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7 Happy Valley Easter eggs you might have missed in the epic finale

The final ever episode starring Sarah Lancashire aired last week

happy valley easter eggs
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
8 February 2023
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Happy Valley is over forever and we're pretty sad about it. The final ever episode aired last Sunday on BBC One and while we could watch endless series of Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood, it was a fitting ending to one of our favourite TV dramas.

The sixth chapter of series three was not short of incredibly tense moments and fantastic performances. The drama's incredible writer, Sally Wainwright, never does anything by accident and the final episode even featured a number of fascinating Easter eggs and nods back to the previous seasons. Warning! Spoilers ahead the finale…

Catherine Cawood talks into radio in series three© Photo: BBC

Happy Valley aired its epic finale last week

The reference to fire

One Easter egg we loved, in particular, is the tense exchange between James Norton's Tommy Lee Royce and Catherine Cawood as they came face to face in her kitchen. Viewers will know that things take a turn and the criminal set himself on fire, but did you know this was coincidentally familiar to the show's first-ever scene? Check out the video below to remind yourself.

WATCH: Catherine's iconic opening scene which was given a nod in the finale

The official poster had some very big clues

Ahead of the release of series three, the BBC drama shared a fantastic promotional poster showing the menacing Tommy Lee Royce, Catherine Cawood and her grandson, Ryan. But fans might have missed the clues. If you look closely at the bottom of the poster, you can make out a fire in the distance, perhaps a reference to the way Tommy meets his end.

Not only that, but under Tommy's headshot, there's a road bike on the pavement – undoubtedly referencing the way in which James Norton's character managed to escape during his court appearance.

MORE: Happy Valley star James Norton's surprising career before acting revealed

MORE: Happy Valley stars address show ending amid backlash

Happy Valley official poster © Photo: BBC

Can you spot the clues on the poster?

Catherine's memory of Gary Gaggoski

In the final episode, Catherine was told by Tommy that Gary Gaggoski was murdered by Darius Knežević. In a tense moment, Tommy says to her: "Remember that name," to which Catherine replies: "Oh I'll never forget Gary Gaggovsky, I nicked him once for a public order offence, and he bit me." Despite it being an intense scene, Catherine's deadpan wit makes the one-liner a humourous moment.

It also is a reference back to episode one of series three when the body of Gary was discovered and Sarah was keen to inform CID how she knew the identity of the body because she'd "recognise those teeth anywhere."

MORE: Why Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire keeps out of spotlight

Catherine and Clare in episode five© Photo: BBC

Catherine's line about Gary came up again in the finale

Catherine's worries about Ryan

Throughout the first two seasons when Ryan is young, part of the emotional storyline behind Catherine's relationship with her grandson is her fear that nature will take over nurture and somehow Ryan, genetically, will end up like his father. There's even a moment when Catherine gets called into his primary school after Ryan got into a situation with another child and she cries on the teacher panicking he's violent.

In series three, Ryan is, of course, much older but the fear is only heightened when Catherine discovers that Ryan has been visiting his dad. But in her very emotional final monologue to Tommy, she explains how her grandson is a "prince" and the total opposite of him. We're not crying you are.

Rhys Connah as Ryan Cawood in Happy Valley© Photo: BBC

Catherine was worried about how Ryan would turn out

The knives scene

In episode five after Tommy's escape, he finds himself in a halfway house to hide out from the police. After meeting an old man who resides at the house, Tommy talks to him in the kitchen while the old man is chopping beetroot.

There's a moment where Tommy observes the man chopping and staring at the knife. Viewers were left thinking the criminal was going to grab the knife and commit his next murder, but instead he thinks ahead and pockets the knife to use in the final episode when he goes on his stabbing rampage in the car.

Tommy Lee Royce escapes episode five© Photo: BBC

Tommy Lee Royce went on a killing spree in the finale

The Hepworth children

Rob Hepworth may not have killed his wife, Joanna, but it looks like the PE teacher will be going to prison regardless. Given that authorities came across hints pointing towards Amit Shah's character Faisal Bhatti being the perpetrator, the finale suggested that Rob won't be convicted of murder but police found indecent images of children on his devices, there's every chance he will end up convicted.

MORE: Happy Valley viewers seriously divided over final episode - here's why

But the moment that pulled at viewers' heartstrings was when Catherine asked her Inspector what will happen to the young daughters when Mike replied: "There's a grandmother," which of course made Catherine, and everyone at home, well up.

Hepworth family in Happy Valley© Photo: BBC

The Hepworth children ended up going to stay with their grandmother

The connection between Tommy and Ryan's communication

Remember in series two when Ryan was gifted a birthday present from Tommy via Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson)? It was the first loose connection he and Tommy had after Tommy was sent back to prison and exposed how Tommy was still attempting to build a relationship with his son.

A similar thing happened in episode five of series three when Tommy and Ryan connected via his gaming console. Like the Scalextric, the games console also exposed the communication between the father and son, helping to track down the criminal once and for all.

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