Every single time Happy Valley’s Catherine Cawood was a savage girlboss
She has looked camp directly in the eye so many times
After a seven-year break, Happy Valley is back on our screens and comes to a close this week. The series features a talented cast, but obviously the apple of our eye is Sarah Lancashire, who plays Catherine girlboss Cawood. She steals the show every single time and literally doesn’t feel fear. She’s camp, iconic and so savage.
Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright describes Catherine as “very funny” and a “competent woman to whom something very tragic has happened. The older a character gets, the more likely to have these complexities.” And we know our Catherine definitely has complexities. Here’s a rundown of Catherine Cawood’s most savage moments to date and every time she was a girlboss.
Season three’s opening scene proves Catherine is a fountain of Hebden Bridge knowledge
There’s nothing better than Catherine having the answers to everything, especially when men don’t. She found a body in a reservoir and met another officer as well as a Home Officer pathologist. She starts to explain her thoughts and the men make out as though Catherine doesn’t know what she is talking about. Clearly she does. She’s recognised the body through the teeth and even beats the men to it. An icon.
‘Semi-naked man at lunchtime in Sowerby Bridge? How could I stay away?’
Catherine was on the lunchtime shift when she met Neil whilst he was smashed and before he met Clare again. He was topless and shrieking and Catherine gave him her usual attitude.
‘He’s not taking my eyebrows with him’
The opening scene for Happy Valley season one chemically altered my brain chemistry. We first meet Catherine strutting along in a pair of sunnies and a fire extinguisher in hand. She deals with a man who is threatening to set himself on fire. Her response? “He can send himself to paradise, that’s his choice. But he’s not taking my eyebrows with him.” She’s more camp than a row of tents.
Chasing a drug gang on foot
During season one, Catherine clicked onto a drugs game using an ice cream van to distribute drugs. She chases the van on foot, despite being warned not to do that. Then she whacks out her baton and obliterates the van window but the gang get away. She tells herself: “You’re getting too bloody old for this, Catherine, love.”
She tasered a man in the balls
See video for reference.
Her brutal fight with Tommy Lee Royce
In season one of Happy Valley, Catherine took on Tommy Lee Royce. After he critically injures her, she pepper sprays him in the eyes before managing to get herself and Ann out of the basement. She’s in recovery for a long time but the whole sequence is wild and the way she takes him on is iconic.
The finale episode and ending to Happy Valley season three airs on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Inside the Happy Valley theory saying creepy teacher Frances is returning for the finale
• Everything the director of Happy Valley has said about the ‘rollercoaster’ season finale
• An ode to Happy Valley’s Catherine Cawood: The best main character in British TV history