“Last Tango in Halifax” (2.2) recap: Baby Talk


Last week on Last Tango in Halifax, we left off with Celia and Alan on their way to the town’s registry to get married, and that’s exactly where we start this week. The two secretive lovebirds have dragged in two randoms from the street to be their witnesses, one a butcher and one a policeman who may or may not actually be on duty. Celia seems somewhat disturbed by all this, but Alan is in his element, happy with whatever’s happening because it involves marrying Celia.

All seems to be going well until Gillian drives down the street in her lesbianmobile, the card listing their marriage appointment stuck between her teeth, which is somehow attractive to me, and she then bursts into the room in a rage.


“No, fine! You carry on. Don’t tell us. We don’t mind. We’re just your daughters!” At the mention of daughters, plural, Celia asks if Caroline is here, too, at which point the true extent of Gillian’s indignant anger begins to show itself. “No, Celia, she isn’t, because you can’t get from Harrogate to Halifax in the space of 15 minutes, not unless you’re Captain Spock, and you can disappear at your own backside in a cloud of glitter with a cheesy sound effect and land on another planet two seconds later. I don’t think even Caroline can do that. I may be wrong!” Well, then. The butcher leans over to contribute helpfully: “She means Mr. Spock.”


Gillian then begins to hone her betrayal and hurt onto Celia, saying that Alan never would have done something like this—get married without telling her—before Celia came around. Gillian is being selfish and real inappropriate, yet there is also something glorious about her in her craziness. After a few more irrational shouts, she storms out, only to walk right back in to ask, more teary this time, if Alan has any idea how worried and upset she’s been. Then she actually walks out, runs back to her car, and cries. The unraveling of Gillian has begun.


She meets Robbie at a pub and hashes out all of her frustrations and fears and annoyances, all of which Robbie calmly sits back and listens to while drinking a tiny coffee. He counters every one of her rants with the more logical realities, not necessarily in a condescending way, but in a “You are out of control so I’m going to be a grown up” way. But Gillian doesn’t want to hear it, and the whole time I can’t understand why Robbie’s not just reaching over and kissing her, because that’s what I would do.

It’s like the argument she had with Alan, where he called her a disappointment to her mother, has seeped into her brain in the last two weeks when they haven’t really been talking, and she is starting to believe it. She’s starting to believe that the rest of the world really does see her as low life trailer trash, and she’s decided that war against the posh elite of Harrogate, the world that has taken her father, her best friend, away from her, is the only answer. At the end of their conversation, Robbie asks if he and her should get married in secret sometime, which is the only thing that makes her smile.


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