Sunday, April 26, 2015

Episode 112: "Lallybroch" (SPOILERS)

Here are my reactions to Episode 112 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled “Lallybroch”. I really enjoyed this episode!  Well-written, well-acted, and I think it really captures the spirit of this part of the book.  I was delighted that they included so many of my favorite lines.

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.

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Opening credits: Some of you will recognize the scene with the dogs in front of the hearth at Lallybroch from the “OUTLANDER Yule Log” that STARZ posted last Christmas.

I just LOVE the scenery in the opening shot, and as Jamie and Claire approach Lallybroch. Just gorgeous!

Claire telling Jamie about airplanes – I like that very much.

“When I’m 40, you’ll be…245.” “I think your calculations are a little off.” That made me laugh. In fairness to Jamie, though, it’s really not easy to talk about a time-traveler’s age!

I really liked the way they used flashbacks throughout this episode to show Jamie's memories as well as Jenny's. As they approach Lallybroch, Claire looks a little apprehensive, Jamie grim but determined.

I was surprised that the first person they encountered upon their arrival was young Jamie. He’s very cute! And I liked the way he turned his head automatically to look at Jenny when she called, “Jamie?” <g>

The first scene between Jenny and Jamie is very much as I’ve always imagined it. Laura Donnelly is wonderful as Jenny! I loved Jamie’s reaction to Jenny calling Claire a “trollop”. And I was really glad to see they kept the reference to the ball-grabbing in here. They didn't need to actually show Jenny doing it in order to make the point. <g>

Steven Cree is very good as Ian! He has a nice smile, and the wooden leg looks very realistic.

Jenny’s flashback was just mesmerizing! When BJR put his finger in her mouth, I kept muttering, “That is SO disgusting!” I had a very strong feeling of revulsion, watching that, and I was impressed that she had the self-control to keep from biting him. Tobias Menzies was terrific in this scene, as was Laura Donnelly. (And I didn't mind the brief glimpse of BJR rubbing himself. I'm not sure they could have got the point across as effectively without it.)

I didn’t expect her to hit him with the candlestick, but glad to see she fought back. Jenny laughing at him was just as I imagined from the book.

I liked the way Ian reaches out to take Jenny’s hand as J&C leave the room.

“I’m not the meek and obedient type.” (Understatement of the century! <g>)

I liked the way Jamie talked about Letitia. Claire's line was the perfect comeback: “Careful, my laird. I have a much better throwing arm than the fair Letitia.”

“I never thought you’d be so trusting of the English.” Good line from Jenny, and a not-so-subtle dig at Claire.

Mrs. Fitz sending the chest from Leoch was a good idea, but I miss Murtagh. And I was startled to see Claire has changed clothes in the next scene. She was half-naked when they arrived. Where did she get the stays she’s wearing? (Borrowed from Jenny, presumably?)

I like the way Jamie talks about his memories of his father in the laird’s bedroom. And Claire’s reaction to the sword was very good. “I was raised by an archaeologist” – this is something we tend to forget. I can very easily picture Jamie as a young boy, sneaking into his father’s room to play with that sword.

I liked this exchange: “It is yours now, Jamie." And he gently corrects her: "Ours.”

I loved the flashback at Fort William. This is very much the way I’ve always pictured it from the book. The encounter between Jamie and Brian was really well done.

“Remember to pray, and I’ll stand by ye, no matter what happens.” I'm glad we got to see Brian say those words to Jamie. Brian’s last words to him (“You’re a braw lad, son!”) are not in the book, but I thought that was a good addition.

The scene with BJR and Jamie was excellent. “He likes to play with his toys.” – great line!

“And if not, well..." I don’t know about the rest of you, but I heard BJR’s next line in my head: “You’ll wish you’d never been born.” But Tobias’s restraint here is very effective. The words are not necessary. He gets the point across very clearly, with no more than a brief touch of his finger on Jamie’s raw back. (Owwwwwww!)

I liked the way Claire went to him, wordless (what could she possibly say?) and he took her into his arms as he told the last part of the story.

“But I could still feel my father’s kiss on my cheek, and I thought what he would think of me. Not the buggery -- he’d not give that a thought or care -- but for giving in. For letting that man break me. So I couldn’t do it.” I love this! It’s similar to what he says in the book, but that last part is clearly meant as foreshadowing, and it’s very effective.

I liked the way they showed Brian collapsing during the flogging. The way Jamie tells the story -- matter-of-fact, but overlaid with that sense of guilt -- is very much how I’ve always imagined him saying it.

In the next scene, with Jenny and Claire facing each other over the dinner table, trying to make awkward conversation, the undercurrent of tension between them is almost palpable. I missed the description from the book of their thoughts here, but I think their body language was clear enough to let viewers who haven't read the book get the sense of what they were thinking.

“Our tenants are like family. Not a man, woman, or child would think about betraying Jamie to the Redcoats. At any price.” -- good line.

I liked seeing the tenants arriving for Quarter Day. They all seem genuinely happy to see Jamie back. And Claire finally gets that vase of her very own, that she talked about way back in the beginning of Episode 101. <g>

Jamie collecting rents -- he’s very clearly trying to do what he thinks his father would have done, but he’s young and inexperienced, and he makes mistakes.

The scene with young Rabbie MacNab is very good. I’m glad they included it. Interesting that Claire doesn’t quite have the knack of the “ch” sound in “Lady Broch Tuarach”. That’s realistic, but I figure she’ll get the hang of it in Season 2, with more practice. <g> I liked the fact that she used the expression "OK", which is definitely not something you'd hear in the 18th century, but is very natural for Claire.

The sight of Rabbie’s back made me wince, even though I knew it was coming.

I liked the “drunk Jamie” scene. <g> This is a side of him that the TV viewers have not seen before. The way he dealt with MacNab is just the way a stubborn, cocky, inexperienced 22-year-old who’s trying to be laird for the first time would behave. It was a mistake, of course, and he’s going to pay dearly for it (understatement!!), but the fact that he was drunk at the time puts a new twist on the situation.

Hung-over Jamie is fun to watch, too. I liked the scene with Jamie and Jenny and Claire very much. “D’ye think life just started when the two of you walked through that door?” – great line!

I love the way Jenny’s voice drips with sarcasm when she says, “Begging your pardon, Laird Broch Tuarach.”

The water-wheel scene is just terrific! All of it. And Jamie’s sense of humor has returned.

“You’ll freeze to death!”
“Most likely. At least you’ll be able to serve decent bannocks at my wake.”

Most of this scene is just as I imagined from the book. Too bad they couldn’t include Grannie MacNab, but I think giving that part to Jenny makes sense. I actually liked the substitution of the shirt for Jamie’s father's old red drawers, because I never really believed Brian would have worn smallclothes like that. And of course, Jamie losing his shirt lets us see him naked in the millpond. <g>

Speaking of which...Jamie appears far more heavily muscled in this scene than when we see him on his wedding night. I didn’t care for the "bodybuilder" look at all. But the scene was fun to watch, regardless. And when he turns his back, you can see Jenny staring at the scars, as she sees them for the first time.

I liked the scene with Claire and Ian. It’s rare in this show to see a quiet moment like this, with two people just talking, getting to know one another. I was glad to see they included so much of the dialogue from the book, and I loved Ian’s advice on dealing with stubborn Frasers!

The scene with Claire and Jamie in the bedroom is not in the book, but I thought it was a good addition. Claire is intelligent and perceptive, and she’s probably the only one who could make Jamie see how his behavior looks to everyone else. “You’re trying to be someone you’re not, and in the process you’re wrecking the family you have left. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to lose them, too.”

More gorgeous scenery! I can’t look at the graveyard without remembering the scenes in ECHO and MOHB that take place here.

The scene between Jamie and Jenny is really wonderful. Well-written and very well-acted! And I was just DELIGHTED to see they included my all-time favorite Jenny lines from the whole series: “And if your life is a suitable exchange for my honor, tell me why my honor is not a suitable exchange for your life. Or are ye tellin’ me I may not love you as much as ye love me? Because if ye are, Jamie Fraser, I’ll tell ye right now, it’s not true!”

The tombstone reads:

Brian Dubh.
Brian Robert David Fraser
Born in Inverness-shire Scotland 1691 and Died in the 49th Year of His Age at Fort William 1740.

And then a bit in Gaidhlig (as close as I can make out):

Gus am bris an la agus an teach na sgailean (?)

Good to see a glimpse of the broch! And I like Claire’s line, “I’m beginning to feel like I actually belong here.” The rest of this scene is just wonderful!! Not exactly the way it's done in the book, but the changes made sense, and I'm so glad we got to see them finally (FINALLY!) admit their love for one another. <g>

I think it's pretty clever of the scriptwriter to lull us into a false sense of security with that wonderful scene, only to pull a plot twist out of nowhere like that. I really did NOT see the ending coming at all! Yikes!!

I really enjoyed this episode. Kudos to the whole cast and crew!

Here are my previous OUTLANDER episode recaps. Please come back next week for more!

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Episode 111: "The Devil's Mark"

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the episode. It moved the story forward. Was disappointed the episode did not begin at the campsite. So much of the emotion by both Claire and Jamie was not included. Otherwise great!!

Betsy Eyrich said...

Great review!

I assumed that Mrs. Fitz included clothes for Claire in the chest, along with her medicines and whatever belongings they had left behind. She would have known that Claire left with the clothes on her back.

I liked that they put Brian Dubh on the gravestone.

Linda Bouley said...

three points: 1) I think when Jennie called out "Jamie" when she first came out of the house, she hadn't see her brother yet & was answer for the child when asked his name by Claire. 2) When Claire moved to comfort Jamie in front of the fireplace, he had his arms held tightly to his chest and she hugs him over them, but you see him melt, open his arms and embrace her. this brought to my mind that he understood he wasn't alone any more. 3) I wanted Claire to state why she didn't go through the stones and returned to him..."I had to" I think at some point she also says "I couldn't bloody live without you". The horse ride into Lallybroch would have been a great moment for that or somewhere in the "I love you" scene. Otherwise I loved this EP because we got so much of J&C interactions & met Ian & Jenny.

Anonymous said...

I also really enjoyed this episode. Loved the mill scene and the Jamie drunk scene and the little smirk Claire gives at the end of that scene. I have seen the complaints on other sites about the things not in this episode but I have disagree with them; although some scenes and lines were not included I feel that the flavor and texture of Diana's characters and stories are represented well. Finally, what I liked most was that we saw an immature Jamie begin to find his way with the help of jenny and especially Claire at the end of the episode. It would be unrealistic to believe that he knew exactly how to act as a proper laird just by watching his father and colum; let's face it do we all know exactly how to act just because that is how our parents acted or do we have to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes to become the people we are meant to be.

Tara Bain said...

Loved the episode! Do you happen to know the name of the song that is playing as the tenants arrive for Quarter Day?

Lesharon said...

SPOILER ALERT!

The "braw lad" description is also uttered by Jamie when he sneaks in to see his son William in his crib in Helwater.

Theresa said...

Karen - I have watched this episode two times. There was a lack of voice overs (as compared to previous episodes).
I am so curious what you (and others) think about the Voice Overs.

Thanks for your recaps.
Theresa

Karen Charbonneau said...

Karen, you are so clever to have connected the vase Claire received to the vase she never bought. I wondered why the camera dwelt on her looking at it. I listened to Ron Moore's podcast because I was curious about Tobias Menzies' scene with Jenny. I really thought it was a prosthesis. Ron Moore said that his showing himself was not scripted, but when they watched the dailies, they decided that it was important for Jenny to observe his difficulty, so that she could laugh at him. It certainly was a shocker, but it better explains Randall's twisted psyche.

Karen Charbonneau said...

Rather, I listened to Ron Moore's podcast while watching the episode again muted.

me said...

Besides that the inscriber's education may have been faulty, does anyone have an explanation for why all of the letter Ns on Jamie's father's gravestone were backwards, perhaps intentionally so? (See 52:58)

myrnama said...

Karen, thank you so much for this review!! I have read others elsewhere that were quite negative! Thank you for you positivity in this one!! I have to say your posting was almost completely same as my feeling while watching & watching & watching this episode over & over!! I enjoy your devotion to Outlander!!

Anonymous said...

This is waaaay after the fact but, I really missed the whole bit that built up to the "i love you"s. I didn't understand the reason behind it when I read the book, now I kinda think it was to illustrate a singular Fraser trait, unique perspective. I don't think he was more muscular. Looking down from that vantage point would condense the lines and shapes so he did "look" more compact and bulky. Awesome reviews!