I’m watching the first eight episodes of Outlander in preparation for my standing appointment with the Starz channel every Saturday night. While watching I was struck again by what a great job the actors are doing portraying my favorite characters. In fact, there are some moments that scream Jamie and Claire! Moments that are quintessential ! Here are some of my favorites. QUINTESSENTiAL CLAIRE: A lot of folks give Caitrionia Balfe praise for her portrayal of Claire’s strength, pluck and downright sassiness. It is well deserved praise. Claire is a smart, strong woman and Cait makes those qualities obvious. However, it was her more subtle performances that convinced me she was right for the part. One of my favorite things about Claire’s character is her lack of guile. She isn’t a woman who is motivated by greed, money or political gain. She hasn’t much need for manipulation or lies. Because she finds herself trying to survive long enough to get back to the stones, she has to lie, but she never seems quite comfortable doing so. She seems to find it even more difficult to lie to herself. I’ve always admired her inability and unwillingness to fool herself. She owns her thoughts and feelings even if she doesn’t like what she is thinking or feeling. Cait gave me the quintessential Claire moment when Jamie asked her if she enjoyed their love-making session. Right away her face showed her internal conflict. Jamie, not having any clue about Frank, of course misinterprets the change on her face to mean she did not enjoy herself. However, in true to form Claire fashion, Cait let us see her confusion, her correct interpretation of Jamie’s disappointment and sadness, and the moment she admits the truth to herself. “Well, there it was. Not only was I a bigamist and adulterer, but I’d enjoyed it”. Quintessential Claire. QUINTESSENTIAL JAMIE: Jamie is being portrayed as a man with some emotional intelligence. His sensitivity and concern for Claire comes through loud and clear. The audience can see, through Sam’s performance, that this man is different from the other men at the castle. But, for me the moments that are quintessential Jamie are once again more subtle. I so enjoy his moments of humor and self-deprecation and the little peeks at the man beneath the boy. There are actually several scenes that found me saying, “Yes! He gets Jamie!” When Claire is tending his shoulder at the castle and Jamie has just told her a horrible story about his sister and Black Jack, he responds to her sympathy with the, “Aye chickens are verra poor company” line. Jamie’s ability to not take difficult circumstances too seriously is one of his saving graces. He has every reason to feel sorry for himself, to feel bitter and yet, he chooses to give not one more moment to Black Jack. Cheerfully taking a beating, forcing Dougal to give him a wedding, comparing Claire’s hair to water in a bern, were all convincing performance moments. But, the one that caught my attention was the scene in the stable with Murtaugh. With a few sentences and body language, Sam was able to convey the man of integrity that is Jamie Fraser. ” I plan to be married, but the one time and I will do so in a way that will make my mother proud”. Quintessential Jamie. He is guided by a moral compass. QUINTESSENTIAL JAMIE AND CLAIRE: There are a lot of scenes between the two that are heart-warming, sexy and flirtatious. The scene in the surgery where she is checking his shoulder? There was enough chemistry to blow up the castle! The wedding was superbly well done. I sighed and giggled and sighed some more watching those two consummate their vows. But, once again my Jamie and Claire quintessential moment was more subtle. The infamous “Help! he’s falling over!” scene. LOL! I remember watching it and thinking THERE, right there is where he fell in love! She is threatening, cursing, caring, kind and demanding and he… is awestruck. Which of course he covers up with a Jamie quip,”Threats is it? And after I shared my drink with you too!” I was so struck by this I wrote a poem! ALIEN ANGEL He awoke to a vision A bristling, cursing, demanding angel He awoke to love IN CONCLUSION: I know not everyone will agree with me and I wouldn’t expect you to! Everyone brings their own experience to a reading or film and therefore no one will have the exact same reaction or interpretation. Everyone will see things differently and have their own quintessential moments. Which when I think about that reality, I find myself in awe of Mr. Moore, his writers and directors. Getting it right seems almost impossible! But, overall, I think they delivered the spirit of my beloved story. And Cait and Sam? Thanks for delivering on the promise of being THE Jamie and Claire!