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.