Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander" (SPOILERS!)
*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***
There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.
I liked the drums at the very beginning, and the close-up look at the officer's coat.
The scenery as they ride to Brockton is just gorgeous!
"It felt liberating to be looked upon with respect" - I like that. Interesting point, that Dougal is the "outlander" here, surrounded by the enemy.
I really enjoyed watching Brig. Gen. Thomas, played by John Heffernan. He's a good actor, and his role is very effective in illustrating how the English felt about the Scots. Interesting contrast between Dougal, who sees the general as his equal, and the general, who refers to Dougal as a "creature"; plainly he thinks all Scots are such barbarians that they are not really human beings at all.
"If only you behaved like the loyal British subjects you're supposed to be" - it's very hard to hear this without thinking of the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, of course.
"You pull that needle and we'll see who pricks who" -- good line! Despite being vastly outnumbered, Dougal is not intimidated in the slightest.
"You do know how to order men about." "Aye, she does that." - another good line.
I liked the harpsichord music during the dinner scene. Very appropriate.
So BJR just barges in without even knocking? No wonder the general was annoyed! I love the way BJR and Claire stare at each other.
The story of Private McGreavey was chilling. "Give ye your head in your hands to play with" is a phrase we've heard more than once in the books, but obviously it's more than just a figure of speech!
I like that window with the round panes very much. <g>
The amputation scene was suitably graphic, bloody and horrifying. <shudder> But I was glad that a surgeon showed up in time to perform the actual amputation. (Claire is, after all, not yet a doctor.) This was an effective way to get rid of the general and the rest of the English officers.
The shaving scene was terrific! <g> I liked the brief flashback; fascinating that Frank had that very razor in his possession. And the bit where BJR holds the razor to his aide's throat was scary. I felt sorry for the young man. Can you imagine working for BJR??
"Lord Thomas is an utter arse." - good line
"There are no Beauchamps in Oxfordshire" - nearly halfway through the episode, and finally we're back to the book! (This is not a complaint, btw, just an observation.) Interesting that they don't subtitle the French bits, although I had enough French in high school that I had no trouble understanding what they were saying.
"What was your maiden name?" made me laugh, a bit nervously.
For someone with a "glass face", Claire does a pretty good job of making up that story about an "affair of the heart". Unfortunately, it's clear he doesn't believe a syllable of it. I love BJR's reaction, as though listening to her lies is giving him a headache.
I really didn't expect the bit with the drawing. The notorious Black Jack Randall, an artist? It gives him a little more of a human side, IMHO.
"I would not believe you if you told me that night is dark and day is bright." - good line!
Claire referring to Jamie as "a poor Highlander boy" took me aback a little, until I realized that she has no idea, yet, that Jamie is a laird.
The sight of Jamie's fresh scars made me gasp. And when BJR poked him -- owwwww!
"I prefer to work on a blank canvas. It makes one more able to mark the progress of the damage inflicted." - this is really chilling, especially the matter-of-fact way he says it.
I liked that it was BJR telling the story of the flogging, rather than Dougal. It's far more immediate and personal, somehow, seeing it through his POV. When he said, "It made my stomach flutter and my legs shake", I thought, "and your cock stiffen, too, no doubt. You sick bastard, may you rot in hell!" (Jamie may have found a way to forgive BJR. I don't think I ever will. For Wentworth OR for this.)
I watched most of the flogging through my fingers <g>, but I didn't really look away. It's a VERY intense scene, as well it should be.
I liked the way Jamie's feet slipped in the blood. Just after that, we get a good look at Brian Fraser (standing behind Dougal on the left in this photo, wearing a leather jacket). Some people have said they're surprised that Brian didn't show more emotion, watching his son being flogged. I disagree. I think Brian shares Jamie's habit of putting on an expressionless mask to hide strong emotions. It absolutely doesn't mean he's not feeling anything; quite the contrary! (And I'm not surprised that we didn't actually see Brian collapse during the flogging. We're seeing this from BJR's point of view, and he was in no condition to notice the bystanders by that point, even if one of them fell to the ground almost dead.)
"That boy and I, we were creating a masterpiece. An exquisite, bloody masterpiece. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." - this is a terrific bit of writing, and reveals a lot about BJR's true character.
And after hearing all this, after seeing Jamie's scars for herself, Claire still has hope for BJR's soul?? ("It is not too late to win back your humanity", etc.) She seems so innocent, naive, seeing only what she wants to see.
That blow took me by surprise, even though of course I knew it had to be coming. I think I was caught off guard because what came just before it wasn't in the book. I love Claire's reaction, lying on the floor gasping for air and looking totally shocked. "Kick her!" was a great addition to the scene.
Dougal to the rescue, thank God! <g>
The scene at St. Ninian's Spring was just perfect. I love the way Claire says, "I am NOT a spy!" And her reaction to the idea of marrying Jamie was very well done.
In the next scene, I like the way the close-up of Claire reading the marriage contract shows the gold wedding ring very clearly. A subtle reminder of Frank, but effective.
The final scene with Jamie is terrific. He seems shy, even a bit nervous, but with an air of suppressed excitement (or maybe I am projecting my own reactions onto Jamie <g>). The "Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin" exchange was just perfect. <g> And I love the way Claire stalks back through the crowd of men, bottle in hand.
I loved this episode! Well-written, VERY well-acted (Tobias Menzies was just mesmerizing as BJR!!), and riveting throughout. Can't wait for the wedding next week!
I hope you enjoyed this recap. You can see my comments on the previous episodes here:
Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Please come back next week for my recap of Episode 107!