Grantchester 2.06: Episode Review

It’s the last episode of Series 2, and we’re still dealing with the fallout from Gary Bell killing Abigail Redmond in Episode 1.

Gary was executed for Abigail’s murder, and hunky vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) hasn’t quite gotten over it. He’s drinking to excess, hanging on past last call at the pub, and dribbling communion wine down his chin in church. Heavens!

He also beat the dickens out of Geordie Keating (Robson Green), because that’s what you do when your best friend disagrees with you. At least that’s what you do when you’re Sidney Chambers.

For it is Sidney’s god-given talent to crap all over his nearest and dearest and never apologize for it. That includes everything from pummeling Geordie to drunkenly, sloppily groping a barmaid to neglecting to visit Gary Bell’s mother in her time of grief. And, for the parents of the murdered girl, he has no time or sympathy at all.

Sour Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones) visits Geordie and takes note of his battered face. Geordie tells her he wants an apology from Sidney—a reasonable person might figure he deserves one. Mrs. M is not, strictly speaking, a reasonable person.

“Your pride’s dented. Don’t pretend it’s anything else,” Mrs. Maguire replies in her own inimitable style of compassion. After all, Sidney is the one who deserves everyone’s attention and sympathy. “He’s lost. And we’re all lost without him,” she tells Geordie.

Mrs. Maguire is back to being Sidney’s defender. She’s even cozying up to mopey, now visibly pregnant Amanda (Morven Christie). That’s odd, because Mrs. M has shown little but contempt for Amanda until this very moment. But it’s not nearly as odd as mopey Amanda suddenly not wanting to know about Sidney, after contriving to be around him and attract his attention for the past 11 episodes.

If Grantchester teaches us anything, it’s that no two characters ever deserved each other more than Sidney and Amanda.

Leonard, poor Leonard, the curate (Al Weaver) deserves much better than he’s had until now. He’s wrestling with matters of the heart, continuing to bear the brunt of Sidney’s self-absorption and abuse, and aching to spread some genuine harmony and compassion in the world. Would that he might have the chance!

The archdeacon dangles the idea that Leonard could replace Sidney as vicar, seeing that Sidney is clearly not up to the job. Leonard is aghast. (Leonard sells himself short.) And while we’d never imagine that the archdeacon was sincere about this, you can’t help thinking that the faithful folk of Grantchester (population +/- 560 in real life) deserve a better spiritual leader than Sidney Chambers.

Because Grantchester bills itself as a mystery, we do have one of sorts. Sam Milburn, the vicar pal of Sidney’s who caused Abigail Redmond’s travails, is back in town. (He’s played by Andrew Knott, who might have entered your consciousness way back in the 1993 film The Secret Garden.) Sam has some serious problems, which the archdeacon is conspiring to cover up.

Someone decides to exact justice by taking matters into their own hands. It’s not a challenge to guess who. Sidney literally has the power to decide whether a man lives or dies and he’s conflicted over the decision. (He really is the most irreverent reverend.)

In the end, though, it appears that everyone is bound to receive what he or she deserves. That includes a third series of Grantchester, which we can expect to see sometime next year.

See also: Grantchester 2.05: Episode Review


Leslie Gilbert Elmanis the author of Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous, and Totally Off the Wall Facts. Follow her on Twitter @leslieelman.

Read all of Leslie Gilbert Elman’s posts for Criminal Element.


  1. Terrie Farley Moran

    I love your wrap-ups. You are honest and insightful. This episode was painful to watch and yet, I can’t look away. I look forward to season 3 in the unending hope that we will see someone slap Amanda silly and someone else explain to Sidney how lucky he is to have people around him who care for him so deeply. Thanks so much.

  2. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Thank you, Terrie. I guess Amanda and Sidney were made for each other.

  3. Ryan Moore

    Honestly, you’re being dishonest. Gary’s death was woefully disproportionate (he should have gone to jail but not gotten executed. He’s not richard allen davis). Geordie DESERVED his beating given that it was an incredibly low blow and that he himself admitted he NEEDED Gary to be guilty.

    Also the death penalty doesn’t work. The only people who really support it are bloodthirsty barbarians

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