“Grantchester” Season 1 Episode 1 “Episode One” aired on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, at 10:00 p.m. on PBS. In this episode, the young Anglican vicar, Sidney Chambers (James Norton) ended up investigating the possible murder of a parishioner that he had just buried, Mr. Stephen Staunton (Eoin McCarthy), being approached by Mrs. Pamela Morton (Rachel Shelley), with whom Stephen was having an affair with. Along the way, he is aided by Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green), who was reluctant to listen to the young vicar at first. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie) became engaged to a wealthy young man named Guy Hopkins, as her father, Lord Edward Kendall, did not approve of their relationship. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At the beginning of the episode, the young Anglican vicar, Sidney Chambers (James Norton) and Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie) swung on a piece of rope tied to a tree, over a pond. However, when it was her turn to swing, the rope broke, causing her to fall into the pond. Because of this, Sidney dove in to save her, but it turned out that she was alright. Afterwards, even if they were dripping wet, he escorted her to the train station, where he kissed her on the cheek,and told her that he would see her again the following Friday. As the train left, he looked at his watch; and after realizing that he was late, he went all the way to his small house in Grantchester, where he was greeted by his disapproving housekeeper, Mrs. Maguire (Tessa Peake-Jones), who gave him his priestly robes. He then went upstairs to change and to prepare for a funeral that he was going to preside over, which Mrs. Maguire disapproved of since the deceased, Mr. Stephen Staunton (Eoin McCarthy), had taken his own life.
Inside the church, he gave a good sermon in which he tried to reassure the widow, Mrs. Hildegrand Staunton (Pheline Roggan), that everything would be alright. After the ceremony, Mr. Staunton’s business partner, Mr. Clive Morton (Andrew Woodall) and his wife, Mrs. Pamela Morton (Rachel Shelley), thanked him and informed him that Mrs. Staunton was German.
At the local pub, Sidney tried to approach Mrs. Staunton but was stopped by Mrs. Pamela Morton, who pulled him aside and informed him that she believed that Mr. Staunton had been murdered, because the night before he had died, they had been together, as they were having an affair. He even asked her to run away with him to Nice and the French Riviera and told her that they would “live as we have never lived.” She then told him she did not talk to the police because she wanted to avoid a scandal.
Because of this, he went to the local police station, where he was greeted by Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). However, since there had been a suicide note and because the inspector had a lot of cases on his hands, he told Sidney to steer clear of murky waters and did not allow him to see the suicide note. He felt that the case was pretty much clear, especially as they knew that he had been embezzling money from his own firm.
He then decided to pay Mrs. Staunton a visit. There, she told him that she had met Mr. Staunton in Berlin and that he drank a lot, particularly the brand of Whiskey-Jameson’s. She also told him that she would be going back home to Berlin and that her husband had not left her any money or a will. Because of this, he decided to pay Mr. Staunton’s old office a visit. There, he met Ms. Annabel Morrison (Michelle Duncan), the secretary to both Mr. Morton and Mr. Staunton, who were both lawyers. She told him that Mr. Staunton had been in an argument the day before he died. When she came in the next morning, she found him lying dead, with a gun in his hand.
When Mr. Morton came, Sidney learned that most lawyers did not really make wills for themselves. However, he found it strange that the whiskey he was offered, which came from Mr. Staunton’s decanter, was not Jameson’s, but a cheaper variety. He then informed the inspector of this and told him that he knew that there was a third party in that room. This meant that there was a remote probability of Mr. Staunton being murdered. Geordie then gave him Mr. Staunton’s file in order to indulge him. In it, Sidney found the suicide note, in which he said that it was hard and that it was impossible to continue. He then apologized several times over and signed it with the initial of his first name — S. Afterwards, Geordie then reiterated to Sidney that the case was closed. As he escorted the vicar out, Sidney playfully told him that he believed that Backgammon, and not football, was the game.
At a local diner, Sidney met with Mrs. Morton and informed her that Mr. Staunton had committed suicide and had not been murdered. However, she insisted that it was murder and even accused her husband of killing him. She then mentioned that she knew that Mr. Staunton had a private diary and told him that she knew that he wanted to solve this mystery, as she had seen his eyes light up at the prospect of having something different and exciting happening in Grantchester. However, he made up his mind not to investigate further and told her that he would always pray for her.
As he walked back to the vicarage from the diner, he was surprised to see Amanda, as he did not expect her until that coming Friday. They then decided to have an impromptu picnic, where he repeated the same lines that Mr. Staunton had used on Mrs. Morton. He asked her to run away with him. However, Amanda’s face turned from happy to solemn and showed him that she was engaged to a wealthy and handsome man. At the train station, as he bid her goodbye, Amanda made him promise her that he would never be lonely. She then asked him to visit her sometime in London.
Back at the vicarage, he tried to encode Sunday’s sermon but found it impossible to concentrate as Mrs. Maguire was vacuuming the entire place. She then told him that the village people were already talking about how he should be looking for a good wife soon.
The next morning, Sidney became a little bit heartbroken after seeing the engagement announcement of Amanda to her fiancé, Guy Hopkins. His breakfast and thoughts were then interrupted by Mrs. Maguire, who was shocked to find a black Labrador puppy on their doorstep. It turned out that Amanda had sent the puppy over so that Sidney would never get lonely. Over the phone, she told him that this whole engagement was going to be hard for her and that it would be impossible. Sidney then repeated the lines impossible to continue, as he suddenly remembered the letter. He then left Amanda hanging and went over to the police station as fast as he could. He then told the inspector that the note had not been a suicide note, but a note that was trying to end a relationship, especially as the wording was pretty restrained for a suicide note. Geordie then realized that the vicar knew something that he didn’t and learned that it might be possible that either Mrs. Morton or Mr. Morton had murdered Mr. Staunton because of the affair. Because of this, they decided that it was imperative to get their hands on Mr. Staunton’s diary, which would be able to shed more light as to what he had been up to. Sidney managed to get it from Mrs. Staunton. However, he felt bad as he told the inspector that he had broken one of the commandments. Inside the diary, all they could find were initials and train time schedules, which led them to a dead end.
Back at the vicarage, Sidney tried to write another sermon but was distracted as he kept on looking at the crime scene pictures and remembered the time he had to use a pistol when he was fighting in the Scots Guard. His thoughts were then broken by the puppy, who was whimpering as something was burning in the oven. He then took out a blackened pie and found a part of the note that Mrs. Maguire had left regarding the pie, which she signed with her initials. Because of this, he finally realized that he knew who the murderer was and ran to tell Geordie, who had been helping his children bathe in the tub.
The next day, they set about to enact the dicey plan that the vicar had come up with. He went over to Mr. Morton’s office and told him that he was hoping to see Mrs. Morton, as he knew that she was in possession of Mr. Staunton’s diary. After mentioning that she was going to the city on a particular train, Sidney wondered out loud, as the train that Mrs. Morton took every time she went to the city was the same train that Mr. Staunton took if he had meetings in the city.
At the train station, just as the train pulled in, Mrs. Morton was pushed onto the tracks. However, Sidney caught her just in time. Behind her, Geordie restrained Annabel Morrison and arrested her. It turned out that the “AM” and “PM” in Mr. Staunton’s diary did not stand for morning or afternoon, as they initially thought it was. He had been writing their initials in his book — AM stood for Annabel Morrison, while PM stood for Pamela Morton. He had played them both and had written a note to Annabel in order to end their relationship. However, as she did not take it well, she killed him and set the entire scene up to look like he had killed himself.
That Sunday, he delivered a wonderful sermon and reminded his congregation to live as if they have never lived before. Afterwards, he saw Mrs. Staunton off, as he cycled beside her train and waved goodbye to her.
Afterwards, Sidney, Geordie and the dog, whom Sidney had named Dickens, as Mrs. Maguire’s favorite expression was “What the Dickens?!” There, the inspector told him that he had another case for the vicar to solve. In payment, he would give him some whiskey and another round of Backgammon.
And that was all for the recap on “Grantchester” Season 1 Episode 1 “Episode One.” For more news and updates, include spoilers and recaps, on “Grantchester” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Grantchester” every Sunday at 10:00 p.m. on PBS.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/PBS