Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Outlander: "Both Sides Now"

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I don’t expect anyone to read this, but I have got to write down my thoughts and the only way I can think to decompress is to brainstorm those thoughts.

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~♥~♥~♥~♥~~♥~♥~♥~♥~

The mid-season finale to Outlander aired Saturday night, and I am not very happy. (FYI: I will be listing book spoilers). I didn’t hate it exactly. I loved several parts of it in fact, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried for the second half of the season. I awoke the next morning and felt so angry the more I thought about it.

Up until now I’ve been okay with most of the changes, but after Saturday night I'm no longer in denial.

Some very key moments have been cast aside, and I'm speaking of common sense things; basic personality traits, which convey to the audience an actual growing relationship between Jamie and Claire.

Have there been any Jamie/Claire scenes so far that are true to form? Yes, but not enough to justify the 'punishment' that's coming up in the next episode.

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(It airs in April, even though all along we’ve been told the 2nd half of the season would resume in January).

It’s the same with the honesty speech Jamie gives Claire on their wedding night…

"There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?"

- Chapter 15: Revelations of the Bridal Chamber - Page 273

… that is a KEY QUOTE in regard to understanding Jamie's character, and it does affect the rules for their relationship in the future. WHY did they not include this on the show? It is essential!

And even if it does crop up at some point, it'll be too late. The damage has already been done. The honesty speech belonged in the wedding episode, and if it comes up in a later episode the impact of it won't be as powerful now.

Judging from reports I’ve been reading online, I’m fearful that newbies to the Outlander world do not understand why so many people have fallen so madly in love with Jamie and Claire’s story. (I've even heard of people thinking that FRANK is the hero of the story).

It isn’t their fault. Who can blame them? They can’t understand what they’re missing because the Jamie/Claire relationship that they’re viewing on tv isn’t in the same place as the Jamie/Claire relationship in the books. At this point in the tv series, the depth of their relationship should be matching the books. They should be intersecting.

Unfortunately, they’re not.

At this point in the book, their feelings haven’t yet reached their full potential but at least it’s further along than we’ve been seeing onscreen. While their love – especially on Claire’s side – is gradual, by this point it should consist of more than a physical attraction and just being two friends married out of necessity.

Had there been less scenes - or none at all - of Frank in this episode, we would be seeing more of that oh-so-needed Jamie/Claire bonding.

At present, seeing that bond is vital!!!

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I'm sorry, but there should be no Team Frank. Starz is focusing on Frank a lot more than necessary, and the result of that is Jamie/Claire’s connection getting the shaft.

Up until the mid-season finale I really believed that the Outlander production team would always at least keep the most important aspects of the story and characters in place. Obviously I was wrong, and stupid, gullible me didn't see it coming.
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This isn't a story about Frank and Claire, and it's apparent that some newbies are under the impression that Frank is more integral to core of the series than he really is. Is he important? Yes, but is he ALL important like Jamie? No.

I have no problem with them adding to Frank's storyline, but I do have a problem - and a major one - when in order to execute that they push JAMIE of all characters aside to do it. We don’t need character development for Frank, whom overall isn’t even a major character. It’s the hero of the story that needs to be fleshed out. Why is this not obvious to Ron Moore and the writers? This isn’t only Writing 101. It’s common sense. Understanding Jamie is more important than understanding Frank, PERIOD!

For instance, the scene with Frank going all Black Jack in the alley. There was no reason for it. Not only is it against Frank’s character, but it takes time away from some desperately needed Jamie/Claire relationship development. Frank going berserk was unneeded fluff.

What are they thinking? Did Starz think all the extra subscribers they were going to gain from this tv series had never picked up the Outlander series of books? Did they think the majority of them wanted to see FRANK's side of things? Employ a little common sense, please.

And why waste so much time focusing on Frank’s search? We’re not stupid. We know he’s in 1940’s Scotland looking for the whereabouts of his wife. That’s obvious. We know this and we don’t need half an episode – the MID-SEASON FINALE for God’s sake – to reveal this. Frank should not be a priority here.

Screen time for such an important episode was not used very wisely. Why?

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(Texture by ele22)

This tv series is supposed to be an adaptation of the books. These books are ultimately about Claire choosing Jamie, why she does so, how it affects her life, and how other people in her life are affected by this decision forever after.

Separating the book from the series, Jamie's character traits aren't where they should be at this point. Readers of the books understand who Jamie Fraser is, but if you’re only a viewer of the tv series you are missing out on LOADS and LOADS of character development when it comes to Jamie. (A lot of which takes place during his and Claire's honeymoon, which the tv series skipped over in favor of Frank). These viewers have no idea what they're missing, and that’s frustrating to think about.

And oh my God! One of the most endearing lines from Jamie - "Does it ever stop, the wanting you?" They just shot the original meaning to hell. It was meant to come across as sincere, even spiritual in a way. On the whole I had no problem with that scene, but over time I stopped lying to myself because those words did not come across - AT ALL - as to how they were originally intended. It was as if they decided to pick a random line from the book, and then - as if it was a doggy bone - tossed it in the fans general direction, hoping it'd satiate our appetite for hearing actual lines from the books.

NEWSFLASH! It isn't about the lines themselves. It's about THE TRUTH behind those lines. It's about the ESSENCE behind the words. Just why do they think these books are so popular? If they change the spirit of these characters and their story, then by the end it won't be the same story.

Also, this reminds me of the scene with the pearls in the wedding episode. I didn't like how one moment Jamie was all "These pearls belonged to my mother, whom was very precious to me," and the next second Claire is wearing the pearls and nothing else and it's Making-Whoopie-Time. I'm not a prude, but for me it completely cheapened the sweetness of the gesture.

And yes, I realize that Starz itself is likely the one to blame for that but the fact remains that Ron Moore and Company needs to stop twisting - or leaving out - the most important elements in the Outlander Universe. I see nothing wrong with enhancing a story, but at least preserve the most important aspects.

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Claire has to choose between Frank and Jamie pretty soon, and people who have only seen the series have no clue that Starz is already beginning to fall behind at showing the many facets of Jamie’s character. He has a lot more depth than what we're seeing. (I've actually read, and from several people, that Jamie is coming across as a teenager half the time. This isn't good news).

At this juncture in their story, we should also see that Claire understands Jamie even more than she ever understood Frank.

And WHERE was the honesty speech during the wedding episode? (Yes, this again. It IS important). That one conversation was only THE FOUNDATION of Claire and Jamie's relationship. The heart of their relationship began with those words.

Bottom Line: Claire and Jamie’s relationship simply isn’t developing at the rate that it should be. There are some very, very intense situations coming up and I'm not so sure that Jamie and Claire have bonded enough to weather it together.

And I think it’s important to note that I’m not upset over Sam or Caitriona’s acting skills at all, or even some of the changes and additions. (Sam is definitely doing his homework because he is including Jamie's mannerisms quite a bit). It's the brushing aside of Jamie’s character, and situations from the books that are IMPERATIVE for Jamie/Claire's relationship to work and be believable.

Up until this mid-season finale, I've been very forgiving of all this.

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I absolutely hated this part of the episode. It was a train wreck, and even now I can't gather the courage to watch it again. It was an absolute mess.

It was cheesier than a can of Cheez Whiz.

For people that haven't read these books, I fear that the scene with the stones has given them the wrong impression. Claire's SCREECHING Frank's name (like she was Scarlett O'Hara running after Rhett Butler) was a bit much.

And Frank’s crying of Claire’s name…. bad, bad, BAD acting right there. I was shocked. He’s supposed to be crying and at the end of his rope, but where were his tears? And his voice… “Claire… Claire!” … horrible, horrible acting. And I’m not saying this because I think they’ve spent too much time on Frank’s character. Even though I've never seen any roles that Tobias Menzie's has been in, I’ve always thought he was a fine choice to play the role, but now I can only hope there won’t be any more dramatic scenes like that for him. I didn’t believe him at all. Sorry to sound harsh, but his acting sucked something major in that scene. It was so phony. Watching it, I felt pretty embarrassed for him.

The whole scene at Craig na Dun just felt waaaay over the top and overly dramatic.

I understand that at this point Claire still loves Frank, but at least in the book we know that Claire does feel torn over going through the stones. She has at least some internal conflict over how it would affect Jamie, and what it would do to her to leave him. She even realizes that if Jamie found someone else to love – Laoghaire in particular – she doesn’t exactly feel comfortable over it. She feels jealousy deep in her gut just thinking about him with someone else. I think she even mentions her stomach lurching at the thought.

No, you can see for yourself. Here's part of that scene:

My stomach gave a sudden lurch as I thought of Jamie. God, how could I do it? Leave him without a word of explanation or apology? Disappear without a trace, after what he had done for me?

With that thought I finally decided to leave the horse. At least he would think I had not left him willingly; he might believe I had been killed by wild beasts— I touched the dagger in my pocket— or possibly kidnapped by outlaws. And finding no trace of me, eventually he would forget me, and wed again. Perhaps the lovely young Laoghaire, back at Leoch.

Absurdly enough, I found that the thought of Jamie sharing Laoghaire’s bed upset me as much as the thought of leaving him. I cursed myself for idiocy, but I couldn’t help imagining her sweet round face, flushed with ardent longing, and his big hands burying themselves in that moonbeam hair....

I unclenched my teeth and resolutely wiped the tears off my cheeks. I hadn't time nor energy for senseless reflections. I must go, and now, while I could. It might be the best chance I would get. I hoped that Jamie would forget me. I knew that I would never be able to forget him.


In this episode however, it was as if Claire had completely forgotten about Jamie and had no affection for him whatsoever. I just don't believe that scene was true to Claire's character and her growing feelings for Jamie. (But again, the show isn’t focusing on developing their relationship at the rate that it should be). In that particular scene Jamie was COMPLETELY swept under the rug.

This isn't mere opinion, it's fact.

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And NO ONE should be wishing for Claire to go through those stones and back to Frank. That shouldn’t even be a thought inside anyone’s head. If anything, it should be the opposite and if anyone wanted her to make it through the stones and back to Frank then this series is beginning to fail. Even if Gabaldon herself approved such a scene - which I do believe she did - to faithful readers of THE SPIRIT of the book, it’s insulting. (I realize not everyone feels that way, but speaking for myself... it felt offensive to the very heart of the story. The dramatic music, camera shots, and poor acting from Tobias made it look like fan fiction penned by a 13-year-old. It might have looked fine on paper, but onscreen it just didn't work for me).

And it wasn't even like Claire was running towards the stones in a panic because she was having a bad day and wanted to get the heck out of Dodge. Nope. She was screeching Frank's name like she was Scarlett Flippin' O'Hara and he was her soulmate. (Sorry, but Frank and Claire are not soulmates. I get that they love each other, but Frank doesn't even respect Claire the way Jamie does so early on in their relationship. Jamie would never tell her it was okay with him if she ever cheated on him. Hmm, think about just why Frank would make such a comment).

And if anyone had a connection to Claire and the stones, it sure as hell isn't Frank. It's JAMIE! The story may begin with Frank, but the whole purpose of the stones is that they bring Claire 200 years into the past; to Jamie.

I understand that things have to be adapted for television, but that one scene... which felt like it was going against the very grain of the story... well, as Jamie would say it was tearing my guts out! I do understand these characters, and what I watched the other night wasn't always them. Tweak the story all you like, but please don't tweak the characters personalities. Gabaldon wrote them beautifully to begin with. Don't mess that up.

I honestly wouldn't have minded that scene if the drama in it wasn't so ridiculously overkill. It just felt phony. I can see the beauty in the IDEA of it, but the reality of it felt catawampus. Epic, epic fail.

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In the book it was a near-rape, but in this episode it looked to me like Claire was raped. WHY would they add that, especially with Wentworth prison coming up? And if she was raped, you cannot just gloss over that. It would change Claire forever, not to mention her relationship with Jamie.

What also didn't feel right - because it is out of character - was Jamie leaving Claire up on that hill when she was in shock. Jamie would NEVER do that. NEVER! Absolutely NEVER. He would have just let Dougal walk up that hill himself - (he's got legs ya know) - while he stayed at Claire's side. And if he did leave, he would at least see that someone else stayed with her.

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(And FYI: In the book Claire didn’t go into shock like that. Claire really has a much stronger backbone than we’re seeing in the series so far. She thinks quickly under pressure, too. For example, the scene at the end with BJR… in the books she didn’t panic like that. Claire is never a damsel in distress).

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Of the mid-season finale, THIS SCENE has upset me just as much as the one at Craigh na Dun and when Jamie left Claire while she was in shock. Once more, just like with the honesty speech, they left out only one of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of dialogue from the book. To ensure Claire’s safety, Jamie does a thorough search of the woods before telling her….

“It’s verra dangerous, and I’ll not have ye there, Claire. I shall be busy, and if it comes to it, I can’t fight and protect you at the same time.” Seeing my mutinous look, he dropped his hand to the saddlebag and began rummaging.

“What are you looking for?”

“Rope. If ye wilna do as I say, I shall tie ye to a tree until I come back.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Aye, I would!” Plainly he meant it. I gave in with bad grace, and reluctantly reined in my horse. Jamie leaned to kiss me glancingly on the cheek, already turning to go.

"Take care, Sassenach. You've your dirk? Good. I shall come back as soon as I can. Oh, one more thing."

"What's that?" I said sullenly.

"If you leave that copse before I come for ye, I'll tan your bare arse wi' my sword belt. Ye wouldna enjoy walking all the way to Bargrennan. Remember," he said pinching my cheek gently, "I dinna make idle threats."


This warning is important for two reasons:

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1). We’re given a glimpse into Jamie himself. His code. Jamie doesn’t make idle threats. He’s a man of his word, and if he gives you a warning you had better believe that the truth is coming out of his mouth. James Fraser doesn’t lie. (Again, the newbies to this story don’t know that and why? Because the honesty speech from the wedding night never took place, and the above quote didn’t take place either).

2). After Jamie rescues Claire from Randall, there is a BIG scene coming up.

From the quote I posted above, what happens is obvious. It’s a very controversial scene, but overall Gabaldon’s readership is intelligent enough to understand that Claire is living in a different time period with a different set of rules. Every decision made is literally a matter of life and death. If Jamie didn’t punish Claire for disobeying and putting the clan in danger, his word/vows/oaths mean nothing… the respect he has earned within the clan is lost…. and the clan would punish Claire themselves, most likely by flogging her. Her punishment would have been all the more severe.

In this episode all Jamie told Claire was to promise him that she’ll stay put. That’s it. No mention of being punished if she left. No mention of not being one to make idle threats. Just a simple “Promise me, Claire. Swear to me you’ll be here when I get back.”

It’s pretty obvious that this warning from Jamie would have had to take place BEFORE he left her alone. (And in the episode it didn’t happen). So now, when Claire is punished for putting the clan in danger, it will change so much of Jamie's personality and what the audience thinks of him. It won’t be that he’s a man of his word, but is just being cruel.

And even crueler is that he will punish her after 1). Not warning her of any consequences, 2). Not telling her he isn’t one to make idle threats, and 3). She was just raped by one of the Redcoat Deserters. (Which, in the book she wasn’t).

Claire’s punishment was difficult enough to swallow before – and that's knowing she’d been forewarned - but thanks to that one warning never taking place... it's going be a train wreck. It WILL be a train wreck because in the episode Jamie GAVE NO WARNING! As it stands now, all she did was break a promise (not thinking there would be consequences) and run up a hill.

Another important difference in the books versus episode was that in the book Craigh na Dun was a 7 mile hike. Traveling that far a distance makes Claire's actions all the more problematic for the clan in trying to discover her whereabouts. In the series however… all she did was trek up a hill. Not such a big deal.

And the punishment WILL take place in the next episode. That scene was one that Sam Heughan had to do in his audition.

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This is a minor nitpick, but it's so ridiculous that it makes me laugh... and I need to end this Outlander-Sized post with a laugh.

As you can plainly see, the photo Frank had drawn up of the mysterious Highlander (aka Jamie's Ghost) is incredibly detailed.

When Frank saw Jamie, it lasted only a few seconds. It took place in the middle of a thunderstorm. It was the middle of the night. He saw him only from behind.

So taking all that into account, why is the mysterious highlander's face drawn? How could Frank have seen the brooch at all, much less that it was a Jacobite brooch possibly from the 18th century?

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Deep Breath....

Believe it or not I DID enjoy a lot of the finale, even though it felt very rushed. I wouldn't even have minded some of the Frank scenes had this been a 2-hour episode.

It's only that the scenes I didn't like... I REALLY didn't like. I didn't set out to feel that way. It's just my reaction to what I saw.

And please don't misunderstand me. I don't expect the series to be exactly like the books. I look forward to any surprises, but I also think the KEY factors from the books should be present.

I'm not taking this series for granted. I'm thrilled that it exists, and so far I am very impressed with the actors. (Apart from Tobias Menzies phony-bologna 'crying' at the stones). I'm still reeling over the fact that they've found an actor capable of filling Jamie's shoes. And while Caitriona Balfe isn't how I've always pictured Claire, I think she understands the character and has brought her to life. She isn't always as plucky and spirited as Claire from the books, but that has nothing to do with her acting ability.

I only hope that during the long hiatus newbies to this story will actually pick up the books. I think that's why I'm so upset. I feel like I'm beginning to see an injustice in progress. This wonderful, much-anticipated gift has been given to the world and I'm afraid that by the end of it all the story won't be recognizable. Jamie and Claire in the series won't be the same Jamie and Claire from the books. (I've already seen examples of that. For instance, Jamie leaving Claire's side while she was about to have a full-on nervous breakdown).

If that does end up happening... heartbreaking.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Outlander Wedding Day

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Can you hear it even now?
Almost an entire week later, can you still hear those wedding bells bagpipes playing their romantic tune?

I wasn’t going to bother with an episode review, seeing how they aren’t exactly analogous to an endangered species. (Let’s face it; Outlander blog posts floating around cyberspace aren’t exactly disappearing like the bees. If anything, they’re multiplying daily). Be that as it may, being a fan of the books I can’t exactly overlook the importance of such a milestone episode.

This post was written in a rush, and I'm sure that will show, but I couldn't NOT share any of my thoughts. It was too important an episode to sweep under the rug.

FYI: There will be spoilers from the books!

~♥~♥~♥~♥~~♥~♥~♥~♥~

I wish to address right up front that I enjoyed the episode. While I’m not a card carrying member of Clan “Poutlander,” I certainly can understand their point of view and they are entitled to express their opinions.

These books have been around since 1991, and Diana Gabaldon created two of the most beautifully written couples in literary history. (Scarlett and Rhett Butler? Romeo and Juliet? Lancelot and Guinevere? Ppphhhfft, puh-lease. Who are they again?  photo scratch_zps3adfc319.gif )

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Jamie and Claire are extremely loved by millions of fans around the globe. No, really. We do L-O-V-E them. They’re special to us, and even if one of these characters does something incredibly stupid we would never abandon them.

In some strange way, when you think about it like that – never losing faith in them and wanting the best for their story - they’re almost like our children. We’re protective of them. While reading Claire/Jamie’s story we can’t help feeling we know them extremely well, and when the day finally arrives that we can witness their wedding from the comfort of our very own living rooms… we will have expectations.

So please give Clan Poutlander a little bit of love. Their hearts are in the right place, and for some enthusiasts it’s going to take more time for them to separate Book Outlander from Starz Outlander.

I’m not gonna lie. Before this particular episode aired I snatched my Outlander book from my bookshelf. I did re-read a few of the scenes from previous episodes, as well as the wedding chapter. I never expected Starz's version of the wedding to be exactly like the book, but I must confess that when almost immediately we saw only seconds of the wedding kiss followed by the wedding couple at the inn AFTER the ceremony...

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... for the first time I was really, really concerned for the sanctity of these characters that are so precious to me.  photo emo50_zps7994e881.gif My fear factor skyrocketed to about Defcon Level 3, but I kept telling myself that there’s still hope I won’t be disappointed. Maybe we’ll see the wedding vows in a flashback.

Pep talk aside, considering the fact that I was only sitting in my room watching a television series at the time, my heart was racing as if I were being mugged or had just finished running a marathon. As Jamie would say, I was "nAIrvous. Verra, verra nAIrvous."

I observed Jamie’s toast to his new bride... Claire’s drinking like a fish… Jamie’s humorous facial expression over Claire’s drinking like a fish.

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And then it happened. Claire’s statement posed to Jamie echoed my own:

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“Me too!” my inner-Poutlander self shouted at the television screen. Since this episode’s title is “The Wedding,” why haven’t I seen more than two seconds of the ceremony? Exactly what is happening here? I’ve been watching this for 5 minutes now. There are only approximately 50 minutes left to 1). Show me the wedding… 2). Deflower Jamie Fraser... 3). Show me all those key scenes I’ve been playing inside my mind for over a decade.

I was beginning to feel like I was part of last week's Doctor Who episode. Was I the victim of one of those disgusting memory worms? Have I entered The Twilight Zone? Did I miss the wedding episode, or is my life playing out like Drew Barrymore’s character in 50 First Dates? Did I hit one of my neighbor’s cows with the car or riding lawnmower, and now have short term memory loss? Could I have forgotten seeing one James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser on his wedding day?

I finally reached Defcon Level 2 and counting...

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Oops, nay. I was about to have my very first panic attack over nothing. It looks like this will be a flashback episode after all.

Insert huge sigh of relief....

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Speaking of flashbacks...
(And there were many)

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(Via)

Groom #1 versus Groom #2

Even though it's common sense and "beyond contestation"... (to quote James Purefoy in A Knight's Tale)... let the boxing match begin!

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Jamie put more thought into his and Claire’s emergency wedding than Frank ever did. Frank wanted a quickie marriage in the Register Office, followed by spending the first hours of their honeymoon dining in a restaurant with his parents.

Does Frank even understand whom honeymoons are for?  photo umno.gif You don’t spend them at dinner with your parents. You can’t have romance with your new bride if Mom and Dad are watching you eat, and you sure as hell don’t do genealogical research on your second honeymoon. (If you could technically call it their second).

Unlike Frank, on his honeymoon Jamie didn’t have his nose stuck in a library of books while chumming with the local minister.

Also very unlike Frank, Jamie had three conditions for his wedding:

Condition No. 1 - They must wed properly, in a church before a priest.

Condition No. 2 – There must be a proper ring.

Condition No. 3 – Claire must have a wedding dress.

Okay, I’m already rambling far too much  photo 46.gif so I’ll just point out specific quotes, scenes from the episode versus the book, as well as the complaints I’ve been reading on blogs. Ready? (This might still be long, so you might need a caffeine drip by the end).

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Romantic Groom versus Practical Groom:

Jamie: (places a hand over his heart and gives a gentlemanly bow) “Your servant, Madam.”

Frank: “Let’s get married right now, but we’ll have to get in line as soon as possible because my parents are waiting at the restaurant for us and I don’t like to eat cold chicken.”

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Claire Voiceover: “You forget your life after a while.”

Especially if your first husband is a bore and your new husband possesses an actual sense of humor.

Whenever Jamie tries to wink suggestively at his lady love, he inadvertently blinks with both eyes for cripe’s sake. He’s the sexy, yet adorable version of Bob Hope!
And Frank has the default expression that looks like this ---->  photo 50.png

See what I mean? Not even a signature wink to pull at the heartstrings.

Afterthought: I realize I'm sounding harsh towards poor Frank. I really don't hate him at all, but when comparing him to Jamie there's no contest.

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The Wedding Clothes:

Claire might have woken up looking like a melted candle, but once she was decked out in her wedding dress she turned the heads of all the clansmen. I actually enjoyed seeing Dougal and Murtagh’s smiles.

Although let’s be honest here. They were likely smiling at those two mounds threatening to spill out of the tightest bodice in all creation. After she dropped Frank’s wedding ring down there, I’m surprised that ring didn’t pop out of her cleavage and 6 miles skyward towards the Earth’s troposphere.

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I thought Jamie cleaned up really nice, although I prefer the untamed curls framing that face. And perhaps it stems from my past crush on Aragorn, but I also think I prefer Jamie covered in traveling dust and bleeding from fighting off the English with his trusted claymore. horse photo horse.gif

A lot of people are upset that his wedding attire isn’t like it is in the book. Instead of wearing his brilliant crimson and black kilt  photo kilt-1.gif, he borrowed one from the husband of a Fraser widow.

Some fans were also equally upset over this quote not being present in a Claire voiceover:

“A highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight – any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favored or crabbed in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking.”

But why was I okay with it not being present? I was okay with it because of the # 1 lesson writers are taught: Show, don’t tell.

And that’s exactly what happened in that scene. Sure, the kilt was different but Jamie still looked an impressive sight. We didn't need Claire to tell us because we could see it for ourselves.

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Claire’s Wedding Ring:

In the book, the ring used during the ceremony is Jamie’s father’s cabochon ruby ring. In the tv series, Jamie has one made from a key that he had in his sporran.

My guess is this key is one to Lallybroch. (Thank goodness he didn’t say something cheesy, like it was the key to his heart. I’m being in earnest here…. I was afraid that line was coming, and I did NOT want to see my Jamie being emasculated like that).

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A lot of people are extremely upset over the change in the ring, but I think it’s important to remember that THE ring we all know and love is presented to Claire later on in the book. I’m pretty sure the real ring will appear in a later episode.

As will Claire’s wearing Frank’s ring on her left hand and Jamie’s on her right. (Just as in the books). Clearly, the writers had Claire placing the ring in her bodice so that the morning after the honeymoon we’d have that last scene play out the way it did. (Having two rings from two husbands, and having to choose between them).

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JAMMF:

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Yes! We heard THE line! (One of our favorites anyway).

And yes, Claire did see Jamie’s full name on the marriage certificate in last week’s episode, but the woman was already becoming quite intoxicated by then. She only remembered sporadic events from her wedding, so forgetting reading his name is plausible.

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Scotch Pearls:

While I had to look up the description of the pearls in the book...

He stepped forward and fastened the necklace around my neck. Looking down, I could see it was a string of small baroque pearls, those irregularly shaped productions of freshwater mussels, interspersed with tiny pierced-work gold roundels. Smaller pearls dangled from the gold beads.

... I must agree with my fellow fans that the pearl necklace is all wrong, and being so wide of the mark is the result of laziness on part of the costume department.

Personally, I’m not too upset over that but I do find it a little ridiculous. The pearl necklace was described in great detail, and it does make more appearances in later books. Most fans were going to notice, so the costume department really should have been precise.

Not to mention my suspicion that had they gotten it right, any replica necklace Starz would put up for sale (as they've already done with the key ring) would sell like hotcakes.

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“Holy God!”

I kind of thought it funny how so many people expected to hear this line. While Jamie didn’t say it in the episode, I’m sure there’s hope yet. There are loads of steamy scenes ahead for the couple, so of course it’ll happen.

Although the more I think about it, it really is a little crazy that it isn't present. It’s not like it would have subtracted any time at all from the length of the episode, and it would have made a lot of fans happy to hear it.

If that exclamation belonged in any Outlander episode, it belonged in this one.

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- Murtagh professing that Claire and Jamie’s mother had the same sweet smile. I believe this was my favorite of the flashback scenes.

And maybe I'm reading more into it, but did anyone else notice how when Jamie told Claire his full name outside the church, Murtagh SMILED when Jamie said "MacKenzie" Fraser? Murtagh isn't one to strain any smiling muscles, so I have to wonder if he smiled like that because Jamie's mother was a MacKenzie?

Either way, I love the thought of Murtagh being a victim of unrequited love. Perhaps that's the reason for his gruff exterior. And let's remember... he did pledge an oath to Jamie's mother, when Jamie was only a week old, that he would devote himself to always seeing Jamie under his protection. To me, that screams that perhaps he was in love with Jamie's mother.

- Dougal’s all too apparent jealousy over Claire being his nephew's wife.
(No matter that he himself arranged it).

I'm thoroughly enjoying Dougal’s character being expanded upon. By God, this guy will be a prince one second - like rescuing Claire from that sick b@stard Randall - and the next he's willing to cut her throat.

Then the next day he's hitting on her, on her wedding night no less.

I love to hate him, and I hate to love him.

- Jamie's Wedding Party, aka Rupert and Angus.
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I liked hearing Rupert trying to explain to the blacksmith which part of the key to use for the ring.

He and Angus are an odd duo. Not quite Tweedledee and Tweedledum, but more Tweedledee and Grumpy.

Or Tweedledee and Oscar the Grouch?

- Claire's frizzy, curly hair when she awoke on her wedding day.

I love how they've been incorporating that from the books. A lot of the story coming to life onscreen really is through little details like that.

- I was thrilled when we got to hear the blood vow.

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I rewound this part a few times.
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- Claire: "You're a regular Bob Hope."

Jamie: "Is he a funny man?"

- Jamie was so sweet and polite whenever Claire initially brushed off his little advances. The pained look on his face looked similar to a puppy dog having been smacked with a rolled up newspaper when all it wanted was to show it's master some affection.

I wanted to hug the poor lad, but thankfully Claire would almost immediately apologize.

- Ned Gowan's nervousness was hilarious around all those whuurs/strumpets. I enjoyed seeing him all bumbling and flustered.

- Jamie's toast to his bride was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e because he was so nervous and you could tell he was trying to impress Claire with gallant words.

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And I loved how he sounded out her married name so slowly and deliberately, as if trying to convince himself that it was all real. "My wife, Claire Fraser."

I can think of several other scenes I enjoyed, but to keep this post shorter I'll not list the rest of them.

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- In the book, Jamie could read Claire’s mind so easily, and we didn’t really see much of that here.

- Jamie asking Claire to tell him about Frank.

“Why did you ask about my husband, though?”

“Well, I knew ye must be thinking of him. Ye could hardly not, under the circumstances. I do not want ye ever to feel as though ye canna talk of him to me. Even though I’m your husband now – that feels verra strange to say – it isna right that ye should forget him, or even try to. If ye loved him, he must ha’ been a good man.”

This was a GREAT moment from that chapter, which is sorely needed to develop Jamie's maturity and depth of character. I think the series is starting to fall a little bit behind in establishing their connection. Fairly soon we're going to have to understand just why Claire chooses Jamie over Frank.

Being so accepting of Frank exhibits to the audience the caliber of man Jamie is. While he is young, he's also wise.

I just really wish that the elephant in the room, aka Frank, was included. I think the honeymoon scenes as a whole would have been all the more poignant had it been addressed verbally rather than through Claire's reservations towards she and Jamie's attraction to one another.

- Jamie and Claire's touching to feel more comfortable with one another was sorely missed.

I realize that we might still catch a glimpse of this, especially in the mid-season finale this weekend, but it truly BELONGED in THIS episode.

This awkwardness, and especially Claire’s retreat whenever Jamie would simply touch her hair, was not nearly as present in the book as in the episode. That really felt strange to me. Not Jamie’s actions, but Claire’s.

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To me it just felt like a disservice to her character.

- I can live with it (barely), but I'm not a fan of the tv series changing where Claire and Frank married. It was FAR MORE POIGNANT in the book!

I imagine that Starz changed the venue to the Register's Office to punctuate the point that Frank and Jamie are very different.

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Well you know what? That's already been established. We get it, but having Claire marry BOTH these men in the same church across the centuries carries one whopper of an EMOTIONAL PUNCH for the bride.

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It certainly would have made it a hell of a lot more interesting.

- It would have been nice, and very telling of what Jamie’s life has been like, had they included the scene with the dagger along with that beautiful quote: “Don’t be afraid, there’s the two of us now.”

Of course, I think we might still be shown this at some point.

- Most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, the following request from Jamie SHOULD HAVE been included.

"There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?"

If one occurrence from these books should have been included in the wedding episode, this is it. It is INTEGRAL to the very FOUNDATION of Jamie and Claire’s relationship.

I am 110% siding with the Poutlanders on this one. While I'm feeling fairly certain we'll hear this speech during the first season, I must acknowledge that I believe Starz has made one massive error by not including it in the wedding episode. (This might as well be labeled as fact and not mere opinion). Even if they showcase this in the future, as a flashback to their wedding night, the truth of the matter is that we really should have seen it last week.

It belonged there, just as much as Jamie and Claire belong together.

That's how I feel, and I feel confident that 99.99% of fellow Outlander enthusiasts share this view.

So yeah... I really did enjoy this episode despite my HUGE disappointment over that one exchange not appearing. Also, I was a little apprehensive over Sam Heughan successfully portraying Jamie's boyish innocence and humor, yet being sexy at the same time. (Dude totally killed it at the "You'll laugh at me/back way" comment. I was so pleased to see that one sentence from the book come to life). Jamie is such a multifaceted character, and I think Sam did a wonderful job.

And while the wedding chapter in the book is still superior, I felt it was a fantastic episode.

~♥~♥~♥~♥~~♥~♥~♥~♥~

If you read this entire post, here's a Snicker's bar for your troubles!

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Sorry it's virtual.

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