Outlander: Both Sides Now   Books Included 
September 28, 2014 6:07 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Claire attempts to adapt to her new marriage, while Frank undertakes a desperate search for his missing wife.
posted by tracicle (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, man. I knew we were in for a cliff-hanger, but wasn't sure exactly where they'd leave us. I wonder how much of a spike in Outlander kindle sales there was last night?

I'm not sure what to think about the way they shot the attempted rape. In the book, it's clear that the soldier didn't succeed at raping Claire, that she was able to get the knife out in time to stop him because he was so busy fumbling with his breeches & boner that he underestimated her as a threat. I can't tell if the show scene with the multiple thrusting slo-mo was meant to indicate she killed him while he was raping her, or if they did the slo-mo to show the silent communication between Jamie & Claire and her gearing up to put her new knife-training to use and just over-did the thrusting shots by mistake. I'm sure they'll discuss it in the podcast, but, if they meant for her to be raped & then kill a guy versus killed a guy who tried to rape her, they'd better clarify it in-show, as I think it makes a difference character-development-wise for both Claire & Jamie.

And, did we never get Jamie's line to Claire about how he knew there were things she wasn't telling him, and that he was ok with her having secrets, that she should tell him the truth or say nothing? I feel like that came before her breaking her promise to stay put before sneaking away to the stones, but maybe I'm mis-remembering, and it's after the rescue.

I didn't expect to like the Frank scenes, but I did. Loved the way the shots transitioned between timelines, loved his breakdown at the stones. I never much cared about book-Frank, but I do feel bad for show-Frank. Poor bastard.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:12 AM on September 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I liked the Frank scenes, too, despite thinking going in that I would find it annoying. Showing what Frank was going through in real time fleshed out the story in a way that wasn't really addressed in the books until Voyager. In general I am blown away by how well they're managing to deviate from the books while also staying true to the story and the world and the overall feel of the books. It's a hard thing to do, and it's really obvious how dedicated they are to doing this right. I am so grateful! I want to write Ron Moore a nice letter.

I saw the attempted rape as only attempted, but that might be because I knew that's how it went down in the books. I think it would have been more explicitly stated if he had succeeded in raping her, though; her trauma seems to be mostly over the fact that she had to kill someone.
posted by something something at 9:01 AM on September 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

From the AV Club review: Over the course of the series, we’ve seen her as all these women. Claire Randall, the spirited 1940s war nurse who loves her husband (and also loves sex). Claire Beauchamp, the confused but smart sassenach who adapts to survive. And Claire Fraser, the woman who doesn’t hesitate to kill the man who rapes her. so, yeah, I think to the show-only viewers, it didn't look like attempted rape, and they're going to need to have the characters say something explicit about it in-show if that wasn't the impression they wanted to leave the audience with.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:27 AM on September 28, 2014

No wonder the English took over the world - apparently redcoats can teleport. How else could they sneak up on Claire multiple times with such dramatic timing?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:58 PM on September 28, 2014

wait so is frank now going to time travel as well because i feel like this will be very irritating
posted by poffin boffin at 6:46 PM on September 28, 2014

I spent a year listening to the books on my (so very long) commute (several years after reading the first three), and my husband only knows what I've told him by request and what he's seen on the show*. That moment when Jamie comes in through the window and tells Black Jack to unhand his wife and Black Jack laughs in astonishment at him ... that moment is so amazing and so frustrating for me because it was such a wonderful easter egg for people who had already read the books and I wanted my husband to be in on it!

I am ambivalent about the Frank scenes because it makes me wonder what they're going to change. I felt like the darkness they are showing in Frank is a slippery slope in terms of how he was portrayed in the books, but I do think it's an interesting character development for the show.

* For what it's worth, when he watched the rape scene he thought that the soldier had succeeded.
posted by Kimberly at 4:50 AM on September 29, 2014

I am so consistently impressed with how well done this show is. The Frank scenes were more interesting than I thought they would be, and I got actual goosebumps with the stones moment. I wish they'd had an hour and a half for this episode, because the aftermath of the attack and then Claire running away to the stones seemed like it had at least a few days in between in the books, and it felt a little rushed in the show. Plus, those redcoats at the end really did come out of nowhere, I feel like show-only viewers probably could have used at least a small confrontation with them to explain why they decided to haul Claire away with them.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:46 AM on September 29, 2014

I kind of loved the "I'll thank ye to take your hands off my wife." Yes, swashbuckling in through the window is a bit cheesy, but I enjoy that line (and the utter ballsiness of it all given what I know the situation is, from the books).

I'm glad we finally got to see Roger! Though I'm not sure how well that will be recalled for the non-book-readers, since as far as I can tell, (1) they don't explain why he's there or how he's related to the Reverend, (2) when I mentioned him to my non-reader husband he said "Who? What kid? Wait, he had a name?" so even though I felt like they took great pains to let the camera linger for ages on Roger in a THIS PERSON IS GOING TO BE SIGNIFICANT sort of way, apparently that didn't make it through to those who didn't already know who they were looking at.

I'm a little torn about the attempted/achieved rape. In the book, they imply that there is a Look between Jamie and Claire that reminds her of the knife she has and what she can do with it, so the book narrative makes it seem like she knows what she's going to do from the second the redcoat starts fumbling around down there; the way they shot it, there wasn't that Look, so to me it appeared more to be Claire freaking out, sort of resigning herself to what's happening, then suddenly pulling an "oh wait! I have this thing!" which appears to allow for more time for things to progress. Plus, the slowing-of-time effect wasn't immediately clear, so it does seem to be an inordinate amount of time for someone to be messing with his flies. I dunno. Didn't love the way they shot it.

I initially was upset that Claire's voiceover says she's upset with herself and that's why she's so bitchy to Jamie, when I think the book makes it clear later on that no, she's actually pissed at Jamie. That said though, I am extremely impressed with how the show has set up her actual dilemma between Jamie and Frank. I think it's done a far more compelling job of showing her genuinely emotionally torn between the two men (and understanding it's only going to get more emotional with Jamie) than the books did and this episode really capped that off nicely.

Not sure how I feel about Frank having seen the ghost Jamie's face well enough to give a sketch artist a good impression, and hearing about the stones from Mrs. Graham (and hearing Claire through them... though whether he "believes" that in the end, I'll be interested to see). I really wonder how that's going to affect his reaction when she gets back.

Argh, can't believe we're waiting till April.
posted by olinerd at 4:07 PM on September 29, 2014




posted by poffin boffin at 4:31 PM on September 29, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oh yeah! Roger! Although when I saw his cherub little face I turned to my husband and said, "I forgot to warn you that Gabaldon loves doing horrible things to all the characters you love."
posted by Kimberly at 6:20 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

HAHA OH GOD I read all the book spoilers, it is so terrible, the most terrible. the terriblest.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:56 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by Madamina at 4:53 PM on October 1, 2014

Just imagine if Gabaldon and Martin got together.
posted by corb at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2014

it's like baby's first fanfic on a geocities website.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:39 PM on October 2, 2014

Corb, they're good friends. Martin has included Gabaldon stories in several of his anthologies, most of which DG has included in her own Lord John and the Hand of Devils and A Trail of Fire.
posted by brujita at 3:42 PM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Finally got to hear Moore's podcast commentary for this episode, and he did say "attempted rape" when talking over the scene with the soldiers. Assuming they're going to follow the book events with the 'corporal punishment' scene between Jamie & Claire, I hope they find a way to mention that she'd killed that soldier before he succeeded. I think the reason that 'Problematic Scene #1' doesn't bother me much is because, at least in those first few books, the vast majority of abuse is heaped on Jamie. What Jamie does to Claire just becomes kind of trivial in comparison to what Randall does to Jamie.

Moore also mentioned during the Roger Wakefield scene how he'll be an important character next season, so, I guess they will try to pull off the time gap. (Though, maybe he meant 'another' season rather than 'next'? I can't see how they're going to get all the way to Culloden in the next half of S1, they've got all of book 2 & their times in France to get through first, no?)
posted by oh yeah! at 9:56 AM on October 5, 2014

If they stay true to the structure of book 2, grown-up Roger will be featured throughout the second season. Dragonfly in Amber begins in the "present" day, remember, and then flashes back to tell of their time in France, ending with Culloden and what Roger discovered about Jamie's fate and how Claire ended up back in the 1940s. I'm really interested to see how that will all work, and especially in the casting of Brianna.
posted by something something at 1:22 PM on October 5, 2014

Oh, and the episodes in April are still considered Season 1. So he's referring to Season 2 as whatever we'll get to see sometime in late 2015.
posted by something something at 1:27 PM on October 5, 2014

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