Happy Valley viewers shocked by horrific death in heartbreaking final episode

6 February 2023, 08:18

happy Valley's finale episode aired this weekend
happy Valley's finale episode aired this weekend. Picture: BBC
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

What happened in Happy Valley tonight? Ending of season 3 explained including a shock death.

**Warning: Happy Valley series three spoilers below**

The final episode of Happy Valley aired on Sunday night and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

The shock climax saw Sgt Catherine Cawood - played by Sarah Lancashire - take on arch villain Tommy Lee Royce.

But what happened at the end of Happy Valley season 3? Here’s what we know…

Sarah Lancashire stars on Happy Valley
Sarah Lancashire stars on Happy Valley. Picture: BBC

Happy Valley season 3 ending explained:

The finale saw Tommy, played by James Norton, breaking into ­Catherine’s home as the pair had their last showdown.

Tommy initially planned on setting the house alight and killing Catherine, but changed his mind after seeing photos of his son Ryan (Rhys Connah) with his mum, Catherine’s daughter Becky.

Instead, he apologised to Catherine and decided to set himself alight with petrol, leading the policeman to beg him not to take his own life.

She then jumped on him and smothered the flames to try and save him as he was seen in agony beneath her.

This was a nod to the very first episode of the show back in 2014, which saw her convince another criminal not to set himself on fire after his girlfriend dumped him.

Tommy Lee Royce and Sgt Catherine Cawood had a showdown in the Happy Valley final episode
Tommy Lee Royce and Sgt Catherine Cawood had a showdown in the Happy Valley final episode. Picture: BBC

Later, Catherine received a text as she visited her daughter’s grave that said: “TLR dead, hospital just rang.”

Elsewhere in the episode, it was Catherine’s last-ever day as a police officer before she retired, and she also reconciled with her estranged sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran).

Killer Faisal and abusive husband Rob also looked to be going to prison for a long time, along with crime boss Darius.

After watching the finale, one viewers wrote: “This will go down in history as one of the most sinister scenes of all time.”

“ENTIRE NATION HAS A SHOT OF ADRENALINE #HappyValley,” another wrote.

A third said: “The full circle decision from Sally Wainwright to finish the show exactly the same way it started with the petrol and the match? Just sublime, the best show to come out of this country in DECADES #HappyValley.”

Others were tipping Sarah Lancashire to win awards for her incredible performance, as a fourth said: “She deserves all the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars and it still won’t be enough . #HappyValley.”

"Give Sarah Lancashire all the awards. #HappyValleyFinale undoubtedly one of the most outstanding dramas of all time," wrote another.

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