Orphan Black S5 E6 Manacled Slim Wrists

Orphan Black brings Krystal (Tatiana Maslany) back for episode 6 “Manacled Slim Wrists.” She’s hilarious, steals every scene she’s anywhere near, and learns some helpful info. The rest of the episode is less humorous and more inflammatory. Continue reading “Orphan Black S5 E6 Manacled Slim Wrists”

The Fall S3 E6 Their Solitary Way

The final episode of season 3 of The Fall is “Their Solitary Way.” The story did not end the way Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) wanted. It didn’t end well for Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) either. Everyone Paul Spector came into contact with was damaged by knowing him. Beware the spoilers. Continue reading “The Fall S3 E6 Their Solitary Way”

Happy Valley S2 E6: Kindness to Strangers

Happy Valley S2 E6 resolves all the crime stories in this series, but it leaves us with Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) in emotional tatters. This  brief review will have spoilers. I’ve tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but my American readers will find the series on Netflix starting March 16, so the need to avoid spoilers is lessened. Continue reading “Happy Valley S2 E6: Kindness to Strangers”

Last Tango in Halifax: S3 E6

The season 3 finale of Last Tango in Halifax takes place on Gillian (Nicola Walker) and Robbie’s (Dean Andrews) wedding day. The day is mainly a series of comic disasters overlaid with the faint aroma of horse shit.

There are spoilers. Continue reading “Last Tango in Halifax: S3 E6”

The Fall S2 E6 What is in me Dark Illumine

The Fall ends season 2 with a 90 minute episode. Whether this is really the end is up for debate in the last few seconds of the episode. Until then we have a very satisfactory accumulation of evidence for putting Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) in prison forever.

Major spoilers ahead.

A chair in the empty house
Where the video was shot

Rose Stagg (Valene Kane) was not in the burned out car they found at the end of the last episode, but the car was close enough to the abandoned house on Sally Ann Spector’s (Bronagh Waugh) parents’ property that the police finally went to look at it. There Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) finds the location where  Spector filmed Rose Stagg begging for her life.

Brian Milligan as James Tyler
James Tyler learns where his wife is

James Tyler (Brian Milligan) gets a call about where his wife Liz (Séainín Brennan) is in a women’s shelter.

There’s a reporter nosing around the Spector house as the police search it. The neighbors are talking about how Sally Ann was arrested.

James Tyler shows up at the Spector’s house because he still wants to beat the crap out of Paul Spector. He knows the reporter. Tyler takes the reporter’s car and heads off to the women’s shelter where his wife is.

Stella watches Katie's video
Stella watches Katie’s video

In the police station, Stella Gibson watches the video from the babysitter Katie’s (Aisling Franciosi) phone of the night Katie and Paul were having Skype sex. It makes Stella wonder if the story Katie has been telling and the things she wrote in her diary are actually pure fabrication.

Colin Morgan as Tom Anderson questions Katie
Colin Morgan as Tom Anderson questions Katie

In a very calculated decision, Stella sends Tom Anderson (Colin Morgan) to interrogate Katie. Stella says she’s doing it because he looks a bit like Spector and Katie is obsessed with Spector. Katie sticks to her lies and does not tell the truth. Even when Tom Anderson explains to her that she will go to jail for protecting a murderer, she continues to lie. She’s in love. She’s an idiot.

The police find thousands of recordings of hotel guests on the desk clerk’s computer. One of them is Katie being tied up on the bed and left like that. That was the same night when Paul called Stella from Rose Stagg’s phone.

Sally Ann looks at evidence
Sally Ann Spector finally learns what the police have arrested Paul for doing.

Next it’s Sally Ann Spector’s turn to answer questions. She tells the truth. She recognizes the necklace that Paul gave their daughter Olivia (Sarah Beattie). When the police finally explain the charges against Paul to her. Sally Ann calmly looks down and says, “I’m bleeding.” They take her to the hospital where she miscarries.

Stella tries the look-alike trick on Paul Spector. She did this the last episode and she’s trying it again. She sends a nervous Officer McNally (Bronagh Taggart) to question him.

Paul Spector looks at the camera
Not buying it

Spector just laughs at McNally, looks right into the camera and says cheap tricks with a cop who looks like Annie Brawley won’t work. He says nothing more.

Tyler pulls Liz by the hair
Tyler pulls Liz by the hair

Back on the James and Liz front, James bursts into the women’s shelter. He shoves everyone who gets in his way, tries to strangle his wife, and pulls her around by the hair. In a fit of anger, Liz tells him she did have great sex with Paul Spector. Rule number one for abused women: don’t tell your abuser the lie he already believes. He won’t get the sarcasm.

James waves a gun around but leaves when he hears sirens approaching.

Olivia in the police station
Olivia is questioned

The little Spector girl is questioned. She lies. She tells the officer that she can’t tell things because they are secret. When the officer asks her what would happen if she told the secrets, she says her daddy would go to prison.

The case against Spector gets stronger when bits of unburned material from the car they found are analyzed by forensics. Paul’s now tied by evidence to other murders. Hurrah!

With the new evidence, they are finally able to bring charges against Spector for all the murders. When he hears what they have against him, he asks for Stella. He says he will only talk to her.

May I remind you how you attacked me?
May I remind you how you attacked me?

Burns (John Lynch), whose only purpose in life seems to be to tell Stella she can’t do things, tries to tell her she can’t question Spector. Spector’s a monster. Stella says he’s just a man like any other. Men like Spector are all too human. Then she reminds him that he attacked her in her hotel room the other night and clearly crossed the line himself.

Stella questions Paul
Stella questions Paul

Stella Gibson begins her interrogation of Paul Spector. It’s a very long scene with just the two of them. The pacing in this show is so deliberate, so careful. There’s space around every line, every glance. You can almost see brains whirring inside people’s heads. This long scene is the ultimate example of what the whole series does with pacing. It drives up the tension unbearably.

She asks him questions going back to his youth, to when he first began stalking women. She acts interested in everything about his evolution into a serial killer.

He confesses everything. Every one of the murders he’s charged with. He gloats over them. He talks about how godlike he feels. The camera circles them, closes in on faces, eyes, mouths, then moves back out. They talk quietly. Stella shows no emotion. Stella remains calm during the interrogation. She calls Spector a rapist and a murderer to his face without showing any emotion. He tells her everything.

When she asks where Rose Stagg is, he stops talking.

Stella looks a bit sick.
I think I’ll puke up my internal organs now

Stella steps out of the interrogation room. Burns tells her, “Well done.” She looks as if she might toss her cookies at the remark and walks off without a word. Then she goes into the room where all the murder boards are and stares at photos of Rose Stagg.

Det. Anderson in Stella's bed
Stella had a little “we got him” party with Detective Tommy Boy at the end of the day. She even let him stay all night!

That night, we see Stella writing out her remarks for the press conference she’s expecting to lead the next day. They have Spector for sure now. She stands up and we see Detective Anderson sleeping in her bed. Next morning over breakfast in bed, he asks her if she wanted him there because of his resemblance to Paul Spector.

Stella tells him the story about how the thing men fear most about women is that they will laugh at them. The thing women fear most about men is that they will kill them. She concludes by saying she hates Paul Spector with every fiber of her being.

The phone rings. Spector has given up a location for Rose Stagg. Stella and Anderson go to the police station in her car – raising a couple of eyebrows in the process. The police make all sorts of logistical plans to take Spector to the location in the forest he mentioned.

After a night in Stella’s bed, Det. Anderson thinks he can express his opinions about Stella’s decisions. She cuts him off at the knees and tells him to follow orders. He says, “Yes, ma’am,” like a petulant child.

Stella has horrible taste in men. There are so many of them waiting to fall into her bed. You’d think she could find at least one who wouldn’t be an ass afterwards.

While the police prepare to go to the forest, the reporter gets a call from his police informant that Spector is on the move. He calls Tyler and asks for his car back. When Tyler arrives, he insists on following Spector to the forest too.

Stella with Spector cuffed to Anderson behind her
Stella sets off into the trees

Stella walks into the woods alone. Behind her Spector and Anderson are cuffed together. Other police officers stand guard. An ambulance and a cruiser trail after Stella. A helicopter is overhead.

Stella calls in about the car
Stella finds the car

Eventually, Stella finds Rose Stagg’s car. An officer brings a crowbar so they can look in the trunk.

Rose is in the trunk
Rose is in the trunk

Rose is alive, but barely. When Stella radios that Rose is alive, Paul is surprised. They load Rose into the ambulance and take her away.

Stella starts back to where Spector is just as they get a call from the helicopter above them. Unidentified people are on the road. As Stella approaches, James Tyler rushes up and shoots Paul and Tom Anderson. The police shoot Tyler.

Spector dying in Stella's arms.
This is my happy place

Stella runs to Paul. She tries to stop his bleeding. She’s shouting for help. She yells, “We’re losing him. We’re losing him.” Paul lays in her arms looking up at her blissfully like it’s just the place he’s always wanted to be.

Aaaaannnnnd . . .  cliffhanger.

It’s over. The end. We don’t know if Paul dies. We don’t know if Paul makes it to the hospital and then escapes, thus creating a reason for a 3rd season of The Fall.  We don’t know if Tom Anderson and James Tyler are dead or alive. Season 2 ends at that moment with Paul bleeding in Stella’s arms.

Some Thoughts

The cliffhanger ending was intentional. Allan Cubitt recently said that there will probably be a 3rd season. More Stella Gibson can only be a good thing.

I know The Fall been criticized as an extended rape fantasy – especially season 1 when we were watching Paul Spector plan and commit his crimes. I don’t see it that way. I see a man who thinks it is his right to harm women in a world where men harm women every day. I see a woman who has the power and means to fight back and to bring him to justice. To stop him. That’s the message I see and support in The Fall.

I’ve said it again and again: Gillian Anderson is fabulous as Stella Gibson. In Gillian Anderson’s hands, Stella is calm and cool and brilliant. She’s in command, she’s effective and self-confident.

Jamie Dornan is also superb, but I don’t necessarily want to see his character still able to operate in the free world. Although – who knows what might happen next with this open-ended finale for season 2.

There were enough shots of Jamie Dornan bare-chested in The Fall for me to predict that he’s going to be a huge hit in 50 Shades of Grey. Maybe some of the fans of 50 Shades of Grey will go looking for more Jamie Dornan and find their way to this excellent series.

This series is full of excruciating suspense. It uses dialog-free scenes, music, careful pacing of action and reflection, and superb acting. So different from the big explosion filled action blockbusters, and so much better!

The Fall belongs on every “Year’s Best” list there is. Writing, directing, acting, music, sets, costumes: awards are in order for all of it.

Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes are responsible for the nerve-wracking music.

In particular, and at the very least, there should be an award for the way Gillian Anderson looks in those silk blouses! Maggie Donnelly deserves the credit for costumes. Go, Maggie!

Lost Girl: S5 E6 Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts

Lost Girl episode 6 of season 5 is “Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts.” The title is a tribute to a beloved favorite, Friday Night Lights. Look out, college football, here come Tamsin and Bo!

Spoilers ahead.

Zoie Palmer smiling
Bo’s dream girl

Bo (Anna Silk) dreams about the jack-in-the-box. Lauren (Zoie Palmer) cranks the handle slowly. She turns and smiles. Bo jerks awake.

Tamsin and Bo in Bo's bed.
The blonde in the bed isn’t who she thought.

There’s a blonde in Bo’s bed but it isn’t Lauren. The blonde is Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten). Tamsin give Bo an unsolicited good morning kiss. Bo goes off to make breakfast just the way Tamsin likes it because “that’s what roomies are for.”

The case of the week begins when Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) is sent to a crime scene at a football stadium. Mark (Luke Bilyk) is with him. The only thing you need to know about Mark in this episode is that he makes a juvenile, sexist, stupid, asshole remark every time he has a line.

blood forms a triple spiral
Interesting blood spatter. Wonder what Dexter would make of it?

Blood next to the dead football player makes the triple spiral Dyson’s been chasing around lately. He wipes it up and it reforms.

Tamsin and Bo
Are you the cheerleader type?

Dyson meets Lauren, Tamsin and Bo at the Dal. He tells them he thinks the murder is tied in with the Fae cult he’s tracking. Tamsin and Bo decide to go undercover as cheerleaders. Dyson says Tamsin doesn’t exactly scream perky. Lauren makes an award-winning, hilarious face at the idea of a perky Tamsin, which she wipes off when Tamsin gives her a look.

Tamsin and Bo don cheerleader costumes and strut across the football field in their little outfits. They’re supposed to be leading tryouts. About halfway there, Tamsin trips. Pratfalls are not beyond us, apparently.

Anna Hopkins as Brinkley
With a name like Brinkley, she has to be head cheerleader

Tamsin immediately has a run in with cheerleading team captain Brinkley White (Anna Hopkins). To show her stuff, Tamsin does a series of handsprings and tucks. When Brinkley’s ready for her turn to demo her tumbling skills, Tamsin throws the whammy on her. Girl doesn’t play fair in dance competitions, either. Bo nods sadly: Tamsin fails at perky.

Aren Buchholz as Derek
Derek has ideas about who did it.

Bo talks to a male cheerleader, Derek (Aren Buchholz), who is there representing tired, gay stereotypes. Bo gets a few ideas from him about who the murderer could be. Hint, her initials are B.W. He says the murdered guy was a bully, especially to the quarterback, Clay (Dwain Murphy). Just then Clay gets smacked to the ground on the field. Everyone thinks he’s out cold but he hops back up. Not human? Tamsin will check him out.

Tamsin talks to Clay
Clay tries to brush off Tamsin.

Clay wants to know why Tamsin thinks he would hurt his best receiver. He doesn’t tell her much.

Lauren and Cassie, whose eyes are bandaged.
Tell me everything from the beginning of time.

Cassie (Vanessa Matsui) wakes up muttering about rain and floods and coming storms. I didn’t get a screen grab of him, but Lauren’s new assistant is played by Gabe Gray, who was the doctor in Bomb Girls. A tidbit of irrelevant info because I’m pretty sure Lost Girl fan are also Bomb Girls fans.

Bo on the phone
You don’t need to call Lauren, do you?

When Bo calls Lauren to run tests on the players, Tamsin gets jealous. She doesn’t want Bo calling Lauren. Bo looks at Tamsin like what is up with you? Then Tamsin kisses Bo, a lip lock that Bo doesn’t actually return.

Amanda Walsh as Elizabeth Helm
I’ll have a coquetel, please

Into the Dal walks Elizabeth Helm (Amanda Walsh). She orders an old cocktail that Trick (Rick Howland) hasn’t mixed in 1000 years.

Rick Howland as Trick
I’d have you sign in, if I could find my ledger

Trick tries to chat her up, find out who she is. He tells her the ancients call this drink the drink of prophecy. She says she thinks he’ll find the ledger because ancient things have a way of turning up.

The man's bare behind
Not that interesting, fella.

Lauren shows up wanting either urine samples or blood samples from the football players under the guise of drug testing. If it’s urine, she has to watch the person pee. One player suggests she likes to watch and gives her a view of both his front and back. Lauren shrugs and says, “You really got the wrong girl.”

Dyson and Mark are at the gym, where Dyson has constructed a murder board. He pins up the image of the triskelion of blood.

Lisa Marcos as Alyssha Wells
I saw my dead husband.

A woman comes in with a request for Dyson. Her name is Alyssha (Lisa Marcos). She says she saw her dead husband walking in the street. He didn’t even recognize her.

Noam Jenkins as Heratio
It’s Dead Man Dating!

She shows Dyson a photo. It’s Heratio (Noam Jenkins). Note the Capital Sports logo behind him. Dyson says he’ll check it out.

Lauren and Bo in the lab.
Want a good laugh? Ask Bo to look in a microscope.

Lauren shows Bo test tubes full of science stuff. First she ogles Bo’s outfit, proving she’s human first and a scientist second. From Trick on speaker phone, we learn one of the guys appears to be a Heraclid. Heraclids are descendants of Hercules, the son of Zeus. Human but strong, fast and resilient. Also listening to this conversation at the Dal is Elizabeth Helm. Oh, oh.

Dyson talks to Clay, the quarterback. Clay doesn’t know what the triple curve shape is or what a Heraclid is. But he does have a secret.

Bo and Dyson talk
Dyson sniffs out some evidence.

Bo and Dyson talk about Clay not knowing who he is. Bo lets it slip that she’d be better off not knowing who her father is. When Dyson picks up on that, she deflects, changes the subject. They decide to chat with the gossipy cheerleader, Derek. While they are talking with him, Dyson smells blood. In Derek’s locker is the bloody jersey of the dead guy. Dyson takes Derek to the station.

Shanice Banton as Iris
Gonna go boom!

Iris (Shanice Banton) shows up at the gym. She checks out the murder board and draws a triple curve on Mark’s arm using his sweat. Her fingers make rainbows in the sweat. Iris says something bad is going to happen at the football game.

Cheryl Hickey
Cheryl Hickey from Entertainment Tonight Canada played a reporter.

At a press conference, Tamsin decides Brinkley ought to be considered a suspect. Clay sits down at the mic. The questions turn to the murder.

Clay
The quarterback comes out

Clay says that Derek couldn’t be the murderer because he was home in bed with him the night of the murder. Oops, the quarterback came out.

Bo and Derek
Bo knows what it’s like to live with a secret.

Derek takes Bo to see Clay. Clay says his PR Reps, Capital Sports, told him he couldn’t come out.

Tamsin and Bo at the Dal
Capital Sports, did you say?

At the Dal, Bo tells Dyson about Capital Sports. Dyson connects the dots to Kevin Brown from the elevator and Heratio55 who dated Cassie and Bo. They decide to go to the game.

Tamsin applies dap to her cheeks
This is her disguise?

Tamsin suits up and heads for the field. Get outta her way.

Elizabeth, Iris, Heratio
Aren’t they chummy?

Bo goes to the press box and finds the 3 elevator people together. A regular family. They call Iris their daughter and seem to take great pleasure in stroking her arms. Elizabeth also says Clay is like family. The more success Clay has, the better for the family. They admit to the murder of the football player.

Bo zapped by a thunderbolt
Ouch!

Bo realizes they are feeding off the crowd and threatens to throw the game. Elizabeth zaps her with a thunderbolt to get her out of the press box. Yep, a thunderbolt came right out of her hand. Hmm, Zeus could throw thunderbolts. Zeus was married to Hera. We’ve got Heraclids and Heratios running around in this episode. What the Hera?

Tamsin in a football uniform
Hail Mary, she does it.

Tamsin makes a touchdown in the last seconds of the game by catching a 40 yard pass.

Elizabeth glows
Touchdown!

Elizabeth glows with delight.

Bo
Girlfriend? Oh, no.

In the clubhouse, Bo examines a scar on her shoulder from the lightning bolt. Bo says she’s never felt anything like it. Tamsin can’t heal it.

Bo wants to go see Trick. Tamsin wants to run her a bath first because that’s what girlfriends are for. Bo watches Tamsin walk away and sighs. She realizes she has to do something about the girlfriend thing. She does not feel that way and has to break it to Tamsin.

Everyone is at the Dal
The Let’s Clear Up the Dangling Details Club Meeting

Everyone is at the Dal. Trick talks about an ancient order that channeled their children’s energy to gain power, like proud parents. They talk about Zeus, the father of Hercules. Trick says the ancients have many names. Bo says, “What if they’re back?”

Heratio and Elizabeth
Just the family at home.

The Fae family of the week looks at the signature by Bo Dennis in Trick’s ledger and say, “So she’s the one.” Elizabeth says they have to act fast. Then they create a thunderstorm, which they enjoy watching together.

Some Thoughts

Zeus is the Father of All the Gods, god of the sky and ruler of Mount Olympus. Hades is King of the Underworld. Both are the children of Cronus and Rhea – in other words, brothers (or in the Lost Girl universe, brother and sister). The plot seems to be inching toward some sort of showdown between these two with Bo right in the middle of it.

Except for clearing up some details about the arrival of the ancients on the scene, this episode didn’t move the plot forward very much.

There is the clear statement that Valkubus isn’t going to be a thing. Much as Tamsin wants it, Bo does not.

Did I overlook any other big developments in this episode?

Happy Valley, S1 E6

Everything goes to hell in Catherine’s life and work in the season finale of Happy Valley. Hang on for the ride! There are spoilers everywhere.
Continue reading “Happy Valley, S1 E6”

Recap: Last Tango in Halifax, S2, E6

The final episode of season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax lurches to a grim beginning and works its way through a lot of laughs to a mostly happy season conclusion.

On the farm, the morning after her confession to Caroline (Sarah Lancashire), Gillian (Nicola Walker) prods Caroline awake.

Are you going to tell?
Are you going to tell?

Caroline struggles to sit up. Gillian asks immediately, before Caroline is even upright, if she is going to turn her in to the police.

Beautiful when hungover
Beautiful when hungover

They are both wrecked, hungover, puffy. They look beautiful: real and honest. They conduct a raw, open discussion of the humiliations Eddie did to Gillian. Gillian says, “If I hadn’t done it to him, Caroline, he would have done it to me.”

Breakfast at Muriel's
Breakfast at Muriel’s

Celia (Anne Reid) and Alan (Derek Jacobi) spent the night at Muriel’s (Gemma Jones). They’re having breakfast when Murial suggests she’d like to do some sort of hen party for Celia the night before the wedding.

Celia and Alan tease Muriel about wanting a wild night – in Amsterdam – with strippers and lap dancers and pole dancing. Muriel says she doesn’t mind going to Amsterdam for the art galleries. Alan and Celia have a hilarious conversation at Muriel’s expense.

Why did you tell me?
Why did you tell me?

Caroline and Gillian move to the table – nursing their hangovers with tea – still processing Gillian’s confession. Caroline thinks Gillian told her because she needed to tell someone.

I don't know why
I don’t know why

Caroline asks if Gillian wants her to turn her in. “No. No.” Gillian says, “Now I’ve buggered everything up.”

Caroline says, “I’m not going to turn you in.”

Celia and Alan drive away from Muriel’s. In spite of their teasing, they like the idea of a stag night for Alan and a hen night for Celia. Celia even plans to invite Muriel.

Caroline and Gillian drive to the hotel where they left the Land Rover and Caroline’s phone the night before.

Here's Lawrence
Here’s Lawrence back again.

Kate (Nina Sosayna) arrives at Caroline’s house with Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) in tow. He called Kate the night before when John (Tony Gardner) disappeared on him. Kate says he left messages for his mother about where he was but refused to call John.

John offers lame excuses for why he went out, leaving Lawrence alone. The home phone rings.

You bloody idiot
You bloody idiot

Caroline shouts, “Where’s Lawrence!” John says he’s fine, minimizes the whole event and shuts the door in Kate’s face. Kate stares at the door, says, “No problem. Anytime.”

Caroline calls John an idiot. He tells her that Lawrence slept at Kate’s, an idea suggested by William.

Caroline hangs up. Before she leaves the hotel, she turns to Gillian. “I think you’re right about you and Robbie.”

“Yeah, I really like him,” Gillian answers.

“No. You said it could never be a good idea – you and him. Move on. You’re a nice person, you’re a good mother, you work hard. Something appalling happened. Move on. If I’m keeping a secret for you, you need to stay away from him. Surely you can see that.”

When Caroline reaches her home in Harrogate, John is still hanging about fixing soup for Lawrence. John tells her that Judith (Ronni Ancona) won’t get rid of the baby. Caroline says, “You’ll be divorced. You could marry her.” John says that won’t be happening.

May I come inside?
May I come inside?

Caroline gets cleaned up and takes flowers to Kate, to say thank you about Lawrence. Caroline asks Kate if she can come in.

She asks if Kate has a birthing partner (yes, her mum) and if Kate has anyone (no).

Would you give me another chance?
Would you give me another chance?

Caroline wanders nervously through a story approximating what she did the previous night and why she didn’t respond to Lawrence until she gets to her real point. Caroline and Kate had something really nice between them, Caroline says, and asks one more time for Kate to take her back. She promises to do better.

Still no.
Still no.

“No. Thank you.” Kate answers gently. From my seat, I don’t see how she can resist the painful pleading in Caroline’s eyes, but she is firm in her refusal. Kate’s breaking Caroline’s heart and mine, too.

Alan and Harry (Paul Copley) explain an elaborate plan for Alan’s stag night involving an overnight trip on Harry’s boat which will bring them to the hotel by 10 AM. Harry’s boat needs a lot of work before then.

you're not going to spend a night in that crate.
You’re not going to spend a night in that crate.

Celia tells them that her party with Caroline, Gillian and Muriel will be paintballing. She’s not serious, but Harry wants to go to her party.

Later, Caroline and her mom are in the kitchen at Harrogate. Celia suggests maybe John could walk her down the aisle – give her away. Caroline gives all the reasons why that can’t be. She mentions all the tricks Celia has played on John over the years.

That was comical.
That was comical.

Celia has a good laugh remembering the time John snapped all the tendons in his ankle, the time she let all the air out of his tires, and some other wonderful memories which eventually prove to her that John wouldn’t be the best choice for walking her down the aisle.

You can't mention that one.
You can’t mention that one.

Harry and Alan are in Halifax, figuring out their speeches for the wedding and what stories Harry is permitted to tell about Alan.

Gillian enters and says she wants to go to the cemetery tomorrow for her mum’s birthday.

It was my fault the bungalow fell through
It was my fault the bungalow fell through

Next day Alan and Gillian sit on a bench at the cemetery with little Calamity in a carrier. Alan admits that when his renters didn’t have enough money to buy his house, he didn’t have the heart to toss them out to put the house on the market. That’s why the deal on the bungalow fell through. Gillian thinks he’s always been too kind for his own good.

Gillian goes off to the grave of an uncle who was killed in the war. Alan has a graveside chat with his dead wife and says he hopes she approves of him getting wed again. Why didn’t he do this months ago, if it needed doing?

It's a sign
It’s a sign

Like a blessing, a gust of wind blows flowers from a tree where Alan is standing. They rain around him like snow. He catches one blossom in his hand and takes it as a sign.

She's ready
She’s ready

A montage covering several months shows us Harry and Alan working on the boat with Celia’s assistance, shows us Caroline alone and lonely, shows us Gillian alone and lonely, and finally a boat that is ready for use.

Near Christmas, Caroline learns that Kate’s gone to the hospital with some bleeding. Caroline rushes off to be with her. She finds Kate sitting alone in the waiting room. Caroline sits down beside her. They don’t touch.

It might be nothing.
It might be nothing.

Caroline assures Kate that she’s fine. She’s 20+ weeks now. However, four miscarriages would make anybody jumpy and Kate is scared. When they call Kate back she allows Caroline to go with her.

Kate clutches Caroline’s hand as they begin the ultrasound. As Caroline looks at the ultrasound readout with Kate’s hand in hers, we see a light in Caroline’s eyes for the first time in months. Kate’s fine. The baby is fine. Kate asks about sex and learns the baby is female. As Kate relaxes from her fears, she realizes she’s holding Caroline’s hand and drops it, saying, “Sorry.” Out goes the light in Caroline’s eyes.

Caroline, Lawrence, Alan and Celia have dinner in Harrogate. Alan explains that his brother Ted can’t make the wedding because he broke a leg.

Celia wants Caroline to call Kate about the wedding because she offered to play “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” for it. Caroline tells Celia to call Kate herself.

William arrives home from Oxford, with his laundry, and sits down at the table. William’s looking very grown up with a new hair cut. He has a girlfriend he wants to bring to the wedding.

Does she know you're a puff?
Does she know you’re a puff?

Lawrence says, “Does she know you’re a puff?” and William says “I’ve been meaning to break this to you, and I know you’ll be disappointed, but I’m not gay.”

Alan, Lawrence and William whisper some secret plan when the woman are clearing the table. Ted (Timothy West) calls and Alan talks to him about the weather as Gillian sneaks him in Caroline’s door.

I didn't really break my leg
I didn’t really break my leg

Alan jumps up in surprise, hugs his brother. They laugh about how surprised and happy they are that he made it. Ted hugs Celia and grabs her ass. “Always a handful!”

The stag party
The stag party

Alan, Ted, Harry, Raff (Josh Bolt) and Robbie (Dean Andrews) share drinks at Alan’s stag party. As they laugh at silly jokes, Alan suggests to Robbie that he and Gillian should get back together. Raff agrees.

The hen party
The hen party

The hen party is more elegant but just as funny. It includes Celia, Muriel, Caroline and Gillian.

I’ve been waiting for a serious scene between the formidable duo of Anne Reid and Gemma Jones. We finally get it when Caroline and Gillian go off to the restroom together.

Celia tells her sister how miserable her marriage was. Muriel knows that Celia has never forgiven her for Frank but she’s truly glad that Celia is happy now. It might be the first honest conversation Celia’s had with Muriel in years.

The wedding scenes begin with a shot of Kate’s fingers on a piano keyboard. Celia looks lovely but I don’t like what Caroline and Gillian are wearing. (Nicola Walker didn’t like the dress either.) Caroline walks her mom down the aisle.

Getting wed
Getting wed

As Alan and Celia recite their vows (which Anne Reid does with extraordinary meaning, I must say) we see everyone’s reactions to the words. Gillian looks troubled, Caroline is stealing glances at Kate, Kate is stealing glances at Caroline, Robbie’s date looks hopeful while Robbie steals glances at Gillian. Kate plays them out with a ragtime tune and the party begins.

At the party, Caroline gives a beautiful speech that reflects my thoughts about Celia and Alan’s story exactly. Harry gives a charming speech. When it’s Alan’s turn to speak, he takes the microphone and leaves the table. No one knows what he’s doing.

You have a beautiful body
You have a beautiful body

Alan performs a song and dance, complete with backup dancers and singers attired in kilts. The lyrics are “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” The song is perfect – funny and embarrassing – and the party is off to a great start.

Time to dance! Alan and Celia dance every dance. They do dance beautifully together, don’t they?

Kate comes up to Caroline and says she’s going. Kate says, “Have a nice Christmas.”

“How likely is that?” Caroline asks, then immediately regrets it. “Sorry. You . . . you have a nice Christmas, too.” Kate leaves the party.

Wallflowers
Wallflowers

Caroline and Gillian sit at a table, partnerless. It’s a beautiful party, but it’s passing them by. Gillian decides to cut in on Robbie for a dance. “Not Robbie,” says Caroline, but Gillian does it. A brief conversation and Robbie pulls her close.

You are a challenge
You are a challenge

Roberta Flack’s romantic version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” plays and everyone snuggles in a slow dance.

Kate returns. She marches across the dance floor to stand in front of a surprised Caroline. “I got in, shut the door and turned round and came straight back. Do you want to dance?”

Do you want to dance
Do you want to dance?

Their situations reversed, Caroline is the insecure one now. She wants to know if this is “forever” and Kate quips, “forever’s a mighty long time.”

finally
Caroline’s coming out kiss.

The moment they’re close and touching, they kiss. A long, lingering, very public kiss. Lawrence covers his eyes, Gillian smiles, William beams, Muriel isn’t appalled, Alan is happy, and Celia groans. Caroline and Kate are oblivious to anything but each other.

There’s a beautiful exterior shot of the hotel, laced with snow early the next morning – Christmas day – and a room tour of the still snoozing guests.

The renewly wed
The renewly wed

Alan and Celia hold hands as they spoon.

A single room
Just one room

Caroline and Kate finally shared a room at the hotel.

Cut for a beat to John and Judith, who are passed out on Judith’s couch with empty bottles littering the table in front of them.

What have I done?
What have I done?

Gillian wakes up in the hotel with Robbie and wonders what fresh hell she’s gotten herself into now.

Season 2 closes with smiles, some story lines tied up with gaily colored ribbons, and a few tempting issues to make us eager for season 3.

Bravo. Bravo to the cast and crew. Bravo to Sally Wainwright for her wonderful storytelling. Bravo!