“Last Tango in Halifax” (Ep. 3): And it burned, burned, burned

The third episode of Last Tango in Halifax starts with a bang, with our so-put-together Caroline almost veering her family into the abyss as she drives erratically down a ridiculously gorgeous country road, screaming, “I’m having a nervous bloody breakdown!”

Clearly, I am in love with this episode already!

And it only gets better from here: there are fights, tears, sex, embers of lesbian hope, ghosts and haunted houses, and arson all still to come, resulting in the best episode yet. I know we’ve only recapped three episodes so far, but still, it’s the best one yet!

Caroline’s in such a frenzied state due to the debacle where we left off last episode, when it was revealed that her husband, John, let his mistress Judith into their house. Younger Loyal-to-my-Dad Son is giving her a hard time in the car, asking how she could’ve just left him there at Gillian’s house, when Caroline’s bloody breakdown showed its fiery face. Some deep breaths and a hug from both of her sons leaves her feeling slightly more calmed, and more determined to give John the boot for good. Thank heavens.

Speaking of the bastard, he’s let himself into Gillian’s house, as there’s nothing else he really could have done in his abandoned situation. He’s also helped himself to a healthy portion of Gillian’s red wine, because he’s a selfish alcoholic. Once Gillian returns home from picking up her son Raff from the police station, who’s been involved in some sort of kerfuffle, John begins to spill all of his woes to her. And here Gillian does me wrong for the first time — OK, well I suppose for the second time; the first being her sleeping with a dude — as she tells him that if he really, truly hasn’t done anything too wrong, he should stand up for himself. Thus begins a semi-friendship between John and Gillian, which I have many thoughts about, while I’ll get to in a bit.

When Alan gives John’s drunk ass a ride home early the next morning, John takes this “standing up for myself” advice to mean, “I should come shouting into the house as if I’ve just won the lottery and start making breakfast for my family while I play brassy bandstand music at top volume because life is jolly and I have done nothing wrong!” When Caroline finally barges into the room in her jammies to shut off the music he’s blaring so considerately, and asks him what the hell he’s doing, he even says, “Half of this house is mine. I didn’t do anything wrong. William exaggerated. Get over it!” What a stellar communication strategy for forgiveness! Spot on, sir!

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