Grantchester Season 3 Review

  • Title:  Grantchester
  • Season: 3
  • Episodes: 7
  • Discs: 3
  • Cast:  Robson Green, James Norton, Morven Christie, Tessa Peake-Jones
  • Network:  ITV
  • DVD Format:  Widescreen, Color, DVD, R1, NTSC

Season 3 of Grantchester begins in Winter and the season runs through Summer. The first episode on the set is the Christmas special. Amanda, heavily pregnant has left her husband, Guy. The episode parallels her story with the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus in the sense that Amanda’s own family disowns her, and no one in the village wants to help her out of shame and disapproval of her upcoming divorce. Finally, she shelters at the vicarage, and gives birth to a healthy baby girl.

Sidney is torn for the entire season between his love for Amanda, and his sense of duty towards the church. As an Anglican priest he can marry, but not a divorceé. By the end of the season, he’s even ready to give up being a priest, and writes a resignation letter, which he shows to Amanda. The two look at a flat in London. But in the last episode of the season, Amanda first forces Sidney to choose between the church and her, and later gets him to realise being a vicar is who he is.

Meanwhile, Geordie is having an affair with Margaret at the police station. Margaret had been interested in Sidney last season. Geordie isn’t very discrete about his affair, and one of his police officers reveals to Kathy (Geordie’s wife) at the policeman’s ball that Geordie’s being unfaithful. Kathy throws Geordie out. Geordie is torn, but eventually goes back to Kathy and she forgives him and takes him back.

Mrs. McGuire, who is now seeing Jack, is walking back from the village to the vicarage, when she’s shocked to see her long missing husband, Ronnie, in the street. Everyone tells her to divorce him, but she believes divorce is a sin. He tells her he’s dying from lung cancer, then steals all her savings and her silver locket. Sidney, who at this point is trying to decide if he should satisfy his own happiness and marry Amanda or should he stay a priest and serve his people, leaves his dog collar and black suit in the church, changes into civilian clothes and runs to think things through. He hitch-hikes north, eventually finding Ronnie in a Romani (gypsy) camp. Ronnie is married and needed the money to cover his wife’s medical treatment. (As a Romani she doesn’t believe in doctors, and she also has no identity papers or national health care number.) There’s to be a marriage in the camp as well, an arranged marriage to join two families – and the bride to be is Ronnie’s wife’s daughter. Sidney notices something is off about the upcoming marriage. Ronnie however is killed. The Romani suspect Sidney of course. Purely by chance, Geordie shows up (he was looking for Sidney not Ronnie) – and working together the two find the real murderer as well as the motivation for the crime (the girl was in love with a local boy and was pregnant by him). Sidney returns to Grantchester.

In the final episode, Geordie gives up his mistress and returns to Kathy who forgives him (Sidney forgives him first in an incredible scene). Sidney ends up choosing the church. Leonard decides he can’t marry the girl he proposed to – and even approaches Daniel again. And finally, now legally free, Mrs. McGuire marries Jack.

The third season of Grantchester is beautifully shot. It really is just gorgeous. Oh, and yes, Dickens the black lab is still present and adorable. The season emphases the characters and their relationships over individual weekly mysteries. There are mysteries in some episodes – the opening episode (after the Christmas special) features a cricket game and a man who is murdered because of his race (he’s from India/Pakistan). But it’s really each of the main characters facing moral quandaries revolving around love verses duty that’s the theme of the season. And Grantchester falls solidly on the side of duty. Mrs. McGuire feels a sense of duty to her husband even though he left her during World War II and never returned, though she’s seeing Jack, she feels she can’t divorce and marry him. Legally, she could divorce – since Ronnie left her alone for ten years. Geordie feels a sense of duty and obligation to his wife and children, but what happens with Margaret is just something that happened – he, of course as he should, returns to Kathy. Leonard tries to do his duty and get married but he has a blow-up with his fianceé, and she drops him. Leonard sees Daniel and it looks like they might couple up. Or not – Leonard previously felt his duties to the church were stronger than his own feelings. And Sidney, as much as he wants to be with Amanda, his love, ends-up staying in the church as vicar. I do hope Grantchester gets another season, because I’d like to see how some of the decisions made at the end of the season turn out.

Please also see My Review of Grantchester Season 2.

Please also see My Review of Grantchester Season 1.