*Photo credit to Britta Fahl
If it’s being talked about this much now, what will the talk be after?!?! Wow, the response to this week’s upcoming episode of Outlander’s “Wentworth” seems to have taken on a life of its own! If I was writing a plot for what is happening on social media it might look like the cover of “Moby”, intersecting twists and turns. I fully expected people to feel nervous about watching, after all it is about torture. However, I didn’t expect the variety of and depth of reaction in the fandom.
Folks in the media who have seen the episode have seen fit to “warn” us that it IS horrifying. I believe their warnings were well-intentioned, but the words they have chosen to describe the episode have moved me from feeling nervous to almost feeling fearful. THEY, the people who watch TV and movies for a living, have been taken aback by what they’ve seen. After reading some of these warnings, I find myself wondering what in the heck did they do? I was prepared for uncomfortable and maybe even difficult, but I expected to be moved not traumatized! And, I am evidently not the only one. Fans are starting to buzz about how bad this really is! And, the reactions are all over the place!
The I can’t watch folk
There is a certain population of fans who do have PTSD who knew they would need to skip this episode. I respect their decision for self-care. It is just a TV show and not worth the pain. But, there are others who have joined the ranks of the I can’t watch folks because they are too fearful that the scenes WILL be too close to the book and the media warnings. There are some things I know I can’t watch like slasher films because I …well…I just can’t. There seems to be a growing number of folks who have decided they can’t and WON’T be watching what happens to Jamie.
The “creative” watchers
These folks should be sitting in “think tanks” solving bigger issues! They have come up with all kinds of ways to help them through Wentworth. Seriously, I think they could have figured out how to get Jamie out of the prison cell last Monday! They have created survival packs that consist of chocolate, whisky, tissue boxes and various assorted cuddly objects that can double as a shield. Some fans will be watching together and live tweeting each other for support. The most ingenious folks, in my opinion, have an idea that probably won’t make Starz happy, but they are planning on waiting and then watching episodes 15 and 16 back to back! They feel they could handle 15 if they know some light will be coming in the next hour rather than two (you heard me right) weeks!
Those folks who are getting feelings and need someone to blame
I’m seeing some grumbling, as well. Some fans are wondering why all this “sex” and violence is necessary. They can’t see “why” this has to happen to tell the story. In fact, they see it as distracting and detrimental to the story line. They are blaming Starz and are leaning toward creating conspiracy theories that claim it’s all a plot to earn awards and money for the studios. To quote Forrest Gump, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that”.
Folks who are having a tough time not blurring the lines between art and real-life
This afternoon, Diana posted a lovely letter on her Facebook page from a lady who was an actress. She had acted in difficult scenes of a violent and sexual nature and wanted to share how taxing these were for actors. She shared that it took a great deal of vulnerability and trust to truly do these scenes right. The emotional toll appears to be great. She felt the need to write because of some the crude and unkind things she was seeing written on social media. After her letter appeared, I saw a flurry of memes and posts reminding folks that these actors were playing a part. Tobias isn’t Black Jack. I’m sorry to say there are folks who need and will need reminding. What truly makes me shudder about the Wentworth episode is that after it airs there is chance these brave actors might actually read some of this insensitive thoughtlessness.
The I’m scared, but I’m excited too folks who are going to watch
Count me in this group. I just know that no matter how uncomfortable this episode will be to watch, I WILL watch because I just know they are going to do the material justice! They have so far and I couldn’t be prouder of the whole bunch. This story is complex and full of real emotions and truths about what it means to suffer, persevere and love. The sex and violence in this story is not gratuitous and is an integral part of the plot and the characters’ development. Wentworth and what happens there affects Jamie and Claire for the rest of their lives.
We are getting to see our beloved story come to life and I’ll be in front of my TV (probably with one of those survival packs) feeling anxious, excited and proud.
p.s. I’ve heard from some folks who have said Hey! You forgot about us! The just “show the damn episode” group ! (STDEs, 😂😂😂) These folks are fearless and ready!