OMG SO GOOD AND HORRIBLE ALL AT ONCE! Possible Poutlander notes… *SPOILERS for #Outlander Ep. 106*

Courtesy of @TribeTobias

Let’s go positive first. WAY positive.

1. I was blown away last night. Seriously. The Garrison Commander might be one of the most moving, chilling, all around FANTASTIC hours of television I have ever seen. I was seriously just left weary and replete, creeped out and comforted by the whole thing.

2. @TobiasMenzies SERIOUSLY NEEDS AN EMMY LIKE, RIGHT NOW. He was nothing less than frakkin’ FANTASTIC as Jack. For all that I know about the character from the books, and all the chatter around that RDM might be working to humanize BJR, the way Tobias played the scene with Claire was … I am running out of descriptors for FUCKING AMAZING! I don’t get surprised by much on TV (in fact, I can usually call twists and answers to mysteries long before we have all the cues. It’s almost a game in my house.) but the conclusion of that exhange at the table… when he took her hand and then PUNCHED HER IN THE FUCKING WAME? That’s actually metaphorically what I felt like. For a minute, I actually believed… ME, two decade dedicated member of the I Hate Black Jack Fan Club, actually BELIEVED he was considering redemption.

Frankly (heh), not only did that scene NOT humanize BJR in any way, it confirmed to me that he is rotten, foul, and thoroughly evil to the core.

3. Related? The flogging flashback. First of all, bravo to Sam @Heughan — that was just… agonizing to watch, and with one line, he let us know exactly what Jamie was going through, from pain to pride and back again. He would NOT break for BJR, and paid the price. The shot of his boots, soaked in his blood, skidding in a puddle of it while struggling to stand? The whole scene made me cry. I had to look away. My heart broke. I felt just like those people in the audience must have. The device of calling Jamie “that boy” was very effective in reminding us how very young he was when all of this started… and how young he remains today to have suffered so much. That he remains a overall cheerful lad seems a near miracle to me.

4. Caitriona Balf @caitrionambalfe rocked it. Her face REALLY IS transparent. Is that her characteristic, or is she playing it for Claire, because I swear I could read her reactions to BJR one by one.

5. DOUGAL. Who ever, EVER would have though to call Dougal a ray of fricken light? And yet, there he was! Sigh of relief, hero riding in, I had never been so happy to see him in all of my life.

At first after watching, I had that niggling sensation that Jamie was being reduced to a tertiary character, and worse, that they were making him a silly bugger with no gravitas whatsoever. But since, I’ve looked at pictures and read the opinions of others, and I suppose that end scene between he and Claire can definitely be seen in another light. I thought at first viewing that he was being ridiculous. Just no concern about marrying, blah blah, whatever. He played off the fact that he was marrying her to save her life in exchange for her patching him up a few times. It was sweet that he said, “And what kind of a friend would I be if I left you to that mad bastard Randall?

I honestly can’t describe where my qualms came from. I think maybe after the intensity of the rest of the episode, I expected… more, maybe?

But then I saw things like this around:

(From Outlander Network)

Jamie trying to keep a straight face while clearly he’s dying of happiness internally…

Now, on one hand… SO CUTE. *squishes Sam/Jamie* He’s going to get LAID. By this beautiful woman he TOTES has the hots for! And he defers to her choice in the matter — not that she really has one. But he’s clearly trying to keep a straight face when you know he wants to break out in a jig.

But shouldn’t he be more concerned? More serious? I mean… he is taking on a wife, by choice or no, and that means something to the character. He’s taking her troubles on top of his own considerable ones, and while we book readers know that JAMMF takes all the weight he needs (or feels he needs) to in any situation like the King of Men he is, there’s not really a glimmer of that in this scene.

It plays wrong to me. There’s too much silly “SQUEE I’M GONNA BED YE, LASS!” and not enough, “Shit. I have to marry this woman and take on all this trouble when I can barely keep my own head on straight. Ah, well, if there’s no help for it.”

Does anybody else know what I mean? Jamie feels so thin, a secondary character. It feels like the Claire and Dougal vs. BJR Show. Not that I don’t LOVE Graham McTavish, ’cause YEAH I DO, but… he just should NOT be more important than Jamie in the story. In my not so humble opinon.

Please discuss. Take me to task if you will, I would love to hear people’s reasoning!

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4 thoughts on “OMG SO GOOD AND HORRIBLE ALL AT ONCE! Possible Poutlander notes… *SPOILERS for #Outlander Ep. 106*

  1. As we’ve discussed before, I think it is a deliberate choice to downplay Jamie in favor of Frank up to this point to keep the audience (who may not be book readers) on TeamFrank. They’ve removed some of his humorous lines and dimmed down his charm and made their relationship more of a casual friendship. They’ve stepped up Dougal’s position to give the audience a red herring, if you will on who will be Claire’s savior. Then at the end last night they spun it to include Jamie. I have a non-book reading friend who watched it and then said, “What?! Jamie’s cute and all, but why not marry the powerful guy (Dougal). At least that way she’ll really be safe.” Now we will see our Jamie come out and Frank will start to fade away so that by the time she makes her choice at the stones the audience is 100% TeamJamie.

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    • I know, I know, I’m just… nervous, I guess. I’m not seeing the kind of depth I expect from JAMMF, AND I’M TOTALLY A POUTLANDER WHEN IT COMES TO HIM! LOL The funny thing is, I get the Team Frank — that makes perfect sense to me, given Claire and her situation. She’d be sort of a shallow bitch if she was just all of a sudden over her beloved husband after being so terribly torn away from him. Dougal as red herring? Actually makes sense, thinking about last night (thanks, Hope). When he’s done all the WONDERFULAWESOME hero stuff — I mean, I called him a ray of light. Dougal. A. Ray. Of. Light. — and they go alone together to the Liar’s Spring, and she automatically assumes he means himself when he proposes marriage to save her. HE LAUGHS. It’s almost like Ron is going “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! SUCKERS!” to everyone who was fooled by the focus on Dougal.

      Also, building Dougal the way they have will really make things more poignant in the second book… you know the part I mean. I’m reading Fiery Cross right now, and Jamie just told Claire what Dougal said before he died. POWERFUL. It’s easy to glance over Dougal as The Guy Who Tried to Kill Jamie, but the show is making him deeper.

      Which is part of my problem with Jamie, I guess. I mean, yes, we see that he is strong, proud, gallant, kind, charming, funny, sexy, flirty, good with horses… I’m sorry, was I talking? LOL

      It’s just like Angel back in the day. I’m defensive — and I may very well be proven wrong in retrospect. But in the past (Joss Whedon you fuck!) I was NOT proven wrong, and I’m hyper-sensitive because of it.

      THAT being said. Last night, as I wrote, was a freaking AMAZING hour of television. I was literally riveted. I think we should just give Tobias the Emmy right now and save all that trouble campaigning and voting and all. Not that Sam, Cait, or Graham were anything to sneeze at!

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  2. Hello Heather,
    I discovered your blog yesterday and there’s so much I’d like to say. I’ll start with this episode. (Please excuse any mistakes I’ll make in language. I’m German, but I’ll do my best writing as correctly as possible. :))

    I totally understand your concerns about Jamie being reduced to a tertiary character, although I think a bit differently about it. Actually I liked this episode very much, especially after Claire was left alone with BJR. Afterwards almost everything seemed like it was described in the book. (I always have troubles with things which differ from the book although I can adjust sometimes.) Only the fact that BJR tells the story about the flogging and not Dougal has changed. I think it was a good decision to spend so much time showing Claire and BJR and Claire and Dougal because all this explains why she has to marry a Scot. I doubt it would be understandable without this information. There are other things in this episode and in others which i would have left out but definitely not any second of BJR and Dougal in this episode.
    I think it might be helpful not to see and classify an episode for itself but to see the whole series as a coherent movie. If you take all the episodes together and all the appearances of Jamie and if you compare them to the book, maybe that helps you to see what I see: That Jamie actually has the time and the place which is appropriate for him. I think we should not forget: The book and the series are told from Claires perspective and although she already likes Jamie at this time of the episode he is just a friend. A very attractive one for sure, but just a friend. And she has other concerns but only to think about him and watch him at whatever he’s doing. 😉
    Concerning Dougal I’m actually not sure if he’s shown so differently from the books. Maybe it’s only the fact that I always liked him in the books so the series match my imagination well concerning his character. But there is this information you get from him later in the books which adds some very interesting aspects to his personality. “The idea of grinding your corn…” etc. is from the first book, only the series show this scene earlier and the context is a bit different. (I try to tell what I want to say without writing spoilers for the ones who haven’t read the book yet. I hope I’m successful at that and don’t tell too much.)
    The role Dougal plays in episode 106 is – in my opinion – exactly the one he plays in the book: He is the one who decides Claire shall marry. He’s the one who picks Jamie as her husband. He’s the one telling BJR about it. Actually he is the right hand of the Laird MacKenzie and he behaves like a Laird when he’s not at Leoch. Additionally there’s one perfect reason for him not to marry Claire which your friend probably didn’t know: He’s already married for a long time. Otherwise he would have wanted to marry her. Though I ask myself it that would have been a good choice (to marry an English lady) if he wants to be Laird sometime.
    Believe me, I don’t want Jamies role to be reduced in any kind. I do want the book to be told as correctly as possible. And in my opion this episode was quite fitting. Besides the fact that it actually was amazing.

    I’d be glad to read your opinion on my thoughts. Since I’m not very familiar with blogs and don’t know where to write it elsewhere I’ll write it here: I’d be very happy not only to talk with you about Outlander but I’m very interested in your work as a writer, too. I’m a writer myself (but not as a main job yet. I’ve only bits and pieces of my novels yet.) and it would be great to talk about how to manage writing in “real” life and other related things. For sure I totally understand if you don’t want to talk about this.

    Best regards,
    apple blossom

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    • I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner, apple, but with the show on hiatus, I’ve let myself get overwhelmed by life stuff. It’s sort of depressing — I enjoy my geekdom. 😀

      I know what you mean about things — time and more episodes definitely give more perspective. The blog, unfortunately (sometimes) is a snapshot of a moment. I like it that way on a lot of levels, because I get to clarify my thoughts.

      Hopefully we’ll get to chat more in the future! I have a little Facebook group (don’t know if you do Facebook) just for friends old and new that love Outlander, and keep a positive attitude in all discussions. If you’re interested, and on FB, just join Outlander Squee, and I’ll approve you!

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