Other Media Review

Outlander Episode 2: Castle Leoch

Title: Outlander on Starz: Episode 2
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

OutlanderThings happen.  There’s Scottishness. 

Quick recap: Claire and Jamie and the rest of Dougal’s men arrive in Castle Leoch after two days of hard riding.  Claire gets supplies from Mrs. Fitzgibbons, the housekeeper and real power within the walls of the castle, and bandages Jamie’s various wounds.  His back is horribly scarred from being flogged by the British, and he tells her the story of why he was arrested and how he met Black Jack Randall (Randall was trashing his farm and threatening to rape Jenny, Jamie’s sister, and things go from bad to really really bad).  Claire meets Colum, the Laird of Clan Mackenzie, and feeds him a story that she’s a recently widowed lady from Oxfordshire (which I always pronounce wrong in my head), Colum doesn’t buy it, because he’s not dumb. 

Claire is told that she’ll get transport to Inverness in five days, and she holds to that.  She also meets Gellis Duncan, from the village near Castle Leoch, who knows a thing or two about healing and abortifacients, and oh, yeah, she also says she’s a witch.  Claire doesn’t buy it, because she hasn’t quite figured out what story she is in.  Later that evening, everyone attends Hall, where Colum dispenses justice and arbitrate disputes- including a father who drags his teenage daughter up accusing her of loose behavior.  She is to be punished, and Jamie, because he’s a good guy, offers to take her punishment for her, which involves him getting the shit beat out of him. 

Claire doctors him for the third time in a week, and then is like “So you can take off your bandages in three days.  I’d do it, but I’m leaving tomorrow so bye!” And then Colum brings her down to the stillroom which yep, was the room she and Frank found in the pilot and annoited with their sexytimes.  It was the surgery of the castle’s former healer, and now it’s Claire’s- she’s not leaving for Inverness, she’s a guest.  Unless, of course, she tries to leave.  Then her status changes to prisoner.  FADE TO BLACK.

RHG: The fucking voices overs.  There seemed to be fewer, but still.  I’m also… dubious about the repeated flashbacks.  But okay.  It gets Menzies work for this episode, which he wouldn’t have otherwise.   And Jenny! )Although in the book Jenny knees Randall in the balls and that’s important and also a character defining moment for Jenny and I swear this won’t turn into a litany of things that were changed in the transition but this one is important). 

DRESSING CLAIRE FROM SKIN OUT IN ALL THE PROPER LAYERS I LOVE IT THAT SCENE WAS FOR ME AND YOU CANNOT CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. 

Did we have our first sheep fucking joke?  I believe we did. 

I felt like Claire is asserting her sassy more now that she’s figured out where and when she is- not always to her benefit.  The awkward dinner scene with Hamish was delightful!  (However, Claire, can I jsut say that you could have stopped stressing about “Crap, which King George?” For basically the majority (okay 86%) of the 1700s and into the 1800s, it’s one George or another. It’s 116 years of George.  You left an era with a King George, and you entered an era with a King George and odds are pretty good that they won’t side eye you for not using an ordinal.  THERE ARE A LOT OF GEORGES OKAY.)

I do agree that Mrs. Fitz and Colum really shone this episode, but my favorite was Murtagh and his constant “Goddammit, Jamie, I’ve spent most of your life trying to keep you alive what the fuck, kid.  WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU” face.  I wished they had kept in the bit with the leeches, but I get why it may have been logistically difficult. 

Still digging the lack of subtitles.  It helps given that this is Claire’s POV, and she doesn’t have any Gaelic.  And we can see why she’d find Jamie to be the best golden retriever of a man ever.  He’s so cute, and basically a good guy.  (No one says “Murrrderrrrr” like a Scot.  It’s true.) 

I’ve seen some people take issue with the “You need not be scairt of me, or anyone else as long as I’m with ye” line like, “Why are you saying that as long as you are with her she shouldn’t be scared? Stalker.” That’s not what he meant AT ALL – context matters.  He meant “I won’t do anything to harm you, and if I’m around, I’ll keep everyone else from harming you, as well.” 

Elyse:

The two things that struck me most about this episode were the clothes and how much I love Jamie Fraser.

First, the clothes. Holy shit. I want all the plaid skirts and beautiful traveling dresses. I also found it interesting that women wore what looks like one of those airline neck pillows around their waists.

I was drooling over the shawls and hand/arm warmers. I kept pausing to try and determine how they made Claire's brown, bulky shawl because now I must knit it. I'm going to be scouring Ravelry later for Outlander patterns.

(RHG: Elyse, the “neck pillow” is called a bum roll, and it helps support the weight of the ridiculous skirts.  It totally works.  If you are willing to knit me arm warmers, I will not say a bad thing about Wisconsin for a WHOLE MONTH.)

The series does a great job capturing why Jamie is so loveable, I think. Aside from his epic sexiness, he's genuinely a really nice person. Like super nice. In this episode he comforts Claire when she's sobbing (while conveniently shirtless), tames a white horse (a romance hero requirement I believe), takes a beating to spare a young woman from it, and, we learn, was flogged for protecting his sister. I mean, c'mon Starz/Gabaldon, I'm down to one ovary. It can't handle this!

I think Sam Heughan manages to play a genuinely nice guy without making him seem unreal or too sweet. I think I fell in love with book Jamie because he wasn't an alpha hole.

I was also really pleased with the casting for Colum MacKenzie and Mrs. Fitz. They way they handled Colum's disability (digitally I'm guessing?) was interesting. It didn't look at all how I'd imagined it did from the book and it sent me Googling Toulouse Lautrec Syndrome. I think when read the book I pictured him as having Polio or something similar.

I also thought Colum and Claire's discussion of rape and the very unambiguous depiction of what happened to Jamie's sister was well done. I was afraid the series would gloss over that.

I just saw that Outlander got picked up for another season. Will they be doing one book per season then?

RHG, a whole month? Arm warmers on the way…

RHG: WOOHOO!

 

CARRIE:

For me this was a filler episode – plenty of things to enjoy, but not as great as the pilot.  I enjoyed the getting dressed scene (how had I never heard of a bum roll before?)  and I got such a kick out of Claire explaining her bra as being “from France”.  I feel like they are neither over-idealizing nor over demonizing the time, although Claire and Gellis mysteriously wound up very clean.  I think the Highland clothes look lovely but uncomfortable and I think the fact that Claire wears so many outfits in a few days is wildly improbable but charming to look at.

“Is there ever a good reason for rape?”  You go, Claire.

In general, I didn’t think this episode represented Claire at her best, although the acting during the scene in which she breaks down and cries was fantastic.  She was a little arrogant and pouty.  For heaven’s sakes, Claire, of course they think you’re an English spy!  I can understand you being worried about that what with the threat of imprisonment or death, but there’s no reason to be outraged and shocked – you practically have “SPY” written on our forehead!  Also, getting drunk at dinner was a fairly ridiculous move.  I’m giving her credit because she’s traumatized but I expect her to step up in later episodes.  Although one thing I’ve always liked about Claire in the books is that she isn’t perfect – she can be ruthless, she makes mistakes, she’s generally a caring and empathetic person but she’s no softy, and sometimes she can be a bit of a snob, and her go-to mode for surviving extreme stress tends to be extreme annoyance and/or dry humor.  So I’m glad the series isn’t sanitizing her into an all-perfect Mary Sue.

While Claire struggled in this episode, Jamie just shone.  Honestly.  He’s an outlaw on the run but he has a heart of gold!  He’s a golden retriever puppy dog of boyish high spirits with hidden emotional depths of maturity!  He protects, or attempts to protect, or promises to protect, three women from violent assault in 15 minutes!  In one case, he’s actually successful!  He’s funny and self-deprecating and he provides useful exposition!  He thinks it’s a good thing for a female to have a lot of spirit!  Go, Jamie!

 

Jamie smiling

Elyse: I think Colum intentionally got Claire drunk to pick apart her BS story. He kept refilling her glass and I'm guessing it would be rude to refuse?

I agree about all the clothes though, especially the super luxurious traveling dress

Carrie:  Oh Elyse, I am sure you are right, but that’s why I kept yelling, “Sip it slowly, and eat more bread!” at the screen.  And hey, it’s arm warmers for everybody, right?  Y’all can keep your enormous dresses that squish le boobs – I want those arm warmers!  Do you think this will be a new trend?

RHG: They squish le boobs, but the lovely thing about those style of stays is that they support your back.  It’s AMAZING. 

Amanda:  I think Elyse hit the nail on the head, especially given the close-ups of more and more drink being poured. I’ll admit that I know next to nothing about this sort of clothing (which was why I was so grateful for that dressing scene), but with the way they squeeze ladies into those things, it’s like a mystical fabric hammerspace.

RHG:  I’m wondering if the reason they set the beginning of the series at Samhain rather than Beltane was just that they were shooting in the fall, and decided to go with it? 

Starz has a making of featurette which goes over how they did Colum’s legs and a bit about the dressing scene.  RDM didn’t say, “Redheadedgirl, this is for you” but it was in the subtext.  I could tell.

Amanda: The opening song is really growing on me.

The juxtaposition of Claire’s surprisingly still-mostly-white smock against all of the dirt and muck is not lost on me.

And Mrs. Fitzgibbons is an HBIC. She might be my favorite character of the episode tied with Rupert (Is that the name of the guy playing guard duty? Right?). The scene where Claire confronts him as she comes out the stables is priceless. And I’m seconding Carrie’s golden retriever/Jamie comparison. But I’d rather look at Jamie semi-shirtless than at a dog with no fur.

During Jamie’s flashback, when he’s standing next to the Redcoats, I think this is when I fully get a clear picture at how big the actor is. I know Carrie mentioned it during her SDCC post, but damn.

I thought it was interesting that Claire chose to say her husband was dead. It’s probably wise on her part given how her status changes at the end of the episode. And if her husband is dead that saves her the trouble of having to concoct lies about where her husband is now, will he come looking for her, etc.

While I appreciate Claire having actual clothes now, I kind of miss her bedraggled, artfully tousled, misty look.

Gellis is too beautiful and it literally hurts me to look at her.

I will agree that this episode was mostly for setup and exposition, and it didn’t pass by nearly as quickly as the first episode, but I enjoyed it. Mainly because we’re rounding out the cast and establishing all the players. I, of course, wish there was more Jamie/Claire screentime, but every moment they shared onscreen was definitely poignant. So far, rarely do we have any throwaway scenes, which contribute nothing to plot or characterization. Hopefully it stays that way.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lammie says:

    A few days after each episode is released, Ron Moore does a podcast that you can listen to while you re-watch the episode. The first one he did alone, the second he did with his wife, who is the costume designer. In one of them he explains they changed the season because of when they are filming, and that they is no way they could have faked it being spring with the leaves on the trees changing.  They also discussed the leeches. They tried and tried to get it to work, using various things like licorice and felt, but nothing worked. They finally gave up. Ron Moore’s wife is a big fan of the books, and it is obvious she loves working on the series. She also has a blog where she has posted pictures of her sketches and thought process (and had nasty people attack her for her lack of 100 percent accuracy to book, but that is another story. I have heard these people referred to as “Poutlanders”, because they are so grumpy, and I am trying to avoid them).

  2. 2
    EGS says:

    I must admit that I almost needed subtitles for the Scottish-accented English. I really had to pay attention to get what some of the characters were saying. But Jamie is so dreamy that I’d listen to him rolls his rrrrrrs all day long.

  3. 3
    E. Jamie says:

    Awesome review! And we get our first look at Laoghaire (LegHair…LegWhore…take your pick) the little shrew!

    Loved it all! The clothes, tipsy Claire, sassy Claire, Mrs Fitz, the Jamie…ahhh the Jamie!

  4. 4
    kkw says:

    I have too much to say. I’ve been waiting all week to find out what I was meant to have enjoyed in this episode. Arm warmers, check.

    I am determined to like this show. I love time travel and romance and history and this should be my crack but I have great difficulties caring about any of these characters. Eventually, if I spend enough time with them, I’ll develop Stockholm Syndrome, that’s cool, but how am I supposed to stay motivated to hang in there in the meantime? Please, continue to entice me with your enthusiasm, so I can at least enjoy it vicariously.

    So here’s where I am, hoping someone can draw me a map to get to fandom.

    Is it not agreed that voiceovers and flashbacks are weak exposition? Is that not a thing? Show not tell? Is that more of a guideline? Or are we going with style choice? It adds, uh, flair? Easy to go overboard on the flair, people.

    Jaime is totally a golden retriever: cute, dumb, sweet, bland.  I like him fine, but if he died I could just get another one (yeah, I’m going to hell).  White horse? If you’re going to bring it, bring it. Give the man a unicorn already.

    Claire…ok, so there’s that moment where she realizes that Frank is not alive – not dead, but not born yet. She’s alone, out of time, everyone is gone, there seems to be genuine grief and…oooh, muscly shirtless guy! Must kiss! Mustn’t kiss! Whoever is mixing the sound needs to ease up on the crackle. I get it, there’s a Fire in the Fireplace.

    So she comes off as having less depth than a golden retriever. And the entitlement! Sure, she needs to be all feisty and modren and not in fitting, but she’s the worst guest ever. Those clothes are valuable. She’s got a nice bed, a fire, a seat at the high table, endless food. She has no money, all lies, she’s British and she’s sniffing around a guy with a price on his head! So she’s ungrateful and rude and stupid. Which, sure, it’s good to leave room for character growth, but Jesus. Hard to care what happens to that one.

    And what’s his name, Menzies? The one who always plays a high status fuck up? Maybe typecasting, but I suspect he’ll be playing a guy whose power exceeds his capacity, someone who can’t adequately fulfill the position he’s born to. I just feel like we’ve done this before. I do prefer the nice-ish Frank to the mean Captain Jack, but one assumes we’ll see more of Jack, and that he’s going to carry on with his bad self, and…I’d just rather spend less time with sadists than everyone seems to think I should.

    I realize I’ve got a long ways to go and a short time to get there, but we’re going to do what they say can’t be done. Sorry. I sincerely intend to appreciate this show, and I appreciate whatever help you all can offer.

  5. 5
    Diana says:

    @ Lammie: I didn’t know that about RDM’s wife being the costume designer.  Since I have LOVED all the costuming on the show thus far, I will definitely be checking out her blog.  It’s a shame people have been jerks, though.  People just need to make peace with the fact that no television production on this earth is going to include everything they’ve been imagining in their heads for the past 20+ years.  So, in the immortal words of the sassy gay friend, write a sad poem about it in your journal and move on.  No need to be nasty in public.

    Enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts.  I agree that this episode was a lot of set-up for a later pay-off; on it’s own, it wasn’t as compelling as the pilot.  Still.  Lots of Jamie/Claire eyesex meant I will be re-watching the episode, for sure.

    Maybe this is me, but does anyone think that Dougal, Colum and the rest seem more sinister and mysterious in the TV series than in the books?  I like it, though.  There’s a sense of danger and urgency that I don’t quite get from the book, that I picked up in this episode.

  6. 6
    Diana says:

    Sorry, double comment.

    @kkw: Hmmmm…  Considering some of your concerns, I’m not sure if you and this show are meant to be.  If you’re annoyed by Claire and Jamie now…  Well.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but—you know, well.

    To be honest, I’m not sure all the enthusiasm in the world can force you to like something.  I felt that way about Game of Thrones—it should be something that I enjoy, but I was totally bored by it and HATED HATED HATED every character/plot/theme on the show.  I was so much happier the day I just decided it wasn’t for me.

  7. 7
    Lammie says:

    @Diana and anyone else interested in the costumes: they talk a lot in the second podcast about how many outfits Claire has (not as many as you would think) and how the skirts and tops are mix and match. Also about how Ron Moore was very picky about the Redcoat red.

  8. 8
    Anne says:

    I second @Lammie’s recommendation about Terry Dresbach’s blog and Ron Moore’s podcast for more insight into the costume and some of the choices about filming.  The costume blog is especially interesting—there is a post about the blue coat, one about the white shift dress and the peignoir from the first episode.  Also, a long post about the dressing scene.  Terry Dresbach seems pretty active on the blog and, I’ll bet that if enough people ask, she’ll provide more details about the knitwear.  I believe that they sourced quite a bit of the knitwear locally. 

    I agree with Amanda that this episode was a little slower, but it really set up quite a few plot points.  Of course, then I did my book readalong followup and realized that they covered chapters 4 – 7, plus significant scenes from 8 and 9 in one episode.  So even though it felt slow, it really covered quite a significant chunk of the book.

    I like the lack of subtitles too.  The voiceovers aren’t bothering me—although I thought that they would.  I’m liking the development of Rupert (who followed Claire and also beat Jamie in the hall)—but maybe because I’ve seen some of the actor’s amusing comments on twitter and I’m conflating him with the character?!

    @Diana—I agree that Dougal and Colum are much more sinister in the series than I recall them from the books.  Maybe because of the transition from book to screen?  I also found Geillis much more mysterious in the book (perhaps because I know what is going to happen?) than I remember finding her in the books.  I also don’t remember thinking of Geillis as mischievous, but I like Lotte Verbeek’s portrayal very much.

    Love the development of Mrs. Fitz—- especially the scene in the courtyard.  Glad that the production shows the mud, dirt and the poor lighting of the times. 

    @kkw—I agree with Diana.  I don’t think that this show is for you.  Why waste your time on something that you don’t enjoy?  Life is too short and there are too many other things to read or watch.

  9. 9
    CarrieS says:

    @kkw – if you are watching Outlander FOR YOU – because you like it, or you are intrigued by it or in same way it gives you pleasure, than rock on, and by all means continue to comment!  But it sounds like you feel a sense of obligation, like you think you must learn to love it.  I don’t think that;s gonna happen.  There is so much great TV/Movies/things to read – you could let Outlander go.  I appreciate that you’ve tried it out, but it’s OK not to like Outlander!  I have lots of things I hate with a fiery passion (off the top of my head, as a comic book geek, I’m “supposed” to like The Watchmen and I hate it with the fiery force of a thousand suns”.  I’m not trying to chase you away – your comments are interesting and thoughtful.  But I am letting you off the hook!

    No spoilers, but in the books both Jamie and Claire proceed to do all manner of dumb, irritating, occasionally enraging things.  Yet, I adore them.  But if you are already put off by the characters, and you dislike the gritty violence which I promise you’ll see a LOT more of, then maybe this just isn’t a show that appeals to you.  You’ll end up spending a LOT of time with sadists that you could be spending on things that might appeal more.

  10. 10
    DonnaMarie says:

    Unlike the rest of you, as a nonbook viewer, this is all new to me. The material is fresh and untainted by the knowledge of what’s to come, or what’s been left out. I am enjoying it immensely. I’m not bothered by the voice overs. I often find them helpful. The flashbacks as Claire is being led to the distillery? LOVED it. It must have be such so disorienting for Claire to have explored a decrepit ruin just a few days before and now be walking through the same halls when the castle was a vibrant and cared for home. The flashbacks, for me, really helped convey that feeling.

    Costumes? So wonderful. I’m a fabriholic and find myself rubbing my fingers together as if judging the hand of the tartans and velvets. That blue coat in the first episode? If Vogue patterns doesn’t unearth something from their archives, they will be missing an aircraft carrier sized boat. I’d make it in every color of Pendleton wool I can get my hands on. Are you listening nice people at Vogue Patterns? See me here, waving money? Hello?

    Arm warmers make me wish my knitting was better. I realize they’re mostly toeless socks, but my ability to maintain tension sucks. Can we have an arm warmer giveaway? Maybe a raffle?

    @kkw, back away from the remote. It feels like you’re torturing yourself. Like I’d say to the Poutlanders ( I am sooo loving that term), and did say to numerous fellow LOTR and GOT readers, there’s no requirement here. No gun to anyone’s head. No fine for passing.  Life is short, and there are a hundred other channels on the TV.  Find something you love.

  11. 11
    JessicaG says:

    I’ve been so busy with family drama and classes starting that I haven’t been able to watch it yet. I can’t wait, though, because Leoch is some of my favorite stuff from the book.

  12. 12
    K F says:

    I assumed that we’ll see Jenny kicking Jack in the balls later – I don’t want to elaborate any further cos of spoilers etc etc. I hope so, I agree that it’s important for establishing her character. I thought Jenny was really well-cast, too (at least looks-wise).

  13. 13
    BR says:

    Just watched the first two episodes, here are some thoughts (i have read the books but it was a long long time ago now )

    - top down car in scotland without being bundled up in fur and rugs, seriously?  The sun was shining but it would still be pretty chilly in the highlands
    –  sheet of corrugated iron was out of place inside the castle, it was only invented in 1820 something and the castle was clearly well ruined before that time, so why was it there?
    – i liked the dressing scene, very much give you a feel for what they really wore, tho i was puzzled by what looked like some form of stomacher that she put down the front of her dress before lacing it up, im a little out of touch with that level of detail in this period

    - the horses are all waaaaay too fancy, there is a big black that looks like a friesian, and several others including a grey that look like andalusians, yes there would have been trade with the continent but horses like those would have been VERY expensive and also not really suited for the climate either (andalusians come from spain) – the feathering in the feet would get muddy and wet and cause problems with cracked heels and other feet related issues which are never ideal in horses.

    The leather on the bridles was also more ornate in style, lots of excess strappings and wider nosebands with ornamentation – totally at odds with the frugal scottish approach to things like that I would have thought :)

    - also puzzled by the rusted out tractor at the castle ruin, again would that have been there long enough to have rusted out so much ie it was probably only invented a few decades earlier surely?

    - some of the kitchen girls kneading bread in the background had no idea what they were doing, the actress playing Mrs Fitz does tho :)

    Just some of the things that caught my eye but overall not too intrusive and there are somethings im more picky about than most people :)  I loved the care and attention that went in to the period feel, the 1940s suitcases were a nice touch, even down to the styling of the bra and panties.

    Love the gaelic, its such a unique sound and the actors make it sound pretty authentic.  Also like the fact they dont insult the audience by translating it tho I do feel sorry for those of you in the US who may struggle with the english spoken with the scottish accent.  Also love the casual nudity and adult approach to sex (yay for GoT bringing that to mainstream TV in a new and interesting way)

    Jamie is gorgeous, but I can’t help feeling that he is a little young in this role – I have the feeling from my memory of the books he was older.  I am enjoying Claires periods of strop, tho i was surprised at except for the wee cry by the fire, no lingering depression, but she had hopes of going home, so now thats dashed, who knows?

  14. 14
    Elinor Aspen says:

    I agree with RHG about the supportive stays and bum roll being fantastic foundation garments. @BR, I believe the stomacher down the front of the dress is a busk. It is meant to create a smooth surface in the front of the garment. Like you, I was perplexed by the bits of anachronistic junk at the castle ruin. I didn’t wonder how it got there (abandoned properties are often used as trash dumps), but I wondered how it survived all the scrap metal drives during WWII.

    One bit of costuming confused me, and maybe the knitters can explain it. Geillis wore a shawl with a big hole in the back. Was it meant to go over her head, like a poncho? Because I can’t believe she wouldn’t mend her shawl if it were torn.

  15. 15
    Anne says:

    @Elinor – Ron Moore and his wife, Terry Dresbach (who is the costume designer) did a podcast about Episode 2.  They said that Lotte Verbeek (the actress who plays Geillis) likes to “play” with her costume.  You are correct—the hole in the back was actually supposed to go over her head and the piece was supposed to be worn more like a poncho.  I really loved this particular scene—the shawl over the head at the beginning when Geillis is crouched in the herbs, her affect (very charming and yet somehow sly) and the beautiful lighting.

    I think that they are going to do the podcasts after every episode, which I have found very interesting so far.  If I was really dedicated, I would listen and re-watch the episode at the same time, but I usually listen while I’m fixing dinner and/or cleaning.

  16. 16
    kkw says:

    Maybe I should give up, but who wants to be a hater? And even that is invested, which I prefer to indifferent. People have a right to their opinions, absolutely, but I’m always happy to cede my ignorance. I don’t get Outlander. I may never, but surely it’s worth trying?

    Appreciation isn’t always instantaneous. It took me years to fall for Cy Twombly. Opera meant nothing to me, now I structure my schedule around the Met season (must resist rant about Puccini and the Pretty Woman fallacy). Organic chemistry changed my life, and no one saw that coming.  A good teacher, a different perspective… This show could be bringing me joy instead of bafflement.

  17. 17
    Jennifer in GA says:

    I think I fell in love with book Jamie because he wasn’t an alpha hole.

    What about after he became an alpha hole??

    I love time travel and romance and history and this should be my crack but I have great difficulties caring about any of these characters.

    kkw- This is exactly how I feel about the books. I SHOULD love them, but I don’t. I made it through the second book only by hoping against hope that everyone would die in a fiery car crash. :P They didnt, so I stopped reading the books.

    I’m watching the series (and sort of enjoying it so far- mainly the scenery and costuming and accents and lovely Sam) only because I’m hoping maybe some of the things I didn’t like about the book will be changed.

     

  18. 18
    aj says:

    I’ve been loving Outlander so far, probably enjoying the show more than the book when I first read it. It does take a bit to set everything up and really get the story moving, doesn’t it?

    As far as the voice-overs go, I’m about 65% and 35%. Mostly I’m quite pleased with them, and a few times winced and thought it was unnecessary. I think voice-overs tend to be maligned a bit too judiciously and we’re pretty much conditioned to think they’re all terrible because everyone else says they are.

    As far as Jenny kicking BJR in the balls goes, we don’t find that out until later (spoiler alert RHG!). Jamie was deliberately mislead by BJR and has been operating under the assumption that his sister had been raped. The truth comes out when Claire and Jamie go to Lallybroch.

    And Jennifer from GA, I think the alpha hole moment with Jamie (I’m assuming you’re referring to Chapter 22, yes?) is actually what sold me on the story, because he’d been a little too perfect up until then for me. The important thing is that he gets over himself and moves past the alpha holeness. I read it as a sort of exorcism, you know? Let’s confront all the patriarchal bullshit Jamie’s been spoon fed from birth, while simultaneously ripping the scales (or perhaps shiny sex goggles?) from Claire’s eyes. She’d been regarding Jamie as more of a fantasy than an actual flawed, flesh and blood man, because Stockholm Syndrome. The whole scene, or set of scenes really, is so necessary in setting the tone for the whole of their relationship, which is a remarkably equal one. When Jamie tells Claire in Chapter 23, “I am your master… and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own,” he’s both acknowledging and accepting her as his equal, something that would definitely need to be verbalized by an eighteenth-century man. It’s also something unique in the series; Jamie doesn’t hit/beat/spank Claire again.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone on that very long and spoilery tangent. *sighs* I’ve been meaning to write about those scenes, and could write a lot more to be honest, and it came out now. Anyways.

    It’s funny how reactions are all so incredibly different to every aspect of the show, and the books as well really. Opinions and interpretations really span the spectrum, don’t they?

    Personally l think everyone should hang in there for episode 7. *waggles eyebrows suggestively* Or, perhaps, just watch episode 7. I imagine the whole of tumblr will be collectively anemic from massive nosebleeds. ;)

  19. 19
    chacha1 says:

    I was not a fan of the Outlander books – did not make it through volume II, as I recall – and don’t want to invest the time in watching the show.  But all the same, I’m very glad that the books are being adapted, that they are – by all reports – being done well, and that historical (and mytho-historical) fiction is finding an enthusiastic viewing audience.

    And I agree with the world about that blue coat.  :-)

  20. 20
    Michele says:

    (Although in the book Jenny knees Randall in the balls and that’s important and also a character defining moment for Jenny and I swear this won’t turn into a litany of things that were changed in the transition but this one is important).

    *
    *
    *
    ***SPOILER***
    *
    *
    *

    Right, but this happens AFTER Randall takes her inside; Jamie doesn’t see it or know about it at this point, so he can’t relate that part to Claire. They find out at Lallybroch when Jenny tells them what really happened (that she wasn’t raped)

  21. 21
    Shan says:

    Anyone getting aboard ’ The Outlander Love-Fest Express’  best be doing it out some sense of interest or curiosity because it will be hard slogging once the ‘ass-hattery’ of the main characters begins.
    I’ve read the full compliment of DG’s books in the series(some of them more than once). Some were more enjoyable and more compelling than others. If your “interest” in the TV show is to maintain some kind of rapport with friends or co-workers then it’s a fool’s errand and won’t work. I ,too, tried that gambit with the GOT crap, hated everything about it from the outset.
    My credo :  Life-is-too-short !

    Like the first epi Of O , I was surprised it was watchable.  ;-)

  22. 22
    Hannah says:

    I watched the first episode of Outlander and was suitably impressed! I think they did a great job, but unfortunately I refuse to pay for a cable subscription just so I can watch the show, so alas, I will have to live vicariously through your reviews :)

  23. 23
    Rick Wayman says:

    I love the series to a point but like KKW I also have some problems with Claire.  I understand the need to create a strong female role and this has been done.  However, this does not mean that the character ends up being patterned on a male type A.  I used to read Iris Johansons books but finally got to the point that I simply could not stomach her lead character.  Both Ever Duncan and Claire have really good men who support them and both have a strong vein of abuse toward them.  That being said the costuming, the locations, the soundtrack all are beautiful and well worth the time invested to watch.  Just sayin….

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