Poor Devils Now… a reflection on Outlander episode 3.3 “All Debts Paid”

Standard

images-6

by Beth Wesson

 

I picture the Outlander’s writer’s room looking a lot like my house when I decide I need to organize.  My husband always shakes his head because my organizing tends to look like anything, but. “You KNOW it always looks worse before gets better!”, I remind him.  It seems I have to put everything out where I can see it before I can decide what is important, what can be thrown away, and how to put it all back together in a way that functions. It is a very long and messy process.  I’m pretty sure the task of adapting Diana’s Gabaldon’s big novels feels very much like cleaning at least three closets that haven’t been truly gleaned in 25 years. You have this huge amount of material to work through, favorites that you can’t bear to live without, limited space, and a need to have a system that helps connect things in a way that makes sense so that tomorrow you know where things go.

Now, here’s the difference.  They are working with words, ideas, metaphors, images, and characters instead of old clothes, purses, and boxes of children’s art projects.  Pulling on the threads of words and images both light and dark and weaving them into a pleasing pattern is a challenge I would love.  What I probably wouldn’t enjoy as much would be having to argue about those choices and having to compromise.  I understand the importance of having different voices in this kind of creative process, but I’m pretty sure I would feel strongly about my choices and find it difficult to let go.  Imagine finally getting that closet in beautiful working order only to have your mother-in-law come and tell you it’s all wrong! Now, I don’t know who is supposed to be the mother-in -law in this Outlander writer’s room scenario, but you get my point. I know these writers are dedicated to creating the best adaptation they can bring us whether we be book fans or not. I’ve watch them give space and respect to too many sensitive subjects to ever believe otherwise. This week, I saw Matt B. Roberts and the Outlander writer’s room tackle some significant storylines and character development, and arrange them in a way that will make sense tomorrow and in episode, 6, 8 or 10 for that matter. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to throw away some favorites, make hard choices, and fight to make the whole thing honor the source story and still be a its own story. They have fought the good fight and in my opinion, they won.

Unknown

Hard Choices

What Frank knew and didn’t know, what Frank did and didn’t do and whether that makes him one of the best or worst husbands has been a topic for debate in the fandom for a long time.  Diana has gone on record with her now famous “Defense of Frank” to let us know there is more to Frank’s story than meets the eye and reminds us that we only hear things from Claire’s perspective and that she has her own reasons for wanting to believe the worst of Frank.  And, so I was surprised to see Matt and team had decided to go with the Frank is “cheating” route right out of the box.  I’ve written a couple of posts about Frank and in each, I found it completely understandable that Frank would look for companionship, sex, and maybe even love outside this marriage.  What, after all, is a man to do with the knowledge that his wife has loved another man for almost 20 years?

When I think of Frank and Claire’s marriage warped things come to mind; intentions, plans, relationships, and love.  What started out straight and good and true has become a twisted volatile mess.  The choice to make Frank less than perfect and less the martyr is a good one, in my opinion.  It also made this whole situation that much more painful and real.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the “separate lives” thing being Claire’s idea.  It sort of goes against the belief that she wanted the marriage to work and that she was still trying.  I’m not sure if they are trying to suggest that perhaps she was trying to be kind to Frank or that she thought she could handle a “modern” marriage?  Either way, she sure seems surprised he is seeing other people and that her marriage has truly become one of convenience.

On the night, where she should be celebrating with her family, with those that love her, she instead has to face the demise of her marriage to Frank.  Claire coming face to face with Frank’s infidelity and his strained, slightly intoxicated reserve was unnerving.   His mumbled comments, pointed emphasis on “Dr. Randall”, and the out of character insult “green ain’t your color Claire” felt as real as any argument over a “dead horse” subject as I ever heard or felt.   The idea that this conversation is really going nowhere, that you’ve heard it before, and that you are just wasting your time, energy, and emotion, is familiar.

Tobias’ allowed Frank’s frustration and his reaching his limits to be communicated subtly with a shaky sigh, a thrown pillow, his not knowing what to do with his hands, and his furrowed brow.  Cait’s portrayal of a hurt Claire with her eyes brimming with tears, a lifted chin, and arms crossed around herself was a painful thing to watch.  The reason they can’t play charades isn’t just because they are bad actors, it is because they aren’t close enough to read each other.  Their marriage is an absolute train wreck, full of anger, regret and remorse.

The night the clock truly does run out on their marriage was so awful.  I agreed with Cait when she said this scene in the book had some powerful stuff.  I can remember being so confused by Frank telling  her he was leaving and taking Bree while he was spooning with Claire in bed.  He seemed so urbane.  In this episode, his tender regard for how she is feeling is followed by his announcement that he wants a divorce and that he is taking Bree with him. Not the same, but still satisfying. I’m sure there were a myriad of reasons for the change, but my guess is we had to see Frank walk out that door. The idea that he has been biding his time and waiting for Brianna to come of age before leaving Claire is a bitter pill to swallow.  His insinuation that Bree loves him more has to sting.  Did Claire’s following her calling come at too great a price?  Was she in danger of losing her daughter?  My guess is yes.  It feels as if Frank might have cultivated this scenario whether he was conscience of it or not.

I know it is implied that Frank stepped up and fried the bacon and black pudding up in the pan , so that Claire could leave Bree well cared for while she became a doctor, but the scene where they discussed this in the books felt important to me.  It was some needed insight into how this choice and arrangement came to be.  We learn how Frank felt about the whole thing, and how Claire was willing to give this up for Bree’s sake.  I felt it would have been important to see how Frank recognized that Claire had always know what she was meant to do and how rare it is to be so certain.  He, however, prophetically warned that there was a price, a debt… to pay.  In this episode, we see Claire about to “pay” that debt with the loss of her marriage and maybe her daughter.  Frank seems genuinely surprised that Claire is upset. I think he truly believes she doesn’t care.

His declaration that he wants to spend the rest of his life with a wife who truly loves him is nothing more than any of us deserves.  Despite his declaration, I loved that in a last moment of vulnerability, he asked Claire is there could ever have been a chance of her forgetting …”him”. It was not the simple and honest “No” from the book, but instead a poetic declaration that was just as honest and just as devastating.

I grieved with Claire for her first love, her lost love, her Frank.

 

Character Development

images-3

“Do you find your life burdensome, Mr. Fraser?”, asks Major John Grey.  A reasonable question to ask of a man whose life has been so drastically altered.  A poor devil now.

Jamie answers that he believes that the real burden in one’s life is to care for people you cannot help, not in having no one to care for.  Emptiness, but no great burden.  There is so much emptiness in these characters lives.

This episode was full of poor devils.

Poor Claire. Poor Frank. Poor Jamie. Poor John Grey.  Poor…Murtaugh.  Everyone has been cold and hungry for years.  Prisoners not just languishing behind barred doors and cold stone walls, but in minds, spirits, and hearts.  Everyone is starving.  Everyone is shivering with cold, which is the toll of living lives as prisoners to repressed thoughts, feelings, and memories.

We see a Jamie once again altered.  He has indeed just exchanged one prison for another.  He has exchanged one group of people in which to feel responsible for, yet another.  He is quiet, but not withdrawn. He seems cautious, distrustful, reserved.  And yet, he seems to have found a sense of himself he was missing in the cave.  He is a prisoner, but not cowed. “There is nothing you can do that hasn’t already been done to me”, he tells John Grey.  There is a sense of personal power in this statement.  He has faced and survived more horrors than any one man should have to stand, and so, what is there left to fear?  I see the makings of the wise man Jamie becomes.  He knows what things are truly valuable in this life and what things are worth fearing.

I was glad to see the show has indeed “saved Murtaugh”.  I had some pangs for how his presence might alter the story by lessening Jamie’s loneliness, but then I thought about what hell the poor man had been through and decided Murtaugh was a fair enough gift to give Jamie.  We saw Jamie offered an opportunity for further healing in the form of Lord John Grey and his honorable actions.  He surprises Jamie with his concern for the men under his care, his integrity, and his personal generosity.  We start to see Lord John earn Jamie’s hard to be won trust and a tenuous friendship begins.

John shares a personal story and makes himself vulnerable in front of Jamie.  With eyes glistening with tears he claims,”There are some people you grieve over forever”.  His openness and willingness to share his personal grief with Jamie appears to give Jamie a sense his own grief is in safe hands. He shares his own loss and we see Sam Heughan utter Claire’s name in a voice so full of longing and with a face so full of emotion it would make an angel weep. The scene that follows was no less remarkable in the depth of emotion shown and restrained.  Kudos to both of these actors for such a poignant heart-breaking performance.  This was one of those times when the TV series truly enriched the book series for me.  Seeing John’s offer of condolence turn into something more and the horror, betrayal, and pain that caused for both was heartbreakingly painful to watch.

Moving forward…

outlander-staffel3-john-grey

The debts paid in this episode are all ones we can recognize in our own lives. We pay back kindnesses, give into admitting our mistakes, and reap what we sew,.  Jamie and Claire are altered by their grief, changed by their experiences, and forced to move on with their lives.  This episode managed to encapsulate what was most important for moving these characters and the story forward.  They painted us a picture of two people who are truly missing their other half and finding living hard as a result.  The show has taken on the challenge of showing us the story of Jamie without Claire and Claire without Jamie.  It is not a pretty tale and yet, it has been beautifully told.

 

 

Advertisements

94 thoughts on “Poor Devils Now… a reflection on Outlander episode 3.3 “All Debts Paid”

  1. Phyllis Delrosario

    Beautifully said, Beth. You nailed it. I have watched this episode 4 times already. The cast has deepened in their portrayals. Every emotion is in their eyes. Sam’s is in his whole body. The changes were fine. I did wish they had shown a little more of Jamie as chief in the prison, but 59 minutes to tell the story they did a wonderful job.

    • Brenda Treants

      Oh yes I want to thank everyone who saw a need for us to have an analysis of this seasons events. Please, I do not want to miss any of these post. Just now saw this one, so need to go back and read the ones that were done before I became aware these were available for us. I leave this post to try to find out how to see them. I hope that I will be able to do so. Thanks!!!

  2. As usual a well thought out piece on Prisoners episode Beth. Only a few comments regarding Frank.
    He was a good man at heart and he had loved Claire deeply at one time. However, he was not a Saint and having lived through a long marriage myself, that broke down because of repeated adultery by my husband; I know that there are many stages of feelings that a partner in a marriage feel as a result of that betrayal. To Frank’s mind Claire had committed adultery.
    Revenge is usually in there amongst other strong feelings, even though most people try not to act it out. Perhaps after all his frustrations with trying to get Claire to respond to him as she had done pre- Jamie, the result may well have been to hurt Claire by taking Bree.
    He knew after all, how much she always would remind Claire of his rival. We also know he was not totally on board with Claire having her profession. I believe he was jealous that she knew herself so well as to follow her own mind, regardless of any obstacles in her way. I always thought her to be stronger than Frank. This again would have lead to jealousy and desperation.
    You made a very valid point about them omitting the part where Claire actually considered not following her dream to try and comply with Frank’s wishes. That was important to show Claire had been trying to keep the marriage bouyant.
    Totally agree with your comments on Jamie and LJG scenes. Sam’s acting is getting stronger every episode and Berry is looking to fit LJG’s role exceptionally well.

  3. momt14

    Wonderful summation. I’ve never been Team Frank but I cried in the morgue. Thank you Diana Gabaldon for not dragging us through a bloody divorce. Once again perfect casting with David Barry. He is a convincing LJG. Like you and so many I’m so glad we still have Murtagh. I look forward to seeing him again in the Colonies. Well done, Beth.

  4. Hawley

    Beautifully written, thank you.
    I struggle with the differences in the books and the shows, but the way they are making and acting the shows make sense in themselves and their world and storylines, so I can really see them as separate entities. It is also an interesting meditation to think of Claire as an ‘Unreliable Narrator’ and that the books are really colored from not just her viewpoint, but her strong opinion. It opens up a whole bunch of sides to the story that can be expanded on in the show.
    It will be curious to see how these actors continue to grow and react to what their characters have gone through to get to their older selves, when, as people, have not arrived there yet. They seem to be doing a wonderful job so far!

  5. I loved your insights on this episode Beth. So much pain. So much time just enduring that pain. It changes people in ways we can never imagine. The level of nuance in the acting was heart breaking. As a widow I found the last scene devastating. Bravo Beth.

  6. donnakaylc

    I thought the scene with LJG and Jamie was adapted beautifully–in the book, he planned to make his move carefully, and it seemed more of the moment in the show. Even though they had to compress so many years in this episode, I still liked it because the main events were there and the acting, sets and costumes were spot on!

  7. I thoroughly enjoy your incite on this show and also how you relate to all of our own lives. I have never had the gift of being able to truly express what is in my mind and/or heart, but sometimes I feel like you are speaking for me. Thank you for that.

  8. Having grown up in the fifties and sixties, I thought the section where the clock runs down, more realistic to the time.
    I certainly remember the cocktail parties and the arguments. Perhaps because my parents were never “quiet” when they disagreed, that scene seem very real to me. I do agree that the scene in the book was more of a shock for Claire being caught unaware of what was coming. Frank need to walk away. Glad to know there are other “messy” cleaners out there. I have been struggling with the need to downsize knowing that my kids don’t want or have no room for things.

  9. Beth,
    As a writer myself, I LOVED your reflections on this episode – beautifully done. I hesitate to even mention this, but knowing that I would appreciate it, here goes: Does WordPress not allow editing after publishing? Several typos, many probably not noticeable to most. If not, they need to fix that! No matter how carefully we proof, something can always slip past us, and the platform should make that easy to rectify.

    Again, beautiful post that this Outlander fan (books AND show) loved reading.

    • Carla I go over and over it and still miss things. The brain tells us what it believes is there sometimes. Often I see things the next day and fix them because I couldn’t see them before. I’m afraid it will never be different for me. I try, but things always slip by. The title is still puzzling me I can’t get it changed!

  10. Lisa Schlickeiser

    This is my favorite episode so far. I enjoy your insight very much. Frank and Claire hit home for me and I have to say I can’t help but feel heartbroken for Frank. Almost every minute of this episode I felt heavy hearted. Kudos to Matt Roberts and the team of writers. Beautiful.

  11. Joyce Johnston

    i am re reading the series yet again. just finished Drums in which LJG tells Brainna of the flogging and wondered if the rope pulling was a substitute. John believes he took ownership of the plaid to punish him knowing the penalty for owning it. i thought he was saving the boy from the flogging.

    • Joan Tinnin

      I will take the rope thing as a substitute. The one complaint I have of the books (2 readings under my belt) (so far) is the bearing of Jamie. BJR whipping him at Lallybroch. Two horrendous floggings. Another flogging due to the plaid. A bare butt whipping from, well, I won’t spoil. I breathed a sigh of relief. I only wondered how Jamie’s well worn boots would have held up walking for three days. Enjoyed your comment!

  12. Jane B.

    Thank you Beth! Love your reflections on the episodes, as there are so many subtle things in each one. Hard to remember them all, and I’ve seen this twice so far! Agree that the writers have a hard job – so many decisions, so little time to work in major plot points, yet they are able to hit so many wonderful notes in each episode. And who has time to clean closets anyway?? (My husband would rather I’d be doing that than reading your blog!!)

  13. Donna

    I loved reading all the comments. Did you do a summary of the previous episodes and will you do all the upcoming ones? Is there a way to have alerts so we know when you post something new, or did I miss something?

    • Yes! I’ve been writing about the shows and books since before the series aired. On the blog’s main page there should be a follow button that allows you to get email alerts. Glad you found me!

  14. Claudia Krage

    Enjoyed your article – the closet analogy hit home and resulted in a smile! I agree with your insights 100%.
    I am enjoying seeing Sam in these few episodes as the primary focus, his acting is very strong.
    David Berry is very good however his make up did not seem real to me – too much a pretty boy.
    Thanks for article!

  15. Brenda Treants

    Oh yes please do what is needed so that we will be able to follow your posts!! I have not had the opportunity to be a part of a Book Club, with all the reading I have done in my life time, so this site is such a blessing for me.!!! Thank you, and to think that I now will be able to enjoy this Book Club that is covering my most favorite books and TV rendition of these books!!! Thank you all so much, BjT

  16. JKCohen

    Thanks for the insights, Beth! I thought about why Claire exploded when Frank said he would offer to help Bree attend Oxford (I would not dismiss that remarkable possibility for any child of mine…I just had a son go thousands of miles away to grad school)–was it guilt? What working mother doesn’t feel that–and it has to be worse for a surgeon on call 24/7 in the 60’s. An 18 year old at that time was much more mature than our current adolescents…wasn’t Claire nearly married at that point? Wouldn’t headstrong Bree be capable of making her own choice..Radcliffe or Oxford? And wouldn’t Claire be ultimately OK with Oxford if her marriage had endured? Yes. But Claire knows what the real choice is–mom or dad–and she is afraid she knows dad might come in first place. Selfishly, she wants that possibility off the table. She sacrificed too much to get Bree to this point.

    I like that Claire is flawed…it is more “real”. Both partners in this marriage made choices that ended it. I needed to see it.

  17. Gina

    Beth, all of your reflections have been so satisfying this season, as has the season itself. The story choices, the mood, the arc all serve the spirit of the story so well. And the actors… oh my god, the performances. I’ve been more quiet on social media this season due to my own set of real life stresses and sorrows, but I want to respond here. This was somewhat of a milestone episode for me this season. All three episodes so far have been one, long emotional haul, but despite that, Claire’s farewell to Frank hit a particular note. All I could think of was all the missed opportunities, grievances, petty and otherwise, the pain of lost love, the regret of realizing your own shortcomings and the frustration of being unable to mold a situation to your own will. And… the things left unsaid until too late. The story arc from last season showed that what history foretold was inevitable and could not be changed despite the best intent and the strongest will. Isn’t that indeed what happened with Claire and Frank? Wasn’t the outcome of their marriage as inevitable as the fate of the Scots? Jamie’s existence in Claire’s life could not be changed and therefore Claire and Frank were essentially fated to fail. Heartrending stuff. With that, I think I’ll go find a closet to clean. Thanks again, Beth.

  18. Beth -Thank you for writing such beautiful thoughts about Outlander. I am amazed at how well the series has been adapted to TV. The actors have been magnificent! When I reread the books, Sam completely embodies Jamie, and Caitroina is the perfect Claire. The range of emotions these two go through is incredible. Tobias has been remarkable as Frank and BJ R. Even though I disliked both characters, Tobias was brilliant in his interpretations. I even have a newly developed soft spot for Lord John Grey. David Berry portrays him with dignity and emotion. I agree with you that the TV adaption has been wonderfully and carefully spun. I’m glad they didn’t draw out the Claire and Frank marriage too long. We all knew it couldn’t work in addition to seeing. A face similar to BJR’s every day, no one could ever replace our beloved “King of Men!”

  19. Jenny Pertiller

    Well, Beth, you’ve done it again. You’ve managed to write and distill my feelings into words. My only additional thought is that Frank’s big mistake was to make Claire promise to not speak of the past and move forward as if her time with Jamie had not occurred. He wanted to pretend it had not happened and tried to force this on Claire. She was never allowed time to openly grieve the loss of her true love. I know from experience that you cannot bottle up and suppress grief without it coming out in some awful way. Of course, she couldn’t move forward with a marriage to Frank when she hadn’t come to terms with the loss of Jamie. Her marriage to Frank was doomed to failure.

      • Donna

        Although they didn’t show it, didn’t Jamie get it from Seal Island…remeber how the John Grey and theven other Officer were watching that island in the distance. Remember how the sick man mentioned “Silkies?” That was a name they used for seals. I’m hoping they say something in flashbacks because the previews led us to believe he went there when he was calling out Claire’s name…and the fact that he looked wet, as though he’d been in water.

  20. Thank you, Beth, for once again putting an overwhelming scenario into perspective for me. I was, still am really, upset over Ron’s decision to keep Murtagh in the picture and you have, at least, shown me a larger picture. I just can’t help but wonder what role he will play in future episodes. I love “Lord John”, he is perfect.

  21. Carol Aisha

    Hi Beth. Once again you have written my mind and my heart. I think one of the reasons why I love Claire so much is because she is flawed. She is perfect imperfection. I do think she was selfish in not wanting to let Frank go. She was clearly fine with the arrangements, they were good roommates sharing a child. Frank wanted more. She put that part of her life on hold for 20 years and put all her energies into being a doctor and mother. OK well once again I just wanted to say thank you. I hope you enjoy writing your blog as much as we enjoy reading it!

  22. Once again thank you Beth – great summary. I was sorry that some scenes were omitted especially the one where Frank offered to take Bree after school so Claire could continue her studies. Frank did understand Claire’s drive to fulfill her dream and was both jealous and proud of her.
    I’ve never been on Team Frank (in the books) but TV Frank was easier to feel empathy for. Claire made it very plain that she was no longer in love with Frank even while he was hanging on hoping she would change her mind. They were staying together as a matter of convenience. It suited both her and Frank.
    At Claire’s graduation party it was so unbelievable that Frank wouldn’t have being going out to celebrate with her. His mistress showing up at their door was a bit of a stretch – for me anyway. I’ve always though Claire had no right to be angry at Frank for his affairs. She didn’t want him so her episodes of pique were unwarranted. At times Claire is full of righteous indignation that is so misplaced.
    This episode truly showed the emptiness both Jamie and Claire lived through. Sam was amazing in showing just how desolate of spirit Jamie is.
    I loved Dave Berry he played Lord John with all the panache that is so LJG.
    I wasn’t happy with the change that saw Lord John drag a walking stumbling Jamie all the way to Hellwater. Lord John would never have done such a thing.
    I’m in 2 minds about Murtagh’s survival. I love the character but it’s left me wondering how it will change the dynamics of future story lines. I shall trust the writers to ensure Diana’s story of Jamie & Claire stays as true to the books as is possible.
    They did an amazing job in getting as much as they did into one 59 minute episode but it would have been better with a little more back story.

  23. jehscribbler

    I always appreciate your posts. The show is, I think, doing an admirable job of distilling the complex world of Outlander into the medium of TV with its greater limitations of time. I don’t envy the writers having to find ways to keep the most important scenes, characters and their motivations all in mind as they write the scripts. One of the comments above mentioned Claire as the ‘unreliable narrator’ and I thought, don’t we usually assume that we are reliable narrators of our own lives? Especially in a situation like her marriage to Frank, where they avoid the most important topic, their relationship, Claire has no or very little insight from anyone regarding whether her view of the situation they are in is realistic. In contrast, she and Jamie had discussed (sometimes heatedly!) their differences of opinion. She and Frank are both so busy avoiding bringing up the one thing they most need to discuss that she is able to delude herself about how well things are going with their lives.

  24. Jacquelyn Kerner

    Spot on, Beth! That’s exactly the way I felt about this episode. I found watching Claire and Frank so painful, hardest episode for me since the end of Season 1. Too real. The writers did a masterful job, hitting all the important emotional points for Jamie, Claire, and Frank. I’m happy to see Murtaugh, but if he’s to take the place of Duncan Innes, I can’t help wondering how they will handle the choices during the Revolution!

  25. Thank you once again Beth, so profound. Do you feel any reason of explanation for what you said – Seeing John’s offer of condolence turn into something more and the horror, betrayal, and pain that caused for both was heartbreakingly painful to watch ? An intelligent and sensitive man such as Grey (superb foil for Jamie, wonderfully played) would attempt to alter a tenuous friendship after the other party had just been talking about a deep and unerring heterosexual relationship. It was hard enough for Jamie to be touched let alone stroked. Would Grey not have seen that already and stopped himself stroking. He is very disciplined and a gentleman. I don’t believe the tales people tell of the spell of Jamie.

    • Donna

      I think that the “spell” you refer to is his uniqueness. For the time that he was born in, Jamie is ahead of his…in the way he thinks, sees, and views the world. No man born in his time would be able to handle Claire’s strong will and independence…remeber, during that time, men had all the control and especially over their wives. People seem to be drawn to, even if they don’t want to, someone who is different, who makes them see things differently even when it goes against what they assume to know about the person. I understand it…and this is just my opinion.

    • It has always been a puzzle for me that he ever took that risk. I can’t imagine Jamie ever but out any signals that this type of advance would be welcome. I thought that the show probably handled it pretty well. The idea that John reached out in a moment of sharing of deep emotions.

  26. Donna

    Yes! That’s what I was thinking! But remember Duncan was missing an arm, hope they don’t take Murtaugh’s! Think they’ll follow thru and he’ll marry Aunt Jocasta?

  27. I love your analogy of Re-organization in your home ! That is so funny as my daughter and I do the exact same thing . It is a brilliant way to restate how each episode is probably developed, there is always that ‘something’ you hate to part with and will argue even to yourself that is ‘must’ stay. I would only add to this vein that sometimes we uncover a rare treasure we had totally forgotten about….as much in home life as in Outlander. This turning out to be a Brilliant Season, and yet again Beth, you brought it “home” to us the Viewer. THANKS !!

  28. Joan Tinnin

    Beth, you are wonderful! I love your insights. I love your ability to organize your thoughts about the show. My very favorite scene was Jamie and LJG having a drink by the fire. Watching Sam’s eyes switch from accepting kindness to the horror rape he had suffered kindling anger and repulsion was truly Emmy worth. I do agree with the rope dragging not being in LJG’s makeup, but will take it over the flogging which, as I commented to another reader, I grew heartily disturbing in the books. I wondered how many times Jamie needed to be flogged and beaten. I forgot one in my previous comment! At Leoch as a youngster. To degrade him. By Colum. For disrespecting Mrs. Fitz. That is one of very few criticisms of the books. Again, thank you!

  29. laruebeth

    I look for and read every Outlander review that I can find. Yours is always the best, by far. Maybe because I tend to agree with most of your thoughts? Lol! Seriously, your thoughtful and thought provoking insights are always welcome. I hope Matthew Roberts reads this. I know he would appreciate your take on his writing.

  30. Nancy C.

    Of course you nailed it. For me, this episode, it was all about facial expressions. These actors, these amazing people who are able to bring to life our beloved characters, were able to capture their feelings in a look, a blink, a tear, a smile. They all worked their magic. I especially loved when Jamie took that first bite of pheasant in wine sauce. His sweet smile over the flavor and recognizing what wine was used. His face as John touched him. Well, let’s face it, Jamie’s facial expressions were exquisite. Is it wrong to love when I see tears in his eyes? Brianna’s lovely smile as she looked back at her mother and father at graduation. Franks’s agonizing look of frustration and realization. Claire’s ultimate sorrow at the loss of her first love. There is not a thing I would change in this episode. Beyond great dialogue and as usual, the set – our beloved characters are living out their lives and letting us in. We see it in their faces. And we are able to feel their emotions by seeing their expressions.

    This is a great start to season 3.

    • Cindy M Shannon

      Facial expressions – bingo! One of my sons, who lives 1600 miles away from me, called while I was watching this episode with my husband. (I’d already watched it earlier.) Naturally I wanted to talk with my son, so I muted sound on the TV (no, I didn’t turn it off – “bad” mom!), and I was struck anew with how very much is conveyed by the actors’ facial expressions, especially the eyes (windows to the soul). Amazing!

  31. Beth,
    Love your insights, and I am interested to have you comment on a thought I have. Remember when Frank and Claire are making love on the carpet, and he insists that she open her eyes? (I don’t remember this from the book. Do you?) It seems to me that Frank torpedoed their chances for success. That Claire cannot forget Jamie is not her fault, but she was trying to keep up her part of the bargain and be a full wife to Frank. If he could have just let that be, just let it happen and be happy that she was trying, they might have been able to make a go of it. Most of the time I feel bad for Frank, but in this case I think it was his mistake.
    What do you think?
    Beth

  32. Peigi

    I have always thought that Claire and Frank’s relationship was doomed the moment he totally refused to talk about her time travel experience (ok- a rational historian – but really? not even a little intellectual curiosity when her clothing was vetted?) Selfishly, and futilely keeping Claire for himself by blocking any chance of Jamie

    Keep up the great work!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s