Downton Abbey Season 4

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Downton Abbey: Season 4 Finale (episode 8)- A Christian worldview perspective

downton abbey wallpaperI will be analyzing each episode of the fourth season of Downton Abbey from a worldview perspective. There will, of course be SPOILERS for each episode, and I will assume readers know about each previous season and episode’s content as well. It will be assumed that readers are familiar with the characters and circumstances. I will not be summarizing the plot of the episode; I will merely interact with the content from a perspective of worldview. BE COURTEOUS AND DO NOT BRING UP LATER EPISODES THAN THE ONE DISCUSSED HERE IN YOUR COMMENTS.

A Murder?

It seems to me that the case that Bates definitely killed Mr. Green. The ticket found puts him in London on the same day, and given the looks he was shooting in the man’s direction the last time we saw them together, I’m convinced Bates knew it. I admit I find it hard to fault him though it is clearly a morally wrong action (see my discussion about justice in the last episode). Justice belongs to God, and God has given the sword to the state, not to individual avengers. The reason behind this, I suspect, is because human emotion is too easily swayed. If God did not rather relegate the power of punishment to the authority of the state, then it would be essentially given to anarchy. It is interesting that from the earliest points of the Bible, provisions were made for justice within a whole society (again, see the discussion of the last episode).

Moreover, I wonder about his determined silence about the matter with his wife. I do not think it is healthy to be keeping such secrets from his wife, though it seems to me Anna is smart enough to figure out what happened on her own.

Preserving the Royals

The scene with everyone conspiring to preserve the dignity of the prince was interesting and honestly pretty entertaining. In conjunction with the points above, it led me to wonder how to deal with the state when the state is in forms like a monarchy and being run poorly. I’m not necessarily saying that’s what’s happening here, I’m trying to draw a broader question and perspective related to the issue. I mean at what point are we obligated to defend the dignity of the state? Is there such a thing as an ideal form of government? (I admit my answer to this is: “probably not.”) Is there such an obligation to a defense of government? What are your thoughts?

A Baby?

The story skipped ahead so far that Lady Edith already had her baby (thank goodness! but remember, I really don’t think this was a great pro-life message). It will be interesting to see next season how she deals with the proximity of her child, and what happened to Michael Gregson. I reiterate my thoughts from last episode: “A culture in which the primary reaction to pregnancy is essentially to shutter women away (whether married or not) as if it were an illness, and in the case of unmarried women, to socially scorn them, is not a culture in which a strong pro-life message can succeed.”

What can we do to make the here and now into a better pro-life culture?

High Society

Branson’s relationship with the local schoolteacher is developing, and I have to wonder how the family will take it if he ends up falling entirely for her. How will the society which he continually feels uncomfortable with treat him if it comes to that point?

I also want to briefly touch on the fact that the Grentham family’s estate continues to support a wider community. The jobs provided there would seemingly disappear if it weren’t there, but is that true? It seems to me that there is something to be considered about how we view economics and fairness in the here and now as often changing how we view then. We shouldn’t simply apply economic policies that work now or concepts of fairness which have been developed in our culture arbitrarily to a different (even fictional) time and place. I personally feel great care must be taken when trying to evaluate what societal or economic systems would be “better” for various areas.

Onward and a Prediction

There is much to consider for whatever comes next, but I think the primary areas of interest from a worldview perspective will center around Lady Edith and Bates. Will Bates ultimately be found out, or will his performance with the preservation of the prince be enough to convince Lady Mary he should not be; will Anna find out? Moreover, if found out will they convict him with virtually no evidence?

A prediction: I suspect that the maid that Grantham kissed will turn up again at some point.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

The image is copyright BBC and I do not claim any rights to it. To my knowledge it is freely available for purposes of promotion/critique and I use it under fair use.

SDG.

——

The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

 

Downton Saturday: Season IV, Episode 7- A Christian worldview perspective

downton abbey wallpaperI will be analyzing each episode of the fourth season of Downton Abbey from a worldview perspective. There will, of course be SPOILERS for each episode, and I will assume readers know about each previous season and episode’s content as well. It will be assumed that readers are familiar with the characters and circumstances. I will not be summarizing the plot of the episode; I will merely interact with the content from a perspective of worldview. BE COURTEOUS AND DO NOT BRING UP LATER EPISODES THAN THE ONE DISCUSSED HERE IN YOUR COMMENTS.

The Suitors 

I can’t help but think of the opening line of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Here, however, we have “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of good fortune must be in want of a husband.” Lady Mary is highly eligible widow, and the men are lining up. It will be interesting to see on what criteria she ultimately chooses, if she chooses any of them. Matthew was a genuinely good man, and it took him quite a while to be convinced/convince Mary.

The Disappearing Bates

Bates disappeared to York for a day. Then, the man who raped Anna turned up dead in an accident. Shocking. It looks like my prediction may come true. From a Christian worldview perspective, one has to ask whether Bates would be justified in killing the man. I would think the answer is fairly obviously no. I recall reading many comments from friends who said they’d kill the man and they really wanted Bates to do so. Although I understand the rage behind such comments, I have to wonder what justification one could get from a Christian worldview for doing so.

On the Christian worldview, such punishment should never be done in a vigilante fashion. Rather, the government has been given the sword (Romans 13:4) in order to carry out justice and punishment as a representative of God on Earth. Interestingly, this is the view of civil government I think we are taught in the Bible: we are to submit to the authorities because they are given as God’s agents on Earth. Does that mean governments always do right or do what God would desire? No, governments are run by sinful people and often for sinful purposes. However, God did not issue “the sword” to the individual; even in the times of ancient Israel, punishment was most often a communal thing: the whole community would present witnesses (at least two in order to convict), and punish through stoning. There is, of course, the notion of the avenger of blood, but even in those cases cities of sanctuary were provided and witnesses were needed.

So, to return to Bates, I do understand his extreme rage, but if he killed the man–as I suspect he did–then his action is not justified. Now, the question may arise as to whether the government would have done right had Bates gone to it. That is a separate issue as well. This episode brought up many things to contemplate regarding justice.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

The Baby

It seems Lady Edith has chosen to keep her baby. Again, as I noted last time, I hardly see a ringing endorsement of a pro-life message here, but it is, nonetheless, a good thing to not have to face that in this series (yet). This episode highlighted another aspect of injustice, however: namely, that in order to not face public ridicule and shame, Lady Edith has to be whisked away to privately have the baby and then give him or her away. Such a society is inherently not a society which fully would support the pro-life message. Women should not be faced with shaming if they choose to have children.

A culture in which the primary reaction to pregnancy is essentially to shutter women away (whether married or not) as if it were an illness, and in the case of unmarried women, to socially scorn them, is not a culture in which a strong pro-life message can succeed.

Prediction

Lady Edith’s pregnancy will be outed.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

The image is copyright BBC and I do not claim any rights to it. To my knowledge it is freely available for purposes of promotion/critique and I use it under fair use.

SDG.

——

The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

Downton Saturday: Downton Abbey, Season 4, Episode I

downton abbey wallpaperIt should be known that I’ve quite enjoyed Downton Abbey. I’ll be watching Season 4 as it airs on PBS, and sharing a few comments from a worldview perspective on each episode, provided I have time, of course! There will, of course be SPOILERS for each episode, and I will assume readers know about each previous season and episode’s content as well. It will be assumed that readers are familiar with the characters and circumstances. I will not be summarizing the plot of the episode; I will merely interact with the content from a perspective of worldview. BE COURTEOUS AND DO NOT BRING UP LATER EPISODES THAN THE ONE DISCUSSED HERE IN YOUR COMMENTS.

Trust

It seems to me that this episode was particularly focused upon the issue of trust. Lady Grantham’s trust in Thomas was increased, but it was actually merely a fluke that Thomas’ hint about the nurse’s mistreatment turned out to be true. Trust can easily be misplaced. Of course, as my wife pointed out, it is possible to see this scene through the lens of “What you intended for evil, God intended for good” (see Genesis 50). Clearly, Thomas’ hint turned out to bring about a great good: the ridding of an abusive nurse.

Another example might be found in the young man’s trust of Rose’s story about being a housemaid. Although these may appear to be “white lies,” it is clear later in the episode that such lies can potentially bring about great harm. The first aspect is the fight the young man got in over Rose. The second potential for harm would be when the man showed up at Downton itself seeking Rose. Although the situation was handled comically, it seems clear it could also have ended in great emotional harm for the young man and possibly Rose as well.

Of course, “Downton Abbey” is largely centered around themes of trust. The way viewers see the interplay of truth and lie is part of the interest of the show. We know who is trustworthy (usually) and not, but the characters do not. It is telling that so many people turn out to have little value so far as trust is concerned.

Women

The times, they are a-changing! The women of Downton are seeking larger roles for themselves, whether it is Rose’s constant striving to explore and be entertained, or Lady Mary’s taking her rightful place as a co-owner of Downton. The show has continually done a good job of showing the interplay of power between patriarchy and the emergence of more egalitarian views in society. Of course much of this is steeped in our own cultural biases as a show is made about the past, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

The relationship between Lady Edith and the editor (whose name I can’t recall at this moment) will be interesting to monitor. For the first season in particular, Edith was kind of the whipping child for the show. Everyone seemed to take her for granted. Yet she has emerged as her own person, only to get involved with a married man. Of course, the man’s marriage is to someone who is, with the standards of the time, deemed mad. One might wonder how such a relationship will play out. Moreover, from a worldview perspective, how might we deal with the question of his attempt to divorce his wife due to insanity to marry another? Part of the difficulty of analyzing the situation migIht be found in the fact that (as my wife pointed out), we never meet his wife. Insanity could mean any of a broad spectrum of things; so it is hard to pinpoint the meaning and discussion here. Edith’s whole character continually raises tough questions, which makes her an excellent foil.

Prediction

My primary prediction for this season is that the housemaid that Lord Grantham kissed is going to turn up; likely dredged up in some fashion by Thomas or some other character with a major agenda against the family.

Conclusion

There is, of course, much more to comment on regarding this episode. I’m curious to have your thoughts on the episode and series. Again, do not spoil anything past this episode. What do you think of Edith’s relationship? How might the newfound trust in Thomas play out? What other worldview issues do you see in the episode?

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

The image is copyright BBC and I do not claim any rights to it. To my knowledge it is freely available for purposes of promotion/critique and I use it under fair use.

SDG.

——

The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

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