Outlander finally returned after a
three- six-month hiatus. (I discovered the epic series in late December, so my wait time was half that of original viewers. And even that was too long!)
How did you celebrate? I pulled out my knitwear (two handwarmers and a 99% finished cowl) and poured myself a glass (or 2) of Scotch, discovering I prefer 12-year-old Glenfiddich to my previous regular Johnny Walker Red.
In keeping with my penchant for lists, lets begin.
1. Jamie’s voice-over…
… was key to this episode. It gave us a chance to see what the Scots were up to while Claire was busy being arrested and nearly raped; helped us see Jamie’s perspective of that Controversial Scene; and gave us insight into the politics at Castle Leoch. But most importantly, it helped move Jamie from the naive young man he was to the intelligent, savvy, adult he is to become.
2. Jamie and Claire’s argument by the stream…
… gave us perhaps the best performances by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe we’ve seen to date. (And there’ve some great ones!) Jamie collapsing in frustration and hurt broke my heart a little. His voice-over seemed to be a watershed moment, when he realized he was falling in love.
3. That Scene.
It’s been controversial for nearly 25 years. Seeing it played out on television wasn’t going to change that. And it didn’t. Personally, I’m fine with it. I could write an entire post explaining why, but I doubt it would change anyone’s mind. So, ’nuff said.
4. Back at Castle Leoch
Colum was pissed with all the road-trip shenanigans, including the attack on Fort William, Dougal’s Jacobite fund-raising, and coercing Jamie to marry an Englishwoman.* Dougal retaliated with:
I’ve proved my loyalty to you time and again. I’ve collected your rents. I’ve fought your battles. I’ve protected your person. For the love of Christ, I’ve even assured your bloodline!
Well, we knew Dougal was Hamish’s father, but now it’s out in the open. Jamie’s reaction was quite amusing.
*So Colum wants Jamie to succeed him as Laird. Neither I nor Jamie saw that coming, especially after Jamie’s non-oath in “The Gathering.” Besides, Jamie’s already a Laird, or he would be if he didn’t have a price on his head. Jamie did show us a glimpse of that “well-educated man” he mentioned back in “The Way Out” by brokering peace between the brothers MacKenzie.
Did any understand that scene in the snow, when Dougal asked “Who’s with me?” Does it mean a rift between the Frasers (Jamie and Murtaugh) and my other two favorite men (Rupert and Angus)? If so, *sadface*.
I felt sorry for her in “The Way Out,” how Jamie completely ignored her, especially after he’d smooched with her that afternoon. I even felt sorry after she threw herself at him, only to be rejected and humiliated. At least this time Jamie said “I’m sorry.” Twice. But I think my days of pity will soon be over.
6. Jamie’s oath
The key! The key the wedding ring was made from! Most people had figured it out already, but having it revealed as the key to Lallybroch moved me to tears.
Goddammit! Sometimes Claire really irritates me. Jamie gives her his oath of loyalty, and she still doesn’t forgive him. He tells her the wedding ring was made from his key to Lallybroch and says that she is now his home. And yet she still pulls a knife on him (while “deep” in the throes of sex), and threatens to cut out his heart. Is her pride so huge that she cannot just accept the oath, be thankful she was saved, and forgive?
7. Make-up sex. And more. And more…
After years of saying “I am not a prude,” I’ve discovered that maybe I am. I’m getting a little tired of seeing Caitriona Balfe’s breasts. Granted, most of the nudity in Outlander isn’t gratuitous, and sex is one of the reasons the books sold in the millions. I better just suck it up, because there’s lots more sex and nudity (and that other thing) to come.