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S02.E03: Useful Occupations and Deceptions

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Jamie’s time is dominated by political machinations, while Claire finds solace in her healing skills.

 

This is the Book Talk thread. Unspoiled posters, your thread is here.

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Can Anne Kenney write every episode from now on? That was wonderful.

 

I love how she introduced Fergus. I miss the sausage scene (maybe that will still be coming?), but it was brilliant to see how watching Fergus lifted Jamie's spirits. It’s a great foundation on which to build their father-son dynamic. Sawney was a nice touch, of course. Romann Berrux is already a scene-stealer. Does anyone know if he spoke English before being cast? Listening to him go back and forth from French to English gave me all the smiles. I watched the Fergus-Jamie scene 6 times so far, and the follow-up scene with Claire, Fergus, and Murtagh was great as well. The casting for this show is amazing.

 

They didn't have the conversation about the bargain Fergus and Jamie had, if Fergus were to get caught pick-pocketing. Hopefully, that will be shown in a later episode. Kind of a vital part to Fergus' future. 

 

Based on the little dialogue about how Fergus isn't a whore, I think the show will go there when it comes to why Jamie finally fights Black Jack. I think it'll be powerful for the whole Jamie-Fergus dynamic, but I can also hear the non-book-reading criticism coming from a mile away.

 

Murtagh and Suzette – damn. It’s an inspired pairing.

 

We got the bitter cascara nod.

 

Stanley Weber can do so much with so few words. I want to see what else he can show us with the Comte. 

 

Sandringham – when did they know about him in the book? Was it when Claire finds herself in his house? I don’t think they thought much about the musical “S” in the book.

 

Sam and Cait are magnificent together. That scene at L'Hôpital des Anges when Mother Hildegarde is looking at the music was terrific. Sam looks over at Cait a couple times, and you see a sparkle in Jamie’s eyes – his esteem for Claire’s work - and he remembers why and how he fell in love with her. You can see them enjoying each other. In the midst of their mess right now, that moment almost reminds them that they’re a wonderful and equal team.

 

By focusing more on Jamie’s PTSD, they’re creating a different facet of Jamie and Claire’s marriage than the book. I’m curious to see how it’ll pay off.

 

Across the board, I love how they’re adapting DiA. It’s got the spirit of the book while tightening up some plot and scenes, and adding some additional flairs, like Murtagh. So far I’m liking season 2 more than season 1, though I miss Lard Bucket and Big Head.

Edited by Dust Bunny
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I think Jamie and Claire both need to do something useful be it extracting puss or sleuthing. I felt their distance keenly. This is not going to end well.

It was great to see so many characters from the page come to life.  I like the Bach nod.

It's so interesting to have a totally different second season. Thank God it's working. The danger and politics here is equally present, but it a different way.

 

 

So far I’m liking season 2 more than season 1, though I miss Lard Bucket and Big Head.

 

I think I agree. Though I loved the Scottish culture, it is nice not having Claire wanting to go back home all the time.  Everything just looks so good this season.

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I realized a while back that I need to watch each episode 3x to really appreciate it. The first time I spend too much time missing what isn't there from the books, the second time I relax into it and tend to notice more all the good that is there. And the third time I tend to sink into it like a cozy chair and just enjoy. This episode is one of the few that is the exception to the rule. I LOVED it. Just finished and I cannot wait to watch it again tonight with mr. morgan.

Can I say how much I love Anne Kenney??? Brilliant episode . I think she does an amazing job capturing characters. Claire felt so very Claire again, and Jamie was more Jamie again. Wonderful job with the book changes. I was still hoping for the sausage as well as the scene with Claire and the other ladies when they first visit the hopital. But the changes really worked.

Fergus, Mother H, and Bouton!!!! I'm so happy right now.

I do think we will see Fergus tell Claire about the arrangement at some point. And I'm guessing they are going to go there with BJR. I don't want to think about that right now. And I was happy to see them jump right to Sandringham. That frustrated me in the book that they didn't.

LOVED IT!!!!

Edited by morgan
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This. This is Outlander at its best. I didn't hate the last two episodes, but this one makes me want to cry tears of happiness for how perfect it was. I just...I have nothing else to say. That was the best thing I've seen from any show in a long, long time. It might be my favorite episode of Outlander, behind like, The Wedding. But really I had some issues with The Wedding too, so this might just be it. I didn't once think about comparing the episode to the book, I didn't once pick up my phone, I just watched the characters I love being themselves and doing their thing. It was perfect.

Edited by Petunia846
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Joining the chorus. I loved it!!! Such a perfect episode. The characters felt true to the book and the writing was superb. No clunky dialogue. I wish Anne Kenney could write every episode too. She just gets the characters and I think the actors love her scripts too because they were on point. Mother Hildregard is one of my favorite character and Frances De La Tour was wonderful. I was so happy they kept in the diabetes patient. And Fergus!!! So adorable. I am a happy camper after really disliking the first two episodes.

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As soon as I saw Anne Kenney in the opening credits, I knew it would be good! There is a real difference in the episodes written by a book reader/lover. Night and day, IMO, compared to the last episode. Wee Fergus was perfect! As were Mother H and Bouton.

 

I know it's not happening any time soon but the shallow part of me is really ready for Claire and Jamie to reconnect and have some sexy times, ye ken?

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Joining the chorus. I loved it!!! Such a perfect episode. The characters felt true to the book and the writing was superb. No clunky dialogue. I wish Anne Kenney could write every episode too. She just gets the characters and I think the actors love her scripts too because they were on point. Mother Hildregard is one of my favorite character and Frances De La Tour was wonderful. I was so happy they kept in the diabetes patient. And Fergus!!! So adorable. I am a happy camper after really disliking the first two episodes.

I loved, loved, loved this episode. If you haven't seen Vicious, Frances plays the older gay couple's friend and she's so damn funny in that.

Romann Berrux was an inspired casting choice for Fergus. It's like he was born to play this role. He needs to get a twitter account so we can shower him with praise.

Why can't the women write every episode and let the guys direct. That way it will be fair and we will get the best dialogue and character interaction to boot.

Edited by maraleia
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There is so much to love as others have noted.  I think non-bookers will be pleased with Jamie's more active and taking-command role in this episode.  Kenney did a wonderful job in condensing the politics in an concise but clear way.

 

Claire has a clear baby bump and can I say that I am in love with her robe.  I'd buy something like that in a NY minute.  The Charity Hospital and its inhabitants are exactly how I imagined them.  And Fergus!  That's a home run of casting.

 

Just a fabulous hour!  

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One thing that really shocks me is that with all the fantastic new characters I've been looking forward to, one scene that still stands out to me is the one where Jaime is with the prince and the finance minister in the brothel. I hated all the political talk in the book, totally skimmed over most of it, but that scene was so tense I was just riveted. The looks they were all giving each other, the facial expressions, the way the camera started to get in tighter and tighter. It was really fantastic. I never expected to be interested in the politics of trying to avoid the war.

 

The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the way Jamie and Claire talked so openly in front of the servants at the start of the episode. I know they said they could trust them, but I still felt that was going a bit too far. I will happily whistle past that though with how fabulous everything else was.

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I agree, I thought it was a bit unexpected to have them speak so openly in front of the servants. Part of me tried to whistle past it thinking maybe the servants only spoke French and they were speaking English?

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The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the way Jamie and Claire talked so openly in front of the servants at the start of the episode. I know they said they could trust them, but I still felt that was going a bit too far.

I totally agree and you have just answered a question I had from the last episode. There was a line in 202 where Claire talks about their servants being trustworthy and I remember thinking, "Why is THAT line in the show?"  Now I believe they inserted that line in response to the writers raising exactly the question that you have raised -- is it wise for them to speak so freely of their double-dealings in front of the servants.  I agree it's a work-around.  They want the servants in virtually every scene to reinforce Jamie & Claire's lack of privacy, the opulence of their current living conditions, and the general sense of "Not Scotland."  But they need that dialog delivered to the audience in an efficient manner so . . .  voila!, very trustworthy bilingual servants.  I'll whistle past it too.

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You are probably right, WatchrTina, although I still think it's foolish to count on anyone's word that they are all trustworthy so speak freely! But I'll whistle along as well.

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It especially bugs me because we explicitly see in the books how the servants of all the houses gossip with each other. Isn't that how they learn about Louise and her affair?

 

Anyway, it sounds like I care, but I really don't. I'm still in a glow over the lovely episode. If I didn't have so much to do I'd rewatch it again before it airs tonight (and then watch it when it airs), but I'll just have to wait for 9.

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I feel the same about it! Also was surprised when Jamie showed his cards so openly to M. Duveney while playing chess.

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The only thing that drove me a little crazy was the way Jamie and Claire talked so openly in front of the servants at the start of the episode. I know they said they could trust them, but I still felt that was going a bit too far. I will happily whistle past that though with how fabulous everything else was.

 

That bothers me, too.  Especially since one of the first things Claire said in a voice over last episode was how trustworthy Jared's servants are.   I hope that wasn't some foreshadowing going on.  

 

Edit:  I should have know this would already have been covered.  :)

Edited by toolazy
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First: ewww!!! Gack! Claire tasting the urine! Was that in the buik?

 

Second: Bouton! Quelle Magnifique!

 

Jamie tae Fergus after he captures him "Ye Wee Fool"

 

Me: melting in a puddle of goo.

 

I really enjoyed this and was so so happy tae see that Jamie is talking to Claire about the bairn and her pregnancy--something that's been lacking in the previous two episodes. Frankly, except for last year's finale, this season didn't show how he felt about the bairn, concern for Claire's pregnancy, nothing. Which was concerning to me.  But aye, Anne Kenney should write the rest of the season.

 

I loved, Loved, LOVED seeing the Jamie I love show some of the Jamie that I fell in love with.  Along with the arguing, if you want to call it that, between those two crazy kids!

 

Bonnie Prince Charlie continues to be a disappointment. It's a wonder how he managed to get the clans to fight in the Jacobite Rebellion.

 

I loved Mother Hildegard! And the nod to Bach! I laughed at her remark his music wouldn't amount to anything, hee!  I loved how both Jamie and Claire said Sandrigham simeltaneously.  Back in sync. And then it wall went to hell when she didn't tell him about Black Jack. And I do remember some stuff from the buik and laughed that they kept the lines where Mary is telling Claire and Louise that she hopes her husband doesn't stick his "thing" inside her, something only Frenchman do, and she's sure that Jamie, who seems like a kind and true gentleman, doesn't force Claire to endure such torture. And I'm laughing and thinking, how does she think Claire got pregnant?

 

One thing I did notice and it's stupid, is that NOW, whenever Murtagh or Jamie say "I dinna ken" or "dinna fash", or ye ken, other woirds in English, but with the Gaelic 'accent,',  my closed captioning now refuses to show it, and instead has speaking Gaelic, which is so not the case!

 

I also enjoyed Jamie shrugging off the prostitute who kept trying to entice him.

 

Since next episode is titled "La Dame Blanche" I have a feeling we'll see the sausage then? Or, I'm afraid it might mean

that we'll see or hear Mary's rape, and the attempted rape of Claire. What stops the latter is Claire being recognized as such since Jamie gave her that name.

 

I hope I'm wrong. I also hope we get the hand scene, tears, and fucking re-connecting between Jamie and Claire by then.  Murtagh now has been apprised of that, thanks to Suzette. I thought that maybe Murtagh was going to have a "talk" with Jamie during the scene where they noticed the letters came with the sheet of music.

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After such a boring episode, and as a non-book reader, I was curious why this thread had 18 replies vs 2 in the other. I see now that this is one of those pivotal "setting up important new characters" episodes. Hmm...really did not expect that with Fergus nor was I drawn to or interested in him. The nun is cool though. Loved the mention of Bach!

 

I wonder if it has occurred to Claire to be careful about becoming too important in history? A woman befriending King Louis' financial advisor, feuding with a Duke, wearing a show-stopping red dress and generally being the most beautiful woman in a room, speaking her mind and doing what she pleases despite the culture of the time, working to stop a major rebellion, healing or knowing the reason for illness with everyone she comes into contact with...she's starting to become history book fodder.

Edited by mirrorrim

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Interesting that you found it boring. I am a book reader and was riveted, but mr. morgan is not a book reader and found it boring as well. Good, but boring. And Claire annoyed him. Whereas I see her motivations and am so excited by the episode. Will be curious to know how the differing opinions play out after it is aired and others weigh in.

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I found it pretty boring as well.  Not that the episode was bad.  I'm just finding myself already tired of being in France.  It's not interesting to me.  It never has been in the books, either.  There were too many things that sort of annoyed me in this episode.  The servants being there when they were talking of secret stuff, though that's already been mentioned.  It doesn't even matter that they mentioned the servants were trustworthy, it's just a stupid error to have so many standing around when they are having a full blown conversation like that.  

 

Then the many walls being between Claire and Jamie.  We get it, there is a divide between them.  That doesn't excuse the incredibly lazy filming techniques. At one point I got up and rolled my eyes, having to leave the room because it was yet another scene with some physical barrier between Jamie and Claire.  Talk about uninspired directing and set design.  Yawn.  What episode do we get to leave France?  

 

The good of the episode was certainly introducing Mother Hildegard and Fergus.  Excellent casting there.  Fergus is so Fergus.  It still makes me cringe that Jamie changed his name and the reasons why, but I still had an "ah, my sweet Fergus" moment.  

 

I wonder if they are going to reveal anything about the Comte also being a time traveler.  The way it's revealed in the books, it's nearly irrelevant to Claire and Jamie's story.  I'm not sure how much magic the show is willing to have each season.  There will already be Raymond's mystical healing of Claire and Claire's travel back through the stones.  Maybe revealing another time traveler -and one that's related to boot -would be a bit too much?  I already find the books are way too slow in giving details about the sci-fi mystery.  I do wish the show would be more liberal in this.  

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I raced here to say how much I missed Jamie's "verra big sausage" only to smile to see that many others also felt the same.  I love that scene, including Jamie's description of Fergus as a "boon companion" on a lazy afternoon.  That said, Fergus was adorable as promised. 

Edited by Thalia
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I haven't gone to look at the script yet, but I thought I heard Fergus say "ok" in English? Silly nitpick, but it stuck out to me.

 

One thing that does bug me on the show is how quickly things pay off. Like Claire mentioned early on Mother Hildegarde's musical talents, and by the end of the episode they're already utilized for a major plot thing. I know there is so much to be covered, but it does make the events feel contrived when the thing they need is introduced and used in that same episode. 

 

I'm wondering if the post-brothel fight is coming up next episode. They've certainly been ramping up his visits. And I do like that they've established that the maid has noticed they're not having sex--that's good setup for some of the later and more public rumors. 

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Louise will later gossip with other women that Jamie has obviously been seeking sex outside the house because of Claire's condition. It's in the lead up to the duel. It's not a major plot moment but it always stung to read. 

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Okay, here’s my take on Episode 203

 

THE GOOD
The story arc to this episode is fantastic.  The tension is there in the very first scene but it is subtle.  Jamie and Claire are very loving to one another but Jamie is buzzing around, so busy he barely has time to sleep, clearly not spending much time with his wife.  Claire, meanwhile, is hiding a growing discontent at her lack of meaningful activity (“They’re not MY ladies” she murmurs as he departs.)  Then, after she finds something useful to do, he resents it because on the one day when all his efforts seemed to be for naught, she was not there to listen to his troubles and advise him.  The montage of him waiting for her was great and the tension of the conversation that followed, with Jamie being a bit of a jerk and Claire trying hard to not let things escalate was well-written and well-acted.  It was very believable, as was Claire tossing and turning in bed alone after Jamie stalks out of the house.  The scene between them when he comes back with Fergus is even better.  Even the blocking is perfect with Jamie in the hallway and Claire in the dining room, speaking through doorways – always at a distance.  A tiny bit of reconciliation is there at the end: “That’s a good idea.” “Thank you.” But still he bids her goodnight as though they won’t be sharing a bed later. Then, in the last scene, there is more reconciliation when he toasts both Mother Hildegard and Claire.  Very nicely done but a bit heart-breaking because we, the viewers, know how upset Jamie is going to be when he finds out that Claire has been withholding the information about Black Jack from him.  Terrific arc.

 

Frank!  Just a wee flashback but still, it was a new scene.  I was glad to see it given how key the question of Frank’s ancestry (or potential lack of existence) is going to become.

 

OMG the gold dress.  I LOVE the gold dress, with its lovely matching cape and hood.

 

I have to laugh at poor Claire having to play the role of the local Planned Parenthood provider – first taking Mary aside for a talk about the facts of life (I do hope that talk happened even though Claire was so upset after her realization of who Mary is) and later having to go in search of contraception for Suzette.

 

I like that Murtagh finally gets a little “action” (other than sword-fighting).  At first I thought the scene with Suzette was gratuitous but now I realize that it gave Claire a reason to go back to Master Raymond, which was necessary to the plot.  That visit gives us the foreshadowing that Bitter Cascara is going to be employed by someone at some point and Master Raymond moves the plot forward by introducing the idea of volunteering at l’hopital.

 

I loved that Claire told Murtagh about Black Jack being alive.  His encouraging her to keep it a secret and thereby sharing in responsibility for that decision is more realistic to me than Claire deciding on her own to commit such a major lie of omission.

 

I’m also glad that Claire’s wildly indiscrete lady’s maid told Murtagh about Jamie and Claire’s troubles in the bedroom.  Now he understands why Claire was so upset when he criticized her for being prudish about his romp in Suzette’s bed.  He’ll tread more lightly on that topic from now on.

 

BTW, Murtagh in a state of deshabille, wearing just his shirt, is pretty sexy.  And Murtagh making himself comfy on the day-bed is just such a wonderful contrast of types – rustic Murtagh in that lovely, comfy sleeping nook.

 

Loved le Comte’s blue coat.  Tres chic!

 

The room where Jamie plays chess is gorgeous.  I really appreciated the camera angles.  They shot every close-up from below the actors, pointing the camera up so that you could appreciate the scale of the room.

 

J’adore Master Raymond.  J’adore Mother Hildegard.  The casting of this show is nearly perfect.

 

Mother Hildegard’s harpsichord with the painting on the interior of the lid was lovely.

 

Jamie was in a kilt in the final scene!

 

Claire’s failure to tell Jamie about Black Jack casts a pall over the final scene.  While Murtagh was supporting her decision to keep silent Claire had a partner in her “crime” but now it’s all on her.  I thought it was believable though.  She just didn’t want to spoil a happy moment for Jamie.  He’s had so few lately.  It reminds me of Jamie’s decision in book three to delay, delay, delay telling Claire a certain important piece of information.  That blew up in his face and I feel certain that Claire’s decision will as well.

 

 

THE BAD
Suzette is the only weak actor I’ve seen so far.  I’m annoyed by the way she holds her skirts up while walking down the stairwell in 202 and while walking down the hall in 203.  Why would she do that?  It’s a silly affectation.  You only have to hold up your skirt when walking UP stairs.  She doesn’t know how to be at home in that costume.  I also thought her reaction to Claire finding her in flagrante delicto with Murtagh was not realistic either.  Would she really not bother trying to cover her nakedness?

 

Is it realistic that Prince Charles Stuart would kiss the hand of the French finance minister?  He’s a royal prince with a massive sense of entitlement.  I didn’t think that moment was in character.

 

I don’t understand the most important moment in the episode – Jamie and Claire’s realization that the Duke of Sandringham is the source of Prince Charles’ English money. Why would that make them think that that meant he was playing both sides and could, therefore, be talked out of his support?  Claire flat-out accused him of being a Jacobite and a traitor in episode 202.  What makes them think his support is insincere?  Okay maybe Jamie would think he could influence the Duke – he probably still thinks the Duke is his friend – and he’s a bit buzzed at that moment because they figured out the mystery.  But I still don’t get what makes them think the Duke is hedging his bets and playing both sides.

 

They really need to get someone to close-caption this show who actually watches the show for pleasure.  Then maybe we wouldn’t get so many instances of captions saying “Speaks Gaelic” when Jamie is actually speaking Scottish English.  Apparently “I dinna ken” was incomprehensible to the captioner, as was the word “sporran.”

 

 

THE UGLY
Do I have to say it?  Pus.  Ugh

 

 

OTHER
Jamie grabs a bag on his way to meet the finance minister at Versailles.  I ‘m assuming that those are his chess pieces.  Does that make sense – that men would provide their own pieces?

 

When Jamie comes home in the very first scene and is basically undressing as he walks through the house there is a very deliberate close-up of a servant picking up Jamie’s belt off a table.  Why do you suppose that was?  Was it just to reinforce that Jamie, unlike Claire, has become comfortable with assuming that a servant will always pick up after him?  Or was it to introduce the possibility that Sawny the snake was stolen by that servant?  We find out later that it was Fergus who took it but are we supposed to suspect the servant at first?

 

Did you notice how short Sister Angelique was?  I looked her up.  She’s 4’10”.  She must have been in flats while Cait had on heels because Claire seemed more than a foot taller than the wee nun.

Edited by WatchrTina · Reason: Grammar matters.
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So Sandringham is "playing both sides against the middle."  I could never figure out whose side he was on in the book, so in the show he's just an opportunist I guess. 

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I  never read book two; once I started it with Bree, and Roger tracing history I skipped right to the end of book 2 and into 3.  Going back to read it now, just staying ahead of the show.  I really like how the show is different than the book - it keeps what's important, sometimes swishing things around for speed or just timing, and it keeps it interesting for me not knowing exactly what is coming next.   I know some last season were disappointed the show wasn't exactly like the book, but I like the changes.

 

I need to watch this one again to pick out more of the details. And I agree, GHScoriosRule!  The "speaking Gaelic" captions were hysterical.

 

Love Murtaugh.  The most.

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I found this episode boring. Everything is just so dull, chess playing, code cracking and copying letters.It's straight from the books and just does not make exciting tv. I think the sausage would have definitely livened it up.

Fergus is adorable and perfect. I loved every scene with him. I loved all the diagnosing and pus scenes. Jamie's looks at Claire with Mother Hildegarde were so special and another highlight of the episode.

This wasn't horrible at all. Just very unexciting and dull.

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Jamie was in a kilt in the final scene!

 

I just noticed that on my 5th viewing. I loved it. I think it was because he can be completely authentic at L'Hôpital des Anges. It's like wearing your comfy clothes to places you know won't judge you. It's also because he's entering into a place of asceticism of the nuns and poverty of the people. It might have felt more like Scotland than any other place in Paris. There's also probably a sense of humility in asking for help from a place for which he chastised Claire. Such a simple costume change but so meaningful.

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As someone who has read the first four books, I can tell you, that by the third one I was all "how many times can the same 3 people from one family be raped/kidnapped or be threatened with being raped/kidnapped". It actually got annoying.

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I'll join the chorus who just loved this episode. I thought it was wonderfully written. Perfect introduction of Mother Hildegarde and Fergus who are wonderfully cast! I'm already in love with the Jamie/Fergus relationship and can't wait to see more of it.

 

I don't know if it is an unpopular opinion, but I love the trouble they put into Claire and Jamie's marriage. They add the salt to an otherwise rather dull half of the season, since I'm not interested in the politics and I'm happy they're speeding through it and give us another focus with the Claire/Jamie problem. I think it was very convincing in the this episode. There's a distance and neither of them knows how to cross it (yet). I'm so looking forward to them finding their way back to each other again, but I enjoy watching the process and the first tentative steps at the end of this episode.

 

I love Murtagh!!! That's nothing new, but please, if they can give him a love interest, can't they also save him?! He's just the best and I really don't want to lose him.

 

The BJR secrect is still looming in the dark. I'm dreading Jamie finding out and the fight that will certainly follow...

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I so agree that the season so far has been wonderful.  DiA isn't my favorite book but I'm loving how it's being brought to life.  The colors, the elegance... visually it's stunning.  Sam and Cait are bringing the sense of urgency with the underlying tension in their marriage.  And adorable Wee Fergus!  He stole the scenes he was in.  The writing for those scenes was terrific, something to break the tension of the other domestic scenes.  Loved how Jamie told Murtagh to watch his sporran.

I loved that Claire told Murtagh about Black Jack being alive.  His encouraging her to keep it a secret and thereby sharing in responsibility for that decision is more realistic to me than Claire deciding on her own to commit such a major lie of omission.

 

Yes!  He confirmed that her initial instinct was right in not telling Jamie, well, until he said she should tell him but didn't.

 

J’adore Master Raymond.  J’adore Mother Hildegard.  The casting of this show is nearly perfect.

 

And J'adore Bouton too!  

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I feel so sorry for Claire, sometimes. It's like she's in a final exam, on which her entire future depends, and for which she hasn't studied. I mean, If you were planning to go back in time, like Geilis Duncan, you would study everything you could about the period, especially if there was something in particular you wanted to accomplish, like stopping a rebellion. (or in GD's case, making sure it succeeded) But poor Claire, despite being married to a Scottish historian obsessed with genealogy (the perfect source!) never really paid attention and now it's too late. 

When BJR was "killed," I think she was too involved with Jamie and his problems to really think through the implications in her own life and why she was still there. Or maybe she just assumed that BJR must have a son somewhere. But when she recalls the Mary Hawkins reference, and knows (or thinks she knows) that BJR and MH have to have a child together in order for Frank to be born, the whole situation becomes much more fraught. 

I too have been loving the casting and enjoyed this episode. It amuses me, though, that the non book readers found it boring. I guess a parade of new characters and a whole lot of political talk doesn't make for a thrilling episode on its own. It's only that we book readers know the implications of all this and how important these characters will be in the long run.

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I found this episode boring. Everything is just so dull, chess playing, code cracking and copying letters.It's straight from the books and just does not make exciting tv. I think the sausage would have definitely livened it up.

Fergus is adorable and perfect. I loved every scene with him. I loved all the diagnosing and pus scenes. Jamie's looks at Claire with Mother Hildegarde were so special and another highlight of the episode.

This wasn't horrible at all. Just very unexciting and dull.

 

I wonder if I would have liked this episode more if I had NOT read the books. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it fine, but not effusively like a lot of other book readers. Sure it's great to see all these characters on screen, but with so many of them, they don't get much screen time individually. 

 

Looking forward to Jamie and Claire reconnecting soon!

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I loved, loved, loved this episode. If you haven't seen Vicious, Frances plays the older gay couple's friend and she's so damn funny in that.

Romann Berrux was an inspired casting choice for Fergus. It's like he was born to play this role. He needs to get a twitter account so we can shower him with praise.

Why can't the women write every episode and let the guys direct. That way it will be fair and we will get the best dialogue and character interaction to boot.

 

He joined twitter: @romannberrux

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Quote

 

I feel so sorry for Claire, sometimes. It's like she's in a final exam, on which her entire future depends, and for which she hasn't studied.

I love this similitude so much I just had to quote it.  Bravo!

Quote

 

I know that C&J time is Paris was the most stormy in their marriage but I feel the show is really increasing it and I don't really care for that. For example, from what I remember Claire went to assist in the hospital with Jamie knowing and accepting it. He was against it at first as he felt it could be dangerous for her and their child, but then he realized it's integral part of who she is. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't recall him accusing her of overindulgence when her passion for healing was concerned, and I certainly don't remember him ever complaining "But what about  my pleasures?!". I don't think it's true to the way his character is constructed in the books. There is a scene in "Voyager" when they are on seas, Claire asks him what would he like to do and Jamie is seriously startled, as no one has ever asked him such a question. He was raised to be a man of duty and responsibility and it was as natural for him as breathing.

I agree that the tension between Jamie and Claire is a change from the book, but only to a point.  The show had to skip the long period that Jamie and Claire spent at the Abby -- a time when Jamie and Claire were decidedly at odds in that Jamie (at first) was willing himself to die.  He didn't do anything to take his own life but he would not (or could not) fight the despair that was consuming him and he was (in my opinion) going willingly into that dark night, grateful for the fever that was consuming him. Jamie and Claire were definitely not on the same page.  Crockery was thrown.  It was Claire who dragged him back, kicking and screaming (and fighting in an opium-induced fever dream.) But there were fights between them even after he was on the mend (I recall a battle over whether he could or could not stomach meat (he couldn't, not that he didn't try.)  All that tension and healing was skipped in the show so they have transplanted at least some of it to Paris.  One of the things that was killing Jamie in the book was his inability to sleep because he was plagued by nightmares.  Paris Jamie is also plagued by nightmares.  In 203 he seems to be coming home at dawn, having been up all night with the prince, but he immediately changes his clothes to go meet the minister of finance for chess.  He says he'll sleep a bit in the coach on the way but that's not much.  Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  I know people learn to cope with it (ask any new parent) but it affects your mood and your ability to reason.  In fact, Jamie is actually unrealistically clever in this episode given how sleep-deprived he must be.  So anyway, I find the tension between Jamie and Claire to be believable and I think it actually adds to the drama of the season for them to have transplanted that part of Jamie and Claire's journey as a couple to this part of the story.  

 

You are right that Book!Jamie does not want Claire working at the hospital and when he hears about her first visit (she goes with a group of women) he even threatens to "forbid" Claire from returning to volunteer again.  He doesn't do that (he kens that using that particular word might backfire) but he asks her not to go. He changes his mind when she comes home from Louise's house having waxed her legs and armpits and smelling of some scent that makes him sneeze violently.  When hears that Louise actually waxes her "honeypot" he decides that, all things considered, it would be better for Claire to spend her day binding wounds and lancing boils than spending her days with Louise.  

 

So yes, the show IS different but I think they've done a really good job of picking up the essential beats from the novel (Jamie's original disapproval followed by his changing his mind) and worked it into a one-episode story arc that makes sense.  Jamie's resentment at Claire's absence when he seeks solace with her after the disastrous meeting at the brothel -- that isn't straight from the novel but I think it is true to the spirit of the novel and Jamie's overarching discomfort in his role as political plotter.

Edited by WatchrTina · Reason: spelling matters
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I was going to state how in this buik, during their time in Paris, that Claire and Jamie did have sexy fun times, the Jamie sneezing re waxing "...your oxters!?", which led to, well, ye ken. But then I'm seeing that they've transplanted the Jamie healing from the end of Outlander afore the Grotto to this season, and so I take a big frustrated sigh.

 

And I hope the writers remember that Wee Fergus, always referred to Claire as MiLady! and not Madame, as he did last night.

 

It's odd, sometimes I could tell Claire was pregnant, others I couldn't. The show needs to work better on that since Claire should be around five months by this time. Aye, I ha' been counting!

 

Oh and they also had my closed captioning saying "speaking Gaelic" when Jamie warned Murtagh to be careful of his sporran. Yep, only when he said "sporran" did the cc show up. 

 

Me: rolling my eyes.

 

I miss Jamie calling Claire Mo Neahan Down! or Mo Chri. It's either Sassenach or Clairrre. (no typo, just emphasizing his burr!)

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The inimitable Tom + Lorenzo (Fabulous & Opinionated) are back with their review of the episode:

 

http://tomandlorenzo.com/2016/04/outlander-useful-occupations-deceptions/

 

Here's my favorite bit:

 

 

We FINALLY have some sort of time paradox in the story. Usually, time travel tales introduce the paradox fairly early on, but it’s taken a while to get to this point. Granted, [Claire] didn’t seem as concerned about Frank’s family line when cows were trampling Jack to death, but we suppose meeting poor Mary Hawkins somehow solidified the problems of mucking around in the time stream. Given that Mary is keen on Jack’s brother, however, we wonder if the Randall family line is more convoluted than Claire realizes. Either way, she’s got a hell of a task in front of her once she informs Jamie of Jack’s status as a non-corpse. She’s going to have to figure out a way to save both of her husbands at the same time. Frankly (no pun intended), that is way more interesting to us than the attempt to stop the Jacobite Rebellion, which is clearly doomed to fail.

They are unspoiled viewers so the fact that they figured all this out makes me very happy.

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And now for the completely insignificant:  It seems to me that Sam's hair has been augmented on top in some of the scenes from this week.  I noticed it last week, too.  It's probably my imagination because surely if they were adding to his mane, they'd improve their styling. 

 

Each week I am going back to the book and seeing how much has been covered and how much will be condensed for the next week.  I think the pace has been pretty much on target for getting the main storyline in in 13 weeks.  Such a challenge for the showrunners.

 

I swear, I have forgotten more than I remember.  

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And now for the completely insignificant:  It seems to me that Sam's hair has been augmented on top in some of the scenes from this week.  I noticed it last week, too.  It's probably my imagination because surely if they were adding to his mane, they'd improve their styling. 

 

 

Really? And here I thought his hair was more relaxed, in that, it 'twas less curly, which I appreciated.  It did look darker reddish, though.  I'm just sad that it's not that long where when he discovers Black Jack is alive and is on his way to duel with him, and he shears off his hair in shanks for Claire to find. Sigh...

 

But I do believe he'll see him next week--the previews? The guy he threw over? I'm pretty sure was Black Jack. Though even through pausing, I couldna really tell. But who else could cause that look of rage?

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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Really? And here I thought his hair was more relaxed, in that, it 'twas less curly, which I appreciated.  It did look darker reddish, though.  I'm just said that it's not that long where when he discovers Black Jack is alive and is on his way to duel with him, and he shears off his hair in shanks for Claire to find. Sigh...

 

But I do believe he'll see him next week--the previews? The guy he threw over? I'm pretty sure was Black Jack. Though even through pausing, I couldna really tell. But who else could cause that look of rage?

 

It doesn't seem like he's going to be cutting his hair in the show though since we never saw Sam with a haircut :(

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It doesn't seem like he's going to be cutting his hair in the show though since we never saw Sam with a haircut :(

 

Yep, that's what I said, because they didn't let Sam grow out his hair to the point where Jamie would cut it. But I do miss his short hair that we saw in the pilot and then episodes two and three last season. sigh...

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I think they added extensions to his hair in the first episodes until the duel, because then he will cut his hair. In the pictures and short clips we saw from Scotland he has his old Jamie hair and not the long fringe he's sporting in these early episodes. I also mean to remember I saw a short clip in a very early trailer (from comic con?) where we could see an upset looking Claire with a lock of his hair in his hand. So I think the hair cutting will still be in the show. 

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Does anyone have the link to the family tree image that was release ahead of this episode? I want to look at it again.

 

Something I noticed when I watched the episode for the second time was the way Jamie looked at Claire when she was relating her knowledge of Bach with Mother Hildegard. It's a slight thing but he looks at her like wow my wife knows a lot of stuff that I'll never know since I've never traveled back in time. I hope we see more of that in the coming episodes.

Edited by maraleia
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Something I noticed when I watched the episode for the second time was the way Jamie looked at Claire when she was relating her knowledge of Bach with Mother Hildegard. It's a slight thing but he looks at her like wow my wife knows a lot of stuff that I'll never know since I've never traveled back in time. I hope we see more of that in the coming episodes.

 

 

Yes, I noticed that. I think we should always have something that lets us know that Claire is from another time ... and the fact that Jamie may pick up on that is gravy.

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