Grantchester Season 4 turns the tables, as Will Davenport asks Geordie for help this time when a murder happens at home.
Will: We're not rich, Geordie.
Geordie: You have a gong.
This week's episode starts with small crimes and misdemeanors when a young girl gets caught stealing from the collection plate. Leonard wants to come down hard, but Will is all about forgiveness, especially when she begs them not to tell her father. He even hands her back the tuppence she took. Leonard is horrified and frets over his lackadaisical approach. But Will can tell Leonard's real issue is Mrs. C's absence. Will is hoping a few reports of how Mrs. Bennett (Sarah Crowden) has taken over without anyone to keep her in check will do the trick to bring her back.
Geordie, as usual, is having problems trying to figure out what's wrong with Cathy. He might be on to Hobbs yet, given time, but sadly he still thinks it's an affair, and not that his wife is being harassed. Unfortunately for him, that's when Will turns up. For once it's not because Geordie needs him, but because he needs Geordie. Surprised and a little confused, Geordie hops in the car and follows Will on his bike, who rides it like a man trying to get himself killed. Arriving at a cottage, we meet the woman who called Will, Sally (Maggie Daniels), who announces she's going to report "him." Upstairs there's an elderly man, Eli (Christopher Fairbank) covered in bruises, whom Geordie assumes is Will's dad. It's not.
Will's dad is the one who did the beating. He's not at the cottage, because that's not where he lives. Thomas Davenport (Nathaniel Parker) is the lord of the manor house, and when Geordie and Will arrive, the family is having dinner. His mother Amelia (Jemma Redgrave) is at least happy to see him, but Thomas is not. The other couple at the table, Eddie (Robert Portal) and Meredith (Rachel Pickup), are more startled by Will's get up, with Meredith openly asking if it's a costume.
Geordie attempts to take a statement, only to be informed that Eli was caught stealing and subsequetnly punished. Will's protestations cause Thomas to call him "a constant disappointment" to the family, followed by extraordinarily ugly stories of Will's childhood, and forcing Will to answer embarrassing questions about his sex life from Eddie. When Will doesn't let the beating go, Eli is fetched. Faced with accusations and all eyes on him, Eli denies he was beaten and furthermore confesses to the crime of stealing. With that ugly scene over, Thomas and Eddie decide to discuss their new horse investment and retire to look at slides of the animal.
Will is left to explain to Geordie that the family isn't wealthy, just impoverished gentry desperately keeping up appearances. But before the two of them can head out, Eddie turns up in a pool of blood, while Meredith is half-covered in it. Thomas, naturally, has decided it's Eli who did it and wants him arrested. In due course, Eddie's cigarette case is found in Eli's lodge, and the local police arrest him. There are pawnbroker tickets in Eli's flat as well, and a long list of stuff that has been slowly disappearing from the house.
But nearly everything that's missing is Amelia's stuff. When Will asks, she admits she had Eli pawn it for money to pay the staff. But she won't tell the truth, especially when Thomas begins screaming at her. She'd rather let Eli hang than lose respectability in the eyes of their neighbors. Personally, Will is convinced that Meredith did it, revealing he'd gotten her pregnant during their affair, and Eddie never forgave either of them for it. Also, Thomas was sleeping with her too.
But Geordie has it figured out, especially when he realizes Thomas is violently abusive to both his wife and his son. A violent man is a violent man.
Will refuses to believe him until he sees the slides of the horse everyone was looking at last night. He recognizes the saddle; it's one in their barn. The picture is old, the horse investment was just a con to get Eddie's money. The nail embedded in his head was from Thomas bodyslamming into the barn's wall when the man put two and two together. Faced with the reality of the situation, Thomas commits suicide. Will's mother insists that it be declared an accident. All loose ends will be tucked away. And Will will come home to the manor soon.
Upon getting home, Geordie tries to talk to Cathy about her "affair" only to learn the truth of what Hobbs did. Cathy begs him not to step in. It's her fight to have. But Geordie is already out the door in a rage. Meanwhile, Will's bid to bring Mrs. C back bears fruit. But her insistence on telling Leonard she's not come back for him, but because Will says "things are falling apart" gets everything off on the wrong foot. Leonard takes offense at the idea that Will is saying bad things about him. Between this and Will's extended absence, including missing a service, he goes nuclear and calls in the archdeacon. The archdeacon responds by telling Will he was all wrong to allow the girl to keep the money, etc. As if that has anything to do with anything whatsoever.
Upon the archdeacon's exit, Leonard goes into high dudgeon, telling Will how badly he's behaved, and then, without realizing how big a trigger he's about to press, informs Will, he's been "a constant disappointment to us all."
There are two hits — Will's fist to Leonard's face and Leonard to the floor.
And that is the end of the episode.