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S02.E01: Through a Glass, Darkly 2016.04.09

Season two of Outlander begins as Claire and Jamie arrive in France, hell-bent on infiltrating the Jacobite rebellion led by Prince Charles Stuart, and stopping the battle of Culloden. With the help of his cousin Jared, a local wine merchant, Jamie and Claire are thrown into the lavish world of French society, where intrigue and parties are abundant, but political gain proves far less fruitful. Altering the course of history presents challenges that begin to weigh on the very fabric of their relationship. However, armed with the knowledge of what lies ahead, Claire and Jamie must race to prevent a doomed Highland uprising, and the extinction of Scottish life as they know it.

 

This thread opens on April 7, 2016 because of DirectTV and streaming services. If you do not want to be spoiled by the episode, please do not read below.

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Thank you for opening this, Athena!

Oh happy, happy, joy, joy! I love this show so very much.

I really like the change that Frank basically believes Claire right from the start. I think that could lead to some interesting storylines of when Frank researches Jamie on his own. Tobias is as strong as Frank as he is as Black Jack. At first, I wasn't a fan of so much Frank, but Ron and Company won me over. I love the depth they've brought by expanding his character.

I loved the French with English subtitles. I hope there's a lot of it throughout the first-half of the season. It's so beautiful, and it really contextualizes Jamie and Claire's new world.

They're already setting the stage for Jamie's PTSD. Sam will have some strong acting to come.

"Another country, another enemy" - heh. Never change, Jamie and Claire.

I also loved that the credits said "Young Roger Wakefield." Such a little wink of what's to come. Is that boy adoptable, because he's precious.

If this season started that painful, I can't imagine how heartrending the end of it will be.

Edited by Dust Bunny.
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I'm still a bit incoherent, the first half broke my heart.

 

But on the whole I agree with you Dust Bunny.

 

I'll post some more when I get my words back...

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I agree, but am still on the fence regarding more focus on Frank,  I think they sacrificed Jamie's character development, and besides I hate Frank (even though Tobias is great).

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Ok so many thoughts.

The opening is great! I loved how noisy 1948 was. I loved Claire desperately researching anything about Culloden and confiding in Mrs. Graham. I loved seeing Reverend Wakefield's garage and tried to read what some boxes were marked. I loved how much you feel Jamie every second in 48. Loved the score as they got off the plane. I loved how we see that there is something off with Jamie. My biggest negative was that 1745 was a little dull but it's a lot of set up.

Frank/Tobias.: Tobias was excellent. This is the Frank that I always perceived from the books. He's slightly cold, calculating and controlling. It was my impression that he does not really believe Claire, but tells her what she thinks she needs to hear to move on. He believes she believes it. Even Claire knows he is doing it. He was acting so much that when she tells him about the baby he was thrown and it cracked his facade and the real Frank came through. After he works through that he needs to make a deal with her, he says it's for her benefit but really it's all for his needs first. Tobias was masterful in this. In the end you have 2 people who are resigned to try again.

I know I'm forgetting a lot but I was so excited. Frank is interesting especially that they are not making him out to be a saint, which seemed the direction they were headed last year. He does not come off well here at all.

Oh and Claire was totally faking trying to get her ring off! She never was letting that go!

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Absolutely loved the change to the Skye Boat Song! Thought it was fantastic.

I was sobbing and not ready for the first half, even though I've read all the books. Just as I was about to get annoyed at how saintly Frank seemed, there was that scene when she told him she was pregnant. And then just as I was about to get angry at too much Frank and despair at no Jamie, there he was. And it was grand but subtle.

I love Claire and Mrs. Graham, as painful as the discussions were. I loved Claire's reactions to the noise in 1948.

The Comte. was perfectly menacing. Kudos to the casting department.

Mostly I just love Jamie and Claire. I'm so glad they are back. I can't wait to watch this again!!

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Thanks Athena! My first thoughts are I absolutely loved the opening with her alone on the hill...totally out of place, heart wrenching. I don't remember the ring she scrambled for, does anyone else? And again the out of place element as she walked down the paved road, heels clicking. Fantastic. And again with the traffic blaring outside the hospital.

I know others will hate the Frank stuff, but I loved it. I feel for Frank, I really do.

I think what surprised me most of all was Claire tearing through books looking for info on Jamie and the others. I really didn't expect that, she didn't in the book. I expected more silent depression at first from her, not chattering away with the housekeeper. I'm sad about that because the emotional impact of Roger believing her later is now changed. And reinforces my suspicion that we won't get much Roger and Brianna this season.

The France stuff is just getting going and I can't wait! Nice to see Jamie and Claire together again. And much like the book and had that same sense of "oh no" when it opens in the future, but then I settle into that future world and the shift throws me off for a minute when they are back in France.

I'm sure I will have more to say later. Loved the music changes. Favorite part was seeing that opening shot with wee Roger and his airplane. Love the nod to his dad.

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It was my impression that he does not really believe Claire, but tells her what she thinks she needs to hear to move on. He believes she believes it.

 

I would think that, except Ron made a comment in the Emmy panel that WatchrTina linked in the Media thread that the show Frank knows things that the book Frank doesn't. I think Ron specified Mrs. Graham's explanation of the stones. Add to that Claire's authentic 18th century's clothes, which was not in the book, and I think Frank is at least open to the idea.

Edited by Dust Bunny.
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morgan I think that ring is Jamie's father's ring. Why do you think the emotional impact of Roger believing her will be gone? I truly don't think Frank believes her and Claire doesn't believe his belief either.

Edited: yes I saw that interview and I think the seed was planted in his head, but he also sees Claire only talking to Mrs. Graham who was the one who introduced the story. I don't think he is buying the time travel part but thinks the rest is real. It does open him up to believe later.

Edited by peacefrog.
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Did she have Jamie's fathers ring in the show? I wondered if it had anything to do with Faith actually, although I don't remember anything about a ring in the book. It's been a while since i read it. Since there was no stone where it looked like there once was one, I wondered if the traveling burned it up?

I am on the fence about Frank truly believing her, although since Ron says he does, well, he does. As does Mrs Graham. I just remember feeling so touched by her reaction to Roger believing ber in the book because she never told anyone about her experience except Frank in the book and, as far as she knew, he never believed her. It's not really a big deal I guess, but it was so much like when Jamie and the priest (brother?) believed her back in outlander. Just such emotional moments.

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Yes, Thanks Athena for opening this today. (yes, I checked immediately after watching this last night.)

 

I was impressed by how they incorporated Claire's 1948 return.  It was vague in the books, beyond her saying she was in shock, depressed and subdued.  Loved the long shot of her walking along the side of the hill with the valley view behind her and then the nearer shot showing she's on an asphalt road.

 

I liked that they gave more heart to Frank's actions to stay and raise the child with Claire.  It felt like more than just the honorary thing for him to do.  Tobias Menzies and the script really brought forth the sense that Frank was deeply in love with Claire and devastated by her disappearance.  I really felt that he hadn't got over her loss in the past 2-3 years and was glad she had returned to him.  Also that he wasn't totally accepting but had to do some soul searching once he learned of the baby too.  Frank became a more sympathetic character for me and I feel like that will enrich the modern side of the story, going into future seasons. 

 

I'm glad they showed Claire searching the Reverend's library for information about Culloden and how Frank asks her to stop looking and live in the present.  I think that was more effective in showing how Claire goes forward in the present day with Frank, other than saying she kept it to herself after telling Frank right when she got back.  I know it interrupts the bit with Roger believing her later, but I think it's a better take on this part of the story.

 

I was glad to see the addition of Claire talking to Mrs. Graham about it.  Goodness, this woman dances around the stones and retells the legends, she was probably the best one to accept the bold truth without physical proof.  I think Frank believes Claire also, but liked that he was cagey with the Reverend about exactly how Claire knows for sure that the "other man" is really dead.  I don't think the Rev was on board with the idea that Claire really did go through the stones, even though he knew that her clothes were unique to the 1700's, by way of Frank's letter from his research friend.  That Frank believes Claire's time travel because he loves her bookends Jamie believing Claire about how she went into the past.  Both men were pretty much coming from a place of love for Claire with little real proof.

 

I'm glad they included this bit about the clothes overall.  It reinforces the idea that Frank believed her story.  I was wondering if they would make an appearance in the future, stashed away in a box in the attic or something.  But no, up in smoke!  Liked the duality of Claire's clothes being experienced by others outside their historical places.  Mrs. Fitz and the modern day bra, Frank and the 18th century corset.

 

What was that burned out ring Claire had?  And what else was she looking for in the grass at the stones, that wasn't there?  I like that she gets the clue about gemstones from this though.  Looking forward to connecting that dot in a future episode.

 

Really liked the France/Le Havre scenes.  I think they managed to condense some long winded stuff into the very basics to set up the rest of the French part of the season.  I always got the impression BookMurtaugh just did whatever Jamie asked so I was surprised to see him ask for reasons for the Stop the Jacobites plot.  I wonder if they will link up the stuff from "The Exile" and have Murtaugh get some validation for what he saw at the stones.

 

Glad they included and then subtitled the French conversations and didn't expect us to just go along with not knowing the language, like a sassanach with the Gaelic.  Liked the new opening song and the new images.

 

This show it really top notch in production and entertainment.  Looking forward to the rest of this season, and many more to come!

Edited by Glaze Crazy.
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OMG!

 

So, you all probably know I was really hoping they'd keep the season opener the same as the book's opening. I knew they probably wouldn't, but I had hope. Still, even with that hope, I actually loved how they did open it. We're not all the way to the 60s, but there's still that framing device to the story and people who don't know will still get that jolt and sense of unease and light the fire of desperately needing to know how Claire ended up back in her own time. And seeing wee Roger again was a good holder for not getting the book's actual opening. The plane toy was a brilliant touch. I know they're trying to have their own thing going and it's so important to them that not every writer on the show was a book fan, but throwing little long-reaching hints in there is really going to help them in the long run.

 

As I started to say, I really enjoyed the opening actually. I would have liked more of a focus on Claire at that time and less of Frank and his man pain, but it was only barely too much, as opposed to last season that I felt went overboard on Frank. I hope they can rein that in, but they do still seem dead set on giving Tobias nearly an equal amount of time as Cait and Sam. More than Sam in this case, but that's the nature of the framing device. I agree what everyone else has said so far...loved the opening on the hill, walking down the road, the collapses, the noise, the flash of Black Jack, the way the clothes played in, searching the books. That ring from Jaime is still the ugliest thing I've ever seen, but I'm glad she "couldn't" get it off.

 

For the French bits, I'm so in love with Murtagh ( it smells like frogs!) and I hope we get to see tons of him this season. Also, the guy playing the Comte was fantastic. And the guy playing Jared too, but the Comte was terrifying in a way Black Jack will never be for me (because he's too over the top, imo).

 

I watched this on the Starz app and at the end it said it wanted to go ahead and play episode 202 and I was like !!!!!!!! but then when it tried to do that it said it couldn't find that page. I knew it was too good to be true, but they gave me that tiny sliver of hope. Heh. I would totally call in sick tomorrow, stay up all night, and binge the whole season right now if I could. Probably better that that's not possible!

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I think that the reason that the heel-clicking sound was louder than it should have been was to underscore that the road she was walking on was paved.  In fact, I hadn't paid any attention to the road until I heard her walking. 

 

While I think that the Frank bit went on too long, I don't mind the way that they changed it. In the book it seemed just a little too quick and easy for him to accept her and the baby.  He was like, "Yep, I'm gonna totally raise your kid and take you back, no problem.  Who wouldn't?"  In the show, it was more of a process for both of them. 

Edited by toolazy.
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The Compte really was amazing, wasn't he? I definitely felt the enmity with him. And fabulous job with the costuming and set decor. He particularly stood out on the docks where most people looked somewhat grimy and probably smelled a lot like fish and sweat. He just struck me as immaculate and beautifully clothed and perfumed and it really showed just how intimidating that must have been to the average person of the day.

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I think changing the opening to Claire returning to the 40s, rather than opening on her in the 60s, was a great choice.  It was very cinematic, as was the transition back to the 1700s with the hands.  Really really great cinematography this episode.  I loved seeing her readjust to the 'modern' era, how things seemed too noisy, etc.  Another reason why I liked the change from the book.  Not to say that reading about Claire readjusting wouldn't have been good, but the visual medium of film allows for so many subtle things that's harder to convey in words in as short a time.

 

I was a little annoyed last season with the added Frank mostly because I felt they made him too perfect.  For the most part I liked what they did with him here.  They definitely showed the cracks in his perfect exterior, set the stage for the conflict and unhappiness that will plague the rest of their marriage even as they raise a daughter together.  The only scene that really didn't work from me was the freak out into the pregnancy talk with the reverend, and that was only because I felt it dragged on too long and could have been paced snappier.  

 

All in all I liked the future stuff more than the past stuff this episode, which is weird, but it makes sense.  A lot more happened in the future.  The 17th century stuff was a lot of set up.  That doesn't mean that I disliked it though.  They gave subtle hints to Jamie's PTSD without the show feeling like it was wallowing in misery (which is why I haven't rewatched the end of season 1 since it aired).  Murtagh is always great.  I do think it was odd that they tell him they're trying to stop the Jacobites but don't trust him enough to tell him why, especially since

one of the season trailers spoiled that they do tell him the truth, clearly much sooner than they thought

.  IDK, I know it's a big thing to ask someone to believe, but it still feels a bit like drama for the sake of drama, but it doesn't seem like something that Murtagh is going to cause trouble over so I guess I can accept the 'not telling each other key information' trope for now.  

 

I'm definitely ready to see the French court.  

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I really can't fault them for hesitating to tell him about where Claire comes from.  Maybe when they finally tell him and he'll say yeah, I know, I saw you come out of the stones that first day.

 

 Apparently in the graphic novel, he does see her so he knows that something is weird with her from the get-go.   What I don't know is whether that is canon or not. 

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I'm fine with fleshing out Frank more if that means we have a better understanding of Bree later. I always found it hard to sympathize with Bree in DiA (despite, rationally, knowing I should), so I think giving more time to Frank's process and journey to becoming a father will better inform the way Bree behaves later (i.e. not being at all receptive to the news of her true parentage). 

 

My one question about the rejiggered framing device is does this spoil the fate of Claire's first pregnancy? She is not showing in the present timeline, but we know from the previews that she gets pretty far along with her pregnancy in Paris. I always liked that we went along with the story thinking Bree was that pregnancy, and then the gut punch. 

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Wonderful episode! Welcome back, Outlander! As a lover of history I was horrified when Frank burned Claire's clothes. Donate them to the person who authenticated or to a museum. I understand why it was written that way but antiquities are for preserving!

I wonder how many times I'll watch the episode between now and the Saturday night TV broadcast. Call me an Outlander hoor.

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Well, the first words out of my mouth while watching this were . . . "Poor Frank!"  And as a TeamJamie loyalist, that is shocking to me.  They did a really good job depicting Claire's return.  It was heart-rending.  Her shell-shock.  His joy mingled with confusion at her return. His joy, then confusion, then shock, then anger at the pregnancy reveal.  It was really well done.  His tearing the shed apart was a bit cliche (didn't we see Thomas do that on Downton Abbey?) but it was good to see that flash of Black Jack in his personality because before that he was being a bit too saintly to be true.  I don't mind them devoting over half the first episode to the Frank/Claire dynamic because I don't think we are going to see very much of Frank going forward -- certainly not as much as we saw tonight -- and I thought it was time well spent.  As I said, I am TeamJamie (and TeamSam) all the way but tonight, Tobias won the acting derby.  And we thought Sam was the master of the single manly tear . . . 

 

Loved, loved, loved the transition.  Hands reaching across time.  The color scheme shifting.  Sigh.  That was SO well done.

 

Oh Claire.  On the Continent for less that a month and you've already made a mortal enemy.  Attagirl!  

 

Sam is playing Jamie as still weakened and suffering flashes of PTSD and I get that, but I look forward to the return of our confident hero.  He was there in flashes (whenever Claire was in danger -- did you see him lay out that guy over a barrel one-handed -- that's my Jamie) but for now he's confused about what to do, uncomfortable about all the lying he'll need to do, still mentally and physically wounded and not at all himself.  It's necessary to the plot, but I miss the guy sitting at the head of the table in Lallybroch telling the head of the Watch "He threatened my family so I ran him through with a sword" all while buttering a muffin.

As a lover of history I was horrified when Frank burned Claire's clothes.

Me too!  I looked closely in the hopes those were fake flames because I don't want Terry's costumes burned either!

 

 

It was my impression that he does not really believe Claire, but tells her what she thinks she needs to hear to move on. He believes she believes it. Even Claire knows he is doing it.

Add me to the group that thinks Frank does not believe.  At least not yet.  He knows that Mrs. Graham believes in time-travel through the stones and Claire and Mr.s Graham spent a lot of time together during that week before she tells Frank her story so I think he assumes she constructed the tale after talking to Mr.s Graham.  (And can I just say that the pained expression on his face when virtually the first thing Claire asks about is the Reverend's house-keeper of all people, was just brutal.)  Frank doesn't know what happened.  His scientific mind can't accept the story he's been told.  But he can't construct an alternative story that fits all the evidence so, for now, he will go along, to get along.

 

I do think that the change in the plot -- having Claire feverishly look for evidence of Jamie upon her return and having Frank say that has to stop if they are to remain together -- makes more sense than what happens in the book, with Claire simply never looking until after Frank is dead.  It's a good solution to a wee weakness in the novel.

 

BTW, when you watch on StarzPlay at the end it will ask if you want to see the next episode but it's not available so if you let it look for it, you'll get an error message.  If you dismiss that prompt the credits will continue and then the video will go straight into a behind-the-scenes video about the episode.  (Took me a few tries to figure that out.)

 

One more thought -- this entire season, with all it's beautiful clothes and glorious scenery, is going to take place under the cloud of certain disaster.  Not just the coming disaster of Culloden (which we've just been told Jamie and Claire will fail to prevent) but also the coming disaster of a pregnancy that clearly does not end well.  There may be a few people who are confused and think the pregnancy that Claire takes into the 20th century is the same one that she's carrying in the 18th century but anyone who is paying attention will figure out the discontinuity in time frames (Claire's only been in the past 8 months when she finds out she is pregnant but she tells Frank she was with Jamie for two years) and they will know that there is a disaster ahead on that front as well.  There will be many swords dangling over the viewers' heads this season.

Edited by WatchrTina.
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Wonderful episode! Welcome back, Outlander! As a lover of history I was horrified when Frank burned Claire's clothes. Donate them to the person who authenticated or to a museum. I understand why it was written that way but antiquities are for preserving!

I wonder how many times I'll watch the episode between now and the Saturday night TV broadcast. Call me an Outlander hoor.

 

Ha! I watched it in the middle of the night and I'm about to watch it again.  I imagine that I'll try and fail to refrain tomorrow night. 

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I look forward to the return of our confident hero.  He was there in flashes (whenever Claire was in danger -- did you see him lay out that guy over a barrel one-handed -- that's my Jamie) but for now he's confused about what to do, uncomfortable about all the lying he'll need to do, still mentally and physically wounded and not at all himself.  It's necessary to the plot, but I miss the guy sitting at the head of the table in Lallybroch telling the head of the Watch "He threatened my family so I ran him through with a sword" all while buttering a muffin.

 

I have a feeling that there will be another barrel-esque scene coming very soon - when Claire shows up at Versailles in a certain dress. Probably no muffin, though.

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I haven't read the books yet (working on Outlander) so pardon me if this is obvious in the books...but the newspaper article about Claire, that becomes significant, no? It's an article that would possibly exist later when Geillis researches the mysterious disappearances.

 

I adore Murtagh.

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OMGEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My show, 'tis back!

Claire/Catriona was just beyond awesome in the opening scene as she scrabbled around and screamed, realizing that she was back in her time.

I didn't mind the change from the buik because this way, Frank won’t be so “perfect” and it fleshes out his flaws. I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed his hand clenching into a fist when Claire told him that she was carrying another man’s child; or that he wanted to hit her, but pulled back/refrained from doing so at the last minute.

The whole scene where Frank is demanding, sorry, telling Claire he has conditions, and one of them is that she forget Jamie forever, not think about him, not mention him, with the attitude, ’I forgive you for cheating on me and I’m taking you back.’ At least, to me. And I won’t lie, I loved that Claire said, she knew and agreed, because Jamie asked her to promise to do the same, and that she would do as Jamie asked her, and not because Frank was demanding it.

I was sooo happy when we got back to 1745. And in the ‘after the episode,’ Ron explains that originally, the way the show would segue back to the past was having Claire get into a car, but the head of Starz told him to do something that would be more cinematic, and Ron delivered. The holding out the hand from Frank, Claire reaching out, to have it be Jamie’s hand that takes it.

Me: SIGH…….

I just love Sam. No doubt he’s a great actor, but he also expresses what Jamie is thinking just with his eyes and eyebrows! I loved that crinkling and raising he did with them when Claire is trying to convince him what’s at stake. And the brogue! I’ve sooo missed hearing the Scots Brogue that comes out of Sam’s mouth.

Puir, puir Jamie, still suffering, not just from the wounded hand, but flashes of the rape.

And like others have stated, he isn’t totally out for the count. I loved the scenes at the dock; the mixture of French and English. And I agree, Le Compte Germain is a lot more menacing than Black Jack. His villainy is very subtle and cold, and insidious, while Black Jack’s is very brutal and in your face. And now I know that I’ve been pronouncing his name incorrectly! Thank you, Cousin Jared, for letting me know how to pronounce it!

It’s going to take some time to get used to a clean shaven Jamie.

Guess what I’ll be watchin’ again tonight?

Edited by GHScorpiosRule.
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I loved that Claire said, she knew and agreed, because Jamie asked her to promise to do the same, and that she would do as Jamie asked her, and not because Frank was demanding it.

Oooh, I hadn't thought of that but yeah, that's great.  It also explains why she keeps the promise instead of slipping off to the library and continuing to search in secret later during the marriage.  The decision to "forget" and stop looking makes much more sense with the promise to both Frank AND Jamie behind it.

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Wonderful episode! Welcome back, Outlander! As a lover of history I was horrified when Frank burned Claire's clothes. Donate them to the person who authenticated or to a museum. I understand why it was written that way but antiquities are for preserving!

I wonder how many times I'll watch the episode between now and the Saturday night TV broadcast. Call me an Outlander hoor.

Yes! Donate those clothes to a museum or Jacobite historian. I bet his professor friend would have loved to have them. I died a little inside when he burned them. :'(

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What a wonderful first episode. I really, really liked it and I say that as someone who hates "too much Frank". But I thought the amount of time spent on  Claire's return to him was appropriate and both, Cait and Tobias did a great job. I actually cried through the whole first half of the episode. The first time when Claire breaks down in the street after the man told her the English won at Culloden, then again when Claire talked to Mrs Graham. Then again when she decided to let go and tried to get her wedding ring off her finger. I yelled "Noooooo!!!!" at the screen. I was really horrified that she would even think about it.

 

At first I thought Frank was a bit too understanding. Not asking questions, just begging Claire to give them another chance as husband and wife etc. That was not how I imagined book Frank. The scene when he learns about her pregnancy was brilliant though and it made Frank's character more dimensional. 

 

I loved it, that Claire wanted to find out what happened to Jamie. In the book I always thought it weird that she hadn't even tried to find out. So Frank demanding to let go and making it one of his conditions was a great idea and an explanation why she lived 20 years in Ignorance of Jamie's destiny. 

 

BTW, I think the ring that lost it's stone will be their first clue that gemstones are important for the time travel. 

 

I, too, missed the "J" on her hand!!! 

 

The part in 1745 was too short, but it wet my appetite for the next episode even more. Unpopular opinion: I love Jamie's hair!

 

I also love how subtley Sam played Jamie still hurting and unsure. The scene in the bedroom where he wants to kiss her and then freezes and kisses her hand instead, because he is afraid it might turn into something more sexual? I thought that was a great scene. 

 

And now I can't wait for next week!!!!

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I love the bit with the blown-out ring.  I think it's going to serve as her token of Jamie, because I don't think they carved their initial into each other.  It's also going to be a clue for them that having a gemstone helps them travel.  I think it's a really smart adaptation. 

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I watched yesterday on my iPad because the episode had not been released by my cable provider on Starz OnDemand.  But I checked again this morning and there it was!  So, of course, I was compelled to watch on my TV because, you know.  

 

When Claire was talking with Mrs. Graham, she mentions that she had to tell Jamie what a "fucking sadist" was.  I can't remember if she said this in the book, but in the television version she actually calls him a "fucking bastard" and later a "sadist."  Such a little thing that proves I have watched the first 16 episodes way too many times. 

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I loved this episode. I can think of only two things I would change, both very minor: 1) For me, it felt off to have Claire ask who won the battle of Culloden. As I recall, the whole point of the intrigue was to avoid the showdown at Culloden moor. Since that didn't happen, C&J knew the Scots were going to lose. It was a dramatic moment, however, and it will keep nonbook readers guessing, so I can understand why Moore wrote it that way. 2) Frank is an educated man with a large vocabulary. I'm sure that his doctor did not tell him he was infertile. The problem is that he's sterile.

 

Tiny niggles aside, I'm very glad that Moore kept the framing device, and I think it made excellent sense to move the reveal to the 40s. It's a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I've always found Frank to be a tragic figure: a deeply flawed human being (Who isn't?), who was dealt a difficult hand. I didn't think he was presented as too perfect in season 1. In the first episode, he's a man on his second honeymoon, who is trying his best to reconnect with his wife. Who wouldn't be on their best behavior? If anything, I thought his violence toward the grifters was a little over the top and made him appear to be almost a monster.

 

At the end of the episode, the first thing that went through my head was "just give Menzies the Emmy and Golden Globe for best supporting actor."  I thought he was phenomenal in portraying Frank's confusion--joy at the return of the wife he still loves, hurt that she no longer loves him, anger that she married and fell in love with another man in two years' time, and probably a feeling of emasculation, especially given the time period, that she is pregnant by someone else when he knows he can't have children of his own. I thought Menzies was terrific in conveying a range of emotions when Claire tells him she's pregnant. He did make a fist, but my takeaway was that he didn't hit her. He's not Black Jack. I am not a violent person, but I think I would have the urge to clock my spouse given the situation. I hope I would not act on it, but I've never been tested in that way so who knows?

 

Sure, his condition that Claire not talk about Jamie or continue her research was authoritarian, though I will point out that Claire could have said no and divorced him. I think he's grasping at any straw in the hope they can recapture what they had. It's of a piece with the geographical cure he hopes will help both of them put the past two years behind them.

 

I thought it was gratuitous of Claire to throw it in his face that she would agree because it was what Jamie wanted, but I don't have a problem with that either. Claire is in horrible pain. She's allowed to be self-absorbed and insensitive toward others under the circumstances. She throws Frank a few angry looks in this episode. I don't think she was justified in being angry at him, but it's an utterly human response. I don't blame her for it.

 

Several people assume that Frank's asking Claire if she was unfaithful in season 1 means he cheated on her (he who smelt it dealt it), and that's a reasonable interpretation. Another interpretation is that he understands that they were apart for 5 years, she was on the front lines and likely scared and lonely, and sex is our most powerful drive. I personally would have a hard time judging either of them for seeking a little comfort under the circumstances.

 

I thought Sam was a little bland in this episode, but he was given very little to do and his performance was somewhat overshadowed by Catriona's and Tobias's. He will have lots of opportunities to shine, and I have no doubt that he will.

 

Count me among those who cringed when Frank burned the clothes. I probably would have done the same thing, but man, it was a waste. I do think he believed Claire's story. Moore includes that line about how incredibly rare the clothes were and they're in fantastic condition. The time travel is almost more believable than Claire's having located period clothing so she could put one over on Frank when she reappears.

 

ETA. Loved Murtagh in this episode. I really hope he has a lot to do this season.

 

ETA again to correct my slip up in referring to Frank's sterility as virility (hey, they rhyme!). Always annoying when you make that sort of mistake while you're chastising someone else. h/t melody16.

Edited by AD55.
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What did you guys think of the  change to the opening song with it switching to French? Overall, the song had a different cadence to it.

 

I'm going to have to go back and watch the episode again! I always pick up on stuff I missed the first time.

 

 

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What did you guys think of the  change to the opening song with it switching to French? Overall, the song had a different cadence to it.

 

I'm going to have to go back and watch the episode again! I always pick up on stuff I missed the first time.

 

I liked it, and not just because they're now in France. I think it's also a shout out to the fact that the song was originally about BPC's escape from England back to France.

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AD55 I had the same reaction when she started asking about culloden. In the book it was so clear, they didn't have a chance in hell of winning, it was going to be a slaughter and they both knew it. I am trying to whistle past it though and see it as her just grasping at straws. It also helps the viewer/non book reader put Culloden firmly in their head.

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BTW, I think the ring that lost it's stone will be their first clue that gemstones are important for the time travel.

 

 

 

I love the bit with the blown-out ring.  I think it's going to serve as her token of Jamie, because I don't think they carved their initial into each other.  It's also going to be a clue for them that having a gemstone helps them travel.

 

Me three!  Claire went through at Halloween (I can't remember how to spell the Gaelic name) but I don't think it is a feast day when she returns so it's good if they introduce the notion of using gems to "steer" and to "juice up" the stones on non fire-feast days. 

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Unpopular opinion here, I was really disappointed.  In fact, it's probably my least favorite episode to date.  

 

I like the framing of 1948.  I liked that Claire was researching Jamie (because it struck me as odd in the book that she didn't do that). I liked that Claire told Mrs. Graham.  And I loved seeing Wee Roger!!

 

Otherwise I hated the first half.  I thought it was boring and too long.  I do not care about Frank.  I don't care about his man pain.  I don't see why his sterility and his mindset gets so much damn focus.  He is a somewhat important character I guess, but he's not on equal footing with Claire or Jamie despite what Ron might think.  I didn't even think Tobias Menzies was anything special.  He mutters so much I can't understand a damn thing he's saying.  Caitriona is the one that really shone for me.  He was dull and his character is dull.  I was seriously checking the time on my Ipad during all the 1940s stuff. Why did we need that super long scene of him and Reverend Wakefield?  Why was Claire's return framed from Frank's point of view? I just don't get these decisions.   Where were Claire's pearls? Did she have the mark on her hand? It didn't look like it. We didn't even get Claire's perspective on why she would agree to Frank's terms.  Why was she determined to stay with him?

 

And WHY OH WHY was Claire voluntarily going to take off her ring? That was so out of character. 

 

I didn't like that Frank was so understanding.  I missed the line from the book that only a cad would have left Claire.  Because BookFrank was not a cad, but he wasn't this sad sack either.  He stayed with Claire in part because he loved her, but also because he felt obligated.  He didn't know he was sterile at that point.  I don't like the changes to his character at all.  

 

As a result of the length of the 1940s stuff, the 1745 scenes were so rushed! Claire and Jamie are the main characters, so I shouldn't spend every episode wanting more Jamie! It's ridiculous how shortchanged his character gets. Even in one of the few scenes we had with Jamie, Claire is the one taking the lead yet again and telling Jamie they have to change the future.  In the book, Jamie was just as resolved as Claire.  Jamie's character keeps suffering for the expense of others. 

 

As I said, I was really disappointed, and I really hope that's it on Frank this season. It's weird because I actually liked the Frank in the books. Frank in the TV show is too damn perfect.  Even his flashes of anger are totally watered down.  

Edited by melody16.
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I greatly enjoyed the 1940s scenes and was interested to see everyone's reactions to Claire's return, which we never got to see in real time in the book. Seeing Frank and Claire interact makes Jamie and Claire's relationship seem that much more vivid and dynamic. The lack of color in the 1940s intensifies that feeling.

 

I noticed that the timing of this episode mirrored the first episode in season 1, which was also about 40 minutes in the 1940s and 20 minutes in the 1740s. It makes me wonder if we'll get flash-forwards to the future throughout this season like we did with Frank last season, ending up in 1968 by the last episode. I hope they don't spend too much time on it, but brief check-ins on Claire's life in the future would be interesting, to pave the way for her going back eventually.

 

I already love the sets and costumes in France and can't wait to see more. The buildings along the dock were fabulous. 

 

 

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Where were Claire's pearls?

Oooooh, that is a REALLY good question.  Okay I'm gonna fan-wank that they were tucked down in Claire's bodice and later were transferred to her suitcase without any of us seeing them because they simply MUST reappear in season 4.

 

So here's a nitpick -- is it realistic that the doctors at the hospital would not discover that Claire was pregnant?  And if they knew, is it realistic that they would not tell Frank (paternalistic era that it was)?  That's what happened in the book.  But again, I can fan-wank that Claire didn't ask them to check on the baby because she was just too distraught to think straight and there was no other reason for the doctors to give her a pregnancy test.

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There are pockets in those outfits.  They're these pouches tied to a string around their waists, under their skirts.  The actress that played Mistress Fitzgibbons talked about them in one of the behind the scenes things.  

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I noticed that the timing of this episode mirrored the first episode in season 1, which was also about 40 minutes in the 1940s and 20 minutes in the 1740s. It makes me wonder if we'll get flash-forwards to the future throughout this season like we did with Frank last season, ending up in 1968 by the last episode. I hope they don't spend too much time on it, but brief check-ins on Claire's life in the future would be interesting, to pave the way for her going back eventually.

 

Great idea. It would also minimize the need to show Claire's 20 years in Season 3.

 

 

So here's a nitpick -- is it realistic that the doctors at the hospital would not discover that Claire was pregnant?

 

100% agreed. I'm guessing Ron wrote it that way so there could be that scene where Claire tries to scare Frank into leaving her by telling him she's pregnant herself. But my first thought was that is a really bad doctor.

 

Isn't an easy comeback for Claire to say, regarding Jamie's ring, "Hey Frank, I never took your ring off during my other marriage."

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Ooh! Something I forgot to mention, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't doctors in the U.K. addressed as "Mister" and not "Doctor?" If so, then Ron messed up, writing that into the script as he did. Or whoever wrote the episode. I wasna paying attention to who wrote it--just kept telling my screen to hurry up and get to the episode!

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According to the TV show "Doc Martin", surgeons are called "Mister" but general practitioners are called "Doctor." That's why the title character is referred to as "Doc Martin" after he has to give up his surgery practice due to a sudden-onset blood phobia and ends up as the local GP in a wee little town.

Edited by WatchrTina.
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Can anyone read the name of the book that Roger drops the plane on in the opening?

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Okay, I just watched it for the 3rd time. Two observations came to mind. The first is that when Claire invites Frank in to talk she looks so very thin. It's because it's the first time you've seen Claire without an 18th century bum-roll and multiple layers of clothing in a very long time. I'm sure that was deliberate. Her silhouette is so strikingly different in that scene it really helps hammer home that she is in a different time. The image is reinforced in the scene where she and Frank tell each other their conditions (she's wearing a slim skirt and sweater vest) and in the scene where she exits the plane (again in a slim suit.)

My second observation is that while I love, love, love the hand-holding transition from the 20th century to the 18th century and I love the way they reprised the change in color saturation by having Jamie backed by bright green trees (much brighter than the muted landscapes we saw in 20th century Scotland), ask yourself, what were those trees doing there? You never see them again in the shots that follow because, it's a seaport. There are no trees there. I know I should ignore it and enjoy the effect but it's the kind of thing you notice upon repeated viewing.

I know some have complained about the amount of time that was devoted to Frank but I actually think that was brilliantly done. It would have made no sense if their reuniting had been easy. It needed to be a tortured process and I'm grateful they gave it as much time as they did. Tobias outdid himself: he was really brilliant in the role. And as others have mentioned -- they spent as much time in the 20th century for this episode as they did for episode 101 and that symmetry really appeals to me.

Edited by WatchrTina.
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100% agreed. I'm guessing Ron wrote it that way so there could be that scene where Claire tries to scare Frank into leaving her by telling him she's pregnant herself. But my first thought was that is a really bad doctor.

 

How were pregnancies diagnosed in 1948 ? I mean , did they have these pee sticks we have today  (or the 1948 version of it )? 

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There are other physical symptoms/signs of pregnancy without a urine test. Cervical changes, etc. Didn't they used to do rabbit tests of necessary back then? Regardless, she knew she was pregnant already.

I agree, Tobias really was amazing. As angry and upset as he got, I still saw Frank, not BJR. Amazing. Part of it is costuming but I swear it was in the eyes even more.

Good catch on the trees, WatcheTina. I hadn't noticed that. Just finished my 3rd viewing, this time with my husband (non book reader). Always interesting to see his take on things.

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Oooooh, that is a REALLY good question.  Okay I'm gonna fan-wank that they were tucked down in Claire's bodice and later were transferred to her suitcase without any of us seeing them because they simply MUST reappear in season 4.

 

So here's a nitpick -- is it realistic that the doctors at the hospital would not discover that Claire was pregnant?  And if they knew, is it realistic that they would not tell Frank (paternalistic era that it was)?  That's what happened in the book.  But again, I can fan-wank that Claire didn't ask them to check on the baby because she was just too distraught to think straight and there was no other reason for the doctors to give her a pregnancy test.

At first I thought the doctor did tell Frank when he first got to the hospital(off screen) along with what Claire was babbling about. In the book I think the doctor does and to be gentle with her because her mind was not all there, right? But Frank's reaction to Claire's pregnancy doesn't really fit with that does it?

I read an observation somewhere else that Frank sniffed the clothes like BJR sniffed Jenny, creepy. I have only watched once but again I am surprised at how unsympathetic they ended up making Frank. His lunge at Claire was violent and unhinged. I never really thought of Frank like that.

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I definitely didn't see him sniffing the clothes like BJR. I don't read any of Frank's reactions to be like BJR though. BJR is a sadist who does things to hurt his victims and derives his pleasure from that. Frank has shown anger, and on occasion violence, but always as a reaction to something that pushes him over the edge. Back to the smelling of the clothes, as a historian you use your senses. I would have done the same. BJR was just plain creepy with it.

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Okay, I just watched it for the 3rd time.  Two observations came to mind.  The first is that when Claire invites Frank in to talk she looks so very thin.  It's because it's the first time you've seen Claire without an 18th century bum-roll and multiple layers of clothing in a very long time.  I'm sure that was deliberate.  Her silhouette is so strikingly different in that scene it really helps hammer home that she is in a different time.  The image is reinforced in the scene where she and Frank tell each other their conditions (she's wearing a slim skirt and sweater vest) and in the scene where she exits the plane (again in a slim suit.)

 

My second observations is that while I love, love, love the hand-holding transition from the 20th century to the 18th century and I love, love, love they way they reprised the change in color saturation by having Jamie backed by bright green trees (much brighter than the muted landscapes we saw in 20th century Scotland), ask yourself, what were those trees doing there?  You never see them again in the shots that follow because, it's a seaport.  There are no trees there.  I know I should ignore it and enjoy the effect but it's the kind of thing you notice upon repeated viewing.

 

I know some have complained about the amount of time that was devoted to Frank but I actually think that was brilliantly done.  It would have made no sense if their reuniting had been easy.  It needed to be a tortured process and I'm grateful they gave it as much time as they did.  Tobias outdid himself: he was really brilliant in the role.  And as others have mentioned -- they spent as much time in the 20th century for this episode as they did for episode 101 and that symmetry really appeals to me.

 

I noticed how thin she was, too. In the book, doesn't Claire try to convince Jamie that the reason her periods have stopped is because she's malnourished? If so, and assuming they keep that, it's nice attention to detail.

 

Well spotted re the continuity error. I will look for it when I rewatch the episode.

 

I also liked the symmetry between the first episodes of seasons 1 and 2.

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My first reaction to the lengthy 1940's segment was disappointment - having seen all the photos online of Season 2, I wanted to be in Paris already! Bright lights, colors, sumptuousness. Instead we get dismal dark cloudy Scotland with Frank. Oh well. On the other hand, I think as a TV show, this works better than the book opening, plus, it gets out of the way the 1940's plot line in Voyager, and we know how much plot has to get covered in Season 3.

On 2nd viewing it was ok - though probably more than I would have liked. Realistically, this sets up Season 2 as a tragedy - since we know that Jamie and Claire fail to stop the Jacobites, Culloden happens and the Scots are destroyed, Claire returns to 20th century in deep grief. Will be interesting to see how they play all the plot points to come, including those that change the tragedy notion.

And that 18th century clothing? I double-dare folks to try to burn wool. Gonna be hard to do! Just saying...

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