CowLander: The OUTLANDER Finale

Warning: Spoilers
& Graphic Images

images-9I must say that with all the hub-bub surrounding the “Wentworth Prison” episode — which turned into two episodes, the second of which was mostly flashbacks and the Finale — from Starz’s Outlander, based on the bestselling novels by Diana Gabaldon, I was expecting more from both the “Wentworth Prison” episode and from the Finale. A whole lot more. I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed. With all of it.

The Starz Warning

images-11For the first time since the series began, Starz put a Warning before the show began, stating that it contained scenes of “graphic violence, prolonged torture, rape” etc. I was shocked. Just last week, BJR broke Jamie’s hand with an iron mallet, hitting it repeatedly, and there was no such warning. Then he nailed Jamie’s hand to the table: no warning.

images-14Last season, there was an extended flogging episode where Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) was literally slipping in Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) blood, and there was no “graphic violence” or “extended torture” warning.

images-3Claire was raped by a deserting Redcoat, whom she killed mid-coitus, and there was no “rape” warning. From the comments made repeatedly by writers, actors, and executive producer of the show, Ron Moore — that they were going into some really dark places — I thought the “Wentworth Prison” and “To Ransom A Man’s Soul” episodes were going to be horrific, especially since they were on cable, which has more freedom than network television and even movies (who often take out violence to get an R rather than an X rating).

The episodes weren’t horrific.

And I’m not even sure what the “prolonged torture” warning was about.

Claire’s Obtuseness

images-15In last week’s episode, “Wentworth Prison,” BJR grabbed Jamie’s wife Claire (Caitriona Balfe) with the clear intention of raping her, right in front of her husband. Jamie then valiantly offered up himself, which is what BJR has wanted all along, in place of her freedom. Despite its being patently obvious that BJR was going to release Claire unharmed (unbelievable in itself) in return for “buggering” Jamie — which Claire had to have known since Jamie told her earlier this season that BJR had given Jamie a choice between being buggered and being flogged — Claire constantly asked, in last night’s episode, after they’d rescued Jamie, “What did he do to you, Jamie?”

images-1She asked it so many times that I began to wonder if she’d been knocked on the head by one of the stampeding cattle and forgotten everything Jamie had ever told her as well as what had happened among the three of them when they had all been together in the cell.

“What did he do to you, Jamie? What did he do?”

You mean, besides breaking his hand and fingers with an iron mallet?

You mean, besides nailing his hand to a table in an equally gruesome scene, at which Claire was present?

imagesOh, you mean, besides releasing you, Claire, unharmed, in return for Jamie’s complete “surrender, body and soul” when he’s already been wanting to bugger Jamie since he met him?

Gee, Claire, what do you think he did to Jamie?images-1I don’t know if that kind of obtuseness is in the books or not, but it was dreadfully poor storytelling in the show.

All the men who helped Claire rescue her husband seemed to know exactly what had happened to Jamie without his telling them. All the viewers knew simply from the opening scene of Jamie’s flashback with him in the cell, on the cot, naked, with BJR lying naked beside him. The expression on Jamie’s face told us he’d been raped, most viciously, probably repeatedly.

images-4 But we had also already known it was going to happen even if we’d never read the books, if only because of the repulsive flogging-scars tongue-kissing scene from last week’s “Wentworth Prison.”

images-8Claire seemed to be the only one still in the dark.

It didn’t work dramatically.

It simply made her seem like an idjit.

Claire’s “Confession”

images-4For some inexplicably bizarre reason, Claire spent an inordinate amount in the Finale “confessing” to a monk (can they even hear confession?) about her coming through the stones, leaving Frank behind, being tried as a witch, blah blah blah.

Really?

Seriously?

What on earth was the dramatic purpose of that?

The viewers knew all that already, and the monk — as far as I know — will never be in the story again. Unlike her husband Jamie, who needed to know that information.

Unknown-1Beyond the fact that this scene simply wasted time and took up space, what on earth was it that she had to confess?

She’d just rescued her husband from BJR and Wentworth prison. She set his hand so he wouldn’t be crippled for life. She was trying to help him heal: emotionally, physically, and psychologically.

The Finale was called “To Ransom a Man’s Soul,” not “To Cleanse a Woman’s Soul.” She hadn’t done anything to confess, and her “confession” neither ransomed nor saved Jamie’s soul.

It was a total waste of show time.

Even if it was one of the scenes in the book, it should have been cut from the show.

The Gaelicimages-5

Yeah, I know this show is happening in 1740’s Scotland. I know the clan members speak Scots Gaelic. (And I know the photo above is not when they were speaking Gaelic in the Finale, but some photos are just not available.) But what was with all the untranslated and un-subtitled Gaelic between Jamie and his godfather Murtagh? I had no idea what was going on, though both men seemed upset.

Which of the two writers of the Finale thought that scene was going to work?

It didn’t.

General Claire Patton

Outlander 2014Now, picture this: Claire, some of Jamie’s clan members, and a whole herd of stampeding cattle have just rescued Jamie from the horrors of Wentworth Prison and BJR, and because he doesn’t want to eat and expresses a wish to die, Claire goes all General Patton on him.

Slapping, screaming, kicking, hitting Jamie.

That’s about the time I wanted to put Claire in Wentworth Prison.

What happened to the nurse who’d been in war herself? Where was the competent, caring nurse who helped boys dying from wounds as bad as or far worse than anything Jamie had suffered at the hands of BJR — wounds that caused amputation, blindness, and death from the more advanced weapons of WWII?

Where was that woman?

She had turned into General George Patton.

And I don’t mean the guy who beat the Nazis in some significant battles and helped the Allies win the War.

I mean the self-absorbed, immature, egotistical man who cruelly slapped, humiliated, and viciously berated soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — then called Shell-Shock — because they didn’t “look injured” but were still in the hospital tent instead of back on the battlefield.

That General Patton.

Yes, that’s what Claire did to Jamie in the Finale after she rescued him because he wouldn’t tell her, in minute detail, what BJR had done to him.

I wanted to knock her upside the head.

If there was any “prolonged torture” in the Finale, it was Claire’s insensitive treatment of Jamie.

The Farewell

images-7Many of the clansmen, especially those who went with Claire to help rescue Jamie from BJR, have grown to respect Claire as a healer, and some may have even grown fond of her personally. Their good-byes on the beach, before Jamie and Claire set sail for France, perhaps never to meet them again, should have been touching and poignant. Instead, somebody threw in a scene where Angus (Stephen Walters), whom Claire had given permission to kiss her farewell, grabbed her breasts with both hands.

If the actor playing Angus did it improv, then what a disappointment that the director didn’t berate him for its inappropriate nature in the Finale, and a further disappointment that the scene wasn’t deleted in the editing room.

And if it wasn’t improv on the actor’s part, then it was yet another instance of the show’s writers needing to learn when humor is effective and when it is most definitely not.

The Boat Scene

OUT_116-20140827-ND_0372.jpgAfter all the horrible things that have happened to Jamie, after the brutality he’s suffered at the hands of BJR and the insensitive cruelty of his wife afterward, the two flee to France at the end of the Finale. Incredibly, Jamie seems all healed, especially emotionally and psychologically.

Claire reveals that she’s pregnant, though she’d told him in a previous episode that she thought she couldn’t ever have children, and asks him if he’s happy. He is. The wind is blowing their long tresses, they’re holding each other, and they look just like the cover of some cheap, mass-market paperback romance.

images-5Dreadfully disappointing.

Completely unrealistic.

Out of tone with the entire series, but especially with the last two episodes.

Jamie’s Shame

imagesHere’s what the writers of the Finale got absolutely right: Jamie’s shame after the rape, and Black Jack Randall’s complete and utter obsession with Jamie.

BJR is and always has been obsessed with Jamie, and not just because he’s a Scottish rebel, or because he’s wanted for murder. BJR is obsessed with Jamie sexually, emotionally, and psychologically. BJR wants to possess Jamie physically, and he wants Jamie’s love.

Unfortunately, BJR knows he’ll never get what he wants, so he tortured, raped, humiliated, and shamed Jamie instead.

Despite author Gabaldon’s repeated insistence about the heterosexual orientation of BJR, despite her contacting reviewers telling them they’d misinterpreted BJR and that their statements about his being a homosexual were incorrect, and perhaps suggesting that said reviewers re-write their reviews of episode 12, which at least one of them actually did, stating therein that Gabaldon had contacted him to “correct” his review; and despite Gabaldon’s rather dismissive responses to readers’ questions and statements on her Facebook Profile when they say that they had always thought BJR did, indeed, love Jamie and wanted him physically as a lover from the moment they read the books, Black Jack Randall seems to know an inordinate amount about homosexual intimacies and male-on-male sexual behavior.

He wants Jamie to tell him he loves him. He attempts to French-kiss Jamie. He tries to perform fellatio on Jamie. He uses his hands in an effort to excite Jamie. Black Jack even unties his long, curly hair and lets it drape across Jamie’s body, just like a woman might do, attempting to arouse him. When all that fails, he brutally rapes him, ordering Jamie, over and over, to “scream.”

But the scene where BJR “breaks” Jamie — according to Jamie — is when BJR “makes love” to him. Instructing an already tortured, broken, raped, and disoriented Jamie to think of his wife Claire, whom he loves, BJR touches him sexually on the nipples and genitals. Black Jack then undresses, gets behind Jamie, and rapes him again, though not as brutally this time, while still stroking Jamie’s genitals.

Jamie has an involuntary orgasm.

That makes him think that BJR has broken him, body and soul.

That is what completely and utterly shames Jamie.

Of course, Jamie could have had no knowledge of the prostate gland, nor could he have known that stroking it — with fingers, inserted objects, or male genitalia — sometimes causes involuntary ejaculation.

Ejaculation.

Not pleasure. Not climax. Not love.

But Jamie doesn’t know any of that.

BJR does, which demonstrates that he has plenty of experience in homosexual encounters with other males, be they voluntary or forced on the other man’s part. In any event, BJR knows exactly what to do to other men’s bodies to cause sexual arousal and ejaculation.

And let’s please be clear that I am not in any way associating sexual orientation with sadism. Black Jack is a vicious sadist. He’s also a rapist. And, no matter what author Diana Gabaldon claims she intended him to be, Black Jack Randall is a homosexual. It’s not the rape of Jamie that verifies that BJR is a homosexual: it’s BJR’s kissing of Jamie’s wounds, BJR’s wanting to be told that Jamie loves him, it’s BJR’s wanting to perform fellatio on Jamie (if BJR had forced Jamie to perform fellatio on BJR, that would not necessarily be homosexuality, but it would be humiliation), it’s BJR’s sleeping naked with Jamie afterward — as if they were consensual lovers. All those things indicate that BJR is, indeed, a homosexual. One that also happens to be a sadist.

Black Jack might have pretensions or aspirations toward bi-sexuality, but we were never shown his actually raping a woman: Claire got rescued every time she was in his clutches, and Jamie’s sister Jenny claimed that BJR couldn’t attain an erection even with his own manual stimulation when he wanted to rape her.

In short, Black Jack Randall is a homosexual who also happens to be a vicious sadist. Black Jack is also obsessed with Jamie, if not actually in love with him, and Jamie’s continual “rejection” of BJR results in his desire to punish and humiliate Jamie through sadistic acts.

It’s the physical act of ejaculation during one of the subsequent rapes that causes Jamie’s shame. That’s why he wants to die. He thinks that because his body ejaculated due to the pressure of BJR’s member against Jamie’s prostate, it meant he enjoyed being with BJR. Jamie might have thought it meant he didn’t hate Black Jack. He might have even thought the ejaculation meant he loved BJR, which would have horrified Jamie.

Of course, the involuntary ejaculation didn’t mean those things at all. Jamie was still being raped. It was still non-consensual. But it made Jamie feel broken, it shamed him, it made him want to die.

I guess poor Jamie didn’t realize that being hanged also causes the body to involuntarily ejaculate — which is one of the reasons hangings were so popular, and why it’s considered more “shameful” for military prisoners to be hanged than to be executed by a firing squad, for example. If Jamie had known that hanged men’s bodies also involuntarily ejaculate, he might have realized that it wasn’t pleasure he was feeling when it happened to him as Black Jack was raping him.

But poor Jamie didn’t know that.

In fact, during the hangings in the episode before “Wentworth Prison,” the condemned men — Jamie among them — discussed the fact that hanged men soil themselves, but they meant only the involuntary evacuation of the bowels; the writers were careful not to include the fact that men’s bodies also involuntarily ejaculate during hangings. At the time, I wondered why the prisoners didn’t talk about the ejaculation since even women and children knew about it in those days. Now, however, I think the writers intentionally left that information out in the hanging scene discussion because it was going to be the involuntary ejaculation during the rape that was going to “break” Jamie’s spirit.

It’s the one thing that the writers of the Finale did get right: Jamie’s psychic pain and unbearable shame over his body’s involuntary ejaculation during the rape. Jamie’s misinterpretation of that ejaculation as good feelings toward BJR, or as sexual excitement, or even as love for Black Jack, when Jamie knows perfectly well that he does not love BJR, is what causes Jamie’s unbearable shame.

That’s what Jamie meant when he told Claire that BJR had broken him.

Because he felt completely and utterly broken.

That’s how rape victims feel.

Poor Jamie.

The Cows

images-12I gotta tellya, those cows were great. The way they just stampeded into the prison, without any weapons or protection of any kind. The way they knocked down those doors and those Redcoats to rescue Jamie without ever once slowing down to think of their own safety. The way none of those cows deserted or ran away in panic. Those cows were great. So brave. So self-sacrificing. So honorable. So… Cow-y. They were wonderful. I applauded them.

I looked for their names in the credits so I could list them in this post; alas, they were apparently just stunt cows, without any lines, and without any screen credits.

The show needed more cows.

It’s gotta have more Cowbell.

images-13

p.s. Hugs and kisses and thanks to regular commenter, Jo, for the much improved title, and for permission to use it.

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Filed under Actors, Authors, Books, Cows, Movies/Television, Outlander, Rape, Violence

29 Responses to CowLander: The OUTLANDER Finale

  1. jo

    Hi Alex,
    Your answers are as usual priceless. I’m never leaving this blog. I know…stalkery right? LOL

    I guess a show without a theme isn’t about anything at all ultimately. (Though i think you’re on to something with Claire’s selfishness LOL). I think that’s my problem with it. With all the violence, emphasis on sexual violence, the witch trials,, thrown in bits of Scottish history, the interaction with other characters, Geillis et al, her decision to stay by refusing to go back through the stones(sorry I felt that episode was unearned)- I really don’t know what this show is about. I feel unchanged by the experience (16 episodes of it) and I feel like I’m digging through the rubble searching for something of value and I can’t find it yet.

    I guess the question I’m asking is…what’s the lesson learned here? Well, I’ll tell you what I learned watching this show.

    No matter how serious a problem or how grave it is, be it being ripped away from your husband of 7 years or being immersed in a dangerous new world or being forced to marry a stranger or raped by deserter soldiers or almost mutilated by a sadist or beaten by your new husband or tried as a witch and almost burned to death as a witch- GREAT SEX CONQUERS ALL.

    Thanks Alex.
    love Jo.

    • “Great Sex Conquers All”, eh?
      And they haven’t had any of that since episode 10.
      Sad.

      It’s very strange, this show, and has become stranger. It could have so easily been an important historical/political drama, like The Tudors, and still had the passion, love, and great sex, and I thought — with all Frank’s “history lessons” to Claire, and her being from the future and going involuntarily through the stones back to that very important time period in the past — that those historical, cultural, political things were going to be an important part of Outlander.

      I guess I’m not sure what all the emphasis is on the sex and on J & C, since they don’t seem a good match in the show version.
      love,
      A

  2. jo

    Again this finale never fails to baffle me. And sometimes I wish Ron Moore and co. would just SHUT UP and focus on the new season. Though I won’t be watching this show anymore, I think they should sit their butts down and work harder on making this show watchable and scrubbing off the reek of ‘torture porn’ that surrounds this show. Maybe they could think up more intelligent season finales than ships sailing off into the horizon and wind ruffling through Sam and Cait’s hair. Some of us aren’t stupid you know.

    I agree with you and Jessabean. How many people seeing that accidental orgasm are going to exclaim…”Egads…I know what that was…prostate stimulation…”. I doubt if DG HERSELF was thinking along these lines when she wrote this. Sexualizing torture in order to make a buck isn’t new, but it is always in poor taste.

    I am curious though about one thing. In episode 15 when faced with death by hanging , Sam didn’t seem as horrified about that as he was when he was about to be raped. Was that a choice by the show’s writers ? are we supposed to take from that that Jamie was terrified about being raped. Why wasn’t this fear threaded through the series if it was going to be used int he climax? In the Lallybroch eppy he didn’t seem to mind being buggered so much , he refused because it meant he had failed his dad somehow. But in the finale this was ignored , so why was it mentioned at all? This rape by BJR I feel meant more than what was given by DG and Ron Moore? Why was rape mentioned in this show? Did it serve some kind of thematic purpose? What’ the THEME of Outlander anyway? What do you think?

    • Hi, Jo ,

      As I mentioned to Jessabean in one of my replies, I only knew about the involuntary ejaculation from the psychiatrist’s explanation in the film I saw. Is that scene in the book, i.e., is it in the book in the same way it was portrayed in the show? One never knows since the readers were so upset with the finale, and not all of them explained why.

      “Sam doesn’t seem as horrified by the hanging as about the rape.” Well, rape damages you permanently, but it doesn’t kill you. That could be one reason Jamie didn’t act as horrified. Also, in S1P1, Jamie chose flogging over buggering, stating that he didn’t think the buggering would be that bad — or something like that — but that he chose the flogging for fear that his father would see Jamie’s taking the buggering as more of a surrender, to BJR and to the British.

      If he was terrified of being raped — which he called buggered until the last time — it certainly never came out during the series. Even in the final episode, Jamie is resisting showing any feelings, even fear if he’s feeling it, leading to BJR’s becoming more physically violent and repeatedly ordering Jamie to scream as BJR rapes him. (It’s horrible even to remember it.)

      Honestly, I don’t get the impression that the writers know what they’re going to write from week to week. (This is opposed to the actors in Penny Dreadful, for example, who got the entire season’s scripts in advance, so they knew what was happening and what was going to happen, and could plan their interactions accordingly.)

      I also read that some of Outlander show’s writers have read the books while others haven’t because Ron wanted it “balanced.” Unfortunately, the mish-mash didn’t work out as intended, or Ron just picked really bad writers, especially for the second half of S1, or there was really bad editing that destroyed the storytelling…

      At least S1P1 kept my interest most of the time…

      What’s the theme of Outlander?

      If you’re asking about the show, I have no idea. It’s not coherent enough to have a theme.

      I’m guessing the book’s readers would say the theme is Jamie and Claire’s love, but I don’t see that in the show. Especially after she went all General Patton on him after rescuing him from prison. That was ugly, and made me despise Claire. If she’d been from that time period, knew nothing about Shell-Shock, had never been a nurse, and knew nothing about war, and someone had told her that it was the only way to reach Jamie in that darkness where he wanted to commit suicide, I might have only disliked her.

      But none of those things were true, so I despised her for abusing her already abused and broken husband.

      Just to get him to tell her what everyone else in the show obviously knew already, and which she should have known, too, since BJR had made it clear in the previous episode that he was releasing her unharmed in return for Jamie’s surrender “body and soul.”

      I found her ungrateful, unsympathetic, un-empathetic, and selfish.
      Maybe, ultimately, that’s the theme of the show: Claire’s selfish-ness.

      Can’t say what the theme of the books is till I read them.

      Have no idea what DG’s obsession with rape is, male or female.
      Have no idea what Ron is trying to do with the adaptation, but judging it as a stand-alone drama, it went downhill steeply and rapidly in S1P2, not that S1P1 was great, but at least I kept watching through the yawns.

      Themes… do you think any of the writers of the SHOW even know what themes are?

      Hugs,
      A

  3. Jessabean

    Hi Alexandria,

    You and I are totally in sync here. I wrote my review before reading yours:
    http://tumbldressed.tumblr.com/post/120385077465/116-one-and-done

    I don’t know anything about prostate stimulation. However, I still think Jamie was in far too much pain to feel pleasure – as they filmed – from anal penetration. I think they botched the basics here- even with your input. If I don’t know about prostate stimulation, I bet very few people do. I think they should have shown oral or manual stimulation to serve the narrative purpose in a way that was absolutely clear to everyone.

    That blog was well received and the response from readers and my reaction to this blog brought me to an epiphany … which of course means another blog! 🙂 I quoted you in it:
    http://tumbldressed.tumblr.com/post/120495106920/the-healing-fantasy

    If I have misstated anything, please let me know and I will correct it immediately.

    • Dear Jessabean,
      Please let me reiterate that I know nothing about prostate stimulation personally: I got my information from books and from the Clive Owen film I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead, in which he plays a “retired” gangster or hitman or something like that, whose younger brother (played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is brutally raped by über-gangster (Malcolm McDowell); younger brother is so shamed by the rape that he commits suicide. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure why the young man would kill himself because he’d been raped, but the psychiatrist character explains that the young brother probably involuntarily ejaculated, and felt more shamed by that than by the rape itself since the victim would have misinterpreted his body’s reaction to the rape. This only happens to men since they are the only ones who have a prostate, which holds the seminal fluid. When I watched the movie again, I paid closer attention to the rape scene, and noticed that JR-M does get a shocked look on his face as the assault is ending, MMcD laughs, and then JR-M huddles, stumbles back to his flat, where he immediately gets into the tub and cuts his wrists, weeping as he does it.

      So, since that character misinterpreted his body’s reaction and since Jamie said BJR “broke him” by “making love” to him, as opposed to his calling it “buggering,” which he did when he referred to it earlier, I assumed that the same thing had happened to Jamie. So I basically paraphrased the psychiatrist’s explanation from the film with CO & JR-M and realized, from Sam’s reaction in the scene and Jamie’s changing the terms from “buggering” to “making love” and saying it “broke him,” that the same thing had happened, he felt shame about it, and that was why he wanted to die.

      Of course Jamie didn’t feel pleasure during the rape. No one does. But — and I think I made this clear in the post — he misinterpreted his body’s involuntary ejaculation due to BJR’s member pressing against his prostate as “pleasure”, and that’s why he felt more shame (and changed the terms).

      I, too, doubt that many people understood what was happening, noticed the change in terms, etc, as the actors are giving interviews explaining various aspects of those scenes. What upsets me more, however, is their showing Jamie as virtually instantaneously “healed” after he tells the story to Claire. It takes years to get over even a single rape, and Jamie was raped multiple times, humiliated, and tortured most grievously. So I think the show did all male rape victims a disservice by showing Jamie as virtually normal when they were on the ship (ok, his hand was still bandaged, but he seemed ok otherwise).

      Coolio and the beans on your blogs. And thanks for the quote. I’ll go read them now.
      Love the intellectual conversation about art that we’re all having.
      Hugs,
      A

    • Read the first blog, Jessabean, and your “random” rantings are wonderful. You support everything you say. Loved it. I posted it on The twitter, and am encouraging everyone to read it by posing the link again here.

      By Random Fan: The Right and the Wrong in the Outlander Finale. http://tumbldressed.tumblr.com/post/120385077465/116-one-and-done

      So glad we’ve met and started this great conversation.
      Going to look at the next blog now.
      Hugs,
      A

      • Jessabean

        Thank you so much! Coming from you, that’s a real compliment.
        And thank you for the information about the prostate. If Outlander had shot it that way – an accidental orgasm that shocked him, it might be clear. However, I … that’s still too confusing. People are very uneducated about sex.
        Manual or oral stimulation is the only way to make it crystal clear. In the book, Jack is stimulating him this way and saying, “Does your wife make you feel this way?” and on an on. It makes a lot more sense.

        God! These people have the worst narrative judgement I have ever seen!

        • Okay. This is the fourth time I’ve attempted to reply, with each subsequent response more brilliant than the previous. But I’ll try again. (My laptop has been repaired twice in last 2 months, and is doing the most bizarre things. Further, we’re on a mountain in the middle of a desert Wilderness, and out internet connection has suddenly become very spotty the last few weeks. Add thunderstorms from the monsoons and from the hurricane moving over Mexico, and things keeps disappearing into a black hole in the Universe.)

          To say that the writers of Outlander have the worst narrative judgment on the planet would be an understatement. In interviews, the writers have said things like this: they modeled “The Watch” episode after The Sopranos — a series whose writing and narrative quality was spotty, at best, after its initial brilliant 1st season — and “The Search” after the classic Western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly “because it had horses and guns in it.”

          I say, far better had the writers of Starz’s Outlander modeled their adapted storytelling, character development, and dialogue after successful series like The Tudors, by creator-writer Michael Hirst, who won awards for his Elizabeth I films; Penny Dreadful, by creator-writer John Logan, award-winner for Gladiator and others; and Hannibal, by creator-writer Bryan Fuller, award-winner for films and television series.

          If I hadn’t seen the film I mentioned before — I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, about the young boy who’s raped, and shamed by his own involuntary ejaculation, and commits suicide — in which the psychiatrist character had to explain what probably happened that caused the boy to commit suicide, I wouldn’t have known any of that physical stuff either. So, now viewers have to watch every obscure Indie-Art film in order to understand what’s happening in Outlander? Very bad writing.

          I had a chance to be on the Book of Face yesterday for a bit between storms, before being knocked off entirely, and someone mentioned that “a blogger had erroneously reported that Claire had been raped by the deserting Redcoats.” I didn’t know if she was talking about me or not, but I responded that Claire had been raped, which was one of the reasons she was angry at Jamie afterward, because he hadn’t protected her, and she’d also been forced to kill the soldier. Several other people in the group agreed with me, although, since they’d read the books, they said they’d been confused at the show’s change since Book-Claire is not raped.

          Then others came on and informed me that RonDMoore himself had stated in the podcast that viewers who thought Claire had been raped were wrong: she had not been raped.

          I say, when actors, writers, creators, producers, etc have to go on podcasts or do other interviews to tell the viewing audience that they did not see what they thought they saw, then that’s a huge reg flag with the words PRETTY BAD STORYTELLING on it, and that I was guessing even poor Cait hadn’t been sure whether or not Claire had actually been raped.

          Some of the other group members agreed with me, saying they’ve stopped listening to the post-show podcasts since they make them feel stupid. Yes, that is what happens whenever an audience interprets a book or show as it’s presented, and then an author or producer goes on and says, basically, No, that’s not what we intended, so you’re stupid for interpreting it that way, rather than just admitting that they made a mistake, or that they hadn’t realized readers/viewers would have multiple interpretations of the same scene.

          Like, DOH, is that not the beauty of art? Is that not the glory of literature? Shakespeare never gave podcasts or interviews to tell his audience, “Nope, sorry guys, you interpreted that incorrectly; that is not how I intended it.” Nope, nope-a-dope, ix-nay on at-thay.

          Ron, DG, et al could learn much from Shakespeare.
          Not only about good storytelling, but about not insulting your fans and telling them they’re stupid.

          Hugs, (with fingers crossed that this one goes through)

    • Wow, that second blog was even better than the first, Jessabean. I was horrified by Claire’s treatment of Jamie. So was my BF, who was raped repeatedly when he was a boy by his father’s best friend — in his father’s house! And my therapist, found almost 35 years after I was first raped by my father (and punished for it by my mother, who walked in on it — she said I was “bad”), then raped for 13 years by my stepfather, and raped — at age 11 — by my mother, with implements & tools, because she found a box of tampons hidden in my dresser drawer, my therapist asked me if she could hug me while she was telling me that none of it could have been my fault (I was 3 when the first rapes began), and that all the medical personnel, teachers, neighbors, and family members whom I told who did nothing were afraid to get involved but should still be ashamed of themselves. You quoted me accurately in your blog, and if my first therapist had “bitch-slapped” me, as you say in your blog, I would have never gotten the chance to begin healing because I would have never gone back to therapy. Claire’s treatment of Jamie in the show, which I believe you said was not in the book, was absolutely horrifying. My BF looked at me in shock when she began hitting and slapping him and basically ordering him about like a soldier to “snap out of it.” (In fact, my BF said, “I thought that was the husband she loved.” Yes, so did I. So did I.) I do agree with you, though: the writers must be getting hundreds of letters from rape counselors and therapists who are saying, “NO, not that way at all.”

      Thank you for your passion and for your honesty. I am honored to be included in your wonderful post:http://tumbldressed.tumblr.com/post/120495106920/the-healing-fantasy
      Honored to be united with someone as compassionate and honest as you, Jessabean.

      By the way, one male reviewer thought they adequately gave “air time” (I think he said that: I’m looking for the review) to male rape, which he thinks is a topic that does not get handled enough or well, but was also very upset by the “sudden” and unrealistic healing: http://observer.com/2015/05/outlander-season-finale-recap-the-breaking-and-fixing-of-jamie-fraser/

      Here is a woman reviewer’s response, which mentions some of the same things: http://news.yahoo.com/outlander-season-1-finale-review-150500313.html

      So, we’re in good company.
      Hugs and kisses,
      A

      • Jessabean

        Thank you again, Alexandria. And thank you for sharing your story with such courage. Every one who does helps everyone waiting (and needing) to share theirs. One could wish that the line wasn’t so long, but here we are.

        There is a lot of outrage over this last episode. Thank you for passing on my blogs and am honored to be having this exchange with you. To share like this is very healing in itself.

        And, really, the healing portion at the abbey in the book is so beautiful. Just to give you a taste: one of the most amazing things Gabaldon does is bring in the imagery of John Wayne.

        Jamie refuses to take the laudanum (morphine) while she sets his hand – the opposite of the show – and she snaps in desperation, “Who do you think you are, John Wayne?” when she can’t stop trembling. He has no idea who that is but explains that he needs to be awake and aware when they make their escape. Then he unburdens her of the worry about hurting him and tells her to do what she has to do. After that exchange, there is this:
        ======================================
        When he spoke again, his voice was high and oddly breathless, as though he had been running a long way. “Claire, will you—I just—Claire, hold on to me. If I start to shake again now, I canna stop it. Claire, hold me!”
        He was in fact beginning to tremble violently, the shivering making him moan as it caught the splintered ribs. I was afraid to hurt him, but more afraid to let the shaking go on. I crouched over him, wrapped my arms around his shoulders and held on as tightly as I could, rocking to and fro as though the comforting rhythm might break the racking spasms.
        I got one hand on the back of his neck and dug my fingers deep into the pillared muscles, willing the clenching to relax as I massaged the deep groove at the base of the skull. Finally the trembling eased, and his head fell forward onto my thigh, exhausted.
        “I’m sorry,” he said a minute later, in his normal voice. “I didna mean to go on so. The truth is I do hurt verra bad, and I am most awfully damn drunk. I’m no in much control of myself.” For a Scot to admit, even privately, to being drunk, was some indication, I thought, of just how badly he did hurt.
        “You need sleep,” I said softly, still rubbing the back of his neck. “You need it badly.” I used my fingers as best I could, gentling and pressing as Old Alec had showed me, and managed to ease him back into drowsiness.
        “I’m cold,” he murmured. There was a good fire, and several blankets on the bed, but his fingers were chilly to the touch.
        “You’re in shock,” I said practically. “You’ve lost the hell of a lot of blood.”
        I looked around, but MacRannochs and servants alike had all disappeared to their own beds…With a mental shrug for anyone’s opinion of the proprieties, I stood up, stripped off the nightdress, and crawled under the blankets.
        As gently as possible, I eased against him, giving him my warmth. He turned his face into my shoulder like a small boy. I stroked his hair, gentling him, rubbing the ridged columns of muscle at the back of his neck, avoiding the raw places.
        “Lay your head, then, man,” I said, remembering Jenny and her boy. Jamie gave a small grunt of amusement.
        “That’s what my mother used to say to me,” he murmured. “When I was a bairn.”
        “Sassenach,” he said against my shoulder, a moment later.
        “Mm?”
        “Who in God’s name is John Wayne?”
        “You are,” I said. “Go to sleep.”
        ======================================
        After the most emasculating thing she did to her male lead, all I remember is that he’s John Wayne. It’s beautiful and brilliant.

        • Okay, I’m confused. In the scene you shared from the book, what’s “emasculating”?
          It is nice that she says Jamie’s John Wayne, though those kind of remarks are just going to get her tried as a witch again (like “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ,” which, even without the H and the Roosevelt would have been considering “taking the Lord’s name in vain” or “putting the evil eye on someone” and would’ve given her a bad rap back then…)

          As for the other things, I have seen the tremendous amount of outrage over the last episode. And I had lots of outrage, too, not necessarily about the scenes between BJR and Jamie, though there were too many of them, they were too explicit, and could have been handled in a more artful and politically powerful way (as opposed to how they were handled, with the actors and the writer Ron giving interviews and podcasts explaining how viewers should have interpreted those scenes blah blah blah).

          No, my outrage was over Claire’s going General Patton on Jamie (especially since Shell-Shock was well-known, though it was not called by its contemporary term, War-PTSD*), Claire’s blatant stupidity about what had happened when BJR made it clear in the cell while she was present that he was releasing her unharmed in return for Jamie’s surrender, “body and soul,” Claire’s going Romeo & Juliet on Jamie by saying she’d kill herself if he didn’t tell her the details (it’s all about The Claire), and the unrealistic healing of Jamie.

          The General Claire Patton and the unrealistic healing of Jamie — simply by telling Claire what had happened — was what upset me the most. I mean, gosh-darn, if only I’d known I needed to be “bitch-slapped” (thank you, dear, for that remark in your blog) by my therapist and told to “get over” the rapes and incest, well, gosh, maybe I wouldn’t be so jumpy alone at night even after all these years, and maybe I could’ve just gotten on a boat to France or something and fought some doomed political cause, like putting a King on the throne of America.

          Hugs, and blessings on your continued path of healing,
          A

          *War-PTSD is differentiated from PTSD, which is caused from a one-event, traumatic incident, whether it be rape or hurricane or tornado or whatever; and both of them are differentiated from Complex-PTSD, which is what survivors-victims of repeated and inescapable abuse & trauma suffer (like victims of repeated child rape, incest, POWs, concentration camp inmates, victims of Munchers — a category of female serial killers, of which my mother was one, who torture, abuse, and sometimes kill their children or others in their care to get attention for themselves). Each type of PTSD presents differently, must be treated in a different manner, and heal in different ways. As you can imagine, the Complex-PTSD is the most difficult to treat since it’s main component is the fact that it was inescapable and repeated, sometimes for years.

          • Jessabean

            It looks like all my responses went through. All I meant was that a man would find being raped repeatedly like that incredibly emasculating. It’s in the mind of the reader and Diana juxtaposes it by having Claire calling him John Wayne, immediately erasing all thoughts of emasculation and explaining how Claire and we should see Jamie. I’ve always thought it was genius.

          • Gotya. The only problem is that Jamie doesn’t know who John Wayne is or what he represents to American culture, not to British or Scottish culture. So I can see the rape as emasculating for Jamie, but don’t see how a John Wayne allusion would erase the emasculation. Maybe for Claire. Maybe. Not for Jamie. And not for viewers or readers who’ve been sexually assaulted. I, for one, would never consider anyone who had been raped to be less feminine or emasculated. And calling me, as a survivor of years of sexual abuse, “John Wayne,” would mean nothing to me at all. I might even be insulted because of the phrase “John Wayne it,” which is kind of what Claire was trying to get Jamie to do in the show.

            Very interesting perspectives and discussion, as always, J
            Hugs and kisses,
            A

      • Jessabean

        Hi Alexandria,

        I responded yesterday, but it seem to have disappeared into the ether. Thank you for your kind words and shares. The more we share our stories the easier it is for others.
        How I wish there weren’t so many others, but here we are. Today, Diana made a post about the people telling her the episode helped them with their own experience. I don’t want to dis other survivors, but I found that so bizarre..
        In any case, thank you for such thoughtful analysis and information. It’s much appreciated.

        • Your response may have disappeared into the ether around this mountain, Jessabean, where the monsoons are raging and constantly knocking out my internet connection. But I got it now 🙂

          Yes, unless the victim does not wish to share the story with anyone, I believe that all rape victims have the basic human right to be treated as kindly and protectively as victims of tornadoes, home invasions, and any other natural disaster or horrific crime. No one comes to us, if we tell them that we were victims of rape — even without details and because they asked — and offers us comfort (well, other victims-survivors and therapists do, but not most other people). Instead, they look horrifed, change the subject, or — worst of all — tell us to “get over it.”

          So, people thought that episode helped them heal? Or explicitly showed them that they should go find someone to “bitch-slap” them so they’d “get over it”? Strange… I never found being slapped, punched, or kicked very healing…

          Hugs,
          A

  4. LadyB

    In general excellent review. Two items to note: much of the BJR behavior you note above as proof of his homosexuality (for example BJR pleasuring Jamie orally) is not in the books, so probably shouldn’t be used as proof that the book’s author is mistaken. Also in episode 115 before the hanging, McQuarry and Jamie do indeed discuss ejaculation caused by hanging, and whether or not it does occur. Jamie’s assumption at that time was that was a fallacy.

    • Dear LadyB,
      I assumed that much of the behavior of BJR was in the books from the reader comments on DG’s FB profile where the readers said they had always thought BJR was homosexual when they read the books. So, whatever is or is not explicitly in the books, many people picked up much implicit material that made them interpret BJR as homosexual and, perhaps more important, a man in love with Jamie. A man whose love was not returned. And I’m getting that from the readers’ comments to DG since I have not yet read the books (I’m trying to retain my objectivity on the show as show only, and not be influenced by the books: I’ll read them afterward).

      When I said the author was “dismissive” of her readers’ interpretations, I meant exactly that. DG may not have ever intended BJR to be homosexual. She may have only intended him to be a sadist, which she readily states. However, what the author intended when she wrote it does not mean it is the only interpretation of a character that she has created; furthermore, it does not mean that the readers are wrong if they find evidence in the book itself that supports their interpretations. That’s the beauty of literature: it can have multiple interpretations and all of them can be equally correct and appropriate. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer in literature, like in math, for example, as long as the literature itself supports it. That’s why I preferred literature to math when I was in school. I could never get the “right” answer in math, but I could see multiple “correct” answers in literature, which fit my personality and nature better 🙂

      I will have to watch the McQuarry and Jamie discussion again because I heard the evacuation discussion but nothing referring to involuntary ejaculation. However, now that I think of it, since the Redcoats were making all the poor prisoners watch all the hangings, you’d think the prisoners would have noticed it all. If Jamie assumed it was a fallacy, despite his watching all those hangings, I wonder why he thought it was a fallacy.

      Thanks so much for telling me what’s in the books. I’m going to have a very interesting read when I finally get to the books after having watched the show.

      Best,
      Alexandria

  5. MargieQ

    Hey Alexandria,

    I must say you have one of the best reviews I’ve come across on the Outlander series. Thanks so much. I have long said and reiterate that BJR is a sadistic homosexual and have taken flack for it. Many who previously thought so as well, have since changed their opinions when DG “herself”, changed her’s. If he’s not, in the books, on the show he is. I’m on the Outlander Fans page on FB, and if you allow me, and if they allow me, I’d like to copy a portion of your blog and post it there. You gave the best explanation so far on BJR’s sexuality. I don’t have any knowledge at all on the homosexual “act” other than knowing its penis to anus, etc. so I appreciated that you explained that stuff about the act itself making Jamie ejaculate. Thanks again for being open and candid about all this. Btw, I never liked Angus’ character on the show, and this last distasteful act, just sealed that for me. He’s too vulgar and uncouth.
    Have a beautiful day!

    • Dear Margie,
      Thank you so very much for the compliments on the post. If you had been in any of my Lit classes when I taught at University, you would never have been given “flack” for your interpretation if you’d been able to support it with passages from the books. That’s exactly what I encouraged my students to do: to find their own interpretations, state them in discussion (we had no papers, only discussions, on which they were graded daily), and support them if others in the class didn’t see that interpretation. There are so many ways to interpret any piece of literature, and when I was a young student, I had some teachers mock my interpretations, despite my supporting them, only to discover as I got older and was in grad school, that my interpretations of the books in question where considered to be the most valid among scholars. So I never allowed my students to insult another’s interpretation if it could be supported: I wanted them to feel they were in a safe environment and be able to express their supported interpretations. Of course, it’s difficult to do that on Social Media unless you’re the Admin of a page since there are plenty of people who simply don’t like you if you disagree with them.

      I am quite surprised to hear that “HERSELF” has changed her opinion. It was so clear that the show was clearly going in that direction, which she would not have had to approve of: once you sign a book option, you have no control over what happens in the dramatization. Still, when she was constantly correcting reviewers and telling readers they were wrong after episode 12, I got annoyed, and have written repeatedly that readers’ interpretations do not have to be the one that the author intended when it was originally written. Critics call it “The Intentional Fallacy,” when the author intends for the character to be interpreted in a certain way, but the readers interpret the character in an entirely different way. The artist in us is mostly subconscious, so we cannot possibly know everything we are putting in our work. I was upset that DG, like all those bad English teachers I’d had, were dismissing the readers’ interpretations, which makes them doubt their own interpretations, think they’re crazy, think they’re weird, etc. That’s how I always felt when teachers mocked me in class, and it also tended to make me shut up. Maybe that’s what they wanted. I never wanted it for my students, and I don’t want it for the viewers of any shows or books or films that I review. As long as there’s no name-calling or attacks, I welcome differences of opinion, especially when they’re supported by the work itself. I was hoping that those poor fans who said they’d always interpreted BJR that way, while DG was going “No — cutesy emoticon”, would feel supported by someone, even if it wasn’t by DG, whom they clearly adore.

      Yes, Starz and Ron Moore clearly interpreted the books the way many of the readers did, but I feared that many readers and viewers might interpret homosexuality with sadism. The two are not in any way related, just as BDSM (I hope I got that right) involves consensual sadistic/masochistic acts between sexual partners and, I’m told, is always safe for both people (those remarks are in the reviews of 50 Shades of Gray, where BDSM practitioners state how unrealistic the book is, and then explain why the book is not about BDSM at all, but purely the author’s mis-interpretation of it).

      Many readers of the books have repeatedly stated that they, too, thought BJR was homosexual, attracted to Jamie himself (as well as to men in general), and probably in love with Jamie, from the very first time they read the books. Clearly, Starz and Ron Moore also interpreted the book that way. I thought they handled it relatively well, but I didn’t feel they made it clear enough that BJR is a sadist, separate from his homosexuality, and that the two are not in any way associated with each other.

      I also thought the writers of the Finale, one of whom was Ron Moore, were trying to make the rape “erotic,” and, for me, and for my BF who watched it to “support me” in case any of the violence triggered me, it was “repulsive.” I thought my BF found it repulsive simply because he’s a guy, but it’s interesting to note here that we watched Penny Dreadful last night where there was a very explicit sexual scene between Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) and his new love interest, transgendered Angelique, who is a male, (more explicit than the scene between BJR and Jamie) and my BF, though he did not find it erotic, did not find it repulsive. He was just surprised to see it presented so explicitly. All he said was, “So, Dorian is clearly in love.”

      I didn’t want viewers to equate homosexuality with sadism, and I was surprised a couple weeks earlier, with the hanging scene, when Jamie and one of the men of the Watch were discussing what happens to the hanged men, that they did not mention involuntary ejaculation since they mentioned the involuntary evacuation of bowels.

      In Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd, young Billy is a beautiful sailor on a ship with a cruel officer, and many of the sailors on the ship (and readers) believe that Claggart, who is physically beautiful himself but very sadistic, is jealous of the attention Billy gets, if he’s not actually in love with Billy himself. Claggart accuses Billy of mutiny, and poor Billy, who stutters when he gets stressed or upset, gets so angry that he hits Claggart in the face, killing him. Billy then must be hanged, despite any moral justification of his reaction and despite the Captain’s and other officers’ reluctance, simply because it is British law that anyone who kills an officer of a ship be hanged. When Billy is hanged, however, his body does not involuntarily ejaculate: all the sailors and the Captain of the ship himself get very distressed about this as they take it as “proof” of Billy’s innocence, both of Claggart’s mutiny charges, and of “murder.”

      That’s why I wanted to explain the source of Jamie’s shame in that episode. There have been a couple movies where young boys have been raped and their shame comes from this. One of them was — I think this is the name — I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, where Clive Owen’s character has a younger brother, played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who’s raped by gangster Malcolm McDowell for intruding on his “territory”, and because he ejaculates during the rape, the poor boy thinks he “enjoyed” it, and commits suicide. Clive Owen’s character then goes after McDowell’s character for revenge. (So I got some of my info from historical sources, like about the hanging, some from my literature background, some from Billy Budd, some from the movie I mentioned, etc.)

      I wanted it to be clear that Jamie’s shame is not only from the rape itself, since he said in an earlier episode that he thought he wouldn’t have cared too much about the buggering, but felt his father would feel ashamed that Jamie had “surrendered” to the British, and so Jamie chose the flogging when given the choice. Jamie may, indeed, feel shame at the rape because he considered it “surrendering” — as did BJR, but the bulk of Jamie’s shame was clearly due to his body’s involuntary response, since that’s what he calls “making love” (and not “buggering”) when he tells Claire that’s when BJR “broke him.”

      Are you on the FB group run by D & Alex? I’m on that page, and I don’t think they like links. But you can probably tell them that there’s a new post on my blog they might like. Ask the Admins first, please, as I don’t want to be excluded from any of the groups for doing something inappropriate.

      Thank you so much for your comment about Angus. I was horrified that it was in the show. So inappropriate after the tone of the final two episodes. My BF turned to me and said, in shock, “Did he just do what it looked like?” He thought it was dreadful and was rather surprised that she didn’t slap him silly. (My BF has literally only seen the last 2 episodes — to morally support me in case the violence, torture, or rape triggered me — but he knows the general premise.)

      Thank you so much for your comments, and I hope we’ll continue to stay in touch.

      Hugs,
      Alexandria

  6. jo

    I have stopped laughing now just in time to again say how, again, brilliant your post is and how incredibly profound especially your comments on Jamie and BJR’s relationship was handled in the finale (ruined by cows of course) and your unique perspective makes it all the more honest which is all we can ask in reviews.

    I personally feel that Outlander finished up exactly where it began. In a real confusing place. I have never seen a show go through as many dramatic questions as this one has in just one season. We went from a woman trying to find her way back home to being kidnapped by BJR, to a beating, to a witch trial, to over dramatic sex, to Lallybroch , to encounters with the Watch, to pregnancy issues that came out of nowhere, to Jamie’s suffering , to cows… The premise which started me watching , the mythology of the stones, the fantasy, all seem a million miles away and I’m bored now. Like I’ve been tricked and I can’t get my money back.

    I expected to see Loch Ness monster at least. That was in the books. What happened to Nessie?

    • Dearest Jo,
      I do have to make another remark on the cows: my BF kept interrupting me, asking what had happened to all the cows. He was really concerned about their having been left behind in Wentworth Prison. I was more concerned about the fact that BJR obviously spent the night with Jamie (at least one night) and was lying-sleeping next to the naked prisoner while naked himself, and none of the guards commented on it or came down there or anything. I mean, no wonder such a small group of rescuers was able to break into a PRISON with a stampeding herd of cattle (who were kinda cute, by the way). If the guards aren’t watching what their Captain is doing, they’re not going to be watching a bunch of cows.

      Thank you for appreciating my honesty. As a lit major, I’m afraid I always interpret movies, etc simply because I’m used to doing it with books. I can’t do it for paintings, I assure you, but I just naturally do it for films and TV shows.

      I agree that Outlander ended where it began. I believe you’ve read the books (?) but as one who hasn’t, I don’t know what to think of Claire and Jamie’s relationship. I mean, why did she have to ask him if he was happy about her pregnancy? Didn’t he tell her, after Jenny gave birth, that he could hardly wait to have children of his own? Isn’t that when she had to tell him she didn’t think she could have children because she’d never been able to get pregnant with Frank? So that question startled me.

      And left me confused. Where’s this great, undying love and devotion that everyone keeps talking about? I mean, all of those who’ve read the books, since I don’t see it in the show.

      Are you serious about Nessie being in the books? Or are you just trying to yank my chain…

      Hugs,
      A

      • jo

        I’ve read Outlander. So you won’t be biased by my comments, I’ll wait for you to read it yourself. But all I can say is bless Diana Gabaldon and Ron Moore for teaching me more about appreciating good books and good television more than anyone ever could. Obviously those shows that win Emmys are putting in a lot of work because it’s so easy to get it wrong (as we can all see).

        As for Nessie, I’m telling you…it’s my favorite scene.
        I feel cheated.

  7. jo

    I was waiting for your post to say something poignant about the season finale (or even about the series in general). But after reading your post this morning, I can’t stop laughing. I would have to post something coherent later. Thanks for making my morning.

    Onward, Cowlander!

    • Dear Jo,
      Cowlander! Brilliant. As soon as I stop laughing, I’m changing the name of my post (you’ve already given me permission), and then I’ll answer the other comment. You are so clever and funny, Jo. Thanks so much for the improved title.
      Hugs and kisses,
      A

    • My dearest Jo,
      I so wanted there to be something poignant in the season Finale. I so wanted to see the bonding and love that everyone who’s read the books has said exists between Jamie and Claire. But when Claire went all General Patton on Jamie, I was horrified. If she had been from the 1740s herself, it might have made more sense, but she’s from 1945, and a nurse, a war-time nurse at that, who knows about psycho-analysis, therapy, etc. I don’t think Primal Scream Therapy was around in 1945, but, in any event, she didn’t put Jamie in a blanket and tell him to re-enact being thrust from the womb, so that wouldn’t be a good analogy…

      I was so disappointed with the fact that there was nothing poignant in the Finale. And that ending on the boat seemed so contrived. Jamie healed that quickly, after Claire physically abused him into telling her the details of BJR’s rapes, when it takes some of us a lifetime of intense therapy and emotional work to heal from such events.

      So, what can I say, I ended with the Cows, because I was impressed by those cows. My BF was, too (he grew up in the country and worked farms, whereas I grew up in cities): he said, “Hey, those are Scottish cattle.” I had to tell him the show was filmed in Scotland since he’s only seen one brief scene (with Cait topless) and the final two episodes, and he assumed it was being made in Hollywood so he wondered where they’d gotten the Scottish cattle.

      And thanks so very much for letting me use your “Cowlander” as the new and improved title of this post.

      Hugs and kisses, my sister from another mother,
      A

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