Sunday, April 17, 2016

Episode 202: "Not in Scotland Anymore" (SPOILERS)

Here are my reactions to Episode 202 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Not in Scotland Anymore".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

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


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First, a general comment: Ira Steven Behr is by far my least favorite of the OUTLANDER writers, and it showed in this episode. The costumes were amazing, and I liked the new characters, especially Louise, Master Raymond, and Mary Hawkins. I enjoyed many scenes, but I thought the show dragged quite a bit in the second half, especially on the first viewing. There was very little dramatic tension or conflict in this episode, and I found myself, on the first viewing, checking the time every few minutes during the Versailles scenes, which is something I rarely did in Season 1.

Now, to the episode itself:

The gown in the opening scene is amazing, and looks very authentic! I keep thinking of the way a reviewer somewhere described the Season 2 costumes as "costume porn", and it's really true in this episode! <g>

The nightmare was very well done, if gory. Notice how BJR's eyes pop open at the very end. <shudder>

"He's alive, in my head. I couldna get him out." - good line.

I liked the way Claire dealt with his nightmare. She seemed concerned, but matter-of-fact rather than panicked. This clearly isn't the first time they've been through this, and it surely won't be the last.

That bed looks so luxurious, especially when you compare it to many of the places they slept in Season 1.

Claire and the housemaid: "I shall endeavor to be sloppier in my personal habits." This takes the situation in the book (Claire is frustrated and bored because the servants handle everything so well that there's nothing for her to do) and turns it around, so here we see a servant who is frustrated because Claire is in effect doing her job. Interesting twist. <g>

I liked the music as the carriage moves through Paris, and I was fascinated by the costumes worn by all the extras in the streets. The costumes in this episode alone must have taken a phenomenal amount of work for Terry and her team!

I loved Master Raymond's shop. It's bigger than I thought it would be, but otherwise looks very much like the image in my head. I'm glad they included the stuffed crocodile! (In case you're wondering, crocodiles were traditional in apothecary shops for centuries. For an explanation, check out this video, which I found a few years ago.)

Dominique Pinon is terrific as Master Raymond! He's a very appealing character. Note that what he prescribes for Jamie's nightmares is valeriana officinalis -- the very same valerian root that Claire used as a sedative in Episode 104, "The Gathering". I was surprised that Claire didn't comment on that, since she's obviously familiar with it. But that's a minor detail.

I liked the sword-fighting scene between Jamie and Murtagh very much. It makes sense to show that Jamie is gradually getting the strength back in his injured hand, and I loved the way the bystanders gawked at the two of them.

"Dueling is outlawed in France." (Can you say foreshadowing??)

"Yet another wrong to mark against this misery of a country." - good line from Murtagh, who really lives up to his dour reputation in this episode.

"Lard-Bucket and Big Head" - LOL! I love Jamie's reaction to this. It's the first time we've seen him laugh since before Wentworth, and you can see his old personality reasserting itself. Sam looks terrific in this scene, like he's really enjoying himself.

"Dinna fash. We won't be here forever."
"No. But it'll seem so."

I liked this exchange. Wondering if this is meant as a response to fans complaining that the story has moved away from Scotland?

"Maison de Madame Elise" -- so this is not just any brothel, it's the one where Fergus was born. Book-readers should catch the reference, even if it doesn't mean anything yet to some of the TV viewers. It does seem high-class, for a brothel. The bit with the dildos (what are they made of, ivory?) took me by surprise, but Charles is right, this is vulgar.

Charles looking down his nose (figuratively speaking) at Murtagh: "I don't recall asking for your opinion, or even inviting you here this evening."
"Where he goes, I go." (just like Dougal in the beginning of Episode 106, talking to Lt. Foster)

"The clans canna agree on the color of the sky." - good line

Murtagh's speech to Charles was very good, even eloquent at times, but I thought it was risky to be so blunt, considering what we know from the book about Charles' volatile temper. I expected Charles to take offense at his boldness and order him to get out, and was surprised by his reaction: "I see you [Jamie] have the heart of a true patriot, willing to risk my divine wrath in order to safeguard your countrymen."

I'm really glad they subtitled the Gaelic in Murtagh's response: "Not too late to slit his throat."

I love Claire's dressing gown in the next scene -- gorgeous!

The waxing scene was very good. I love Claire Sermonne as Louise, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her. She seems just perfect for the role! A little flamboyant and over-the-top, but Louise was like that in the book, too, so it fits. Mary Hawkins is very young and very shy, just as in the book. Those huge eyes just add to the impression of naivete. I loved the way she and Claire both reacted to the idea of waxing one's "honeypot".

The sex scene with Jamie and Claire that follows is, of course, different from the book, but I think it works very well. "I thought you'd be intrigued. Something different." And of course Jamie's a quick learner. <g> I did think Jamie would be more shocked at what she'd done, though.

It seems clear that the point of this scene (unlike the one in the book) is to show that Jamie hasn't yet recovered from the trauma of Wentworth. Having him see BJR's face while making love to Claire was shocking, but IMHO very effective. I actually moaned out loud at that fleeting glimpse of BJR's face.

"It's OK. It's OK." Claire's use of 20th-century slang here is a little jarring, but I would still consider it in character. She's used the expression before (talking to young Rabbie at Lallybroch, for example) and Jamie clearly has heard her say it often enough to understand what it means. A very poignant moment, and I like the way the scene ends, with Claire holding Jamie and Jamie clutching his injured hand. Very well done.

We next see them two weeks later, preparing to leave for Versailles. I like the way Jamie teases Murtagh: "You could have at least washed your knees, you swine." "I did."

The red dress is breathtaking, but it appears several inches too short, and I don't think it's the camera angle, because we see the same thing later as she walks across the courtyard outside. That's a shame. All they needed was a couple more inches of fabric (yes, I realize it's probably a lot more complicated than that! <g>), to make sure the gown would touch the floor. I found this distracting, and IMHO it diminishes the overall effect.

On the other hand, I loved Jamie's expression as he catches sight of her. Also his smile as he says, "I suppose it'll have to do." The business with the fan is just as I imagined from the book.

I liked seeing Versailles lit up at night. "Costume porn" indeed -- the costumes in this whole part of the episode are just amazing!! I like Louise's gown, and Mary's, too.

The scene with Annalise de Marillac is just priceless, especially for Jamie's reactions. <g>

Now, about that scene in the King's chambers: Yes, it's based on something in the book, but I think it went on for far too long. Did we really need to spend that much valuable screen time on Louis XV's bathroom habits, especially when we've been told over and over that they often have to cut scenes from these episodes due to time constraints? I suppose Ira Steven Behr thought this would be hilarious to show on screen. I didn't find it very amusing. In fact, I think he missed the point of this scene in the book entirely:
"That sounds an awful way to live,” I remarked, wanting to distract him. “Not watching owls, I don’t mean--the King. No privacy, ever, not even in the loo.”

“I wouldna care for it myself,” Jamie agreed. “But then he’s the King.”

“Mmm. And I suppose all the power and luxury and so forth makes up for a lot.”

He shrugged. “Well, if it does or no, it’s the bargain God’s made for him, and he’s little choice but to make the best of it."

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 7, "Royal Audience". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I wish they'd found a way to keep that bit in the show.

I did like the King's line: "Is that so? Unfortunately the King has never acquired a taste for peasant food."

Claire's fan in the next scene is gigantic, compared to the little one she was carrying when they left Jared's house. I laughed when I saw that. But again, in the scene in the courtyard, Claire's gown is too short.

I liked the way they combined M. Duverney's role with that of the obnoxious courtier in the book. (Duverney's wig looks like a drowned animal pelt after it's retrieved from the fountain.) So this is how Duverney's friendship with Jamie begins, by way of apology for his boorish behavior toward Claire? I really doubt Book Jamie would be so forgiving, so quickly. It's clearly intended here as a plot device to get the two of them interacting, but I found it contrived.

The "nipple dress" is stunning, and very much the way it's described in the book:
She was, in current vogue, wearing a gown cut below both breasts, with a bit of supercedent gauze which was clearly meant for the sake of fashion, as it couldn’t possibly function for either warmth or concealment.

It was neither the gown nor the prospect it revealed that had rattled me, though. The breasts of “Nesle,” while reasonably adequate in size, pleasant in proportion, and tipped with large brownish areolae, were further adorned with a pair of nipple jewels that caused their settings to recede into insignificance. A pair of diamond-encrusted swans with ruby eyes stretched their necks toward each other, swinging precariously in their gold-hooped perches. The workmanship was superb and the materials stunning, but it was the fact that each gold hoop passed through her nipple that made me feel rather faint.

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 9, "The Splendors of Versailles". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
The King's comments to Duverney made me laugh. But I didn't like the way he passed over Claire in the red dress without even asking who she was. In the book, the whole point of the red dress was to attract attention, but it doesn't appear to have had much effect on Louis here.

I wasn't expecting to see Sandringham here (I missed Simon Callow's name in the opening credits on the first viewing) but he was very good, as always. Claire's fury at seeing Sandringham is much easier to understand if you assume that Jamie told her how Sandringham gave BJR that petition of complaint, and BJR burned it in front of Jamie's eyes in Wentworth.

Lawrence Dobiesz is very good as Alex Randall. I'm glad that they didn't have Tobias play this role as well.

"I'll have to tell Jonathan that I met you." I gasped at this, but the more I think about it, the more I dislike what they did here. The revelation that BJR is still alive is a huge plot point, and yet we learn about it through telling, not showing, so it has far less dramatic and emotional impact than it did in the book. I was very disappointed in that.

The voiceover at the end was also disappointing. So they're setting up a situation where Claire is going to intentionally withhold vital information from Jamie? What about all that talk about honesty? I sincerely hope that she doesn't keep this secret from him for very long, because I think he's going to be furious if he finds out she knew BJR was alive and didn't tell him at once.

Overall, I liked this episode better on the second viewing, but I wish they'd found a way to inject more dramatic tension and conflict into it. I hope we'll see that in future episodes!

I hope you've enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my comments on Episode 203.

My recap of Episode 201 is here. Look here for my recaps of all of the Season 1 episodes.

29 comments:

Erin Conrad said...

The shortness of the dress jarred me too, but apparently it was the fashion to have the dresses slightly short to show off the beautiful shoes that were being created (and Claire's were certainly beautiful,as were Louise's in the opening credits).

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments on this episode. However, did you notice that a couple minutes into the show, it showed "Paris 1744?" That threw me off because in the first episode when Jamie and Claire arrived in La Hauvre, France in "1745." I can't help but think that it may have been a typo on scriptwriters or whoever typed in the captions. What do you think?

Karen Henry said...

Maril Davis said on Twitter that the 1745 reference in Episode 201 was a mistake. It has since been corrected to 1744, to match the book.

Karen
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Claudia de Fries said...

I had the same reaction to the shortness of Claire's dresses but thought Terry Dresbach could not have gotten it wrong and sure enough, as Erin says in her comment, it was the style of the times. The shoes were often one of the most elegant, finely and richly made accessories and cost as much as the dress or more. They needed to be seen! And Claire's red shoes are gorgeous. During that time the women also had fantastic headdresses with jewels, birds, feathers, gauze, flowers, even vegetables in their hair. They often towered 1 1/2 feet high, though none could be higher than the queen's and it should not be so high as to block the view of the person seated them behind in the theater. The height at last reached such a pitch that ladies found the roof of their carriage too low, and were obliged to put their heads out of the window, or ride in a kneeling posture (American Revolution.org French fashion 1700-1789) Obviously, TD decided NOT to get into that, probably a wise decision. Though I do like what I felt may have been a small reference to Hair of the times when the French Finance Minister, Monsieur Duverney, was fussing with his sopping wig after Jamie pushed him into a pond at Versaille, clapping the frizzy mess on his head and bowing as the King passed through the room. I was holding my breath wondering if it was going to fall off. I do like this bit of comic relief as well as Murtagh's comedic moments.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, that explains it!!!! Thank you for the clarification! Normally, little details don't bother me, but when I'm a HUGE fan of the "Outlander" books, this detail had to be right!!!! (Grins!)

Thank you, Karen! I also enjoy your website...all these historical timelines and so forth! Keep up the great work! :)

Ann K Vopalecky said...

Artwork from the mid 18th century documents the fashion of shorter skirts that reveal the shoes, which are often works of art themselves. At the time, Paris was the couture capital of the western world and Versailles was the epicenter. Compared to the actual women's dress of the period, the fashions shown in Episode 202 are likely very tame, but Terry's interpretations were stunning. However, I recently reread Dragonfly in Amber and found myself saying, "What the hell?" several times during last night's program. Then I again realized that this monster book had to be adapted to fit within 13 short episodes. Thank you, Karen, for your reviews! I look forward to them.

Anonymous said...

Of all the episodes thus far, Episode 2, Season 2 is my least favorite given I've read DIA multiple times. I'm not certain my opinion would be different had I not read DIA at all prior to viewing.
I thoroughly admire your precision and focus on the details of this episode (and your blog writing in general - big fan here!) and agree Duverney's role felt overly-contrived and the scene in the King's chambers unnecessarily prolonged. Claire Sermonne as Louise was delightfully perfect! "Dominique Pinon is terrific as Master Raymond" yet I felt his script too brief and weak.

For me, the saving grace to this episode was displayed by Jon Gary Steele's production designs and of course, Terry Dresbach's incredible wardrobe "costume porn". Eye candy galore!

Unfortunately, the distracting length of Claire's infamous 'red gown' (was length sacrificed to expose the exquisite shoes Dresbach provided?) appeared stiff and boxy (at a distance) and - dare I suggest 'plain?' in comparison to the frilly ensembles adorning the female cast in that scene. Fortunately, female perfection impersonated, Caitriona Balfe gave that dress as much dignity as it could bear.
That stunning "nipple dress" did not quite reflect "in vogue" with the other gowns in Versailles gathering either, however, it provided quite the distraction for the episode - as in the book.
I do pray Dresbach & Steele receive professional recognitions they so dearly deserve for their and their department's efforts. Breathtaking! Amazing!
Randall...ugh. What a let down "to learn about it through telling, not showing, so it has far less dramatic and emotional impact than it did in the book. I was very disappointed in that." Ditto!
When they cast Laurence Dobiesz as Alex, I thought the make-up artists and costuming would/could create some physical resemblance to his character's brother, BJ Randall. If they attempted such, it wasn't apparent in this episode.
Perfectly cast to play their characters, each actor performed to the max with the given script which left me feeling, rather, 'meh' (there must certainly be some Scottish interpretation of that sentiment) for this episode.
Still, I'm looking forward to the next episode...as well looking forward to the release & reading the ninth mega-book. Cheers!

Lesharon said...

So this season we get to see an overlong constipated king scene; an overlong brothel scene and they couldn't find the time to show Claire's "J" mark in episode 201?!?. I think that's more integral to the relationship of J+C and choosing to leaving it out was such a disservice to fans.

Karen Charbonneau said...

Excellent review, Karen. Fashions came and went quickly in Paris. (Even back in 1680 as I discovered when researching a novel, the French adopted a shorter walking skirt from the English). I'm sure the costume department did in depth research, and went, "Hah! Just what we want for Claire." Interesting that most of us are focusing on that red dress.

Susanlynn♥ said...

Thanks so much, Karen, for your detailed review.

I watched this episode on my computer a bit earlier than the 9pm showing , and I must admit that there was a lot of material presented slightly differently than I expected , and I felt a little disappointed in some parts. However, I have watched the episode a few times now on the big screen TV, and every time I watch it, I like it more . I could have done without the King straining on the throne and the brothel performance...wasted time that could have been used in a better way. I think that the characters are wellcast. Louise is a pip . I loved seeing Murtagh and Jamie together. When the episode opened, I was surprised that Jamie was able to overcome his trauma and make love to Claire..until Claire turned into BJR in his nightmare. Yikes. Poor Jamie looked so undone, and Claire looked helpless and worried. I am disappointed that Jamie's recovery did not take place as it did at the end of book #1 so that Jamie and Claire could completely reunite. However, I actually thought the phoneypot scene was verra erotic , and I thought that Jamie was going to finally be able to make love to Claire.It was poignant the way Claire tried to gently and carefully seduce him and sad when he again flashed back to BJR and could not proceed. Claire was so warm and loving and that will be what allows them to resume their strong connection . A deep , shared love makes both people strong and brave for each other .

Susanlynn♥ said...

Knowing what happens at the end of DIA and what follows in Voyager, I hope that we get more than one brief episode of Jamie and Claire in a close, loving relationship again before their separation.

Cathie Jones said...

I'm trying very hard to enjoy the TV series for what it is, but still find myself thinking (or saying) (perhaps loudly) "that isn't how it should be!" I thought the red dress was most likely short to show the shoes, and I love the character casting.

I agree that the timing in this episode was off kilter and there were too many facts not as they should be. We understand that the story can't be exactly as written by DG, but sometimes they take it too far and appear to be re-writing the story to please themselves. I enjoyed (in the book) Jamie being shocked that Claire would have bodily hair removed. Seems to me, though, that she only did her legs and "oxters." A second fear-of-Captain-Randall scene was a waste of time. We got it the first time.

Perhaps it will be clearer if I have the opportunity to listen to Ronald Moore's podcast while I watch the episode.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen < have seen episode 2several times and felt it was very well done , loved the brothel scenes , and felt Charles was not really listening to what Jamie & Mutagh were telling , he seems to live in a world of his own, love Jamie & Claire 's apartment it's very cozy, loved Louise , felt she was very lively and friendly , but did we really have to see here getting her privates waxed no, loved the love scenes , it will take time for them to get back to where they were before Wentworth and BJR, but they will. the costuming for Versieese, was wonderful eand I'm sure it too months to do, had a feeling Claire would run into the Duke of Sandringham sooner or later and learn about BJR and his brother , will be watching to see how they deal with this coming ordeal , will be watching more next Saturday, please post more soon, Happy Weekend. Sincerely Mary Tormey.

Vicki said...

I've watched episode 202 twice so far. My first thoughts during the first viewing was that the writing of this episode wasn't very good. Many of the conversations seemed forced to me, and perhaps even a little out of character. That said, I loved the interactions between Murtaugh and Jamie during their sword play, and thought it a healthy sign that Jamie wants to regain the full use of his hand. I thought the clothing beautiful and was not troubled by the length of the hems. I personally would not want to drag my hems through the fouled streets and gutters of Paris. I thought the theatrical portion of the brothel scenes could have been skipped, but knew that this brothel will play a role in future episodes, so it was necessary to spend some time there. I thought that Claire could have been given some time to express her displeasure that the meetings were being held in a brothel at all. The waxing scenes were perfect. I thought that perhaps Mary didn't stutter enough.
I thought it well done to illustrate how traumatized Jamie is by his experiences with BJR and how Randall manipulated Jamie's passion for Claire creating these ongoing linked flashbacks. Shudder, indeed.
I agree about the over long time spent with the King at his toilet. It makes sense to condense the storyline by incorporating Duvernay and the foot fetish courtier. Jamie would not have been so quick to forgive however, and a coaxing conversation between him and Claire on the balcony about why it would be wise to forgive would have fit in well here.
Ah, the Duke. You could tell by his expressions that he knew all about the rescue from Wentworth. It was his plan to drop the news about BJR like a bomb. A little surprised he left it to the chance that Alex would mention it. It would have been better for it to be revealed like it was in the book, but in the interest of time...Still, it might have been better for them both to hear the revelation, and then Claire faints, distracting Jamie from the shock for a few moments.
Claire would never keep this secret for long, but choosing how and when to tell a traumatized person that his demon still lives is no easy thing. Looking forward to next week.

threadbender said...

Hi Karen,
I really liked your comments and heartily agree with most all your points. I also felt that the red dress was too short and I've given much thought to that - given that Terry has gone to SUCH lengths to "getting it right". If you heard Terry's discussion in the big panel discussion during Tartan Week where she says that "Claire is a stranger in a strange land" and "just looks a little different". I think the dress is just "that little too short" on purpose - in addition to being red...being a bit too short REALLY makes that dress stand out. And yes, it has the dual purpose of showing off those beautiful sexy shoes! I thought it would turn Louis's head more too. I did get a chuckle out of the toilette scene - albiet it was a little lengthy!
Murtaugh stole the show in many ways! Love his comments about Rupert and Angus.
I think they've done a fine job in making Jamie look miserable (and recovering from being broken) in a number of scenes too. He sure doesn't look like the dashing lad of Season one in many scene. Yet, he starts to "sparkle" a bit - in the sword fighting with Murtagh and at court - gives me hope that we'll see Jamie's charm shine through soon1
I think my biggest complaint was the way that they introduced Alex - and spilled the beans about Black Jack...it would have been much more dramatic had they followed the book storyline in that regard. I'll rewatch - and again - and look SO forward to the next episode. Leslie (Cornish Cousin)

Susanlynn♥ said...

It is hard to see Jamie so broken and lost, but I appreciate that his true self started to come through more often in this episode. After the nightmare, watching him leave the bedroom drenched in sweat and wrapped in his plaid with his head hanging and his shoulders hunched was so sad and disturbing. However, we saw him getting his strength back as he sparred with dear Murtaugh and his humor return when he made some funny comments to Claire regarding that red dress. "First your honeypot, and now this!" Now that's the Jamie we all adore delivered by the Sam we equally adore. Anyone recovering from some major tragedy or life event can relate to the struggle to regain oneself and move forward . I am looking forward to see what happens in the third episode. I wonder who wrote it. Do you think that the cheer will be heard around the world when Jamie is finally able to be Claire's lover again?

Anonymous said...

I so much agree with your comments, Karen. It almost seems that they are overcompromising (word?) in order to please the tv fans who have not read the books. I really don't like it when they take up so much time with a scene with insignificant made-up tripe and leave out some really GOOD scenes from the book that could allow these actors to stretch even more. STILL... I'm an addict, I'll admit, since 1991? 92? and a true die-hard fan of the tv show as well. However, if I were forced to keep one or the other, I would choose the books (especially the audio) HANDS DOWN. Mary O, Indiana




Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen , I really liked the last episode , including the costuming and locations and background, however there were two scenes I felt were in very pour taste one was the leg shaving scene, I've seen women do that , I've had it done myself and it's not pretty , but did they really have to show Louise getting her honeypot done , to me no, and the scenes with the King on the toilet , I agree far too much time was spent on this , Jamie should have been introduced to him in a more dignified manner, felt it was in very poor taste, but loved the scenes with the Minister of Fiance, was comic relef, will be watching next weekend, please post more soon, Happy Week, Love Your Blog. please post more soon. Sincerely Yours. Mary Tormey.

Joan said...

Last but not least on the costumes, Mary Hawkins' dress is beautiful in the extreme, as noted in full detail earlier in this blog, yet the camera did it no justice. I was straining to see the details when it was in full view at a distance, but blurred. And when close up, only part of the dress showed. A huge blunder and very disappointing!

I'm loving Murtagh's developing character which continues to inspire a deepening love, respect, & admiration for the man in ourselves.

Claudia de Fries said...

I do relate and agree to some comments that this episode had a meh factor; not enough dramatic tension, too long attending the king in his chambers, lack of drama in the telling rather than showing of BJR being dead etc, and that the saving grace were things such as: TD's amazing costumes, the music (IMHO perfectly chosen for the episode). The excellent use of location - when Claire was near the top of the steps in front of Master Raymond's apothecary and the camera was looking down the steps I thought she's in the Montmartre area really the only hilly part of Paris and how wonderfully they managed that with Prague standing in for Paris. Well done. (Master Raymond's shop is in Montmartre isn't it, my recall is a little dim, I'm sure a reader will correct me if I am wrong!) I was also completely willing to be transported to Versaille as portrayed by the production team... the gardens at night and the rooms within made me shiver with visual and situational delight. The opulence and excess were well portrayed: as Claire said the streets would flow with blood 40 years later during the French revolution. Louise de Rohan and the waxing scene was excellent, and Murtagh was a treat.
At any rate, I am inclined to think of the episode in part as a set up piece for Paris-times and the dramatic events that as a book reader, you know are to come. There was a certain tedium for Claire and Jamie during their Paris time as they insinuated themselves into Paris society to try and achieve their goals. So hanging about engaged in fairly useless activities, socializing, fitting in, concealing, flattering, riding about in carriages was part of it all. Attending the king in his chambers and dragging that out a bit is perhaps conveying that tedium and the contrived environment of French society in which C & J had to operate to the viewer. In that regard, the episode works too I think.

Susanlynn♥ said...

Even though Jamie in the book had nightmares, he was able to make love to Claire in the Abbey after he started to heal physically. I have always felt that their physical connection was almost mystical and spiritual in nature. Throughout the books, sex has been a way for them to connect emotionally , and whenever either of them is injured or ill they seem to try to have sex as soon as they physically can using sex to heal throughout the book series no matter what happens to either of them. The tv show has taken Jamie and Claire down a very different path. Watching Jamie see Claire morph into Claire in nightmares or when he tries to make love to her is upsetting. Their main means of comforting and healing each other has been removed.

Susanlynn♥ said...

Whoops...Claire morphs into BJR..sorry

yak remark said...

Karen...great recap! I am not of fan of Ira Steven Behr's writing either. So much in this episode seemed disconnected for me. Thanks for your thoroughness!

Anonymous said...

I too have great difficulty with the changes from the book. I was so looking forward to the honeypot scene but it has been tarnished now for me by turning it into an excuse for Claire to try to seduce Jamie with BJR getting in between them again. Firstly she DIDN'T wax her honeypot and secondly I hate this new division between them.

It seems such a trivial thing to change, and yet so important.

Joan said...

Whoops! It pays to rewatch the episodes. I meant Louise, not Mary Hawkins, in the resplendant gown. And I'm not disappointed this time because the camera did catch a close-up of most of the dress.

On 2nd viewing, though, I felt the lag, & too many precious minutes were wasted. However, compensation was offered in the feast set before us.

Ellen said...

Thank you again for your great recap Karen! I can only agree with your comments. On red dress, Kings toilet and The revelation of BJR being alive.
It was Diana who said a while ago to put aside the book(s) and just enjoy the show and I think this episode showed why!
In my opinion we all have to adjust to the fact that the approach of the story is different from the books and from season 1 because the end of season 1 was so different from the books. Claire and Jamie come to France only days after his rescue from Wentworth and Jamie is still suffering from his ordeal. Outlander got so much credit for the great way of showing the last 2 episodes of season 1, it would not add up if the intimacy between them would be there so shortly after their arrival. Add that to the fact that they immediately start talking about their mission (in the books they even talked about going to Italy before Jared came with a letter!) and I can absolutely understand that their relationship is going this way. In that light it's logical that Claire keeps It a secret from Jamie that BJR is alive. Although I agree with the fact that the bookway would have had more impact and surprise.
Overall I liked the episode, but I think we definitely cannot compare book and show.
Last remark: I absolutely love Murtaghs extended role and part in the show!

chiza said...

It was a little disappointing the Paris part in the book and watching it makes it even harder to swallow. Beside the opening date a big mistake was the wardrobe. Women didn't use big hats on those days!!! How could they done such mistake? Is so upsetting to realized there is no research done. Wardrobe is such a big part and missing it all by so far, I hope they change designer because this one needs another job. i feel all of it is off!.

Susanlynn said...

Someone on Compuserve mentioned that in his nightmare , Jamie has no scars on his back, and I also noticed that his left hand is normal and undamaged. Jamie would see himself unmarked his dreams.

Brandy Bruce said...

Great recap!! I have to say, I wanted to love the red dress, but I ended up thinking it looked silly so short. Also, I was so frustrated by how Claire pretty much dismissed Jamie when they found the duke. And he goes off to do her bidding! To me, this has become so much of the Claire show. I understand that they want to show distance between them, but that doesn't mean Claire needs to be in charge of everything. That's never how I see Jamie in the book. He's a born leader. I'm just not a fan of the pacing so far, And the direction they've taken Jamie and Claire. They're supposed to be a team by this point.