Sunday, October 29, 2017

Episode 307: "Crème de Menthe" (SPOILERS!)

Here are my reactions to Episode 307 of the OUTLANDER TV series, titled "Crème de Menthe".

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

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


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This was definitely my least favorite episode of Season 3 so far, though I did enjoy some parts of it. They had a lot of complicated plot to get through in an hour, and I think they managed that pretty well. In stark contrast to last week's episode, there was very little dialogue taken directly from the book. I don't think the writer understands Jamie and Claire's relationship very well at all, and that was a huge problem in this episode. It seemed to me as though the writer modeled their interactions after some of the Paris scenes in Season 2, where Jamie and Claire were far apart emotionally and not communicating well at all. But that really doesn't fit here, just a day or two after the reunion, and the episode really suffered for it, IMHO.

Here are my detailed reactions:
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I was really confused by the opening shot. I couldn't figure out what that contraption was or what the men were doing. Several people on Facebook pointed out to me that it's apparently part of the "fire engine" that we see toward the end of the episode.

We begin where Episode 306 left off, with the intruder in Claire's room. I was glad to see she had the presence of mind to grab a dagger.

So Claire stabs the man, he loses his balance and falls backward, hitting his head very hard on the stone floor. I find myself wishing he had in fact died right then and there. In retrospect, it would have made things so much simpler, and more believable!

Jamie comes in, takes in the scene, and asks what happened. But he doesn't even ask Claire if she's all right? Even if it's obvious that she's in shock, I think he should have been more concerned for her.

Claire's attitude toward the injured intruder ("I can't let him suffer. I have to do something.") reminds me somewhat of her reaction in ABOSAA when faced with the injured Lionel Brown. No matter what the man did to her, she sees him as a patient whom she's obligated to try to help.

So the dead man is definitely an exciseman. That's a change from the book, but I think it makes the situation (and the danger to Jamie) easier to understand.

Claire asks Madame Jeanne to send one of the girls for medical supplies: a trephine (a device for boring a hole in the skull), and surgical instruments. Sorry, but I have a really hard time imagining that conversation! A prostitute rushes up to the local barber-surgeon, begs him to let her borrow his valuable medical instruments, and he just gives her whatever she asks for, because the Sassenach staying in Mr. Malcolm's room at the brothel said she needed it? Without even coming himself to assist, or at least to see what the situation was? That makes no sense at all.

"All they'll see is that you were alone, with a man who's not your husband, in a brothel." Good point.

I giggled at the sight of Claire zipping up her stays. That zipper definitely makes getting dressed a lot easier! <g>

So Young Ian is the first to mention a connection between the casks and the printshop, but Jamie just dismisses it.

I didn't like Claire's pushiness at the apothecary, all but shoving Archie Campbell out of the way in her haste. IMHO she didn't come off as a doctor with an emergency, but as a rude, impatient woman who thinks her time is much more valuable than everyone else's.

I liked the scene where Young Ian and Fergus negotiate the sale of the casks. I am really impressed with John Bell as Young Ian. I wasn't sure about him in episode 306, but he totally won me over this week. He's a very appealing character and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him.

Here's Fergus, adding to the myth of SuperClaire:

"Well, what was she like?"
"Spirited, and incredibly brave. Milady was fearless in the battles prior to Culloden. She would heal men who'd been cut in half by swords, blown to pieces by cannon fire, without flinching."

And she can perform brain surgery under primitive conditions, too, using 18th-century instruments she's never actually handled before. (Surely they didn't cover trepanation in med school in the 1950's!) Really, is there nothing SuperClaire can't do? <rolling eyes> This is getting more ridiculous by the minute.

Meanwhile, Sir Percival has arrived to search for the contraband casks. I like the actor who plays him.

And after all that, the exciseman dies anyway. It's really just as well. I thought that whole subplot was extremely contrived.

Random thought: why was Mr. Willoughby there, anyway? Just to be Claire's nursing assistant? Through this whole episode, he shows very little emotion or expression on his face, let alone the humor of his book counterpart. He's more of a cardboard cutout than a real person, IMHO, and we've been given very little reason to like him so far.

"Sassenach. You came thousands of miles, and 200 years, to find me. I'm grateful that you are here, no matter the cost. I would give up everything I have for us to be together again." Awwww! What a terrific line. I love it.

And at the end of this very tender, romantic moment, instead of reaching for Jamie, to put her arms around him or kiss him, Claire turns away, saying, "I have another patient to see." Huh?!? They've been reunited less than two days at this point. She should be returning his affection in kind, not turning away from him without even acknowledging what he's just said.

So she's gone from SuperClaire to a cold-hearted bitch, in just a few moments. Maybe Laoghaire was right about her after all, when she said in Episode 110 ("By the Pricking of My Thumbs") that Jamie was "trapped in a loveless marriage, forced to share his bed with a cold English bitch." This Claire isn't a sympathetic character at all, IMHO, nor particularly likeable.

"You will return, afterward?" Jamie asks. How can he possibly be in any doubt of that, less than two days after their reunion? But with this version of Claire, he's right to ask. "Of course," she says, but she doesn't sound enthusiastic about it. It's as though the miracle of their reunion, the joy of rediscovering each other, of finding that their love for one another is as powerful as ever, has drained away, leaving them both melancholy and depressed. What a letdown, after the near-perfect reunion scenes in Episode 306!

We desperately needed some lighter moments, some comic relief at this point, and the scene between Fergus and Young Ian fills that role wonderfully! I loved it, especially Fergus explaining "the rules of seduction", and Ian's reaction to seeing the young barmaid.

I liked the scene with Claire and the Campbells. This is changed from the book, of course, but I thought it worked very well. Margaret is fun to watch, by turns catatonic and raving mad, and the way she said, "Abandawe! Abandawe!" made a chill go up my spine. (Hmmm, maybe she is a seer, after all?)

"Do you have any writing implements?" Claire asks. She goes to the desk and comes back with paper and something to write with, but no ink. Did she write her instructions in pencil, then? (I couldn't quite make out what she was holding.) Or did the production people neglect to provide her with ink? That jolted me momentarily out of the story.

"...when we have a wealthy client to administer to." Who is Archie Campbell referring to there? Someone on the ship, perhaps, or someone waiting for them in the West Indies? I didn't understand this part at all. Unlike in the book, it's not clear why the Campbells are going to travel all the way to the West Indies. It's an awfully long, dangerous voyage, not something you'd do just for a change of scenery.

Meanwhile back at the printshop.... Just like his Uncle Jamie, Young Ian assumes at first that "ye must do it from the back, like horses." <g>

"No more than a wee bit o' chaos. Nothing we haven't seen before." Good line.

So Jamie thinks it's acceptable to live indefinitely at the brothel, with his wife?!? Clearly he hasn't thought this through at all.

When Claire starts talking about working as a healer, notice how Jamie crosses his arms in front of him, his body language clearly indicating that he doesn't want to hear a word of this. My thought watching this was, haven't they already had this argument, back in Paris in Season 2, when Claire first proposed working at L'Hôpital des Anges? Why can't Jamie see that she needs to be useful now, just as she did then?

It's good to see Ian the Elder again, although I really don't like the way they've aged him prematurely, making him look at least fifteen years older than he really is. (He's 46 here, only a year older than Jamie.) I liked his reaction to seeing Claire again.

So Jamie lies to his best friend Ian, telling him he hasn't seen Young Ian. This is similar to what he says in the book:
"I’ve not seen Young Ian since I sent him home wi’ Fergus six months ago,” he said. He was beginning to look as worried as Ian. “You’re sure he said he was coming to me?”

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24, "A. Malcolm, Printer". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Interesting that Ian mentioned press-gangs. That was a real danger for young men in that time and place, as we saw in AN ECHO IN THE BONE.

I liked this exchange between Jamie and Ian about the "other news" that Claire hasn't heard yet:

"I'm watin' for the proper time. She's only just arrived."
"Ye might be waitin' forever, then."

Indeed!

I liked the scene where Ian confronts the intruder in the printshop. The fire is dramatic and suspenseful, very well done.

Meanwhile, back at Madame Jeanne's, parts of the conversation between Jamie and Claire made my jaw drop in incredulity.

"Jenny and Ian dinna ken what's best for the lad. I'm the only one teachin' him the ways of the world."

Oh, really?? That's awfully arrogant, coming from Jamie.

And when Claire objects to Jamie lying to Ian and Jenny, Jamie dismisses it, saying, "We lied our way through Paris, did we not?", as if the two situations were equivalent.

"I didna realize lies had shades." Huh?!? So they're expecting us to believe that Jamie has reached the age of forty-five and still believes all lies are equally bad, equally immoral? Ridiculous.

"You're not the boy's father, Jamie!"
"No. I'm Brianna's father. But I didna get to raise her, did I?"

That was calculated to hit Claire where it hurts. I expected her to retort with something like, "You're the one who told me to go, before Culloden. I wanted to stay with you, to die with you!" But of course she didn't.

I really, really wish Jamie would put Frank out of his mind. Enough already! He's won, Claire is his now, forever, so why does he keep asking about what her life with Frank was like?

The scene where Jamie rescues Young Ian from the fire is very suspenseful and well done. I thought Ian the Elder should have been there, too, though, as he was in the book.

Too bad Jamie didn't manage to rescue Bonnie, his printing press. But at least he did grab the miniature of Willie.

I didn't like the way Claire said, "You have to bring Young Ian home, to his parents." Not that it's a bad suggestion, but why couldn't Jamie be the one to think of it, as in the book? It's yet another example of Claire telling people what they should do, when they're capable of reasoning things out for themselves.

"Aye," says Mr. Willoughby. That sounded very odd, coming from the Chinese man. But I suppose if he learned English in Scotland, sometimes he's going to sound a little bit Scottish.

I loved the way Jamie addressed Fergus as "mon fils" (my son). Awwww!

"Milady does not yet know about your other wife?" I gasped when I heard this. Talk about ruining (most of) the Big Reveal at Lallybroch for the non-book-readers! I definitely didn't like that. The most explosive scene in the whole book, and they're draining away half the suspense before it even happens?

I liked the last shot of Jamie watching as the printshop burns, and along with it, the remnants of his old life in Edinburgh.
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I hope you enjoyed this recap. Please come back next week to see my reactions to Episode 308.

Look here for my recaps of all of the OUTLANDER episodes so far.

50 comments:

Tanja said...

Spot on as always!

I could add just a few things od my own. 1st: I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you on the actor playing Young Ian. He's not very good at acting, and with a great cast like this it stands out like a sore thumb, and in my opinion he is way too old...
2nd: I agree that the reveal of the other wife wasn't played out very well, but at least they didn't tell them who it was yet...
3rd: Not rescuing the printing press was pretty stupid in the long run, because isn't that the reason they will go back to Scotland? To get his press?? He could probably buy a "new" one in the colonies...as we saw in the Echo being a printer can be a dangerous life. I'm sure he could have required one without having to travel back and all the mayham that will occur? But who knows, maybe he will go into the destroyed house next week and the press can still be used or something...it's make-believe after all...

Anonymous said...

I didnt enjoy the episode at all to be honest. Im such a book fan that i struggle with the tv series sometimes. I know this is silly, but i also struggle with some of the actors looking nothing like the book characters. Bree should be really tall with blue eyes. Young Ian is supposed to be really tall too. I'll keep watching the tv show but the books are my indulgence that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Karen,

Love reading your episode recaps. Just a note--it took me a little bit to figure out the opening shot is a fire engine. They are dumping in water to prime the pump. I have a mixed take on this episode as well. I've been reading comments on FB and the forum and still trying to process. I'm a little more forgiving than some people, but the personality changes were jarring. Thanks for all you do!

Cheryl

Tracey R. said...

Oh Karen. All I can say is that we should have had you as a guest on our recap this week. "Really, is there nothing SuperClaire can't do?" ROFL!!!!

kkilgrow said...

Karen. I believe the equipment at the beginning of the episode was an 18th century fire fighting equipment with the men using water buckets to put out the fire.

It seems when Fergus was talking about Claire putting men back together after being slashed in half by a sword and blown apart by cannon fire could have been his version on her healing Rupert and an attempt to help Angus after the battle. He had very creative and impressionable mind at the age of 10. He still has it at age 30.

Unlike you, I find this new Mr. Willowby likeable. He has kind eyes, mild-mannered, and a bit mysterious. Although it would have been fun to see DG's Mr. Willowby come to life on screen. As you know, the character in the book would have been truly too controversial for this viewing audience.

Caring for one another was void in this episode by both Jamie and Claire. ie: Him, when he enter the room after her encounter with the intruder. Jamie, being the 18th Century man, would have been protective of his lady. Her, when Jamie came out of the flames with Ian. Claire being a healer would have at least checked to make sure Jamie was not injured. There were others too numerous to list.

Their body language, throughout this episode, was not of two lovers who had just reunited after twenty years, but of individuals whose association with one another was taken for granted while they went about their events of the day. I'm not sure if this is Katrina's and Sam's idea on how they should play their characters or the directors.

As a book reader, I had finally settled in to enjoy this season's series on Starz, but I agree with you the writer of this episode does not understand Jamie's and Claire's relationship. These two adults pined away twenty years for the love of their lives and within 48 hours they were yielding accusations at each other, giving sullen looks, and considering selfish acts without a care of how the other would feel.IMHO Even being away from each other for that long would not dampen their memories of their well earned respect for each other in and out of bed. Their behavior and actions were of two juveniles not those of two intelligent and caring people.

I understand why they created conflict between Claire and Jamie in Season 2 but, I would find it deplorable if the theme of disharmony between these two continues for Season 3. I was looking forward to them finally finding each other and respectfully working together in a caring way to find solutions for their problems and difficulties. Maybe, the above scenario would be too boring for the super hero women of the world.

♥Susanlynn said...

Thank you, Karen, I always enjoy your detailed recaps. I have also been reading the comments on CompuServe, and I agree that this episode was a major fail after the beauty of the lovers' reunion in the last episode. And so..evidently that glow on Claire's face after finding her one true love Jamie in that print shop after 20 years of heartbreak and despair lasted only until the next morning. A night of joyfilled lovemaking and a cheerful brunch with the whores..then, back to bossy, cranky CLaire. If this is what the writers think it means to be a strong woman, I do not agree. For most of the episode, her face had the same expression she wore while bickering with Frank in the first couple episodes. Did this writer read the books or watch the show?

♥Susanlynn said...

I am starting to wonder if the problem with changes in the story indicates a sign of the times. Perhaps people today no longer believe that a love that lasts a lifetime is possible. Perhaps people are less romantic and hopeful about lasting true love than they used to be. Strong women, strong men may have replaced the concept of a strong , United, devoted, loving couple. Sad. I have been married for a long time...still in love. A true lifetime love is possible, but maybe fewer people believe that than in the past.Maybe these writers and producers do not really believe in Diana's tale of a couple who stays in love for a lifetime , so they are changing it to make it more believable to tv viewers. A strong woman storyline has replaced the storyline of a strong couple.

Betsy Eyrich said...

The only thing I could figure out about the excise man not dying right away, is it gave Claire a reason to go to the apothecary shop and meet Archie Campbell. Butting in ahead of him so that she owes him a favor gave her a reason to meet Margaret. Seems like they could have come up with a better way.

♥Susanlynn said...

The whole drilling into the bad guy's head "because I'm a doctor!!!" Was a big , weird waste of time. the writers should have just had him hitting his head and then...dead bad guy with papers to alert Jamie that he was being watched by the excise guys.

Cranky, bossy, judgmental CLaire may have Jamie thinking longingly of sweet , gentle , undemanding Mary MCNabb.

I did like Jamie's brave Batman leap in the burning building to save Ian and Willie's portrait.

I was surprised by Fergus's reference to Jamie's " other wife" ...uh oh. I wonder if Jamie had already talked to Ned about a divorce from said other wife. Will that whole riproaring storyline from the book be changed?

Ann K Vopalecky said...

I agree with your assessment, Karen. I spent the entire episode muttering, "What? What?" I don't know who's idea it was to mess this up so badly, but let's hope the rest of the season is much better.

laine said...

Absolutely worst episode ever, totally destroying what was created in the reunion episode. Terrible idea to estrange J and C emotionally after viewers have had to suffer through eons of their physical separation.

Claire is portrayed at her worst and most pig headed. Apparently saving her would-be murderer is more important than Jamie's safety. If so, why didn't she stay in the 20th century operating on patients who could have been saved by any other surgeon? She wasn't irreplaceable there. The skull trephining (done since ancient Egypt BTW) is a foolish insertion on the writers' part. From the drunken killer of the intruder, Willoughby was turned into Nurse Nancy.

Instead it's Jamie who's presented as immoral, involving his young nephew deeply and therefore dangerously in his smuggling operation whereas in the book, the only reason he lied to Ian Sr. was because Ian Jr. wanted to speak to his father first himself. Thank heaven corrupt and corrupting Jamie has Saint Claire to point out his shortcomings and order him to return his nephew to Lallybroch, right?

And was Claire panicked that she might lose Jamie right in front of her eyes in the fire so soon after finding him? Instead after he emerged a hero, she crouched next to Ian, ignoring the supposed love of her life for whom she traveled back 200 years. What on earth for, cold fish holier-than-thou TV Claire?

Writers' and directors' heads should roll for this tone deaf wrong-headed deviation from Gabaldon's description of loving co-operation between Jamie and Claire from the moment of their reunion, a daring duo up for adventure, not a prosing moralizer and a dissolute target for her viperous tongue!

Cynthia Hanna said...

Agree 100%...and I thought him not saving the printing press was huge...dont we need that storyline for the future?????

EbonyRaptor said...

I'm afraid I have to agree with the comment from anonymous - this is my least favorite episode. As a book reader, I'm sometimes disappointed with the TV adaptation but I understand the necessity to make concessions due to time constraints. For the most point I think the concessions made don't detract from the story and are handled pretty well. However, this episode felt rushed like too much story line was crammed into too little TV time.

I knew telling Voyager in only 13 episodes was going to be a challenge. I hope Episode-7 is the exception and not the norm moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Karen. I was bitterly disappointed with this episode. Didn't anyone put anything together before (or even during) filming, so as to save some of the integrity of the characters? Of the story itself? Ugh. All I can say after watching this was that at least my evening's viewing wasn't completely ruined, because I had the final episode of "Stranger Things" to watch. And _ now _ I can go to bed happy!

Anonymous said...

I read Matt Robert's comments on the changes. Very insightful. Printing press would have been bolted to the floor, too big to go out the door. He assures us that Jamie and Claire will be back in their groove soon. I always listen to the podcast to understand why they made changes.

Anonymous said...

Points to ponder:

1. Doctors, particularly surgeons, quite frequently come across as rude, impatient folk who think their time is more valuable than anyone else's...

2. Surely they DID cover trepanation in medical school in the 1950s since it's still a procedure used to decrease intracranial pressure in acute head injuries in trauma centers today. To learn more about what are now called burr holes, look here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning

Former Trauma Nurse

Debbie said...

Feeling like the old song "Bewitched, bothered & bewildered" by this episode...and definitely way too much of the last two feelings!
The bewitching part was when Jamie spoke of how Claire coming back to him was like the sun re-appearing-reminiscent of how he described her on their wedding day.
I too am a book lover but was really also enjoying the show on its' own merits as well-hopefully tonights' episode and its' failings were a one-off!

Mary Tormey said...

HiKaren I'm glad that you didn't care for this episode either it seems the writers didn't understand the connections Jamie and Claire have in the book , plus maybe they felt there wasn't enough conflict between the two in the book and so decided to invent some , one scenes I found unlike able was Young Ian have sex in his uncles printshop real a 13 year old boy really knows how to do that and does it in a Print shop , I didn't care for that at all , plus both Jmaie and Claire came across as unlikable and really unconnected , this is the main reason why I love the books so much better its in black and white so you don't have to worry about changes by TV writers , I hope the next episode is a lot better , will be watching next weekend. please post more soon. Happy week. Sincerely .

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen there were too many things wrong with this episode to make it likeable , there were too many changes to the book and also a lot of the plotline didn't make sense , when CLaire stabs the attacker se right away to take care of him and he remains alive , and Jamie 's reaction to it was just of kilter , then the whole brothel does her biding , because Claire tells them to , , then her behavior in the shope with Mr. Campbell was out of line and she gives no apology to him for cutting him in line she came off as cold and a bitch , then goes back and finds Jamie holding the man restrained with Mr. willowuby's help , then his helping Claire with drilling a hole in his head , Jamie is tense when the Brothel is raided and then finds that the man Claire was treating is dead when he tries to comfort her what does she do she gets bitchy with him , didn't like this at all . they don't act like the loving couple they are suppose to be here , then CLaire goes of to see the Cambels , nothing was explained about how Maragret Campbell came to be the way she was , so this was a very weak scene, then like the scenes with Fergus and Young Ian , then Claire tells Jamie she wants to move and his reaction was so unlike him , I hated CLaire throwing the fact that he knew nothing about being a father and it was mean -spirited of her to do so , again very cold between them , the print shop burning was very well done ,but again instead of seeing to Jamie 's aid and making sure he was alright she gets bossy and tells Jamie to take Young Ian to Lallybroch , I didn't care for this episode at all , and was disappointed with , it makes the books a lot better , I hope the next one is a lot better , also I had a problem with Young Ian having sex in his uncles print shop , didn't buy it , please post more soon. Sincerely .

Cara said...

This episode was very poor. Way too much of a departure from plot and characterization. And having read through the comments already posted, I see that I'm not alone. If you have to listen to a podcast by one of the producers in order for the plot and character changes to be justified, then those changes never should have occurred in the first place. But they've been screwing with Jamie's character since season one anyway. Back in season one, he was never a cocky jerk coming back to Lallybroch, demanding the "laird's room," getting stinking drunk on Quarter Day, and making mistake after mistake in managing the estate. He didn't brand himself with Black Jack's seal after being tortured and raped. He did immoral things (lie, steal letters, kill, etc.) for what he felt were moral reasons, and he always prayed and went to the priests for confession. I think the TV producers just can't stand to portray him as the hero he really is in the books. (I'm only at Echo in the Bone at this point...just started reading in May and watching over the summer.) Just my opinion. Perhaps all the fellas in the room know that they pale in comparison to Jamie Fraser and they just can't handle it? Hahaha! Anyway, there's always next week...

Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat relieved to see the dis-satisfaction in last night's episode near universal. I personally wish the writers would refrain from imposing contemporary political correctness upon Gabaldon's well researched work. The transformation of Mr. Willoughby ("from drunken killer of the intruder, Willoughby was turned into Nurse Nancy"-laine) eliminates so much of the charm of his book character that it appears his character exists at this point only to fulfill his service in a coming episode. It's surprising they kept his character at all given the
On the other hand, actors for young Ian and Fergus' characters are fun and enjoyable - actually the saving grace to this ill conceived scripted version. Performance for Ian the elder was also a saving grace to this episode.

I hope I'm wrong, as disappointment in 307 was looming large, the preview for the next episode also bodes ill - if as it appears - will be miles from the book version.
FWIW, my spouse also disliked this episode saying 'you don't have to be familiar with Gabaldon's book to dislike this episode.'

Anonymous said...

I didn’t care for this episode either. It was quite the clunky bridge of the last (wonderful) episode to the next. What upset me was actually the preview to the next episode. I don’t know if anyone noticed but they show a scene where Claire states she doesn’t think they belong together anymore. I surmised they are on the cliff waiting for Ian to get the jewels while they wait. In the book, at this point, they had resolved the entire Laoghcaire crisis, she forgave and understood his position. why would she have doubts? I guess I will have to wait and see.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I'm glad I'm not alone in not liking this episode much Claire was very frosty to Jamie and he acted arrogant and ucaring about those around him , and they were far from the romantic couple they were a week ago, plus I had a problem with Young Ian having sex in his uncles Print shop and is this Jamie's idea of showing Young Ian the ways of the world , I hope next weeks episode is a lot better , this was very disappointing , please post more soon. sincerely ,

KMC said...

You, once again, are spot on. I really don’t like Claire at all this season. The writers really don’t understand either Claire or Jamie anymore. And, the writer of this episode REALLY doesn’t understand this couple or the nuances of the century they live in. I understand that the books and TV show are two different mediums, but making Claire a cold hearted bitch and turning Jamie into a man he would never be is just heartbreaking. I also agree about Ian. SPOILER...... Ian doesn’t become noticeably ill or old until book 8. I read that Ron D Moore has delegated a lot of his writing and day to day to Matt Roberts and Toni Graphia but that he does participate still. Well, that participation needs to be more inclusive and he needs to write more episodes and possibly reduce the impact of the 4 new writers. I think I’m really going to miss Anne Kenney. I was really happy with John Bell’s young Ian. Thank you for your great articles. Your incite is wonderful.

MEP3 said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think the writer/director for this episode seems to understand the relationship between J and C, nor understand the essence of their character. I understand cutting things out in the interest of time, but why change the character of Jamie and Claire??!! There is an ongoing trend of attributing Jamie's sentiments/ideas to Claire, as if she's the mature/wiser one that has to guide Jamie all the time.

For example, Jamie never demonstrates such cavalier behavior with Young Ian in the book. The writers have Claire scolding Jamie in to returning Ian to Lallybroch?!! It was always his idea in the book! Why make THAT change? And since when does Jamie argue with Claire about wanting to continue living in the brothel? Why THAT change??!! I find it very annoying that the writers are changing Jamie's nobility of character. And where was the affection? Why was Claire so witchy? That has nothing to do with interest of time, those changes result in changes to the essence of the characters. Makes me wonder if the writers even read the books. Again, bothered by the changes to the essence of the characters, NOT the acting.

I can live with changes like not saving the printing press and the time-wasting brain surgery, but not changes to the essence of J&C's characters and their relationship. THAT is the story that has made millions of fans worldwide love Outlander, not just the often chaotic events of their story.

Anonymous said...

Hated it.

Both Jamie and Claire acted too far out of character.

Fergus and Young Ian were the best things about it.

Has DG commented on it yet??

Pointsettier said...

After 307,which was so disappointing to me, I am dreading 308 with the previews showing Claire telling Jamie that she doesn't think they belong together - while he is wearing a sling? So that already seems like the writers are changing the course of events and going to ruin what is the most critical part of Voyager-- whether Claire stays or heads back to the standing stones. I was so hopeful after 306 which truly was a love letter to Diana... I agree with the gal who wrote thank goodness for Stranger Things.

Kawanna Ridout said...

i'm probably banned elsewhere. I really lambasted the reunion episode and am not thrilled with the writing in this episode either. my lord, they were handed a perfect story, great characters, and brilliantly all ready written for them scenes - all they have to do is bring it to life. should have been a piece of cake. if they are not careful they are going to lose their book reading base - who made this show a hit in the first place.

Cynthia Tyler said...

John Bell? Too old to play Ian? He's only 20, and playing a character who is 16!!! The first season, Sam was what - 34? and playing a man of 22!

RB67 said...

I've not read the books yet. I find it easier to appreciate both when I read them after I've seen the theatrical version. First, the reunion episode lacked reconnecting. The wedding had the best side stories and I think that would have been useful in the reunion. The undressing and the guessing games seemed drawn out and lacked the real reconnecting.

Creme de Menthe felt completely rushed. The pace seemed off, taking too long in some areas and rushing through the important ones. I didn't enjoy either add much as I thought I should have.

Thanks for the recap!

Marie McKinsey said...

I agree with those who found this episode odd. There's nothing in the books that would lead me to believe that Claire would defend herself and afterward try to revive her attacker. Quite the opposite. She did kill people when the situation warranted it. If, for some odd reason she tried to revive an attacker, the Jamie I recognize would have calmed her, put his arms around her, and held her fast, until the attacker make his transition. Then let her go to cry it out.

Truckee Gal said...

All but one thing you wondered about has already been covered thoroughly and well by yourself and earlier reviewers in regards to this most disheartening episode. Here's what you wrote that I want to try addressing: "I really, really wish Jamie would put Frank out of his mind. Enough already! He's won, Claire is his now, forever, so why does he keep asking about what her life with Frank was like?"

The only reason that I came up with is this: Jamie wants to compare and/or contrast the reality of Claire & Frank's marriage (after she returned to Frank years later) in order to try and find a way to explain his own post-Culloden marriage to Claire. Jamie needs Claire to be understanding and give him time to dissolve/annul his second marriage since his first wife is still alive. Hence the need to consult with Ned Gowan.

Anonymous said...

I actually agreed with Jamie quizzing Claire about her life with Frank. I always felt he did not show enough curiosity about the man who was husband to his own wife and father to his own daughter in the books.

Gracie said...

I was disappointed with this entire episode. I hated the way Claire was so cold to Jamie. And drilling a hole in the man's head was totally unnecessary and a huge waste of time. Only six more episodes to go and more to cover than is possible. So WHY do the writers waste time on stuff that wasn't even in the books??

Anonymous said...

Yes, as Karen and others have pointed out, this episode was strange with the lack of connection between Jaime and Claire especially so soon after their reunion. However I thought Clare's reactions reflect her 20th century sensibilities as a strong, independent career women. Sorry, don't really see her as a bitch!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your synopsis. I wasn't really aware of how I felt until I read your review but I was feeling that the episode lacked the smouldering chemistry between J & C.

Still this entire series marks so many firsts for me:

first time I've been interested in a romance series
first time I've been interested in a SciFi series
first time I've navigated episodes labelled Graphic Violence because I enjoy so much else about the show.

I think the most SciFi thing about the series is - not the time travel - but that someone as gorgeious as SH/JF lasted so long a virgin!

dovepage said...

I think Jamie had every right to question Claire's life with Frank. She said that Frank loved her and took her back, while he lived in a cave, was in prison, indentured while they were raising his child. She admitted she came back AFTER Frank died.

Debbi said...

I am so glad to have found this site. I was left feeling completely let down by episode 7 ...even some of episode 6. In episode 6, Jamie tells Claire he has burned for her for 20 years...so has Claire for Jamie...but it appeared Jamie was candid about his longing for her but she was not forthright about her lack of intimacy with Frank because of her love for Jamie. I think Jamie needed to hear that from Claire as much as Claire needed to her that from Jamie.
In Episode 7, Claire's character...I don't know where to begin. She was cold and, yes, bitchy. Jamie, once again, professes to her the significance of her return to him...bringing him back into the light...and cups his arm and says she has a patient to attend to...what!! The writers certainly missed the mark on this one...I was left feeling let down. I am certainly hoping the writers redeem themselves in the next upcoming episodes or all will be lost as far as I am concerned.

Mary W said...

I find it very interesting that a lot of people really disliked this episode. I couldn't believe it when the hour was over, it went so fast to me (in a good way). Yes, I'm an avid book reader and I have a hard time accepting the changes at times. However, Jamie and Claire don't really know each other anymore, and it's natural that once the excitement of being together again settles down, that they will start to see changes in each person. Claire has been strong and independent for 15 years, so of course she could seem cold. Jamie has had a hard life without her and has hardened. They have to figure out how to work as a team again. I have complete faith they will come together to be the couple we love again. Was it my favorite episode? Not at all. But it wasn't near as bad as everyone makes it out to be in my opinion. I will, though, be interested to see if this writer does another episode and how well it will be received.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your overall comments. This episode made me feel the writer did not really understand the Jamie and Clair characters. Jamie was always an honorable man but this episode made him look the opposite. Clair's reaction to helping her attacker was too extreme, not at all reasonable to the situation. The lack of warmth Clair showed toward Jamie did not make sense after the sharing of love in the previous episode. Very disappointing episode.
Fergus was great and Young Ian was surprisingly good. I do hope the revealing of the "other wife" next time is closer to the book's version.

♥Susanlynn said...

Well, we will not get the surprise reveal of the other wife that we got in the book. "Daddy" was a shock to me and made me throw the book across the room and yell, "No, he didn't!!!" Followed by a lot of bad words. #@*#@*So, now what is going to happen in the next episode ? How is Jamie going to explain the reason he married that person? How will that person react to Jamie's original wife CLaire showing up? How will Claire react to Jamie's choice and his reasons for that choice? Are the three people involved going to have a screaming match? Is someone going to get hurt? What is Jenny going to do? How will the whole Ness be resolved?

Blithe Allison Reed said...

I agreed with all of your comments except the one about Jamie's forgetting Frank; that leads to one of his angry moments in the next episode, but I am afraid First Wife is going to venture SO FAR AWAY from the book. The scenes at Lallybroch are some of the best in the book. I normally love this series and I did love 306. Not this one, however, I loved Jamie's telling Clare that he would give up everything for them to be together again, and by the end of the episode he has! Claire was way too abrasive and Jamie was not his honorable self. I know they've both suffered, and they do argue in the books, but not like this. Whoever wrote this episode did not get it. I think the main producer of this series needs to get back in the saddle.

Anonymous said...

Well, here's my take. Unfortunately the episodes have all been filmed and in the can, but, I hope Ron Moore is reading everyone comments and understands the errors of this season and improve on season 4. The essence of the love between J&C has certainly been lost, unless it shows up in the rest of the season. This is such a beautiful love story between 2 people that love, respect and trust each other, and it's just not there so far.

♥Susanlynn said...

Blithe ...I agree with everything you wrote here. However, I think that Diana Gabaldon commented on CompuServe recently that the main producer (Ron Moore) was still in the saddle this season. Right, Karen ?

♥Susanlynn said...

I am rewatching the episode and got a giggle when MR. Willoughby tells Jamie after the excise man dies that his wife fought hard and " put her best foot forward." Was that a wink at the book readers? Also, when Claire tells Jamie about the medical resources she had access to in Boston, he replies, "but you're not in Boston." That line reminded me of season one when Claire says something to Jamie about ENgland, and he replies, "but you're not in ENgland."

Susanlynn said...

Here's the thing...if I had been separated from my one true love for twenty years and finally was reunited with him , it would take a lot for me to leave him again. You're a smuggler...fine with me. You have a son by a wealthy teenager...okay. You married someone who hates me and has always wanted you..I can deal with that. You had a one night stand with the housekeeper in a cave...okey dokey. Your sister hates me...whatever. However, TV Claire is already ticked off at him immediately following their one night in paradise.

KMC said...

Susanlynn - love your re-cap. Spot on. I read the script for episode 307 today and most of the tenderness between Claire and Jamie was cut from the episode or performed differently than the script. This episode was really short compared to other episodes and could have included some of those scenes. When Jamie enters the room after the scuffle he asks Claire if she's alright first thing, doesn't ask her at all in the episode. At the end of the episode Claire comes over to Jamie and confronts him which was not shown. Anxious to see how the changes in season 1 that will effect 308 will be handled. Hope we get to see Ned Gowan.

Lori Greenlee said...

Couldn’t agree more . She was spot on with this whole review . Maybe they should hire Karen as a consultant ;)

♥Susanlynn said...

I have a funny feeling that in the tv version of the story, Jamie had already contacted Ned Gowen about divorcing L. He indicated to Fergus in this episode 307 and the last one 306 that he had already talked to Ned about "a matter." If so, he can tell Claire in 308 that he knew he made a big mistake marrying L.and was already trying to end the marriage.

margaret wilson said...

I agree. Hate Clair this episode. Be tender. Let your self love your husband. Surgery scenes were tiring. Just get on to Lallybroch. Great review of the show. Want Claire to be sweet with Jamie. Just seemed unbelievable she would leave hi. To see Vampbells. Read the books and think this season should pick up nicely now that First wife is done.