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!