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!