This week’s episode on Starz was The Devil’s Mark, episode 111. Season 1 was so great, wasn’t it?
Highlights: I have to say, I worried about Dougal’s unborn child when Geillis hit that thieves’ hole ground so hard in the opening scene, eeesh. I think Lotte Verbeek really shines in this episode as Geillis, as does wonderful Bill Paterson as Ned Gowan. How do you spell flibbertigibbet anyway?
Miss Laoghaire… tsk tsk tsk. And could Father Bain get any creepier? ? The tense scene in the back room which ends in “Looks like I’m going to a fucking barbecue” – great line… I believe that’s attributable to Matt Roberts. Claire’s skelping (ouch), and of course, Jamie’s awesome rescue ?. Geillis’s Satan’s baby scene, and then…
There is the sequence in the glade, when Claire finally tells Jamie everything. I want to slow down and spend some time here. In this part, we get to see Claire’s vulnerability, and we get to see how Jamie meets her, in spite of the mind blowing nature of what she’s sharing with him. In the book, we believe Jamie shows up for Claire because Diana wrote it that way. The show is great. But for me, sometimes Jamie and Claire don’t feel quite like the characters I know. This is due (possibly) to time constraints, or just a slightly different writing style, and also the tendency to overweight Claire’s character in the strong woman/I don’t need anyone else department.
I loved the way they did this in a glade, number one, so you already feel the spaciousness that the scene needs (nice job Gary Steele!). And then, Claire is absolutely not being the tough guy here, she is broken down now, and has no more pretense to offer. So she just offers her unbelievable truth. And this man, who knows how to read her heart, who only sees her heart, through everything, believes her. Cait does a fabulous job, in my opinion, of playing this scene, which in lesser hands could’ve come off as ridiculous. And Sam too. These are the scenes that make shippers ship, I think. Because you really believe that this man loves this woman, and deeply. Sam brings it all to the scene- we watch Jamie suspend his intellect and believe his gut, and we believe it. Everything is “right” here, in my opinion. The writing, the acting, the costumes, the location, the cinematography, the directing, the lighting, everything. This was such a beautiful moment for the characters, the actors, and for the production, in my opinion.
One more thought… I think the production has shied away from the Jamie saving Claire material because it’s not PC to make a woman appear helpless today, and God forbid a man should come to her rescue. I think we’ve seen both ends of the continuum of this dilemma: from the Disney princess stories, to the modern stuff with the cold hard bitches and the stupid, weak males. I think we are ripe, certainly in the US, for some exploration of the middle ground, and these characters, these actors, this production can do that. That is what excites me about them, about this project, and about these scenes.
Men and women are different; we have different biological drives and wiring. But, both genders are capable of tenderness, of being the one who needs tenderness, and the one who can give it. And, we all need love. We just do.
That’s what this production can do that many many others can’t, and in my opinion it comes down to the people involved. Most of them (cast and crew) who I’ve met have this range themselves. It’s exciting. And it’s where the frustrations about Season 2 really stemmed from in my opinion. I am really hoping they “go there” again in Season 3 and bring this full range of being into both characters.
Moving on…there’a the Jamie smiling as Claire is reaching her my peak challenge ?, and the touching scene at the stones, another beautiful moment between them, where we see each of their struggles (that clip is below)…
And the final scene, with Jamie’s tear streaked face…
Another great episode.
There are a couple of deleted scenes from this episode, between Ned Gowan and Colum. In the first, Colum forbids Ned to interfere with the trial and divulges his own involvement.
In the second, Ned returns after the trial. I am wondering about the fact that he was able to just take off after brandishing a weapon in an ad hoc courtroom. But, then again, it was the 18th century, and it is TV after all, so…
Lastly, here is the behind the scenes look at the making of Episode 111, in case you’ve never seen it (and even if you have.) These are always interesting, I think.
Thanks to Sony, Starz, Italian Outlander, Outlander Italy and Brown Haired Lass for videos.