Outlander: The Reckoning   Books Included 
April 4, 2015 9:08 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Jamie and the Highlanders rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall. Back at the castle, politics threaten to tear Clan MacKenzie apart and Jamie's scorned lover, Laoghaire, attempts to win him back.

Droughtlander is over!

This episode includes one of the more controversial scenes from the book. In an interesting artistic decision, it's all done from Jamie's point of view, rather than Claire's.
posted by olinerd (23 comments total)
Really missed Claire's POV this episode. Jaime's musings - being in his place, time, and in control - didn't really help the episode as he didn't need to conceal himself the way Claire does.
posted by humans are superior! at 9:13 PM on April 4, 2015

We start the episode with a ripped bodice and it stays ripped throughout!
posted by Catblack at 9:13 PM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Claire is much more passive without her POV. It's surprising what a difference that makes. Combined with that and the constant ripped bodice, this is the closest episode to "formulaic female in constant peril" of them all. I guess the handled the belting scene fine, since it essentially followed the book to the letter. Could have been more focus on Claire's stance as Modern Woman though, but that's the fault of the changed POV.

Silly Jack Randall! Never pick up someone else's gun to shoot with -- you know that it's never going to be loaded! That seemed a failure on his part, given how intelligently and tactically he thinks. I can't recall if it happens the same way in the book.

I still liked it, mostly because I'm so happy it's back! And the extra time on Dougal and Collum is excellent.

Poor wee Willy, though.

Clearly Jamie naming Laoghaire as the ill-wish giver isn't going to impact on the plot. (Are we doing books-included?)
posted by tracicle at 1:25 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I forgot we'd been doing books/no books threads before so I failed to label this one either way. Sorry. :( You can post a second if you like.
posted by olinerd at 1:58 AM on April 5, 2015

I figure we can use this one for books-included discussion. Don't know if the show-only one will get much traction based on previous episodes!

So what I meant to say was that in the books, Jamie never tells Claire that Laoghaire leaves the ill-wish, which means we get the whole scene where she questions Geillis about it, and that she never suspects Laoghaire of bad feelings until *after* they're both arrested. So how will it all go down now? Does it actually change anything?
posted by tracicle at 2:08 AM on April 5, 2015

Yeah, cuz I thought that was part of the much later "wtf do you mean you married Laoghaire", that Jamie hadn't realised she was responsible for the ill-wish and getting Claire arrested for witchcraft. There are of course more immediate ramifications but this is a long-term one as well.
posted by olinerd at 2:49 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

And I guess the Jamie POV kind of worked for me here. We, as modern viewers, are pretty well aware of what's going through Claire's mind during all this; Jamie's perspective is the one most foreign to us. And I think it shows the start of the evolution of his character and his understanding of relating to women (specifically to Claire), since throughout his relationship with Claire and his daughter, this is a major theme.
posted by olinerd at 2:56 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

It is kind of nice to see him too as more than just "that handsome guy who sticks up for women in distress ALL THE TIME", the proverbial nice guy. He's still a typical man of the time, and the readers or viewers could very easily forget that. A bit like Claire, who's only thus far seen him or heard about him rescuing her or his sister or Laoghaire.

And I'd forgotten about the marrying Laoghaire thing! You're right, that will significantly impact down the line.
posted by tracicle at 3:06 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yay! So happy this show is back! Now my life can be consumed by Outlander for another 8 weeks!

I liked the switch to Jamie POV, it really worked for me in this episode. I also liked the way they avoided the big make-up scene coming from Claire pacing around the room becoming crazy with jealous rage over Laoghaire, because that seemed pretty out of character for Claire in the book to begin with. Could have done without the Laoghaire/Jamie scenes because I didn't think he ever spared much of a thought for her at all.

They really packed a ton of book plot into that episode!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:01 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Added "Books Included" to the post
posted by taz (staff) at 5:41 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm kind of surprised they went for it with the beating scene. I figured the show runners would figure out a way to make it less violent or controversial but nope!

Could have done without the Laoghaire/Jamie scenes because I didn't think he ever spared much of a thought for her at all.

I agree with this. The decision to make their non-relationship into more of a thing that it was is maybe the only divergence from the books so far that doesn't sit well with me. However, I think part of that might have to do with the episode explicitly showing us Jamie's perspective of this time period that we don't get in the book. It does make sense that she would have confronted him in some way and that he might not have shared that confrontation with Claire.

I wasn't thrilled at the beginning with the episode being narrated by Jamie but as it went on I warmed up to it. It added a sort of depth to view Claire from the outside, as a stranger who has dropped into their lives and created such problems.
posted by something something at 7:14 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

It added a sort of depth to view Claire from the outside, as a stranger who has dropped into their lives and created such problems.

That's such a good point! Being so immersed in Claire's POV, I forget that to these guys she basically shows up out of nowhere with not really a good reason for wandering around alone in the woods, and makes their lives more difficult and/or dangerous over and over.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:24 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

I didn't like the punishment scene in the book, but I understood that it happened because Jamie is a man of his times. I suppose that the episode was done from his POV so that the audience can empathize more with him.

In the Exile Jamie is shown coming back down to the inn's tavern with scratches and a bite mark.
posted by brujita at 9:43 AM on April 5, 2015

He had an unexplained scratch on his left(?) cheek that I suspect was from Claire, maybe from a deleted scene. Could have been from the raid on Fort William, though.
posted by tracicle at 11:16 AM on April 5, 2015

When he first came into the tavern one of the guys said something about how he looked worse for the wear, so I'm assuming Claire did him some damage.
posted by something something at 11:25 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm rewatching now, since the kids have gone to bed and I don't need to watch it on the laptop. And yes, Claire does a) kick him in the face! and b) scratch his cheek. And probably then some.
posted by tracicle at 11:58 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that whole scene felt so grotendous that I immediately assumed it came word for word from the books. I did like the POV change though.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:25 PM on April 5, 2015

I'm not sure what I think about the show choosing to play the punishment scene so much for humor & titillation. That was certainly an element of it in the book scene, but not so over the top.

I really liked the first Laoghaire/Jamie scene, because I thought it was kind of hilarious how Jamie was managing to say exactly all of the wrong things. Like, he is so utterly clueless about the depths of Laoghaire's lust for him, just sees her as this harmless sad girl, and in trying to let her down easy gives her completely false hopes that he's only with Claire out of obligation.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:43 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

This has some insights on how and why they did the punishment scene like they did:

The jaunty music that starts playing as the fight begins is meant to comfort the audience. "I wanted to say somewhere in there, 'You know what? It's going to be okay,'" Moore said. "This is a show that goes to dark places, but this is not one of them. This tells them, 'Relax. Enjoy it. It's kind of fun on a weird level. Just go there.'"
posted by something something at 7:10 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you for sharing that article, something something. My personal reaction to that scene has been puzzling me and I never thought about the music but now I need to go back and watch it again.

I knew the spanking scene was coming, my partner watching with me did not, and by the end of the scene we were both laughing, which seemed wildly inappropriate considering my reaction to the book version was quite a bit different. I think I was laughing partly from relief that they were able to pull it off so well. It retained some of the shock value (we know Claire's POV from the previous episodes, it's been ingrained at this point - and her face is so expressive!), but kept it light-hearted enough to know that it wasn't the end of Jaime and Claire but really a big part of their beginning.

Having the episode start from Jaime's POV was an interesting set up to it as well. The minute I heard his voice in the opening scene I said "interesting, I think I know why they're doing that..." and I kind of thought it was a brilliant lead in to the way their relationship dynamic starts to develop and shift in this episode.
posted by danapiper at 11:00 AM on April 6, 2015

Ron Moore's # 109 podcast episode is out today. Commentary by Moore & the writer of the episode, Matt Roberts.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:50 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I realize I should've added this to the book/show thread so I've copied it here!

well, Claire did manage to scratch Jamie's face. But I have to say, this episode in the book was a LOT more brutal than what was depicted on the show. The makeup sex scene was also more extreme in the book so the show is down pedaling some of the more controversial scenes from the books. Maybe that's why I can't get too upset about the 'spanking' scene that others have found objectionable. I wish the show had given more time to the development of their relationship before throwing in all of the complications - but I guess TV can't move that slowly. In the book it's delicious!

Otherwise, I liked the focus on Jamie's POV in the show. It brings the character a bit more into focus in a way that is pretty appealing.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2015

Add me to the people who are really, really confused about how they're going to eventually have Jamie marry Laoghaire given what he now knows of her intentions towards Claire.
posted by corb at 6:48 AM on January 18, 2016

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