Happy Valley viewers blown away by Sarah Lancashire's performance in outstanding series finale
Just in case you were in any doubt about Sarah Lancashire's acting talents.
Millions came to a halt on Sunday night for roughly 70 minutes as they sat down for the finale of Happy Valley.
After three seasons spread over eight years, fans of the series said a fond farewell to Sarah Lancashire's Catherine Cawood, James Norton's fantastically vile Tommy Lee Royce and, of course, our Ryan.
The closing episode saw everything come to a head for Catherine, as she discovered that her grandson Ryan had been visiting his biological father Tommy in prison. He had been behind bars for countless evil acts, but the plot point running through all three of the series has been that he raped Ryan's mother, who then killed herself just weeks after Ryan's birth.
When Tommy managed to escape from prison two episodes ago, everything was set up for a final showdown between him and Catherine, and that's exactly what fans got.
It was a quite simply jaw-dropping episode that has gone straight into the list of all-time great finales.
The kitchen scene between Lancashire and Norton's characters, which culminated in a grisly end for the monstrous Tommy, is probably already one of the greatest TV moments we will get in 2023.
📸: @jginorton pic.twitter.com/Ebg6D3mjRd
— Queen Sarah Lancashire (@QueenLancashire) February 5, 2023
Thoughts on THAT scene… #HappyValleyFinale pic.twitter.com/vDmL4HNDrR
— Queen Sarah Lancashire (@QueenLancashire) February 6, 2023
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 force turn by Sarah Lancashire, & a whirlwind of emotion from James Norton. What a finale. #HappyValley pic.twitter.com/A4jz40tldi
— Cara O'Doherty (@CaraODoherty8) February 5, 2023
this scene just sums up why it’s the best show on tv, sarah lancashire and james norton’s acting is amazing, the interactions between catherine and tommy are amazing, the script is amazing, and it still manages to be funny? 10/10 #HappyValleyFinale #happyvalley pic.twitter.com/gEs8BawidG
— mjc (@MC_squared_) February 5, 2023
Whilst Norton will rightly get endless plaudits for his portrayal of one of the evilest characters we've seen on TV in the last decade, Lancashire was a tour de force throughout.
When the credits rolled on Sunday, viewers were left in awe of her performance, and fans were quick to voice their admiration for the actress.
“I won, obviously.” - Catherine fucking Cawood 👏🏼#HappyValley pic.twitter.com/hF7fHwLlUa
— Lillie-Mae (@Lilliemaenot) February 5, 2023
She deserves all the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars and it still won’t be enough . #HappyValley pic.twitter.com/71gcqwumfX
— MK200034 (@MN456782) February 5, 2023
There was also huge praise for the series' creator, director and writer Sally Wainwright, as well as for Siobhan Finneran who has starred as Catherine's sister since the show's beginning.
Several suggested that Happy Valley may have proven TV executives wrong across the UK by being a proudly female-led, Northern-based series that was still one of the grittiest and darkest shows around.
working in film and TV I have heard producers say repeatedly no one wants women 40+ in lead, no one wants to fund regional female voices, no one wants to hear women be vulgar and swear. #HappyValley has proven every fucking one wrong. Viva La Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire
— Rebecca (@rebeccalucia94) February 5, 2023
Britain is really spoiled with women who brilliantly depict grit, strength & compassion through their acting. Pauline Ashbourne, Josette Simon come to mind with the brilliant Sarah Lancashire & Siobhan Finneran. Whenever do these women get their awards? Surely time for these two! https://t.co/UgifROzg5J
— Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE (@MCaselyHayford) February 6, 2023
Lancashire already has a number of awards to her name for her performance in Happy Valley, having picked up the BAFTA for Best Actress in 2017.
It seems a pretty safe bet that we will be seeing her make a few more acceptance speeches this year.
- 40 years ago, a sci-fi horror with one of the best special effects of all time was released
- 5 years ago, Hollywood took a massive gamble on a huge sequel... and lost big time
- Guy Ritchie's new war movie looks like it'll be a very emotional watch
- Can you ace this ultimate Brendan Fraser quiz?
- Netflix backtracks on anti-password sharing measures following user outcry
- Netflix has just added 12 very big movies to their library
- Netflix has just added one of the funniest shows of the last 10 years
- Colin Farrell shouldn't win the Oscar this year