My boyfriends back and there’s gonna be trouble…Outlander episode 9

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P4ZO

I don’t do recaps. However, I do like to wax on about at least something I’m feeling about the latest Outlander episode. So, I’m setting down to write my impressions of Episode 9.

Usually, I watch an episode three times before adding my thoughts to the mix, but Easter and spending time with my family made that a bit more difficult (In general, they don’t care and even somewhat disapprove of my need to watch. They are under the impression that I am obsessed. I know! Where could they have gotten that idea? ! ).  So, I finished my third viewing just this morning.

Just from the little I’ve read, I understand that the big controversy about Episode 9 seems to be divided between “Leery’ and the “Spanking”. I figure those scenes will be hashed out enough without my two cents. I do, however, find it somewhat amusing that critics and non-book readers are worked-up about the spanking scene, but book fans are more concerned about the scene by the river!  It most certainly has to be the difference of knowing the man Jamie will become in later books and the deviation from the “Leery” Jamie story arc.

And, that leads me to the point I’ll be making, the man Jamie is and will become.

As my readers know, I had some issues with how Jamie was being portrayed. I know that Claire doesn’t fall in love with him until after they are wed, but felt there were missed opportunities for letting the audience see why Claire was in danger of falling for him. I felt there was some missing dialogue and scenes that would have given the viewer a more accurate portrayal of Jamie and of the developing feelings Claire was having for him. Three scenes in particular stand to mind; Jamie confronting Dougal about his back, early rather than later, Jamie finally having a “last straw” moment and brawling in the tavern and Jamie and Claire’s moments of friendship after he confronts Dougal about using his back. I felt these scenes, as written in the books, would have let the viewer see more of the man beneath the boy and given them a clearer reason for why Claire could be in danger of loving this man.

I, of course, expressed my concerns in a blog. The result was a lot of lively, but respectful disagreement and discussion.  As I’ve said before, I don’t always agree with other fans, but I listen and consider and usually walk away with some new perspective. I agreed that some of their arguments had merit and that I would indeed trust Ron and his writers to tell the story to my satisfaction. After all, they are fans of the books too.

So, I blithely wrote that I would continue to watch and bide my time and promised that if, ” Ron and crew pull this off, I’ll write the biggest apology note I can muster for ever doubting their genius!   Will it all work out? “It would be pretty to think so”.  Currently, I’m thinking of a way to muster a big apology because I have a feeling I might have to.

My boyfriend (Jamie) is back and that is going to spell all kinds of delicious trouble for the characters and viewers of Outlander on Starz. I have to say the departure from Claire’s point of view was genius. I agree with Ron’s assertion that the story eventually becomes the story of Claire and Jamie, their life and love. In the books, it was always Claire’s story to tell, but I always felt that like many of us who commit to another human being for life, it becomes a story of two who are now one.  I am now appreciating how difficult it must be for the script writers, without the luxury of having pages and time, to boil a story down to its essential elements. I think it would be challenging to say the least (and think, despite the difficulty, I would really enjoy that challenge).  ” What is Jamie thinking?” was a brilliant technique for moving the story and the character forward. I don’t know who thought of it first in Tall Ships writer’s room, but kudos to whomever!

Jamie had dialogue long enough to let us see his character and with his convincing acting skills, Sam had time to let us “see” Jamie.  I’m still trying figure out exactly what it is he does to his face in the scene at Ft. William, but my own jaw tightened just watching! We saw Jamie be brave, calculating, thoughtful, loyal. imperfect, frustrated, devastated, strong, truthful, and caring, just to name a few of the many sides of the character I knew from the books.

The argument was brilliant and I could see why they chose this to be a chemistry test for Sam and Cait! There was enough chemistry there to blow up, oh, I don’t know…Ft.William? But, the two scenes that nailed it for me were Jamie’s scene with Colum and Jamie’s final scene with Claire.

During the scene with Colum, we got to see several of my favorite sides of Jamie’s character. He’s smart and mature beyond his years. I kept thinking he would have made a good laird for the Mackenzie clan. He is a natural leader of men and we will see the fruition of his potential in later books and hopefully, thank you God, the series.  As Jamie stands firm before the fear inspiring McKenzie (Bravo Gary!), I started squealing, “There he is! There’s my Jamie! A man among men! I love how he cares about his fellow man!” My husband who is watching with me, bless his soul, was nodding his head in the affirmative.  As a side note Matt, the only question my husband asked about what was happening on screen (and usually he irritatingly peppers me with questions while we are watching) was who “Hoor Rocks” was and I think that was only because he hadn’t re-watched the last episode. It was smooth and seamless story-telling.

The other scene they nailed was Jamie’s decision to break with tradition and pledge never to punish Claire again. I have written before that I felt that Jamie, in some ways, was more modern thinking than his 1940s counterpart Frank. Ron and crew have done an excellent job of portraying Jamie’s emotional intelligence before this episode. His understanding that in order to move his marriage forward he was going to have change his thinking was breath-takingly mature. He doesn’t have to be right.

After Jamie told Claire she was his “home now” and I sighed very loudly, my husband became very upset with Claire, “She’s going to tell him isn’t she? About her husband? She has to!! The poor guy is pouring his heart out to her!”  Can I just say thank you?  I’ve been trying to explain why Jamie is so wonderful for years. For years, I’ve been telling my husband he would like Jamie. I think he’s starting to get it.

As they lay in each other’s arms looking at each other in wonder, I sighed again and thought,”poor girl, you haven’t got a chance.”  I’m falling for him too Claire!

Now, how to make a really big apology…

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6 thoughts on “My boyfriends back and there’s gonna be trouble…Outlander episode 9

  1. DI

    Very well said. This episode and both Cait’s and Sam’s acting just blew my mind.
    I totally understood Jaime’s gentleness with Leery because he is a caring and considerate man but I dont think he was slightly tempted by leery’s offer of her maiden head. jaime did not want to hurt the girl”s feelings and I see now a MAN standing there,
    I thought the whole spanking scene was very tastefully done and a bit of fun to see Claire fighting like a wounded tiger. Just loved this whole episode.
    Thank you for your well thought out articles.

  2. Karen Brixner

    Agree completely re the scenes you described, as bringing Jamie’s character front and center. I loved the other scenes too, but his counsel to Colum on a solution to the split with Dougal was masterful in showing his intelligence and leadership potential. And the scene when he returns to his and Claire’s room determined to reconcile with her showed he could grow and change as any effective leader does. I thought the episode was great. I thought the Leery scene was simply another device to move the story forward, bringing him to see he had more choices to make.

    • Thanks for reading! I wasn’t bother by Leery scene either. I disagree that he wasn’t tempted, as so many assert. He’s in emotional turmoil and he has a girl profess love for him and throws herself at her head. I kept thinking he’s a young man who just discovered the joys of sex. Of course he was tempted. He hasn’t enough experience yet to know the difference between what he has with Claire and what he would have had with Leery had he given in. His saying no had to mean something. He keeps his word despite temptation and pressure to do likewise throughout the story. Remember his night with the prince? “Did I want to rut with them?” He is human, not perfect. I love the fact that they showed him CHOOSING to do right!

  3. GinaW

    Well done, Beth. I thought it was the best ep to date and was glad to see a more fleshed out Jamie on the screen as well. At first, I was a bit surprised by the Laoghaire arc, but after some reflection (and maybe a re-watch), really liked the character strength that Jamie showed by saying no when put in an untenable situation with someone he did not want to hurt. I know, MANY disagree and feel that the momentary hesitation was showing disloyalty to Claire that the King of Men would never have experienced. To each their own. As to the spanking scene, I’ve said it numerous times that I wasn’t fussed when I read the scene in the book 22 years ago. It was always about justice. Viewing that scene through the lens of modern mores is simplistic. I thought that the show hit just the right note and putting it in Jamie’s POV was brilliant! I think it really calmed a lot of feathers waiting to be ruffled. Given that the clamor over the Laoghaire arc was/is much louder than the spanking, I think the show succeeded exceedingly well!

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