Episode Three: The Way Out
This episode really nicely tied together some brand new plot elements with canon book scenes. I actually like the way the show handled Claire establishing her bona fides as the castle healer better than the book- it was good dramatic tension to use the poisoned kid plot to show her competence but also set up the potential for old timey religion to seriously endanger her.
Jamie and Claire at the Totes Haunted abandoned church was also new, and it did a great job of giving Claire and Jamie more time together without it becoming another exposition lunch. Jamie showing off his smarts but still being a little superstitious was awesome. I love how much we’re seeing that Jamie is obviously head over heels for Claire- that smirk when he sees Claire catching his Laoghaire make-out, the incredible smoldering between him and Claire when she “checked his wound,” (yeah, right, Claire, sure you needed to do that right then, not that I am complaining)… even knowing what is coming up in the plot I am dying of romantic tension over here. Thanks to gif sets on Tumblr, I also caught the way he totally did a Lingering Hand Touch when he grabbed Claire’s wineglass from her hand (just before dumping it over to Laoghaire with a dismissive “take that with you back to the kitchen”).
I will spare Laoghaire just a tiny twinge of sympathy. As Drew pointed out in our chat, if it weren’t for Claire, Laoghaire and Jamie would totally be a thing. Given that I know how some reprehensible shit goes down with Laoghaire later, I don’t have more than a twinge to give her. Also, her little interlude with Jamie sets up one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Claire spends most of a dinner mocking Jamie with innuendos. The show changed it up a little by giving Murtagh lines from the book that Old Alec the horse guy originally said, but I think that worked because we’ll be seeing a lot more of Murtagh, and he has a closer relationship with Jamie.
I was glad to see the scene with Jamie helping the boy with his ear nailed to the stocks, though given the show’s time constraints it went a little too fast for it to feel as dramatic as it did in the book. Still, we also see, though it’s not really pointed out, Claire’s impulsiveness about doing the right thing without really thinking through the consequences it might have in ye olden days. Jamie, being an outlaw, was putting himself on the line to help the boy, and he did it without hesitating because that’s how he rolls, but it was still pretty dangerous.
Geillis remains creepy and awesome. I love how already she’s trying super hard to get Claire to open up to her, and Claire’s like “hmmm, sketchy, no thanks, but we can be medicine pals.”
The song at the end of the episode was a new addition, and maybe just a tiny bit heavy handed, but it was worth it for Jamie coming over to her “did you not see me waving?”, and then pulling her over to sit with him. I can see how we need a reasonable impetus for her to make a concerted effort to leave next episode, when she hasn’t bothered trying to escape yet.