Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why "Part 2 Jamie" Will Be Straight-Up Badass

I have had an epiphany.  It's about Jamie Fraser's character in Outlander on Starz, and the major game change that's taking place right in front of our very eyes.

Up until now, I haven't quite been able to explain how I feel about Jamie's character in the show.  I watch every week, unintentionally comparing the "show to the book" (and being beyond pleased while doing so)...and reveling in the story add-ons that have been such a refreshingly perfect fit thus far.  I have felt like "TV Jamie" (brilliantly portrayed by the talented and swoonrific Sam Heughan) is beautifully written...but has seemed slightly different than his character in the book series (by literary wonder, Diana Gabaldon.)  Perhaps he seems somewhat timid...while coming off like the clan's little brother, instead of the true Highland warrior I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the years.

Any slight bewilderment I had was made perfectly clear once I saw the trailer for the upcoming 2nd half of the season, slated to air in April of 2015.  I had this "a-ha" moment, realizing that we are witnessing the EVOLUTION of Jamie Fraser, and he will be channeling his inner badass in part 2.

Allow me to elaborate.

First, we saw Jamie as a wounded young man.  A fine specimen, mind...but a fellow much younger and less seasoned than his rough-and-tumble clansmen:

Shoulder pain?  What shoulder pain?

Next, we saw a cute and flirty Jamie, impressing Claire with his vast knowledge of horses...

She wants me.  I know she wants me.
And yes, we did catch a glimpse of a stronger, wiser Jamie during his brilliant, thinking-on-his-toes pledge during The Gathering.

Let's get this over with, aye?
But then he was right back to being vulnerable on the wedding night.

Awkward, party of 2?
Now pay attention, y'all.  This is where the tide started to turn...and my epiphany started to take shape.  Claire got attacked...and something changed inside of Jamie.  He felt like he didn't protect her...

Shite!  I dinna ken what to do! 
...and he got mad.  Really, really mad. 

I'll no be fooled again.
And he wasn't going to take it anymore, especially when Claire was attacked, yet again.

Go ahead.  Make...my...day. 
And NOW look at him in the new trailer!!  He's like a deranged animal...in a cage that's been left well unlocked.

Kill...kill...kill...
And THAT, lads and lassies, is a realization that has me giddy with Outlander Part Deux glee.  Jamie is a changed man!  Now that he's a husband (and needs no guidance in the bedroom), he's no pushover ...and he's not going to be anyone's sap anymore!  I never really saw the change taking place while reading the books (much like you don't notice your children growing on a daily basis)...but Ron Moore is so ridiculously insightful, I have no choice but to ponder it now.

I am now so torked up for the second half of the season, I dinna ken what tae DO w'myself!  (Whoa - slipped into a bi' of Pocket Jamie for a minute there.)  

In the words of Oscar Wilde, "the suspense is terrible..."

...but I'm no sure I want it to last!!  Come on, April 4th!!

49 comments:

  1. I hope you are right. I am starting to wonder when the "Badass Highlander" that we all know and love is going to show up. I want to see the Jamie that is in the books. Capable, self assured, smart, and strong!

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    1. I also wanted to add: I think Sam Heughan is a phenomenal actor and they need to let him do his thing. Let Sam shine. I have no doubt he will if they will let him. We are watching this show because we all love Jamie. (Not for the Frank "love triangle") (at least in my opinion...)

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    2. He's right on par with the book actually...we saw a glimpse of it when he's in the window at end of ep. 8, crouched in the window with his pistol and kill in his eyes...that's exactly where bad ass Jamie starts to come out in the books too.

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  2. Carol, from your mouth to god's [lol ... Ron's?] ears :)

    As much as I love the production, acting & directing [not to mention costumes which are out of this world], I still have a _bone of contention_ to pick with Ron D Moore, the creator and genius. Ron has made a valid point in expanding and adding on some scenes for me to ‘connect’ to his vision. And I did.

    I have ‘connected’ with Frank and his pain; I have ‘seen’ BJR’s cruelty and nature; my heart broke as Claire’s feelings are tearing her apart; _however_ I’m yet to ‘see’ Jamie’s character come to fore as it did in the books _at exactly the same points_ as it is in the series.

    If Claire makes her decision by ep. 111-112, it better have more of JAMMF because otherwise I’ll not buy it. In these 8 episodes I’m buying her love for Frank, I’m buying Jamie’s love for her, but I don’t see her love for him. I see the attraction, I see the infatuation, but for her to abandon one life, one man who she clearly loves, for another, that love _must_ be shown, and so far it hasn’t. Which is exactly like in the books. I know that. They have _stuck_ to the letter of the source material when it came to Jamie’s story, yet wearied all over the road with other characters. My point was, and still is, why not wear of the path when it came to _clarifying_ just a wee bit of his back-story?

    Just sayin’ it could have been done and still maintain the rest of what he gave us, by pulling just a wee bit back w/Frank/BJR.

    Now, it does come as a pleasant surprise that the 2nd half will be more of _their_ story, and in his POV. That is yet to be seen and I’ll reserve on commenting on something I’m not sure of yet. I can only draw conclusions from what I’ve seen so far, ye ken?! See what you started?!

    Mel

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    1. But your forgetting that Claire did not know until after the witch trial that she would stay with Jamie...she did ' meet him and instantly fall In love and say Frank who really quick. These books of Diana's are a realistic relationship taking form and gradually changing and it is doing this on the tv show as well. I'm reading outlander as I watch the episodes come on tv to refresh my memory. The character development of Jamie and his relationship with Claire are accurate and true to the book.

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    3. (Sorry, my post replied to the wrong person). I just wanted to say to Mel that I'm in complete agreement, and a lot of people feel the same way.

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    4. Agree with bretam3 - per the book, while Jamie admits later on (I think at Lallybroch) that he wanted (lusted for) her when he first meet her (dislocated shoulder/wet nurse), he knew he loved her when she let him comforter her about about Frank ('are ye a widow?") the first day at Leoch. Claire, on the other hand, was on her 2nd honeymoon with Frank and tunnel-visioned until she was nearly drowned as a witch. Did Frank ever save Claire's life? Jamie did so several times in several ways - rescued from witch trials, from Randall (both his attempt rape & by marrying her), even from the deserters (seeing that she learned how to handle a knife).

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  3. I also think the transition in Claire will be evident in part 2, as she will show herself as needing--and wanting-- protection from Jamie, something she never did with Frank, perhaps she didn't need to in her time, but it's a lot harder to go from being independent and self-reliant to depending on someone -- something both Jamie and Claire will transition with together and this is what makes them such a dynamic and interesting couple to watch!

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  4. It makes sense that he was different in the first part because he is so young and of course all these things he and Claire go through are changing him more into a man...I always felt that the jamie in the first half of outlander was younger and more naive in a sense , so of course they would portray that in the tv show. It's the character development of jamie who as he ages, turns into the mature badass we know him to be later in the book.

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  5. I like Frank and did not mind all of the added Frank stuff until Episode 8. Then watching episode 8 - I thought to myself but what about Jamie?! What are they doing to him!?! This is not the Jamie from Outlander! I do hope that the next 8 episodes are more Jamie, which according to DG on compuserve they are. I hope Ron Moore's bromance with Frank is over.

    Ann

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  6. Hooray for you! Everything I've heard from the powers that be is telling us to hold on. The Jamie we know and love is there and will be a force to be reckoned with. I have no doubts this second part is going to be worth the wait. Thanks for your positive outlook.

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    1. You know it, B. I rave about this show to the point where I worry people will think I'm being a kissass. LOL!! It has just met and exceeded all of my expectations. :)

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  7. I agree that this first half of the season we've seen the evolution of JAMMF, and thoroughly hope your assessment is correct. Hints of bad-assed Jamie are in place. Having read all the books the mental vision of Jamie is and older wiser more experienced Scot, and have a hard time seeing 'young' Jamie. I've watched each episode numerous times and in each my thoughts go back to the ghost in the first episode, and a comparison/contrast to Jamie in each episode. That ghost seemed to me to have knowledge, experience, and attitude. He knows who Frank is (obviously), and well I've spent way too much time studying said specter. LOL

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  8. God I hope you are right! On a very similar line of thought, here is what I posed to a group of friends after episode 5: For people who have read the books!*
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    "Are we, or maybe just me, judging Jamie and Claire based on the characters we know and love after 8 books, and not on where they are now. For example there was mention of Claire being too weak or confused or lost or something in the first 2 episodes. I am thinking, well isn't she? I mean, she just somehow went back in time-she should feel lost and confused, and I think she was in the book 1. This is not the Claire who gets that she is a "traveler" and has made a choice to be here--this is early book one Claire. Likewise this is early book one Jamie--not the man who has faced down pure evil and survived, not the man who led his clan into the rising and sacrificed himself (or tried to) or the man who has loved a woman with his whole heart yet. This is a wee laddie in his 20s." Oh, it will only let me do anonymous--this is Stephanie

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    1. As a new reader who is now only midway through Dragonfly, I agree wholeheartedly. I guess I have the advantage of not knowing Jamie and Claire in later books.

      Claire in Texas

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  9. Great Post Carol! I'm hoping you are right and after reading a few comments by Herself I'm feeling more encouraged that we'll get to see more of the Jamie we know and love in the second half of the season. I have no doubt that Sam will continue to be wonderful in the role!

    I love this production and the actors, sets, costumes and music have all been amazing. I think that the creative choices the team have made to date have really added texture to the visual representation of the story. However, the final episode left me feeling disappointed and I'm not sure I agree with the creative decision to put so much focus on Frank in the mid-season finale because to my mind the emphasis on Frank meant that there was too little time to begin to reveal some elements in Jamie that are apparent at this point in the book such as emotional intuition (e.g. touching until you feel comfortable with me), depth of character (e.g. honesty discussion) and warrior spirit (e.g. showing fighting moves/Claire's feelings for his prowess after the encounter with the Grants). I would willingly have given up a few minutes of the Frank focus to show a bit more of Jamie's personality. That being said if it's coming in the second half of the show then that will be terrific!

    Anyways...gives us a lot to look forward to!!!!

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  10. I went in knowing it would be different from the books and I get that, but don't like the added story-lines. Hate the added Frank parts. I have also thought Jamie seems a little timid and have been waiting for the real Jamie to come out and hope you are right that we will see a lot more of him in the second half. Regardless, I must admit that I have fallen head-over-heels for Sam as the series Jamie. He really is just a lovely, yummy fine young man, even if he isn't quite the Jamie I know from the books.

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    1. Want to comment on series Claire as well. I see Claire in the books as having this really wicked sense of humor and wish we were seeing more of it in the series. It is one of the things I like most about her. Remember her telling Black Jack in the book that his wig was crooked after he'd punched her in the stomach? I miss seeing that part of her.

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    2. I have nothing but praise for the Outlander Series. Everything from casting to costuming has been outstanding. That said it has been frustrating to feel like something was off week after week. Melodee you mentioned missing Claire's sense of humor and I agree. Something else that's been missing is her ability to step out of herself. No matter how uncomfortable it made her, Claire was always brutally honest with herself when it came to her feelings and even more important she shows compassion for others. Much of the time she has appeared self centered bordering on pettiness. They have tried to establish that she can adjust quickly to what is happening around her. Instead of working to reassure those around her she seems to go out of her way to annoy and belittle them. I have found myself wondering at her lack of compassion to people around her to the point of wondering how she could have been a good nurse. Another thing; there is a time not push your luck. Courage is to be admired, however as a nurse she should know better than taunt a physcopath.

      When Claire and Jamie meet he is a very young man but in many ways by virtue of the time he lives in,he is far more mature. He has lost his brothers and mother at a young age. In trying to protect his sister has been beaten, arrested, flogged and is struggling with guilt over what he sees as failing to guard Jenny, and causing the death of his father. He has fought as a mercenary and now that he is back in Scotland someone has tried to kill him. He is being forced to walk a tight rope between his uncles yet he has maintained a sense of humor and a sense of honor. They have offered us tantalizing glimpses but after eight episodes part of me is left saying let whinny Claire go back to Frank with crummy genes and find Jamie a woman who can appreciate him.

      Come on Ron. Tobias isn't the only fine actor. Sams' portrayal of Jamie is filled with wonderfully subtle nuances and you are too fine of a producer to fall into missing the strength of the story.

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  11. I hope everyone is right! The series has been amazing so far and I had no problems with seeing more of Frank until episode 8 where I agree we should have seen a bit more of Jamie and Claire's growing relationship. It's weird to actually kinda like Frank I always could take him or leave him in the books! My mom introduced me to the first book way back when and I wish she were alive to see the series come to life.. Except maybe I don't wanna watch the wedding episide with my mom haha.

    Nikki

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  12. I agree with everything you said. Trust in the brilliance that is Ron D. Moore. He willna fail us.

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    1. Absolutely Dawn. I am with you all...the...WAY!!! I think I may want a bronze bust of Ron Moore displayed in my house somewhere at this point!! LOL

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  13. Very insightful Carol, and I so hope you are right. The image of him holding Claire that you've posted above...I can well imagine this is on the road after the events in Ep.8.

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  14. Agreed. I know inner JAMMF is inside series Jamie, we'll see him and we'll love him. No worries. I think they haven't let true JAMMF out of his shell because he would overshadow many elements of the show. We truly wouldn't care about Frank or any of the other characters. I mean, I think series Murtagh is bony and Dougal.. forgettaboutit. Rupert and Angus? Perfect. I couldn't have said that about their book counter-parts. They're just establishing many layers of the story, while we still have an attention span for them, before unleashing the JAMMF lion. But I do agree with one of the above posters, I remember Claire being funnier, Jamie too. But again, we know them so well, after 8 books. This is their awkward stage we forgot about. I love the series though. I'm totally hooked!

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    1. Bonny, damn it. I meant "bonny." Murtagh is the right amount of fleshy.
      -Stacey

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  15. Yeah, no worries here. He's there in the window.

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    1. RIGHT! Lordddddd is he in the window!!! :)

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  16. Yes, yes, yes My feelings exactly, I have been disappointed in the Jamie that I thought I knew, not in Sam or his acting or the production or even writing, but they were making Jamie the lad that would do the best for the clan. No more, he's a full fledged warrior coming up protecting his woman and not losing his high principles. I am snoozing through the "triangle" we all know what a douche Frank turns into. ugh

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  17. Carol -- I think I love you! thanks for making my day!

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  18. Great post. I think you are right and it makes me feel better about the fact that we haven't really seen the depth of the J&C relationship yet. While F&C seem so much the focus esp. in the last ep. Keeping my fingers crossed. I truly believe Sam and Cait will continue to knock it outta the park. -- Z

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  19. I just haven't been bothered at all by the "TV Jamie". This is a young man who has already endured - and survived - several brutal encounters with Black Jack, defending his sister at risk of his own life, making a joke prior to his flogging, and refusing to cry out during punishment that would have killed most men. The JAMMF we saw craftily and ingeniously maneuvering at the oath taking was no naive youngster. He just hasn't had a wife to protect to this point.

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    1. ALL great points, Anon. I agree wholeheartedly.

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    2. Totally agree. If you watch Jamie's facial expressions you can see where he has come to an important decision. the first was to tell her not to be scairt... and at the gathering when he was figuring out what to say to Collum. So, in the preview of him holding Claire, he is got something on his mind that's for damn sure. Also, during the second half, most of the voice overs will be from Jaime because he does have a wife to protect

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  20. Great insights, Carol! I think RM is absolutely on pace with DG's book..... it's been ONLY 7 WEEKS, folks! You don't just sweep 27+ years of a life, which also includes a loving if underwhelming in the romance department husband, under a rug in only two scant months! I don't care how hunky, fabulous and attentive a forced marriage partner is! Would we honestly respect Claire if she - at this point in time - jumped ship and jettisoned Frank from her thoughts and heart? Neither book Claire nor TV Claire has evolved to that "no turning back" realization yet.
    And Jamie is now on the threshold of true manhood, evolving into husband, protector, laird and warrior. They evolve together, and that is what the second half of season one holds in store. Can't wait to see it!

    Will there be more podcasts during the hiatus? Just love them! :-)

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  21. Thank you for your review, Carol! I agree with you, Jamie's gaze has changed :now is ferocious . Life in XVIII century was hard and even more for a Fraser, as Jamie explains. But their beginnings , knowing each other, have been so ... "intense" that looks like he has lowered his guard. Until that moment he has been caring for himself only and now he starts to feel the weight of responsability. Of course he evolves! he is forced to mature suddenly when he realizes that he has much to lose. Luckily for us, Sam is so brilliant actor and is so inside the character that let us see the evolution with his powerfull performance, until the smallest detail from the books.

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  22. Off course he will be more 'Badass' now. Loving a person & knowing that you are responsible for their safety is one thing. But seeing them attacked brings out a primeval response. I remember feeling shock at those feelings in me as a new mother and I thought my child was in danger.

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  23. Herself should have our Jamie say this to Claire: It's a little wedding blessing from my homeland. " May you never steal, lie, or cheat, but if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows, and if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life, and if you must cheat, then please cheat death because I couldn't live a day without you."

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  24. Great post. We need to see where Jamie begins in order to see how far he has changed/grown.

    Every superhero needs an origin story, this is his!

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  25. After a lot of brutally honest reflection I have to admit that the show is totally on pace and point. After having read the series a dozen times it's hard to delete the more mature Jamie from my brain cells and view him as he was in Book 1. I would never apply the term naïve to Jamie. Inexperienced in some things, yes. New to having the responsibility of a wife, yes. But not naïve. And I think the show depicts him as inexperienced in some areas rather than naïve, which is on point. As far as Frank is concerned, I do feel compassion for him. I did not feel it when I first read Outlander - that came far later in the series. But that was because all I had to go on was Claire's unreliable POV. In the series, we were given the opportunity to step out of Claire's POV and see Frank from a more objective viewoint. I think Ron (and all of the male viewers) relate more to Frank than we girls do. From umpteen million comments I've read/listened to they are threatened by the idea of Jamie walking off with their women because they can't compete with that level of manflesh. And I think that is reflected in the show. For me, one of the things that complicates this whole love triangle is that Claire is the least self-aware female character that I have ever run across. In Outlander Claire is obsessed with stability and security, not love. But she CALLS it love because she doesn't want to admit to herself that she needs to find that security and stability outside of herself. And she uses sex to connect and control the men in her life. I sense that the folks creating this show GET IT and are portraying the evolution of these relationships quite accurately and in a very realistic way. I have great hopes for the rest of the season and anticipate a lot of tears (of both happiness and sorrow) in the second half.

    ValGal

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  26. I think I have an advantage, like some of the other commenters, in that I've only read book 1 and I'm only a third of the way in to DIA. My knowledge and frame of reference where both Jamie and Claire are concerned are somewhat limited. And I kind of like it that way. I don't intend to read too far ahead of the series. But I do like to read books before I see them on the small or big screen (I don't like when a book experience gets ruined--I don't like to know what happens in a book before I've read it. So all in all I think that being new to the Outlander books, it's helping me to view the show as a separate thing in some ways. The book made me want to watch, and of course I know the main plot points. But I can also appreciate the TV adaptation on its own.

    But I agree with what you've said, Carol. And I really do think Jamie is poised in that window not only to rescue Claire, but also as a man on the verge of unleashing his kilt-wearing, red-haired, Scottish highlander badassery on BJR and the viewers of the Outlander world as well. Go, Jamie!

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  27. This was the first Saturday evening w/o Outlander and was it rough! But reading these comments was verra enjoyable. We have a lot to look forward to in April and like Carol said, I believe it will be worth the wait. (As long as I can check in with my favorite blog sites and get to talk Outlander with other fangirls)

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  28. response to blogger's Jamie part deux post: agreed!

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  29. I like the older Jamie much more than the early Jamie seen in book one. While Sam does a great young Jamie I can't wait to see what they do to age him to make him the smoking hot 50 yo Jamie of the later books.

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  30. I don't think they need to age him. I can already see moments in his facial expressions where I believe him to be 45 and older. In the books, both Claire and Jamie are described as looking very good for their ages. I'm re-reading the series before I start MOBY for the first time, and at a dinner at the NC governor's, some guy is flirting with Claire and she asks him how old he is just to confirm that he could actually be her son. She is constantly describing Jamie as not having aged. Yes this is eye of the beholder, but I can very much picture them as they continue their journey as the characters portrayed later in the series.

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  31. You absolutely nailed it with your assessment of the changes in Jamie ! And as for Clair, she has only known Jamie for a few weeks at the end of episode 8 ~ in her mind & heart she is still Frank's wife ~ despite being wildly attracted to Jamie ! Give her time ~ she'll get the full measure of the man Jamie is verra soon !

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  32. I agree completely you can hear the anger in Jamie as the British soldier tries to rape her. Just listen to him although he is off camera the sentiment is conveyed. You are right he is changing and when he tells her to stay put he is doing his duty as a husband and protector.

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