No….not a misspelling. I’m not even going to attempt to recap or overview the Outlander series finale. There many really good articles already out for this and no doubt there will be more. This blog/rant/observation is about me as a fan and what I see in and experience from, other fans.
First, I see a lot of bashing out there. Every fan has something that is vitally important to THEM and when that thing is not included in the series it bothers them. They have every right to express that. While I personally think eye color, hair being THIS shade of red over THAT shade of red or which hand gets smashed by the hammer are very minor things to get in a snit about, they matter to others. I have a request for both sides of this issue no matter what the specific in question is. For the person that couldn’t care less – be kind. Every single fan has the right to voice their frustrations. For those of you voicing frustrations – STOP WHINING! Please tell us how you think and feel and why it’s important, but please don’t subject the rest of the fandom to what comes across as a toddlers temper tantrum or a teens moaning about how unfair life is.
Next, I continue to be utterly amazed by this show and the unprecedented access we have to it as fans. We’ve been invited in since the very beginning – the players interact with us, STARZ listens to us, and we make a difference as fans. This is a very new experience for me and I’m excited by it – and also very frustrated. Something I accepted going into this is that it wouldn’t be like the books. The story can’t be like the books because they are two very different mediums. How you get things across is very different, how the arcs have to go, how much you can do with only 16 or 13 hours to do it in.
I just don’t get people that think chewing on Ron or anyone else on the team about something you saw in the last few weeks will DO anything. Too much of this, not enough of that. The stuff you saw the last two weeks were filmed seven months ago. People are just digging into DiA and discussing it – problem is, the episodes are already mapped out for Season 2. If you really want to make suggestions, you should already be discussing Voyager. At the end of the day, WE aren’t writing this show. We as fans don’t see the vision that Ron and the writers have. We can’t see where they are going.
Some comments I saw looking through various articles/stories today that really show this.
“Too many side stories – not enough Jamie & Claire – THEY are what is important not all this other stuff!”
“Way too much focus on BJR and the rape / torture. Far more important to show J & C and healing.”
“Jamie is being emasculated just to make Claire look stronger. He’s a shadow of the character we know and love, a child rather than the mature man he is.”
“Too much sex/violence/nudity – I know what happens I don’t need it in my face. Focus on the important part – J & C’s relationship”
ALL these comments – are from book readers. As herself said in a post recently “PUT THE BOOK DOWN.” Seriously………………there are a lot of viewers out there who have never read the books. This show isn’t just for the longtime fans of the books – though Ron and the team are doing their best to make it as good as possible for those longtime, dedicated fans and still be a visual medium. STARZ Outlander is also for brand new fans that are being introduced to this story by the series. It HAS to stand on its own. The relationship is there, people who haven’t read the books comment often on how intense it is; how much ‘more’ it is than most television out there. All that is going on around them and the people close to them are part of their relationship and need to be shown too – unfortunately Ron and team doesn’t have an hour per chapter to do all that we’d like to see.
Was 116 hard for me to watch – HELL yes. Was it too much – in my personal opinion, no. Ron did it right. This is such a pivotal point in the entire story. This one event haunts Jamie through all the books to come and shapes him in ways that make him the great man/character we are all so crazy about. In order for that to work down the line, the audience (the ones that don’t have all that background and thousands of words in the book) needed to really be there with Jamie, feel what he felt, break like he did. It was necessary and very, very well done. What I was thinking as I watched was – ‘wow – the torture is there, but you don’t SEE it as such. The initial forced rape – the branding, the rest is all creepy tenderness. It’s still a violation as it’s against Jamie’s will – but it’s what it does to the viewer’s mind – much like Jamie’s. How could we as an audience possibly understand and appreciate what Jamie becomes if we don’t taste it ourselves? Jamie was naked – but did you ever actually SEE anything? BJR walks naked from the bed, totally in character and what would have happened. How much of the uncomfortableness is what was shown to you – and how much was where your own head took you.
Same argument as above for the sex/nudity/violence etc. I have never felt (and most of the comments I’ve seen agree) that the show has been gratuitous. The book people know these parts of the story and don’t ‘need’ them – but the series only people do. There is no possible way to take one of Diana’s books and condense it down under 16 hours and keep everything. If the show focused on ONLY J & C – we’d have lost the series only fans a long time ago. The series is a facet on a larger gem – the idea is to get people wound up with that facet so they want to experience the whole gem.
As far as Jamie being emasculated………….I just can’t get this. Yes, I have read the series, a few times. In reading Outlander I saw Jamie as fairly mature but far from perfect. He makes mistakes, he has a temper he doesn’t control at times; he acts rashly and doesn’t always think things through. He is still doing that (though not as often to be sure) in MOBY. Emasculated? It takes a very strong man to deal with Claire. He doesn’t cow before her, he is her equal, her match. He doesn’t just bow to her will, he thinks through who she is (even before he really knew) and makes decisions that are good and right, not just in line with what he’s always known and tradition. That takes huge strength of character. He has Claire’s devotion, love and respect – a weak man wouldn’t have those things. I didn’t start seeing the Jamie everyone raves about until he had spent some time around his cousin Jared in Paris and had to start dealing with Charles. After he lived through the fire of BJR and Wentworth. AFTER he wanted to give up on life and take the easy way out. AFTER he was battered, bruised and broken beyond redemption in his own mind.
Gods I always go long on these. Eh……won’t say ‘sorry’ – but I hope I at least keep it interesting.
Finally – I want, as a fan, to redeem myself of any bad behavior, unkind words or abject stupidity that I have fallen to since the beginning of this adventure. I want to do this by trying, however inadequately, to give some praise and thanks.
Nope. Can’t do it. Too long and either will detract from the other. I want the “THANK YOU” section to be done right…not hurried or thrown out. So that will come a bit later.