We were a day late watching the episode, so I’m actually putting this live chat up here in a somewhat timely fashion.
Obviously I am out of practice with blogging, and I’ve been remiss in not posting this sooner. Overall, I liked the episode. It was a great showcase for Caitriona Balfe’s and Tobias Menzies’ acting chops. I told someone recently the Caitriona had not done much acting before landing the Outlander gig, and she was so surprised to hear that. I think it speaks to Caitriona’s talent and what a great character Claire is, that we can so easily identify with her and find her so compelling to watch.
So, we opened on Claire back in Scotland in the 40s. I was actually super ok with this major change from the book. In fact, for pretty much rest of the series, there are few book things that are must-haves for me, and I’m going to be way more ok with the show mixing things up and changing things. As long as a certain pivotal scene in Voyager takes place true to the book, I’ll be happy. Assuming we get a season 3, that is. I’m also pretty psyched about the casting of adult Roger, because the actor was on a Scottish sketch comedy show we love (Burnistoun, check it out, it’s hilarious, if a little incomprehensible the first time you watch it).
I liked how we saw how broken and grief-stricken Claire was when she went back to her own time. The book gives us some idea of it, but it’s written as a flashback and doesn’t have the same emotional punch. Frank, for his part, conveyed a pretty perfect mix of good dude happy to see his wife back and angry husband grappling with some pretty harsh truths.
Luckily we got some adorbs wee Roger to break the unrelenting gloom of the first half of the episode.
Then, back in Paris! I thought some of the dialogue was a little shoehorned because they had to get the exposition and remind the audience about Claire and Jamie’s plan. But we got to meet Jared and the Comte St. Germain. I kind of hope that the introduction of the Comte is enough to keep Drew at least marginally interested as the season goes on. The show did kind of lose him with the last couple of episodes of season 1 and then the long hiatus.
Finally, I loved that they actually spoke French in the warehouse scene. I appreciate it when a show doesn’t dumb things down too much for the audience, and this show has proven to be willing to give the audience some credit. Thanks, Starz and Ron Moore! Speaking of, Ron Moore’s podcast for this episode was interesting. There were a couple of people involved in post-production of the episode with him, and they talk about some of the things involved in making the show that I never gave much thought to. Here’s a link to his podcast.
Alright, looking forward to episode 2!
Aaaaannnnddd, we’re back! It feels good to dust this thing off again. The hiatus definitely dampened my all-consuming love for this show, but this episode started us off strong, and I feel things starting to ramp up again. I think the show may have lost Drew a bit during the last two episodes of last season, and the long hiatus didn’t help. But we’re getting back in with the live chats, and at least my review will follow.
The first trailer for Season 2 is here and it looks SO GOOD. I seriously can’t wait until April.
Here’s the first teaser trailer for the second season of Outlander
Season Two of Outlander begins as Claire and Jamie arrive in France, hell-bent on infiltrating the Jacobite rebellion led by Prince Charles Stuart, and stopping the battle of Culloden. With the help of his cousin Jared, a local wine merchant, Jamie and Claire are thrown into the lavish world of French society, where intrigue and parties are abundant, but political gain proves far less fruitful. Altering the course of history presents challenges that begin to weigh on the very fabric of their relationship. However, armed with the knowledge of what lies ahead, Claire and Jamie must race to prevent a doomed Highland uprising, and the extinction of Scottish life as they know it.
This hiatus, it’s so very long. I have more Scottish music to share, so that’s something!
This is Our Future Glory. I can’t get enough of this song, it’s perfect for summer.
And here’s Athena’s Army, a young new band from Glasgow.
I don’t have a ton to say about the episode. Sam and Tobias’ acting game was top-notch.
I do think that Ron Moore’s take on the series just isn’t the same as mine when it comes to pivotal moments and the real heart of the show. He doesn’t seem to really get that Jamie and Claire’s relationship is the driving force of the show, and the plots and action and adventure are there to move the characters into position for relationship challenges and growth. The fact that he says in the podcast that the ending was abrupt because once Jamie was healed, that was the end of the story… that’s not really how I see it. He almost cut out the confession scene with Claire and Brother Anselm, even though that’s a big character moment for Claire in the books…. I just think we are experiencing different things when we read the books.
This episode’s ending did feel really rushed and tacked on, I maintain my wish that the second half of the season had been broken differently for the episodes. I think this episode could have really shone if more of it had focused on Claire and Jamie actively working toward healing and Jamie finding peace. It should have been more of a struggle. I’m not even complaining about the lack of the hot springs, because I can totally get why that couldn’t be shot, and I don’t think the hot springs scene was as necessary to their relationship as, oh, Claire’s decision at the stones and her actually telling Jamie she could have gone back but she chose him. Ugh, show, that one scene really needed more fleshing out (and from what I gathered listening to the podcast, more of that scene was written and shot, it just ended up being edited out by Ron). I think in this episode they really should have kept the book lines where Jamie tells Claire to leave him and go back to the stones. The audience needs to be reminded that hey, Claire really can walk away and go back to her old life, but she is committed and she’s not going to give up on him.
Still, with all my quibbles, this show is amazing. It is so thoughtfully created and it’s very clear how much work goes into making it. The acting, the costumes, the sets, the gorgeous scenery, it’s all amazing. And whoever does the casting wins all the awards forever, because the casting news we’ve been getting for Season 2 this week has been fantastic (young Fergus! Mary Hawkins! Master Raymond! Bonnie Prince Charlie! They all look perfect!). I vastly prefer Season 1A over Season 1B, but The Devil’s Mark is my one of my favorite episodes of the entire season. After that, I think The Way Out is my second favorite.
Stay tuned periodically for random updates and Scottish music!
Here we are, at the end, Episode 16. I feel like this could have been 25 episodes and there still would have been some book things that might not have made it in, good luck to the writers next season fitting in an entire book into 13 episodes!
Our live chat after the jump! Also a picture of me wearing a Claire t-shirt that Drew made!