***Caution****Spoilers Ahead****Please Read With Caution****
I knew this would happen and in episode 1.3, it finally did.
Of course I would eventually find something that didn’t exactly do it for me – I am sure we will all be there at some point – and it finally happened for me. I have very mixed feelings about 1.3 – and I know I am in the minority. Almost all of the feedback I saw on Twitter last night was highly positive. That is wonderful for the show and I am pleased to see so much positive support for Outlander on social media and in the press.
Last night, as I watched Outlander late at night with my husband, I couldn’t help but feeling like I was watching two stories that occasionally bumped into one another rather than a cohesive story. There was the Jamie and Claire-centric stuff, which for the most part, came directly out of the book – and then there was the other stuff, which I can’t say I hated…I didn’t…but I didn’t exactly love it either. The whole Father Bain/Black Kirk/exorcism felt more like a forced diversion than part of the story. I don’t know if that is because I have read Outlander so many times and love it just as it is, but I do know I didn’t come away from this episode with that floaty feeling that I have after watching the first two. I expect I will feel that way in the future as well. I know that is coming. Drama is good for a show and I suppose the additions were aimed at creating drama. I can get behind that, even if it doesn’t exactly blow my mind.
So here is my brutally honest opinion about the show last night. Unless Jamie and Claire were together onscreen, I was bored. The Father Bain/Exorcism story was, for me, very predictable and boring. I felt so let down by that. I am fine, absolutely, with changes to the storyline. I feel like Outlander is being handled by a bunch of fellow fans and so have no reservations with any modifications to Outlander. This is a very talented group of fellow fans handling the page to screen treatment – and that is why I felt a bit let down by the “ignorant religious zealot stands in the way of science saving a life” story. I have seen that story onscreen many times. Perhaps I am expecting too much from the show, but I wanted something much more engrossing, edge of my seat, wow factor. I am not really complaining. I was not offended. I will, of course, continue to watch. No problem there – but I am hoping for a bit more of a wow factor in the future.
Moving on from that, I really did enjoy the rest of the episode. Here are some of my top favorite moments of the show:
1. The music in the Great Hall. How gorgeous was that? It was so lovely and easily one of the best things about this episode, hands down. The artist was Gillebride MacMillan who appeared as Gwyllyn. Simply an amazing performance! If you would like to find out more, you can visit his website, Gillebride.com or find him on twitter @gillebride. If there is ever an Outlander soundtrack produced, it would be incomplete without including the music from last night’s episode.
2. The game of cat and mouse between Geillis and Claire. Lotte Verbeek was stunning as Geillis. She was sneaky. She was subtle. She was very observant, skillfully gleaning small bits of information from Claire and, oh! she was about to pounce on Claire at the very end. The arrival of Jamie was the only thing that saved Claire from Geillis and her going in for the kill. She was about to go all in on Claire and was a bit disappointed she didn’t get to finish and confirm the information she so badly wanted. It was a brilliant bit of page to screen adaptation.
3. Murtaugh had some screen time and I enjoyed it! I am hoping to see him get some more real screen time in future episodes. I realize this is an ensemble cast – and a big one – and Murtaugh isn’t really one of the main characters, sadly, but he is one of my favorite characters period. So, bring on the Murtaugh!
4. Jamie sitting between Claire and Laoghaire in the Great Hall. Claire is honestly trying to be nice to Laoghaire (she has no reason not to be nice to be honest) and be a match maker between Claire and Jamie. Jamie is having none of it. He seems to go out of his way to ignore Laoghaire – basically insulting her at one point with a comment about ‘snot-nosed bairns’. The most insulting point was when Jamie handed Laoghaire the empty glass he and Claire had both drank wine from (verra symbolic) and asks her to take it. Honest to Heaven, I actually laughed out loud at that. I have a soft spot for Laoghaire, but that didn’t come until later in the story – and at this point in the story, Jamie’s actions make it very obvious he is not interested at all in Laoghaire. I felt it was a sort of a nod to book fans from the writers. To a non-reader, Jamie looked like a d*ck, but to those who have read the books, it was actually humorous and a totally deserved dig. And so when we see Jamie and Laoghaire together a while later in the episode, the book fans cringe and the non-readers…well, I am not sure what they night have thought. My DH, who has become my watching buddy, just made a caveman grunt/chuckle. That could mean any number of things, but it is generally a sound of approval.
5. Jamie sucking face with Laoghaire. Honestly, I am glad we have already ripped off the band-aide with this. He did it – and the way it was played onscreen – he did it in part to make Claire jealous – and now let’s move on.
6. Claire teasing Jamie about his swollen lips. The look on Jamie’s face when she first mentions it. He looks both shocked and scared. A set of feelings he is quickly becoming used to since meeting Claire. When she kicks him under the table and he excuses himself, I felt both amused and embarrassed for Claire. She clearly has no idea the danger she is putting Jamie in and has totally missed the social cues she should have picked up on. For a really smart woman, Claire has a hard time with things like this at times. I am glad they show that sort of thing onscreen because it is very true to life. It enhances the feeling of Claire being awkwardly out of sync with where she is. Fun, witty and really great page to screen adaptation from the Outlander writing staff. Bravo to them!
7. My favorite scenes in this episode are the scenes between Jamie and Claire. This week, Jamie asks Claire to help him with a bandage that has been chafing him. Really he just wanted to escort Claire back to her surgery so he could flirt with her and keep her away from all the other MacKenzie clansmen. His intentions are noble and totally in line for a young man his age, but it also shows a protectiveness over Claire that is endearing and, frankly, hot. His first instinct is to make sure she is safe, not try anything on with her, and this is one of the best parts of Jamie’s character. The scene in the surgery shows an intimacy between Jamie and Claire that has quickly developed. They are highly compatible and seem to just click. Both Caitriona and Sam do am amazing job, totally nailing both the dialogue and the body language. Loved this scene in particular.
8. Jamie and Claire in the kirk yard. Once again, the intimacy and emotional connection between Jamie and Claire is already there. Honestly, I think that conversation with Jamie in that kirk yard was more intimate and deep than any conversation we have seen her have with Frank. Sure, there’s been the romantic good byes, the chatting about things – but those conversations have been more superficial than I would expect between a husband and wife who have both just survived war. I could be wrong. It’s a point I would enjoy discussing further to be honest.
9. The final scene as Jamie and Claire are sitting in the Great Hall at Castle Leoch, listening to Gwyllyn sing a ballad about a woman who visits a stone circle. It is a very symbolic moment for the viewer. Jamie is telling Claire, almost word for word, what happened to her and has no idea. He’s totally in love with Claire – but totally in the dark about who she really is. It will take one hell of an open mind for Jamie to get past it all. His character will have to be strong, his convictions unshakable to actually have the relationship he really wants with Claire. We get a magnificent set up of Jamie’s character here. Another absolutely brilliant page to screen bit of writing by the writing staff!
10. Can I just say how much I love the scenes of Rupert and Angus chasing after Claire? They have to work really hard to keep up with her and it’s really funny. Great bit of comic relief!