Love, Death, and Sweetness

Did episode 4 kick you in the heart, or what?

Jamie finally gets to be a daddy, only to never admit so aloud, and eventually must leave his offspring  behind for the sake of appearances, family honor, and all that. I have to admit, though, even while sinking in all the precious sweetness, I definitely got kicked in the head with more of that deus ex machina. Jamie has that in spades.

Sure, he can’t take his kid back to Lallybroch and introduce him to the rest of the clan, but check it out — he has a son! How? Because a hot young heiress wanted him to be her first. And not once, but three times, he’s told oh yes we know you’re a dirty jacobite, but it’s cool. Hang around as long as you like, leave whenever you like, don’t worry about getting charged for murder, etc., etc. By the way, your good chess buddy, the socially acceptable Englishman, will gladly raise your son for  you. Phew! That worked out so well.

So, we torture Jamie within an inch of his life, then give him everything, then torture him some more. Is this going to go on forever? Meanwhile, I’m nuts about Brianna and that McKenzie lad.

Wasn’t it sweet that after years of cold shoulder, Brianna called Claire Mama! For me, that was more than sweet, it was an actual advancement in the 20th century segment of the story. Brianna feels closer to her mom now, finally seeing her as a complicated woman, rather than a cold-hearted task master, which allows us to see her in a better light. And, since she’s a history geek and young McKenzie is such an adorable history geek, their attraction and affection bring a bit of … I don’t know, maybe it’s plausible normalcy … to the story.

Which leaves me curious: Are these characters well developed in the books? Is their story followed while Jamie is still lonely in the 18th century?

One thing that I expected to see this season was an exploration of that little hint given way back in episode one of the first season. Remember, Claire’s in the quaint Inverness inn and Frank has gone off somewhere. Down on the street is the shadowy form of a fella in obvious highlander garb, peering longingly up at Claire’s window as she brushes her hair. Frank spots the peeper on his way back up and remains so suspicious that once Claire goes missing, he has sketches distributed all over town … sketches that resemble the Dun Bonnet. Jamie went through those damn stones, I just know it! But landed a wee bit too early and feared ruining his reunion with Claire?

I need to see this played out, or at least have it explained.

This episode satisfied me with some much needed story advancements. Now I’m looking forward to the next, instead of sitting here sour-faced hating on Claire.



One thought on “Love, Death, and Sweetness

  1. Stephanie K

    I read the corresponding Outlander book about two years ago or so, but from what I remember, we do get a relatively detailed overview of Claire’s life in the 20th century, how she went about life, raising Brianna, life with Frank (and not…).
    However, that portion of the book is significantly smaller than the lovely, lovely time we spend with Jamie and how he survives/thrives/all-those-deus-ex-machinas in the 18th. I will admit, too, that after FINALLY getting to be in Jamie’s head for so long (like 1/3 of the book!!! Even with the very convenient d-e-m’s and clearly milked-for-the-fans over-the-top moments, I still really liked spending time with JUST JAMIE), I realized just how much I hated being inside Claire’s head, and tolerated the rest of the book less and less as time went on. I missed seeing HOW Jamie came to his decisions, how he planned and connived to get himself out of bad situations, instead of what we get through Claire’s narration, which basically amounts to “I looked in his eyes and saw his mind working. When he spoke, he had the perfect plan to get us through.”
    Oh, and there’s a MASSIVE deus-ex-machina at the end of the book. I won’t say anything about the details, just that it doesn’t get much more deux-ex-machina than that.


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