The beginning of forever…A Reflection on Outlander 3.13 “Eye of the Storm”

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I’ve been waiting for that moment. I’ve been waiting for that moment when I would know that they know. When our hero introduces himself and his wife to the young Georgian family, he understands that for the first time in decades he is free to be himself without fear or subterfuge.  He is James Fraser and the woman safe in his arms is his heart, his love, his wife, Claire… who has promised never to leave him.  I’ve been waiting for forever to begin and this week it did. They are truly together, two halves of one whole.

Kudos to Matt B Roberts on his directorial debut and congrats to the writers’ room who somehow managed to wrestle this monster of a story into 13 episodes.  There were so many wonderful nods to the source material and its fans and yet enough surprises to keep me wondering what would happen next!  I love the show’s ability to call us back to previous scenes and seasons.  The Faith music caused me to get chills and they gave us a story that has come full circle.  The season began with Jamie near death and ends with Claire near death.  The dancing, so different and yet so reminiscent of Craig Na Dun, was a wonderful connection that explained the presence of the maroons.  And, constantly, woven throughout the story is the thread of fate.  We are reminded that all of this was meant to be and that there are forces beyond our understanding at work to both separate our two and keep them together.  There was a supernatural battle being fought for the shape of the future.  I had to wonder whether Zeus and Hera were at it again.

Saving Bree

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I was so proud of the observations I garnered from the last episode.  I talked about the differences between the two time travelers Gellis and Claire.  The scenes in Rose Hall bore out what I thought.  Gellis has completely identified herself with her ability to travel. Claire accepts it as just part of who she is, but it isn’t her identity.  I loved the interplay between the two.  The cat and mouse game was fascinating.  Our Claire is such a bad liar and Caitriona played it off so well, “My driver dropped me off at the bottom of the lane and I got lost trying to find the house…”.  yeah…riiiighttttt. On some level, we got the feeling that Gellis really wants to believe that Claire is her friend.  I believed her when she said it has been hard.  She is tearful when she asks Claire why she has pursued her all these years especially after she sacrificed everything for her at Cranesmuir. She is the outsider of all outsiders.  Gellis has never met another traveler besides Claire and she feels a connection to her and yet, she cannot trust her, “Why are you here?”  They come together “ominously” according to Gellis.  Claire is smart, but she cannot keep up with the deceptive Gellis.  She cannot think like Gellis because she hasn’t her motivation and mindset, her sacrifices for the “greater good” aren’t motivated by power. So, she reveals the very thing she shouldn’t in an effort to gain Gellis’ trust, Bree.  When we see Claire at the end of the scene looking around the hall, I could practically hear her saying to herself, “what the hell just happened?”

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Lord John!  What a great scene, played to perfection.  I loved that Jamie seemed a bit surprised at John’s ability to navigate this situation and his power play.  John large and in charge was a beautiful and sexy sight to behold! I loved Lt/Capt Leonard’s comeuppance, he deserved it the ungrateful little upstart. John is all a man should be, generous, loyal, loving, kind, and strong. I’m still hopeful Diana will write him a partner worthy of the wonderful man he is.

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The show keeps giving us great couples to love. We see the reflection of Jamie and Claire’s relationship in Fergus and Marsali and what wasn’t there to love about Margret and Mr. Willoughby? The show gave us another couple who loves beyond all understanding.  I admit to feeling that they and Jamie and Claire were very out-of-place in their surroundings.  They didn’t fit and I was a bit jarred by all that was going on around them. The frenetic dancing and voodoo like ceremony seemed so incongruous with Margret’s smiles and her holding “psychic” court.  Tein Cho’s assertion that they had been invited by these “kind people” was in direct contrast with the stereotypes around them.  It helped me see it all in a different light.  I got the feeling that this ceremony was ancient and wanted to know what the other ceremonies for standing stones and fire days looked like around the world.

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I love that Jamie and Claire are completely working together as a team.  The call back to Faith and their commitment to their daughter Bree was powerful.  They were in complete understanding, sealed with a kiss and a familiar nod.  Let’s do this.  What followed was primal. Claire was fulfilling her destiny.  I found myself wondering at the powers that were controlling or attempting to control them.  I’m not sure if Zeus or Hera won, but Bree is safe from the zealot Gellis. We were given a moment to fear that Claire was being drawn back through the stones and the only thing powerful enough to combat its lure was Jamie’s touch.  It is a lovely extended visual metaphor, the power of their reaching hands, we have seen them reach out to each other so often.  And, Jamie’s last look at Bree’s photo was everything. I loved that Jamie took the time to reassure Ian and Claire and drew them into an embrace and held them close.  At that point, I felt we all needed a hug!

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With time to serve her suitably

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True to form, Jamie and Claire have drawn close through facing difficulty together.  If there were any barriers left between the two they have been broken down by the time they are back on board the Artemis.  I loved that the show slowed things down and gave us this wonderful scene.  I was so happy to see them flirting and teasing.  The humor between these two is a joy that I have missed.  They are comfortable with each other once again.  You can feel the trust and confidence in their love and their future together.  It feels solid and true.  I recognized this couple.  They are altered by experience, but I recognized them nonetheless.  This was Jamie and his Claire, Claire and her Jamie, reveling in each other.

The Eye of the Storm

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I have given the next series of events a lot of thought.  It was fantastical to be sure.  At first, I was struck by how over the top it all was.  How in the world did Jamie know where to find her in that roiling sea and how could he have swam to her? Jamie is great, but that great?  So, I asked myself, why.  Why, did Matt and Toni and the others choose to play this in such an over the top way?  They certainly had the power to do it differently. What were they trying to tell us?  I thought and I thought and I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter.  It was a full-out, over the top, love letter to this couple and the thing between them that they cannot name, but is always there.  Why wouldn’t Jamie jump into the sea after Claire?  She would jump into the sea after him, or storm a prison, or travel through stones. Why would the thing between them not draw him to her? Why wouldn’t Zeus or Hera intervene to save them? One of them put them in a hurricane, why wouldn’t the other place them in the eye of the storm?

Forever Begins

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The story has shifted gears, it is no longer about falling in love or finding a way back to each other, but about how people stay in love.  The show has a chance to break new ground once more.  They can show us the intricacies of a long and loving marriage.  They can show us two people who are building a life together and stay together.  No matter what they face, and the Gods know they are always facing something, the love they share is a calm center in the storm.  Jamie and Claire are the core of this story, they are the anchor we hold on to that keeps us all enthralled and believing in the possibility of a love that is all that it should be.  I fell in love with the Jamie and Claire in Diana’s books and I’ve fallen in love with the Jamie and Claire in Ron’s show.  Both couples have a lot to tell us about living and love and I for one, am ready for the new world.

 

 

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93 thoughts on “The beginning of forever…A Reflection on Outlander 3.13 “Eye of the Storm”

  1. This is my favorite episode in Series 3. I really, really wanted to throttle Gellis. Lotte Verbeek should be cited for an Emmy, it was her best performance yet. You are right on the nose in saying it’s not about falling in love, it is in the loving(my paraphrase, sorry.)Mr. Willoughby is less ‘creepy’ than he seemed in the books. Maybe putting a face to the character helped(I really did not like him in the books). Am still digesting and will probably start rewatching since all are now available to watch at once(I’m a Starz streaming subscriber. Lee Broat

  2. I’m ready too! I actually don’t mind the beginning few months of Droughtlander because it gives me time to re-read, re-watch, absorb, and prepare. The final few…well, that’s a whole nuther story! lol I am behind in reading your posts, but I couldn’t not jump in and read this one! And again, I feel much the same as you do about the finale and the 3rd season. I am so excited to see what lies ahead on the show. I’m also counting on you (no pressure!) to keep your thought provoking posts going while we all wait for Season 4 to begin! Oh…and where’s that announcement that we’ve been green-lighted for 5 and 6??? lol – Dawn

  3. Debra

    Yes, the amazing storm scene was over the top. Thank you for pointing out that this was a tribute to the (over the top) love between Jamie and Claire. Though I knew the outcome of this storm, this episode kept me on the edge of my seat. Loved the ending with Jamie and Claire washed ashore in the new world; a new beginning. I look forward to next season and your insightful observations.

  4. Chris Finklein

    Wonderful post script to an outstanding season 3. As I watched the finale conclude yes, oh yes, I was aching that this marvelous season had finished but the tease they offered us with a quick shot of J&C in their “new world” was a thrill.
    Thanks, dear Beth, for unraveling the meaning behind; I always crave to read more of you and relish in understanding. The metaphors this time around are profound and the examples of beautiful romance stellar. Of course we celebrate J&C but Marsali & Fergus, Mr. W and Margaret and no doubt Bree & Roger who return to us in season 4. I too cannot wait for them to announce television air dates and eagerly anticipate looking forward to enjoying the affirmation of seasons 5 & 6. With the incredible following this shows earns no doubt we have multiple seasons to indulge in yet.
    Please, Beth, I too would love if you kept up an ongoing commentary on your blog. I’ve saved numerous editions of your words and read them again like they are an accompanying commentary to add yet another dimension to this amazing story. Your insights always create an afterglow that gives the audience one more layer to peel apart and savor. Thanks from the bottom of my heart!

  5. DeeDee Prather

    I love your observations and completely agree! It was another wonderful episode that I didn’t want to end. Although I safely assumed Claire would not die, count me in with the “edge of my seat” crowd! The “Faith” music was absolute perfection; hauntingly beautiful.

    In a story about time travel and the power of fate, not much is over the top for me.

    One thing about the scene with Margret, she told Jamie and Claire things she saw from their pasts. Then, I presume, she told them something she saw in their future – Brianna! It didn’t hit me at the time, but that must be what she meant.

    It’s going to be a long winter without the Frasers… but, we’ve got their love to keep us warm!!

  6. Marge

    Your blog is spot on! I loved this episode and that Mr Willowby and Margaret are a romantic item. That is even better than the book. kudos to all who made this happen. One thing that makes this series so much better than others is that it will not run out of ideas. Each of Diana’s books has a new adventure with characters we love, while other series have to make it up as they go and can’t sustain the experience. I can hardly wait for season 4.

  7. Chris

    Thank you Beth, for expressing so well how I feel about this episode. This was nearly an hour of moments for me. As I commented in a FB group Aussie Outlanders – all the little disappointments I felt through this season were blown away by this last episode. What a joy it was! I read your Outlander blog after each episode and you always manage to sort out some of the confusion and emotion I’ve felt through the season by your elequont writing.

  8. Anne

    Yes! Everything you said! Now that we see the arc of the season, it makes sense that the awkwardness after the reunion should be there! Also, it amazed me that they could make me hold my breath and feel such tension when I already knew the basic story. This episode was just so well done.
    The entire season was just the best! Of all the things that I liked about it, maybe the most surprising for me is my new found understanding and admiration and love for LJG. This is all due to David Berry. He brought John Grey to life for me when the written word and my imagination couldn’t. I enjoyed his books and novellas, but I didn’t connect with him till David Berry,who in this episode was just perfect!
    I thought the storm was pretty over the top in the book, too. So, since they were on the “Black Sails” set, and had the equipment, “why not” do it just because they can! I thought it was fantastic!
    Thanks for all of your blogs, Beth. I look forward to them so much. Will miss them.

  9. Nancy C.

    Thank you, Beth. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful finale. Thank you! I honestly didn’t know how Voyager was going to be wrapped up in one hour. There was so much more, it seemed, to figure out. But the powers that be did it masterfully, didn’t they? The Faith music immediately pulled me in (well, I didn’t need much pulling). The blending of the ritual going on and the dancing at the stones was magical. My mouth literally popped open. I am so in awe of the writers and the others who think things through to tell and show the story. It was beautiful. And yes, the sensual, sweet love that was made back on the ship was amazing. Book lovers should be thrilled. There wasn’t anything gratuitous about this scene. Basically no nudity was needed. (Not that their being naked ever bothered me.) It was tender, silly and totally our Jamie and Claire. One point I have to make, when Jamie kissed Claire with his mouth open, I melted. Yep, melted. I’ve been wanting that kiss for a very long time!

    Washed up on the beach in each other’s arms, realizing they are one – their loving gazes to one another … and the world is now their oyster. I could not have imagined that this episode would be so satisfying in every way.

    Thank you again, Beth, for all your dedication and hard work and for your words. You belong right here in our hearts and minds. It’s been remarkable season! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  10. Thank you so much Beth for another fabulous review. I started pondering your comment on Lord John and what makes a good man. Did you mean it to be in that period or now as well?
    Well anyway, it didn’t matter because for me it was a reflection of now and what men mean to us. Of course it would be a good question about women but I like to ponder this between outlander series. The strength of the protagonists’ relationship.
    I actually put into google what makes a and before I could type good man, there were so many other options to quickly search for, not one of them man. Everything from website, to customer service. Leader was the top along with what makes you beautiful. Sad what we search for now. Anyway…
    Thank you again for this thought provoking review.

      • Laine Andrews

        I think this link of yours is the best description I’ve seen of Jamie and why he appeals to so many women. I wonder what the age break down would be though. Middle aged or older women still admire many of the more manly qualities you list including over-ruling the woman occasionally for her own protection. But younger women have been schooled by present day culture (movies etc.) to think they want down the middle equality instead of each partner playing to his and her strengths. In fact, they’re encouraged to deny that there’s any such thing as “male” and “female” qualities. They are convinced to want tame men who do half the vacuuming but would be useless protecting them from anything bigger than a spider. Now that there is a generation of many such men, are young women happier for it?

  11. Constance Jones

    Beth. Thank you for all the words I was thinking. I love your insights. Everything you said was point on. I always look forward to your blogs.

  12. Sharon from S.I.

    I look forward to your blog after every episode. You always have an original and beautiful take on our favorite story. You have managed to capture the spiritual and temporal messages that Diana Gabaldon wrote and Ron Moore and company have brought to life in digital media.

    Your blog gets me thinking about so much and these small thoughs came to mind because of you.This episode showed how strong Claire and Jamie’s marriage is because you could feel their intimacy in so many unspoken ways. It also showed what real friendship was about contrasting the sacrifices made by John Grey and Jaime with the harm thast Geillis was willing to do to Claire and Bree.

    Thank you for bringing so much insight and pleasure to us. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with only the best and, of course, Outlander.

  13. June Edwards

    Lovely Beth, I have began to feel that I haven’t seen the episode until I’ve read your recap. Everything is made so clear in your words!

  14. Carol Aisha Jones

    Hey There Beth! How the heck did you get in my brain & write my thoughts??? When “Faith’s” music played I was so touched, brought back to loss & sadness. Thank you Beth for taking the time to write this wonderful article. Adios & Shalom!

  15. I agree with everything you have said in your post! I loved the finale and reading your thoughtful and spot on analysis makes me even more excited and anxious for the next season! I loved seeing the way that their relationship evolved over this season and previous ones and I can’t wait to watch the episode again…and again, and again.

  16. Susan Grandt

    I’ve gotten so very tired of reading reviews that try to analyze only in order to pick apart what they didn’t like. Your comments always impress me with the emphasis on the effort to understand underlying motivations, whether it be what is happening with the characters, or what the writers were wrestling with in trying to get the story told in a visual medium. I always, always come away with new insights, thanks to you!

  17. Barbara Spellman

    Thank you, Beth, for this and all your blogs. I faithfully read each one and often rewatch an episode through your thoughts finding more layers in it than I enjoyed previously. This blog echoed all my thoughts and feelings. This episode brought so many things from the series to fruition and did it so well. I know exactly how you felt watching Jamie and Claire together in the Artemis. I found myself actually shouting at the TV. “Yes, yes there are the Jamie and Claire I know and love.” Also, I will always see Jamie’s face filled with relief and joy as he holds Claire, with the tear running down his cheek as he realizes that he finally has Claire for the rest of his life, he is free from all the people hunting him back in Scotland, his children are safe, LJG is a dear and trusted friend, all the people he loved on the ship are still alive and a new life is beginning. What a beautiful and powerful ending/beginning. I wish you much joy this Christmas season and a new year filled with many blessings, Beth. I thank you for all your research and for taking the time to write all your intelligent, thought provoking, respectful blogs. You are a rare soul.

  18. once again, Beth, you articulate what I see and feel from this magical mystical and mesmerizing production (plus the books). Thank you for connecting us all with your eloquence. Emily

  19. Rebecca J Rungsang

    Once again, thank you !! for taking your precious time to provide us with another thoughtful and insight-filled recap of our favorite show. I look forward as do so many others to reading your thoughts as they add SO much to our enjoyment of the story in both the show and the books. I went back to read your link to the previous recap about Jaime as I didn’t subscribe to your blog until this Season. It gave me chills! You could probably teach a college course on the many aspects of the Outlander series.

  20. Sara van den Hove

    “I’m still hopeful Diana will write him a partner worthy of the wonderful man he is.”

    Is Manoke not a good enough partner for Lord John? I loved the detail we got about the start of their relationship in Seven Stones.

  21. Jenny Fox

    Ditto all the above! sch an intelligent & heartwarming blog. This show’s decision making and creative development of characters such as Angus, Murtagh and Le Ten Cho has been a real bonus. Thank you Beth from a UK fan.

  22. Ghizelle

    I agree with you on everything. I might have however a regret this season 3
    reregarding Lord John. I thought that book Jamie was more compassionate towards Lord John. In the show, he seemed distant, with almost no regard for Lord John and everything that he’d one for him. *I am not used to Whrite in English, although I can easily read and understand it. I enjoy your reviews and insights on outlander very much. Even if I read the books in French, I love re-reading the extracts you put in here and find diana Gabaldon to be a wonderful writer. Thank you very much and kept doing what you do. A fan from far far away!

  23. Celia Toohey

    Again, your thoughts are so perceptive. You put in writing what I, too, am feeling. The recognition of this couple…the excitement of the future TOGETHER.

  24. That storm was epic! So well done! This episode really hit the key elements nicely but, many of my most loved moments are ahead, the BEST moments are when Jamie & Claire are TOGETHER. Once again, you get to the heart of it Beth. Reading your post was like a big, crushing hug 🙂

    Seeing Jamie & Claire finally reach that Georgian beach, awash in the realization that they were alive, together and looking ahead… well, it’s the culmination of THAT, all that feeling–that’s what this season was all about for me. Getting to this point where, as you said, forever truly begins.

  25. Marty B

    Oh, Beth… I was reading this post on my phone and thinking this is such an insightful and intelligent analysis. Then I noticed I was reading your blog and I thought ‘of course’!! You always make each episode more meaningful and enjoyable for me.
    I agree with every gratitude from the other posters! Your Outlander blog is the best one written hands-down! Thank you!

  26. Oh my Dear Lady, the consummate Blogger,THE Onion Lady ! I swam in the delight of this last episode…but I knew I missed things I should have seen and heard. I also knew , and could barely wait until your ‘peeling back’ hit my In Box . You sliced right into my Heart long ago, I realized that Diana wrote the most marvelous Books and you write the most marvelous Blogs….Yin and Yang ! Thank you so very much for a wonderfully full Season made so much richer by your commentary. ! I understand that you had your doubts about keeping up the Blog and I Thank God you did not. Think of all of us who write you, and those who read and lurk, lost , wandering in the Woods of Words and Screen without you, Zombies oh my !! Please, PLEASE PULEEZE do not forsake us !
    I wish you and your beautiful Family a Happy and Blessed Christmas, and a New Year PACKED with Love from all corners of The Outlander World.

  27. Diane Clavareau-Vandenberghe

    I did not see OS3! Not available in Belgium and even illegally it is a problem! I know people who found a way… So, I feel rather frustrated, see spoilers and bribes and feel as I am eating crumbs of a splendid cake! Your blog – I also review others and follow them on You Tube now and then – is a consolation for me. A little bit like the raft on which Jamie & Claire are drifting off! I would like to be able to buy the DVD for Christmas. Would be my top-wish. Hope…
    Anyway, I really appreciate your view on “coming” scenes for me. They will help me through the first time I will see them, explain better what I will review – right afterwards I am afraid – and complete the later over and over additional reviews. My Droughtlander is not over yet, so I am just smiling when some people say the are longing for the next season! Seems even further away for me. Funny. Theory on RELATIVTY? Thank you Mr. Einstein.
    I am waiting for Culloden, for the reunion, for the voyage, for Jamie and Claire’s smiles, looks, flirting, kisses and making love. Naked or not. It is always a good moment when you view the scenes and it makes me happy. Even at my age. I am happy for them!
    Thanks to the actors, to the crew and everybody involved in this enormous realization, because to squeeze each of Diana Gabaldon’s books in 13 episodes is not easy work! Read them in French until 5 and started over in English as the translations did not seem accurate and correct sometimes. Sorry, but I have been a professional translator and it is never an easy task.
    And my best wishes for Christmas to you. Also a fructuous and rich year 2018.
    Thank you again by helping me staying patient.
    Diane

  28. Michele Latta

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful, positive review. Thank you for allowing me to suspend reality just long enough to believe that Jamie would indeed jump into a raging sea in order to save Claire. Thank you for picking up on the most important part that Jamie finally, after decades of hiding, is able to proclaim “I’m Jamie Fraser and this is my wife Claire”. Thank you for recognizing that Claire didn’t need to say the words “I Love You” for us to believe that she would stay with Jamie forever.
    I was getting so discouraged by all the negative reviews, people complaining about music, characters, the impossibility that Claire could have survived her near drowning, etc. I wanted to read a positive review for once and you came through in marvelous ways.
    Keep up the good work. And in case I didn’t say it enough, thank you.

  29. Karen Badie

    Hi Beth, First time to comment here, shame on me because I have had the pleasure of you writing throughout this season. Your insight and positive thoughts are a rare treat. It’s like I dine on a fine meal with the episode and your writing is the dessert. Thank you!

  30. Jaye Emmvee

    Once again you blow me away with your well thought out analysis of another episode. I’ve looked forward each week to read your great blog. I will be re-reading books and drowning myself in the show until September! Thank you for this gift for us Obsessionachs,

  31. Liz Wilkinson Wood

    Thanks for your wonderful insights. You voiced what a lot of us feel. The show is a wonderful interpretation of their love from the books!
    I hope the non-readers caught the significance of him saying “Jamie Fraser” at the end of the episode. I beamed when he said his given name signifying his freedom from the past.

    • That was an incredible moment. It gave me goosebumps, too. Already I feel as adrift as Jamie & Claire are at this moment, what with no more episodes for a while.

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