Outlander 1×08 Both Sides Now

Outlander 1x08 Claire and Frank

Well, I loved it on first viewing, and then all the absurdities started stacking themselves up in my mind. I am tired of the “Claire is a Dougal and rape magnet” theme. And, oh the cheesefest that was the simultaneous running and screaming at stones from two different centuries. Outlander is already full to the brim with ridiculous coincidences; the screenwriters didn’t need to add a few more!

On the plus side, finally things are happening, and the action, adventure and – yes – romance – are finally starting to take hold.

Outlander 1x08 Jamie and Claire Honeymoon Sonya Heaney

However, considering all the changes they have already made, if you’re going to film in Scotland in winter, perhaps don’t have your main couple picnicking in the sleet. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the snow in the background and the increasingly frozen, soggy actors!

Speaking of coincidences, there’s one particularly awful episode of The Love Boat (yes, really) that begins with the main cast getting a lesson in what to do if someone on your cruise has a heart attack.

Guess what happens a few minutes afterwards…

I got that same, “well, duh!” feeling in this episode. Scriptwriters: don’t teach your heroine how to stab an attacker in one scene, and then have her stab an attacker in the next!

 Outlander 1x08 Claire and Jamie after the attack Sonya Heaney

However, I DID like the reaction to the attack, and it had some of the strongest Jamie and Claire moments so far. About. Time.

The condensed timeframe of the show is placing too many dramas in a single day. As it is, the book version is already over the top with the violence and drama. In the show, in one day, Claire is almost raped TWICE, is forced to kill one of her attackers, is roughly abducted by British soldiers, and interrogated by a madman who comes close to cutting her up with a knife.

Outlander 1x08 Black Jack and Claire Sonya Heaney

And when she’s rescued by Jamie, what’s he going to do (in the next episode) but take her aside, stick a knee in the small of her back, and beat her with a leather strap as punishment for nearly getting raped and killed!

They haven’t even given us a chance to get to know show Jamie yet – how are we supposed to forgive him? This is a bodice ripper on steroids!!

It also makes little sense, because the show’s version of Jamie behaves differently to the Jamie in the books. I don’t believe for a second that the concerned husband can turn into a wife-beater in the space of a few hours. By this stage of the book, book Jamie had already threatened to tie Claire up and beat her. Show Jamie has done nothing of the sort – and yet we’ve been told they’re including the beating scene.

Unfortunately, the show’s producer is bizarrely in love with Tobias Menzies, who should not be a major player in the show at the moment. It’s like he wants us to hate Jamie, even though he is supposed to be the hero of the show! I feel like I’m watching Romeo and Juliet, but rewritten with Paris as the star!

 Outlander 1x08 Claire sees the stones Sonya Heaney

The running to the stones was supposed to be emotional, I get it. But… seriously? The stones were RIGHT THERE in front of her at the world’s most convenient moment? And then FRANK was right there in front of her at the most convenient moment? These massive coincidences are not in the book, and a good thing too, because they were utterly ridiculous. Cheese where there should have been tears.

 Outlander 1x08 Scotsmen Sonya Heaney

I know this all sounds like a rant, but I really did like some parts of the episode. It’s just that I know where the story has to go from here, with only eight episodes left to do it in. And I don’t see how they can do it and make the viewers care.

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