Dinna Fash…………by Crystal Fann

I don’t know a writer alive who doesn’t hate transitional scenes.  Stephen King calls them the real monsters of the universe, George R. R. Martin avoids them at all costs and even Diana Gabaldon herself has called them treacherous.  I’d rather walk through a pit of snakes to write one myself – and everybody that knows me knows what a statement that is…I HATE snakes!  Transitional scenes are the plot points that move us to the dramatic beats of a story.  In a good writers’ hands, transitional scenes can be as good as any other part of the story.  In a bad writer’s hands, they are well…bad.

Last night’s Outlander was a transitional point in the story – and a fairly good one at that.  For Jamie and Claire, it transitioned them out of the peaceful, intimate cocoon of their reunion night and slung them back into the real world.  If the episode A. Malcolm echoed the Wedding episode, then Crème de Menthe contained shadows of Both Sides Now, complete with a near rape for Claire.

Just like in Both Sides Now, Jamie and Claire emerge from the world of shared kisses protected by the blanket of the night into the harsh reality of responsibilities and the reminder that Claire is now in a violent world where she is considered guilty just because she’s a woman. Claire’s different this time though, she’s still rattled after the near-rape, but she’s a surgeon now, trained to take her trauma and focus in toward something useful – even if that useful is to help the man that tried to rape and kill her.   Jamie is different too, his mercy tampered by years of heartbreak, war, prison, and indenture.   Although he concedes to Claire’s healing instinct, his disregard for the man’s life rattles their new-found reunion.  When the man is lost – Claire yearns for the modern technology that would have saved his life and doubts her return, both for Jamie and herself.   On a side note, I am loving this incarnation of Mr. Willoughly and his obvious respect for the woman that has the regard to call him by his real name.

I’ve seen some describe Claire as bitchy and snippy this episode, but if you recall in Both Sides Now she was much the same way – a side effect of internalizing the trauma. Jamie is different too, still holding onto to secrets and the fear that Claire will decide not to stay which makes him over-protective and cautious.  His words about her return were heartfelt and romantic but cut short when Claire fell under the sway of a calling almost as strong as her love for Jamie – her need to heal.

We meet Margaret Campbell, although her brother is more a charlatan than a minister in this adaption.  That’s okay, it’s Margaret that’s the important one here and her words as she touches Claire’s hands…tree frogs…blood moon and Abandon we…. which I wonder is just Margaret’s mispronunciation of Abandawe.  Is she a true seer….we will just have to wait and see.

Back at the brothel, Claire’s need to leave the whorehouse insinuates to Jamie that she cannot cope with the life he leads now, while Jamie’s reluctance to leave speaks to Claire of the change she sees and fears in him.  When Claire watches him lie to Ian’s face – and who didn’t love the older Ian and his reunion with Claire – it’s too much, leading to harsh words and the precipice of a fight that’s not only overdue, but much needed.  Her comments to Jamie about parenthood weren’t meant to hurt, but came from her core and the constant worry and regret at leaving Brianna behind.  While last week we saw Jamie’s joy at learning of his daughter, the week we see his anger at not being a part of her life.  While he admitted to never loving another, he needs the same from Claire – and gets it, but the conversation is cut short due to someone yelling fire – literally.

The print shop is ablaze and while Jamie may be older, he’s still fairly spry and rescues Ian without incident – save the fact that now due to Sir Percival’s machinations Jamie is a wanted man, not for smuggling but for the worse crimes of sedition and treason forcing him to leave Edinburgh.  Just like Red Jamie, the Dunbonnet, Mack Dubh, and Alex Mackenzie, this incarnation of Jamie Fraser has come to an end.  Illuminated by the flames we see Jamie mourn Alexander Malcolm as the print shop dies a fiery death.  There’s something else echoed in Jamie’s expression though, worry due to Claire insisting they take young Ian home to Lallybroch.  Thanks to Fergus we learn why – Jamie has another wife!

In a brighter spot in the episode, I am completely in love with older Fergus and Young Ian.  I rewound and watched – laughing every time – the scene of Fergus schooling young Ian in the ways of wooing a woman – and he should know after losing his virginity in a ménage à trois.  Tell her she’s beautiful and buy her a drink …and repeat.  Flattery and getting her drunk might not get Ian true love, but it does get him the deflowering romp he seeks.  On a more serious note, the loyalty and love both young men have for Jamie tell us that while he might not have gotten to raise his own child, Jamie did raise others and he did it well.

Now I want to discuss something that if you haven’t read the books you might not want to read….I’m going to talk about the preview.

In very short clips we see the distance between Jenny and Claire – two women that used to count each other as a sister.  Who can blame Jenny – she saw the devastation Jamie suffered at Claire’s loss.   We also see Jamie confess his secret to Claire – a departure from the book and one which I like.  Caitronia Balfe said in the fight scenes that follow Sam threw her across the floor.  The Reckoning (excuse the pun) of the reveal of Jamie’s other wife will cause a doozie of a fight, and everyone knows after a doozie of a fight with these two, we always get a doozie of a make-up.

Image result for jamie and claire on cliff

That last scene on the cliff isn’t, I don’t think, due to the other wife.  I suspect its simply the bequeathing to Claire a scene that belongs to Jamie in the book.  While Jamie thinks God was punishing him for wanting Claire in the pages of Voyager – I suspect Claire will think she and Jamie don’t belong together because of all the bad that has befallen him since her return.  Dinna fash though…. although I’m not a seer like Margaret Campbell, to echo Jamie’s words to his brother in law, it will all be well!

17 thoughts on “Dinna Fash…………by Crystal Fann

  1. Thank you Crystal for this wonderful recap of Ep 307 and your continual wise and heartfelt thoughts that you always put into your posts! To be honest, I was actually waiting for your post before I ventured forth into SM world. I enjoyed the episode and have trust in the writers and actors. I don’t have trust in the fandom. And it’s hard for me to put words to my feelings… I leave that to you! So thank you again! xo

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  2. Great recap, Crystal. I’ve watched this episode twice and still having issues with all the differences from the book. I expect some things to be different but there were A LOT in this one. It has made me feel as though the writers/directors either have not read the book or are attempting to write their own. As a book reader I feel a bit cheated.

    I do love Mr. Willoughby and his relationship development with Claire. And Young Ian and Fergus are absolutely precious.

    After the last two episodes I’ve made my mantra concerning this series to not expect anything as written on Diana’s beautiful pages.

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    1. I definely agree with you that it seems like the writers have not read the entire series of books. Diana Gabaldon has carefully woven characters and instances from her books into future problems or decisions which Jamie and Claire must deal with. I just don’t get how the destruction of Jamie’s precious “Bonnie” printing press is going to get glossed over in book seven, “An Echo in the Bone” and the last book “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.” And, why was it important to change the name of Young Ian’s first sexual partner from Mary to Bridgette? There are so many simple things that have been changed and for what reason? I have read the series 6 times and listened to the audio books once, and am on my 7th reading. I feel that my favorite book, “Voyager” has been desecrated. It is a very complicated book, as are all of Diana’s creations, and why hurry through them and constantly change the plots – perhaps two years should have been devoted to this book instead of rushing through the complicated plots.

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  3. I love this recap! It’s exactly what I was thinking about what is going on between Claire and Jamie. We must look at the story through their eyes, not our own. Since I’ve not read the books, I can only imagine the differences with the adaptation. However, the Outlander writers have been doing an awesome job. I love the journey on which they have taken me. I can’t wait to find out the rest.

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  4. I always think of things in a new way after reading your blogs and comments on our FB page. It’s one of the reasons I love our group so much. Everyone brings their own self to the table – all our experiences allow us to see things differently or have different perspectives.

    When I first watched this episode, I was actually a little bored with it. I felt like there wasn’t much going on, and I was ready for some action. I likened it in my head to The Search in season 1. I felt it was slogging. Some of this might be because it was 1 AM when I started watching…It might also be that A Malcolm was so darn good that nothing could live up to it.

    So, I watched it again at normal airtime. I normally watch again on Sunday afternoon and then the airtime, but I didn’t this time. On second viewing, I still felt a little anxious – eager to get on to the next episode – but then I started reading other people’s comments. Now, I realize that this was indeed a transitional episode and quite a lot of things happened that needed to happen in order to set up future plot lines. When I look at it this way, the episode is a success.

    Many things were changed from the book, but not anything earth shattering – they won’t mess up the future. We didn’t get The Fiend in A Malcolm, so we don’t need Archibald Campbell to be him. And I actually liked him better as a charlatan than as a reverend. At least this way, he’s honest about his motivations. And after Geordie’s piety in A Malcolm, I’m glad we didn’t have a repeat. (Is it me or does Diana tend to not treat religion or religious people kindly in the books unless they are Catholic?)

    I enjoyed all the time spent with Fergus and Young Ian – anything to give them more screen time is welcomed by me. And in this case, I thought it was necessary to flesh out their relationship as big brother/little brother. And Fergus’ advice is priceless. Fergus is one of those characters in the books that I liked but didn’t have strong feelings for. The series has made me love him.

    I hated that Jamie lied to Ian Sr., but at the same time I see his point in that he would rather that Young Ian come to him where he can look after him than to go somewhere else. Ian’s trust in Jamie allows for this and telling Ian Sr. would have broken that trust. It’s just hard for me to see Ian Sr so upset not knowing where his son is and if he is ok. Can hardly wait for the comeuppance scene next week and Jenny’s reaction to everything. I expect there to be quite a lot of physicality in the next episode.

    I didn’t like that Claire tried to heal the man that attacked her, but she HAD to do it. It’s part of her oath as a doctor. And I felt bad for her that her first foray into medicine back in the 18th century failed. No doctor likes to lose a patient, and I think Cait portrayed that pretty well.

    Once again – great recap, Crystal. I look forward to them every week. 🙂

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  5. WOW!!! All the negativity about this scene. And here is the real recap of a wonderful transitional scene. Real Life happens and history can not be denied. Really tough choices for both Jamie and Claire. Both have and will sacrifice so much to be together. The best is yet to come – as Jamie said, “All will be well”.

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  6. Margaret Campbell did indeed say “Abandawe” and her brother referred to their Client… who book readers know is… someone from J&C’s past, cooking up another plot

    Sex apart, J&C have to learn to know one another again, he’s had it tough, living in the cave, Ardsmuir and Helwater before returning to Lallybroch and needing to leave again, this time for Edinburgh. She’s not had it easy either, more about the attitude in Boston, the grieving she wasn’t allowed to do, other than internally, and that fear they both share, of the children, Brianna and William.

    They need time to get past this awkwardness – and the forthcoming sea voyage will help with that, it’s like the healing of the scab that is their caution about what the other has become

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  7. I find your insights to be spot on with me. I like the adaptations the show made in this episode. The writer really highlighted Jamie’s trauma so we see it better and can understand it better. Where Jamie lashes out at Claire when she challenges his lying to Ian about seeing Young Ian; when Jamie shows his pragmatism at the death of the intruder, and Claire flexes her doctor instincts and wants to save him,… these really show how Jamie has changed. He’s a seditionist, a smuggler, a liar. He’s calculation and dishonest and it IS frightening to see him this way. The oncoming blow-up at Lallybroch, whether it follows the book or not (and I feel that this episode set it up so much nicer than the books do) will hopefully serve to help Claire fully become the sunlight that Jamie so desperately needs her to be.

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  8. Thank you for your excellent analysis of this episode. You gave voice to all I have felt since watching it. I believe the writers, actors, and ALL involved in this wonderful series have captured the essence of Diana’s books while putting a totally realistic spin on the saga of Jamie and Claire. Bravo to them and Bravo to Diana Gabaldon!

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  9. Excellent recap of this past episode. Your comments of the transitional scene were spot on. I have read the books and enjoyed them. I also love the show. I feel the screen writers had to make decisions based on what was manageable. Couples have difficult adjustments to make. Claire needs to remember she is no longer in 1968 Boston but 1766 women have few rights she must understand. Lies, half truths all will be found out. Jamie assured her all will be well (never until when) Life is full of change, it is how we deal with it is what makes us alive. Great job cast and crew to “Outlander S3”

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  10. This was just what I neede to read, thank you! I didn’t have a big problem with the episode and I’m always happy to wait and see how the show brings it all together, but your insights made so much sense and deepened the experience for me. I will be anxious to read more of you thoughts as the season continues!

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  11. Wonderful piece Crystal! The title “Dinna Fash” is particularly apropos. Lordy but this series does get people in a lather, doesn’t it?! I’ve read the first four books and started five, but I’m not a book purist. However, having read some of the books, I can easily see why the series cannot follow them exactly. There’s entirely too much information in the books to translate it all to the series and that’s not necessary to make the series great anyway. You’re right that 307 was a transitional episode and I thought it was well done. I didn’t love it as much as 306, but hell . . . that was the PINNACLE!! We can’t live in the lovey-dovey clouds forever. Even Jamie and Claire have to come back to earth and reality. I loved Fergus and Wee Ian. Those two were just adorable! Mr. Willoughby was a pleasant change for me. He was much less a caricature and had more dignity I think than he did in the books, but we’ll see how he comes along. Seeing Ian Sr. weep at the sight of Claire after so many years was really sweet. Finally, I grieved for Jamie when the print shop burned. This poor guy can’t catch a break. How many time can one person be expected to pick themselves up and start over?

    So hold on to your hats boys and girls. Next week is going to be exciting I’m sure!

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  12. The short piece following the episode on Starz gives incite into the reason some differences between the book and the series were felt necessary by writers, etc. These decisions made sense to me after hearing the reasons. If you haven’t watched it, it might be helpful to those who have questions about this episode.

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