Episode 2 of Happy Valley begins with police sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) chasing after an ice cream truck on foot. Run, Catherine, run! She’s not hungry: the ice cream comes complete with a bag of drugs in the bottom of the cone. The bad guys get away this time.
I’ll review the episode with events clumped together according to plot lines rather than in the order in which they happened in the episode. There will be spoilers.
Catherine depends on her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) and leans on her for support. They do a lot of talking and processing. Clare is Catherine’s rock.
Clare worries that Catherine is going to get obsessed with Tommy Lee Royce again now that he’s out of prison.
The second time Catherine tries to catch the drug dealing ice cream vendors, she stops them with a flying tackle. I don’t know if it was really Sarah Lancashire or a stunt woman who did it, but I’m overjoyed to think that Sarah Lancashire has a role where her character makes flying tackles. Hot damn!
Her eye takes a good knock in the process of subduing the drug dealer. She goes back to the police station a bit beat up and stands in front of a poster of Tommy Lee Royce, looking, if not obsessed, then at least determined. She will find Tommy Lee Royce. She takes to poster to the owner of the Curry House where she’d seen Royce on the street. She asks the owner to call if Royce comes back.
Catherine’s son Daniel (Karl Davies) and his wife Lucy (Amelia Young) invite everyone for tea. Everyone but Ryan (Rhys Connah) is invited. When Catherine and Clare arrive with Ryan in tow, it puts a damper on things. Catherine’s ex Richard (Derek Riddell) is there with his new wife Ros (Kelly Harrison).
Daniel and his wife tell them all that they are expecting a baby. Ros says, “Now we can be grandparents.” Catherine replies, “Well, we’re already grandparents.”
At bedtime that night, Ryan asks if Richard is his grandfather. Catherine says yes. Ryan wants to know if he can go over to Richard’s to play football with him.
Next day, Catherine asks Richard about letting Ryan come to play. Richard blames the boy for his daughter’s death, says he can’t even look at him, and he’s not his grandfather.
As Catherine leaves Richard’s house, she sees Kevin going home to his own house. She recognizes him from his nervous visit to the police station yesterday and talks to him for a few minutes. Kevin’s case of nerves gets even worse.
Catherine is called to a drunk driving scene. The driver has bullied the young police officer first on the scene. The driver is a councilman (Steven Hartley). He refuses to take a breathalyzer test. Catherine finds cocaine in his car. She arrests him even as he threatens her job and future.
Later, Catherine tells the young officer, Kirsten, (Sophie Rundle), “Nobody bullies you. You’re a police officer.”
Mixed in with Catherine’s doings, the kidnappers were quite busy as well.
Nevison (George Costigan) tells Kevin (Steve Pemberton) to get the money. Kevin is also going to deliver the first installment of the ransom to the kidnappers because the kidnappers asked for him by name. He hides his share in the trunk of the car under the spare tire.
Kevin confesses what he’s done to his wife (Julia Ford). She advises denying everything because he assures her that Ann is being well treated by her captors.
When Nevison tells his wife what’s going on she wants him to call the police. He refuses. He says they’ll catch the bad guys after they get Ann back.
Lewis (Adam Long) and Tommy (James Norton) are taking turns watching their prisoner (Charlie Murphy). When Lewis goes downstairs and sees Ann’s knickers on the floor, he realizes Tommy raped her. He’s sickened by it and calls Ashley.
Ashley responds by calling Kevin and telling him to hurry and get the money as fast as possible.
Lewis confronts Tommy. Tommy indicates that he doesn’t intend to let Ann leave alive because Lewis called Tommy by name in front of her. They argue and Tommy beats the crap out of Lewis.
I’m with Catherine on thinking Tommy Lee Royce is a menace to society.
The owner of the Curry House calls Catherine. He’s seen the man again. This time he followed him home and he can tell Catherine which house he’s in. She goes to the house and knocks, and looks around a bit. Tommy peeks out of a window and sees her nosing around.
The kidnappers decide to move Ann out of the house to some other location they haven’t figured out yet.
I love how tough Catherine is, how physically unafraid she is of flailing drug dealers or bullying councilmen. Aside from the physical bravery, she’s not as steady as she wants people to think emotionally. She’s struggling with her daughter’s suicide, with Ryan’s temper, with her divorce, with Richard’s refusal to acknowledge his grandson. She cannot talk about Ryan or her daughter without tearing up. She’s tough, but she’s struggling. It’s a fascinating mix.
The physicality of this part is impressive. In one scene Catherine is running full speed in all that police gear. She takes out her billy club (or whatever the Brits call that baton thing), extends it, and knocks out a window of the moving ice cream truck. She leaps on a guy and holds him down while reading him his rights and getting him cuffed.
Steve Pemberton is doing such a fine job as the nervous and frightened accountant who gets himself into the middle of a major crime. If you search Google for images of Steve Pemberton you’ll see that he can look menacing if he wants, but he’s often done comedy. He has the perfect face for this part – innocent and trustworthy.
All images from Happy Valley © Red Production Co.