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S01.E15: Wentworth Prison 2015.05.16

A visit from Black Jack causes Jamie to realize a fate exists that is worse than his death sentence.

 

Since the show is available On Demand, you may begin discussing the show once it is available on the episode date.

 

Reminder: This is for discussion of the TV show only.  Any spoiler from outside the books (i.e. next week's preview) should be in spoiler tags. Please do not post or like here if you have read any of the books; this is a Read-Only topic. Book Talk folks, there is another episode topic for you.

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What a cesspool the writer's mind must be to come up with this horrific and brutally violent dreck. And how the camera lingered so lovingly  first on those awful hangings - was it really needed to show that many ? And then on every miserable second  of Jamie's suffering and degradation. Like an especially sick pornographer. Or somebody making a snuff film.

 

There was one funny moment for me when Jack said he was not in the mood for cunt today - yeah, right, like he is ever in the mood for cunt.

 

One thing this show has accomplished  I don't want to see Tobias Menzies in anything again for a good long time. I can't stand the sight of his face.

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What a cesspool the writer's mind must be to come up with this horrific and brutally violent dreck. And how the camera lingered so lovingly first on those awful hangings - was it really needed to show that many ? And then on every miserable second of Jamie's suffering and degradation. Like an especially sick pornographer. Or somebody making a snuff film.

There was one funny moment for me when Jack said he was not in the mood for cunt today - yeah, right, like he is ever in the mood for cunt.

One thing this show has accomplished I don't want to see Tobias Menzies in anything again for a good long time. I can't stand the sight of his face.

I was debating whether it was more like bad slash fan fiction or torture porn. Maybe a hybrid of the two. This has to be the most rape heavy show ever aired on television. This second half of the season has been a let down. I miss the inter- and intra-clan politics. Heck, this episode made me miss the silly romance novel crud that is the Claire-Jamie destined-in-the-stars love story. Claire is certainly a remarkable heroine, isn't she? She can off the top of her head cure most any condition with a few herbs, all men seem to instantly love and want her, and now apparently she can break into prisons. The whole think with Black Jack and his henchmen stepping out of the cell for a few minutes for no reason just to give her time to get in there was sloppy and really contrived. Was all this really in the book that so many people evidently adore?

Frickin h$&@, give me gorgeous scenery and costumes, plot lines about a fish out of water woman learning about clan life and politics, that's what I like(d) about this show. Not torture porn and rape. Not silly contrived plot points that could have been written by a junior high schooler.

This episode stunk in every single way.

Edited to add: How many smitten highlanders gave Jamie's mother significant wedding presents? All of them? Or just all of the ones Claire needs to help her?

Edited by terrymct.
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I was debating whether it was more like bad slash fan fiction or torture porn.

Yes! It was like one of those dubious consent - or lets just say zero consent - slash fics where the young pretty hero gets tortured and  raped up the ass by some "complex" and "tortured" bad guy. And without fail eventually the poor hero gets an erection while being fucked up the ass without his consent. And that gives the writer the excuse to say "he wanted to be raped after all' and bingo! they live happily ever after.

 

Though hopefully we will be spared this here because we have Claire who is sure to be healing poor Jamie with her magical vagina.

 

Never mind that what is happening to Jamie is the kind of shit people don't come back from with their self and sanity intact.  Hell, the infection alone in his poor mangled hand would kill him.

 

And yes, Claire is such a Mary Sue, even her foolish stubbornness is like a super power. Deliver a breach baby safely even though she had no experience with child birth, break into a prison, etc etc. What can't she do? Next she will be shitting gold.

 

I liked this show when it was a historical romance. I really liked the wedding episode.  And now it's all ashes in my mouth.

Edited by magdalene.
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What the hell was this? 

 

Where is the time traveling show I loved so much? 

 

I have gotten to where I don't like Claire.  Was she crawling to Jamie's cell?  Or trying to find it while blindfolded?  Good Lord, it took her forever while he was being abused.  And is Black Jack freaking everywhere?   How could Claire just sit there while Black Jack drilled a nail into Jamie's hand? 

 

Why are Claire and the Highlanders acting like they have all the time in the world to rescue Jamie? 

 

This isn't the show I want to see.  I'm disappointed and disgusted.

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Thank you Matt for your recap. Now I don't have to watch it. Also, I really needed that "crushing your butt" joke for a little levity.

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Wow, I guess I reacted very differently toward this episode than everyone else.  I thought it was a very good episode, although I wish they hadn’t dragged out saving Jamie (I’m assuming that will eventually happen) over this and the next episode.

 

The hangings were very brutal to watch, especially McQuarrie strangling instead of having his neck broken.  At first, I was wondering what that redcoat was doing, but then I realized he was trying to break McQuarrie’s neck—which I guess is an act of mercy vs. letting him strangle to death.  I felt a little like I was watching Game Of Thrones, in which they regularly introduce interesting characters like McQuarrie, only to kill them off almost immediately!  ;)  It did make me wonder if men like Jamie, who seem to attract trouble, are better off as loners.  McQuarrie was much more at peace during his brief tenure on the show than Jamie has ever been.  It also worked well to help me understand the seriousness of Jamie’s situation.

 

Blackjack coming to the rescue was a little contrived, but I also see that getting Jamie to surrender to him has become an obsession, so I can see him being concerned that Jamie will be snatched away from him.

 

I loved the interaction between Jamie and Blackjack (Emmys all around, please).  I know that others feel like it was torture porn, but I felt like it was mostly the natural culmination of what we’ve seen all season between them.  Did we think Blackjack wouldn’t try to have sex with Jamie again, given what we learned in the Garrison Commander and Lallybroch? I’m just grateful that they didn’t show a graphic rape.  Since there was a nudity warning at the beginning of the show, I was afraid that we’d get a visit from Blackjack junior again.  I like how Jamie didn’t break, even when Blackjack hurt his hand.  However, when he had to choose between giving in/saving Claire and being defiant/seeing Claire hurt or raped, he chose to sacrifice himself.  Sad, but perfectly appropriate for Jamie.  I did like how it gave him some peace to sacrifice himself for her.  He also saw that she was willing to risk herself for him—which he hasn’t seen her do before—and that put aside any lingering doubts he might have about whether she loves him.  Not sure why he had to nail Jamie’s hand—that seemed excessive—but I guess it proved that Jamie would not fight him off (he’s a man of his word) and it would make it hard for Jamie to attack Blackjack when the latter was trying to have sex with him.

 

The rescue was a little slower than I expected, but it isn’t easy to find a way into the prison.  Breaking in was not an option, but I liked the way Rupert and Angus found a way to get useful information, and Claire and Murtagh used their wits to get in—first unsuccessfully and then successfully.  Claire is a pretty woman and English –something that the Redcoats have likely not seen in a while—so it’s not surprising that she is somewhat able to manipulate them.

 

It was a little weird that Claire met the very person who gave Ellen the pearls, but maybe not, since Murtagh chose his house in which to hide due to his loyalty.  It isn’t as though they conveniently met someone who was willing to sacrifice everything for Jamie. Also, it appears that Jamie and his mother are both the type of people who attract a lot of admirers—people immediately love them.  We saw that with Jamie at Leoch, when he won supporters by stepping up and taking Laoghaire’s beating and later with his boldness at the Gathering. Jenny is not like that at all.  In fact, she’s rather prickly and hard to get to know.  Perhaps he takes after mom and she takes after dad.

Edited by nara.
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I'm not sure how many rapes/near rapes were in the book, but I get the sense that it wasn't an insignificant amount. Actually when I saw Ira Steven Behr was the writer, I was pretty pleased. He's a veteran writer with a fairly deft hand. I'm thinking that this is one of those book rapes that they couldn't abandon because of later repercussions to the story. Just like the spanking was a book plot. I think this was handled about as tastefully as you can when one of the characters is a sexual sadist who is psychosexually obsessed with the hero.

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Wow, I guess I reacted very differently toward this episode than everyone else.  I thought it was a very good episode, although I wish they hadn’t dragged out saving Jamie (I’m assuming that will eventually happen) over this and the next episode.

 

I'm right there. This was stellar. It's Starz. It's about time they took the gloves of ffs. It's 1743 in Scotland. Life is brutal. The show made me uncomfortable. Good. Do more of that. I mean, it's not like this wasn't expected. I think it's important to show this level of brutality because (if) Claire chose to live here than go back to Frank. Really, Claire? You knew Jamie was an outlaw with a history with Randall. So you actually chose this. Ok. Although now, I can't see Claire going back to Frank and not seeing Randall. 

 

We're heading into the battle that destroys the highland way of life. It should be visceral. It should be hard to watch. Give me that show please. I nailed your hand to the table, now kiss me. In front of your wife. 

 

I think they should have shot the initial Randall/Jamie scenes with a single camera, more like a play, since it was just two actors talking. The cuts took away from the performance. I laughed when Randall's bodyguard got killed because Randall kind of just rolled his eyes.

 

I know Jamie is going to be rescued. I know it's going to be a lot of luck. I don't care. I like totally off the wall plans, jailbreak, blow up the castle. Bring it. 

 

I quite enjoyed Randall mentioning Brutus because the actor played Brutus on Rome on HBO. 

 

I can't imagine either Jamie or Claire won't kill Randall. That's going to be a great season ender for me. 

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I had a dream last night in which Claire, Jamie, and Black Jack sailed off to Nassau where they join the cast of Black Sails could do all the soulful staring at each other they want, people could magically appear at just the right moment, and the daily rapes and attempted rapes would fit right into the pirate life and landscape.   Outlander went to being about the clans and highland communities in the years leading up to Culloden.   Honestly, at the rate Claire is going, she's going to stand between the Highlanders and British Army and singlehandedly defeat the British at Culloden and save the highland way of life.

 

I wish we could learn more about Dougal and Collum's relationship, how can they be so close and yet not know fundamental things about each other?  I wish we could learn more about the secret efforts going on to restore a Stuart to the throne.  I wish we could learn more about what the heck the Guard is really up to (RIP McQuarrie, you could have been a fascinating character).   I wish we could learn more about life in the villages and around the castles.   What I don't want to know more about is the psycho-sexual love triangle that is Jamie, Claire, and Black Jack.   Honestly, why haven't some group of highlanders or another ambushed Jack when he does all this traveling around?  He's apparently by himself or with only a small party.  Kill him.  Weigh his body down and throw him in a loch.   End of story.  No one on any side would miss him except maybe the Duke of Sandringham, and he wouldn't miss him for long.   

 

edited because somehow the text was repeated twice.

Edited by terrymct.
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I'm right there. This was stellar. It's Starz. It's about time they took the gloves of ffs. It's 1743 in Scotland. Life is brutal. The show made me uncomfortable. Good. Do more of that. I mean, it's not like this wasn't expected. I think it's important to show this level of brutality (1) because (if) Claire chose to live here than go back to Frank. Really, Claire? You knew Jamie was an outlaw with a history with Randall. So you actually chose this. Ok. Although now, I can't see Claire going back to Frank and not seeing Randall. 

 

We're heading into the battle that destroys the highland way of life. It should be visceral. It should be hard to watch. Give me that show please. I nailed your hand to the table, now kiss me. In front of your wife. 

 

(2) I think they should have shot the initial Randall/Jamie scenes with a single camera, more like a play, since it was just two actors talking. The cuts took away from the performance. I laughed when Randall's bodyguard got killed because Randall kind of just rolled his eyes.

 

I know Jamie is going to be rescued. I know it's going to be a lot of luck. I don't care. I like totally off the wall plans, jailbreak, blow up the castle. Bring it. 

 

(3) I quite enjoyed Randall mentioning Brutus because the actor played Brutus on Rome on HBO. 

 

(4) I can't imagine either Jamie or Claire won't kill Randall. That's going to be a great season ender for me. 

 

1 -- Ganesh, my dear, I'm determined to make you a believer in the idea that Claire chose to stay vs. the stones not working.  Thinking of starting a write in campaign so they include a deleted scene in the DVD or a kickstarter so they actually film that scene.

 

2 -- Interesting.  Can you share any examples of scenes filmed that way in other show, so I can visualize what you mean?

 

3 -- That was a fun wink from the writers to us in very brutal episode. 

 

4 -- As much as I want Blackjack to die, I would miss Tobias.  I doubt we'll see much of Frank anymore, since Claire seems to not be thinking about him at all.

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During the first half of S1, I thought the story sometimes veered a little too much into the schmoopie bodice ripper kind of romance novel that makes me roll my eyes but I would gladly take that over watch BJR sadistically torture Jamie and Claire. I don't want to sound like a squeamish baby who only wants to watch cartoons about unicorns and rainbows, but I have no desire to watch someone as depraved as BJR get a boner over breaking Jamie's hand. If the rest of the season/series is going to be like this then no thanks.

 

One thing this show has accomplished  I don't want to see Tobias Menzies in anything again for a good long time. I can't stand the sight of his face.

I make a concerted effort to separate actors from their characters but yeah, it's going to be hard for me to see him in anything for years  after this.

 

How many smitten highlanders gave Jamie's mother significant wedding presents? All of them? Or just all of the ones Claire needs to help her?

Ha, it's funny because it's true!

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4 -- As much as I want Blackjack to die, I would miss Tobias.  I doubt we'll see much of Frank anymore, since Claire seems to not be thinking about him at all.

 

 

I've been wondering why Claire doesn't have more issues with a super evil villain who seems to specifically be out to hurt her and her new/second/simultaneous husband looking exactly like her old/first/simultaneous husband.  She had a little of that in the pilot and early on, but you'd think in addition to everything else having someone who looks just like your old/first/simultaneous husband torturing and raping your new/second/simultaneous husband would be a major mind f#$k.

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We're heading into the battle that destroys the highland way of life. It should be visceral. It should be hard to watch. Give me that show please. I nailed your hand to the table, now kiss me. In front of your wife.

This.  A thousand times this.  It was an occupation, a war, a purposeful and methodical destruction of an ancient culture and society.  It was brutal, and terrible, and soul-crushing.  And it was meant to be all of those things.  It was done so effectively that the repercussions have lasted through to this very day, hundreds of years later.  It wasn't until just this past year that the Scots started to make a significant move toward independence again and make no mistake, if they had, the war of economics which would have been levied against the Scottish people would have been no less brutal than the Jacobite wars.

 

And, let's all be honest here, if anyone thinks that soldiers in the middle east aren't raping or being raped, today, right now, then they have a lot to learn about war and the psychology thereof.  Rape is, and always has been, one of the most effective weapons in a soldier's arsenal.

Edited by areca.
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Here's the recap by non-book reader Donna Dickens of this episode:

 

http://www.hitfix.com/harpy/recap-outlander-wentworth-prison-is-where-common-sense-goes-to-die

 

Her recaps are funny and she started out by being into the show. Not so much any more.

 

I want Jack to die in the most pathetic and disgusting way possible. He doesn't deserve some grand villain's death. But this abomination cannot die until he somehow produces offspring because no Frank otherwise. He'll probably outlive everyone.  Like a cockroach.

 

And as to the show just showing the "reality" and atrocities of war time - there is a difference between doing that in a visual medium like in for example films like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Schindler's List" and what they are doing here by reveling in brutality and rape.  And what makes all this torture porn especially insulting to me - would they really show any lasting effects of all this torture on Jamie like it realistically would be? No, I bet you, by next season Claire and Jamie will be back to fucking like minks. With Jamie back as the swash-buckling hero.

 

 

I've been wondering why Claire doesn't have more issues with a super evil villain who seems to specifically be out to hurt her and her new/second/simultaneous husband looking exactly like her old/first/simultaneous husband.  She had a little of that in the pilot and early on, but you'd think in addition to everything else having someone who looks just like your old/first/simultaneous husband torturing and raping your new/second/simultaneous husband would be a major mind f#$k.

 Probably because she has forgotten Frank exists?

Edited by magdalene.
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It feels like this story should have ended two or three episodes ago. I don't know how much more of this I can take. The last episode of Claire and Murtaugh searching the highlands for Jamie was tedious but this episode was torture to sit through. And it's all so pointless. The endless capturings and rescues are repetitive. And who the hell wants to sit through an entire hour of Jamie being tortured and maimed? Jeepers.

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Yeah, I'm on the 'too much' train. I mean, this isn't Rob Roy or Braveheart, this is a fantasy-romance. And it's not even that there's torture (rape being a subset of that in this case, right?), it's the lurid. prurient way it's presented. I'll watch next week to finish out the season, but if this is what TPTB are going to be serving up on the regular, I'll pass.

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I forgot to add that I thought it was bad ass of Claire to tell Randall when he dies.

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*takes multiple shots of bourbon* 

 

Time to watch this episode... God help me. 

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Yeah, I'm on the 'too much' train. I mean, this isn't Rob Roy or Braveheart, this is a fantasy-romance. And it's not even that there's torture (rape being a subset of that in this case, right?), it's the lurid. prurient way it's presented. I'll watch next week to finish out the season, but if this is what TPTB are going to be serving up on the regular, I'll pass.

 

Since Jamie is still captive, I'm afraid more will be coming up, but I cannot imagine that the books would be so popular with women if this torture were the main part of the story.

Edited by nara.
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Has Claire told Jamie that Frank looks just like Randall?

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The endless capturings and rescues are repetitive.

 

 

Exactly.  How many times is Jamie going to be hauled off?  How many times will Claire have to save him?   This sounds cold but has Claire ever thought that Jamie wasn't supposed to live?  Wouldn't a time traveler have thought of that at some point?

 

We know that Claire cannot kill Black Jack Randall or allow anyone else to kill him before his time or Frank may not be born.

 

And speaking of Frank, I liked the earlier episodes in part because Claire was a conflicted woman and showed it.  She still wears Frank's ring, does she never think of him anymore?  Does she never think of how much easier her life in 1945 is in comparison with 1743?  Has she never told Jamie that Frank is a descendant of Black Jack and then explain how unsettling it is that Frank resembles him and if something happens to Jack, it could affect Frank's future? 

 

These last two episodes have been highly disappointing.  I hope the finale surprises me. 

 

ETA:  ganesh, we had the same thought.

Edited by psychoticstate.
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I bet what is coming up is Jack raping Jamie. That's the one horrible thing they haven't done yet on the show. I wonder how explicit this is going to get. Can they show erections and actual anal penetration on pay cable? Game of Thrones, which is pretty explicit and has actual porn actors in some of their sex scenes hasn't done that.

 

I'll watch the final episode to complete the season but unless something happens that drastically changes the tone in that episode I won't subscribe to Starz for the next season.

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Damn ya`ll. I feel like I need to take a hundred showers, and hug a stuffed animal for a few days after that.

 

That being said, I thought the episode was very well done, for what it was. The thing is, I never went into this show thinking of it as just a romance story. Yes, the romance is the main focus, but its also a story about a people fighting to keep their own, ancient customs and culture, and another culture coming in to try to wipe it out. In real life, not very far away from when this takes place, things are going to get VERY brutal for the Scots, and I feel like, for all the depravity and horror of this episode, and how unpleasant it is to watch, I feel like there is a point to it. These things do happen, and pretending like they don't, and never did, does no one any favors. We need to be reminded of how awful people have been, and are, to keep it from happening again. They want to show just how terrible things were, both for our characters, and for what is it to be an oppressed people. It will also, hopefully, be a huge force in Jaime`s character, and in he and Claire's relationship. I just hope they follow through. 

 

That being said, I TOTALLY understand thinking this episode was in poor taste, or that it was torture porn. Completely legit reading. I, for one, will never watch this again, even though I thought it was an extremely well done hour of television. I`m not going to say anyone who hated this episode refuses to see the dark side of humanity. Its clearly going to be controversial, and I think its good for us to talk about it, and debate. How much horror should we show in fictional works? Is not showing denying the terrible things that have happened, and do happen to people? Or is showing it exploitative and nasty for the sake of nastiness? I tend to be of the former, but its a matter of opinion. 

 

What I don't understand is calling Claire a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is, be definition, a character that everyone loves, no matter what, and anyone who does not love them is a bad guy, often for that reason alone. Rory from Gilmore Girls was something of a Mary Sue. Claire is not. Not everyone loves her immediately. Plenty of people do like her, but its because she`s kind and tries to help people, and has a sense of humor, not just because. And while she is talented and smart, she screws up. A lot. And gets called out on it. A female character who is good at things does not a Mary Sue make. 

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It's a really good point that maybe Jamie was supposed to die and Claire keeps screwing that up. It's too bad she never got the chance to talk more with Gellis about stuff like that.

I didn't go into the show with any preconceived notions because I remain unspoiled as possible. Is a far better viewing experience for me. However, I'm familiar with Starz brands of show, so I can't say I'm surprised.

I think it's important to show this kind of episode because the impact on the upcoming battle needs to hit hard.

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Personally, I still find this show much more watchable then Game Of Thrones.   There may be brutal imagery on this show, but at least the point of view is clear, that we're on the side of those who are trying to be better in this world, and that the violence and those perpetrating it are wrong.  If this was just a miserable, dark, hopeless world with no one to root for and lurid violence for it's own sake, then I wouldn't bother watching.

 

Poor Jamie!  His hand is going to resemble his back once this is over.  I was surprised that he consented for Claire to leave the room--I was still thinking somehow she'd find a way to sneak-attack him so they could escape.  I don't what the hell they're going to do with the cows (open that door Claire unlocked and have the cows storm into the dungeons?  tie ropes to the prison gates and attatch them to the cow horns and make them run?  offer the cows as a bribe to get Jamie released?)  But they obviously aren't going to be in time to save Jamie from the sexual torture since they apparently have to round up the cows first.  

 

Black Jack is so disgusting and cruel...I kept imagining how painful it will be when Jack shoves Jaimie into position, given that his hand was nailed to the table face up.  I'm sure we will see more of the scene next week, either in real time or flashback.   I do wish we had another episode or two post-rape.  There are still a lot of things we don't know, like what actually happened when Claire was alone at the stones, and the fate of Gellis. 

Edited by Glade.
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It makes me sad that people are giving up on the series.  At least, come back to the forum to see if we are still liking the show.  It might entice you back 

 

 

Exactly.  How many times is Jamie going to be hauled off?  How many times will Claire have to save him?   This sounds cold but has Claire ever thought that Jamie wasn't supposed to live?  Wouldn't a time traveler have thought of that at some point?

Mind=blown.  That idea never occurred to me, even though we had a discussion in a previous episode thread about whether Jamie would have made it to Leoch without Claire's help.  However, I don't blame Claire for not thinking about it.  She's been in survival mode since she arrived "in time", so hasn't had a lot of time to think about the impact of her actions.  (Seriously, it would be nice to have an episode of them enjoying married life and herding sheep or something, without the threat of being captured or killed.  But that would probably be boring TV, so there you have it...) Also, Jamie and Mrs. Fitz have been her only consistent friends since she arrived, so even if she did consider that perhaps his fate was to die, I doubt she would sit by and allow it.

Edited by nara.
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 What I don't understand is calling Claire a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is, be definition, a character that everyone loves, no matter what, and anyone who does not love them is a bad guy, often for that reason alone. Rory from Gilmore Girls was something of a Mary Sue. Claire is not. Not everyone loves her immediately. Plenty of people do like her, but its because she`s kind and tries to help people, and has a sense of humor, not just because. And while she is talented and smart, she screws up. A lot. And gets called out on it. A female character who is good at things does not a Mary Sue make.

Her callings out aren't in proportion to what she's done, maybe the spanking but even that had a weird kink kind of element to it. She keeps putting people in danger or screwing things up and gets the kind of redress that Lucy Ricardo did in the old I Love Lucy show. Get rid of her. Take her to Inverness and put her on a damn boat to France, the place she was supposedly going anyway. No, the men all love her too much or want her too much. The women either love her or hate her because the men love her. Her interest in native plants in the 1940's means that she can cure almost any conditions with a few herbs. She can deliver a breech baby with no obstetrics experience. She can do vaudeville. Even her mistakes are due to her awesome spunkiness, spirit, and the boundless love she has for the hot guy she forgot her husband over so quickly and whom she married and sort of kind of became a bigamist.

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As a regular, but not fanatic Game of Thrones fan, I am used to a level of violence that ends in death almost every episode. But this close-up, elongated focus on the sado-masochism of a main character is a game changer for me. Maybe because as a main character, I will be surprised if he is killed and that means more of the same will be on the screen.

 

I wanted a bit more history, a bit more of the local habits and language. And of course the breathtaking scenery. For that I expect to endure violence and brutality, which, anyway, we still have today. (We could find a lot of these same scenes in a real life series in Baltimore for example.) It's not like it was forced into the past by paid armies, food distribution, literacy and vaccines.

 

The difference for me is the amount of detail, the close-ups, the lines about the monster's morbid fantasies, the lingering camera shots and discussion of the scars. I will watch the finale but overall, this isn't a show for me. This I truly regret, since I love Scottish history and all things Scotland.

Edited by albaniantv.
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Exactly.  How many times is Jamie going to be hauled off? 

 

Has it been more than once on the show?  Aside from the flashback to the first time at Lallybroch and the subsequent flogging at Fort William - when Claire wasn't even around - I'm pretty sure this is the first time Jamie has been hauled off.  Claire has been in more physical jeopardy on the show, requiring rescue by Jamie.

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One thing that makes Claire totally Mary Sue-ish is that every other female character looks "less" than her. Less beautiful, less kind, less competent. She even fucks like a professional.  And if they are in the case of Geillis, as competent and beautiful as Claire the show has made sure we know that Geillis is a poisoner.  That, plus the obvious hurt/comfort slash fic content - well, it wouldn't surprise me if the author got her start in and/or  was influenced by fan fiction. And beautiful suffering Jamie is every slash writers wet dream.

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I started off liking this show, but it's going off the rails.   Getting oh so very tired of the Black Jack Randall Torture Porn Hour.

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i'm so glad that so many others are tired of the Torture Porn. i watch Game of Thrones and that is about all i can take of that. i did not read these books so it's on me that i thought this was going to be something different than it is. i thought that claire would be going back and forth in time and that is the show i wanted to watch. so that disappointment is on me. i do wish someone would write that story because i really liked her husband and i liked her with him and their friends. the sense of humor, the lightness she displayed there? she never smiles now. there is never a light fun moment. i know that life was brutal back then but still...

when i realized that the show was not going to be about time travel, then i was okay with it being part Bodice Ripper -- because the chemistry between them is amazing (and i hate that word but when the shoe fits) and he's one of the most gorgeous men i've ever seen -- and part Highland tales leading to horrific war. i was not prepared for this kind of gleeful violence. the writers and directors seem to savor it, dragging it all on and on... which is not only sickening but completely lacking in creativity. and of course soldiers Rape. its' about power and violence and that is what war is about. but to have it be the same innocent couple and the same sadistic perv over and over and over again... it's just not interesting. there is so much torture and sadism on so many shows now. we just don't need any more. and then knowing that this is leading to... i'm sad about it but this is not for me.

 

btw, speaking of not original, Homeland did the awful hanging by the neck and choking and struggling because the neck didn't break with Damien Lewis's character. just let them die quickly if you need to show so many men dying that way... just keep the assembly line going. that is plenty horror on its own.

 

 

 

 

 

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Outlander makes Game of Thrones look like a whole lot safer place to be a female character.  EVERYWHERE Claire goes, someone gets raped, is almost raped, or talks about having been raped.   Game of Thrones, as violent and brutal as it is, isn't that rape filled.  Yes, it's happened, but most of the primary female characters haven't been raped or nearly raped.  In Outlander, the list gets shorter each week.

 

Yes, the period of history being sort of depicted was brutal, but I don't believe that a high born or noble woman would have nearly experienced it or heard about it as often as Claire does.  I don't believe it was a weekly occurrence for the working class women in real life either.  Happened, yes, but not continually  That's why when it does widely happen, such as recently in several countries in Africa, that it's such a horror and shock.  Outlander's rapes and near rapes were a choice by the author that was maintained by the screenwriters.

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Like it was so eloquently said up-thread it's the lurid and intense focus on the hero's torture and degradation that is making this so much worse than anything I have seen on Game Of Thrones. It makes it all come across as if the author and the show writers, and the director are getting off on this.  Like this is some scene in a S&M dungeon gone terribly wrong because there is no consent, and no safe word, and life-threatening bodily harm.

 

And now I get to contemplate for the next two weeks what those sick fucks have in store for the last episode. If I was smart I should just stop watching now.

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Exactly; folks like to point to other shows - but, in the case of Game of Thrones, while it's unapologetically violent there's only really been one case of outright torture and it was called out at the time for being tiresome too.  And, for whatever reason, I didn't find that stretch nearly as off-putting as on here.

 

I haven't read the books so I have no foreknowledge to know whether this is the norm going forward.  But that doesn't matter;  presenting a story through the written word is very different than presenting it on film.   You don't have to have the camera linger on the shot of Jamie's mangled hand being nailed.  In fact, I would say staying focused on Claire and Jamie's (and Randall's) faces during that scene would be far more powerful as what you imagine is going on is often much worse that just showing it.

 

I didn't expect this show to be a romance, and I wouldn't have enjoyed watching it if that's all it was.  But conversely, you can convey how awful the occupation of Scotland was without this unrelenting cycle of flogging, rape and torture.  Although it's really only Randall - the rest of the English troops, albeit prejudiced, haven't been portrayed as sadistically cruel.

Edited by jcin617.
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It's 1743 in Scotland. Life is brutal.

I query whether the level of brutality and violence (particularly how prone men seem to be to try to rape women at any opportunity) can be explained away as historically accurate. We're talking about post-Enlightenment Scotland, not the Dark Ages. Edinburgh was a cultural, theological, and scholastic capital of Europe -- its medical research and training was the finest at the time. The idea that Highlanders would rape women walking alone, or that witch trials were still de rigeur, etc. I don't believe is true.

Edited by annlaw78.
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I forgot to add that I thought it was bad ass of Claire to tell Randall when he dies.

Word. Last night's episode was very hard to watch even though I have read the book.  I thought it might have gone too far with Randall's sexual obsession of Jamie.  

The best part was Claire telling Randall when he dies. I so wish she would have added: "I curse that pathetic thing between your legs that you won't be able to use it on anyone anymore. Man or woman."   In that day of age, I wouldn't be surprised if Randall would have believed her curse so he won't be able to do what he is planning with Jamie.  At least she could have kicked him in the nads.  Maybe if Jamie is smart he will laugh his ass off at Randall's willy. 

I'm thinking I may need to just record it next week and fast forward if they do decide to show anything further. 

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Outlander makes Game of Thrones look like a whole lot safer place to be a female character.  EVERYWHERE Claire goes, someone gets raped, is almost raped, or talks about having been raped.   Game of Thrones, as violent and brutal as it is, isn't that rape filled.  Yes, it's happened, but most of the primary female characters haven't been raped or nearly raped.  In Outlander, the list gets shorter each week.

 

  As a Game of Thrones watcher who just happened to be wandering through this topic:  By my count, 4 out of 6 of GoT's primary female characters have now been raped or seriously threatened with rape. Your mileage may vary, depending on who you consider a primary character and how you interpret certain scenes.

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As a fan of cheerfully gory shows like Vikings and Hannibal, it may seem weird that I'm so over this hot mess. But having given the matter some thought over the past couple of days, I think the difference for me lies in the service the torture does for the show. In the two others I mention, torture is either plot driven (Ragnar blood-eagles his defeated rival as punishment for uprising and as a test of the warrior's Valhalla-worthiness) or character driven (the weekly tableau of horror is a literal manifestation of their killers' twisted psyches), as well as serving as a crime scene for the procedural element of the show. Plus, the title character is a cannibal, and as such is an exploration into horror tropes and human fears about same.

 

Here in Outlander, the torture is very much (to my eye, anyway) neither of these. The plot doesn't advance. The various sadists aren't explored, just exhibited. It's just The Jeopardy our heroes are in. And week after week of Jamie in Jep or Claire in Jep, with the nature of the 'jep' same, same and more of the same. In addition to the complaint I made about the prurient nature of its presentation, it's just lazy writing. Whether the fault of that is on the author, with the showrunner is filming what are essentially book reenactments, or on the showrunner for spinning the pay-cable carousel in this particular direction , I care not a whit. 

 

Sure, I have to watch Hannibal on a time-shift into daylight hours to avoid night terrors, but I don't fast-forward through a single minute. Can't say the same with this.

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I completely agree with the reviewer about the disturbing depiction of the violence in this episode, but I disagree with the idea that the kiss, for example, is disturbing because it is "person-on-person-prelude-to-a-rape kissing." We have become fairly used to seeing women forced to kiss before rapes -- this kiss is disturbing not because it is a male-male kiss (at least not to non-homophobes) or because is is "person-on-person-prelude-to-a-rape kissing" but because we rarely see men as the powerless victims of sexualized violence. And forcing a kiss emphasized that this violence is sexualized and not the kind of violence that we are more used to seeing men deal with all over media. Yes, this was a disturbingly shot scene, but it's important to realize that much of the disturbance comes from the fact that we are not used to seeing men in this kind of position.

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Sure, it's a brutal time in history and these are brutal people, so it's not the brutality I take issue with per se. By all means, show us the oncoming violence towards the Jacobites at the hands of the redcoats, and the land owners at the hands of the Watch. Make it about the era and the action. Don't take the "hero" of the story and make me sit and watch him get brutally tortured by the main villain just because he's a sick, twisted bastard who gets off on this sort of thing. Especially when I've already been subjected to Jack Randall's sadism repeatedly throughout the series. It's just more of the same only worse. That's repetitive for no apparent reason except that they ran out of story and didn't know where else to go, except back to the same old well of Jack Randall torturing someone. It really does make me think somebody responsible for this story is getting off on this.

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I completely agree with the reviewer about the disturbing depiction of the violence in this episode, but I disagree with the idea that the kiss, for example, is disturbing because it is "person-on-person-prelude-to-a-rape kissing." We have become fairly used to seeing women forced to kiss before rapes -- this kiss is disturbing not because it is a male-male kiss (at least not to non-homophobes) or because is is "person-on-person-prelude-to-a-rape kissing" but because we rarely see men as the powerless victims of sexualized violence. And forcing a kiss emphasized that this violence is sexualized and not the kind of violence that we are more used to seeing men deal with all over media. Yes, this was a disturbingly shot scene, but it's important to realize that much of the disturbance comes from the fact that we are not used to seeing men in this kind of position.

 

The kiss was disturbing to me because it was Randall essentially paying tribute to the last round of damage he caused Jamie as he started out on his next round of damage.   As someone pointed out above, in the interval between those two rounds of abuse, the plot wasn't really advanced.  Randall is a psycho.  We don't know why.  Randall is fixated on hurting Jamie and Claire, but particularly Jamie.  We don't know why.  It's just pain and damage and abuse for the sake of it.

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Sure, it's a brutal time in history and these are brutal people, so it's not the brutality I take issue with per se. By all means, show us the oncoming violence towards the Jacobites at the hands of the redcoats, and the land owners at the hands of the Watch. Make it about the era and the action. Don't take the "hero" of the story and make me sit and watch him get brutally tortured by the main villain just because he's a sick, twisted bastard who gets off on this sort of thing. Especially when I've already been subjected to Jack Randall's sadism repeatedly throughout the series. It's just more of the same only worse. That's repetitive for no apparent reason except that they ran out of story and didn't know where else to go, except back to the same old well of Jack Randall torturing someone. It really does make me think somebody responsible for this story is getting off on this.

If BJR is essentially the Hitler of the Highlands, it makes Murtagh's decision not to slit his throat right after he had knocked him out in the Pilot simply unbelievable. Ditto to Jamie's decision not to kill him at Fort William (though, at least there's the explanation then that it would be too obvious who had killed BJR). If BJR is THAT BAD, why would any of them not summarily kill him on the spot if an opportunity presents? By the scene in the Pilot , he'd ostensibly raped Jennie, flogged Jamie repeatedly

They can't have it both ways: The Highlands can't be this super-violent and brutal place to service one plot point, and then the Highlander outlaws too precious and moral to kill the Big Bad. Especially when Murtagh's, Jennie, and Claire were willing to kill the courier in the last ep!

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And everything about Black Jack is so repetitive and the performance is so hammy and over the top. He needs a mustache he can start twirling. Menzies was good on Rome but here he is just too much.  Bad direction probably.

 

As to why Jack is so intent on hurting Jamie - I think he is a homo-sexual sadist, in the closet about his homo-sexuality. He is physically attracted to Jamie but can't handle or come to terms with his attraction so he is intent on destroying the man he wants. 

 

Sexual sadists, either the hetero-sexual or the homo-sexual kind most often are not out of control monsters. We have clubs were sadists and masochists can go and most of these clubs are safe environments with safe words, strict consent rules and dungeon monitors. I mention this because I want to make it clear that I don't despise the Jack character because he is a sadist. I loathe the character because  he is an evil fuck. In the words of one of my favorite books character:  It's not what you are, it's what you do with it.

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If BJR is essentially the Hitler of the Highlands, it makes Murtagh's decision not to slit his throat right after he had knocked him out in the Pilot simply unbelievable. Ditto to Jamie's decision not to kill him at Fort William (though, at least there's the explanation then that it would be too obvious who had killed BJR). If BJR is THAT BAD, why would any of them not summarily kill him on the spot if an opportunity presents? By the scene in the Pilot , he'd ostensibly raped Jennie, flogged Jamie repeatedly

 

 

I think this is my biggest issue with BJR.  He seems nasty to everyone, although most particularly to Jamie, and it's not on the down low.  No one seems to like him and everyone seems to know exactly what he did to Jamie and others so why is he being protected?  You would think even men in his own army would want to do him in and blame it on a highlander or anyone else.

 

I understand the flogging scene from earlier in the season and while it was hard to watch, it was understandable.  It set the backstory between Jamie and BJR and explained a lot about Jamie's character.  I haven't read the books yet so I don't know if the incidents from the most recent episode are going to change Jamie and/or play a significant part in the future storyline but if so, maybe it would have been better to show quick glimpses in flashback. 

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Sure, I have to watch Hannibal on a time-shift into daylight hours to avoid night terrors, but I don't fast-forward through a single minute. Can't say the same with this.

For me, the difference is that with Hannibal I am horrified but with BJR I am grossed out. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me. Hannibal creeps me out but I can't look away. BJR makes me want to fast forward.

While the end of this week's GoT episode was terrible, they achieved the tone without showing anything explicit. I hated what was happening but the scene itself didn't seem gratuitous. The only time I have really wanted to fast forward GoT was during the Theon/Ramsay torture scenes, whereas the BJR whipping flashbacks made me want to fast forward, as did most of this week's episode.

I know different strokes for different folks but the fact that I can watch Hannibal murder people in really disturbing ways or all the violence in almost five seasons of GoT but I can barely get through one season of Outlander makes me think that I might not come back for S2.

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For me, the difference is that with Hannibal I am horrified but with BJR I am grossed out. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me. Hannibal creeps me out but I can't look away. BJR makes me want to fast forward.

Hannibal is an interesting character. BJR is not. Hannibal is not just a one-note baddie. Hannibal would make a fine dish of spite haggis out of BJR, and I'd be totally fine with that.

I just really don't get why no one hasn't offed BJR before. In the Pilot, when I thought Jamie et al were the Highland equivalent of the Duke boys (never meaning no harm) and BJR was their rascally old coot of a Boss Hogg, I could get why Murtagh wouldn't have killed him. But knowing what we know now? That seems wildly implausible.

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