Things I’m “Out”lawing, Slow Mo and fade to black…My reflection on Outlander Episode 2.8

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meh.

I was very underwhelmed.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure I would write about this week’s episode because I didn’t want to join the complainers club.  But, then I was reminded of something I read.  Okay, it was actually something I wrote. One of the disadvantages of writing your thoughts down is that they can have a tendency to come back and bite you in the ass or serve as a public record of your conscience!

It would be irrational to think that her big books could be adapted word for word and scene for scene.  “But”, I can hear the Ron haters shouting, “he is taking away from what is really important in the story!  Who gives a flying fig about Frank!  I hate Leg Haire!  More Jamie and Claire!”

Here is the thing, Diana understands what I think a lot of fans don’t, the books and their story will always be there.  This TV series isn’t her story to tell…it’s Ron’s.  She has told us over and over again that they do NOT have to consult her, but that they are nice enough to do so. “But,” the concerned shout,”he promised to make a series that stuck close to the book and made the fans happy!”  Let me ask again…which fans?  So, what’s a writer/producer to do?

Any damn thing he wants.

It’s called creative license and it is the hard earned privilege of show runners.  In truth, it is why they are sought out.  Ron Moore fought for and sold his vision for Outlander to Starz and has earned his right to make creative choices.

I was actually glad I’d written this piece because I needed that reminder this week.

But, critique is good!  Discussion is good!  It is what fans do! So, I decided to challenge my self to practice what I preach.  I am going to attempt to write about what I didn’t like about this episode without demeaning, ridiculing, or wishing anyone to hell.  You know, use some civility.  Let me make this clear these are my opinions not fact and I’m sure as the sky is blue this morning, someone will disagree with my opinion and that’s okay!  And as long as you are civil, I’ll give you a forum to discuss your differing views in the comment section!

What I personally didn’t like in this week’s episode

Lallybroch:  I was so excited our characters were returning to Scotland.  After last week’s extremely emotional episode I was ready to see Jamie and Claire get a chance to heal and be happy.  Nope. I looked.  We got two minutes and twenty seconds of happiness that included a voice over before the next shite storm hit .  I understand the value of using voice overs in an adaptation like this.  You truly can’t fit it all in (still blaming the number 13) and they serve a very valuable purpose in moving the story forward. But, sometimes you need to slow the story down. Sometimes, the story is best served by staying put for awhile like for instance, in a place like… Lallybroch.  This is the second time I have been disappointed by a transition this season.  There needs to be some closure to these big emotional scenes.  Big fights don’t end as if they never happened with a foot rub and sometimes we need to SEE what happens not hear about it in a voice over.

Fade to Black: 

Really? Once again I’m scrambling on the cutting room floor looking for a missing scene that I KNOW they filmed.  I wanted to see that physical communication between these two that lets me know they are alright and that things are well between them.  It’s been too long.  And, so you know, just like I outlawed slo-mo because it never bodes well for our couple, I’m now declaring all further sex scenes between these two are prohibited from fading to black…just sayin.

She whose name shall not be spoken: 

Why? I don’t see it. There wasn’t another way to compress and move the story forward without ruining one of the best story arcs in the book series? Believe me, I watched with an open mind and heart.  I wanted to see where they were going with this drastic change and why. I didn’t. Leg Haire’s comeuppance was weak at best and the use of her to manipulate Jamie’s cousin smacked of Paris and we all know how that went.  I wanted to see Jamie and Claire get back to being the caring couple who are altered from all they experienced, but remain at the core honest people with integrity.  I didn’t recognize this Claire.  She would have forgiven Leery and in fact, in the book even excused her behavior by contributing it Leery’s youth, but I don’t remember ever thinking Claire was manipulative or dishonest. So, gonna quote myself again;

Personally, I think the Leery story arc in the books is exciting, the betrayal we all felt as readers, the shock and disbelief.  I’m still mad at Jenny!   If Ron has chosen to go a different way, I would be disappointed and want to know why.  Maybe, he brought her back into the story to somehow intensify or set up the future?  The truth is I’m just as baffled on this one as everyone else and hope he really is taking a long hard look at that story arc.  But, to be fair, Leery isn’t one of Diana’s more fully developed characters, but then again, she isn’t done writing yet!   Is he trying to make her more likeable?  More complex? Give us a more interesting excuse for Jamie’s decision?

I still don’t know.  I truly didn’t see how this was worth sacrificing what is to come.

A White Lady:

  I really didn’t like Claire feigning visions.  And here’s why, in the books I always felt that Claire might actually BE a white lady. With out spoiling things for those who haven’t read, suffice it to say that there are many examples of Claire having that extra mystical something the rest of us just don’t have.  I can see how this played on the Old Foxes fears and got Claire involved in the story by having her save the day once again, but it cheapened the wonder of who Claire is for me.

I Got Bored: That has never happened before.  Like or dislike what was happening on the screen, I was never bored.

To Be Fair: 

To be fair, there was some great stuff too.  The potato scene was charming, short, but charming.  There were opportunities to see Claire and Jamie working as a team and dealing with the future.  I saw some great glimpses of the man Jamie becomes in tonight’s episode and although the scenes with the Old Fox lost some of their humor in the adaptation, they were in some ways better than I imagined. And, …Jamie with the baby…heartbreaking and wonderful.

The Future: I purposely try to stay off social media as much as I can before I write, but I’m sure there are some upset fans out there today.  I’m betting we will see a resurgence in the the “I’m done watching” talk.  Quoting myself again;

I find I get a bit incredulous when fans say they aren’t going to watch anymore…as they discuss the show…daily…post GIFS…vote…re-re-watch season one…again…really?  We feel deeply about Outlander and it seems personal to us and so, sometimes we get a little worried…I certainly did my fair share of worrying and wrote it for all the world to see.  It took awhile, but I finally let go of the book long enough to enjoy the show for what it is…a TV show based on my favorite books.

It is a quality TV series lovingly based on my favorite books and I’m rooting for it to succeed. I’ll be watching again next week and praying that they manage to capture that soul deep bond that will make the moment before Claire goes through the stones an episode of TV we will be talking about for years or God willing, at least until Season 3.

136 thoughts on “Things I’m “Out”lawing, Slow Mo and fade to black…My reflection on Outlander Episode 2.8

  1. Exactly!

    I tried to re-watch last night, to see if I missed some wonderful thing… and fell asleep.

    I get that they’re doing this in shorthand, but Jamie willing to sign away Lallybroch… really????
    Claire faking visions, after she’s been convicted as a witch… really??? Laoghaire anywhere in the zip code… really????????

    Jamie and Claire come off as really silly people in this episode, the few saving glimpses notwithstanding. We’re not missing a scene, we’re missing an entire episode. And the people we’re coming back to are not particularly people I want to spend a lot of time with.

    • I SO agree. …sigh… I’m not going to pick up my toys and go home aka stop watching, but sheesh! During my 2nd watching, this time with my hubby, I found myself staring at the ceiling and thinking of what I needed to do before I went to bed. THAT has never happened. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

      • I’m not even mildly interested in picking up my toys, either. But I just got two couples to start watching Outlander, and they are enjoying the heck out of Season 1. They are getting so much more joy out of their Outlander experience than I am right now, and it’s enough to make a girl scratch her head.

        I’m starting to think this season was doomed from the start with only 13 episodes. The story just needs more time to tell, and the Cliff Notes version is not doing it justice.

      • When, not if, they get the green light on future seasons, I’m praying they use 2 seasons for Voyager. It’s my favorite of the books, and there is SO much in there! I can’t even imagine it crammed into 13 or even 16 eps. If it was my decision, I’d have an Outlander episode every Saturday for the rest of my life! Ha!

        Dawn

      • Diana

        I’m going to go out on a limb and say I would like to see Voyager broken up into even smaller bits, stretch it out over a year. You’ve got Claire in the future, Jamie in the past, their coming together and then a TON of stuff happens. It would be fun to see it broken up into 3 or 4 parts and spread out over a year. That’s just my wacky take. One thing is almost for sure. We will not see a full season debut in April 2017. It’s almost June now and other than some skeletal plan/prep, nothing’s started and it takes a year to shoot and probably around 6 months to prep. There inevitably is going to be points where this enormous, detailed production cannot put out a new show every April, it takes too long to make and everyone involved needs a break between.

      • I would LOVE to see Voyager in two seasons. It’s such an instrumental turning point in the series and to shorten it or omit parts would be hard – very hard, for Ron, et. al. to do, and most Outlander fans would love to see more of the book in two season rather than rushed through in one season. After all this has the best opening line in all of Outlanderdom, if not in all of bookdom, and even though it’s minor observation, it’s SO important to readers. For all we know that’s what the writers are in the process of doing right now is figuring out (hopefully) they can’t do this in one season.

    • I couldn’t agree more, only I come from a different place. I hated “Dragonfly in Amber’, and really hoped the producers, writer or someone would grab the opportunity to correct some of it’s flaws. Oh, they altered some things – not one of them really helped.

      As for those who say cut “Voyager’ into pieces, I say go straight to ‘Drums of Autumn’, tell the events of “Voyager’ only as flash backs. (Not that I’ve read all of either DIA and Voyager. I gave up on DIA, and got updates from my daughter on Voyager – and none them make me want to take up the book.

      This series will die, if they don’t hurry forward to next great book.

  2. And what about wee Fergus? The little boy was raped in the last episode… graphically. Shouldn’t there at least be a scene between him and Jamie talking about it and healing? If they’re going to deviate from the books (and many of their deviations have been great), shouldn’t there be a scene like that?

  3. TES

    Once again you manage to put in words what I believe the majority of us are thinking and feeling this morning about this episode. I believe that the introduction of Leary, in this way, makes what happens later implausible. I dont see how the Jamie DG created would ever be able to forget what was done to Claire and certainly never be with a woman he despises. It also seems that the writer lost sight of why we read the books and watch; our love of this couple…so many missed opportunities in this episode….

  4. S. A. Young

    “If Ron has chosen to go a different way, I would be disappointed and want to know why. Maybe, he brought her back into the story to somehow intensify or set up the future.” After having read a few interviews with Ron and writer Anne Kenny, I believe that setting up the future FOR TV is exactly what they were doing. (If book readers were outraged by xxx, how would show watchers react to xxx with “no” buildup- jmho). I really do believe they are in it for the long haul and they’ve proven themselves adept at weaving seemingly random threads together so that the finished product retains the shape of the original. Don’t get me wrong, on my first viewing I was as unhappy with some things as a lot of others were and I get DG’s now infamous shark comment. There were some other headscratching moments to be sure and I’m with you on that truly maddening fade-to-black, but on subsequent viewings, maybe because the shock had worn off, I warmed to the episode considreally. It was a transition to be sure and not among the best Outlander episodes, but in comparison, even if it was crap (which it definitely was not), that still means great television. Call me naive, but I still trust. The road may be bumpy, and who knows, it may get downright rocky, I’m along for the full ride. Oh, and the Jamie &baby Katherine (Caitriona!) scene alone was worth the entire hour – and they knew it.

    • Marsha

      Totally agree…The first time I watched…I felt a bit underwhelmed. There were some great moments…but so much politics and the kilt is dropping, but the screen goes black.
      I watched it a second time and put on the closed caption (my husband prefers to know what they are saying)…and it was like a different episode. 🎶Reconnected and it feels so good🎶, baby babbling, LegWhore hasn’t really changed, Colum brought tears to my eyes, grandpa was a hoot!
      So, instead of this episode being a skip over during Outlander binges…it is still better than any other show I watch! (Yes, I’m binging on The Americans this weekend…but Philip and Elizabeth can’t touch the chemistry of Jamie and Claire for sacrifice and subterfuge.)

      • BJ

        Yes, I watched it through again too with better feelings about it but the ending was still a little weak for me. I understand the peaks and troughs of what writing is about so I guess it’s the leadup to yet another powerful end of season. I’ve been listening to Ron’s podcasts and loving them. I have the highest respect for Ron and the writers and everyone involved. I’m not in the business so I don’t want to appear too critical. You know the scene when Claire says she doesn’t want to sit and eat with thieves and storms off? And then Jamie walks up and almost casually asks :What’s wrong with you woman?” That whole scene where he tells he not to judge something that she doesn’t understand. I love how he’s just factual and curious with just a little bit of WTF thrown in. Well, I think of Ron telling me that when I start judging the episode haha.

        How funny Marsha, that you are watching The American’s becasue I am too 🙂 Totally agree about the chemistry between Phili and Elizabeth but I think’s it’s because we have been spoiled with the phenomena that is Claire and Jamie. I’m trying to find something good to get my teeth so I’m prepared for Draughtlounder 🙂 There’s aren’t many shows that can reel me in so I find looking for shows to watch a ‘full time’ occupation!

    • Nancy

      I had to rewind the baby Caitriona dialogue a couple times – I heard Jamie say it but knew the baby to be Katherine. The whole scene was sweet and loving. Good work done there!

  5. Kelly O

    I am so very grateful for your posts, Beth!!! I look forward to your posts every week, and I cannot think of a time that your opinions did not perfectly reflect my own; this week’s reflection is no different.

    I too am a book reader who has always been an apologist for the show; I love the books, and I (almost always) love this show!! I try to watch each episode with an open mind and with an understanding that the task of editing these massive novel’s is yeomans’ work.

    I have been able to accept any number of changes the show has made to characters/plot, but this week was the first time I felt truly disappointed by my beloved show.

    I know ‘Faith’ is a tough act to follow, but this episode was written by Anne Kenney!!! She has, in my opinion, given us some of the very best Jamie and Claire moments in the series. She has always had an incredible gift for bringing to life the essence of the characters I love so dearly, so I felt I had every right to set high expectations for this episode.

    Like you, I longed for a little more Lallybroch. I know that a show has his one hour window to advance the story, but character development does advance the story!!! We had two brief moments of calm before yet another wrench is thrown at them… There wasn’t time to breathe.

    At the risk of sounding voyeuristic, I was thoroughly disappointed by the fade to black. In the show, their physical relationship has always been a manifestation of the state of their relationship, and the writers and actors have always said that the scenes are used with a purpose in mind, and I firmly believe that there was a great purpose to the scene that, like you said, ended up on the cutting room floor. The show made it clear at the start of the season that Jamie and Claire are going to face a separation; The first half of the season showed a very strained couple, one that was far more strained than they were books, and though it pained me, I was able to support it because it showed the repercussions of Jamie’s trauma. Given all of this, I cannot think of a better reason to show their return to intimacy.

    I had read the rumors about the “jump the shark” moment, and deep down I always knew it would involve Laoghaire; I did not have an issue with her presence per se, but the storyline as it was written in 208 is going to change two story arcs that I for one felt were among the most wonderfully surprising and rewarding dialogue/conversations in the whole series – ugh, Im just plain mad about this.

    I really, really did not like the whole Claire is see your moment… I just find that she is so much more meddling and manipulative this season, and it makes her appear for more desperate than she ever felt to me in the books. I have never been someone who and each episode saying “well, in the books… “But I just did it constantly in this episode
    😔😔😔

    I could go on, but I have already written enough! Thank you for your weekly reflections and for creating a platform where people can speak openly about a book and show they love. Even if people have dissenting opinions, I know they will always be respectful!

    • Diana

      I really don’t think Leery is the “jump the shark” moment. Has anyone seen DG confirm this? For me it only reconfirmed and reminded us of this villain lurking.

      • Stephanie

        If I’m not mistaken, she confirmed on Compuserve that 208 was the episode she was talking about.

      • Diana

        Interesting. For me, if anything jumped the metaphorical shark in the episode it was Claire pretending to have visions. Just my opinion. Will be interested to see what DG actually thought.

      • Kelly O

        DG said it was in 208. I didn’t have a problem with Laoghaire being in this episode, and Ron Moore and Anne Kenney said in the afterward they did it to redeem her given her role in the future, but I didn’t feel the episode accomplished that for me. If there was a ‘shark’ moment, it would be the fact that Jamie knows the full extent of L’s role at the witch trial – BC if he knows that he would likely resent her even more.

        I absolutely agree that Claire as mock seer was not great either. Like Beth, I’ve always believed she did have an uncanny ability that bordered on metaphysical.

        Also, this has been discussed by others, but how did you read Jamie’s decision to give away Lallybroch?! Do we think he had already asked Jenny to sign a deed of sasine? Was Claire’s act predetermined? When I was watching, it seemed to me as though he genuinely was going to sign it, and Claire did that on a whim as a last ditch effort to stop him … I’d love to hear people’s thoughts

      • It felt a bit planned to me which on some level would pretty clever of them to see what the fox was about and beat him at his own game. Or Jamie just read it right and went with it.

      • Diana

        I had to go back and watch that bit and the scene before it as I was so thrown off by Claire’s Madame Lazonga impression that I’d glossed over the whole turning over Lallybroch. As it was played out, Jamie planted the seeds in Claire’s mind that unless she was going to declare herself a visitor from the future, he didn’t see any choice he had. So I don’t think it was not planned, but Claire seized the moment and Jamie went with it.

        What bothers me as I watch it again was why he chose that route, so that he wouldn’t disappoint Prince Charlie with only his 30 Lallybroch men. Really? Give up your heritage, toss your family and tenants off their ancestral lands so as not disappoint a man you know to be a fool and a weak leader? That’s a choice of dialog. Had he said something like we need all the men we can get to overcome the failings of this fool, that would have held more water to me.

      • lmmerrill

        Yes, Diana has confirmed it was the scene where Claire confronts Loughaire. Actually, her comment seems more directed at Claire’s treatment of Loughaire – her anger – than Loughaire herself trying to be redeemed. http://zap2it.com/2016/05/outlander-foxs-lair-diana-gabaldon-jumping-the-shark-ep-laoghaire-claire/ They originally scripted that Claire slaps the girl around a bit as well – but everything felt that was way out of character for Claire. What I read somewhere else from DG is that because they amped up Loughaire’s “crimes” in Season 1, they felt they needed to try to redeem her a bit before we find out that Jamie marries her down the road.

      • BJ

        Kelly O
        “It felt a bit planned to me which on some level would pretty clever of them to see what the fox was about and beat him at his own game. Or Jamie just read it right and went with it.”

        That’s an interesting point . For me, it’s a little difficult for me to believe that Jamie goes with it after making such a hard choice. He’s a very intelligent person who would think of all scenarios in order to come up with the best solution. Jamie goes on a few times about how he needs to show the Bonnie Prince Charles that he can comand an army so his reputation as a leader is at stake. Jamie feels that in order to get that and his army, he needs to sacrifice Lallybroch. He’s thought long and hard about the choice he’s made. They are strying to avert a massacre so when he goes to sign the document, I believe him. When Claire stops the precedings with the ‘vision act’ it feels like she’s ‘sh*t the bed’ so to speak by ignoring Jamie and what they are actually doing there, trying to change history. Having said that, they may have cut some scenes which would have made what was happening more obvious.

        The reason I like Ron so much is that he’s said that the audience is smart enough to understand what’s going on. It always hated it when shows dumb down the storyline. But for the contract signing/Claire vision scene I’m not sure what to think.

  6. Mary

    I love the episode. I love Jamie with the baby scene. I love the potato scene. I love seeing Jamie so strong and wise and emerging as a leader. Yes, the Internet is ablaze with distaste for all things leery. You’d think Ron was the devil himself. I’ve decided to stay off social media for a few days until the firestorm dies down. People knew this scene was coming yet they act surprised to see leery in the episode.

    • Cheryl

      I agree with you Mary! And I too have been less active on SM because of her Leery firestorm. I don’t necessarily agree with the writer’s decision regarding this change in subplot, yet it’s definitely forgivable considering how fabulous everything else has been. I still trust this production team 100%. I get why they did it, and trust that good intentions were involved. And I continually remind myself that first and foremost, I adore the books. The TV show is an added bonus and it’s a fun journey to watch how the source material is portrayed.

  7. Beth – as always a great job conveying valid ideas about the show. I so, so, so appreciate that you voiced frustration and concern without whining or tearing down the show as a whole. I don’t see myself at this point ever giving up on the series – I am enjoying it very much – but I may well give up a good deal of social media interaction. I sort of quit writing my own blog because I didn’t see the point. People that read me tend to agree with me and the people I’d like to have see my view and therefor a different perspective – don’t. The last two episodes though have really been a frustration for me…..not due to the visual representation of the books, but the seemingly endless whining about it. I can see what you didn’t like, understand it and acknowledge it…..and feel it’s a well thought out opinion rather than a temper tantrum. Very refreshing. I hope my writing will be as clear and thoughtful. Cheers!

  8. BJ

    Thanks Beth, for voicing my feelings about the episode. I love the show but I also felt somewhat underwhelmed. I think after Claire pulled that “vision” thing, stopping Jamie from signing the contract to release Lallybroch to his Grandsire, it was unrealistic to show Jamie not even slightly annoyed with her. They discussed why he was gong to give away Lallybroch and she couldn’t talk him out of it, and then she manipulates Jamie by pulling the ‘vision’ thing. He loves her so she gets away with this and other appalling behaviour. I told my husband that Claire is beginning to get on my nerves and that I wouldn’t be surprised if Jamie developed stomache ulcers from the stress she’s giving him….Fictional Jamie developing fictional stomache ulcers haha.

    Having said that, can I just jump forward for a second?

    There’s 5 episodes to go until the end of the season and I’m wondering how they will end it. I’m hoping that the big finale includes some form of flash forward right at the end of the episode, of Claire coming back to see Jamie after 20 years. Maybe Claire standing at the A. Malcolm print shop and we see Jamie only from behind. If that doesn’t happen, I’m in for a whole lot of hurt. NB If Jamie is my ‘heroin’ I’m going to need some ‘methadone’ STAT!

    P.S. When ever something bad happens on the series I have to go back to the books to resolve the issue and have them back together again. It’s crazy that I should feel this way. Thanks Diana for both enhancing and ruining my life 😉

    • I’m with you,B.J. I hope they end the season with Claire and Jamie. A year is a long time to wait, even though we have the books. There is just something about seeing everything played out visually.

      • BJ

        Yes, it is a long time to wait. I only just found out about the series last month and binge watched season 1 and have been watching season 2 as it’s released. I read the book(s) many, many years ago and was completly taken aback that a series had been made of them. Soooooo happy!!!!

  9. Yeah, I’m not a fan of this episode either. It felt rushed once again and I get that they can’t cram everything from the books into the TV show, but I just wish they would sometimes make different choices. After the podcast I understand some of the reason they brought L. back in, as they had already established Jamie’s knowledge of her involvement in the witch trail and thus needed something to redeem her before he would even contemplate marrying her. In the books he doesn’t hear about it until Fiery Cross where he then said to Claire, that he would have never married L., had he known.

    So that explains the need to bring L. back earlier in the TV show and to show her in a less evil way, but… the plot in this episode didn’t really help with it in my eyes. She still came across as a creepy shirt-smelling b*tch. And Jamie didn’t really forgive her yet either, he just thanked her because his wife told him to. So I still don’t see how and why his mind might change about L in the future. *sigh*

    Let’s forget about most of the episode and just rewatch Jamie and wee Kitty on a loop till episode 9 🙂

    • Stephanie

      Yes, yes, yes to your last paragraph! And maybe the scenes with Jamie sparring with Lord Lovat. I loved that they showed Jamie going toe to toe with him. I’ll skip the part where he seems ready to give in to him. JAMMF would never have done that.

  10. Anne Hetherington

    So, here is what I – liked- about ep 8. Firstly, the Jamie and baby scene with Jenny and Claire, that was beautiful. Then the affection between Collum and Jamie that superseded the politics. Then the reluctance that Jamie felt about having to fight, while understanding that he had absolutely no choice. Then Lovat’s character was well portrayed, and young Simon as well. The potato scene was nice, too. I loved the Scottish score and the full blown Claire and Jamie theme as they rode off. As for the rest, I can’t disagree with your assessment, except that I found lots in this episode to entertain me and have not yet been bored after 3 watches

    • Laura Palese

      I agree with you! I have watched three times in a row and not been bored at all! I absolutely love Outlander! I do so wish the love scene was longer though…

  11. Laoghaire…WHAT? I think my head just exploded! Watching two women clearly trying to manipulate each other was ridiculously off putting and seemed like a cheap manipulation of the audience as well! I agree with you totally, Beth. I was thoroughly disappointed. I wanted more healing and reconnection time, perhaps a discussion of the trauma of the baby with Jenny, a meeting of women without manipulations.
    Too many broad swipes/strokes for me. Lord Lovet was commendably horrible, but young Simon with no belligerence? I guess what disturbed me was how hard it seemed that the audience…ME…were being manipulated and, yes, bored. Not something I would have EVER expected!

  12. beckym

    You said it! I feel the same way about this episode. Put it on for the second viewing and found myself in the kitchen coming back to the tv for the few scenes I really liked. Still will keep watching my favorite book series become some of the best viewing on tv. Which BTW has turned out to he much better than the movies at the theater the last couple of years! I digress. I plan to listen to the podcast in the hopes that I will get a better appreciation for some of the choices made for this episode. Not my fav, but still love it.

  13. Claire

    From the beginning I knew DG book could not be made for TV word for word. So some things had to be left out or explained with voice over. This episode covered a lot and let a lot out but the basic theme was there (at least book readers understood what is going to happen). I look at the series as additional material even if a scene is changed. There have been better tory lines than this and we know there will be better in the future with the team that is putting this together. This is a very hard book to bring to screen. I just am glad each book wasn’t made into 2 hour movies for the cinema.

  14. Definitely my least favorite episode of the series. Not sure how they can possibly justify Jamie’s actions in season three now. It would be totally out of character.

    I completely agree with your assessment Beth. Once again well written and spot on.

  15. Diana

    Nail on the heid once again. I was worried there was something wrong with my eyes and brain when I kept reading so many “WOW, I love it!” reviews. I watched it a total of 3 times, the last with the podcast, and kept trying to like it. Mark me, there are many lovely moments within that I’ll talk about. I don’t hate it, but as you so eloquently put it….meh. It’s not one I’ll go back to for return views. Both Sides Now was like this for me in Season 1, it is utterly forgettable and if you held a gun to my head, I could not tell you what happened in that episode other than Claire winds up in BJR’s clutches and Jamie’s stuck in a window for 6 months.

    After listening to the podcast, I’m even less satisfied with the 5 min spent at Lallybroch. Apparently 6 or 7 months had passed their since their return from France. If that had been laid out more clearly, even in the voice over, I would have felt better about the sudden departure. I thought a few weeks, maybe a month had passed so the sudden leap was jarring. Please RDM, help your viewers with your big time leaps. Just like you noted the emotional gulf between EP5 and EP6 Beth, we were left in a pretty deep emotional hole at the end of 7. What seemed like a leap to war was too sudden after that.

    She whose name shall not be spoken – hahahahahahaha best one yet. I don’t have the general fandom hatred of Leery. No more than other minor villains such as Le Compte. So I wasn’t too bothered by her reappearance, but what was the point of that? And all of Claire’s manipulation. I think that is being set up to come back and bite her in the ass. So again, back to the podcast, they wanted to bring Leery back this season “to redeem her a bit” before season 3. I think they only reinforced the villain they set up in season 1. The whole thing with Claire and young Simon on a walk felt so contrived and awkward. What that all left me with (and the insertion of Column, which apparently was done as a means to get Leery there) has left me asking “what the heck is that for?” As you’ve said before Beth, these must be breadcrumbs being laid for the future and it will all make sense at some point. They said they are going to do something different with how Mrs Leery Fraser comes to be. I don’t see how this helps at all. TV Jamie knows her to be a villain, book Jamie did not.

    Oh lordy the visions!! Maybe the directors intention was to make that look like a community theater production. Cait is much better than that and we just saw that in the last episode in the star chamber. I did like that Jamie immediately caught on and jumped into the production which actually brought some life to it.

    What was good:
    Clive Russell as Lord Lovat. He was an awesome, wicked old coot. Loved that the first view of him looked like he just climbed out of a sewer after a 5 day bender. All the interactions between Lovat and Jamie were tasty! He’s SO flipping tall! It was fun to watch Jamie look up at someone.
    Jamie with a baby!!! That must have sent off an avalanche of baby-gasms across the world. So sweet, so tender, so glad they kept that scene in (shockingly it was one that was on the chopping block through editing!)
    Jenny Murray…BOOM!
    Jamie and Claire working as one against the old fox.
    A nice beginning to a fade to black.

    All in all a serviceable episode. In the end it got the job done; troops committed to the cause and the Fox having his cake and eating it too. This should also serve as a means to calm the nervous “will there be a season 3??!!!!” fans. They are planning character arcs and plots for season 3, building them into season 2. Will the sun come up tomorrow? I think so.

  16. Leah H.

    Peaks and valleys. The story has them throughout. This one was a valley, but I’ll keep watching for the peaks I know are to come.

  17. I always appreciate your comments and observations. Thank you for writing what I felt. Maybe next week will be better. I sure hope so. As you pointed out…we aren’t stopping watching, but we sure hope it gets to a different place.

    Linda

  18. I’m starting to worry that there will be no season 3. That way, they don’t have to worry about L and what happens to her and Jamie later. Maybe this season just ends in the printshop..and that’s the end. Am I being too pessimistic? After all, they are all big stars now, and Ron has other things to do..
    Sorry..I do hope I am wrong.

    • lmmerrill

      Standard production contracts on shows like these are for 3 years – so the actors are contracted for at least that long. It’s common for the show runner to have more than one production going at a time,,so the fact that Ron is overseeing other shows doesn’t necessarily impact his work on Outlander. In his podcasts Ron clearly talks about working on Season 3 and they said they brought Leery back now to set up her future role in the story. The production team is clearly contemplating at least a season 3. The fact that Starz hasn’t announced a Season 3 can mean anything. Perhaps there is a negotiation on whether to split Voyager into two seasons or squeeze it into a single season. Maybe the actors are asking for more money because of their new celebrity. Maybe the delay has absolutely nothing to do with Outlander but some other corporate issue. But, what I don’t think is that the story line has been changed because they don’t think there’s a 3rd season. It was all written and filmed last year.

    • Peigi (nom de Twitter)

      Here’s an even worse thought: Maybe they’re rushing through season 2 because season 3 will be the last! (Please God – NOOOOOOO)

  19. Nancy

    Wow. A whole lot of emotion or lack of it after this week. There were surely things I didn’t like about this episode. I know that Jamie and Claire spent months back home but from what was shown in this episode didn’t capture that at all. I at least wanted to see them eat the damn potatoes!! And come on, the sexy scene we have been waiting for – to evaporate before our very eyes?? Unfair!!! I do think all the politicking with the old fox and the other clansmen was done quite well. And adding Leery felt right – if only to remind me of how devious she is. I didn’t believe her sincerity for one second. I was a little surprised by Claire’s venom. That seemed totally non-characteristic! And her later telling Jamie that she felt lighter – what?? But I have to say what bothered me most was Anne Kenney explaining having Leery there for some kind of redemption (not believe able to me) and then saying that not adding her would make her later appearance “implausible” was, to me, a slap in DG’s face. I was offended by what she said. When Leery makes her comeback later on, it was a great moment in book history. I remember that scene in all its “plausibleness”. Ok, I liked this episode with exceptions. I am still on board with everything. Heading into the battle scenes, there will be little opportunity for Jamie and Claire to renew their physical love – let’s hope Ron has worked some magic for us – please not some quicky in a muddy tent!! Thanks, Beth, again for how you so eloquently get your viewpoint said!

    • Diana

      I think she said it would be implausible because they changed Leery in the show to be a much more villainy villain. In the book, she was somewhat in the background and not so involved in the witch trial. Also, Jamie did not know about her shenanigans in the book.

      • Nancy

        Ok then, I’ll accept that explanation. It’s sometimes verra hard to separate tv version from book version. Thanks!

  20. Stephanie

    I’m in full agreement with your assessment this week. For me this episode was perhaps doubly disappointing because last week’s was so good.

    207 was the perfect example of what an adaptation should be. The setting, the back story and the timing were changed to fit into an hour long format, but the essence and heart of the story was on target.

    I know TPTB can give us the amazing story we want to see because they’ve done it so many times before.

  21. I’m in nearly full agreement with your assessment and most of the comments. My one difference is your “fade to black” issue. The suggestion of their lovemaking was enough for me to know things are back on track but I may be relying on my book memory here. I don’t know. I just know I didn’t miss the visual. PLEASE NOTE: I suggest everyone read Ron’s interview in @TheLiveFeed. In it he explains the need for Leghair in this episode, Fergus, and one or two more questions people are asking.

  22. Jodi

    You called it, exactly. It was slow, boring, actionless, dramaless. I can’t keep track of which clan is loyal to which king and why. And, duh, I know they’re back in Scotland, but I seriously couldn’t understand what they were saying half the time. Maybe I need c.c. or water it down for Yankees. And, how did Leg Hair betray Claire, I must have missed that last year, sorry. Thanks!

  23. Susan Kamlet

    Beth, you nailed it again. Last night I watched the episode twice. First time, at nine. Second time with Ron and Anne’s podcast. Nearly fell asleep during their podcast. Never did that before. It wasn’t one of my favorite episodes for all the reasons you mentioned. I remember what Ron stated in one of his video interviews about fans. To paraphrase: They say that they hated episodes – even after watching them several times… We are those kind of fans! Book Claire, Jamie, the Clan and characters will always be there for us. TV Claire and Jamie, are our closest incarnations of reality. I love watching them live (short or long vowel sound) on tv. Knowing that Season 2 is waning toward war, heartbreak and hope keeps me watching.

  24. Lisa D

    Here is what I think. Everyone from Diana to Ron said season was more complicated, but Starz only approved13 episodes. Things have to move along at lightning speed.

  25. Susan

    I know it’s just a tv show, and I know we’ll always have the books…..but I was just heartbroken that the need to drive plot takes precedence over everything else that we couldn’t get 15 minutes at Lallybroch. They can’t VO their way through the healing, through the deep connection that Jamie and Claire have that will be needed by the viewers to get through the back half of this season and the conclusion. Not to mention what draws me to obsess over this show from week-to-week.

    The complete adoration and goodwill I had for this show in season one is getting chipped away at by some very questionable decisions about the overall emphasis (action!) of this show. And that’s my problem to deal with, not saying that RDM is making mistakes, it’s just not as enjoyable based on my preferences. And it an odd way (which maybe I should examine) it feels like a sad loss for me.

  26. I’ll join the chorus here and say yes this episode was rushed and full of weird time wasters. However, Jamie, for the first time, really seemed to take a huge growth spurt to become the man we all knew he was. He was political, canny and strong. Stood his own with grandpa and uncle. I missed all the politics that were left out of the Castle Leoch portions of the show so I was pleased to see this part of the story come back. No real reason was given for Simon’s interest in Lallybroch tho. And the Leghair storyline is just annoying. And now I really want to see the old Fox’s head on that spike.

  27. Agree with many voices here, although I appreciated the episode more after two viewings. My husband, who has not read the books kind of shrugged after it was over, so I think overall the viewers were left wanting this time. This episode moved away from emotions and was more primarily about clan politics. Lagohaire definitely was the jump the shark moment and we will have to wait to see how this gets tied up later.
    Also agree that the time at Lallybroch could have been extended. I was so hoping for the scene when they barbecue the potatoes in the field and have a hootenanny with all the tenants celebrating the POTATO. It was a such a heartwarming scene in the books.
    And I wanted to see the old foxes teeth go into the fire! Damn!
    Great review, appreciate the insights.

  28. Beth, we’re dead on for thoughts again this week. My opinions are really just a reaction to this episode – I put it on my list as least favorite. I will always be grateful for the tv show, and every show will have a clunker for some viewers – this one was it for me. On all other episodes, even Wentworth, I could not wait to watch again because I was swept away into the world of Outlander. This episode had me sitting outside that “World of Outlander” too many times as I watched.
    I’m concerned that some will immediately assume it was all because of Laoghaire – it wasn’t. After each episode, I always turn to my non-book reading family members and ask, “what did you think?”. Usually I hear “WOW” or “That was intense”, etc. This week, the comments were, “that was weird”, “I was bored”, “they wasted an entire episode.” Not sure if it was the Directing, the Writing, or both, but the flow was choppy, the dialogue strange, at times, the angles of shots…. One comment from another family member – “it felt like a filler network tv episode”. All agreed it seemed like even the actors were uncomfortable. Maybe it’s unfair to put this episode up right after Faith – a phenomenal episode on all counts. Maybe we were just more critical and expecting the same level of everything.
    Some Specifics:
    You are right on – suddenly all is right with the world; but it’s not. Faith and the fight are now a thing of the past, let’s move on down the Yellow Brick Road. VO explains it’s been a couple of months. We needed to see some of that healing.
    Potatoes – Rabbie is digging them up, and they are filthy. Yet, when he runs to Claire they are clean, and suddenly this child who knows nothing about potatoes knows they are ready, and he knows enough to stop somewhere and wash them. Minor detail, perhaps, but it was enough to make me notice. So, we head inside and see nearly the entire family standing bunched together at the head of the table. Why were they all standing there? If waiting to look at the potatoes, why are Jamie & Claire at the corner practically snogging? It looked like a play, where there is little space on the stage so everyone is gathered around the table or sitting on the one couch. Felt contrived.
    BPC’s note & Jared’s letter – watching Jamie’s reaction as Claire read his name, I could almost hear the Director say, “now Sam, walk back to the seat and scowl”.
    Fade to Black? Really? On network TV perhaps. Even my husband commented – “what the hell?” I’ve read countless comments from the Outlander producers and writers – we need to give Jamie time to heal. OK, but they’ve had to mash so many months together into each episode – we’re a looooooong way from Wentworth. About the concern of making sure the sex is going to help move the story along and not be gratuitous – it was more necessary in this episode than any of the Laoghaire storyline. And, it sure looked like that mirror reflected a lack of scars on Jamie’s back.
    And Laoghaire – felt 100% contrived. Not just for this book fan – but for my non-book reader family members. They only know Claire and Jamie from the tv show, and all agreed – it felt out of place, weird, and Claire & Jamie acted entirely out of character throughout the scenes. To have Jamie thank her and not know why? To have Claire ask him to thank her? The scenes with Young Simon?
    And let’s talk about Young Simon – ok, another personal pet peeve – get the lineage correct. He is Jamie’s Uncle, because he is Brian’s 1/2 brother. He is not Jamie’s cousin. To have him be a weak, whiny character – I thought it would play out why his character was changed. Maybe it did, and I missed it. Maybe it will in a future episode. Will have to wait and see. But, I actually cringed with the poetry reading.
    Book Maisri made me sad, and I felt her pain that she suffered with her “gift”. TV Maisri – felt like I was watching Madame Lazonga in a carnival side show. And what was with “I hope he doesn’t shoot the messenger”? Maybe it was said in the 1700’s, but it felt out of place. Maybe DG gave the writers insight that she is a time traveler? And Claire’s swarmy vision? I’m with Colum on that one. There had to be a better way to use La Dame Blanche.
    I’m holding out hope that ep 209 will be back to the wonderfulness we’re used to seeing.

  29. Chris Finklein

    After last week’s “Faith” how could any immediate episode compare? We were over-flowing with emotion and intrigue last week but last night, the filling in the sandwich was a little less than tasty. This was the set up piece to what is facing our beloved characters even if they toy with trying to change the future. Yes, it wandered some and yes, a few characters surfaced to muddy the potential plot but as in all Diana’s wondrous works there are threads that loose now will sew together down the line.

    It was a treat to see them back in Scotland along with the mud and difficult communication between many of them. I too thought Claire’s sudden “vision” was contrived but the girl knows what’s going to happen and in her infinite wisdom she is still trying to stave off misery and devastation.

    Ron likes to set a scene to leave the possibilities open for our imagination to take over. Sure it would have been juicy to see the fulfillment of their amazing sex encounter but each of us knows we could rewind to The Wedding and be tickled all over again. He needed to fill what minutes were left to push the story along even if a lot of us would far rather he remained as a fly on the wall of their bedroom. Every so often the book developments need a grounding even if we don’t appreciate them watching them at first. We are leading up to wicked battles and the eventual results from Culloden. If you have any grasp of history much less read the books you know how the story culminates. I’m so THRILLED to read suggestions for Season 3 because that means Starz is agreeing with the monumental following this series attracts. There is nothing like this on any TV or even in theaters. Nothing commands the quality regardless if we are a wee bit disappointed in how the story is illustrated. I’ve tried getting interested in “The Vikings” or “Turn” but neither of those compare with the excellence of Outlander on any level.

    I once heard Diana G’s fascination about her parents’ lengthy marriage. She always admired both of them and wondered what it took to form a relationship spanning their many years together, how they made it work so successfully. Thus almost 9+ books later and our treasured Jamie & Claire are still together only stronger for all the adversities they have endured & they have only started! Diana’s goal was to show a dedication she herself witnessed that she hoped might inspire others to echo the same. TV Jamie & Claire could be with us for a lot of years and I for one pray they will be; that Ron & company will become better and better telling their stories. They have done a breath-taking job thus far and I trust their mastery will continue and grow even more superb. Hats off to a few episodes that meander because these are the crumbs left for us to enjoy all the others, that one day we can each head home to our very own Lallybroch to wallow in our own joys!

    • Vikings is a terrific show. I’ve been watching it from the first. However it can’t compare to Outlander because they’re too different. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. I also love them both but in different ways. Vikings has great story lines but they have to do with these two cultures Christian & Pagan clashing & the effect that has on both communities. Lots of rape, pillaging & plundering. With Outlander there’s more of an emotional commitment due to the fact that there’s a beautiful love story in play.

  30. The key piece of the story that makes it unique in literature is the passionate, respectful and witty nature of the Jamie/Claire connection. Without it, this is just another sweeping saga, historical romance.

    Linear storytelling, secondary plots and characters, use of V.O., pov challenges. All these things can be manipulated without fatally harming the heart of this story. But to underestimate the importance of maintaining Ms. Gabaldon’s level of attention to the core relationship is to miss the point of adapting this story for TV in the first place.

    Fans may differ on reactions to individual scenes or dialogue choices, but it seems they are unanimously in accord in their demand for more care to be paid to the Jamie /Claire story in the future.

  31. How could I have forgotten this? Jenny & Claire on the balcony, watching Jamie talk to baby Kitty. My heart hurt for both Claire and Jamie, and I should have been teary eyed, at the least, since I sob thru episode 208 every time I watch it. But something was off, and it finally dawned on me. In the book, Jenny is not aware that Claire was pregnant and that Faith was stillborn. TV Jenny is aware, since she sent the Apostle spoons at Jamie’s request. The speech she recites is from the book, from a woman who has been pregnant and had children to a woman who (so she thinks) has never been pregnant. I would have thought she would have acknowledged Claire’s loss.

    There were parts I enjoyed, too – such as the before mentioned scene with Jamie and the baby; having them back in Scotland; Lord Lovat; Fergus wanting to go with Jamie & Claire – and Murtagh promising to bring him along, “if I don’t kill him first”.

  32. Candace Wishon

    Well, at least one of us,followed through on the “if you don’t like the show, stop watching.” So I did. And canceled Starz. And told them why. This episode was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. We no longer have an adaptation, but Ron has chosen to completely and totally rewrite the story. That’s not what an adaptation is. This is a whole new story, with characters that I don’t recognize any more, going in a direction that I’m not familiar with, and can’t be fixed no matter how hard you try. This all started in season 1 episode 9 with the Boobgate. They are back peddling as fast as they can, trying to dig themselves out of the hole that they’ve got themselves into. And now with Claire colluding with Lheery? And being so horrible and mean to her? And Jamie now knowing that she was part of the witch trial? And Jamie says and later books that if he ever knew that she was part of that he would have never married her? And we’re trying to set this up so that fans will forgive Jamie for marrying Lheery as they rewrite Voyager, amd it hasnt even come to the screen yet, and already it is a different story.
    She’s not sorry, you know that this is going to come back around again. She will ne the new villain.
    Yes we will always have the books, and to the books I’m going to return. I can no longer in good conscience watch this wonderful, wonderful story being rewritten into a story that I don’t recognize anymore. I think that you’re going to find more and more people having the strength, and the intestinal fortitude to do this. I hope so. Because frankly I don’t think that they deserve an opportunity to destroy another book. The best part is the very long post that DG put up about the whole Lheery issue. The s and*cough*s read between the lines said it all. Again, as a long time book reader, I expected an adaptation, not for the story to be rewritten. And I just don’t want to continue to be this sad, angry and disillusioned. Do love your blog. And I do thank you for being honest. Not all of us are wearing rose-colored glasses when we watch.

  33. Patricia Hare

    Spot on Beth! You pegged the problems and the pluses as usual. But, as a normally positive and optimistic viewer I have to throw a little tantrum here. I WANT the REAL JAMIE And CLAIRE! The episode started with such hope but went down the drain fast. Stop making then do and say illogical and stupid stuff! Whoever wrote this last episode should be fired for clearly not knowing the characters completely or the truth in the story. Ok. My rant is over now. I will watch the next episode with my usual positive attitude.

  34. sarabeth

    I thought this was a solid episode. No, it wasn’t jam-packed with high drama moments, but I still enjoyed it. In fact, while I was watching it I thought to myself that everyone who so disliked the first part of the season and whined about missing the old Jamie & Claire will be thrilled to see some of those tender moments back! But now everyone’s complaining about a fade to black scene? Seriously? You can’t use a little imagination? It makes it sound like Outlander viewers only tune in to see the love scenes and we’re supposed to be much better than that!

    I do agree that I would have loved to see a little more time at Lallybroch and the whole thing with Claire seeing visions made me roll my eyes. I don’t know if that happened in the book or not so I’m going to give it a pass that maybe it was part of the plot there.

  35. Teresa W

    I watched ep 8 On Demand Friday night and then on TV with my husband Saturday night like always. I’m very glad we are back in Scotland it seems like Outlander again! I have to admit when I first watched this episode, I was disappointed and like others have said, almost bored. In the adaptations there have been changes in both seasons that were good, but this season in particular has had several silly changes that I’ve asked myself, WTH? Laoghaire definitely being one of them, even before the episode aired. If you watched S1 there is NO ONE who is going to forget Leghair’s character by S3. Her scenes could have been used for more quality information/entertainment that was probably cut; as in spending more time at Lallybroch. Every week the producers & writers say “well we had to ….dadada….for the sake of time”. But it seems most of what’s eliminated is some of the best material. This is only my own opinion, but I think they are condensing a lot of the story, not knowing at the time of production whether there would be a season 3.

    My husband hasn’t read the books and I always like his viewpoint from a TV series-only perspective. There were several things in this episode where we had to pause so I could explain what and why this or that was happening. The episode didn’t flow well or tell the story well.

    I want them to show the deep love Jamie and Claire have for each other, and also use more of Jamie’s beautiful quotes from the books.

    But even with my criticisms, there’s no way you could keep me from watching Outlander every week! 🙂

  36. Kathie

    You win some you lose some. This episode was a loss IMO. I won’t stop watching or cancel Starz but this episode did nothing for the Outlander I know and enjoy. I wanted to see more continuity with the ending of episode 7 — show us how J and C came together again and their arrival at Lollybroch and seeing their family again. Fergus recovery and a conversation about that. So much was left out. Could care less about Miss Leary and the Madam Lozonga scene at the end. That is not the Claire I’ve known and loved in the books and on TV. Hope the next episode is a win.

  37. Barb R

    To me, it all boils down to what you said at the end. Yes, I hated seeing Laoghaire again & I agree I don’t see how this “redeems” at all for next year. I missed lines like Claire reassuring Jamie “I just want to be where you are.” How long would it take to work that in there? So yes, if there’s no true sense of their extraordinary bond and love, then what’s the point? It won’t be a gut wrenching tragedy when they part – it’ll be like a relief for them! Show us that connection and you can change things. If not, then it’s just a beautifully acted Perils of Pauline!

  38. Alexis Walmsley

    It’s funny isn’t it – my husband (huge fan but hasn’t read the books) loved this episode. He had missed the Scotland scenes and felt this was back to the level of S1. I have read the books and had guessed there would be a compression of the narrative once they were back. I found the Laoghaire /Simon Lovat story contrived and felt the threat of real violence to Claire as well as Jamie at the hands of Lovat was missing. However my husband and I both felt that perhaps Claire’s ‘vision’ was something she and Jamie and cooked up together – a planned double act maybe? FSure it was way different to the book but I couldn’t say it was boring at all. Remember many professional critics criticised some of S1 for being slow and boring (didn’t get that at all) so I can appreciate the need for compression. I agree though Beth, the fade to black when J&C looked to be getting intimate was a disappointment! We all want to share their love!

  39. Nancy

    As usual, I’m obsessing over a few things. It is my belief that Jamie knew full well that Claire was going to feign a vision, they must have discussed this, and that action would put a stop to his signing over Lallybroch to his grandfather. After all Claire did her little “magic” in France with St. Germaine and Master Raymond. So it wasn’t all that strange that she would use her so-called powers back in Scotland. I’m sticking to my theory no matter what the naysayers are saying. I agree with Beth that Claire indeed does have a bit of the other world in her. That comes up from time to time. In this particular case, however, she was able to form a plan (albeit not supernaturally) to save her and her family’s home. Ah, now I feel better.

  40. lmmerrill

    Okay, so here’s my random thoughts:
    – yes, this episode was a come down after last week’s (any episode would have been, really), but there simply isn’t the time with only 6 episodes left in the season to laze around Lallybroch. I think we can assume that there was several months between the end of the last episode and this one – because they couldn’t just leave France on the next boat, it was something that would have taken weeks to do. Plus, how long the travel itself would take. And, doubtful they’d have upped-stakes and left Jared’s business high and dry. So, I assumed watching that there had been some time – 2-3 months or so. The baby Jamie was holding didn’t look like a newborn.
    – I was surprised by the fade to black when watching. But, listening to RDM’s podcast last night with Anne Kenney, apparently they were very pressed for time and had to keep cutting scenes. He was even eyeballing the baby scene at one point, but she held firm that they had to keep that scene. So, I suspect the fade to black on the sexy-times was the result of needing to find some minutes.
    – I hate all the nicknames for Laoughaire (Leery to make it easier). But then I hate any derisive names made from people’s real names.
    – Maybe I missed it last season, but why is everyone up in arms only NOW that Jamie knows that Leery was culpable in Claire’s arrest? She was in court testifying against Claire when Jamie burst in and saved her last season wasn’t she? So, in the series, I think he’s always known that Leery was involved. But once they got away from Crainsmuire, she just wasn’t that important to them anymore so we haven’t heard anything about it again. So, knowing that they enhanced Leery’s involvement in Claire’s arrest, they have to either walk it back, or redeem her, or set the stage for something that is to come. We book readers assume it’s her marriage to Jamie, but maybe it’s something else? I think the thing that was “wrong” was not Leery trying to redeem herself, if she in fact was, it was Claire’s response to her. Apparently, RDM wanted Claire to really slap her around, but Diana, Cait and Anne Kenney all felt that was totally out of character for Claire, which I tend to agree with. But, since they enhanced Leery’s role previously, maybe Claire’s response to her had to be bigger.
    – On the other hand, maybe it was not to “redeem” Leery, but to simply remind the viewing audience why it would be such a big shock that Jamie eventually marries her – given that it will be two or three years in real viewing time between Season 1 and Season 3. And we don’t know in which order they will showing the events in Voyager. Viewing audiences do easily forget characters that readership audiences don’t. I binged watched seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones, but when I caught up, I didn’t even remember some characters and their importance and back stories only a few months later.
    – I think Jamie and Claire planned the whole fake “vision” thing ahead of time to give them a way to have Simon show his hand by thinking Jamie would sign Lallybroch over to him. To me this was confirmed at the end when Jamie asks Claire to tell him he’s different than his Grandsire and she says she sees a similar devious turn of mind (or however she put it) in him, and Jamie responds about them amending their pledge not to lie to one another.

    Sorry this is so long, but thanks for the forum to make comments Beth!

    • Kelly O

      Good point! Similar to Beth’s take on it, and I’d prefer it to have been a planned scheme, so I’ll pick up what you two are putting down 🙂

      Thanks to all for your thoughts – I love to read other people’s reactions to the show

  41. Sorry but I thought this episode was a complete aberration of what the episode should have been. I was so looking forward to it because so much happens. Although I understand the limitations placed on the writers basing a show on eight gigantic books I thought it was a disjointed mess. I didn’t believe a bit of it. Colum shows up? Give me a break. Lheery does her thing at the urging of Claire. What? Was Claire on crack for this one? It’s so out of character for her. And poor Fergus. He gets into the most horrible predicament; true Jaime fights a duel for him but how about a hug. Something which shows the love and regard Jamie has for this child. Fergus certainly needed it since he felt like everything was his fault. That’s a horrible burden to put on a child.

    • Catten

      I am sorry to disagree a little bit about your take on things.
      I thought it was a clever trick to have Colum show up. Probably as exchange to the book scene in Edinburgh (but who knows). It would also be quite believable historically after the Prince’s call for rebellion for 2 larger clan chiefs to discuss their position and how to respond. Not to do it would have been more strange.
      Laoghaire turning up I deem necessary for TV only fans to keep remembering who she is if nothing else. It was also a bit comical, which is never a bad thing (cfr Rupert and Angus, etc). Also the TV adaptation has successfully fleshed out several secondary characters (cfr Willie or Murtagh which we now all want to survive Culloden – why he could flee to Suzette, or if Ron includes anything from the Scottish Prisoner, Murtagh could flee to Ireland and meet up with Jamie there eventually. Willy could be picked up at the other side of the world after being transported, etc). Fleshing them out more, only gives the story more depth / makes it more believable.
      In the books some characters aren’t (which I understand, since there are so many – albeit in waves) but the depth is compensated or found in the internal monologues / more philosophical ponderings which I love Diana for so much. But those parts don’t necessarily translate to TV. We know they don’t in fact – all voice over no action. We would all hate it, be honest.
      That Claire has strong words for Laoghaire and involve her in moving young Simon to action, or that Laoghaire goes along with it being unbelievable. Why ? Claire obviously feels strongly about Laoghaire and rightly so. On the other hand she has been through so much post Wentworth / France that some albeit scheming teenagers machinations must feel rather pathetic in the grander scheme of things. And that how I read Claire’s reaction to Laoghaire. She finds her pathetic – but afterwards still somewhat relieved to have got her annoyance off her chest.
      As to Laoghaire helping Claire – no – I think she doesn’t. She does it for Jamie – as Claire points out to her. This, combined with her looks at dinner and last words under her breath sets us all up for something to come. Laoghaire has not given up on her dream to win Jamie’s love.
      I am actually now excited how they will make Jamie marry her. What will motivate him ? Maybe it is again his strong belief in “taking care” of his people (in combination no doubt with Jenny’s scheming). Laoghaire was after all a widow with 2 children who needed a man to take care of her and maybe in more dire straits than shown in the book. Jamie did if I’m not mistaken agree to marry her mainly to “not be alone” and for pity of her situation. Maybe even because he would rather marry someone who never could compete with Claire, to somehow in a weird way, stay true to her, to not even try to replicate something which he felt he would never be able to anyway.
      Finally, poor Fergus. Another character I would love fleshed out more, absolutely, but maybe we will get more as we go along. But … based on the books at least, Fergus (and the TV adaptation stayed true to this thought IMO) was a child whore. He had gone with men before. Maybe or maybe not in the same way, but nevertheless. I think what distressed him most, was (as shown by Ron & co) the fact that this lead to Jamie being locked up in the Bastille. The 18th C was a rough place. Life was hard etc. In all honesty, the most anachronistic thing in this whole Outlander world is probably Jamie caring so much for kin and tenants. Fawning over poor Fergus would have been so “now” and not at all of that time.

      All that said, after Faith, this episode didn’t grab me immediately. There was a lot of different parts established. All valid choices. However, episode 2 was also brimming and yet if compared, that flowed better. Difficult to say why exactly. Maybe even had to do (as said in the podcast I believe) with the bad weather, lots of inside scenes, darkness, many characters etc.

      On the other hand, one might say that it reflected the state of mind of Claire and Jamie. Feeling despondent and fearful and yet having very little choice but to face whatever is coming anyway. Feeling as if they have no control on events and trying by any means to grap that control again. I think I felt ill at ease, just like them, and for that reason this episode feels a bit cold. But maybe therefore comparable to Wentworth in that it makes akward / hard watching. You as a viewer feel frustrated, provoked and not in control, but thereby transporting you exactly to the place where our protagonists are emotionally aswell – and maybe therefore extremely cleverly contrived.

      As to Jamie almost signing away Lallybroch. We might not do it, but for Jamie : he knows the alternative is the picture Claire has painted of the future. If there is no future, no point in hanging on to Lallybroch anyway. Book Jamie has never bothered too much about posessions for himself anyway, so not so very out of character IMO. And – you might even argue that if the bargain with Lord Lovat should lead to victory, Jamie’s family would still be tenants – and maybe Lovat’s heir if young Simon would not survive OR not measure up in comparison to Jamie in Lord Lovat’s eyes (should Jamie even want to). So I don’t really see what all the “to do” is about with this scene.

      As to “fade to black” that some commenters are lamenting. Sure, the Wedding and the Reckoning were ground breaking and will probably go down in history as some of the most sensual sex scenes ever and studied at film school just like shower scene in Psycho. But, doing it every week would make this a “Harlequin” TV adaptation and diminish it’s credibility and appeal to a general audience. It is about so much more. Like someone said in the comments previously; go rent a porn video if a “coupling couple” is all you want to take away from this.

      I don’t profess to understand how to make good TV, but maybe, just maybe, I would have sacrificed the baby scene and gone for the potato party instead, with a child on Jamies lap there. I’m a woman but do not get all gooey just because a man holds a baby. A potato party would IMO have given us opportunity to show more of Lallybroch, Jenny & Ian, Fergus etc in a domestic setting which many of us would have loved to see. But … I concede I am probably not your typical archetype woman.

      So, there you go, my 5 cents worth on a “provoking” episode.

      • Once again, appreciate your very valid points, but please refrain from suggesting that more complete sex scenes would make this porn or folks who would enjoy them only interested in sex scenes. Did you think the Wedding episode was porn? I know some folks did. I’m enjoying watching some of the best sex scenes ever written on my screen and I don’t believe they equate to porn.

      • Catten

        Hi Beth, Trying to respond to your comment about my comment, but cannot find a reply link to your comment. So I’m sorry if this attaches to my instead of your comment.

        Anyway, I am very sorry if I offended anyone by mentioning the porn comment made by another visitor. I didn’t consciously mean to be rude.

        And in answer to your (Beth’s) question, I don’t find the Wedding sex scenes to be = porn. But … that is because (IMO) they move the story forward or illustrate a point which could not be convincingly put in any other way. Like Ron said I guess; not gratuitously included.

        I also do not assume that viewers who enjoy f.i the Wedding only want more of the same and cannot appreciate other aspects of the adaptation (I’m one of them after all).

        But … I see an awful lot of comments (albeit less on your Forum thankfully) to the effect that because we don’t seem to get a weekly portion of bare flesh, the adaptation is boring / worthless etc. They want shirtless Sam and a lot of other rude comments.

        In the TV adaptation I feel we now know our couple is passionate and have a healthy intimate relationship, it has been established. Lingering repeatedly on this aspect, would border on voyeurism or a plain need / want to tittilate, and in my world that is then not very far removed from that four letter type of entertainment (mind, I make no judgement about porn per se, it’s just another kind of entertainment than the one I think Outlander is or should be)

        To be sure, Jamie’s and Claire’s passionate relationship is an important ingredient in the story, and I am not per se adverse to it’s portrayal but I still believe that this passion can be (and is) legitimately expressed / portrayed in more ways than the obvious “explicit seeming sex scenes”.

        Of course in the books our couple is quite “hands on”, but to be honest, the way Diana wrote them, most of what occurs, does so between the reader’s ears, not on the page. TV is a different medium though. You show it or you don’t. And were you to show it repeatedly, where would you find actors of any definable calibre to play the characters if they had to sign up for an “obligatory scene” per episode as it were (not the excellent Caitriona Balfe I don’t think, not for very long anyway). Not that I think either of our beloved actors are squeamish, but be honest. Would you ? And the result, would it be so wonderful when all is said and done ? I personally think it would likely be reduced to a cheesy, “Harlequin adaptation”. Not the epic adaptation we are getting now. For which financing would probably not have been found, or very limited and we would never have had the privilege of now watching an adaptation worthy of the books, with resources spent in all the right places. Is it perfect ? No. Is it very good ? Yes. Should there be sex scenes regular as clock work ? No, only when integral to moving the story forward. Can the passionate relationship be shown by other means ? Yes. How ? By things like humour, tenderness, teamwork, loyalty etc etc. Are these ingredients included today ? Yes. In enough measure ? Maybe, maybe not

      • catten

        Just I small thing I found yesterday when listening to the Scottish Prisoner. Jamie did know Laoghaire put the ill wish under their bed. So it wasn’t Ron that changed that piece in the puzzle anyway in season 1 (L testifying at the trial or J knowing of it, was never described nor directly inferred by Diana, but then a plausible assumption of Ron). Cool how re reading always yields up new small breadcrumbs you initially didn’t spot. Diana is unbelievable in the intricacy of her storytelling (and Ron is just copying that I feel, breadcrumbs along the way). Sad though that people sometimes don’t seem to appreciate it as much in the adaptation as in the books – but maybe once a whole season is there to watch and rewatch …. we will understand the complicated tapestry better, or maybe it”s just that as fans compare books to adaptation, we now and again actually get things wrong, just because Diana IS so masterful at weaving in contemplations about events transpired in earlier books, and small hints here and there, so they keep evolving, deepening, acquiring more meaning and additional information. So Ron & Co have the comfortable perspective of looking at a particular book with the knowledge of any of the later published books and know more about the included events than what can be gleaned from the particular book they are adapting at any given time….. I have the books on almost continuous rotation as audiobooks and have probably re listened to all of them more than 10 times in the last 2 years, and I still find nuggets all the time. Let Ron do his breadcrumbs please without judgement. It will just make the adaptation more layered / engaging to watch (and re watch)and that’s what’s going to leave this show on our screens for the next 20 years as a regular repeat, re watched by us aswell as future generations. A classic. Just like the books.

  42. Sue Kennedy

    I did like the scene between Jamie and Colum where Colum tries to convince him to abandon the rebellion… not because of Jamie, but because of Colum. He came off as a real clan chief, sober, strong, full of care about his people. He seemed like he really cared for his nephew, too, as well as Claire.

    He may have been a means to a questionable end for the writers, but he was one of the few bright spots in the episode for me.

    ———

    On a completely separate note, I’m very disappointed to see that Tom+Lorenzo will no longer be reviewing Outlander. Theirs was one of the best, most thoughtful reviews going, in addition to the reviews here. What a shame.

    • BJ

      I liked Colum a lot here. Everything he said was true…not having external backing was a receipe for disaster and that Jamie’s behavious was so out of character for him. For a little bit there I was on Colums side in thinking that Jamie had lost his mind! Colum is an intelligent person too and doesn’t understand Jamie’s thinking. To see his dissappointment and heartbreak in Jamie was hard. It was a great scene to watch.

    • lmmerrill

      It is a shame about T+L no longer blogging on Outlander. I haven’t listened to their podcast, but the “fandom” is sometimes rabidly fanatic and the twitter pitchforks were out for them at one point. Also, they rarely get a lot of pushback and are quick to assert their authority over their blog space (totally their right) so the yapping probably became more time consuming for the bump in readership the show brought their site was worth.

  43. Even though I thought the episode was a chocolate mess I still love the show. I loved the potatoes & the Jamie & Katherine scenes; but Ron needed to read that book much closer than he has. He seems to have skipped over some vital scenes which set up the action for other parts of the story. And I DID NOT Claire’s so called vision.

  44. My heart plunged at the the opening credits when I saw Nell Hudson’s name….OHHHH NOOO! I also had my hopes up that they would include how Claire and Jamie reconnect when Jamie demands that Claire will never again have another man (referring to Claire and King Louis). That was one of my favorite love scenes from the books and, since Anne Kenny did such a great job writing “The Wedding” episode, I thought that Jaime and Claire’s relationship would not suffer in this episode…WRONG! I also think that Voyager should be two seasons If that is the only way they can portray the Jamie and Claire we love.

  45. As usual, Beth, I wait for you blog because I love to read your response to each episode. This time, I found it unfortunate that you were so disappointed. I agree with the things you thought were not done just right, but they did not prohibit me from thoroughly enjoying the episode. What I particularly liked besides the scene with the baby, was seeing Jamie back. He was the Jamie we met in the first episodes and fell in love with in the books. His entire demeanor was changed from Paris where he felt alone, naked under the blade of grass. His facial expressions, bodily movements, dialogue, sense of humor, and self confidence were back. Added to them, was an ability to maneuver within the political machinations of the MacKenzie brothers, the Frasers and MacKenzies, the Highlanders and all of these groups convoluted relationship with each other and the British; and do it as a leader willing to sacrifice his life for his family and people under him as The Lord. He is now a man honed by suffering, understanding, intelligent, wise, selfless. One I would willingly want to follow if he were a Lieutenant in my platoon, if he were the mayor of my war besieged town, Watching this, made the episode well worth it for me. I am so happy we have Sam, Cait, and the other actors. I think the writers, directors, producers, etc are excellent, dedicated and working very hard to make this a wonderful gift to us viewers. I am grateful!

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