Tonight’s (Sept. 27) episode of “Outlander” was the last of the new ones for a bit, fans. The show is about to enter its midseason break, but it will return with new episodes on April 4, 2015. So we’ll be hanging on for the rest of Season 1 for a long time. Watch and rewatch and rewatch again. Until then, we have “Both Sides Now” to carry us over.
Coming off of the somewhat below-average “Wedding” last week, tonight’s episode was over-the-top, painfully good.
“The Highlander is certainly involved in some way.” — Frank Randall
Uh. Yeah. You think?
Throughout the season, seeing new offshoots of the extended story has been a gift to the book reader, and wow, half of tonight’s episode was like Christmas. Everything Frank went through to find Claire back in the 1940s makes us, well, love him. And fear him. A little.
That said, we’re still Team Frank. But that doesn’t mean we’re not Team Jamie too. Like Claire, there has to be room for both in her. Unlike the book, where Frank was just a fixture to move the story forward, he’s fully developed and real and completely magnetic. There’s now room in us for both Frank and Jamie too.
Frank’s fear and grief, equally matched by a newly bubbling distrust of Claire, were stomach-churningly wonderful. Seeing that flash of Randall violence manifest itself in Frank was just as scary to the viewer as it was to him. What could he be led to?
We knew Frank didn’t just sit on his hands while Claire was gone, but watching him process her loss and, importantly, come to terms that he just may never ever know what happened to her was poignant. This is a man who relishes the dig for the answers; to come up empty-handed just doesn’t compute.
But it’s the moment when he reaches bottom, and accepts a little bit of the truth in Mrs. Graham’s story that breaks my heart most of all, especially when Claire was so very close to him (and yet so far away). He had nothing else left to believe, and so he could even believe Claire had fallen through the stones. How heartbreaking.
Oh, and Tobias Menzies should be nominated for an Emmy.
Jamie and Claire’s hand caressing is like an Olympic-level sport, isn’t it? Watching their bond grow in public with touches and glances was sexier than anything that happened in their wedding night chamber.
But it was Claire’s acknowledging her anger over the nightmarish near-rape, and being sucked into the growing emotional bond with Jamie, that clarified who this character is. Not the sex with Jamie (which, yes, is seriously hot) but we have to remember there’s a bigger, non-sexy picture here.
It was when she snaps back to who she wants to be — Claire Randall — by taking off running to Craigh Na Dun, that broke my heart a little. When she and Frank actually heard each other’s screams through time, my heart shattered. It was almost like reading the book again for the first time.
She was so close. And I kind of wanted her to go.
Best part of the episode though? Claire’s dance with Randall at the end over whether or not she knew the Duke of Sandringham. That was the Claire Randall from the book. That was the Claire Randall … Fraser … that I love. And it was the Jamie that burst through the window to save her that I love as well.
Team Jamie too! My hero! Oh, so torn.
- Oh, Hugh Munro made us happy. He looked like the guy at Bonnaroo we bought a t-shirt from one year. But that guy didn’t have any “Dragonfly in Amber” pieces for sale! Squeal!
- But little Roger made us happier. So many “Dragonfly” references.
The men taking turns teaching Claire how to use a knife was the last part of bringing her into their fold. She’s married to Jamie, and knows how to use a knife. She must be a Scot now.
At no other time in the show has the color saturation difference between the past and the present been as beautiful or sad as this episode. Is the one that’s most vibrant Claire’s true reality or not?
So we’re left with a cliffhanger … how will Jamie and Claire escape this? What will Randall learn in the end? And what else will we see of Frank now? Does he believe, as he’d probably like to, that the voice he heard at the stones was all in his imagination?
“Outlander” Season 1 returns to Starz sometime in early 2015. So, until then Happy New Year, or Hogmanay, friends. Go reread the books again.