Do I need to tell you that there will be SPOILERS? If you’ve not watched the episode, you may not want to read this post.
NOTE: From this point on I’ll not be recapping [there are so many sites that are doing it, and some are really good while others attempt to be funny and come across silly, but to each his own. We are all entitled to our point of view, and let me tell you, there are many] the episode but will let you in on my thoughts about it. You’re welcome to join in the conversation and put your two cents in.
On the road again …
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Okay, I really need to get a life … As of now I’m all over the road with Outlander series. Seriously, I watch it every day … sometimes twice a day. I need an intervention. I’m not joking people…Inhale, exhale …
Let’s start with what this episode did for me. I watched Claire get an eyeful of Scotland, and while she got to drink in all the vistas, I was left thirsting for it. I honestly can’t pick my favorite episode so far, but this one tugged at my heartstrings from the first frame!
This whole episode was an ode to the beauty of Scotland and its past. I salivated over scenes upon scenes of amazing scenery and gut wrenching conflicted emotions of Claire, Jamie and Dougal. I surprisingly didn’t cry at the most dramatic scene in which Dougal rips Jamie’s shirt the first time. I cried at the scene in which Claire shyly joins the women to help them waulking wool. My heart went out to this young woman who is trying so hard to stay strong. Here more than in any episode she feels as an outlander. In the end the strain of being excluded from the men, she takes a stroll around the village in search of companionship, coming upon some women and you can see the happiness on her face as she joins them. She does everything they do trying to belong and blend in. I give Caitriona Balfe props for embracing this role. She plays the role to perfection. So many people are commenting on her delivery of that famous line “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ” that I thought I’ll give you my two cents on it. I think that JHRC can be said in so many different ways …it can sound as a prayer, as a curse word, without passion and only as a sigh, softly spoken in awe …and on and on. When I read the books, in my mind and “my own English accent” I say it slower, with an exasperated sigh … but honestly, there really isn’t a right or a wrong way to say it.
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But I digress … Let me get back to this episode and Jamie next. Have you all noticed the intensity with which Sam Heughan embodies this role in every single episode? I honestly think he’s ‘taken on’ the role so well that he’s playing him with an instinct of who Jamie is to him, rather than the direction. Remember what he said? This is his Jamie too. Ron Moore is damn lucky to have found Sam Heughan and snapped him. I’m gob smacked that GoT people missed on this young man’s talent! It has to be the serendipity, right?!
LOL! I digress yet again! With each episode we get a new insight into Jamie and who he really is and I’m applauding Ron Moore for not rushing his character in becoming ‘King of Men’ within two episodes. It would have felt rushed and uncharacteristic of Jamie, not to mention inauthentic to the books.
I loved watching his conflicted emotions and walking that tight rope between what he wants and feels is the right thing to do, and what his duty is, which sometimes is not one and the same. Jamie at this point in the story is still an outlaw [he made himself scarce when they came upon the watch, remember?]; he’s still under the protection of the MacKenzie and on this trip at the mercy of Dougal, an uncle that despite of his love for him, wouldn’t bat an eye to kill him, if he decided not to go with his plan to aid his cause; the English Captain Randall who is
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dogging him and wants him alive so he can continue his torture of him before he kills him; his growing attraction to a woman that he doesn’t understand but still wants to protect in as much as he’s capable at this time [giving her advice to not judge them so harshly] but conform to the place she is in now. At this point, he’s no kin to her, therefore he has no right to her and taking her side in any argument or situation she finds herself in [he soothes Angus’s feathers after Claire calls them all thieves by calmly telling Angus the food she refused to eat, would only leave them with more] would cast suspicion on him.
Jamie has absolutely nothing right now. No home, no land and really, no real family. The only thing he can do is endure. He gave his word that he will be obedient and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Every scene in which finds Claire in danger or on the ‘outs’ with either the clansmen or the English, Jamie is always watching out for her, but using his brains rather than the brawn. It is exactly what the books describe him to be. He tried to give Claire his best advice tonight. For crying out loud, she called them all thieves! For these passionate, burly and devoted men, that was a huge insult and Angus, who by the way is as hot-headed as she is, did the only thing a hurt man would do, he pulled a knife on her and told her off. She was quick to judge and Jamie pointed out, and rightfully so, to stop getting her nose into things she clearly does not understand. I do understand her frustration, but man! She doesn’t know when to shut the hell up! But then that’s our Clare! We wouldn’t have her any other way!
Now let me talk about these men a bit more. I was participating in a discussion yesterday in which a commenter [and I can honestly say we all are entitled to our opinions, after all we are watching the show with our on POV, so there will be many interpretations and takes on how we perceive what is transpiring in front of us] is very disappointed with this episode and the way the men came off in it. She sees them as gentlemen and feels that they were rude and crude to Claire, and that they were portrayed in the books much favorably. Personally, I am staying away from the books while I watch this series and more on that later, but let me tell you what I see when I look at these men.
These men are hard-core warriors first and foremost. They are rebels with a cause they will do anything to achieve and protect. Period. They are stuck with a woman they do not trust and believe her an enemy but have a need of her skills so they will use her for it and if in the process they can find out more about her motives as to why she’s in the Highlands all alone, the better.
Dougal would not hesitate in cutting her throat, if she proves to be a spy and he even said so himself [to her face when they were leaving the cottage and he was helping her on the horse] in the first episode. A gentleman may think it, but would never say it out loud. Their hostility towards her was always prominent. Colum telling her she’s to stay as a ‘guest’ but meaning a prisoner; Dougal having not one, but two men following her every step, and telling her straight out he believes her a spy; even Jamie knows for sure that she is hiding something, although he admits to her that he doesn’t think her a spy.
They may appear to have accepted her in the earlier episodes but they haven’t by a long shot. Even the old lawyer Ned is sticking close to her and reporting to Dougal every word she utters. Dougal most of all does not trust her and feels that no matter his obvious lust for her, he wouldn’t think twice in killing her. Yet we see them come to her defense when other people besmirch her name! This is in no way a contradiction to me. It is the first step in accepting her and possibly giving her a chance. The second round of this ‘manly acceptance’ came when she cracked a joke and all were laughing about it. By the way, my crush continues on Murtagh. LOVE this guy. No matter what, he has only one goal: Keep Jamie safe. Have you seen that look on his face as Dougal rips Jamie’s shirt and he leaps without hesitation?! If Jamie hadn’t stopped him, what do you think would have happened?!
This episode also opened Claire’s eyes to Dougal’s cause. He is a Jacobite and he will do anything to raise money and put Charles Stuart on the English throne. Knowing what she does about the rising of 1745 and the faith that awaits the clans and Highlanders, she can’t figure out if and how to warn them, yet still stay alive. She tries to tell Ned that it is a fact, and that the history will not record another Stuart on the throne, but it will record the slaughter of the clans.
“History be damned!” Ned says and you can see that she is heartbroken that in only couple of years these men that are loyal, passionate and true to their King and blue and white flag, will probably all die. I loved the history lesson in this episode and that got me to thinking about the politics of today and the soon to be decided Independence Vote in Scotland. There are a lot of rumors circulating about the reasons behind UK not picking up the series and one of the reasons was that this show may influence more people to vote YES. I’m not buying that. first, the politics in the book have nothing to do with politics now. Jacobite rebellions [there were more than one?] is about ‘restoration’ of a King and is not about Independence. This is all about rights and money. I have no doubt it will be picked up soon.
Let me address the book vs. show.
I can’t stress enough to all the passionate and dedicated book lovers out there. You have to learn to let go of the books for just a bit. They will be there for you always. The show for me is riveting and interesting enough that I’m not even noticing anything else. To me, it’s like reading new material. I love the Voiceover a lot and my hubby even commented that if Claire hadn’t told him what was in that pipe she gave Ned, how would he have known it?
My thinking is that the book is one thing and the show another. Both have my favorite couple and I can enjoy both separately, without expectations of one not doing the justice to the other. Not gonna lie, it isn’t easy to do but once you do it, I promise that you’ll enjoy the show much more. To put a better perspective on this, just imagine 25 million people out there that have read the books and now are watching and waiting for “their” special scene to come, and it never appears. Now imagine how hard it is for the production to pick and choose what gets in and what doesn’t. I for one couldn’t do the job they are doing so I’m placing my trust into Ron’s hands. From what I saw so far, he is yet to disappoint me.
These so-called ‘slow’ episodes are crucial for character development of not just Jamie but everyone else. This may be one woman’s journey and perspective but when all is said and done, this is without a doubt an ensemble SHOW. We should treat it and try to understand it and the motives behind it, as such. I urge people to have more patience. When Roger didn’t show up in that first episode, a lot of people were all over that episode and everybody kept saying how disappointed they were. I’m 100% sure that we will see him in her flashback. Ron has to use that scene to introduce the character because of his future importance. We need to put ourselves into the story and characters and watch them develop at their own pace not ours. I do sympathize though with you and understand where you’re coming from but patience my friends, and some understanding would serve us best.
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I can’t finish this post without mentioning the music. It continues to mesmerize and add deeper meaning to each scene and I’m really looking forward to the CD or iTunes of it. Bear McCreary is a genius! Check out his blog. He goes in depth about the music he creates for each episode of Outlander. My poor hubby will have to suffer through many hours of listening on our road trips!
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As for the hour, it went by too quickly! We have only three episodes left before the show goes on a short hiatus and I may need serious therapy after watching episode 16. I remember finishing the book around 4 am in the morning and calling in sick, because I was sick. For days I couldn’t get the images out of my mind and cried like a baby!
Oh, and talk about endings, this episode left me gasping for air …
“Tell me madam; are you here by your own choice?”
So what are your thoughts on this episode? Do you think Jamie is under used? Is the show too slow for you? Tell us what you liked the best, worst and anything in between … I am ready for this much talked about Episode 106, are you?
Did you know that you can download Ron Moore’s podcast for Episode 105 / RENT for free on iTunes or listen to it here.