And who is in a glass case of emotion after episode 5, “Of Lost Things”? Let us stew in our feels together until our fingers get all pruny.
As a book reader, there are certain plot points and emotional beats I anticipate in each season of Outlander. And every time I find myself surprised - the show sneaks up on me in one way or another. In the first season, the strongest example of this was probably “The Garrison Commander”, what with its literal and figurative punch in the gut. The second season, I’d have to go with “Faith”. So far, season 3’s emotional surprise for me was “Of Lost Things”.
I think it’s because since I know what’s coming, I’m anxious for them to get on with it, so it surprised me that this episode lingered in the bittersweet and melancholy, and didn’t give us any crumbs of hope. Honestly, I’m kind of grateful, because it will make the happier story beats that much more sweet. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to wallow! Wallowing fully engaged.
The first part of this season is very decidedly about how Claire and Jamie have managed to exist without each other for 20 years. How they have coped with their losses in similar (emotionally) and different (temporally) ways. They retreated from society, then they grasped for any kind of purpose, then they forged what friendships and relationships they could with the parts of themselves that were left. The rest was locked away, except when they let it slip through with a strange combination of grief and relief. (When Jamie says “Claire” at Ardsmuir, when Claire finally tells Brianna about Jamie...)
The more I think about it, the more amazing I think it is that the writers (Toni Graphia and Ronald D. Moore here) managed to construct such a concise and moving arc in one hour of TV. (Graphia also has writing credits on “Faith” as well as “Rent” and “The Watch”, both contenders for my list of surprising season 1 episodes above.) Considering the Dunsanys were only around for one episode, each member of the family felt fleshed out and their relationships with Jamie felt real and logical, never forced.
Even something as simple as having the grooms draw straws to ride with Geneva: That tells you more in 20 seconds of action than 10 minutes of exposition could. And yet she is not a caricature, and she has a very lasting impression on Jamie’s life, as do all of the family.
Anyway, enough of my blathering on. What have you thought of the season so far? Am I too biased, or do you agree we are getting some quality storytelling?