‘Grantchester’ Series/Season 1, Episode 6: Keep the long view and hold a steady course

When this episode begins, Sidney is reading a letter, recalls meeting Amanda again in an art museum. She remembers him. He doesn’t remember her. They had last met before the war. She was an old friend his sister. His sister was the scholarship girl. The others all rich. The season finale “Grantchester” is on Sunday February 22 at 10/9c on Masterpiece on PBS.

We met them all. And one of them was murdered and two of them should be in prison although being rich or aristocratic might mean they won’t really do hard time.

Sidney met Amanda at the National Gallery. Amanda is working in restoration. They look at one particular painting and Amanda announces, “She’s down in the jumps.”

“I think he forgot to put his teeth in this morning,” Sidney comments.

“I think she knows where they are and she has no intention of telling him,” Amanda replies. But Sidney also remembers Amanda telling him, “I’m never going to get married. I’m going to become wild and eccentric and full of opinion. I like my work. I like my life.”

“I’m sure you have an endless supply of suitors,” he tells her.

“Dad’s always got someone lined up. I like my work,” she tells him. Then she adds, “You’re a man of God. How about, if you disapprove of any of them, you have the power of veto?”

That was the past. Now we see that the letter is a wedding invitation. We saw Amanda addressing it in the last episode.

Sidney goes to see the arch deacon and look at chickens.

“I wonder if I’m more suited to teaching?” Sidney asks, but he also says, “Sometimes I worry about the kind of man I’m becoming.”

Yes, the arch deacon has heard about the criminal investigations, women. It’s that Mr. Brant because “it’s always Mr. Brant.”

The arch deacon tells Sidney, “hold your nerve,” because “all these investigations force you to think about life in a manner that’s contrary to who you are.”

Sidney has tea at the orchard with Hildegard and we know that he’s thinking both of Amanda and his dalliance in London.

There’s a murder. There’s always a murder. Sidney is visiting Geordie when they learn that an officer has been shot. Sidney gives him last rites.

“I didn’t see nothing,” Annie tells the police.

“You must have been terrified,” Sidney says.

“I’ll only talk to him,” Annie says, referring to Sidney.

From Annie, they get the name: Merlin. Don’t worry, we won’t be visiting King Arthur or Camelot.

According to Annie, the dead man had been speaking with his shooter who said the name.

Geordie realizes, “That’s not his mate, that’s where he works.”

Geordie and Sidney go to what appears to be a factory. They separate. I know you’re screaming: Why, why, why in your head. Sidney hears shots and runs back asking Geordie if he heard them as well. He did. Really up close. Geordie falls. Instead of one body, there are two. But Geordie isn’t dead and he’s hurried to the hospital. All Geordie can manage to say is “heart.”

At first Sidney comforts Geordie’s wife and she asks, “Will you pray for him?” But Geordie’s wife isn’t happy to know that Sidney was there. “Playing cops and robbers were you? All just a silly jape, eh?” she tells him and walks away.

Chief Inspector Benson (David Troughton) doesn’t approve of Sidney. While Benson feels someone is killing police officers, Sidney knows that it wasn’t Geordie the shooter was after. “Piss off, back to church Mr. Chambers.” Sidney is sure there’s a connection between Jonesy (the dead cop) and the caretaker at the factory.

Back at home, Mrs. Maguire says, “I won’t hear any nonsense about this being your fault.”

“If we’d have never gone there…” Sidney begins.

“If you’d never met him in the first place,” Mrs. Maguire replies. “If, if, if. You can’t live your life like that.”

Leonard adds, “You once said the wisest thing to me. It’s life we deal in: the good, the bad. It’s how we face it that matters.”

“The police are wrong. They’ll be looking in the wrong places,” Sidney comments.

“Sidney, my boy, tell us how we can help you,” Mrs. Maguire says.

Soon enough Mrs. Maguire has become involved in sleuthing. Trooping into the precinct she declares, “I’ve been robbed…snatched my handbag right off my arm. I had two bob in there.”

Leonard pretends to be her son although he slips and calls her Mrs. Maguire once. Sidney slips by the police as they help Mrs. Maguire who has fainted. Sidney almost gets caught but he has enough time to look around.

Outside, as the three confer and Sidney has his hands one some papers he took, Atkins, follows them and says, “Mr. Chambers? Do whatever it is you have to do.”

Sidney has learned that someone is footing Jonesy’s funeral. Jonesy’s former commanding officer, James Heath (Adam James). He and his men were in Italy and Germany. “We were some of the first to liberate Belsen.” Besides Jonesie, the caretaker Thomas Langshaw as under his command. We don’t like James because he isn’t good to his wife, Grace (Natasha O’Keefe).

When James won’t reveal a list of his men,even though Sidney tells him, “If the police had a list, names of yur men, perhaps they could do something.”

Grace gives the list to Sidney.

Sidney feels guilty about Geordie and remembers him saying, “I don’t want to die.” That reminds him of another man, who once said, “I want to go home” but never made it home.

Sidney makes it over to Amanda’s home to confront her.

“Let’s go on the river, let’s have a picnic,” Sidney pleads.

“Another time,” replies Amanda, coolly. “I’ll come down to Grantchester” when we know she will not–not if Guy Hopkins has his way.

“One of your little jaunts? What happened to that growing wild and, and eccentric and full of opinion?” Sidney asks. Amanda tells him he’s drunk, but he continues, “I exert my power of veto. Love is a minimum requirement, don’t you think? There has to be some in a marriage, or..what hope do you stand?”

“This is not the time,” Amanda tells him.

“It was never the time,” Sidney replies.

“Yes, it was,” she assures him. “It was.”

If she had only waited for him, for that day when he asked her to run away from all of it, but she was already engaged.

After a bit of a scene, Sidney leaves. Coming back to Grantchester, he meets Mr. Brant and Hildegard deftly defuses the situation but she also says something has changed. “Why do I feel that one man went to London and another man came home.”

Sidney confronts Bensen: “Mr. Heath is withholding information.”

“He’s a respected business man with an alibi for both murders,” Bensen says, but we know there’s something wrong with his wife.

“She’s petrified of him. Of course, she gave an alibi. I’m pretty sure he beats her,” Sidney replies.

“You want the truth?” Bensen asks. “Here it is, Mr. Chambers. You are not a police officer….Get yourself a hobby. I don’t know…take up stamp collecting.” With Sidney that would also likely lead to murder (Remember the movie “Charade”?).

One of Heath’s men, Robert Miller tells Sidney that something happened in Berlin, in Spreenhagen. “Heath said they were trying to escape…German soldiers…They’d surrendered to us…Heath, the others, they never liked me. Said that I lacked moral Fiber, that I was a coward, and this was my chance to prove them wrong…He’s killing us so we can’t expose him. We can’t ruin his perfect life.”

But is that true?

We finally get a clearer view of Sidney’s nightmare. “I killed one of my own men,” he reveals, but we also wonder that after the war “how did anyone expect them to be normal again.”

“We live in the shadow of it, all of us,” Sidney says. “But we have a choice, don’t we?…You can say in the shadow or you can live.”

Do you really want to know if Amanda gets married?

Sidney tells us: We have a choice, don’t we? We can live in the past; we can look forward or we can live now because we can’t change what happened. We can’t predict the future (We see Amanda in her wedding dress). None of us knows what’s around the corner. That’s the truth of it. Keep the long view and hold a steady course.”

Sidney admits, “She was out of my league, that’s the truth of it.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find you a wife,” Geordie assures him.

Sidney worries that with Geordie, it’ll mean “she’ll be a fan of light opera” or like Beckett or Bechet.

The season finale “Grantchester” is on Sunday February 22 at 10/9c on Masterpiece on PBS. After the initial broadcast it will be available VoD on the PBS website.

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