You know what they say: ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’ For Sidney, unfortunately, this fire is happening within earshot of his home. Awoken by his dog Dickins to the sight of bellowing smoke forming above a neighbour’s home, the vicar races over to rescue those caught in the flames.
Upon arrival, everyone has made it to safety apart from the lady of the house, Marion Taylor. Sidney charges into the raging fire and discovers Marion alert, on a chair, but not immediately interested in leaving the home. Either she’s in shock, in fear, or not wanting to face reality once the smoke clears.
Welcome to this week’s “Grantchester” Case File! Before reading, do note that there are many spoilers ahead. This episode is available to watch online through Thursday, July 7, 2016.
As Sidney tries to rescue Marion, his path to the outside is cut off by falling debris. It is here when young local resident, Ben Blackwood, tosses a piece of lawn furniture through the window. Marion and Sidney get out, narrowly escaping what could’ve been a fiery death. At the time, Marion and her husband Dominic tell Detective Inspector Geordie Keating that the blaze was accidental, thus initially cranking down the desire for too much further evaluation.
Shortly thereafter, Sidney is back at the church delivering a sermon before being easily distracted by the re-emergence of his potential new love interest, Hildegard. After finishing his remarks, Sidney goes to pursue Hildegard but is side-tracked by an anxious Dominic. Once in private, Dominic informs the vicar that the fire was, in fact, not accidental. But, before he provides further details, Marion interrupts the conversation, stopping the chatter dead in its tracks.
Of course suspecting that there’s more going on than what’s been revealed, Sidney re-visits Marion and Dominic’s home. Eventually, Marion decrees that the family is moving back to London – she personally hopes the relocation will make her husband “normal” once again. Before Sidney truly has time to process this information, DC Atkins interrupts with news that Dominic has been found dead.
Stabbed to death, Dominic’s traumatic passing sticks with Sidney. Instead of relying solely on DC Atkins – who revealed to the vicar that Geordie was on leave – Sidney goes to his unofficial partner’s home to survey the situation. What he soon learns is that Geordie’s infant son, David, is very ill and dangerously close to death. As Sidney and Geordie converse, the officer becomes intrigued by the investigation, especially since he can’t trust DC Atkins to handle it. In desperate need of a distraction, Geordie goes back to work.
During the investigation, it’s believed that Dominic was stabbed in a local lavatory known as a spot where men would secretly meet one another for a romantic rendezvous. Thus, Marion is soon questioned about how much she knew about her husband’s secret life. As Geordie’s search for the truth intensifies, Marion admits to very early one morning discovering a note at her door, which is later believed to be a blackmail-motivated letter left by Tobias, a local pub owner who had many run-ins with Dominic.
Marion, subsequently, set that note ablaze and in the process set her home on fire – now we understand why she wasn’t in a rush to get outside as the flames tore through her home.
Putting the pieces together, Sidney goes to pay Tobias a visit. He levies heavy accusations, soon learning that Tobias caught Dominic and his wife’s house fire rescuer, Ben, kissing behind closed doors. Sidney pushes Tobias – who was seen walking away from the house as the fire raged – to admit that the letter was his. Tobias stands tough, noting that any revelation he makes will publicly out Dominic and Ben. This would, unfortunately, cause a swift and likely negative reaction with many residents of Grantchester.
As Geordie learns about this side of the story, he – while mad at the world regarding the illness of his son – arrests both Tobias and Ben, affectively crushing any chance of Ben and Marion’s family getting any privacy. This proves especially harmful for Ben, as his father, Vic, abruptly finds out about his son being homosexual. While briefly incarcerated, Ben is attacked by Vic and makes it clear that their relationship is over. Feeling unbelievably terrible about this chain of events, Sidney takes Ben into his home.
During his stay, Ben can’t help but feel confused and saddened by his father’s reaction. Leonard, a young minister currently residing with Sidney, tries to provide a sense of comfort by explaining such blow-ups between family members happen, out of love.
With such a statement fresh in his mind, Sidney soon has an epiphany and looks to act upon it. Based on little evidence apart from what his sense of logic and heart tells him, Sidney approaches Vic and accuses him of Dominic’s murder. Smugly, Vic doesn’t dodge the accusation; rather, he dares Sidney to find proof.
Although Sidney and Geordie had recently been at odds due to the added stress in the officer’s life, the two soon reconvene, make amends and pursue the evidence necessary to lockdown Vic for Dominic’s murder. After re-tracing their steps in the bathroom in which Dominic was stabbed – and searching for evidence in spots missed before – a bloodied knife is discovered. Vic is later arrested without incident.
How did Vic know about Ben’s sexual preference? Well, one day Marion came by to tell Ben to leave her husband alone. Vic overheard this and reacted by committing a needless murder.
With the crime settled, Sidney and Geordie go to the latter’s home to check on young David. After a brief moment of nervousness, it’s revealed that David’s fever has broken and he will be just fine – Geordie is moved to tears.
As for Sidney, Hildegard’s appearance at the sermon led to a number of days together in which the vicar once again discovered what it’s like to have an amazing woman in his life. While solving crimes can be complicated, Sidney appears to be seeking ease when it comes to matters of the heart.