“Last Tango in Halifax” recap (2.6): Save the Last Dance For Me


The boys proceed to perform an amazing rendition of “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” a ridiculous country song from 1979, and while I was worried about dear Alan’s fragile heart giving way the entire time, my face pretty much matched everyone else’s in the audience.

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As weddings tend to go, the night proceeds in bliss for those in love, and in an increasingly bittersweet torture for those who aren’t. Kate leaves the party rather early, and wishes Caroline a happy Christmas before she goes. Before she can stop herself, Caroline responds bitterly, “Yeah, and how likely is that?” She immediately appears remorseful and quietly apologizes. She wishes Kate a happy Christmas, too. Without saying another word, Kate turns and walks away.

An hour later, Caroline and Gillian sit together at a table, once again in a similar boat, watching others dance and thinking about what they want but can’t have. As Caroline describes Kate’s departure, Gillian lays her hand on Caroline’s bare forearm in comfort and rubs it tenderly, a gesture I can’t stop thinking about. Caroline says she’d love to have Gillian over for Christmas. Gillian smiles and says she’d love to, if she can get someone to feed the sheep. They are so sad, and so perfect.

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Eventually, Gillian gives in to herself, and over Caroline’s disapproval, dances with Robbie, who obviously also wants to dance with her. While I know feelings about this will be mixed, my heart wants Gillian to be happy, while my brain knows that Caroline is right. Being with the brother of the man you murdered = not a very good idea, no. But at the same time, Gillian has been through so much. We build a billion barriers against love. Why can’t she have true happiness, just for once?

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