Outlander 304’s (Sunday) Seven Thoughts

Jamie hugs Willie.

Season 3 of Outlander just keeps getting better and better.  Episode 301 was great; episode 302, better; episode 303, even better, possibly the best; episode 304, possibly the best, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the streak likely ends here.  The second half of Voyager isn’t nearly as compelling as the first half, falling into some pretty terrible tropes.  Plus, there’s no more Lord John Grey (for a while).

Lord John Grey mourns the departure of his beloved Jamie Fraser.
I, too, am sad Lord John Grey will be leaving us for a while.

And now on to…

Of Lost Things, Episode 304

1. Brianna sucks

It’s a shame she’s the offspring of the two main characters because Brianna is not a nice person.  In fact, at one point she says, “I’m a terrible person,” and Roger Wakefield replies, “Finally, something we can agree on.”  Too true.

She makes fun of the lovely Fiona Graham for having a crush on Roger, partly because she knows she’s got him wrapped around her little finger.  The writers may think they’re making her interesting with her ability to fix a distributor cap, but it just reeks of manipulation to me.  Where the hell would Brianna have learned about car engines?  From her nerd father Frank?  From her mother Claire, who, for all her great medical skill, has never shown any interest in mechanics.  Did Brianna take a Shop class in high school?  I highly doubt it.

Perhaps the character wouldn’t be so annoying if in the hands of a more capable actor, but this is the one huge mistake the casting department made.

2.  “You useless Scotchman!”

It’s what Lady Geneva says to Jamie as he’s preparing her horse for a ride.  I’d say “Really??” except that I remember having difficulty with the distinction between Scotsman and Scotchman.  Then again, I was six years old at the time.  Still, I laughed.

(Incidentally, here’s what the Scots think about the Scotch, at the 4:12 mark.)

3. Lord John Grey’s queue >> Jamie Fraser Alex MacKenzie’s

Good Gawd!  Sam Heughan’s hair was hideous in this episode!  Seriously, what kind of look were they going for?  Jamie’s hair was pulled back a couple of times in season 2, and while it was short, it never looked this frightful.  Caitriona Balfe has been wearing wigs all season.  As Lord John Grey, David Berry had two before they settled on the brunette “curly queue.”  (I crack myself up sometimes.) Both were quite lovely.  Why can’t they just give Sam some extensions or a wig and not worry about the humidity on any given day?

Sam Heughan's hair is hideous in this episode of Outlander

4.  Hot sex

How hot?  Hotter than anything we had in season 2.  In fact, it felt similar to scenes from “The Wedding” in its nudity, steaminess, and length.  On the one hand, it felt inappropriate given it was a forced one-night stand and not a by-product of Jamie and Claire’s love.  But perhaps it was given so much depth and significance because the result was Jamie’s son.  At least the television version was 1000 times better than the problematic book version.

5.  Poor Fiona

The Randalls treat her like shit.  It’s bad enough that know-it-all Brianna (who, by the way, had NO friends at her 16th birthday party!) made fun of her crush on Roger.  But Claire has almost no response when Fiona gives her the pearls that had belonged Jamie’s mother.  Geez, Claire, would it have killed you to give Fiona a hug?

6.  Test or not?

Lord John Grey agrees to look after Jamie's son.
Lord John’s queue still >> Jamie’s

I’ve come to learn there are many factions in the Outlander fandom based on several different aspects of the novels.  One of the most prevalent is Jamie’s offer of his body to Lord John Grey in exchange for looking after his son.  In a later novel, Diana Gabaldon reveals the offer was a test.  If Lord John had accepted his offer, Jamie would have killed him.  Wow.  If that’s the kind of conditional friendship Jamie is offering, I don’t want it.

I believe, and will continue to believe the offer was genuine.  By now, Jamie would certainly know the kind of man Lord John is, that he would never harm a child, regardless of his inclinations.  Honestly, I think Gabaldon added the “test” to appease the fandom’s uproar at the time of Voyager.  Fans claimed that Jamie would never have done such a thing given his history with Black Jack Randall.  I claim that if Jamie truly is the “King of Men” he’d be smart enough to know that being a homosexual does not make you a sadist.  He’d know that Lord John Grey is the antithesis of Black Jack Randall; that John loves him, and that he’d never do anything to harm him or his son.

You cannot change my mind. It’s one of the reasons I will not be reading any of the other Outlander novels, with the exception of the Lord John Grey series.  (See item #1 above for the other reason.)

7.  I could play Lady Isobel!

Lady Isobel Dunsany is adorable, if not pretty.
It’s me! Almost.

(Give or take 30 years.)  I have her features; her big eyes, biggish nose, and nearly all the rest of her profile.  She appreciates the beauty of horses and cares about them.  Plus, she gets to marry Lord John Grey!  Other people say she’s doomed to a sexless marriage.  But John is an admirable man.  He even said he could get it up for a woman (well, he put it much more nicely).  And besides, as he also said, there’s more to a marriage than carnal knowledge.

Lady Isobel and Lord John Grey say goodbye to Jamie.
Isobel is NOT doomed to a loveless marriage!

What!  Nothing about Lady Geneva and little Willie or #stinkinpapists?  Nope.  Let other people discuss their significance.  I’m much more interested in the Greys.


5 thoughts on “Outlander 304’s (Sunday) Seven Thoughts

  1. I really want to hear more about your thoughts on the book, particularly in regard to #4 but not limited to that. I never wanted and still don’t have any desire to read the books, but I love analysis of book-versus-film/TV stuff. 🙂

    1. OF COURSE, you’d be mostly interested in the sex! 😀 The scene in the book is problematic in that the girl says no after Jamie gets started, but he doesn’t stop. Also, it’s not particularly sexy. Jamie keeps his shirt on, blah blah. I really think the director went way overboard for a scene that wasn’t about love or even lust, but a result of blackmail.

      Diana Gabaldon is superb at writing sex scenes in general. I’m currently reading one of the Lord John novels and there’s a scene that got me rather excited. And it’s male/male. 😮 Then again, I have loved Lord John since he first appeared in the books. And David Berry just increases that love exponentially. (I believe you are aware that Lord John is homosexual.)

      This year the tv show has pretty much followed the book, except that it has had to sharply condense the story. The Claire/Frank stuff doesn’t exactly follow the book, but Ron Moore must do anything to give Tobias Menzies more screen time and make him seem more likable. *blech* He didn’t succeed in my case. OH, the biggest change so far is that Murtagh lives. In the book, he died at Culloden, but his part in the book wasn’t nearly as big as in the show.

      1. I’m not interest in the SEX, silly. 🙂 I’m interested (not in a good way) in the fact of Jamie having sex with another woman, and the headlines I saw addressing the question of rape. But mainly it was your last sentence, about it being 1000 times better than the book. I love hearing you talk about this stuff!

        Keeping cool characters is one of the best things that can happen in an adaptation, I think. Like Lafayette surviving in True Blood versus the first Sookie book.

        1. Lafayette! I LOVED him! Although I’ve not read any of the Sookie Stackhouse books, I knew he died in the first book, and was thrilled to see him back in season 2. (Didn’t watch much beyond S2, though.) I was so sad when Nelsan Ellis died this past summer. I thought he was a such a great talent.

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