OutlanderBTS – Episode 308: Was This The Real Reunion?

To my children, Laura Juliet, Samuel Gordon, and Jennifer Rose, Who gave me the heart, the blood, and the bones of this book.  — dedication for Voyager, by Diana Gabaldon.

Ahhh 308: Jamie and Claire felt like Jamie and Claire, and the supporting characters, including Lallybroch, were like coming home to a warm embrace.

In the podcast for Ep 308, Matt and Toni discuss the fact that this episode was actually filmed in the second block, (so when Episodes 303 and 304 would normally have been filmed). This detail feels huge to me, for the actors and everyone involved in production, because of the time span involved in this show. They have to know how old they are, what time period they’re in, what has happened and what hasn’t at any given point, not to mention continuity of hair, makeup, costumes, sets, etc. The more I dig, the more complex it gets, making the result even more impressive. Everything is a moving picture. It’s a giant machine, with hundreds, if not thousands of moving parts, including people’s schedules (all of the supporting actors are on other projects as well), locations, sets, legal requirements, money, on and on. It’s almost like the miracle of creating and birthing a child that it even happens, let alone in any timely manner with the level of quality of this show. Phew.

Filming for Season 3 started in late August, 2016, with Block 1, which was Episode 301, The Battle Joined, and Episode 303, the powerful All Debts Paid. Block 2 was shot next, with Episode 302, Surrender and 308, First Wife, which makes sense, because they need to use the location (Lallybroch), and the actors (Laura, Steven, etc.) while they have them, so they film everything at once, and consequently, out of sequence. This happens every season, of course. I remember in Season 1, the first sex scene Sam and Caitriona shot was actually Episode 109, (when they got their carpet burns); so, they shot that crazy make up sex before Jamie even lost his virginity! 😮. Sam and Caitriona apparently swore off of carpet sex after 109, but here they are in 308, at it again! Similarly, the almost sex scene in Ep 308 was shot before their shy, awkward reunion in episode 306. Sort of makes your head spin, huh?

Essentially then, in Season 3, first Caitriona played Claire arriving in Boston pregnant, making a home with Frank, and giving birth to Bree. Next she jumped forward in time and graduated, then jumped more in time, and went through Frank’s death. Then, in the next episode, she was a new mother again, had sex with Frank for the first time, and started med school. Next, she played 20 years older Claire returning to Lallybroch (having not reunited with Jamie yet), she found out about Leg Hair, and everyone was mean to her. How complicated!! 

For Sam’s part, he did the Culloden scenes and arrived back at Lallybroch (which was probably shot in block 2, actually). Then he went directly to Ardsmuir (before he was the Dunbonnet), and did all the LJG scenes. Next, he came back to Lallybroch and played Cave Jamie many years earlier with all that hair. Next, as in the next day, he was playing 20 years older Jamie coming back and doing the Leg Hair reveal. Imagine the hair and makeup team! Jeez. This really is a time travel show (often from week to week) for everyone involved! In the podcast, Matt mentions that Sam is a method actor, which I guess helps with this type of out of sequence shooting, as you just act what’s in front of you.

OK, onward…

Starting with the title sequence, Laoghaire (see, I can use her correct name), is piling figs onto a plate that adorable little Joanie is holding. Did you catch the detail of her wedding ring? Now, if this is for the Hogmanay celebration, this would be the ring of her deceased husband, Hugh, or Simon? Or, this could be foreshadowing. If I’m not mistaken, Matt Roberts did all the title cards for S3. The fig is used as the fruit of temptation for our Jamie (did you hear that Leg Hair, OUR JAMIE? 😉). Already, I am drawn in by the set details, the food, the candles, the shapes, the costumes. So beautiful. 

CORRECTION: (I love it when you guys keep me honest, and I usually give credit to whomever gives me the correction, but in this case there are too many to name! Apparently this is a well known fact which I missed 😏). The person in the title card photo below is actually Jenny, not Laoghaire. My apologies! (But Jenny is in on Team Laoghaire in this moment, so it’s still a bit of foreshadowy temptation prep. 😉)

OK, not to beat a dead horse, but this is not Jenny. Maybe it’s meant to be Jenny, but it is not Laura Donnelly. Who is this mystery woman??

 

Personally, I loved this episode, for so many reasons. This is one of those instances when everything came together and man did it work. I will venture to say that the combination of J squared is a winning one (Joy Blake, writer, and Jennifer Getzinger, director).

Jamie and Claire were kind of not themselves in 307, for me, and in this episode Jenny and Ian are like giant mirrors for them, holding them accountable. Laura Donnelly is incredible as Jenny; mark me, she will go far as an actress! And, Steven Cree has been excellent this season as Ian. The Ian we’ve seen in previous seasons is smiley, forgiving, and definitely the peacemaker. Ian in 308 has seen hardship, and is less patient and tolerant. All four actors/characters together, make wonderful things happen. 

In looking at the script, Joy had this episode opening with the scene between Jenny and Claire on the front steps. I prefer the opening as is, with the threesome riding up on horses. We get to see Lallybroch, we are reminded where we are in the story, and we check in with each character. Claire is cautiously hopeful.

Jamie’s thinking How long ’til bedtime? 

And Young Ian is thinking Dang, my arse is already sore from this ride, and I’ll be bendin’ o’er the gate in no time… 😩

I am gonna pause and address another question that often comes up. There is a light hearted rivalry between Sam and Caitriona about who is the better horse rider. So, allow me to make some observations (I am an experienced horse rider).

In this shot below, Sam has better riding position than Caitriona. He’s in the saddle, his hands are relaxed and forward, his horse’s head is in a relaxed and neutral position, Sam’s feet are in the stirrups, underneath his body, toes pointing more or less forward, heels down. Cait is a little thrown off balance here, feet forward, and also trying to get her horse to go toward Lallybroch vs to the camera person (note her shoulder position.) BUT and this is a big but. Caitriona is riding a horse who has MUCH more movement than the horse Sam is riding. I think Sam is back on Mr. Sleepy? And Caitriona is on Pinocchio (Donas), not sure about that. But see how her horse’s hooves come so far off the ground as he moves? He is WAY bouncier than Sam’s horse, therefore Caitriona is on a more advanced/ harder to ride horse (sorry Sam). 

We’ll look at one more photo. This is right when they are taking off again. Sam is an athlete, and he’s got his horse in a nice rocked back position for leaving at the canter, again, good hand position, horse’s, head looks good, etc. Sam is leaning slightly forward which is OK, but actually makes it harder for the horse to take off. Caitriona’s body position is actually better for initiating the canter. She is balancing herself a little bit with the reins, which pulls on the horse’s face. I love Young Ian’s expressive eyebrows between his horse’s two ears.

So, who’s the winner? Sam wins for best seat and hands, but Caitriona wins for performance under higher level of difficulty. So, it’s a tie (of course!) Keep working guys! John Bell has a good seat on horseback too.

OK, back to 308…

For the scene on the steps the script notes read: “Jenny Murray stares at Claire Fraser, standing in front of her like a ghost. Myriad emotions play across Jenny’s face: Shock. Disbelief. Longing. Relief. Love. Joy. Anger. All of these and more FLICKER in her eyes, her trembling lip, and the set of her jaw…” I’d say Laura conveys all of that in this first scene.

I love Ian here. Claire looks to him for the support he’s always given, and he’s having none of it. They lied to him about having his kid, and Claire has turned up mysteriously, crappy liar that she is, with no apparent thought to the grief they’ve gone through since her disappearance, and the disruption of her reappearance.

This kiddo, is so very expressive and talented as Young Ian. Here we get remorseful Young I…

Jenny is relieved to have her boy back…

but is not to be trifled with! (I wonder how many takes of this they did?)

This scene plays out a little differently between Jenny and Claire, than called for in the script, but I think it works better, as is.

Ron addressed this in a recent Twitter Q&A. When asked why Jamie and Claire weren’t ecstatic to see each other in the reunion episode, 306, Ron answered: “It seemed pretty ecstatic to us. We let the actors play the scene as naturalistically as possible, and I think they conveyed the emotions.”

I may or may not have mentioned that I have some performance background – mostly in theatrical dance. Namely, I have played a dominatrix in a brothel (that’s me, front and center, the sad, but defiant one), 

and I also played a drunk person dreaming about my own journey with drugs and alcohol from the euphoric beginning to my own eventual overdose and death. (Pulling up these photos makes me want to dance and act again!) Why do I mention this? Well, to lend some credibility to my next statement…

Along with the crazy schedule and logistics, the pressure to tell the story well, stick to the books and the scripts, etc. there is also the necessity of giving the actors, (and all the artists – set, costume, special effects, editors, etc.) the freedom and the space it takes to actually create – to interpret, to be the characters. If the actors aren’t allowed to do that, they won’t like their jobs, and they won’t come across as authentic either. It’s easy to pick apart this and that, (I do it too), but the reality is, this is a huge undertaking with complex challenges, personalities, and moving parts, and part of why it works is that Ron trusts people to do their jobs, and he gives them the freedom to do as they see fit (within reason, of course). 

OK, back to 308…

Once again, Steven Cree delivers the goods… “Better get inside lad, before your tongue gets ye in more trouble.”

Well that didne go verra well, <tap tap tap>

And then it’s into the parlor, and they learn of the print shop fire.

Jenny: “So that’s why ye’ve come home, tail draggin’ and wi’ a stray” 😮 Wow. Jenny does not mince worrrrrds. (In the book, Claire gets a warmer reception from Ian and Jenny, and Jamie gets a frostier one by comparison, but I get it, Jenny is no fool, and Claire is a bad liar).

Wait, so it’s not good that Auntie Claire killed that guy good?

A lot of people don’t care for Jenny apparently. Personally, I think she’s the bomb.

She drinks wheskaay while she’s birthin’, rides a horse 3 days postpartum, expresses milk by hand in the woods, burns redcoat feet with a red hot poker, totes a gun and is no afraid to use it, and is the only one who can put the King Of Men and his bossy First Wife, Claire in their places.

When Jamie says he cared for Young Ian as if he were his own, Big Ian says, “Aye? Then you can punish him as your own.” (nice intensity here)

Er…well…uh… “Maybe there’s another way he can make it up to you.”

And then we get Young Ian, under the watchful eye of Papa Ian, making mud pies. 

My interpretation of this choice was that Jamie pulled from his own experiences of being beaten, and from his experience of beating Claire, and upped the evolution at Lallybroch a couple of centuries to a love and logic approach. He gets Young Ian. Young Ian is stubborn, and thrashings are quickly shrugged off. 

In the podcast, Toni mentions that they did a lot of research to find the worst possible job on an 18th century farm, and this was it – for fuel they make cakes out of dung and straw. In the book, Jamie whips Young Ian, and then hands Young Ian the strap to whip Jamie, also taking responsibility for the situation they’re in. I liked that part in the book a lot, but I think this makes sense as well. Toni refers to The Reckoning, saying Jamie learned about thrashings, but I think she’s really talking about The Devil’s Mark, when Claire tells Jamie she’s from the future, and he feels such remorse for having beaten her. 

And we meet Wee Janet, who is well cast also in my opinion, and we learn that that’s no muck aroond Young Ian’s moo…

They’re whiskers (and Young Ian is quite proud).

If I may be indulged for another moment, look at this friend of my son, I feel like I have Young Ian at my house all the time!   He is also of Scottish descent, coincidentally. 

As Young Ian makes dung pies, Ian and Jamie have an exchange. This scene was abbreviated for the show, and I very much hope that the extended scene will be in the deleted scenes. I love the writing, and I’m honestly not sure if it comes from Diana or Joy, or from another contributor on the script (they all work on all of them), but I think it’s great, and I’m sure, very well done by Sam and Steven.

 

 

Next, we meet the multitude of Wee Murrays as Claire meets them too…

and we see Young Jamie again, who grew up with some adorable dimples…

I did an interview with Steven Cree over the summer, and he talked about playing a dad and working with John Bell and Conor McCarry (Young Jamie), and his many grandchildren…

Claire offers to help with new Wee Benjamin’s wet nappy, and Jenny literally bares her teeth at her 😬. 

“Dinna want to bewilder the bairn with a strange face now…” (never mind that he’s a newborn, and wouldne know the difference).

Poor Claire. 

I love the next scene with Jenny and Jamie. I pretty much love any scene with Jenny and Jamie. I especially like when Jenny says ” I sat on these very steps watchin’ this very road with Claire when you were taken by the redcoats– when you didna come home, we rode together to find you. The Claire I kent would never have stopped lookin’ for you.” 

BUSTED

So then of course, if Jamie had mentioned that Claire was pregnant, it would have made more sense to Jenny. Claire leaves that detail out again later too 🤔.

I’m no fool, brother… think again before you tell me another tall tale.

The next scene in the bedroom feels so Jamie and Claire to me. Maybe because they shot it so early in the season? Or maybe it was being at Lallybroch that brought out their old selves?

The first time they came to Lallybroch was right after Claire tells Jamie she’s from the future and makes her decision to stay with him instead of going back to Frank. They have cemented their bond, and they head home in Episode 111, The Devil’s Mark. In 112, Lallybroch, Jamie tells Claire about his father, when he fell in love with her, and they both say “I love you” for the first time.

Funnily enough, I titled this piece The Real Reunion? (hoping not to piss off Matt Roberts 😬), before I listened to the podcast. And then I learned of course, that Ep 308 was the real reunion for the actors-their first reunion as Jamie and Claire.

Yes, a lot of bonding memories from Lallybroch…

Like this beautiful scene in Season 2, when Jamie and Claire are back at Lallybroch for 10 minutes, before they jet out again. Jenny says to Claire, as they watch Jamie with Wee Kitty… “A man has to wait until the child is born, and then they hold their bairn and feel all the things that might be, and all the things that might never be, and weep…not knowing which ones will come to pass.” (Pretty sure those are Diana’s words).

And this beautiful scene… rarrrrrrrr

A lot of love, and colds too. Sam seems to always have a cold at Lallybroch. I’m impressed that Caitriona just plunges in there and kisses him – I don’t even kiss my husband when he has a cold! But I guess the show must go on.

 

So… back to the bedroom these 20 years later… Possibly my favorite sequence in this episode. If you read my stuff, you know I want to see the Grrrr side of Jamie. That’s what’s so great about these characters: their range. From humor, to aggression, to soft vulnerability, and everything in between. This episode delivers it.

Jamie wants to make a home here at Lallybroch, Claire’s (rightfully) worried about the rift with Jenny and wants to tell her the truth. Jamie’s argument against is OK but a little meh, for me. I like the truth.

Jamie tells Claire about Selkie island in a voice that rivals Barry White – wow. Seriously, that voice is a good bit of Jamie’s charm if you ask me. I’m sure they did this as an ADR (additional dialogue recording) later, but if he did it with the cold, he should do that more often – yowza.

Anyway, I think I know why he has a cold in this episode… 😏 It’s no a good idea to swim in Scotland in October in no but yer shift.

“rrrrrrrubies, and emeralds…” Tell it brother! 😍

Then Claire tells him something of her grief. She was out there, hoping he would find her. Jamie tells her about the greylag, who mate for life. Bear’s killing us softly with his tunes in combination with Sam’s sonorous voice, the words, Claire’s sympathetic face… so good. 

Ah, but something’s amiss… but what could it be?  “It’s very complicated (I’ll say!), Ye must listen, wi’ all your heart”

D’oh! Daddy??

And just like that, we meet little Joanie (a mushroom, by Diana’s standards: someone who pops up and walks away with the scene. So adorable and evokes such emotion!) and Marsali, said like parsley. 

And then… here comes Leg Hair, spewing vulgarities. What is it about Jamie Fraser that makes women want to bare their teeth at Claire? 

Good job Nell Hudson, and good job costume and makeup. It takes a lot to go from this reality (below) to the above fiction without being ridiculous about it. 

(Aug. 10, 2016 – Source: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images Europe)

Jamie escorts Leg Hair out while Claire reels from shock (understandably).

This is a precious scene between Jamie and the wee mushroom, where we see what an awesome dad Jamie is.

Jamie has kind of a patchwork history as a parent: adopted Fergus at 10, conceived, went through the pregnancy, and lost Faith, groom-dad to Willie for 8 years, uncle-father to Young Ian, and step dad to Leg Hair’s girls. This guy has some dad’ing experience, though he’s always having to say goodbye to his children, very sad. Sam portrays it well. 

“Dinna fash Joanie, I love you and your sister, and I’ll always look after you, I promise.” 👏

And then, we’re back to Claire, who’s getting the hell out of dodge, and who can blame her? 

 I’m not the father

“Well there are other rrrrred headed men in Scotland, Claire.”

“Well, you’re the one that told me to be kind to the lass” 🙄

“I told you to thank her, not marry her.” (duhhh)

And from here on is straight from Voyager, written by the master, Herself. And damn well portrayed by these two. I’d like to put in the whole thing, but that would take verra long, so I will do the highlights (which are many!)

“You’re not going anywhere” 

“You cannot stop me.”

“Left you?!” The heartbreak and unfairness are palpable here in Caitriona. “You forced me to go back, I would have died gladly at Culloden with you, and now you want to blame me for that?” 

Do I know what it is to live without a heart? Yes you bastard I know!

“Or did you think that I went back to Frank and lived happily every after?”

Time for Jamie to bare his teeth…

“Sometimes I hoped you did, and sometimes I could see it,

Him with you day and night lying with you, taking your body. Holding my bairn. And God I could kill ye for it!!” 

“Well I don’t have to imagine Laoghaire!”

“Laoghaire?! Christ!” (wonder how many pots were lost in the filming of this scene)

“I dinna care about Laoghaire and I never have!”

“Well you should have told me.”

“And if I had, you would’ve turned on your heel and left wi’out a word.”

“And having seen you again, I would’ve done far worse than lie to keep you.”

He grabs her and kisses her

Slap.

He reels back from the slap.

He grabs her for another kiss

He throws her on the bed

“Get off me!”

They tumble to the floor and wrestle a bit… and Jamie pins her down.

And then he says “Claire, I love you, and only you.”

and she hears him, and things begin to change… another kiss…

    And then their passion gets channeled into animal sex YEAH!

 

 

 

Until… a literal cold shower from none other than…

“Stop it! Both of ye! Fightin’ and ruttin’ like wild beasts and no carin’ if the whole house hears ye!”

Er… AWKWARD

Damn you Jenny, your timing SUCKS!

 

    

Janet Jr. admits to causing the kebbie-lebbie, and Jenny admits to being pissed that Claire never wrote.

Looking back over past episodes, Jenny and Claire did have a bond, and Jenny doesn’t let people in easily. I can understand why she is pissed that Claire never wrote to her. And in this particular scene from The Watch in Season 1, Jenny is saying “God go wi’ ye, Claire. I can leave knowing you’ll do whatever it takes to bring my brother back.” It makes sense that Claire leaving after Culloden is incongruent for Jenny. 

Claire is able to tell a little more of the truth- having another husband and making that marriage work, but Jenny knows there is still untruth. Claire doesn’t admit to having a child (why?!). Jenny tells Claire they’ll never heal right. Tough customer, that Janet.

And good old Ian, can put Jenny in her place. “If there’s a pot of shite on to boil, you stir like it’s God’s work.” 😝

“So this is my fault then?”

Claire is taking off, she’s so hurt. Poor lamb.

Jamie tells her she’s the only one he’s ever loved, and uh oh… Leg Hair overhears him, and she’s packin’

I’ve come to protect what’s mine! Mebbe it wasna perfect, but I grew fond of the wee check ye sent every month.

Kablooeeyy

Oooft

Uh…whoops, I’ve shot my meal ticket.

I love this part – Claire is such a badass, she charges Leg Hair (a bull dodge in lacrosse), and 

disarms her in one fell swoop. 

Once again, she’s at Jamie’s side.

I think I know where Sam found inspiration for the emotion in this scene – Aww fuck, this means even longer in the bloody makeup chair from now on @#$%&!

Inside they go, to the “operating” table (hope Mrs. Crook Jr. has some good cleaner 👀).

I love this scene, Ian asks who did this, and Claire answers “Laoghaire” – both looking at Jenny…

Oooh, uh, maybe I’m not the best wife picker after all.

Now, Sam’s performance here is truly Emmy worthy in my opinion 😝 😴 – I mean, how much did he drink?? He doesn’t even flinch when Claire’s digging stuff out of him 😩.

This is a great surgical scene and bonding moment with Sweet Young Ian, always in Auntie Claire’s corner.

In fact, knowing this was coming, I’m not sure why the surgical scene in Ep 307 was added. Seems superfluous. 

Young Ian is one of my favorite characters from the books. Perhaps even my favorite, after Jamie and Claire. He is a blend of Jamie, Ian, Jenny, and himself, and I think John Bell plays him so well.

Claire comes to check on Jamie’s Swiss cheese…

and asks for an explanation. He wants to make sure she won’t get angry, and she says she hasn’t stopped being angry (again, understandably).

After Helwater he was a ghost. She knows about ghosts. In fact, a ghost started this whole bloody mess!

So Jamie tells her about Hogmanay and we see lonely Jamie…

and happy everyone else, and the beautifully decorated set of Lallybroch.

Two cuties tempt Jamie with Eve’s apple… er… figs…and ask him to dance. 

Who could say no to this face??

So, he dances, and Jenny can hardly believe her eyes…

He laughs for the first time in 18 years.

And Jenny’s heart bursts with joy.

And then the girls reveal who their mother is… 😏, and

Jamie gives her a look, there’s no doubt.   

Claire sympathizes with Jamie’s emptiness (there’s the Claire we know and love!) Who was that day-after-the-print-Shop Claire, anyway? Was that Buyer’s Remorse Claire? And 307 Jamie too, it’s like they both woke up with a reunion hangover and were in very bad moods. Anyway, it’s great to have them back in wonderful Episode 308.

And then we learn that gerrrrms are no match for penicillin.

Great scene with Jenny and Claire on the steps of Lallybroch. Jenny’s startin’ to thaw…

“You were a sister to me.”

“I loved you very much, and still do.”

“I’m only asking for a second chance…”

Ned Gowan!! Now he’s a sight for sore eyes! I think his wig and makeup are perfect too. “Well I believe her chief desire is to have you castrated and your bullocks mounted on her wall, but I suspect she may be amenable to alimony.”

CORRECTION:”Tiny point of typo or perhaps auto correct..Ned says bollocks not bullocks which would pose some problems as wall hangings)”  Thank you Gael McPherson! 😂 Yes, that should be bollocks, indeed! 

You know, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Paterson… but that’s a story for another time.

So, Jamie talks Jenny and Ian into letting him take Young Ian to swim to Selkie island in order to get the treasure to pay stinkin’ Laoghaire. 

This is a stunt guy, portraying Ian. These shots were done on the first day of filming Block 2.

Ohhh kaay. If there’s a weak moment in this episode (for me), this would be it. What the hell is the point of this scene on the cliff?? “I had a home…a career… friends, things weren’t so bad, were they?”

Uh, did I no just tell ye I was a ghost? That I lived in a sliver of myself for 20 years, and to let me die if you’re planning to leave? Christ, Claire, are you 307 Claire or 308 Claire, decide right noo! 

And then yes, the iconic line is worked in. But, I felt so annoyed that Claire is waffling again, that it fell short.

And, then this happens… you think Jamie is shocked about Young Ian, but really…

I gave ye my best line, and ye blew me off just as ye did in the brothel to go work on that Margaret Campbell, damn ye to hell Sassenach! Ye can swim back to the stones fer all I care… pfffffft

Nah, not really. Matt said in the podcast that Jamie tells her he’s apologized and that’s giving her a boundary, but I don’t know. TV Claire is a lot whinier than book Claire, and I think that’s attributable to the writing, not to Caitriona’s portrayal. I think Cait is a superb Claire. I get it, they’re trying to create more conflict and drama for the show, and make Claire a modern woman, dedicated to her craft. But I think she can be those things and still be madly in love enough to follow her heart, and not always jump back into her head and question her decision to be with Jamie.*

So, as you know, Ian swims out, he gets the treasure (which Ron Moore says he was planning to carry back in his teeth!) and then he gets abducted by pirates,

leaving Claire and Jamie helpless on the shore yelling after him…

 

Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Soldier?

Aye, Jenny’s gonna castrate me and you can kiss yer 2nd chance goodbye Sassenach.

 

And that’s where it ends. On a cliff. Below a cliff. And next, we set sail in Episode 309… Can’t wait! 

 

*After discussing and thinking about this scene more, I watched it again. When Jamie mentions “The New World” is when Claire starts reflecting on her old life. I can see that, where she might be hit with the contrast of all the crazy that’s happened, the shitty reception from Jenny and Ian, Laoghaire, the smuggling, the brothel ,etc. and thinking What have I done? I gave up Bree and Boston General for this?? I want to point out again that Caitriona is excellent, very convincing in this scene, taken for itself. The issue (for me) is not the acting.

Claire is a surgeon from the 60’s, an intellect, and a woman with 19 years of motherhood under her belt. Of course she’d be thinking in some corner of her mind: What the heck have I done? I left my respectable predictable life for this craziness and I can’t believe he married that woman. That’s all believable. I think the challenge I have, and possibly it’s just inherent with the medium of visual adaptation – is the timing and some of the words. I can’t buy that she’s questioning whether they belong together, she knows they do, with her heart. When she was here before she was a victim, out of control, and clinging to Jamie for survival. She went back to the 1940’s and had a passionless (except for Brianna and her work) but in control life, and now she’s back and it’s cray cray again. So, I can see her contemplating the trade off – At 50, do I really want to trade my normal life for this crazy? I think the difficult part for me is the almost black and white portrayal – from passionate in love in 306 to I’m a doctor first and foremost in 307. It’s the jumping back and forth and then popping in the vulnerable iconic lines from Jamie with no reaction time for Claire. I’m probably splitting hairs at this point. And I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or overly critical, because I think the production, as a whole, is wonderful. 

27 comments on “OutlanderBTS – Episode 308: Was This The Real Reunion?

  1. Wow..spot on. I have not really liked Claire since she returned; seems as if it all has to suit her; she showed no concern for J as his livelihood went up in flames, running off to MC and the cliff scene / words were horrible. I also noticed J always has a cold at Lallybroch but his voice becomes so spine tingling sexy. SH/J awesome acting..loved the dance and him with wee Joanie. He needs a woman not a self centered rabid feminist from 1968

  2. What a great review! It’s as if you have read my thoughts. As I read I kept saying yes, that’s right, constantly! Up until this episode I thought the best one of the series so far was Of Things Lost but now I think this one may be. Yes, the real Jamie and Claire are back and the best scene of the whole series for me was their fight scene. It was amazing. Sam and Cait are so talented. Young Ian, portrayed so well by John Bell, is my favourite after Jamie and Claire too. It was so good to see his relationship with Jamie and Claire develop as it sets the scene for future happenings, especially in the later books. As always Laura Donnelly nails it in any scene, as does Steven Cree’s Ian. Little Joanie was lovely and her scene when Jamie explains what is happening is exquisite. Thank you for your wonderful words. I enjoyed reading them so much and look forward to more.

  3. Courtney, one of the best recaps ever. Loved the screen caps. You had to have done a lot of researching to put this together. Loved the personal asides too.
    I’m a book reader of 20 years and have totally immersed myself in all aspects of the production. I find the process fascinating and Outlander BTS enhances that process. TY.

  4. I love your piece, Courtney! I have been slightly disappointed with the series so far, only because it’s the first time I have read the book before seeing the show. I did not know if I should read on ahead. A show is never as good for me as the book. But I fell in love first with the screen characters of Jamie and Claire and couldn’t wait after season two to continue the story, so I read Voyager before season three. I won’t do that again. For me, reading ahead has taken something away from the anticipation between episodes. That all said, I finally felt like Jamie and Claire were back for me in episode 308. What I love about them is their iron bond and helpless attraction and devotion to each other. I hate when they think too much, and Claire’s been thinking too much. It was the best so far, and it was fun to read your recap. It allowed me to savor the episode once again. Thank you!

  5. Excellent recap, Cortney. I am with you on just about every point. I have done a lot of thinking about my reaction to season three. Like no doubt many others, I came to the books after having seen season one and part of season two. I devoured the remaining books in about four months. Anyone who reads Dianna’s books must see the power in her words. So now I come to the show as not just a viewer, but a viewer with expectations. I watch each episode longing to see on screen the words that made me laugh, weep, and feel. When I don’t find them there, I am exceedingly irritated! I had this epiphany last week that the producers are creating a show not just for me and for other readers, but for nonreaders as well. Consequently, I need to give them a break and just go back to the pure enjoyment of their creation. I will still be annoyed and disappointed when the characters I have come to know and love do not behave as themselves. We have seen too much of that this year. Episode 308 at least took us back to the wonderful people we know and love. I am all for that. Thank you for the part you play in helping us enjoy this lovely show.

    • Thank you Courtney for your wonderful recaps. I just love the Series and believe all involved have made a wonderful production where I can get lost in dreamland. I thirstly watch each episode then love to read your recaps, excellent to say the least. I first watched Series One then found all the books and devoured them. So while waiting for Series Two I read all I could find, studied the costumes and watched all the trailers and YouTube videos. For me this spoilt Series Two so I wasn’t going to have that happen this time. Voyager was not my favourite book. I loved the book until the pirate ship and then the remainder was just too ridiculous for me. I know the story is a fantasy but I found it unbelievable. But of course there are the bits I love such as turtle soup, sea sickness. So to save myself disappointment I have not reread Voyager, I don’t read spoilers or watch the trailers or the videos. I just love the Series and the adaption for what it is. (Mr Willoby was a pleasant relief but bitchty Claire is pushing my buttons a bit.). Sure I can remember overall what I did read but I’ve not spoilt this Series for myself. But, after I’ve watched the episode at least twice, then I devour all I can find. Your recaps then bring back to me the book I read this time complete with pictures. Please keep up this excellent work.

  6. Thank you once again for your detailed and so well researched review. I agree with you regarding the scene on the cliff but I almost saw it as Claire thinking aloud, she left Brianna (and I noticed she didn’t mention her by name but said family) and her life to come back and it’s been far harder than she imagined. I thought she was being very honest with Jamie but it was a bit harsh I agree after what Jamie said to her. It was an excellent episode and definitely one of my favourites this season.

  7. Loved all the behind the scenes explanations. I felt this was the best episode of all seasons. Your comment about Jamie’s emoting based on the time in the make up chair was laugh out loud funny. And, as great as Sam and Cait were, Laura stole the show on this one. She just ate up every scene she was in, yet you just want to fall into the deep pool of her eyes.

  8. So look forward to your words with pics. All the places you were shaking your head, I was too. Book people cannot help but know the words by heart after so many years of rereading them! We know these characters so well and re can hear and see when they are not true. Wonderful way to start my weekend a.m. Hugs.

  9. I always get submerged in your reviews! To be honest, I won’t be able to view Season 3 until December when it is shown here in Jordan.
    I too, am an experienced horse person, but retired many years ago from training people and horses!
    I totally agree with your observations about Jamie’s position–especially his hands. He has a good natural position. It is interesting that Claire has more “horse” under her and to deal with. And let’s face it, riding with all those skirts is not easy! (and no underwear?) Her horse definitely has more movement, and by nature, I don’t think she is relaxed on a horse. The horse might react the same. I have seen Jamie on Donas and the soft hands and good seat get an excellent engagement with the horse reaching softly into the bit. But from what I’ve read, they had to learn to ride for the series. If so, they are doing very well.
    I enjoyed your observations.

  10. Hi Court. This is exactly how I felt watching 308! I love all the Lallybroch eps. It merges the greatness of Jamie & Claire and gives them a home base. I loved Jenny & Ian in this ep. I also read somewhere that Laura had just recently given birth irl and always wondered if “wee Benjamin” may in fact be Laura’s new born? If so…how charming that the production made her feel so at ease to have her baby with her. I think this cast of actors are so endearing to each other and it raises the level of the final outcome. I love Sam’s ability to convey so much, with saying very little. I love Cait’s quivering chin & lips when she needs to bring them to show her level of either heartbreak or anger! I have to agree with you on the bit with JC on the cliff….should have been cut out. There’s no way Claire would say or even think that it was a mistake to come back, or that she had a ‘good life’ in Boston and it wasn’t ‘so bad’ for either of them. That bit I actually cringed at. All in all….I’m grateful for the show and I can see the actors give it their all and I respect that! Excellent work, Court.
    Thank you!!! I know this is time consuming work and you do it purely to entertain us all!!

  11. Hi Courtney, I always enjoy your observations! I too liked this episode much more than 307 where I just wasn’t feeling the Claire and Jamie connection. Jamie and Claire’s last scene on the cliff was the weakest part of the episode for me. One of the most beautiful lines from the book, “Sassenach, will ye take me and risk the man I am…….” was such a throwaway. There was no response from Claire as she became immediately distracted by the approaching ship. It reminded me of the dog Dug in the movie “Up” who keeps getting distracted by a squirrel! I actually expectd Claire to shout out “Squirrel”!

  12. Hi Courtney, Love, love your breakdown of the episode and all the behind the scenes bits. It was a much more satisfying episode after a disappointing 307. Book Claire knew it would be hard but there is never any doubt in her mind that coming back was the best and only thing to do. Still not sure why they included her having a cliff top emotional wobble. She must have had a bit of amnesia about how awful it was to have to park that passionate side of her personality. Anyway really look forward to your next piece. Thanks so much!

  13. I love Jenny, while recognizing her, certainly not weaknesses, rigidness. She demands the full truth about the relationship between Claire and Jamie, which really is their business. I think she has trouble letting another woman into Jamie’s heart. L doesn’t count because Jenny knows there isn’t a meeting of heart and soul.
    I loved little Joanie: joyous, loving, confused, sad, worried and wise. The little girl who played her did a fantastic job. Her voice is very expressive, as is her face.
    John Bell is the perfect young Ian; he is the one Murray who is in her corner; his auntie! That young man has adventures ahead!
    I’m glad that m not the only one who looks at the horse riding, in the same mind frame. You know who did a excellent job? Young Willie! He had great arm and hand position, good seat and he was doing a good job with his feet.
    I thank you for educating people on the complexities involved in making a show such as Outlander.

    Looking forward to tonight!

  14. I have read the books more than once and find something new every time. Diana Gabaldon IS all these characters so she absolutely knows who they are and how they feel. And, if she is (for the most part) okay with the adaptation, then who am I to disagree. I loved reading your wonderful recap of episode 308. Voyager is a huge book and a lot of adventure and love still to come. The promotion video for the rest of the season looks fantastic, but I do hope that this time Starz, the media and/or the producers don’t give away the big reveal as they did with Jamie’s big secret. I look forward the rest of season 3.

  15. For me in S3E8 it was visible that scenes were shot in a certain order: the scene at Lallybroch when longhaired Jamie mistakes/visualize Claire for his sister (Ep Surrender) for instance I felt he characters looked different/younger than in E6+7. I do enjoy Outlander very much and looking forward to the rest of the episodes.

  16. Absolutely love your review/reviews. You are wonderful. I agree in every aspect. Good and, why that!? Everything.! The life in Boston bit is a Why?! Claire, who wanted NOTHING more than to be with Jamie is all cranky and waaaaayy too independent like, the next day after seeing him again!? Otherwise, ep 8 is WONDERFUL!!! Your review is WONDERFUL!!! Thank you ☺️

  17. Great review. Agree in every respect. So glad you mentioned the riding–I’m a horsewoman too, and have noticed–Sam’s leg position is much better than in season one, and Cait’s seat is better–but neither outrides Duncan Lacroix. 🙂 Agree about the surgery in 307, went on too long, but it was good in 308. And yes, Young Ian, and yes, the scene on the cliff. Well done.

  18. Finally, someone else who didn’t see the purpose of that conversation at the cliffs. There is so much material in the books. Why insert conversations that really don’t move the story further. What is Claire talking about?! Life wasn’t so bad? Are you kidding? She missed Jamie so much. She was living a life devoid of passion and love. She’s really forgotten that already because her return has been so chaotic? She keeps saying that she knows Jamie would have made a life for himself over the last 20 years, but does she truly believe what that means? Jenny said it best, “time didn’t freeze waiting for her to return.”

  19. “Uh, whoops – I’ve shot my meal ticket”! – I cracked up laughing so much at that I kept laughing for the rest of your review! You are a very talented writer and I really enjoyed reading this!

  20. I must say you really helped with this episode. I didn’t like 307 at all and this one felt a little closer to the book and Jamie and Claire. The thing I have missed this year is after, they are reunited, they are loving and protective of each other. I agree the line she gives him on the cliff was like, “What you talkin about Willis”, it just rang false. You have helped me look at his episode with a kinder eye, but still not my favorite by a long shot.

  21. Your recaps inspire lots of thought about these two characters that help resolve my out of sorts feelings about Claire. Didn’t like her much In ep 307 and 308. It’s not until this week’s episode where she ‘plains herself adequately. Both CB and SH have said that they gave a lot of thought to how two people, apart for 20 years and two centuries would relate to one another again. It’s just seemed to take too long. How often have we observed meeting long ago friends after a long time apart
    how it seems that no time had passed. Relationships as well as sex are like riding a bicycle IMO.

  22. I completely agree. I love lose iconic lines but so many have been thrown in where they don’t belong. In addition to “would you risk the man I am…” two others that stick in my mind are 1: “I never thought I’d laugh in a woman’s bed again”. They weren’t laughing and it seemed way out of place. 2: “it’s always been forever for me Sassenach. “ again, thrown in out of context.

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