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The long Droughtlander ended with a powerful beginning to the new season. Episode 301 did not disappoint.

Not a Docu-Drama

While most fans raved about the season premiere episode, some expressed mild dissatisfaction that more focus wasn’t given to the Battle of Culloden. While the point here is to address favorite scenes, the negative reaction was so surprising (to me, anyway) that it deserved a minor mention. Outlander is a sci-fi, fantasy, historical, or period romance, take your pic, but it is NOT a docu-drama on the Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden.

Naturally, one of the favorite scenes was Jamie finally taking his revenge on Black Jack Randall. It was a long time coming, and being able to exact his revenge was probably the only thing Jamie lived for at this point, having just lost the love of his life and his unborn child. The final confrontation was given a surreal feeling with special coloring, which added to the dramatic effects. BJR finally succumbs to his wounds and the two embrace each other is what has been called (by Tobias Menzies) a “death dance.” Oddly, BJR ensures Jamie’s survival on the field my collapsing on top of him, allowing the weight of his body to apply sufficient pressure to the wound he inflicted on Jamie to actually save his life. Bye bye, Black Jack.

Though heartbreaking, other favorites scene occurred on the battlefield. When Jamie appeared near death and saw Claire walking towards him was a tearjerker. When she touches his face and asks me if he is alive, we see that it is Rupert. This was immediately preceded by the odd and untimely appearance of a hare on the field very near Jamie. Ron D. Moore claims the hare was added as a contrast to life in the middle of a scene of death. Some of us prefer to apply a more metaphysical meaning.

Gotham-Ruaidh offers an excellent explanation for the symbolism of the hare. “Lying on Culloden Moor, yearning to become one of the dead, Jamie sees a hare. ‘The Celts believed that the goddess Eostre’s favorite animal and attendant spirit was the hare. It represented love, fertility and growth, and was associated with the Moon, dawn and Easter, death, redemption and resurrection.” (Thanks to IrishAbroad.com.)’

“Easter Sunday was April 10, 1746, six days before Culloden. The hare is a symbol of the risen Christ and Jamie’s own impending resurrection from near-death. The hare is a symbol of the risen Christ – and Jamie’s own resurrection from near-death. It is only after seeing the hare – and then seeing Claire – that he returns to the land of the living. For Claire is his salvation from sin and death. She brings him back to life, even when he wishes to die, raises up his soul, and then his body. Resurrects him. Redeems him.”

Immediately after seeing the hare and vision of Claire, Rupert appears to rescue him from death on the muddy battlefield.   See why Gotham’s explanation is more intriguing?

In Episode 216 we saw Jamie returning Claire to the stones. Using flashbacks to that time after she literally disappeared in his arms was a nice touch. I always wondered how he reacted when she vanished into thin air.

Who can’t admire a defiant Claire? Claire is out of her element and seemed much more comfortable with her life back in the eighteenth century with Jamie, even without the modern conveniences the twentieth century offers. When she has trouble lighting the gas stove, we can almost see her think to herself, Fuck the 20th century! She solves her dilemma by making dinner in the fireplace. Of course, she’s probably recalling all the times she cooked outdoors with Jamie, and at the end of the scene she closes her eyes and thinks of Jamie. It was heartbreaking enough, but then it fades into Jamie awaiting execution after the Battle of Culloden.

There were so many sad moments in this episode, not the least of which was Rupert’s goodbye to Jamie.  It was good to see Rupert come to terms with Dougal’s murder at the hands of Jamie, even if he didn’t exactly forgive him.  Regardless, Rupert did save Jamie’s life.

At the end of the episode, we see the nurse asking Claire and Frank where Brianna got her red hair. This simple question interrupted their moment of new parent bliss and brought them back to reality. That’s right, Frank. Jamie will always be with Claire, and she will see him every time she looks at Bree. She may not speak his name, but he is always on her mind and in her heart. The blood vow with Jamie will last an eternity… for both of them.

“Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone. I give you my body. that we tow might be one. I give you my spirit, ‘til our life shall be done. Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.”

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This was the first episode of the series that didn’t give us some great Jamie and Claire scenes.  In fact, we saw no Jamie and Claire the entire episode, and that was a tough pill to swallow.  However, some good things did happen.  Claire established and cemented some relationships independent of Jamie.

Claire and Jenny

Claire and Jenny got off to a rocky start in Episode 111, but when you deliver someone’s child and share a common purpose with that person, bonds will surely be made.  The bond seems tenuous, however, when tensions arise during their search for Jamie.  Jenny has a little inner warrior who doesn’t appreciate Claire’s seeming judgement and hesitation at killing the English soldier.  The issue seems resolved after Murtagh kills the soldier and Claire professes that she would have done it herself if Murtagh hadn’t shown up when he did.  Satisfied that Claire will do all she can to bring Jamie back to Lallybroch, Jenny leaves Claire and Murtagh to the task.

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Claire and Murtagh

Claire and Murtagh continue the search for Jamie and strengthen the bond they had through Jamie.  Together they build a mutual respect and friendship outside of their connection to Jamie.  This relationship isn’t without its challenges as well, and they don’t always agree on the best strategies to incorporate in their search.

One of our favorite scenes is when Murtagh encourages Claire to sing.  Her first on-stage attempt was funny.  Luckily the highlanders don’t know the word, but it may not have made a difference even if they had.

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Though some parts of the search dragged, we were given an opportunity to enjoy some of the beautiful Scottish Highlands scenery.

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One of the most satisfying scenes in the episode occurred when Claire and Murtagh are camped in a cave.  Their search has yet to yield success and tempers run short.  When Claire says Murtagh had never lost anyone he loved, Murtagh shares the story of his unrequited love for Jamie’s mother and how he gave her the carved bracelets.  They share an embrace and Murtagh confesses that he loves Jamie like a son.

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The next morning, with renewed strength and determination, they set off to continue their search.  Murtagh tries to assures Claire that they will find a way to make more money to continue their search for Jamie.

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Claire and Dougal

Claire and Murtagh receive word they are to meet Jamie, but once they arrive they are devastated to learn that it is Dougal who sent the message.  He gives them the news that Jamie has been captured, tried, and sentenced to be hanged.  Dougal is such a rascal, and Claire learns that Dougal had wanted Lallybroch and the Fraser lands all along, and he intends to get it by marrying Claire and “protecting” her.  Obviously she sees it as an indecent proposal but agrees to marry him only if Jamie is already dead or she can’t rescue him.

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Dougal refuses to order his men to help in the rescue mission but says he won’t stop them should they volunteer.  More determined than ever, Claire sets out to enlist the help of the highlanders.

Herself and the Highlanders

This is one of the best scenes in the episode.  Claire and Murtagh meet with a very reluctant group of Highlanders, except for Willie, who eventually shames the rest into agreeing to help rescue Jamie.  That they do ultimately agree to help indicates the level of respect they have for her.  Remember that this is eighteenth century Scotland, where a group of rowdy Highlanders are willing to follow the lead of not just a woman, but an English woman.  She has earned their respect as Lady Broch Tuarach, as Herself.

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We love Badass Claire.

 

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Episode 104, “Rent”

Claire has already begun to establish a friendship and mutual attraction with Jamie, but after a rocky start, in “Rent” she finally solidifies her relationship with the Highlanders.

OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire2-8-13OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire-8-13  Once on their journey to collect rents, it isn’t long before Claire begins to feel isolated from the Highlanders.  She is concerned that their use of Gaelic represents an effort to exclude her, and she reminds herself that being on the road would be her opportunity to escape.  Jamie notices her unease and comes to her.  She asks him if the Highlanders hate her.  Jamie reassures her but admits that they don’t trust her.  Then she asks him if he thinks she is a spy for the British.  He tells her,  “No, but I do think there are things ye’re not telling us, and I know you tried to run during the Gathering.  It’s on your mind still, plain and clear.”

What is interesting about Jamie’s observation in that in the books, Claire is frequently puzzled by Jamie’s seeming ability to read her mind.

OL-S1.5-Claire-and-Angus-8-13 OL-S1.5-Jamie-ripped-shirt-8-13  Once again, Claire’s righteous indignation causes conflict, and Jamie comes to her rescue when Angus does not take kindly to being called a thief.  Claire believes Dougal is not only collecting rent from clan members, but is using Jamie’s scars to garner sympathy from them in order to line his own pockets.

OL-S1.5-Claire-and-Ned-8-13  Claire’s healing skills had begun to give her some credibility and help build a measure of trust with Dougal and Colum.  However, when she confronts Ned about her suspicions, that trust quickly dissolves.  It isn’t until another collection night that Claire realizes Dougal is raises the extra money to finance a Jacobite rebellion.

OL-S1.5-Jamie-and-Claire3-8-13  This is my single most favorite scene from the episode.  The collection party stops at an inn for the night.  While the men drink downstairs in the tap room, Claire retires to her room upstairs.  A noise outside her door leads her to investigate the source of the disturbance.  She finds Jamie just outside the door after she steps on him.  For fear that the drunken men might wonder upstairs, he again intends to protect her by sleeping at her door.  She offers to let him come inside, but he fears it “would ruin [her] reputation.”  Amused, Claire instead offers him her blanket, “If it isn’t too scandalous,” and he bashfully accepts.  The sexual tension in this scene can be cut with Jamie’s dirk.  (Yes, pun intended.)

OL-S1.5-fight-8-13  The next morning during breakfast when Claire tries to convince Ned that history will never again record the name of a Stuart king, a group of rowdy locals are heard referring to Claire as a “Hoor.”  Ironically, Angus, who had previously drawn his knife on her, is the first to throw a punch in defense of her honor.  After the fight, Murtagh explains to Claire that as she is a guest of the Mackenzie, “We can insult ye, but God help any other man that does.”  Even Dougal joins in the fight.  This represents a turning point in Claire’s relationship with the Mackenzies.  A bond is strengthened and she is defended as one of their own.

OL-S1.5-Claire-tells-joke-8-13  Rupert regales the group with a story about his experience with two women in bed, where they become jealous and begin arguing over who he will “swipe” first.  “Can you believe it?” he jokes.  Claire replies, “I believe your left hand gets jealous of your right.  That’s about all I believe.”  After a brief silent pause, Rupert breaks into a hardy laugh, the Highlanders following suit.  “Ah, you’re a witty one,” Jamie says.  Amazed at what he has heard from Claire, Rupert says, “I’ve never heard the woman make a joke!”  Claire responds, “There’s a first time for everything.” Clearly the entire groups appreciates the moment, and the bond with the Highlanders is now solidified.

Now Claire needs only to convince Dougal that she is not a spy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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