests pour into Caroline’s big house for the reception. Lawrence wants to go apologize. Celia does not. Angus comes and calls Lawrence a penis-head for not going to the wedding. Lawrence leaves for the party. Granny penis-head stays behind.
Alan (and John) arrive in Halifax. Alan attempts to explain why he didn’t go to the wedding. Gillian is insulted by Caroline’s cutting dismissal of Alan before the wedding. Alan thinks he caused it all because of Gary. He says Celia just needs time. John asks Gillian how she’s doing with the surprising news about a new brother.
William makes a nice toast to Kate and his mom at the reception.
There’s kissing, hugs for William, and Lawrence is now in the crowd. Kate wants to go ask Celia and Alan to come round. William wants to take cake and champagne to the cottage. Caroline nixes both ideas.
Celia, all alone and blue, watches an old movie. In Halifax, Alan sleeps in front of the TV while the same movie plays. Little Emily is beside him, watching the movie.
John and Gillian work their way through several bottles of wine and have a long, drunken conversation. John thinks they would be good together and wants her to agree to be with him.
Alan goes out for a pint with Harry. They discuss their various problems with women and narrow boats.
The guests are gone and Kate’s headed for bed. Caroline gives her a long kiss and says she wants to start the dishwasher before she comes up.
Celia shows up in the kitchen while Caroline cleans. Caroline is not welcoming. Celia says she does wish them both well, but she found it difficult. Hurt, Caroline shouts at her in anger and pain. When Celia says Alan has gone to Halifax and she doesn’t know if he’s coming back, Caroline says, “I don’t have an opinion.”
Next morning, the newlyweds linger in bed, catching up on their tablets. Caroline received a text from Gillian saying “Piss off, you mad old dyke. I hope you have a shit day.”
Kate suggests it might be a joke – the way they say congratulations in Halifax. Caroline takes the high road and replies “Thank you x”
Gillian’s hooking a trailer to the tractor when she receives Caroline’s text. Then she reads her own text. She can’t believe she sent it. She drops the phone and screams, “Wanker!” to the heavens.
Alan and Raff are caring for Emily when John glides in like an embarrassed snake. John tells Alan he’s serious about Gillian, which impresses Alan not at all. John goes outside.
Celia shows up after a sleepless night. She says she’s sorry. Celia says she thinks the thing that bothered her most was Alan going off to meet Gary without telling her. She couldn’t take Alan going on about how wonderful Gary is when she was struggling with it all. She claims she would have been at the wedding otherwise.
Alan says Celia was wrong to have taken it out on Caroline. He’s a bit gruff about it, not that Celia doesn’t deserve it. She agrees to stay to lunch to meet Gary after saying again that she’s sorry. Alan says he sensed tension between Gary and his wife Felicity (Kate Isitt), hence Gary is not perfect. Alan always knows just what to say to Celia.
Gillian is reeling from her stupid text to Caroline and her crazy, buggered up behavior. She wants John to leave. She tells him the two of them are never going to be a good idea. She’s guilty about sleeping with John after Robbie asked her to marry him and about drinking so bloody much. She tells him to go and stop coming to her house.
Kate’s driving William to the train so Caroline can get some work done.
Gary and Felicity have lunch at Gillian’s.
Gary asks Celia about her family. The only one she mentions is William. When he asks her directly about Caroline she claims to be “comfortable” with it. But she’s not. Felicity thinks women marrying women is a great idea. Who needs men? Celia finds she can get some laughs by making fun of Caroline.
Felicity puts her foot in her mouth by telling a story her father (a judge) told her about a little old man who tipped over his narrow boat. Harry defends himself admirably.
Back in Harrogate, Caroline is worried because Kate’s been gone so long. She can’t get Kate on the phone. She’s talking to William, who is already on the train to Oxford, when the doorbell rings.
Caroline opens the door on two cops standing in the rain.
The luncheon party continues in Halifax. Harry’s in the kitchen helping Gillian and Robbie wash up. Harry tries to talk to Ellie about school. She says it’s over. She’s left. She needs an income. She calls her grandfather a dozy old sod for wrecking his boat and having to sell his house.
Robbie repeats his proposal. Gillian says yes.
Gillian and Robbie have barely finished their “hurrah, we’re engaged” kiss when Caroline rings. She’s very upset. Kate is in the hospital in an operating theater. It isn’t good. Kate was hit by a car.
Everyone rushes to the hospital. They’ve taken the baby out. She’s in an incubator. They’re still operating on Kate. Alan and Celia try to be encouraging.
The surgeon asks to talk to Caroline. She goes with him. We hear crying from the other room.
What a cliffhanger! Kate’s future uncertain. The baby in an incubator. What reconciliation Alan and Celia achieved is tenuous.
Just when she gets where she’s been trying to go for 2 1/2 seasons, wham!In this episode we finally see Caroline flowering into the out and proud version of herself she’s been trying to find since the beginning of Last Tango in Halifax. She seems comfortable in her own skin at last. Just when she gets where she’s been trying to go for 2 1/2 seasons, wham! A wedding and what is probably Kate’s death in the same episode. What a dirty blow.
The season 3 promo stills showed Caroline holding the baby, so we can be assured that the baby is okay. But what about Kate? If Kate dies I’m going to be very unhappy.
Gillian agreed to marry Robbie without giving a lot of thought to the tiny little issue of her killing his brother. Oops. I was happy to hear her say she wants to stop drinking so much. She definitely needs to. She’s having blackouts. She didn’t remember inviting Gary and Felicity over. She didn’t remember asking John to have lunch with Gary and Felicity. She didn’t remember sending the text to Caroline.
John, who is nobody’s favorite person in this tale, is the only one who noticed that Alan’s infidelity might have an effect on Gillian’s mental health. Finally, a reason to give John a +1 for something.
Celia is a stubborn woman who hates admitting she’s wrong. So many people around her are telling her she’s wrong – saying she needs to change. She’s trying, but it’s slow and painful. It’s not a pretty process. I wonder if she’ll reach some sort of redemption in the acceptance and tolerance department by the end of series 3.