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S01.E16: To Ransom a Man's Soul 2015.05.30

A little tidbit from Diana about the coos!

 

 

Diana Gabaldon: I do know how the cow scenes were filmed. <g> For the rush through the dungeons, they actually ran the cows down that stone corridor at a slow trot, driven by three cowherds with switches. They filmed Angus, Rupert and Murtagh separately, trotting down the same corridor (with very short, shuffling steps, so as to synchronize their speed with the cows, who were in fact going quite slowly). Then they digitally erased the cowherds and superimposed the film over Murtagh et al, and speeded it up a bit.

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A little tidbit from Diana about the coos!

 

Diana Gabaldon: I do know how the cow scenes were filmed. <g> For the rush through the dungeons, they actually ran the cows down that stone corridor at a slow trot, driven by three cowherds with switches. They filmed Angus, Rupert and Murtagh separately, trotting down the same corridor (with very short, shuffling steps, so as to synchronize their speed with the cows, who were in fact going quite slowly). Then they digitally erased the cowherds and superimposed the film over Murtagh et al, and speeded it up a bit.

 

So...Special Effects! I can live wi' that!

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oh, I liked that so very much! 

I believe it is worthy of a Pin and I am going to follow them on Tumblr, spread the love :)

 

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Her confession was the best part of the episode, really, although the Father could have been a bit more shocked and acted like he wrestled more with the idea of what to say to her

 

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He's spent his life believing in a supernatural being and hearing all kinds of confessions. I found his reaction to her confession marvelous, even if he did have to phrase it as a "miracle". Great casting, also, as someone else said.

 

Some things left me scratching my head a bit - like BJR telling Jamie that Claire will never forgive him.  If he's supposed to die the next day, I don't understand that statement.

 

 

Just more torture. Jamie will go to his death thinking that Jamie died a coward, just like he was distressed that she thought he was going to the noose without a fight.

 

BJR carries around lavender oil just in case he gets to have a rapefest?  Seems like he'd pack lighter than that.

 

 

A vial of lavender oil isn't that heavy, and given the general state of hygiene back then, could be useful in many ways.

Edited by basil.
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Claire mentions when she first sees (and smells) Jamie in the cart that oil of lavender is used to treat pain.  Perhaps it is a common treatment for burns  --we see BJR dab some on the fresh brand before he starts putting it to erotic purposes.  It's not inconceivable that BJR travels with the 1743 version of a rudimentary first aid kit -- especially if he's found that some of those items can serve a dual purpose.

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I have not seen the episode yet (will watch this afternoon), but I think I am going to try to read a few of the books over break now. I think it will help dealing with the inevitable trauma of this episode, plus it seems like this will be the place to chat during season 2! 

 

Wish me luck!

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There's something about this show and the show runners that annoy me.  I shouldn't need to go to Twitter or blog posts or whatever in addition to the on screen show to understand the show/show writer motivations.  They should put it all on the screen. 

 

And I guess I don't feel like they put it all on the screen.  I think the writers and producers spent a lot of time congratulating themselves for what they put on the screen because they were soooo daring and forgot that they had to put a show out for an audience, both that had read the book and that hadn't.

 

I've been trying to get a handle on my thoughts and feelings about this very thing, ever since I watched the last two episodes.

 

It's not that I think the episodes are bad, lacking in artistic merit, or unnecessary (the events portrayed certainly couldn't be skipped entirely, since they play so heavily into the future of Jamie's character and his relationships)... But.  But I still have huge reservations about it all.  My feelings are so complicated, that they just come out in little contradictory bursts when I see something said by the show creators.

 

Such as:  "We really wanted to challenge the audience."  There is a part of me completely appalled by that notion of why this is "good."  Yes, art can be challenging... we all know that... but it is a rare enduring artist (as opposed to a fly-by-night, 15 minutes type) who sets as his or her goal, "challenging his audience".  To me, (and strictly my opinion here), the best art is something that expresses something within the artist, something that transcends the simple dirt-and-rocks version of earthly existence ("good" or "evil") and the challenge to the audience is simply a by-product of the fullness of the artist's expression.  The more powerfully the artist allows the viewer to glimpse what lies beneath his own expression, what lies within his own soul, the more challenging that art will be.

 

So... it seems a little... I don't know... condescending, pretentious, or something, to say what you wanted to do was "challenge the audience" as if we need to be told how we're supposed to react to your art.  Then to continue in that vein, if someone is not wanting to be "challenged" in that particular way, suddenly that person is somehow less appreciative of art in general, and seen as somehow not "getting it."  That person is now seen as a less-capable audience member, because they don't look kindly on the artists trying to challenge them.

 

I admit that the scenes were well done.  They were challenging.  I can even say, they rose to the level of art.  But I think it is brutally unnecessary to congratulate oneself for making art, when half the audience is feeling traumatized by it.  They didn't give a shit about the effect their art would have on the willingness of their audience to stay with the show.  So, the desire not to pull any punches, may have led to an earlier cancellation than they had hoped (if the audience that is done decides to stay done.)

 

On the other hand, in general, I think one of the reasons rape is handled so poorly in our media landscape is because it is absolutely brutal to put actors through something that has to get in their heads, in a really horrible way.  And it's actually not really necessary for a show to fully "go there" with their actors to get the point across.  Everyone knows rape is a horror story.  I personally know two people who have been sexually assaulted.  I'll bet a lot of people know at least one person in their circle who has lived through something devastating like this.  And that's why it's a "shorthand" subject for writers to use for character development. It's that it really is a situation that you either find a way to survive or it destroys you.  But it is generally horribly handled because to really re-enact something that horrible is cruel to an actor.  Yes, Sam was not really, truly raped, in that Tobias didn't actually hurt his body.  But his mind had to be completely in that place to act it out as well as he did.  That's just a horrible thing to put another human through.

 

I do think the show could have left it with the opening shot, Sam's tortured look, then he could have acted the hell out of finally revealing verbally to Claire, what happened in that cell.  I've read the books, and that scene is no less visceral due to it being told in flashback.  Jamie's declaration that now he must be sick when he sends Claire away, is absolutely devastating.  I think that we could have had more focus on the spiritual damage and the spiritual moves toward recovery if we hadn't spent so much time in that damned cell.  And this is where I think the show has gone awry a bit.  In their effort to really hit the watcher over the head with the characterization of Jack Randall <spit>, they have given terribly short-shrift to the relationship and the power of Jamie and Claire's mental connection.

 

As I said above, I'm a torn mess, but I don't really appreciate the show runners, or even Diana, telling me what I ought to be appreciating about their choices, when all I want to do is be a bit sick.  I'll never watch those two episodes again.  I watched them so I'd have some idea of the choices made on the show vs. the book, but truthfully, if it was just me, and I wasn't watching with non-book readers, I'd have skipped those episodes.  I don't need my fiction, or my shows, to brutalize me with the worst realities of the human condition.  I've seen enough of that, in real life, to get it.  And if there are people who haven't seen what I've seen, then I am very very content to be happy that they haven't.  I am grateful for whatever innocence remains in this world, and I'd like to think that I'm not a person that feels the need to spread the misery, on purpose.

 

And that goes for GOT, too.  Another show that feels like an abusive relationship to me.  sigh.  I fear that this is all our television fiction is destined to be now.... shows trying to top one another with just how horrible life can be.   And expecting us to applaud because it's ART! 

 

Anyway... sorry for the book-length post. The dam opened up, I'm afraid. :-(

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No apology needed here BoPeep.  You expressed eloquently my thoughts with so much of your post.  I join you in somehow feeling offended by all the side parts, the podcasts, tweets, all of it.  Either put it on air or post it online where it is accessible to everyone.  I don't care to join the twitter sphere and have never owned an Ipod or mp3 and don't want to feel I am missing out if I don't go that route.  As a long time fan and multiple reader of each of the books I wonder at the need to be hit over the head with the violence.  Why have we re-visited the flogging scene so many times?  Once was more than enough.  I had every episode saved to my DVR but having watched the last two episodes in real time I deleted them all and would never consider buying the DVD's.  I never want to see that again.  I know many will say it is integral to the story and non-book readers need to know.  And I agree, but there is just no need to do so in such a graphic, violent way.  A great deal of what happened is told in flashback  in the book, why not use that in the show?  Yes, I know, it's so SHOCKING and ground-breaking.  Sadly though, imo only, I fear they have driven potential long time viewers off in droves of horrors and there is every good chance many will not be back.  I will stand second to none in my long time love affair with these books and the story, but if I had to say definitively right this minute if I will watch the next season, I would have to ponder it.  And if they have lost me then I have to wonder about the general public who simply were curious about this show and what all the fuss was about.  

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Well, after last night's Game of Thrones, does anyone else feel like that was worse than this finale? Seems like they are competing to be the most shocking thing ever on TV.

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I don't think Outlander and Game of Thrones are competing to shock the audience.  I think both shows struggle to depict in episodic television format a story that was originally written in VERY BIG BOOKS.  This means that trauma is piled upon trauma in the case of Outlander because there is no time to depict the days of contentment and joy that happen between the BIG DRAMATIC EVENTS.  And in the case of Game of Thrones -- well, the title says it all.  The whole series is set during a period of absolute chaos full of murder and power vacuums and plots rising and falling and heroes rising and falling and villains rising and falling.  It's like the worst atrocities from World War II all being crammed into one show.

 

That being said, I think Outlander is a much more personal show.  The series finale was shocking not because it depicted male rape or because it showed so much but because the victim was the series' heroic male lead.  That's what makes this story so daring and why those scenes hurt so much.  That's when Game of Thrones gets to us as well (or at least to me.)  No one is safe on that show.  If you find yourself liking a character, buckle your seatbelt because they are going to suffer.  But I think it's done in the interest of drama and telling a thrilling tale -- not out of a desire to shock (if by shock you mean offend and disgust).  If by shock you mean "extreme surprise" then yeah, they both manage to do that regularly.

Edited by WatchrTina.
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For me, it wasn't so much surprise or disgust. Although, my husband on the other hand, wanted to turn off the TV as soon as that happened. So I asked him if it was worse than what I made him watch last weekend and he said absolutely. Of course, he hasn't read any of the books, and I've read them all. I suppose that helps.

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I'm still trying to figure out why Outlander's violence is so shocking and disturbing that people decide to drop the show, while people seem to revel in the constant violence that happens on Game of Thrones.

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I'm still trying to figure out why Outlander's violence is so shocking and disturbing that people decide to drop the show, while people seem to revel in the constant violence that happens on Game of Thrones.

People like and dislike different things. While certain depictions of violence may not bother some people too much they may evoke visceral revulsion in others. Everyone has different hot buttons. This is not hard to understand. Also, not everyone watches both shows or they may be overinvested in one show but only a casual viewer of the other show so comparisons don't really work for everyone.

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Also I decided to stop watching Game of Thrones this because I got sick of the constant graphic violence being hailed as automatically great storytelling over there too.  I don't know why so many people keep bringing up Game of Thrones and just assuming that people who have an issue with Outlander's violence are fine with the violence there.  Where does that assumption even come from?  Because GoT is popular?  If you haven't seen all the criticism and arguments about how violent GoT is and about their handling of rape in particular then you haven't been paying attention but that doesn't mean those discussions aren't still happening without you.  

Edited by CatMack.
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No one is saying the discussion isn't happening, but also no one can deny the popularity of the show. While in regards to Outlander, people are worried the show won't last much longer because viewers are turned off by the violence. So, in one case, purportedly the violence isn't threatening the existence of the show and in fact it shockingly "delights," while in the other case the violence is being touted as a reason the show may struggle for an audience.

 

To be honest, I think one difference is that, even though both shows have fantastical elements, Outlander is much more grounded in reality, so it makes the violence seem real as opposed to a show that's overwhelmingly fantastical which creates a greater distance between the viewer and the story.

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Just for the record, my personal opinions here have nothing to do with whatever violence GoT may have.  I have not had HBO in 25 years at least  and have never seen GoT so that is no comparison that affects me one way or another.   But I have read Outlander a dozen times or more....I reread the entire series in prep whenever a new book is about to come out.....and just happen to feel like the TV show is emphasising the violence in a way that may not be palatable to all viewers, or readers.  Yes, it is surely a part of the story, maybe even a significant part, but it is NOT the main thrust of it, that is my point.

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I reread the entire series in prep whenever a new book is about to come out.....and just happen to feel like the TV show is emphasising the violence in a way that may not be palatable to all viewers, or readers.  Yes, it is surely a part of the story, maybe even a significant part, but it is NOT the main thrust of it, that is my point.

 

I agree with you here, dustoffmom... The biggest frustration for me, is that Outlander, in my experience as a multi-re-reader, has been primarily about the relationships and character growth.  I have loved watching Jamie and Claire become more fully themselves as the series has progressed, and they've become like close friends that I have known for 20-some-odd number of years.  It isn't the story of events, in my mind.  It's the story of people, told with a backdrop of interesting events.

 

To have so much of that story pushed aside in favor of "exploring" the character of Jack Randall, just pisses me off, to no end.  Sure, sure, villains can be interesting (see "Breaking Bad"), but Outlander is not supposed to be that story!  It's not the story of how Jack Randall is an interesting sadist who has inner motivations.  We readers have always figured he probably had motivations, and have read between the lines to understand to some degree what they might be.  

 

But by spending all that time in the cell, in the show, they've basically said his motivations are way more important than the relationship and the growth and the power of Jamie and Claire together.  If the story had been told between Jamie and Claire, as in the book, the focus would have been on the two of them, by necessity, as it would have been those two on the screen.  Instead, the story that we got is "this is the relationship between Jack Randall and Jamie. And Claire (who is supposed to have a significant story of her own, in the whole rescuing-Jamie scenario), is now just trying to fight her way into our awareness."   That's not the story that I spent twenty-four years loving.  It's just not.

 

I Do Not Care About Jack Randall!  Showrunners! Hear me roar! <tongue firmly in cheek... ;-P >

 

And then I'm told by TPTB that my disappointment is just because I'm not getting their art.

 

And for me, the difference with GOT is that I just don't give a shit about any of those characters, really.  And learned right quick, as a viewer only, that I really should not.  It is the story of brutal events, and that's about it.  I can't bring myself to care about anyone in that story.  It's just glitz and big CGI budgets.  I still watch, because, hey... dragons.  But yeah... not going to care.

Edited by CalamityBoPeep.
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To have so much of that story pushed aside in favor of "exploring" the character of Jack Randall, just pisses me off, to no end.  Sure, sure, villains can be interesting (see "Breaking Bad"), but Outlander is not supposed to be that story!  It's not the story of how Jack Randall is an interesting sadist who has inner motivations.  We readers have always figured he probably had motivations, and have read between the lines to understand to some degree what they might be. 

But by spending all that time in the cell, in the show, they've basically said his motivations are way more important than the relationship and the growth and the power of Jamie and Claire together.  If the story had been told between Jamie and Claire, as in the book, the focus would have been on the two of them, by necessity, as it would have been those two on the screen.  Instead, the story that we got is "this is the relationship between Jack Randall and Jamie. And Claire (who is supposed to have a significant story of her own, in the whole rescuing-Jamie scenario), is now just trying to fight her way into our awareness."   That's not the story that I spent twenty-four years loving.  It's just not.

 

 

I'm a re-re-reader as well, but I disagree.  I don't think we know anything, really, about what motivates BJR (at least not in the first book), but I think something would be lost if we didn't spend the time in the cell and get into Jamie's head -- how he processes BJR.  It's not just some random, anonymous attacker making him always afraid of shadows; it's this one specific guy that, until BJR smashes his hand with a mallet, Jamie is convinced he can overcome, or at least endure.  Whether he is being flogged or propositioned, Jamie has this young man cockiness (will you please stop talking and get on with the flogging) - and that is killed dead in that cell. And Claire is right there, through the torture and afterward:  when Jamie sees Claire, he sees BJR, and when Claire sees BJR, she sees Frank.  And they have to find their way back to seeing each other, without BJR in the middle.  I don't think that gets conveyed if BJR stays a bogeyman off-screen.

 

I'll just add that RDM's comments in the media about what he was trying to accomplish with production decisions were in response to specific questions.  If you never read an article or watched a video or listened to a podcast or commentary, I think you'd get the whole story on-screen.  I contrast that with Lost, which had a whole internet life, and if you weren't following online, you missed a ton of the show's mythology.  Or a worse example, Flashforward, that invited viewers to log on to the website to get clues about WTH that kangaroo was doing hopping down the main street. I shouldn't have to work that hard to follow the story, so I never tuned in again.  With Outlander, I think they did a pretty good job putting motivations on the screen (with maybe the exception of why Claire stays), which is enriched by the books, and then if you want to go deeper into the craft of it, you can with the podcasts, etc., but you don't have to.

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So I've been yammering away over in the book-vs-show thread (apologies for my long-windedness) about how the book version of the Jamie's recovery is better than the show version.  I stand by that.

 

Now I'm going to compliment the show-runners for what the DID do in this episode.  I asked myself the question, "when did Jamie 'break''?  The more I thought it the more I realized what a good job the show-runners did AND it explains why they had to show so much of Jack's assault.

 

First Jamie plans to simply not resist.  "Like Christ on the cross" says Jack.  But he won't put up with "kissing a corpse" so he attempts to "rouse" Jamie.  It doesn't work. Jamie is repulsed.  "Don't play the worm with me" says Jack.

 

Then Jamie pisses Jack off and Jack responds by raping him in exactly the way Jamie expected to be raped.  Jamie is assaulted, violated but he's not broken.

 

When next we see Jamie, however, it's clear that more physical damage has been inflicted off-camera.  There is unexplained blood.  Jamie is filthy, crawling on the floor to get away, clearly in worse pain than before.  Jack asks, basically "Are we done?  Are you broken?" But no, Jamie is escaping from Jack's clutches by hallucinating Claire.  That's when Jack realizes that Jamie's love for Claire is what is holding him together.  I originally wondered why, at that moment Jack decides to brand Jamie.  I've now decided that it was a test -- to see if Jamie was really broken.  Jamie fails the test -- he diverts the brand to his side -- away from his heart where Jack directed him to put it.  And that's when Jack decides to make use of the hallucinations, to "impersonate" Claire (for back of a better word) to trick Jamie into responding to him as a means of tearing down his last resistance.  And it works.  When Jamie realizes what he has done, he "breaks."

 

I like this interpretation, I think it's a pretty clear story arc and I think it explains why so much of the rape was depicted.

 

I still prefer the book version of Jamie's recovery but the TV version of how Jamie "broke" is growing on me.

 

ETA:  I thought of one last flash of "unbroken" Jamie -- when he says to Jack in the opening scene "You owe me a debt."  But even that last gasp of defiance crumbles when Jack walks away leaving our hero to beg "please."

Edited by WatchrTina.
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Finally saw the last episode. I can't say I liked it, because it was hugely disturbing, but I think they did a good job with the material. 

 

First, massive, massive kudos to Sam H. The thousand yard stare in the first scene was so good it almost took me out of the action in a "That's amazing! How did he do that?" sort of way. 

 

I missed the crying scene with the hand ("two hands to love you with") but I get that it doesn't make much sense without the infection. Could the weird look of Jamie's hand in the season 2 pictures mean that they's moved the potential amputation part there?

 

I've seen a lot of people comment on the opium change. Personally, while I agree that the big healing scene carries a little less weight in the tv version, I'm okay with the loss of the opium scene as I was never a big fan of it in the first place. I get what Gabaldon was trying to do. I like the idea that Jamie needed to regain his lost power and it is pretty compelling storytelling, but it's surreal enough that I had to read it twice before I figured out what the heck was going on (and I really didn't want to given the intensity of the scene) and second, well, Claire "healing" Jamie by impersonating his rapist and having him nearly kill her in the process is just... messed up on so, so many levels for me. Not that all of Wentworth prison isn't epically disturbing but there's just something extra nasty about dragging a drugged out, dying Jamie back to that. I still wonder what the heck was in those scrying herbs to make Claire ever think that was a good idea, positive outcome not withstanding. 

 

One other part I really missed that I haven't seen mentioned is the part at MacRannoch's house post-rescue. BookClaire and Jamie are both trying so hard to keep it together and be strong for each other in those scenes. For me, it's one of those parts that really shows how much they love each other. I will say though, that it never made much sense how Jamie goes from out being messed up, but still very much Jamie (making jokes, worrying about Claire etc) to traumatized abbey Jamie. I thought the arc of the show (from hallucinating and being too traumatized to even speak coherently to coherent but suicidal) made more sense. 

 

Looking forward to season 2!

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One other part I really missed that I haven't seen mentioned is the part at MacRannoch's house post-rescue. BookClaire and Jamie are both trying so hard to keep it together and be strong for each other in those scenes. For me, it's one of those parts that really shows how much they love each other. I will say though, that it never made much sense how Jamie goes from out being messed up, but still very much Jamie (making jokes, worrying about Claire etc) to traumatized abbey Jamie. I thought the arc of the show (from hallucinating and being too traumatized to even speak coherently to coherent but suicidal) made more sense. 

 

Looking forward to season 2!

I've just finished the book and I have to say, you've hit one aspect that did not make sense to me. Jamie did not appear to be very traumatized until he reached the abbey. I understand that he was very seasick but it the change did not make sense to me. I use to be a nurse so it's not like I don't understand how the mind can be influenced by illness. It just didn't ring true. The way Jamie was traumatized in the show was more realistic to me. Yeah, I'm talking about realism in a show where the main character travels back it time 200 years but there it is.

Edited by bearcatfan.
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Yeah, I'm talking about realism in a show where the main character travels back it time 200 years but there it is.

Agree 100% Bearcatfan! I actually think good fantasy/ fiction with fantasy elements has to have realism in the character interactions because the premise is so un-real. 

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I will say though, that it never made much sense how Jamie goes from out being messed up, but still very much Jamie (making jokes, worrying about Claire etc) to traumatized abbey Jamie. I thought the arc of the show (from hallucinating and being too traumatized to even speak coherently to coherent but suicidal) made more sense.

My reading of Jamie's decline in the book is that while Jamie is in an awful physical state when they rescue him, he is not near death.  Mentally he is focused on escaping their pursuers, both to keep Claire safe and because he cannot bear the idea of being put back in Black Jack's clutches.  He's being propped up by the adrenaline of the fight-or-flight response. So he still seems very much like our Jamie during those first few post-escape scenes.  But once he and Claire are safe at the abby, then he has time to contemplate his situation and to think (obsessively) about what was done to him.  By then he has already suffered through life-threatening sea-sickness, after which he cannot eat.  And then there is the prolonged fever and infection, which weaken him further.  Add to that the fact that he can't sleep because he is plagued by nightmare memories of the rape and that on top of everything else he's afraid someone is going to amputate his hand.  All those factors combine to make it credible to me that both his physical and mental state deteriorate markedly at the Abby.

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My thoughts as a viewer only are:  

Jamie looked facially absolutely beautiful as he lay on the cot while Randall washed himself.

 

 The blood and dirt had been wiped off Jamie's face, His hair looked soft and glossy. I assume that BJR washed him off.  

For a moment his facial countenance reminded me of a statue of the Biblical King David as shown in various mediums.

 

 

As he lays on his stomach on the cot and asks BJR to pay his debt, he is so obviously weak and in extreme pain (broken ribs  and / or colon injuries) maybe.

 

But when Jamie is rescued, other than his hand and chain burns he looks pretty good.

As Jamie lays in the wagon, Claire lifts the cover and looks at his groin area and grimaces.

 The only injury we see on his groin area is a small scratch on which BJR puts lavender oil.

 

Also on first viewing, I was mildly startled when he had the energy and strength to lift up and choke Claire or yell at Murtaugh

considering how weak he was earlier.     

 

I guess what I am trying to post is that I wanted Claire and the men to see the horror of his torture on his bloody face and his weakness and pain.

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Jamie looked facially absolutely beautiful as he lay on the cot while Randall washed himself.

Thank you for saying that because I feel downright guilty at my reaction to that shot.  And you are right -- we, the viewers, do not have a clear understanding of Jamie's injuries.  He's too weak to get off the cot in the very first scene but we really don't know why.  Other than the broken hand and the brand, he seems otherwise uninjured at the monastery.  It's a weakness in the episode.

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As he lays on his stomach on the cot and asks BJR to pay his debt, he is so obviously weak and in extreme pain (broken ribs  and / or colon injuries) maybe.

 

 

"colon injuries"?

 

We've seen Black Jack's little black jack - even if he's more of a grower than a shower, or he used some other implement (in which case Jamie would be unlikely to survive the night), Jamie's colon is fine.

 

I think that the damage done to his hand (hand injuries are horribly painful), plus being brutally anally raped, combined with more rape and mindfuckery during a long sleepless night, knowing he is going to die, thinking that Claire will not forgive him is enough to put him in extreme pain.

 

we, the viewers, do not have a clear understanding of Jamie's injuries.  He's too weak to get off the cot in the very first scene but we really don't know why.  Other than the broken hand and the brand, he seems otherwise uninjured at the monastery.  It's a weakness in the episode.

 

 

Strongly disagree that it's a weakness. Jamie is a human being, despite his portrayal as a very strong man. He has lost his will to live. Burns are extremely painful. So is forced anal rape. The broken and nailed hand alone would be enough to bring any person to their knees. For him to brush all that off would be highly unrealistic to me. 

Edited by basil.
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I stand corrected. You are right basil.  I should and meant the word "anal" as opposed to "colon".  For some embarrassing reason, I was uncomfortable using the correct word.  

 

BTW  I have ordered the 1st book . So, I should have a better understanding of Season 1.  Funny, all my more recent books were downloaded to my Kindle but I ordered the paperback copy of Outlander.  No its not the cover picture. I think that the tactile old fashioned print on paper suits this book better for me.

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Cypfan, I agree that paper books are so much more than ebooks. I'm not sure why, but I tend to remember them longer and feel them more deeply on an emotional level. Pixels seem lifeless in comparison. Maybe I'm just too old for ebooks and long for the good old days of libraries and book stores. :-)

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I read "Outlander" in paperback first. I'm glad I did that, as it allowed me to embrace the text a bit. I read the rest of the books on my Kindle. I've really learned to prefer that. I can highlight favorite lines and scenes and then use the search function to easily access them later on. Often, I can even remember specific words in a scene, and I can search quickly with that word (if it's not crazy over-used). I can also bounce from book to book super fast, if I want to remember what happened to a character earlier on. For example, to use this episode as a guide, when I read about suggestions of Jamie's PTSD in later books, I can jump back to Wentworth and abbey scenes in "Outlander" really quickly. (Hardly ever do that one, but I'm trying to keep within the scope of this episode thread.) I really like being able to navigate quickly like that. 

 

I do have paperbacks of all the books, for fun's sake. 

 

It did take me a while to get used to the Kindle (I love the old-schoolness of books too), but now I really appreciate it. I like being able to toss my wee Kindle into my purse and have access to all my books at once, instead of carrying hefty paperbacks one-at-a-time.

 

Edited to change to Wentworth example, to stay within this thread.

Edited by Dust Bunny.
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Verra verra late to the party but I've been reading the ep threads after I watch them. I haven't read this one because I need to get my thoughts out after watching this ep, and of course YMMV. 

 

I'm kind of unsullied, as in I tried to read Outlander and couldn't get into it, even though I had watched the first 2 eps of the series. Then I heard about the ending and I went ahead and read that, so I knew what was coming. I think that might have had an effect on my shock level, not because STARZ went there but more because this has been touted as one of the greatest romance novels ever (and yeah, I know DG doesn't consider it a romance, whatever) and Jamie one of the greatest heroes of all time--and yet he gets tortured and raped. I have to keep reminding myself that this was written when rape was common in romance novels and I can see this as DG turning that trope on its head, and how at the time it was edgy and bold. But I have a hard time seeing it as something that was built up to happen in an organic way, and I still feel that way after watching the series. 

 

A lot of it has to do with BJR being a one dimensional hero. There is of course inherent psychology as to why someone would be as sadistic and cruel as he is, but that's not presented or explored. First person POV from the book prevents that, and actually I really don't care why BJR is the way he is because the layers are lacking. There's no internal struggle with him, he's just sick. So to me he's a plot device instead of fully realized character, and not even a plot device that pushes Claire and Jamie closer together in a satisfying way. Thus spending so much visual time on him during the torture and rape scene was irritating and not necessary. I think the visual storytelling would have been more effective if Jamie had relayed it through a hazy mind--he could have been completely lucid (and I think he was when he was telling Claire in the book, IIRC) but the flashbacks should have been shown through his haze and pain. Instead it was all very clear and up front and too detailed, which made it gratuitous to me. HOWEVER: 

 

Sam. Sam Sam Sam Sam. He was brilliant. He wins all the the things for his performance because of everything he had to show Jamie going through emotionally--physical pain, heartbreak, stubbornness, shame--so much more and that's what makes a character real and makes you feel for him. All those things are inherently in the writing and the plot because of the horrific nature of what he had to go through but making me feel as much as I felt for him? Yeah, Sam wins all the things. 

 

Tobias was fine with what he had been given. I daresay he had it easier as far as character, although as an actor I imagine going to that dark place was difficult. I do think part of what makes him a good villain is his deep, gravelly voice--which is why I think if we had seen less of him (in all ways, no offense to TB since he is a handsome man) and heard him more, then it would have been more chilling than gratuitous. 

 

Claire--I dunno. I love Cait but Claire is an inconsistent and Mary Sueish character to me. She does so many stupid things it drives me nuts. But Cait makes me like her enough to want her and Jamie to be this great love story that spans centuries and generations. I really wish they would have spent one episode on Wentworth and then the last episode on Jamie's healing, because it seemed rushed in light of what Jamie went through (the whole time I'm watching I'm like, no one can come back from something like that). But Jamie bounces back pretty quickly in on screen time (I know it's longer in the book) so I think rushing it was a mistake by the show writers. Kudos to Sam for showing that he's not completely whole, even when he hears he's going to be a father. His reaction was muted for Jamie, as it should be. 

 

I'm torn about continuing with this series. Part of me wants to because, Sam. But I'll miss Scotland. France doesn't have the same appeal to me, and I wasn't impressed with the overall pacing of the show during this season. Another huge thing is the amount of jeopardy going on. After a while it gets tedious, and it also takes away from the impact of what happened at Wentworth. That goes back to showing so much of Jamie being brutalized in what I consider a short amount of time--the whippings, imprisonments, injuries--and that's before Wentworth. The fact that he's not a puddle of mental mush by the end of S1 stretches credulity to me, and I usually don't have a problem suspending disbelief. There's a lack of balance between internal and external conflict in the back half of the season that could have been easily fixed, IMO.

 

That said, I'm also kind of invested. I really wanted this to be must see viewing for me but after the second half of the season it hasn't been. I'll take a gander at the previews and make the decision then. 

 

Edited to add (as if this post wasn't long enough): 

 

I will say though, that it never made much sense how Jamie goes from out being messed up, but still very much Jamie (making jokes, worrying about Claire etc) to traumatized abbey Jamie. I thought the arc of the show (from hallucinating and being too traumatized to even speak coherently to coherent but suicidal) made more sense.

 

I had a huge problem with that too. It's the uneven writing in the book that made me stop reading. I agree the way the show handled it worked a lot better for me. 

Edited by mizkat.
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Supposedly they couldn’t film the whole sequence with opium when Claire finally brings him back because it was too…supernatural and they didn’t know how to tackle it without CGI. This one left me scratching my head because again other shows (good example “Vikings”) are pulling this sort of spooky “visions/dreams” stuff off. I can’t imagine why Ron Moore couldn’t. And why tackle a book with supernatural streak if they feel uncomfortable to approach this subject?

 

I am similarly a little confused by how much Ron Moore wants to avoid any semblance of the supernatural. I understand not wanting it to look cheesy, but that's the challenge, and there are ways around it, and simply avoiding it has issues too. For example, I think this concern led to the scene at the stones in episode 11 being less clear to non-book readers than it could have been.

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i know it's a television show and things aren't realistic and things must be hurried along, but i don't think this rape case was handled right. it was done correctly from up to the point of when jaimie was rescued but i had massive disapproval when claire was slapping and screaming at him. now, i know she is from the '40s, which means she doesn't know about PTSD yet and in fact her friend who was from an even futher future than her wouldn't have known about it (PTSD was diagnosed in the 80's), but i still felt massively uncomfortable watching it. the entire scene was so wrong to me. even with claire not knowing about PTSD, that wouldn't change jaimie from acting like he had it. 

i have a dear, dear soul as my close friend who was molested and even potentially raped, and having claire's reaction would only make jaimie shrink further into himself. and there is no way in the world he would have cared if claire said she would die alongside him. okay, i worded that wrong. he would have. but he's broken, he doesn't have any heart left to help anyone anymore. it's not about how much he loves her, it's not about how much she loves him. he may be able to take control of his life later on, but literally a day after the whole thing happened? i'm inches away from calling out the massive soccer mom tropes but as i said in the beginning, this is television and it's not 100% real. but for pete's sake would it have killed the writers to make jaimie cry (i'm not talking about in the rape but afterwards)? to scream when he first confused claire with jack instead of strangling her? because those would have been more correct reactions. i wonder if the gender was reversed....would they write a woman getting over her horrific rape even 1% just a day after she was raped?

and honestly when jaimie's half-father, half-friend said to her, "He's been tortured....raped...wouldn't that be enough to kill yourself?" and she just spat "No" i would have snapped her neck then and there. this is when i don't give a crap about her being from the '40s. they could have cut that part out of the episode, definitely. who the fck is she to judge. and i don't care that she was almost raped 272836399483x in the season (which i am sure it will happen again and again in the whole series), people handle things differently; especially abuse, especially sexual abuse. not everyone is her.

i'm not trying to change anyone's views on this episode and how the rape was handled (i'm sure that it will continue for at least one more season before it's totally dealt with). if anyone feels differently, great, that's you and that's wonderful. but those are my views and my experiences and i'm not changing them. 

------

okay. besides all that. now i have some questions i have been keeping to myself the whole season.

claire hasn't even known jaimie a year and yet she loves him more than her husband, (apparently)????? just how

seems petty, but i just gotta point it out. jaimie recently revealed he's 40. the show is trying to convince me he was a 4 decade old virgin before claire??? lmao

are we just supposed to toss real jack over the ship into the water like claire has? or will the plot keep going forward in the future seasons?

any chance gaellis is alive? ;_;

what about jaimie's sister? she must be worried sick lol. they hopefully mail her a letter later on~

i still don't understand. jaimie was on temporary exile with his uncle right? how did he happen to rescue claire from the witch trial? i was waiting for some explanation but it never came up.

that's all i have now, maybe i'll remember some more later.

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5 hours ago, Iju said:

claire hasn't even known jaimie a year and yet she loves him more than her husband, (apparently)????? just how

Claire hasn't really known Frank all that long either. They had a short courtship, got married and were immediately separated for all of WWII and were only just doing a "getting to know you again" honeymoon when she disappeared.

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14 hours ago, Iju said:

seems petty, but i just gotta point it out. jaimie recently revealed he's 40. the show is trying to convince me he was a 4 decade old virgin before claire??? lmao

No. He's 22/23 when they get married.

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On 23/05/2018 at 7:42 PM, Rilla-my-Rilla said:

No. He's 22/23 when they get married.

ah okay, thank you.

On 23/05/2018 at 10:11 AM, kariyaki said:

Claire hasn't really known Frank all that long either. They had a short courtship, got married and were immediately separated for all of WWII and were only just doing a "getting to know you again" honeymoon when she disappeared.

yes but obviously they had to have dated before they were married. i think it can be safe it was more than 8 months.

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4 hours ago, Iju said:

yes but obviously they had to have dated before they were married. i think it can be safe it was more than 8 months.

That's what I meant by short courtship, they didn't date very long. People didn't date for eons before they got married back in those days. They got married and got to know each other along the way.

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20 hours ago, kariyaki said:

That's what I meant by short courtship, they didn't date very long. People didn't date for eons before they got married back in those days. They got married and got to know each other along the way.

what does the "eons" imply though? more than 8 months i eons?

and i could be wrong of course, but i don't think claire said the courtship was short but the marriage was, because the war interrupted them.

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