Welcome to this week’s “Grantchester” Case File! Before reading, do note that there are many spoilers ahead. This episode is available to watch online through Thursday, July 21, 2016.
With Amanda’s wedding to Guy just around the corner, Sidney struggles with the notion that his relationship with this dazzling woman will now never have the chance of blossoming the romance that it should’ve been.
Having all this on his mind, Sidney flashes back to the day Amanda and he re-connected as adults at an art gallery. Their chemistry was immediate and easy, leading to a quick devotion to one another. Even with that being the case, Amanda did inform him during this encounter that she would never marry. She enjoyed her life too much as it was – thus, Sidney must’ve figured early on that loving Amanda could only go so far. Instead, Sidney wound up getting an amazing friendship and the supposed right to veto any poor romantic choices she could make in the future.
Clearly, Sidney’s heart is in a bunch of different places right now. It’s still connected to Amanda, yet Hildegard wants it for herself. Sidney has trouble totally giving it to her after his one night stand in London. His partner in crime stopping, Geordie, however, doesn’t feel much sympathy for Sidney and the ease in which women flock to him.
While together at the police station, Sidney and Geordie are informed that Officer Jones had been shot. Upon arriving on the scene, it’s discovered that Jones had died from the bullet, but witnesses were nearby. One witness believed that Jones knew the man who wound up shooting him and could’ve sworn she heard the word “Merlin” uttered.
Once Geordie realized that Merlin was a nearby business, not a person, he and Sidney paid it a visit. After getting separated in the building, Sidney hears gunfire and rushes back to find Geordie bloodied on the floor. Beside him, another man struck down by a shooter. While the then unknown man didn’t make it, Geordie survived and was rushed to hospital. During that ride, Geordie kept uttering “heart” to Sidney. The vicar is unclear about what this means and asks Geordie to rest.
At the hospital, Sidney sits alongside Geordie’s wife, Cathy, as she fears the worse. With Geordie in recovery, Sidney feels obliged to investigate these shootings. Unfortunately, Chief Inspector Benson isn’t happy with Sidney inserting himself into police work and not so kindly asks the man of the cloth to back off.
Of course, Sidney can’t sit by and allow Benson to thwart his efforts to get justice for Geordie and the other men shot by seemingly the same assailant. Thus, he needs to find a way into Geordie’s police station office in order to get the clues needed to move forward.
Helping Sidney out with this matter is Mrs. Maquire and Leonard, who execute an impressive distraction scheme at the police station’s front desk. Upon pretending to faint, several police officials become immediately preoccupied with her situation, allowing Sidney to sneak in and grab what he desperately hopes will provide some clues to the case.
After retrieving some rather useful paperwork, Sidney visits James Heath, a local developer who is soon discovered to have been a commanding officer in the military. As it turns out, Officer Jones was one of his men, as was the man shot alongside Geordie. Suspecting that members of James’ brigade are in danger, Sidney requests that he provide a list of the soldiers’ names. James downright refuses to do this, all the while revealing a suspicious temper and verbal aggressiveness toward his wife.
What can’t be forgotten during this investigation, however, is the fact that Amanda will soon be married to someone in which Sidney believes is not right for her. Sidney agonizes over this and attempts to cope by consuming one too many adult beverages.
With this liquid courage in his system, Sidney visits the estate of Amanda’s family during a pre-wedding party. After pulling Amanda into another room, the drunken vicar clumsily attempts to get her to reconsider marrying guy, even going as far as trying to use his aforementioned veto power. Soon, this heated conversation enters the main room as guests look on in confusion and frustration. Guy tries to forcefully remove Sidney before the vicar takes an alcohol-influenced tumble. Leaving in embarrassment, there appears to be much for Sidney to reconsider.
Back at home, Sidney is surprised by Mrs. Heath’s decision to present him with a list of her husband’s past troops. During the exchange, Sidney notices bruising on her wrist (consistent with someone grabbing it really hard), but all Mrs. Heath can do is excuse his abusive behaviour as an after effect of war.
When going through the list, Sidney comes across a man by the name of Robert Miller. Upon visiting the soldier, the vicar learns how unpleasant of a man James was, even in his military days. Robert describes him as a bully and encourages Sidney to confront James about an unforgettably tragic experience to have happened to the brigade in Berlin.
Sidney does this, only to have James nix his attempt to gather further information. With this stonewall in place Sidney goes back to Robert’s home to find out what happened in Berlin. There, it is learned that James hostilely tried to get Robert to execute three prisoners of war. When he refused, James killed the prisoners before he and the fellow troops mocked Robert’s inability to pull the trigger. Sidney tells Robert that this incident needs to be reported to authorities. Robert agrees, but as he and the vicar prepare to leave his home, Sidney notices a photo of Robert. This photo shows that Robert has a heart-shaped tattoo on his arm. All of a sudden, what Geordie uttered on the stretcher makes a lot of sense – Robert is the shooter.
Subsequently, Sidney accuses Robert of the shootings. A scuffle ensues, bloodying Sidney’s nose. The two then meet outside and Robert seems as unstable as ever. He explains that he could never forget his terrible memories of war and that he held a grudge toward his fellow troop members for not just their mocking, but also how quickly they seemed to have moved on from the atrocities of war.
As police head toward the home, Robert holds a gun in his hand as Sidney tries to reason with him. Unfortunately, Robert can’t get past his own demons and turns the gun on himself. In a moment’s notice, Robert is dead and Sidney is left with the memory of a man taking his life right in front of him.
Afterwards, Sidney visits the hospital and tells a recovering Geordie how the investigation broke down, all the while discussing the dark memories of war that haunt him to this day. Geordie tries to put Sidney’s mind at ease, stating that he did what he had to do in the battlefield. In short, Sidney is reminded to move forward in life.
With that in mind, he tells Hildegard about his affair in London. Having been a victim to infidelity in the past, Hildegard leaves Sidney behind, despite his revelation about how much she’s needed in his life.
Now completely untied to love and police work, Sidney meets with Amanda to apologize and wish her well. Once again, their chemistry is unmistakable and easy. The future, however, may not be. As the two part, it is uncertain when, or if, they’ll ever see each other again.
Sometimes love is not meant to be, but considering their history and ability to continually come back to one another, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Sidney and Amanda reconvene in the future.
Thank you for watching the first season of Grantchester! Do note that the sixth and final season of Downton Abbey premieres next Wednesday, June 29 at 9pm ET/6pm ET. We hope to see you then!