Will Davenport's first outing on Grantchester gives fans a hint at the new leading man's past.
Leonard: God and I have been moving in rather different circles recently.
The first half of this season of Grantchester saw previous leading man Sidney Chambers take his leave, and then sidekick Leonard attempted to fill in during the interim. Now fans have reached the halfway point of Season 4, and the first proper episode featuring new lead, Will Davenport. It's an unusual way to go about adding a new leading man, but one that gives the writers maximum leeway in how to introduce the new characters to fans. In most shows, when they premiere, the leading role acts as an audience avatar to introduce the wacky cast of characters, from Geordie to Mrs. Chapman. Now the show has flipped the script as the supporting crew of Grantchester are used to help us get to know the new leading man.
Naturally, the best character of all to help us get to know Davenport is Dickens. His cheerful canine presence has already given the new vicar his seal of puppy approval. Will also clearly gets along with the Archdeacon in a way that no one else in the parish has done in quite some time. He's even able to charm the Bishop, so he's in good standing with those above, even if others are less certain how they feel about their new co-worker.
The case this week involves a child (Niall Usher) who walks into the police station bloody from head to foot, covered in bruises, but utterly mute. Geordie is at a loss for how to deal with this, especially since Donovan's method is to put the child in a cell until he starts talking. His alarm increases when it turns out that the child has a Bible on him, which is also bloody. Seeing the religious connection, he heads over to the vicarage. Will tries to put him off, unwilling to follow in Sidney's footsteps into the world of off-hours detective work, even with the case's religious angle. But when Geordie describes the little boy, silent and covered in someone else's blood, Davenport cannot refuse.
Will is quick to put two and two together when a teacup shatters, and the child doesn't react. The kid, who it turns out is named Adam Carter, is deaf, and our new vicar just so happens to be fluent in sign language. Now finally able to communicate, Geordie and Will take the kid home, only to walk in on a Mennonite funeral for Adam's mother, Miriam. His father, Ernest (Alex Hassell), screams at the child that he is responsible for her death. It turns out Miriam died falling from the hayloft after Adam went up there without permission. But that's not about to stop the father from punishing his child, much to Will's horror.
The Mennonite factor is a real issue because the family doesn't think of themselves as answering to the law. So the investigation is more about Will making friends with people like Adam's grandmother Clara (Eileen Davies) and his sister Hannah (Emma Hindle). Meanwhile Geordie quietly checks the crime scene and determines Miriam was pushed. A red ribbon is lying where she fell from, which Hannah insists is hers, but Will, in rather short order, realizes it would not be. Hannah is too god-fearing to accept anything red. She's covering for the other sister, Esther (Emma Corrin), who was planning to run away with her boyfriend Paul (Ossian Perret) because she's pregnant. She gave Adam the ribbon as a parting gift.
Miriam had guessed about Esther's pregnancy, and come at her that morning, calling her a whore and threatening to tell her father about her condition. But before Ernest got home from market, she was dead. The question is, who did Miriam in? Considering what a horrendous person she was, it would not be a shock to think Adam pushed her. Considering how badly the family was abusing him for the crime of being born deaf, it's clear his sisters believe that's the case. But it wasn't. The grandmother, Clara, saw Adam being abused and took matters into her own hands. She took one of the rocks from her collection and threw it at Miriam. Then she shoved the abusive woman out of the hayloft to protect the children since Ernest would stand by and let her mistreat them in the name of God.
Meanwhile, the fallout from earlier storylines continues. Despite Geordie's dislike of his wife, Cathy, working, he clearly doesn't understand why she stopped going. With encouragement from their daughter, Cathy returns, attempting to harden her nerves against her boss, Mr. Hobbs, and his sexually harassing ways. When he doesn't give up, she tries to report it, only to be told it was obviously her fault it happened. Geordie at this point has an inkling now something's up, but Cathy still won't admit out loud what occurred.
But things there are merely struggling towards a conclusion. Over at the vicarage, a far more drastic fallout is taking place. Now that Mrs. C knows the truth about Leonard and Daniel's relationship, she barely will speak to him, let alone look at him. It's a heartbreaking state of affairs. The more he pushes to find a way back, the more she retreats. In the end, she won't rat him out to the Archdeacon; she won't ruin his reputation. But she can't live with it either. The episode ends with her leaving the parish as well.