It's safe to say that the past week has crept by slowly for Happy Valley fans.


In a nutshell, we've all been counting down the days till we find out who's betrayed Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) after the cliffhanger of episode 1. Now that we know, though, it's only left us with further burning questions. How will this revelation impact Catherine? Will she be able to move on after this major betrayal?

Not only has the identity of the mysterious "man and woman" taking Ryan (Rhys Connah) to go and visit his father in prison been revealed, we also have an expectedly fiery confrontation to look forward to in episode 3. You know, in typical wonderful Catherine Cawood fashion.

If you're yet to catch up with Happy Valley, be warned as there are major spoilers to follow.

Who betrayed Catherine?

Rhys Connah as Ryan Cawood in Happy Valley
Ryan Cawood (Rhys Connah) in Happy Valley. BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

Right, remember when we spent the past seven days mulling over the possibility of Catherine's ex-husband (Derek Riddell) taking Ryan to go and visit Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) in prison? Or perhaps, Catherine's son Daniel (Karl Davies)?

As per viewer polls and popular opinion, many of us were correct in our thinking that the mysterious couple betraying Catherine was actually her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) and her partner Neil Ackroyd (Con O'Neill). What a turn-up for the books.

Thank the writing gods (aka Sally Wainwright) because we found out in the space of the first couple of minutes that Inspector Mike Taylor (Rick Warden) had found out who was accompanying teenage Ryan.

He takes Catherine into his office, initially whispering: "It's Clare. It's your Clare and Neil Ackroyd – is that her partner? Neil Ackroyd?"

The usually composed and blunt-speaking Catherine is left visibly stunned by the omission so Mike continues: "Looks like they started visiting him just over a year ago. There's been four visits and another one arranged for this Saturday... you alright? Catherine? Speak to me."

Catherine is only left with one question: "Why? Why would they do that?" She brings up the calendar on her mobile phone, realising that the Saturdays that Ryan has been taken to the prison are all Saturdays she has been working and the pair agreed to take Ryan to football.

"I've never liked that Neil, he's spineless. And Clare for god's sake, she's the same. Weak," Catherine states.

What does Catherine do with the information?

Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) in Happy Valley. BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

Throughout the episode, Catherine subtly hands multiple opportunities to both Clare and Ryan to confess to her. She reveals the truth to Richard, telling him that she's not going to confront them but rather, sit and observe them.

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Slight changes in Catherine's behaviour should point at suspicion but kisses missed out on texts, refusing to walk Clare home in the dark and maintaining fierce eye contact don't seem to rattle her sister's composure.

Even though we find out early on that it's Clare and Neil that are taking Ryan to the prison, it's still hard to believe in the final moments of the episode that they are actually doing so. They pile into the car, Ryan changing out of his football kit in the back and Catherine tailing their car in Alison's truck.

Neil gets out of the car with Ryan once outside the prison in Sheffield and Catherine continues to follow Clare to the café she sits in. It's their phone call that really cements the betrayal.

Clare mentions that they're in Leeds, with the boys out shopping. They get chatting with Catherine sat directly behind Clare in the coffee shop she's sat in. "So I'll see you when I see you... when you get back from Leeds," Catherine hangs up saying.

And in a jaw-dropping ending to the episode, Catherine walks right in to the café and sits across from her sister. Confrontation incoming...

What will happen now?

Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), Neil (Con O'Neill), Clare Cartwright (Siobhan Finneran) & Ryan Cawood (Rhys Connah) in Happy Valley.

If you're a devoted Happy Valley fan, you'll know that there's often little point in trying to guess where the stories will wind up because Wainwright always has a clever way of surprising us all.

However, it's pretty plain to see that the relationship with the sisters will be on a very rocky road going forward. We can assume that the next episode will pick up right after the café confrontation but in those final moments of episode 2, it's also clear to see that lying about this is making Clare upset and uncomfortable. So, perhaps she isn't the cut-and-dried villain in all of this.

We'll likely hear why and how Clare and Neil became involved in accompanying Ryan. Will this lead to a showdown with Neil and Catherine? It's very likely, seeing as she's never entirely cared for her sister's partner.

As for where it leaves Ryan, he's demonstrated a very clear angry (and mean) streak, so we can assume that the repercussions of this won't leave the Cawood household in calm conditions.

Catherine, however, has approached the whole affair in the way of someone who's been hurt in the worst way possible, so we can only hope she recovers from this in the way we know the steely Sergeant often does.

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Happy Valley season 3 continues on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The first two seasons are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

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