(This post contains spoilers for the tv show Outlander . )
I wrote a post some weeks ago about the current TV show I was watching and the book that goes along with it. That book turned tv show was Outlander . So I haven’t read the book yet still but I will pretty soon. And when I finish that book I will be writing about it.
When I wrote my first post about Outlander I heard mixed things about the TV show and the book. Some said they couldn’t finish neither the book or the tv show. Some loved it. It’s because of all the violence and sexual content why people couldn’t and didn’t perceive it well. Well I finished watching the whole tv series ( well not season 6 because there is no season 6 until 2022) and I have to admit as I watched the TV show both some and most parts were hard to sit and watch .
But as a writer and independent filmmaker I am used to sitting through numerous movies and analyzing even the worst movies you can imagine, worse than the Outlander tv show or series. I watched Outlander for so much more than that. I didn’t love it or hate it. I will try to explain why in an objective way . This will be solely my opinion . You can take it for what you want. But here goes.
When I first came upon Outlander tv show I saw advertisements about it but never watched it or knew what it was really about. Like I said in my other post I kind of have a soft spot for historical tv shows and novels. So I was all up for watching it especially when I found out it was a time travel show and book. I have read so many time travel books over the years and tried to look for good time travel shows and movies however there are very few . So when I found this show I was pretty hyped .
Okay here is the thing . In my opinion the show doesn’t have enough time travel for me. Throughout watching the whole show I wanted Claire, the main character to blurt out to the ones that she trusted or felt comfortable around and say “I’m a time traveler dammit.” But every time I thought she was going to say it . She didn’t . I was very disappointed in that. I wanted to see their reactions . Especially if she would have told Dougal. Would he have used her for his own advantage ? Or would he have tried to have her burned at the stake as a witch? I’m sure not all of the people of that time would have thought she was a witch? I also found that in the beginning of season 1, Claire gave up easily on trying to get back home to the 20th century. Even when she knew how to get back home. She was kind of cheating on her 20th century husband . I felt bad for him in a way. He spent three years not knowing what happened to her. Couldn’t she have left a message in like a book or something if she didn’t want to go back? I felt she was selfish on that part.
Another thing that got me about the time traveling was when she finally did go back to the 20th century three years later . She did the same thing and easily gave up on Jamie and assumed he was dead. She knew how to get back . Her character gave up too easily. And I also thought with Jamie still being alive , knowing she was a time traveler, he would have left a message sooner than 20 years later. But he didn’t . He wallowed in his self-pity hiding in a cave. I also felt like there was going to be more time travel lore than it was . I mean I wasn’t expecting a Doctor Who scenario but I wanted to see more. There were hints of other time travelers but that is just where it ended. And the fact that Claire never really got to meet the other time travelers but only briefly besides Geillis . I felt robbed.
I wanted more interaction between them. That moment when Geillis revealed that she was a time traveler when she was about to be burned at the stake for being a witch was epic ! I was like omg!. I got hyped again. But when that part of the story went nowhere I was disappointed. Especially when she popped up in later seasons and had only minimal interaction with Claire .
I liked the reveal of how there was other stones and other portals wherever they traveled , not just Scotland. But I wondered where those portals actually went? I wonder once I read the book will that be explored in the book? Or will they delve into that in the final two seasons of the tv series?
Also the fact that Claire’s daughter , grandson and son in law can all travel through the stones and portals as well . That was pretty interesting. But once again I wanted more time travel moments and lore on the show at least.
Some of the time jumps in the show were in my opinion confusing. In most tv shows I hate time jumps especially large ones like the 20 year time jump they did in the show. I understand they tried to do what is called the Fractured tandem Narrative mixed with a Portmanteau , a type of frame made out of splitting a plot in two to bookends . They start using this technique a lot in this tv show where the third act is in the first act of the 1st episode of the 2nd season. In my opinion I rather would have liked to see them just go straight to France in the first episode of season 2 instead of her coming from the stones on the first episode. It was very jarring and I was like wait , what? In then they went into the France plotline until the end of the season .
Where the twenty years’ time jump starts on season 3 .I didn’t like them filling in the missing time. I understand because of time constraints . But I felt they maybe could have done it another way .
Like I said before Claire shouldn’t have assumed that Jamie was dead and waited 20 years . The same with Jamie . He should have tried to send her a message sooner.
THE ROMANCE, ARRANGED MARRIAGE AND THE MAIN CHARACTERS
I felt the first season of the tv show was its strongest . Especially the interactions between Claire in the other characters she met in the past . She was more an observer and she compared what she knew as history from what she learned from the future. One thing I liked was the buildup between the two characters Claire and Jamie. You didn’t see him all that much in the first part of season1 . I mean he was there but he was just like in the background as Claire navigated through the time period trying not to divulge that she was a time traveler . I ‘m not saying they didn’t interact but I liked how their interactions were pretty platonic and they could have just as easily been good friends if they wasn’t forced to get married. That’s what it was mainly , a forced, against her will arranged marriage.
The fact that she kept telling everyone that she had a husband but he was dead didn’t help matters for the arranged marriage . She should have just said, I have to get back to my husband or he’s sitting dying somewhere I have to save him. If I was her I would have tried to still get away. Like I said earlier, she gave up too easily. Even though her and Jamie were cordial with each other . And I understand the only reason why he agreed to marry her was to save her life. But him and his family never really asked her why she was there in the first place. They just assumed she was a spy for the English. And when she tried to tell them she wasn’t and she wanted to go back home . They were like no . You’re staying as our guest . But we all know she was a prisoner .
If they were so afraid of her being a spy why didn’t they kill her ? That aspect of the show kind of threw me . I wanted her to get back home in the early episodes of the show . And there is that one simple thing that Jamie knew she was already married . They all knew she was committing adultery, infidelity , and polygamy. But no one seemed to care. Even she didn’t care after a while . She was like oh well I’m stuck in this century . But she wasn’t stuck there. She could go back anytime she wanted. I mean maybe it was because of the fact that her husband looked like the spitting image of the ancestor Jack Randell that changed her mind about ultimately being with Frank . I mean I would have indifference too if I had a husband whose doppelganger ancestor harmed me.
And don’t let me start on the insta love . Oh well I am .Because there was Insta love between Claire and Jamie and a lot of it. Like I said before the relationship between Jamie and Claire was very platonic at first . But as soon as they were married , maybe three days into the marriage Claire was so into Jamie that it was nauseating to say the least . I was like wait a minute , doesn’t she still want to get back home to her husband? She never said she loved him that quick but you could see it in her demeanor. Yes it was mainly lust but it was still there. As for Jamie I think for him it was a love at first sight kind of thing . She saved him numerous of times and the woman took his virginity. Of course he was going to fall in love with her.
I didn’t like how his demeanor changed as a person once he got married to Claire . In those first couple of episodes I saw his character as a humble, courageous, gorgeous young man of I think 25 . But after he got married to Claire he was still all those things but he became kind of brutish. Not altogether. But he was like Clare is his. And I’m not going to forget about that scene where he beat her with a belt. That was stupid . I didn’t understand that scene . It wasn’t really needed but then again the fact that she took a knife to him to say if he ever tried that again . She would kill him was a pretty combat scene. But then she just poof forgave him after that . I didn’t get that and I wished that was slowed down a little bit . Maybe she would try to get away again or something.
And I felt like he somehow immediately thought he all of a sudden knew everything . I think his ego got too high and mighty. And he got too drunk on finally being married . He said it himself, he thought no one would have him because he was a wanted man. He just got too relaxed . And everything was immediately about Claire this and Claire that . The man was clearly mesmerized with Claire .
I guess you can call that good character development But I also felt with Jamie he was weak. He wasn’t much of a warrior or soldier like they tried to label him. But I can say this, he sure as hell was a gangster when it came to certain points in the series. When it came to protecting his name , and his family. All throughout the show I had these Al Capone, Sopranos , Peaky Blinders, Godfather vibes. I was like yeah you don’t mess with Clan Mackenzie and Fraser. I could totally envision this show in another iteration as a Mafia , gangster tv show. Believe it, it would work .
So that’s my thoughts on the show . I got more to say about it but then this article would be longer than what it is supposed to be. It’s not going to be until 2022 that season 6 will come out . I’m looking forward to it. I ‘m going to start reading the books soon and I will give my thoughts about that as well. One quick thing. I did some research and the author of Outlander did participate and write an episode or two of the tv show.
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