Diana Gabaldon has had “Outlander” fans waiting with baited breath all season to find out which scene in Season 2 she vehemently objected to. Back in January, Gabaldon told fans on her forum that there was one scene where she “did tell them [she] thought they were jumping the shark with one thing they did.”
Gabaldon confirmed Saturday (May 28) on Facebook that the scene was indeed in episode 8, “The Fox’s Lair,” and later elaborated in a forum post on the exact scene from the episode.
The scene in question is when Claire (Caitriona Balfe) confronts Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) about her involvement in making sure Claire was arrested for witchcraft in Season 1. Gabaldon writes, “As I recall, the first draft of the script had Claire grabbing Laoghaire by the hair, slapping her face repeatedly and cursing at her. I said I thought this wasn’t Claire’s style.”
Gabaldon previously said that while the show did not cut the scene, they did throttle back on it. However, even “throttling back on it” left Claire with some pretty harsh words for Laoghaire.
“I have fantasized about all the manner of violent acts I would subject you to, all of them ending with lighting the pyre beneath your feet and dancing on your ashes as you promised to dance on mine,” says Claire. “I don’t hate you, Laoghaire. I pity you. The dark places you must have inhabited in the hopes of getting something you’ll never have.”
Fans are largely in agreement with Gabaldon’s assessment. One forum poster sums it up nicely with, “Not Claire’s style is an understatement. She is not a vindictive woman. In the book (I hate to say those words, but how else can Claire be defined), Colum offers to have Laoghaire beaten and Claire says no. The thought of her actually assaulting [Laoghaire] is completely out of character.”
The fans also object to quite a bit in episode 8 in general, like Jamie (Sam Heughan) seeming willing to sign over Lallybroch to Lord Lovat (Clive Russell), the lack of believability that Claire and Jamie conspired they way they did, considering that they could not have known Lovat would present the deed of sasine at the meeting, and that Claire and Laoghaire would team up to get young Simon (James Parris) to stand up to his father.
But the biggest objection they had was that Jamie is aware of what Laoghaire did to Claire back at Castle Leoch, which puts a bit of a problem in place for the possible Season 3. Warning: Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled, because some events in book 3, “Voyager,” are about to be discussed.
In the books, after Claire goes back to the future, Jamie survives Culloden and marries Laoghaire at his sister’s urging. When Claire returns to 18th-century Scotland, she’s a bit hurt that Jamie has married Laoghaire, but Jamie never knew about Laoghaire’s betrayal of Claire. He says in the book that he would never have married Laoghaire if he knew what she had done to Claire.
So, how will they resolve that? Will Season 2 include more of Laoghaire’s redemption story so as to explain the marriage? Or is this one episode the only redemption Laoghaire gets and that’s supposed to be enough for Jamie down the line when he marries her?
The way Claire makes him say thank you at the end of the episode might indicate that this is the only redemption Laoghaire gets, but fans still aren’t on board with Jamie having any knowledge of her involvement in the witch trial and then later marrying her.