Going into tonight’s Grantchester season 4 episode 2, it was clear that James Norton would be departing the ITV series. Yet, there were still some questions as to precisely how it was going to come about and how Sidney would depart the world that he came to know and care about for quite some time.
Devastation seems to be a recurring theme in the life of Sidney, and at the start of tonight’s episode we saw more of it play out courtesy of Violet. He was fearful that Violet was gone for good, but soon after that, he learned that she was, in fact, still around. Yet, he wasn’t going to get what he wanted from her, and she was going to eventually leave.
Sidney was a devastated man and spent most of the episode in the midst of a struggle. Then, we ended up getting the case of Sadie. She was a young woman who was involved in an underground prostitution ring, and found herself eventually murdered by another woman in Eva who was working behind the scenes. She claimed that she acted alone, and that she acted out of fear that Sadie speaking out would cause steep consequences for all of the women. She just couldn’t see another way to survive.
The challenge for Sidney in dealing with this is that he had communicated in the past with Sadie; this is what made this case personal for him. He wanted to help her, but after her death, he took it upon himself to help the other women who were trapped and abused in this situation. This led to the man responsible for the operation in Archer being arrested.
In the aftermath of the case
Sidney prepared to say goodbye once and for all to Violet … or was it really going to be a goodbye at all? The truth here is that he’d given up so much in his life in order to be a vicar and stay in this place; he was ready to have a change, and ready to move forward with a new life. That’s why he decided that he wanted to depart his church at the end of the episode; he was fine to take the risk and go off with Violet. She loved him; she just didn’t see a way forward at this place with him.
With that in mind, Sidney is leaving — while it may be for love, he also understands that he and Violet can do a great deal of good elsewhere. Geordie did try his best to convince him to leave, but this was not a position where he was going to budge. Sidney announced his decision to his congregation, and prepared to usher forward a new era in his life.
Grantchester season 4 episode 2 delivered a great, emotional story about Sidney, but in the process also featured a great mystery and reminded us about what the show is all about: The relationship between him, Geordie, and the community at large. It’s sad to see Norton leave, but at least he does so in a way that makes sense.
What did you think about Grantchester season 4 episode 2? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: ITV.)