The time between, reunions, and…transitions…Looking ahead to Outlander season 3

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I know I haven’t been spending much time in the Outlander Universe lately, but season 3 is upon us, so I’ve been trying to get caught up with all the news! I’ve had a chance to read and watch a few interviews with the cast.  One of the reoccurring themes in these interviews seems to be the cast reminding us that this couple has been apart for 20 years.  It is a good point and a fascinating one. How does one go on? How do you live a life you no longer want?

As I’ve said before and will again, we NEED to see what life was like for these two in their years apart . The story needs it ..the print shop reunion NEEDS it. From just the few things the cast has said, I believe they will do a wonderful job of representing those years and that reunion.  Oh God, I’m getting choked up just thinking about it…

“…,but you couldn’t see her without thinking of him, could you ? Without that constant memory, I wonder—would you have forgotten him, …”

“I shook so that it was some time before I realized that he was shaking too, and for the same reason. I don’t know how long we sat there on the dusty floor, crying in each others arms with the longing of twenty years spilling down our faces.”
― Diana Gabaldon Voyager

…He buried his head in my shoulder and very quietly and thoroughly went to pieces.”

Truly, some of the most poignant scenes I’ve ever read are in this book and in that print shop…

It is an often lamented fact that a movie /TV series can never truly replicate the book from which it is adapted.  Of course there are things that I would have liked to have seen in the show and I’m SURE there are fans who could say the same.  We waited a verra long time to see this story and each of us thinks we know how it should have been told.  Overall, I am more than satisfied with this adaptation. It isn’t the book verbatim, but I believe the complicated story has been loving told and the characters are recognizably our beloved Jamie and Claire. To my surprise, I often found myself anxious to watch the next week’s episode to see what was changed. I’m pleased to say that I have found that the TV series can actually make parts of the story better (I know heresy) or at least more real.  There are definite advantages to understanding character and motivation when you can actually hear tone of voice, see emotions on a face, and interpret a character’s body language and I have say the Versailles and Culloden on the screen were much more detailed than the ones I had cooked up in my head and therefore, I found myself more immersed in the story and able to suspend my disbelief. I found myself startled to realize that I more fully understood moments and ideas I thought I already understood because I was seeing and hearing characters move through the worlds Diana had created.  The example that comes to mind was the episode The Garrison Commander.  Now, I knew that Black Jack Randall looked like Frank, but I have to say the confusion that would have caused Claire became clear to me after seeing her respond to Jack’s tale of being changed by war.  I suddenly realized she saw Frank sitting across that table!  Amazing. And, as wonderful as that reunion will be, today I find myself suspecting that season three of Outlander is going to get the chance to make something else more real to me…the transition.

One of the most endearing moments in the Voyager reunion is Jamie’s faint when he realizes Claire is actually real and not a figment of his imagination.  “He fell rather gracefully for a large man..”, Claire thinks.  The whole dynamic of Claire preparing herself and saying goodbye to her life in the 20th century juxtaposed to Jamie having her resurrection “sprung” on him has the potential for some entertaining TV.  They really can’t pick up where they left off no matter how much they desire to.  It has been twenty years.  A lifetime. The books certainly address this issue of time and the possibility the couple are not the same people they were 20 years before…

“…Sassenach, will you take me and risk the man that I and- for the sake of the man you knew?”

There are moments when Claire can see the memories she doesn’t share with Jamie flit across his face and she is reminded of the chasm of years they spent apart.  Jamie in fact reminds her that they know each other less now than when they wed.  In the grand scheme of things, they were in truth together a very short time.  Things change and so do people.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how fortunate I feel that in my 41 + years of marriage my husband and I did not grow apart.  It happens.  The rigors and mundane activity of living can often take its toll on relationships if they aren’t carefully nurtured.  We are certainly not the same people who said their vows over 40 years ago.  I believe, over the years, we each sort of took turns changing and growing and I remember the patience and sometimes stress that caused.  We worked through each of these times…together.   Jamie and Claire have not had the luxury of time together to change and grow.  They have become the people they are now because of the things that happened to them while they were apart.  And, it occurred to me that each may be longing for someone who no longer exists.  Scary stuff.  It makes that trip through the stones an even bigger gamble than I first thought and that ringing shop bell sounds a bit more like a harbinger of uncertainty than of hope.

What could possibly make Claire take that risk, along with traveling through the stones and leaving her daughter for what she has to believe is forever?  I have to wonder if she truly had a plan B.  What was she going to do if she found him married or recognizably altered from the man she knew?  Would she have stayed just to be near him committed to loving him however she could? Does she love him that much? It feels very much like blind faith to me.  Faith that the man she loved and still loves would be there.  Despite whatever he had to endure, she has to believe he will still be her Jamie. My own life experience tells me she is probably right, but it was still a hell of a risk.

I sometimes get frustrated by how different my husband and I are, but time after time, when I need him, that principled honorable kind man I married, I find him still there.  A man like Jamie, so deeply committed to responsibility, honor and keeping his word would still be that same man at his core.  I want to see them go through this transition and face those fears and insecurities and find the people they love and have loved for twenty years and two hundred years apart.  Come on September 10th.

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44 thoughts on “The time between, reunions, and…transitions…Looking ahead to Outlander season 3

  1. sharon symons

    Thank you beth for your vision and what if’s…..I agree…the chance she took did she have a Plan B…would she have been able to exist if Jamie was seriously injured and with another women??? All I can say is how horrible that would be and I am so glad they will be back together!!!. I am in my second read of the voyager and love every page…here’s to September 10th…can hardly wait.

  2. Cathy Ritter

    Beth you are so darn eloquent. You wrote all the things I was thinking and feeling about Jamie and Claire reuniting 20 years later and you put it all out there
    . Thank you!!

  3. Lisa Margulies

    Lovely post. True personal commitment involves risks. Thank you for this thought provoking analysis of unconditional love.

    • Terryhendrickson

      It was good to hear from you again ! I love hearing your thoughts and reflections ! It is nice to know that someone else out there is feeling the same way about all this! Can’t wait until September 10

  4. Lorraine Grzena

    Beth, I never realized the risk Claire was taking coming back. We knew Jamie was alive, sane, and not married, but she didn’t. I guess she was willing to take him as she found him, or maybe not. Of course if she didn’t there wouldn’t be five more books. I now know I will be looking at Claire’s decision to travel back in a whole new light.

  5. Crikey Dingo Beth..!
    You’ve done it again. You’ve just taken me on a journey, down roads, that I hadn’t ever thought about, re their reunion.

    And, I really loved your personal reflections ie. “I sometimes get frustrated byhow different we are,” etc,
    as they truly match my marriage –
    44 years in December; he was a Medic in Vietnam.
    Diana has given us a “love story” of a realistic marriage, as two adults grow older together.
    Jill, from Australia.

  6. Barbara Brown

    Two things: The television series has always been satisfying for me because it gives me some answers to my “what ifs.” In reading the books I often think, “Well, what if ‘this’ should happen?.” Or, “I wonder what they might be thinking as they face the Bonnie Prince?” You know, all of the millions of thoughts that Herself’s writing manages to conjure in our minds as we wander, again and again, through this tale. The episodes provide such rich, detailed and wonderful possibilities to answer my “what ifs.”

    Secondly, this entry reminded me that I always come back to the theme of faith throughout the Outlander episodes and books. I think that faith is the bedrock of Claire’s and Jamie’s relationship and life together, or apart. Even in times when they are challenged or in pain or even in doubt, their faith in each other and in their love, seems to hold their very atoms together. And I suppose faith equals trust. Critical in all of our relationships.

    • It is critical! I always think of the scene of Jamie after he looks at Bree’s pics and falls apart in Claire’s arms and think he had needed to do that for 20 years , but her arms were the only place he could do that.

  7. It’s strange that your blog showed up in my inbox today. Strange because I usually check my emails early in the day today I didn’t. I buzzed off to do errands and get my hair done. As I was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair this afternoon I was thinking about this exact topic. My DH and I have been together for 45 years and there are times when we seem to have grown into people I no longer recognize as the young passionate people we once were. Then in the blink of an eye he will do or say something and the man I fell in love with all those years ago is standing right in front of me.
    When reading Voyager I had no doubt that Claire would find her Jamie basically unchanged (it’s a book so that’s what happens) it never really occurred to me what a spectacular leap (pardon the pun) of faith she took going back through the stones to find her love.
    I’m anxiously awaiting Season 3. I’m sure I will be unhappy about some changes or omissions – I wear my book hat very proudly. However, I know it will make me laugh, cry and get angry. Sam & Cait and the rest of the cast will weave their magic and I will love every minute.

    • Love hearing from you! Yes Then in the blink of an eye he will do or say something and the man I fell in love with all those years ago is standing right in front of me.” Exactly what I was trying to express!

  8. Nancy C.

    Hey Beth. So nice to hear from you. We’re all waiting for September – not for the season changes, the beautiful fall colors – cooler weather – nope, we are waiting for Outlander Season Three. I hope they’d spend at least 5 episodes of lives lived for 20 years. We must be able to connect distance and time with undying love. It is a story in and of itself. And we must watch that. I am certain that the Outlander crew will get this necessity. Like you, I have been married for 40 years and still can say that I adore and love my husband. Through the crappy times, through, well, you know, just through. And he, me. There were a few other things to say, but I’ll stop for now. So glad you are still here, our favorite voice of Outlander, Beth. Look forward to the new season. And discussions!

  9. Marge

    Beth, as much as I loved your take on Claire and Jamie’s reunion, your description of you and your true love’s 41-year relationship touched me more. My true love and I have been joined for 35 years now. Our “child of love” and HER beloved are to be married this weekend.

  10. Denise

    Omg I can not wait ,, I often wonder what Claire would have done if he was happily married ,, but I also know he would never be as happy with anyone but Claire and the same with her . I have my own Jamie too , my rock ! we have been married 37 years ups and downs and in between but always together !! Counting the days till Sept 10 !!!

  11. Joyce Johnston

    Thanks so much. As always you nailed it. Congrats on over years of marriage . i only made it to 25 and we separated. Next weekend Labour Day wked soon guys soon!!! Sept 10th

  12. Beth…everything is “Beautiful”….that you are back wonderfully expressive….that Jamie and Clair will return to the screen…..that Herself created this World for all of us….the photo of Yourself and Hubby.

  13. Yes! September 10! Your post spoke to me. Having just celebrated our 40th anniversary last week, I know exactly what you are talking about. Those starry-eyed kids we were are now greyed, and life has taken us on many paths, some good, some not so. But, we’ve weathered each storm, we’ve grown, sometimes not in the same direction, and sometimes as a strong, united front against whatever was battering us. Like any couple, we’ve certainly had challenges, but it is our strength together that got us through to the other side. We’ve known each other so long, and so deeply, that we know we can count on each other absolutely in the important things. Claire and Jamie have this. Though physically apart for 20 years, they never stopped being married in their hearts and private minds. Much like when a spouse dies and the survivor goes on living but never remarries or even thinks of it. My parents died 20 years apart. My mother would never gave gone with anyone else, let alone marry again. For her, she WAS married. Her husband just wasn’t there. Claire gets a chance no one ever gets. She can go back and, hopefully, get the love of her life back in whatever shape or form he is in. In her heart of hearts, she knows her Jamie is there, whatever the changes, and whatever they must endure, even just to know they each are alive and breathing the same air. Claire and Jamie together again has to have been one of the happiest reading days of my life! I can’t wait to see the new season. Can’t. Wait!

  14. Julia Korovina

    Dear Beth! It`s so touching and wonderfull! I feel like its very warm in my heart, when I read about your family and Jamie&Clire. Just translated this for our community. And I was very missing you! I`m glad you are back! 🙂

  15. Connie Evans

    So much of what you write resonates with me. We’ve been married 46 years and counting. Additionally, your insights (and getting in the characters’ heads) expand my appreciation of Diana’s words. I look forward to your posts! keep ’em coming!

  16. Linda

    Very insightful. I’m impressed with the depth of emotions you have brought into my consciousness. Thank you.
    After watching the first two episodes of the 3rd season I feel something missing, just not satisfying. I have read the books and understand how adaptation to TV had to happen. Perhaps the approximate 1 1/2 year ‘droughtlander’ took its toll on me.
    I’m hopeful it gets better. The print shop episode just might do the trick.
    Keep up the great blog.

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