The dynamic duo of Geordie Keating (Robson Green) and Sidney Chambers (James Norton) is back and they’re wasting little time getting to the bottom of a murder mystery. What the Dickens? As soon as the episode begins, we see Geordie spending a pleasant day at the park with his family and Sidney. During their conversation, Sidney takes a leap of faith and allows Geordie to find him a female. We can tell that Sidney is still at a lost, due to the marriage of his previous love, Amanda Hopkins (Morven Christie). As soon as the negotiations have concluded, the group heads home. Upon their arrival, Sidney is confronted by Constable Phil Wilkinson (Lorne MacFadyen) and taken into custody.
Sidney learns that he is being accused of sexual assault, with the victim being 15-year-old Abigail Redmond (Gracie Brooke). The evidence? Abigail’s mysterious diary, which has only been seen by her father, Harding (Neil Morrissey). Sidney is questioned lightly and quickly released, with the investigators admitting Abigail couldn’t be trusted. When Sidney returns home, he finds out that the Archdeacon (Geoffrey McGivern) has sent Sam Milburn (Andrew Knott) to spy on him, until matters can be sorted out. Before too long, Sidney is at it. Knowing he cannot sit around and wait, he goes on the hunt and speaks with Abigail’s friends, Rose Parr (Imogen Byron), Tommy Chapman (Alfie Field), and Gary Bell (Sam Frenchum).
Tommy quickly spills the beans about Abigail getting some photographs done by Daniel Marlowe (Oliver Dimsdale). The duo quickly pays a visit to Marlowe’s place. After Sidney breaks a window and forces his way inside, the pair stumbles upon many provocative photo of Abigail and a murder scene. Sidney quickly has recollections about Abigail asking about God, forgiveness and seeming frightened of her father. Geordie tasks Phil with digging up dirt on Daniel Marlowe, while Sidney is confronted outside by Abi’s parents. Sidney manages to escape unharmed, while George breaks to new to Abi’s parents. Sidney returns home and is confronted by the Archdeacon and Sam. Sidney seems uninterested in their assistance and admits he has lots of work ahead of him. The Archdeacon seems fine with the arrangement, as long as Sam gets to watch over things and pop in from time to time.
Sidney also questions why the group would presume him to be innocent and the Archdeacon admits Abigail was a liar. Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) is tasked with babysitting the kids and providing them with counseling, if needed. Next, Geordie and Sidney pay a visit to Gary and speak to him about his previous encounter with Abigail. He admits the police accused him of all kinds of horrendous things, including hurting Abi. He blames her father and his jealously for the problems. However, he denies knowing Marlowe. The duo heads to the Redmond house and is invited in by Agatha (Claudie Blakley).
The pair search around extensive for the diary to no avail. However, Geordie does discover that Abi was indeed afraid of her father and did her best to keep him out of her room. During Geordie’s investigation, Sidney consoles Agatha and insists she is a good mother. Agatha admits her daughter was a difficult child and blames her beauty for many of her troubles. Harding interrupts and accuses Sidney of taking his daughter’s virginity. Sidney and Geordie rush out, before matters can worsen. Harding admits to searching his daughter’s room, but denies touching or hitting her. At the school, Leonard attempts to comfort the kids, but their sessions quickly turns to chaos. Gary and Tommy get into a fight.
The children are taken to Sidney’s house and questioned. Tommy admits he thought it was his fault that Abi died. He shows them a dirty magazine, which he claims he found. The magazine has dirty pictures of Abigail. He admits Daniel was to blame for the pictures and that he confronted Daniel about Abi’s age. The group quickly attempts to track down Daniel and they do, after a brief search. Meanwhile, Sidney chats with the receptionist at the police station. Margaret Ward (Seline Hizli) is very flirtatious with Sidney. While scouring through paperwork on the police station desk, Sidney discovers a document, which links his friend Sam to Abigail. Sidney rushes out and confronts Sam, who admits she spoke to him in confidence and thought Sidney would break his word and squeal on her.
Sidney also learns that Abi was pregnant. Sidney takes the information to Geordie. This time, he maintains his word and refuses to tell who provided him with the information. Marlowe is questioned, but he denies everything. Back at home, Sidney and Geordie discuss Marlowe with Leonard and Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones). Maguire leaves angrily, while Leonard confirms that Marlowe wouldn’t have slept with the girls, since he was most likely batting for the other team. Maguire tells Sidney that Abigail was reaching out for help and nobody was there for her. During the conversation, Sidney has a vision that someone poured turpentine down Abigail’s throat.
Sidney takes the information to Geordie and insists they were trying to abort her child. Harding is let in to see Abi’s body. While there, he seems to convince Geordie that he had nothing to do with her murder. Back at home, Sidney discovers a book, which connects Gary to Abigail and uncovers his lies. Gary attempts to flee, but Sidney manages to stop him. Gary finally breaks down and admits he attempted to help Abi abort the baby. He insists she told him to keep pouring the turpentine down her throat no matter what and she died during the process. Unfortunately, he is unable to identify the baby’s father. With that, Gary is taken to the police station, where he confesses once more.
While Gary is questioned, Sidney looks over Abigail’s diary, which was the book Gary had. Phil forcibly attempts to force a confession out of Gary, while Sidney discovers a connection between Sam and Abigail. Sidney rushes into the interrogation room and confirms Sam is the father of the baby. With that, Sidney and Geordie attempts to track down the vicar, but are unable to do so. Sidney instead speaks with the Archdeacon, who admits they’ve sent Sam away. Despite Sidney’s pleas, the Archdeacon refuses to give away his whereabouts. After that, Geordie accuses Sidney of protecting a friend, while Sidney ridicules Geordie for allowing Phil to harm Gary. Geordie admits Gary will hang and will have no sympathy for the boy. Sidney insists he will not let that happen and will do everything to protect the boy.
Next, Daniel Marlowe visits the church and prays with Leonard. Afterwards, Sidney gives his sermon and admits they all failed Abigail. Later that day, Sidney finally opens the letters from Amanda and decides to pay her a visit. Sidney discovers that she is living in luxury, but seems somewhat lonely.
The first episode of Grantchester’s second season waste no time getting to the point. We were quickly thrown for a loop, with Sidney being accused of molestation. And then, matters only worsen for our Vicar, when his potential victim is discovered murdered. The drama and mystery unfolded excellently and managed to keep me guessing right up until the very end. And as always, Sidney Chambers sums it all up with a spiritual sermon. It is great to see Grantchester back and this episode was an excellent start. A 8 out of 10 is deserved. Be sure to get caught up with our other Grantchester recaps right now!