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S01.E04: The Gathering 2014.08.30

As to the oath taking and jamie, I think Jamie had previously figured out how to handle the situation if he were forced to attend the ceremony, although he and old Alec, and Murtagh (and oresumably Dougal and Colum) were preferring to have Jamie just stay out of sight. Jamie has a wisdom about things that's really interesting to watch, which is what I picked up on with the conversations he had with Claire in the stables about her knocking out Dougal, and then in the castle when Jamie is changing into his attire for the ceremony. It really does make you want to know how he got such an insight into things.

Jamie definitely lives up to his family motto, "Je suis prest", and I think when he spoke those words to Claire, he had already decided what he was going to do.  He even told her to find a place in the hall so she could get a view for his performance.  Show off!  ;)  I certainly look forward to learning more about him.  In some ways, he's just as mysterious as Claire, because he doesn't share a lot of what he's thinking. 

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Him?  Crusty old Dougal?  To each her own, haha.  

 

I agree that he backed off, and I don't know what his motivations were prior to her slapping him.  I just have some trouble with that scene (and having much use for Dougal as a character after it), because I don't think there's any reason for Dougal to think that Claire, specifically Claire in that situation, would welcome his sticking his hand under her skirt.  That's a pretty threatening, panic-inducing gesture for a man to make.

I didn't see it as a rape attempt at all. Dougal already stated plainly he didn't hold with rape. It's made clear he has his pick of women (and I certainly wouldn't kick him out of my bed) so with his being "very drunk" I think he took a shot at a hookup. When Claire made it plain his advances were unwelcome he backed off immediately.

And let's not forget that he saved her life the next day by shooting the boar about to attack her. If he wanted to harm her all he had to do was turn away. I absolutely loved the Geordie dying scene and the interaction between the two of them. The way he reached over and untied the tourniquet once Claire confirmed that the abdominal wound was fatal showed how caring and practical Dougal can be.

He's a complex character, which makes for great viewing. The scene in her surgery where he took the time to personally thank her for what she did for his friend was outstanding. I think Dougal finds Claire both intriguing and frustrating. Whoever said she was an enigma hit it right on the head. He's not a man who likes being kept in the dark, yet he can't help respecting her skills and strength.

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I didn't see it as a rape attempt at all. Dougal already stated plainly he didn't hold with rape. It's made clear he has his pick of women (and I certainly wouldn't kick him out of my bed) so with his being "very drunk" I think he took a shot at a hookup. When Claire made it plain his advances were unwelcome he backed off immediately.

And let's not forget that he saved her life the next day by shooting the boar about to attack her. If he wanted to harm her all he had to do was turn away. I absolutely loved the Geordie dying scene and the interaction between the two of them. The way he reached over and untied the tourniquet once Claire confirmed that the abdominal wound was fatal showed how caring and practical Dougal can be.

He's a complex character, which makes for great viewing. The scene in her surgery where he took the time to personally thank her for what she did for his friend was outstanding. I think Dougal finds Claire both intriguing and frustrating. Whoever said she was an enigma hit it right on the head. He's not a man who likes being kept in the dark, yet he can't help respecting her skills and strength.

 

Thank you SpiritSong ... I quoted you intending to just pick out the highlights, however, your whole post is a highlight.  In the last couple of days I have rewatched that whole scene about 4 times.  I wanted to get into the head of the director, what he was trying to get across with that scene.   

 

All of your points are valid.  When Dougal first appeared in the scene, you could tell he was very drunk.  Right after he called off the attackers, nothing happened between Claire and him, she just said thank you and was about to leave.  Dougal evidently had something to say and grabbed her.  In that grabbing it spoke volumes.  At first, to me, it seemed like Dougal was very drunk, but trying to get his wits about himself, and he leaned on her (in TV time, what seemed like forever).  Now I have heard that some feel that Dougal has a chance to sniff her neck.  HA!  I don't see that, but what I saw was a man that had to prove his position in the clan and make sure she understood the rules around there, and he was trying to get a handle on that in his head.

 

What I saw was almost primal, if i dare use that word. In his drunken mind, like you said SpiritSong, he couldn't figure her out, took a chance on his drunken instincts and Claire didn't welcome his advances by slapping him.  And he stopped.

 

With all that being said ... I am changing my mind about the scene.  I don't know in what direction Dougal is going in and whether or not I will regret my decision in the future, but for now, I am very comfortable switching my Jaime love (infatuation) to Dougal love (park his shoes under my bed anytime).

 

Oh yeah, another thing to add ... the whole clobbering thing was not about the kiss, it was assuredly about her escape package that Dougal was just about to pick up on.  The looks the two shared just before she clobbered him with the chair, well, they were kinda priceless.

 

Lastly, I have to say that at 52, I really thought I was past analyzing TV.  I can watch a program over and over no problem, but I don't think I ever in my life sat with a note pad in front of a show to write my thoughts out.  HA!

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What I saw was almost primal, if i dare use that word. In his drunken mind, like you said SpiritSong, he couldn't figure her out, took a chance on his drunken instincts and Claire didn't welcome his advances by slapping him.  And he stopped.

My problem with Dougal is, then, if his "primal reaction" to Claire (a "guest"/employee under his protection) almost being gang-raped by his clan is to jam his had under her skirt... well, that tells me a lot about the sort of man he is, and that I have very little use for him as a character, and Claire should steer clear of him, to the extent possible.  

 

Does anyone think that Jamie's reaction, had he come across the scene of Claire in the hallway, would have reacted the way Dougal did?  I don't think it's a "manly" reaction to try to get to third-base with a woman in the aftermath of her being attacked, nor to talk about "payment" or "penalties."  Shove off, Dougal. 

 

I'm fine with there being a contrast between Jamie and the other men in the clan, and there being "rougher" and "kinder" men, some that are more gallant, others that are boorish/violent.  I get that, maybe it's realistic.  But shows can't have characters engage in sexual violence (ahem, Game of Thrones), and then try to hand-wave away the scene by saying "oh, you took it out of context," or "oh, but he stopped," or "oh, but she ended up wanting it."  If a show is going to depict a main character reaching up under a woman's skirt and forcing her against the wall, talking about "paying penalties," and it shouldn't expect me to think the character doing that is some great, heroic, noble guy.  Obviously opinions vary, but at best, I see Dougal as an old lech. 

 

 

I wanted to get into the head of the director, what he was trying to get across with that scene.

For me, what's going on in the head of a director, doesn't determine for me what is actually shown, and how I react to it.  I don't know who the director is, or to paraphrase the great James Van Der Beek, I don't know his life.  But I can speak for my reactions to seeing what is on screen.  Going in for a kiss?  Okay, Dougal's a sad, drunk man who still sees himself as a "Jamie," despite his getting on in years.  But trying to get his hands under her skirt (recall, she's not wearing any modern underwear) is panic-inducing and threatening.  That he stopped when Claire slapped him, that he was going to "let her go" -- well, that's mighty big of him.  He doesn't get "credit" from me for "stopping" what a decent man would never have started.  And, if he's a "handsy" drunk, well then don't drink.  It's his choice to become intoxicated, and he's responsible for the bad choices he makes when intoxicated.  

Edited by annlaw78.
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I am very comfortable switching my Jaime love (infatuation) to Dougal love (park his shoes under my bed anytime).

I know that the actors probably don't read these boards but I'd really love it if Graham stumbled across that quote above.  I think it's a sentiment shared by many of the viewers who, like BizBuzz and me, are of an age with Graham McTavish (though personally my TV-crush on Jamie is firmly intact).  I'm enjoying imagining Graham showing it to Sam and telling the "lad" that he's not the only heart-throb on the show.

 

I also find it interesting that there is a lot of discussion on these boards about whether we should "forgive" Dougal for trying to kiss and grope Claire and much less talk about him having Rupert give Jamie a vicious beat-down.  The first was a drunken impulse that he backed away from when she slapped him.  The second was a deliberate attack on our young hero -- one that upset even Rupert who had to deliver the beating.  THAT's the reason I'm wary of Dougal. I do not trust his intentions towards Jamie and I do not understand his motivation in bringing Jamie to Leoch at the time of the oath-taking (nor do I understand his taking Jamie on the rent collecting trip.)  Like Murtaugh said, he is UP to something.

Edited by WatchrTina.
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I also find it interesting that there is a lot of discussion on these boards about whether we should "forgive" Dougal for trying to kiss and grope Claire and much less talk about him having Rupert give Jamie a vicious beat-down.  The first was a drunken impulse that he backed away from when she slapped him.  The second was a deliberate attack on our young hero -- one that upset even Rupert who had to deliver the beating.  THAT's the reason I'm wary of Dougal. I do not trust his intentions towards Jamie and I do not understand his motivation in bringing Jamie to Leoch at the time of the oath-taking (nor do I understand his taking Jamie on the rent collecting trip.)  Like Murtaugh said, he is UP to something.

I don't like Dougal for that reason (among others, notably imprisoning Claire against her will), but that's not really germane to this episode thread.  I think there was also an understanding in the second ep, when the beating happened, that there was more going on than just Dougal/Colum wanting to beat Jamie up (something we/Claire didn't comprehend), and it makes a bit more sense now that we've seen more of the internecine Highlands clan politics (i.e., it was an opportunity for Dougal/Colum to diminish Jamie in front of the clan, and hopefully keep him out of the running for being "The Mackenzie;" maybe there's more to it still, I don't know).

 

There's not really a mystery as to why Dougal did what he did to Claire in the hallway, and there's no need to withhold judgment until more information is received.  For those who found it offensive, there's really not going to be a good excuse for it.  For those who think it's interesting character growth, there doesn't need to be an excuse for it, or the excuse is already there (he was drunk, it's a guy thing, etc.).  

Edited by annlaw78.
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Eh, IMO it was a drunk guy making a move on Claire.

A clumsy move by a really drunk guy, but just a guy making a pass.

 

The Gathering was a huge celebration held once every decade or so, so I liken it to Mardi Gras type behavior. Lord knows there is lots of drunken pass making, inappropriate groping, peeing in the wrong places, and ill advised hookups.

 

Sort of "What happens at The Gathering stays at The Gathering."  :)

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Eh, IMO it was a drunk guy making a move on Claire.

A clumsy move by a really drunk guy, but just a guy making a pass.

 

The Gathering was a huge celebration held once every decade or so, so I liken it to Mardi Gras type behavior. Lord knows there is lots of drunken pass making, inappropriate groping, peeing in the wrong places, and ill advised hookups.

 

Sort of "What happens at The Gathering stays at The Gathering."  :)

Good analogy. Funny, too.

Dougal doesn't need to force women to be with him, though he's certainly not as gallant as Jamie. He's the second most powerful man in the clan, and will likely become Laird soon, given Colum's fragile health. And while many on this board might find him old and unattractive, that is certainly not a unanimous opinion or one that would be shared by the vast majority of the females at Castle Leoch.

I think we can't help but look at what happens on this show with our 21st century eyes, because that's who we are, and the show is shown from Claire's 1940s perspective. But the characters are living in 1743 and like it or not, approve of it or not, but things were different. Think of how people 300 years from now will look back and judge us for our ways. There is still lots of cruelty and injustice in this world and our morality will seem primitive to people of the future. Rightly so, IMO, when a person can still be KILLED just because they were born homosexual, to cite just one example.

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I spent most the first thirty minutes thinking that Claire should really shut up about escaping. No, really shut up. Now.

 

It was a long half an hour until Jamie showed up.

 

"It's a sedative"

"Is that Spanish?"

 

Wins for line of the night. I liked the sassing better then the escape plotting voice overs.

 

This was totally Dougals episode, in any case. Props to the actor because he did an amazing job.

 

Loved the cinematography of the woods. So pretty.

 

And the death scene, I literally held my breath during it.

 

The 40's music bothered me. It just didn't work.

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Just rewatching the last episode on Starz before the new one premieres, and it occurs to me that when Claire looks for help in the stables to find a horse for the boar hunt (and maybe for her escape) she asks for Mr. Mactavish to help her. She's already leaning on Jamie even before confessing to him and him knowing exactly who she is.

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Just watched last week's episode so I'd be caught up for tonight's.  I think my favorite part was the very beginning when Claire had fallen on the ground and got a look up the guy's kilt (don't remember his name) and he said, "Anything catch your eye?"  She looked a wee bit grossed out, I thought!

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I'm rewatching right now too. I think my favorite part is when Claire trips over Jamie in the hay and says, "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!" and Jamie grins and says, "No, Sassenach, just me." Heee! Jamie is adorable.

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Dougal doesn't need to force women to be with him, though he's certainly not as gallant as Jamie. He's the second most powerful man in the clan, and will likely become Laird soon, given Colum's fragile health. And while many on this board might find him old and unattractive, that is certainly not a unanimous opinion or one that would be shared by the vast majority of the females at Castle Leoch.

I think we can't help but look at what happens on this show with our 21st century eyes, because that's who we are, and the show is shown from Claire's 1940s perspective. But the characters are living in 1743 and like it or not, approve of it or not, but things were different. Think of how people 300 years from now will look back and judge us for our ways. There is still lots of cruelty and injustice in this world and our morality will seem primitive to people of the future. Rightly so, IMO, when a person can still be KILLED just because they were born homosexual, to cite just one example.

Things aren't that different today; how many times, in defense of a pro athlete/celebrity accused of rape, have we heard his defenders say "hey, this is X, every woman wants him, he has a hot wife," etc. Rape isn't a problem of ugly, unpopular, weak men forcing themselves on women out of desperation. It's about, quite often, men like "Dougal" thinking they have the power and right to do whatever they want.

If Dougal is the stud of Clan Mackenzie, good for him. He should put his hands on the women who want him to, not the one who does not.

Edited by annlaw78.
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It's about, quite often, men like "Dougal" thinking they have the power and right to do whatever they want.

 

Well...like it or not ---whether it be fair or not ---Dougal DOES have the power (in this world) to do what he pleases. It just is what it is.

 

 

 

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Well...like it or not ---whether it be fair or not ---Dougal DOES have the power (in this world) to do what he pleases. It just is what it is.

And so does Jack Randall. Two peas in a gross pod. I'm not sure why the show wanted to draw a parallel, but it's there now. At least for me.

I just have to say that for all of the "women just got raped a lot" back then explanation for the behavior of the various clansmen in this ep, I'm not really buying that. This isn't cavemen days, nor the Dark Ages. It's the 1740s (smack dab in the Age of Enlightenment, in which Scotland played a vital part). Scotland has a rich history of ancient universities and being on the forefront of science and philosophy and theology. The idea that Scots assaulted women as a sort of party game just isn't a fair assessment of the time. And to have assorted clansmen (including Dougal) pawing at Claire at every opportunity just seemed contrived and problematic for me.

Edited by annlaw78.
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I haven't seen enough of Jack Randall to know whether I like the character or not? that tiny glimpse we got in the very first ep  just showed a man ---who yes---is used to taking what he wants. But there was a pugnacious quality that comes through quite clearly. IMO

 

Dougal ---obviously a man used to getting/taking what he wants doesn't come across ---to me--- as overly belligerent and or contentious.

 

Plus I am thinking the actor who plays Dougal has a lot to do with my love of the character. it obviously colors my opinions. He would have to do something quite heinous for my affections to be lessened.

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Things aren't that different today; how many times, in defense of a pro athlete/celebrity accused of rape, have we heard his defenders say "hey, this is X, every woman wants him, he has a hot wife," etc. Rape isn't a problem of ugly, unpopular, weak men forcing themselves on women out of desperation. It's about, quite often, men like "Dougal" thinking they have the power and right to do whatever they want.

If Dougal is the stud of Clan Mackenzie, good for him. He should put his hands on the women who want him to, not the one who does not.

Except Dougal's NOT a rapist. He made a drunken pass at a woman he's attracted to, she slapped him while making her displeasure known and he immediately backed off. Rape is a horrible crime and never acceptable but all the people on here equating a drunken kiss and grope as rape are just way overstating what actually happened.

Lord knows Dougal has plenty of faults without people exaggerating or outright inventing even more. And one of the strengths of this series so far is that the characters are complex and each of them have flaws. Who wants to watch a show where the villains are 100% evil and the heroes are perfect and as pure as the driven snow?

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Except Dougal's NOT a rapist. He made a drunken pass at a woman he's attracted to, she slapped him while making her displeasure known and he immediately backed off. Rape is a horrible crime and never acceptable but all the people on here equating a drunken kiss and grope as rape are just way overstating what actually happened.

 

For some reason the board won't let me "Like" this post so I am chiming in with "I agree."

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Except Dougal's NOT a rapist. He made a drunken pass at a woman he's attracted to, she slapped him while making her displeasure known and he immediately backed off. Rape is a horrible crime and never acceptable but all the people on here equating a drunken kiss and grope as rape are just way overstating what actually happened.

Lord knows Dougal has plenty of faults without people exaggerating or outright inventing even more. And one of the strengths of this series so far is that the characters are complex and each of them have flaws. Who wants to watch a show where the villains are 100% evil and the heroes are perfect and as pure as the driven snow?

I think we have disparate views on how threatening and violent a man's reaching his hand up a woman's skirt is.  To me, it's assaultive.  To others, it may just be making a pass.  I'm looking at it not only from a modern view, but also the standpoint of Claire, pressed up against the wall, with nothing but her skirt and his kilt protecting her.  The parallel that scene set up with the one between BJR and Claire (a menacing comment -- "I'll take the whore," "there's a penalty to be paid" -- and pulling up her skirt) is eerie and, to me, unsettling.  

Perhaps the reason that the show presented that parallel is so that Claire's decision at the start of Ep 6 will be less straightforward/obvious.

 

But I'll shut up about it now!

Edited by annlaw78.
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Awwww, I loved that Angus had his slightly dressier yoga ponytail for the big important ceremony! I also thought it was adorable when Claire said she was leaving and he begged her to stay until he hooked up with someone. I wouldn't say they're BFFs but there has definitely been a change in their relationship.

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Watched this yesterday - nice slow episode but a good one. Jamie just cannot win, the poor guy. He's literally stuck in a rock and a hard place and has little options for what he can do. He has to stay at Castle Leoch because he is a wanted man, yet he is a threat to those very people who run the Castle (Dougal namely). He has to tread so carefully and it's interesting that he always seems so playful and more laid back about stuff. He's smart - fully understands the politics of the situation and knows how to play the game, but doesn't let it take away his natural humour and love of life.

 

Claire gave up a bit easily on her escape in my opinion - Yes, she tripped over Jamie and he know what she was doing, but she pretty much gave up after telling him her plan. And WHY did she tell him the plan. Strange. She vacillates too much, I think.

 

Rupert and Angus - they remind me so much of Merry and Pippin from Lord of the Rings - pure comedic goofballs. They are hilarious.

As I'm learning names, I finally know who Murtagh is and love this guy too - loved seeing him translate for Claire. Considering she is suspected of being a spy and is English, the Scots treat her pretty good overall.

 

As others have said - Dougal is a very complex and interesting person. The actor who plays him is amazing. Again, good casting.

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Even if we were to take Dougal at his word from Episode 1 and assume that he would not have actually raped Claire, what he did do was done by force. He said that she'd have to pay a penalty, pushed her to a wall, then simultaneously kissed her while lifting her skirt. This isn't someone who thought Claire might have been romantically/sexually interested in him, so slowly leaned in for a kiss to find out. What he did was completely against her will, and I find that pretty abhorrent, no matter the century.

Edited by jordanpond.
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I've bingewatched this weekend and I thought the death scene was wonderful. It really was- I believe everything about Claire and who she is and what she went through as a field nurse in that moment.

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I've bingewatched this weekend and I thought the death scene was wonderful. It really was- I believe everything about Claire and who she is and what she went through as a field nurse in that moment.

 

I'm rewatching too, although this is one of the episodes I missed and finally saw last night. This was a wonderful scene. There were a lot of good ones in this episode. It also had the most annoying and insufferable voiceovers, IMO. They totally weren't needed, either.  

 

If I didn't love Graham McTavish before (and I did), I do now. He totally brought it during that death scene. 

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OK, I'm all for Claire wanting to escape, but she might have said, "At least the clan will get the horse back once I'm gone". Horses aren't cheap! Also, not so sure it's a good idea to admit you can make (presumably illegal & potentially executable) love potions to your romantic rival. She could have just given him some "milk of the poppy", which would at least stop him from leaving. I was also wondering where an English lady would have seen wounded soldiers in 1744 (it's possible, I'm just not sure there were any wars Britain might have been involved in at that time).

On ‎31‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 6:41 AM, ganesh said:

When you're having the kids say "you lost your ribbon," and Claire is looking all shifty at the guards, it's pretty clear that she's hatching a plot to escape, as you, show, also showed me the ribbons directly after Claire looked at the guards.

 Particularly when she could scarcely have been more obvious about where she left them. I get that it's partly for the audience's benefit, but it didn't seem like the voiceover was necessary as well.

On ‎31‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 11:32 AM, Pestilentia said:

they are using flintlock muskets at this stage? Any firearms experts willing to chime in on some details?

They certainly existed (they were used in the English Civil War - roughly a century earlier). Whether the clansmen would have them is more debatable - one of the reasons the Jacobites lost at Culloden (1746) was because they were using predominantly claymores (swords) against a foe equipped with bayonet tipped muskets.

On ‎31‎/‎08‎/‎2014 at 3:22 AM, Petunia846 said:

"Such a nice dress, I remember you wore it so well to the last gathering." Heh.

Some burns don't change!

On ‎02‎/‎09‎/‎2014 at 3:25 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

I'm wondering why there needs to be an entourage to collect rent from the tenants.

Well, tenants aren't always keen to give landlords money. And the fact that they HAVE money makes them a tempting target for bandits.

On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2014 at 1:32 PM, annlaw78 said:

I didn't get why Claire was so antagonistic about the hunting, other than just being put out in general to be pressed into service.  It's not like they were out clubbing baby seals -- they were hunting feral pigs (which can be pest animals) for FOOD.

Yes! It's not as if Claire's a vegetarian (she'd be starving if she was). And having lived through the war, she might well have seen animals butchered for food. She certainly wouldn't have the modern sensibility that meat grows in plastic trays on supermarket shelves.

On ‎04‎/‎09‎/‎2014 at 5:17 PM, absnow54 said:

I'd say they were just enforcing the sort of victim blaming standards that aren't too uncommon from today's society. On a dark night, it's better for a woman to stay in and not travel about alone, than for a man to simply not feel inclined to rape/attack them. I'm not saying this mentality is right. I think quite the opposite.

I wonder if Claire's near rapes aren't thanks to her status, which is decidedly vague. She acts like a noble, but talks like a commoner. She's a Sassenach, but not friendly with the English. Now while the law didn't specify that "assaults on nobles are more serious than assaults on commoners", you can bet it would be treated as such (Gaellis, for example, is wife to the local judge, so pretty high status). If one of the castle servants were raped, particularly by drunken clansmen, I expect it'd be brushed off as "Boys will be boys" (or some 18th Century equivalent).
[Hope that doesn't sound to "mansplain-y"]

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I wonder if Claire's near rapes aren't thanks to her status, which is decidedly vague. She acts like a noble, but talks like a commoner. She's a Sassenach, but not friendly with the English. Now while the law didn't specify that "assaults on nobles are more serious than assaults on commoners", you can bet it would be treated as such (Gaellis, for example, is wife to the local judge, so pretty high status). If one of the castle servants were raped, particularly by drunken clansmen, I expect it'd be brushed off as "Boys will be boys" (or some 18th Century equivalent).

I like it and had not seen that interpretation anywhere else.

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Claire's escape attempt wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  It was predictable she wouldn't get away, though.  I did like that she did meticulous planning and we got to see some of that.  The Gathering and the politics of it was interesting.  I'm glad there's going to be a change of place in the next episode, though, to get a little bit of a break from the castle.

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