That time I wished they did things differently…A reflection on 4.10 Outlander “The Deep Heart’s Core”

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outlander-s04e10-the-deep-hearts-core-720p.mkv_002412149Sometimes when I watch an episode of Outlander I experience what I’ve grown to call “booklash”. It is that feeling I get when they put book scenes and dialogue in the episode, but it is either changed or moved around and I feel like my head is snapping back and forth trying to make sense of it all. It is usually a temporary ailment that goes away once I’ve watched a second time and I’m able to enjoy the episode for what it is and move on.  I experienced a lot of “booklash” while watching “The Birds and The Bees”.  There was so much from the book and yet it was different and all mixed up in the timeline!  This week I didn’t experience too much “booklash”, but I did stumble on some scenes and character development and  I’m having a tough time picking myself up and moving on.

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“Can I Tell You Something Da?…”

I have a few scenes from the books that will linger in mind and heart forever. One of those scenes is of Jamie coming back to the cabin after beating up Roger, who he thinks is his daughter’s rapist. In this scene, Jamie gently lets his daughter know he knows she is pregnant.  What follows is one of the most tender and moving moments I’ve ever read.  Jamie takes his full-grown daughter into his arms and sings her a lullaby.

I used to think of you, when ye were small,” Jamie was saying to Bree, his voice very soft. “When I lived in the cave; I would imagine that I held ye in my arms, a wee babe. I would hold ye so, against my heart, and sing to ye there, watching the stars go by overhead.”

What would you sing?” Brianna’s voice was low, too, barely audible above the crackle of the fire. I could see her hand, resting on his shoulder. Her index finger touched a long, bright strand of his hair, tentatively stroking its softness.

Old songs. Lullabies I could remember, that my mother sang to me, the same that my sister Jenny would sing to her bairns.”

She sighed, a long, slow sound.

“Do you know something, Da?” Bree asked softly.

What’s that?” he said, momentarily suspending his song.

You can’t sing.”

There was a soft exhalation of laughter and the rustle of cloth as he shifted to make them both more comfortable.

“Aye, that’s true. Shall I stop, then?”

No.” She snuggled closer, tucking her head into the curve of his shoulder.

He resumed his tuneless crooning, only to interrupt himself a few moments later.

“D’ye ken something yourself, a leannan?”

Her eyes were closed, her lashes casting deep shadows on her cheeks, but I saw her lips curve in a smile.

“What’s that, Da?”

“Ye weigh as much as a full-grown deer.”

Shall I get off, then?” she asked, not moving.

“Of course not.”

She reached up and touched his cheek.

“Mi gradhaich a thu, athair,” she whispered. My love to you, Father.

He gathered her tightly against him, bent his head and kissed her forehead.The fire struck a knot of pitch and blazed up suddenly behind the settle, limning their faces in gold and black. His features were harsh-cut and bold; hers, a more delicate echo of his heavy, clean-edged bones. Both stubborn, both strong. And both, thank God, mine.

Diana Gabaldon  “Drums of Autumn”

If this scene would have been included in the episode, we would have seen an intimacy forming between the two we have all hoped and long to see happen.  It would make what happens later, the “big” misunderstanding about Roger and the words that Jamie and Bree say to each other, that much more crushing. Instead, we got a “Hey, girl your mom told me what happened to you let’s go for a walk”.  It was ridiculously casual and the setting non conducive to intimacy.  Checking traps?   Instead of a tender father and daughter scene, what they chose to focus on was a scene from the book that was problematic at best.  Jamie baits his daughter to outrage and anger so that she would understand that she couldn’t have fought back and hopefully relieve her guilt. This was followed by a father daughter talk about whether murdering someone who abused you helped you get over the abuse.  For me, this was uncomfortable to watch.  It was difficult to understand why Jamie felt there was no other way to reach his daughter. I understand that he knew the guilt she was feeling and the power it sways.  But, I don’t think we can make the comparison between what Claire did to Jamie in the monastery and this attempt at psychological treatment. She was struggling, but she was functioning. Deliberately traumatizing someone who has just been traumatized seemed over kill for the situation. We were meant to understand that he did not mean the words he baited her with and so, when he uses those same words later it felt less…sincere and more insensitive? For me there just wasn’t enough balance.  I needed to see the Jamie who croons his love for his daughter not the one who chokes her for her own good.

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The Scene I Was Going to Write a Whole Post On…But Didn’t

Previous to this last episode, I was going to write about a scene that I always felt was a watershed moment in Jamie and Claire’s relationship and whether the show was going to feature it.  It was the scene where Jamie comes upon Claire taking stock of her medical supplies and equipment in preparation for offering Bree an abortion.  I didn’t write it because when I watched the previews it was obvious that they WERE going to have Claire offer Bree an abortion. But, here I am writing about it anyway because I’m puzzled by the choice to NOT include the conversations Claire has with Jamie over her aborting their grandchild.  To me, this moment was more important than Claire actually offering the abortion to Bree.  Of all the things that have happened to Jamie and Claire this was the moment that could have separated them forever.  The show has not made much of Jamie’s faith, but I have always felt it was  a huge part of who he is and what motivates and sustains him and Claire knows this. This issue was too important not to be discussed between this couple.

Jamie.” My thumb left a slight smear of red on the linen of his shirt. “It will be all right. I’m sure it will.” I was talking to convince myself, as much as him. He didn’t move, and I ventured to put my arm around his waist, laying my cheek against the curve of his back. I wanted him to turn and take me in his arms, to assure me that it would indeed somehow be all right—or at the least, that he would not blame me for whatever happened…
…Ye’ve a high opinion of your power, have ye no?” He spoke coldly, turning to face me.I
t’s not mine to say! But if she says—then yes, it’s my power. And yes, I’ll use it. Just like you would—like you have, when you’ve had to.” I shut my eyes, fighting down fear. He wouldn’t hurt me…surely? It occurred to me with a small shock that he could indeed stop me. If he broke my hand…

….Very slowly, he bent his head and rested his forehead against mine. Look at me, Claire,” he said, very quietly.

Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked. His eyes were no more than an inch away; I could see the tiny gold flecks near the center of his iris, the black ring surrounding it. My fingers in his were slippery with blood

He let go of my hand, and touched my breast lightly, cupping it for a moment.

Please,” he whispered, and then was gone.

Diana Gabaldon “Drums of Autumn”

The arguments and reasons both Jamie and Claire give for and against the abortion are the real and compelling realities of the risks of such a decision both for or against.  The danger to Bree, Claire’s reluctance and yet determination to offer Bree the option, Jamie’s belief that they would be committing murder and the argument that follows put their relationship in real jeopardy.  Neither can bend.  If Bree decides to take Claire up on her offer it might have created a rift between our couple so wide it couldn’t have been bridged.  If the writers were looking for a scene with drama in the couple’s relationship this would have been a good choice.  The scene between Claire and Bree discussing the options was well done, but I guess I remember how it was handled in the books and Bree had already thought all of this through for herself.  Her letting Claire know she made the decision to keep the baby to me was the climax and was received with the relief that Claire would not be forced into the trauma of aborting her own grandchild and risking  her marriage

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I’ve Seen This Jamie Before…and I Don’t Like It

In my opinion, Jamie has used up his mulligans for telling Claire lies. It was completely understandable, but he didn’t tell her about Loghaire which let’s face it was kind of a huge omission.  He had just got Claire back and he was sure if he told her he would lose her.  In the book, he at least didn’t have knowledge that Loghaire had tried to have Claire killed. This change in the adaptation still puzzles the hell out of me. What the hell were they thinking and who decided this would be a good idea? They let Jamie marry her with that knowledge.  Which is quite frankly, pretty unforgivable. I have this little scenario in my head where the folks in the writer’s room decide they have screwed up and their solution is to let Jamie be the scapegoat, he’s already in deep shite anyway.  Just let him admit it and let the haggis chips fall where they may.  “Balriggin is miles away. I really dinna think she would come here”.  Really? “You were the one who told me to be nice to her!” Snort.

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We got through this as fans and in the end the scene where Jamie admits his longing for a family was sufficiently moving enough to carry the story forward.

I was also able to forgive Jamie in the “Heaven and Earth” episode last season where they locked him up in the bottom of the ship and he couldn’t get to Claire.  The way he tried to use and manipulate Fergus wasn’t ANYTHING I ever thought Jamie was capable of doing, but…I could relate.  I’d had a recent experience where I felt completely out control in a situation. My impotent anger fueled by fear caused me to act in a way completely out of character. So, like people do, I was willing to cut Jamie and the writers some slack because what he did, although very un-Jamie like, felt believable to me.  I’d been there locked in a cage fearing for a loved one’s life. But, here’s the rub, it WAS very un-Jamie like and I might have been wrong to excuse it because after this week’s episode I find myself going back to that scene in the cell and wondering what the writer’s think happens to Jamie when he finds himself cornered.  Where the frick did the man’s dignity, honor and self-control go?! Here we are again with Jamie engaging in very un-Jamie like behavior and this is starting to look like a pattern instead of a one time thing fueled by fear.

There were some choices made here. I am fairly tolerant of changes from the book.  Over the seasons I’ve grown to understand why things are changed and for the most part, I can see why or at least understand the creative choices.  Most of the time, if I am patient my questions and concerns get answered.  But, sometimes they just make choices that I can’t find a rationalization for.  There were some real head scratchers in this episode.  Understand that the books are huge and it isn’t possible to adapt them verbatim. On the other hand, as a scriptwriter you have a WEALTH of information about the characters and story to draw from.  So, in this case it really feels like some key character development was left on the page of the book and the resulting script and story was lacking some emotional depth that would have made what happens to the characters even more tragic.  What they chose to focus on and what they chose to leave out is the real tragedy in this episode.

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There Was a Lot of Guilt To Go Around

Brianna doesn’t tell her parents she was raped by Stephen Bonnet.  Claire doesn’t tell Jamie what she knows. Lizzy acts on assumptions.  And, Roger left Brianna on the night of their wedding.  And yet, it seems Jamie is the only one taking any blame.  Okay, sure he IS the one that pounded Roger’s face out the back of his skull, but he THOUGHT it was Bree’s rapist! In the book, when Jamie realizes he made a mistake he is stunned and mortified.  In the show,…not so much.  He looks sheepish and makes excuses. The misunderstanding happened and he did overreact and wound Bree, but I don’t remember anyone shaming Jamie for being angry.  What I remember is Claire feeling for both Bree and Jamie and not knowing who to comfort first.  What the heck was that line, “No you don’t get to be more angry than me”?  I’ve listened to it several times and I’m still not sure I get it.  Yes, Bree has a right to be upset.  But, I’m not sure what she is suggesting here.  That Jamie is more upset about being wrong and the fact it was Stephen Bonnet than her?  Luke Schelhass was the writer for this episode and the “Heaven and Earth” episode I wrote about earlier. I don’t think he gets the Jamie I know, love and admire. His Jamie is more flawed and weak and maybe as a result he thinks that makes him more human.

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What is wrong with having an admirable man in a show. In a real-world and TV world full of characters with ambiguous moral character, Outlander has the potential to be something different. Claire would not give false witness against Gellis even if it would save her own life. Jamie kept his word to not fight back against BJR to save Claire. For the most part, our main characters have solved moral and ethical dilemmas in ways that have sadly become a-typical. They made selfless decisions. They did the right thing despite knowing the price they would pay would be dear. The Jamie I know is extraordinarily honorable, a man of integrity and a man who makes mistakes, but owns them.  Jamie is a man worth emulating. Dramatic statements are great, but not at the cost of  a character’s established morals and personality.

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What Was Roger Thinking…

The scenes of Roger and the Mohawk were beautiful and his struggle made very real.  Despite how difficult it was to see Roger bruised and suffering, I enjoyed seeing his personality emerge.  When he is was able to find humor in his situation, I think I said out loud there he is ! That’s the RogerMac I know.  I understood his conflicting emotions when he found the stones, but that he actually reached for the stones and was going to leave Bree behind not knowing she was safe?  Hmmm…NO!

Despite How It May Read…the Episode Had A Lot to Like

It took me a couple of viewings to relax the frick down and appreciate the episode.  Despite my overall concern that there were choices made for dramatic effect at the expense of character development, it wasn’t all that bad.  I saw more subtly in the performances than I did the first couple of times through.  Claire looked less disgusted with Jamie and more torn and empathetic.  Jamie’s love for his daughter and the devastation he feels for wounding with his words and actions seems genuine thanks to Sam Heughan’s stellar emoting.  Not my favorite episode, but we have several story lines to follow and a lot of healing to do and I’m still on board for it all.

 

 

 

 

90 thoughts on “That time I wished they did things differently…A reflection on 4.10 Outlander “The Deep Heart’s Core”

  1. Becky M

    I have been enjoying this season very much but this episode felt a little flat. I did not like the you don’t get to be angrier than me line. You make some very good points about the writer’s choices.

  2. Cathy Ritter

    I’m thinking there are too many different writers thus the mess ups with Jamie knowing Leery tried to kill Claire before he marries her and the other inconsistencies to the story threads in the books. I’ve forgotten some of the story so I dont catch all the changes in thenTV adaptation-thank God!

    Sent from my iPad

    • Donna R. Brown

      Yes! Too many different writers and if they haven’t read the books to totally understand the characters, they mess them up, change them from their true self in the books….I hate that part…..

      • Joan Tinnin

        Agree completely on too many writers. Agree on the diminishment of Jamie. THAT is unforgivable. I both liked and loathed this episode. The loathing was for what they are doing to Jamie. Jamie does NOT fumble and flounder. I hated that.

  3. Jane Moskevitz

    You are so spot on! I have often wondered if any of the reps from Starz/ Outlander read any of these blogs or comments. It might serve them well to do so and consider what is really important to the audience they serve. It’s been pretty consistent all along .. there are some hard and fast truths that if applied would make their story so much better. The biggest one being the Jamie we know from the book. Just give us that much. But I guess they can’t reallt change much if they don’t change him..

  4. Donna R. Brown

    As always, very well said….and I agree about the parts regarding Jaime’s reaction in the tv version vs. the book…I much prefer the book telling for parts of this episode….and all the misunderstandings…even in the book drove me crazy since it led to so much pain….all they needed to do was TALK to each other…..I just hope that there isn’t too many more deviations for the next episodes….we have 3 more I believe and then it’ll be droughtlander time again….☹️

  5. I try to separate the tv show from the books but there are some scenes I feel have to be included to show the essence of the story. I was really looking forward to the scene where Jamie takes Brianna on his lap and sings to her. I thought it cemented their relationship. I didn’t see that in this episode. Showing her that she couldn’t have fought back wasn’t the same.

  6. Debra Mc

    Spot on as usual. I look forward to reading your reaction as much as viewing each episode. I too would also like to see the Jamie as written in the books. I wonder if the scene in which Jamie is singing to Brianna was actually filmed and then edited out. Thank you again for sharing your insights.

  7. June

    I have found myself , at times, wondering if the writer has actually read the book and has an idea where the story is actually going. I have been checking out the writers name in the opening credits, so I know whether or not to adjust my expectations.

  8. AtlantaGal

    My husband hit the nail on the head last night when he said, “I have a hard time staying interested in this thing when Claire and/or Jamie aren’t front and center. They are so much more compelling than the other characters.” True for the books and doubly true for the television adaption or whatever-it-is.

  9. Jude

    I don’t know if my feedback reaches you Beth, but, my goodness, you’ve hit that nail this week! Jamie has been missing for some time….. we’ve had some excellent writing, some mediocre and some downright poor writing showing little or no understanding of Jamie’s sense of honour….I’ve only watched this week’s once….I will look again but I’m getting tired of trying to work out “new” character traits each week…. so disappointed. ….

    • Helma Lee Mears

      Well said Jude and Beth. When any writer dishonors Jamie Fraser’s morals they’ve ruined the show.
      Yes, it IS all about HIM.
      AND, ‘they’ (Id say STARZ) are apparently scared to death of showing Jamie’s faith.

      • Linda Imle Smith

        Do true, Helma. Jamie’s faith and his honor are interwoven and make him the man he is that people around him admire, depend on and love. The writers either don’t understand that or want to change him into a lesser, conflicted individual. It’s sad to see this week after week, always hoping the true Jamie will re-emerge. With that being said, Sam Heughan continues to impress.

  10. Randy

    I guess I saw all the things it took you a repeat viewing to see in Claire and Jamie the first time. I saw a mother who had, when all is said, deserted her (adult) daughter for a man, and was now having a second chance to be the supportive mother she might not have been in the past. Perhaps because I had one of those moments when my daughter was very young when I had to make a choice between being her mother with everything that meant and being a wife and lover and split up with my husband because he wasn’t the father she deserved, I’m extremely sensitive to Claire’s choice. Yes, I sacrificed myself and gave up “the love of my life,” and he wasn’t a Jamie, but I’m more comfortable with a character who isn’t a book Jamie either. And I’m more comfortable with characters who don’t wear their religious beliefs on their sleeves, so I have to admit I shuddered a bit every time the books went i that direction. But that’s just me. Roger at his stone was, to me, an exact repetition of Claire at the stones the first time Jamie tried to send her back to the present. Only a fool wouldn’t give pause to returning to the safety of the present after all Roger has been through, and at last, screen Roger has learned not to be a fool. Of course he considered going back. This was the first episode in which I liked him, and I have hopes for him in the future. I rather liked Bree’s comment about Jamie not being allowed to be more angry than she. It was the first time I had hopes for her too.

  11. I too appreciated the episode as a whole. However, as I’ve said before to you, “Get out of my head!” LOL The scenes you had slight issues with were the same scenes I discussed with my husband last night,after my 2nd watching and his first, and again this morning over breakfast. Because he is not a book reader, the scene where Jamie baits Bree into a physical struggle confused him. He didn’t “get” that Jamie didn’t really believe most of what he said and that he was mostly trying to get a rise out of his daughter so that she would fight back. He was like, “Why is he being so mean to her?” For me, this question told me that he, as someone who doesn’t have all the information that Herself provided in the books, hasn’t seen the true character of Jamie Fraser. He isn’t called the King of Men for nothing. And yet, that is not the Jamie Fraser we have been given in the television series. And, that’s okay, I suppose, because they are two separate things, the show and the books. BUT, Jamie’s character AND the strength of his relationship with Claire are what drive the story and keep us riveted. If those elements aren’t there, it’s too close to any other tale. It’s just a shame that some of the writers don’t understand that. Seriously, not ALL of the important stuff ends up on the cutting room floor. A lot of it is never written/filmed in the first place. I shall repeat, however, that I’m still a fan and have no plans to stop watching. I love Outlander too much. I want/need all of it that I can get! (Maybe that’s why I have Outlander things all over the place? LOL) – Dawn

  12. Marie Roberts

    I enjoyed last night episode. It was like watching something other than the book. A different story. The characters were not who they should be. Very few scenes with Claire and Jamie. I miss Claire and Jamie. I juess I will have to go back and read the series again, to feel close to them .

  13. SI Sharon

    You always give us a lot to chew on. And this discussion of scene choices made me think about tv writing and writers. The writers room must be a very interesting place and oh, to be a fly on the wall for the storyline debates. I do think some writers get the characters better than others. When I see Matt B. Roberts and Toni Graphia, I feel we are in good hands. (Even though in past seasons there was debate over one of Matt’s episodes) But, they’re also doing double duties as producers and with Matt, triple duty as an Assistant Director-so we can’t get them for every episode. I really miss Anne Kenny’s contributions. I’d love to know why writers come and go and also how they are chosen.

  14. Susan

    It needs to be Roger’s decision to step away from that stone and not leave Bree. I hope they don’t get that wrong next week with some sort of intervention by the Mohawk.

  15. Susie Davis

    AMEN to your thoughts about the episode. SO much opportunity for depth of characters was just blown away. I do not think this writer “gets it.”

  16. Ann Kelman

    Thanks yet again Beth for your interesting take on the latest episode. The first time I read how Jamie tried to show Brianna why she shouldn’t feel guilty over the rape shocked me! I felt he was being too violent toward her even if it was to get his point across. I still find that difficult to read. The tv portrayal was gentler. It was maybe too gentle but I could understand better what he was about. I agree that Jamie is made out to be the one who acted badly in all of this and that perhaps this writer doesn’t understand the character too well. But I did like Bree’s line, “no one is allowed to be angrier than me”

  17. Beth, I think you have hit the nail on the head here. For me the problems started early on. I too understand that a book is not a screen play but there have been a number of what I call “Jamie’s Sainthood Moments” that were never touched on in the show. These are the little things that made Jamie the “King of Men” in the books. The main example of this for me was toward the end of season 2 when Alex Randall was dying. In the book, he ask Claire to bring her husband with her on her next visit. When they arrived, Jack Randall was also there. After what had happened to him, Jamie could have taken his revenge right there but held back because Alex was so ill. Instead he was asked to witness the marriage between Mary and Jack. When the marriage ceremony was over, Jamie offered to escort Randall back to his quarters. No one would have thought much about it if he had stabbed Randall in a back alley and left him for dead – but honorable man that he was – Jamie escorted him to safety. That was a Sainthood moment in the book for Jamie and it was completely changed in the show so that Jamie wasn’t even there. I do like Murtaugh but having him in that scene instead of Jamie didn’t have the same impact as the story line in the book did. It simply didn’t advance Jamie in any way.

    I agree that the book scene with Jamie and Brianna on his lap was a tender bonding moment that they missed in the show. The physical scene where Jamie proved to Brianna that she wasn’t strong enough to fight Bonnet off, was adapted from a scene in the book but again, the timing of the scene (and the dialog that was left out from the book) really made Jamie look bad. I understand that there is a lot to cram into these 13 episodes but the way this was done, we don’t have any sense that Jamie and Brianna had really reached a comfortable understanding with each other. The story moved into the crisis part so quickly that it doesn’t feel like there is any kind of solid father-daughter bond between them that was broken. It seemed as though it was never established in the first place.

    The one other thing that bothered me about this episode is how Brianna slapped Jamie and then Ian. Just shortly before this scene (when Jamie was showing her she wasn’t strong enough to stop Bonnet), Brianna swung at Jamie, but he caught her hand and stopped her. But just a little while later, when she actually hit him, he couldn’t stop her? I understand that she was extraordinarily upset but that was over the top for me. In the book, Jamie and Brianna yell at each other but there is no mention of hitting. Many of us were a bit upset when Jamie spanked Claire which was actually historically correct for the time. It seems a bit hypocritical to have Brianna get physical against Jamie and Ian. I think Sophie is such a remarkable actress that she was expressing her anger and despair perfectly and the physical hits were not necessary.

    As always, these are just my opinions and reactions to the show. I’m just glad to see that I’m not alone in some of my observations. I love the books and the show – I just wish the character development on the show would stay a little closer to the books, particularly for Jamie.

    • Danielle

      I am surprise no one talked about the kiss Jamie gives to Brianna on her head after he proves to her that she couldn’t have stopped Bonnet

      • Helen Hayward

        I noted both the kiss on her head and her hand on his knee. Helped me draw back to see they still have some father/daughter intimacy. I found the blog very helpful.

  18. Rebecca Gill

    You’re on to a trend here that is somewhat disturbing about the trajectory of the storylines that are being written. In watching the last two episodes post-show interview, it seems that Toni Graphia, who is a head writer and producer, is behind a lot of the big changes. Her commentary seems to express that her ideas of interjecting a more “modern” mindset is in the works here and this thinking is coming through in the scenes. Not all of them get through, but enough to change the story and the characters. I realize that some of the more powerful scenes end up on the cutting room/editing floor, but, the ones that get through are telling a different story with “out of character” characters.

    This is all so disturbing because, as you and so many fellow book lovers have expressed, with the amazing and outstanding source material of Diana Gabaldon’s writing, the script writers would not have to come up with new ideas but instead “adapt” Diana’s stories to the screen. I am not advocating for a literal translation, but, so much of the depth and understanding of the characters, particularly Jamie, has been changed to not be recognizable. Yes, we do want strong men and strong women characters. That is the testament to Diana’s entire series’ world-renowned success. Alas, this season is already in the can, so to speak. What happens with the next season will tell whether we will ever get back what has been lost to the egos of those that want to see what they want to see rather than what is actually there in the heart, mind, and soul of Diana Gabaldon.

  19. Nancy C.

    There was a whole lot of “no” in this episode. I was hoping as the hour ticked away that I would recognize these people. I felt agonized until the end. It was dark, mean and raw. I realize the subject matter was all of those things, but key parts of the storyline were unbelievably missing. I know it’ll take a few more viewings to find anything redeeming in this episode. This is a first for me – to feel so utterly disappointed. I will not give up, however, and I will always be there for Outlander. I just hope the writers will be there for us. (How did Dianna feel about this, I wonder?)

  20. GGWann

    G’day Beth! Watched last night and could only come back to this point. I’m not sure if the show/writer felt they had to emphasize the distance caused by their secrets, Bree’s presence or the circumstances, but Jamie and Claire were very disconnected. They were orbiting each other and occasionally their sphere’s would intersect, but they were completely out of step. We really needed to see some version of the passage you described above to keep them engaged as a strong couple in tough times, even though their thoughts on the matter were opposing. I know, I know, no time to squeeze all that in, but for me the lack was obvious. I by no means hated the ep, but I’m glad I don’t write a blog and feel I have to view it multiple times, either! Lot’s to wrap up in the 3 remaining episodes!

  21. Anne

    After the first viewing, my reaction was, “Well, I will just re read the book” on subsequent viewings, however, I did find some of what I was looking for in the actors faces. You could see the father,daughter bond in their acting, particularly that scene at the dinner table, but also through out, until the fight,which I agree should have remained verbal. I think the actors know their characters, and particularly Sam, in this episode, has worked hard to present book Jamie, in spite of the script.

    I enjoyed the episode, but as soon as episode 13 airs, I am going to re-read the book!

    Thanks for your thoughts, Beth. Always look forward to reading them.

  22. Marge METZGER

    I agree with most of what you say about this episode.  I especially would have enjoyed the scene you quoted from the book – a lovely development between Jamie and Bree.  I also agree that putting all the blame on Jamie for the mistake with Roger is totally unfair.  Some have said they like Bree standing up to Jamie, but BREE is the one who miscommunicated her whole evening affair with Roger and then Bonnet!  I was glad they left Jamie out of the abortion decision, I wouldn’t have wanted it to wound Jamie and Claire’s relationship.  Roger was great wanting to get back to his wife, seeing he had two gem stones and trying to escape.  The story needed this part of the adventure for us to know that Stones also existed there besides the ones in Scotland.  The reaching hand is just for a dramatic cliffhanger for those who have not read the books.  The Indians section also sets up the rescue and trade of Ian for Roger and Roger’s coming back for Bree.Interesting Murtagh looks like he will be the one to help Jocasta in place of Jamie or Jamie’s Ardmuir friend.Thanks for your ideas – always welcomeMarge

    Real women don’t have hot flashes, they have power surges!

  23. Canuckj

    They’ve hacked Jamie to bits in the show. I honestly don’t really like him (no offense to Sam!)

    Honestly, the show has missed so many imperative things now-I’m sad to say I’m losing interest. I prefer Diana’s characters, thanks. Guess I’ll go brew a cuppa and crack open a book. 😉

  24. Gretchen Field

    I always enjoy your perspective. I watched the episode early in the morning and then again for the regular viewing. In between that time, I reread the chapters covered. I feel very much in agreement with the things you covered, except that the whole conversation between Bree and Jamie, in the chapter A Way in the Manger, where she asks him about killing Black Jack Randal and admits that she knew everything that happened to him in Wentworth prison. About whether she would survive giving birth or die like his mother had. About Jenny being strong and taking over after her mother died, when she was to young to reach the table without a stool and that Bree was strong and would survive. About realizing that those memories of what happened in the prison, were still close to the surface. About how he was educated, but still a Highlander, born of blood and honor.” God’s nor mortal law stood more sacred than the ties of blood.” About how she must find a way to forgive the man, for her own sake…..But he was a different matter. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”…… “The hell it is,” And if I am damned for what I’ve done…then let it be! She is my daughter.”…. The writers have definitely short changed Jamie’s character. All we got was that “causal” conversation why checking the traps and Jamie proving to Bree that she couldn’t have beaten her attacker. I love watching the series, but only with the reading of the book along with it. I find it difficult to discuss in the facebook groups when people don’t read the books. I do share you blog with them and many appreciate your opinions. I really liked the term “booklash” and like you hope the writers find a way to clean up their acts. (Bring back season one’s writers)

  25. Nadine North

    Beth… I enjoy your writing immensely, and thank you — I eellike kindred spirits. I agree with you on all points re this episode. And I do see that the writers, editors, producers often get around to adding back pieces elsewhere (e.g., “Can you forsake the man I was…”)… and I do see the show decisions as more than one writer driving… it’s that writer (Luke, etc) , but also the filters of the exec producers, directors and editors. Alas, I’ve separated the show from the books, except to give the book characters the bodies/voices of the actors, which is good for me! For the most of us with very high expectations of the show team (excluding actors — who deliver for us), we have to remember that they are a Hollywood TV production team, and need literal dramatic effects (for LCD) like Roger almost touching the stone. It would have been just as impactful for the Outlander “higher IQ” audience to see him contemplating… but that’s TV. (It’s like every episode has to end like “who killed JR”!) The Luke-scripts of compromising Jamie are sad… and I hope the show-only people do go find the books. Ironically, if not for “The King of Men”, would Terry have even encouraged Ron to go after the TV rights to Outlander? I could go on forever, but one more thing… you are so spot on regarding Claire’s dilemma re offering Bree the Choice — and the conversation with Jamie re Choice. Since Outlander is about J&C, this was a major conflict between them… and one that would have been interesting to have in the show. (Since they say they create conflict… here was one presented on a silver platter.) Religious + 18th c beliefs and Claire’s 20th c and personal beliefs regarding the well-being of her daughter. The ultimate dilemma… best withes to you Beth… and all of your readers…

  26. Lucinda Wiebe

    I feel like they are overdoing the re-interpretation of the original story for a modern audience and especially in light of the me-too movement. I understand that temptation, but the rape scene between Jamie and Jack Randall was very graphic and they didn’t seem to have a problem with that. I had not read the books yet when I binged the first few seasons, and I could NOT watch it. Some of the choices, if for the sake of the audience, don’t make sense.

    • Sandra Ward

      You are so right. If not for Sam I would have stopped watching. He is being shortchanged in many integral parts of the story. I have always felt Ron is producing this show because Terry, his wife, adored it and they could work together. However, I also think Ron is a wee bit jealous of Sam and how he embodies the character as well as lives his personal life – A true, blue person, who does not have a bit of jealousy in his body. He loves to act, make quality productions, live his life as a happy person. Not that things do not bother him, but he shifts and does not blame others. Shrink perspective here…

  27. Pat Cocivera

    Loved your thoughts……. I am watching the “saga” but I think they are really missing out on the meat of the story. I remember when herself said that when they approached her to do a movie or a short series she felt she would explode. So why did she agree to let Ron do this series. By doing these bits and pieces they’re missing out on the story of Claire and Jamie and their live’s together. My husband, who would never read these books. thinks it’s really good. Whereas I sit there every Saturday night and feel I am going to explode. As Roger was running from the Indians and I heard the bee’s buzzing I had to leave the room. They just skipped over a hundred pages that would become important as the story progresses. Usually on these sites people poo-poo me, but over my life time these have been the books I constantly go back to and as the writers keep going down different roads I am getting lost.

    • FLORIA TAYOR

      Is it me or are the writers for this season just plain old crappy?!!!! Season one and two were fantastic. But it seems as the show goes on the writers either don’t understand the characters or just don’t care and that isn’t taking into account the books story line. And heavens to bessy I wish they would do better on those wigs and hairlines! I didn’t like the line “No you don’t get to be more angry than me.” What? Maybe the writer just doesn’t get the moral campus our beloved character’s have.

      • Victoria

        The writers haven’t read the books, therefore they have no real feel for the characters and what events shaped them. And Toni, who supposedly has read the books, seems determined to subvert the characters, make the Jamie and Claire less noble. Sad.

  28. Judy Ferguson

    I agree with everything you you said. My concern for Jamie’s character has been ongoing since season 1. Sam is Wonderful! I believe that the original plan was to have half of the writers non book readers and the other half book readers was a mistake. Is that still in effect? If so, that would explain the disconnect. Can they ever rehabilitate Jamie’s honor, religious beliefs and compassion? To me, Jamie and Claire should always outshine the other characters. Their love is the basis for the whole story.

    • I don’t think it was half non-book readers and half book-readers. They have to have read the book to write the scripts. I believe it was half the writers would read all the books written to date (in other words, 8 books) and know where the story is going and half would only read up to through season they were working on to focus solely on the story at hand. I’m not sure that’s remained consistent, however. Personally, I believe Jamie’s honor is in tact and that his and Claire’s relationship is still center stage. But as with the books, they are like the stone in the center of the rings in a pool of water – there are a lot of rings spinning out from them that will take focus. As for Jamie’s religious beliefs, regretfully, they made a clear decision to not focus on that aspect, which I personally do think is a loss. But then I’m Catholic, so they resonated with me. Other’s have said they are fine without that aspect because they’re less comfortably with religion.

  29. Maggie Goodrich

    x

    I am so glad to have company here. I have been so disappointed since season two. So much is missed. The Me Too movement is alive and well here. This is not the Jaime I have come to know, love, and respect. They miss the really good interactions and then add fluff, such as Jocosta remembering Murtaugh’s hands. Give me a break. I agree with the above comments, after the season is over, I reread the book and it settles my brain. I can’t imagine how Diana must feel. I also think that since Cat has gotten engaged, the two of them act like kissing cousins. It is just so hard when one knows the book so well. I just don’t understand if they read the source material how they can miss such iconic lines and scenes and put in their place such ridiculousness. They are missing what is so special with Diana’s writing. I have been able to incorporated her writing in my daily life quite a few times. It is a very unique experience with her. She takes you into the book so clearly with all of the senses. It is just a shame that there isn’t more input from her. We have a group of 20 professional woman and we are all saying the same thing. There are two that have not read the books. Most of the time, they get confused and we have to provide background info. They even say, well why would they leave that out and do it this way. Just unfortunate. Feel bad for Sam. Probably why the nominations are not coming his way. There have been several episodes where he brings it when given the material. Thanks, Beth for this arena to vent!

  30. Dawn Koufakis

    Thanks Beth for your great insight! I have long ago made a separate space in my heart and mind for the show and the books. I had to. The books are such holy ground works that to expect mere mortals, aside from Lady Gabaldon, to create on the same level as the books is but a weekly, painful existence. I have allowed myself to just freely enjoy the new creation on its own merits. That said, I taught a 4 week study on the Many Characteristics of the King of Men. I did a whole class on the faith of Jamie Fraser. There were so many examples throughout the 8 books that spoke of his unique, organic and deep connection to One greater than himself. He is never a preacher but he has a particular understanding of what is right and wrong and he will die before crossing the lines. He holds himself and Claire to certain standards and he is a force to deal with when someone, especially Claire breaks standard. I LOVE Sam and he has brought such integrity and heart to this role but I wish they had not softened him so much. I miss his fierceness. But I know the times we live in and for many his true character come to life on the screen would send many screeching in protest. He would be described as abusive in these times and Claire’s strong will and ability to leave him I believe kept him in check in the book many times. In this episode I was reminded that Claire knows better than most that Jamie has a dark side when his loved ones are harmed. This is why she clung to Bree. It nay have come across that she was siding with Bree but I think she was upset with Jamie but also knew that he would act. She also was dealing with her own guilt over not telling Jamie that it was Bonnet who was the culprit that raped Bree. The acting from all revealed the complexity and horror shared by all individually and collectively.

  31. Hi Beth – I always love reading your thoughts and usually I’m pretty much in agreement. But not so much with this episode. While the scene in the book with Jaime and Brianna on his lap is lovely, I think it would have felt forced if it had been in this episode. They are still figuring out their relationship. A grown woman sitting on the lap of a man she barely knows would, to me, feel very odd. It’s only been 3-4 months since they met, after all. The thing about having to speed up the story to fit it all in is that the things that take time to flourish – like a relationship – aren’t given that time. Showing them doing “active” things like the bee hunt and checking the traps while talking about personal things feels much more natural to me. Regarding her saying “you don’t get to be more angry than me” made total sense to me. I feel from reading comments in many different places that we have forgotten that Brianna was raped. Her “husband” whom she finally gave herself to left her after a single fight. She’s pregnant in the 18th century and she doesn’t know who the father is. Her husband, who didn’t actually leave, was beaten to a pulp and then he was sold to the Indians and is god knows where. She’s suffering from great trauma. Nobody got to be more angry than she. So, that she lashed out makes complete and total sense to me. I read in comments on other threads that people were referring to her as a brat. How else could she be expected to behave? And I say this as someone who never liked the character in the books. They all made bad decisions which resulted in “poor Roger” standing at the stone, thinking it might be better to just go home. I don’t blame him either. I hope he doesn’t. I hope he makes the decision to pull back (and not be pulled away by his captor’s if for no other reason than it would be too much like Claire in Season 1). Jaime is a human being and also one who is used to meting out frontier justice without debating it – so him hearing what seemed a trustworthy testimony from Lizzie that the man on the road was the rapist and going in with fists flying made sense to me. He was a raging father in full-on Scottish warrior mode doing the only thing he felt he could do. Lizzie reported what she saw – Roger, whom she didn’t know and had never heard about – pulled Brianna out of view in a rough manner. Hours later, Brianna returns battered and raped. What else was Lizzie to think? One of my problems with the books – especially all the situations related to Brianna and Roger – was that so much drama was created by their inability to calm down and actually communicate with each other and everyone else. This is just more of that.

    • Susan Mills

      I agree with you 100%. This episode didn’t bother me as much as it bothered some others.
      I did want Jamie to seem a bit more remorseful but that’s the extent of it. And let’s face it. Roger thinks he is going to die with the Mohawk (no matter what he said in the last episode), I think most would be tempted to touch the stones.

  32. Susan Kamlet

    I have read that Diana doesn’t always agree with how the writers have interpreted her chapters/stories. However, she has stated that often times, the events and interpretations on the show, could have happened in the stories, but she didn’t write that version of the incident. I look at the show as another layer to the books. This goes for charicterizations and event interpretations. In my opinion they enrich Diana’s stories and add to the plot histories. I have my favorite episodes and characters and sometimes one or both pop up right before my eyes – on screen. I love both the books as well as the series. And in your blog, well, you write what I am feeling, almost all of the time. (smiley face)

  33. Mc

    I agree and disagree on a few ideas. Yes, I too do not recognize Jamie most times. He makes a rare appearance from time to time, but I do feel there is an agenda being played out that I don’t like. It seems to pander to the whole concept of the “strong woman” liberal mindset. Yes, I wrote it. Love the adaptation of keeping Murtogh and is he ever handsome this season, but Jamie’s core personalities has been changed in excess especially in S2-S3. I could hardly stand S2 bc of the way they decided to keep them apart for so long. Very difficult watching them like that. I hated when Jamie said,”so very nice to see you again” at their reunion. Who was that? This latest travesty with his method to anger Bree made him look like a completely different character, and I fully understand what he was doing. Making her see she couldn’t fight him was a great way to rid her of her guilt, however, while shaming her at the same time? So out of character it definitely makes me think the writers are more interested in getting their agenda across than depicting an honorable man. There was no honor in that choice. I didn’t like the way they shamed Jamie. Also, while I’m on it, where is his wonderful sense of humor AND J/C’s adorable bantering back and forth? I loved that in the book. Diana is superb at writing dialogue. Not so with ? Well, I must close on a positive note. I lovvvvve the story and think it’s still the best out there in a sea of immature, violent, rediculous viewing.

  34. Jacquelyn Kerner

    Really nice blog, Beth, and once again, you make excellent points. I find myself doing and thinking much the same. The replies I’ve read to date are also thoughtful and make great points. Somebody mentioned the writers being broken up into two groups: readers and non-readers? I think I remember that; what a horrible idea!!! They can make things interesting and coherent for the non-book readers of the audience without having to have so many writers ignorant of the characters’ true development. Of course, all of us with any sense at all know that there’s a lot that has to be cut out, re-arranged, and timeline changed if only for the differences in the mediums, but not having any writer not being familiar with Gabaldon’s work just seems ridiculously shortsighted, maybe one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” things that generally mean you’ve realized it was a big boo-boo! Nothing can really be done about Season 4, but Season 5? Think anyone will get the idea across to the writers?

    I think Sam and Sophie have done a great job–their faces do help communicate a lot that the script likely doesn’t have time/room for, but I’ve problems not only with missing some of Jamie vital character moments but in having Bree carry on difficulties bonding with Jamie. Some is needed of course and maybe some things got left on the editing floor, but I think she’s called him “Jamie” and referred to him as such rather than “Da” since he asked her to call him that and she seemed to like it. It would have made her going back to “Jamie” more dramatic or understandable.

    I also agree that it’s sad that they haven’t and maybe haven’t been able to get across much if anything about Jamie’s faith–it really a big part of his character and strength, but I think I understand why: while no one in Hollywood adheres to (the generally good idea of) avoiding discussion of politics, religion, I imagine, is still a touchy subject, and abortion is beyond “touchy.”! I have the feeling that had they tried to get some of the discussions that Claire and Jamie have in the book, there would have been a hullabaloo bigger than there was over Mr. Willoughby and Joe Abernathy. Maybe they thought Jamie was in enough “hot water” already? I also agreed with finding all the slapping Bree does a bit problematic. Bree saying such horrible things to Jamie and Jamie just taking it with only a bit of self-defense argument and a slammed chair seemed odd, and Bree’s “No, you don’t get to be angrier than me!” seemed patently unfair as did Claire’s “Jamie what have you done?!” You’d think she was talking to Wee Jamie! And getting upset about his lying about his hand injury w/no balance of her omitting info that she had SB’s ring. Maybe it’s just a telescoping/time crunch problem. Mostly, I really understand that and figured we’d see a lot more of it as the book’s got bigger but the number of episodes shrank, at least by one. They had 16 for Season One; that’s got to have helped the coherency, and though I do understand their reasons for not keeping to that many, sometimes it really does hurt the characters, particularly Claire and Jamie. Now many would prefer it (and Diana’s novels, even) to stay and remain “The Claire and Jamie Show,” doing without or at least with a lot less of Bree and Roger, but that’s just not possible. Still, I plan to keep watching. I’m hooked.

  35. Betty

    Late – so I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments – which I will do at a later time. But I am not too happy with this episode. I missed Jamie vowing that not only would he look for Roger but stating that he wouldn’t return (or sometime like that) until he found Roger for Bree. And Bree wanting Claire to go because she knew if Claire was with Jamie he would be more careful and not take risks – and the Claire would bring Jamie back.

  36. Betty

    And another comment – with “you can’t be more angrier than me.” I didn’t like it. I think Jamie is more angry – about Bonnet, Bonnet raping his daughter, Claire and/or Bree not telling him and Jamie beating up and almost killing the wrong man – an innocent man. They should have had Jamie storm out – for he is and has a right be angry. Jamie beat up the wrong man because he was misinformed. Young Ian said it in the book – they would have done it anyways – with the knowledge they had.

  37. Hi Beth, I actually didn’t mind this episode but I too had trouble with certain aspects. Instead of following Roger around for so long they could have used that time to show Jamie and Bree bonding (as you said the scene where Jamie sings to Bree). I didn’t have any difficulty with the strong arm method Jamie used to show Bree she she couldn’t have stopped Bonnet. You are quite right the setting was awful and didn’t have the same impact as the scene in the book. Roger’s escape was a little weird. No self respecting Indian could have failed to track him. But I guess Scotland doesn’t have an abundance of rhododendron maizes. Bree had every right to be angry with Jamie and Ian but she should have given Lizzie hell too. I wish Jamie had said he wouldn’t come back without Roger which would have allowed Bree to tell Claire “only she could brink him back” meaning Jamie. It would have showed that the bond was petty strong between them no matter how angry she was. Loved Jocasta, you could just see her scheming to make Bree her heir. As Diana has said Murtagh isn’t supposed to take Duncan Innes place I’m wondering if this still holds true. If he doen’t marry Jocasta I have a nasty feeling Bonnet will kill him………oh dear I hope not, I’ve got used to him now. Hard to believe there are only 3 episodes left!!!

  38. emariemacblog

    Yes, yes, & yes. Sadly, Jamie, the King of Men, that unicorn of a man, has been taken down much farther than a mere notch. This episode continues that unfortunate trend, & this guy is sometimes barely recognizable as the book Jamie we’ve known, appreciated, & loved.
    Thanks very much, Beth, for your insights.

  39. Michele B

    I totally agree on the writing of Lukas Schelhaas. He does not get Jamie at all and it makes me wonder if he really read the books. There is so much material in DOA and I am a little baffled by the same things Beth pointed out. I’d be happy if Schelhaas never wrote another episode. As a whole I have really enjoyed Season 4 and I’m ok with changes. However, changes do need to maintain consistency with the character and depict who they are.,

  40. Ros Gardner

    All I want to say is …what happened to the Claire we know ??? I can appreciate her reaction/concern for Bree [and I’ve read all the books to date] but how can the TV series change Claire’s strength ! Jamie’s turned into a “know it all” and Claire a “mouse”. From what I saw…. Having read the books [and I have to say, up until now, I’ve preferred the TV show to the books…yeah I know I’m not a “Outlander Purist”]. I’m sad to see the loss of Claire n Jamie’s “strengths”.
    I feel it’s going to need a woman who “gets” the concept to keep writing to keep fans happy !!!

  41. Nita

    I’ve enjoyed reading the comments as much as I enjoyed your blog. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who believes the wheels started falling off the bus in season 2. Changes that made absolutely made no sense were done and we are seeing the results now. Jamie, the heart and soul of the books, is being ‘dumded down’. I don’t understand why, when you have source material, one would choose to not use it not just for the arcs but for the moments that make them who they are. Each season I say that I will watch with an open mind and I continue to be disappointed and I hear myself saying “who are these people”? The actors are magnificent and crazy talented, but can only act the scenes that are written. Writers who have read the books and love the characters are needed. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to express our feelings about the books/show.

  42. It is a pity that the adaptation of the books is made to the detriment of the “hard core” of the characters to favor the progress of events, mainly at the expenses of the caracter jamie . The first season brought me to the boks, so i have them, i am grateful for it. I regret that only once in a while will i be allowed a glimpse of my favorite character increasingly amputated, as it is – It`s a pity, Sam proved over and over again to be an actor up to the task of Jamie. (The “box” missed an opportunity to produce something “out of the box”) I continue to see the series with interest and identify withe fans, like you, who write and think excellent Outlander reflections, but, i recognize, i`m no longer in love.

  43. Nancy C.

    This is an addendum to my earlier comment up the board. I did watch this episode again and came away feeling a lot better than I did the first time through. Whew! While there were parts I absolutely did not like, the whole hour was not unredeemable. There actually were sweet loving moments that I didn’t really see the first time I watched this episode. Whew, again! My other comment was off the mark. I definitely needed another watch-through to bring me back to my senses. I loved when Bree and Claire were comparing what they missed. I smiled the second time around when Bree mentioned Led Zeppelin because Led Zeppelin is the greatest rock back that ever was and ever will be. Am I right? I’d miss them too. Loved the mashed potato/dinner scene. Wouldn’t I like to be a guest at that table? Anyway, it took me twice through the episode to find its redemption. Outlander just makes us have to think. Sometimes for days … but I guess that’s ok. ❤️ Onward we go.

  44. Liz H.

    Thank goodness for Murtagh, who should be dead but isn’t. He seems to represent the old world and its values and continuity of character. As the writing (committee?) change the storyline, action or emphasis of the books so much, why include that ‘out of context scene’ where Ian asks Bree to marry him and Jamie tells him he’s a fool. I still feel that the writers don’t really ‘get’ the characters and how they are interwoven with each other and with the backgrounds that shaped their characters. Thanks, as always for this blog. I don’t agree with everything but I do agree it’s brilliant.

  45. Nancy C.

    Omg. I’ve realized that a lot of our comments and thoughts could be totally spoiling the Outlander experience for the TV viewers. They need to go on their own ride. We (and we all know who we are) need to somehow back off. Tonight I was seriously trying to put myself as a TV Outlander viewer. I believe it would be great if not for all the book readers blasting every episode. (Yes, that’s me, too) As much as I like to dialogue this, I need to remember that there are those who are watching Outlander virgins. I’m glad I forget some parts of the books. They are wordy and long. That’s why we read them several times. Right?

    • Dawn Koufakis

      I worry more about the actors hearing negative comments. They are so amazing and deserve nothing but praise. I believe we should not dwell on negativity but remember the book virgins only know the show. I am sure if we had just the show to rely on we would still find it to be the best thing on tv and no one could stop me from watching..

      • Nancy C.

        I so agree with you. After all of these seasons, we have always compared. These are so many Outlander fans that are taking it in through the TV series. And through that venue, it is quite wonderful. ❤️

      • Dawn Koufakis

        I can’t imagine anyone not familiar with series could find any fault with the show. It is truly captivating. Imagine not knowing what will happen next to these compelling characters. My husband never read the books. I’ve read them 3 times so far. I watch the show at 7pm and record it so we can watch together later. He asks a million questions but defys me to tell him anything. He will plug his ears if I try! He is hooked on the show.

  46. Barbara Spellman

    Beth, as usual I wait for your analysis because of the quality and the depth of your writing. Through your writing I have come to realize that you are a very honorable person too. I agree with you that the Jamie in the the series is not quite as honorable as the Jamie in the books in some writers’ hands. But maybe due to Sam’s acting skills and the writers who do get it right, I still admire him and value his strength yet gentleness of character. I would like to give a small observation that I had in favor of this episode. I felt that Brianna would never recover from her rape if she didn’t really understand that she could not have fought him off. When Jamie said it to her, she wouldn’t believe it; he had to show her. So I actually liked that part, and it was done gentler than in the book. I also thought she needed to work through whether she would feel relief if she killed her rapist. So the conversation about Jamie and BJR was also important. Then what really affected me personally was how these honorable, insightful , intelligent people could each make a decision with very good intentions that led to such a terrible consequence. I consider myself to be have those same traits, yet I have made decisions in my life that seemed right at the time because they were made for what I thought were all the right reasons. Unfortunately, these decisions had unwanted, unexpected consequences that I also have had to live with.

  47. Jeannine Wheeler

    I agree! That wasn’t Jamie. I wanted Claire to say to Bree, from the book, Do you know what they call ppl that use the withdrawal method? Parents!
    I felt the writers gave power to Bree….as a victim, she had no power, so they were returning it to her. But it was too much. All that slappin’ goin’ on!
    Watching O w my family that did not read the books, I have to explain a lot of the show to them. A good writer would sketch out a story to be followed by everyone not just the readers.

    • Pat Cocivera

      After every episode I have to do a recap for my husband, who really likes the series (non reader). Once he gets filled in he gets a whole different impression on what happened and why. He didn’t remember the sound of bee’s and what it meant and was surprised that Roger was taken to the Indians camp and what went on there and how it affects both Roger and Ian..

  48. Azul

    Thank you for this, Beth. I’ve been a bit confused with my thoughts and emotions of the past few episodes, this one moreso than others, I really thought I was alone in thinking so.

    What I’d like to know is, why aren’t you in the writers room? It’d be lovely!

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