Outlander: Je Suis Prest   Books Included 
June 5, 2016 2:55 AM - Season 2, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Claire and Jamie reunite with the Lallybroch and MacKenzie men as they train. Jamie's power struggle and Claire's personal battle weigh upon them, but new information comes when an Englishman pays a visit to their camp.

(Posting in lieu of tracicle today as she can't watch till later)

In which farmers and tradesmen get trained as soldiers, Rupert and Angus return, Jamie and Dougal vie for Alpha status, Murtagh demonstrates that if he traveled through the stones to the future he'd fit in just fine as a drill sergeant, Dougal demonstrates the shirtless Highland charge, and Claire deals with some devastating flashbacks as the reality of the approaching war begins to hit home.

Claire drops a not-terribly-subtle "dragonfly in amber" callout.

We also get our first scene with Lord John Grey.

AV Club Review: B+

"... it’s really Caitriona Balfe giving the most powerful performance of the episode, with Claire’s trauma unfolding subtly on the sidelines, pulling the focus away from war and politics and grounding the story in something more human, more personal, more Outlander."

IGN Review

"Outlander is going to go to war before the season's end, but it's a show viewers can trust to explore the consequences, both leading up to and coming after big action sequences. "Je Suis Prest" was a needed episode, and impactful because of its timing."
posted by olinerd (11 comments total)
This was a really interesting book --> TV adaptation. It had a few important/favorite scenes (the commando raid, Lord John's appearance) but the development of the Lallybroch men as soldiers, of Jamie and Dougal's relationship at this stage, and of Claire's PTSD was all new to me. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong) I liked it - I thought it did the right thing for television developing the characters further and, as the reviews said, establishing the impact this war is going to have.

I liked that they didn't rip Claire's dress during the charade to convince Lord John of her distress. After all the (fair) criticism of the amount of rape going around, it's nice to avoid one unnecessary sexualization of a plot point.
posted by olinerd at 3:02 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ok, I loved the "getting the gang back together" vibe of the episode. Rupert and Angus!!! Willie got married and went to America.... I may have screamed in an undignified way, because I will be so psyched to see him in season 3 and 4, hopefully. I really like Willie.

Dougal was chewing scenery like a champ.

That training montage song was awesome.

Claire's flashbacks to WWII were amazing. That was more character development than Claire gets in the entire book. In the first flashback Balfe played her as so much younger and more open than we've seen Claire in Scotland. Also, those Americans in the first flashback were so charming, I should have known things would not end well for them. The subsequent flashbacks were brutal, but really gave a lot of depth to Claire. It's weird that in the books Claire just rolls with all the violence that's around her without dealing with any PTSD from the war in her own time.

John Grey! Claire played her damsel in distress role so well. I'm glad, too, about the lack of dress ripping.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:11 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, in the book wasn't it all Jamie's idea to use the threat against Claire to get Grey to talk? I liked that in addition to leaving out the dress-ripping & whatnot they changed it to make it all Claire's idea - though I think they jumped the gun slightly by not having that moment where Grey hears that she's an Englishwoman and jumps to the assumption that she's a captive too. They really should have had one moment of him mistakenly defending her honor before they started using it against him. As the scene plays out in the show, there's no real reason for Claire or Jamie to think that Grey will act on her behalf when they start the charade, unless we're meant to infer that Claire thinks he'll be protective because she's thinking of how the young WWII soldiers treated her, or that she's thinking of the poor dead Yanks and just wanting to give anything a try to keep from seeing a young soldier suffer?

But, whatever, little Lord John was utterly adorable. I suppose there's a chance they'll recast with an older actor for future books, but I'd be happy if they stick with this guy.

Really happy with the addition of the WWII flashbacks & PTSD, good writing decision, gives me hope for future seasons, as they're going to need to deviate drastically from the books to ditch the really problematic aspects.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:31 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agreeing that I loved that the show made the Grey scene Claire's idea instead of Jamie's as in the book. And the facial expressions between the two of them as that played out were priceless. Well done, loved the extra character development.

I can't remember where in the show they touched on Jaime's military service in France? I knew about it from the books (at least I think so? I have a hard time separating my book knowledge from my show knowledge) but my bf watching with me - who has a memory like a steel trap - was very confused about if he was supposed to know that already.
posted by danapiper at 8:50 AM on June 5, 2016

I saw several book-reading folks online (not here! Yay!) all grumpy about the Lord John gambit being switched to having been Claire's idea - but yeah, I thought it was great? I mean, this isn't Game of Thrones here, Outlander seems to generally be cognizant of the idea of women's agency. The complainers seemed to feel like Claire got all the "good ideas" and left Jamie with nothing to prove his cleverness...I guess they weren't watching the same show I was because this entire hour showed some considerable growth for him as well. I'm just as pleased it was set as her idea and that there was no bodice-ripping.

Claire's PTSD broke my heart. Scuttlebutt says if Cait is Emmy-nominated that she'd be submitting "Faith" as her episode for review but this one wouldn't be a bad choice either. The scene of her walking across the field during target practice - my stomach lurched with every flinch. And then her seething monologue to Dougal! Lord, but I love the way Cait plays Claire.

Didn't mind Graham McTavish howling around in a kilt and mud and sword and not much else either. That was nice.
posted by angeline at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Danapiper - they talked about it a bit in season one, I think mostly after they got to Lallybroch. For sure I remember Jamie and Ian and MacQuarrie talking about it around the dinner table, because MacQuarrie made the "casual" observation that for all Jamie and Ian were talking about serving together now, Ian hadn't ever mentioned Jamie previously.
posted by angeline at 9:55 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dougal's bouncing manboobs!
posted by brujita at 10:56 AM on June 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I didn't like the Lord John casting! I always pictured him as prettier and blonder.

This episode was great, though. I loved seeing Jamie in his element as a leader - it's really the first time we've seen that from him. And thank god everybody is wearing kilts again.
posted by something something at 7:55 AM on June 6, 2016

I have to say I'm loving Jamies' face camo.
posted by corb at 3:59 PM on June 8, 2016

Catriona Balfe has a key role in Money Monster.
posted by brujita at 8:42 PM on June 9, 2016

I was so excited to see her in a photo with George Clooney at Cannes! She is becoming well-known. Hopefully not too well-known though; I need my longterm Claire.
posted by tracicle at 2:50 AM on June 11, 2016

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