I’ve been wanting to talk about this episode since I saw it in NYC at the premiere. I’ve been very open that I loved this episode and I think it’s one of my favorite yet so let’s get into my thoughts.
I separated this episode into my “Top 6 moments”, the scenes I thought were the most entertaining, interesting, and pivotal to the story.
The Rescue: Since Ron decided to leave Jamie in that window for MONTHS, we knew we’d start off with the rescue. However, you go back a little farther to introduce Jamie’s new point of view. Now this is different from the book in that the book is completely told first person from Claire’s POV. I LOVE that the second half of the series is told by Jamie. So much will happen that is important to his story that is makes sense he tells it.
So back to the rescue. Jamie and some of the men go to Fort William to rescue Claire. Jamie, armed with “an empty pistol and my two bare hands” enters the room to find the evil (although incredible Tobias) Black Jack Randall with Claire and attempts to take her by force.
I love that even though Jamie gives up the pistol (knowing it isn’t loaded) he knows that as long as he can get close enough to Black Jack, he can take him physically. All he needs is that moment of distraction, and he’s out.
I’ve heard from some men that watched the episode (my husband included) about why Jamie didn’t kill Black Jack right then and there. Book readers obviously know that the story would be mostly over without Jack and that Jamie’s honor keeps from killing an unarmed man, despicable and deserving of death as he is.
So with an action packed escape, our two characters are on their way and Claire has been rescued.
The Fight: This scene was SO important to me. Probably more than the one coming up afterwards. If you’ve read the books, you know that Claire and Jamie know how to argue. They hold nothing back from each other, and that includes their stubborn willfulness, which I kind of love (and hate) about them. But as far as character development and them really being these characters I wanted to see them within an inch of each other’s faces and really going for it.
And boy did they. I remember early on Diana said that Caitriona had an “expressive chin”, and it’s in it’s full glory in this fight. I love how Jamie clenches with anger and looks like he could shake her for all she’s done. Claire’s complete disregard that she’s done anything wrong until Jamie actually shows how HURT he is (“You’re tearing my guts out, Claire”) is perfection. The change in them both as they plead for forgiveness is a position I believe is a turning point for this relationship.
They’ve met their match, so to speak, and both care enough about moving forward to accept the other’s apology. For two people married against their will and just really coming to love each other that is hugely important.
The Spanking: So I’ve made the mistake before writing this to go online and see what other people are thinking about it. We KNEW this was going to be a polarizing concept for some people. The fact of the matter is – it’s the 18th century and women WERE thought of as property and that they needed to obey their husbands. Jamie is under a lot of pressure from his men (who have flat out started ignoring Claire) to punish her for putting all their lives at risk. As much as I, a modern women and someone who at least kind of considers herself a feminist, don’t LIKE the idea that a man would put his hands on any woman, I totally get the reasoning and necessity behind it IN THIS CONTEXT.
Now, let’s talk about how it’s acted and edited. I LOVE this scene. I love that they took a slightly humorous approach because in the book Jamie is trying to reason Claire into this as well as use his humor to let her know this is just something that must be done. He’s not really trying to hurt her.
I love Claire fighting back and getting some good hits in herself. The way it’s balanced between the two and we see Jamie give that smirk at the end should soften it for the audience (though some people have made it very clear that under no circumstances is it ok and that’s fine).
This was a scene that was essential to get right and I believe they nailed it with the right tone, choreography, and delivery.
The Brothers: I’m just going to touch on this briefly because I felt like it was kind of thrown in/rushed (hello, only so much time to convey things on TV). However, when Jamie basically tells Colum how to handle the situation with his brother I had one of those “YAS!!” moments.
Here’s the thing. I’ve read the books. I know that Jamie is well educated, destined to be a Laird, and has the ability to be incredibly persuasive to a variety of different people. I feel like up to now Jamie has been really nice to look at, but there hasn’t been enough of that wit and intelligence I know is in there. I was so glad to see him in a powerful role with the uncles. YAS, Jamie, YAS. Work it. We have to see him come into this before season 2!
Girl, it’s time to talk about Laoghaire.
I wont give away spoilers but she’s a girl you love to hate and sometimes you just hate. In the beginning I felt kinda bad for her. She was all making out with this hot highlander, making plans and having unrealistic expectations, and he goes off and comes back with a SASSENACH WIFE?! Really?!
So any adult woman would just say, that sucks and move on with life. But Laoghaire is young, conniving, and scorned. And that makes her dangerous.
By Jamie not only coming home with a wife, but turning her down at the river, she’s just become more pissed and more desperate. Can’t image what will happen next? Let’s just say that bad omen under the bed is the least of our problems!
The Make-Up: I’ll cut to the chase. The hottest of all the makeup sex scenes ever? I think so.
The meaty part of this scene is that Jamie realizes he can not Lord over Claire. They have to meet somewhere as equals, and when he promises to never punish her like that again, that is what he means. It takes a lot for a man coming from where he’s come from to say that there can be another way to live together. That times can change.
But when Claire holds the dirk to his throat and tells him if he ever lays a hand on her again she’ll cut out his heart and have it for breakfast? I mean come on, that’s hot! 😉
Some of the great lines in this episode straight from this book included one from this scene – “It seems I can not possess your soul without losing my own.” – it sounds cheesy if I say it out loud, but Sam delivers the line with such sincerity that I believe him completely.
I believe that this episode is one of the most finely acted ones I’ve seen yet. Which is ironic because it was filmed before several of the previous episodes! I think that Sam and Cait SHINE as Jamie and Claire. So much packed into one episode but I’m excited to see what this Saturday will hold. It’s only going to get better from here.
What did you think? Like it, love it, hate it?
Photo credit to Starz and FarFarAwaySite.Com.