“Did you believe we were all just frozen in time?”…A reflection Outlander 3.08 “First Wife”

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One of my treasured memes created by ConnieBV

Last week I read Connie BV’s “Deep Thoughts” on Outlander’s episode 3.07 “Creme De Menthe”.  I laughed, per usual, but one line she focused on stuck with me, “Balriggan is miles from Lallybroch”.  It was uttered by Jamie the “King of …rationalization”.  I laughed out loud and told her I was making it my new catch phrase for times when I KNOW shite is about to hit the fan!  We facetiously wondered what could possibly go wrong? Connie made me some memes in honor of all those who try to reassure themselves with “logic”. I’m pretty sure Jamie’s next thought was “And, Jenny’s cool, so I got that going for me”.

I laughed then, but we all know things really are about to hit the fan and Jamie is hoping against hope, and it won’t be funny.  In this latest Outlander episode, “First Wife”, written by Joy Blake and directed Jennifer Getzinger, Jamie gets caught between his desperate attempt to keep Claire and the reality of the twenty years he has lived without her.  And, Claire seriously considers whether perhaps, …she made a mistake in coming back through the stones. The show makes sure we understand that very little time has passed since Claire rang that shop bell, but that a lot has happened in that short period of time.  No one has had time to think this whole thing through, as they are carried away on the tide of current events.

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I have said that the series is often able to enrich my understanding of this story. This time what they have enriched for me is how truly bizarre this situation is. Claire has literally dropped back into Jamie’s life after twenty years. That wasn’t a hard sentence to type, but the reality those words represent should make it hard to comprehend. How could anyone know what to do in this situation? Who in the world has ever had to deal with a situation like this? In my post on episode 3.06 “A. Malcolm”, I wrote that Claire had been “resurrected” from the dead. The shock Steven Cree’s Ian displayed on seeing Claire in 3.07 was what I would expect from someone who has just seen a ghost, but Laura Donnelly’s Jenny brought shock to a whole new level.  Jenny tried to play it cool, but just couldn’t manage.  With a shaky voice, shallow breaths, involuntary swallows, and body language that felt to me something very akin to fear, Laura let us see that Jenny had believed Claire was dead, “and, here ye are”.  Claire’s “I know it must be a shock” was the understatement of the century and her cheery “you look well” almost seemed a ludicrous thing to say, but it effectively served to emphasize that Claire really had, as Jenny later asserts, believed they “were all just frozen in time” waiting for her to return.

Claire is a woman out of time, out of her element, and maybe less prepared for life in the 1700’s than she was before.  Her memories of Lallybroch and the past most certainly were frozen, and perhaps, idealized. The reality that time here has marched on without her is suddenly becoming real, little boys grow up and have children of their own, babes are bewildered by strange faces, and husbands lie to their family.  Everything looks the same, but it doesn’t feel the same. She has once again become an outlander, a stranger in a strange land, instead being welcomed back as a lost love one, she is being held at arms’ length by people who see her as the woman who abandoned and hurt Jamie. They are suspicious and no one seems to be rejoicing in her return.  Except perhaps Young Ian, who seems to recognize how important she is to Jamie, “he is lucky you are here”.  Her welcome home to Lallybroch is not what she hoped for or expected, I think. I loved that Jenny is calling Claire on her shit and as Ian proclaimed, stirring it like it’s God’s own work.  Her reaction is believable, it has been 20 years and Claire couldn’t even write a letter?  Yeah, …right…she flat out calls Claire a liar.  I kept yelling at the TV tell her the TRUTH!  Jenny can handle it!

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A couple of reviews I read last week commented on how they were relieved that Ian seemed to doubt Claire’s story because they were having a tough time dealing with everyone just accepting the explanation at face value.  I chuckled when I read this because in the books the excuse is even more implausible.  The show let us know right away that at least Jenny and Ian aren’t buying it and within the first couple of minutes of the episode, I was sure that they were going to tell them the whole story.  It sure would have made sense to try because they took pains to let us know that everyone suspects Claire of being more than she appears, from Young Ian’s “Do you live in a dun?” to Jenny saying she doesn’t know who or “what” Claire is.  I was left wondering what Jamie’s real reason was for not telling them because hmmm, Jamie, you have images painted with light and wrapped in thin flexible glass for proof. Claire’s insistence that if she doesn’t tell the truth a wall will always exist between her and Jenny becomes the catalyst for Jamie trying to tell Claire the secret he fears above all things to tell her. Despite appearances, Jamie is an honorable man and he cannot stand lying to her or having a wall between them.

I’ve always sort of taken the time-travel element of this story in stride. I guess I just saw it as a plot vehicle to get Claire where Diana needed her to go.  It was always there in the background, but I guess I never really focused on it much.  However, this episode reminded me that it is actually more important to understanding this couple than I first thought.  Jamie’s statement that sometimes it is hard for him “to believe she is actually here” might be the second biggest understatement of the century. I have to wonder how unearthly Claire must seem to Jamie, his own personal miracle. He escaped from prison because he thought she might have returned and was living on an island guarding a treasure with the selkies?  I had to remember that he saw her disappear through the stones and the possibility of her magical return had to have lingered. When he doesn’t find her, I saw the parallel to Claire giving up on the search when they couldn’t find the manifests. It hurts too much to hope.  Jamie had to finally accept she was lost and move on and accustom himself to live in the bit that was left to him. The irony that it is his moving on that may cause him to lose her again is life at its most unfair.

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I have been wondering how they were going to handle Jamie marrying Loaghaire since they allowed him to know she tried to have Claire killed. No matter how many times Claire assures her self and us that she knew when she made the decision to come back Jamie would have had a life, there is NO way to truly understand the enormity of those 20 years apart, to know what you would face or what things would actually be like. Abstractly knowing Jamie had a life and actually coming face to face with his wife and family are two vastly different things. I laughed out-loud when Claire said “I told you to thank her not marry her!”  The writers didn’t even try to justify it.  I couldn’t help but wonder if they knew they had dug a hole they couldn’t get out of and just let it be what it was, a choice that has let all feel betrayed. I could have come up with some plausible excuses, he wasn’t actually there to see “Leery’s” bad behavior at the trial, she was sixteen at the time, a young jealous girl who might not have truly understood what she was doing (I’m not even buying this one), he was attracted to her at one time, he believes that she had feelings for him, and they need him. But ultimately, Claire cannot understand how he could marry THIS woman of all people.

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The fight between our beloved two was glorious and all that I hoped it would be.  All of their feelings came to the surface, his anger that she left him, his jealousy of Frank and his grief over Brianna, and her anger that he forced her to go and to live a life she no longer wanted. Jamie is desperate, to find her and then lose her again is more than he can bear. He needs her to listen with all her heart.  But, Claire is more than disillusioned, hurt, and confused.  He lied to her and given all that has happened, she has to be wondering if he truly is the man she once loved.  I got the feeling that Claire is struggling to be the woman Jamie loved, as well.  Old habits are hard to break.  After the almost angry sex, I could literally see her donning her defenses, trying to hold it all together, trying to keep her heart from breaking.  She had to feel her sacrifice was in vain and that she had made a horrible mistake.

Even though he admits to his jealousy, his cowardice, his need of her, I’m sure there will be fans who don’t blame Claire for being angry and those that won’t forgive him for marrying Loaghaire. But, if you couldn’t understand Jamie reaching out for something to fill the lonely void in his life, after watching the first five episodes and Hogmanay at Lallybroch, then you aren’t human. That he still didn’t get what he needed, to be a father, a husband, and had married a woman who was afraid of his touch, tore at my heart. It also makes the night he spent with Claire that much more poignant.  He had nothing but the print shop to call his own and suddenly… Claire, his one and only love, his true wife, his heart. This episode helped me understand that his lying about his marriage wasn’t a defect in his character, it was an act of a truly desperate man, “I canna tell you how it felt when I touched you today and knew you to be real”.  Her coming back has changed everything.  Claire’s existence without Jamie was sad and she does understand when Jamie says he was a ghost, she was a ghost too.  She was as haunted by his memory as he was of hers and she lived in the shadows in the bit that was left to her too, but it was different.  Claire had a life, a daughter, a career, things to look forward to even if they didn’t include a love like Jamie. But, Jamie was robbed of everything.  All that he had lost, the soul deep deprivation, his need of her became very real this week and his casually delivered, “if you aren’t going to stay, I’d rather die and be done with it” was the truth.  He will not survive losing her again. He will grieve himself to death calling for his lost one against the skies.  I needed Claire to forgive him. I needed her to listen with all her heart. It wasn’t quite what I got and I was disappointed despite all the wonderful this episode truly was.

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There are movies that I have only watched once.  It isn’t because they weren’t good movies it was because they were emotionally exhausting.  It is usually the type of movie were circumstances intervene to keep people apart that should be together and two people together that should be apart.  And, usually you care for everyone involved to the point that you feel all of their pain.  For some reason, A River Runs Through It comes to mind. There is a wonderfully sad human story being told, but it is just too much.  I need Claire to come to understand that nothing else matters because they love one another.  I need the moment when she understands that Jamie is the key that unlocks her true self and knows she cannot live without him. Maybe that moment will come soon.  I sure hope so because I don’t think this couple can take much more and neither can I. They deserve some happiness before they have to face next shite storm, but I’m afraid the time for that moment passed when Claire’s anger lived beyond that hearth and on to that cliff.  I know she is still there and her running to the shore with him spoke of her devotion and I know she loves him, but I’m so ready for some of this strain to be gone. Please hurry up and let us see the joy in their being together because right now, “we are mated for life” is feeling like a sad resignation rather than an epiphany.  Jenny is right, this doesn’t look like happiness to me, either. Fingers-crossed that next week Claire says yes to Jamie’s question and they can begin again and forever, loving each other with all their hearts.  Jamie is right it has never been easy for them nor will it ever be, but I never doubt that they will face it together.

 

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PS: It was so hard to write about this episode, I chose to focus on Jamie and Claire, but there was so much I could have written about, the acting, the sets, the costumes, the writing, directing, the overall feel, the attention to detail, Jamie’s finger tapping, his tell that he is nervous, Jenny calling us back to her “trollop” comment the first time Jamie brought Claire home by calling her a “stray”, giving us the lovely gray lag scene and then ripping it away from us with the shock of Loaghaire, the lovely nods to the book lovers, and Lalleybroch full of laughter.  What a joy it is to watch a show that surprises you every week, that lets us see a real human story wrapped in the guise of a sci-fi fantasy.  Bravo.

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83 thoughts on ““Did you believe we were all just frozen in time?”…A reflection Outlander 3.08 “First Wife”

  1. Nancy C.

    Good grief. I was hoping I wouldn’t be the first big mouth to make a comment. But here I am doing it anyway. This was an excellent episode. It had every single moment I needed to make the story whole as I absolutely knew the writers would do. Not that I doubted them. While the last episode was a wee bit lacking, this episode made up for it. For those of us who are book readers, I hope we are all satisfied. It was almost spot-on. And please, please let us give reverence and a high-five to Jenny Murray. She totally owned this episode. Ok, co-owned it with Jamie and those adorable kids of his.

    Everything that may have been missing last week was made up for this week. Beth, dearest, I blasted through your comment to make my own. I’ll go back now and read quietly. With admiration, always …

  2. Beth, when did Jamie and Claire come together? When they were really up against it. Despite the doubts Claire voiced on the cliff, when Ian was stolen, she ran down the hillside to stop Jamie from unwisely jumping into the water (when it was too late to save Young Ian anyway) and was standing by them as they were left on the beach, bereft. I don’t know at what point they’ll say the words you want to hear, but for me, actions speak louder than words. They were already together on that beach. They’re back.

  3. Nancy McCulley

    Bravo Beth, my sentiments too. There were just to many poignant moments in this episode for Claire not to respond to Jamie. I needed a kiss, a hug, an acknowledgement that she understood. It didn’t happen.

    • Nancy C.

      Oh yes, it did. They kissed briefly. And their emotions spoke for themselves. As much as I love go see love, kisses and skin, this episode very much moved me. I am so very there. ❤️

      • Nancy McCulleu

        I loved this episode, so much better than 307. Just want them reconnected, to truly realize they “are mated for life”.

  4. Mc

    I felt let down by that omission as well, but truly think it is the producers that feel we need tension to return. If they love each other completely we will never watch again. No. Not after reading 5 books and 4 more to go. At least they learned from S2 that extending the distance between them for 4-5 episodes with no interaction is not going to cut it. The acting was superb. Their fights are filled with emotion, anger, passion, and Jamie when he slammed that furniture was award winning. It reminded me of Marlon Brando’s acting in Street Car Named Desire. Sexual tension portrayed brilliantly by Sam. Looking forward to S3.

  5. Nancy C.

    If we continue to compare the books to the tv series, we are doomed. There are too many of us. I am and will continue to be devoted to the story that Starz is giving us and grateful for it. Imagine our little lives without it. No blogs. No comments. Yes, I’ll reread the books and I rewatch the episodes and be very happy to do it.

  6. momt14

    Yet another wonderful dissection. I believe Claire was about to forgive Jamie had that damn ship not shown up! Ah…such is the writing for Outlander. I truly loved this episode and John Bell as Young Ian is my new favorite.

  7. Joan Tinnin

    Thank you, Beth. I really look forward to your insights. As usual, you nailed it! I did love this episode. I, like you, need Claire to not ignore Jaime’s desperation to have her with him as much as she does. I was uncertain why after all he’d told her of his heart and total love for her, that she was doubtful of coming back to him. In my opinion, her uncertainty has been answered over and over. That was my only sadness with this episode. I hope to see them be one soon! Thank you again for your wonderful words

  8. Susan Gajderowicz

    Thank you once again, sweet Beth, for putting into words (better than I can manage – Not sure why, but in reacting to OL my typical eloquence deserts me?!?) all that I was thinking and feeling! x

  9. Nancy C.

    I hope is isn’t a repeat to an earlier reply. If we all continue to compare the books to the tv series, then we might as well just stop. Stop blogging, stop commenting, stop comparing. Can we not just go along for the ride? The story? I have friends who have not read the books and are loving every moment. As much as I LOVE reading all comments (especially Beth’s because she is the voice of Outlander reason), the anger and disappointment of each episode is painful. This is just me – my little take on what each week presents. Bravo! Brava!

    • Nancy, I agree. My husband never will read the books, but he loves the series. I do, too. When we read, we visualize things for ourselves, but when the producers show scenes to us, they do have to make adjustments so everyone can understand what’s going on. We’re lucky to have such a careful adaptation, even when we “miss” a favorite scene. They can’t put them all in! Thanks for saying what I believe.

    • Nancy C – I love your passion and I feel the same.
      It is difficult to put aside what we know and love from the books, but it’s still a damn good story!
      This episode brought me back to season 1.

    • I enjoy the comparison between the books and the shows. It gives us the opportunity to pick and choose which nuances resonate with us and we can meld the two in our own minds for no real purpose other than the sheer enjoyment of all things Outlander!

      • Janice

        Pauline, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy the camparisons. From what I can discern from most commenters, the comparisons appear to be pure torture. I haven’t read the books yet because I want to enjoy the TV series on its own first.

      • Lisa

        I totally agree with you Pauline.
        And that’s also why I love your blog Beth, because you appreciate how the series is working alongside the books.

        I’m reading the books ahead of the series because otherwise I just can not stop wondering what came from the book and what didn’t. But I love both – because both are going to be imperfect in their own ways, and wonderful in their own ways too!

  10. Jenny Pertiller

    I loved this episode! I have read all of the books at least twice and I loved this episode. No disappointment or anger for me. From the moment when Jenny greeted her wayward child with a hug and a slap, I knew this would be a great ride. A big shout out to Laura Donnelly and her portrayal of Jenny- Excellent!! Claire and Jamie had to have some time to start to process the miracle of being together again and this episode hit it. The angry sex scene was magnificent!

    Beth, as always, you say what I think but can’t get into words. Thank you again.

  11. Linda Adams

    Agree! Agree! Agree! There is so much good with this episode and the last. However, to me the essence of Outlander is the love between Jamie and Claire and it is missing in both. I don’t know if it was in the writing or the editing but what should have been one of the most heartfelt lines in this episode “Sassenach, will ye take me – and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew?” was just a throw away. The focus of the scene changed abruptly before there could be any response from Claire. Like you, I need to see Jamie and Claire loving eachother again ASAP!

  12. Donna Allen

    Thank you, again Beth, for putting into words your summation of each episode. It sure saves me some futile attempt at sorting out & reflection on what took place. What did I just see?? I’m not really sure, better check out what Wesson has to say!
    Thanks again for taking the time & effort to blog here!

  13. Cathy L.

    For a fan who hasn’t read the books, I enjoyed this episode immensely. My friend who has read each book 3x liked the episode a lot too. She loves the TV adaptation and has marveled how the producers make the material work for the screen.

    I’ve watched the episode 4 times now and will watch it many more times during the week. The acting/chemistry between Sam and Cait has grown deeper as each season/episode passes. It’s truly remarkable how in sync they are with the characters and with each other.

    The fight was so real. When you’re full of emotion, you say things that hurt the other and everything was out on the table. They didn’t hold back which I loved.

    I too wanted Claire to give Jamie some acknowledgement on the cliff but she did tell Jenny that she loves her brother very much. As the producers said, Claire’s hesitation makes their bond stronger when she sticks by him. From the promo in next week’s episode, it does look like Claire and Jamie are in a good place but I do hope we see Claire show Jamie she understands what his life was without her for 20 years.

    I liked the look Jamie gave Claire when Ian wanted Jamie to give young Ian a whipping. A callback to when Jamie whipped Claire?

    Beth, thank you again for your review.

  14. Great review Beth, thank you. Two things, I keep thinking that in the show version, it’s somewhat unfair of Claire to be so upset with Jamie about the Laioghaire non-disclosure when she stopped him talking when he was going to say something on the first night of their reunion and said that her only question was whether he’d loved anyone else. Secondly, even though I like the book’s version of the epic love instantly re-united and just pick up where they left off, I actually think the show’s version is more realistic – it would be awkward, there probably would be “indiscretions” to reveal and there would be doubts, especially when you just deserted your child! All in all, I’m like you, can’t wait for the love to blossom again and for Claire to be happy that she’s back…hopefully soon.

  15. Nancy

    Wow. I am blown away with your analysis. I need to read it again and then watch 308 again. I am one of the followers that resented the change from the book regarding L. I understand that Jenny did not know and therefore pushed J to find someone. But Jamie, who knew L tried to have C killed more than once, if you count the voodoo bit under her pillow, marrying L was just a sign that the writers screwed this one up. L was trouble even before she tried to harm C. I read the explanation by AK and how they tried to make this right. They centered on J’s need to be a father so they centered his reason for marrying L via her two adoable girls. If I hadn’t read the books I might have bought it.

    Thank you for your thoughts. They are amazing and right on. I too cannot wait until they get JC back as a loving unit with acceptance for who they have become. This series is about them more than anything else. I need them to find each other and be whole.

  16. Cindy S

    Beth,
    I appreciate your gift of putting into words what I am feeling – how in the world do you do that?!
    I must say I was mightily relieved after watching 308, (after the mess, at least as I saw it, of 307), and I thought it was very well done.
    In your “P.S”, you said that you chose to focus on Jamie and Claire. This is my focus as well, both when I read the story and when I watch it. For me, the two of them are the center of the story around which all the other stories & characters revolve. (I know that may or may not be the case for others.) When the show gets J&C’s relationship right the story sings for me. When the show doesn’t get it right, something is missing for me. (To use a musical metaphor, the harmonies are off key, dissonant.)
    I, too, “need the moment when (Claire) understands that Jamie is the key that unlocks her true self and knows she cannot live without him. Maybe that moment will come soon. I sure hope so because I don’t think this couple can take much more and neither can I.”
    Cindy

  17. Anne Hetherington

    Jamie broke my heart yet again with his unwavering love and need for Claire, but I guess I wasn’t upset that the writers are making us wait for them to finally be back together. They will be. It will happen. Just not quite yet. I remember a promotional interview with Sam, where he said that while the print shop episode is important, it’s not what you are expecting. Other stuff surrounding it is more important. I wonder if what he couldn’t say is that they do not just get right back together, that there is a process that they have to go through first.
    I loved this episode for all of the reasons in your PS!
    Think I will watch it again this morning!

  18. Joyce Johnston

    Thank You again Beth i still feel remorse for my words regarding ep 7 such and emotional rant for me ! this episode gives me so much more hope ! I know there is so much material to get thru this season things need to be moved along quickly I did miss the near death seriousness of Jamie’s injury and the small closeness that injury brought to them! The feel of this season has certainly been influenced by the new team of writers and producers . Hoping to find our Jamie and Claire soon!

  19. I too, really thought this episode explored more intimately who Jaime and Claire are now, and the changes they have undergone while apart. It really struck me how much Jaime suffered in those 20 years and how much those experiences altered intrinsic parts of him: Culloden, prison, a son he cannot acknowledge or help raise, two daughters lost, and of course, his separation from Claire. He is going to be changed, on some very deep levels. He needs Claire to help him re capture those parts of himself that he has lost in his emotional isolation and pain.
    Claire likewise, while not suffering the intensity of deprivation Jaime has, was forced to smother parts of her essential self that Jaime knows and understands. Look at the unconditional trust he always had in her healing abilities and his great respect for that. Frank did not and could not support or nurture her being in the way Jaime does. As well, Claire is faced directly with all of the insecurties she had about returning, to the point where she questions whether she belongs or not, by painting a brighter picture of her life in Boston, which speaks to and illuminates and reflects some of her deepest personal and emotional fears.

    I feel what we are seeing now, bit by bit, is Jaime and Claire coming to know one another again, who they have evolved to be, and in this process rekindling the transformative power of their love for one another.

  20. Claudia Krage

    Thanks for another excellent article! For me the tv 📺 version is giving us so much understanding as we see things from Jamie’s point of view directly and not filtered through Claire. I love this. Jamie’s emotional suffering is heart wrenching.
    Claire needs to fully commit to Jamie for her sake as well as for him. I don’t believe we have seen this yet and trust this will happen soon. Loved this episode. The one question I have is when Claire reflects on what she has left in Boston (when talking or in anger) she never includes Brianna. This seems odd to me, what do you think?

    • Tracy

      I wondered if omitting Brianna was perhaps an indication that it is too soon for Claire to recall her memory – she is still in the depths of grief and it is too painful to mention Brianna quite yet? What do you think? It struck me as very odd as well.

    • Lisa

      I wonder if that is because it would be way too painful – both for Claire to admit it loud to herself, but also for Jamie to know that she had chosen between him and Brianna – too much to come to terms with.

      I really feel a corner stone of Claire’s character in both books and TV show is her tendency not to speak her feelings. While Jamie often comments on how easy it is to read her feelings on her face, she rarely gives voice to them. No poetic language from Claire about how the sun comes out when she sees Jamie, or that being without him was like living without a heart. In the book we see things through her eyes, but in a way we are limited to her own understanding of herself. Not exactly an unreliable narrator, but – you know – a bit! (Think about how Diana points out that in the book Claire THINKS that Frank is having a string of affairs. My theory is that she builds an emotional wall between herself and Frank and creates herself a reason to maintain that emotional distance.)

      I think TV Claire has kept her own feelings so protected and shelved during her time with Frank, that this open, messy and chaotic reunion is overwhelming her. It would be lovely to see her open up to Jamie when she is less in shock and able to return to him fully.

      • that is what I meant by seeing putting her defenses back on. However, I really thought they were going to show us that his getting shot was going to break through

  21. Nancy

    So very well said Beth. You really encapsulated the depth of feeling in this episode. Wish you were one of the writers for the show. You get their story!!

  22. I love your summaries, Beth. Your descriptions and dissections are first rate. This was a better episode than 306, in my opinion. I loved the fighting between Claire and Jamie, because their fighting always ends in deep love. To have a love returned after 20 years is miraculous – no matter how it happens. Of course things are different after 20 years. They are older and wiser, but the initial spark and the chemistry remains. Both Claire and Jamie held idealized versions of each other for 20 years. The reality of the events of those 20 years must be understood. Claire needs to explain to Jamie how empty her life was without him – despite her many achievements. And Jamie needs Claire to understand the pain and loneliness he endured for years and years without her at his side. Jamie forced Claire to return through the stones to the 20th century. Now that she has found him and has returned to him, they will have the rest of their lives to be together.

  23. Michelle

    Beth, you keep writing exactly what I’m feeling. Thank you! Even when I don’t love every second of an episode, I still get back to loving every minute of this story being onscreen. That preview for the rest of the season was pretty exciting!

  24. Jill Elizabeth Shirley

    You speak for me Beth. It was a a beautiful episode that felt almost primal in its emotional expression; I could feel Jaime’s paralyzing fear and anguish, Claire’s feelings of incomprehension and deep betrayal, Laoghaire’s desperation, her children’s frightened confusion and Jennie’s resentful suspicions born out of a soul-deep love of her brother. I was so sad they weren’t full reconciled by the time they stood on the cliffs together.

    I’m mindful of Season 2 when it took a very long time for Jaime to recover from his assault in Wentworth Prison. His body was healed, but his mind and soul were not. It took time to recover. It seems to me we’re seeing something similar here. They have to process so much before they can truly be as one again. Knowing my own relationship with my husband as I do, when there are hurts and misunderstandings we go slow and work through them, allowing the time that’s needed to heal and find each others heart. These characters have so much to work through. They too need time, to find their way fully back to each other. Sometimes love means you abide the pain until your partner is ready to let you in again. It’s hard, painful, and unpleasant, but that’s the reality.

    Best to you my Dear.

  25. Every emotion, every nuance was compelling in this episode. I still disparage with how the Writers convey some of this torture to us, out of Character Character’s….but hey, I’m a Celtic myself and emotions sometimes are brutal.I still love the entire Artistry of Acting, Scenery, Costumes and Music, this is a phenomenal experience for us as well ! Thank you Beth for helping us all sort this out !

  26. Thanks Beth a lovely summary of Episode 8. I loved Episode 8. The changes helped me to “see” how difficult and awkward both Jamie & Claire felt when they were finally be reunited. Both of them have been living on memories for the previous 20 years and now BAM they are back together and everything is not as they had imagined.
    I loved that Jenny was able to show Claire how angry and hurt they were at not hearing from her in 20 years. Laura was magnificent. No manner of excuse was acceptable to her and I agree. I so wished J&C had told Ian & Jenny the truth – they would have believed I’m sure and everything would have been so much easier. HaHaHa – Diana’s version makes a much better story.
    Poor old Laoghaire. I’ve always felt a little sorry for her. She’d been in love with Jamie for most of her life. She finally gets him and it’s not what she thought it would be. Personally I think Jamie got it all wrong with her. She wasn’t afraid of him she was heartbroken. How awful to realize Jamie would never love her as he loved Claire. Maybe she hated going to bed with Jamie because Claire was always there between them. Maybe Jamie cried out in his sleep for Claire. I can see how bitterness soon took over.
    The writers, cast and crew gave us a wonderful episode and I can’t wait for next week.

  27. Judy Glasson

    Thankyou Beth for your wonderful comments. I love this show with the exception of a couple of episodes and I think that is okay. Up till this season the story really has been Claires and I think the character Jamie suffered because of it. This season up till now absolutely belongs to Jamie. His absolutely miserable , lonely and despairing life. The only joy for him has been Willie. Just a few short years and he is gone too. The picture of him standing alone in the doorway at Hogmanay said everything to me. How alone must you be to feel like that. I felt like crying because I know how that feels.[ I wrote in my grief journal only today, that grief is a cloak I have wrapped myself in and pulled it tight so I don’t let in the cold. It is how I protect myself . My husband of 51yrs marriage died suddenly 3 yrs, ago and I am not the person I once was ] Sorry about that. Not looking for pity.
    Claire has had it much easier than Jamie in many ways. She, I think has forgotten how different life is in the 18th century. She loves him but she has to let it come without being so judgemental. They will be fine . Just takes a bit of time. Sam’s acting is just getting better and better. Laura was so believable as Jenny. They are all good.

  28. laruebeth

    As usual, your insights are a joy to read. Maybe because in many cases they mirror my own? LOL! I truly and unequivocally loved this episode. My only complaint is disappointment at Claire’s lack of reaction to Sam’s words on the cliff. But I trust the process and expect to see this rectified.

  29. Denise R.

    Thank you Beth. Totally enjoyed your comments and everyone else’s comments as well. Loved this episode and can’t wait for the next one!

  30. Susan

    I’m so happy with this episode! I’m not at all mad at the writers this week…even after only one viewing. (I always forgive them after the 2nd ..or 3rd) This episode covered a lot of story without making it look crammed in. The line from the books that has been missing showed up on the cliff overlooking the ocean right where I hoped they’d put it. I loved how Claire body checked Leghair 😊 Well done!

  31. Pam Allum

    Thank you once again Beth for a great review. I agree with your comments and thought this episode was amazing. I agree with Judy Glasson too in that this is truly Sam’s season. The scene where Jamie and Claire argue is one of the best of the series. This episode reaffirms the writers’ belief in, and understanding of, Diana’s written words, bringing them to the screen with integrity. It is indeed a great love story and I look forward with great anticipation to the next episodes. I still remain amazed at how well chosen all the actors are and how well portray our characters. They are to me, and many other, real people!

  32. Nancy

    What a terrific and thoughtful review! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and you managed to capture so well all those thoughts that I had in my head….I am hoping, too, that next week Claire says “I’m with ya Jamie”.

  33. As always, your thoughts are insightful, detailed, thoughtful and completely enjoyable. I loved the episode — every little bit. Sam and Cait are masterful at portraying scenes of frustration, anger, hurt and it’s such a relief to me that all the emotions accumulated over 20 years that have been simmering just below the surface have finally broken through. It mirrors real-life love/marriage to a tee. As painful as it is to watch, we know this marriage can only be healed and trust rebuilt when everything, everything[!] is out in the open. It takes time to process these huge changes and I support the writer’s decision to realistically give Claire time to come to terms with the situation. They both know they can’t live without each other and I trust the powers that be thoroughly “get” Jamie and Claire and just intuit what we all need. I’m a book reader from the beginning and have also read them all numerous times. I’ve learned not to make judgment calls btwn the books and TV until I’ve read and watched EVERYTHING out there and understand why things were done the way they were in every episode. It truly makes me appreciate the thought, debates, endless meetings with everyone involved that goes into every single episode. It’s incredible! And even the feelings of us fans bear weight in their decisions. I have never seen such interaction between cast, crew, production, etc. and fans as this Outlanderfest. It is truly a magnificent thing!

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