Originally Posted by NewPark
Such an interesting discussion. I think maybe we are being led astray by the word "redemption" whether used by the blogger or PoorRichard. In my mind, we are watching the story of a closed-off, inhibited, man of science and logic, one who has attempted to live with minimal human connection and intimacy -- and his being thrust into a situation where his continued happiness requires him to acknowledge and integrate the more emotional part of himself, that desires (and deserves) connection with others and intimacy. The blood phobia is a reaction to the anxiety his encounter with an emotional reaction to a person, in this case, his patient and her family, provokes.
I think that his strong attraction to Louisa has always aroused a certain anxiety in him -- and in the first two series we see him longing for her but really afraid to act on it. And when he does get into an intimate place with her, he can only sabotage it with acts of spectacular clumsiness. But his growing, real relationship with a real Louisa, not an idealized one, and above all, his immediate and deep bonding with his son, is leading him to a place where he can reclaim parts of himself that he has had to shut down, for a variety of reasons rooted in his childhood.
As he is able to deal with his strong connection with Louisa and James Henry, he may become less anxious about experiencing emotional reactions to others, and his phobia gradually disappear.
As for the Asperger's versus bad parenting issue -- i think of this almost as chicken or egg issue. Some children are just more difficult for parents to bond with -- if indeed he was born with Asperger's -- and I am agnostic about this --- one could imagine that his selfish and narcisstic parents would have little tolerance for this and their emotional and physical abuse would have worsened or hardened the Asperger traits.
As cc.cookie has pointed out, Martin Clunes himself has gone through a radical life change, which he readily attributes to his relationship with his wife. I continue to feel that in some ways we are watching a mirror image of Martin Clunes, or an upside down version.
Have you seen the hero's journey (google it) I'm on my phone and can't post link w/out great difficulty. It is a structure that you can apply to all good books and movies. Amazing.
They call the "redemption" the "resurrection" which is even more emotive. However, if you set aside religion it still applies. Just a revelation about your life / your journey / your current situation / your problem.
Redemption doesn't have to mean in a religious sense it is just deliverance or rescue from something. So DM is rescued from his old life which wasn't fulfilling in anything but a financial sense and a hollow social one (his peers, his father, Edith) and he knew it subconsciously but he's still fighting the revelation that took him from London to Portwenn.
Hope this isn't repetitive, I can't see what I wrote before without scrolling back on this tiny screen : )