“Last Tango in Halifax” (Ep. 4): Search and Rescue

When the happy phone call arrives at Gillian’s house, Raff and Caroline pick up the line first, and run outside to tell Gillian the good news. And then they all hug and cry happy tears and I am not crying either, what are you talking about? Something just got in my eyes, and by “something” I mean whatever, goshdarnit, this show is beautiful!

While Alan and Celia drive back to Gillian’s house and reunite with everyone, John leaves Caroline’s house to take care of some business of his own. He once again meets Judith, but this time not at Caroline’s house, and not to drink or take pity on her. He’s giving her some money she’s asked for, along with some straight talk about getting her act together. He also tells her that he’s going to be truthful with Caroline from now on, starting with telling her about giving Judith this money. Judith, also known as Jenna Fitch, is so crazy and desperate and deluded that I’m tempted to still like her character just because it’s hard not to root for the crazy, pathetic ones. And it’s John that’s the true villainous person here, even while part of us feels that what he’s doing now here is a semi-good thing. Emphasis on the semi.

Alan, meanwhile, helps solve the whole Paul-Raff-Gillian Circle of Hell by doing what typically makes things better: laughing about it all. Oh, Alan, we’re so glad you’re back with the fam! Soon the laughs stop, however, as he clearly begins to have some pain in his chest area–remember how he forgot his pills last night?–which he tries to play off and call mere “twinges,” which Gillian isn’t buying. He says he’ll ring the doctor in a few days; she demands he do it today.

A bit later, he sets up a hot bubble bath for Celia, and as he explains that she’s got towels and coffee and Radio 2 waiting for her by the tub, she says that he’s spoiling her. He says that’s the plan, and that she better get used to it, “for that’s how it’s going to be from now on.” These two! Swoon!

And then as he walks into the kitchen to get the coffee, he falters for just a moment and his face blanches, and it’s clear those twinges haven’t stopped. And goddamnit Last Tango in Halifax, you better not paint the portrait of true love at last for these two people and then have one of them die! I mean I know they’re both close-ish to death as a general fact, but you know what I mean! And you better not do it! I said so!

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