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The Books vs. The Show: Comparisons, Speculation, and Snark

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This review sums up a lot of my issues with the season: http://tomandlorenzo.com/2016/05/outlander-faith/

I'm ready for them to depart from the books. Keep the iconic relationship moments, rework the rest. The amount of rapes that happen in the book are far too concentrated on tv. I do think the show needs to respond to this kind of criticism and not just blindly stick to the book material. 

Number one on my list to rework? Brianna's rape. It's a thing that happens so that DG can explore her favorite theme: paternity. But rather than risk Bree doing something unlikeable like sleep with another man after Roger essentially leaves her (a very human reaction), she is raped. Bonnet can still be a villain without raping Bree. The show is going to have a predictable pattern of Jamie seeking vengeance against rapists, over and over, when there are so many other interesting points to the books that don't rely on sexual violence. 

I was going to say at least Voyager doesn't have this problem, but it does with Young Ian. Having the show being unwilling to change this stuff makes me think they are interested in the shock value of it, because no one needed to see Fergus be raped. As soon as BJR said "you'll do," we all knew what was happening. Claire doesn't see it happen and she's plenty horrified. We would have been too.

I'm hopeful that the second half of this season will be better. But beyond art and costume recognition (and Caitriona's performance in episode 7), I do not think Paris did the show any favors. 

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11 minutes ago, tcay said:

I'm hopeful that the second half of this season will be better. But beyond art and costume recognition (and Caitriona's performance in episode 7), I do not think Paris did the show any favors. 

Well, without Paris we wouldn't have Fergus. But I get your meaning.

Edited by Dust Bunny
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2 hours ago, tcay said:

Number one on my list to rework? Brianna's rape. It's a thing that happens so that DG can explore her favorite theme: paternity. But rather than risk Bree doing something unlikeable like sleep with another man after Roger essentially leaves her (a very human reaction), she is raped. Bonnet can still be a villain without raping Bree. The show is going to have a predictable pattern of Jamie seeking vengeance against rapists, over and over, when there are so many other interesting points to the books that don't rely on sexual violence.

I was going to say at least Voyager doesn't have this problem, but it does with Young Ian. Having the show being unwilling to change this stuff makes me think they are interested in the shock value of it, because no one needed to see Fergus be raped. As soon as BJR said "you'll do," we all knew what was happening. Claire doesn't see it happen and she's plenty horrified. We would have been too.

There's also Jamie and Geneva, which offers up coercion on one side and withdrawn consent being willfully ignored on the other. Mary Hawkins had any number of alternatives to a rape storyline that wouldn't have changed the end result (loss of "virtue" ruins the arranged marriage and Mary, pregnant by the dying Alex, marries Black Jack to "give the baby a name"). In comparison, Jamie the prisoner fathering a child with a noblewoman without it being viewed as a "betrayal" of Claire is much trickier terrain to navigate, not impossible, but would involve less fidelity to the text than the writers have been willing to show so far.

It also seems the writers are rather in love with shock value and pushing the envelope, another disincentive for them to eliminate some of the future rape storylines. Gabaldon will freely weigh in on any adaptation element that she doesn't care for, and she holds a lot of sway with a certain segment of fans. Many book fans won't mind if the sexual assaults are toned down, but I don't think the ratings are so high that the show can just go wildly off-book without possibly risking the future of the series. But if they stick to the books, they risk losing the critics and more than a few non-readers...quite the dilemma.

Edited by Dejana
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4 hours ago, Nidratime said:

They had a reason why they showed what happened to Fergus, which they talked about in Ron Moore's podcast.

Do you mind saying what it was? I listened to it yesterday and don't recall anything other than "they had to show why Jamie would break his promise" which doesn't validate to me why they showed what they did. 

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They felt that Jamie's breaking of his promise to Claire was such a big deal and would be viewed by Claire as such a betrayal, they had to show something of what happened in order to drive home how outraged Jamie was and why he would renege on his promise. They especially thought that the "viewers only" crowd needed to understand. Book readers already know how awful what happened was.

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16 hours ago, tcay said:

This review sums up a lot of my issues with the season: http://tomandlorenzo.com/2016/05/outlander-faith/

I'm ready for them to depart from the books. Keep the iconic relationship moments, rework the rest. The amount of rapes that happen in the book are far too concentrated on tv. I do think the show needs to respond to this kind of criticism and not just blindly stick to the book material. 

I just read this review and agree wholeheartedly with you, Tcay.  

In addition to what they said about all the sexual violence, what really hit home for me was when they talked about what how the Paris plot pretty much went no where and what has been the point of this season thus far.  I was just thinking about that very thing.  I could not stop rewatching S1 and could name every single episode and plot.   I cannot for the life of me remember the name or plot of any S2 episodes, save for the most recent "Faith".  And haven't, nor had any desire to rewatch any S2 episode.  None of them have been very memorable to me.  This entire season hasn't been very memorable to me. 

After reading DIA and really disliking it, I shouldn't have been surprised that I am not loving S2 but I was hoping seeing Jamie and Claire back on the screen after Droughlander I'd be back on board, but I'm so not.  

The love scenes/connections between Jamie and Claire in S1 were one of the things I loved the most and we were treated to soooo many tender scenes then.  This season we have had one love scene that was so dark you couldn't see who was who.  

On a slightly different note, I thought the red dress was completely underwhelming.  It fit weird and was not nearly as scandalous as was portrayed in the book.  Cait was sexier and had more cleavage in the wedding dress.

Sigh.  It kind of make me sad that the magic is gone for me. 

This post probably belongs in the Unpopular Opinons thread....

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I agree. It's hard to see how one would like a show if you really disliked the book. On my part, I liked (and still like) Dragonfly in Amber. I enjoyed getting a break from Scotland and facing new challenges and meeting new characters. The one thing that makes this show so interesting is that the setting is always changing and the show morphs into different genres from romance to adventure to political intrigue to mystery to fantasy. So many other series, especially on the broadcast networks, are basically the same every week, so this is definitely a refreshing difference and a challenge for the producers as well as the audience.

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I hope that the Jamie/Geneva thing is handled differently.  I hope that they find another way entirely for him to father a child than by being blackmailed into it - do they think that viewers wouldn't forgive him for sleeping with a woman years after Claire leaves?  I would.  

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I'm also having a hard time with the amount of rape depicted on the show because it far outweighs any other part of the story other than thwarting the Jacobite Rebellion. I worry that Diana's constant need to use this trope is hurting the show because books are different that a TV show.

There was no reason why we needed to see Fergus being raped and I tweeted that sentiment to Diana, Ron and Maril. I wonder if they will heed critics and viewers warnings about this issue if they get a third season/in subsequent books.

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7 hours ago, toolazy said:

I hope that the Jamie/Geneva thing is handled differently.  I hope that they find another way entirely for him to father a child than by being blackmailed into it - do they think that viewers wouldn't forgive him for sleeping with a woman years after Claire leaves?  I would.  

Among book fans, I've seen the plot routinely derided as the "Geneva Convention", because of all the contrivances involved, let alone the consent issues. Would viewers accept Jamie having sex with a woman besides Claire? Some would, some wouldn't. The marriage to Laoghaire seems like it would be a bigger deal, but then, Book Claire even seemed jealous of his one night with Mary MacNab. It sets a tone...some fans are quite caught up in the supposed purity of Jamie and Claire's love and simply must have reasons to excuse any other sexual contact they may have even when they're centuries apart.

Edited by Dejana
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I would be really happy if someone could find a way out of the "Geneva convention" (I like that!) but I'm not entirely sure how. Personally, I'm okay with Jamie having sex with someone else. He didn't think he'd see ever see Claire again and I've always been under the impression that Claire and Frank's marriage was strained but not totally celibate. For me, the trouble is Jamie seems okay with no sex (It's Jenny etc. who keep telling him he needs a woman) so a "scratching an itch" thing doesn't make a lot of sense and even if it did, Jamie isn't the Auld Fox's grandson and The MacKenzie's nephew for nothing. You would have to change either his personality or Geneva's a lot for me to buy that Jamie would run the risk of getting caught with the the Lord of the Manor's daughter for a quickie. 

Maybe if Geneva was a fellow servant it would kinda make sense (another Mary McNab situation) but then how do you get Lord John to be William's stepfather without even weirder plot contrivances than we started with? The only other thing I can come up with is to give Geneva a very Claire-ish personalty and look and have Jamie respond to that.

The real problem in all of this is that sexual violence does motivate a lot of the action and character development in this series. I don't like it but I really don't know how to re-work the plots to get the character moments I love without it. And since the show folks have, if anything, played up those storylines. I think we're probably stuck with it. 

Edited by satrunrose
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2 hours ago, satrunrose said:

I would be really happy if someone could find a way out of the "Geneva convention" (I like that!) but I'm not entirely sure how. Personally, I'm okay with Jamie having sex with someone else. He didn't think he'd see ever see Claire again and I've always been under the impression that Claire and Frank's marriage was strained but not totally celibate. For me, the trouble is Jamie seems okay with no sex (It's Jenny etc. who keep telling him he needs a woman) so a "scratching an itch" thing doesn't make a lot of sense and even if it did, Jamie isn't the Auld Fox's grandson and The MacKenzie's nephew for nothing. You would have to change either his personality or Geneva's a lot for me to buy that Jamie would run the risk of getting caught with the the Lord of the Manor's daughter for a quickie. 

Maybe if Geneva was a fellow servant it would kinda make sense (another Mary McNab situation) but then how do you get Lord John to be William's stepfather without even weirder plot contrivances than we started with?

Claire and Frank definitely resume "marital relations" after her return. In one book, she reflects that it was about three months after Bree's birth, but later in the series, she was still very pregnant and the sex seemed to bring on labor (her water had broken when she'd awakened the next morning). A bit of an oops on Gabaldon's part, besides drawing the ire of the purists.

Some Jamie/Geneva suggestions...whatever the story, make her a bit older, still a young marriageable woman for the time, but early 20s maybe, and cast an actress who could be Caitriona Balfe's sister. Definitely have whatever happens there be consensual. How about...

Geneva was engaged before to a younger guy, still arranged but they grew up together. She loved him, but he tragically, suddenly died weeks/days before the wedding, though not before they consummated the relationship (they were young and in love and going to get married soon, anyway, and got carried away one night in the stables, etc). Geneva's still mourning him months later, and her parents have already arranged for her to marry that old codger next, when Jamie arrives to the estate. She throws herself into horseback riding and connects with Jamie as another lonely, grieving person. It's not love but comfort and maybe not a one-time thing, and normally they restrain themselves, but one time they aren't restrained enough, or conception by coitus interruptus is something else the family can have in common (better that than rape). And the rest of the story can play out more or less the same way.

Edited by Dejana

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The reason I believe Jamie agreed to Geneva's blackmail was because she was threatening Jenny. To reveal that she was a traitor to the Crown, and there was no way for Jamie to protect her and his family. 

So add me to the list that doesn't think I was contrived. 

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20 minutes ago, Grashka said:

Now, the really stupid portion of Geneva's story? For me, it's DG doing "Geneva is a spoiled, selfish brat. She must be punished! Let's punish her by scaring her with a big male member!" thing. That's something I wish them to leave out. 

Not to mention the whole dying in childbirth thing...

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I don't think the storyline is contrived or implausible.  It's just unfortunate, in context of the other coerced sex in the books.  There's also that moment when they're just on the brink and she tries to stop him but Jamie penetrates her anyway.  That is going to make heads explode all over the internet so, please god, at the very least they need to omit that from the show.  

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Heads are going to explode on the internet no matter what they do...best they just try and tell their story and let the chips fall where they will.

Personally, I don't think any of the rape on the show has been gratuitous. It generally has consequences and leads to character development. I've never gotten the sense they do it just simply because they can. I may not always agree with every decision they make, but I don't think they make them lightly, so it doesn't bother me as much as it does others. Of course, miles vary greatly on this point, though.

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31 minutes ago, DittyDotDot said:

Personally, I don't think any of the rape on the show has been gratuitous. It generally has consequences and leads to character development. I've never gotten the sense they do it just simply because they can. I may not always agree with every decision they make, but I don't think they make them lightly, so it doesn't bother me as much as it does others. Of course, miles vary greatly on this point, though.

 

I wouldn't say the depiction of Fergus' rape was gratuitous, but for me, it was not necessary and didn't need to be shown.  I don't care what Ron And Graphia said about it/justified it. We're all adults and we could pretty much guess what Black Jack was going to do.

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The "Geneva convention" was contrived for me because it obviously served a plot device and excuse. In addition to the coerced sex and blackmail of it all, Geneva was a very two dimensional character. In a series of books where some characters make an impact; she did not serve any purpose but to force Jamie to have sex with her. Gabaldon had to preserve the pure love between Jamie and Claire which is not something I personally would care about considering Claire was never coming back for all he knew. Secondly, Geneva was there so Jamie could have a son or another child out there in the world other than Brianna. It also served to link Jamie with Lord John again.

I am looking forward to Lord John though. It was unfortunate that for two books the only gay characters were villains. I do wonder about the casting too. They have probably cast younger Lord John, but will he be the same as the more older one.

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1 hour ago, Athena said:

The "Geneva convention" was contrived for me because it obviously served a plot device and excuse. In addition to the coerced sex and blackmail of it all, Geneva was a very two dimensional character. In a series of books where some characters make an impact; she did not serve any purpose but to force Jamie to have sex with her. Gabaldon had to preserve the pure love between Jamie and Claire which is not something I personally would care about considering Claire was never coming back for all he knew. Secondly, Geneva was there so Jamie could have a son or another child out there in the world other than Brianna. It also served to link Jamie with Lord John again.

I am looking forward to Lord John though. It was unfortunate that for two books the only gay characters were villains. I do wonder about the casting too. They have probably cast younger Lord John, but will he be the same as the more older one.

I think you get characters who exist to move the plot along in most stories; it's just a matter of how well a writer can disguise this or how entertaining the journey is. If Gabaldon wanted to write Jamie as someone who stayed celibate with Claire gone, fine. If she wanted him to be with other women, fine, too, but that it only seems to happen because he got coerced or his sister arranged it and he first vehemently protested the idea...I find it so wishy washy on Gabaldon's part. As a reader, I didn't need the excuses to see Jamie with someone else, to still believe Claire was the love of his life.

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I assume they will leave Mary Macnab entirely out of it.  She was just a blip, and at this point in the show we haven't met Mrs. Macnab (or Grannie Macnab, for that matter, right?  Just the awful father and the poor son?).  Although of all of Jamie's post-Claire sexual partners, she was definitely my favorite! 

Surely they're going to condense the cave/Arsdmuir/Helwater into 2-3 episodes maximum, right?  And those episodes have to serve to mostly show Jamie becoming/being Mac Dubh and his and John's budding/tenuous/lasting friendship.  It would be a tough pill to swallow for them to try to throw in an actual love story for Jamie and Geneva in that condensed timeframe.  I'm fine with her being a young brat who isn't thrilled with her impending marriage, and I'm fine with her being smart/cunning/awful enough to try to blackmail Jamie by threatening his family.  I'm not fine with the withdrawal of consent and his refusal of it, and SURELY they can take that out.  Surely. 

They could always have Geneva survive childbirth, her husband still get shot by Jamie after trying to throw the baby out the window, and then SHE marries Lord John and no-so-tragically perishes at sea later?  Doubt they'd change it though. 

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3 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

Heads are going to explode on the internet no matter what they do...best they just try and tell their story and let the chips fall where they will.

Personally, I don't think any of the rape on the show has been gratuitous. It generally has consequences and leads to character development. I've never gotten the sense they do it just simply because they can. I may not always agree with every decision they make, but I don't think they make them lightly, so it doesn't bother me as much as it does others. Of course, miles vary greatly on this point, though.

First I want to say while I think differently, your point is taken and I'm not picking on you! While I agree what they portrayed wasn't gratuitous and I tend to disagree on it leads to character development, more like plot development a la Mary Hawkins.  Why does rape have to be a defining moment from characters every time? That gives a lot of power to the rapper and the act.  It's repetitive and taking being sensitive to triggers out of it, boring if used over and over and loses its value.

One argument I keep seeing is it is historically accurate? So was starvation, infection, amputations, tooth rot, robbery, murder, animal attacks etc. Imagine if she used these over and over? What if in addition to Fergus, Claire loses her hand, then Roger, then Jem. Historically accurate and character building, but the narrative is boring.

Their other option which they would never do is market the show honestly as one that explores multiple degrees of sexual assault, how many layers there are to the different types and how it affects the one who suffered it, their families and who does it. That's dark. 

I mean was having Brianna raped the only way to have a question of paternity? Sleeping with 2 people does not make you a horrible person! It's the same reasoning as being afraid to have Jamie want a little sex instead of coercion and dubious consent. 

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18 minutes ago, peacefrog said:

First I want to say while I think differently, your point is taken and I'm not picking on you! While I agree what they portrayed wasn't gratuitous and I tend to disagree on it leads to character development, more like plot development a la Mary Hawkins.  Why does rape have to be a defining moment from characters every time? That gives a lot of power to the rapper and the act.  It's repetitive and taking being sensitive to triggers out of it, boring if used over and over and loses its value.

One argument I keep seeing is it is historically accurate? So was starvation, infection, amputations, tooth rot, robbery, murder, animal attacks etc. Imagine if she used these over and over? What if in addition to Fergus, Claire loses her hand, then Roger, then Jem. Historically accurate and character building, but the narrative is boring.

Their other option which they would never do is market the show honestly as one that explores multiple degrees of sexual assault, how many layers there are to the different types and how it affects the one who suffered it, their families and who does it. That's dark. 

I mean was having Brianna raped the only way to have a question of paternity? Sleeping with 2 people does not make you a horrible person! It's the same reasoning as being afraid to have Jamie want a little sex instead of coercion and dubious consent. 

I'm just saying I can respect the effort if there was thought put into what was being shown and it does have an actual purpose. I only get upset if these things are shown only for shock value or because they can. Doesn't mean I want to see it or I agree that's its actually necessary, though. I doubt half the stuff shown on TV these days are necessary for the audience to understand it. Granted if it was me who was running the show, I'd do a whole bunch of things differently, though.

However, rape does happen, in the past and the present, and to pretend it doesn't or to hide it away, IMO, gives it more power than it deserves. I personally don't have a problem with shows showing starvation, infection, amputations and so on, too...as long as it's actually part of the story. 

IMO, Brianna's rape served more than the paternity question of the story. A common theme in this story is how the time travelers seem to forget they aren't walking through a history museum. To me, it served as a reminder to Brianna that her actions do have consequences and history isn't as safe as she believed it to be. Plus, Brianna is an empowered woman of the 1960s who has always been bigger and stronger than most people in her time, the assault serves to remind her being big and strong won't protect you from all bad doings. What I found contrived and unnecessary about this storyline was the not communicating stuff later that lead to all the ridiculous running around like chickens with their heads cut off later. But still, even that leads to other important character development.

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21 minutes ago, DittyDotDot said:

I'm just saying I can respect the effort if there was thought put into what was being shown and it does have an actual purpose. I only get upset if these things are shown only for shock value or because they can. Doesn't mean I want to see it or I agree that's its actually necessary, though. I doubt half the stuff shown on TV these days are necessary for the audience to understand it. Granted if it was me who was running the show, I'd do a whole bunch of things differently, though.

However, rape does happen, in the past and the present, and to pretend it doesn't or to hide it away, IMO, gives it more power than it deserves. I personally don't have a problem with shows showing starvation, infection, amputations and so on, too...as long as it's actually part of the story. 

IMO, Brianna's rape served more than the paternity question of the story. A common theme in this story is how the time travelers seem to forget they aren't walking through a history museum. To me, it served as a reminder to Brianna that her actions do have consequences and history isn't as safe as she believed it to be. Plus, Brianna is an empowered woman of the 1960s who has always been bigger and stronger than most people in her time, the assault serves to remind her being big and strong won't protect you from all bad doings. What I found contrived and unnecessary about this storyline was the not communicating stuff later that lead to all the ridiculous running around like chickens with their heads cut off later. But still, even that leads to other important character development.

Again I do understand your opinion and agree mostly with it. It's a very good point about not hiding it and I didn't mean to say they should although it does look that's what I wrote(poor writing on my part). My argument is that it's just boring using the same situation over and over. That's what I was getting at with those examples, but as you said YMMV. It's just not interesting to me anymore to see the same thing. 

I also understand your reasoning regarding Bree. I agree about the plot contrivance completely but we'll have to agree to disagree about there not being another way to show her how dangerous the 18th century was. 

At the least I hope these conversations about today's shows will cause writers to change the way they use and portray sexual violence or any violence. Maybe become more creative and sensitive to the audience. 

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3 hours ago, DittyDotDot said:

I'm just saying I can respect the effort if there was thought put into what was being shown and it does have an actual purpose. I only get upset if these things are shown only for shock value or because they can. Doesn't mean I want to see it or I agree that's its actually necessary, though. I doubt half the stuff shown on TV these days are necessary for the audience to understand it. Granted if it was me who was running the show, I'd do a whole bunch of things differently, though.

However, rape does happen, in the past and the present, and to pretend it doesn't or to hide it away, IMO, gives it more power than it deserves. I personally don't have a problem with shows showing starvation, infection, amputations and so on, too...as long as it's actually part of the story. 

If rape hadn't been featured much in TV movies/dramas/soaps already, I don't think people would be objecting to all the sexual assault on the show, or at least not in the way that they're bothered by Outlander or Game of Thrones. It's that sometimes I'm left wondering how much the writers are just going there as an easy way to add "depth" to stories from genres that aren't always taken seriously, like it'll seem more profound than your average fantasy/time travel/Medieval/dragon-filled/etc. romp because it's brave and not ignoring the reality of sexual violence. Rape is a reality of past and present--we hardly live in a time where it's been eradicated--but do most serialized TV dramas set in the present day make the specter of rape quite such a regular weekly (or biweekly) feature? This is why there are so many watchers who have had enough. Also, with Outlander, that for all the book scenes the adaptation had to shift around or eliminate for time, somehow the rapes and rape attempts all seemed to make the cut, with some made even more graphic for television. Yay, us?

Edited by Dejana · Reason: spelling, word choice
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What about Law & Order: SVU?  Isn't that basically a show about sexual violence?  I'm honestly asking because I've only seen it a few times but it's my impression that there are lots of rapes involved, almost by definition.

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I think Diana G kept going to the rape well because it's an easy way to show how much different women were regarded in 1700's.  The point of Mary Hawkins rape was to drive home that because she was raped (completely not her fault) she was somehow damaged goods.  This is an outrageous idea to a modern audience.  It had the further plot purpose of rescuing her from the warty Comte and making her available to Alex. 

Women are property, to be bought and sold by the men in their lives without much say at all in what happened to them.  Mary Hawkins' entire situation drives that home.  

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16 minutes ago, toolazy said:

I think Diana G kept going to the rape well because it's an easy way to show how much different women were regarded in 1700's.  The point of Mary Hawkins rape was to drive home that because she was raped (completely not her fault) she was somehow damaged goods.  This is an outrageous idea to a modern audience.  It had the further plot purpose of rescuing her from the warty Comte and making her available to Alex. 

Women are property, to be bought and sold by the men in their lives without much say at all in what happened to them.  Mary Hawkins' entire situation drives that home.  

This is true but another way that women were treated horribly was that all they needed was for society to think that they've been compromised even if nothing happened. It has the same outcome if Mary is caught with a man, innocent or not. There are plenty of creative ways to accomplish this. 

I think what also bothers me is that this becomes a distraction. We are talking about this every other episode. 208 discussions should have been about the fantastic acting and beautifully sad and tragic loss of a child. 

As far as the Law & Order I don't know I've never watched it but from the sound of the title then if it is cases of sexual assault then it's in the title and that's what it's about so no surprises and I wouldn't think people would get upset about it.

Dejana- yeah if they are condensing everything and cutting out stuff as they would have to in an adaption they aren't doing cutting things in proportion so it's very skewed towards the violence. 

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The problem is, much of this violence is pivotal to later plot developments and character evolution. You'd have to make up new stuff to replace it.

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1 hour ago, toolazy said:

What about Law & Order: SVU?  Isn't that basically a show about sexual violence?  I'm honestly asking because I've only seen it a few times but it's my impression that there are lots of rapes involved, almost by definition.

I suppose Outlander does feature less sexual assault than a procedural show all about the legal pursuit of sex offenders... IDK if Starz will be embracing that as a selling point to assuage the critics... I was comparing the show to other contemporary dramas that are more character driven with continuing storylines from week to week, and how much rape they feature, to say a situation where everyone in the same family unit has been assaulted, or faced serious attempts, doesn't seem to happen so much.

Edited by Dejana

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1 hour ago, Nidratime said:

The problem is, much of this violence is pivotal to later plot developments and character evolution. You'd have to make up new stuff to replace it.

I don't think any of the assaults with exception of Jamie's so far is pivotal to plot development or character evolution? I mean they can change things I guess and make Mary an ongoing character so we can see how this was pivotal. Fergus they changed from the book and can continue to do so and bring it up again. Claire thinks of the King once many years later with anger but I'm not seeing in the books that required it to happen? 

So yeah they would have to imagine things like they are doing already. 

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Cait was just on Conan (late night talk show in the US) and they showed a clip from what I assume is episode 208.  And now I think I know what Diana called the "Jump the shark" moment.  

Spoiler

Laoghaire Fooking MacKenzie turns up, all contrite and apologetic for nearly getting Claire burned at the stake.  Her Grandmother (Mrs. Fitz) told her she had to get right with God so she comes to Claire to apologize.  That goes about as well as you would expect because Claire is not a fooking idiot.. 

 Sorry for all the cussing -- think it's because all three of Conan's guests were Irish.

Edited by WatchrTina
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Oh dear god, WatchrTina.  Well, as far as shark jumping moments that isn't too bad actually and I will be fine if that's all it is.  

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Morgan - I'm with you. I hope that's all it is and it doesn't go further....

Nidratime -

Spoiler

She said it wasn't Jamie and Laoghaire....

Edited by AheadofStraight
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Anyone have any idea why there has been no promotional photos of Richard and Sophia as Roger and Bree?  I know they are only in the last episode, maybe its too far off?  

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I don't find it contrived either. Jamie wouldn't just scratch his itch with a noblewoman knowing he could end up back in prison if caught. The only part of that story that doesn't work for me is her withdrawal of consent mid-stream and Jamie NOT taking that opportunity to boot it out of there.  So remove the withdrawal part and the rest is fine with me.

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I don't think it's implausible that Jamie would have been pretty much past the point of no return.  The lead up to is all about his struggle to maintain control so I think by that point his lizard brain had taken over.  I'm sure that if she had continued to struggle, he would have backed off, because he's not usually an asshole.  

But yeah, they really need to leave that part of out of it in the show.  

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On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 3:47 PM, Dejana said:

If Gabaldon wanted to write Jamie as someone who stayed celibate with Claire gone, fine. If she wanted him to be with other women, fine, too, but that it only seems to happen because he got coerced or his sister arranged it and he first vehemently protested the idea...I find it so wishy washy on Gabaldon's part. As a reader, I didn't need the excuses to see Jamie with someone else, to still believe Claire was the love of his life.

I just want to cosign all of this.  I've always found it an incredible copout to be writing a character who's in his twenties when he's "widowed" and going through some incredibly hard stuff where he might want or need that human connection but can't ever just have a comfort roll in the hay without being tricked or blackmailed into it, or it was someone else's idea.  I get that it plays to the romantic ideal of being true to that one great love, yada yada, but for all practical purposes at that point, Jamie was widowed.  As far as he knew Claire was never coming back and he never expected to see her ever again.  He even admits once that if she made it back to her own time he imagined her living as Frank's wife again, with all that that entailed.  I just find it all too wishy wishy and trying to have it both ways on Gabaldon's part and it kind of makes Jamie look like a weakling the way he allows himself to be led around by one woman or another instead of just making the deliberate choice to have sex with one woman or marry another.

That's why I mostly refuse to acknowledge the absurdity of the dubious consent on both sides in the Geneva situation.  I know I've said before on book threads that as one note as her character is written, I can appreciate that this young woman who's basically being sold into marriage is trying to find some small agency in her own life.  The entire story would have been so much better had it been about that and the begrudging unlikely friendship she formed with her groom.  They're both very lonely characters in situations they don't want to be in at that point, and it would have been much more organic for them to have gotten carried away as her wedding and separation loomed.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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After being recommended these books by so many friends, and hearing the series was coming out, I read book one and thought it was meh, just OK, but that the interesting bits were really overwhelmed by all the rape stuff. I quit halfway through book two when I just couldn't take it anymore. The author has vehemently argued that she's not writing romance novels, to which I actually agree ... She's writing flat out torture porn, and I don't want to read that, for the same reason I don't want to watch the Saw movies.

After hearing very good things about the TV show last season, I watched two episodes and then ... just couldn't. One, I knew what was coming and really, REALLY didn't want to relive it and, two, the endless sexual assaults, or attempted assaults, went beyond ridiculous (in their sheer volume) to grotesque, and that was seemingly going to be the M.O. for the series, as well as the book.

I admit I had a feeble laugh when Claire is first brought into the Scottish castle in,I believe the very first episode, and meets with the leader and there's some comment about how is he supposed to believe that she just happened to be into the woods, and just happened to have someone attempt to rape her again and how it seemed strange. I expected her answer to be ... "Strange how? It happens to me, literally, every day."

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It's perfectly okay to dislike the books because they're flawed, without a doubt.  What they aren't is torture porn. 

Edited by toolazy
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On the latest Scot and the Sassenach podcast, it's pointed out that the show moving up the birth of Katherine/Kitty so that it happens as Jamie and Claire were in France, means that Jenny got pregnant and had another (huge) baby in less than nine months. Also, the show seems to present actual historical events of the '45 happening in 1744, like Charles landing in Scotland with troops. They wonder if the show is saying that Jamie and Claire actually did change history to some degree or if months are meant to have passed by at Lallybroch and maybe the show didn't present this in the clearest way, or speculate that the S2 production was rushed and didn't have time to bother with things like presenting consistent timelines. 

I was just reading Voyager and it could probably work as one 13-16 episode season if they cut half of the madcap intrigues and adventures. The writers should take the plot down to its bare bones and decide what needs to be kept or jettisoned or shifted around, rather than trying to keep a bit of everything. Also, I'd forgotten that Fergus took all of Ian and Jenny's sons to the brothel to become "experienced" with women, not just Ian, Jr. Gross.

Edited by Dejana

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6 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

I've always found it an incredible copout to be writing a character who's in his twenties when he's "widowed" and going through some incredibly hard stuff where he might want or need that human connection but can't ever just have a comfort roll in the hay without being tricked or blackmailed into it, or it was someone else's idea.  I get that it plays to the romantic ideal of being true to that one great love, yada yada, but for all practical purposes at that point, Jamie was widowed.  As far as he knew Claire was never coming back and he never expected to see her ever again.

I look at it a different way.  Here is a 23-year old Catholic virgin, directed to marry a woman whom he loves, but who he has no reason to believe loves him. That's his sexual awakening (and it's a good one!).  They get a couple of normal months together, and then he is tortured and sexually assaulted for an entire night, with the added bonus of having every good memory of his wife tainted by his abuser. Eventually, he gets a few more normal weeks with his wife (once he starts to work through his sexual PTSD), then is thrown in prison for weeks, and dumped unwilling into a war he cannot win.  Then he sends his wife away, knowing he will never see her again, survives an almost mortal wound, lives in isolation in a cave for years, and gives himself up to go to prison yet again, where he is chained to other men for more years. (His description in the book of that humiliation moves me to tears every time.) There is literally no opportunity for Jamie to develop any healthy sexual identity. I don't find that to be playing to the romantic ideal; I see a man who, through no fault of his own, has only had full control of his own sexuality for tiny periods of time.  I don't blame this character for not knowing how to make an authentic human connection until Claire comes back and patiently reintroduces him to it.  

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Regarding the timeline, Maril had a Q&A this afternoon and this is what she said:

Quote

Maril Davis Verified account ‏@TallShipProds
.@tweetlee_dee @Outlander_STARZ the big time fast forward happened in 208. I think 8 months had passed since they returned from France

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6 minutes ago, Nidratime said:

Regarding the timeline, Maril had a Q&A this afternoon and this is what she said:

 

I was RIGHT!!! Who'dathunkit? So basially, Ian got Jenny pregnant as soon as it was okay for them to have relations after the birth of Maggie.

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49 minutes ago, Nidratime said:

Regarding the timeline, Maril had a Q&A this afternoon and this is what she said:

After just listening to The Scot and the Sassenach's deep analysis of timeline in their latest podcast, this makes my head spin a bit. That was not clear at all in the show.

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I'm avoiding listening to their podcast, because I enjoy the show more when I don't. (Nothing against them. ;-)

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2 hours ago, Archery said:

I look at it a different way.  Here is a 23-year old Catholic virgin, directed to marry a woman whom he loves, but who he has no reason to believe loves him. That's his sexual awakening (and it's a good one!).  They get a couple of normal months together, and then he is tortured and sexually assaulted for an entire night, with the added bonus of having every good memory of his wife tainted by his abuser. Eventually, he gets a few more normal weeks with his wife (once he starts to work through his sexual PTSD), then is thrown in prison for weeks, and dumped unwilling into a war he cannot win.  Then he sends his wife away, knowing he will never see her again, survives an almost mortal wound, lives in isolation in a cave for years, and gives himself up to go to prison yet again, where he is chained to other men for more years. (His description in the book of that humiliation moves me to tears every time.) There is literally no opportunity for Jamie to develop any healthy sexual identity. I don't find that to be playing to the romantic ideal; I see a man who, through no fault of his own, has only had full control of his own sexuality for tiny periods of time.  I don't blame this character for not knowing how to make an authentic human connection until Claire comes back and patiently reintroduces him to it.  

I think you make an excellent point, but I also think you probably gave this more thought than Gabaldon did.

She seems to continually use other people forcing her characters into doing things as a catalyst for her plots, and it's a tendency that I often find boring. (Honestly, it's a big reason why, though I like the series, I don't love it.)

To me, the entire series of Outlander is one instance after another of Jamie and Claire being confronted with something they don't want to do but instead of being able to successfully outwit whoever is pressuring them, they just succumb and then deal with the emotional fallout. (I completely understand why a lot of people enjoy how the books and show explore that, but I prefer protagonists who are more active authors of their own fates.)

 I feel like Jamie's name being publicized as a Bonnie Prince Charles supporter against his will, which is his reason for having to fight at Culloden, is just another example of this. 

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