Monday, June 1, 2015

MOP VIDEO: My Outlander Purgatory Breaks Down Outlander Starz Episode 16: To Ransom a Man's Soul

54 comments:

  1. Just a few observations:

    - I SO wanted the series to show what an amazing hero Claire proves herself to be. Unless it’s a comic book, a true female hero is a rare thing. We didn’t get to see the woman who kills two soldiers with a knife, kills a freaking wolf, and puts her own life at risk in a knock-down, drag-out to exorcise Jamie’s demon, absolutely refusing to let him give up without a fight. Instead, we saw a worried woman basically, what?, threaten suicide if Jamie dies. WTF? I wanted badass Claire!

    - Jamie’s body rose to the occasion against his own will, but “enjoy” is WAY too strong a word. It shamed him to have experienced that response – and it was the cherry on top of his giant shit sundae.

    - Where was the beauty of the healing, spirituality, love, and redemption that truly cemented J&C’s love for each other, and our love for those two characters? Oh yeah, there was no time for that bc the show was too busy focusing on the lurid, "ground-breaking," hype-able stuff. SO glad I had the book to go back to! I hope non-book readers will go check out that version for themselves. It would better help them understand the main reason these characters are so beloved, and why this series had such a huge fan base before it even started.

    - I thought the shot of the cattle and BJR under the door was kind of funny. It reminded me of The Naked Gun, and I wanted to see a bus, a steamroller, and that band we all saw playing a tune at the prison go marching over him, too.

    - I hope we get surprised a bit next season – in good ways. I’d love to see them create story lines about what’s going on with the folks at Castle Leoch while J&C are in France. This show made Scotland itself such a strong character that I think it would be wise to try to keep one foot planted in the highlands.

    - Though I was somewhat disappointed in this finale, all-in-all this series has been magnificent! The production, costuming, music, writing, sets, everything - just amazingly beautiful. And the actors – each one of them has been absolutely perfect!

    - And once more, thank you guys for doing this. You are much appreciated!!

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  2. Hi girls! Love you! Tracey, I hope you get to a better place regarding this episode after watching it again. I had to watch it a couple of times because I was just numb after the first viewing and didn't know how I felt about it. But I felt totally different after my second viewing.

    This is the first video that had me feeling frustrated. I want to post a copy of my rationale from another forum on why I thought the Wentworth flashbacks WERE necessary.

    Jamie, as a rape victim, would not (COULD NOT and DID NOT) tell Claire exactly what happened in that cell. What we heard from Jamie in the Abbey was only that part of his (damaged) POV that he was willing/able to verbalize. What we saw in the flashbacks was the objective reality of his memories. I think this was hugely important for the viewing audience to see and be able to contrast.

    Jamie told Claire, with much self-disgust, that he branded himself. The flashback told us that it was NOT a voluntary choice that Jamie made and that he actually defied Jack by refusing to place the brand over his heart. The true significance of this scene was the concept of ownership.

    Jack: ”Then are you mine? Show me you’re mine!”, followed by
    Claire: “You belong to no one else but me and I belong to you!”

    Jamie told Claire that Jack made love to him and that he enjoyed it, shaking with puking humiliation and shame. The flashback showed us how BJR psychologically used Claire to manipulate him into responding – and Jamie’s devastation when it was over and Jack told him Claire would never forgive him for it.

    Jamie feels the psychological damage that was done to him, but he doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t understand that he did not give consent and his guilt is what is destroying him. We, the audience, after having watched the flashbacks, DO understand it. IMHO, this was not gratuitous or unnecessary or “too much” - it had tremendous narrative purpose.

    I thought the episode also had nice bookends that illustrated Jamie’s journey through this trauma. At the beginning we see Jamie’s defiance when he spit in Jack’s face. And at the end, we saw the return of his defiance (and the beginning of his return to agency) when he insisted on being alert during the removal of the brand and he spits on it as it lay burning in the flames.

    As a viewer (and a book-reader) I appreciate that this event was given the proper gravity. I appreciate that Jamie did not crack jokes during this episode. In the book, Jamie DID want to die. He was willing himself to die (and doing a good job of it) and that was why Claire had to step in and intervene. I appreciate that show did not use “sexual healing” as a solution to such a devastating rape event. I would have found it inappropriate.

    Verity

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    1. This: "Jamie told Claire, with much self-disgust, that he branded himself. The flashback told us that it was NOT a voluntary choice that Jamie made and that he actually defied Jack by refusing to place the brand over his heart. The true significance of this scene was the concept of ownership." REALLY SMART OBSERVATION that I didn't get. It helps me. Not sure that I'm still onboard with the scene exactly as it went down, but it truly does help it make more sense in the context of the story. Thank you Verity!! (I hope the other forum you posted it on was Scot and the Sassenach--Alastair and Lani had a lot of problems with all the Wentworth stuff too...)

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    2. Your points are right on, Verity! And Carol, if you're reading this, I really need to hear more from YOU in your videos. I feel that quite often you're not being heard, and being "cut off" if you know what I mean. I see the frustration. Anyway, you have great insight into the whys and hows of this series.

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    3. Great observations Verity. I agree with not having Jamie and Claire making love in this episode....it was way too soon and would have really diminished what we are supposed to believe is his mental state. I even liked how they had the Abbey in Scotland....really made more sense to me.

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    4. I have wanted to comment forever here, and you all intimidate me with your eloquence and I'm pretty good with words, but having reviewed some published reviews of this episode (NY Times) and the some comments here, I have only one thing to say, and I'm a book reader...there is no way that what Jamie endured under Black Jack's control, as told in the book, could have possibly been understood on film unless it was explicitly depicted, to appreciate the devastation it wrought to his soul and being, and relationship with Claire. It was not gratuitous at all and I was very pleased to know that Anna Forrester was the director. Kudos to ALL the actors and Bless Ronald Moore's heart forever for this amazing adaptation.

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    5. Tracey, yup, that's the site.

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  3. The biggest weakness that I saw in the episode was in the “restoration” scene between Jamie and Claire. For me, that was due in great part to the fact that the scene with Father Anselm was shoehorned in at the last minute instead of being properly integrated into the story. Ron didn’t want the scene, Diana argued for it, and in the end a Starz executive made the decision that it was necessary. Unfortunately, it was just thrown in there but it was never hooked up to the story on either end. So, instead of the theme of full consent being required for sin, and the ransoming of a sinner by someone willing to go into the darkness to show a man his righteousness/worthiness (Job), we basically got Claire blackmailing Jamie with the vow he made to protect her. Missed opportunity in my opinion.

    With or without The Search I don’t think enough time could have been carved out to depict things exactly how things went down in the book. In the show the timeframe is cut way down because the abbey was in Scotland instead of France so they still weren’t safe. They had just enough time to get Jamie to a point where he could travel and that’s it. To be honest, I didn’t really care for the way it went down in the book. In the show, Claire used the lavender as a psychological trigger and Jamie’s first reaction was violent and during the ensuing struggle Jamie realized it was (a very soft) Claire beneath him instead of Jack and snapped out of it. But the trigger served its purpose in that it opened him up to the memories of what happened in that cell so that he could explain it to Claire and they could begin to deal with it. Jamie isn’t “cured” in either the show or the book at this time. We will continue to see the fallout and Jamie’s struggle in Season 2 (and beyond).

    I think this episode was just a difficult one for the book-readers to detach themselves from the book. But I still think it worked.

    Verity

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    1. I agree.....and I didn't know about the "shoehorned" scene with Fr. Anselm. Interesting, and thanks.

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    2. Oh....I do miss the Fr Anselm conversations....they were important to me because Thought it explained to Claire that SHE was worthy of asking for help and strength from God in spite of the fact that she did not consider herself religious. As a Catholic, it was so nice to read Fr Anselm's view on faith and who we are as Catholics....his explanation of how she is no less a Catholic than the Holy Father was so interesting...of course it the eyes of the Church, it is true....but not something the average Catholic would consider themselves. Plus it would have seemed weird to the non-book reader...I assume...what she was confessing to....her selfishness?? Hm....I think it was more about the things she had to do to get where she was at this point....like the soldier she killed, and the fact that she considered herself a bigamist....that was woefully unexplored in the episode....oh well....I can always re-read it.

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  4. Hi Tracey and Carol,

    Just wanted to say great job with your recap....as usual.

    I have a couple of observations of things you discussed.

    I believe the reason we were shown BJR full frontal was because his penis was his weapon of choice....he had accomplished what he set out to do....of course he was going to flaunt it. He was a proud peacock at that point. Also, the tying back of his hair became the moment that he was reverting BACK to BJR...because when he took his hair down he became Claire. I totally saw the symbolism in these two presentations.

    I think we were SPARED some of the worst violence depicted in the book...ie, the smearing of Jamie's blood on certain body parts and Jamie being forced to "taste" it, the actual physical beatings he received at BJR's hands, etc. I wonder if non-readers even noticed the blood around his mouth, or the giant bruise on his shoulder?

    I think it WAS Important to SHOW Jamie branding himself. Now this scene was only seconds after he was lying on the floor hallucinating that he was hearing Claire....Jamie says "only you"....it is at that point he is coerced into the branding.....does Jamie even realize that it is BJR asking him to do it? Or does he still think he is hearing Claire and he is pledging his love to her because he thinks it is her saying "show me you are mine".....how would we have understood it by just him telling us? We needed to SEE his face to understand what his state of mind was at that time.

    BTW,..if you can manage to view the "lovemaking" (Ugh) rape scene, you will se that BJR PLACES Jamie's hand on his own area and forces the beginning of the rubbing. It is when BJR realizes he is responding that he says "wait for me" and then moving behind Jamie....who is still rubbing himself because at this point it is his own hand doing it and not really a violation and it feels good, that BJR takes advantage of him. He is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome at this point and would do ANYTHING that psycho asked him....plus he more than ever thinks he is talking to Claire, smelling Claire's hair, feeling Claire next to him.

    My two cents.

    All in all, I thought it was a terrific adaptation of the book....I would've loved to see more of the Jamie-isms along the way...but they just COULDN'T get it all in. I am sure that DG had to fight many times along the way to keep as much as she could true to her story...but that could not have been easy. Oh yea....I knew all along we weren't getting that hot spring scene when they dropped the line during the Return to the Stones episode...."the hot baths almost won".

    Just want to thank you two ladies for your videos....it has brought so much fun to my Monday nights!

    Marian

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  5. I believe Marian explained the "lovemaking" scene perfectly. That was also my interpretation. I watched it 3 times now and thought the episode was well done. Great adaptation of the book all around. Cant wait to listen to your recap today. .

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  6. One thing I wanted to add (without having seen the video yet - I'm at work, can't play it), and I'm sorry if you covered it in the video already - is that after their knock down/drag out in the book, when Jamie is lying on top of Claire, he starts to feel her, and he says, "Mother?" I went back and read this yesterday, because I couldn't remember how exactly that scene ended. He says, "Mother?" and Claire says, "Jamie, my lad, lay your head down." (something like that) And then Diana writes (again, paraphrasing), "and then the mask finally crumbled, and Jamie lay sobbing." Now, obviously they have to pick and choose what fits and works best for t.v., but as a mother, I kind of missed that it was not only Claire, but his strong ties to and memories of his mother that brought him out of the abyss.

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    1. Cool!! Forgot that until you reminded me. Thanks!

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  7. Well done Ladies! I've already posted comments - in the Saturday pix on the site - but great efforts to get your recap up for your viewers to see and lend their voices!
    I'm sure you'll provide some fun and provocative blogs and Twitter feeds along the way until next year.
    I found it interesting to read up on Culloden for a jump start. Lots to mull with the different clans and the split on the rebellion some of them experienced.
    I'm along for the ride, and thanks for your hard work!
    jefsantamonica (my initials - I'm a lass!)

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    1. DOH! Thanks for the clarification Ms Jefsantamonica!!! :-)

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  8. I really missed the reveal of Jamie's maimed hand. Clearly the time frame in the show wasn't enough to allow for a broken hand to heal. But I found it to be an important scene in the book, symbolic of Jamie's recognition of Claire's ability to heal both his body and soul. Seems important in the balance of their relationship. He finds Claire's healing powers almost supernatural. At least for me it helps explain part of that deep hold she has over him, and his submission to her wisdom and judgment regarding their future and trying to stop the rising.
    One change from the book I did like was that Claire's pregnancy has a part in Jamie's healing process. When she tells him he says he didn't think he would be happy again but he is. Glad they threw that in since the healing was so rushed. To have to go a whole year with Jamie on such shaky ground was going to make jumping right into next season a bit awkward.

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  9. I am like Tracey loved the beautiful landscape, the costumes were astounding, acting superb above any I have seen, the sets to die for but the writing of Jamie and Jamie and Claire yes for me Tracey hit it on the head not the same characters. Now that Ron has said Frank is his favorite character in the book and he has a man crush on Tobias I think it makes sense and I do believe we will see the story to continue to depart from the book and become a totally different story. I agree Frank needs to be brought out some but not to do the same for Jamie unacceptable. I am also like Tracey I will watch next season and hope they change their path. I know that Ron said in an interview that Sony wanted the book readers happy well from everything that has come out the last 3 days many of us are not happy with the story plot not enough Jamie, Jamie and Claire to much BJR and Frank. Maybe he will reconsider how he feels and listen to the book readers who I do not think he wants to lose. I understand that time is a problem but they take time for Frank and time for BJR but not for Jamie really really that seems at this point intentional. When they do take some time it is so shallow I just feel my heartbreak. I personally feel those who are not happy should be allowed to share their opinion and be respected just like those who really liked it. Ron shared that the story is about Jamie and Claire but really more so about the people around them and that is what we are getting more of the people around them. If they continue on this path would I still want to watch the story past season two no just being honest. Maybe they need to put out polls and see what they get back from them see how happy the book readers vs non book readers are and we do carry some clout no. We promote the show support it and vote away like the people's choice award being a write in over GOT, Walking Dead, Dr Who and Supernatural. Well your review was superb as always. They could have done things different but chose not to so I feel cheated. Maybe they will redeem themselves when the show returns we will see. Those who love it please enjoy but it is losing its shiny to me. I did like the ship a lot well done.

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    1. I agree. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words. ColleenR

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    2. You are so right that in a huge way the book fans did do a lot to help promote this show. I am in my 50s, and this year was the only time I have ever voted for People's Choice. I brought in several viewers to the show, and most of those passed the word along as well, so we book fans have in many cases helped the number of TV viewers for the show grow exponentially. And just look at sites like this one! You know Tracey and Carol have put in a lot of time and effort over several years, just for the love of these books. They did not just jump on this bandwagon because of the TV series. Moore assured the pre-existing fandom that they’d be as faithful to the book as possible, so was it unreasonable for us to expect them to at least get the Jamie and Claire characters and relationship right? Or did RDM really not “get” why we love these two characters so much? It felt like a sadly missed opportunity, and to some degree even disrespectful – as if to say, regardless of why the fans love this book, HERE’S what the story’s main focus SHOULD be. Well, after all, many of us fans are only women – and what do we know? Apparently, how to help promote the hell out of a TV show!

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    3. Absolutely, this show had a huge, fiercely devoted fan base from day 1!

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    4. AND IT STILL DOES!

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  10. Ladies, thank you for another wonderful recap. Being able to watch your videos and to see all the discussion from fans has made the whole experience of this series much more enjoyable. I agree with and appreciate everyone's comments above. I have just a few miscellaneous comments:

    I think we've all had an episode where we've said "That's not Jamie" or "that's not Claire" - for me it was Lallybroch and Jamie acting like such a huge jerk about being the Laird - Tracey it sounds like this was the episode where you had that feeling.

    In listening to Ron Moore's podcast, Ira Steven Behr said about the "lovemaking" scene that Jamie's arm was behind BJR and he was actually pulling him in. The acting had to take a tremendous amount of courage.

    The look on Murtaugh's face as he carried Jamie out was amazing. I am tearing up just thinking about it. I love Murtaugh!

    I didn't care so much for Angus' goodbye to Claire, and the word "seriously" took me out of the moment.

    I really loved this episode. I think the things they did made sense and explained the story in the amount of time and resources they had. Claire was not as much of a badass as in the book but she was enough, for me. They wouldn't have even been there without her.

    Tracey and Carol, I'm so glad you will continue the Monday night chat throughout Droughtlander 2 - it's going to be a long year.

    Take care all!






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  11. Tracey and Carol,
    I have spoiler questions galore for season two. For example, do you think Ron Moore will follow the book timeline/story for Claire's current pregnancy, or will it differ?

    During the long hiatus, do you have anything planned for discussion other than the Monday night chat? Last night it was like a wild carnival ride. I could watch/read it, but didn't attempt to jump on!!

    Love, love your recap videos. I will miss them.
    Have a wonderful summer!


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  12. Tracy and Carol, loved your recap. I have been dying to hear what you thought since so much of what I had read on twitter was so very positive and although, like you, I thought the season as a whole was great, thought the acting was brilliant, the scenery, directing and costumes wonderful, I was so disappointed in the ransoming. I was so disturbed by the rape scenes, that I vowed not to watch 116 again. But I listened to Ron's podcast, wasn't able to figure out what they were talking about and ended up watching again with the sound turned down while listening to the podcast. I realized that, on my first view, I was still reeling from the rape scenes and so wasn't able to process what Claire was saying to Jamie in the ransoming section. The second time viewing her ransoming was better although, like Tracey, I longed for more of a physical connection. Anonymous above did a great job of saying how I feel. I was so angry that my last vision of Jamie having sex was his rape, but understand that the way the episode is written, to have a sex scene btn. J&C would have been inappropriate. I think because I am a book reader and have come to love these characters so much, it was difficult to see the season end with them still hurting so much and with so much healing left to do. The TV series sure ain't Lassie, the water is no longer rising, but Timmy is still down the well. Thanks to you both for making me laugh and helping me to look forward to season 2. ColleenR

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  13. Tracy,
    I too, couldn't disassociate from the book, tho I tried. I've been able to pretty easily with other episodes. Not this one tho. The rest, as a book reader, yeah. All you guys said.
    From what I've read in interviews and on Compuserve, it seems that the healing may be dealt with more in season 2. Would have been fab to see the exorcism tho,
    Not sure that dealing with it next season will be the same, but I'm not Ron Moore.
    I also understand that a second and third viewing will be really helpful. This one was so hard to watch, I don't know when I'll get up the guts for that.
    So it seems with this episode book readers were at a real disadvantage.
    Series is the series and all that, yeah. I get it. And it's been a fabulous series. So let's see where this goes. ��



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  14. Okay. I agree with some of what you talked about but I also disagreed with a lot as well. I haven't finished watching the whole thing because I was afraid I'd forget what I wanted to say so I stopped to jot some things down.

    I'm a book reader, but probably not super-obsessive. I've read the first book twice and the others only once. I'm like Carol in that I tend to forget a lot of the details which makes watching the show much more enjoyable. I watch with my husband and I must say that I very rarely think things like, "They took that out! That wasn't in the book!" I actually find it a bit refreshing when they make changes for the most part. It's like exploring Outlander in new ways. I don't agree that non-book readers are missing the impact at all. I think this show is extremely powerful. I'm watching with my husband who hasn't read it, and I also have a friend (also a guy) who's enjoying it as well. The look on my husband's face the last few weeks while watching, made it pretty clear that he wasn't missing the impact.

    As far as the violence goes, yeah, I think it could have been cut down a bit. I heard that Ron Moore wanted to push things far but not to the point of wanting people to turn it off. I think I would have turned it off if it was any other show, My husband said, "You can watch THIS , but not Walking Dead?!" LOL True. I felt like I was there to go through it with Jamie, as sad as it was. I cringed a few times when you guys said things like it was intimate, or he enjoyed it, because I never really felt that. I felt like this was a man who was in soooo much pain, was totally beaten down, and just couldn't fight anymore. His body turned on him because of the pain and because he was delirious, not because he submitted willingly. This was rape- all of it. It makes me mad to think that people think otherwise. And I also didn't think that that first scene in the prison said it all. I don't think it said what really happened, other than he wanted to die because of what he suffered through. There was a lot to be told.

    As far as the "exorcism" goes, am I the only one who thought, "Thank GAWD they cut that out." I really dislike that part in the book. I thought it was totally fantastical and I didn't buy it. The changes they made were a lot better IMO. It seemed real to me and I thought J and C totally hit the mark, way more than in the book.

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    1. "I felt like this was a man who was in soooo much pain, was totally beaten down, and just couldn't fight anymore. His body turned on him because of the pain and because he was delirious, not because he submitted willingly. This was rape- all of it."

      Yes - it was all rape. Jamie's body betrayed him but it was no less of a rape. The references I've seen to the "love making scene" have all been in quotes so hopefully people do realize this.

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    2. Anonymous... I referred to the "lovemaking" in quotes....totally to make a point that it was't at all...just to differentiate between the various rape scenes. Are there people who really think that the last "event" was not rape? Hm

      Hildy....TOTALLY agree with loving how they cut out that "exorcism" scene.....never liked it in the book and I much preferred what they did in the episode....just wish it were longer. It not only was so moving....and necessary to the story....but I can not get enough of watching these characters come to life on screen.

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    3. Marian, I agree. I much preferred the new J and C scene but I wish it was just a tad longer for the reasons you mentioned.

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    4. Marian, here is a quote I found on another message board: "Although Jamie was raped by Black Jack Randell, he admitted to Claire, Randell made love to him and he admitted he enjoyed the homosexual sex. Does this mean that Jamie is now bi-sexual?" SMH

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    5. Well, you can't really blame Ron for the fact that here are a lot of idiots out there saying stupid things. That "lovemaking" scene is straight from the book and represented Jamie's POV of the act accurately. That's part of his psychological trauma - and is shared by a lot of rape victims whose bodies betrayed them with a climax (physiological pleasure) and are then left to deal with the guilt and the ignorant insinuations that if they climaxed they must have wanted it so it must not have been rape. This is 2015, right? :-(

      Verity

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    6. Last I checked Anon...it was. Maybe there would be less angst about all the violence shown if the finale had been 2 hours...like it should have been!! Then they could have done all the rape scenes as is, but we would have had more time for Claire and Fr Anselm...sorely lost for me because SHE needed the guidance....it gave HER the strength she needed to figure out how to help Jamie. Both she and Jamie were lost at this point. THEN they could have shown Jamie gradually coming back....a couple of extra scenes at least....not the way it was done in the episode...going from Jamie hugging Claire to what seemed like 5 mins. later Murtaugh cutting brand out, then they are on the beach!! Were we supposed to believe this all happened in one afternoon?? lol

      My 2 cents

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    7. I'm confused. Where are you getting the information that tells you all of that happened in one afternoon?

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    8. Anonymous....I was referring to the fact that they RUSHED the ending to the point where it FELT like they spent very little time at the Abbey....I have no idea how long they were there....it certainly was not as long as they spent in the Abbey in France. I know they were in a rush to get out of Scotland....so I was just saying they made it LOOK like they got out of Dodge as fast as they could...maybe too fast.

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    9. I'm going to sneak in here and use this exchange to explain a pattern that I have been noticing. Let me begin here by saying that it is not my intent to pick on you personally, Marian. I am simply using your post as an example of many others that I have run across. Your exact words were "going from Jamie hugging Claire to what seemed like 5 mins. later Murtaugh cutting brand out, then they are on the beach!! Were we supposed to believe this all happened in one afternoon??", which is a (humorous or flippant) choice of words that exaggerates things to support your personal disappointment that they spent more time on Jamie's excruciating torture and rape than on CLAIRE. In terms of relative narrative importance, Jamie is the central character in THIS episode and Claire is in a supporting role. It would have felt offensive to me if they had minimized Jamie's trauma in order to spend more time on Claire. He is in no way HEALED at the end of this episode. His healing will continue all through Season 2 and beyond. And Claire will be there to help and support him.

      In the book Claire did not heal Jamie at the Abbey either. All she did beyond repairing the physical damage, was to shake him out of his fugue state and throw him a lifeline to hold onto long enough to begin the healing process. (A temporary lean-to for that little naked thing and a roof to keep out the rain. The fortress still lay smoking in the ashes of ruin). That is precisely what was accomplished in this episode. In adaptation, each episode has to have a beginning and an end, book-ending a self-contained story arc with a very tight, clearly defined focus, and internal consistency.

      They HAD to make the decision to move the abbey from France to Scotland so that they didn't have to waste precious screen time getting them from one place to the other. Because they are still in Scotland they are still at risk and they know the British are actively searching for them. It was necessary for the stay at the abbey to be brief. They didn't have the luxury of a month or more as they did in the book. And it was important for S1 to end with leaving Scotland and sailing off to France for S2. That's simply how adaptations work. The one thing that is more important than being consistent with the book is that it be consistent with itself.

      I know a lot of folks thinks they should have spent the time "wasted" on The Search to make sure the readers got all of their favorite scenes from the book. But without the Search (and yes, the segment with the dance routine scenes) you don't get the lovely scenes from Murtaugh in the last 2 episodes because that is where this character and his relationships with Jamie and Claire were developed. And for Claire, the events and character development that occurred in Search were the very things that prepared her for what she had to do at Wentworth and the Abbey. Things in an adaptation can't just HAPPEN simply because "that's the way it was ion the book". Everything has to be built from the ground up in way that is realistic to the viewers. The Search had a heck of a lot more in it than a bunch of silly dancing.

      Making an adaptation involves a lot of contractual obligations, scheduling challenges, budget considerations, safety precautions, weather interference, locale limitations, on and on and on. When people say the SHOULD have done this, that or the other it simply shows they don't understand the process. What is SO important to one person is totally insignificant to another. I don't give a CRAP about some of the things that some folks are so upset and angry about. They can't waste time worrying about how to please everyone because that is an impossible goal. All they can do is try to make the best darn show they can.

      Verity

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    10. Verity.....I agree 100% with your post. I LOVED The Search! I totally agree it was instrumental to understanding Murtaugh and his love and dedication to Jamie. I loved everything about all the episodes....I think RDM did an amazing job with the adaptation.....that is the "hot button word"....adaptation. As I said somewhere above in a post, it wasn't possible to do everything as written in the book....but BOY, I think they were able to accomplish most of it wonderfully. Getting back to Murtaugh and Jamie....have you been able to see the English translation of their exchange in the abbey that has been posted on the internet? Even though I am ok with them not using the translation in the episode, and I WAS able to glean most of what they were talking about.....reading it now blows me away....I cried.

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    11. I'm with you there, Marian! Every scene that Murtaugh has been in has moved me. The translated dialog brought tears to my eyes. I loved him in the rescue scene at the beginning of the episode too. SO MUCH love and anguish riding on that sweet craggy face when he carried Jamie out of the prison. I made a screencap of it and am using it for the wallpaper on my computer!

      Verity

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  15. Hi all! Love the series and the books; however, like Tracey, I am having a hard time just giving the series a life of it's own. The tv show managed to omit the most pivotal and memorable scenes in the book--Claire and the wolves and Claire's healing of Jamie at McRannock's house and what both she and Jamie had to go through during the drug induced healing session at the abbey. Jamie practically murders Claire, and it is only her bravery and good sense that bring Jamie back from the brink of death--we miss all of that in the tv show.

    Much less time could have been spent on BJR (we get it, he's a sadist!) and Jamie. Just the dead look in Jamie's eyes, his blood smeared body, and BJR's self-satisfied strutting said so much in episode 16. Although the thing with the hair was pretty creepy...

    To save some screen time for the final episodes, RMoore could have cut short the extended Claire and Murtaugh song/dance stuff a few episodes back (what was that, comic relief prior to the last two episodes?). What's more important, showing C&M on the road like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, or spending time adhering to the book and showing Claire as Jamie's equal and savior?

    Claire came across as an addendum to the men in episode 16, when she is really the backbone of Jamie's rescue. In the book, Claire's confrontation and killing of the wolf outside of Wentworth and her decision and willingness to kill the redcoat during their escape showed just how far she would go to keep Jamie safe. The process of her healing of Jamie--beginning at McRannoch's and continuing on the ship and at the abbey in France, cemented Claire's utter devotion and love of Jamie. Just sayin'--I missed all of those scenes and thought they should have been included as the big finish to the series. (And one more pissy grumble, the actor playing McR was just too small--that character was supposed to be a "bear" or a man. pssst...the same short actor was in Rob Roy with Liam N, and appropriately cast.)

    Some other things: agree, the word "pregnant" seems disjunctive, just like "I'm from the future!" There's no way someone from the 1940's would use the word pregnant--even for a nurse, the term pregnant was just not used. As for "seriously," well, hot-damned, seriously?!

    Acting, production, music--perfection! The thundering kine, BJR under the door, Willie, Murtaugh, the comic duo of Angus and Rupert, and the big wooden ship sailing off at the end--WOW--and the revised vocal of the theme song...double wow.

    Just two more things, or maybe three: hey Tracey--although you have a tank top on in the video, you sometimes look like you are sitting there in only a necklace...LOL, not your intention, I'm thinking! Love the drinks and the occasional sisterly squabbles during the videos. Looking forward to the season 1 recap video...maybe champagne for that one.

    Julie in Jersey

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    1. Julie....you are so right. "Seriously" is a current colloquialism....NEVER would she have said that in 1743 OR 1945. Although I LOVE all the Highlanders and have so enjoyed Angus' facial expressions when Claire gives Willie attention....he technically sexually assaulted her....Bad choice to do that.

      I have been wracking my brains trying to remember what way a woman from 1945 would have told their husband....MAYBE she may have said "I'm pregnant" but I feel like a less jarring way would have been her to say "I'm expecting" or "I'm going to have a baby" (this would have been my choice)....I think this is what my mother used to say and she gave birth in 1947 so she would know

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  16. Concerning the "exorcism" in the book, it was Claire's last resort. In the series, Jamie's wounds were healing nicely, and it was only his mental anguish and refusal to eat that was endangering his life. In the book, his hand had become infected, he was running a high fever and he was delirious. Clearly, he was near death. Claire, by conjuring up the image of Black Jack, is able to arouse Jamie's warrior spirit and use his stubbornness.. One of the things that added to his shame over the events of Wentworth was his forced passivity against Black Jack's onslaught of torture and perversion. During that struggle between Claire and Jamie, Claire remarked on feeling sweat, and that that had a significance that she couldn't quite remember. During that night, the killing fever broke, beginning the healing of his body, and he began to build "a lean-to" to replace the fortress in his inner core, the fortress that Black Jack had destroyed..... the fortress that was his inner strength and the quintessential Jamie. When he awoke in the morning, he no longer wanted to die. I believe this was a crucial turning point in the story.
    I agree with Tracey, that the torture scenes, while also a pivotal part of the story excessive.. Much of the story of Jamie and Claire was glossed over and given insufficient time. It was disappointing to me. Hopefully, season two will include some of the tender scenes. Don't get me wrong, I have loved the series. The casting and the acting as been superb, and of course the setting. I do feel that some of the changes have been included, while crucial scenes beloved by book readers have been shortchanged. Not enough time was devoted to Jamie and Claire at the stones and the conversations on the trip to Lallybroch. Much is made of the "groundbreaking" aspects of the production. I don't see this as a vehicle to promote or comment on modern social concerns. It doesn't have to go where no series has gone before. Just tell the story within the parameters of eighteenth century mores and viewpoints.
    Tell the story of Jamie and Claire. That is the most compelling and captivating thing about the book.

    As postscript, the first thing that grabbed me about this website, was sometime back when Carol said she felt so protective of Jamie. She couldn't stand to see his suffering. That was exactly the way felt and feel. I guess, I'm still upset about this last episode. It was harrowing to watch, gut wrenching to see our Jamie so treated. An integral part of the story as Diana wrote it, but very difficult, nonetheless.

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  17. OK, you both, maybe Carol more so, must have been travel addled or over tired to think that the last episode could have mirrored the particulars of the book in one hour. Get real, you are more savvy on TV production than that. Tracy has the right of it. Watch it one more time. Jamie was ready to die in the book and could not let Claire touch him.That feeling is still there.
    I love that Ron was able to keep the absolution scene in I would have liked to see her open the bible to find the verses that gave her the idea of how to help Jamie but having Murtagh involved works too. Also this is where the perpetual adoration started for Claire(spoiler alert) which played a part in Claire and Frank's relationship.
    The physical and more importantly the psychological abuse is so right on and the amount of it was painful to watch but so important to get the right feel of Jamie's despair in the short time available and to show how BJR used Claire to break Jaime.
    We do get a glance at the brand but Claire was on the other side of Jamie when it was first revealed and she was so concerned about his other wounds it went unnoticed. She was a triage nurse so of course it would be easy to miss the such a small mark.
    What is the beef about Claire saying she is pregnant. Claire is not tied to conformity and she is in the medical profession, all through the show she has had to stop and think over her choice of word so not to offend. But, she is talking to Jamie the one person she does not have to mince words with. She told him in the straight forward way. That's the Claire way.
    After the lavender battle, here was nothing glib about the way Jaime puts his arm around Claire.We can see It is a monumental struggle to overcome the revulsion BJR has put in Jame's head. Look at his face, look at the slow and gingerly way his arm placement is, you can tell he is having trouble. If you remember in the Dragonfly, there are several times when Claire wakes and Jamie is huddling in a corner of the room to avoid touching her because he has had a flashback and cannot bear to touch her.
    You need to watch it again. Watch it on a big screen and you will see how much you have missed with the first viewing.
    I think part of the problem is the viewing of male rape. Any rape is not easy to watch but we are condition in this society to have greater revulsion when a man is the victim than if the victim is a woman. After all if a woman cums when she is being rape well then, that is OK because it proves she really wanted it. The breaking of Jamie shows the audience decidedly false this is yet Jamie has bought into it, that he is at fault because he felt something, He must be unclean it was all his fault.
    Jamie and Claire were weeks in the monastery in the book. View the episode again and you will see the healing has just begun we need to have patience, this is just the beginning everything has been set up for things to come with perfection.

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  18. First off, I've only watched this episode once (ok, I watched the ending twice) and my opinion always changes, usually for the better, upon second viewing. However, I'm not sure when I'll be "up for it" so I'm just going to throw out some premature thoughts...


    Let me just say that I am SO thankful for the people who have thoughtfully and carefully gifted us with this production. It is more than I ever could have hoped for...squee! :) That said, I would normally NEVER watch any programming so dark and disturbing...if it wasn't my precious Outlander. That's just not my thing. I'm only talking about episode 16. And yes, I know the book was dark and disturbing as well but, for me, reading it and seeing it are two different things. I would have appreciated a little more left to the imagination, but it is what it is and I'm grateful to have it. My concern is for non-book readers. I have had a few friends who have told me that if this is the direction Outlander is taking then they are not interested in season 2. I've told them that this is the worst of the worst...that we won't see anything like this again (except maybe in flashbacks which are hopefully brief)...that the rest of the story is J & C rising above this darkness. I'm pretty sure I've convinced them to stick around, but how many other non-book readers won't?

    The violence I can accept, but what has been hardest for me to stomach was the lack of connection between J & C at the end. I hope the non-book readers could feel it, but I sure couldn't. There should have been so much emotion, so much passion, an almost supernatural connection, yet I felt it to be stifled and rushed. I agree that the "exorcism" scene would not translate well to screen (and wasn't really expecting it), but SOMETHING should have been there. It left me feeling unfulfilled for days. It was like- I just LIVED through 50 minutes of the horror between J & BJR and then didn't get the ending I deserved- the ending I knew should have been there. The actors portrayed what was given to them marvelously, but I think the writing was deficient in those final scenes. I know that time was an issue, but that just makes me hate "The Search" more! That damn song and dance show- such wasted time- UGH!

    Having a hard time separating the book from the episode this time. This was where they HAD to get it right. Maybe it will be better upon second viewing. While I was a little disappointed at the culmination, I keep reminding myself that this is a show in it's first year and it's just finding it's footing. Hopefully (Please! -she says with angst) it will be around for a long time. What a lot of awesomeness ;) we have to look forward to! Yay!

    On a side note, I saw an interview with Cait a while ago where she talked about being intrigued by playing an "older woman" in season 2, so I'm thinking they are going to follow the format of DIA and not move forward chronologically like you wondered about in the video.

    Thanks so much for another great recap Carol & Tracey! Hope you keep the videos coming during Droughtlander! I enjoy everyone's insightful comments so much! Take care :)

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    1. I thoroughly agree when you say, "It left me feeling unfulfilled for days. It was like- I just LIVED through 50 minutes of the horror between J & BJR and then didn't get the ending I deserved- the ending I knew should have been there." Throughout this series, I have been able to resist looking back at the book. However, at the end of this season finale, I truly NEEDED the book to help me feel better about what I'd seen, I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed the series but were left feeling unsettled, to go read those last few chapters in the book. This was what finally got me to go drag out my old copy, and I'm glad I did. It really did help.

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  19. I agree w/ Tracey..episode is brilliant but, I miss the page turning action that propelled that last half inch of the book--ag rach direach.. (just sayin') Also, wondering if they could just put the gaedhlic (not the translation) in the closed captioning feature. Gaedhlic learners everywhere would appreciate...

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  20. Great recap ladies!

    Tracey, I agree you 100%.....sure we may have needed some of this violence, but it was WAY too much (IMHO). I'm sort of a book reader and hearing Jaime re-tell what happened was far more compelling that actually watching such a prolonged re-enactment of it. And I keep reading on different places that "it had to happen for later." Not saying that none of it should have been shown....but this was too much. And as others have said, overall the second part of the season has been long on the violence and gore (whether or not it was the book) and short on the tender moments (not sex) and connection between J & C (whether or not it was in the book).

    Now, I know there is only so much TV time; however, some of the things they have chosen to spend time on has been wasted squandered (again, IMHO). Although I am a book reader, I am not stuck on having the TV version be exactly like the book; HOWEVER, when you tell me to "put the book down" as (DG stated), I fully expect the TV version to show me something as good or better than what I read in the book. As much as I love Ron Moore, Diana, et. al., I won't lower that expectation and have my fingers crossed that Season 2 will be better.

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    1. Ditto you all hit what was wrong that connection to Claire and Jamie. I do not expect the story to mirror the book I know things have to be changed but the feelings that made me love the book I want in the series and I did put the book down and it was not there no matter how many times I watch it except the wedding episode. Mr. Moore stated the story is about Jamie and Claire but also about the people around them and he is going with the people around them more than the Jamie and Claire storyline, so I will give season 2 a chance but if it stays like this and shorts the connection between Jamie and Claire that made us love the book I will not continue on and will return to the books. I cannot watch it it pains me. The show has outstanding scenery, casts, costumes, acting and directing but the writing and interpretation are not the Jamie and Claire story from the Outlander books that I love. They have a wonderful fan base I hope they think of us some when filming Jamie and Claire for season 2 everything gets an A but Jamie and Claire because they made them so weak I give them a c- makes me sad. I will not lower my expectations either.

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  21. Hi there from sunny Spain! This is the first time I have posted but have watched the whole series as well as read the first 5 books. My thoughts as a Brit living in Spain for what they´re worth:
    1. The winner in this series was Scotland.....the scenery was breath taking, the music was wonderful, the costumes were gorgeous. Some of the actors were brilliant. Sam H, who I´d never heard of before, was perfectly cast as Jamie. Other peripheral actors like Dougal, The Mackensie, Jennie et al, I thought were also excellent. However, I can´t rate Caitriona Balfe´s performance as highly, I´m afraid. As a Brit, and English to boot, I find her deadpan english accent really frustrating!! She is talking "posh", what we would call "received pronunciation", but she is supposed to be from London in the 1940s and worked as a nurse. There is no way, an average normal educated woman from London in the 1940s would speak that way. The only English to speak like that are the very wealthy upper classes, and a very wealthy upper class english woman would not be working as a nurse. Caitriona is Irish, and so she has made great efforts to speak with an English accent, but in doing so, I feel, comes across as very devoid of emotion, especially when doing the narration. When she´s acting, thank god her face reflects emotion, but generally speaking I wish they had chosen another actress to play Claire.
    2. The two episodes The Search and Wentworth Prison episodes could have been better edited so as to give the last and final episode more depth. I found The Search really frustrating, and did we really have to spend an hour watching Claire and Murtagh prancing around the countryside? Methinks No. A bit of a wasted episode, especially seeing what the director did in the final episode. Wentworth Prison episode also I felt was too long in the time spent on the torture and was too graphic. We know BJR is a sadist etc. but they could have edited some scenes in this episode to get further along in the story making more room for more in depth scenes in the Final Episode.
    3. The Final Episode was very superficial in its treatment of Claire´s healing of Jamie. It showed sooo many times what went on between BJR and Jamie, which yes, was important to know the trauma Jamie went through, but again, I feel that better editing would have given us the same information to understand what happened to Jamie. In the end, loads of time was spent on showing the rape of Jamie and the mental games going on, and how this broke Jamie. But then, all Claire had to do was wave some lavender in front of his face, punch him in the face and kick him in the stomach and it was all over and good! Why spend so much time showing the brutal rape bla bla bla, when the producers then belittled the whole trauma by having him "healed" in a jiffy?? Also, Jamie would not ask anyone to kill him, I thought that part was silly, especially seeing as afterwards all it took was a good punch and a kick to "heal" him.
    4.The series started off very well, but after episode 10(?) I think I started to lose interest and the 3 final episodes just finished it off for me. I don´t think I´ll be watching season 2 :-/

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  22. I hope I'm not posting twice. If so, sorry!

    Here is the translation of Jamie and Murtagh's conversation. It's better than I thought. :-)

    http://greatscotblog.com/2015/06/01/outlander-episode-116-to-ransom-a-mans-soul-the-gaidhlig-bits-i-could-decipher/

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    1. That it beautiful! Thank you for posting!

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  23. Hi, as always, I love reading all of the comments and opinions on the episodes. I've really loved the show and if I had posted on Monday, I probably would have said I loved the final episode. I watched the episode twice on Saturday and I usually will watch a couple more times during the week. However, every time I've gone to watch this episode again, I change my mind. It's too much. I love the books and I know there are so many things that cannot translate from book to TV screen, but this could have been done better. I had read Diana's post to put the book down and so I went into it with that in mind. When I think about how wonderful the wedding episode was, or the episode when Jamie rescues Claire from BJR at Ft. William, I know this could have had more emotion. I'm a real fan and won't give up on this. It's going to be a long time between seasons! Thanks Anne from MA

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  24. It seems like I'm with the majority who think the end was way too rushed and as a result felt forced and fake. I had no problem with the amount of time they spent on the scenes with BJR, I just wish they could spend 5 more minutes on the healing process. I really missed Jamie's description of the little guy in the fortress inside him. I think Jamie could've said on the boat to Claire that he wasn't healed but perhaps his little guy has built a lean-to. That description so perfectly captured what Jamie was going through and was a reflection of how smart and insightful and witty Jamie is.
    Also, I was fine with there not being the sex scene at the springs because I just don't think it belonged in the same episode with the BJR rape. But by removing it we missed the moment when Jamie realized that Claire was pregnant. One of my favorite things about Jamie is how closely he pays attention to Claire. And how he notices that her body has changed. I would've loved if he could have realized she was pregnant without her telling him and done one of his typical Claire can't hide things from him moments. The conversation about the pregnancy was so awkward on the boat. And the goodbye to Angus, Rupert, and Willie was very strange to me. I could've done with a simple wave from the small boat rather than that silliness where she says "seriously."
    So with all that -- I will say that I love the show because it reminds me of the books, which are the greatest books I've ever read. I am so grateful that they've put so much time and effort into the show. The costumes, the music, the acting are all phenomenal. And I agree that everyone takes something different away from the books, so we all can't expect that whoever is writing the show is picturing Jamie and Claire the way we do.
    Thanks to C & T for the always great recaps!

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