I’m here to give you a warning. Leave me and the people around me alone. And what if I don’t? If you don’t, I’ll come and find you, no matter where you may be. I’ll end our first encounter with just this warning but if I ever come to see you a second time, you will die.
The last and longest episode of the season and the final day of our 13 Days of Outlander/A Month of Outlander (and the anniversary of the battle of Culloden). This episode is a bit of a mixed bag for me with my opinions and favorites about it changing every time I watch it.
Favorite Scene: Claire and Roger sharing whisky. This is consistently my favorite scene though I do occasionally like to torture myself with the farewell at Craigh na Dun. The double meaning to what Claire is saying and thinking compared to what Roger takes her meaning to be and the heart-wrenching grief behind his question is just so touching. It goes a long way to establishing their sense of one another, their recognition of their understanding of one another, and I think the seeds of why he’s willing to give her the benefit of the doubt later are sown here. Plus it’s the scene that solidifies…
Favorite Performance: Rik Rankin as Roger Wakefield. I have a really hard time with Roger in the first few books where he plays a significant role but from the first few scenes of Rankin inhabiting the character I was completely won over. There’s a subtlety to his performance that just isn’t there on the page and having Rankin in mind is making rereading through those difficult Roger passages in the books much easier. I mean, he hits the somber and sorrowful notes in his scene with Claire (where he is easily his most vulnerable) but then turns around and has the best reactions to Bree’s meltdown at her mother once she learns the truth; and after hearing Claire’s story he performs as a mediator between mother and daughter with surprising skill and charm.
Favorite Music Moment: Geillis’ speech. As with my favorite scene, this is a favorite that tends to change but I have to give the edge to Geillis’ speech because I find myself skipping ahead to the White Roses of Scotland track more than others.
Favorite Location: Culloden Moor. Habit tends to push me towards Lallybroch but in this instance, seeing it all run down and roofless, it isn’t my favorite; Lallybroch can only be my favorite when it’s thriving and full of life. Instead I find myself preferring the gorgeous shots of Culloden Moor. It’s so open and yet somber but without bringing up the pain of something like seeing Lallybroch’s front doors chained shut. We haven’t seen Culloden in the show since 1x05 in a flashback with Frank but it’s not a place that can really get run down or fall apart the way Lallybroch can and does. It feels static in a way, unchanged by time; as somber and weighty as it must have been in the weeks, months, and years after the battle ended. It is a location that feels frozen in time so that, even though Claire goes with the intent of saying goodbye, it makes perfect sense that through Brianna’s discovery she is as far from leaving Jamie behind as she will ever be.
Favorite Minor Character: the helpful researcher. We don’t get this character’s name but she is so helpful to Claire and her whole attitude and demeanor just gives me major Mrs. Graham vibes, I can’t help but love her (and we know she’s efficient because look at just how fast she got Roger’s genealogy chart complied).
Favorite Book to Screen Adaptation: Dougal’s death. I know there are folks who aren’t fond of the fact that they changed the scene so that Claire and Jamie kill Dougal together, but I kind of love it. I’m pretty sure this is the first time on the show where we have seen Claire take part in actively killing someone (Colum doesn’t count because he asked for her help and the Comte doesn’t count either for a few reasons, some of them spoilery for The Space Between). In the books, however, Claire has a bit more blood on her hands at this point. I also love the way the scene is choreographed and acted. Dougal’s crazy eyes as he just repeats the word, “anger,” a few times, Jamie’s shielding of Claire (and the bairn) as Dougal builds towards open attack, Claire getting to knock Dougal over the head with a crate in an echo the way she did the same with a small stool back in The Gathering, the horror on Jamie’s face as he realizes what he’s done and the tremor in his voice as he says, “I’m sorry, uncle,” and rests his head on Dougal’s shoulder… there’s just so much going on in this scene.
Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part: Jamie and Murtagh. Claire is pretty distracted through most of this part of the book so we don’t get a whole lot about what transpires and in the show, she’s absent from the scene altogether (and with good reason), but it means so much to me that we get this beautiful moment between Jamie and Murtagh. It’s a wonderful companion to their scene back in Prestonpans when Murtagh is confessing to his feelings of insignificance before the battle. Murtagh knows what’s going to happen and has an idea of how he’ll be one of so many men to fight and die on the field but where before it made him feel insignificant, he has finally found something about it that will make his death meaningful, even if it isn’t in the way he’d originally thought/wanted (god, that season three premiere is going to hurt).
Favorite Line: Roger persuades Brianna to go to Craigh na Dun. Favorite line is probably the favorite of mine that changes most frequently. I love Roger’s repetition of Geillis’ “fucking barbecue” as well as Murtagh observing to Jamie that “he isn’t surprised [that Jamie killed Dougal] only that it took him so long”; I’m also always fond of the fact that they worked in both the Da mi basia mille poem and Jamie’s “I will find you,” speech. But this time through I was struck again by just how quickly Roger thought on his feet when Claire announced she wanted to see if they could stop Geillis and especially how he persuaded Brianna to go along with it despite her misgivings and stubborn resistance to everything Claire has been saying. “This could be our chance to make [Claire] actually face it” and when Bree still resists wondering what if Geillis is crazy too and only supports Claire’s obviously deluded claims… “Well then maybe we all get to watch her slam her head into a five ton block of granite.” He manages to inject enough humor and logic for Bree to lighten up a little bit and yield.
Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment: parting at the stones. There is so much from their farewell in the book that simply couldn’t make it to the episode (for a multitude of reasons, some of them stronger than others) but what does make it to the screen is absolutely beautiful and heart-wrenching. Jamie’s initial mood is almost dazed as he smiles and reassures a completely distraught Claire that he can’t go through with her but that he’ll find her if he has to wait 200 years… but then as soon as the first canon sounds the weight of it all seems to hit him and a measure of fear sets in. It’s Claire who begins taking the lead as she offers him the dragonfly in amber and starts the vow that he continues. It’s enough to ground him again as they get to their feet and he settles her against him for that incredible slow-dance to the stones and them reaching to touch it together. They rely on each other through the whole scene for reassurance and strength, for every last second of being together and united as one before they’re alone and will have to take their next steps with only the memory of that strength to carry them forward.
Favorite Costume: Bree and Roger’s matching knitwear. This is something I only noticed this latest time watching and probably noticed it mostly because I’ve spent a lot of time staring at Brianna’s scarf in those final scenes at Craigh na Dun so that I can try to recreate the pattern but her scarf has the same knit pattern as the sweater he’s wearing. It’s the sweater he’s been wearing all day and it’s a darker yarn (part of why I think I missed it before) but the honeycomb-style pattern is the same. It’s just a small detail (and it’s really hard to see on Roger in the pic below but if you scroll back up to some of the other pics of him, it’s clearer) but it’s exactly the kind of detail I love from the costume department on this show (like Claire’s two traveling outfits back in the season premiere using the same color scheme).
A massive thank you to everyone who participated in the 13 Days of Outlander and the 16 Days of Outlander and the A Month of Outlander and all of this celebratory stuff that @gotham-ruaidh and I have thrown out into this latest Droughtlander to help us all keep ourselves going. I’ve loved reading through everyone’s posts and looking over the gorgeous edits, gifs, stills, photos, quotes, etc. Keep them coming as we get more and more promo for Season 3 and Droughtlander enters its final stages.
My favorite part about The Scene though has to be that Hook gave absolutely NO FUCKS about showing his frustration with Snow interrupting him and his fiancee. Homeboy was about to get it in, ON THE KITCHEN TABLE, and while Emma was trying to be nice about it he was just like “fuck that shit, i’m going to take a damn cold shower”, Snow couldn’t even look at him LMAO I LOVE IT!
Nick Joaquin once said that Filipinos have this tendency to build things and group together and eventually collapse. … Here’s one guy who’s trying to bring things together but the natural tendency of the Filipino nation is to be in pieces. - Jerrold Tarog, director (Heneral Luna, 2015)