Happy Valley viewers were quick to praise the BBC police drama on Sunday night for the “best ending of a TV series ever” as the final episode aired.
During the last instalment of the hit BBC One police drama, Tommy Lee Royce, who had been in hiding and had previously escaped from his court hearing, realised he was heading to danger as he was picked up by gang members claiming he was meeting Darius Knezevic.
After being asked to get into the boot and spotting a bottle of petrol, Tommy pretended to need his inhaler as he headed back to the house to pick up a weapon before returning to the vehicle.
As the foursome drove in the Yorkshire Moors, Tommy attacked two of the passengers before finding himself in a fight with the driver, where he killed him off but was left seriously injured himself.
Remembering his son Ryan Cawood, who he had been chatting to over a game console, was in hiding and away from his home, Tommy headed for the youngster’s abandoned house – or so he thought.
In one tense moment, Catherine Cawood also decided to head back to the family home after a vision from her late daughter Becky told her to do so.
The police sergeant, who had been working tirelessly to find enemy Tommy, decided to take a quick nap after emotionally looking through old family photo albums while at the same time Tommy broke into the house.
However, before the two could meet, Catherine was woken by a phone call from grandson Ryan to pick him up from the police station after he gave information about his father and as she left through the front door, Tommy entered the kitchen door – narrowly missing each other by seconds.
Tommy spotted the photo albums that Catherine had been looking at as he went through them, seeing both his son Ryan and Becky’s life in photos, leaving the bleeding murderer in tears.
Later during the episode, Catherine received a phone call telling her someone had broken into her home as she headed back to investigate.
Upon entering her home, Catherine, who held a taser gun, realised it was Tommy, who had taken an overdose and was drinking heavily in the kitchen.
Catherine asked if he needed an ambulance before demanding he pass over the knife, which he had used to injure the gang members before, as she called for backup.
However, instead of an angry confrontation from the murderer he instead thanked Catherine for raising his son and giving him a good life.
He said: “Next time you’re thinking all this nasty b******s about me, I were looking at those pictures of Becky and Ryan, his whole life from when he were a baby all them years I never even knew him and do you know what I realised? I realised what a nice life he’s had. What a nice life you’ve given him. I hated you, I hated you for not telling me I had a boy.
“But last night, I had a glimpse at what a nice life he’s had, I don’t hate you anymore, I forgive you and I’m sorry I didn’t treat Becky any better.”
Although, the evil criminal couldn’t resist making a dig as he said: “I could have been a good dad if you’d let me! You’ve got me all wrong, you old b***h!”
But Catherine refused to see through his remorse as she said: “What I’ve seen really clearly these last few days is how much he [Ryan] is nothing like you. Oh, I’ve worried for long enough but now, that boy, is a prince.
“For all his ups and downs he is about as unlike you as is possible to be. You are not a dad, you don’t know how to be a dad. I’m sorry to be the bearer of such difficult news.”
Catherine then confronted Tommy for destroying her late daughter, “reducing her to nothing” which resulted in Becky tragically taking her own life.
And in a chilling conclusion, Tommy, who insisted he wasn’t going back to prison, decided to set himself on fire as he was quickly rescued by Catherine who managed to stop the flames.
After the scary encounter, Catherine ran outside in tears as she was comforted by sister Clare Cartwright after the two made up after their fallout.
In her true tongue-in-cheek humour, Catherine declared: “We’ve had another bit of a tussle, I won, obviously. I think I might have singed one of your crochet blankets.”
Later, as Catherine headed to the police station as part of her final day before retirement, it was revealed that Tommy was in a coma in hospital.
The episode ended with Catherine staying true to her retirement plans as she was seen on a road trip in her new truck, which Alison Garrs had helped fixed.
In a chilling moment, Catherine dropped flowers off at her late daughter Becky’s grave before the final ever episode dropped one final bombshell.
Receiving a text from Mike Taylor, it read: “TLR dead, hospital just rang…” as Catherine looked somewhat at peace with the news at getting justice for her daughter before walking off to start her road trip.
Viewers were quick to react to the scenes as one person tweeted: “Satisfying ending. Brilliantly written. Superbly acted. Best British TV show ever made! #HappyValley.”
A different account put: “#HappyValley Perfect ending. Absolute masterpiece. . Hope the show and actors get all the recognition they deserve. British drama at its very very best. X.”
Another follower wrote: “#HappyValley THAT WAS THE BEST ENDING IT COULD HAVE EVER BEEN OMG.”
While a different viewer added: “That might be the best ending to a TV series I’ve seen. Absolutely perfect. #HappyValley.”
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