“You and I have been rendered useless,” Morven Christie’s Amanda Kendall tells Geordie (Robson Green) in episode five of Grantchester. “We have absolutely no part to play in this.”
And she’s dead right too because Sidney’s gone solo – leaving Robson without his 1950s Jerome – to embark on a manhunt for Mrs Maguire’s (Tessa Peake-Jones) errant husband, Ronnie (Charlie Higson).
It’s not long before the vicar (or is he now he’s dropped the dog collar?) discovers Ronnie living at a gypsy camp, where he’s been happily hiding out with another wife and two young daughters. Sidney’s shocked, but not perturbed enough to avoid having a cheeky dance with one of the local lasses.
Any excuse to shake those God-given hips eh, Mr Norton?
While Sidney’s busy making eyes at yet another brunette and sulkily flicking through the pages of his childhood bible, Ronnie is mysteriously murdered and the money he stole is snatched, much to the dismay of his new missus and community leader, Cora (Lorraine Ashbourne).
Her son Pal (Adrian Bower) doesn’t want to get the police involved so the crime-solving vicar starts poking his nose around, just in time for Geordie’s arrival.
Poor old Leonard (who seems much recovered from last week’s ordeal) has struggled to keep the secrets of Sidney’s departure, you see. His tales of Sidney dipping his toes in the sea on an impromptu beach holiday don’t convince anyone, so it’s not long before Geordie gets the truth out of him and makes a beeline for his brother-in-arms.
He’ll be needing those broad shoulders to cry on now Cathy’s (Kacey Ainsworth) finally given him the boot, though not before packing two sets of pyjamas to get him through all those nights he’ll be spending alone.
Back at camp, Cora’s eager to give her lying husband a decent send off and begs Sidney to read some bible passages to mark Ronnie’s passing. The vicar’s having none of it though, continuing to protest that he can’t possibly be God’s agent – even if a widow begs him to.
Speaking of widows, it falls to Geordie to break the bad news to the original Mrs Maguire. When the police officer struggles to tell her about Ronnie’s second family it’s Leonard who steps in, dealing the blow with as much compassion and kindness as he can muster.
Compassion and kindness aren’t top of the list of Mrs Magurie’s priorities when she arrives at the gypsy camp though, silencing a barking dog with a single stare before making a beeline for her bigamist husband’s new missus. “I wouldn’t have said Ronnie would chose a woman with long and wayward hair” she all but spits as Tessa Peake-Jones and Lorraine Ashbourne have one of those brilliantly sharp and subtly brutal stand-offs that only two actresses of their calibre could pull off.
While the matriarchs go to verbal war, Sidney solves a murder mystery all by himself. It’s no wonder nobody ever questions why the vicar is allowed to handle vital evidence and sit in on all those police investigations.
The ever-brooding former man of God (Don’t label him guys, ok? He’s confused at the moment) deduces that Abraham (Ewan Mitchell), the man who intended to marry Cora’s granddaughter Luella (Alexa Davies) and inherit leadership of the camp from her father Pal, accidentally offed Ronnie in a rage.
You see Luella was sneaking off with the local landowner’s son, Marcus (Simon Lennon), and Ronnie was helping her cover her tracks. And as for the money? Well, it just so happens little Luella had run off with in the hopes of making a great escape.
When the truth about Cora’s illness is revealed – she’s the one who needs the treatment for cancer, not Ronnie – Luella immediately returns the cash and Mrs Maguire’s now frozen heart thaws. She hands over half of her recovered life savings to the other woman her husband wronged, in the hopes that it’ll help her provide for her young children.
There’s one child she’s more concerned about though: Sidney Chambers, who seems to have come full circle after his big day out. “Ronnie ran away from a marriage that was over” she sighs as she faces down her charge, “but you Sidney Chambers just need to grow up.”
Geordie finally does just that, saying goodbye to a heartbroken Margaret so he can attempt to save his marriage and mend his broken family. “Don’t wake up tomorrow and realise you’ve chucked out something special”, he tells his friend.
And as Amanda delivers her “it’s me or the church” ultimatum to the returning little boy lost, we’re left wondering which ‘something special’ Sidney Chambers will be chucking out in episode six.