Outlander S4 Finale

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.

book vs movie 2

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.

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8 thoughts on “Outlander S4 Finale

  1. 26LettersAK says:

    Thank you once again for your voice of reason. Such vitriol is very hard to take when everyone on the show works so hard to create a good product. I am glad it’s even on anymore. The production is limited in so many ways time-wise and I, for one, think that there are other stories and times that need to be shared. It’s nit always Jaimie and Claire time but they are the main cog in the story. We just need all those spikes as well.

  2. Sharman says:

    Thank you for your blog posts – very balanced and insightful and a good read.

    I was just thinking that I haven’t seen this much emotional and sometimes extreme divisions in response to a TV series made from books before. I was thinking of the Richard Sharpe series from Bernard Cornwall books. This was some years back now and another TV adaptation of books is being shown at the present – The Last Kingdom following the adventures of Uhtred Saxon/Dane warrior in the time of King Alfred.

    Perhaps it is the advent of Twitter, Blogs, FaceBook, Instagram and the like – the social media and fandoms but I used to watch the series for what it was {of course Sean Bean as Sharpe was good to watch 😉 ). The Last Kingdom seems to have a fan base and I have caught chats on YouTube with the actors, but nothing so huge as Outlander. Game Of Thrones does have a large following but I am not sure it is as passionate the Outlander fandoms and not so demanding of what they want to see when the shows are put out.
    Perhaps I just haven’t been so involved with that as Outlander and I did come rather late to the party… Thoughtful…

    Looking forward to your next blog posts – any going to come during Droughtlander?
    Best of wishes. Xx

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I have a love/hate relationship with my writing. I love doing it – but there are so many great writers out there I hardly feel worthy and I often wonder if I have any real impact.

      Many shows/movies out there have great fans and bad fans – not necessarily based on books. Although, ^fans^ of 50 Shades of Grey literally threatened the lead characters wife & kids because as shippers they wanted him to be with his co-star from the movie. The fandom of The 100 got so toxic I quit watching the show and got as far away from the fandom as I could. Supernatural has some really toxic fans – and many of them again seem to be shippers. It’s a sad thing that some people become so unbalanced with something that – in the grand scheme of things is relatively unimportant.

      Yeah, I’ll write during Droughtlander (I actually hate that term) because I tend to write about my observations on the fandom more than the series itself. I highly encourage people to find something else to focus on during this time but….*shrug* people will do what they will do.

      • Sharman says:

        Indeed people will! Crumbs – those examples you give are very scary! A whole different world from what would seem to be rational responses to fictional shows.
        Yes, you’re right – another word would be good for the time when the magic is being created by the brilliant talented team and we should be taking a break to check out other things in life ;). [note to self here!]

        I am sure your writing does have an effect. Those of us who are writers and communicators may not always know of it at the time… sometimes later.
        Perhaps you could write about fandom culture in general. I recall the phenomenon of Beatlemania, the Elvis fans (to many he still lives of course!)? You have a shrewd eye and a witty incisive way with words. The world surely needs more of that!

      • rynawolfe says:

        Thank you – I really appreciate your response and the time it took to make it.

      • tabby1249 says:

        I find your both your writing and follow up comments to be interesting, rational, and reasonably balanced between your personal interests/desires vs what is possible in an adaptation with a 13 episode arc. I relate particularly to your reactions to the individuals within “fandoms” who range from merely strident to outright unhinged in their unwillingness/inability to separate fiction from real life and who seek to blame, threaten, and fingerpoint. Honestly, I think there must be times when Sam, Cait, Rick, and Sophie, not to mention Ron Moore, Maril Davis, Matt Roberts, et al, must truly weary of it. Matt Davis has suspended his social media accounts because of all of the nastiness and negativity thrown his way.

        I’ve had some similar experiences to yours, with the most notable being the Tru Blood/Southern Vampire Mysteries series. To this day, there are so-called fans of the TV show and the books who accuse the author, Charlaine Harris of being a sellout and literary hack only interested in the money because she didn’t end the series the way they wanted. The nastiness, vitriol and absolute absurdity of the mean girl reactions to that has pretty much soured me on the whole “fandom” notion.

        I’ve become very selective about what I read related to the book series and TV show that I love and enjoy. As a consequence, my reading choices have become pretty limited. So…thank you for giving me another outlet that allows me to keep abreast about what’s happening in the Outlander universe. While I agree that some of the choices the producers have made have not been my favorite, NOTHING they’ve done deserves the kind of vitriol some are so willing to heap on either their heads or that of the ensemble or its individuals.

      • rynawolfe says:

        Very kind words which I really appreciate. I did a blog a while back comparing True Blood with Outlander. (Aug 2017 – Highlanders vs Vampires). I felt that series went WAY more off book than Outlander has done, but that’s just me.

        If you like strong characters that tend toward snark with great character interactions that are both deep and funny, I always recommend the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward and The Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

      • 26LettersAK says:

        I had been wondering about other fandoms as Outlander has been my only experience with interacting about the show. I certainly did miss certain scenes from the book but there are too many other more important real life events going on that I find I no longer have energy or desire to retort! Appreciate some sensible words coming across!

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