“Last Tango in Halifax” recap (2.4): Heartbreak Hotel


Eventually, once Greg is away from the table for a moment, Caroline complains about his self-obsessed drivel to Kate. And while this assessment may be true, it’s probably also not the best way to win back over your girlfriend, who clearly considers this man a friend. Caroline excuses herself to her room, although not before casting one long, desperate, frustrated, and sadly confused look back at Kate.

Meanwhile on the farm, Gillian actually seems more put together this episode than she has all season. We make it through almost an entire episode without her sobbing! But drama still manages to find her, unsurprisingly. Everyone’s favorite drunk, Judith Fitch, shows up at Caroline’s house in a rage, looking for John, eventually finding him at Gillian’s. Robbie has also just decided to make amends with Gillian, and so he’s there, too. It’s one little happy group of people who have variously slept with each other, until Judith breaks the news that Gillian and John are included in that category. After some weak attempts at lying and defending, John soon admits the truth. And since John clearly can’t leave well alone, he continues to tell Robbie why, in fact, Robbie’s not good enough for Gillian, and that she doesn’t want him, anyway. Because John has decided that Gillian lacks the ability to speak for herself.

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Robbie proceeds to punch John in the face.

In other acts of stupidity and violence, Lawrence and one of his friends have trashed his mother’s beautiful kitchen while she’s away getting her heart broken, drinking too much and acting stupid in the way that teenage boys often drink too much and act stupid.


Celia stumbles upon this scene in disgust, but barely has time to deal with it before learning that William, the Good One, is in outpatients. The only thing we know about William this season is that he has a job that he hates, and after leaving early during this particular shift when he just couldn’t take it anymore, he was then violently mugged after taking cash out of an ATM. Yet instead of feeling anger, it seems that he just feels lonely and hurt. He laments to Alan that he saw it in the muggers, in the faces of the bullies he works with: that they think William is an outsider, a freak, someone who deserves their kicks and laughs. My poor lovely William. I wait all season to see more of you, and when I do, you are sad and broken.

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Alan shares a little life lesson with him. The most important thing in life, he says, is confidence. And sometimes, the best way to get confidence is to hang out with people that make you doubt yourself, that make you feel like you are somehow not good enough, and to live through it. And I know Alan Buttershaw and Sally Wainwright didn’t know this, but this is somehow a message that I needed to hear at this exact moment in my life as much as William.

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