Happy Valley fans have hailed one line from the latest episode of the BBC drama as “perfection”.
The adored series returned after a seven-year break on New Year’s Day, with writer Sally Wainwright reuniting viewers with Sarah Lancashire’s irreverent police sergeant Catherine Cawood, and James Norton’s malicious Tommy Lee Royce.
Every episode of the new season to date has gone down extremely well with fans, but it’s one line of dialogue in the third instalment, which aired on Sunday (15 January), that has them calling for the show to win all the Baftas.
The line in question comes as Catherine is explaining to her grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) why he shouldn’t be having secret meetings with his father Tommy in prison.
“He has a kink in his brain – a twist, a psychological deformity,” she tells him. “It’s an absence of something that allows him to possibly seem quite normal to you, but it allows him to do things – evil things, nasty things, things that normal people just wouldn’t do, things that he’s ended up in prison for.
“Now you don’t have that kink, that absence. You have a normal brain. You are not evil. So what you have to understand is…”
Ryan interrupts, saying: “You know my tea’s going cold?”
Catherine then replies with the question: “What you having?”
“Stew,” he says.
“That’ll be alright,” his grandmother assures him.
Many have complimented the line for its relatability and authenticity, and for injecting a moment of humour into such an emotional exchange.
“Still can’t stop thinking about the stew line in Happy Valley, I almost wrote down notes of the whole scene, for what I don’t know, just because it’s so incredibly good,” wrote one viewer.
“The stew line,” added another. “The stew line should be taught in schools. It should have a blue plaque. It should be placed in a museum, no, a travelling museum exhibit so the whole world can see the glory of the stew line.”
A third added: “That quick exchange about stew mid-life-changing revelation was perfection.”
A fourth said that the “interjection alone deserves Baftas for writing and performance”.
Happy Valley continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One. Read The Independent’s recap of episode three here.