'Last Tango in Halifax' Recap: Season 4 Episode 4

(Credit: Courtesy of Matt Squire)

Picture Shows: ALAN (Derek Jacobi) and CELIA (Anne Reid)

Lookout Point

Before we sum up the final installment of Last Tango in Halifax Season 4, let’s refresh our memories as to what happened in the previous episode. Ruth left Caroline holding the bag when she backed out the Q&A with Judith. Gillian not only had a fake Banksy on her barn, but much of her flock escaped through an open gate and terrorized the nearby village. Finally, Celia was feeling frazzled in her duties as Ted’s babysitter, taxi driver, and overseer of kitchen renovations. See the recap for all the Buttershaw drama

Now on to the finale:

A week has passed and Celia’s kitchen contractor’s still AWOL. But on this busy morning, kindly carpenter Rick (Jonathan Halliwell) has come round to put Celia’s old kitchen back together, free of charge. John continues to lodge at Caroline’s, but at least he’s helping with the afternoon school run.

Meanwhile, with no Banksy money to bail her out, Gillian is in the process of taking offers on the farm. Alan asks her to wait until they can talk in person before she makes any decisions. He’s leaving for work and Ted is fussing about being dragged along.

During the school drop-off, Gillian and Calamity have a chat about being gay and what denial is. (She’s one precocious lass!) In the next car, Caroline gets a call from Judith who rambles on and pressures her to set a dinner date. She tries to let her down nicely but basically tells Judith that getting involved with a home-wrecking alcoholic isn’t at the top of her list of things to do.

Apparently, since Rick is working on the kitchen, Ted was allowed to stay home. Harrison shows up asking for Alan. Aware that the boy’s been living in the shed, Ted offers him breakfast. They chat about being in the doghouse and Ted expresses a desire to go to Bridlington where he and Alice honeymooned. Harrison offers to drive, assuring Ted that he has a special dispensation because he looks so much younger than he is.

On the way to work, Alan and Celia discuss Ted. Alan is angry that he just showed up with no money assuming they’d take him in. Celia empathizes with her brother-in-law. He was vulnerable and targeted and, much like their kitchen swindle situation, the police won’t help.

Later in the day, Raff calls Alan to confess that his friend Dinos, a trainee art teacher, painted the Banksy-esque giraffe on the barn. It was half a joke and not a very well thought out plan. Now he doesn’t know how to fix it.

Once our wayward team arrives at Sowerby Bridge, Harrison goes to find “his car.” He not only knows how to hotwire a car, but he is proficient at driving. Can Ted really not know this is wrong? Once Celia returns, Ted is long gone and left his mobile behind. A lot of good Rick was.

Next, we find Caroline multi-tasking as usual. While checking out the vandalism to Ruth’s car, she’s suggesting to Gillian that they pool their resources and live together (but not that way). It’s a nice idea, but Gillian counters that land, neatness, and future partners (as she eyes the pub landlord) are all possible impediments.

(Credit: Courtesy of Stuart Wood)
(Credit: Courtesy of Stuart Wood)

Ted and Harrison’s excellent adventure continues. Once in Bridlington, the fellas take a ride on the dodgem cars and stop for a meal. Ted tells the boy he wants to find a way to apologize to Alice for the bad decisions he’s made.

Celia sounds the alarm and soon friends and family are fanning out to find Ted. The police are concerned due to Ted’s dementia and depression from losing money and falling out with his kids. PC Cheryl is being very professional and thorough despite her personal issues with Gillian.

Back at the school, Ruth has been called into the headmistress’s office. Caroline apologizes for not listening to her problems properly. She offers Gillian as someone Ruth can talk to about her abusive relationship. She has also arranged to have her car cleaned up and for transportation until the car is done. Caroline is emphatic that she cares about her students and staff and requires no thanks. A chastened Ruth says sorry and thanks her anyway.

While paddling at the seashore, Ted thinks he sees a young Alice in the distance. He tells her he loves her then she disappears. Harrison is ready to hit the road. We finally learn that the boy’s mother is dead, he’s never known his dad and his sister Stella lives in a foster home in Sheffield.  They see each other now and again, mostly at Christmas.

Ted just wants to stay in Bridlington and refuses to accompany the lad to Sheffield. A displeased Harrison takes off and Ted is left alone on the beach. Once again, the vision of Alice returns, asking Ted what he’s frightened of.

(Credit: Courtesy of Stuart Wood)
(Credit: Courtesy of Stuart Wood)

As the search continues, Alan and Celia check out local places that hold meaning for Ted, stopping at the church where he and Alice were wed. As the couple rest in a pew, they discuss Gillian’s predicament, Raff’s failed attempt to help his mum, and their own kitchen fiasco. They have £5000 left that was meant to go towards it the renovations and Alan would like to offer it to Gillian in hopes she’ll keep the farm. Celia consents, admitting she’s had her comeuppance.  

Harrison may be a juvenile delinquent, but he has a good heart. Sadly, by the time he turns around to come back to Bridlington, he finds Ted’s body washed up on the beach with the police on the way.

A short time later, a somber PC Cheryl shows up at Celia and Alan’s place. She tells the family where Ted was found. Alan thinks he probably wanted to scatter Alice’s ashes there, but Celia says he left them on the bathroom floor. When Alan asks how he got to Bridlington, Cheryl informs him Harrison was with Ted. She assumes they must have taken a train…

At Ted’s funeral, the whole family is together, including Ellie and Raff’s new baby boy, Nadine, and even Harrison. We find out that Harrison’s sister is almost 18 and that if she applies for a flat, he could live with her. Other tidbits of information are revealed- Gillian is keeping the farm, and John still thinks he’s moved in with Caroline.

In the end, Gillian finally convinces Caroline to go to Hebden Women’s Disco with her where they discover many of their neighbors and acquaintances also frequent the lesbian-friendly club.

And at Alan and Celia’s anniversary dinner (on a weekend arranged by Caroline and Gillian), they work out that their recent rocky relationship must have been a seven-year itch thing. They toast to the dearly departed Ted then dance to "Time After Time" (not the Cyndi Lauper version).

(Credit: Courtesy of Matt Squire)
(Credit: Courtesy of Matt Squire)

Thus ends the shortened season we all waited for so long! Were you happy with how all the dilemmas were resolved? Or with only four episodes, did it end too neatly? After her horrible behavior in the beginning, did Celia redeem herself in your eyes?

Did this seem like the show has ended for good or could more Last Tango be on the horizon? Let your voice be heard in the comments! And thanks for following along with the recaps.

Carmen Croghan

Carmen Croghan often looks at the state of her British addiction and wonders how it got so out of hand.  Was it the re-runs of Monty Python on PBS, that second British Invasion in the 80’s or the royal pomp and pageantry of Charles and Diana’s wedding? Whatever the culprit, it led her to a college semester abroad in London and over 25 years of wishing she could get back to the UK again.  Until she is able, she fills the void with British telly, some of her favorites being comedies such as The Office, The IT Crowd, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge, Miranda and Green Wing. Her all-time favorite series, however, is Life On Mars. A part-time reference library staffer, she spends an inordinate amount of time watching just about any British series she can track down which she then writes about for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK, I Learned from the BBC.  She is excited to be contributing to Telly Visions and endeavors to share her Anglo-zeal with its readers.

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