BBC's Happy Valley: Everything that's happened so far in series 1, 2 and 3 (2023)

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that millions across the country eagerly await Sunday night, to tune into the explosive latest episode of BBC's Happy Valley.

The gritty police crime drama, which is currently airing its third, and last, season, much to the disappointment of fans, first hit our screens back in 2014, and followed Sarah Lancashire’s role as no-nonsense detective Catherine Cawood.

Its eagerly awaited second season then arrived in 2016, leaving fans hungry for more. It was unclear whether the hit show would return for a third series, with almost seven years passing by before a string of juicy new episodes returned.

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Season three is currently airing every Sunday on BBC One. It has been confirmed as the show's last season, with the sixth and final episode airing on February 5.

For die hard fans and those just catching up, here is a full recap of everything that has happened so far, in seasons one, two and three.

(Video) The ultimate Happy Valley recap S1-S2 | BBC

Season One

In season one, viewers are first introduced to Sergeant Catherine Cawood. The opening episodes touch on her heartbreaking past. Those watching learned how her daughter Becky died after taking her own life as a teenager.

Becky had only recently given birth to her son, and Catherine's grandson, Ryan. The programme leads fans through Catherine's heartache, who knows Becky ended her life after a traumatic ordeal, which saw her sexually assaulted by Tommy Lee Royce, the biological father to Ryan.

Catherine's struggles are heightened once more after her husband Richard decided to leave her. Her own son Daniel also stops speaking to her following her erratic behaviour whilst grieving the loss of daughter Becky.

The cop was never able to prove that Tommy sexually assaulted her daughter, however he is sent to prison for drug-related offences. After being released from behind bars, he kidnaps and rapes a woman named Ann Gallagher, the daughter of a millionaire businessman. He goes on to kill a police officer called Kirsten McAskill after she pulls over the car, with Ann bound in the back.

Tommy later learns that he is Ryan's biological father after finding out he and Becky had a son. At the gripping end of season one, Catherine manages to save kidnapped Ann after locating her whereabouts, but is seriously injured in the process by Tommy upon attempting to escape.

Season Two

Two years on from the first season gripping the nation, a second series of Happy Valley returned. It was a dramatic start, as Catherine has to provide an alibi for her whereabouts after discovering the body of Tommy Lee Royce's mum.

(Video) The GRIPPING opening scene of Happy Valley Series 3 | BBC

Investigations are underway after several prostitutes in the locality are attacked and murdered. A policeman called John Wandsworth also murders his mistress Vicky Fleming, but desperately attempts to cover it up by using the same method as the mysterious and unidentified serial killer.

BBC's Happy Valley: Everything that's happened so far in series 1, 2 and 3 (1)

On the case, Catherine uncovers the serial killer's identity. He is called Daryl, and is the son to a local farmer named Allison. Devastated at learning about her son's crimes, Allison shoots him in the head, killing him, before attempting to take her own life by overdosing but failing and being arrested. As the drama unfolds, officer Wandsworth is revealed as the killer of Vicky Fleming, and takes his own life.

Later in the season, Catherine's relationships with her ex-husband Richard and son Daniel begin to mould back together as they become more involved in her grandson Ryan's life. Catherine also supports Ann, who was kidnapped and raped in season one, become a community support officer within the police.

Tommy, who is back behind bars serving a life sentence for his violent crimes, is revisited in the second season. A teaching assistant at young Ryan’s school, Miss Wheeland, regularly visits Tommy in prison and creates a fake identity to score a job at the school. She persuades Ryan to forgive Tommy, his biological dad, and begin writing to him in prison, without Catherine knowing.

(Video) Happy Valley stars Siobhan Finneran, James Norton and crew on the show's final series | BFI Q&A

Season Three

After almost seven long years away from screens, many had lost hope that Happy Valley would return. But, in January, the explosive drama returned for its final season. Episodes are aired every Sunday at 9pm.

Explaining the long wait for the new season, creator Sally Wainwright said that she wanted the cast to age to match the next part of the story, with Ryan being old enough to try and navigate a relationship with Tommy Lee Royce.

Viewers were thrust straight back into the drama as familiar face Catherine returned to screens. She discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a reservoir that has been drained. Investigations soon lead her back to Tommy Lee Royce, the biological father of her grandson Ryan, now 16, who is still locked up for his crimes.

BBC's Happy Valley: Everything that's happened so far in series 1, 2 and 3 (2)

In another part of the valley, a local pharmacist Faisal Bhatti gets in over his head after providing his neighbour Joanna with Diazepam. She is in a violent and turbulent relationship with Rob Hepworth, a teacher and football coach at Ryan's school. Joanna is arrested after Rob dobs her into the police after finding her with the tablets.

(Video) How Happy Valley's Ryan grew from a boy to a man | BBC

Faisal is already a man on the edge and in a spiral of panic due to his involvement with organised crime gang who are starting to threaten to harm his family. He fears the police will catch him at any moment after Joanna was arrested, prompting her to attempt to blackmail him into helping him flee Rob and pay for a flat - or help kill him.

The pair eventually scramble together a plan for Joanna to drug her husband's drink on a Friday night before being injected with a fatal air bubble into his bloodstream. Worried about the repercussions, Joanna decides against the idea, and admits she lied to Faisal about Rob knowing it was him supplying her with the drugs.

They erupt into an argument, where Faisal impulsively grabs a rolling pin and hits her over the head, leaving her twitching and injured on the kitchen floor.

The plot develops further after Catherine's boss Inspector Mike Taylor receives intel that Ryan has been writing to his dad in prison and has been secretly going to visit him. He has been taken to HMP Sheffield by Neil Ackroyd, the partner of Catherine's recovering drug addict sister Clare, who has been driving them to the prison.

Naturally, a devastated no-nonsense Catherine confronts Clare in a nail-bitingly tense scene as she waits for grandson Ryan and Neil in a cafe in a scene fans dubbed 'Bafta-worthy'. Catherine confides in ex-husband Richard about the deceit, explaining she was planning to tell Ryan the truth about Tommy when he was 18 for him to make his own choices.

However, she is forced to tell him he must decide between living with her and not maintaining contact with dad Tommy, or to move out and live with his auntie Clare if he wishes to keep in touch with him.

(Video) Happy Valley | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix


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