“Last Tango in Halifax” recap (2.1): Are we cool, Vincent?

The friends and family they talk about are names that mean nothing to us, names that we will probably never hear again, and so as a viewer, it seems like trivial information that shouldn’t make an impact. But the way they laugh nostalgically about it all seems so genuine, and their whole conversation is so natural that it reminds you of the way you’d like to be with your best mate when you are old, sitting on top of a rock in the countryside, or sitting in a grimy diner in a city, it doesn’t matter where, really, except for the fact that the memories are good, albeit bittersweet sometimes, and the conversation is natural and warm and meaningful, like a worn out sweater, like a life well lived.



Alan ends the conversation the way all such conversations should come to an end, with this question: “Do you fancy a pint?” Celia isn’t so sure about that, so instead they head to the city registrar’s office. Because with life being so short and all, they’ve decided to get this marriage thing over with, and to have it be just them—no pomp, no pressure, not even any daughters. They get assigned a date to come back in a fortnight, because people in England use words like fortnight.


Afterwards, they finally head back to the farm, where they present Gillian with yet another piece of news: they’ve decided Alan will move into Celia’s flat at Caroline’s. There are too many steps at the farmhouse, and at Celia’s she can keep an eye on him at all times. While it just makes more sense, clearly it breaks Gillian’s heart. My need to reach through the screen and hug Gillian forever increases.


Back at Caroline’s, Caroline and Kate waltz into the kitchen where John is sitting with his computer, being a putz, and Caroline cheerfully informs him that Kate is moving in. Well! Insert joke about U-Haul here. John sputters about how she has her own house and doesn’t understand why she would be want to be here. We can explain that to you in more detail if you need, John. Caroline says that after Saturday night, he has nothing to say. More on this Saturday night business in a moment.

First, Caroline and Kate share some googly eyes with each other. Kate asks how permanent this is. Caroline says they have to sit down and have a real conversation about it soon. That is, if it’s what Kate wants. Kate says, “Do you have to ask?”



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