I am a woman in love with words. I believe they have power. Well chosen words can bring you to tears of joy and sorrow. A turn of phrase can change a mind or kindle action. Words can bring solace and peace to wounded hearts and stir anger in others. So, it is ironic that in this episode, I was shown how powerful are words left unsaid.
As I predicted, viewers of Outlander on Starz learned that Claire was a woman worth caring about http://wp.me/p4mtBT-ah and Outlander has fulfilled its potential to be something different. It has told a story full characters who possess redeeming qualities who grapple with choices, moral and ethical dilemmas and often choose to put their own interests aside for the sake of another. A rarity on TV for sure. These two final episodes meant something to viewers because of the time and care that was given to character and plot development. We care about what happens to these ” people”.
The acting was once again stellar. I’m happy to say that although Tobias’ portrayal of Black Jack was perfectly perverse the scenes were truly and rightfully about Jamie. Sam let us see Jamie thinking and feeling. His ability to emote continues to astound. I felt the tension in his body, the pain and the shame. Although there were wonderful lines spoken, they were “no but weak words” when compared to the story we SAW. There were images on my TV tonight that will not likely be forgotten. Jamie’s absent face as he lay on the pallet reminding BJR of his promise to kill him and his devastation following his orgasm at the hands of his rapist. The prison scenes truly exceeded my expectations and I cannot say enough about the dedication to their craft exhibited by everyone involved. Emmy worthy. Ground-breaking. It was a brutally honest portrayal of rape and its aftermath.
For the most part, being a fan of the books has not seriously interfered with my enjoyment of the show. I have learned to relax and trust that Ron and crew were doing justice to my beloved source material and characters. However, despite Diana’s warning to “put the book down”, tonight I found there were scenes where I couldn’t. Tonight, I felt the adaptation missed the mark and a particular scene lost its magic and meaning. Diana is an amazing wordsmith. Her mystical version of what happened in that Abby, truly showed me that Claire was willing to go into hell to get Jamie back. She was willing to take the risk of dying at his hands because if she failed she would lose him and she couldn’t live without him. It was powerful.
I’ve read what critics and other’s who had seen the finale said about their reaction to this particular scene. They were sobbing with a gut wrenching connection to characters on a TV show, something they had never experienced before. I believe them. It was a beautifully filmed and acted episode. I probably would have felt the same, had I not read the books. I wanted that experience! I wanted to be so moved I couldn’t breathe! It isn’t what I got and quite frankly, I’m jealous. Words in a book robbed me of having that meaningful experience with this scene. I’m afraid lavender oil and a couple of slaps on the face were not enough to bring Jamie back from the hell he inhabited in the books. I wanted to see them wrestle the demons and win. I wanted Jamie to build that lean-to for his soul to take shelter in. The show previews for the last episode showed Murtaugh asserting that SOMEONE needed to go into the darkness with Jamie and get him out. The Episode’s name To Ransom a Man’s Soul helped to fuel my belief that we would indeed see Claire go there. But, what I got instead were “no but weak words”. I wanted to scream that’s it? It was too easy.
To be fair, despite my disappointment over this scene, most scenes were wonderful and meaningful. Like showing me exactly why living was the worst thing that could have happened to Jamie. Sam’s portrayal of a broken man was painful to watch and yet,…so moving I couldn’t look away. Once again, words were not important. I didn’t need to understand Gaelic to understand what was happening between Murtaugh and Jamie. I could read the fear for Jamie on Murtagh and Claire’s faces and felt their desperation to help him. What words are strong enough to convince a man longing for death to live? So much was communicated without using “no but weak words” .
Overall, It was a fitting ending to a well told story. Love of Claire was still the only thing powerful enough to move Jamie to make an unthinkable choice, to choose to live.
As Ron once said Outlander was, “a ripping good yarn”.
With my own weak words, I’d like to try to express how I feel as this season comes to a close. This has been a singular experience for me. My favorite book series was made into a TV series and I have gotten to be there from the beginning. From the beginning, we have had unprecedented access to the people creating our “dream come true” of seeing our favorite story and characters come to life. They interacted with us lowly fans. I can’t help but feel that if we didn’t have this particular collection of people we wouldn’t have had the same experience. Because of this unprecedented interaction with the author, the folks creating the show and the fans, my life has been enriched.
I have made real-life friends with fans I have met on Twitter! I have engaged in wonderful discussions about the book and show that have challenged my thinking. Outlander fans are smart. If you want to get into a philosophical or intellectual discussion with them you better be prepared! I might not always agree with everyone, but I always walk away from these discussions with new perspective.
I have, thanks to the Outlander phenomenon, discovered I love to write. I’m a writer. Who knew? Certainly not me. For that discovery, I will be eternally grateful.
Watching that ship sail away left me with the same feelings I had when I finished the book. I felt a lump in my throat and an ache in heart because my friends were going away and I will miss them. But, I know I will see them again and I smile when I realize the story of their lives together has only begun.
Thank you all for reading my ramblings ….Beth