Outlander: Wentworth Prison   Books Included 
May 17, 2015 2:24 AM - Season 1, Episode 15 - Subscribe

A visit from Black Jack causes Jamie to realize a fate exists that is worse than his death sentence.
posted by tracicle (14 comments total)
I've only skipped through the scenes in a hurry (I was supposed to have a lunch date) but wow. Just...wow.

This part has stayed fairly true to the book, I think, with a minor reshuffle of the scenes with Jamie, Randall and Marley. I never fully understood the scene in the book where Murtagh hears the kine outside and suddenly has a plan, but I guess he holds the stolen cows to ransom and uses the others?

I think this is Sam Heughan's best acting so far, like he's been saving it all up for his scenes with BJR. Cait is amazing, too, in the scene with Sir Fletcher, struggling to keep it together. It looks like BJR might have kind of a long monologue in the middle, but I was jumping from scene to scene so maybe it was broken up more. I'll be rewatching it tonight!
posted by tracicle at 2:30 AM on May 17, 2015

Yeah. Damn. Damn. Gabaldon had always been adamant that she meant Randall to be a sadist and pervert, rather than "bad gay guy!", and I think this episode's acting and writing brought that home for me, compared to the books. Tobias Menzies was utterly disturbing.

That said, the rape is TBD. I don't know how they'll handle that in the next episode, so hopefully they tread the right side of the line there too.

Wow. Yeah. Hella good acting from everyone. I also really liked Macquarrie's last scene. I'll miss him.
posted by olinerd at 2:49 AM on May 17, 2015

OK, I'm sitting down to watch properly, so I might just comment a bit as it goes. This is the first episode I feel like everything has come together, and I hope it continues this way. It's been good-to-great up to now (the last couple were not so good, I thought), but this one was tense and dramatic and touched with angst and humour (thanks to giggly Rupert and Angus, as usual; I love them).

First, the hanging in the courtyard. Long and drawn-out and graphic, and it really gives you an idea of how it would feel to be standing there, in the muck and cold, waiting for your turn in the noose.

"To the devil wi' England and God bless King--" What a way to go. (And a small preview of another hanging scene, a while from now, and how long it can take. I wonder if MacQuarrie's hanging was done that way purposely.) Yeah, MacQuarrie went out with style. What a shame he won't be back.

Who would have thought Randall would be the one to come to Jamie's rescue? Tobias Menzies in this episode is incredible. He expresses so much in his face when Jamie is led away from the scaffold.

Why are the prison guards who bring food to Jamie English, when the ones at the tavern are Scots? Or am I mishearing the accents?

Murtagh shows his tender side again. You can see the change in their relationship from their time on the road together. I'm impressed he managed to carry her all the way down from the prison gate, still. She's as tall as he is! In the tavern he calls Claire Mistress, and it seemed wrong that he would still be so formal with her after all they've been through together. Lass, I would have expected.

The story of the Petition of Complaint finally comes to an end. It really was a waste of time, just as Claire thought it would be, and I guess even made things worse for Jamie -- not that Randall needed an excuse, right? I know Jack says he could have ended up in the gibbet but I doubt he'd ever have made it. Having said that, he wasn't exactly favoured with the redcoats back in episode...5? So maybe it could have worked, but we'll never know.

BJR wants to be imprinted on Jamie's soul, and to know that Jamie is afraid of him. Love doesn't enter into it. Just a bargain: the use of Jamie's body for a clean death. BJR didn't love Jamie in the book; he wanted Jamie's complete surrender, body and soul, and that's why he wanted Jamie to say he loved him. He wanted ownership. I wonder if that will happen in the next episode.

Cue Claire running around in the dark for half an hour. I know we need to know how much time it took her to find him, but it's the only boring-ish part. I prefer to see more of BJR being creepy, actually. That thing he does with his mouth. And the crack of the bones in Jamie's hand is horrifying. I'm not squeamish but that was truly awful to hear and see. And Randall has that look on his face that says, We have all night, I'm not in a hurry.

When Claire is dropped into the pit with the corpses, MacQuarrie's is there...which is weird because that means they loaded the bodies onto the cart, then carried them down through the prison tunnels and dropped them through the hole? They could have carted them around to the pit, but either way it's a weird place for a hole.

"How does it feel to be alive and wear so much dead flesh?" Suddenly Black Jack Randall is Buffalo Bill.

And no wolves! Disappointing but not surprising. I just wanted to see the scene where Claire receives the fur from MacRannoch later.
posted by tracicle at 6:06 AM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I watched the episode from behind a pillow and I'm hoping the escape is over fast in the next one. I was dreading this and I still wish it wasn't part of the book. Gabaldon's propensity for writing torture has always been my least favorite thing about the books.

That said, the acting (that I could actually watch) in this episode was INSANE. Everyone deserves awards. The power in the prison scenes was real and devastating.

HOWEVER, am I misremembering the book or did they just completely cut out the part where Claire kills a wolf with her bare hands? I was so bummed.
posted by Kimberly at 6:15 AM on May 17, 2015

Clearly I type slow on my phone! I see I was right, they skipped the wolf part. That scene helped define Claire for me, I think it was a misstep to not include it.
posted by Kimberly at 6:20 AM on May 17, 2015

Haven't seen this yet (and probably won't for a long time, unless I decide to pay for the second half of the season on iTunes), but I sort of hated the wolf thing in the book. There's plenty of tension and suspense already, and then we pause for like 20 pages of wolf-wrestling, which I didn't care about, because I just wanted to know whether Claire was going to manage to rescue Jamie. And then when the wolf is finally dead, and we can get back to the story I care about, there's another fucking wolf. Enough with the wolves. You don't need them, your book is already about a million pages long, and they're a distraction.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:55 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

All the medical and scenic language of the books was kind of a ramble for me, but I found the wolf scenes to be pivotal on a couple of different levels. I did care about the wolves, not only because it was badass, but because BJR had found another way to betray Jamie and it added to the that tension. And it was a vehicle for Claire to earn the respect of the men.
posted by Kimberly at 7:06 AM on May 17, 2015

I haven't read the books, but they are on my list. I enjoy reading the discussion about them here though. I don't think they could have made a wolf attack work in this episode, besides the budget, it would have broken the flow.

We were done with the TV for the night after this episode. (Saving Orphan Black for tonight.) That really was a long, brutal episode.
posted by Catblack at 5:34 PM on May 17, 2015

That was a phenomenal, if hard-to-watch, episode. Everyone's performance was pitch-perfect, I thought.

I did a spit-take when BJR suggested Jamie could fall on his sword "like Brutus".
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 6:51 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ugh, this was hard to watch. We finished it and I said, "WHEW! We should really watch something a little lighter."

So we watched this Audrey Hepburn biography on public TV.

Which began in the Holocaust.
posted by St. Hubbins at 8:54 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just watched the episode last night (we were in actual Scotland on Saturday! We went to the place where some of the interior Wentworth scenes were filmed!), that was incredible acting. I think this will be the one episode I don't re-watch. I kind of hoped they'd do the wolf scene because it is so totally bananas, but it is kind of a waste of time, and it doesn't add to the already high tension of the episode (and I think it would have lost some of the more skeptical viewers like my husband, because killing a wolf with her bare hands). I have no idea how they're going to fit everything else into one hour next week, I'm nervous for the inevitable short shrift they're going to give to Jamie and Claire talking. My one beef with the show is that they seem to take it as such a given that we are all invested in Jamie and Claire's relationship that they don't spend enough time with them building their relationship.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 3:56 AM on May 19, 2015

I think this will be the one episode I don't re-watch.

Me too. I don't even like to think about it, really. But Tobias Menzies is just insanely good.

A coworker told me yesterday they've changed the story to eliminate the journey to France - the abbey is going to be somewhere in Scotland instead. So that will cut out on some travel time, at least.
posted by something something at 7:07 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wonder if Jamie will still suffer from seasickness.
posted by tracicle at 9:08 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I hope you're right, something something. I would hate for all the castles and Highland museums banjo and I saw last week who were just waking up to the prospects of Outlander tourism end up with a bunch of bugs in sap and no more foolish Americans to buy them.

The Outlander section at the Doune Castle gift shop now far outstrips the Monty Python and the Holy Grail section and that's a goddamn shame.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:48 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Orphan Black: Scarred by Many ...   |  Carniv├ále: Los Moscos... Newer »

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