Happy Valley fans 'stressed' after Tommy Lee Royce twist

Happy Valley character Tommy Lee Royce in the courthouse
Tommy Lee Royce is on the run... (Image credit: BBC)

If you want a relaxing Sunday, maybe don't watch Happy Valley as the latest episode has left fans all over the country feeling "stressed", following another shocking cliffhanger ending!

Throughout Happy Valley season 3, the shocks have just kept coming and we've seen Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) betrayed by her own sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran), an unexpected murder twist when Faisal (Amit Shah) lashed out at Joanna (Mollie Winnard), but episode four really dialed up the drama.

For weeks, Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) has been behind bars following his horrible crimes, but something seemed to be brewing and it left fans feeling tense wondering what the convicted criminal was plotting.

As it happens, during the final moments of episode four his plan came to fruition, and Happy Valley fans watched in horror as Tommy managed to orchestrate a great escape during his trial in Leeds.

It all happened very fast, so let's break it down. Five characters arrived at the court: Tommy, gang enforcers Matija (Jack Bandeira) and Ivan (Oliver Huntingdon), Catherine's ex-husband Richard Cawood (Derek Riddell), and Ryan (Rhys Connah), Tommy's biological son who skipped school in order to attend even though Catherine is not happy about her grandson going anywhere near Tommy.

Things kicked into gear when Ivan and Matija got into a fight in the lobby, causing a distraction, which gave Tommy a window. He attacked both of his police escorts, climbed out of the witness box and ran for his life, managing to get out of the courthouse before it was locked down.

Tommy had even organised a disguise and a method of escape too, as he ran to a local newsagents where a bike, helmet, new outfit and snood were waiting, so he was able to disappear into the crowds without a trace.

Tommy Lee Royce wearing a helmet, snood and red jacket

Tommy has escaped from jail after a successful plan. (Image credit: BBC)

Naturally, this shocking twist has left fans feeling on edge as they're now worried about what happens next. With someone as dangerous as Tommy roaming the streets, everyone should be on high alert. 

Fans have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the latest episode with one fan joking they had to remind themselves it's just a TV program — yes it's that intense!

Elsewhere, others commented on the fact Faisal had stuffed Joanna's body into a suitcase for her abusive husband to find, so the episode really didn't pull any emotional punches. Is it Sunday again yet?

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Happy Valley airs Sundays at 9 pm on BBC One. Episodes are available on demand via BBC iPlayer.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress