Off on a Tangent about S5 of Last Tango in Halifax

the cast of Last Tango in Halifax at dinner

Last Tango in Halifax season 5 came to me as a gift on my birthday. I don’t intend to review it or recap it, I simply want to talk about a few bits. It will be a little spoilery, but not in any large sense. A few scenes, and a few remarks, and I’ll be done.

Last Tango in Halifax is a huge favorite of mine, as is its creator Sally Wainwright.

All the F*cks

Did the BBC change its rules about what words were acceptable on TV? Because almost every character blew off a few f*cks in anger in season 5. In previous season, we’ve merely seen them form the letter F with their lips and then trail off meaningfully.

I’m in favor of it. Don’t suppose it will carry forth to PBS when the series airs in the US. But the Brits got to give a f*ck!

Caroline’s Nonexistent Love Life

Sarah Lancashire in Last Tango in Halifax

Love Potion #1

Lu Corfield joined the cast as Ruth, the head of English at Caroline’s (Sarah Lancashire) school. Caroline felt an attraction to Ruth. Ruth rejected her non-advances and self-righteously claimed to be offended by the thought of being with a 50 something gay woman. Ouch. Okay then.

However, just look at Ruth. Look at the way she walks. Look at the way she moves. Look at the clothes she wears. Look at her haircut. Look at the very attractive way she smiles at Caroline.

Well. My gaydar is sending alerts. I don’t blame Caroline one bit for feeling a tiny bit of hope when her own gaydar tingled at the sight of Ruth.

Love Potion #2

John (Tony Gardner) and Judith (Ronni Ancona) went from talking about getting married to Judith kicking him out. He made a beeline for Caroline’s house. He fully expected her to put him up, take him back, love him again.

Only a male brain could harbor the thought that a woman who divorced him 6 or 7 years ago and then married a woman would want him back.

Love Potion #3

Nicola Walker in Last Tango in Halifax

In my fantasy version of season 5, Gillian (Nicola Walker) survived her divorce, sobered up, and announced her love for Caroline. Caroline then mentioned her attraction to Gillian’s tight jeans and flannel shirts. They shagged immediately and lived happily ever after.

But no, Gillian is still eyeballing good looking men. My hopes are dashed.

Who took over my fantasy? JUDITH! Judith kicked John out and called Caroline to ask her on a date.

The most hilarious scene in the entire 5th season went like this. Caroline is delivering Flora (Issacah Hatzer) to school when Judith rings. Caroline listens to her on the car’s speakers. Judith is going on about realizing the strength of her feelings for Caroline and getting that date on the calendar. Caroline is talking to Gillian next to her on the road, jumping out of the car to close the door Flora left wide open, and hardly registering Judith’s confession of love.

I can’t even think about this scene without giggling out loud. Sally Wainwright twisted my fantasy love confession for Caroline into beautiful, damaged, alcoholic Judith gushing with love while Caroline does her thing, oblivious. There will definitely be no shagging.

Who has dementia?

Everyone kept going on about Ted (Timothy West) having dementia. He was as sane as anyone else. Just because you fall for a scam doesn’t mean you’re losing your mind. Poor Ted didn’t deserve the disrespect.

On the other hand, Lawrence (Louis Greatorex) and Angus (Felix Johnson) were as demented as ever. Making ridiculous videos for a YouTube channel and mooching money off everyone they knew.

Lawrence, Angus, William (Dean Smith), and Raff (Josh Bolt) are all grown up now. They all look like proper adults. Angus grew a beard and looks like Eric the Red. Raff wears a suit and tie to his job as a teacher. That’s how long it’s been since series 4.

Sally Wainwright has talked about getting the gang together for another season of Last Tango in Halifax. I WANT IT. Please do it!

All photos courtesy Lookout Point TV.

12 thoughts on “Off on a Tangent about S5 of Last Tango in Halifax”

  1. This was a delightful post; I’m very glad to have stumbled upon it.

    I also harbor the same fantasy of Caroline and Gillian realizing their love for one another and shagging promptly.

    Oh well, perhaps in series 6? 😉

    1. Unfortunately, Sally is pretty clear in interviews that they are “like sisters” so I’m not sure it will ever happen. I just wish she had SOMEONE. Why create this late in life lesbian, have her come out with so much difficulty, and then not let her have love?

      1. It’s so funny how people feel so differently about the same characters. I just am hanging on the edge of my seat waiting for one of them to refer to the other as her sister. I know I will just melt if it finally happens! I completely agree that Caroline deserves to find someone special though.

  2. Virginia DeBolt, thank you for creating this space. Sally Wainwright is brilliant and clever beyond compare in my opinion. And the cast is just as brilliant. What an ensemble! I do think Caroline will find love after a few stumbles and, who knows, maybe Gillian and Robbie will get back together. It will be interesting, and I’m sure entertaining, to see what Sally does with Judith in the next series. Oh, one more thing I love about Sally Wainwright is the casting of her son, Felix Johnson/Angus, in every series she writes.

    1. When I started this blog with the intention of concentration on women actors, women writers and women directors, Sally Wainwright was one of the first people I discovered. In spite of all the many wonderful movies and tv series I’ve seen since then, she remains at the top of my list.

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