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THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY: Episodes 1.3 and 1.4: Depends on the Wagon and A Whisper, Not a Shout

"The Plot Thickens"

Content: +1 Discernment required for young children.
Production:
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

In Episodes Three and Four of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT, streaming on Disney Plus, the four children continue spying on The Institute for their mentor, the brilliant scientist Nicholas Benedict. They discover Benedict’s long-lost twin brother runs the school they infiltrated. This revelation leads to great distress on Benedict’s part. Meanwhile, Reynie and Sticky try to earn the right to become “messengers,” with more freedom to roam the island, while the two girls struggle in school. Also, the children learn that Benedict and his adult friends secretly watching the island are scheduled to have their memories erased.

The more time the children spend at the Institute, the closer they grow as friends and the deeper they find themselves caught up in the Institute’s mysterious circumstances. From several bizarre encounters with Benedict’s brother and people working at the Institute, it feels more and more like the school is a front for some dastardly plot. However, the children learn to understand and support one another, and they all have a sense of justice. Thus far, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY has been a refreshing, entertaining family-friendly series.

Content:

Content: (BB, C, Pa, Ab, O, V, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview with redemptive elements includes instances of self-sacrifice, concern over the proposition of cheating on tests, fighting to protect the truth, and general and positive ethical concerns, along with the representation of negative attributes such as jealousy, anger and a lack of trust in role models, plus a girl ridicules another student praying for good grades by exclaiming, “Your God can’t help you now,” and two occult elements include astrology is discussed briefly at a table conversation, and the vibes of aura energy are vaguely discussed

Foul Language:
No obscenities or profanities, but there is some name-calling and rude verbal attacks like, “You breathe like a fat man”

Violence:
Minimal violence and jeopardy includes a child answering a classroom question by relating a story about military veterans sacrificing their arms, which are consumed as food, a child experiences mild visual and psychological torments in “the waiting room,” and a child gets hit in the leg with a ball, thereby impairing his continued participation in a sport

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No references to smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
On several occasions, in order to maintain their cover as ordinary students, the children lie to their superiors, two children are partners in cheating their way through an exam (though one gets caught), an adult displays jealousy for his brother’s achievements, and an adult goes against his better judgment and tells young heroes to cheat.

More Detail:

THE MYSTERIOUS BENDICT SOCIETY is an adventure and suspense series from Disney Plus that revolves around a team of brilliant children, who, under the direction of brilliant scientist Nicholas Benedict, infiltrate the L.I.V.E. Institute. The school has a unique curriculum, but that’s not all. The juvenile spies discover the head administrator of the institute is none other than Mr. Benedict’s long-lost twin, Mr. Curtain, and he seems to be hiding something. It’s likely he’s the mastermind behind The Emergency, the technological war on truth that threatens society with fear.

In Episodes 3 and 4, the child-spies continue the task they started: to go under cover as ordinary students at the L.I.V.E. Institute in order to learn what they can about The Emergency and who’s behind it. On the way, they prove not only that they have a strong moral compass; but also, that they can work rather well together. Overall, the show stands out as a refreshing oasis of family-friendly entertainment.

The lighthearted tone of humorous encounters and moments of vulnerability seen in the first two episodes is perpetuated in Episodes 3 and 4. “Number Two” and Rhonda, two of Mr. Benedict’s associates, work through some trust issues and build a stronger bond because of it. Meanwhile, a troubled but ambitious Milligan and a distraught Nicholas Benedict have time to express the willingness to help one another. The children, while on their undercover mission at the school, are also learning to grow closer in community.

The Mysterious Benedict Society positively features a range of Christian virtues. Through empathy, “Number Two” recognizes that her job isn’t all about her own ideas and desires. This spurs her to show charity toward Rhonda, evocative of Jesus’ command, “Love one another” (John 13:34).

Milligan is a humble man, always willing to help out and, when Benedict suggests that he has a knack for nature, he graciously acknowledges the claim. Benedict himself must come to terms with a big shock in his own life, but he realizes he still needs to be charitable to those around him.

The children working for Benedict at the institute develop or discover moral strengths they didn’t realize they had. As a group, they grow in docility and learn that one another’s ideas hold more merit than they previously thought. When the dilemma of cheating is addressed, most of the children feel uncomfortable with the idea of being dishonest. They have a sense of justice. Also, “Sticky” learns to muster up the virtue of courage.

In “Depends on the Wagon,” Benedict discovers his long-lost twin brother runs the institute the children infiltrated. This revelation leads to a great deal of distress and even what appears to be jealousy on the part of Benedict, though he works past much of it in these episodes. In “A Whisper, Not a Shout,” Reynie and Sticky try to earn the right to become “messengers,” with more freedom to roam the island, while the two girls struggle in school. Meanwhile, the children learn that Benedict and the adults secretly watching the island are on a list to have their memories erased.

Going forward, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY looks to be a promising program geared toward families and presents strong elements that align with a Christian worldview. The more time the children spend at the school, the closer they grow as friends and the deeper they find themselves caught up in the mysterious circumstances of the institute. From several bizarre encounters with Mr. Curtain and individuals working at the Institute, it feels more and more like the school is a front for some dastardly plot. In the third and fourth episodes, the protagonists grow together, learning to understand and support one another. Thus far, presenting little that’s overtly offensive to Christianity, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT has been a refreshing, entertaining family-friendly series. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children for some scenes of menace and suspense.