'Grantchester' Recap: Season 7 Episode 2
July 17, 2022
Will is distraught over his passion for Maya, whom he has learned is the fiancée of Geordie’s new boss, Elliott. He petulantly meets her to say goodbye; things will never work. They end up sleeping together again.
Geordie tries to ignore Will’s exploits in the next room. The next day, he and Will are surprised to find his niece Bonnie Evans at the vicarage doing handstands in a dress without shame. She’s there with her precocious son Ernie and Geordie’s children—she has been helping Cathy out with the kids and is dropping them off to Geordie for his day with them. But Geordie and Will are called out to a distress call and have to leave the kids with Bonnie.
They arrive at the Carmichael house to find Melanie scrubbing the steps. She doesn’t know her husband Lester called the police. Upstairs, they find him dead in bed, drenched in blood, the phone in his hand.
Melanie had brought Lester home after he cut himself badly on a paper knife—hence his bandaged hand. But he bled out from his neck, where a pellet had lodged. When he turned in bed, it shifted and he began to bleed. It probably came from a child’s gun.
Melanie and Lester don’t have children. She owns and runs a cleaning product company, although it’s in her husband’s name. Will and Geordie find her sweeping up the burned scraps of a bank statement from the fireplace, and notice some large recent withdrawals.
Melanie says Lester called her to pick him up while she was at the department store pitching her product—a story corroborated by Cathy, who works there. Geordie confronts Cathy for bringing Bonnie in to help with the kids without telling him and throws in some suspicion of her male manager, with whom she’s chummy. Cathy tells him he can take care of the kids tonight if he’s so concerned.
The switchboard operator reveals that Melanie was actually called by a woman named Betty Rose, not Lester. Betty runs a brothel; Lester frequented it. He was with Betty when his drink suddenly shattered, cutting his hand, so she phoned Melanie. Geordie and Will find a pellet gun amongst the toys of a child playing in front, but the boy says Betty had sent him to buy candy that morning—he’s the son of one of her prostitutes. A shot through the window could have hit Lester’s glass and lodged in his neck.
Unfortunately, the gun is wiped clean of fingerprints—but there are some on the fragments of Lester’s glass: his, and those of the little boy’s mother, Velma. She has an arrest on her record for threatening her ex with his gun, and was leaving town when Geordie and Will came to see her.
She tells them that her ex was a bad man, and that Lester was comparatively good: he was going to give Velma a place to live and send her son through school. Betty was upset to lose Velma; she doesn’t trust men, and thought Lester would soon abandon Velma.
Jack is afraid Mrs. C is abandoning him. She has been irritable, won’t kiss him, and has been going to “bingo” frequently. Leonard investigates, and sees Mrs. C meeting a man at the vicarage. After he leaves, Leonard marches in to find Mrs. C drinking and blasting jazz. The man is her doctor, and she is frightened of her poor health. She will find out tomorrow whether she has uterine cancer, and asks Leonard to accompany her.
At the doctor’s office, Leonard is taken for her son—and it is revealed that she has a tumor. She will require radiation therapy and a hysterectomy. She doesn’t ask questions.
Geordie is more suspicious of Cathy, with less cause, than Jack of Mrs. C. When Bonnie drops the kids off at the station—he agreed he’d watch them that night—he learns that Cathy’s off to the pub with her manager. Geordie gives Miss Scott money for a drink and asks her to watch Cathy. He also warns Will to be careful, as Geordie has barely saved Will from being caught by Elliott in an intimate moment with Maya at the station.
Bonnie also sees Will with Maya and asks him about her. They discuss love: her husband died, but she’s not sure she’s ever been in love. Neither of them understands what happened between Geordie and Cathy.
They do still love each other, as Cathy demonstrates when she rejects Clive’s advance. (He responds by saying that she, a woman with children, should be grateful he even noticed her.) But spying can’t help things. Miss Scott reveals Geordie’s ruse to Cathy and they get drunk on his money, commiserating about men.
The next day at the station, Cathy is waiting for Geordie so she can criticize him—and Miss Scott takes advantage of Geordie’s misstep to finagle a longer lunch hour.
Maya could make use of a long lunch—or any period of time away from her fiancé. Will finds her waiting for him in the churchyard, and they once again spend the night together.
Will and Geordie learn from a witness that Betty helped Melanie bring Lester home after he cut his hand, and suspect the two women worked together to kill him. Melanie resented Lester’s use of her business’s money—the large withdrawals were for Velma—and Betty didn’t want him to take Velma away from her.
But then Will and Geordie realize that Lester’s session with Velma ran long, and the brothel excelled at selling a fantasy. Velma’s next client saw her with Lester; his illusion that she loved only him was shattered, so he picked up her son’s discarded gun and shot Lester through the window, not meaning to kill him. He is arrested.
Betty is kept in custody for running a “house of ill repute,” but she asks Geordie and Will to tell Velma to look under a doll in the brothel. A wad of money awaits. As Velma leaves the brothel for the last time, she tells an approaching client that it’s closed.
Will uncomfortably recognizes a bit of his feelings in the man arrested for Lester’s death. He too has indulged in imagining a fantasy life, with Maya. So he tells Maya he can’t pretend any longer and has to end things. We’ve heard that before. She grabs him to stay; he holds her; he leaves. We’ll see if he can stay away.