What’s going on here?….where is JAMIE!!!


imageI know I risk being called an Outpouter by writing this, but here goes. If I was Claire I’d be more interested in Dougal.  At least the Dougal in Outlander Starz.  That guy is interesting, complex and sexy.  Certainly, Claire finds him irritating, but he definitely is a strong principled man.  Jamie? Who? Oh, the kid. Yeah, he’s cute.

Within minutes of episode 5 credits rolling across the screen, I tweeted my confusion and concern. I don’t understand!  How could you screw up THIS relationship? Right now I’m not believing Claire could love this guy.  The show has taken all of this time to develop Claire as this smart self-assured woman and now she is going to fall in love with THIS Jamie.  Not that Claire, not this Jamie. Unless something drastically changes, I’m not buying it.  Being a cute gallant puppy dog wouldn’t be enough to catch this Claire and make her choose to stay in the past.

Where did this go wrong? Where is Jamie’s personality? More importantly, where is his spirit?  I can’t help but feel that this Jamie needs to get a spine. While reading, I always had the sense that Jamie was an extremely mature young man who indeed picked his battles, but enough is enough!  I miss the scene where Jamie confronts Dougal RIGHT AFTER he rips off his shirt. I also miss the scene that follows.  There was friendship that happened in that scene between Jamie and Claire and appreciation for Jamie’s skills. Claire got to see Jamie in a different more interesting light.  How did we go from steaming hot self-assured “je suis prest” Jamie to “he’s my uncle” just go to bed Jamie?

Ok, so…all the folks who have seen episode 6 rave about it.  My understanding is that the two men featured in this episode will be Dougal and Black Jack. I’m sure I’m going to continue to fall in love with these performances. But, here’s the rub. The wedding is episode 7.  Is there going to be enough time to fix this? It’s my hope that Dougal’s “reference” scene really is.  Maybe some of Jamie’s strong character can be restored by explaining the flogging. I’m scared that every character in the series Claire, Dougal, Black Jack, Murtagh, Rupert, Ned,….will be developed to perfection (and they have) and  Jamie  will remain the cute kid who Claire has sex with! Arrrgh!

Episode 5 had some wonderful exposition, Culloden, the Black Watch, the Redcoats.  And, Scotland indeed became a character. But, I was left disappointed because of the sorely missing fix of Jamie’s guts, spirit and wit. I need to believe this is a guy Claire can’t help but fall in love with.  There is nothing wrong with Sam’s performance. He’s doing the best with what he’s been given. But, that’s my point! What are they giving him! I want book Jamie! He’s a man to be reckoned with and…love.

So, here is what is saving me from going into deep dark fangirl depression. Diana likes it.  I know it’s an adaptation and not my book and there is a new episode next week. So, I’m holding out hope that the King of Men arrives…soon!



71 thoughts on “What’s going on here?….where is JAMIE!!!

  1. Anna

    He’s there. It’s subtle, but he’s definitely there. I especially thought the part where he sort of scolds Claire about how she is to Angus was nice. Shows him as a man, not a boy.
    He’s following her around like he’s in love with her and can’t have her, and yet he isn’t trying to make her fall for him. She isn’t supposed to know he loves her. Also, even after they’re married, she thinks its infatuation, so I think the development is perfect. She thinks of him as a friend.

  2. Barbara

    Thank you!! I have been worried about the same thing. Sure Jamie is kind of in he background in the beginning but there are these great moments and great character developing lines that the writers for the show are NOT using. I can’t for the life of me figure out why? Jamie is a bit blah so far which is a shame since Sam Heughan would have no trouble giving us all of the Jamie we crave if he was only given the opportunity. Thank you for letting me know I wasn’t alone.

  3. I see your point and it’s a good one, but have to say I can’t totally agree with you. IMO, the focus here to show how different Jamie is from the rest of the Mackenzies. While it is very true that Dougal is the bad ass of the show, he is also someone that Claire doesn’t really like. She finds him barbaric and cruel. Even if Claire were to take up with Dougal, she would never be viewed by him as his equal – his partner.

    Jamie, on the other hand, is SO vastly different from all of the other men. He is kind, thoughtful, forward thinking, open minded, strong – but still, he is in much the same situation as Claire. He really can’t leave the Mackenzie clan either. Both of them as essentially prisoners of the clan – in totally different ways – and so share that common bond. He absolutely views Claire as an equal. That was clearly illustrated when they went to the Black Kirk. I didn’t care much for episode 3, but I have to admit, in hindsight, it was a huge relationship builder for Jamie and Claire.

    I think when the marriage comes, it’s going to be much like the book without the one on one focus – much more ‘big picture’ oriented. No girl from the clan, except Laoghaire, and she is a dimwit, views Jamie as a prospect for a husband. The Mackenzies are never going to secure Jamie’s loyalties by marrying him to one of their young ladies. He is an outlaw. By marrying him off to Claire, they are, in their view, putting another roadblock to his ‘taking over Clan Mackenzie’ – which Jamie’s never wants to do anyway. Dougal only thinks so and according to him, he knows everything. 🙂

    “Muted” SeriesJamie is going to come into his own when Randall hits the scene. That is my theory on the whole thing. I know it’s frustrating, but with an ensemble cast, it takes time to build these things – and we book readers have the comfort – and utter frustration – of knowing what comes next! Can’t wait to see more.

    Great and thought provoking post, as always!! x

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. I should have said I appreciate the way they are developing he differences between Jamie and the other men. This is part of who he is and why Claire loves him. I’m just missing some of his wit and strength! I agree being a reader makes this harder! I trust Ron. Gulp!

      • I too have missed a couple of lines that I have always treasured. I totally, totally get what you are saying there. I see the wit and strength there, but it isn’t ‘in your face’. I guess we were all expect *Jamie* to be the front and center one and the show is being more realistic about it – Dougal is the big dog and Jamie is there because he has to be. For now 🙂

  4. Karen H.

    Graham McTavish is certainly stealing the show…he has PRESENCE! But, I’m not entirely in agreement with you on the Jamie point. I find myself sometimes superimposing Voyager+ Jamie on the first two books. We know his middle-aged, super competent adult self much more than we know his 23 year old self. We have thousands of pages of adult Jamie and he is worth every swoon. Here, in Outlander, he IS just a kid–especially in the first few chapters of outlander. He’s a virgin, he is broke and doesn’t know what to do about it, and he is too chicken to go home and see if his sister is okay. That’s all perfectly normal for a 23 year old. Claire is older, she was married to an older man, and she’s having to match wits with a very strong older man. There is no conflict between her and Jamie now–he just stands out as kind and a bit more sophisticated. The conflict comes because of the forced marriage. And it was forced. She didn’t even admit her attraction to him to herself, honestly, until their wedding night. Her journey is getting to know him AFTER the wedding. His journey is trying to figure out how to turn his attraction to her into a grown-up commitment and deal with their very different backgrounds. The wedding should be a shock to the audience because it sure was a shock to Claire! I like that they are focusing on Claire’s growth. She is slowly becoming more confident and more at ease, and I think that even with the minor plot changes, they are letting her intelligence shine through. I also like that they are showing her sense of kindness and fun. The pacing is a bit slow, but I feel like it’s ramping up every episode, and I’m enjoying each one more and more. Anyways, just wanted to put my two cents in. 🙂

    • Your two cents is always valuable! I appreciate all you have said. I’m just missing some of the dialogue I thought were key. Still loving this and I’m sure there is a reason for everything! Thanks for reading and responding.

    • niki

      Karen, rather than rewrite what you said so well, I just wanted to say “I agree”. Although he is quite likable I also perceived him as a kid. He is brawling all over the place, flirting, dodging the law, a bit reckless (to Claire’s chagrin, she is constantly chiding him. ) etc. The wedding came as a shock to me as a first time reader (10 years ago mind you). After the revelation that he was a virgin I kinda imagined this eager puppy. It was sweet, but not powerful. As the pages turned though, I felt him really come into his own as a man and a leader. I feel like up to that point he was only responsible for himself and it was only when he accepted responsibility for Claire that he was able then compelled to face the many other responsibilities that were waiting for him like Lallybroch.

      When you talk about what they leave out I assume it you are referring to little asides between J & C like when she discovers he is left handed or the sword fighting scene. But with TV I think that including that might have run two risks. 1. it would knock the first time viewer over the head with what is coming. The wedding should in theory be a shock to them. 2. It might come off as a little trite. In our imagination we can project his display of swordsmanship into something sexy and powerful but in reality watching it on TV might be akin to when a guy on the bachlorette says, “Im a musician” and you know that a painfully awkward song will be written for the unlucky lady and you will have to watch, squirming as he sings it to her. I think the Shinty was more widely relatable and the takes the clearly powerful Dougal and upends him over the shoulder. So some effect it was the same message beware the student surpassing his teacher.

      whether we agree or disagree, interesting discussion all the same. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • I really like the turn you’ve put on it here. I agree. In the first 4 episodes we see a friendship developing. Jamie and Claire build a relationship on shared secrets, and respect. He respects her abilities and intelligence; she respects his kindness. He *is* a bit of a wimp, but he has to keep his head down with the MacKenzies. There is danger at every turn. Claire doesn’t appreciate the danger she’s in, but Jamie is always on the edge keeping an eye on her, coaching her, stepping in to avert danger, etc. He is still just the charming young man to her, but he should be at this stage of the story. The action and tension ramp up with the wedding, as has been said. I think the second half of the first season is going to reveal a different man. I am not worried. I have faith in Diana and in Ron. Also, in one the podcast (3?) Terri was saying how very young Sam and Cait look and how much they’ve changed as characters. (They had just filmed 13/14 I think). That suggests the growth is coming. I have faith.

    • I too was concerned with the lack of dialogue between Jamie an Claire to this date, and the development, or lack there of, of Jamie’s character. After some thinking and reading some blogs I asked myself (and my book club ladies) this exact question! “Are we looking for the Jamie we know and love after reading 3,000 pages? This is not the Jamie who has gone through everything yet. This is a 23 year old Jamie, and good point Karen, a Jamie who is AFRAID to go home and face Jenny. I love all the different insights and dialogue the series has brought about. It’s like having a weekly book club! Thanks for your post!

  5. YES YES YES 1000x yes. I’ve been complaining about this all morning. My poor husband is humoring me, but I think he is getting tired of my expositions this morning. Where is Jamie…he is too much a fringe character at this point. Even by this point in the books his character has been more developed. I agree that has nothing to do with Sam…I don’t feel like they have given him anything meaty yet.

      • I’m glad you started this…because I was feeling the same way 🙂 I even showed my poor husband your blog post and said SEE! It isn’t just me. I have enjoyed all the comments here …I’m still a wee disappointed…but I think I understand a bit better where Ron’s mind might be headed.

  6. Jessie

    Patience, ladies! My take is Claire IS NOT in love with Jamie when she marries him. And Spoiler for those who have not read the books. . .

    ….. She attempts to go back AFTER the marriage–she is still in love with Frank. She does make the choice after she experiences Crainsmure, which has to be the most terrifying experience of her 1743 life, which makes it all the more dramatic choice.

    I have always thought that DG did a marvelous job of developing this whole plot, it is not a foregone conclusion at this point that Claire will be involved romantically with anyone. She and Jamie have a friendship, which is the only reason she can tolerate being “wed” to him. I believe the love comes much later. . . And we will see the Jamie you are seeking 🙂

      • debraemarvin

        I’ve seen a few other reviews now where ‘non-readers’ see Jamie this way and it reminds me that the first time I read the book, I also thought of him as ‘that kid’ who was nice to her. I didn’t fall in love with him until the wedding and I think its his honor and loyalty that made me swoony. I have to forget about grampa Jamie and go back to the 23yo virgin, and I think they are on the right path. Great thoughts, Beth. Glad you shared them!

  7. Yes, agreed. Thank you! As usual, like book better than film. Really like actors, costumes (love Claire’s coat), Scotland, waulking scene. Rather slow with Claire & Jamie connection.

  8. Rachelle

    I agree with you. Jamie needs to grow a pair. No strong scenes between him and Claire to even suspect they have feelings for each other. 😔

  9. Ann Hoffer

    RE: “The wedding is episode 7. Is there going to be enough time to fix this?” As I recall, (and I just read Book One during those past two weeks), Claire is NOT in love with Jamie when she is forced to marry him. Readers see that the wedding is a political thing… Jamie will perhaps be safer from the British if he has a Sassenach wife, etc. Afterward, Jamie informs Claire that he agreed to the marriage only if certain conditions were met… remember? Then she opens her eyes. They get acquainted, they consummate they marriage (under observation), and she slowly falls in love with him.

  10. Claire can’t want to marry Jamie. He is just a small part of the story, up to this part. Background kind of thing. It has to come as a shock to everyone that Dougal wants to do this. Jamie just accepts this the way Jamie accepts the ripping off of his shirt. WE know he feels differently, but the audience doesn’t. He can’t let Claire know he feels. He needs to be just another highlander, like Rupert and Angus. And when Jamie comes to his own, watch out Dougal. Jamie is laying low for now! Just my thoughts!

  11. jomarie54

    I understand what you’re saying, but as you said this is an adaptation and not your book, and I think it’s important to remember that. Think of all the historical information that Diana includes in her books that are absolutely essential to the telling of the story, no to mention establishing time and place. They’ve got to include that somehow and I think that’s why they’ve had to cut some scenes short that might have been favorites in the book.

    With that said, I don’t really agree with your assessment of this Jamie completely. We have seen hints of that strong Jamie especially in the last episode. When he says “Je Suis Prest”, I felt no doubt that he was ready to face that challenge. There was his look of determination before he stands tall in front of Colum, looks him in the eye and tells him firmly that he will not give him his vow, consequences be damned. He does not let Dougal get the better of him in the Shinty game, and you get the feeling there was no way he would have let that happen.

    I did read some comments similar to yours on Diana’s facebook page, but I also saw a twitter exchange with the producer Maril Davis. She said even in the book, Jamie takes a back seat in these chapters and twitter was too short to explain any changes they made. So I think there is definitely a method to their madness.

    I also think that it might be helpful to think about it if you weren’t a book reader. Jamie is a bit of an enigma at the moment, you’re not supposed to know everything about his character yet. Neither Jamie or Claire can fathom what’s to come and when they’re thrown into that situation the story will shift squarely to that relationship, and I think over time it will be more clearly illustrated what Jamie’s all about.

  12. Great post. And you write so well. What I miss is Jamie’s literary voice. I understand he is young; Claire isn’t in love..etc. But throughout the book Jaime’s character builds. I’m not seeing that…yet. Seems a bit flat right now. But I am still loving it and have faith in the team.

  13. Anne

    Jamie was young in Outlander. And at the beginning he didn’t do all of the heroic things. But let’s look at all he’s done. Heroically he’s been a stoic patient when injured, fought against the English while injured, been powerful when he recaptured her after the English attack, taken a beating for Leery, taken care of Claire when she was being attacked before the Gathering, pulled the nail out of the boy’s ear, and probably some other stuff I don’t remember. She could see his courage when he told her about the attack at Lallybroch. He’s also shared with her some of his background and trusted her to not pity him and to keep his secret. No one else trusts her but he does. Even when he tells her several times that the others don’t trust her he always says “they” don’t trust her, he doesn’t include himself. He’s been kind to her on several occasions such as when he translated the stories and when he took her to the surgery when she was tipsy. Just in this last episode he was kind to her and talked to her when she was being ignored or bullied by the others. He brought her decent food, he made Angus calm down and leave her alone. He slept outside her door to protect her and “protected” her reputation by not sleeping in her room. She has seen his bravery and courage when he has had to show his back. She knows that he hates it but he “takes it like a man” and explains it as a family obligation so to speak. She’s also seen his sense of humor several times. She has learned to some extent that he his an educated man. These are just the things I can think of right now that are helping Claire, and the viewer, learn what kind of a man Jamie is. Claire didn’t love Jamie when they were married, she just liked him. Remember, she married him to save herself. She fell in love with Jamie somewhat during the honeymoon but still not enough to not try to get back to Frank. It took time together and her learning more about Jamie (and him growing as a man as well) for her to truly fall in love.

  14. Jody

    Beth, never, ever apologize for your blog posts. Your musings about the show are valid and are very well written and give us readers pause for thinking. I’m thinking here that you are so accustomed to the ever so deliciously detailed explanations written beautifully by Diana in her books that you perhaps overlook the subtle looks, facial expressions, or actions that an actor uses to help us understand the character and their motivations. (well, with your multiple watches, and your Blurtlander posts, I really don’t know if this is accurate) We readers long for the story we’ve “seen” in our heads as Diana’s words have created such great epic movies, and are perhaps disappointed that things don’t roll out on t.v. like we’ve imagined. I know in my heart that that Ron and Maril really did plan for this Outlander series to be a multi-year unfolding for us viewers (10 years sounds good to me) as they are fans of the books themselves. So “patience grasshopper”. The shows thus far have been great in their own respect. Keep on writing Beth. I look forward to everything you post. U-Go-Girl!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words! And you are probably right! I found myself wondering the other day if I would enjoy the series more if I wasn’t always waiting for the next line of dialog. Perplexing!

  15. Laura Lynn

    First time I read the book (1995) I thought for sure Claire would end up with Dougal, right up until she didn’t. So I get the pacing of the relationship in the show. However…… I agree they’ve taken some of the best Jamie out!! Last night didn’t have so much as a spark of chemistry to me.

  16. Margaret Y

    Beth, I always appreciate your insights – they are usually spot on. I believe that part of the problem here is that many of us have read the entire series, multiple times and we KNOW Jamie. But I recall my first listen (I did audio from the start) the Jamie character was flying low under the radar. My sense was that Claire had an almost “big sister” affinity for him, with a few sparks thrown in. It was a little clearer to me that he was crushing on her. The love story didn’t really get going until after the wedding, when Jamie became her husband and had the responsibility to protect her. Up until now, the poor kid is trying to keep a low profile and stay alive.

    The almost immediate connection between the two of respect and trust has been developed beautifully, although we all could always use a little more Jamie screen time! Up until this point, Claire and Jamie are on two different missions – she to get back to the stones, he to get his name cleared and get on with his life. The relationship between Jamie and Dougal and Jamie and Murtagh needs to be further defined. Foster father and Godfather are fairly significant relationships in this time period, and would further explain Jamie’s actions in regard to the two a little better.

    I so appreciate the outstanding care Ron Moore and team are taking with this story and I fully trust that they will get our Jamie to where he needs to be. I predict that after the wedding, Jamie will start to blossom as his focus turns to his wife.

    p.s. – I too missed the sword/dagger demonstration.

  17. From a readers standpoint I totally understand your frustration. I’ve read Outlander 11x. This is my only one TRUE obsession.

    That being said…

    I think I’m in the minority here.

    I am thoroughly enjoying this build up and even that Jamie is kind of in the shadows and a “nobody”. He’s been kind where others have not but he’s just this stable guy with a price on his head who is staying under the radar.
    I think in the end it’ll make the wedding night and their courtship after that much richer. Deeper. More meaningful.

    Also, I’ve been so disappointed in the past by book adaptations of some books I loved that I’ve learned to separate book from TV or movie. Though I have to say I am FAR from disappointed in OuIutlander.


      • Oh I am SO guilty of book love. This is the only series where I’ve read the first four books ELEVEN TIMES! And will read them more in the future.

        I think True Blood is a good example of having to separate book from show. From almost the 1st episode (certainly the 2nd) they deviated from the books. Originally I was like “WHAT?!?” but then I sat back and watched, and LOVED it for what it was.

        Yes there are phrases, scenes, tics (Jamie’s finger tapping) that I hope and want to see.

        But watching my Dad watch the series with me (he’s never read anything about Outlander) is kind of cool. And it’s setting things up so he can follow in a way that is different than my mom and me who have read the books (though she’s only up to book 6).

      • I’m trying! It just didn’t feel right! True blood was a huge departure from the books! I think that made it easier to watch. You knew pretty much up front this wasn’t the book. They are trying to stay true to the spirit of the book here. Difficult! Overall…love it!

  18. Interesting thoughts! I’m wondering if they’ve toned down TV Jamie while giving more depth to TV Frank in order to make the choice seem like more if a struggle. Because in the book, by the time she has to decide the reader and Claire are saying “Frank who?”. Just a thought.

  19. amorley552014

    After this episode I see your point. We shall have to go along for the ride and trust them. Because Diana has seen stuff, as she says. Jamie did look very young in this episode! But I still would not have picked Dougal. But it was great how they all started getting along so well after defending Claire’s honor and her joke!

  20. Most of what I’d say has already been said, except for ….. How in the heck would one repair that ripped shirt, at least twice, by hand and under those conditions?!! LOL At least Jamie finally had enough and solved it his way. 🙂

    I also have to say that I was ready to give up on Angus until he started that brawl in defense of Claire. And I’m really enjoying Murtagh taking Claire under his wing just as he has Jamie. Keep on writing, and we’ll keep on reading your enjoyable posts.

  21. Stephbo

    I had an “aha!” moment last night while watching Claire sass off to Dougal. I think that the visual and auditory portrayal of the characters and the situation give the story more weight and reality to the story that don’t necessarily translate to the written page. I’ve read all of the books countless times over 20 years, and I’ve never fully grasped until watching last night how Caire really puts herself in danger by her words and actions. I looked at my husband last night and mused how it was a wonder she didn’t get killed, or at the very least, physically disciplined for her defiance of the men around her. At this point, realistically, she’s still Frank’s wife who desperately misses him and wants to get home. None of these men are important to her except in the ways that they keep her from getting back to Frank. And clearly, different and kinder that he may be, Jamie isn’t the major obstacle for Claire right now.

    • After reading everyone’s comments I always gain new insight! Love it! I’m just _stupid_enough to put my first impressions in writing! LOL! Thanks for reading and commenting I enjoyed reading them!

  22. kari

    I love reading all these thoughts and comments! Just wanted to add one of my own…. Where this episode is directly after the gathering, when Jamie pledged his obedience as long as he is on McKenzie lands, is the “quieter” Jamie in this episode perhaps a “consequence” of his pledge? We can see his displeasure with Dougal, and his strength when he waves off Murtaugh in the scene – we KNOW this is something he is strongly against (having his back seen and pitied) yet it is showing the strength of his character in honoring his pledge/vow. Knowing what is coming (the wedding and rescuing Claire), I saw it as reminding the viewers that he is a man of his word.

    • Yes! I think you’re in tune with the script-writers, Kari! We see that Jamie is honoring his pledge, complying with Dougal’s demands… these scripts are to be admired, I think. (I think they’ve done a better job than most ABRIDGED audio versions of books… DG has commented on the horrors of those, so glad that she kept the rights for UNABRIDGED audio-books.)

  23. I’ve just read all the comments and have thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth on this topic. Thank you for putting your first impression in writing! It has brought about great discussion! I completely understand what you were feeling and completely understand what everyone responded with. This series, the books, the characters and the stories are so deep and complex that it will forever give us points to have ever changing opinions on. Great post!

  24. Cristin Watts (@Cristin1234)

    I am loving the -very respectful- debate here in the comments! I do get what you are saying Beth, but I don’t know… Maybe I am guilty of ‘reading in’ to the portrayals a bit, but Sam/Jamie ,to me, has put so much into facial expressions, his kind actions, deep sighs,etc, that it has surpassed any portrayal of puppy love, and he is kind of on a slow simmer over there, in the background. Again, as others have pointed out, Jamie is a less important character up until this point, as far as Claire is concerned.I. do hope the flame grows in the coming episodes, as I am patiently waiting for ‘my Jamie’ and cannot wait to she Claire begin to fall in love.

  25. I couldn’t agree more with you. This episode is so different from the book and even, as you say, from the characters in The Gathering! Jamie was mature, very protective of Claire, and their friendship continued to grow.

    In this episode, they failed what the book did so well, which is to build the friendship between Jamie and Claire so that they like each other when they wed. I didn’t recognize Jamie even from the series. He doesn’t stand up to Dougal saying Colum, to whom he’s given his obedience, would agree with Dougal. He doesn’t finally stand up about the shirt and stop it with the fight.

    I don’t think Jamie was very nice to Claire either. Usually, if anyone threatened her, as Angus did, Jamie would be there. He even told her to deal with it because she doesn’t get it. They don’t even talk. He’s “one of the boys.” One of the attractions to Jamie for Claire is that he is not like the boys. He’s not too young in the book to be a man during the trip. We didn’t see the honorable man who stands up.

    It was not this hostile overall in the book.

    I don’t know how they get from this Jamie and Claire to the comment “there’s the two of us now.” If I were Claire, I wouldn’t even like him when they marry. I think they missed the boat on this one.

    I read an interview with Ron and apparently they decided the next episode is going to more of Dougal and Black Jack. He said that he thought when BJR punched her in the stomach in the book, why not build an episode around this scene.

    Clearly, there will be little time get back on track with Jamie and Claire since before Episode 7, which is the wedding.

    I thought they dummied down Claire and wasted a lot of time until she understood what Dougal was doing. In the book, it happens during his first speech because he mentions Stuart. So Claire becomes nasty.

    This is the first episode that disappointed me. You are not alone in your opinions, Beth. It was all over the groups on FB yesterday with members being upset especially with respect to building a bond of friendship between Claire and Jamie. The few scenes that they did throw in would confuse someone who has not read the books. I imagine they would wonder, why is Jamie doing something like sleeping outside her door.

    I am so sorry that this is so long.

  26. JudySeibert

    I agree with the whole “where’s Jamie” question. I’m trying to have faith he’ll show up, because they’ve done a remarkable job so far hitting all of our expectations….but. I worry they’ve done a little too much in the way of rehabbing Frank and downplaying Jamie to the point that how (or why) in the world in will Claire choose to stay with 18th century Jamie in what really is only a few more episodes! There will have to be some fancy footwork by episode 10…which is the last episode shot at Castle Leoch (according to a tweet by Maril Davis). That means witch trial, back to the stones, Claire’s decision in episodes 10-11? Didnt mean to ramble here…just puzzling my way through!

    • I’ve followed most of the discussion here, and I’m extremely impressed with the variety of valid thoughts and interpretations. I especially like the idea that the writers consciously devoted so much of this RENT episode to CONFLICT… the historical background, the political conflicts that will lead to the tragedy at Culloden Moor, Claire’s struggle with *knowing* the future (and the flashbacks to Frank) , Claire’s struggle with her perceptions of the rowdy men she’s traveling with, Claire’s annoyance with Jamie for lying outside her bedroom door, and even with the interesting Ned Gowen who appealed in the very first scene but cooled to her as he reacted to her forecasting the future and relayed it to Dougal… and then Dougal’s confrontation at the end. Conflict!

      Much of this happened in *invented* scenes, inserted by the writers. Why? To help viewers (non-readers) *get* the story, and to persuade new fans to read the books? To propel the story in an artistically *condensed* form which will still convey the flavor of the books? I tend to trust the screen-writers and the producers… their profession demands an approach to story-telling which differs dramatically from a bood-writer’s.

  27. Dee

    Coming in late to the party – but still wanted to pop in! It is nice to see such respectful discussion about this show – it’s great!

    I can see why you might feel the way you do/did (judging from comments you might be re-thinking some things a wee bit, or at least giving them a chance to percolate…)

    I have a slightly different POV on the whole “TV Jamie” thing.

    One of my favourite things about the show is how we get to _see_ Jamie in a way we didn’t at this point in the book.

    There is a line by “Book Jamie”, possibly in MOBY, where he says something to Claire referring that in those early days, she didn’t see how he looked at her when she wasn’t looking…. And the fact that _we get to see_ that *so clearly* in the show gets me excited every single episode!!! (insert a small “Squeee” here!)

    I remember in my first OL reading, I kept waiting for Claire and Jamie to fall in love and it just wasn’t happening! It was puzzling! Aren’t they supposed to get together? This series is all about Claire and Jamie Fraser right? Where were the sparks?! Oh of course they were verra friendly, and I’m sure it was a comfort to Claire to have someone to talk to, and no doubt it’s why she would seek Jamie out at times, but I could see no budding romance at all… and from Claire’s POV, you really see nothing obviously indicating that Jamie might feel something for her. (OK, she may have been in denial…)

    In the show, Claire certainly likes Jamie, and generally gets on well with him, especially in comparison to the other highlanders, but she’s not mooning over him at all. _We_ can see Jamie has some sort of feelings for her, but Claire is concentrating on getting back to Frank… same as she promised to do when she went to war… at this stage, even if she did feel something for Jamie growing, she is going to ignore it completely….

    And he has his own stuff to worry about, (though we may not know it), and even if he does have feelings for her, He has no idea who this woman really is, he has no real notion of courting her or winning her over… why would he? he’s an outlaw, he’s on the run… He’s not looking to complicate his (or her) life like that… and he’s probably thinking who would want to marry him anyway? (ok, maybe Leggy…. but, let’s not go there!).

    I do think we’ve seen a strong Jamie all along in the show, we have seen strength of character, a forceful personality, grace under fire, and a self-deprecating sense of humour. He’s definitely more conflicted in the “Rent” episode… he’s trying to fit in with the men, but he helps Claire where he can. (and he does give her some good advice really, and helps diffuse Angry Angus).

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that the Jamie I see in the show, while a little different, is still about the same Jamie I saw in the book at this point. The show has taken nothing away from him for me…. and I hope that you can start to see him more that way as well!

    I’m really loving the series so far and I have no major complaints!

    Loving the respectful conversations going on here!! (sorry for the long post!)


    • Very few short responses! LOL! I’m really not in a hurry for the romance. I just didn’t see enough of the Jamie I was expecting! Ron and crew have done an excellent job and I’m trusting it will all work out!

  28. It kind of is going the way it went in the book, there is not enough time to explore the conflict between Dougal and Jamie but he did promise to be obedient and that is what he is trying to be otherwise kind of perfect. plus if you piss off Dougal then he might be sent away and then that means away from Claire I don’t think he wants that.He is biding his time and waiting for his chance. he kind of is a prisoner He can’t go home because of the bounty on his head and he needs the clan protection.

    • I understand what you’re saying. He was in the same situation in the book and believe it would have taken just a few seconds of air time to highlight That Jamie’s patience is deliberate and not infinite. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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