Lions and tigers but no bears, oh my!

Late blog this week, but with the holiday, decorating for Christmas and starting my new job, time just got away from me.  It’s short but sweet, just a few thoughts from this week’s episode.

It started out good…Jamie signing the acceptance of the governor’s land grant which is something I always thought was left- out in the books.   Fergus is going to hunt of Scottish settlers for Jamie while Jamie and Ian build Fergus and Marsali their new home.   Then we get that sweet scene with Marsali and Claire.   It does worry me that that scene might be setting something up in the near future.  Note to the Outlander show runners…if Laoghaire shows in America, that screaming you hear is me!

After that off we go to the ridge.   I loved the scenes of Jamie building a home for his family with young Ian right at his side.  Claire does her part too, but there is something our 18th century wonder woman can’t do.   The knitting scene is far different than in the book, but it was well done and a rare moment of brevity.

Before the season began, even before I put out my guesses as to what each episode would hold, I predicted two things-that Claire would be far more abhorrent to slavery than in the books and that he Indians would be more dangerous.  Called those two!!  I guess the writers need to ramp up the drama somehow.   Speaking of the Native Americans…weren’t they gorgeous!!!   Kudos to Terry Dresbach once again, her genius will be missed in future seasons.   I just wish casting had some of her brain when it came to the Ridge’s neighbor John Quincy Meyers (yes, I am going to bitch about him all season!)

Raise your hand if you thought news of the Fraser’s would be found in that book Brianna gave Roger!   I’m really starting to like Roger and Bree, the silliness of their early relationship that didn’t set too well with me has segue waded into a more mature relationship.  Roger wears his heart on his sleeve and I know while something Brianna didn’t have much of a reaction when finding out about her parents, I thought Sophie opted to play the shock of the moment instead of excitement.  I think my single favorite moment of the show was Roger’s voice as he read about the Ridge overlaid with scenes of Jamie and Claire working to build a home.

Back to the Ridge and on my gosh…there’s a bear out there somewhere!  The build-up to the epic-much loved bear fight was great…then it kind of went to hell in a hand-basket. The bear fight reinvented?   How about the bear fight being done the stupidest, laziest way possibly?  I don’t buy for one freaking minute that the production team couldn’t have gotten a trained bear…. HUNDREDS of Scottish/British produced shows have done it before.  I’m sorry, but as my friend Denise so eloquently put it, they used to have Ellie Mae Clampett wrestle bears all the time.   With some creative editing, costuming, green screen and movie magic we could have too, but the writers took the easy way out trying to sell it as a “surprise” for the book readers.   I guess we can take heart that Clare “mentioned” the trout.  I will say one thing about this weeks “bear” battle, at least we had Jamie owning the camera throughout the scene and his fight didn’t take second place to Claire saving Meyers.

Finally, we find that it was Fiona who found the notice of the fire.  Another rather bad twist writers and to prove it here’s a question for you.   We know Fiona’s was somebody who believed Claire’s story, knew of her love for Jamie and that she carried his child, so don’t you think if Mrs. Graham had found any evidence that Claire traveled once again  to the past, she would have sent Claire a copy, or at least told her about it??  Continuity writers…. continuity.  And speaking of continuity, would it have killed you to have Jamie look at Claire’s butt at least once when she had on those pants??

You know what I don’t get about TV adaptions.  They always think they have to change the book to “keep the readers on their toes”.  When are writers going to get it through their heads that we readers don’t need things changed up?   We don’t need to be surprised (certainly we don’t need to be surprised by some half-rate story or character change, sorry, I’m still on my John Quincy Meyers rant).  Just like with Harry Potter and every Jane Austen movie ever made, we readers get our joy from seeing the faces and scenes from books we love played out on screen.  Do I have hope the Outlander writers will get a clue?  Well with a supposed to be dead Murtaugh showing up in the next couple of episodes, I’m not going to hold my breath.


One thought on “Lions and tigers but no bears, oh my!

  1. While most of the time I agree with you, Crystal, this time I don’t about everything. (And I’m actually glad of that as we all bring different things to the table.)

    First off, I do agree with you on seeing Jamie sign the contract and sending Fergus to hunt for his Ardsmuir men to settle The Ridge. Both of these were not in the book – Duncan Innes searched instead of Fergus – but these changes are good. Fergus needed something to “do” since in the book, he wasn’t really around yet, having gone to collect Marsali in Jamaica. And Lord knows, they better not send Lagohaire to The Colonies! That would be an unrecoverable jump the shark moment.

    I also loved the building montage with the new Fraser’s Ridge musical theme.It showed the joy Jamie and Ian were having building the homestead, and it did not wear out its welcome by lasting too long.

    I’m glad that they made the natives fiercer. The settlers are basically stealing their land, and they have every right to be angry and to fight for what is theirs. Jamie understands this as it is the same in Scotland between the Scots and the English. I love that he knew immediately that the best thing to do was to drop his weapon.

    Shout out to John Bell, who again killed it as Young Ian. I love the way he was so eager when talking about Indians to JQM (who I do not have a problem with) and Jamie, but then when confronted with them in the flesh,he is scared sh&*less! The scene with him running, screaming for “Uncle Jamie!” is one of my favorites of this episode.

    Also big shoutouts to Rik Rankin and Sophie Skelton. That first phone call was so tense, I could feel it. I have to give Sophie props – her acting is soooo much better than last season. And then the second call when Roger learns Bree has gone to Scotland ” to see her mother” was a great reaction moment for Rik to play. And oh my gosh, speaking of reaction shots, I LOVED Roger’s reaction to Fiona casually stating that she knew all along that Claire was going back to Jamie.

    Now we get to what I disagree with you on…The Bear. I really liked this change. I put in a lengthy comment on one of our posts on FB about it – suffice to say, I don’t think even the King of Men could have survived a real bear attack. Making the bear be a person and having the scene intercut with the ceremony taking place at the Cherokee village was genius. It plays into the mysticism of the Indians and adds suspense. I like that the scene was in the dark and that we as viewers could only see what Jamie saw. The fact that we saw shadows and shapes before the actual attack just ramped up the excitement. It was like hearing the opening bars of the Jaws theme and anticipating the arrival of the shark, and BAM! he shows up when least expected.

    And Jamie taking the “kill” to the village – by the way, how did he know where it was? Did JQM take him in a scene that was cut? – was a better pay-off to solidify the friendship that is developing between Jamie and the Cherokee.

    It does not strike me as a continuity error that they had Mrs Graham and then Fiona keep news from Claire. First off, we do not know when they found the article – it could have been right before her death or it could have been right after Claire left. We don’t know. But we do know that Mrs. Graham encouraged Claire to put the past away – that the ghosts would take over her life if she let them and she would miss out on what was in the here and now. So, I could believe that she would have kept it a secret as she would see it as saving Claire from herself.

    About adaptations…nothing can be direct from book to screen without changes. Things can be written that can never be translated to screen. Even Harry Potter left out major plot lines – some which I agreed with (S.P.E.W. in Goblet of Fire) and others that I missed (Neville’s parents at Mungo’s at the end of Chamber of Secrets). But the changes overall made for a great story. The writers are trying to do the same for Outlander. Some things they just could not film – the lovemaking on the rocks as it was too cold in Scotland – and others they have to leave out for time constraints or to move the story along at a faster pace. But we are truly getting a wonderful adaptation. I know you would agree with that. 🙂


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