Outlander just keeps getting better. I’m amazed at how closely they are following the book; I’ve been reading after every episode to follow along (but not before, because I’d rather watch without knowing everything).
Episode 3 was one of those yell-at-the-TV episodes. As in, “nooo, don’t go there”! Claire is so headstrong but you can see she’s not thinking of the consequences when she takes on a priest and explores a haunted graveyard. She’s living in an 18th century world with 20th century ideas, and that will get her into trouble. Although I fully expected her to head out running when the boy gets his ear nailed to the pillory, but she doesn’t. So give Claire a few points for discretion.
In fact, in this episode we see Claire learning the need for secrecy and deception. First she plays out a scenario in her head where she tells Mrs. Fitz the truth – and Mrs. Fitz gets hysterical and accuses her of witchery. I was watching (again, thinking “nooooo…”) but it was all done just right to set up how careful Claire needs to be. Of course later she takes a stand and saves Mrs. Fitz’ son, so we see the push and pull between science and religion/superstition.
If the previous episode set up Claire and Jamie’s friendship, this one goes in a more steamy direction. That scene in the surgery was pretty intense… and absolutely nothing happened. Claire is a widow (and drunk) so she’s expected to have “needs”. Jamie, on the other hand, is a gentleman. His struggle not to let things get out of hand – all shown on his face – was brilliant.
The tension between Jamie, Laoghaire, and Claire rises in this episode, with Claire trying (obviously and unsuccessfully) to push them together and then catching them smooching in a corner. Why Jamie shows no interest in Laoghaire in one scene and is then canoodling with her in the corner in the next scene isn’t clear… making Claire jealous maybe? Although it wouldn’t be like our saintly Jamie to use a young lass that way. Maybe it’s just a way of showing he is human after all, and a young man who’s as lonely as everyone else.
Claire admits (to us, in voiceover) that she’s jealous, but jealous of their “intimacy” and missing Frank. Of course she’s also feeling a little torn about her attraction to Jamie so she has to remind herself that she really misses Frank. Good stuff.
Episode 4 is the best yet, and the closest to the book because it focuses on one thing: the Clan Gathering. I loved all the costumes and music in this episode. So much attention to detail from food to clothes to hair. My husband and I have been to Celtic festivals and Highland Games so this was especially fun to watch. Including cameos from Gabaldon and Moore.
I recommend checking out Bear McCreary’s blog to read more about the music in these episodes. He’s weaving together different themes for different characters, and mixing in 40s music in places to remind us where Claire comes from. The more I hear the theme song, the more I can’t get it out of my head. It’s perfect.
The oath-taking is pretty important to the plot, and what can I say except that Moore and co. are doing everything just right. And Jamie just keeps getting better. One of my favorite moments – for personal reasons – is when he reveals his clan motto, “Je Suis Prest” (“I am ready” in French). My husband is a Fraser and knows the motto, but didn’t realize until that moment that Jamie is also a Fraser.
In one odd scene not in the book (or at least this part of it), Laoghaire asks Claire for a love potion to “move Jamie’s heart”. Claire makes one up and it’s not entirely clear why, since it’s to her benefit to be taken seriously as a real nurse. To make Laoghaire happy?
Claire in the show is so like Claire in the book. Headstrong, stubborn, and a little blind at times. She yells and acts tough and doesn’t hesitate to jump in when someone needs help. You just know she’s going to get herself into trouble. TV-Jamie still feels a little different from book-Jamie but that’s okay.
But here’s a thought for those of you who have read the book (SEMI-SPOILER). Jamie is so freaking adorable I keep thinking about what’s down the road for him, and I’m dreading it. It’s one thing to read it, another to see it. Moore and Gabaldon have promised no plot changes or toning things down, so I’ll just have to deal with it.
If you’re watching, what do you think?