A BROKEN MADONNA
I remember the blood most of all. The blood that wasn’t supposed to be there. The blood that was too much. The blood that wouldn’t stop. I remember lying on a sterile table in a cold sterile room surrounded by strangers. I stared up at the operating room lights and tried not to feel as I heard their efforts to clean my womb. I remember the pain that did not result in joy and always the child that would only live in corners of my soul.
Last week, in my look ahead to episode 7, I discussed miscarriage http://wp.me/p57847-o0A. I talked of statistics, grief, and guilt. My readers told me their stories of loss and lingering sorrow. My own story resulted in the decision to not have more children, but they told me of bravely trying again and as a result, finally experiencing the joy of motherhood. Others shared that they had tried and tried again…and again. I cannot fathom how they coped with that cycle of hope and despair. All shared they had never forgotten the children they never knew. I was moved by their stories. And, so, I hoped that Outlander would be able to show us a story that reflected the truth of expectancy miscarried. They did. They showed us a broken Madonna.
This was storytelling at its best. They told a honest tale of how sometimes life breaks us and they did it with such astounding insight. Once again, Outlander has honored its subject matter by allowing the audience to see the full measure of the effects of an event like miscarrying a child. They didn’t gloss over, sensationalize or romanticize Claire’s trauma instead they chose to show us the depth of this woman’s suffering that then allowed the audience to experience empathy in a powerful way. This episode showed us the power of compassion and forgiveness.
THE STAGES OF GRIEF
I don’t know if the writers and producers decided to show us Claire navigating the stages of grief, but it is what I saw and I was able to respond to the story they were telling with connections to my own life and experiences with grief.
My daughter is a photographer and especially gifted at capturing images of people’s beauty and personality. She has volunteered to take pictures of servicemen in that moment they finally come home to their families and birthday parties for 95 year-old grandmas or grandpas who may not be here much longer, and Senior portraits for a girl who is confined to a wheelchair and disfigured from a car accident and needs to feel beautiful, and pictures of babies “born dead”. She volunteered because she felt it was important, a way to help these grieving parents say goodbye. But, she found she couldn’t despite a desire to help because it was just too much, too much grief, too much sadness. She needed to stop for her own self-care.
I don’t often write about the actual filming of the scenes, but, the way the camera closed in, panned out or gave us angles of perspective added so much to the telling of this story. We are first given a close up of Claire’s face her eyes swollen with crying, pale, expressionless and reminiscent of Jamie on the pallet at Wentworth. The camera pans out so that we may float on the ceiling looking down on the blood and the birth turned butchery. She later awakens and we see her try to make sense of where she is and what has happened. They kept it real and allowed Claire to be a woman whose body has been changed by her pregnancy instead of bowing to a sexier/less realistic representation. I knew what she felt when she touched that empty belly so recently vacated. Her panic was a true indication that she knows something is wrong and yet,…denial, ” No, it isn’t possible”. Her confusion and changing feelings were all expressed in rapid and yet moving succession. She demanded and pleaded for the baby she knew must be there. The flashback scenes of her holding and crooning her love to her dead baby were so poignant.
A worried Mother Hildegarde calls in Louise to try and reach her friend who won’t surrender her dead baby. As Louise approaches Claire, we see her touch her own child and we feel her compassion for another mother.
“She is an angel.”
No metaphor was ever more true and Claire knows it is time to let go, but how? When she kissed her child goodbye, I took a ragged breath and said a small prayer for all those who must kiss their children goodbye.
When I was in eighth grade, my Uncle Chuck finally came home from Vietnam and my grandmother finally got to take the placard of a star, that designated them the parents of a soldier, out of the parlor window. He seemed to be adjusting well and she was finally able to sleep at night without worrying that a uniformed soldier might come to her door with news. It wasn’t a soldier who came to her door it was a deputy sheriff.
I remember being woken in the middle of the night by my mother’s voice raised in anger. She was screaming “How could he! How could he!”. I wandered down the stairs and was confused by the tableau I saw in our dining room. I couldn’t figure out why my Uncle Harry was there or why my step-father was hanging his head with tears in his eyes or why my mother was furious. My Uncle Chuck was home one month from his third tour in Vietnam and was killed in a car accident trying to avoid hitting a deer. My mother was angry because he had gotten himself killed. This was my first exposure to the different forms grief can take. The anger isn’t always rational, but someone must be blamed for such an inconsolable loss.
Mother Hildegarde’s conversation with Claire was a brilliant example of what often happens in the case of miscarriage/still birth. Claire is grieving and she is filling in the “utter void” left by Faith with anger and blame directed at Jamie. The dialogue here was so revealing of grief and the use of anger to cope.
“My husband betrayed me mother… a year of mercy is all I asked…Revenge mattered more to him than me or his child. He might as well have run his sword through me”.
“God bids us to revel in mercy, tread sins underfoot, and throw iniquities into the sea.”
“I’m not sure there is a sea deep enough”.
Many who experience such loss cope by wrapping themselves in blame, naming sins, and never find that sea.
I promise I’ll never…I promise I will…If you give me this…
Very few of us that grieve have not at least thought of a bargain with God or the universe. Like children we beg and offer to change or sacrifice if only this would not be true. Claire doesn’t bargain for Faith and I was so moved by her expression of total loss, “My sins are all I have”. Acknowledging she is still angry with Jamie, once she hears why he broke his promise she bargains for his life with her virtue, “I will count it among the things I’ve lost in Paris”.
When bargaining doesn’t work and anger exhausts us, depression moves in. Our loss colors everything. We see the world through grey fog. Life has beaten us and changed us.
Claire’s fragility was so piteous. We could tell by the troubled look on wee Fergus’ face and the offering of flowers he still held that the woman we were about to see was altered. I was so moved by the servants waiting to welcome an obviously loved Milady home. I couldn’t help but feel those steps from the carriage to the house were some of the most difficult she has ever taken. Even in her weakened state she tries so hard to give these people what she can. Her not allowing Magnus to bow to her and bowing to him instead was so Claire. She is not a respecter of personage, she does not judge anyone by anything but their heart.
We see her face devoid of emotion as Fergus brushes her hair,…a child caring for an adult is always so heart breaking. It’s not supposed to be that way. Then when she is drawn to the spoons, I was reminded of unused baby clothes and a prepared nursery waiting for a child that will never come and I understood how this joyous gift now only serves as a reminder of her loss. She angrily pulls on her robe in the need to take some sort of action and quickly realizes she has nowhere to go and nothing she can do and falls apart.
Loss changes us. But, life it goes on. Acceptance is the bittersweet stage of the grieving process. It isn’t about suddenly being okay or “over it” because we are never okay with this kind of loss. It is rather about accepting a new reality.
The “will you make me beg”scene between Jamie and Claire was one of my favorites in the books and one of the three scenes I picked preseason as having the potential for award winning performances. The scene was different from the books, but no less convincing in its portrayal of the power of acceptance, compassion and forgiveness.
“The weight of what has happened here is too much for anyone of us to bear alone. The only way we can live with it is to carry it. Together.”
In my opinion, Outlander has fulfilled its promise of being something different. They continue to show us the story of two decent people who want to do the right thing and struggle with choices, people who admit their mistakes, make sacrifices for the sake of others, and choose to forgive. It is a rarity on TV to be sure. There was so much in this episode to write about and talk about, but I think for now, I’ll concentrate on this story-line of loss and how it affects everyone it touches. This breathtakingly wonderful adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s story of Jamie and Claire was able to capture the depth and wonder of this rich and complex story. I would like to thank everyone who has so lovingly cared for this story, the actors who moved me, the writers who spoke to my heart, those who guided performances and filmed perspectives that added to our understanding, those that helped create the costumes and sets that helped suspend our disbelief and made these people and this world real.
This episode reminded me once again of how lucky we are to have had this story given over to such a serendipitous group of people. People who care. I thought of all the complaining about shortened episodes, petty differences from the book, a heroine characterized as selfish, and a lack of sex in the former episodes and wondered how difficult it must have been for them all to stay silent knowing what was to come in this episode. I wouldn’t have traded that moment of Claire’s self-awareness and Jamie’s compassion for all the hot sex in the world. There are wonderful lessons to be learned about what it means to be human here for those who care to look and I for one will have “faith” that Ron D. Moore and company will continue to do honor to the story of Jamie and Claire.
152 thoughts on “The Madonna Breaks…A Reflection on Outlander 2.7”
Beth, I don’t know your background or what you do for a living, but if you aren’t a writer, you better quit your day-job and do this full time. I read almost every Oulander-ish article, post, story, but your assessments are by far the most insightful and thought provoking of any I read. Thank you for sharing your wise perspectives.
Wow. Thank you.
I agree, Beth. This made me cry all over again. You are very, VERY GOOD. Thank you for the wonderful post.
Beth, your assessments poetically touch the heart*
Beautifully said. As a Hamilton fan too, many things about Jamie and Claire remind me of Alexander and Eliza. This episode brings to mind the gorgeous yet heartbreaking song “It’s Quiet Uptown” about the loss of their child and her forgiveness of him. Many of the lyrics apply to this story:
“There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
You hold your child as tight as you can
And push away the unimaginable”
Beautifully said. I can’t offer more than that. I’m crying again.
I barely got through writing it.
My tears were rolling again too, such was the power of your beautiful and touching words.
Thank You Beth.
as always your review is exceptional
But I have one why the date on Faith’s stone: 1944?
I think it is just the “font” (using today’s vernacular) that was used… It actually does say 1744.
Yes, I looked twice.
If you watch it again it shows 1744 not 1944. It’s the 7 that looks like a 9. It’s like when people thought Jaime saying I owe him a debt but actually he says death.
In 201, Claire and Jamie arrive in 1745 France. In 207, Faith’s stone state 1744. Did Faith go back in time? Are we missing something?
Meril tweeted that there was a mistake with the Chyron for EP1 and EP2. It stated France 1745 and Paris 1745 but both should have been 1744. They corrected it in the digital versions, but for whatever reason could not correct the broadcast versions.
Beth, What a wonderful review, tears in my eyes just reading your words.
You have a gift for writing
Thank you Nancy
Guess I’m not finished crying, yet. Thank you, Beth for this wonderful reflection. I have “faith” in Moore’s team and that you will write something beautiful for me to read each week. 💝
Tears streaming down my face. I have no words.
Thank for putting our feelings into such lovely words. Your weekly review is always among my favorites & the absolute BEST this week! You remind me that it is the ‘realness’ of life experiences that made me a book fan and I too am so thankful that the show hasn’t shied away from doing the same. Xx
I thought this episode was magnificent. Thank you for your recap. You always manage to put what I’m feeling into words so eloquently. Your blog is always my first to go to after an episode.
Thanks Mary I love to write so I’m glad you love to read!
Thank you Beth.
Even though a movie or tv show might move me, I rarely get so emotional that I actually cry. I know that it is fiction. The people on the screen are actors. I did tear up as I watched ep 7, though. The story, Cait and Sam were just so good!
But YOU…you are real and your words have translated that fiction into reality for me. Thank you.
Your last paragraph is also exactly what I was thinking after watching last nite.
I wept again as I read your words. How lucky for Outlander fans who have come to love this story, and these characters over two plus decades, to fall in love with it all over again, and to see this epic tale brought to life!
Exactly how I feel
This episode was stunning and masterfully executed.
I have no words. Thank you, Beth, for having the right ones for me.
We cried at this review because the heart cannot contain the level of grief E207 portrayed. We can’t process it. You have a way of breaking it down, each level defined, the why of if all and the personal way it affected each of us. There are no words to express this kind of grief and yet Beth Wesson , you finds those words for us.
That made me cry!
Honestly, sometimes I feel silly saying that Outlander changed my life. Something physiologically changed in me after Outlander. Fictional characters, yes but so beautifully crafted and with such depth but life changing? I feel the same thing about E207, it changed me.
Sent from my iPhone
Not silly I understand totally
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This quote rings through my head every time I watch this episode.
No matter how many times I’ve watched Faith this weekend, it doesn’t get any easier to stay unemotional. It is by far the most heartbreaking episode I’ve ever watched and I will never forget the lessons it taught.
I’ve never had the opportunity to have a baby, but my heart is shredded by Caitriona’s portrayal of a mother going through the stages of saying goodbye to her daughter. No one watching this episode can deny that Cait gave a realistic performance deserving of an Emmy.
It’s probably a good thing that Jamie wasn’t there. He would have gone crazy seeing what Claire went through while Mother Hildegarde and Foret were trying to save her life. I’m surprised she didn’t die from blood loss!
These two have gone through so much heartbreak during their time together but somehow managed to not lose their hold on each other. It’s going to be an even more difficult road ahead, but the love and trust they share will keep them strong.
If you get a chance, listen to Ron Moore’s podcast for episode 207. It will give you a better perspective on how this episode was put together. Slainte!
Thanks I don’t get listen to podcast often. They eat min internet minutes like crazy!
You can download them and listen on your ipod or computer… 🙂
Downloading eats my minutes too! 😂😂😂 I should get hazard pay for living so far out!
I so agree with your insights into this episode. It was beautifully crafted. The cinematography was sublime. I will watch it again. But it moved me so that I could not watch it again back to back as is my usual custom ! Kudos to all for fabulous production values and superb acting by the principals. I loved it, even as it broke my heart. Achingly beautiful.
I need to start using words like beautifully crafted and cinematic value! Thank you!
I have to agree with you whole heartedly Beth! Faith was a much bigger episode than I could’ve ever imagined. From Claire’s grief and ultimate self realization to her ability to be selfless and forgiving was brutally difficult to watch but beautifully done. What an episode!
Love reading weekly – great stuff!
Your analysis along with last night’s episode deeply touched me. Both, evoked memories and emotions that I have chosen to place in the deepest recessed part of myself. When you say ” I was able to respond to the story they were telling with connections to my own life and experiences with grief” this statement hit home for me. I cannot effectively express how it makes me feel to see that someone cared; creator, writer, etc. and thought the molestation of Fergus was important to include in the episode. As a victim, I was able to connect with Fergus. Despite the violation committed upon him he was able to show Claire love and compassion in just the stroking of her hair; that moment was beautiful to watch… When he said he was too ashamed to tell, and felt that he should have been quiet and not cried out… that scene for me was overwhelming, but necessary to show how the victim thinks and feels; even at such a young age. The grief I felt at losing my childhood innocence at age 9 at the hands of another was devastating. More devastating was the fact that my predator never paid a price for what he did to me, as well as my best friend, his own sister; this was due to our silence. This episode made me wish at the time I had a Jamie in my life to defend me and hold the perpetrator accountable… I wish I had a Claire in my life to help ease the pain and provide the compassion and understanding one requires when dealing with the trauma of rape, at any age. I wish I had told. For me, (after therapy, which I strongly encourage for all rape victims) discovering and reading DG’S books pushed me to feel again; by connecting with the characters she brought to life on the pages of her books, I was able to allow true emotions for others to surface and be expressed again. Your reviews are not only an analysis of these episodes but, they are thought provoking and provide deep insight to the many complexities of life. I can only hope that you are a writer by profession, you have so much to offer others…. Thank you for writing and expressing on paper what I believe most of us feel!…..Thank you DG for these wonderful books… and thank you Outlander the series for touching on difficult subjects with the utmost care and compassion and bringing these life altering events to light. The performances of Sam and Cait and all involved in episode 207 deserve a standing ovation.
Powerful words. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Thank you for reading
Thank you for sharing your story. There is so much noise around rape depictions on TV right now that it’s often hard for me, as someone who has not had to carry the weight of that experience, to sort through the noise to get to the actual impact. Those that say it’s triggering to the survivors and they shouldn’t be put through it again, and those that say it’s gratuitous and we don’t need to see it. People are different, survivors are all different and will have different reactions. More and more I put little stock in the voices that say “we don’t need to see that…it’s TOO much”, as it seems very much like another way to blame and marginalize victims to safeguard our own fragile emotions and sensibilities. A way to hide the darkness we humans do to each other.
As you mentioned, it needs to be brought out into the light…with care. It has to be depicted with sensitivity and honesty, emotions and consequences. Most TV is not interested in doing that. The actual act of rape seems to be just the first pebble that starts a lifelong landslide. Most TV and movies casually drop the pebble and turn their backs on the devastation. Outlander allows you, maybe requires you, to dwell in the emotion and consequences of that pebble drop and it is never casual. As a viewer but not a survivor, I can only watch an honest, consequential depiction and try and process what that must feel like. I will never come close to getting it right. I was touched to read that you found compassion and understanding from Jamie, Claire and Fergus.
what a wonderful empathetic response
Diana, Thank you so much for your response….it means a great deal….
Actually, yes some experience counseling. I’m a high school teacher who just discovered her love of writing. Thank you
Wow! I just love that you’re a high school teacher! How fortunate for your students. Hopefully, you’re secretly writing your first novel, just like Diana Gabaldon did when she wrote Outlander. And look where that lead: to all of us applauding your writing and admitting that reading it gives some of us the strength to face down demons that our literary heroes, Claire & Jamie, faced in Diana’s beloved books. A lovely circle if you ask me.
Because she wrote a book many of our lives have become enriched
I love that you’re a high school teacher! believe Diana Gabaldon never intended to show anyone her first novel that became Outlander. Fortunately for all of us, she did get it published because that led us to the here and now, discussing not just the beloved story and every wonderful thing the TV production has done with it, but we can applaud your lovely writing. I hope you write your book(s) someday so I can get in line to buy it.
Writing a novel isn’t as easy as it sounds 😂
Tes I thought I responded to your post, but I don’t see it here. I was very moved by your response and would love to be able to share it. Would you mind?
Beth, please feel free to share..
Oh my…has anyone read the script??..it will make you cry all over again.. The additional lines spoken in the apartment scene between Jamie & Claire, which were left out, are also wonderful and worth reading…get your hanky out..you’re going to need it…..
Tes, tonight I will think of your story. With gratitude that you would share it … and with sorrow that you had to go through it.
Nancy, Thank you…I cannot find the words to express how deeply your comment has touched my heart..❤
I wrote this post to Diana write after watching the episode early on Starz Play, and now I repeat it to you. I don’t have your gift for words or your analysis skills. I’m only a simple woman with deep emotions. Thank you for so beautifully expressing them in words in a way I never could.
My two angels, Thaddeus 5/27/93 and Mary 4/18/03.
Episode 7: Faith was so beautifully done. Watching Cait and Sam was like watching my husband and I all over again. Thank you and Ron for giving a voice to so many grieving parents. Our babies did exist, and they were loved.
“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.”- Jeremiah 1:5
Magnificent! Truly, this is a tour de force of interpretation. Any one of us who have suffered deep loss and the agony of trying to put our lives back together can identify with this single episode alone even if all the others are beautifully done as well. Beth, I absorb your thoughts and story telling like you were sitting across my kitchen table unloading your impressions into my heart. I can’t thank you enough for putting your feelings down in such a way to comfort, inform and interpret such a tale. This TV series all by itself has touched emotions in a way of profound impact. I keep reading comments of “never before in a show” or “how incredible to portray this way”. Hats off to every single individual who creates such impressions and to people, you, Beth, in particular who have a gift of commentary second to none! Thanks for your methods to heal my broken heart too.
Fully agree. I am finding I respond much more strongly emotionally to the episodes written by the female writers. No surprise I guess. This was the particular chapter in all of the books that always made me sob. The loss of a dream and the perceived betrayal of the heart. It worked just as well in the tv show. You are right that the directing here was masterful. As always, thanks for sharing your insights.
Thanks Jackie I always love hearing from you.
All that I feel has been expressed by the previous comments. Add my name to the long list of readers/viewers who admire and appreciate your insights and beautifully written words. I am undone and consider myself fortunate to be a part of this journey.
Thank you and I am amazed by this adaptation
Thank you Beth for your wisdom. I agree. It must have been difficult for Sam, Caite and all others involved to keep quiet knowing this was coming. It all came together and makes sense now. Jamie’s distance, Claire’s bossiness/anger. It was all leading to this. Some of us, including myself, were too quick to criticize RM and the writers. It was a difficult story to tell in 13 episodes but done beautifully. Our feelings and thoughts on problems as we saw them were real to us because it was the intended effect of the writers. I see that now. It was a very brave step for all involved to trust their audience to remain on board during this difficult journey. Award worthy for all involved!
Thank you Beth. I was in tears again reading your analysis. One of my sisters miscarried her first child so I have a little understanding of the feelings of losing a child. My own story is different. My husband and I were not blessed with children until our ‘child of the heart’ arrived. We both suffered each month when it became apparent that once again we were not pregnant. It seemed like everyone around us was doing so easily even those who weren’t sure they even wanted children. Finally after six years of tests, medications and trying, we decided to adopt. The inability to conceive is not quite as devastating as losing a child but is a loss also of the possibility of a child.
Midge I hope the adoption ushered in the possibility of a child for you that you thought you might not have had.
Thank you. Yes it did. Our son is 29 now and the light of my life (lost my husband 13 years ago though).
Your beautifully written review of this incredible episode nearly left me as demolished as the episode itself. Thank you for your thoughts and sharing your feelings about what was probably the most beautifully acted and written hour of television I have seen in ages.
I was trying to think if I have ever seen anything that covered this subject matter this well and I came up blank.
I always love reading your take on the Outlander series. I have not yet seen the episode (live in Canada), but what you have written made me cry. Having lost someone very dear in my life, I recognize the stages of grief and you have detailed them SO well! My heart goes out to you for your loss and I appreciate that you are willing to share what has happened to you personally. Absolutely love how this series has been presented (by all concerned), and hope that you continue to share your thoughts. I have read all the books numerous times and can only say that what has been presented to us in the TV series is stellar. Take care, and please keep writing – you do it so well!
We are very lucky fans
Beth, my mind and emotions have been in a whirlwind since watching Outlander last night. Today your analysis and the many stories shared by the ladies here have only added to the turmoil of emotions . I have always felt that fiction is only a step away from reality. I believe Claire is ” everywoman.” Thank you for always knowing what to say for us.
Very touching, and reading the comments has me in tears again. I watched it first alone, because I too lost a baby years ago in the first trimester, on the very day a friend of mine was in the same hospital giving birth to her child. It is hard to convey the true emotions that are felt in such an event, but DIA and the show and this post certainly have struck a chord with many, myself included.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts
Readers have Diana’s novellas as companions to the books. I have your writings as companions to the show. You never fail to add to my understanding or express my own thoughts in words. Today you brought me to tears by sharing your own pain. Last night I cried for a fictional friend, today I cried for you as well.
awwww…now I’m crying. Thank you
Once again, Beth, your superb and touching analysis of this episode was really quite brilliant and I want to thank you. I was worried that much of the emotional points of the story would somehow be minimalist or rushed. But when I heard that Toni G wrote the script, I settled down a little. Ron Moore is brilliant to use the talents of his writing staff so beautifully. And if there was ever a story that required a woman’s interpretation, this was it. So much fragility from a superb performance by Cait and such tender and touching rendering of every scene left me weepy and humbled by the talent and love all involved demonstrate every single week. Thank you to every one of you for such compassionate insight.
Love Love Love your blog posts on each episode! I was very excited to read your blog post for this episode. You’re the only one I read reviews from. I trust yours the best. 😉
Cait’s acting in this episode was the best, and it shows how amazing she is as an actress! So many tears this episode. I couldn’t help crying during the scene where Claire had to give up Faith, and her uncontrollable crying broke my heart. We’re so used to seeing Claire as the strong and selfless person that she is, but in that moment we could see how broken she was. I love Claire for so many reasons. The last scene with Jamie and Claire was just beautiful! I can’t wait to read more of Diana’s books. 🙂
You are making your teacher so proud right now!
Aww! I’m glad to. I miss your classes so much! I’m almost finished with Voyager. 🙂
Yea it’s one of my favs!
What an outstanding, wonderful and heartfelt review. It made me cry all over again. My sister and daughter had to suffer through miscarriages, and I could only whisper, sorry, not knowing. You and this episode opened my eyes, but still I cannot fully know. Brava!
Your thoughtful and affecting writing about this episode brought me to tears. I was not in anyway expecting such a deeply personal and emotional post. A couple of sentences into the first paragraph the tears welled up and I said “OH!” I sat up a bit and tried to prepare myself for what must be coming…and grabbed a tissue so I could see the screen.
I’m new to your blog posts but am so, SO grateful to Terry Dresbach for leading me to this hidden gem. What has touched me deeply in your analysis and writing is the thought, honesty and emotion with which you talk about each episode in context with reality. For me, that is the solid beating heart of Outlander. It is a personal, emotional tale that takes you to many places physically, mentally and emotionally. With each episode I grow more and more thankful for the serendipity that brought the books to Terry, that brought Terry and Ron together, that brought the books to the TV screen (as a movie never could have done them justice), and that assembled the cast and crew to create such beauty each week. Some awesome magic occurs in that studio in Cumbernald and I am grateful and appreciative to ever single person that touches the show all the way down to the person who sweeps up at night. I too have faith it’s in good hands.
I will be the first to put up my hand and say I was cranky about how somethings were done in S1…OK, that’s a lie. I will reluctantly put up my hand as I slink down in my chair in the back of the room so as not to be noticed and say I was a bit pissy about how some of S1 was done. Mostly it came down to I wanted book Jamie from day 1. But I now see how much more interesting a character he is to see him grow and become that man he will be.
So I have released any expectations about book accuracy and how things “should” be and just sit back and enjoy the feast I’m given. I will still quibble about sloppy story telling as we got in ep 6 with the hole between the fight and all’s well. I am even beginning to feel like knowing what’s coming is a detriment as I would like to be surprised. I encourage book readers to work on letting go or you will never be satisfied. The TV show will never play out exactly as the book did and 8-10 years (god willing!) is a long time to be dissatisfied.
Now that you have found a love of writing, I hope you pursue it as you have quite an innate talent for it. (I will strive for less novella like comments in the future ; )
Happy to read that you saw “the light”. There really have done an amazing job in adapting the books. People need to trust that all will be well. You can still get pissy but considering all they have to accomplish in about 55 minutes they ALL deserve awards. If they don’t something IS wrong with the universe!!!
I just get a little scared sometimes 😘
Diana, I enjoyed your novella. I’m heartened to hear that you are making an effort to put aside your previous disappointments with how the series differs from the books. I also would have liked to see some kind of resolution of the huge fight between Jamie & Claire at the end of E205. I really craved that but I get weary of the public bad-mouthing (not you😉) against RDM about how he didn’t do this or that right. Outlander is the best thing on TV and so far as j can see he is hitting it out of the park.
I agree with that as well. Outlander is the best TV I have seen, ever ! I do love the books and always will. The show , for me has enhanced the books in that I get a visual . The Whole production has been done with incredible detail and passion. It truly shows that they all care about the books and want to help everyone love them as well. I watch them, buy the DVD’s, read blogs,and am on twitter to follow Outlander. I love it too.
😂 you are fine! I love hearing what my readers think. I always gain perspective
God Beth you 😍❤. Thanks a lot. We all need to move us and cry. It helps. For not forget being human and in the same boat. “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee” J.D. Good life & luck, brothers & sisters
I usually have something to say, some comment about how it should be or how much I liked this or that but…this episode just blew me away on so many levels. I’m speechless.
I hear you
Thank you Beth for your insightful recap of the episode. There are few other writers who could capture the sadness and despair of such a deep loss with such poignancy.
While I have loved, watched and rewatched each episode of Outlander – this is the one that will stay with me.
“This is the one that will stay with me”
Beth-I had forgotten to mention how happy was was to hear utter…
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ
I loved how they snuck that in.
Cathy i seriously could have written forever about this episode but felt a focus might have been better 😂
One question I would like to ask everyone’s opinion on. I keep seeing reviews saying Claire was raped by the King. Certainly it was something that she was not excited to do or enjoyed doing, but I’m concerned about tossing around the word rape as it is truly an awful thing to do to another person. I saw it as a transaction, an unpleasant transaction but one she agreed to as the price of Jamie’s release. Thoughts Beth…anyone else?
I’ve noticed that word tossed around too in some reviews. I don’t think it should be used in this context. Toni Graphia used that term as well and I was a little surprised. Claire had to make that choice, there was no other, albeit she was reluctant…I guess she gave reluctant consent but I wouldn’t call it rape.
I agree, rape is misplaced. A blackmail.
A bad power’s use. But, at the end, good thing, with a loyal power’s use Jamie still would be in jail! And He committed a crime. Consider, also, at the time, a forbidden duel was surely worst than a rape!!!
I think she knew before she went “sacrificing her virtue ”
I agree that rape was not the description, transaction is more accurate. I thought Toni Graphia was speaking of Fergus’s rape. I guess I may have been wrong.
No, I never viewed it as rape. She knew exactly what she was doing. And the scene was done very well – quick! And I loved that Claire shushed her skirts down with a bit of disgust and I silently said “brava!” when she picked up that orange on her way out (a kind of FU to Louis).
I thought that moment was great. I couldn’t believe I actually laughed and then a second later it was serious again. I didn’t see it as disgust but rather her pulling her dignity back on.
Did anyone else notice the orange on the table behind Jamie on the couch? It only shows up in one frame, I think right after Claire begins to blame herself and Jamie says “Frank is your family too.” Nice
Absolutely, dignity. But with Claire’s strength, a bit of disgust as well, I believe. I can’t imagine what’s going on in her 20th century mind.
Good gravy!!! I’ll have to watch it AGAIN to see the orange in the later scene. I’m amazed how much detail those folks can get into the storyline. I try to catch it all and watch numerous times. Kind of like reading a book many times – learning new things each time. Outlander never seizes to amaze me.
In the book Claire states the king didn’t “finish” because he couldn’t risk having an illegitimate bastard. IMO it wasn’t rape.
Well done Beth! Look at all of these beautiful responses to your very personal and honest story. People appreciate it on so many levels. ::hand clap::
Very well said, Beth, both empathetically and analytically.
I don’t watch TV much any more for a variety of reasons and have been reluctant to engage in fandom conversations because of the pettiness and bickering often associated with them. Over the years I’ve had issues with some of the books in the Outlander series, things I liked and things I didn’t. There have also been few moments that gave me pause in the TV series. Taken whole cloth however, both the books and the series, though different at times from one another have brought real pleasure into my life.
Episode 7 was superb on more levels than I can name. While I do not have personal experience with the loss of a child, I am a mother and I am a friend who has watched more than one dear friend that has struggled with the loss of a child. More than one friend who had to come home and dismantle a nursery and endure the comments of “It was meant to be.” and “You’ll have another one soon.” I saw a tweet fro Caitriona Balfe saying that they had “put their heart into the episode.” It showed and I am so grateful for their efforts.
Thank you for your insightful comments that allows for conversation that is a step above.
Beth, I am not a mother and haven’t lost a child but episode moved me. I managed to hold in the tears until she came home and curtsied to Magnus. Then I lost it. It was an amazing and powerful episode. Caitriona at her best. Thanks for another great blog. I look forward to it every week.
Thank you for this brilliantly written piece. We all have memories buried in our mind and I found the tears flowing freely as much as this gut renching episode from so many people who really care about our favorite unforgettable couple.
I have had three miscarriages, two before my son and one between my son and my daughter. They occurred early in the pregnancy so none were still births. I pretty much held it together in this episode until Claire began to sing to her angel. Such devastating heartache. Then when Jamie placed the spoon on Faith’s marker I was a mess. I love these characters.
Saying farewell to the French ensemble was difficult. They are remarkable actors. The pause in the king’s library as Claire leaves gives us a final glance at the magnificent set designs. They have been amazing as well as the gorgeous costumes.
The entire Outlander team is to be praised and applauded.
Thank you, Beth, for your writing as well. I always look forward to your insight. Now, let’s prepare for Scotland and what awaits our family there.
Ty for sharing 💔
I, too, have experienced the loss of a baby in pregnancy. That was in 1978, and while the pain has healed, the experience is always with me. The guilt of not being able to fulfill my destiny as a mother – then – was all-consuming. My husband tried in his way to be there. Even his devotion could not comfort me for a long time. But two more pregnancies would give me two beautiful daughters. That was so many years ago – and I have laid my guilt down many times over.
I knew that this episode would be difficult. I knew there would be changes. I never expected the beauty, the heartbreak, the love, the anguish, the incredible telling of this part of story. I related to it, cried tears that I thought were long dried. It exceeded everything I thought it would be. Cait’s performance was magnificent – I felt every single emotion – literally felt my belly contract with her pain. Her tears were mine. I have NEVER felt such emotion in any movie or tv show. It went beyond cinematic production. It touched some inner part of me. I’m not sure if I’m grateful or stunned or sad or relieved. Maybe all. But mostly, I felt some kind of closure. Yes, after 30+ years, I felt that. I’m not sure I have ever felt that even though I believed I did. There will never be anything that remotely comes close to what was portrayed in this episode. There are probably some viewers that will scoff and say “wtf”, but to a lot of us, this was a pivotal moment of something deeply personal – yet shown to the world in such a loving and emotional way.
Reading your personal experience touched me as well. I am sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing it. You are a brilliant writer. Beyond your insightful words about Outlander, you bring a sense of well-being about life in general. We all have our personal stories of love and loss. You are able to capture our emotions that somehow mirror your own.
All that being said, I am so happy that Jamie and Claire have finally found their way back to one another. Yes, we know what they face. But they face it together.
With respect and love, thanks Beth!
Beth, this was so beautiful! Thank you for your wonderful words and insight, I noticed those same stages of grief as I watched, reliving my own. This was an amazing episode and they honored all of us who have been through this. I heard that Starz didn’t give them 13 episodes but 13 hours. So the shortening of the last two episodes was in order to give the time to this one. I am so thankful they did that.
Someone early said I understand it all now it all came together this episode
Beth, you have a true gift! The way you explained each stage of grief was amazing. Having gone through this also, I can say you were spot on. I look forward to your reviews and love your writing style. Thank you!
Thank you Beth for your spot on assessment of this episode. I felt much the same as you. I have the honor of being the nurse caring for families experiencing this most heart breaking loss. I remember reading the book and felt Diana Gabaldon did an excellent job. I feel the episode followed the book and brought to life what I read remarkably . The Whole episode was done so well and am teary each time I watch it. Thank you again for this blog.
Gosh, I just watched this episode again! There are a lot of touching parts, but for me, when Claire steps of the carriage with Fergus at home, I start to cry every time (4 times). As she approaches Magnus and puts her hand on his chest to stop him from bowing to her and thanks him, wow. The look on her face is so broken with pain yet grateful, I think, to Magnus. He went with her to the forest, comforted her on the way to the hospital, took care of her in her time of need. Claire’s tears and Magnus’ quiet gratitude was so well done. And I have to add that the music that played during that scene so haunting and so heart wrenching!
Oh my god! Magnus is where I started sobbing. That broke my heart.
Yes Magnus and Claire allowing Louise to take Faith from her hands. I was a crying mess.