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S01.E09: The Reckoning


Athena
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I'm just glad that they gave Claire more agency during this entire sequence of events (the spanking and the aftermath). That's one of the big things that makes me appreciate Ron and Maril and the Outlander team's perspective as opposed to Diana's perspective. Sometimes book writers get enamored with their own material and refuse to listen to other people's perspective. Diana has said as much in interviews.

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(edited)

Just some random thoughts about other parts of the episode that may or may not have been discussed:

 

The opening with Jaime putting on his kilt was really cool.  I like how it called back the scene in Ep 02 where Claire is dressed by Mrs.  Fitz.  Both scenes showed the act of putting on clothes as ritualistic, not haphazard like it can sometimes be today.

 

Also, did anyone else notice that Jamie was either getting dressed or undressed a lot in this episode.  Several scenes were preceded by him removing or donning an article of clothing.  I don’t know if it symbolizes anything – just thought it was unusual.  Whereas Claire was in her shift or a ripped bodice for most of her scenes.

 

Finally, still on the subject of clothing, Leticia’s fur was awesomely awesome!  It was huge! and a little bit tacky and totally fitting for the occasion of welcoming the newlyweds.  I have loved the character of Leticia ever since she tossed a bannock across the table to Claire in Ep 02.  I view her as the ultimate Housewives of the Highland Castles.

 

I have also been turning over in my brain if during this episode is where Claire decides not to make another attempt to escape to the stones.  What do you guys think?  Do you think it’s still in the back of her mind or if she’s thinking, Hey this is where I am, I’m just gonna go with it?

Edited by chocolatetruffle
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I haven't watched again and I really need to. So Willie told Colum that Dougal was taking money from the rents for the Jacobites?  That's a bit surprising no? I kind of figured he was a Dougal man by the way he had been acting on the road. In the show are they making both Rupert and Angus Dougal's guys?

 

chocolatetruffle I don't remember her making a conscious decision not to go back until Jamie takes her to the stones? Then again I haven't read it in awhile.

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chocolatetruffle I don't remember her making a conscious decision not to go back until Jamie takes her to the stones? Then again I haven't read it in awhile.

 

 

I think it's still a thought in her head and, perhaps, a motivation up until Jamie takes her there and she makes her decision.

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I get what you're saying, but my main issue with the spanking thing is the context. And what I've always taken issue with in the books is Jamie's attitude towards the beating. The show, in my opinion, handled it well. Jamie didn't think it was a big deal, because as someone stated earlier, he assumed that Claire expected it. When he realized how offended and hurt she was by it, he felt genuine remorse and sincerely apologized. There was actual respect between the partners. For me, when reading this section of the book, I felt betrayed by Jamie. When the boy had his ear nailed to the post, he didn't understand why Claire was upset, but he respected her point of view and helped the boy go fre.

And this, I think, is where the missing scene of them having a long conversation the next night about Jamie's experience and thoughts of punishment would have helped. (Though I agree with an earlier poster who said it made better sense, story wise, for Claire to still be mad about the strapping when they got back to Leoch rathe than jealous of Laoghaire). To him it was completely normal for disobedience to be dealt with by spanking, just as it's normal for us today to use timeouts on misbehaving children. The book provided some context missing from the show, though I did prefer the way the show dealt with the entire matter.

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I don't recall 1/10th the outrage over the scene where that poor child has his ear nailed to the post...and that was in lieu of chopping off his hand! Jamie was flogged near to death and we've seen evidence of crucifixitions on the show. So I really don't get all the pearl clutching over the spanking scene.

 

Probably because the two protagonists weren't the ones who nailed a kid to a post or crucified peasants or flogged the back of the other.  And also probably because no one denied that these were bad things, regardless of the time period.  

 

 

 

The series is set in 1743, a time with more brutal mores , customs and traditions. Everyone was subject to corporal punishment for wrongdoing. Why should Claire be singled out as some special snowflake who is different from every other character? Sure, WE know she's from the future but not a soul in Scotland knows that, including her husband. Expecting Jamie to act like some modern day enlightened male who just "knows" it's wrong to discipline your wife would be ridiculously unrealistic. He was doing his best to keep her, and himself, safe. Their very lives depend upon the goodwill of the clan. The strapping was to appease them, not for himself. I believe he said twice that if it was just him she'd endangered he would let it go. But he's not in a position to let it go. She had to pay some penalty for her recklessness.

Am I for anyone being beaten or executed or having limbs amputated as punishment? Of course not. But then I wasn't born and raised in the early 18th century. I think a little perspective is called for.

Sure, perspective is ok.  But that doesn't require the viewer to become some moral relativist.  We don't just sit back and agree that slavery was ok just because we're reading a book set in a time where slavery was the norm.  This show is created for a modern audience, which means the expectation was always that the actions of the characters would be critiqued through a modern lens.  However, even if we are reading Shakepeare, we are not required to ignore all discussion of critique just because Shakespeare was writing for an audience in a different time.  

 

This is even more absurd when you consider the plot : a modern woman interacting with the past. We certainly can't expect Claire to just shrug her shoulders and forget everything she knows, can we?  

Edited by bluebonnet
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If Jamie had slapped Claire during their heated argument, would it have caused outrage? Because Claire slapped Jamie awfully hard and barely anything has been mentioned about it.   Yes, she only hit him once compared to however many spanks he gave her.  But my guess is that if Jamie had slapped Claire, it would have been horrible.  Would that be considered spousal abuse?  I'm not trying to be flippant, I'd really like to know.  It just seems like a double standard to me.

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(edited)

 

Matt Roberts tweeted yesterday that Sam did his own stunts, including rappelling down the castle wall to the window.  Now I want to know where that happened, on location or on set?  Had to be on set right?  And he and Claire's jump from the wall -- I presume that water below was CGI.  I hope we'll hear those kinds of details in Ron's podcast.

I'm quoting myself above to follow-up on my question because it was answered in the podcast.  Yes Sam did his own stunt work, rappelling down the wall and swingning into the window but it was a set, not the actual wall of the actual castle that stands in for Fort Williams.  Sam was 25 feet up in the air on the set and good on him for doing it, but I would have been scandalized if they'd allowed him to do it in an uncontrolled environment like the exterior wall of an actual castle, outdoors, at night.   They also confirmed that the shot of the water was a CGI/green screen shot and the plunge in the water was done in a water tank, which only makes sense.

 

Can just say home much I love it that Ron takes the time to do the podcasts?  I'm so grateful.  And curious -- I'd love to know how many people listen to them.  Millions of people watch the show.  How many take the time to watch again while listening tot the podcasts?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Tens of thousands?  I really like to know.

 

 

If Jamie had slapped Claire during their heated argument, would it have caused outrage?

You know that's an old trope in television, women slapping men and not being hit back.  I do wonder how that plays out in real life.  I've never slapped anyone (never been tempted to, knock wood) but I was amused to note that in the very first episode of Black Sails, a woman slaps a man and she does it very publicly and he responds by punching her right in the mouth.  It was a really effective way to telegraph to the audience that pirates don't play by the same rules as other men.  

 

But to answer your question, yes I think it would have caused outrage because no one wants to see the romantic hero hit the heroine out of anger, but we'll forgive the heroine for doing it.  It's a well-established double-standard and to violate it would, I think, have very negative consequences.  Jamie isn't angry in the spanking scene -- at least not at the beginning -- and even at the end my sense is that his feelings are more along the lines of "Damn it women, we have to do this why are you making it so difficult?" tangled up with an admiration for her fighting spirit.  In the scene after they stop to water the horses, when Claire gets all up in Jamie's face I think she actually provokes him to feel rage towards her for the first time.  The fact that those feelings sicken him only helps to demonstrate the depth of his love for Claire.

Edited by WatchrTina
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If Jamie had slapped Claire during their heated argument, would it have caused outrage? Because Claire slapped Jamie awfully hard and barely anything has been mentioned about it.   Yes, she only hit him once compared to however many spanks he gave her.  But my guess is that if Jamie had slapped Claire, it would have been horrible.  Would that be considered spousal abuse?  I'm not trying to be flippant, I'd really like to know.  It just seems like a double standard to me.

Do you mean when she was fighting him because he was trying to beat her?  Not sure that counts as part of the double standard.  But yeah, there is a double standard, but that double standard doesn't mean that one action is right or the other is wrong.  It just means that we've created a double standard and we should check ourselves on that.  

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Do you mean when she was fighting him because he was trying to beat her?  Not sure that counts as part of the double standard.  But yeah, there is a double standard, but that double standard doesn't mean that one action is right or the other is wrong.  It just means that we've created a double standard and we should check ourselves on that.  

 

No, she slaps him earlier in the episode, when they're by the river after her rescue.

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(edited)

Probably because the two protagonists weren't the ones who nailed a kid to a post or crucified peasants or flogged the back of the other. And also probably because no one denied that these were bad things, regardless of the time period.

Sure, perspective is ok. But that doesn't require the viewer to become some moral relativist. We don't just sit back and agree that slavery was ok just because we're reading a book set in a time where slavery was the norm. This show is created for a modern audience, which means the expectation was always that the actions of the characters would be critiqued through a modern lens. However, even if we are reading Shakepeare, we are not required to ignore all discussion of critique just because Shakespeare was writing for an audience in a different time.

This is even more absurd when you consider the plot : a modern woman interacting with the past. We certainly can't expect Claire to just shrug her shoulders and forget everything she knows, can we?

I don't see how moral relativism comes into play here. Of course slavery is not okay, but it is an historical fact. If you're watching a show about slavery it would be ridiculous if the slave owner gave the slaves a 40 hour work week and 2 weeks of paid vacation each year because that's what the modern audience watching is used to.

And no, I don't expect Claire to shrug and forget anything. I realize she is who we are supposed to be identifying with and we see 1740s Scotland through her eyes. We're sitting in our living rooms watching a television show. The character of Claire is a.) trying to survive and b.) focused on getting back to her own time period. Not the same thing at all. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes (as much as I love Scotland and men in kilts) but it is damn entertaining to watch the story unfold. YMMV.

Edited by SpiritSong
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I don't see how moral relativism comes into play here. Of course slavery is not okay, but it is an historical fact. If you're watching a show about slavery it would be ridiculous if the slave owner gave the slaves a 40 hour work week and 2 weeks of paid vacation each year because that's what the modern audience watching is used to.

None of this makes any sense.  Your complaint seemed to be that people were critiquing Jamie's behavior.  Critiquing behavior is not at all the same as wishing away plot or even historical accuracy.  It's simply....critiquing behavior.  If we weren't critiquing behavior and if we were just saying stuff like "this is 1740's typical behavior, have some perspective, this is ok", that would be the moral relativist argument.  Certainly people are free to take that stance, but it doesn't make much sense.  

 

Moving on.

 

I suppose in the book Jamie could have been aware that Laoghaire put the ill wish under the pillow and he just didn't voice it.  Now that it's been voiced, surely they will have to talk about it, right?  At least some shared words on the subject of Laoghaire.  He can't really say it's Laoghaire and Claire not express a single comment on the subject.  It's too contrived.  Would this mean that Jamie becomes aware that Laoghaire is the cause for Claire's arrest, and if so, how does Jamie justify marrying her in the future?  Or might the show change things up so that it's unclear to either Jamie or Claire how she was arrested?  

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I feel people put too much weight on Claire being a "modern woman" - she came from 1940s England, not 2015.

 

And, since no one else has said it (that I have seen): I am extremely leery of Laoghaire.

 

Heh.

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Well okay, compared to the 1700s, but to dismiss the leaps and bounds of attitudes between 1940s England and 2015 is unfair. My grandmother grew up during the war and the idea of me driving a car made her nervous.

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I suppose in the book Jamie could have been aware that Laoghaire put the ill wish under the pillow and he just didn't voice it.  Now that it's been voiced, surely they will have to talk about it, right?

In the book the specter of Loughaire's feelings is what gives rise to the big fight / make-up sex upon their return to Leogh but that's really just a misunderstanding -- dark imaginings by Claire born of fatigue.  Jamie is initially oblivious to what is bothering Claire.  

 

In the show, the fight and make-up sex are over the very real issues of the unhealed rift caused by the attempted rape / failed protection / disobedience / kidnapping / attempted rape again / risky rescue / HUGE fight / forgiveness / philosophical disagreement on the nature of justice and punishment / physical fight / punishment.  Definitely an improvement as far as motivations go for the Leogh fight and make-up sex.  But the specter of Laoghaire's feelings still need to be raised if she's going to play a role in the witch trial, which I assume is the case.  So now Jamie explicitly knows about the ill-wish and (thanks to the river scene) he knows how disappointed and humiliated Laoghaire feels, which he didn't really suspect in the book.  I think that's an improvement.

 

 

Would this mean that Jamie becomes aware that Laoghaire is the cause for Claire's arrest, and if so, how does Jamie justify marrying her in the future?  Or might the show change things up so that it's unclear to either Jamie or Claire how she was arrested?

I think the writers will have to tread carefully here.  Claire has to know Laoghaire was involved and tell Bree if we are going to get the nice confrontation scene between Bree and Loaghaire in book 4 but I don't think Jamie can know about Laoghaire's involvement in the arrest and still marry her in book 3.  The viewers would be outraged. They're going to have to contrive a reason for Claire to NOT tell him.  Her failure to do so in the book was (to my mind) always a weak plot point that I can only explain away by saying she had much bigger issues on her mind at the time (namely, escaping from the witch-trial, telling Jamie about time-travel and making the big decision to stay.)  After that I think Laoghaire fades in Claire's mind as an unpleasant person from her past whom she never expects to see again and whom she never wishes to speak of again.  I'm certain Jamie would have strong motivation to NOT speak of her again.  You know, I may be changing my mind -- that's actually a pretty good reason for the subject to not come up.

Edited by WatchrTina
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Laoghrie testifying at the witch trial isn't really a big deal. The really bad thing she did is setting Claire up to be with Geillis as a witch. That part can remain out of Jamie's scope of knowledge easily.  

 

I'm also a wee bit excited if they do something different and change storylines and outcomes. I'm so over it being like the books.

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I hate when characters don't talk to each other, especially characters that are supposed to be so open with each other, sharing their darkest selves along with their best. So I do hope they don't stick to the contrivance of it never once coming up in the few years they're together before Claire returns to the future. 

 

I'm beginning to think the choice of him marrying Laoghaire is more powerful, sad, and desperate if he knows what she did to Claire. It would be part self-flagellation to marry her, part duty (she is a widow with small children, after all), and him finally living as if Claire is dead. And maybe for him to do that is to marry the woman who tried to kill her in the first place. The same way that Claire tries to blow up their marriage in book two by sleeping with the king. Except Jamie needs to blow up the marriage he keeps alive in his mind. 

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I suppose in the book Jamie could have been aware that Laoghaire put the ill wish under the pillow and he just didn't voice it.  Now that it's been voiced, surely they will have to talk about it, right?  At least some shared words on the subject of Laoghaire.  He can't really say it's Laoghaire and Claire not express a single comment on the subject.  It's too contrived.  Would this mean that Jamie becomes aware that Laoghaire is the cause for Claire's arrest, and if so, how does Jamie justify marrying her in the future?  Or might the show change things up so that it's unclear to either Jamie or Claire how she was arrested?

I thought this was strange also. If Jamie knows it was Laoghaire who put the ill wish under their bed, why not go to Mrs. Fitz and have her speak to her granddaughter? She's fond of both Jamie and Claire, and I can't imagine she'd be too pleased about what Laoghaire did. Surely she would set her straight. But maybe that would screw up the future plot points. Still seems weird to me.
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I'm so grateful.  And curious -- I'd love to know how many people listen to them.  Millions of people watch the show.  How many take the time to watch again while listening tot the podcasts?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Tens of thousands?  I really like to know.

 

I'm saving all podcasts (Ron's and others') for the year long wait we'll have until season 2. Gives me something to look forward to...but I'm glad to know the water was cgi because it looked fake to me.

 

I saw an interview with Sam where he said the second half of the season will feature "new characters" and "new scenarios". Should get interesting...

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...but it seemed extremely out of character to me that Jamie would think this way. He takes punishment for other people in the castle, he helps the boy go free, he wears the scars of senseless violence...

 

I have always seen this a bit differently.  Jamie took Laoghaire's beating to save her shame, not to protect her from a physical beating,  he helped the boy just to be in with Claire, and his scars are offensive to him because of the injustice.  I have never taken any of these as indicators that Jamie objects to corporal punishment as part of his character.  In his conversations with Claire on the road after the spanking he explained his history with corporal punishment and didn't seem to have any objections to it.  In the book he only apologizes to her to get back into her bed.

 

If Jamie had slapped Claire during their heated argument, would it have caused outrage? Because Claire slapped Jamie awfully hard and barely anything has been mentioned about it.   Yes, she only hit him once compared to however many spanks he gave her.  But my guess is that if Jamie had slapped Claire, it would have been horrible.  Would that be considered spousal abuse?  I'm not trying to be flippant, I'd really like to know.  It just seems like a double standard to me.

 

Others have said it, as well, but to me this is about anger.  Claire struck him in anger.  Had he lost control and slapped her back in anger, I'd be horrified and I'd have seen it as abusive, just as I see Claire hitting him in anger as abusive. 

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The amount of time Claire was topless in that quasi-rape scene was gratuitous, not that the actress doesn't have really pretty tits.  It's like they don't think they have enough story to fill out the full 60 minutes, so let's go with the titillation, pun intended.  I was doing a lot of fast-forwarding.  

 

I will say they seem to have taken a page out of the Game of Thrones let's make these places beautiful.  

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I didn't like Jamie's voiceovers. The lines felt so cheesy and obvious. Claire's POV has been vital to the show, but I never expected it to be this jarring without her shepherding us through the scenes. 

 

Yeah, same. I'm not a huge fan of Claire's voiceovers, but they're there so she can exposition about what she knows from the future. we could have had all the political stuff without hearing Jamie talk about how that was the day he became . . . a man! But I suppose it would have been jarring without a voiceover at all at this point.

Edited by ulkis
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I think the writers will have to tread carefully here.  Claire has to know Laoghaire was involved and tell Bree if we are going to get the nice confrontation scene between Bree and Loaghaire in book 4 but I don't think Jamie can know about Laoghaire's involvement in the arrest and still marry her in book 3.  The viewers would be outraged. They're going to have to contrive a reason for Claire to NOT tell him.  Her failure to do so in the book was (to my mind) always a weak plot point that I can only explain away by saying she had much bigger issues on her mind at the time (namely, escaping from the witch-trial, telling Jamie about time-travel and making the big decision to stay.)

 

Also, I don't think Claire was sure it was Laoghaire.  She also suspected Colum might have set her up and Laoghaire was only acting on his instruction.  She wasn't really sure until Colum told her he had nothing to do with it in DIA and offered to have Laoghaire punished in any way Claire saw fit.  She declined and at that point, I think just moved on.

 

So there were a couple of things in this episode that bothered me.  The first is a choice made by the writers with regard to Claire's character.  I think as the showrunners endeavor to make Claire a strong female character, they are sacrificing opportunities to show a more vulnerable side.  To me she is starting to come off very strident sometimes and a little bit entitled.  A perfect example was at the spring right after the rescue.  I think she should have gone down on her knees to thank them for risking their lives to rescue her – especially since she wasn’t just innocently walking in the woods when she was captured, she was actively trying to escape.  Of course the guys don’t know that (and if they did they might have left her with BJR), but she does.  I just felt that a heartfelt show of gratitude would have gone a long way towards improving her situation and maybe Rupert et al could have felt bad about having to give her the cold shoulder (adding another layer to their characters).  By the time she realized her error at the inn it was too little and too late.  Don’t get me wrong, I love “fierce Claire.”  I would just like to see another layer because for me, she’s on the way to becoming “intractable Claire.”

 

I also was annoyed (as others have mentioned upthread) that they left out Jamie’s lines from the book about entering Wentworth right past the post where he was flogged, knowing that’s what awaited him (along with probably being hanged) if he got caught, and he went in anyway.  The lines showed just how much strength it takes to do a heroic act and I really missed them.

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I listened to the podcast today. Some interesting tidbits (from the all-male podcast panel, including RDM):

 

--They use the word spanking. They emphasize that it is a choice to use that word.

 

I can see why they did/do. For me, it's an important difference too. Doesn't make what he did okay at all, but if he hit her/whipped her with the belt anywhere else on her body, I just wouldn't be able to get into the couple at all, historically accurate/acceptable or no.

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If Jamie had slapped Claire during their heated argument, would it have caused outrage? Because Claire slapped Jamie awfully hard and barely anything has been mentioned about it.   Yes, she only hit him once compared to however many spanks he gave her.  But my guess is that if Jamie had slapped Claire, it would have been horrible.  Would that be considered spousal abuse?  I'm not trying to be flippant, I'd really like to know.  It just seems like a double standard to me.

 

 

Others have said it, as well, but to me this is about anger.  Claire struck him in anger.  Had he lost control and slapped her back in anger, I'd be horrified and I'd have seen it as abusive, just as I see Claire hitting him in anger as abusive. 

 

It's interesting, because Jamie did get really angry at that slap, so for once a woman hitting a man on tv was kind of reacted to as something that mattered (usually, unless it's some kind of superhero, it doesn't matter on tv when a woman slaps/hits a man in the face), but Jamie got mad for the wrong reason. It wasn't "it's not cool for you to hit me", it was a "how dare you touch me like that, I'm in charge of you" reaction.

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The amount of time Claire was topless in that quasi-rape scene was gratuitous, not that the actress doesn't have really pretty tits.  It's like they don't think they have enough story to fill out the full 60 minutes, so let's go with the titillation, pun intended.  I was doing a lot of fast-forwarding.  

 

I don't think so.  It would have been weird if Jack Randall was all, "hold on a minute, your wife's tits are hanging out and though I was about to rape her, I would like to take this moment o be a gentleman and cover her up."  I think directors are probably aware that the majority of the population are extremely uncomfortable with the female body and they use it to their advantage.  This was an uncomfortable and tense position for the characters, might as well make the audience feel uncomfortable.  

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I don't think so.  It would have been weird if Jack Randall was all, "hold on a minute, your wife's tits are hanging out and though I was about to rape her, I would like to take this moment o be a gentleman and cover her up."  I think directors are probably aware that the majority of the population are extremely uncomfortable with the female body and they use it to their advantage.  This was an uncomfortable and tense position for the characters, might as well make the audience feel uncomfortable.  

I don't know if I can agree with "uncomfortable with the female body" since female T&A is used to sell everything from, well, you know.  I agree that no way would Randall move to cover her up.  What I was talking about is the camera panning and the extended wide shots and just the excruciating amount of time that Claire's boobs got to hang out.  I maybe even think the show was saying neener-neener to the other fantasy shows that can't show that kind of nudity because they're on basic cable.  I went from the desired response, glad to see Jamie there, happy the rape was prevented, to large eye rolls, come on, get it over with already.  

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I don't know if I can agree with "uncomfortable with the female body" since female T&A is used to sell everything from, well, you know.  I agree that no way would Randall move to cover her up.  What I was talking about is the camera panning and the extended wide shots and just the excruciating amount of time that Claire's boobs got to hang out.  I maybe even think the show was saying neener-neener to the other fantasy shows that can't show that kind of nudity because they're on basic cable. 

 

I doubt it. "Game of Thrones" is the biggest fantasy show out there and they can, and do, show all the boobs they can. And for a Starz show, "Outlander" is actually restrained when it comes to nudity and cursing.

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yeah, game of thrones nudity is like the pinnacle of gratuitous.  They created sexposition, ffs.  Nothing is more gratuitous than a character telling us his evil plans while having two women fucking in the background for no reason other than to titillate.  

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When I said "basic cable," I wasn't talking about the premium cable channels like HBO, more like A&E or TNT or AMC where it's not so blatant.  My comment about GoT was about the sets, not the gratuitous nudity.  

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When I said "basic cable," I wasn't talking about the premium cable channels like HBO, more like A&E or TNT or AMC where it's not so blatant.   

 

I know you weren't referring to HBO, but I don't think they'd want to say neener-neener to basic cable channel fantasy shows. The only other big hyped fantasy show around right now is Game of Thrones, which is why I brought it up. 

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I'm so over it being like the books.

Well based on the preview for next week, you're in for a treat.  And based on the episode synopses I've seen, the 2nd half of the season is going "off book" to a much greater degree that the 1st half.  I too, am cool with that.  It means that I occasionally get to enjoy the ride just like one of the unsullied. 

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When I first read Outlander the strapping scene did not stand out to me. I was young and at that point the story didn't seem much different from other historical romances I've read. It still doesn't bother me as much as it does some but I can appreciate the controversy. The strapping that I have though a lot about is when Jem leaves the chicken coop open. What book was that? It is years later and I'm a mom and I'm more invested in the characters. I also wonder if lives were really on the line would I do things differently.

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Well based on the preview for next week, you're in for a treat.  And based on the episode synopses I've seen, the 2nd half of the season is going "off book" to a much greater degree that the 1st half.  I too, am cool with that.  It means that I occasionally get to enjoy the ride just like one of the unsullied.

I'm late, didn't realize it was back. Reordered Starz immediately! Love this show.

I agree about straying from the books, I didn't always like what happened in the books. I could do without the horrible things black Jack is going to do to Jamie. The time she went back to the future felt like eternity to me. I could. Not. Wait. for her to go back to Jamie.

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OK, I'm gonna try really, really hard for this to be my last word on the beating scene.  I got over the book, I'll get over the show, it should be easier once the new ep airs and everyone has something else to talk about.  But I had one thing I really wanted to get off my chest. I'm actually just going to link to the tumblr post I made, rather than copy/paste it here.  I mostly talk about the actual content of the book/show, but I do address fan reaction directly a couple times and I don't want to step on any of the forum rules.  So yeah, here's my final word, not on why they shouldn't have done the scene, but why they failed to do it justice (both in the book and the show).  

 

http://catcmack.tumblr.com/post/116025403791/i-promise-im-not-going-to-keep-talking-about-the

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Well, since there seems to be a mix of those who didn't have a problem with the spanking scene. yes, spanking, because beating to me would be Jamie using his fists on Claire and that is not what happened, I'll just add my .02 cents and say I didn't have a problem with it, except for the lively music that accompanied it.

 

That said, I really enjoyed the premiere and am so glad the show is back. I will admit I was beyond peeved that my dvr failed to record this. I'm currently unable to watch live because my mother has hijacked my television and is watching her Indian shows, heh.

 

What had me on the edge were the scenes in the beginning, as Jamie is fighting to free Claire and that monster Randall, having the upper hand. I did gasp when it turned out that the gun didn't have powder? or enough for that ratbastard to shoot Jamie. My heart, it was a racing!

 

The fight following the rescue was also very good, because it was so raw.

 

As for Jamie/Sam doing the voicover? I dinna care because I could listen to him just talk and talk and talk...His voice is right up there with my love for Daniel Day-Fucking-Lewis*

 

*Okay, he's tops with me and no one can compare, but Sam's brogue comes close.

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CatMack, I've been following several discussions of the beating scene and yours is one of the more cogent and persuasive critiques I've read. And thank you also for referencing DG's truly appalling treatment of race. I couldn't agree more with your analysis of the irresponsible way she handles race. I only just joined PreviouslyTV and had made up my mind not to get involved in the discussion about the beating scene because I think most people are tired of it. I feel I should have jumped in sooner if I wanted to participate. I'll try to make this short, but I want to say that I also agree with something you said in an earlier post about excusing or even defending the behavior because it's historically accurate. First, as you suggest, beating your wife was more controversial during earlier centuries than DG credits and second, that defense depends on a linear view of history in which progress is a steady march from barbarism to civilization. It's much messier than that, and I believe we give earlier periods too little credit and our own too much when we engage in moral relativism.

 

One more thing -- I don't understand how one can criticize Claire for trying to run away (ie, Jamie told her to stay put, so she's responsible for putting the clan in danger.). She's been a prisoner of the Mackenzies since she landed in the eighteenth century. She was coerced into marriage and if I wanted to get all psychoanalytical in my interpretation of her character (and, boy, I really don't; it would once and for all kill my enjoyment of the books and show), I could argue that she suffers from Stockholm syndrome. Jamie's motives in marrying her may be laudable -- I buy that he loves her and wants to protect her -- but for the rest of the clan, the marriage is intended to ensure that Black Jack doesn't have an opportunity to beat the truth out of her about Dougal's fundraising for the rebellion. For them, protecting Claire is a side effect. She doesn't owe them anything, though I would say they owe her for not giving them up to the British.

 

Apologies to those of you who are done with this conversation -- I feel bad jumping in at this late date, though obviously not bad enough to keep my mouth shut! :)

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I know you weren't referring to HBO, but I don't think they'd want to say neener-neener to basic cable channel fantasy shows. The only other big hyped fantasy show around right now is Game of Thrones, which is why I brought it up. 

I don't think that invalidates my argument in any way, though.  And I don't think it's fair to me and what I brought up either way.  I've been having a loneliness fit ever since Twilight and Harry Potter both ended.  The Hunger Games do nothing for me.  

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