‘No guns, no knives, no punches but a superb battle of words’: Happy Valley viewers hail finale as ‘a masterpiece’ and call for Sarah Lancashire to ‘win all the awards’
Happy Valley came to an end on Sunday night after three seasons, 18 episodes and nine years.
And the final episode of the BBC drama lived up to the incredible hype, with many viewers hailing the episode as ‘a masterpiece’ and ‘one of the greatest television finales of all’.
Sarah Lancashire‘s lead performance as Sgt Catherine Cawood was lavished with praise from critics and fans alike, as her final showdown with James Norton ‘s Tommy Lee Royce (or as she described it ‘a bit of a tussle’) was deemed the perfect way to end the series.
While many fans were expecting a high-octane conclusion, and perhaps even Catherine’s demise, writer Sally Wainwright’s decision to pivot her finale around a 15 minute long kitchen table war of words between Tommy and Catherine left viewers in awe.
‘A stand-off worth waiting for – no guns, no knives, no punches but a battle of words which Catherine badly needed to say. Superb stuff by Sally Wainwright a tour de fore turn by Sarah Lancashire & a whirlwind of emotion from James Norton. What a finale,’ declared one viewer.
Acclaim: Happy Valley came to an end on Sunday night after three seasons and the final episode lived up the incredible hype, with many viewers hailing the episode as ‘a masterpiece’
Others hailed Sarah’s performance, with a fan deciding that ‘she deserves all the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars and it still won’t be enough.’
‘I already feel sorry for any drama or actress up against Happy Valley and Sarah Lancashire at next year’s BAFTAs. Forget it it’s over, you haven’t got a chance,’ agreed writer Emma Kennedy.
The Sunday Times’ Rosamund Urwin pointed out: ‘I hope the success of Happy Valley means there are currently loads of dramas being commissioned with 50-something women as the protagonists, especially if they aren’t always completely likeable characters. Sarah Lancashire is just stellar.’
‘Many finales are a let down but Happy Valley wrapped up brilliantly.
Another masterclass from Sarah Lancashire and James Norton held his own opposite her. Sally Wainwright’s script, a masterclass in storytelling.’
Happy Valley fans were left in shock as Tommy Lee Royce set himself on fire after an epic showdown with Sgt Catherine Cawood during the final ever episode.
After he escaped court and broke into Catherine’s house, Tommy (James Norton) lay in wait until the officer returned home.
And fans were left screaming ‘oh my f**king God’ as the villain attempted to end his own life after telling Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) that he forgave her for keeping the news he had a son from him.
Showdown: Sarah Lancashire’s lead performance was lavished with praise as her final showdown with James Norton’s Tommy was deemed the perfect way to end the series
Masterclass: ‘A stand-off worth waiting for – no guns, no knives, no punches but a battle of words’ declared one viewer
Drama: While fans were expecting a high-octane end, writer Sally Wainwright’s decision to pivot her finale around a 15 minute long kitchen table war of words left viewers in awe
The two characters had a tense confrontation as they came face-to-face for the final time, with Tommy realising he’d reached the end of the road when he’d come to the conclusion his son Ryan was happier living with her.
As things came to a head, the escaped convict realised he had nowhere left to turn and set himself alight – before Catherine rushed to put out the flames with a blanket.
Taking to Twitter, fans were quick to share their reaction to the nerve-wracking climax to Catherine and Tommy’s feud.
Awards: Others hailed Sarah’s performance, with a fan deciding that ‘she deserves all the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars and it still won’t be enough’
‘OH MY F**KING GOD’ shouted one watcher, with another remarking: ‘Well, I bet NOBODY expected that!’
‘I’m wrecked’, commented a third, with a fourth observing: ‘Funking he’ll, he set himself alight.’
‘Jesus that was intense!’ commented a fifth watcher.
‘Don’t think anyone had THAT on their #HappyValleyFinale bingo card Good jaysus’ shared another.
Celeb fans: Actors Sanjeev Bhaskar and Robert Lindsay were among those tweeting their praise of the show on Sunday night