Last Tango in Halifax, Season 3, Episode 3

Sarah Lancashire and Nina Sosanya in Last Tango in Halifax

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.

A very happy Caroline

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 is thinking about what she's done.

Celia thinks as Caroline and Kate continue their vows.

Caroline and Kate before the registrar

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.

Alan and John talk.

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 leaving as Celia and Lawrence watch.

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.

Harry and Gillian in the kitchen in Halfax.

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.

Gillian listens to Robbie's proposal.

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.

Arms crossed, Celia isn't interested in going to the reception.

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 Gillian talk in the kitchen

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.

Caroline and Kate looking happy

William makes a nice toast to Kate and his mom at the reception.

Caroline and Kate kiss

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 Ann is beside him.

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 at a table littered with wine bottles.

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 and Harry in the pub.

Alan goes out for a pint with Harry. They discuss their various problems with women and narrow boats.

Kate and Caroline kissing.

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 talks to Caroline

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.”

Caroline shows Kate something on her iPad

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"

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 reads her text.

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.

Raff, Alan and John talk.

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.

Alan lets Celia in.

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.

Celia talks

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 sends John away.

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.

Caroline says goodbye to William.

Kate’s driving William to the train so Caroline can get some work done.

Gary and Felicity are having lunch at Gillians.

Gary and Felicity have lunch at Gillian’s.

Celia at the table.

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.

Harry at the table

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.

Two coppers

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.

Gillian talks to Robbie

Robbie repeats his proposal. Gillian says yes.

Caroline is crying

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.

Caroline at hospital

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.

Caroline talks to the surgeon.

The surgeon asks to talk to Caroline. She goes with him. We hear crying from the other room.

Some Thoughts

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.

14 thoughts on “Last Tango in Halifax, Season 3, Episode 3”

  1. Thanks for the summary,Virginia!

    Oh,I can´t wait for the DVD to see that kiss Caroline gives Kate before she goes to bed.
    In the second picture she looks with so much love and admiration at Kate…makes your knees go weak.

    The look on Caroline´s face on the last picture is so heart-breaking.
    The only positive thing is that they married before Kate had that accident otherwise she wouldnt even be able to see her or get some informations.
    Wonder how Ceclia will handle this situation.Hope she puts her personal feelings aside and is there for Caroline and Kate.When this awful accident doesn´t change her mind about C&K and nothing ever will.

    I think Cecila will never change or admit that she´s wrong.You could clearly see it at the end of S1.She blamed Caroline for her misery and she only went to Kate beacuse Alan “black mailed” her.She will only give in that much that everything is alright on the surface,her personal situation is back to normal and that´s the only that counts for her.
    Btw.I think that scene between Sarah Lancashire and Anne Reid in S1 was the best in the whole show so far!

    Poor Alan,that picture where he walks along the corridor with hanging shoulders is heart-breaking.He looks like a broken man.Since I´ve only read the summaries I cant really say how I feel about the whole Gary-Affair,but in my opinion he has done nothing wrong.He didn´t even know that Gary existed,right?

    Don´t really understand why Lawrence didn´t go but at least he had the guts and apologized.
    Btw,what´s going on with Angus?Does´t he have a family and can attend weddings there?

    PS.I think Caroline should wear her glasses more often 😀

    1. Nicole, Sorry I couldn’t catch the kiss when they were getting married. The angles weren’t right, anyway. It’s so hard to catch a screen grab at the exact right moment. I didn’t really catch the right moment on the bedtime kiss either. Maybe you can find some animated gifs of those two moments and see it whole from beginning to end.

      I think Celia will change, but she’s old and set in her ways and she’s slow about it. I’m not sure where I think the Gary part of the story will go. But with an actor of Rupert Graves magnitude, he’s surely going to get something more to do before the season ends.

      The acting in this series is simply superb!

  2. Nicole Schrader

    Never mind about the caps.Will see the kiss soon enough and probably stop watching that episode after it.

    Yes,the acting is really high class.I think it´s an advantage that Sarah and Anne know each other for such a long time.That has definitely an impact on their mother-daughter-realtionship.

    I´m sure Gary will be now an inherent part of the show and we´ll see how Celia deals with that,when she´s constantly reminded of Alan´s affair.

    You know,the longer I think about the end,the more I´m convinced that they didn´t kill Kate.
    1.Everybody expects Kate to be dead,so why creating a cliffhanger that isn´t one?
    2.Sally must know by now that Caroline is the actual star of the show and has a huge fansbase,so better not mess with us 😉
    3.Sally has put so much effort in Caroline´s development,to create a story for her that isn´t full of clichés.So why destroying everything 5 minutes after they got together and start living a normal life.
    I know we´re talking about Halifax,where nobody isn´t allowed to be happy for moren then one episode,but maybe this time is Caroline the exception that proves the rule 🙂

      1. Nicole Schrader

        Oh,thank you so much for the link,Virginia.Just the right thing to watch then it´s rainy and cold outside 🙂

  3. I didn’t think the ending was a cliffhanger at all. You could hear Caroline sobbing so I didn’t think anything but that Kate was dead. And I could have done without the crashing theme music immediately after which really broke the mood.

    I think this series has slipped a little into soap territory but Sally Wainwright’s strength is in dialogue and pitch perfect scenes between people and this series has had its fair share of those.

    And while Caroline is the star of the show, Sarah Lancashire is just phenomenal, Anne Reid has done an outstanding job making an essentially horrible, selfish woman relatable and sympathetic.

    1. Nicole Schrader

      Hazel,you do mean the whole Gillian plot with soap territory?

      Totally agree with you about Anne.She was the actual reason why I watch the show…till Caroline came around the corner 😀

      PS: Halifax is nominated for BEST TV COMEDY DRAMA 2014.Wonder where the comedy is 😉

  4. Love this show! The version that airs in the UK is a little more gritty (certainly with language and even scenes that get cut by censors for viewing on US television). Being sanitized for all viewing audiences gives it a slightly more soapy feel stateside, but, I still love it!

  5. Philippa JENKINS

    I would like to say how amazing your website/ reviews, personal thoughts, attention to detail FANTASTIC, Bravissimo, Superbo, I’m afraid I’m someone who likes to know about the eoisode/ series I’m watching, and I can safely say tour reviews, recaps etc are 100pct brilliant.

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