‘Happy Valley makes it impossible to get an early night’: Viewers are gripped by thrilling episode as Tommy Lee Royce makes a great escape and a body turns up in a suitcase

The final series of Happy Valley reached a crescendo during episode four as Catherine Cawood’s hunch played out in gripping scenes.

The last five minutes of the latest episode of the hit BBC drama saw major developments in the two storylines, as Rob Hepworth discovered his wife Joanna’s body, and Tommy Lee Royce made his great escape.

One fan declared that the show ‘makes it impossible to get an early night’ as the episode ended with yet another cliffhanger and the prospect of a final showdown between Sarah Lancashire‘s Cawood and James Norton‘s Royce.

Nearing the end: The final series of Happy Valley reached a crescendo during episode four as Catherine Cawood’s hunch played out in gripping scenes

Episode four saw Tommy getting a haircut and showing off his tattoo dedicated to son Ryan as he headed to court over a gangland murder charge after the victim was discovered by Sergeant Cawood in the opening scene of the series.

Tommy’s son Ryan (Rhys Connah) ditched school to sit in court, only for his granddad Richard (Derek Riddell) to also show up, as part of his investigative work into the Kneževićs.

After two of the Kneževićs men provided a distraction outside, Tommy fought his way out of the courtroom, racing through the streets of Leeds.

Villain: The final five minutes of the latest episode of the smash hit BBC drama saw major developments in the series' two storylines, as Tommy Lee Royce made his great escape

Villain: The final five minutes of the latest episode of the smash hit BBC drama saw major developments in the series’ two storylines, as Tommy Lee Royce made his great escape

Dramatic scenes: After two of the Kneževićs men provided a distraction outside, Tommy fought his way out of the courtroom

Dramatic scenes: After two of the Kneževićs men provided a distraction outside, Tommy fought his way out of the courtroom

Using a disguise provided for him, the closing moments of the episode saw the villain cycling off into the distance.

Meanwhile the series’ other major story strand played out as Joanna’s disappearance raised suspicions.

Episode three saw Faisal Bhatti (Amit Shah) murder Joanna in a fit of rage after their plan to kill Rob unravelled. 

He's free: Using a disguise provided for him, the closing moments of the episode saw the villain cycling off into the distance

He’s free: Using a disguise provided for him, the closing moments of the episode saw the villain cycling off into the distance

Gripping: One fan declared that the show 'makes it impossible to get an early night' as the episode ended with yet another cliffhanger

Gripping: One fan declared that the show ‘makes it impossible to get an early night’ as the episode ended with yet another cliffhanger 

What's in the suitcase? Meanwhile the series' other major story strand played out as Joanna's disappearance raised suspicions

What’s in the suitcase? Meanwhile the series’ other major story strand played out as Joanna’s disappearance raised suspicions

Despite her husband Rob insisting it was in her character to disappear, Joanna’s concerned parents were seen arriving at the police station to file a missing person report with Sgt Cawood.

After being questioned at home, Rob noticed a suitcase in the garage and opened it to the horrifying scene of his wife’s body crammed inside. 

Viewers hailed the show’s writer Sally Wainwright for her skill in bringing two storylines to a head in a matter of minutes.

Sunday night viewing: Viewers hailed the show's writer Sally Wainwright for her skill in bringing two storylines to a head in a matter of minutes

Sunday night viewing: Viewers hailed the show’s writer Sally Wainwright for her skill in bringing two storylines to a head in a matter of minutes

‘To build that amount of tension in an episode takes skill, but to build that amount of tension on 2 separate story strands within an episode, is writing & direction of the highest order. #HappyValley,’ declared one fan.

Another pointed out that ‘Happy Valley makes it impossible to get an early night on a Sunday. Every episode leaves you with a heart rate of about 200 BPM.’

‘Jesus christ. Didn’t breathe for about ten minutes,’ agreed another. 

Other pointed out that once again Cawood’s hunch that Tommy was planning something during his court hearing proved to be right, as they begged her colleagues and family to ‘always listen to Catherine when she’s got a hunch.’

Tommy’s escape signals that a final showdown between him and Cawood is building, but with it being the final series some viewers are beginning to worry that Sarah Lancashire’s lead won’t make it to retirement.

‘If bad things happen to Catherine at the end of this series I’m not sure I will be able to forgive Sally Wainwright and co.’ tweeted author JoJo Moyes.

Happy Valley continues on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm. 

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