Random Musings on “Lallybroch” Outlander Episode 112

Random Musings on Episode 112 – Lallybroch

Though I respect the need to adapt the book to fit television, I believe it is important not to change the personality of the characters.  For me, this episode really did a disservice to the character of Jamie Fraser.

I understand there is need to establish conflict for every story arc—but depicting Jamie as the self-important laird was not the way to do it. His character has always been humble and self-deprecating. To portray him in a self-aggrandized way made him see foolish and selfish. This was a very unattractive side of Jamie that did not exist in the book.  He would have never taken Claire aside and rebuked her on how to behave as his lady.

I find in general, the writers are doing Jamie’s character an injustice.  I tried to be patient and allow them time to let Jamie’s character be revealed. In the first half of the season, he was a background character and did not get the camera time to establish himself as the strong but fair, intelligent and sensitive man that universally draws fans to him. When he finally was allowed to be the focus, rescuing Claire from Fort William, it was too much “swash swash, buckle buckle” for me. It was overdone to the point where it became the cliché “damsel in distress” story.  And though I very much enjoyed Episode 111 – there was too little of the heart-breaking dialogue that reveals Jamie’s inner turmoil.

Though I had hoped for more in the scene where Jamie and Jenny lock horns, it was acceptable.  What failed to happen was any sense of warming between Jenny & Claire. Lallybroch is supposed to be the first taste of any kind of real home for Claire.  She is supposed to feel she is truly a part of this place and Jamie’s family.  Jenny is supposed to be the sister she always wished to have. I see no sense of that in this episode—and with the watch already appearing at episodes end, I don’t see that there will be time for that to transpire.  Is the Watch taking Jamie there and then? I can’t see that they will leave him be, only to take him while Ian and Jamie are away on an errand.

There were too many flashbacks to the whipping. I did not need to see Brian die. Jamie didn’t see it.  Why are we presented with story that Jamie didn’t see?  It was unnecessary.  Claire should’ve already had this story from Dougal who DID see it.  I’m sick to death of unnecessary flashbacks that eat up screen time for more important things.  I understand they can’t have constant conversation—but there is really not enough dialogue between the characters. I missed the “feeling each other out” between Claire and Jenny—where Claire made it clear that she had no idea that Jamie was “laird of this place” when she married him.

And as for “this place?” The set of Lallybroch was FAR too opulent for what Diana Gabaldon describes in the book. It’s decorated more sumptuously than Castle Leoch for crying out loud.  If Brian was born in 1691 – how did he built a place built in 1702? I’ve seen discrepancies in the book that say Lallybroch was built in 1720 (that’s what’s on the lintel). Even so, then if Brian were 29 when he built Lallybroch, and died at 49—he had a scant 20 years to decorate the place. I think it was way overdone for my vision of Lallybroch. I had a much more homely place in mind.  Lallybroch was never castle-like.  It was a manor house, yes, but not a castle. I thought I would be able to accept what they brought to the screen—but they’ve made the estate look much more substantial than a sizeable farm.

I understand why Grannie McNabb was left out—but I really missed her character.  They couldn’t leave little Rabbie out completely, as they needed him as the reason why his father betrays Jamie to the watch. But I think they missed an opportunity here for a better story. I really looked forward to Granny describing Claire as her “puir” daughter-in-law who had gone “saft in the heid.”  And I felt the naked shot of Jamie was gratuitous, even if they wanted to show his scars to Jenny. I missed the red flannel knickers, too.

I missed Ian sizing up Claire and realizing that Jamie had married her for her mind as well as her attractive countenance. I wanted to hear him say that he knew it would take more than a mandate from Colum to make Jamie wed anyone against his will. I missed Murtagh arriving with their belongings and the jesting between him and Jenny.  Doesn’t Murtagh need to be there later on after the Watch take Jamie?

There are only 4 episodes left and a lot of ground still go cover. I get that the writers have to boil things down to brass tacks. But I see so many places where the flashbacks could have been eliminated in favor of 3 minutes of dialogue that never got spoken.  The pictures do not always speak a thousand words when we’ve seen them before and long for the words to be spoken. Some work and are necessary—like the one with Jenny being assaulted by Black Jack.  But the ones of Jamie being flogged have LITERALLY been beaten to death!

Laura Donnelly was excellent as Jenny. She’s very well cast and up to the task of being the hard-headed heart of Lallybroch.  They did a great job of showing her stubborn feisty side—and even her softer side in the scene at the cemetery.  But the writers did not allow Claire to encounter that warmth and welcome.  I felt a real need for Claire to feel a connection to Lallybroch and Jamie’s family. I did not get that, yet.  I’m not sure how we can see that happen in the time to come. Perhaps they’ll just set Jenny and Claire to be a bit adversarial. Perhaps that makes better television? For me, knowing where the story goes, it does not. Jenny’s later treatment of Claire has to come as a sucker-punch after feeling she is her friend and sister.

But, I can deal with a more opulent Lallybroch. I can deal with a less developed Ian, and I can live without Granny McNabb.  What it comes down to is Jamie’s characters.  He is coming across as petulant and ego-driven. And then he has to be emasculated by Claire in her “come to Jesus moment” where she calls him on his ridiculous behavior. And I do miss her saying “You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” and his “Have I not…just been…saying so?”
I think there was sufficient conflict available to this episode with Jenny & Jamie’s fight over Jamie’s misconceptions and the guilt over their dad’s death, the Rabbie McNabb business, and the redcoats at the mill. There didn’t need to be Jamie as “King Joffrey” lording over his kingdom.  That was totally out of character, unnecessary and unacceptable. I wished there was more of Jenny and Claire accepting one another…and a little of Jamie and Ian as lifelong friends. And Jamie teaching his namesake not to piss on his feet. Some of this lightheartedness is necessary to further the characters and the relationships.

Once again. Taking issue with the way this is being adapted does not mean I am a book purist and can’t appreciate the need for translation to the screen.  I’m not daft and saft heided.  I just want the relationships between the characters to be sound. Jamie can’t come across as a total asshole. I miss the humility in him that would’ve come out in his talk about how Ian and he were lashed for their misdeeds. I’d have liked that better than a trip to the laird’s bedroom to see where his dad put his boots or kept his blade.

One thing I truly did love about this episode? The small gesture with the blue vase that is given to Claire by one of the tennants.  That was a truly symbolic nod to the fact that Claire is supposed to have come home at Lallybroch. It’s too bad that she was made to feel so unwelcome by Jenny and that her husband became a buffoon there!

UPDATE after listeningt to Ron’s Podcast:

I can see that some of the issues I had are due to Ron’s inclusion of the scene inside the Laird’s Bedroom with the Viking sword.  I do not give a flying fig about his nod to the TV show Vikings. I know a lot of Outlander fans enjoy that–but it’s got NOTHING to do with the telling of this story.  Diana herself had to interject to tell him that there was no way that sword could have been handed down by his grandsire…Ron should’ve just cut that whole scene entirely. It did nothing to further the story and it took up precious screen time when they could’ve been establishing some kind of relationship between Claire and her in laws.

I heard Ron talk about how Caitriona had no story in the episode if they didn’t give her the outrage over Jamie’s pompousness.  How about the storyline for Caitriona be trying to find some common ground with Jenny?  Yes! There was conflict between the siblings…but there was also a sorting out things between Jenny & Claire that only came off as negative. If they had only had the dressing scene where Jenny gives Claire her mom’s earbobs and the boar tusk braceletts we might have had a moment of warmth between the two would be “sisters” and a feeling that Jenny was giving Claire her seal of approval.

I heard Ann Kenney talk about how they cut the scene of Ian and Jamie being made to clean the broch as part of Brian’s idea of justice and punishment. I am sorry they cut that–it would have done so much more for the development of all three characters stories/personalities than the scenes at Wentworth where Brian dies. That story should have been told by Dougal who saw it. Not by Jamie! He didn’t see it. Not his part of the story to tell!

I am also irriated with Ron’s insistence in using Jamie & Claire’s story to leave love letters for his wife. I love Terry and Ron. LOVE THEM. But they need to write each others some notes or buy each other some flowers. This story is not theirs. I’d like Ron to leave themselves out of it. Diana’s dialogue for Jamie speaks volumes for him, just as Ron’s does in his lovestory with Terry.  I’m sure Ron wouldn’t want the necklace he wears to be altered to reflect one of Jamie’s lines instead of the words that are important to him and Terry.  It’s exactly the same thing to those of us who know Jamie & Claire’s story. Don’t mess with perfection. When he does this, he is like the pompous petulant Jamie in this epsiode–I am the laird of the show…I’ll decide what changes to make for my own caprice. PLEASE STOP!  I takes away from my appreciation of you as a professional.  (He did it when he robbed Jamie of his moment in the sun at the wedding when Claire REALLY sees him for the first time in all his splendor…and Ron made it reflect how he views his own wife…it was Jamie’s moment. And one of my favorites!)

60 thoughts on “Random Musings on “Lallybroch” Outlander Episode 112

  1. I so agree with everything in your assessment of this particular episode… Brilliant acting, but a loss of character, and one of my main problems with the majority of the 1st 1/2 of the “Season”, was that Jamie was back-burnered for more Jack, and Douglas. Not that they aren’t great in the part…It was just overboard and unnecessary. Same with this episode… It was good up until the point the made Jamie a douce…and a drunk, and left out Grannie McNabb…I loved Grannie McNabb and her telling Claire to act daft…. I also didn’t understand the last scene, and I’m sure they will try and make it work into the story, but why was it necessary to change the way it originally happened…. I can’t visualize the Watch showing up they way the did….In the house no less. I also know from the previews that they don’t take Jamie at this point…so why the drama with all the gun stuff??? I have read the books multiple times, and appreciate that some changes are necessary…but it this case…. why?

    • You exactly expressed my own concerns about this episode and the series in general. I so very much miss the gentle byplay that seems so integral to how Jamie treats everyone he encounters; in every action he shows that he cares for his people and accept,. humbly, his role as leader in whatever situation in which he finds himself. I have grown more accepting of the missing details and plot changes, but to take away Jamie’s inherent goodness and sense of honor is to rob him-and us-of the higher qualities that make him so admirable.

    • OMG. I thought you were reading my mind. After reading so many comments about how viewers “Just loved it” I thought I was the lone outsider. I agree with everything you said. I truly hope this changes so that we can really enjoy the show.

  2. I totally get where you are coming from and agree that they have not been portraying Jamie’s character as completely as in the books. He is definitely not as fleshed out as he should be. That being said, I can also understand what they were trying to do by adapting the way they did. They obviously wanted to portray an emotional battle between Jamie and Jenny.

    I also missed all the aspects that you did. Granny McNab, the teasing scene where he tells Claire he married her for love, the warmer side of Jenny. (I really wish they would convey more of the humor Diana uses in the books.) When Claire made the comment that she was starting to feel like she belonged, I didn’t buy it because they gave no reason why she should feel that way. I also believed Jamie’s I love you way more then Claire’s. (Sorry but Cait did not nail that one.) I agree that there could have been some bits left out in order to show some more vital aspects of the story. My thought was, do they really need the “previously” section at the beginning of each episode? Cut that and give is more content.

    While I understand that they cannot possibly put everything in the books in the show, I agree that they are missing out on some vital bits. This leads me to be concerned as to how much of Dragonfly in Amber will be cut in season two. They have only 13 episodes to convey a MUCH larger book with WAAAY more material than Outlander. Unfortunately, I think there will be much more disappointment in our future.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly, and the problem with Jamie’s character development is really my only complaint about this otherwise find production. But it’s a big complaint given how central Jamie is to this story. I can’t tell if the writers are too nervous to give him the blunt masculinity he has in the books, or if, and I know I’m in dangerous territory here, Sam Heughan doesn’t have the acting ability to pull off that type of nuanced character. Either way, the show presents Jamie more as a huge boy than an assertive man, and this is a real loss for me.

    I will note that the writers have no difficulty giving in-depth scenes to Tobias that reveal the dark character of BJR. It’s almost as if they are more comfortable creating a sadistic male than an alpha-male who must go head-to-head with an equally alpha-female.

    • Personally I think Sam is more then able to convey book Jamie but he can only work with what he’s given in the script. Which so far hasn’t been a lot.

      • So VERY true. My gripe is NOT with Sam or ANY of the actors. It is with the way some of the writers are telling the story…I know it is an interpretation…but as I listen to the podcast for this episode–it appears there are thing that she seems to recall spot on from the books…and other parts where she seems to not recall where things happened in the over all plot. It’s like she ONLY paid attention to the piece she was writing…and not how it fits into the OVERALL story arc.

        • I actually loved the Lollybrock episode. I felt that Jamie was revealing much more of his character, by telling the story of his father. He expressed the fear of a young boy afraid of being caught in the Laird’s bedchamber. The love he felt when he last saw his father at the fort. How the fact that he knew his father had died watching him being flogged, caused him to live an outlaws life. He was unsure how to best “take over” as laird. His sister Jenny didn’t help much. He felt that she was challenging him by telling him what to do. I thought the “drunken Jaime” was hilarious as was the hangover the next morning. Both portrayed so convincingly by Sam ( do you think he had to do much research for those?) I think the fact that Ian gave Claire advice on living with Frazers, and her getting Jamie to realize how he was treating his family was very important. This lead to he and Jenny clearing the air and expressing their love and close bond. I missed some of the bonding with Claire and her in-laws but it did come later. I think Claire said she felt like she belonged there because of her deepening relationship with Jamie.. I would have loved to catch the podcasts. They should add those to the DVD

  4. I’ve had nothing but high praise for the adaptation so far, but I agree with your assessment that they have missed the mark in the development of Jamie’s character and his relationship with Claire. It seems as though they have designed story lines to showcase the talents of others, Dougal’s tirade for example, at the cost of the story we want to hear and were expecting. Based on Jenny’s treatment of Claire, and their lack of connection, it surprised me to hear Claire tell Jamie she was beginning to feel like she belonged at Lallybroch. I didn’t see anything in the episode to support that feeling. Regretfully, I have to say I feel disappointed in last night’s show and hope they will turn things around. They do have some really brilliant actors doing an amazing job!

  5. April, I agree with almost all of your points. When Claire told Jamie that she was starting to feel like she was “at home” there, I said “Excuse me???” She had gotten nothing but glares and snarky remarks from Jenny and Jamie had acted like a total arse for most of the first few days there. The only one who was decent to Claire was Ian. I loved both Ian and Jenny, even if Jenny was a bit harsh for my liking. I have read many saying that Jenny was acting more like she was when Claire came back after 20 years gone and I think I understand what they mean. I also agree with you on the decoration of Lallybroch. It was way to fancy in my opinion. When I read the books I pictured more of a large but humble house, not a near castle. I pictured the lounge as a big comfy looking room with a large fireplace and a sofa and a few large chairs but I didn’t feel that way from watching the show. The door with the wall paper on it so it disappears when closed??? I doubt that very much. And I really didn’t like what they did with Jamie’s personality for Quarter Day. It goes against everything he stands for. But I have to admit that drunk Jamie was kind of cute. But despite my criticisms, I still trust Ron and company to due justice to the rest of the story. I guess we’ll just have to watch and see. I’m just afraid that if they change too much of the story to make everything fit, it will lose viewers and followers and that may jeopardize future seasons. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

  6. I really appreciate your thoughts. I have been screaming about the way they handled Jamie all season. The removed his layers and made him flat as a pancake … just a doe-eyed dufus making moon-eyes at Claire. BLECH!

    A lot of chickens are coming home to roost in the second half of the story. All those flashbacks should have been delivered in episode 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or anywhere BEFORE she made her decisions at the stones (and don’t get me started on that shit show – I had to write three – three!! – blog posts of my own to express my disappointment).

    However, I LOVED this episode precisely because it gave Jamie layers. It put the spice back in. That IS Jamie. He’s always been flawed in this way and he can act like a bit of an @$$hole sometimes … it what makes his heroism and romance that much more amazing. One of my biggest problems with their characterization of Jamie all season has been them removing his crudeness and his bullheadedness. And I love those parts of him.

    The way he does the right thing, the romantic thing, but does it in such a bullheaded, obnoxious way that you don’t know if you want to slap him or kiss him. Many of the lines he says to her all soft with flutes were yelled in the book and I hated that. They made him a Disney prince for a lot of the season and I didn’t like it at all. It takes the teeth out of the story and the depth out of his love.

    Lastly, I loved drunk Jamie and Claire’s eye rolls while grinning like a loon. To me, that IS their relationship. All I could think about were all those moments on the
    Ridge that are just like this. I couldn’t be happier with this episode.

  7. I meant that I hated the way they took lines he yelled in the book and made them soft with flutes over them. That point was not clear above. Excited and typing too fast. 🙂

  8. I so wanted to love this episode!
    I’ve watched it over and over, listened to the podcast with it read all of the reviews. Still trying to love it! Unfortunately I’m not there.

    I understand the need of changes for the adaptation I just fear that some of the changes in character development won’t allow for the characters and relationships that I love from the page to emerge visually.

    I believe that the actors have done amazing work with what they were given. In listening to the podcasts it has annoyed me a bit when they can’t recall where this scene was in the book or if it is in fact from the book. My husband laughs at me while I’m yelling ” Well obviously you need to read the book again!”

    I have really tried to overlook all of the little things that I’ve missed from the book. Trying to simply appreciate the show and usually really do.

    I think that I felt so vested in the need to see Claire connect with Jenny and Ian and just Lallybroch itself. Most of all I wanted she and Jaime to be happy, finding haystacks and rolling around joking. I wanted Jenny to witness that Jaime truly loves Claire and vice versa. I wants to see all of this because I know what’s coming and I feel we need to see that connection to believe Claire and Jaime have the relationship that will make it possible for her to in fact “Ransom his soul.”

    I had hoped this would be my new favorite episode. It’s not!
    Still trying to like it.

  9. I agree! I thought the first two or three episodes were so close to the book, but I’ve been a little disappointed ever since. I was new to the books and the show until mid-season, so they are both fresh in my mind as I read the book while catching up with the episodes. From what I understand there have been different writers and directors. It would seem some take more care to be genuine while others put there own spin on it. I’m very sad to hear about the turn Jamie’s character is taking. I haven’t seen E12 yet, but I’m almost afraid to. Sam Heughan is an amazing actor and well worth the pain of being saddened by the changes. The one saving grace I’ve found is the humor that comes through at those odd moments. It gives me a peek into what I feel is the real Sam/Jamie.

  10. I’m so glad to hear someone else voice the concerns I’ve had for some time. I, too, understand the need to make changes been the text and the screen adaptation. As you’ve said, things like changes to the look of Lallybroch and no Grannie MacNabb I can live with. It’s the basic changes to the heart of the characters and their relationships that is bothering me. At this point in the book, my only complaint about Jamie was that he was maybe too perfect. But, according to the series he’s immature, self-important, spoiled, and easily succumbs to peer pressure (can you say frat boy). There are lots of “series watchers only” who were actually confused as to why Claire chose not to return to her own time last week. Nobody reading the books had any such confusion. That tells me that someone is doing something wrong with that which is the very heart of Outlander. They are not effectively getting across what has developed between these two people and what they see in each other.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself! They’ve done such an excellent job with Claire’s character. But what’s the point without the other half of the story. To put it simply….I miss my MAN! I feel that every fundamental trait that makes Jamie who he is has been missing from this series. Every now and then I see a tiny glimmer and think, “Finally!”. Then it’s gone just as quickly. I whole heartedly agree with all of the other comments pertaining to other elements of the show. While “Jenny” was fantastic, I don’t understand where they’re going with the over the top hostility. Can’t tell me Claire feels like she belongs after all that! And since when does Jamie Fraser need all the women in his life bossing him around? Yes, they have always been influential, but never in such a demeaning way!

      Things have to be changed, adapted, blah, blah, blah. I know. But what is outlander without it’s heart and soul? Not just Clair or Jamie. But that incredible passion between them. And honestly I’m just not feelin’ it yet.
      I could learn to overlook the other things but as far as Jamie and Claire are concerned, all I can say is don’t mess with perfection. Diana had it right.

  11. April, thank you so much for the thoughtful review. Your words speak up (eloquently) for so many of us who are afraid to voice anything but praise for this show for fear of being verbally attacked by The Faithful. I’d still take this show with all the strange changes from the book over the possibility of never getting it brought to the screen. But to leave so much heart out of the source material is sad. Thank you again.

  12. I agree with your Blog comments completely, you have said it all. I was looking forward to Lallybroch – missed not seeing the portrait of Ellen with the pearls. There will obviously be no link to the future Brianna.

  13. Thank you for so eloquently expressing what so many of us are thinking. There are many changes that we can accept in the name of adaptation, but Jamie’s character should not be one. It seems that the producers have decided that the first book is a coming of age story for Jamie. This became apparent in the controversial episode with Leery’s attempted seduction, when Jamie was faced with a choice that would lead him toward responsible manhood. In Lallybroch, once again, he is the young buck who needs to be taken down a peg by his mother-like sister and wife. Presumably, after these lessons, Jamie will grow into the wise and intuitive character we know in the books. However, at this point in the book, Jamie already possessed these traits, having experienced much in his life. I’m not happy about these changes but I have hope that now that Jamie has grown up, he will become the man we know.

  14. I’m really sorry to add here that I agree with most everything being posted about 112. This is the first one that made me wonder if we are at the point where Outlander starts being just another TV show, instead of the amazing production that has been out-scoring ANYTHING on TV.

    The most disappointing for me too, is the writing for Jamie’s character. He is NOT, as portrayed in this episode, a belligerent, egotistical, selfish, pig. Yes, he is human, but come on people, he is THE KING OF MEN who does care for people, is gracious and sensative and kind. Yes he works out a very difficult emotional mountain with Jenny, but he does NOT become a self- agrandizing leader of the Frazer Clan–in my opinion, this is a step down a very slippery slope of losing fans for the series.

    Totally agree that Claire had very little reason to feel at home. After listening to the podcast by Ron and the writer of this eps., it sounds like there were many changes to the original sweep of the show that left some questions in how some of the scenes played out. With so much attention having been put into the details of the look of the show–costumes, onsite in Scotland, rebuilding ruined structures for autenthisity, it seems to me, that the script adaptation and screen writing should have been FIRST on the list of priorities. This one missed the mark on so many levels.

    I hope that some of what is being written will be read and heard by those in a position to ensure that in the second season, there will be better attention to these amazing characters we all have grown to love.

  15. I agree wholeheartedly with your criticism regarding the development of Jamie’s character. I was very dissatisfied with episode 112. Jamie was made to look like an immature, boorish, self-important jerk. Claire was probably asking herself why the hell she decided to stay in the 18th century with him! Frank may be boring but at least he doesn’t act like a petulant teenager.

    I was excited for the second half of the season because we knew that Jamie would become more central to the story. So far, it hasn’t hit the mark. I am hoping that the rest of the season is more aligned with the Jamie that we know and love.

  16. I am also upset with Jamie’s characterization. Claire lectures him “you’re not a laird”, well yes he is. Many times in the books she says she knows he is a born leader of men. But only book readers know this, so TV writers must feel they need to show his growth and dimension. I personally don’t need to see it. I want to see Jamie as the young man destined to be a hero, a leader of men, with Claire alongside him. They always respected each other. Jamie lecturing her on how to act was an obvious scene for us, the audience.
    I missed Claire and Jenny ‘ s growing relationship. Jenny was rude to Claire, though there should be scenes coming up when Jamie and Ian go off with the Watch. I am trying to accept the TV version in itself and not get distracted by the nudity and melodramatic scenes (Dougal), but please stop tinkering with Jamie’s character!

  17. Thanks SO much for writing this! I can forgive many, many changes from book to screen- but tampering with and lessening Jamie’s character isn’t one of them. To give him a moment or two of jerkery- if they absolutely must, and apparently they must, since they also did it with the way he acted toward Laoghaire in the music hall- I could roll my eyes and mutter at that but ultimately let it go. But to turn him into such a pompous, conceited blow-hard that Claire has to literally haul him out of bed and lecture him?! That isn’t Jamie Fraser whatsoever. I also was confused by the way he seemed to be basking in satisfaction over inheriting his father’s bedroom while at the same time he was supposed to be torn with guilt and grief over his death- you can’t have it both ways and be credible. I get that screen time is precious- so why not use it to show his best moments instead of inventing worst moments? He isn’t perfect in the books, but he is always amazing- what’s so wrong with that? For me, a large part of the horror of Wentworth came from not just what sick things bring Jack Randall pleasure but what incredible beauty of soul was nearly destroyed in Jamie. It will still be awful to watch, but with having seen less beauty in Jamie (and of course I’m not talking about his fine backside), I’m afraid the impact of Wentworth will be less, too. And I’m scared that they’ll also lessen the scene afterward where he’s examining his mended hand and you see that the beauty in him has survived after all; if that scene is as flat and rushed as some of the others it really will break my heart. I’ll keep watching- I’m powerless not to, thanks to Sam- but I’m seriously starting to lose faith. Momentary annoyances are becoming deep misgivings. Good to have a safe place to talk about this, though- thanks again for that!

    • Yes–I am all for inventiveness to add MORE to the story…but not if it means sacrificing the characters and their relationships. This is where this episode failed on many levels. In the end, it did do a great job with Jenny & Jamie at the cemetary. It ended for them on a high note–but we never see the relationship between Jamie and Ian or the groundwork for a relationship with Claire and the Murrays.

      As wicked as the scene with Jenny & Black Jack was–it falls to the way side in my memory of the episode because I was so gobsmacked by the way Jamie was depicted.

  18. I agree in most part to what you wrote. However the TV Jenny helped me understand the book Jenny a bit better. I can see Jamie getting all pompous trying to step into his “Laird” shoes.
    BUT WHERE WAS THE BOAR TUSK BRACELET THAT MURTAUGH GAVE ELLEN, THEN JENNY GAVE CLAIRE????

  19. Thank you. I agree, and also think that the missing flashback needed here was showing Jamie getting punished as a boy. Without that back story, you can’t understand how he could have beat Claire, and won’t understand when he flogs his own men later.

  20. Agree with most comments. You truly cannot “go home” again. Everything is changed when you do. My biggest complaint was the Jenny harshness in this episode. We all know she is a strong, smart and stubborn woman. Nowhere in the books is she presented as downright nasty. Cannot imagine how Claire was beginning to feel at home after her treatment by Jenny. They have a strong connection and relationship in the books, though not one without tension, but I felt absolutely no connection after this episode.

    • Yes! Thank you. This was my dismay as well. I loved Jenny from the get go in the books, and they just made her nasty and unlikable. I just don’t understand why this was needed.

  21. I have to agree. I did not see Jamie in that “Laird” persona. But he knew in the book that they were not staying…in the show he believes that they are staying. Maybe that makes a difference? Be careful changing Jamie. We love him.

  22. Yes! And yes. Well said. The only thing I would add is that, for me, TV-Jamie is lacking that quality that makes Claire want to stay. Yes, Jamie has now saved her life twice, and is apparently a pretty skilled lover… but all things considered, in her own time she wouldn’t need her life to be saved. I don’t have the sense that she is choosing to stay out of love. In fact, someone I know who has never read the books didn’t get why she chose to stay, didn’t realize it was a permanent choice, and remarked to me, “If she changes her mind and tries to get back to those rocks I am done with this show! She had her chance!” –which says to me that they really haven’t fully developed Jamie & Claire’s love story. And I think that’s understandable. I was watching jerk-Jamie and thinking that if I were Claire I’d be rethinking my decision. Book-Jamie is lovable because not because he saves Claire, but because he somehow always handles himself in a tough situation, he says the right thing, he does the right thing. He seems to have a clear sense of who he is, and is deeply in touch with his conscience, which is incredibly endearing. And it’s the sense of who he is that is missing.

    I wish more screen time had been devoted to their relationship, particularly the defining moment at and around the stones. That was so momentous in the books– I was looking forward to seeing part of her hand disappear, to seeing Jamie have a ‘seeing is truly believing’ moment… to more than we got.

    Also….. and apologies if I am wrong…. but I feel like the line about the trunk arriving from Mrs. Fitz was directly influenced by Terry and her fan fic about the role she sees Mrs. Fitz having. I understand that she/they were using that line to explain why Claire has a change of clothes, but why couldn’t Murtaugh have brought them? Mrs. Fitz is completely irrelevant to the entire rest of the series, so why bring her up again? Plus, Jenny doesn’t even know her. Why not show the loyalty between Godfather and Godson, even if they do intend to completely write out the story with Murtaugh and Ellen.

    • I’m not familiar with Terry and her fan fics…and I guess I wouldn’t read them if she’s penned some as I know where Diana comes down on fanfics!

  23. Spot-on review. When I first started voicing my opinions on this episode just after watching it early on Starz OnDemand, I felt like I was in the minority for not liking it. But, as the last few days have passed, I keep seeing more and more people voicing their dislike and concern. I’ve been really disappointed that some of the best lines and scenes (“I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday…” and “When I asked my Da how ye knew which was the right woman…”) have been left out of the last two episodes, but, even more than that, I’ve been troubled my the show completely not understanding, and changing, the true essence of these characters, not only as compared to the book, but as already established in previous episodes. Thank you for a very insightful, honest review.

  24. Holy moly I have never seen such nit picking in all my life! From the sounds of things most of the commenters have already read the books and expect every scene and sentence to be included in the screenplay! That is impossible. On the other hand when a screenwriter does a good job of a book, most people who haven’t read it end up going out to buy the novel to fill in the blanks anyway – which turns out to be a tremendous boon to the author.
    All the major elements were covered: the fight/make-up between Jamie and Jenny, the initial outspokenness of Claire and lack of warmth from Jenny towards her, (it’s called “giving cheek” and “mind your own business”in Scotland lol, with their wariness of each other marked in the book – pg. 591) the loftiness of Jamie, (he IS laird after all and IS boss!), the boyhood friendship between Jamie and Ian, the redcoats and the mill, and Rabbie McNab and his father.
    I think the screenwriters are doing a super job with Diana’s books, though I worry if this lashing out at the characters and writers continues they may cancel the show. We’ve waited over 20 years for Jamie and Claire to come to the screen, why don’t we sit back and enjoy it – after all, we know the story anyway 🙂

    • You did read the part where I said I understood the difference between the books and the adaptation and my understanding that there needed to be changes, right? It seems to be the main oversight by those that think criticisms are “nitpicking.” I’m glad that you adored it, but I hardly think that those of us who do not enjoy a particular writer’s interpretation, or a singular episode are goign to be responsible for the canceling of the show. That’s an awful lot of power you are heaping on us as viewers! I think most of the episodes are great–I have few complaints, actually! You can put all the key elements in an episode and still write the characters wrong. Had Jamie not been presented as a pompous bore I could have dealt with the episode. I do not see any part of my review as “lashing out” at the writers. It sounds like originally they had some pieces written that were edited out–the podcast talks about the scene with Ian and Jamie cleaning the broch. It would’ve made a huge difference in relationship building and character development. It would have served a far greater purpose than yet another round of flashbacks of Jamie’s skin being flayed off him.

      You’re entitled to disagree with me, and I am glad that to know that there are fans that thoroughly enjoyed the episode. But calling me a nitpicker is unjustified–and your need to explain “Scottish cheek” is condescending.

      I’ve spoken to very few fans who have enjoyed every single episode. There are lots of shows on television that do not wow me with every single episode–whether they are based on source material I am familiar with or not. When a storyline does not seem in keeping with a character’s core personality, I take issue with it.

      It may be that I am just not a fan of Anne Kenney’s writing–I was disappointed in “The Wedding” episode as well for unecessary changes to the story. But I did like “The Way Out” (which had many changes to the story as well, but I felt it worked in a way that did not compromise the identity and nature of the characters. I heard many complaints about that episode, and I personally loved it. I don’t get very invested in who writes which episode…I just know what rings true to the spirit of the characters and overall story… and what is a complete and utter about face. Yes–the basic elements of the story were presented, but not fleshed out sufficiently. Jamie’s character in this episode was completely off the mark and no explanation of how 23 year old man typically act is acceptable to me as Jamie is anything but a typical 23 year old man. That’s why he is adored by fans. No one would fall in love with an egomaniacal ass, no matter how attractive he may be.

      • Whoa! I did not say that you personally were nitpicking or lashing out, I was referring to the comments. However, if one writes a “review” (full of criticisms) after every episode of a show that entices negative feedback well, if the shoe fits…..
        Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course though too much negativity could very well result in the lack of viewers which could have an effect on a show’s demise. It has happened before. Not saying it will happen to Outlander as too many people are enjoying the show including myself. It has been many years since I’ve read the books,(twice, except for Moby) so I don’t hinge on every little detail (or lack off) in the show. I’m just enjoying it (not “adoring” lol).
        Also, I was not being condescending to you personally but since you mention it, the term you used “Scottish cheek” is not necessarily a Scottish trait but can apply to anyone who is rude and opininated, especially when meeting someone for the first time who sticks their nose into family matters uninvited as was the case with Claire and Jenny. I certainly widnae be giving her a warm welcome either ha ha ha. Relationships take time to build.
        Everyone is entitled to their opinion as I said, though if you “take issue” ” when a storyline does not seem in keeping with a character’s core personality”, perhaps YOU should write the screenplay! Slainte.

  25. Thank you! And thank goodness a place to vent! I want to like this TV adaptation SO badly but I just don’t care anymore & that honestly makes me very sad. The actors, all of them, are superb! The costuming is stunning, the locale choices, hair & makeup … all of that…so well done. Then comes changes that are completely unnecessary & this half of the season really shows it. I won’t repeat all that you have said. But I will add that when my husband who is a fan of Game of Thrones is cringing at the violence, the floggings … again & again with the flogging…oh wait we haven’t violently exposed a breast yet…check!
    I’m so mad because I want to see all that is good, but I cannot watch anymore. There is no way I’m watching what is done with the Wentworth storyline. I will come back to it to see Claire save Jamie at the Abbey…hopefully that will be worth waiting for.

    • I like a lot of the adaptation. Much of it HAS worked. It’s not at all an easy feat, I realize. Some episdoes I really love. A few I have had serious issues with! I’m still glad it’s being made and that all of us come together to discuss it. Even more than the show itself, I am glad for the friendships I have made with fellow fans. If we weren’t passionate…we wouldn’t feel so strongly about it!

  26. Thank you! Thank you! For such a spot on review and commentaries by everyone! I also felt I was in the minority with my feelings about this episode. I am so grateful to find like minded viewers/avid book fans. For me the book relationship between J&C was a mature relationship of two adults who greatly relied on each other. Jamie was a natural born, stoic and humble leader who had met his equal in Claire. The onscreen relationship could not be more different. I feel like Claire is basically babysitting Jamie at this point and waiting for him to grow up! I actually find their TV relationship incredibly awkward and the “I love yous” very forced, which is such a crime given the wonderful, wonderful material/dialouge in the book that has basically been ignored. I have no idea why TV Claire is invested in this relationship and why on earth she stayed in the 1700s.

    This episode was such a disappointment on so many levels. Many are mentioned in earlier replies, but I will add just one more. Such a large part of what makes Claire special are her healing abilities. It is not only a part of Claire that Jamie is very proud of but also a skill Claire uses to create a connection with the people of the 1700s. There has been very little time devoted to Claire and her healing. Instead we get to see her get in a cat fight with Leery, sit in front of a mirror for hours on end brushing her hair, etc. Both the Jamie and Claire characters have been really “dumbed down” for the TV series.

    : (

    • I do miss that! I do think (hope!) in the next episode that those skills will be forefront with the delivering of Jenny’s baby. Let’s hoep they can kill a few birds with one stone and give them some opportunity to develop a caring for one another…and for Claire so show her intelligence and skill as a healer.

  27. Thank you for such a perceptive and well thought out and well written critique. Everything in it was spot-on for me (and lazy me…I could think it but didn’t have to go to the trouble of trying to write it out because you did a better job than I ever could have). I, too, understand the need for adaptation, but I have noticed a number of times when it has been done badly and obscured not revealed Jamie and Claire’s (and others) characters as well as it could have. What I have come to realize is that Diana is a brilliant writer and knows how to make a character a little idealized but with understandable limitations. When Ron and the writers try to improve on her work they almost always fail…compression and omission are necessary, I agree, but often they seem to think that television “needs” things that end up changing basics of the plot and characters with a distortion that does nothing to enhance the saga and instead destroys a bit by bit. I am so glad to see that a number of people are as distressed as I am about the way this is happening (it reminds me of the ‘telephone’ game we played as kids where by the time something made it’s way around the circle many tiny distortions added up to something unrecognizable by the person who started the phrase…I hope that isn’t what will happen to Outlander since so many things about it are wonderful).
    I’m also VERY disturbed by all the ‘fans’ who think that you have to be ecstatic about any and everything to do with the show or you are ‘nitpicking’ or a ‘poutlander.’ While everyone pays lip service to tolerance, I don’t think adoration is as interesting as critical thinking when viewing literature or tv. I’m so glad you were willing to go out on a limb and face what you must have known would be a bit of that backlash and I’m SO heartened to see the number of people who agreed with you. I just wish Ron and his writers would read your blog and take it to heart! Congratulations on your courage and your analysis….I’m now becoming a reader of your blog.

    • I agree with you Georgeanna, particularly about folks who think a negative opinion is, well, negative. It’s simply conversation without the adoration. I do not care for the poutlander labeling. We’re all grown ups here. Kudos asteele for stepping away from the pack! I’m also going to start reading your blog.

      • Thank you! I don’t blog every week–only when something compells me. But I am glad you found it worth the click over here to read it!

    • I have the utmost admiration for Ron. I think sometimes he just forgets just HOW SERIOUSLY we take this show! The unecessary tweaks and the little things he tosses in for his on whimsy are irritating and self indulgent. I’ve met him several times and I think he’s someone I’d enjoy sharing a Scotch with…picking his brain and having an intelligent conversation. I woudl think he’d be quite bored indeed with a bunch of fans that fawned over every word he said and didn’t challenge him a bit! Brown nosers can be tiresome, I think! I prefer to speak with people with strong convictions.

      I think calling anyone a “Poutlander” is just immature. I prefer to accept that there are going to be differing opinions. When people get bent out of shape that peple are having discussions, that’s where the true negativity comes into play. Nobody has a right to tell anyone else what s/he should or shouldn’t think! 🙂

  28. Oh, April, you not going to like me. I actually loved how Jamie behaved as laird (in the show). We read the same books, but we interpreted him differently. I agree with you when you said that Jamie is “humble and self-deprecating”, but I also saw (book) Jamie as very immature, and, yes, even “foolish”. I know that, in the book, he didn’t behave that way at Lallybrach, but I didn’t think it went completely against his character. When reading the books, I did not fall in love with Jamie right away, but I did love watching him grow into the man he became. That’s for sure. (I fell in love with Jamie in “Voyager”.) I do wonder what people who have not read the books think of Jamie (and the show itself).

    • Of course I’m not going to dislike you because you loved his portrayal in this episode. I DESPERATELY wish that I did too! I want to love all of it! I’ve lived with Jamie LITERALLY as long as I’ve lived with my husband (almost 24 years now) so I do feel I know him…and though he has definitely grown over the years–I don’t feel he was ever immature. In the books there was a brief glimpse of the relationship he and Jenny shared as children…and also that resolve to put that childishness behind him. There was a bit of conscious effort show on his part to control his feelings..even though they were both so angry during the fight.

      But I totally appreciate your opinion! That’s why I like discussion! It would be a boring world if we all had exactly the same view.

      • I have not lived with Jamie as long as you have. I was introduced to the series a few years ago. (I read them like a fiend, back to back through Echo. Then had to wait like everyone else for MOBY.) That put poor Jamie in a difficult situation. To seduce me, the way he had my friends, not only did he have to compete with my modern views and happy marriage, he also had to live up to the expectations that were planted in my head. The two women who suggested (demanded, actually) that I read the books built Jamie up a lot. An awful lot. The ideal man. The man they wish they had married. The ultimate sex symbol… You get the idea. So, reading Outlander, I wondered where this superman was, because sometimes I thought Jamie was being an ass. I admired his passion and fire, but I thought a more mature man would have handled certain things better. (I even think Jamie agreed with me a couple of times in years / books that followed.) But, no one is perfect. Which is why I ended up liking him. I dumped my preconceived notions of him as this perfect man, who was the ultimate “book boyfriend”, and just enjoyed him.

        Thanks for understanding. If I think Jamie is passionate, I would say that his fans are as well. I never know how my take on things will be received. It makes me like this site even more.

  29. As someone who hasn’t read the books and wasn’t completely sold on the first half of the season, I have found the last couple weeks’ episodes MUCH more interesting and compelling. Both Adam and I agreed we were enjoying this half of the season more than the first half. So…as an outsider (Inlander??) I’m happy with the direction they’re taking with the characters.

  30. Just a few reflections on what I feel is happening to the show for what it’s worth.

    It seems things are being changed for the sake of ramping up the drama. It’s HW after all; it’s a business. I suppose the more they focus on the more controversial or brutal scenes, the more talk gets generated, and the more eyeballs they get on the show, especially if they’re trying to attract more male fans. But it got gratuitous with the flogging flashbacks and likely will again with Wentworth. It’s not doing them any favours to emphasize brutality.

    I also feel since it’s a majority of males overseeing the show story and direction, it’s affecting the show. It’s as if they have to put their interpretation or stamp on it. It seems once again the female original gets smothered by the HW boys. And that’s what we’re looking at on the show, the HW version of the books, not the historically accurate way Diana wrote them. I was so annoyed with the softening of the Claire strapping scene with the music, making it seem somewhat funny. It was a serious scene, but I felt Ron & co succumbed to the politically correct and fear by Starz of alienating viewers and losing money. If we are the mature, strong women we say we are in 2015, deserving of equality with men, can’t we handle the brutal historical reality of 1743’s punishment of women? Jamie’s flogging wasn’t softened for male viewers. I thought it was a pathetic cave by show runners.

    Also I find bizarre the need to tinker with characters, invent scenes, or change up scenes where whole conversations from the book take place in different situations with different characters on the show, i.e. Claire and Ian talking about Jenny getting Ian to the altar, not Ian and Jamie as was in the books. I understand that some of it is due to expedience, but why make so much work for themselves changing it up and creating future plot headaches when they’ve got the book blueprint right there??? They could still sell the adaptation to HW by going with the book and making a few less changes. That whole scene of Dougal having the fit about his wife Maura dying was just stupid. And too long. Again the main story, Jamie and Claire, gets sacrificed for a macho scene drawn out for who the hell knows why. Dougal never struck me as stupid like that in the books. The scene made a fool of him unnecessarily.

    And Claire? She’s been portrayed as quite a shrew on the show since ep. 1. I get she’s strong and outspoken, but she comes across as a nasty, ungrateful bitch to Jamie often on the show. She was tough in the books, but the show has made her an asshole in that regard. She mellows in the books, but I’m still waiting for her to do so on the show. Jenny also is written as a heinous bitch to both Jamie and Claire. It comes across she’s mad at Jamie for usurping her control of Lallybroch and Claire for being a Sassenach. There’s more to it than that, but again, it seems HW has to put its spin on strong women and has reduced Jenny to a jealous sibling who is spoiling for a catfight with Claire. The filter of HW reduces the character of women so society has a misunderstanding of who we actually are. It seeps into all media and makes it hard for real women to escape labels.

    Finally, what the fuck is so wrong with the good man Jamie is in the books that they need to make him so flawed on the show??? Why can’t there be a character on TV that treats a woman with love, dignity, and respect??? Christ knows many men need a decent role model on how to treat women nowadays. It’s why Jamie is so beloved. Nope, women can’t even have that, It seems HW has to expropriate it from us for the sake of profits.

    Now, there is a lot about the show I like. But in the last few episodes something has seriously gone wrong. If creators keep up this tinkering, switching, and inventing of scenes they’re going to alienate a large portion of fans and kill this golden goose. I get there’s a lot of money at stake and many people have to be considered in the creation of the show to keep it on the air. But too many cooks can also spoil the broth. The last few episodes have shown that.

    (Thx for reading my long-winded post. These are just my views and in no way do I disagree with anyone else who feels different from me. I respect all points on this forum and liked the honesty of them).

    Cheers!

    • I think you’ve put all five fingers on the possibly fatal flaws in the TV production of Outlander. That it’s going in a wrong direction is obvious to many of the fans of the book. To have to hear again and again that “TV” is not a book!’ is sidestepping the issue with a Captain Obvious statement that is supposed to stop any critique in its tracks, and is demeaning and frankly maddening.
      It seems to me that the writers and producers are not paying due respect or regard to the written work that they are charged with bringing to life. The actors are magnificent. I would love to see what they would do with more of the original dialogue and straight-line character development.

  31. You may want to check out Terry Dresbach’s website. She was a wonderful site on the outlander costumes and she is really good about allowing discussion threads where viewers can express their opinion. There have been several posts there where folks have expressed opinions similar to many of you above….myself included.
    I have driven myself crazy with comparing and contrasting the books and series so I’m done with that but I am looking for the essence of the story and characters. Overall I wish the series would portray Jamie as a commanding, natural leader and Claire as the healer and keen observer. Jamie has a very strong moral compass and it influences everything he does. Claire’s instincts are to be kind, compassionate and nurturing. When she is met with hostility she becomes guarded and uses her wits to problem solve. The cast has all the capabilities so I do see them at the mercy of the scripts and directing. There are so many things the series has done beautifully but I do think action scenes have overshadowed (not entirely) the development of the emotional relationship between the characters. For example, my husband has not read the books and he is enjoying the series quite a bit but when Claire decides not to go back through the stones he was like, really??? He just did not get that Claire now cannot fathom a life without Jamie. She really suffers making this decision (talk about tearing your guts out) but ultimately chooses this life with Jamie because he offers her this incredible emotional security. I can get there because I have read the books but he did not see that the series laid that foundation really well. To be sure, I’ll keep watching. It is so much fun to even be in a position to offer an opinion on the series. Happy spring!

  32. you are spot on! I find that I do not rewatch these episodes like I did with the first season. These episodes are only 48 minutes long! I get very frustrated with the made story line. Get back to the book, it is the reason we are fans. Stop cooking the book. I do not recognize the book!

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