‘A Small Light’ Episode 4 Recap And Review: Why Did Jan Go To Church?

Previously in episode 3 of A Small Light, Miep and Jan attempted to locate a secure location for Frannie’s children, and thanks to one of the resistance’s members, Willem Arondeus, Jan was able to move the children to a safe haven.  Meanwhile, Tonny Ahlers, an NSB messenger who had been blackmailing Otto Frank for some time, began looking for him and roaming around his workplace premises. Miep grew very anxious about Tonny since he might summon the Nazis at any time and have them search the building for the hidden Jewish families.


Spoilers Ahead

Where Did Miep Find Her Husband Going?

The fourth episode opens with a thrilling situation in the annex, where Miep is unable to locate any of the Franks or the other Jewish families. She searched all of the compartments and eventually found them all hiding in the attic. The entire office premise is untidy, with items tossed here and there, giving the impression that Nazis may have stormed there to see if anyone was hiding. Fortunately, they couldn’t find the Franks and others hiding. Miep and other trustworthy staff, such as Kulgar and Kleiman, were concerned about how to conceal the annex entryway. They devised a plan in which the entryway to the annex would be covered by a bookshelf that also functioned as a door.


Miep discovered her husband was lying to her or attempting to conceal something from her. Jan declined to spend the day off with her, stating that he needed to meet his brother. However, when Miep noticed Jan heading in a different direction, she followed him and found Jan entering a church. What disturbed her was not that Jan had lied to Miep but that a non-religious person like Jan would be attending church. She felt deceived because her husband, who had never been religious, had decided to devote more time to Jesus than to his wife. An enraged and confused Miep went to her friend Tess’s house to vent. Tess, on the other hand, couldn’t find anything wrong with Jan going to church; she believed it was a good sign. However, she had her own problems that were considerably more worrying than Miep’s concerns at the time. Tess informed her best friend that her mother was dying of cancer and that, at this point, only her boyfriend could save her by providing major financial support for her treatment. Miep sympathized with her, but their sad, dreary chat quickly took an unexpected turn. Tess wanted to host a skating party at her boyfriend’s place and invited Miep to join her. Miep realized she hadn’t been able to offer her friend much time now that she was married and involved in the hiding of Jews; therefore, to bring a smile to Tess’s face, she accepted her invitation and vowed to attend.

What Was Tess’s Boyfriend Working For?

Hanukkah was taking place at the same time as Christmas, and the Franks and others were becoming irate because they lacked the food and other necessities to enjoy the celebration. While everything was going on, Dr. Pfeffer was getting impatient since he couldn’t see his son in England or his devoted wife, Lotte, who was aware that he had left for a different country. But one day, Lotte showed up at the office building with a big basket of food for her husband. She begged Miep to deliver the basket to Pfeffer when she paid him a visit, and Miep told her that she would. But Miep did something else: she brought Lotte to the kitchen and positioned Pfeffer in the top compartment, so he could hear their conversation. Pfeffer’s heart softened listening to Lotte talk about how much she loved and cared for her husband, and afterward, he couldn’t thank Miep enough.


Miep was feeling guilty that none of the Franks or Pals could celebrate Hanukkah this year, yet she had to go to Tess’s skate party. Edith and Van Pel’s wife, who felt confined in a cage and could only hear and imagine parties, indulged themselves by dressing Miep up. They forced her to wear a stunning gown with a cape. Miep went to the party with her husband, who wasn’t simply there for pleasure. Jan was gazing around when he noticed some NSB officers at the party; one of them was Tess’s boyfriend. He alerted his wife and requested that she leave the gathering as soon as possible. Miep went insane after learning that Tess’s lover was now working for the Nazis. She confronted Tess in public, wondering how she could be with a guy who worked for evil individuals like the Nazis. Tess couldn’t keep her cool, but Jan stepped in to take Miep away from the gathering. He persuaded his wife that she couldn’t express her rage against them wherever she wanted. They would have to carefully select their adversaries before their adversaries selected them. After leaving the celebration, the Gies couple came to the hideaway to celebrate Hanukkah with the Franks and others.

However, Miep’s necklace, a present from Tess, caught Otto’s attention. Although the butterfly-patterned necklace was a lovely piece of jewelry, Miep didn’t want to keep it. Nevertheless, Otto noticed the jewelry before she could pawn it. He requested a private conversation with Miep. When he questioned her about where she obtained it, Miep responded that a friend had given it to her. Sadly, Otto told her the Nazis had taken this jewelry, which was a Jewish necklace. Miep could no longer stand the idea that her best friend, with whom she had spent her childhood in Amsterdam, had turned out to be someone she could no longer trust. It was Tess’s boyfriend who had bought the stolen jewelry from any of the Nazis, and surely Tess was aware of it as well. Miep couldn’t put her confidence in her husband either. She informed Jan that she couldn’t bear the thought of his going to church, to which Jan assured her that he didn’t go to church but rather did what Miep was doing. Without going into specifics, Jan told Miep that in order to end Nazi oppression, common people like him would have to resist. That was all Miep needed to realize Jan was working for the resistance against the Nazis.


Why Did Jan Go To Church?

Jan Gies, a non-religious socialist, didn’t just show up to church carelessly. We already knew that he was meeting a member of the resistance undercover. However, it was revealed that Jan would have to meet with the priest of the church. The priest of the church was an insider of the resistance organization who had sheltered the Jewish family whose child Jan had relocated in the previous event. The Jewish family was desperate to meet their child and learn if he was still alive. Jan offered them a photo of their child to soothe their agitated minds, but the child’s mother continued asking him where they put their child. She started to get restless since living without her child was a nightmare for her. Jan realized the fate of the Jews was worsening by the day; therefore, the resistance movement would have to step up. Jan couldn’t stand the sorrow he saw in the eyes of that Jewish mother, which is why he complained to Willem about how annoying it was to conceal these families and order them to strap up. Willem had an answer for that, which he displayed to Jan. It turned out that they weren’t simply assisting Jews in hiding; in fact, given the armored weaponry in their arsenal, they were also ready for war.

Final Words

The mood that A Small Light gradually and gently establishes seems inviting as the plot develops. The dialogue writing in the series was outstanding, which is unquestionably a delight for our ears. The dialogues are entertaining while still being relatable and not overly dramatic. Each cast member gives a captivating performance that entices the audience to join in on their feelings. Overall, A Small Light is a commendable television series with a good historical perspective. Let’s see whether the same tone can be maintained until the end of the series when we’ll eventually learn what happened to the Jews who were hiding in the Nazi-ravaged Netherlands.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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The mood that A Small Light gradually and gently establishes seems inviting as the plot develops. The dialogue writing in the series was outstanding, which is unquestionably a delight for our ears. 'A Small Light' Episode 4 Recap And Review: Why Did Jan Go To Church?