Grantchester fans were left with a bittersweet feeling as James Norton’s hunky crime-solving vicar Sidney Chambers departed the show during Friday night’s episode.
*Spoilers for Grantchester series 4 episode 2 to follow*
We’ve known for some time now that Norton’s ascendant career would take him away from the ITV drama at the early stages of this season – with Tom Brittney set to take over in a new role – but some of us were not quite ready to say goodbye. However, the majority of fans on Twitter are delighted with how his departure was handled, as a whirlwind romance with an American girl called Violet, depicted over the course of episodes 1 and 2 of season 4, led him to leave the Cambridgeshire town for the USA.
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The final scenes of the episode saw the Sidney putting his affairs in order as he prepared to cross the Atlantic to join up with Violet and her family. This included a teary-eyed final game of draughts between Sidney and Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) at their favourite table in the pub.
Norton took to Instagram after it had aired to share an emotional tribute to his character. Check it out below.
And, despite some minor gripes that Norton’s departure had arrived too quickly, many of the fans who took to Twitter to post about the episode were happy with Sidney’s “romantic” ending – and they all seemed to agree that Violet was a better fit for him than Amanda (Morven Christie).
“Yes yes yes, Sidney!” user @ravenwolf68 said. “Violet made you a better man in a way Amanda never could. Goodbye, James Norton, and thank you for the last 3 seasons. See you elsewhere on our screens. But before that, one last game.”
@LMissinblue added: “perfect and romantic ending for Sidney. But you will be missed, lovely vicar!”
Check out some more reactions to the episode below.
YES YES YES, SIDNEY! Violet made you a better man in a way Amanda never could. Goodbye, @jginorton, and thank you for the last 3 seasons. See you elsewhere on our screens. But before that, one last game. #Grantchester
— ????? ???? ? (@ravenwolf68) January 18, 2019
— Lia Missinblue (@LMissinblue) January 18, 2019
— GoldieJ4 (@Goldie090) January 18, 2019
# #Grantchester OMG tell me I'm not the only crying my eyes out here? Sidney's leaving ☹️
He's going to be happy with Violet ???? then why am I so sad? Going to miss you Sidney! Good luck & Farewell @jginorton
— Sue B (@SueSusannah19) January 18, 2019
It shows the strength of #Grantchester that despite only watching for two episodes I was fully engrossed by the exit of a long term lead.
— Becky (@Umb0g0) January 18, 2019
So long @jginorton ! You welcomed this first time producer onto your last #Grantchester series like a true gent, and it was a joy to witness each day: from the punting and punching, to the bruises and bromance. In Sidney’s words: rejoice always! pic.twitter.com/HIjsmLC4Wv
— Richard Cookson (@richardcookson) January 18, 2019
Just watched last nights farewell – how beautifully handled and quite emotional! Can’t see how it will be the same without him !#Grantchester
— Andrew S.. (@Andrewclink7) January 19, 2019
An iconic partnership meets its end. Sidney and Geordie ???????? thanks for the memories #Grantchester
— Millie (@MillieSansoye) January 19, 2019
— Nathan Richardson (@NathRNath) January 18, 2019
However, the real test will be next week, when Brittney’s William Davenport takes the reins for the first time…
Grantchester continues on Friday at 9pm on ITV
This article was originally published on 19 January 2019