Episode 201, Through a Glass, Darkly: Deleted Scene, a Cameo, and a Q&A

There’s something exciting about starting the first episode of a new season (even in rerun). Perhaps it’s because in a few short months we’ll be seeing the first episode of Season 3? It’s been a long time coming, and by all accounts, it will have been very worth the wait. 

So, even watching the “previously…” scenes got me excited tonight.

And yes, I did skip Episode 116. Despite the fact that I was _not_ looking forward to watching it, sheer business is the reason. In a quiet moment, I will backtrack and recap it also.

OK, so, 201… The first time I watched this episode was in my hotel room last year in New York City. Mom was snoring away in her bed beside me. I’d stayed up on the Friday night, as the episodes used to be released at midnight on Fridays. I hunkered down in my bed, laptop on my belly, and headphones on. I remember being completely bowled over by the writing (Ron Moore), directing (Metin Hüseyin), music, cinematography, and the performances in the first half of this episode. Clearly the costumes and sets/locations were fabulous as well, since they added to the story without calling undue attention to themselves. I felt like Cait had somehow catapulted herself to new heights as an actress in the break between seasons. I also remember thinking that Sam had somehow lost the character of Jamie in between seasons. And then, later, I saw an interview in which Sam said he’d actually tried to convey a sense of that, as Jamie had lost himself through his experience with Black Jack Randall at Wentworth. 

The next day was the Tartan Day Parade, where I watched Sam surf the energy of the city and everyone there.  Mom and I flew out later that day; I’d brought a splitter with me on that trip, so we were able to watch Episode 201 together on my laptop during the plane ride home.

Such fun memories, and such an exciting way to kick off the new season. I look forward to the Season 3 kickoff, and the adventures that lie ahead. But, I want to savor this summer first, while my precious kids are home, and growing, literally before my eyes. 

Cait kicks it off with her gut wrenching grief stricken portrayal of Claire’s return through the stones. I thought this was really well done. Poor Claire. I cried right along with her…

I felt Caitriona conveyed so much in this episode, sometimes using only her expressions and body language. Totally consumed by exhaustion and grief, we really believe that hearing the sound of a car for the first time in 3 years startles her out of her stupor. 

Poor lamb…

 

And then we get a break from the intensity, and the opening song with montage and credits rolls. I remember getting a first look at it last year: the French Court (I always found it humorous that Gary Steele’s credit lands on the cleavage), the snake, the red dress, King Louis’s fancy pants outfit, and of course part of the Skye Boat song is sung in French by Raya Yarbrough (who is Bear McCreary’s wife, incidentally, in case you didn’t know that). 

And, we’re back in… Claire and Frank’s first meeting. Did you guys know that when Claire looks out the window and sees a man walking a dog (well, the dog is more hopping if you ask me), that little fellow is Terry and Ron’s own dog, Cuillean. 

Here’s a pic of him when he was a wee puppy…

OK, I digress.

Once again, not even a lot of dialogue, but Cait gives so much information with her breathing, her body language, her expressions. Here she is seeing Frank’s reflection in the window for the first time…

I thought this addition was brilliant and only natural. The first time Claire sees BJR by the river in the 18th century, she mistakes him for Frank, so certainly Frank would evoke BJR. And even in this split second, Tobias is very much BJR and _not at all_ Frank.

Traumatic indeed…

Back at the manse… I think the guy who plays Reverend Wakefield is just perfect. 

More heartbreak as Claire gushes to Mrs. Graham about Jamie in the present tense, and then amends her statements to the past…

I think she conveys her complex emotions so clearly here. Grief stricken, she misses Jamie so much, and yet her practical side knows he’s gone, and she has a baby to care for. Part of her hates Frank in this moment, and that’s evident. 

And yet, one can’t help feeling sorry for poor Frank. His wife, whom he’s clearly still in love with, has been missing for 3 years; when she returns, instead of the passion filled reunion he no doubt imagined, she’s hopelessly in love with another man. If she could still be with that man, she would be, and she doesn’t hide that truth. A bit brutal, actually.

The next sequence is so well done, when Claire invites Frank into her room to talk.

There’s the obvious comparison of Claire’s experience in telling her husbands what’s happened to her: Jamie’s response is one of total loyalty and love – he doesn’t understand it, but he trusts her heart, as compared with Frank’s don’t ask don’t tell approach, which is a turn off.

Claire tries her best to push Frank away. We see his pain and anguish…

Frank professes his love for a seemingly stony Claire…

 

Tobias does such a good job. We really feel for Frank here.

And then Claire drops the I’m carrying Jamie’s baby bomb. We see Frank’s shock

followed by his momentary delusion of joy, 

We’ll name him Frank!

uh, wait a minute…

now minus 3 years + I’m sterile =  😒 

and then his rage. 

Get used to it Frank, you’ll be losing out to the ginger for the rest of your days….

I’m gonna excuse myself to the Reverend’s shed and throw things around so I don’t strike you…

Cait does a great job of letting all Claire’s fear and emotion show in this scene… I think she and Tobias were fabulous in this episode.

You know, it strikes me as I write this (above the photo of Frank losing it in the reverend’s shed), that in the books Jamie has a pretty big temper. He’s not given to tantrums and rages, but he can be extremely menacing, and will not hesitate to injure or kill if the need arises. I don’t think we’ve seen that side of Jamie, yet we’ve seen that side of Frank (which doesn’t really exist in the books).

It makes me think back to Episode 108, when Frank goes nuts on the people who trick him in an effort to steal the reward money for Missing Claire… 

Photo: from Episode 108: Oh no you di’int

from Ep 108: 

Maybe this was a creative attempt to link Frank back to Black Jack; I remember a Tobias interview in which he said Ron was as interested in how the characters are alike as in how they differ. But book Frank was not a badass, was he?

Anyway, back to 201…

Good old Reverend Wakefield, so sympathetic and even OK when Frank yells “a man who fucked my wife!” in front of Wee Roger

mphmm, I’ll have to ask Mrs. Graham aboot thaht new worrrrd.

 

This was another great but painful scene. When Frank asks Claire to let Jamie go, and she says she will, she makes it clear that it’s not because he (Frank) asked, but because she promised Jamie. When Claire says “time to say goodbye…” it’s gut wrenching.

 

Hang on now, she wore Frank’s ring the whole time in the 1700’s… fair’s fair.

(I do, however, find it hard to believe that a true historian would actually burn those clothes). 

Claire packs that same suitcase she arrived there with 3 years ago… a lifetime ago. I think Bear’s musical choice for this scene is excellent.

And then…

Thank goodness…

We transition back to Jamie… <cheer, cheer, cheer!>

 

and a happy Claire

and a disgruntled Murtagh… everything feels right with the world again…

but, it’s Outlander, so not for long…

The 2nd half of Episode 201 kicked off the blistering pace that was to be Season 2. They had so much to fit in with all of the political intrigue and secondary characters. _A lot_ happens in DIA. The first time I watched this episode, if I’m being honest, the second half felt like “Outlander Light” compared to the amazing first half. Jamie didn’t seem like Jamie, and Claire’s character went into overdrive in the strong woman department.

For me, the thread throughout Season 2 which kept me anchored to the story, was Murtagh. Every time he was in a scene I felt relieved. He was like a touchstone back to Scotland and back to the Jamie and Claire we knew. Duncan is also able to communicate so much with his expressions; he really created a fabulous Murtagh. I like this sequence, where Murtagh calls them out for not trusting him, and then Jamie says he’ll tell Murtagh the truth when the time is right. All of the costumes are fabulous, but for some reason Murtagh’s stands out for me, as so utterly… Murtagh.

“You havene told me the reason”

if you say so Jamie… I love the chemistry between these three characters

There’s the convincing Jared that Jamie’s a Jacobite scene. I think Sam does that hunchy thing with his shoulders when he takes his shirt off in front of strangers to portray Jamie’s discomfort about his scars, not sure. The guy who plays Jared does a good job too, in my opinion.

The original scene with Jared was extended. Here is the bit that was deleted…

 

And then there is the smallpox sequence on the docks…

I had a hard time buying this one, starting with Jamie yelling and running after Claire with Jared in tow as Claire ignores her recently abused and maimed husband, forcing him to run after her into the poxed warehouse.

Jamie then plays a sort of deferential tough guy to Claire’s lead

Jamie reprimands the ship captain for being rude to Claire

And then we meet the Comte St Germain, played so excellently by Stanley Weber

 

 

See that intensity? Jamie is supposed to have some of that. This is not a guy you want to piss off.

Which for me, makes the way Claire is played here not very believable and also incongruous with her character from the books. In the books she _is_ fearless and she _does_ fight for what she believes in, but she’s not smug, gloating, or swaggering like an overblown female heroine. She is driven by her need to heal, and Jamie is the one who makes her aware of how dangerous the situation really is. Once she gets that, she is humbled and actually afraid for both of them, in the books.

The screen grab below is a bit thematic of Season 2 (for me). Claire is the tough guy, and Jamie is hanging back. I found this out of keeping with their basic characters from the books. I’m not a book purist when it comes to the show, in fact I like it when they find creative ways to tell the story; however, I do have a hard time accepting what I perceive as fundamental changes in the characters. 

In the book, Jared pulls them away to a pub while the ship is being burned, and Jamie makes Claire understand the enormity of what has happened. I believe Jared even has them escorted home for their safety.

By contrast, in 201, Jamie and Claire make out at the ship burning about 20 feet away from the Comte as he watches a year’s work destroyed. 

In light of everything,

I might just think about poisoning Claire’s rhenish too.

Here’s the very cool, CGI enhanced, dramatic ending

Funnily enough, Metin Hüseyin, who directed Episode 201, was on Twitter the other day responding to a tweet from Barry Waldo, who was at Deanston Distillery with Jon Gary Steele, which was apparently the location used to film the Comte’s warehouse in 201.

 

He shared some photos and a gif and answered some fan questions too…

And finally, here’s wonderful Ron, with a look inside episode 201…

That’s a wrap for 201, I hope you enjoyed…

 

 

 

23 comments on “Episode 201, Through a Glass, Darkly: Deleted Scene, a Cameo, and a Q&A

    • oops, you’re right (of course) Anna. I was thinking 1943 to 1948 but it’s 1945 and 1743, isn’t it? Thanks for catching that. I updated it in the post.

  1. If you would like to see the actor who portrays Reverend Wakefield in a very different role, watch The Vicar of Dibly, a comedy from the 90s. Hilarious series. Also a good break after watching #116.

  2. I’m rewatching the series too while I wait for season 3 to begin and this episode in particular, watching it the second time, knowing so much more, I really felt her pain coming back through the stones, grieving for Jamie and then having Frank back, looking exactly like Black Jack Randall, I sobbed and sobbed for her. What a horrible transition for her. Had it been me, Jamie would be the one in my heart. To have to leave him and know what happens in history, would have been too unbearable. So pretty soon Season 3 will begin and where will we be? We will be in Scotland celebrating our anniversary at Drover’s Inn in the Highlands. So we have the DVR all set to record, waiting for us when we get home.

  3. Too bad STARZ/Sony et al. still didn’t correct the Le Havre subtitled caption from 1745 to 1744. It would have to be 1744, given when in time Season 1 ended, the duration of Claire’s (anyone human’s!) pregnancy, and the subsequent time schedule toward Culloden. I wish they’d fix that. Inconsistent not with the book time scale but with the show’s own time scale. Time scale _during_ S1 is a separate problem that my Philosofishal blog post about S1’s “ironic chilling effect” breaks down in detail; that problem starts developing in the setting for ep108.

    Very nice work on your part, though, Courtney! Great big images, summary, and well-rounded compilation of parts! 🙂

    • Thank you Carrie.

      I didn’t catch the time discrepancy (it gets a bit dizzying for me). Do you have a link to your piece?

    • Carrie–
      They do fix the time to 1744. If memory serves, the show originally aired on a Saturday night and on the Sunday replay it was fixed. When watching it this past Friday night it was 1744.

  4. Courtney, Every time a new blog post comes in from you I tell myself I will wait to read it until after I’ve done whatever work I need to get done that day but I’m never able to wait!

    I absolutely agree that the first half of episode one was stupendous and that the second half just felt” off” too much of the time. I also remember thinking that Jamie seemed more buff than in season one which made no sense given that he had been suicidal and basically not eating until just before they left for France! I also remember being so happy when they got back to Scotland in the second half of season two for many reasons, including because I missed Bear’s amazing Scottish themed scores! I do so hope that he weaves Scottish music into the rest of the series!

    • Piper you made me giggle. Happy to be your guilty pleasure 😉.

      I would imagine Bear will keep up the genius for S3. Diana has said several times that S3 is the best yet (and she’s picky), so I think we’re in for a treat.

      Now get your chores done 😜😘

      • Best yet would be pretty darn amazing!! Whooee!!! I have never looked forward to a movie or TV show as much in my life!

        I wish it was chores, it’s grading exams and papers. Most of the latter are interesting (if I don’t give them interesting stuff to write about it’s my own danged fault)but wading through unclear sentences and off-topic responses sometimes gets frustrating. I think one of the reasons I enjoy your blog posts so much is that they are well written! Do you ever read the New Yorker just to bask in the amazing prose? Not the short stories – those tend to be weird IMO but some of the articles.

  5. For me, this article was a “bull’s eye” hit. It was almost a turn off to see this strange Jamie. “Who is this guy?” was my running thought. And would someone please put this Claire in a closet. She bordered on being obnoxious. Yes, Murtagh saved the Scotland memory for me as well. Had I not developed such a love for the Highland Jamie, I might not have found the Paris Jamie such a stranger. Sam was physically beautiful and worked with his “wits”, I just missed the Jamie I fell in love with….both screen and books. I started feeling comfortable with the show once they returned to Scotland. I picked up my emotional connection with the characters. And changing the Murtagh character from the book version into the screen version was genius. Your article helped me with a “hindsight” confusion I was having. Bravo.

    • Hi Carolyn, thank you, glad I could help 😊.

      I think our turn off is owing to a combination of subtle nuances that when taken together did not produce a “click.” And yes, Jamie seemed like a lost puppy. He likely would after such a horrible trauma and then being transplanted to France. But Claire needed another spanking in this episode 😂.

      I felt relieved when they went back to Scotland too, and Jamie becomes Jamie again through his soldiering. x

  6. Yes. They are different people. But what happened to them in previous S1 has marked them, made them more adult, suffering also. You do not get out of such trauma without being marked.
    And yes there are some “buggs” and questions about Claire’s reactions and actions as well. But so tiny. And I finally think all is good and well.
    Feel a little sorry for Frank, but then who can be the successful rival of Jamie? Even the man he became after the rape at Wentworth is still the king, weaker and forlorn, but with the same eyes and seducing smile. And his kisses seem still to please her.

  7. I was really sad to see what they did to Jaime in season 2. I think they try too hard to make Claire a heroin, when I really don´t think she is. I hope they make things right in season 3, but I have my doubts since I think Ron doesn´t like Jaime at all.

    • Hi. I definitely agree with you. Book Jamie is a strong character that is one of the reasons Claire loves him. My biggest gripe w show has been the times they ‘flipped’ points of view. Especially in 109 at the end the pledge sequence seems like Claire is in charge but book much different feeling. But I do live the show so will cope! LOL

  8. I also find it hard to believe that Frank, as an historian, would burn those clothes, especially after a colleague describes them as excellent examples of 18th century clothing. Claire’s story is really such a coup for him and I would think he would want to know all he could from her about a time he has such interest in. You also wonder if he remembered what Mrs. Graham had told him about the stones years ago, and connected that with Claire’s story. I think maybe he did believe her and burned her clothes to symbolize the end of Jamie in their relationship.

  9. You are right on point about Jamie not being himself. The entire French episodes were off. I frankly could hardly stand to watch Claire. She was so unlike the Claire of the books in Dragonfly. I understand that they needed time for Jamie to heal (which the changes in season 1 caused), but his character would never have behaved like a puppy dog. Furthermore, they gave Claire most of the ideas in Paris that were Jamie’s in the book. I felt like they tried to make Claire this superwoman who bossed Jamie and Murtaugh around. I found the Paris section of season 2 very disappointing. Great costumes and sets but the story and characters really strayed from the book. It must have been hard for Sam to change Jamie’s identity to the extent he did. The actors said they were relieved when they went back to Scotland. So was I.

    • A lot of remarks, and a kind of disappointment with the part in France. It was completely different and they had undergone an enormous change. And yes, Claire took over the whole direction. Is that why she lost their baby maybe? To busy, a lot too bossy? I personally preferred when they were back in Scotland. But then, there are all the political problems and Jamie and Claire are not the same anymore. Became adults and responsible persons. Isn’t. That what Diana Gabaldon wanted us to understand in the books? I am reading them over and over, but the books and the Tv series have a different life, different writers, and the interpretation by the directors has to be taken into account also. Include the way the actors feel and play or filter the roles, and this is like a painting of a landscape by different painters. It will never reflect the landscape you see or the one I see, or other people. We can not want to find exactly the same thing in the books and in the series. But as long as Diana Gabaldon agrees with the “mise en scène” we should be happy. Personally I love both stories and am – as everybody else – waiting for the next season.

  10. Just want to add a comment about how wonderful the music was in this episode. When Frank is burning Claire’s clothes and she is watching and looks up to the sky as the music soars…the tears just flow. I’ve watched it several times and cry every time at that part.

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