Outlander: The Wedding   Books Included 
September 21, 2014 7:02 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Claire enters into a forced marriage with Jamie, but soon begins to experience deeper feelings for him.
posted by tracicle (22 comments total)
Well, that was terrific. At first I was disappointed that they skipped the wedding ceremony, but doing it in flashback was perfect.

I don't remember anything in the books (up to #4 Drums of Autumn in my re-read as of today) about Claire's ring being made from a key, so I'm not sure where that's going. And Dougal making a pass at Claire on the wedding night was also an odd deviation. I would have thought he was just testing her loyalty or something if he hadn't punched Rupert afterwards. In the books he just makes the one drunken pass at Castle Leoch, and then the offer to take her under his protection when Jamie appears doomed to execution in prison, and that offer seemed more of an opportunistic/mercenary choice than an expression of deep-seated longing/lust for Claire.

Here's a 92Y interview with Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies, & Ronald D. Moore - An Outlander Evening with Series Cast, Author, and Producer.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:36 AM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am a total Outlander psycho at this point because I just have such a nice relieved feeling that now they're together and everything is going to be okay. All is right with the world, et cetera.

The Dougal thing is weird for sure and makes me wonder where they're going with that. The show is definitely making him seem more generally dangerous than he is in the books, but I wonder if that's actually more accurate than the impression I have always had from reading it. Watching is highlighting things that didn't stand out as much for me in the books but probably should have.

The ring wasn't in the book at all, so it will be interesting to see what that key is for (as I'm sure will be revealed at some point). BookJamie's conditions were the dress and the church, and that they would get to have a few days afterward to get to know one another in peace.
posted by something something at 8:40 AM on September 21, 2014

My poor friend got subjected to a lengthy text message rant at the beginning of the episode, about how the dress was wrong for the era and was yellow in the book, why would they skip a wedding they'd built to, that's not how the book did it, blah blah blah- and by the end, I had taken it all back. (Well, most of it. C'mon now. It's the 1700s. Queen Victoria is a while away) (But Ned in a whorehouse was kinda worth it, not gonna lie.)

I really liked the structure of the episode, in the end. I thought it was well built and the reveals were fantastic as it went along. Claire not returning Jamie's toast struck me as awkward, and I really don't like the amount she drinks. I totally understand why she does it and it's a good visual shorthand for her emotional turmoil, but it's starting to verge on problematic for me, particularly after the last episode.

I would have liked to see them talk about Frank, but loved the way they did Jamie's parents back story. Murtagh was perfection.

Agreed on the Dougal thing being weird. Super weird. I never thought he was a fluffy kitten of a character, but I'm not sure where they're going with him as a sexual predator. I think maybe they're trying to give Claire a reason to hate him without going into the political aspects of his positions, but I don't know.
posted by Torosaurus at 9:26 AM on September 21, 2014

The significant thing about the ring in the book is just that it has an inscription inside, but that Claire never sees it until that scene with Roger & Brianna, because she's never taken it off. But I guess they're ditching that for this new subplot.

I thought the design choice for Jamie's mother's necklace was too plain - in the books it's a collar of pearls, not a strand. A strand isn't going to be particularly recognizable as being the exact same necklace as in the portrait of Ellen. Loved the wedding dress though. And loved that the wedding outfits got such slo-mo glamour shots. I hope Terry Dresbach joins Ron Moore in this week's podcast episode to talk about the costumes.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:29 AM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wondered if the Dougal thing is to give him a more active hand in the whole Geillis thing that's to come...but it's weird if so because of course Dougal already has his thumb in that particular pie, so why does he want more?

I can't stop thinking of Rupert and Angus as Merry and Pippin, so when they go to have the ring made, I cracked up laughing. I read something today which quoted DG and confirmed my suspicions as to what the key was to, but I'm also not sure how it'll play out down the line. It's nice to not be able to take everything as given for us book readers, and sometimes I suspect they deliberately deviate to keep the readers intrigued.

I generally don't salivate over actors at all, but the bedroom scenes were *so* steamy.

I said over on the Outlander subreddit that the writers/directors are clearly subverting the male/female roles, making Jamie a virgin and Claire the experienced guide. The scene where she goes down on him was kind of hilarious because the framing of that scene was completely backwards, with lingering shots on his reactions.

Ned in a whorehouse was delightful! I loved Ned in the books and love him even more as a TV character.

I could understand why they moved F & C's wedding to England (because the coincidence of marrying in the exact same church was just a little too unbelievable in the books) but I was surprised they made it a spur-of-the-moment wedding. Frank in particular is not an impetuous person. He might have been planning this for some time, I suppose.

I went straight to Terry's blog to read about the dress, but there wasn't much there yet. Love the photo of Jamie in his Fraser finery, though. And his conversations with the other men were hilarious. I love that they put in his attempt to take Claire like horses do, before she turns him around. Hee!
posted by tracicle at 9:32 AM on September 21, 2014

nb I don't care about spoilers but should I read the books during the midseason hiatus? Or is this like an asoiaf situation where reading the books will only make watching super frustrating?
posted by poffin boffin at 10:17 AM on September 21, 2014

Frustrating how? If you mean it will make you more anxious for the hiatus to end to resolve the cliff-hanger that next week's episode is likely to end with, I'd go ahead and read. If you mean it will make the series less exciting/suspenseful because you know what's coming, I'd go ahead and read - the Randall-gut-punching-Claire scene seemed to work just as well for the book-readers who knew it was coming as it did for the people in the show-only thread who didn't know.

I think book 1-3 are definitely worth reading. But it's in book 3, Voyager, where the series turns problematic for me. That's where the really creepy racial shit starts. First with the introduction of the character of a Chinese man (who Claire actually calls "the Chinese" when not referring to him by name - not "the Chinese man", just "the Chinese" full stop. Or if it's Jamie speaking, "the Chinee"). And then when the story moves to the West Indies slavery enters the story. And by book 4 the story moves to pre-revolutionary-war America, and there's slavery plus Native Americans. I gave up reading the series after book 6 or 7 I think, and I'd forgotten why exactly, until I got to book 3 and remembered that I'd given up because I'd started actively disliking Claire & Jamie at some point.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:49 AM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh man I forgot about all the generally problematic stuff that I'd heard mentioned, ick. But yeah, I mostly meant frustrating in the sense of "wait this scene was done differently in the show, so what does that mean for plotlines x, y, and z" and whatnot.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2014

I'll say this, I began reading game of thrones because of the show and MAN does it get frustrating, like a sneeze that almost just is going to happen, when you're waiting for an event to happen. I actually stopped reading after book 3 so I no longer have to deal with that feeling.

Does anyone know how much creative sway the show writers have? I know on True Blood they had completely artistic freedom and on GoT it's pretty closely monitored by Martin. My point is if the show has some artistic freedom, they may be able to learn from the author's mistakes and put other plots and subplots in their place. I really hope that's the cause because that "creepy racial shit" sounds REALLY icky and I just want the show to stay this enjoyable. (Woooooo wedding!)
posted by miss-lapin at 1:39 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was very pleased. I similarly had a "what? No ceremony?" reaction but in the end I really liked the way they did it. The handful of deviations from the book were interesting, especially the ring thing. I'm also very, very curious where the Claire/Dougal thing is going, because they really are making A Thing of it, aren't they? Maybe once they get to Culloden it becomes the impetus for Dougal's demise, as opposed to him overhearing Claire and Jamie discussing "treason"?

I do think my favorite line in the whole episode was finally hearing "James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser." Eeeeeeeee!
posted by olinerd at 3:25 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

If Gabaldon had any actual creative control over the show she'd have a producer credit, not a consultant credit. I'm sure Ron Moore & Co. have the power to go the True Blood route eventually if they want to, and I think they'll probably have to anyway because of how difficult it would be to do the 20+ year time jump after book 2 convincingly, not to mention how expensive it would get if they're going to try filming on the ocean with multiple ships & whatnot.

Regarding the ring - since they had Rupert & Angus making such a fuss over the need to save the lock-opening part of the key, all I can think of is 'The French Mistake' episode of Supernatural "If there's a key, there must also be a lock!"

But yeah, I mostly meant frustrating in the sense of "wait this scene was done differently in the show, so what does that mean for plotlines x, y, and z" and whatnot.

So far pretty much every change they've done has made sense for practical reasons, or if it doesn't make sense yet it's just kind of puzzling/intriguing. They haven't done anything yet that made me feel like they've cut themselves off from a necessary future plotline, or that they're straying into character assassination territory, so, no, I don't think reading the books will be frustrating.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:47 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

That episode was totally awesome. I was super confused at first and thought our dvr cut off half the episode, but once I caught on to the flashbacks I was on board. I really like all the changes the show has made, they stay true enough to the book, but I feel like the show cleans up some of DG's writing that was a little messy.

Robocop is Bleeding is convinced they won't do the time jump but I honestly can't conceive of how they could get around it. Bree and Roger are pretty integral to the rest of the series and the effects of Culloden kind of paint everyone into a corner. I enjoy speculating about it more than is healthy, though.

So, the ring- I am hoping that this a temporary ring and we'll get the actual ring after the hiatus. The whole scene where he gives her that ring is such a major moment in the book. But some of what the costume designer has said about the ring makes me nervous that the key ring is it.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:24 PM on September 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

And Dougal making a pass at Claire on the wedding night was also an odd deviation.

Ah, okay. I haven't read the books and that scene felt off to me.
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Let me just say that it is awkward to sit on the couch with your female neighbor, both slack-jawed and drooling at Sam Heughan's hindquarters and everything else during that hour, while your husband sits patiently across the room AND IS ALSO NAMED JAMIE.
posted by Madamina at 2:14 PM on September 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

At least you won't accidentally say the wrong name in your post-episode, er, "celebration", then.
posted by olinerd at 2:22 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

OMG. That episode was amazing. The show runner is clearly going to mix it up a bit compared to the books. The ring is a major deviation and the episode in the books when Jamie *does* get a ring always seemed pretty pivotal to me (with some great lines). This show is perfectly cast, down to the side characters (trading bible verse with the priest was great). I can't really fault it, BUT I wonder how the impression of Jamie is for people who haven't read the books. The conversations between him and Claire were always a big part of what made him so appealing to me, and that doesn't come across in the show to the same degree.

I also have to say - the first book of the series is amazing (I think I've read it four times), the 2nd is good but the rest I read just to find out what happens. So I hope the show can maintain this incredible quality - so so so good!
posted by bluesky43 at 5:47 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

And I agree about the Dougal making a pass at Claire as being off - he is a much stronger character in the show than in the books and I guess they need to give him some plot tension.

And for anyone who is considering reading the first book during the hiatus, I would highly recommend it. Knowing what happens has not spoiled anything for me in watching the show, it's so well done.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:50 AM on September 23, 2014

I haven't been able to watch any of this yet except the pilot on YouTube (no starz!), but reading this commentary and the positive critical reviews makes me really happy for Gabaldon and the amazing things cable tv is doing today. I mean, this sort of adaptation just wasn't possible in the nineties when Outlander first came out. There is no way you could squeeze that book into a movie that would mean anything to fans. There was some talk of a miniseries in the early aughts I think, but really I am so glad this is being done now when there is so much daring exploration and boundary pushing on cable. And sex!

Now I just need to figure out a way for my 85 year old mother, who loved the books, to watch it!
posted by onlyconnect at 5:56 AM on September 23, 2014

I thought Dougal's actions in the show were more spot-on than not.

In the books, Dougal is dangerous and he is predatory.
Consider that in the book he knows what happened to Jamie's sister and lets Jamie think otherwise.
He uses Jamie for his own political purposes.
And he does make an advance on Claire and he does seem to be attracted to her in spite of himself.

Yep, I hope the original wedding ring scene at the castle is somehow kept--I would love to see that fight and Claire's realization about her feelings for Jamie on the screen!
posted by calgirl at 10:17 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought Dougal was perfect. He creeps on Claire from that first encounter in the hallway all the way through a bunch of the books. Sometimes there's an ulterior motive, sometimes not (apparently).

I didn't like the dress. I mean, I DID like the dress but it wasn't right for the character or the book. I thought the part in the book where she was wearing the dress with someone else's BO in it was a nice touch. The parts where they talk about Clare's marriage to Frank was a big omission IMO. (And Murtagh seems too young to me! What is he, 35, max?!Maybe he just aged well though that's not the impression I took away from the book.)

I finally cranked through all the episodes since the first free one and although it's a nice illustration if you've read the book, I feel like it's lacking some of the character depth and a ton of the humor. Plus they're using music to Quick! Make a mood! Was I the only one who thought a lot of the books was hilarious? Among other things I was hoping for the line about Jamie "waiting his turn" sleeping outside her bedroom door plus all the parts with Randall, like dumping blotting sand in his wig. (A friend of mine thought they weren't very funny so I guess YMMV.)

Even so, I'm sure I'll keep watching.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:35 PM on September 27, 2014

I also didn't like the Dougal thing. I think they're trying to build so that there's a major reason for tension, but it just comes off as weird. Like, yes, he likes her in the book, but it's more like a 'You're pretty awesome and there may be reasons to marry you' not 'i have been longing for you for so long.'
posted by corb at 6:42 AM on January 18, 2016

I'm just catching up, chiming in late because I'm reading the books and just starting to watch the show.

I just want to mention that the most important conversation they ever had was on their wedding night, but is missing from the show....where he asks her ,always, for honesty. He tells he there's enough respect and friendship between them for them to have secrets from each other, and he won't press her to share what she can't, but when she does tell him something, let it be the truth.

I'm sad that didn't make it into the wedding night show. It's the basis of their relationship, and it helps to explain why they risk being so open to each other, and it provides an allowable way to even express a desire to build intimacy. Sigh.
posted by vitabellosi at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2016

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