When the episode opens, Sidney Chambers (James Norton) experiences a flashback of the war. Afterwards, he is greeted outside, by Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) and Dickens, when he notices a fire in the distance. Sidney rushes headfirst into the fiery house and rescues Marion Taylor (Flora Montgomery), with the help of Ben Blackwood (Rory Fleck-Byrne). Afterwards, Leonard and Sidney run into Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie) and her fiancé, Guy Hopkins (Tom Austen). The pair question Sidney’s actions and Leonard’s injuries, which he got while falling trying to get to the phone in a hurry.
During Sidney’s church session, he is stunned, when Hildegard Staunton (Pheline Roggan) enters. After the sermon has concluded, Sidney speaks privately with Dominic, who suggests the fire was no accident and blames Tobias Hall (Struan Rodger). Next, Sidney introduces Amanda and Guy to Hildegard. He explains she is going to teach him how to play the piano, but Amanda doesn’t believe it. Sidney and Hildegard share a moment, at his home, but it is ruined by a rude Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones). Sidney puts her down harshly. In the morning, Leonard explains that Maguire had been crying all morning, which forces Sidney to apologize for his actions. After paying a visit to Marion, Sidney discovers from DC Atkins (Joe Claflin) that Dominic has been found murdered.
Sidney pays a visit to Geordie (Robson Green) and Cathy Keating (Kacey Ainsworth), who are worried about their baby, since it has developed whooping cough. Geordie harshly reprimands his kids, before joining Sidney and Atkins in the investigation. The group pay a visit to Tobias, who insists he didn’t like the man, but didn’t wish him dead. After they exit Tobias’s bar, Geordie invites Sidney to play the game, Backgammon, but Sidney refuses. Instead, Geordie recruits Atkins. Afterwards, Sidney and Hildegard enjoy a romantic moment on a boat. She explains she has been forced to sell her piano.
Sidney and the detectives investigate the crime scene. They run into two homosexual men in a bathroom, where Dominic was stabbed. With the information, Sidney and Geordie confront Marion, who seems to know about his behavior, but denies anything malice. She reveals that a note was left under her door. She set the note on fire, which led to the house fire from earlier. Afterwards, Leonard and Sidney pay a visit to Tobias. Sidney suggests Tobias was walking to the pub and not from it and implies he was the one, who left the note. He reveals he witness Ben and Dominic making out in the bathroom and used it against them. Of course, Tobias says going to the police would be bad, since it would expose Ben’s sexuality and anger his father, Vic Blackwood (Wayne Foskett).
Sidney confronts Ben, who insists staying quiet, since he is going to a university and doesn’t want his sexuality to hurt his career. Ben pleads with Sidney to keep the information from his dad. Leonard and Sidney discuss the situation, before Sidney offers Ben to Geordie, if he only allows him to keep his privacy, but Geordie has him arrested. His arrest is witnessed, by his father, which makes Sidney feel guilty. Vic attacks his son, who ends up spending the night at Sidney’s house. The next morning, Sidney delivers a sermon about judging one another.
After it is over, Mrs. Maguire attempts to make nice with Hildegard. Amanda jokes, with Sidney, about marrying Hildegard. Sidney apologizes to Ben, while Leonard attempts to comfort him, by speaking about his father’s behavior, which was similar. Sidney receives a call from Cathy, who tells him the baby is growing worse. When he arrives, she complains about Geordie’s absence. Sidney confronts him at the bar and the pair argue. Sidney leaves, after calling him a selfish bastard. Afterwards, Sidney confronts Vic and insists he murdered Dominic, in order to protect his son. Of course, Vic is unmoved and suggests there is no evidence, which sends Sidney and the detectives back to the bathroom, but they’re unable to find the knife.
Ben turns himself in and admits to the murder. Leonard pays a visit to Ben, at the jail, and gives him a book to keep him occupied. Finally, Geordie comes to his senses and admits to Sidney that he is scared. With a new attitude, Geordie is able to discover the knife, which is linked back to Vic, who is arrested, while scrubbing vulgar graffiti from his storefront. They learn how Vic learned about his son’s affair, with Dominic. After his arrest, Vic suggests he was trying to protect his son’s reputation.
With the work done and Ben on his way to the university, Geordie and Sidney return to see the baby, who has recovered. Geordie apologizes to his wife for his behavior, before Sidney baptizes the child. Vic is shown at the university. He goes through his belongings and smiles, as he looks at the book, which Leonard gave him. Sidney paid for Hildegard’s piano, which they play together, at the end of the episode.
Grantchester is a wonderful ride, which offers a little bit of everything. The mystery in the episode was worthwhile, but it is the emotional elements, which make the show special. Of course, the beautiful scenery definitely helps! After watching Happy Valley, it takes a few episodes to adjust to James Norton, as a vicar, but he pulls it off excellently. His counterpart, Robson Green, is equally as good. Of course, it is difficult not to feel sympathy for Al Weaver, as Leonard Finch, who is likely the most impactful character in the series. The episode was excellent and managed to tackle many of today’s societal problems. For that, the episode deserves an 8.5 out of 10.
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