Our Happy Valley season 2 recap reveals why the last season of the gritty police drama had fans hooked

Here is a quick reminder about the major events and storylines in Happy Valley season 2 as fans prepare for the latest installment

Happy Valley season 2 recap
(Image credit: BBC)

Happy Valley season 3 has begun, but some fans are trying to recall what took place last season! Here's what you need to know...

Happy Valley season 3 launched on Sunday, January 1, 2023,  and while some fans are already loving the drama, others are struggling to remember what exactly took place last season. Seeing as season 2 was released in 2016, fans can be forgiven for struggling to remember all the details from the series that was first released 7 years ago! So here is a swift recap of the events in season 2 of Happy Valley...

Happy Valley

(Image credit: BBC)

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Happy Valley season 2 recap

Season 2 began with Tommy Lee Royce locked up in prison, following his attempt to kill Ryan and himself in the barge at the end of season 1. He was also incarcerated for other offenses that took place in the season such as; moving drugs for Ashley Cowgill, the rape, kidnapping, and drug abuse of Ann Gallagher, and the murder of police officer Kirsten McAskill who he brutally crushed between two cars. 

Ann begins the second season as a police officer, essentially taking on Kirsten's role from the first season. Ann proves that she is able to move past her traumatic experiences and becomes an asset to the team, ultimately helping Catherine to solve the major murder case of the season.

Ryan's teaching assistant Frances Drummond, played by Shirley Henderson, (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Bridget Jones' Diary) falls in love with Tommy Lee Royce while he is behind bars and tried to encourage Ryan to get in contact with him. Catherine discovered that Frances has been grooming Ryan and manages to convince her that her engagement is just a sham and he is involved in relationships with many lonely women that visit him in jail.

However, before Frances stopped seeing Tommy in prison, she managed to take a letter Ryan wrote to his father and pass it on to him in prison. This could be a key plotline in the next series as a small connection between Tommy and Ryan was established as the series ended.

Happy Valley

(Image credit: BBC)

Clare finished the season with a boyfriend Neil (played by Con O’Neill), who Catherine had begun to accept, even though she did arrest him in the second series for being drunk and disorderly. Neil was key to discovering who the murderer of the second season was after he told Catherine about his relationship with Vicky Fleming and how she blackmailed him.

The key murder investigation of the series surrounded Vicky Fleming, who was killed by her married lover, John Wadsworth who killed her after she tried to blackmail him for money. As a police officer, John made the murder look like the work of a serial killer who had been murdering prostitutes in the local area. When his actions are pieced together by Catherine, she chases John down to arrest him. Rather than facing the consequences of his actions, John jumps off a bridge at the end of the season, killing himself.

Darryl Garr was responsible for all the killings of prostitutes, the other major investigation in the series. Darryl was killed by his mother Alison, who shot him and then overdosed in an attempt to kill herself too, concluding this storyline in the show.

The series also ended with Catherine seeing a therapist and making her way to reconciling her grief surrounding her daughter Becky's suicide.

Following the release of the first episode of season 3 on Sunday, January 1, 2023, the six-episode long season has begun to be released by BBC every Sunday night. The first two episodes are also available to binge on BBC iPlayer, as are the first and second seasons of the show. 

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.