TV SYNOPSES: Returning to her own time, Claire must reconcile her future with the life she left behind. Shifting back to 18th Century, Jamie, Claire and Murtagh arrive in France, but learn that Paris presents its own challenges.
MY THOUGHTS: Need I say there might be SPOILERS ahead? Read at your own risk 😉
Let me start off by saying that my upcoming reviews and thoughts on this season will be my impressions and my take on the episodes in question. Please keep it in mind that we can view the same things differently. It’s what makes the world more interesting and exciting, colorful and not bland. That said, let me tell you my first impression of this first episode which ends almost a year long #Droughtlander.
Devastating. Heart wrenching. Painful. Hopeful. Intriguing. Those are all the words that came to mind throughout this full hour of sublime acting on the part of Tobias Menzies and Caitriona Balfe. As for Sam Heughan? He was good. Very good. We saw him interact with his wife, his godfather Murtagh and his cousin Jared, and trying to protect his wife from a very rude aristocrat. However, in this episode we didn’t get to see much of Jamie’s ‘road to recovery’ and frankly, it might have been too much of angst for us to take. Or would it? Here’s what I mean by that.
As the episode opens, Claire is lying in the middle of the stone circle and just knows that she’s back, knows he’s dead, and even though her mind knows this, her heart is still denying it. As she finally realizes that the Culloden battle was lost by the Highlanders, she is physically and emotionally broken. The scene on the road is so well done that I dare you not to have tears in your eyes! At this point, as I watch this, I’m shaking … I’m feeling her anguish.
The next few scenes between Frank and Clare are so emotionally charged that I’m not just shaking, I’m in full blown “wreck” mode. For any of the readers who ever doubted Frank’s feelings and the full effect of Claire’s disappearance on him, doubt no more. Tobias Menzies WILL win an Emmy and a Globe for these scenes alone. Remember, you heard it here first, but you’ll be hearing about it in the next year numerous times.
As we transition from 1948 to 1744, I finally take a breath and start to feel calm, soaking in our Jamie and Claire as they arrive in France. At this point I welcome that calmness and as Jamie lays his weary bones on that canopied bed, I am wondering if he’ll dose off and start having nightmares, which he doesn’t and I feel relief.
As the show continues in France, we get to see them lay out the plan of action and settling into the roles they’ve assigned to themselves. We’re also introduced to the new enemy Clare makes as she diagnoses some shipmate’s condition as a smallpox, forcing the authorities to destroy the ship and cargo of that man, Comte St. Germaine.
As in the first season, each episode is meant to take us on a journey of discovery, be it personal or literal, of our Claire. And each episode is designed to highlight certain characters within that episode. Ron D. Moore wrote this episode and he gravitates to writing episodes with heavy Frank content. He likes the character and seems to want to dig deeper into it and I don’t blame him, especially with Tobias playing him.
In this one, Franks character shined so brightly, I was blinded. No, seriously. The depth of the portrayal of Frank’s love, devotion and pain as he comes to grips of not just her return, but her condition, is off the charts. Tobias Menzies has taken both roles, of Frank and BJR, to heart and he’s made them more human than the books ever did. That speaks volumes to the talent of the man. Same goes for Cait as we see the pain Claire goes through as she tries to accept the reality and Frank’s devotion to her and to the child she carries. Both actors brought their A game and then some!
Those were my thoughts on this episode after I’ve watched it only once. I wonder what I’ll come up with after I see it 10+ times!
So, have you seen it and what did you think? All comments are welcome and appreciated. I do understand that what works for me, what I see and feel about it may not be the same with you. That’s natural. We all bring into everything we view, our own perspective because we’re influanced by our background. And that’s perfectly all right. It’s what makes life interesting, colorful and challenging.
Melanie for b2b