Outlander: First Wife   Books Included 
November 5, 2017 10:59 AM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Claire returns to Lallybroch with Jamie, where she does not receive quite the reception she was expecting; the choices Jamie made during their time apart comes back to haunt them.
posted by olinerd (16 comments total)
oh god i am 2 weeks behind this is a disaster
posted by poffin boffin at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Laoghaire's daughters looked eerily like Laoghaire.

On that subject--someone said in an earlier thread that Geneva was very well-cast because of her looks. I haven't reached anything related to that in the books yet, but when I watched those scenes with Geneva I felt like I was spoiled by the casting and could guess what is coming. Spooky!
posted by torticat at 10:08 PM on November 5, 2017

Yeah, the casting for Marsali is so good. Young Ian is starting to grow on me, too, I liked his scene with Claire when she was fixing up Jamie.

That episode was fantastic! Claire and Jamie's fight was so intense. I disliked Jenny in the book, but seeing her on the show gave me a lot of sympathy for her. It's easier to see her perspective about Claire, and I wish they had just told her and Ian the truth.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 3:31 AM on November 6, 2017

Agreed that Jenny’s reaction was much better handled by the show than the book. As was Jamie’s completely plausible focus on wanting to be part of a family, as opposed to essentially being forced into marriage by his sister, which is the angle taken in the book.

I was all set to be furious at this episode after last week’s debacle but about ten minutes in I realized they were doing a good job again. FINE, SHOW, I’ll still like you.
posted by something something at 4:35 AM on November 6, 2017 [7 favorites]

On another list, book-readers are talking about how the writers really mucked things up with Laoghaire in season 2 (specifically 208, I think), and they are glad to have that at least partially redeemed in this episode, in which the marriage is portrayed as having been largely about the girls rather than Laoghaire.

I don't remember what the big change was in 208 that caused such a stir for book-readers? Anyone care to help?

In that other thread, Gabaldon weighs in and says
"You told me to be kind to her..." That exchange is pretty much all the writers could do with the situation they caused in 208, and that's all I'm going to say about it.
posted by torticat at 5:17 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

In the book Jamie never knew that Laoghaire had a direct role in getting Claire arrested and nearly executed as a witch. He knew in the show, though, which makes it hard to understand how he could overlook it and decide to marry her 20 years later. It’s a decision by the writers I still don’t really get. They knew what was coming; why set up that dissonance?
posted by something something at 5:27 AM on November 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hm. That's all it is? From the book:
...that spiteful, sneaking little bitch who had tried to murder me at Castle Leoch...but he likely didn't know that, a small voice of reason in my head pointed out.
"Well, he should have known!" I said. "Damn him to hell..."

Seems to me this is something Gabaldon unrealistically glossed over, I guess for plot expediency. Why on earth would Claire never have mentioned to Jamie that Laoghaire had testified against her at the witch trial? Especially after the history to date with Laoghaire, and the ill-wish under the bed, and so on?

I feel like the show probably got it right--even if it did require some adjustments in this last episode to make the Jaime/Laoghaire marriage plausible.
posted by torticat at 6:09 AM on November 6, 2017

Why didn't Claire tell Jenny about Brianna? Don't she and Jamie mention her in the book? I just read the dang thing and can't remember.
posted by annathea at 8:38 AM on November 6, 2017

Nope, nobody mentions Brianna, which is weird. But I guess then there would be unanswerable follow up questions about where exactly Brianna is, since a recently widowed mother in 1765 would have been unlikely to leave her unmarried 19 year old daughter home alone while she runs off to find her long-lost husband on another continent.
posted by something something at 9:27 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Why on earth would Claire never have mentioned to Jamie that Laoghaire had testified against her at the witch trial? Especially after the history to date with Laoghaire, and the ill-wish under the bed, and so on?

My recollection is that the plot was racing along at break-neck speed in the book - the witch-trial was the last we saw of Laoghaire until her reappearance here in book 3. In the aftermath of the witch trial's big reveal from Claire to Jamie that she was a time-traveller and of the impending doom of Colloden, they were much more concerned about Colum and Dougal's roles in the event and in future threats. It didn't feel implausible that Laoghaire's name never came up, especially since the format of the trial was very different (I don't think there was a whole courtroom cross-examination scene in the book, Laoghaire's accomplished her betrayal primarily by giving Claire the fake note from Gellis that got her in place to be arrested.)
posted by oh yeah! at 9:32 AM on November 6, 2017

It didn't feel implausible that Laoghaire's name never came up

Yeah, it didn't feel implausible to me either, probably because at the breakneck speed of events as they were unfolding, as you say, it didn't occur to me. :)

It's fiction, it's a minor point. Just, IRL, of course once things had settled down, Claire would have told Jaime the story of how she had come to be embroiled in that witch hunt and mere minutes from being burned at the stake until he showed up! So it seems an odd point for book-readers to get hung up on, in terms of the show's fidelity to the books.

Re Brianna, yeah, I think they don't want to bring her up because then they just have to come up (unnecessarily) with another whole cover story for why she's not there.
posted by torticat at 10:15 AM on November 6, 2017

They seem to have discarded the reverend ripper plotline, which I can't say I'll miss, and I think making Campbell a con man instead of a priest was a good choice.

honestly after last week's debacle i was assuming everyone would die in a shark attack or something, so everything this episode did that was just okay seems wonderful in retrospect
posted by poffin boffin at 11:51 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Chiming in late due to 5-day-old baby cramping my MeFi style... also his name is Malcolm and while he is not named *for* anyone, I will say I was certainly inspired by some favorite fictional characters named or including the name of Malcolm...

Yeah, this episode didn't totally suck. Young Ian is definitely growing on me bigtime. (Also, I don't see why people think he's ginger? He looks blonde, like his dad, to me) The Jamie/Claire dynamic was great, I thought, and felt realistic, and Jenny/Claire as well. The pacing still feels oddly off in interactions with most other characters, but I can't put my finger on exactly how or why.

Loved Marsali and Joan. Amazing casting on Marsali. Thought this version of the Laoghaire plot was more believable than in the book - still don't like it, though.
posted by olinerd at 1:57 PM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

ian sr., jenny's husband, isn't blonde. his hair is grey/white this season. in earlier seasons you can see in cast photos that he has medium brown hair with a bit of red.

idk why imdb doesn't have a listing for young ian but his hair is even an even brighter red than jaime's.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:36 PM on November 7, 2017

Okay I stand corrected on Ian Sr. I found photos of Young Ian's actor when younger and yeah, it is definitely proper coppery ginger, but something about the lighting or whatever in the show definitely makes it look dark dirty blonde to me. *shrug* Whatever. We know there's ginger in the family, at least...
posted by olinerd at 10:23 AM on November 8, 2017

One thing I’m finding interesting is the alterations according to modern sensibilities. So in the books it was a big thing that Jamie had to punish Young Ian, but I think they struck it in favor of mucking about because visually watching a man beat a 16 year old is..not great.
posted by corb at 8:58 PM on November 21, 2017

« Older Supernatural: The Big Empty...   |  Dirk Gently's Holistic Detecti... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments