Happy Valley viewers were left biting their nails as Sergeant Catherine Cawood faced off against her nemesis, murderer and sex offender Tommy Lee Royce for the final time in a hair-raising finale.
The BBC crime drama, created by writer Sally Wainwright and starring Sarah Lancashire as West Yorkshire Sergeant Catherine Cawood, came to a shocking end on Sunday night.
In the final episode, Catherine confronts prison escapee Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton, as he tries to kill himself in the kitchen after looking at pictures of his son and grandson Ryan growing up.
He admitted that he could have killed her but chose not to because in the end he realized that she had given his son a “nice life”.
He told her: “I don’t hate you anymore, I forgive you and I’m sorry that I didn’t treat Becky [her daughter] any better.”
Catherine hit back: “You forgive me who are you guilty f**k?”
He pours petrol on himself again as she points a useless taser at him before hitting a match.
She runs to put out the fire with a crocheted blanket, saving his life.
Later through tears she tells her sister: “We had a bit of a shock but I won, of course, I think I might have sung one of your crochet blankets.”
She learns that Tommy has died from his injuries while laying flowers at her daughter Becky’s grave.
Sarah Lancashire’s performance was hailed by viewers as a “master class” as she finally handed in her badge and resigned from West Yorkshire Police.
One fan said: “She deserves every award, every single award.”
Another said: “Pages and pages of script with so much emotion in every word. A master class in acting.”
One viewer said: “Sarah Lancashire has pulled off one of the best performances in TV history. Extraordinary.”
When the multi-Bafta-winning series returned after seven years for the series finale on New Year’s Day, it received rave reviews and attracted millions of viewers each week to watch the show in real time on BBC One.
The six-part drama also focused on Rhys Connah’s grandson Catherine Ryan and his relationship with his father Royce, the Knezevics crime family and the married couple of Game Of Thrones star Mark Stanley and former Coronation Street actress Mollie Winnard.
The previous series of Happy Valley aired on BBC One in 2016. Both series won Baftas for best drama series and best writing, while Lancashire won the top award for actor for the second series.
Viewing figures on Monday will confirm how big the show has become and whether it has taken off from the success of BBC crime drama Line of Duty.