A wee bit of chaos…Outlander 3.7 “Creme De Menthe”




I loved Jamie’s assertion to Claire, in this week’s episode of Outlander “Creme De Menthe”, that what they were experiencing was not “but a wee bit of chaos”.  It kind of summed up this last week in the fandom, too.  Jamie assures Claire that they had dealt with this kind of thing before and survived. As a fandom, so have we. It has been an interesting week, to say the least.  Lots of discussion about adaptations. I’ve got to say that I was anxious for a new episode to be shown, so that we might be able to move on a bit.  That this episode was an all-out adaptation was irony at its finest!  Story-lines were condensed, characters changed, action moved, etc.  Everything we book fans hate.  But, unlike last week, I was expecting no “kerfuffle” because I saw this as one of those episodes that happen every season, full of foreshadowing and intros to new storylines. Then I was told this morning that even Diana Gabaldon had a few things to say about this episode on CompuServe.

Dear Vicki–
    You know I said there was one “Laoghaire-redemption-like” thing this season?   Mm.  Hm.
     Jamie lie to Ian’s face?   The one person in the world (other than Claire, who was there) that he ever told about Wentworth?  His blood-brother from the age of eight, his brother-in-arms, his brother-in-law, his best friend, for whom he’d lay down his life?
     Oh, sure.  Why wouldn’t he?
     As for Claire…you should have seen her _before_ I said Intemperate Things…


I’m assuming they heard her and tempered Claire.  Diana has always maintained that she is mostly happy with the adaptation.  Of course there will be things she is less happy with, but I have to say I admire her ability to be so objective about the whole process.  I’m pretty sure if I were in her place I’d be as protective as a mother tiger.  Last week, Jodi Picoult, a very popular writer who has had her books adapted to screen and might know a thing or two about the subject, tweeted that the Outlander folks are doing a great job and Diana agreed.


108 thoughts on “A wee bit of chaos…Outlander 3.7 “Creme De Menthe”

  1. Nancy C.

    Well, obviously I just sit here and wait for what you have to say. Well, I do.

    I’ve read the books at least three times. So you’d think I’d be all “they are changing it too much, that’s not right, how dare they!?”

    Either I have an incredibly short memory or I’m absolutely going along for this lovely ride. The fact that Archie Campbell is portrayed as a carny -type fellow instead of a preacher was the most noticeable for me. How’s that for following along?

    I thought Ian’s emotion and that sweet tear down his cheek was so dear. And he’s obviously lost weight. I can’t help but think to his future.

    And in the end, Jamie’s question “will you risk the man I am to the man I was?” (or words similar) ring loud and true. No matter the adaptation.

    I’m am most definitely continuing this ride! Thanks Beth!

    • Lisa Salmon

      Just found your blog, not sure how to comment, other than tack mine on to another as a reply. My thought about why Claire made that below the belt comment about not being a parent to Jamie was that he had just sort of insulted her mother skills referring back to the bikini thing. I am sure Claire feels, as I do, that say anything you want about me, but not that, or I am going straight for the jugular. And she did. It was very believable to me, I would have said the same or worse.

  2. Lynn

    Love your blogs Beth, I look forward to them every week. So glad you got to write this one so soon after 307 was aired. I was like ‘what’s going on here?’ This, as you say, was definitely an adaptation, and I didn’t like it one bit!! (parts of it that is, well most of it really! Fergus and Ian jnr excluded!) So reading how Diana was (seemingly) none too impressed either in Claire’s behaviour I have to concur! When did she turn into such a ‘harpy’! It didn’t sit well with ‘the Claire’ I’ve come to love over 20 yrs, even if she is a bit hot-headed when she should be quiet, and that snarky comment about Jamie not knowing what it was like to be a parent! Hurtful! (not really Claire at all). I say bring back Murtagh now! so he can ask “so what’s to do, then?” (#213). This is one episode that will not be getting the usual 6 re-watches, no more than 2 for me – sadly. BTW, as clips that get shown for the next episode like to tease the viewers, I’m not reading anything into Claire’s words ‘I don’t feel we belong together anymore’! (and I hope I’m right in whom I think she’s saying that to!)

  3. Laine A.

    Beth, you’re more charitable than this episode deserves. It is shockingly bad – ruining what was established in the previous Reunion. The tone-deaf writers should be fired. Gabaldon had Jamie and Claire becoming a team again – first in words, then in bed and lastly in adventure. The TV version’s deviation into emotional estrangement instead on the heels of torturing viewers with their physical estrangement is a major flaw and one that will be difficult to recover from. From the previews you can see they intend to continue in this vein.

    Claire is at her priggish insufferable worst. Since her concern for her would-be murderer is greater than for Jamie’s safety, she should have stayed in the 20th century where she would have saved more lives personally (but those lives wouldn’t have been lost without her as she was not irreplaceable there). She left her medical career quite cavalierly yet now it’s the most important thing in the world to her? The skull trephining (done by ancient Egyptians) and how she got the tools was simply ludicrous. Willoughby has been rewritten from soused killer of the exciseman to operating assistant.

    Meanwhile Jamie is presented as heartless, a crook and baldfaced liar to his best friend whose son he is corrupting as well as someone who needs to be instructed in morality by Saint Claire. When he does his usual heroic Jamie thing rescuing Ian from a burning building at risk to his own, does Claire convey panic that she may lose the supposed love of her life so soon after getting him back? Does she show any understanding of what it means to Jamie to see his past few years’ work with the print shop end in ashes? No, she crouches with Ian.

    When she asked Jamie whether he wanted her to go back, the audience might give a different answer than glutton for punishment Jamie. Yes, go back, TV Claire. What did you do with book Claire and Claire and Jamie’s beautiful relationship?

      • Linda Smith

        Agree completely, Laine A. The writer(s) of 307 have changed the characters of Jamie and especially Claire. What a prima Donna she has become!

      • Joan M English

        All very good points! But…..Jamie is a crook and a bald faced liar-although-not heartless. Book Jamie DID lie to Ian. Book Jamie even went off with Ian to “Look for the Lad”…..yep-Book Jamie is a crook-a self admitted one, traitor and a smuggler who lived in a brothel. I was disturbed by this episode as much as you are, but I got to thinking that this was all in the books-I just chose not to read them that way in my head. The exception I have is Jamie said he was teaching Young Ian the ways of the world, unlike his parents. Very cocky. Book Jamie wanted to take Young Ian off to France to school. I really felt pity for Jamie when he assured old Ian at the end of the episode “It will all be OK…” or something like that. How many times has it been left to Jamie to make everything alright for these people? The life choices he made we to keep them all afloat at his own expense. There is a reason Claire always refers to Jamie as a “Bloody Scott”, in books it’s a charming term of endearment-but on film it’s screechie!!As for Claire-she has the typical ego of a doctor-especially a surgeon. A feminist in 18th century is why we love the series-the stranger in a strange land-worked for ET-it’s just a little difficult to see the adaptation from the writers POV
        It’s Ok…..it will all be ok.
        Enjoy them both.
        End of rant!

      • Laine A.

        Joan M. English,
        You made an excellent point about Claire’s ego – with surgeons the worst of the lot, playing God so often they start to think they are gods. But she shouldn’t have gone back 200 years if she couldn’t handle the limitations she had to know that would bring her practice of medicine. Doctors are also trained to distance themselves from their patients’ pain and even death – otherwise they become useless. Claire’s woe about not saving the man who attempted to rape and murder her and threatened Jamie’s safety is therefore doubly unrealistic. And if it was only her pride that was hurt…well, did she really think she’d have the same success rate outside a 1968 operating room?

        As for your harsh description of Jamie. Smuggling back then was pretty well a victimless crime and Jamie sent all the money to Lallybroch (and a second household he was supporting), living like a Spartan himself. As a convicted traitor he had few legitimate options for making the money his family needed and the print shop was insufficient. Book Claire at least understood the necessity and rode alongside him meeting the latest illegal shipment on the coast, not morally disapproving, prosing at him about how she could open a medical office at the back of his print shop…and do what, charge for prescribing TEA for a catatonic patient with severe mental disorder? Perhaps a little humble pie was in order there?

    • Joan M English

      Hi Lainie-It wasn’t my intention to sound harsh toward Jamie-I understand that smuggling was accepted with a wink and a nod. But Claire’s reaction and high handed attitude within 24 hours of reuniting with Jamie when he TOLD her what he was doing was off putting. Any harsh treatment was intended toward TV Claire… Jamie is only doing what he has available. Considering what he has been thru low these 20 years….
      .love this blog! Thanks for responding.

      • Martha Weaver

        Joan and Lainie, I love your points of view. I agree about Jamie’s character. I wish Claire had been more humble and understanding and less judgmental. She did, afterall, spend 20 years lying to Brianna about who her real father was. Claire understands what it means to lie and the consequences of lying. Book Claire could hold Jamie to task while still showing him compassion and understanding. Its a hard line to walk in any relationship but one that is important and one I admire in this couple. I wish the show had softened her a little more and allowed her to walk that line.

        I really enjoy reading this blog and all the perspectives on this story. It has enriched my own reading/viewing.

    • Totally agree. JAMMF’s character is a sacred cow for me. The things he did which might look a little shady to us, were actually honorable in his time (cattle stealing, smuggling). To cheat the crown after Culloden would have been seen as a good thing! Since there was a famine and starvation & horrible mistreatment of the Highlander’s, JAMMF doing all that he can to send home all the money he made, is in my eyes noble, as is he. As for Claire’s portrayal, enuf said – I just did not see her that way but am going to go with the adaptation flow. Just do not mess with JAMMF’s character!

  4. I can live with adaptation, but Jamie lying to Ian’s face and being so cavalier about Jenny & Ian being mad with worry because they don’t know where their son is was very hard to take. Just because Jamie knows he’s safe doesn’t mitigate Jenny & Ian’s worry. It just doesn’t fit into Jamie’s moral code to do that to his sister & best friend. THAT is not a nitpick. THAT is a fundamental change and makes Jamie a little less than the man we’ve come to know & care about, BOTH in the series and books.

    • Laine A.

      Claire is as brittle and judgmental here with Jamie as she was with Frank until he died. Most unlikable. Poor Jamie, 2 wives and both of them shrews…

    • Susan

      I totally agree with you and Laine A. I wrote something similar on Dianna’s Facebook page. Why are the writers trying to tarnish Jamie’s King of Men image? And what’s with solemn, surly, thoughtless Claire? Not one smile out of her the entire episode. I don’t care that things were changed or rearranged for the show, but please, do not change our main characters’ characters. Did you find the dialogue repetitive and unnecessary at times…sort of like a soap opera where characters speak their thoughts? I don’t know how many times Jamie said Sassenach in the first 5 minutes, 4, 5? And, Campbell couldn’t stop saying “aye” Okay, now I’m just being picky. Repeated watching has not changed my opinion of this episode. Still bummed about Jamie’s moral compass slippage.

      • Teresa

        Like Susan, I also think it’s soap opera-ish. The sarcasm, criticism, cockiness, Claire’s holier than thou attitude are like current day attitudes in TV shows. Beginning with 307 they are not following the personalities of Jamie and Claire. It’s my understanding the remaining episodes will be written by the new non-reader group of writers and directors. Correct me if I’m wrong.
        I hope the remainder of the season doesn’t follow the same pattern as 307. No direct quotes from the books like in 306, no humor like Ian’s Kittle-hoosie remark or Young Ian saying “God, that’s romantic” when he found out Claire had come back to Jamie. Claire’s lack of compassion about Jamie’s print shop burning and she never examined him after the fire or even said anything to him. I think they are trying to depict Jamie as hardened after the events in the past 20 years. I do like the assertiveness Jamie has taken toward Claire though, even if she’s still as stubborn as ever. The first half of season 2 irritated me because she was so domineering. Now she’s condescending!
        I did love the interaction and the humor of Young Ian and Fergus 🙂
        As you said Beth there’s no changing it now and it’s an adaptation, which normally I just got with the flow, but this episode was so off course. Truly adaptation, adaptation, adaptation. LOL
        The best thing about it is Sam’s facial expressions and his acting ability..

      • HelenPharris

        But in the book Jamie at least had a better excuse for lying. Young Ian had asked Jamie not to tell his father until he (young Ian) had a chance to talk to his father. Also, young Ian wanted Jamie to take him to a priest for confession.

      • Laine A.

        And book Jamie’s lie was a relatively small one honoring the boy’s request to deal with his father first. Ian Jr. had left home only a week earlier. With travel time, he’d been with his uncle only a few days, not weeks as the TV show made it, deeply embroiled in his uncle’s illegal dealings (as though Ian would have taken weeks to come looking for his son, letting Jenny worry herself sick). Though TV Voyager also made Ian 16 instead of 14 (almost 15 as he insisted), it was still bizarre misjudgment to turn Jamie, the selfless Protector of Family into a corrupter of his nephew putting him in danger and belittling his parents’ authority over their son.

        The writers substituting their fantasy for Ms. Gabaldon’s have dug a hole of illogic for themselves that rips the fabric of the longer story. Off with their heads!

      • Susan

        I would say misled with all good intentions and a promise to young Ian to soften things at home for him while planing to ask for their permission to foster the boy as Dougal did him at that age. But, I’ll re-read, for research purposes, and get back to you.

      • Susan

        Research Report:
        Well, it looks like Jamie did lie to Ian’s face “I’ve not seen Young Ian since I sent him home wi’ Fergus six months ago” “You’re sure he said he was coming to me?” Voyager, Part 6, Chapter 26. Still, the disregard for Ian & Jenny’s feelings is not there. Young Ian had only been gone a week and the assumption was that he had not arrived yet.
        Reading this section was very amusing, too bad they didn’t use the meeting between Claire and Ian in the brothel bedroom. And, let Mr Willoughby kill the excise man and skip the whole hole in the head nonsense, instead of working in all this tension between Jamie and Claire.
        But, what’s done is done and if Diana couldn’t change their minds, grumbling about it after the fact isn’t going to change anything. I hope these new writers have read the books by now and season 4 will more reflect the character of our dear characters.

      • sheila

        Yes, Beth. He lied to Ian in the books but it was because he had already told Young Ian he needed to be a man and explain himself to his parents himself. Jamie didn’t act like Ian and Jenny shouldn’t worry like he did in 307. He sounded so unconcerned and then immediately pretty much gave Ian the bum’s rush out of the building. I was giving him the Claire Glare too at that point.

  5. Lee

    Agree with all Beth said about the screen adaptation …. Again, Outlander is the BEST book to screen show/movie Ive EVER seen and I’m not young. The expressions on Sams face are priceless. I’m obsessed and want it to last forever..

  6. Mc

    I agree with all but did like the episode. Until I got to the preview for 208 and Claire told Jamie she didn’t know if they are meant to still be together. HE HAD A SLING ON. They were by the cliff. So were they keeping this going past the L and Ned Gowen situation after they left Lollybrock or was this on their way there? I hope the latter. In 206 we felt her deny her feelings of maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Now we see her really thinking it. I’ve been telling myself he’s acting this way bc he’s lying to her. It’s going to explode soon bc our Claire is starting to unravel. It annoys me that Stars is so dead set on creating tension and keeping it going. They just cannot have faith in the story.

    • Laine A.

      There are very few writers nowadays who think a story of a happy marriage can be sustained without boring their readers/viewers. They also think villains are more interesting than heroes, selfishness more compelling than selflessness. It’s an immature Hollywood lack of vision, despite Ms. Gabaldon’s books as guideposts that true love, bearing all, forgiving all, sharing all is the most enthralling adventure of all – two noble though flawed hearts becoming something greater than the mere sum of their parts.

      That’s what has sustained a readership of tens of millions – the Holy Grail of a happy and fulfilled marriage of body, mind and spirit facing life TOGETHER in unshakeable union.

      • Laurie M — I did notice that Jamie and Claire never kissed or hugged this episode. It felt like Claire was an intruder herself. She’s upset the routine of printing ad smuggling for Jamie.

      • sheila

        They cut the part where Claire fell into his arms after his ‘you are the sun’ statement. If the episode ran so short that they had to go back and film the Fergus and Ian with the casks scene, then why cut Claire giving Jamie some love instead of going straight into her telling him she had another patient to see? Makes no sense.

  7. Deanna Buchholz

    Thank you for your measured common sense
    review.All the negativity among the fans is driving me crazy. Enjoyed the Episode more the second time
    When I watch any TV show I love (Greys)
    There are some episodes I like better than others.This was good,interesting.
    Just not the reunion,I assume they wont all be 10s
    Really looking forward to next week….
    I am definitely still Obsessed ❤️

  8. Love the blog Beth and all the comments. I am glad I am not the only one who found this episode mediocre and disappointing. What I cannot understand is why they waste valuable episode time eg Claire trying to save her attacker- ‘Really??’ When they leave so much of the meatiness of the books out. However absolutely brilliant ageing and acting of Ian senior, 20 hard years have really gone by for him.

  9. momt14

    After my second viewing, I’m still not certain how I feel about this episode’s adaptation. For now, I simply have no expectations. By the way, how is it that Hayes and Leslie escaped 14 years indentured service in the Colonies?

  10. Teresa

    I, too, was shocked at Jamie’s lying to Ian. I wonder if the writers are establishing that Jamie regards Young Ian as his “son” especially as Ian and Jenny really don’t know what their son is like – that was nicely established in the book and why they eventually decide to let Jamie raise Young Ian. But Jamie was quite cavalier in his manner of lying to Ian. Regarding Clair, I think the emphasis on her doing surgery is that being a doctor comes second nature to her regardless of where she is. It’s part of her compulsive nature. But that aspect of her character lay the ground work for a mighty serious discussion between her and Jamie that I expect we will see unfold in the coming episodes. She has to encounter 18th century medicine and accept its limitations if she is to stay with Jamie. I sense the writers have chosen to establish that as Claire’s fundamental character challenge in returning to Jamie. Hate to say it, but it’s a lot like the “should I have a career or tend to my children” that is so common today. Poor Jamie is spinning right and left trying to keep Claire, and dealing with his business. The burning of the print shop meant the end of A.Malcolm. I suppose we will see the ‘next’ ‘new’ Jamie Fraser emerge in the coming episodes.

    • Thanks for the comments. I too wondered if Jamie’s “adoption of Ian” was part of desire to have a son, but does as Fergus, so….? They have let us know that Ian is “like” his uncle.

      • Cece

        Beth, I agree with you and others that this episode was lackluster and inconsistent with the characters. Meh! I would like to add a couple of other things. 1) How did Fergus manage a manage-a-trois at an age when (I don’t recall anything otherwise) he would have been living at Lallybroch, a poor kid-to-young man on a remote farm, being raised by Ian and Jenny in Jamie’s absence? While I like the characters and actors, their pub scene felt so contrived. 2) It seems so apparent that the adaptation from the books must pander to as broad a TV audience as possible (I mean men who would not otherwise watch), and therefore must have the requisite amount of nudity, sex, violence, gore and F-words each week to lure them in and qualify the show for the most adult rating it can get on premium cable. Re the F-word: I wonder every week who is going to say it! It seemed out of character and time for Joe Abernathy, and I laughed when it was thrown in at the very last minute of last week’s episode. “Wait, we almost forgot to include…!”

  11. Jacquelyn F. Kerner

    Great thoughts once again, Beth. I keep reminding myself (and every other fan I discuss the show with) the same thing: it’s an adaptation! And for the most part, it works, and I trust the efforts of the Outlander team. The outright lie to Ian Sr. did bother me, but I’m hopeful it will work out.

  12. Ellyn from Atlanta

    Not a top episode. Still better than most of what’s on television though! As a “book person,” I can attest that ‘Jamie 2.0’ does indeed lie and deceive.
    Always enjoy your thoughtful, insightful analyses, Beth.

  13. Deborah Yip

    Thanks Beth for your calm response. I remember when I first read the book how disappointed I was in Jamie’s transformation into this roguish smuggler. He lies, he cheats, he schemes, and he fights and kills. Considering his history, why should I or we be surprised? He is a survivor and so is Claire. They do things to protect the ones they love even if it means lying to them. I, too listened to the podcast for 306. I am so happy we have these dedicated folks adopting our beloved story. I trust them completely even when I disagree with them, as I did Diana.

  14. Debbie Petraska

    Once again, Beth thanks for a great review. Its nice to know that others feel the same way I do and I am not crazy for my reaction to an episode. I also tell myself, “adaptation” and “there must be a reason they are doing it this way” (ie, lack of time, filming issues, etc). Rather than get angry and freak out every week, I think just let it play out and see what happens. I do hope it makes sense in the end. The first episodes of the season was so unbelievably good – lets just hope they get back there!

  15. Anne Hetherington

    We will see where this goes, won’t we. I like your idea that we won’t really know if this episode works till we see the rest of the season. I have vowed that if I post anything to Facebook or Twitter, that it will be something positive. This episode it was John Bell and his young Ian. Wow, he did a good job. The Fergus/young Ian interactions were fun, too. The many concerns about the rest of the episode will remain on hold till we see how it plays out.

  16. Judy11

    This episode felt like it was one of those they needed to do to move along some of the story – but strange choices here. We all knew some of Voyager would be changed and/or condensed as it is a huge book and no way could we get to see it all no matter how much we wanted to. It was always going to be 13 episodes to tell the entire story of the book. I was shocked when it 307 ended as it was short on time. I am guessing cut at a plot point. But they could have let some of the scenes breathe more, having had more Jamie Claire dialogue that would have let each see the other’s point of view for the actions thus taking some of the harshness on their interactions that we saw.

      • Joyce Johnston

        Ok so i just watched the episode again Not as bad as i had first believed The w network in Canada had commercials every few minutes so continuity was lost! this time no commercials so the flow was much improved . Even the lie did not seem so bad. Claire was not as cold even wondering where i had gotten that idea . Jamie reaction to the loss of the print shop was stellar. so my fears for future seasons and episode’s this year are so much more optimist! These books have lived with me thru so many upheavels in my own life that they are so dear to me! Escapism at it’s finest!

  17. Joyce Johnston

    I was so disheartened by this episode. I did not recognize Jamie or Claire at times! Jamie’s honour is tarnished badly! Claire seems so cold and unforgiving several times during the episode. so much lost in this episode Ian and his guilt . the dead man in the cask of creme de menthe they chose to keep the reveal of the first wife Disillutioned even to the point of wondering if this season will ever be redeamed or if they have just put the nail in the coffin of the whole series eaver going forward for more seasons!!! Also wondering how Terry feels i can still hear Ron saying of OL “it’s my wife’s favourite book i can’t mess it up” Well someone messed up big time with ” creme de menthe” speaking with so much feeling i am sure i left out other things the preview had so much potential but….

    • Laine A.

      Ron Moore has started on his next project, delegating Outlander to others, leaving himself as executive (hands off?) overseer and perhaps it’s starting to show.

      At this point I would rather just re-watch the first season which was perfection until the overdone Jamie torture.

  18. DRedfearn

    Watching this episode I realized that A. Malcolm is not Jamie Fraser … I feel like Jamie is tucked in there for safe keeping. I realized Claire is not Claire Fraser, she is Dr Claire Randall … she still has that hard shell she grew living with Frank …. and Claire is also tucked in there for safe keeping.
    So now, those “other people/personas” need to be cleared away for the real Jamie and Claire to emerge. They will be different than they were 20 years ago – they will be better!
    I love the books and the show … I’m enjoying the ride!!

      • Susan

        Oooooh… me too! I feel much better about this now, thinking that this is who they were apart and that they haven’t found who they are together (outside of bed, that is) yet; showing the transition from one stage of their lives to another. I hope Jamie’s answer to “I’m just not sure if we belong together anymore” Is “Sassenach, will ye not take me – and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew?”

    • Laine A.

      That’s a tremendous insight about Claire and Jamie Fraser being tucked inside A. Malcolm and Dr. Randall. And as we know C and J will have to emerge to continue the saga, it’s a way to fish the TV writers out of the dilemma they’ve created for themselves erecting unlikable A. Malcolm and Dr. Randall immediately after J and C made love for the Reunion episode – like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dual personas.

      However, Book A. Malcom is still Jamie, doing what he must to provide for his family with his own survival always last priority. He remains a Scots patriot, using his print shop to print seditious pamphlets, replacing the sword and musket confiscated by the English with the might of the “pen”/ink, risking imprisonment or worse. With his Spartan life style he could subsist on his honest earnings from the print shop but remains the main provider for his Lallybroch families (plural). And to do that he again risks his own well being through smuggling (as casual a “crime” among Scots at that time as cattle lifting). He knows no fear for himself because he’s indifferent to life without Claire. When she reappears, fear accompanies joy. He’s fearful for her safety and the renewed loss of her. A. Malcolm is still Jamie in every way that matters.

      And book Claire was more lover to Jamie than Dr. Randall who was well aware of what her limitations would be as a doctor, especially a surgeon in the 1700s. Her upset in the TV version makes her look foolish as she didn’t accidentally fall through this time but CHOSE to come in full knowledge of the regression in what she’d be able to do medically.

  19. Jane M. Cappiello

    Hi Beth-
    Needed more than a tweet. So upset! Glad I’m not alone and even Diana was disturbed. They made Claire a shrew and didn’t factor in Jamie’s circumstances at all, poor man.
    I just feel like their adaptation is putting 21st century culture on a 20th century woman who’s now in the 18th century. C would never speak to Jamie like that.
    One positive, I was nicer to my husband all day because I was so concerned if that’s what I sound like as a 56 year old, menopausal woman.
    Thanks as always, Beth. Great work!
    It’s an adaptation, it’s an adaptation, it’s an adaptation …

    • Laine A.


      “their adaptation is putting 21st century culture on a 20th century woman who’s now in the 18th century.”

      Truer words were never spoken. They think they’re “updating” Ms. Gabaldon’s 25 year old books but they’re tampering with what has enthralled tens of millions up to and including the present day. What hubris.

      J and C were equals back in the 1700s when that was rare. It’s Jamie who was advanced in his thinking and treatment of women. And it was Claire who was able to adapt sufficiently to function in such a different climate. Reducing their huge accomplishment individually and together to 20th century trite PC ideas about men and women reduces their magic.

      As for your extra niceness to your husband, I bet many men are benefiting from the Outlander effect….in many ways LOL!

  20. Nita Stacey

    I am trying…but my obsession may be waning a bit. I know it’s an adaptation but there are times when I wish I was not a reader. This episode was one of the times. I am slightly apprehensive about the next episode and Claire’s declaration of not being sure they can stay together. I know the situation was resolved in front of the fire at Lallybroch so my apprehension lies in how things will play out before they get on the ship.

    I did love the look of despair on Jamie’s face as he watched the printshop collapse just hours after declaring that he would give everything he owned to have Claire back in his life.

    Hesitantly waiting for the next episode. I always enjoy your thoughts as you never fail to give me something to consider.

  21. If they are so pressed for time to tell this story in an hour, why did they blow so much of it on SuperClaire and the excise-man? Couldn’t spare two seconds for Jamie to hug his shaken wife an hour or so after they just got done with a night of passionate reunion sex? Just kill the guy already. She was willing to walk away from her calling with few backwards glances when she went to Craig na Dun, maybe she could at least listen to the guy who never left when he told her how much trouble her ad hoc surgery would cause?

    And who is this harpy who told Jamie that he didn’t know what it was to be a worried parent? Who is this low-life who lies without blinking to his family, and who thinks long term residency in a brothel is just fine for the love of his life?

    And speaking of brothels, this is 18th century Scotland, not King’s Landing. They just fought a brutal civil war largely powered by religion. The country is populated by devout and strait laced people. I feel like the show runners are throwing in gratuitous tits a la Game of Thrones. Dishabille, certainly, and expected. Public sex and nudity everywhere- uh uh. Ian Mhor should have been outraged, and the Jamie we love should have been embarrassed about bringing his wife there.

    And the Spidey stunt in the burning printshop. Pul-eeze.

    I liked Fergus and Young Ian. They were fun. I like this Mr. Willoughby far better than book Willoughby. I hope they have dropped the slasher storyline. The production values of the fire scene were first rate. I didn’t mind the wife reveal. But overall this one ranks right up there with The Watch and The Old Fox as episodes I’ll skip when I rewatch the season. Bleah.

    • Lee

      Sue, You’re right on . Such disappointments no matter ‘adaptation’ excuses !
      BTW, what has happened to Jamie’s faith? I need to sit down and read and watch carefully all over again with plenty of time.

    • Another thing I liked very much- Steven Cree’s portrayal of Ian Mhor’s reunion with Claire. The acting and make-up were both excellent. He looked like a man who had survived the razing of the Highlands. I wish they had spent some time on Claire explaining her absence more thoroughly, that she thought they were dead AND didn’t want to saddle them with repercussions of hiding a traitor’s wife. The episode, the characters and the story needed that time far more than it needed the trepanning.

  22. I don’t ever comment… although I love your blog.. and the series.. and the books. But, for me, this was my least favorite episode. I don’t know what hit me more… the underlying distrust on both of Claire and Jamie’s words… the way Claire suddenly…. after longing and aching for Jamie for YEARS…. becomes somewhat short and ill-tempered… and combative with him. ADAPTATION… yeah, I get that… it just left something to be desired… for me. On to the next one 🙂

  23. Jessica

    Beth, as always, very insightful and interesting opinions! I won’t go into my own liking or not liking 307 BUT thank you for the Abandawe reminder! Totally forgot about that!

  24. Thanks, Beth for your temperate response to 306. I felt my hopes dashed again seeing the preview on the cliff…fearing one of my favorite scenes from the book will not play out as I hoped. I just need to let go of my expectations and take a ride on the adaptation journey. But it’s amazing to me that 24 hours after the reunion there wasn’t even a kiss or an embrace. Up until episode six, I was really loving the show…funny, now that our two favorites are together things seem to have gone south. I will keep watching, though. Hope springs eternal

  25. Speaking of Sam, the Actor…the look on his face as he watched the print shop in flames, was priceless. I felt every bit of the sadness…all Jamie had built…all he had overcome…just to be faced with having to begin again to make a life for him and Claire.

  26. Konnie

    I am probably banned some places because I freaked out at the changes to (us readers) beloved print shop reunion. this week was no better. I am appalled at the changes to the, in our minds,set in stone scenes and character changes. The writers have been given a workable story, beautiful characters. memorable dialog and already written scenes. All they have to do is bring it to life. what the hell are they thinking? what is Ron allowing? just heartbreaking. there is a built in fan base. If they are not careful they will lose us. Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you should do a thing.

  27. I’m so glad I waited a day before commenting. I feel much better after reading all these insightful comments by others. I love the notion that A. Malcolm isn’t Jamie Fraser and Claire Fraser is still cocooned Dr Claire Randal. I so hope my 2 beloved characters will emerge soon .
    I too am having a difficult time with some of the plot changes. It would have been so much easier, and left more time to cover other aspects of this story had the Excise Man had popped his clogs when his head hit the hearth. Pickle him in the Creme de Menth – all done and dusted.
    Claire could have told Jamie here about the Hippocratic Oath she took which would have helped Jamie see why she is driven to help all sick and injured she encounters. I want my loving. strong but compassionate Jamie back and I want my witty, capable Claire back. Most of all I want to see them as they are portrayed in Voyager. Bless Diana for stepping up to the plate and telling them to lighten up on Claire.
    Loved Wee Ian and Fergus they saved this episode for me but it still felt disjointed and rushed.

    I’ve tired your mantra but it’s not working for me…….It’s an adaptation, it’s an adaptation……nope still not working.

  28. Nancy

    Spent a wee bit of time reading all of the comments about this particular episode. It is so obvious that we are all so invested in this story. I watched this episode three times now. Yes, there are quite a few differences – book vs. tv. But I can honestly say that the differences, for me, don’t alter story line. I so wished that there was a tender kiss here and there.

    I am going to continue to trust in the writers. Jamie and Claire will eventually make it back to one another.

  29. Linda Dorrington

    I saw Claire’s insistence/attempt to save the excise man as an over-reaction to her Oath. I felt Claire needed to tell Jamie about her Oath (but in the book that doesn’t happen until they are at sea on route to the Indies). I saw Jamie’s comments about preparing wee Ian for the real world was foreshadowing of his argument with Ian and Jenny after returning to Lallybroch (when he points out that they know what he does to keep the family afloat). I am, of course, attributing emotions and motivations to Jamie & Claire that I shouldn’t know at this point in the TV show! Call it Maisri’s (or Margaret Campbell’s) curse. 😉

  30. Carol Aisha Jones

    Hi There! Again thanks for taking the time to write! Almost the whole episode missed its mark for me. I found it to be unorganic and i didn’t understand some of the decisions that the writers made. But I will continue to enjoy both the book and the series. They are related but different animals. And you’re right… its an adaptation, adaptation, adaptation! Thanks Beth!

  31. Janice

    I’m not going to read the books until this series is finished because I’d rather be surprised, at least as much as possible given all the spoilers tht slip through. I’ve long known about Jamie’s other wife. Still, I agree with a lot of the criticisms. Claire’s obsession with saving her attacker was senseless and a waste of time, unless they are setting up her medical priorities(obsessions) for later. But as for Jamie’s character, I get the feeling that seeing and hearing this compromised Jamie seemed more real than just reading about it. So many comments confirm that he did lie to Ian. But isn’t seeing Jamie come to life so beautifully worth the disappointments. You couldn’t see the range of those incredible facial expressions on the page.

  32. sheila

    I haven’t read all the comments here but have responded to a couple.

    Overall I didn’t like the episode because of all the things already mentioned, but I take heart that the preview is taking a line out of context that will totally flip the intent on its ear. We’ll just have to wait and see. I also predict the whole unveiling of the secret that has already been referred to 2-3 times in the last two episodes will not be the same as the book. That was perhaps my second favorite happening in this book I was looking forward to and now I have already convinced myself it’s not going to happen and I can live with it.

    I am holding onto faith that the writers will find their way back to the real story soon and this episode can be locked away with The Fox’s Lair never be watched again.

  33. The fandom may want to cool their critics… I’m beginning to feel sorry for the cast and writers and wonder that with all the folderol, they don’t just throw up their hands and forgo finishing books 5, 6, 7, and 8. Who needs all the questioning and fan-fiending of artistic license? If they do, THAT WOULD BE A SHAME.

  34. I have felt for the most part, the writers and producers have done a very good job capturing Jaime and Claire’s personality and relationship as portrayed by Diana.
    I have mulled over my feelinsg for the past several days and finally concluded that this episode felt like they gave into the temptation to manifest increased drama that was un-needed to support the story , and diminished the characters and their interactions. Yes as Beth says, it is an adaptation, but when the adaptation veers wildly off and does not benefit or correlate to the core of the story, it leaves viewers wondering what the point was. It is not so much that they made changes to the story, which we realize is inevitable to translate a book to screen, it is when those changes seem to serve no purpose and undermine the heart of who the characters are and their relationships.

    The focus of the stories have always been Jaime and Claire’s transcendent love. That love has always been tested by challenges, hardship and yes, drama and heated arguements! However, to me , at it’s matrix there was never doubt of that love, which is why Claire went back through the stones! To see them treating one another superficially and out of character, to me, is a significant departure that tarnishes the soul of the story. I am afraid this vein will continue , but hope the writers will be able to right the ship before it sails to Jamaica.

Leave a Reply to bethwesson Cancel 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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s