‘Happy Valley’ Season 2 Episode 5 review: Robert Emms is chilling as Darryl

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Poor Darryl isn’t so poor after all!

Yet again, Sally Wainwright’s immaculately written series has pulled out another stonker of an episode.

When looking back over an episode to review it we realise just how much is crammed in, yet in such an effortless ‘nothing is really happening’ kind of way.

So let’s start with the big hits first. Darryl is our serial killer, waking his mother in the middle of the night when his guilt can’t be contained any longer. He’s had an interesting trajectory, from pitiful victim in Episode 1 to his revelation in Episode 5.

There’s no justification for his actions, but we wonder if a lifetime of bullying is what took it out on him, the mutilation and murders a horrifying attempt to regain power and control. Robert Emms (Atlantis) worked the role brilliantly but the biggest praise must go to Susan Lynch, a character who has sat on the sidelines until now watching helplessly as her son gets beaten around town.

The moment when Darryl wakes her is chilling, mainly thanks to the genuine fear in her eyes. Finally putting him out of his misery at the end of the episode means he won’t truly pay for his crimes so we’re looking forward to seeing how she defends her actions.

Happy Valley 2 1 John Wadsworth (KEVIN DOYLE)

Wadsworth is full of the joys of spring as John (Matthew Lewis) digs a deeper hole for himself when he says he may have been too drunk to know if he’d killed the women he’s been accused of.

Watching Wadsworth burst into his family home, a sense of renewed confidence, demanding that his cheating wife leave was electrifying to watch. But even more rewarding was the discovery of another of Darryl’s victims with John still behind bars – the dawning realisation that maybe he won’t get away with murder after all.

Now that the true killer has been revealed and has no way of denying committing Vicky’s murder, our only hope is good old fashioned detective work from Katherine Kelly’s Jodie Shackleton. She’s never been convinced that she had the same killer as the others – we’re all rooting for you!

Happy Valley 2 Jodie Shackleton (KATHERINE KELLY)

The Cawood family haven’t been in for an easy ride this week either. Ryan has asked even more questions about his dad and writes to him in prison prompted by Frances. Shirley Henderson was, as ever, riveting as she skulked around outside their family home preying on the young boy. Thankfully Catherine’s son Daniel has worked out that Ryan’s questions all stem from when he comes home from school.

We forget that Clare has been the only one to meet Frances and seeing the CCTV of her buying Ryan’s mystery gift, the family’s suspicions are confirmed. I wouldn’t fancy being in Frances’s shoes in next week’s finale…

Will Frances go through with Tommy Lee Royce’s demands to kill Catherine? Is she going to snatch Ryan and head off to Gravesend? Will she firebomb the Cawood’s home as was heavily implied at the start of this week’s episode? We can’t wait to find out.


Aired at 9pm on Tuesday 8 March 2016 on BBC One.

> Buy the complete Season 1-2 box set on Amazon.

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