This is such an interesting episode for reviews. Most of what I’ve read has been what I expected- mostly positive, some really scathingly negative. Let’s get to it!
“The Frasers are now back in love/lust and Jamie says he’ll head downstairs to grab some food when Claire pulls a Michael’s ‘crafting fail’ from under the bed.”– Melissa’s Observations
“This is why I think getting a bit of Jamie’s perspective actually works, in this case. It’s used to demonstrate that Jamie is acting like a foolish little boy trying to be a grownup, one who has no idea how to be married and therefore defaults to what people like Dougal have been telling him his whole life. (Notice that Dougal is not married.) Because we’re getting it from his perspective, I buy that what happened here is Jamie is transcending the teachings of his own era and coming to an understanding every married couple has to hash out their own personal social contract, and if he wants Claire, he’s going to have to abide by a different set of rules. A set of rules where he can’t treat her like shit.”– Jezebel
“Then everything changes when the kid who was watching Claire comes in freaking out because she’s been captured. I’ll give them this, not one of the men hesitate to go storm a fortified British stronghold to retrieve a woman they’ve known only for a few months. Honor: the cause of, and solution to, all of 18th century problems.”– Hitfix
“But unlike other series which so often romanticize the victimhood of women, it’s handled with far more grace and authority. The way Claire always fights back — with words or her own physicality — shows the audience how much respect both the show and the character herself has for her personhood. That even in those scarier moments, the women on this series hold their own, is both subversive and empowering.”– Nerdist
“If you ask us, the beating wasn’t nearly as shocking or hard to sit through as their epic argument, which ended with him screaming that she’s a “foul-mouthed bitch” into her face. That was one ugly little spat, which made it all the more real. No one can pull out the hurtful invective more easily or readily than two people in love who happen to be really angry at each other. And in this case, it was all the harder to watch because we could see exactly why each person was so upset with the other”– Tom and Lorenzo
“First off this episode completely takes us out of Claire’s point and view into Jamie’s point of view. He speaks the same five words Claire Randall utters in the opening voice over in Sassenach episode 101, “Strange the things you remember….”. Connecting the first half of the season to the second half with a bit of brilliance there.”– A Dram of Outlander
This photo recap is hilarious.
This review actually made me rethink my opinion of the Laoghaire scenes:
“I tweeted that I cried a bit for Laoghaire. And I did. The sting of rejection is familiar to all of us – and this particular rejection was a hard one. She was so sure she had read all of the signs Jamie had given her correctly and that she was going to get the man of her dreams, right there on that river bed.”- Outlander Musings
And The Bad:
Hey, the New York Times is in on Outlander:
“Here’s the problem with this scene (besides the obvious): Throughout it all, there is a jangly tune playing on the score, as Jamie chases his wife around the bedroom to, for lack of a better word, beat her. Jamie and the show alike seem to think it’s a droll little encounter and a necessary evil. There’s even the impression that he sees it as a kind of foreplay, as the final thing he utters to his wife in the scene is: “I said I was going to punish you. I didn’t say I wasn’t going to enjoy it.” The problem, then, is that he is beating a woman he loves, that he’s risked life and limb for. He’s beating a woman who has been threatened, defiled and assaulted multiple times within the last 48 hours. He’s beating a woman that he’s sworn to protect with his own body, his own life, if necessary. The reason this episode couldn’t be from Claire’s POV is because it would have ruined the way the audience saw Jamie forever.”– New York Times
I actually disagree with a lot of this review, but I’m interested in the different opinions out there:
“Nothing is more frustrating than when writers don’t seem to fully understand what makes their own show great. For Outlander, Claire’s position at the center of this time-travel universe has always been and will always be what makes the series smart and distinct. With “The Reckoning,” the writers seem to be answering the question “how does Jamie feel about all of this?” But did anyone really ask?”– AV Club
I really like reading reviews from people who haven’t read the book, because it puts a totally new spin on the show for me. Another one I don’t agree with personally, but find interesting:
“When Jamie chastised her for running away and jeopardizing herself as well as his compatriots (saying that a wife should listen to her husband), she goes ballistic, and engages in a tirade about not being his property, and women not meaning anything in his world. It felt sharply out of place. Claire, a modern woman, knows that that modernity is at odds with Jamie’s 18th century thinking. She also knows that Jamie is easily impressionable, and that she has ability to change his mind about things. Maybe it was all down to the harrowing attack by Randall (following her deep desire to return home) that brought out her intensity against Jamie (who broke down and spoke about his love for her), but that coupled with the ham-fisted dialogue made it a bizarre outburst.“- Collider
This review is so negative, but it’s hilarious and almost incomprehensibly Scottish at times.
“For those unconvinced by ‘Outlander’s’ feverish plotting, some small pleasure can be derived from watching as once magnificent, now crumbling Scottish institutions (Doune Castle, Aberdour Castle, John Sessions) hove into view. Every few minutes, in fact, some fruity old British thesp or other makes a grand entrance: Captain Darling from Blackadder as a misogynist exorcist; Bill Paterson as the lawyer Ned Gowan, who turns up quoting John Donne, coughing into a hankie and confessing to being ‘fair puggled’. Gary Lewis, who has a neat trick of being far and away the best thing in any given film or drama, comes close to repeating that trick here, playing the chief of the MacKenzie clan with his customary blend of compassion, threat and melancholy.”– Scottish Review
And now, some adorable and twee Scottish indie pop, here’s Edinburgh’s We See Lights: