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

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It's been a while since I read book 4 but my recollection is that the only individual who suffered a serious injury during the barge attack is Rollo (who is stabbed -- or possibly shot -- but recovers.)  So it is interesting that the TV production has decided to turn Steven Bonnet into an on-screen murderer -- killing a character who they took the time to remind us is deeply loyal to Jamie (he asks to stay with the caravan rather than being paid off) and who dies defending Claire.  Is that so we'll be sure to never sympathize with Bonnet?  Given what happens between him and Brianna later in the book (and which HAS to happen because it is central to so many plot-points) it's not likely we were ever going to develop any real "liking" for THAT character.  No, I speculate that the two men who accompanied Jamie from Scotland to the Bahamas had to be disposed of because there were too many players on the field and we're about to be introduced to a bunch more (TeamJocasta.)  That's why the man who is hanged (Hayes) is one of Jamie's print-shop/smuggler employees and not a former Ardsmuir prisoner whose trial and planned execution they happen across (which is what I recall happening in the book.)  And I think THAT'S why Lesley dies in the barge fight -- both to amp up the stakes in the story (alas poor red shirt) and to pare down the cast of characters to a reasonable number that we can keep track of.

BTW, that was quite a beating that Jamie was given.  In the book he's dismayed by having to arrive at his aunt's home in an impoverished state but I suspect that next episode Jamie is not only going to arrive poor, he's going to be sporting a black eye and other signs of the beating, just to deepen the humiliation.  Maybe he'll think well of his Aunt (at first) for not mentioning the injuries or asking about them, but then he'll figure out she can't see.

I'm just having fun spit-balling on this, the first morning-after the start of the new season.  Wheeeeeeee!

Edited by WatchrTina
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Okay I just saw episode 405 "Savages", and if you have not watched it yet look away now because here be SPOILERS! (including info from future books).

 

He's baaaaaaak!  I course I was always sure that Murtagh would turn up again in America and I have even speculated that he will take the place of Duncan Innes in the book.  If so, that means he will go off looking for the other men from Ardsmuir Prison to invite them to come and settle on Jamie's land.  And then, downstream, he'll end up marrying Jocasta.  This actually would make a lot of sense since Murtagh loved Jocasta's sister and I assume they look a lot alike.  So I'm holding out hope that my predictions come true.  It will mean that Murtagh will have a central role to play in the story for several seasons to come.  

But if I'm right, can I reconcile that with what happened in this episode?  Okay, I'm gonna spit-ball like crazy now.  Why did Murtagh come to the cabin?  Was it just so that we could have that wonderful reunion scene with Claire?  Or (dun dun DUN) has Murtagh's role as a major instigator of unrest against deceitful tax-collectors gotten him fixed in the crosshairs of the British authorities?  That's the only reason I can think of why Murtagh would walk away from his smithy.  He loves Jamie (and Claire). He's overjoyed to learn they are alive and well and living nearby.  But it's unrealistic that he would just give up everything that HE has built to come support Jamie's dream to be a Laird once more. So I think Murtagh's organizing activities have gotten him in some hot water and he's decided to make himself scarce.  Under those circumstances, and given the lack of success that Jamie had in attracting settlers during his visit to town, it would now make perfect sense for Jamie to ask Murtagh to travel up and down the colonies looking for the men of Ardsmuir Prison.  Who better to speak for Jamie to those men than his god-father and fellow prisoner, Murtagh?  So that's what I think is going to happen.

I like this theory because my initial reaction to Jamie handing out leaflets to ask random people to come settle his land was strongly negative.  Jamie knows how one bad apple (one bad tenant) can make life difficult.  We saw that in the show with the one tenant who beat his son (and saw it more in the book when he is the one who rats out Jamie to the British -- for which he is killed, his house burned, and his land metaphorically salted.)  As such, I hated Jamie passing out leaflets like he was a busker trying to attract a crowd to a Punch and Judy show.  But I assume the writers wanted to create some dramatic tension (making Jamie's task of attracting settler more difficult), to introduce the discontent among certain segments of the population, and to really drive home how Jamie's good fortune (the land grant) also puts him in a very difficult position.  The lack of interest among locals and the unrest also reinforces Jamie's decision to seek out Ardsmuir men -- to ensure that whatever the future holds, he can count on the loyalty of his tenants.

So that's my speculation.  Can't wait to see what comes next. (And I LOVED seeing a hint of that in the teaser for the next ep.)

Edited by WatchrTina
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Actually @WatchrTina, I just thought Murtagh just came to visit Claire-to see her for himself. Not that he’d decided to move. Because he didn’t come with any of his stuff. Or any of his belongings that he could bring with him.

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4 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

he didn’t come with any of his stuff. Or any of his belongings that he could bring with him.

For all we know there could have been a mule off-camera loaded down with his possessions.  It's not likely that he walked there and I don't recall seeing his horse.  So I'm still hanging on to my theory until proved wrong.

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You could see his horse in the woods behind him as he approached on foot.  It didn't appear to be heavily loaded down beyond the usual saddle paraphernalia, but in all fairness it was also in the far background out of focus.  

I don't really have any notion on where they're going yet beyond always thinking that Murtagh was going to be an awkward fit for the Duncan Innes role because he's Murtagh and not so very subordinate and grateful to Jamie for everything.  My initial reaction to Murtagh as a regulator was that it makes sense for him as a character.  He's not new to the Colonies the way the rest of our crew is.  He's been there enough years to know how things work and how they haven't worked out for a lot of people so far.  Again, I'm just basing this off of my own read of his reactions but if he hasn't managed to make any real emotional ties to anyone in NC all these years as I don't think he may have, as a burgeoning businessman subject to the heavy tax burden he could have very easily latched on to the Regulator movement because as he says he's an old man who's seen how these things go.  It was pretty clear he thought Jamie was being naive in addition to being beholden to Tryon.  So it doesn't feel like a reach to me that he may have to decided to at least come take a look at what Jamie was up to and visit Claire while he was at it.  And as we know from next week's preview, it puts him in prime position to see the return of Lord John and William, which should give him another powerful clue as to why Jamie isn't going to be so quick to risk everything again.

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Plus, I don't know if you saw the commentary after the episode between Matt and Maril, but they made a good point that if they were going to have Murtaugh survive and land in the colonies, especially North Carolina, then why not build up tension between Jamie and Murtaugh's relationship instead of it being all puppies and sunshine? Put them on opposite sides of a conflict. That's interesting.

I wonder why Murtaugh hasn't heard about River Run, since it's a big plantation, or touched base with Jocasta. That would've made sense, once he was his own man and established. Maybe he knows about it but was letting the past lie in the past. We'll see.

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I know I'm reading a lot into a few particular line readings and only a few more words, but my sense of Murtagh's reaction to Jamie was that he's been pretty cut off and hasn't kept up with anyone from back home.  Maybe because he truly didn't want to know in case the last time he saw Jamie he was actually being hauled off to be executed as the only convicted traitor of the lot of them.  It was a recurring fear of Jamie's for years in Voyager and The Scottish Prisoner.  So maybe he doesn't even realize that some Scots-born plantation owner in the general area named Cameron even has anything to do with the MacKenzies, who he wasn't related to anyway as a Fraser.  If he'd had any contact, it likely would have come up in Jocasta's correspondence with Jenny, which would have meant Jamie also would have known.  

Yeah, I caught the comment from Matt about putting the characters in conflict with each other.  Which is a fair point as there aren't any Regulator characters to care anything about in the books, unless you count Roger's ancestor who's mostly an ass and the colonel or captain or whatever he was regular visitor of Jamie's who was killed in one of the later books.

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That's a good point about River Run.

My thought regarding Murtagh was that he'd come up to a) see Claire, but also b) to try to talk to Jamie more, knowing that it might be easier to convince him to his side if Claire is there and willing to get on board and it also might be safer to have those discussions out in the middle of no where. Maybe reestablish that old soldiering rapport with Jamie, go hunting together, maybe a little sword fighting or wrestling, and then once Jamie gets more of that old Scots feeling in his bones hit him up with talk of revolution again. To Murtagh's eyes, Jamie must look a bit stodgy and not like his old Highland self, maybe Murtagh is thinking he needs a little reminder of where he comes from.

Edited by Petunia846
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6 hours ago, Petunia846 said:

My thought regarding Murtagh was that he'd come up to a) see Claire, but also b) to try to talk to Jamie more, knowing that it might be easier to convince him to his side if Claire is there and willing to get on board and it also might be safer to have those discussions out in the middle of nowhere.

I've been thinking about the fact that Murtagh KNOWS Claire is a time-traveler.  She tried to use her knowledge of her past/their future to help them during the Rising but unfortunately she didn't know much about it.  I wonder if one of the reasons Murtagh has come to visit is to find out what Claire knows about this second "rising" that he's participating in.  If Claire tells him the truth -- that the colonies are going to successfully rise up against the king and become self-governing -- well that will pretty much ensure that he continues his efforts.  On the other hand if she tells him nothing will really change until 1776 he may decide to hunker down with Janie and Claire for a few years, waiting for the spark to be struck.

Edited by WatchrTina
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Looking at the preview- is Willie the right age? The actor looks about 12/13 years old, when Jaime was paroled he was 5/6 I thought.....hasn’t Jaime been free for longer than a few years, at least a decade I would think? Maybe not- he and Claire were apart 20/21 years, he spent six years hiding out, another 6 years in prison, he was on parole, it takes almost a year to gestate a human, then the boy was 5 when he left (now we are at 17 years), and on him married to what’s her name for 2-3yrs that’s 20yrs, and he & Claire have been back together a year and a half or so. 

 

Can someone confirm the timeline for me?

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Outlander: How a Small Detail Betrays the Massive Importance of This Week's Reunion

Duncan Lacroix Talks Murtagh's Unexpected Return

A couple of interviews with Duncan Lacroix.  I'm posting them here rather than in the media thread because while not super spoilery, he does allude to things we're already speculating about, like continuing conflict coming up with Jamie and how Murtagh's losses and long isolation in the Colonies has led him to the Regulator movement.  He's pretty emphatic that he's NOT just a Duncan Innes stand-in.  His comment from the first piece, I think gets to the heart of it:

Quote

This new Regulator story line dovetails rather nicely with what a Murtagh who survived that devastating Scottish-English battle that kicked off Season 3 would be feeling. “There’s so much of Murtagh who wants to rerun Culloden,” Lacroix explained. “He lost so much. He had Scotland taken away from him. He had Jamie taken away from him. This is a kind of continuation of that battle with the redcoats. You had a lot of Scottish expatriates [in North Carolina] who would be more willing to fight.” All in all, that’s bit more interesting than another wedding, isn’t it?

And from the second one:

Quote

"Murtagh’s over there in America and everything that was important to him was taken away. He’s been an indentured servant for 12 years, had no freedom. Jamie was taken away from him, Scotland was taken from him. It wouldn’t take much tinder to get that fire started."

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I think Murtagh is just on the Ridge for a visit and to deliver whatever it is he made for Jamie from the candlestick.  Surely, just wanting to see Claire is enough motivation for a visit.  

 

I have to say that I'm concerned - I don't trust the writers to not amp up the conflict to unreasonable levels.  On the other hand, maybe it is Murtagh who convinces Jamie to side with the colonists.  I'm kind of psyched that despite being book readers, we really have no idea where any of this is going. Or at least how we'll get there.  That's kind of nifty. 

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I read in the episode thread that the American Indians in the past few episodes are Cherokee rather than Tuscarora.  I can't remember -- were the Tuscarora the tribe that took Young Ian in exchange for Roger?  If so, I guess Ian won't be getting the facial tattoos.  

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1 minute ago, Thalia said:

I read in the episode thread that the American Indians in the past few episodes are Cherokee rather than Tuscarora.  I can't remember -- were the Tuscarora the tribe that took Young Ian in exchange for Roger?  If so, I guess Ian won't be getting the facial tattoos.  

No. It was the Mohawks that took Wee Ian.

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Are we going to see the Lizzie character? It sure is taking Brianna long enough to get there... I thought she went back in time earlier than halfway through the book? I don't really remember Lizzie and am getting too the point where I think they are running out of time in the season to fit everything in. 

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6 hours ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

Are we going to see the Lizzie character? It sure is taking Brianna long enough to get there... I thought she went back in time earlier than halfway through the book? I don't really remember Lizzie and am getting too the point where I think they are running out of time in the season to fit everything in. 

There was some casting news for the Lizzie character a while back. I just don't remember which thread.

Before the season started, one of my friends did a reread ( I never got around to one like I planned) and I specifically asked her how far along in the book did Bree go back because I saw speculation on which episodes things happened and it all seemed late to me. But anyway, she said Bree went through the stones right around the 50% mark. 

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Maybe they are skipping where Bree goes to Lallybrok and just fast forward to her taking a ship to the colonies.

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No, I don't think so.

Spoiler

I believe there have been photos floating around of Brianna with Lallybroch folk. After all, she knows where her mother ended up, but not when she and Jamie arrived in NC. It makes sense to go to Lallybroch to find out if she and Jamie are still there. (We do know that Jenny won't be there since the actress announced that she couldn't appear this season, so I'm guessing they'll make some excuse like she's off helping one of her daughters have or take care of a baby.)

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4 hours ago, Rilla-my-Rilla said:

There was some casting news for the Lizzie character a while back. I just don't remember which thread.

Before the season started, one of my friends did a reread ( I never got around to one like I planned) and I specifically asked her how far along in the book did Bree go back because I saw speculation on which episodes things happened and it all seemed late to me. But anyway, she said Bree went through the stones right around the 50% mark. 

Thanks, good to know! Guess it just seems slow so far to me. 😉

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21 minutes ago, Nidratime said:

No, I don't think so.

  Hide contents

I believe there have been photos floating around of Brianna with Lallybroch folk. After all, she knows where her mother ended up, but not when she and Jamie arrived in NC. It makes sense to go to Lallybroch to find out if she and Jamie are still there. (We do know that Jenny won't be there since the actress announced that she couldn't appear this season, so I'm guessing they'll make some excuse like she's off helping one of her daughters have or take care of a baby.)

Spoiler

There was a picture of Sophie and Nell in period costumes. 

tumblr_p4gwsr40tl1tzy5xgo1_1280.jpg

Here's a bunch of pictures here, including one of Bree meeting Ian the elder.

Sophie-Skelton-and-Steven-Cree.jpg

https://www.bookbub.com/blog/2018/04/04/outlander-photo-round-up-and-sneak-peek-season-4

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1 hour ago, FnkyChkn34 said:

Thanks, good to know! Guess it just seems slow so far to me. 😉

The Lizzie news is in the Casting: News and Wishlist thread if you go to the end and scroll back a few postings. 

After she said that, it sparked a memory from the last time I read Drums of thinking, wow it takes forever for her to go back and a crap ton of stuff still has to happen. But yeah, it takes forever 😉 so I'm interested to see how it all plays out on the show.

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I'm bringing this quote by NoDorothyParker here so I can speculate to my heart's content.  Warning -- If you have not seen episode 406, Blood of my Blood, stop reading now.

Quote

Ian not being there does completely alter his story with William down the road should the show ever get that far.  Their adventure with the snake in the outhouse is one the funniest things Gabaldon ever wrote in this long long series, and it's why Ian initially recognizes William when they'll meet up again and forms the basis of their relationship.  Book Ian later recalls it to him as the moment he understood who they were to each other.  Hopefully, the showrunners have thought through the long term of skipping it better than most of the other things they've changed, but unfortunately the track record at this point suggests that they haven't.

Aaaaand this is why I love this online community because I never thought of this.  That being said . . . when William gets lost in Dismal Swamp it is many years later.  It is unlikely that William would recognized Ian after all that time anyway, especially since Ian is wearing Indian garb (and a Mohawk hairdo, I think) when he finds William.  I can well imagine a feverish William introducing himself to the Indians, using his full title, with all the pomposity he can muster because he thinks he is going to be killed, and then Ian piping up and saying, well then you must be acquainted with my uncle, James Fraser.  I imagine that Jamie's friendship with John will be well known to Ian (John and Jamie are already corresponding with one another -- that was made clear in ep 406) and it seems reasonable that Ian will hear about Lord William Ransom regularly via those letters as the years pass and thus he could just recognize the name when William identifies himself.  The "friendship" between William and Ian could simply grow out of Ian's rescuing him from the swamp (he builds a travois and drags William to the home of a certain Quaker brother and sister, right?)

Still, how would Ian learn that William is Jamie's son?  In the book they look very much alike (particularly when angry) and that's how Ian figures it out. I suppose they could just try something like that.  There is also a moment in a later book when Jamie & Claire decide to confess to Ian about Claire being a time-traveler.  (He responds "I always kent you weren't a fairy.")  If Ian can be trusted with that secret, then he can be trusted with the secret of William's identity too.  Perhaps there will be a scene where both Ian and Brianna are just told about William.  (That will head off the need for Brianna to "recognize" William as Jamie's get when she sees in in the street in a later book.)

William and Ian's failure to meet in ep 406 IS a variation from the book but I think they can work around it.

Edited by WatchrTina
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I started ruminating about this in the episode thread but now I think it can just as easily go here.

The show's already going to be hamstrung in casting an adult William because they have to find someone who looks extremely like Sam the actor, unless they're planning on going the route of having other characters tell us over and over they see a strong resemblance to an unrelated actor that we don't.  Even in the books, a number of characters notice something familiar but can't make the connection until they either see the both of them in short proximity to each other or one of them (usually William) just basically says it's so.  Usually because he's still pissed off about it.  Now the show's completely abandoned one of those nice little threads a long running series like this can sow that doesn't immediately feel important but pays off so richly later.  The show will have to either entirely rewrite how Ian and William meet up as book William isn't in terribly great shape to be relaying his entire backstory to explain to a completely unsuspecting Ian why this random stranger resembles his uncle or invent entirely new scenes with proper motivation for this stranger to be telling Ian his life story and Ian making those connections without any sort of prompting.  Not saying it can't be done, but it feels like a lot of unnecessary work that didn't need to happen as it was already on the page in a way that really makes organic use of the in-story history.  It doesn't help that the show by now has demonstrated repeatedly that it makes these changes without really following the thought line of those changes through to their conclusion and how they change the larger story the show is trying to tell.  It's how we end up with Jamie looking like an even bigger idiot with the Laoghaire marriage than he ever did on the page.

Part of the complaint is that I think Lord John's line of "What news from the Underworld, Persephone?" after fishing William out of the privy and breaking up all the racheted up unspoken tension of them just showing up there without any warning is one of the better things Gabaldon ever wrote.  Jamie and John at that point are laughing like loons and everyone else is concerned about the cleanup and Ian gets his moment where he clearly recognizes who William is but with a simple headshake from Claire, quietly files it away and also moves on.  Part of it is also how much I like adult Ian and William and how much they obviously like each other even when a still reeling William is a dangerously petulant brat and clearly doesn't want to like or trust Ian. 

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I think that the showrunners are not going to pretend that there is some huge resemblance happening. They will find other ways to guide the plot and I'm fine with that.

Edited by toolazy
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14 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

The show's already going to be hamstrung in casting an adult William because they have to find someone who looks extremely like Sam the actor, unless they're planning on going the route of having other characters tell us over and over they see a strong resemblance to an unrelated actor that we don't. 

I talked about this bit back in Season 2 when I wondered how they were going to find someone who looked enough like Tobias Menzies that they could credibly be mistaken for him.  I was wondering how they were going to do that scene where Jamie (in Paris, at Versailles) sees/hears Alex Randall and nearly draws his blade thinking it is "Black Jack" Randall. (Only Claire's fainting averts disaster.)  I was speculating back then about how they were going to handle that and the answer ended up being that they simply cut it out of the story.  Having a look-alike in a novel is one thing.  In a visual medium it is MUCH harder to pull off.  So I think all those instances of sudden recognition (people seeing Jamie and William together and going "A ha!") are just not going to happen.  The people who have to recognize that there is a familial relationship between Jamie and William are just going to have to be told about it.

Edited by WatchrTina
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Yep, and that means a whole lot more writing in a way that doesn't feel super awkward exposition-ey (Sure, let's say it's a word.) when they already had this ready-made shared moment of history to draw on that they could have used.   As you say, they're going to have to figure out something anyway to make Brianna and William's eventual meeting with her immediate recognition work since without the dead ringer resemblance it's otherwise just her casually meeting Lord John's "son" and thinking oh, isn't that nice?  Maybe they can pull it off, maybe they can't.  The show, unfortunately, has burned through a lot of the good will it had to trust it on that.

What's actually funny to me is that I think this young actor did look a lot like Jamie just in the shape of the eyes and facial shape.  And yet he also looks a lot like the younger actor who first played him, who we all remarked at the time didn't remotely look anything like Jamie for those lines about Young Willie resembling the groom to make any sense.

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1 hour ago, nodorothyparker said:

The show, unfortunately, has burned through a lot of the good will it had to trust it on that.

Really?  I'm sorry to hear you say that.  I'm still a cock-eyed optimist when it comes to this show.  There are occasional things that I bitch about (see my LONG history of posting here) but they delight me 9 times out of 10.  I'm about to watch this episode for the 3rd time -- this time during the official airing on STARZ -- and I'm going to watch the twitter feed.  That should should be interesting.

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I’ve always had the impression Lord John might have at least seen Young Ian when the Frasers left Jamaica at least in the way the series was telling that at the end of last season, even if not on screen. After all we weren’t shown Ian, Fergus, and  Marsali at the end of that episode either.

I think we’ll possibly have an occasion for Lord John and Ian to meet either this season or next before William Ransom becomes an adult. 

Edited by theschnauzers · Reason: Clarity and typo
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Based on the previews for the next episode I'm wondering if they're going to have the whole Brianna/Stephen Bonnet attack happen on the boat to America? That actually makes logistical sense as a change from what happens in the book, but that would mean all that happens to her before she has sex with Roger, and it's got to be close enough to where she doesn't know who the father is. And frankly, I'm not sure why she'd be wanting to sleep with Roger after being brutally raped by Bonnet (I always though that rape was one of the most disturbing passages of any of the books- I wonder how the show's going to handle it).

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There's already so much discussion of all the sexual assaults (and attempts) in Outlander. I feel like non-book readers are going to riot and jump ship when (if?) Bree shows up in the past and more or less immediately gets raped. I wonder if there's a way they can maintain the basic structure of the story without actually going there.

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I've had a another thought about why Ian was left out of ep 406 and thus does not have the infamous privy misadventure with William.  Book-Ian and Book-William are relatively close in age.  That's why they gravitate naturally to one another and end up getting into trouble together.  But TV-Ian is much older than TV-William.  I don't think the pairing would have worked.  It would have felt a bit like child abuse if TV-Ian had been responsible for TV-William ending up down a privy.  The actor playing young William may be the same age as the character in the novel in these chapters, but on-screen he reads younger to me while John Bell comes across as quite a bit older than Book-Ian.   I'm glad TV-William was cast younger because it makes his bravery in stepping forward and taking the Indian's punishment all the more affecting (and quite frankly a teenager might not have gotten away with it.)  But I can't see that actor -- who still looks like a child -- running around the woods and getting into trouble with John Bell, who's been playing younger than his real age all along but who is clearly an adult at this point.  Just imagine the visuals of the two of them together.  TV-William is quite short (remember that hug-around-the-waist he gave Jamie?)  John Bell (Ian) is a full-grown man at this point.  They would have looked very odd standing next to one another, much less getting into mischief together.

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2 hours ago, Petunia846 said:

There's already so much discussion of all the sexual assaults (and attempts) in Outlander. I feel like non-book readers are going to riot and jump ship when (if?) Bree shows up in the past and more or less immediately gets raped. I wonder if there's a way they can maintain the basic structure of the story without actually going there.

I have no idea how they would change it either to still make all the tortured metaphoring all over the place that make up so much of Roger and Brianna's story with its Jamie and Claire vs. Frank and Claire parallels what it is, but I'm not looking forward to it either.  It's been nice not seeing or hearing the show continually referred to as Rapelander for a bit.  We're at the halfway point of the season already where the general complaint seems to be that precious little has happened and now we're about to set off in a headlong dash of farce and misunderstanding that makes all of our characters look stupid and terrible unless the show figures out a way to clean that up some too.  They've definitely got their work cut out for them to make any of it palatable.

According to Gabaldon's own timeline, Ian is five-plus years older than William.  So not that far off the age difference between the actors.

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9 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

set off in a headlong dash of farce and misunderstanding

Wait, are we talking about Seasons 3 now?  Just kidding.  Except it's true.  The second half of Book 3 is absolute madness -- full of kidnappings and secret wives with guns and people being torn asunder in the middle of the ocean.  Compared to that, Book 4 is a cake-walk.  Jamie and Claire have a home and they get to stay on dry land.  (Brianna and Roger however . . . )

Anyway, my point is that I enjoyed Season 3 and the writing team was able to turn that roller-coaster-ride of a book into a coherent season so I'm keeping the faith that they'll be able to manage the complexities of Book 4.

But yeah, I too dread "Rapelander" making it's way back into the conversation.

9 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

According to Gabaldon's own timeline, Ian is five-plus years older than William.  So not that far off the age difference between the actors.

I'm sure you are right, but in my mind's eye, when I read about the two of them running around together and getting in to trouble it works.  On screen, with these two actors, I don't think it would work.  It's like the scene where Jamie holds the weeping William and comforts until he falls asleep (when they are forced to go into the woods together when Lord John falls ill.)  It works in the book because you are in Jamie's head and you know that Jamie loves his son and is acting in an appropriate, fatherly way.  On camera -- that visual does not fly.

Edited by WatchrTina
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In terms of the next episode (I'm guessing), what I'm curious about is how they will portray Roger's interaction with the stones. I recently re-read that section of DoA and Roger's trip through was not easy and he had to literally try twice. Maybe they'll cut that all out, but I really think they shouldn't. We've seen the transition done a number of ways, but not quite the way Roger's goes and just for variety's sake and to demonstrate that it's difficult and not the same every time for everyone, they really should make it different from the last couple we've "seen" or not seen as they seem to play it.

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2 hours ago, Nidratime said:

In terms of the next episode (I'm guessing), what I'm curious about is how they will portray Roger's interaction with the stones. I recently re-read that section of DoA and Roger's trip through was not easy and he had to literally try twice. Maybe they'll cut that all out, but I really think they shouldn't. We've seen the transition done a number of ways, but not quite the way Roger's goes and just for variety's sake and to demonstrate that it's difficult and not the same every time for everyone, they really should make it different from the last couple we've "seen" or not seen as they seem to play it.

He had to try twice because the first time through he was thinking of his father, which caused the stones to go to a time when he was a baby.  Since you apparently can't exist twice in the same timeline, the stones spit him back out in 1968 or whenever.  At that point, Fiona gave him her ring (insured, of course) and he tried again, this time successfully.

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Well, I woke up thinking about Outlander (as you do) and I have a theory!

Specifically I've been thinking about the increased role the native Americans have played in the first few episodes including, especially, the dispensing of justice.  The bear-man is shunned by the Indians for rape but then their hands are tied when he goes mad (they cannot "see" him to punish him for his later crimes) and so they are grateful for Jamie (an outsider) doing what must be done to eliminate this dangerous man.  The Indians kill Mueller (and his wife, alas) after Mueller commits a heinous crime -- the murder of a woman, an elder, their medicine woman. The murder (by Mueller) was motivated by ignorance and superstition, which made Mueller a dangerous man. One can make an argument often heard in Western tales that "he needed killing".  But when the Indians catch Willie violating their laws and both Jamie and Willie act honorably -- each offering to take the punishment for the other -- the Indians show mercy with only a token blood-taking. The murder by Mueller IS in the book but the shunning of the bear-man and the punishment of Willie by a symbolic blood-taking are not.  What IS in the book is that when Jamie kills the bear the Indians watch him prepare the carcass for butchering by first offering thanks to the four directions.  I love that scene in the book and I always imagine the Indians thinking "Well here's white guy who's not a complete heathen."  The show's depiction of the grudging respect by the Indians for Jamie (and his growing understanding of their ways) is well served by the new scenes.

So here's my early-morning revelation:  I think it's pretty clear that one of the motivations behind showing us Indian justice (and Jamie's growing awareness of it) is that it helps to inform a pretty big plot-point coming down the road -- one that could make some viewers hate Jamie (which the writers will want to avoid.)  Jamie giving Roger to the Mohawks is probably Jamie's single biggest fuck-up in the entire series.  Can you think of another that is bigger?  It is HUGE.  And let's be clear -- we LIKE Roger.  Book Roger is very likable and TV Roger is as well, though he clearly lost some brownie points with some viewers when he reacted so negatively to Brianna turning down his unexpected marriage proposal. (Book Roger's proposal is more romantic, more reasonable, and the reader is more sympathetic to his disappointment.) Nevertheless, I'm pretty confident that most viewers like Roger.  So there is a real risk of those viewers resenting the hell out of Jamie when they find out he gave Roger to the Indians as a slave.

The viewers don't yet know about the Mohawks practicing slavery -- in fact we haven't met any Mohawks at all -- so I do wonder when that element will be introduced.  But that's my speculation for why so many of the interactions with the native Americans have been changed.  There are many good reasons for it (reasons I've talked about in other posts) but I now think that one of the over-arching reasons we've seen so many examples of Indian "justice" is so that viewers will have a clearer understanding of why Jamie gives Roger to them.  Jamie has suffered at the hands of British "justice."  As such, one could understand his not trusting it entirely and -- after seeing all these encounters with the native Americans -- one could (possibly) conclude that his decision to turn over his daughter's "rapist" to the Indians IS a reasonable action (or would have been if Jamie had gotten his hands on the right man.)

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5 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

So here's my early-morning revelation:  I think it's pretty clear that one of the motivations behind showing us Indian justice (and Jamie growing awareness of it) is that it helps to inform a pretty big plot-point coming down the road -- ones that could make some viewers hate Jamie (which the writers will want to avoid.)  Jamie giving Roger to the Mohawks is probably Jamie's single biggest fuck-up in the entire series.  Can you think of another that is bigger?  It is HUGE.  And let's be clear -- we LIKE Roger.  Book Roger is very likable and TV Roger is as well, though he clearly lost some brownie points with some viewers when he reacted so negatively to Brianna turning down his unexpected marriage proposal. (Book Roger's proposal is more romantic, more reasonable, and the reader is more sympathetic to his disappointment.) Nevertheless, I'm pretty confident that most viewers like Roger.  So there is a real risk of those viewers resenting the hell out of Jamie when they find out he gave Roger to the Indians as a slave.

Ugh. I wanted to slap Lizzie for that--I've not liked her since. She turns out to not be such a prim and proper saint. Anyway, Gabaldon does need to stop using rape as a plot point. Okay, we get it. Times were dangerous for women. It was pretty much dangerous for everyone.

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On 12/10/2018 at 12:19 AM, ruby24 said:

Based on the previews for the next episode I'm wondering if they're going to have the whole Brianna/Stephen Bonnet attack happen on the boat to America? That actually makes logistical sense as a change from what happens in the book, but that would mean all that happens to her before she has sex with Roger, and it's got to be close enough to where she doesn't know who the father is. And frankly, I'm not sure why she'd be wanting to sleep with Roger after being brutally raped by Bonnet (I always though that rape was one of the most disturbing passages of any of the books- I wonder how the show's going to handle it).

Remember, Roger was on Bonnet's ship to the Colonies.  Those scenes from the preview could be from Roger's journey.  Also, in the books we don't get much of Bree's journey as it's happening.  We get it in flashbacks as she tells Claire and Jamie about it.  Eventually Bree tells Claire about Bonnet and about Roger, but she only tells Claire (I think).  Lizzie, Jamie and Ian draw their own conclusions ... and chaos ensues.

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That’s what I thought, too.  Was wondering if scenes were cut in preview to make it seem like Bree was on Bonnet’s ahip

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It seems they put together the next epi clips in a way to not really give away anything or look like something it is not!

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What follows are some book-vs-show rumination based on ep 407, "Down the Rabbit Hole" so if you haven't seen it yet, stop reading now.

So . . . Brianna does NOT got to Lallybroch.  She just heads straight for the coast.  On foot. And has to be rescued by Laoghaire.  Okaaaaay.

I know the actress who plays Jenny was not available and I presume that's why they changed things but man, this makes me sad.  Seeing Brianna meet her huge extended family (after growing up an only child) is one of my favorite parts of the book. And remember that Brianna doesn't KNOW where Jamie and Claire are NOW.  She just knows where they'll be when their house burns.  So her failure to first go to Jamie's sister's house makes no sense.  For all she knew, Jamie and Claire could be there visiting.  At the very least Jamie's sister would know where he and Claire were at the time of their last letter.  So, yeah, Brianna's failure to head straight to Lallybroch makes no sense.  For that matter, she should have rented a car and driven back and forth between the stones and Lallybroch in the 20th century so as to get the lay of the land between them.  I guess we are left to assume that Claire never actually made clear WHERE Lallybroch was so Brianna had no choice but to head straight to America

So . . . what the hell was Laoghaire's plan when she locked Brianna in the bedroom?  Did she REALLY think she could have her tried as a witch?  I guess we are to assume that she rode off to fetch some kind of lawman? And left her very young daughter all alone in the house with a "witch" locked in the bedroom.  Okaaaaay.

The book version where Laoghaire accuses Brianna of being a bastard by-blow of Jamie's and then tries to claim the pearls that Brianna slams down on the table to prove she is Claire's daughter  --- well I just LOVE that scene.  Couldn't we have had that without Jenny?  Sigh.

Oh well, we always have the book.

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I'm guessing they will use the pearls later on. Perhaps to prove to Jamie that Brianna is his daughter. Just spit ballin' here.

By the way, I didn't get the impression that Brianna was not heading to Lallybroch in this episode. Why did you think she wasn't?

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Brianna tells Laoghaire that she's heading to some port that she has circled on the map to get passage on a ship.  Laoghaire is the one who brings up Lollybroch after the bit about wearing flowers in hair and how some of the girls there used to do that.  Brianna acts like it never occurred to her it might be anywhere close by.  So her entire plan was hoof on down the length of Scotland to a port and sail in the direction of North Carolina on the off chance that Claire and Jamie might happen by there sometime in the next few years, I guess.

The thing I keep getting stuck on is removing the exact date that the fire supposedly occurred by the photocopy being smudged.  So what is the thought process there?  "Oh, sometime before January whatever of any single year in the 1770s you might die in a fire.  So every year pack a bag and keep a bucket of water handy."  I guess they're wanting to make it more of an unknown for the show, but it just sounds silly.  But you know, I rather liked book Jamie's observation about having that exact date hanging over his head that if it were true, then he could do what he wanted and not worry about maybe getting himself killed before then.  That's one of those fun time travel things to try to square.

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15 MINUTES AGO,  NODOROTHYPARKER SAID: 

And when the facts are finally laid out, he's still being confronted by the angry father demanding that he answer RIGHT NOW that he's willing to give up his entire life in his own time to live among the same people who treated him so badly to raise a child who might very well be that of his wife's rapist. 

Okay it's been a while since I read the book but I don't think Jamie demands that Roger commit to give up his entire life in his own time (and obviously they do end up going back to the 20th century for a while).  But yeah, Jamie is disgusted that Roger does not make immediately clear that he intends to stand by Brianna and her baby, no matter what.  Now let's be clear -- I love Jamie.  LOVE him.  He's my fictional boyfriend.  But in this particular instance he's a bit of jerk.  I know a lot of people aren't huge fans of Book 4 but you have to admit the complexity of the relationships and the conflicting feelings that are in play are AMAZING.  I'll bet the cast just could not WAIT to get there.  

It's like the scene earlier this season between Claire & Lord John when they are alone in the cabin during his illness.  I don't know what was better there, the subtext or the brutal honesty.  I hope with all my heart that we get some crackling good scenes like that between Roger and Brianna but, more importantly, I'm looking forward to a scene between Jamie and Roger.  Both of them feel guilty about not protecting Brianna (it's not rational but it's very common I'm told).  Jamie also blames Roger for that failure -- for leaving her alone after he found her.  Roger likewise blames Jamie -- none of this would have happened if she hadn't been so determined to come back to this dangerous time and she wouldn't have HAD to do that if Jamie's mere existence had not exerted such a powerful pull on both Claire and Brianna.  And THEN -- just when he comes to fetch his wife (having risked his life to obtain the gemstones they needed to safely time-travel back home) his psycho father-in-law and whateverthehell Ian is to him SELL him into slavery with the Mohawks.  And THEN when they finally do rescue him -- but only by swapping Ian for him -- Jamie makes clear that he regrets the trade and still blames Roger for leaving Brianna alone.  Oooooh it's going to be good (or at least I hope it is.)  In the book we don't actually see Jamie and Roger come to blows -- we just hear Claire's commentary about the effects of testosterone poisoning as she listens to the fight outside.  But in the show I assume we'll see it.  I'm rubbing my hands in anticipation. 

Edited by WatchrTina
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9 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

Okay it's been a while since I read the book but I don't think Jamie demands that Roger commit to give up his entire life in his own time

By expecting him to choose to stay that's exactly what he's doing.  At this point in the story, they don't have any idea whether a newborn Jemmy could time travel and Claire and Brianna aren't willing to risk it.  That's why there's such a rush in the back half of that book to find Roger or get Brianna back to the stones before she gives birth.  They reason she can probably safely time travel pregnant because Claire did.   But book Claire and Brianna acknowledge that traveling can be difficult and dangerous even their show counterparts so far haven't.  For all they know, it could kill a baby.  So if Roger is going to be a father to this child or a husband to Brianna, it's going to have to be in their time with them.

Edit to add: It will be another full book before Claire comes up with her gene theory and they start testing who can hear stones and who can't.

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