Happy Valley recap: What happened in Series 1 and 2? Everything to remember before Series 3

After what felt like an eternity happy valley returns for a third series.

Sally Wainwright’s brilliant BBC crime drama has carved its way into viewers’ hearts with two series released in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

After its release on Netflix, it received further recognition in the US.

Despite Wainwright’s assurances, it was unknown for some time whether series three would take place. But then, in 2021, the new season was officially announced.

Now, in the BBC’s first new drama of 2023, Sarah Lancashire’s detective Catherine Cawood returns to our screens.

Considering it’s been six years, you probably need a little presenter ahead of upcoming episodes.

Read on for a summary…

Tommy Lee Royce

For those who don’t remember, Tommy (James Norton) is the convicted rapist believed to have raped Catherine’s daughter, resulting in the birth of their son Ryan (Rhys Connah) and later her suicide. Sent to prison for kidnapping and raping a Yorkshire local named Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy), Tommy kidnapped Ryan at the end of the first series to carry out a murder-suicide thwart Catherine.

Tommy spent the second series behind bars but indoctrinated a lady named Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson) to help him make Catherine’s life a misery. Frances, a lonely pharmacist who became a fan of Tommy, manipulated the criminal’s young son and Catherine’s grandson by writing him letters under his father’s guise. She also praised Tommy to Ryan while working as a teaching assistant at his school.

By the end of series two, Frances realized that Tommy had a number of interests in the outside world and broke ties with him. But this infuriated him as he had viewed Frances as his best chance to torment Catherine. However, in the last episode it was revealed that Frances may have driven the ultimate wedge between Catherine and his son: viewers saw Tommy receive a letter from Ryan telling his father that he loved him.

James Norton in Happy Valley


The conclusion of the mysterious murders

During the second series, Catherine investigated a series of murders apparently committed by Daryl Garrs (Robert Emms), a young local farmer. He confessed to his mother, Alison (Susan Lynch), that she shot him because she wanted him to avoid jail time. After surviving an overdose, Alison was arrested by Catherine.

The new romance of Catherine’s sister Clare

In the second series, Catherine’s sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) begins a romance with an old friend, Neil Ackroyd (Con O’Neill). They are both recovering alcoholics, which worried Catherine and led to a falling out between the two. They both fell off the car and Catherine had to arrest Neil for drunken behavior in public. However, at the end of the series, he promised to take good care of Clare.

Siobhan Finneran in Happy Valley


Catherine’s concerns about Ryan

The last message from happy valley‘s second series dealt with Catherine’s concerns about Ryan. There were several moments that made her think her grandson might be just as angry as his father. Unbeknownst to Catherine, Ryan was in touch with Tommy, and after six years on the series, the show will no doubt explore the impact this had on a now-teen Ryan.

happy valley returns to BBC One on New Year’s Day.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/happy-valley-series-3-recap-release-date-b2235287.html Happy Valley recap: What happened in Series 1 and 2? Everything to remember before Series 3


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