Aka “Both Sides Now.”
I’ve only watched this episode once so far, so I need to see it again before I really judge. But you know I always do my off-the-cuff commentary while I drink my coffee.
1. OMG WEE ROGER MAC!!!!!!!! Other than the obvious, this may have been my favorite part of the episode. I had to refrain from squeeing really loudly, since I was watching in the middle of the night, and everybody else was asleep.
I am a dedicated pet woman. I have never in my life had even an urge to produce children. But I want to FEED THIS CHILD ALL OF MY SHORTBREAD, THEN TUCK HIM INTO MY POCKET AND SECRET HIM OFF HOME! I don’t suppose a constant diet of shortbread, Drambuie, pizza and catfood would do, hm? Well, I suppose that’s why I’m not a parent. The wee actor is named Rory Burns, and OF COURSE YOU CAN HAVE ANOTHER BISCUIT. You have such a wild life ahead of you, son. Wear your short pants with joy while you can!
2. Okay, I understand we need more Frank to give legitimacy to the insistence that OMG CLAIRE MUST GET BACK TO THE STONES NAAAAOOOOOOO (which I haven’t bought since about episode, oh…. two.) My response, and probably much of the audience’s — except maybe Tobias’ Tarts *waves to the ladies* — is why RDM must have felt the need for so much Frank. Understanding, of course, that one must take FULL advantage of Tobias for every possible moment while they can. The man is a freaking amazing actor.
That being said… much of the Frank in “Oh, There’s Frank,” (aka “Both Sides Now”) seemed a mite excessive and sort of shoe-horned in. Is that just me? Police station, okay. Thought the broad in the bar and the thugs were… a bit heavy handed, as giving Frank an opportunity to demonstrate the Black Jack in himself.
OH SHIT! I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING! FRANK BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF THAT GUY… WITH A WEAPON CALLED A BLACK JACK!
Is that where BJR gets his name? Okay, that was fucking clever on the producers’ part to have Frank use one. Bravo, RDM, bravo!
But then we go with *gazing sadly at wedding photo*. Abandoning her suitcase. Mrs. Graham telling him about the stones — if he wasn’t so despondent/enraged, I swear he would have burst out laughing at the dumb, superstitious twiddle-twaddle. I did love Frank’s confused, “Through stone?” Like Claire is now encased in graphite for all eternity — sort of like Han Solo! Drinking in a bar and getting suckered by a blonde and some thugs. Etc, etc.
Maybe I’m just already too lost in the Jamie & Claire of it all, and I’m a book reader who’s used to Frank just not mattering very much after a while except as a distant pang in Claire’s heart (until later, of course). I feel badly for Frank. I do, I always have (although I don’t think we’ve seen nearly enough of his flaws yet to make the picture entirely clear). I like that they fleshed him out more in the show to make Claire’s devotion semi-believable. It just seemed like ALOT of show time that I wasn’t invested in to waste before the INTERMINABLE HIATUS.
Of course, I may have a bias issue, because I would have been happy just watching the Jamie and Claire stuff from the book for an hour and THEN leading up to the end.
3. OMG THAT SCENE AT THE STONES WAS SO STUPID! I don’t get it. I’m hoping smarter fans than I will explain it to me in recaps and podcasts, because… I can hardly think of a dumber, more 1980’s SWEEPING SCOTTISH ROMANCE NOVEL moment that they could have shoved in there. I think I get the symbolism — it’s a final moment of desperate connection and longing between them before Frank says, “Meh, I’m going to go to Oxford and take up wenching,” and Claire says, “Oh fuck it. I’m here, I’m used to going without toilets and curling tongs, and oh, right, I have this fucking HOT red-heided laddie for a husband!” But… calling to each other across time? Seriously? WTF?
Of course, it also served to 1. wrap up Frank’s appearance in the ep, and 2. allowed Cait to avoid nearly drowning and/or freezing to death in 50 lbs. of dress while still getting dragged off by the lobsterbacks. I get it. It was still REALLY REALLY SILLY. Sorry RDM. FAIL.
Of course, an Outlander Fail is like an Emmy-worthy moment in any other show. So YMMV.
4. Anybody else REALLY pissed that Jamie and Claire didn’t get to finish their HOT HOT MEADOW SEX? I would have slit the fucker’s throat too, Jamie. I mean, you’re just learning. It’s dangerous to interrupt a fellow’s lessons like that. I kid. It was a REALLY intense scene. They very accurately portrayed what shock feels like. BELIEVE ME. I’m not entirely sure why that would get her thinking about getting home, though. At least not in anger. I might believe that she was now completely terrified and DONE with this fucking “attempted rape and possible death at every turn” thing so common in the 18th century — hot ginger or no. But “OMG I ALMOST JUST GOT RAPED *AGAIN* I’M SO MAD I MUST GET BACK TO MY BELOVED FRANK?” Um… I’m not so sure about that motivation.
5. The last few minutes? Wow. Absolute perfection. Not on the pedestal of The Garrison Commander, unfortunately, but what could possibly be? This was, however, another genius cat and mouse game between Claire and BJR. The really interesting bit in this one was… CLAIRE ALMOST WON. Then, there are those (okay, maybe me a bit) who might have called BULLSHIT on Claire pulling off that much of a lie in the first place. Where is Glass Face Claire? She fools no one EVER in the books. She has to hide her face half the time so while the people, say Jamie, are lying to can’t see her and go, “HEEEYYYYYY! You’re totally full of shit!” But here she is all full of bluster and bravado, and convincing the not-at-all-stupid Darth Jack that she’s a spy under the employ of the same dude that he is? Bah!
Of course, then he catches her in the lie, and I set down my bullshit sign again. And then… dude scares the shit out of that poor Corporal. I mean, he apologizes to Claire, knowing she ain’t coming out of that room in one piece. How much psychological torture does BJR lay on that kid? How fucked up will he be after a while?
Anyway… sweet baby jeebus, I know how the story goes, and when BJR has Claire up against the wall, I was scared out of my tiny mind! Then he bent her over the desk… AND THAT SGIAN DUBH AGAINST THE NIPPLE THING? Again, I’m biting bedclothes to keep from screaming.
But in the end, there was this:
“I’ll thank ye to take yer FITHY SCUMMY RAPACIOUS REDCOAT HANDS OFF MY PERFECT, BEAUTIFUL AND GONNA GET HER ARSE BEAT WHEN WE GET HOME WIFE!” GAH. Just… gah. I guessed this was exactly the point we were going to leave off, and while there’s another amazing beat, this made my book-lovin’ panties explode.
What I didn’t expect, and made me laugh out loud, was the absolute GLEE on BJR’s face when he saw Jamie! Oh, that was just a fricking brilliant choice on Tobias and whoever designed the moment’s part. I’ve searched everywhere for a cap, but I can’t find one. It was one of the most fantastic, surprising moments in the series.
OH HERE! My Fandom Girlfriend Hope fetched them up for me:
And then homeboy CRACKS UP. I’m sorry, who has a massive weirdo sadistic crush on JAMMF? I’m looking at you, BJR. You got issues, son. Let go that wench and see therapy, STAT.
BUT WHAT A GREAT PLACE TO LEAVE OFF!
And… now we wait.