The title of this post is that chilling line in which Jamie summed up his experience at the hands of BlackJack Randall, because it perfectly describes my assessment of this horrific and wonderful episode.
So far, I have been thrilled with the adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series on Starz. Yes, there have been deviations from the actual text of the book, but for the most part, I felt they enhanced the scenes or at the very least, made sense for this particular medium. For example, Frank and Claire’s dual scenes at the stones when she was trying to escape and return to her own time; I felt that added tension to the story, in a good way. But this last episode was the first time I had doubt, and discomfort at the way the material was portrayed.
As expected, there has been an explosion of articles and commentary on the episode, from Ronald Moore himself, from journalists, and from fans, and even Diana Gabaldon has weighed in. Here are links to a few, if you care to explore:
I have no desire to debate the pros and cons- I understand why they chose to film the scenes they did, in the manner they did. The acting was superb, beyond question, for all actors in the show, as has been the case from Episode One. And I know it is difficult to cram a huge book into a handful of hour-long episodes. But…
Too Much, Not Enough
I personally feel they went too far, showed too much, and were too graphic in the BJR/Jamie torture and rape scenes. I also feel that this caused the aftermath/recovery to feel quite rushed. It smacked just a little of exploitation, although that may be far from what they were going for. It made the happy, hopeful ending seem contrite, in light of what happened before. And I am still appalled about Angus- was that in the book? What the hell was that about? If it was supposed to be humorous it missed the mark. Perhaps it was simply bad timing.
In any case, this episode made me feel things, way more than any other. Mixed feelings, to be sure. I did enjoy seeing Claire save Jamie from himself, so it was worth watching, and I will watch it again (with a stronger drink this time). Several days later and I still cannot get the images from my mind, so Ron Moore and company did their job well, even if the outcome was an unsettled, mostly negative feeling.
I have been an Outlander fan from the beginning, well, mid-nineties, at least. I have posted about the books and the show a few times. I cannot hide my enthusiasm! But if this last episode has caused some people to give up watching, that is their choice, their right. I understand. But just like the books, there are some uncomfortable scenes, but that is what makes the good stuff so much sweeter when it comes. Making us feel so much is part of why Outlander is so popular.
Plus, I for one, could not give up on Jamie, and Claire, not now. Who’s with me?