I don’t tend to do recaps of episodes because the fandom has several stellar writers that do this much better than I can. My niche seems to be discussing observations about the fandom itself.
This particular post is going to be a combination of the two. I saw some really strong comments about the finale across Twitter and Facebook and thought I’d give my own thoughts on those particular points. Besides, I need to cool off a bit before writing the other thing bouncing around in my head.
One of the big topics of discussion was Murtagh. Early in the season, many were excited that he was alive and well rather than having died at Culloden. I wasn’t one of them. Love the character, think Duncan plays him perfectly (although nothing like the description in the book LOL) but this just isn’t his time/place in the story for me. That said….I like how the character is being incorporated into the new material. It’s funny how there is often much wailing and gnashing of teeth over changes to the canon – unless the fans like it – then it’s OK. Now, when the character is ‘stealing’ precious screen time from J&C, people aren’t so sure they want Murtagh back.
The hooking up of Murtagh and Jocosta. It was ‘cute’. I have to agree with many that, while a fun bit, it took screen time from other scenes that many fans felt were more important. Also, since Duncan Innes has made no appearance, it seems they may be trying to shoehorn Murtagh into that space. I hope they don’t. It would so tweak that thread with Jocasta being so firmly in one political camp and Murtagh in another. Also, the relationship between Duncan & Jocasta works because she needs a figurehead more than a working husband…Murtagh is definitely the type to take over in that position.
I saw several comments about the wasted time on the ‘expanded’ Otter Tooth story. I was a bit puzzled by this as, having JUST reread the books in the couple of days leading up to the finale, it was taken almost directly from the pages of the book. Where/when the story was told was adjusted, but the story itself was almost exact and, really, not that long. It was important to establish things about the Mohawk and about time-traveling. His going back didn’t change the outcome – so CAN travel back affect change at all?
A huge disappointment to many was Jamie & Claire not being at the birth. While it didn’t bother me that much personally, I can see where many fans are coming from. This is a huge bonding time between Bree & Jamie, a time of forgiveness and new beginnings. THAT part was important and I agree, should have been incorporated in some way if not at the birth.
Not even going to attempt to comment on all the Roger / Richard hate going on. While I agree the writing hasn’t given us the exact character from the book, it seems an awful lot of the nastiness stems from R/R getting more screen time than J/S rather than a true problem with the character/actor/acting.
Young Ian not being in full Mohawk when we last see him was a complaint. It really wouldn’t have worked the way they did the scene – another scene with his whole cleansing and such would have to have been added in. What do you get rid of to have it? A thought here; that was the last episode of the season. Perhaps John Bell is going to actually shave his head or do something radical for the part and didn’t want to look that way for his whole break between filming. Might be a question for someone to ask him.
The last thing I want to comment on was in the opening credits. I saw several comments bemoaning yet another ‘social justice’ moment by the writers depicting an angry Native American with the kids playing and the whole ‘why can’t they leave off the political commentary in the show?!” While I agree the story telling has skewed things a bit when it comes to social issues – I’m not sure this was one of them.
The Native American in that scene was the man who went back in time and became Otter Tooth – noted by the large opal he had hanging around his neck. I think this was more about him personally than a social commentary. This man, while rightfully angry at what happened to his ancestors, was also rather twisted about it. He was on a path filled with anger and vengeance, which came across rather well (to me) in that tiny little scene.
In the end, there are things I love, things I like, things I’m not happy with, and a very few things I hate. However, this is not MY version of Outlander. What is in my own head, my own vision and my relationship with the books will always be there. The series is the vision of a collective and I can only take it as it comes to me. I can voice my opinions – good and bad – as I’ve done here, without personal attacks or nastiness. I can discuss my thoughts with others without fighting about them. I can choose to enjoy the show – the good, bad and ugly – or I can allow the things that bother me to ruin my enjoyment of it.