Full spoilers for Outlander continue below. There was never any doubt in my mind that Outlander would show the shades of grey to fighting a battle like Prestonpans. This is a show that has impressed upon us time and again that nothing in life is without complexity, be it sex, love or violence.
Wee Caps are written at 1 AM after the midnight release and are my immediate reactions/feelings about the episode.
History tells us this was a 15 minute victory for the Scots. And to win in 15 minutes, you kill and wound a lot of people. So the one thing I will tell people is that this episode is graphic and violent, from the first minute. If that sort of thing bothers you, this episode will be harder to watch. I did grimace a few times.
The title card shows the juxtaposition of the Highlander music and the British army music. One that wails in the night, the other that is rigid yet direct. It is a symbol of things to come over the next few episodes.
I can see why Sam was proud of this episode. He was in and out of it for the whole hour but it was really the rest of the expanded cast that had the spotlight. But whenever Jamie is on screen, the camera just finds him. This episode explored his relationship with everyone in his life who is at the camp with him.
I thought it started a bit slow. We got 2 of the 3 MarkMe early on. You can see that even when other men/generals are arguing, Jamie is always thinking. One of the most accurate lines of the night about Jamie is when Dougal tells him that something he just engineered (on his feet) was smart and cunning and that he reminded him of Colum. I wondered if Dougal recognized at that moment why Colum wanted Jamie to succeed him and not Dougal.
The actor that most impressed me tonight besides our two leads? Young Romann. He was good, I mean really really good. I love the relationship that has developed between Claire and Fergus as well.
The scene that was in the preview where Fergus interrupts a kiss? I could tell they weren’t going to kiss because Jamie didn’t lick his lips. But don’t worry, there was some great kisses in this episode. Jamie had what can only be described as battle lust in his eyes both before and after the skirmish.
There is a scene with the specimen bottle that shows boys will be boys no matter what the circumstances.
The parallel stories between the two soldier friends Rupert and Angus and the two farmer friends Ross and Kinkaid were nice but not exactly original writing by Ira.
The set production/cinematography was really good, I actually would love to see that on a big screen. The use of the morning fog was excellent.
The scene with Claire and the women at the hospital while the battle sounds began shows that sometimes waiting and wondering can be just as hard as swinging a sword. Claire was back in field hospital taking charge mode. I wonder if she hadn’t worked through her PTSD with Jamie last week if she would have had a hard time at the hospital.
The music was superb and the heartbeat type sound before the battle was unique sounding and really captured the adrenaline of both nerves and excitement that I would imagine precedes a battle.
With war comes loss. Loss of life, loss of innocence, loss of stability. And PrestonPans is no different.
I wonder how many times they had to film those scenes, it must have been exhausting. I also wonder if those were the scenes that Sam filmed while Cait was doing Faith.
I look forward to watching it again on my HDTV tomorrow to catch the little things that one misses on first watch. It certainly isn’t the kind of episode that you watch over and over like last week but it was very important in many ways.
Even though this was Sam’s favorite, I’m glad it was not submitted for Emmy. He had deeper performances in other episodes in terms of meaty scenes that voters like. But I loved watching his eyes in this episode. I’m glad they are continuing to show how intelligent Jamie is.
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Storyboards are an important tool sometimes used in the pre-production process. The director works with a storyboard artist to plan out each shot required to shoot a particular scene and tell the story. The storyboards are then shared with the entire crew, so everyone has an idea of the director’s vision for the scene and can plan accordingly.
I loved this episode. Even the last week’s highlights section felt like a very fast pace as if preparing us for the urgency of what is to come.
I also loved the war is war comparison. From the Jacobite Rebellion to WWII and even the Gaelic singing at the very beginning had a somewhat Native American sound to me, I felt that Matt Roberts (great writing again, Matt!) tried to show that men preparing for battle go through the same things.
PTSD Claire was a surprise because I hadn’t realized she’d done more than field hospital work. It was yet another reminder that war is the same at its essence.
I managed to go four paragraphs without raving about Sam. This episode underscored the “He’s the man he was meant to be”. So many things I observed watching with bleary eyes on my ipad. I canna wait to watch it again Friday night on a larger screen.
- Sam still does a great job with his left hand in the injured position. I know it’s a small thing but it so impresses me.
- I love how he wore the Laird’s coat during his troop rally speech.
- Standing up to Dougal, giving out punishment when it was due, taking it as well. He showed all signs of a leader here and his men saw it. Well written and well acted.
- COMMANDO? Yes, Jam that’s what it is called and you’ve been going commando for awhile now. Oh, you meant commando raid? Love the black eyes, his real eyes popped right out through the camouflage. I wonder if they will play hide the commando in full face paint when things calm down. I know I would.
- Minor point but I loved the color of his hair in this episode
- I also loved how he gave his men his full name to get the MacKenzie connection
Other random observations since this is just a wee cap and not a full recap
Full Metal Murtagh
Fergus: Mom! Dad! equivalent and how he called for Claire first
Young William Grey. The ForeShadow Knows. There was a grand canyon worth of foreshadowing there but non-book readers will think he’s just another character to come in and out.
Willie got married? I wonder if they just cut the part since he’s not in the books or if the actor had other obligations. I wanted more Rupert!
Claire’s fuck yourself speech to Dougal was classic.
I loved how Claire emphasized the word “sadist” before starting her next fake performance and Jamie caught on right away. It really shows once again how in tune they are with each other. I want to watch that fight over again, their looks between them were great. And I’m glad that he didn’t rip her bodice off. See, Diana. There are ways to get your point across without pretending to rape someone.
THIS is the Outlander that everyone came to love last year (minus sexy times but Jamie was sexy as hell) and #SexisComing
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Outlander has some of the most arresting title cards I have ever seen on tv. Each episode’s title card tells a story. Their job is to immediately engage the viewer, and boy! do they ever!
Take a look at all the title cards from Season One. My favourite is probably The Search. I love that the marionette show was Claire’s story (the Highland version).
Pop into the comments and let us know what your favourite title card from Season One was.