Following last week’s ugly confrontation between Geordie and Sidney, this week’s final episode of Grantchester begins with Sidney working his way through, if not exactly the ten commandments, certainly a series of vices.
He’s smoking too much, he’s drinking too much, and he’s even trying to stick his hand up the skirt of the local barmaid.
Taking advantage of the situation, guest star Geoffrey McGivern is back as the Archdeacon. Without the fake smile ever slipping from his face, he all but guarantees Leonard the post of vicar if he helps him to get rid of Sidney.
“Time to cut out the dead wood,” he says calmly, for all the world as though opening a fete or judging the WI baking competition.
Also back is Rev Sam Milburn, effectively ‘the bad guy’ from the season opener. It soon becomes clear that his relationship with Abigail Redmond wasn’t just a one-off – he may grieve over her, but it hasn’t stopped him. His latest ‘victim’ is a fourteen year old girl, daughter of the owner of the guest house where he has been hiding since the Archbishop organised his hasty departure in the first episode.
The girl is found safe and well (albeit in a nightdress at a hotel, so Sam’s intentions are made pretty clear) but with no sign of Sam, and with his blood found in the graveyard, the episode switches from hunting him down to searching for him. When he’s ultimately discovered it is in the cellar of the Redmond’s farm, bleeding but still alive. We suspect he has been stabbed by grieving father Harding (Neil Morrisey, who has done a sterling job throughout the series in an unshowy role) until his wife unexpectedly confesses.
Geordie still defends the death penalty as handed out to Gary, but is not unmoved by the gulf between the letter and the spirit of the law.
“I have compassion,” he protested to Sidney last week, and here he shows it – telling Sam he might in some small way make amends, by dropping all charges against the Redmonds.
It would be going too far to say it’s a happy ending that sees the Redmonds befriending Phyllis Bell – they’ve lost a daughter and she’s lost a son – but it is at least a conclusion. So too is Leonard’s uncharacteristic show of defiance, managing to not just decline the Archdeacon’s offer but to have him removed for his involvement in protecting Sam.
There’s a conclusion for Geordie and Sidney, of course; friends again after the conflict of the past few weeks. In an unusual moment of openness Geordie admits he’s missed him, and rather touchingly the two friends embrace.
On the other hand…
More a beginning than an ending, Amanda reappears in the final moments to tell Sidney that she’s left Guy, her father has disowned her, and she has nothing. “You’ve got me,” Sidney tells her, which we all knew of course. They kiss – but where do they go from here?
A pregnant, married woman, living in sin, with a Vicar, in the 1950s? I don’t think Mrs Maguire will approve of that.
Aired at 9pm on Wednesday 6 April 2016 on ITV.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know below…