Rev. Chambers and Inspector Keating investigate the death of a professor who fell off a building, but are warned off the case as they begin to unravel a government plot.
Though I found the first episode of the season a little lackluster, I determined to carry on with this series in hopes that I would begin to like the characters more and thus feel more invested in their stories. However, though I found the mystery in this episode more intriguing than the last, I also continued to feel as though I really ought to watch season one if I am ever to care about these characters.
The mystery revolves around the mysterious death of a professor. Did he fall off a building or was he pushed? And how are the Soviets involved? I like intrigue in my stories so enjoyed this, even though the Red Scare bit seemed a little forced, as if it was added just for historical flavor. However, I still felt distant from the characters, including the dead professor’s wife and best friend. Normally I’d be sobbing along with the grieving friends and family, but this show somehow manages to keep me detached.
Meanwhile, Sidney’s personal plotline continues to revolve around his search for romance. Except that even though there’s this secretary who’s into him, he’s still obviously smitten with an old flame, who is now married. But repeatedly showing up at his vicarage or meeting him for coffee while her husband is away. That’s…awkward. Especially since Sidney, of all people, should not be dancing with adultery. And everyone knows what’s happening. They keep warning him to stay away, but he remains oblivious.
The professional seductress/glamorous cigarette-smoking and martini-drinking type of girl never really resonates with me, though, (maybe I just don’t relate?) so I don’t feel invested in these romances, either. Sidney’s a vicar and this type of girl seems wrong for him. He mentions that he doesn’t want to date a “nun,” meaning, I guess, a conservative or quiet girl, but can he really support the type of rich and glamorous girl he’s into? Would the parish approve of a vicar’s wife who drinks and smokes? Does he realize that his situation in life might require him to rethink his priorities? I know he doesn’t really act like a typical vicar, going around solving crimes and apparently blabbing about all the confessions people make to him, but his personal growth might mean he has to accept that a vicar’s wife might need certain qualities.
Finally, I do not think the show achieves the blending of mystery and…depth? it seems to be aiming for. Sidney’s sleuthing is generally juxtaposed with him giving a sermon that I suppose is meant to relate to his crime. But his sermons are so vague and personal, like someone writing a Facebook post about something that happened to them but without saying what really happened, while trying to sound deep and maybe hoping you’ll ask for more information. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t give Sidney more depth or show his growth. It’s just awkward.
Still, I’m in need of a historical drama while I wait for new episodes of Call the Midwife to come out, so I think I’ll keep watching Grantchester to see where it goes. Hopefully I’ll begin to care about the characters eventually.