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S01.E06: The Garrison Commander 2014.09.13

 

I'm in danger of 'shipping Claire and Dougal. He looked and acted mighty fine.

Those two have a lot of chemistry and the actor who plays Dougal has a very strong presence. You totally believe every minute he is on screen that he is a figure of authority and dangerous to cross. I am not shipping him and Claire though because even though he seems to like and respect Claire I am not convinced he wouldn't throw Claire to the wolves in a New York minute if he thought she was endangering his position or his cause.

 

I am not shipping Claire and Jaime either. Yet. It's just too soon for me. I have to see them together more.

Edited by magdalene.
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I don't ship Dougal and Claire, but I think I've fallen for him myself. He can rescue me anyday!

 

He *is* a dangerous man, but in his position he has to be. If she had been a spy, he couldn't let personal feelings prevent him from stopping her from informing on him or the clan. He is a leader, and he does what he has to do, period. It would suck to be at odds with him, but it's clear what his priorities are.

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I disagree that Claire deserved to be punched in the stomach and kicked.  She has her flaws - who doesn't? - and her smart mouth is about equally a handicap and an asset but first of all I am not sure she was manipulating Jack Randall. It looked to me more like she was trying to appeal to his better nature and maybe looking for something of her husband in him. And finding out the hard way there was no better nature to appeal to.  And even had she been trying to manipulate him  - good for her. This man had been trying to rape her on first aquaintance and had brutally whipped a young man who had become Claire's friend almost to death. Being manipulated is the least Jack deserves if there was any justice.

 

 

I think Claire was hoping to find something decent and redeemable in Black Jack.  Part of it may be her nature but also largely because this is her husband's ancestor.  He's likely been spoken of with a lot of reverence by Frank's family and Frank resembles him - - - how awful for her.

 

That said, I was horrified and gasped out loud when Jack punched her.  So glad that Dougal rescued her.

 

I'm not shipping Dougal and Claire but I'm not shipping Claire and Jamie yet either.  I lust over Jamie like nobody's business but there seems to be such an age difference to me - - maybe it's more so the fact that Claire is from 1945.  Regardless, I haven't read the books and I'm hoping that the shipping part will really come after they marry.  Maybe we the viewers will fall in love with Jamie and Claire as Claire herself likely falls in love with Jamie.

 

I am already panicked at what I'm going to do after the last two episodes end.  Will this be back in the spring?  Bueller?  Bueller?

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A big, bearded, handsome War Chieftain definitely trumps homemade Claret-drinking ,powdered-wig-wearing, redcoat officer. Dougal was tres bon.

Frank is still in the lead, however with his silver and pearl handled razor.

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That was a really tough episode to watch, until the scene where Dougall rushes into the room.  I had to look away for most of the Jamie punishment scene and felt tense the entire episode as I dreaded what BJR would do to Claire.  

 

And then Claire asked Dougall if she was to marry him and he laughed at her, and I started laughing uncontrollably from that scene on until the credits rolled.  That Jamie/Claire conversation is now one of my favourite scenes on the show so far, and I'm glad they ended this heavy (though well done) episode with a good 5 minutes of light-heartedness and (at least for me) laughter.

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I am not convinced [Dougal] wouldn't throw Claire to the wolves in a New York minute if he thought she was endangering his position or his cause.

Aye, he didn't pull that knife at the holy stream for show, ya ken?

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I loved how Dougal asked Claire if she was all right when she came down to assist with the soldier, but I also saw his concern as a level up from the tavern fight. He has a right to kill her if she's a spy (even if he wouldn't like doing it), but damned if the Redcoats have a right to abuse her while she's the MacKenzie's guest. Thus the comment about starting a war when he later rescued her from the beating.

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If your definition of moronic behavior is when one does something even knowing there may be severe, negative consequences, then I'm curious where you'd place Jamie on the moron scale.  The dude has taken a stand against assault on women, refused to allow his punishment to be used as a further scare tactic to keep the Highlanders submissive, etc.  He should have known better to do these things especially since, unlike Claire, he lives in this time and is intimately familiar with all the social rules and he knows firsthand how better armed and trained the occupying force is.  Surely you also consider all of the Highlanders, Dougal especially, incredibly moronic for even suggesting that they should rebel against this current administration?  I shudder to think all of the smack downs you are hoping for since it seems all the characters are hopelessly moronic by the definition you have assigned.  

 

The people living during this time  have a purpose for everything they've done. They have to live in this time period and know of nothing else. Claire, on the other hand, has a MAIN GOAL in mind: To make it home. She talks about it every god damn episode. I swear, I'm going to start a drinking game and take a shot every time she says "I had to get back to the rocks at Craigh Nadune!" Okay then, I wish she would stop making it so hard for herself to get back instead of mouthing off to every person in power. She needs to start kissing more ass and watching herself more if she really wants to get back home. Everything she's done so far (besides her crappy attempts at escape) have suggested that she'd rather be hung/put in jail than make it back to THE ROCKS AT CRAIGH NADUNE!

 

Also, she's supposed to be a highly educated woman, and her husband extensively studied history. She should know what her role would be during this time period, and it's bullshit to excuse her because she's from a different time period. If she was from THE PAST or if she was uneducated and didn't have knowledge about the past, then I could excuse her behavior. Otherwise...I hear the muted trumpet playing every time she mouths off (waaa waaa waaaaaaaaaaaa). 

 

So, yes. She is a moron. 

Edited by Zima.
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The people living during this time have a purpose for everything they've done. They have to live in this time period and know of nothing else. Claire, on the other hand, has a MAIN GOAL in mind: To make it home. She talks about it every god damn episode. I swear, I'm going to start a drinking game and take a shot every time she says "I had to get back to the rocks at Craigh Nadune!" Okay then, I wish she would stop making it so hard for herself to get back instead of mouthing off to every person in power. She needs to start kissing more ass and watching herself more if she really wants to get back home. Everything she's done so far (besides her crappy attempts at escape) have suggested that she'd rather be hung/put in jail than make it back to THE ROCKS AT CRAIGH NADUNE!

I agree that Claire does say this over and over. It's like she is trying to convince herself that she must make her way to Craigh Na Dun to assuage her conscience. At this point it's all she has to focus on and keep her grounded while her world is completely ripped from her. I think we would question more so if she was not so intent on getting there.

Claire makes mistakes. Mistakes are a result of trying and of not being passive. I honestly don't think any of her plans have been "moronic". She has been thwarted by events that were not in her scope of knowledge of the times.

Also, she's supposed to be a highly educated woman, and her husband extensively studied history. She should know what her role would be during this time period, and it's bullshit to excuse her because she's from a different time period. If she was from THE PAST or if she was uneducated and didn't have knowledge about the past, then I could excuse her behavior. Otherwise...I hear the muted trumpet playing every time she mouths off (waaa waaa waaaaaaaaaaaa).

So, yes. She is a moron.

Being from the future doesn't mean you are all knowing, even with a history buff for a husband. History in books is an incomplete record of what it was like. "Mouthing off" has gotten her in trouble, but it also has saved her by earning respect from the highlanders and others. Much like her medical skills.

You may see it as moronic but I see it as maintaining some control over her fate. She's not sitting back and letting things happen, she's trying to make her own way.

Edited by peacefrog.
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When do you think Dougal got that marriage contract prepared? It couldn't have been while he was in the tavern since he was in contact with no one from his group during that time. It had to be earlier on the rent trip, if not before the trip. When do you think he did it and why? (I have my own ideas, but I'm curious what others think.)

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The people living during this time  have a purpose for everything they've done. They have to live in this time period and know of nothing else. Claire, on the other hand, has a MAIN GOAL in mind: To make it home. She talks about it every god damn episode. I swear, I'm going to start a drinking game and take a shot every time she says "I had to get back to the rocks at Craigh Nadune!" Okay then, I wish she would stop making it so hard for herself to get back instead of mouthing off to every person in power. She needs to start kissing more ass and watching herself more if she really wants to get back home. Everything she's done so far (besides her crappy attempts at escape) have suggested that she'd rather be hung/put in jail than make it back to THE ROCKS AT CRAIGH NADUNE!

There is a certain amount of "know your audience," and Claire is certainly presented as intelligent enough to know her audience and play to it.  The audience of Redcoats really does not need her, an ornamental, delicate English rose (in their eyes) to lecture them on politics, just war, or occupation (which is an odd way for Claire to describe the King of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales posting his army in, umm, Scotland -- it's not Vichy France or post-War Berlin).  It doesn't make sense for her to chime in and speak out against the Redcoats/in favor of the Clans, especially given that her audience is 100% Redcoat (Dougal had absented the scene).  Yes, it's great that she's a strong, independent, mind-speaking woman.  But, like the OP points out, her goal isn't to speak truth to power, or to win the hearts and minds of the British Army -- her goal is to get the Army to trust her and facilitate her return to the Stones.  You can let one or two go, Claire, without having to make your riposte.

 

 

When do you think Dougal got that marriage contract prepared? It couldn't have been while he was in the tavern since he was in contact with no one from his group during that time. It had to be earlier on the rent trip, if not before the trip. When do you think he did it and why? (I have my own ideas, but I'm curious what others think.)

 Since Ned was traveling with them, it could have been drawn up at any time I suppose.  It was just a one-page document -- Ned could have cranked that out after Dougal and Claire returned.  We don't really know how much time elapsed between their rejoining the group and the scene in which Claire is reading it over.  

Edited by annlaw78.
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I agree that Claire does say this over and over. It's like she is trying to convince herself that she must make her way to Craigh Na Dun to assuage her conscience. At this point it's all she has to focus on and keep her grounded while her world is completely ripped from her. I think we would question more so if she was not so intent on getting there.

Claire makes mistakes. Mistakes are a result of trying and of not being passive. I honestly don't think any of her plans have been "moronic". She has been thwarted by events that were not in her scope of knowledge of the times.

Being from the future doesn't mean you are all knowing, even with a history buff for a husband. History in books is an incomplete record of what it was like. "Mouthing off" has gotten her in trouble, but it also has saved her by earning respect from the highlanders and others. Much like her medical skills.

You may see it as moronic but I see it as maintaining some control over her fate. She's not sitting back and letting things happen, she's trying to make her own way.

I am not nearly as well-versed in history as Claire, but even I would know better than to speak out the way that she does if I were in her situation!  If she was accepting of her present situation, and was planning to remain in 18th century Scotland for the rest of her days, then yes, I could see why she would try to maintain some control over her future in this era.  However, it has been made perfectly clear that her goal is to get back to those rocks, so there is no reason for her to behave in such a manner. I cannot help but find her decision to constantly speak out of turn in the most inappropriate circumstance infuriating.

Edited by Zima.
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The people living during this time  have a purpose for everything they've done. They have to live in this time period and know of nothing else. Claire, on the other hand, has a MAIN GOAL in mind: To make it home. She talks about it every god damn episode. I swear, I'm going to start a drinking game and take a shot every time she says "I had to get back to the rocks at Craigh Nadune!" Okay then, I wish she would stop making it so hard for herself to get back instead of mouthing off to every person in power. She needs to start kissing more ass and watching herself more if she really wants to get back home. Everything she's done so far (besides her crappy attempts at escape) have suggested that she'd rather be hung/put in jail than make it back to THE ROCKS AT CRAIGH NADUNE!

Kissing ass only served to get her more firmly entrenched at Castle Leoch.  I mean, at one point her lips were literally 12 inches from Colum's ass lol

 

 

 

Also, she's supposed to be a highly educated woman, and her husband extensively studied history. She should know what her role would be during this time period, and it's bullshit to excuse her because she's from a different time period. If she was from THE PAST or if she was uneducated and didn't have knowledge about the past, then I could excuse her behavior. Otherwise...I hear the muted trumpet playing every time she mouths off (waaa waaa waaaaaaaaaaaa).

So, yes. She is a moron.

Reading history -or anything, really- isn't the same as actually living it.  Even reading everything you can get your hands on about Random X place (let's just imagine a culture most foreign to your own set of circumstances, especially those most important to you) won't suddenly make you a able to pass as a native when you arrive in X.  The most expert anthropologist will make mistakes.  While humans are incredibly adaptable, we still are who we are and who we are is shaped by our own circumstances.  A rich person can intellectually know all about living in poverty, but actually doing it is another matter.  A fashion designer can read all about farming, and still be lost when placed on a farm and told to plant and harvest.  In any case, Claire is nowhere near an expert on 18th century history and is only interested enough to be able to adequately support her spouse's interest. 

 

What is most important to us differs person to person.  For some, where they are is most important, for others who they are matters more.  Claire lived without a home, who she is is more important than where she is.  Claire's deep concern about the wellbeing of others is her major defining characteristic.  She was shaped and defined by her nursing service in a war against a regime that treated an entire ethnicity like literal garbage.  Considering who Claire is and what has shaped her into this person, the story can have no credibility if she suddenly turns into someone else.  

 

Claire can't just be someone who watches a kid die when there's an easy cure, she can't be someone who stands for people discussing other humans in terms of animals.  Her background story wasn't written that way.  Reading about something is never the same as living it.  

 

The one thing Claire did that could accurately be defined as stupid was to not tell the officers that Captain Randall was the person who attacked her and threatened to rape her.  It might have removed him from the situation altogether.  Then again, maybe not.  

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It doesn't make sense for her to chime in and speak out against the Redcoats/in favor of the Clans

I cannot help but find her decision to constantly speak out of turn in the most inappropriate circumstance infuriating.

 

 

Of course it doesn't make sense, it was a gut reaction provoked by feelings of anger and frustration. I don't think she was sitting there making the conscious decision to piss people off. She speaks her mind because that's the way she tends to be (as someone else said, sometimes it works in her favour, sometimes it doesn't), and either way who makes 100% rational decisions at all times in their lives? I guess I'm finding it relatively easy to give Claire a break on this one. (Not gonna lie though, I was a tad more worried when she brought up Jamie to Randall!)

 

eta: or what bluebonnet said, lol.

Edited by glitterpants.
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If she was accepting of her present situation, and was planning to remain in 18th century Scotland for the rest of her days, then yes, I could see why she would try to maintain some control over her future in this era.  However, it has been made perfectly clear that her goal is to get back to those rocks, so there is no reason for her to behave in such a manner. I cannot help but find her decision to constantly speak out of turn in the most inappropriate circumstance infuriating.

 

What is most important to us differs person to person.  For some, where they are is most important, for others who they are matters more.  Claire lived without a home, who she is is more important than where she is.  Claire's deep concern about the wellbeing of others is her major defining characteristic.  She was shaped and defined by her nursing service in a war against a regime that treated an entire ethnicity like literal garbage.  Considering who Claire is and what has shaped her into this person, the story can have no credibility if she suddenly turns into someone else.  

 

Claire can't just be someone who watches a kid die when there's an easy cure, she can't be someone who stands for people discussing other humans in terms of animals.  Her background story wasn't written that way.  Reading about something is never the same as living it.  

 

I do see what you are saying Zima. Claire was doing well until BJR came in. She lost control of her emotions a facade when he entered. Combined with her experience with him AND his resemblance to Frank she forgot when and where she was. Add to that her own time the King was a figurehead and a citizen has the freedom to speak out against the crown.

I also like to think that by this point the highlanders have worked their way into her heart. She is becoming accepted by them and Claire being Claire, longing for family has taken to championing for them.

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I speak enough French to know that BJR asks, "Do you speak French" and Claire responds "Yes, Very well.  What difference does that make?" But I don't know what he says next.  Something about a prostitute I gather.  Any French speakers around to translate?

JBR said :" There is not enough of a prostitute in you!"

Edited by MysticMoon.
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I'll rewatch the episode solely for the Dougal/Claire scenes. I think Graham McTavish is the best actor on the show, and that's saying a lot since I haven't seen a bad actor on this series yet. Tobias Menzies is great but BJR is completely evil. Dougal is a much more complicated character. He can be regal, kind, arrogant, protective, reckless, shrewd, cruel, humorous, loyal...well, you get the idea. Even though he is shown in more of a negative than positive light, I simply can't take my eyes off him when he's on the screen. That little smile when he agreed that Claire does indeed know how to give men orders just about slayed me.

I have not the slightest ounce of artistic skill, but in the scene in the room above the tavern, where Dougal was standing stoically behind Claire, I wanted so much to be able to paint him. He was amazing, just standing there.
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Those two have a lot of chemistry and the actor who plays Dougal has a very strong presence. You totally believe every minute he is on screen that he is a figure of authority and dangerous to cross. I am not shipping him and Claire though because even though he seems to like and respect Claire I am not convinced he wouldn't throw Claire to the wolves in a New York minute if he thought she was endangering his position or his cause.

I love that the notorious Black Jack Randall backed down when faced with the wrath of Dougal. And that corporal just about tripped over himself trying to get away when Dougal stalked toward him. A dangerous man indeed. Sexy as hell, too.

I do agree with you that he would kill Claire if he had to. The scene at the spring with his dagger made that pretty clear. But he also would have hated doing it. His outrage at her mistreatment was genuine. As I've said before, he's a complex character and a joy to watch.

Edited by SpiritSong.
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Dougal seemed very caring of Claire this ep --when she came down to help with amputee-boy he walked right up to her and said --Claire? Are you all right? (So very concerned!) and then of course when Black Jack and other dude were abusing her ---it was Dougal to the rescue!

Dougal was totally great in this episode, and I loved that a middle-aged bald man in a skirt managed to intimidate several British red coats just by talking to them.  He was awesome, and he did seem to genuinely worry about Claire -- with good reason, as Dougal bore witness to what Black Jack Randall did to Jamie, and the look on his face while he did it.  However, it later occurred to me that Dougal was also probably rightfully terrified of what Claire might say to Randall about their activities while collecting the rent -- I think Dougal had decided she wasn't going to willingly betray them, but he knows how Randall behaves, and was probably super-stressed that he would torture her into implicating them in treason against the crown, damning them all.  That may have had something to do with how quickly he managed to get into the room to her rescue -- he was probably listening for sounds of distress and got right on it when he heard them.  For himself, his men, and his cause, as well as for Claire.  He's still awesome though.

 

Regarding Claire's pro-Scott comments -- I was cringing, because though she is right about what she said, it was clearly going to turn the tide against her, and probably to no avail, because history is already written.  I would also be terrified to change it, especially just coming out of the Second World War in which there were times that it looked like Britain might succumb.  I would be afraid to change anything that might weaken Britain, or well, I would be afraid to change anything.  It doesn't seem like Claire has given that much thought.  But at any rate, I understand her perspective, but it was killing me because she was damning herself and her chances of making it back to the standing stones, and probably for nothing, because either she can't change history or she shouldn't due to the possible terrible consequences.  Oh Claire.  However, the scenes with Black Jack Randall were great, so ok.  And yes, it provided the barely believable excuse for her to have sexy-times with Jamie -- but I guess I'll allow it on grounds of his adorable hotness and the rest of the story getting pretty interesting.

Edited by lawless.
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I was cringing, because though she is right about what she said, it was clearly going to turn the tide against her, and probably to no avail, because history is already written.  I would also be terrified to change it, especially just coming out of the Second World War in which there were times that it looked like Britain might succumb.  I would be afraid to change anything that might weaken Britain, or well, I would be afraid to change anything.  It doesn't seem like Claire has given that much thought.

 

This!  Oh my lord, this has been the number one thing on my mind for this entire series, probably because I am more of a sci-fi gal.  I get that Claire is out of her depth, but she did actually seem to take the fact that she had time traveled fairly well. Changing the past should be like the number 2 thing on her mind (I'll let her have getting home as #1), especially because she has dealings with someone that is connected to her future. I'll admit I would also like to be drunk as possible if this were happening to me, but seriously she needs to get a handle on her emotions.  There is so much to discuss with regard to paradox and things like the butterfly effect, or if fate is cast in stone or malleable but I really wish she would address that in show.

 

Having said all that- I really enjoyed this episode.  The gore doesn't bother me all that much so I really got into that whole thing.  Thus far that has been the best narrative of a character this show has shown us.  The actor is absolutely brilliant in the juxtaposition of the two roles (but clearly having the most fun with BJR).  

 

I'll echo my appreciation of Dougal here and while I do find Jaime very attractive there is still that sense of "boy" about him to me.  So it is a bit harder to jump on that ship emotionally at this point- however on the shallow end of the pool, those are two very pretty people and I look forward to the wedding night. Claire should at least have fun helping him along to "man."

Edited by gik910.
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One thing I'm wondering about. It's made clear that the English can't compel a Scot to appear at their command unless there is direct evidence of a crime. Getting married certainly isn't a crime, so that way to protect Claire makes sense. However, I don't think it would be unreasonable for BJR to demand to see the marriage contract, and if he does, there will be Jamie's name right there on it. What's to stop him from going after this wanted fugitive, knowing he's nearby?

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Likely the marriage contract will read Jaime McTavish and not his actual last name. Or, at least the one they show will have that.

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Likely the marriage contract will read Jaime McTavish and not his actual last name. Or, at least the one they show will have that.

But how would that constitute a legal marriage?

I guess we all have to wait and see!

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The contract will probably have Jamie's real name to make it legal, but they don't have to show BJR or any Englishman who demands it the actual contract. They can make up another one with the McTavish name on it, if they must.

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a middle-aged bald man in a skirt

 

Heh, love that description, yet every time he is on screen I think, yeah, Jamie is pretty, but THAT is a man!  It's been so long since I read the book I don't remember how we are to view Dougal.  I suspect he probably came off more menacing in the book which makes McTavish's performance that much better.  We like him despite his suspicions regarding Claire.

 

About Claire mouthing off, in the last episode she was devastated to realize that so many of the men she has grown to know and care about will be killed on the battlefield.  She probably knew that arguing in favor of the Scots was pointless, but their plight is becoming personal to her.   Living with the MacKenzies is putting a face to the history lesson.  As a wartime nurse she could be objective about the soldiers she treated.  Heal them, talk to them, send them on their way.  She wasn't spending months on the road with them and it's killing her to know that there is no way to forestall what is to come.

Edited by Haleth.
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When Claire bursts out her defense of the Scots, you see a reaction shot of BJR, and there's a slight smirk on his face as he turns to the window, and you can see that he manipulated her into the reaction. It's a very subtle reaction and lasts only for a second. When I saw it, I was reminded of what a great actor Tobias Menzies is -- to be able to convey that in a single 2-second shot, part of which was a side shot at that.

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However, I don't think it would be unreasonable for BJR to demand to see the marriage contract, and if he does, there will be Jamie's name right there on it. What's to stop him from going after this wanted fugitive, knowing he's nearby?

It would be such a convenient bait-and-switch deal for BJR. Scottish law wouldn't protect Jamie because he's "committed" a known crime, so with the marriage contract, if BJR knows that Dougal is harboring him, Dougal would have to turn Jamie over. For someone who is supposed to be hanging low for a while, Jamie is sure finding himself in the thick of it a lot. As others have said, they could produce a fake marriage contract, but at that point, why go further with the farce? Having Claire and Jamie marry out of convenience is a fun trope that I am entirely on board with, but there's definitely a glaring hole in the plot with Jamie's fugitive status. Especially since the person he's running from is the same person who will want to see proof of Claire's marriage. 

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Changing the past should be like the number 2 thing on her mind

I keep thinking about this, because Claire has been a little "bull-in-a-china shop" about how she's involved with certain events (such as saving that boy who otherwise would have probably died); unless of course it's a predestination thing and her involvement in these events was already part of history.

This episode, though, in particular, made me realize she has to be careful about Black Jack; if he hasn't already fathered Frank's ancestors, any of these events could change that from happening when it's supposed to.

Edited by jcin617.
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Are we supposed to interpret that Black Jack looks like Frank or *exactly* like Frank, from Claire's pov? I was assuming that he looks exactly like Frank because they showed the 1743 scene with the razor and the 1943 scene right after with the same razor. It's a pretty big mindfuck if that's the case. If he's only supposed to resemble Frank, than it's a little different. 

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I just discovered this show a week ago -- never heard of the books nor the show before that! So I'm digesting a lot in a short time. But despite being hooked by this show and quite curious as to what happens next, I almost wish that the wedding would come after the season break because Claire's upcoming marriage is suddenly giving me an enormous amount to think about with respect to Claire's sense of morality with regard to being faithful to Frank.

 

It seems to me, that despite being a much more distasteful situation, a forced marriage to someone other than Jamie would have been morally much easier for Claire to accept. Clearly she has an attraction to Jamie, and can sense that he has quite a strong attraction to her. And he, of course, knows nothing of the big barrier (she's a married woman from 1945) to them having a permanent romantic union. So I think that a marriage to someone other than Jamie -- to someone with whom there was no attraction on either side --would have been a much easier moral decision. There would be no guilt toward the new groom since he was viewing this as a mere business transaction. And, despite it being a forced marriage, and although there would probably be still some sense of betrayal of Frank about sleeping with her new husband, I think the guilt would have been considerably less than what she is about to experience as she sleeps with someone to whom she is attracted. The feeling of betrayal of Frank will be greater. And based on the sense of morality we have seen thus far from Clare, I would guess that a feeling of betrayal of Jamie will be a great burden as well.

 

I'm completely unspoiled, and don't intend for my post to drift into speculation, but from what I saw in this condensed week of watching six episodes, it seemed that the series had been building to the possibility of a third possible type of marriage (and, until the last 10 minutes of this episode it was the only type I foresaw): a consensual, romantic marriage (with Jamie) at some future time. It seemed a reasonable conclusion to me -- since the series will be 16 episodes -- that Claire will be stranded in the 18th century for quite a long time. In that case, would her sense of being married to Frank have held fast, and would she thus have viewied a consensual marriage with Jamie as infidelity to Frank? Or would she have seen herself as someone who was married to Jamie in the 18th century, but upon her return to the 20th century would be a widow whose husband died before she ever met Frank? And would thus view a romantic marriage to Jamie as not being unfaithful to Frank?  It's not that I'm speculating about future episodes, but rather that I thought this was the direction in which we were already being taken by the instant and continuing mutual attraction of Claire and Jamie exhibited in these first 6 episodes. (By the way, based on the morality we have seen from Claire, I don't think an affair with Jamie would have been an acceptable option -- it would have to be a marriage that she considered morally valid, or no romantic relationship at all.)

 

I guess, despite its great intrigue for me, I wish the forced marriage to Jamie had occurred later in the series. I think the question of how Claire would view a consensual marriage to Jamie would be an interesting and highly unique moral dilemma that seemed to be a developing direction of the series, but will now be made moot by their forced marriage in the next episode.

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I like reading your thoughts jordanpond. Very interesting dilemma. I've read the books and I don't trust myself to answer without giving away anything or comparing what we have seen and what happens in the book.

I think despite it being a trope to have a forced marriage the show has laid out some compelling reasons for why it seems like she has no other choice. I'm wondering what else she could do. You are right it is unique! I guess at this point Claire can conclude she is doing whatever it takes to survive. I do think at this point she is not thinking that there is a possibility she will stay, let alone fall in love. I'm not even sure she thinks Jamie has more than an attraction for her and may not even be thinking about what he would feel if she left, yet.

I'm glad you like the show and posted your thoughts!

Edited to add: I think a question of an affair is more out of the question for Jamie from what we have seen(scandalous look outside her room) and admitting to be a virgin.

Edited by peacefrog.
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When I went into this show, I swore to myself I wouldn't read the books, so that I wouldn't be spoiled while watching the show. But now, with the end of the season coming closer, its just so temping! I really don't know what to do.

 

I just really love this show! Pretty much everyone here has said why already, in much more intelligent ways then me, but one thing I especially love is how consistent and well defined the characters already are. Going into that dibber with the redcoats, I knew what Claire was going to do. When the redcoats asked Claire to come with him, I knew what Dougal would do. Its not being predictable, its that we already know the characters so well after just these few episodes. But there are still room for surprises (Angus's anger at being called a thief last week, Jamie being virgin). Its just been a great ride, and I don't want to get off yet! 

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As someone who'd heard of the books but never read them, I'm so glad I gave this show a try. It's really fabulous. I had high hopes knowing it's the brainchild of Ronald D. Moore, but so far it's exceeded my expectations. 

 

Regarding BJR's facial tics, I really love what Kelly Faircloth over at Jezebel had to say in her review of this ep:

 

Who knew an occasional sniff and a weird tongue-swipe thing could scream serial killer instead of post-nasal drip and/or coke habit?

 

Ha!

 

This episode was very, very hard to watch, but Tobias Menzies and Caitriona Balfe really sold it. The flogging scene just went on and on and on. Between this and the "Blood Eagle" scene from Vikings, I think Game of Thrones can no longer claim to be the bloodiest show on television. 

 

Anyway. I know I am supposed to be "feeling" something between Claire and Jamie ---but meh. I'm not.

 

I'll go you one better. I must be a total weirder because Sam Heughan doesn't do it for me. Of course I see that he's traditionally attractive, but he has one of those big, overdeveloped gym bodies and I can't get past the pecs. I like him as an actor, though, and I buy this character. 

 

I am just getting ready to watch with the husband (who goes to bed too early to see it in real time) and I have threatened him with pain of death if he makes me pause 20 times to go get a drink, answer the phone, or pee. It's like getting a two year old ready for bed LOL.

 

Pestilentia, never ever come watch TV at my house. It takes my husband and I two hours to watch a one-hour show most nights!

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tennisgurl, we're really not nearing the end of the season. Basically, they've just cut the season in two and we will see the back half of season 1 starting in January. So, if you don't want to be spoiled by reading book one, you might wait to start the first book in March or April when the season is definitely over and they've covered all of that first book. Or, you can just start reading until you get to whatever event they use to end episode 8. I'm sure it'll be some kind of cliffhanger or at least something with some big impact.

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In response to some above posts regarding the marriage contract, I don't think they have to produce an actual marriage contract considering that in those times Scotland handfasting was almost considered marriage.  

According to Wikipedia...

The verb to handfast in the sense of "to formally promise, to make a contract" is recorded for Late Old English, especially in the context of a contract of marriage. The derived handfasting is for a ceremony of engagement or betrothal is recorded in Early Modern English. The term was presumably loaned into English from Old Norse handfesta "to strike a bargain by joining hands"; there are also comparanda from the North Sea Germanic sphere, Old Frisian hondfestinge and Middle Low German hantvestinge. The term is derived from the verb to handfast, used in Middle to Early Modern English for the making of a contract.[2]

 

All they really need is witnesses and there will be those aplenty with the Clan Mackenzie rent collection party.

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I have been both attracted and put off by this show, because it felt like Romance-novel melodrama, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it just isn't my particular thing.  For example, Jamie came across as Mr. Perfect, a cross-between a Golden Retriever in human form and Rob Roy, stood out amongst the other Scots like crazy as the obvious romantic interest in Claire from the moment she fixed his shoulder.  Yet Claire, unrealistically, behaved as though she was more or less oblivious to his incredible hotness, even though, through the narration, we hear her inner thoughts.  I figured it would only be a matter of time before there was some plot contrivance that "forced" them to be together, so should could have sex with him with plausible deniability about being attracted to him and tempted to stray from her husband. And sure enough, it seems to be happening.

 

Right there with you on this--there's a little too much wish-fulfillment in the source material (I've only read up to about where the show is*), it seems, but I'm trusting RDM to layer and darken it up a bit. 

 

*Book spoiler

That said--in the book, I was surprised at the early sex scenes. They couldn't have been less romantic or more perfunctory.

 

ETA: For those pondering reading the books, I can say that the show is following book one pretty closely. So it's possible (for now) to watch an episode, go back and read its corresponding chapter, then stop.

 

Also:

 

When Claire bursts out her defense of the Scots, you see a reaction shot of BJR, and there's a slight smirk on his face as he turns to the window, and you can see that he manipulated her into the reaction. It's a very subtle reaction and lasts only for a second. When I saw it, I was reminded of what a great actor Tobias Menzies is -- to be able to convey that in a single 2-second shot, part of which was a side shot at that.

 

 

Oh, right there with you. Usually my poor attention span can leave me drifting during that kind of lengthy scene, but I was absolutely riveted and he completely set her up. 

Edited by kieyra.
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In response to some above posts regarding the marriage contract, I don't think they have to produce an actual marriage contract considering that in those times Scotland handfasting was almost considered marriage.

My problem is the contrivance. You have to marry the sexiest of our brood and have immediate sexy times so that there's no question that the union is legal. Oh wait, the groom is wanted by the same man who wants to take you into custody. If we produce a legal contract, he'll see that you're with a fugitive he's looking for. No problem, we'll just doctor the documents with a fake name. No. No. You still have to consummate it though. For reasons.

 

It would have made a lot more sense for her to marry someone else in the party who wasn't a fugitive on BJR's radar if they were worried about presenting a legal union to BJR, but I don't think there are shippers clamoring for Claire to get a better view up Angus' kilt.

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They don't have to show BJR a marriage contract.  All they have to say is that she married someone in Clan Mackenzie.  I doubt most marriages done at this time would have a contract drawn up.  Dougal isn't compelled to tell BJR or anyone else who she married, only that she is and now legally, unless she's committed a crime she's out of reach.

Dougal thinks that Jamie is his rival to be Laird.  The clansmen will never accept him if he has a Sassanach wife.  It's political, not contrivance at that point.

Edited by Tif.
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Perhaps if they are married in a church the word of the priest saying it was a lawful marriage will be enough for any English officer who questions it?

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I was wondering why Dougal wants Claire to marry Jamie in particular. There must be other unmarried men who are not wanted she could marry.  What about Dougal himself? We haven't met a wife of his, so maybe he is a widower or a bachelor. He seems a better choice to me because he has real power amongst the Highlanders to protect Claire in marriage. Unless Dougal has a particular reason for Claire to marry Jamie, a reason that has nothing to do with Claire and has to do with Jamie himself? What am I missing? This is so frustrating.

 

ETA to add that I read your post Tif after I initially posted - yes! politics that has to be the reason...

 

 

Dougal thinks that Jamie is his rival to be Laird.  The clansmen will never accept him if he has a Sassanach wife.  It's political, not contrivance at that poin

Edited by magdalene.
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Perhaps if they are married in a church the word of the priest saying it was a lawful marriage will be enough for any English officer who questions it?

The priest and the witnesses. They're supposed to deliver Claire to Ft. William, instead of producing her, they can just have the lot of them show up and say so, and that's that.

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Protecting Claire is hardly Dougal's main concern here. By marrying her off to Jamie it ensures Jamie will be no threat to the McKenzie lairdship. It also means Claire cannot spill the beans about Dougal's traitorous Jacobite activities. Yes, it does protect Claire from BJR but that's hardly Dougal's primary concern.

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I was wondering why Dougal wants Claire to marry Jamie in particular. There must be other unmarried men who are not wanted she could marry.

In the Gathering, we learn from Murtaugh that Dougal thinks that Jamie is his rival to be Laird. 

Politics being what they are, the clansmen will never accept him if he has a Sassanach wife.  So it behooves Dougal to remove Jamie as his rival.  I won't spoil it for anyone but in the book, there is another reason that Jamie will tell Claire after they are married.  

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My problem is the contrivance. You have to marry the sexiest of our brood and have immediate sexy times so that there's no question that the union is legal.

 

 

Dougal thinks that Jamie is his rival to be Laird.  The clansmen will never accept him if he has a Sassanach wife.  It's political, not contrivance at that point.

 

 

Exactly. Dougal doesn't offer up Jamie because he's so cute and sexy. He offers him up because 1) it makes that whole possibility that Clan Mackenzie would elect Jamie as Laird even less likely and 2) Jamie is willing. I'm sure many of the men in the rent party wouldn't mind "grinding Claire's corn," but how many would want to marry her?! Mrs. Bossypants? How many might already be married, even if they've also been shown as flirting and grabbing at other women. At least a match with Jamie is a plausible match for an educated English woman since -- for all his being a wanted man -- he's also an educated man, a close relative to a powerful Laird, and an heir to his own lands.

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Deleted...Nidratime already said it.  :)

Edited by Tif.
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In the Gathering, we learn from Murtaugh that Dougal thinks that Jamie is his rival to be Laird. 

Politics being what they are, the clansmen will never accept him if he has a Sassanach wife.  So it behooves Dougal to remove Jamie as his rival.  I won't spoil it for anyone but in the book, there is another reason that Jamie will tell Claire after they are married.  

What if I want to be spoiled?  :-)

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What if I want to be spoiled?  :-)

 

There are lots of Book Talk areas, and I am sure they are talking about this particular subject in Book 1?  Correct me if I am wrong book readers.

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Sassenachs, remember this is the episode topic and any book mentions should be at the bare minimum. Thank you!

 

What if I want to be spoiled?  :-)

 

I have an idea. Stay tuned as I open a new topic.

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