Every season, GBH Drama prepares to bring you coverage of the latest and greatest in British dramas. This month, we're headed to Grantchester for the eight season of the show of the same name. With hot priests, mysterious murders, and a village full of capital C Characters, this show is sure to entertain. GBH Drama contributor Amanda-Rae Prescott is here to recap the magic as it happens.

Everyone’s favorite vicar-turned-investigator is back! Grantchester starts off its 8th season with two deadly incidents related to motorcycles. Will struggles to balance married life and parenthood on top of his crime-solving and religious duties. Geordie is asked to consider his future, while Leonard focuses on helping the less fortunate. Mrs. C is struggling with the changing attitudes of the youth. Let’s discuss what happened.

Rebels For A Cause
The episode opens with Will delivering his weekly sermon. What’s unusual about this one is that he has several motorcycles on display on the pulpit. We all know Will loves to ride as well. He’s using the sermon to encourage parishioners to buy tickets to the upcoming charity motorbike race. Will asks the congregation to welcome the bikers just as they welcomed him riding a motorcycle 4 years earlier. The camera pans to a white man, a Black man, and a white woman wearing leather jackets. They forget they’re in church as they slip in some “I’m gonna kick your ass” trash talk in their introduction to the congregation. Mrs. C is outraged about the biker’s uncouth ways, which is quite amusing.

After the sermon, we’re introduced to the bikers. The woman biker, Stephanie, thinks Will is hot. Carl, the Black guy, is deaf and is an excellent sketch artist. Ron, the white guy, is interested in the fact that Will is a fellow motorcycle rider. Will is also participating in the race, but he doesn’t want to win. Poor Bonnie is stuck with meeting the Bishop’s wife for lunch. Will kisses her goodbye which elicits a disgusted reaction from Ernie.

On the race track, Geordie calls Will “Brando” as he gets ready to join the rest of the contestants. Ron, Carl, and Stephanie call themselves the Cambridge TK. The rival biker gang from Newmarket and their leader insult the Cambridge bikers. Ron Weller, the referee, breaks up the ensuing scuffle. That fight will have to be settled on the course itself. Just as the race is about to begin, a mysterious biker nicknamed Lightning joins the race. The race begins with Carl lagging behind. Will gets a quick start but then crashes into 1 of the haystacks. The Keatings and Mrs. C are cheering for Carl to make a comeback win, and he does! The Newmarket gang will have to wait to settle the old score.

Bonnie tends to Will’s scratch wounds at home while also telling him she doesn’t believe in God. This is awkward for a vicar’s wife. Will insists his injuries aren’t that bad at all. He’s more concerned that Bonnie delivers a healthy baby.

Deadly Rivalry
The next morning Geordie calls Will to meet him back at the motorbike track. Will can’t find the keys to his bike and it turns out Ernie took them. He storms out instead of trying to discipline Ernie for his prank. Geordie shows Will that Carl was found dead on the track with a bunch of beer bottles and debris from what appears to be last night’s post-race festivities. Carl’s sketchbook is by his body and the last sketch appears to be a landscape. A crowbar is found in the debris. Who’s responsible?

Geordie and Will’s first stop is Ron Weller’s garage. Jimmy is also there because it turns out Ron is his dad. Ron says Carl was an orphan and he became like a second son. Both Ron and Jimmy insist the last time they saw Carl was 10pm the previous evening, when Carl left the post-race party. Ron insists the Newmarket gang must have attacked Carl as revenge. Geordie asks about the previous incident and Ron describes how the bikers went on a trip to Kings Lynn. During the trip, Tommy, the leader of the Newmarket gang, and the Cambridge bikers got into a punch-up. The detectives leave to get Tommy’s side of the story.

Back at the police station, Tommy insists he didn’t kill Carl. He claims he was too busy drinking and hooking up with girls. He said he hated Carl because of his skills but just wanted to beat him up, not kill him. He denies hitting Carl with the crowbar. Tommy also challenges Geordie’s jurisdictional authority but Geordie says he’s in his patch. Geordie is convinced the rivalry is either over a girl or a bike but needs more evidence to prove that theory correct. After the interrogation, Will asks Geordie for advice with disciplining Ernie but they’re interrupted by the chief inspector. We’ll get to what this meeting with the chief was about later.

During Geordie’s meeting, Will studies Carl’s bike in the morgue. He’s looking for evidence of sabotage and finds that the spark plug was tampered with. Ron checked the bikes before the race, so the culprit had to have done it after that. The shortened spark plug explains why Carl was slow to start the race.

Institutional Ageism
The chief inspector looks at Geordie’s police awards and tells him he’s had a fine career. He then tells Geordie he’s eligible to retire early. Geordie is caught off guard by this because he hasn’t thought about handing in his badge. Geordie says he still has a few years' worth of service before he considers this offer. The chief inspector says he’s afraid of change and also doesn’t want to make room for the new officers coming up the ranks. Geordie is annoyed because this conversation is wasting time that could be better spent on the case. He’s also convinced this early retirement idea is the result of wanting to get even for Will’s affair busting up his relationship with his fiancee in the beginning of Season 7. What will Geordie decide?

Giving Back
While Geodie and Will investigate Carl’s death, we find out what Leonard has been up to. Leonard has opened up a halfway house to help ex convicts transition back to society. Will agreed to minister to the residents on Tuesday afternoons. At the meeting, Will is introduced to Keith Pruitt. Leonard has helped 4 people transition so far but Keith is the first person who is also a recovering alcoholic. Daniel tells Will not to stay around too long after ministering, otherwise he’ll be voluntold to assist with fixing things around the building. Leonard does in fact ask Will to help with something, but it isn’t manual labor. There have been complaints in the neighborhood about the ex convicts loitering around and he wants Will to write a letter to the newspaper editor to persuade the public that Leonard’s charity is giving back to the greater community. He believes Will’s standing as the vicar will persuade the NIMBY’s to be more Christlike. Will agrees but then asks for advice about Ernie which Leonard doesn’t have much experience with.

Lightning Revealed
Geordie and Will visit the garage again to find out about the tampered spark plug. Will asks his discipline question and Ron reveals that Jimmy’s mom died several years ago so he’s a big believer in disciplining children. They ask about Lightning’s identity, and Ron says he believes it’s another Newmarket trouble maker. He says some of the people who hang around the motorcyclists are into the music scene and not necessarily race participants. Will finds a board charting the bikers’ score board while Ron isn’t looking. Some of the bikers have rode as fast as 100 miles an hour, which is definitely dangerous to others. Will also finds a photo with the bikers showing two of the bikers have Triumph Tigers, one of which was found near Carl’s body. One of the owners is confirmed to be in jail for drunkenness. The other was registered to a Howard Kidman. Geordie and Will check out Kidman’s house and he doesn’t answer the door. Kidman pulls up on the bike and tries to evade Geordie but fails. It turns out Stephanie was the rider — the bike is registered in her dad’s name.

Stephanie is interrogated at the police station. She taunts Geordie by calling him granddad. She reveals that she’s the mystery biker Lightning. Women weren’t allowed to race officially but she wanted the attention of the race promoters. Jimmy and Carl knew she was Lighting. Ron was a misogynist who thought women were going to drag motorcycle racing down, so she was kicked out the garage club. Stephanie also admits to liking Carl and also believing in his biking skills. Geordie is shocked by how disrespectful Stephanie was and blames the lack of role models at home. Will says riding his motorcycle has a calming effect. Miss Scott then tells Will that he’s needed at the halfway house, and that Geordie doesn’t need to come.

Modeling Discipline
Leonard called Will to the halfway house and not Geordie because the residents don’t like the police. However, Keith has found a huge bottle of booze and is very belligerent and refuses to listen to reason. Keith slammed the bottle against the wall in a rage and Will punches him to stop him. Keith is knocked out. Will has a few cuts on his hand but is otherwise fine. Keith is clearly too violent to stay at the house any longer.

At home, Ernie asks about the cuts on Will’s hand and says that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in. Later on in the middle of the night, Will hears rustling in the kitchen. He investigates and he sees Ernie trying to throw away Will’s leather jacket. Ernie explains that he’s scared of Will dying, which was also why he hid the motorcycle key. Will agrees he’s been taking too many risks, and promises to stop riding for a while. However, Ernie will get no more comics for a month because he was wrong for trying to destroy Will’s property. Bonnie is pleased Will didn’t shy away from disciplining Ernie.

Internal Conflict
Geordie has been studying Carl’s sketchbook intensely. He notices that the last sketch is different than the others in two key ways. First, Carl’s earlier sketches were drawn using a softer 5B pencil, the last one was drawn with a harder HB pencil. Secondly, Carl’s previous sketches were portraits, the final one was a landscape near the track. It’s clear Carl’s killer drew the landscape and not Carl.

Will and Geordie go over everyone’s alibis and focus in on Jimmy and Ron. Will believes Ron killed Carl. Back at the garage Ron denies sabotaging Carl’s bike. He admits that Carl was more naturally talented at riding and his son couldn’t keep up. He also corroborates Stephanie’s story about kicking her out of the garage but also says Jimmy petitioned the promoter to look at “Lighting”. This convo makes it clear that Ron is a much harsher dad than at first glance.

Back at the station, Will tells Jimmy about how much of a flop and how cruel his own father was. Jimmy says Ron was tough on him to make him stronger, but Will argues such treatment only wears a person down. Geordie says that Jimmy clearly tried to even out the field the day of the race. We flash back to race day where the promoter and Ron were excited about Carl’s victory and completely ignored Jimmy. Carl figured out that Jimmy sabotaged the spark plug and they get into a fight. We then see Jimmy hitting Carl with the crowbar, killing him. Jimmy then plants the beer bottles and the sketch to frame the Newmarket rivals. Geordie arrests Jimmy. Ron sees Jimmy in handcuffs and is more mad that his son is in trouble than curious about why he did the crime. Jimmy tells his dad that he will never be good enough for him. Ron then apologizes, but it’s clearly too late because Ron paid more attention to Carl. Jimmy is led back to the cells where he’ll stay until his court date.

At home, Will is thinking about how he doesn’t want to make the same mistakes Ron or his own father did with Ernie and the new baby. Bonnie believes Will will definitely be a better father. She also tells him she wants to quit the Tuesday Bible group because of her views, but also because Mrs. C is really annoying her. Will and Bonnie play a game with Ernie to take their minds off these bigger problems. Neither of them can leave the room until Ernie can make them laugh.

Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
During the game, Bonnie gets a call from her dad that her mother had a stroke. She suddenly decides to travel to their house to care for them for a week. Will is concerned that she’s overexerting herself since she’s 7 months pregnant. Bonnie argues that she’s not like glass and Will is being a jerk about the situation. She gets into the cab still arguing with Will.

Will goes back into the house and notices no one is around. He reaches for the keys to the motorcycle which he initially promised that he’d give up. We then see Will flying like the wind seeking relaxation. For a while everything is fine. Will is zipping by the Cambridge countryside. All of a sudden a man walks out from the hedges. Will is going too fast to stop or swerve and he hits him! Part of Ernie’s fears actually happened. The man doesn’t respond to Will so he runs to call the ambulance. The episode ends with Will in shock as Geordie and the ambulance arrive on the scene.

What happened to the man Will hit?? We’ll have to find out next week on Grantchester!