Outlander: Of Lost Things   Books Included 
October 2, 2017 5:41 AM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Jamie is pulled into intrigue while serving as a groomsman at Helwater; in 1968, Claire, Brianna, and Roger struggle to trace Jamie's whereabouts, leaving Claire to wonder if they will ever find him.

It's Willie!
posted by olinerd (23 comments total)
1) A little bit surprised Claire, Brianna, and Roger didn't come across Murtagh's name in the prison records. If they were looking for James Fraser, wouldn't Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser be next on the list?
2) I think I'm okay with the changes to the Geneva scene. Jamie's words and actions felt more believable and true to him in the show version, I felt.
3) Nice that they set up the Lord John/Isobel thing a little bit better than the books did. Far more believable and nice for Isobel to develop some personality.
4) You guys, I still don't like Brianna's actress.
posted by olinerd at 5:44 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]

I don't like Brianna, either. The guy playing Roger is great, though.

The actress playing Geneva was a brilliant choice - she really looks a lot like Claire.
posted by something something at 6:40 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]

I also still really don't like Brianna's actress, she really sticks out among the caliber of talent around her. How is she the best actress they could find for the role??! I like Show Roger so much more than Book Roger. I will always appreciate that actor from his time playing bit parts on Burnistoun.

I totally agree with you both on all those points! Geneva was well done, I felt more sympathy for her in the show, and I like how they were able to compress what felt like a ton of pages in the book devoted to Helwater into one concise episode. And little Willie! I cried at the end. Moment of appreciation for the person/people who choose the music for the show, because that song they ended with was perfect.

I'm super curious how this worked for show-only viewers who haven't been spoiled about book plot- it all makes tons of sense plot-wise to me, and I know what's coming and how it all fits together, but it must be a little confusing to meet so many new characters and have Claire's and Jaime's stories be running on parallel sad tracks. It basically bored my husband to sleep last night.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 8:20 AM on October 2

At first I didn't like the Geneva changes - she pretty directly threatened his family in the books and could have had them hanged - but then I realized they weren't necessary as we've already accepted Jamie will be sexing a bit.
posted by corb at 8:30 AM on October 2

I'm super curious how this worked for show-only viewers who haven't been spoiled about book plot

I'm only partly spoiled from these threads (I'm pretty sure claire and/or bri go through the stones again, and that the main thrust of the story in the past ends up in america, but that's about it). My wife isn't spoiled. The plot worked fine for us and we didn't find it confusing. Jamie's side of this episode was fun, Claire's less interesting (but not that much happened there). The confusing part is just that it's really unclear where any of this is going. None of it seems like parts of the same whole. More like "and here's a bunch of stuff that happened in the meantime before they get back together or whatever"
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:37 AM on October 2 [5 favorites]

I also still really don't like Brianna's actress, she really sticks out among the caliber of talent around her. How is she the best actress they could find for the role??!

Yeah her casting is really unfortunate. I'm another show-only viewer, but from what I understand, her role only gets more prominent as the story progresses. How do the directors/casting people possibly think she can carry those performances? Sadly I think we're stuck with her because even if they wizened up to the fact that she's not very good, I don't think they can recast without it being really jarring for the audience.

Also as a show only viewer, everything mostly made sense. Except the actions of Lord Ellesmere. In the episode Isobel tells Jamie that she knows Jamie is the baby's father because "Geneva told me they [herself and Ellesmere] had never shared a bed". I know that people were woefully uneducated about reproduction in the eighteenth century, but why did it seem to only occur to him that the child wasn't his after the child was born? In the brief scene where he and heavily pregnant Geneva were visiting Helwater, he seemed perfectly serene. Does the book explain this better?
posted by katyggls at 1:01 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]

I think we're supposed to assume that Jamie knows the baby is his from the get-go. In the books Diana's always going on about how he has a great poker face.
posted by something something at 1:38 PM on October 2

No, I get what you're asking, katyggls - about Ellesmere knowing it wasn't his, not Jamie, right? He maybe should have gotten all bitchy at her parents *before* she had the kid and died, rather than accusing them of foisting a non-virgin off on him as a virgin after her death. Perhaps part of the justification is that had she survived the birth, he could claim the child as his or not but still have what he deemed to be a legitimate heir with her, whereas with her dead there was no reason for him to care for the child or allow him to inherit the title?
posted by olinerd at 1:44 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]

Ohhh, I see. Yeah, in retrospect it doesn't make a lot of sense that he didn't object to the pregnancy immediately.
posted by something something at 2:24 PM on October 2

In the books, Ellesmere is angry from the first news of the pregnancy.
“Well, it started some months ago, when the Lady Geneva started to show, poor thing. His Lordship’d been nicer than pie to ’er, ever since they was married couldn’t do enough for ’er, anything she wanted ordered from Lunnon, always askin’ was she warm enough,’ad she what she wanted to eat—fair dotin’, ’is Lordship was. But then, when ’e found she was with child!” The cook paused, to screw up her face portentously.

“Why, the shouting, and the carryings-on!” the cook said, throwing up her hands in dismayed illustration, “’im shoutin’, and ’er cryin’, and the both of ’em stampin’ up and down and slammin’ doors, and ’im callin’ ’er names as isn’t fit to be used in a stableyard—and so I told Mary Ann, when she told me.…”
But also, no one knows exactly that it's Jamie's baby, either. There's a lot of unspoken wonderings and dark hints. The show is making a lot more things more explicit than the books did, for better or worse.
posted by corb at 2:33 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]

I think we're supposed to assume that Jamie knows the baby is his from the get-go.

No, I get what you're asking, katyggls - about Ellesmere knowing it wasn't his, not Jamie, right?

Yeah, I was referring to Ellesmere, not Jamie. I apologize if my wording was a little unclear.
posted by katyggls at 2:33 PM on October 2

In the books, Ellesmere is angry from the first news of the pregnancy.

That definitely makes more sense. I wonder if changing it (or not making it explicit) was a deliberate change or just an accidental omission on the part of the writers?
posted by katyggls at 2:48 PM on October 2

eh, i don't dislike brianna's actress so much as she is not at all what i picture her as, so it's jarring every time she's on screen. it'll be weird in later seasons when people are supposed to immediately recognize her as his daughter from the briefest glimpse as she is neither unusually tall nor brightly ginger.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:56 PM on October 2

but yes ugh i'm tired of filler backstory episodes

give us the print shop
posted by poffin boffin at 2:57 PM on October 2 [6 favorites]

I think part of the thing is most of when we see Brianna she is actually doing things, there's only so much you can get interested in someone sitting over a table with papers. The hair looks pretty brightly, ridiculously red to me - honestly way more red than even Jamie's hair is. But I think they're trying to do a similar thing to Claire with her, where they show us her as a nice tame lady, and then when she makes the move to America they're going to be like FIERCE BRIANNA WHOA.
posted by corb at 2:59 PM on October 2

I know that “It’s a hard rain a gonna fall” is not exactly virgin territory in tv and film. But that was a perfect choice lyrically and in terms of the era covered.
posted by rongorongo at 3:08 PM on October 2

For me the main issue with the actress playing Brianna is the way she delivers her lines. No matter what she says, it sounds too loud, too cheerful, and too emphatic. So I looked her up on imdb, as you do, and turns out she's British. It's almost like she learned her "American" accent from someone who thinks all Americans really do TALK LIKE THIS ALL WHILE GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR. It's really jarring and it's also totally out of place for a young woman born in the mid twentieth to affluent British parents with posh accents and raised in New England. She sounds like she's going full midwest with the accent. They should have just told her to do a softer version of Claire's accent and that would have been fine.
posted by katyggls at 3:53 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]

actually now that i'm looking at gifsets i guess willie looks somewhat like brianna, so presumably that will be the primary highlighted family resemblance in future seasons.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:44 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]

The AV Club review talked in glowing terms about how much Brianna's mannerisms recall Jamie and I just don't see it at all. The whole article is pretty terribly written, actually.
posted by something something at 5:14 PM on October 2

In the audio books davina porter has Brianna sound a bit like Katharine Hepburn, which I think is appropriate.
posted by brujita at 6:32 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]

Putting aside the issue of the actor playing Brianna, the writing for Brianna is decent, with at least one thing I really like. Any other character, you'd look serious askance at them for despising and distrusting someone (as Brianna did Claire) and then doing an abrupt 180 turn and being solidly in that person's corner right afterward. But for Jamie's daughter? That makes total sense. My wife and I have spoken before about how that may be Jamie's most attractive trait: his unending ability to admit when Claire is right, he was wrong, and then course correct accordingly. It makes sense his daughter would be the same way and the show is definitely showing that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:31 AM on October 3 [2 favorites]

I think the sex scene where Geneva loses her virginity to Jamie was set up to mirror that were Jamie loses his to Claire. Which was clever.
posted by rongorongo at 12:07 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]

I'm beginning to suspect that the problem with Brianna's acting is that they're having her loop her dialogue (as in, after filming is over they have her come back into the studio and re-record her lines). There's something about the sound mix that is off. If there's a disconnect between the way she's being asked to deliver her lines when looped and the way she delivered her lines initially, that could lead to the performance issues. Her demeanor and manner are good, but the dialogue is just off.
posted by rednikki at 12:37 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]

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