“Last Tango in Halifax” recap: “Snotty and arrogant and glorious.” (Ep. 2)


Alan and Celia, meanwhile, have gotten together again in Halifax to discuss their future, which they suddenly decide should include buying a hot red Lexus together. These two! We do get the sense that Alan might not be as financially ready for a new hot red Lexus as Celia is, but he appears to go along with it because life is short. They also decide to have an engagement party to help bring their two families together after Caroline and Gillian got off on the wrong foot.

Gillian has moved to being happy for her dad and gives a warm congratulations to both of them, apologizing for how she acted in the coffee shop. Caroline maintains a sense of detached disbelief, saying that it’s just another one of her silly mother’s things and she’ll get over it soon. Celia finally sits down and tries to explain it to her, and when she does, we finally begin to see the softer, perhaps more vulnerable side of Caroline, and it is such a lovely sight to see. She asks why Celia’s rushing into this.

Celia: “I’ve been in love with him 60 years. That’s not rushing.”
Caroline: “He was 16 last time you saw him. People alter!”
Celia: “I’m not daft. It’s what I want. It’s what I’ve always wanted. I know him better than I know myself. Can you understand that?”
Caroline: “Sort of. Almost. That’s very…”
Celia: “What?”
Caroline: “Touching. Articulate.”

It’s in that “sort of,” that “almost,” that we know that that feeling that Celia holds now is not one that Caroline holds for her husband, but one that maybe she’s seen a glimpse of with someone else, something that deep down she longs for, as we all do, no matter how much we steel ourselves into believing we don’t. It is articulate, and it is touching, and in that moment Caroline finally starts to not just believe her mother, but perhaps be inspired by her. Celia says she believes she would have always created Caroline no matter what, but she imagines what would have happened if she’d always been with Alan. How happy life could have been. You can have that happiness too, Caroline.

You can.

Before the big engagement party, Caroline and her husband have a somewhat upsetting conversation wherein Caroline agrees he can start sleeping in their room again. Siiigh. She also says that she’s done something stupid, which for a hot minute we all believe is going to be Kate and I don’t want it to be Kate! But thankfully, it’s just how she treated Gillian at the coffee shop. She explains how she acted, and her husband laughs, saying that’s what she loves about her. She’s “snotty and arrogant and glorious.” And while I’m more than ready for this husband to get the permanent boot, his words here are accurate.

At the party, things start out dandy. Caroline gives Gillian flowers and apologizes about their first meeting.

Flowers! You guys!

Everyone introduces themselves; they share some bubbly; Alan gets up to give a little speech. This is where everything starts to go a little off-kilter.

Let’s make a list:

1) Alan’s speech is meant to be sweet, but it also includes the fact that Gillian’s mother was the very one who inadvertently or not caused Alan and Celia’s missed connection so many years ago, a part of the story which makes Gillian feel pretty weird;
2) The car dealer drives up in the hot red Lexus, which the boys are all very excited about but which Gillian and Caroline are both very much not;
3) The police show up to arrest Gillian’s son, who has apparently beat someone up in a bit of just-found-out-my-father-killed-himself processing;
4) Caroline’s Angry Son lets it out of the bag that her husband let Judith get drunk in their house.

Ta da!

The police, always such a buzzkill.

You what?

Everyone gets into their various vehicles to drive off to the police station or home or somewhere that isn’t there, and the episode finishes with Celia giving Caroline’s husband a beautiful slap in the face. He’s left standing alone, next to a few clucking chickens at Gillian’s farm in the middle of nowhere. Guess he WON’T be moving back into Caroline’s bedroom tonight! Applause!

Looks like you just got served.

Womp womp.

As one final note for this episode, I must say I am becoming increasingly smitten with the occasional wonderful panorama shots of the landscapes on this show, and I’ll have to end my recaps from now on with a few of my favorites, because pretty!

What were your favorite moments from this episode?

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