The new season of Happy Valley is here and as well as delivering yet another stellar performance from Sarah Lancashire, fans have been left in bewilderment over the episode one cliffhanger.


While the Cawood family seem to be in a great (and relatively peaceful) place right now, it looks as though Catherine's (Lancashire) life is set to get a whole lot more complicated after finding out that her grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) has been visiting his father, Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), in prison – escorted by a mysterious couple.

So, along with the fact we definitely know Ryan has been to see Royce (the picture of the teenager in Royce's cell was the first giveaway to viewers), who is the mysterious couple that's been taking him to these prison visits? Read on for predictions as to who could be betraying Catherine in this season of Happy Valley.

Who has betrayed Catherine in Happy Valley?

Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley.
Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley BBC

The surprise admission came in the first episode when Sergeant Catherine Cawood's Inspector, Mike Taylor (Rick Warden), tells her he's received a phone call from a prison liason officer in Dewsbury. "She was at this conference in Reading last week, week before, with a load of PLO's," he says. "Apparently someone said to her that someone else had said to them that 'that Catherine Cawood must be getting soft, letting her grandson go visiting Tommy Lee Royce'."

Although Catherine refers to it as "forth-hand information" and talks about 16-year-old Ryan's lack of organisational skills, Catherine is then shocked to learn that Royce was transferred from Gravesend prison to Sheffield – aka much closer – at least 18 months prior.

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"Did she say anything else?" Catherine questions Mike, to which he refers to the fact that the PLO mentioned Ryan being with "a man and a woman". "He'd have to be – any kid would have to be if they're under 18."

The first episode ends as Mike approaches Catherine's office days later, telling her that he's received intel from the prison and that Catherine isn't going to like it. So, could it mean that the couple that's been taking Ryan is much closer to home than she previously thought? Let's run through the potential options.

Daniel and Ann

Charlie Murphy in Happy Valley S3
Ann Gallagher (Charlie Murphy) in Happy Valley BBC

Although many viewers will be pleased to learn of this budding relationship finally getting off the ground in season three, something does seem slightly amiss between the pair. It's too early to put our finger on at the moment but with the purchasing of a listed building as their new home, perhaps they're just going through the motions.

With busy schedules themselves, we're not inclined to believe that Daniel (Karl Davies), Catherine's son, and Ann (Charlie Murphy) would be keen to visit Royce in prison, let alone take Ryan to go and see him. Regardless of their opinion of father-son relationships, the fact remains that Royce kidnapped and raped Ann in season 1, prompting her to rebuild her life and choose a new career path in the police.

As Catherine states in her conversation with Richard: "Wouldn't be Daniel and Ann because she wouldn't go near him anymore than I would."

Richard and Roz

Happy Valley S3
Happy Valley: Richard (Derek Riddell) BBC

This duo seems highly unlikely, on account of the fact that season 3 picks up with a rather forlorn-looking Richard admitting to Catherine that his relationship with Roz is in a bad place.

Roz has been sleeping in the spare room, he tells her, so it probably isn't the ideal hotbed for cooking up a plan together. Besides, Richard holds many of the same opinions as Catherine as it relates to their dead daughter Becky, her rapist Royce and the future of Ryan.

Clare and Neil

Happy Valley BBC series 3

Out of all of the possible couples, sadly, the fingers seem to point at Catherine's sister and her partner Neil being involved in all of this.

While Clare has been a pivotal shoulder for Catherine to lean on throughout Ryan's childhood, Neil has been right in Catherine's line of suspicion since day one.

As she admits to Richard in this episode: "Clare and Neil have taken him to watch football matches when I've been working but ... see Neil, I don't know about Neil, I've never been sure about Neil but Clare? She just wouldn't, she wouldn't do that to me, would she?"

Clare has always been a people pleaser so could it be that she's listened to Ryan's opinions and granted him the wish of going to visit his father? We know from this episode too that Ryan feels comfortable confiding in his great aunt, so perhaps he's been using her as a confidante for the past seven years also.

Other candidates:

Frances Drummond – aka Miss Wheland

Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson) and Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley
Happy Valley: Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson), Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) BBC

While there hasn't been any suggestion of Shirley Henderson returning for season 3, could Frances Drummond be making a reappearance? In season 2, her only mission was to slowly coerce Ryan and force him to think about his father in prison. Subsequently, she achieved her goal: getting Ryan to pen a letter to Royce, which we saw delivered to him in the season two finale.

Although Catherine visited her to tell her about Royce's coercive behaviour, she seemed intent on fulfilling the desires of her romantic partner and was further spurred on by religious scriptures about family. So, it's not hard to think that perhaps she got a reduced sentence for her fraud charges, has been released and is going to visit Royce in prison with Ryan. This theory could be a strong one but we're left wondering who could be the mystery male attending with them, if this is the case.

Nevison Gallagher

George Costigan in Happy Valley S3
Nevison Gallagher (George Costigan) in Happy Valley. BBC

As Richard points out to Catherine, Nevison seems far down on the list of people who would ever want to lay eyes on Royce again. Subject to a vicious kidnapping plot in season 1 that saw his daughter Ann held hostage and raped by Royce, we're not inclined to believe that the wealthy business mogul would want to set foot in a prison to see Royce.

Also, it seems as though romance could be blossoming for Nevison and Catherine so it most certainly wouldn't be a smart move if he was betraying her in such a major way.

Happy Valley season 3 will premiere on New Year's Day at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The first two series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Drama hub for more news and features.


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