Grantchester Season/Series 1, Episode 5: Sidney commits sins

The handsome Sidney Chambers (James Norton) commits two sins in this episode. Our vicar even decides to give up jazz. Masterpiece Mystery! “Grantchester” episode 5 premieres on PBS Sunday, 15 February 2015, 10 p.m. ET.

Yet at the beginning, Sidney is taking Geordie somewhere. They are Kings Cross station, arriving on the mainline. Sidney is attempting to introduce Geordie to jazz. “I like it because it’s full of intensity…Jazz is a metaphor for life.”

“I’m more the light opera man, myself,” Geordie reveals. They sing a phrase from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.”

“Truly, truly awful,” Sidney (James Norton) says.

“At least it has a tune,” Geordie (Robson Green)  retorts. If you aren’t familiar with “The Pirates of Penzance” is about a man, Frederic, who discovers he’s was wrongly apprenticed off to a pirate instead of a pilot and the contract dictates that he, a man who was born on 29 February, won’t be released from his contract until he’s in his eighties. Luckily, his lady love, Mabel, will wait although it seems so long. Spoiler Alert! Mabel and Frederic will be united before the end of the 80 minutes and his birth class will save him.

I don’t think Amanda (Morven Christie) will be waiting for Sidney. No matter how obvious their feelings are to everyone else, including Sidney’s sister, Jennifer (Fiona Button).

Jennifer has invited Sidney and Geordie to the jazz club that her boyfriend, Johnny Johnson (Ukweli Roach) runs with his father, Archie Johnson (Peter Egan). Johnny has a sister, Claudette (Natasha Cottriall).  The club isn’t set in a good part of town, but Sidney remind Geordie that they are off duty today, or so he thinks.

At the entrance to the small club, Sidney and Geordie see a man, Walter Stirling (Nakay Kpaka) being thrown out. Walter declares, “He hasn’t won; he hasn’t won. Tell him.”

There are going to be no winners in this episode.

The decor is red with lamps dressed a palm trees.  Johnny’s father doesn’t have a lot of confidence in him, but he does has a trusty right-hand man.

“You want anything? You ask Justin,” Archie tells Sidney.  Sidney who smokes, does take time to chide Jennifer for smoking. Ah, yes, remember when good girls didn’t smoke and then when smoking was seen as a sign of a liberated woman?

We soon see why is Sidney there: Gloria Dee (Camilla Marie Beeput). She’s a jazz singer that Sidney likes.

One of the songs she sings is “Frankie and Johnny.” That song dates back to 1904 and is about a woman, Frankie, shot her man when she finds him with another woman by Hughie Cannon. It was based on a true murder that took place in St. Louis, Missouri on 15 October 1899 at 2 a.m. A 22-year-old woman named Frankie Baker killed her 17-year-old  lover Allen Britt after he returned from a dance where he and another woman won a slow-dancing contest. Britt died in the hospital four days later.

There was also a Frances Stuart Silver who killed her husband with an ax on 22 December 1831. She was executed for his death in 1833 while the Frankie Baker was acquitted.

Besides “Frankie and Johnny,” Dee sings “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey.” “Bill Bailey” is also a infidelity, but in this case the wife admits that she had done Billy Bailey wrong.

Won’t you come home, Bill Bailey
Won’t you come home.
I’m home the whole night long.
I’m gonna do your cookin’ honey.
I’ gonna pay your rent.
I know that I’ve done you wrong.

Amanda turns up alone. Guy is busy and apparently Jennifer planned this all. “I’m supposed to be seeing ‘Othello’ tonight,” she tells Sidney.

“This plink-plonky nonsense instead? It’s a travesty.” Sidney replies.

“A few glasses of this, I’m not sure I’ll notice the difference,” Amanda replies. During Amanda and Sidney’s conversation, Claudie asked Sidney to tell Johnny, “Remember what Mum used to say.” Sidney and Amanda dance and are clearly enjoying themselves.

Amanda pushes Sidney into asking Dee for her autograph. Amanda tells Dee that he’s a detective.  He tells Dee that Amanda is an explorer from Kathmandu.

“Where the hell is Kathmandu?” Dee asks.

“It’s,” Amanda begins, “past the Great Wall of Chinese, just to the right.” Kathmandu is actually the capital and largest municipality of Nepal. Nepal is south of the People’s Republic of China, and surrounded by the south, east and west by India. Kathmandu is about a 2-3 day drive from the Great Wall of China.

Dee asks, “You two married?” When both say no, she replies, “Me neither. You don’t keep the carton once you’ve smoked the cigarette.”

Soon the father Archie stumbles in. Claudette is dead; her head bashed in. She’s covered with Archie’s coat.

Geordie vomits but is ready to secure the scene.

Geordie doesn’t have jurisdiction in London. Soon enough the local law comes on the scene: DCI Jacob Williams (Nicholas Sidi). Both Geordie and Sidney attempt to give suggestions and Sidney implies he’s an officer of the law as a “colleague.” It’s not an outright lie.

“Cambridgeshire, not a lot for you to do I imagine,” Williams comments dismissively.

Geordie is both insulted by Williams’ attitude and anxious over Sidney’s implication (“Impersonating a police officer, Bloody hell”).

“Why kill a child?” Sidney wonders.

“All I know,” Geordie complains, “is something like that would not have happened in Gilbert and Sullivan.”

Although Sidney meant to return home, the murder complicates matters. He stays in London while Geordie returns.

A short conversation with Jen reveals that Claudie had a boyfriend who was colored. “You’d think Mr. Johnson, of all people would understand,” Sidney thinks.

“Claudie was on her way to meet him so I put on her uniform,” Jen admits. It’s Walter Stirling, the man we saw being thrown out of the club.

Walter had been studying to be a teacher.

In this episode, we also see that Amanda’s fiancé, Guy Hopkins (Guy Hopkins) isn’t as clueless as we thought although he did order Sidney a sherry.  In a private conversation with Sidney, Guy reveals that they will be married in three weeks at a local London parish.  Then Guy manages to retain his ease of entitlement by assuring Sidney that he will be invited.

Sidney goes back to the club and gets pretty drunk.

Dee asks him if he’s drinking to forget. Remember she’s already told him that “You don’t keep the carton once you’ve smoked the cigarette.”

“Amanda,” he confesses, “she buys me shoes. I can’t afford them so she buys me shoes.” He also asks, “How can your heart be broken if you were never together?”

Sidney begins to stumble back to his London hotel, but Dee stops by and offers him a lift. The next day he awakens to church bells. He has left poor Leonard to waffle through a sermon. When he returns to Grantchester, first he sees Geordie and confesses his lapse of judgment. Geordie warns him not to tell Hildegard.

When he returns to the vicarage, Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones) scolds him, “You know what you’ve never been any good at? Differentiating between tasks that are urgent and those which are not.”

Hildegard (Pheline Roggan) is waiting for him and she has a present. A record. Sidney feels guilty. He almost confesses to her, but cannot.

Instead, as penance, he decides to throw away his jazz records, but Leonard objects, “Not the Bechet. I love the Bechet. More to the point, YOU love the Bechet. And… Miles Davis? Oh, he’s gone, too, has he? If it weren’t sacrilegious, I’d say that album was almost a godly experience.”

Mrs. Maguire also has an opinion, stating, “That man needs to learn how to write a proper song. You’re keeping the Becket, though?”

“Bechet,” Leonard corrects her.

“I’d rather grown to… not… like him, exactly, but tolerate him,” Mrs. Maguire admits.

“High praise indeed, Mrs M,” Leonard continues, adding, “I don’t understand. You love your music. We love the fact that you love your music. Has something… happened?”

Yes, something has happened. Sidney’s heart has been broken AND he committed two sins in one episode and neither committed to help solve the murder. An anonymous phone call to Geordie gives them a hint: Charlie Rush, August 24, 1941. The other hint is just what Johnny and Claudie’s mum used to say: “However bad things get, you’ve got each other.”

On August 24, 1941, a man was murdered, clobbered to death. Johnny’s father Archie’s father was a suspect but according to one police officer Williams he was nowhere in the vicinity.

Yet why would the killer wait so long? Why wait 12 years? And who is the killer?

No spoilers here, but the message of this episode is: Repentance. Repentance “is a form of sorrow…for one’s sins and the resolution to turn from them, to learn from them, recognizing one’s sin means being honest with ourselves,  accepting who we are, embracing who we hope to be because that’s who God has intended us to be.”

Sidney is worried about “the kind of man I’m becoming.”

MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! “Grantchester: Episode 5” full-length episode. Premieres Sunday, February 15, 2015, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET. After the initial airing, you can view the episode VoD on the PBS website.

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