Detectives for Free on PBS: Grantchester & Endeavour

Aug 27, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

PBS, for me KVIE or KQED, is another way to get a dose of “ahhh” for my Anglophile thirst with Masterpiece Mystery. No membership fee required. No commercial breaks, barring the seasonal pledge break. Every summer the new seasons for Endeavour and Grantchester are aired, and to better adjust to the year wait, the previous season is rerun to remind fans of last year’s events and cliffhangers and allow newbies a chance to get up to speed.

“All you need is love…”

Although crime and the subsequent investigations are cleverly presented with partners working well to find a killer and make an arrest, this year the two shows, Endeavour and Grantchester, seem to address a similar theme…Love, in all its joys and disappointments, connections and obstacles, and benefits and distractions. Each of the main characters in the series seek it out, often revealing a lack of understanding for all the facets of love, and resulting, as The Stones have remarked, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you’ll find you get what you need.”

Endeavour (2022) It’s 1971, as season eight opens, and the entire cast returns to tackle three fascinating and complex cases. It’s the new year and the death of a football club’s top player raises issues of greed and jealousy and events linked to IRA politics. Spring brings sunshine and the death of a cab driver send the team to a nudist colony and a film company with issues around financial debts. A November storm is the perfect cover for the murder of an Oxford professor and stranded bus passengers that may be linked to a massacre at a fancy-dress party years before. The investigative team follows every avenue, and even with Endeavour off his game, drowning in his bottle of scotch, a little more human Thursday remarks, Morse still sees the patterns and finds the killer. But, his drinking is a distraction the squad cannot afford.

And love?

The team is involved in many of love’s facets, yet reacting to it and gaining from it in very different ways. Morse (Shaun Evans) took to the bottle after the shocking revelations the woman he’d fallen deeply in love with had a secret life, a husband, and criminal involvement leading to her death. Now, he doesn’t trust love…he trusts whisky. DCI Thursday (Roger Allam) continues to struggle in his long-time marriage, and with the army clueless about the whereabouts of his only son stationed in Northern Ireland, his wife turns on him, blames him, and hates him. He does, however, love his job and his friend Morse and worries about his self-destructive behavior. He takes on a “tough love” attitude threatening Morse to get help, get sober, or get out. Chief Superintendent Bright (Anton Lesser) is still mourning the tragic death of his beloved wife, but he has those memories of the love they shared which helps him to maintain a focus on the success of his station and each step forward. DS Strange (Sean Rigby) has returned to work after having been seriously injured in the line of duty. He’s been single, but his second chance at life spurs him to ask Thursday’s daughter, Joan (Sara Vickers), to accompany him to a party…she says “Yes.” Love comes in all different forms, and for this group of family and friends, some hit the jackpot while others struggle to find meaning.

Endeavour is a favorite show for its intriguing cases, multiple suspects to ponder, and clever conclusions, but it’s the characters and connections that provide insights into my all-time favorite detective Morse (John Thaw). It was announced that season nine (2023) will be the last, but it is promised that more answers and connections to the older Morse will be provided. Earns 5/5 Oxford Pubs…Brilliant!

Grantchester (2022) It’s 1959, a brand new decade for the seventh season, “…embrace it,” remarks Vicar Will Davenport. But embracing it means embracing the good with the struggles, challenges, and heartaches. DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green) and Will partner again to find the answers to mostly murder, but the new Chief in charge will not allow civilian involvement; Will is told to stay out of any investigation so Geordie gets creative or secretive to get his friend’s valuable assistance with some complex, challenging cases from a family’s inheritance fight when the eldest son returns from a decades absence to a husband’s fidelity under scrutiny revealing his visits to a brothel, from the homeless men being targeted to #Me-too threats, from a Nurse Ratched controlled senior care facility to a possible miscarriage of justice. Geordie and Will work well together, even if their methods are different. Criminals are revealed and justice is found in one way or another.

How does this relate to “love”?

Reverend Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) has always been challenged by love. He loves his God seeking His guidance for the sake of his parishioners, but not always taking the advice himself. His close friendships with Geordie, Leonard, and even Mrs. C. is a deep friendship, and his love for them causes him to want to protect them when they themselves struggle with love. But, romantic love has been fleeting, often unfulfilling.…until now. He met an exotic young woman, Maya, with whom he has a budding relationship, but he’s shocked to discover she’s not unattached which creates another obstacle for him to find love. Enter widow Bonnie Davenport (Charlotte Ritchie).

Geordie Keating (Robson Green) has always loved his job, but the love for his wife Cathy (Kacey Ainsworth) has always too often been an after thought leading to their separation. Unfortunately, it is true for his children. Oh, he loves them, but making the time, being ready on Daddy’s Saturday, making them a priority is quite a challenge since he is always distracted by the job. Now, they may be on a detour to divorce, instead of on the road to reconciliation. Yet, the prospect of being single, losing what he knows he once had, and realizing love changes has caused him to re-evaluate the here and now. Can a grizzled old copper love an independent woman?

Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) loved being part of the church as curate, but the love of another human being eluded him. His sexuality was a challenge and ultimately landed him in jail and fired from his active role in the church, but he still has his love of God often using it to help others…as many as he can. After an early release, he channeled his love of poetry and opened a café for sharing words, ideas, and a cup of tea. The investment made by his friend Mrs. C., with whom he loves deeply, despite personality conflicts. Leonard’s love for Daniel (Oliver Dimsdale) is still one they’re unable to publicly acknowledge, but they work together at the café and have a nice, rewarding life, even if totally behind closed doors.

Mrs. Chapman (Tessa Peake-Jones) found true love in her senior years. Although she maintains her strict nature as Will’s housekeeper, her love has grown for her friends causing her to become more tolerant. But, a diagnosis of cancer has greatly effected her love for God. She feels she’s done so much for Him, but again another challenge she feels she doesn’t deserve makes her question her love for Him. But, it’s the love and faith of her husband and friends that keep her from going over the edge.

Grantchester is an extraordinary favorite with its clever often heart wrenching storylines dealing with homelessness, loss of faith, and struggles to find one’s purpose that have an air of contemporary issues. But, the final attack, the final misjudgment, the final misuse of love puts Will in danger, and in that moment, he recognizes as everyone else sees “all you need is…” understanding and honesty and faith and love. Earns 5/5 Happy Endings…Tear Jerker!

Get Ready for Magpie Murders

Premiering on Masterpiece Mystery Sunday, October 16, is a new six-episode suspenseful mystery-laden drama adapted from Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling book. The series stars Leslie Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris; Mum) as accomplished editor Susan Ryeland whose excitement over crime writer Alan Conway finishing his next thriller is dashed with his untimely death and a manuscript absent its final chapters. In her efforts to find the missing pieces, she embarks on a unique journey set between a 1950s village described in the manuscript with “the world’s greatest detective” Atticus Pünd and present day London with her as an amateur sleuth. Two diverse detectives. Two seemingly unrelated mysteries. Two magpies: one for sorrow and one for joy. Can’t wait?


Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast! A new episode goes up next week.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

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