OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 403 ~ The False Bride

Wow, it’s been EIGHT years since Outlander premiered, on this date, August 9th, in 2014. And boy, soooo much has happened since then! I mean, my kids were 11 and 8!!!! Man, it goes fast.

Happy Anniversary Outlander!

The BTS Lassies are back with a lively discussion of Episode 403, The False Bride. To catch up on our other episode discussions, I suggest you go to Featured Favorites, where they are posted in chronological order from Episode 401 through Episode 608. We will continue to backfill Season 4 over the next months, so check back! 

Enjoy!

Choosing a cover photo that represents the episode, as well as our discussion is always fun. I went with two this time – Beautiful J and C silhouetted by the light of the campfire, and Roger, looking like a deer in the heidlights! 😁  Below are some other possibilities I grabbed  – which one would you have chosen? 

 

 

Have you read about the new Ellen and Brian prequel? If not, check it out!

Ready to Meet Ellen and Brian??? Outlander Prequel Under Way!

Have a wonderful rest of your week! xo

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49 comments on “OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 403 ~ The False Bride

  1. Hi Ladies,
    You once again provided an enjoyable insightful evening of Outlander Season 4 Episode 3.
    Courtney you are spot on about the characters not acting in character in this episode. It is painful to watch.
    FYI: The Clan Caller was Executive Producer David Brown in a cameo and thus the American accent.
    FYI: Red solo cups were introduced in the 1970’s. I could not find an exact date.

    The silver candlesticks from Jamie’s mother were simply a device to use for Claire’s ring. Once again an earlier choice by the writers that was disappointing to the fans and didn’t work out well.

    • Ruth Ann – ugh – it was painful. I’m so glad we waited to do some of these Season 4 Eps – it’s easier knowing they’ve left some of these major foibles in the past.

      Thank you for the BTS about David Brown! Is he indeed American? And yes, re the silver candlesticks – can’t just stick things in. Thanks for watching and commenting! x

    • Hi Ruth. Yes, I didn’t mention that the candlesticks were a way to get material for Murtagh to make a new ring for Claire. I just didn’t think it was plausible that Ellen’s sterling silver candlesticks would end up with Aunt Jo.

      • I thought the same thing; however, on further thought I did come up with one possible long shot scenario. At the time that Ellen died she may have bequeathed the candlesticks to Jocasta. Or Brian might have given them to her as a memento. When fleeing Scotland for the colonies they would have taken the silver as it was as good as currency.

        • That was my idea too – that Ellen bequeathed them to her when she died – but the family kept then for her – so merge maybe she got them somehow after she left Scotland? Someone traveled with them and gave them to her? Tricky one.

          • Maybe not that tricky. Jocasta could have received them in Scotland after Ellen’s death which happened when Jamie was eight. Then she would have taken them with her when she and Hector fled at the time of Culloden. If they took the gold the silver would go too as it’s easier to convert.

      • But, since Jamie knew where Jocasta was, then it follows the family knew as well. She could have been sent the candlesticks by Brian or Jenny. A departure from the books, true. But there was a way for them to be there.

  2. Once again, you’ve hit all the salient points. Antoinette’s wicked “halleluiah” to kick things off was brilliant! I felt that. Loved it.

    All of you introduce yourselves as fans of both the show and the books and underscore that you are not “book purists.” I get that and am with you on that. However, the numerous sticky problems inherent in adaptations seem have come home to roost in this season and perhaps this episode more than others.

    The show gets so many things brilliantly right. That said, when this episode derails, more often than not it comes down to being inauthentic and contrived. While the show cannot strictly stick to the books, I do expect the characters, conflicts, resolutions, themes and overall story arc to reflect the richness of the original material. As I watch an adaptation I want to ask, “Wait. Was that in the book?” and not know the answer.

    In this episode the failed adaptations come down to being out of character, cliché or contrived. Right down to being “too clean” which has been the case in the American episodes right through Season 6. Perhaps it’s too expensive to make multiple copies of a single costume required for the actors’ multiple takes, but one of the things that makes a show more believable is characters–including the horses–who don’t look immaculate after many days or weeks in the woods. (The glamping scene with Roger and Bree in Season 6 is the most obvious one that comes to mind.)

    Again, thanks for an engaging discussion. I look forward to the upcoming ones.

  3. Thank you Courtney for pointing out the bleed scene Grandfather Mountain. I attended the games there 6 times in the ‘90s and seeing that transition, done so well, made me swoon a little, as did the whole Scottish festival storyline. Thank you Catherine for all things musical. I love this episode for the music, and have watched it 3 times- which as a fellow professional musician, hearing your rationale, explained my passion for this episode. From the banjo add I. The title song, to Ric’ s splendid instrumental with real players, I was enchanted. I so enjoy these retrospectives. Kudos to you all for provocative conversation.

  4. Thank you Courtney for pointing out the bleed scene of Grandfather Mountain. I attended the games there 6 times in the ‘90s and seeing that transition, done so well, made me swoon a little, as did the whole Scottish festival storyline. Thank you Catherine for all things musical. I love this episode for the music, and have watched it 3 times- which as a professional folk musician, hearing your rationale, helped me realize why I like this one so much. From the banjo add in The title song, to Ric’ s splendid instrumental with real players, I was enchanted. I so enjoy these retrospectives. Kudos to you all for provocative conversation. Also, Karmen, I too had Dairy Queen as a neighborhood staple, and loved that little piece of my past in the road scene.

  5. As usual I was so pleased when I got the notification re the latest discussion. Agree with the thoughts on “some adaptations” in this episode, some worked others…no way. So glad that Jamie doesn’t have bangs anymore, ( or a fringe), as we call them in New Zealand & Australia.😊 Huge thanks to all of you for dedicating your time to do these talks, & extra kudos to you Courtney for all you do at BTS. The four of you bring joy. Hugs from NZ.💕

  6. What a delight to find you! I so enjoy your analysis. Katherine has me checking out walls, you have me looking closely at horses, Carmen’s experience in everything is a delight and Antoinette makes me belly laugh at least once an episode. For two days, I have been thinking character assassination!
    I would love to see pirate Roger that says I am a man just like them, did not that red headed bastard…
    Jamie does worry about being a violent man. In Voyager at the brothel, he tells Claire that he sees she is ruthless but has not lost her soul and it gives him hope. In Drums of Autumn on the boat ride toward the mill after thwarting Jocasta he reiterates the same thing and says that he has a sense of honor that Stephen Bonnet lacks. The letter from Ian Ogg shares that he has seen the look of steel in Jamie’s eyes and has worried for him when comparing him to Simon Fraser that has come a hunting for fresh soldiers. Jamie’s sense of humility and self analysis is one of things I love about him.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you Kate! I’m so glad you are enjoying our wee chats! And thank you for the reference to what Jamie said about Stephen Bonnet. I’m still glad they left it out! Jamie is a man of restraint (unless you rape or kill a family member), and yes, I love his self analysis too – that’s how you can tell he’s written by a woman! 😜 (joking!!)

    • Kate! Thank you for watching and for your comments re Jamie’s worry about the corruption of his soul. The depth and breadth of the character that DG has created in Jamie can’t really be captured by the show even though Sam does a damn good job!

    • Wonderful comment. Yes, I agree. Jamie is a bit worried about his eternal soul because he is capable of violence. Master Raymond said, “Call him. Call the red man,” to Claire as she was dying. To me, it meant he recognized the violence in Jamie. But, I love that Jamie has the violence but is able to contain it and use it judiciously although he lost it at the Battle of Alamance, if I recall correctly.

      • Jamie did mention (in the books) that something red overtook him during events of extreme violence. His temper, too, is linked to that. Master Raymond would certainly have recognized that in him. Symbols, however, can mean multiple things at once. Therefore, as Claire is dying, red could also symbolize the life force–blood, heat, vitality–all of which were ebbing from Claire. She had no fight or will to live nor anyone to live for as she felt Jamie had betrayed his promise not to kill Black Jack and she had lost her child. Now she is utterly alone in a time not her own. She does not realize (and perhaps Master Raymond intuits what she does not know) the full extent of the complicated circumstances which caused Jamie to break his promise. That said, Jamie remains the only one who can bring her back. His energy can heal hers.

        • So beautifully put. Symbols can represent so many different things to an audience… and sometimes not what was intended but nevertheless valid. I still hear her cry for Jamie. I remember feeling it was equally a cry of anguish & anger at abandonment yet still reaching for the one reason she has to survive. Him.

          • Oh yes, Dianne. I hear that, too. But the lovely thing about symbols (whatever their intention or interpretation) is that a reader/viewer can hold and experience all the meanings at once making for a sumptuous experience of the text/script. Not one or the other, but rather like experiencing all the notes of a wine.

  7. I love spending my evenings with you! It is so good to get your takes on the episodes ladies, and I pick up plenty of new information I missed. Picking up the new scoop is a good reason for me to start from the beginning. Thank you for all the giggles❣️
    BTW, Courtney, I have tried to email you a few times. I keep rec’g a not able to send message. I am a Patron and am not rec’g emails, ie) new posts. I have checked spam, junk etc. Any thoughts? I am sorry to post this way…little puzzled.?.

  8. Intrigued by discussion. Agree that characters were not served. Especially the relationship between Roger and Bree… though I can’t help feeling if it had been better acted, with more nuance… perhaps we not be compelled to judge Roger so harshly. Also agree scene with Ian and Jamie was lovely.
    I take exception to – as usual – criticisms of Claire/Caitriona.
    -Scene between Jocasta and Claire initially maintained total civility UNTIL Claire starts to leave. Stage Direction: Despite how things went down, there is a mutual respect between them. Then, as Claire turns to go, Jocasta takes a parting shot: “But you’re doing him a great disservice, ye ken…If you truly loved Jamie as much as ye say ye do, you’d want him to be the man that he was born to be…” Stage Direction: Claire takes this in. Then answers with a quiet, even tone, going toe to toe with this strong, regal woman. Claire replies: “You don’t know anything about me or my husband…” (I might have preferred her reply to include “or us.” She thanks Jocasta for her hospitality and leaves. Maria AND Caitriona embodied everything required in the scene. Claire was understandably defensive “If you truly loved him…” but listened and HEARD what Jocasta said. As Jamie and she proceed on the journey, Claire inquires about Jamie’s true feelings and even protests that she doesn’t want him doing something because he thinks that’s what she wants. She genuinely tries to understand Jamie’s perspective and what might be true for him. That is love.
    -There was also criticism of Claire chasing after Clarence the mule. Obviously, it was a plot device to set up Ottertooth encounter but I don’t think criticism of Claire is warranted. Jamie is repairing his horse’s hoof. It’s completely logical that Claire would think to get on her horse and go after him. BTW- I’ve never once questioned her equestrian capabilities. Considering her childhood was spent exploring remote archeological digs, one can readily assume the mode of transport was often horses.
    -As far as not being frightened by Ottertooth, initially she doesn’t know he is ghost. By the time he turns and she sees the same crack on his head that appears on the skull… he is gone. (I also wondered about the “heat” of the stone though). And taking off her shoes was again ultimately a plot device BUT it made complete sense if you recall her lecturing soldiers both in WWII and Scotland about keeping feet dry, airing them, etc.
    -Also, I believe y’all misread the situation when making fun of the fact that afterwards, Claire was leading the way, guiding the mule. When they first started out Clare WAS holding on to mule (perhaps one of the reasons she chased after it). They rode … with Jamie sometimes slightly in front but also side by side so they could easily converse. When they reunite & continue, he’s riding behind her most likely to ensure Clarence doesn’t make a run for it but more importantly – it is the stronger, protective position. After what Claire relayed to Jamie…he surely would want to “have her back”… especially as he is more adept at using his rifle. It has nothing to do with presumption on Claire’s part. (And considering Sam’s difficulty with mule during filming… no wonder Caitriona was tasked with holding him!!)
    -Lastly, you complimented Sam as Jamie looking at the land. Kudos to Sam as he was looking at a blue screen (CGI) though perhaps that’s why his gaze was muted. Not sure how you could miss the nuanced looks of Caitriona as Claire… watching her husband-his joy, wondering about the future, pondering the risks but thinking this may be what’s right for him, her, both. As many of her castmates and directors have noted, Caitriona is always so engaged… listening, taking in, processing, responding. She’s constantly putting MBR’s infamous quote “you can’t act a thought” to shame.
    Also, I no longer feel free to take issue with an individual writer. Without being in the writers’ room, we have no idea what storylines were dictated to her or how her original script may have been edited. Many writers have left Outlander because of the “writing by committee” hierarchy. Jenn Yale is about to be the showrunner & producer of J.J. Abrams new HBO Max series Subject to Change. She’s also the creator behind A24 series “De La Resistance.” She is a talent.

    • Diane, thank you for your comments and kudos to you for your in depth analysis. I’m not sure that when we take issue with how a scene is portrayed that we are criticizing Cait, the actress. She after all is bounded by the script, the direction and everything else that goes into a scene. I think we can speak for the group when I say that we have been unstinting in our praise for Cait as an actress in our discussions. However there have been occasions when we ( me specifically) have had issues with her performance and I have said so. Therefore when Cait is being “criticized “ you will know 😊. However our analysis is usually centered around the characters.

      • Antoinette, thanks for engaging. Kudos to YOUR in-depth analysis. Mine was just a quick response to a mere portion of your 2 hour discussion! I absolutely see the difference between criticism of character and actress … which is why my response delineated issues with Claire…though touched on a few points about Caitriona.
        I must ask – and I’m not being facetious – do you ever listen to your discussions? It’s disingenuous to claim “unstinting” praise for Caitriona… though exactly the word to use for your praise of Sam. I only discovered Outlander in 2020 so only became acquainted with your group’s discussion beginning Season 5. Perhaps your praise of Caitriona was more generous in past seasons… though I doubt it…as there is a constant refrain of how she has improved! I challenged interpretations of Claire moments because they seemed mired in a constant condescension … a sort of “there she goes again…” which – I felt – led to a skewed P.O.V. To be sure, as much as I cherish the character of Claire, I’m not immune to what may be your issues with the character. I’ve sometimes been dumbfounded by scripts that blithely turned her hard headedness into empty headedness… simply to create an opportunity for Jamie to come to the rescue. Ultimately, I believe Caitriona’s innate talent & inherent grace surmount this weakness in the production.
        What I believe you would discover in listening to your discussions… when you are not outright criticizing the actress, there is a consistent indirect issue of omission: often discussing a scene in which she is one of the actors and ONLY complimenting her scene partner, rarely her. TBH, it is not unlike those on SM Samdom – who will tweet about how he is the best actor in series, how he is the ONLY reason to watch, how HE is deserving of all the awards. They will profess they’ve said nothing negative about his co-star but the implication is undeniable as she IS the co-star.

    • Thank you for your comments, Dianne. One of the wonderful things about discussion of this kind is that nuances perceived by others which did not come to my own mind enrich my experience of both the show and the books. That means I now have a much different perception of the writers who bring us the show as well as reasons the directors might have for shooting a scene in a particular way. It underscores–again–the lens through which any individual watches a show or reads a book and how each individual responds the same material differently.

      For those reasons, listening to or reading about what is a trigger, a hit or a miss for others is an absolute joy for me. Criticism, too, is it’s own art form (and I do not mean glib likes and left-swipes, but probing the text or the way it’s brought to a screen with thorough analysis).

      • I agree Lynda – Case in point – Dianne has made me realize that Claire probably is very comfortable on a horse due to her travels with Uncle Lamb. And I also agree, criticism (can be) its own art form!

        • In addition to Dianne’s discernment and insights in the show Claire mentions being taught to ride by Uncle Lamb when she considers absconding with a horse in the dark during the gathering. Plus she was given her own horse for the hunt and spent a great deal of time on horseback while collecting the rents both in the show and the books.

          There aren’t many loose threads in what Diana writes considering the number of pages she’s pumped out in novels, novellas and short stories. However, I’ve often thought that might be an interesting subject for the panel to discuss during the current Droughtlander. Perhaps after you’ve posted the rest of Season 4. I’d especially love to hear what Karmen might have to say on the subject.

    • Hi Dianne,

      I agree that the Roger and Bree scenes lacked nuance, on top of an overly condensed storyline.

      I definitely separate Claire and Caitriona – Cait becomes a better and more nuanced actress every season. She is extremely intelligent and talented imo. I do feel that the directing and writing lead to some flatter performances, and Claire comes across as overly bristly for me in much of Season 4.

      I like your thinking wrt to Claire having traveled with Uncle Lamb throughout her childhood and much of that on horseback. Very good point. Also, I’ll buy your idea that Jamie would have wanted to have her back in that scene. Yes. I like it. When I went back in search of a cover photo, I did notice that Claire was not hand ponying Clarence in earlier scenes, but that he was tied to her horse and her horse was ponying him. This would have everything to do with the horses vs the riders (assuming they are both competent, which they are). The horse Cait rides is more docile and laid back and probably was OK with having another horse (or mule, in this case) tied to him or her and following closely behind. Sam’s horse seems more high strung and might not be OK with that – some horses will kick another horse who is following closely. And as far as Caitriona holding him – I think that scene was done by their stunt doubles – so it was neither of them holding him!

      I’m sorry but I can’t buy the rationale about dry feet for removing her shoes since that area she was in was so boggy!

      You make a fair point regarding the writers’ room, but, I have been watching this process for sometime now, and though they do write by committee, and storylines are chosen by the group, individual writers do write the scripts, including dialogue. I was at a Ron interview where he explained this process (see: https://outlanderbts.com/what-scenes-are-you-looking-forward-to-in-season-6/ ) in detail. I think Jennifer got a challenging episode, considering these two storylines – with the condensed R&B story and the less than believable Ottertooth adaptation. Look at Luke Schelhaas – his episodes were my least favorite back in Seasons 3 and 4, and now they are among my favorites. I think the guidance and leadership was missing in Season 4, and writers were not required to read the books, which I think is a big disservice to the show. Jennifer may well be a talented writer (as Luke is), but it certainly didn’t come together for this episode (for me). (Whereas, for example, Shaina Fewell – who did Ep 406 – was a new writer and absolutely killed it imo).

      Thank you for listening and joining in, I always appreciate your input!

      • Hi Courtney,
        Please see my previous response to Antoinette. “Cait becomes a better and more nuanced actress every season.” I’ve noticed that when all of you DO compliment Caitriona, it’s often in the framework of she’s becoming “better” which is a constant reminder that you thought she was lacking previously. The very definition of a backhanded compliment.
        This qualified praise is in direct contrast to your unqualified fawning of her co-star. BTW – I was teasing about Sam’s difficulty with the mule – a very FUNNY blooper from that episode. And Sam’s or Caitriona’s horsemanship not an issue. I would imagine that Sam – having spent more time on horseback as Jamie – would be more accomplished. My point was that Claire was tasked with the mule initially AND when they continued their journey. I was responding to disparagement that she was somehow “leading.”
        Yes, justification for removing the shoes is a stretch BUT what I imagined was discussed in writing room😉
        I hope A LOT of folks become more aware of the Outlander writing process and therefore will be less inclined to crucify individual writers. The most startling part of the process is the fact that the studio and network GIVES NOTES! BTW – I didn’t realize that Season 4 writers were not required to read books. Without that source, how would they craft episodes within a season!! I did think it was wise (and worked) in 1st Season when Moore shared half of the writers hadn’t read books… which was a way to ensure series could stand independent and be appreciated by non-book readers… essential to the success of the series.
        Lastly, the one word I would never use to characterize Claire is flat! I think the innate grace of Caitriona Balfe weathers much of the abrasive miscalculated moments of Claire (courtesy of writers and showrunner). But I do admire rather than a bland idealized version of a heroine, Claire is complicated, complex… and that the actress does not compromise a fierce portrayal by softening Claire’s perceived flaws. I’ve noticed in the fandom such quick judgements of Claire yet I find the character infinitely watchable because of the actress’ infinite variety. And I believe she’s been brilliantly, subtly nuanced since the first episode. (Though I do sometimes have issues with moments in her earlier performances that belie a lack of experience & training). But its breathtaking how her organic approach bursts through with such spontaneous authenticity. And NO ONE listens or says more without a word than Caitriona Balfe.
        Perhaps what you judge as Caitriona’s growth as an actress is really the growth of her character.

        • Hi D – Caitriona’s acting in S1 was less sophisticated than in later seasons – I think that’s what may come across in compliments. My issue with Cait’s Claire always stems from the writing & directing Vs from the acting. Sam was classically trained and had a lot more experience when they first started – and it showed imo. He has also faltered under weak writing & I do take issue with his interpretations at times – ie – I didn’t like the way Ep 201 part 2 was written for Claire or Jamie. After the first half of 201 was so mind blowingly good and well done by Cait & Tobias. In fact when I watched 201 I thought Caitriona’s acting was on a whole different level than in S1, and I thought she was fabulous in S1.

          What I don’t like is how Claire and Cait (and Jamie) have been used for the strong woman trope (speaking of studio notes!) in the past – it mucks up the characters & story big time for me.

          I can honestly say that Cait seems to do her best – always. I think Sam gets lazy when the writing is crappy. I like Sam, but my allegiance is to Jamie when we have those discussions. I don’t like when they write either of them out of character. If you asked me whom I’d rather have dinner with, it would actually be Cait.

          I can’t speak for everyone, but my praise of Sam’s acting and less for Cait probably stems somewhat from the lack of kudos for his acting in awards circles. Cait gets a lot more acclaim & I do think that’s not accurate. She has become a great actress through this show & her other endeavors & she will probably only get better because she seems very conscientious and like someone who really works on her craft. It also (for me) comes from the fact that Jamie is my favorite character. I do praise Cait though. I do try to be honest about what touches me in any given episode & performance – sometimes it’s one person & sometimes it’s another (for me).

          • Hi C😉- Thank you for your considerate and considered response. I admire your extensive history & knowledge of the production and books. I came to Outlander during COVID lockdown. I’ve only read one book entirely – ABOSAA— because I’ve chosen to stay focused on the medium through which I first discovered Outlander – the series. I binged watched the first four seasons which is a different experience than having watched incrementally. My thoughts and observations are also informed by my experience: I’m a classically trained actress with a degree in directing (theatre).
            Season 1 was wondrous in every aspect of production. I found Sam enchanting, Tobias riveting, and Caitriona spellbinding. (I did not know of her inexperience nor her mindboggling schedule during shooting). Yes, there have been moments when Cait is OTT (often belied by being “off voice”) but I would lay that fault on the director whose job it is to guide. I would much rather have an actor be as open and fearless as Caitriona because that organic instinctual freedom often leads to pure visceral moments. And she listens. I could tell Sam has been trained because he falls into the trap of directing himself. He is always very clean, makes strong (though broad) choices yet often lacks spontaneity. He was lovely (and very underrated) in the first season. (In the age of the anti-hero, his character was too much an anomaly). They are at their best when their two approaches collide and mesh.
            I do think the scripts are failing them right now. And the pacing of the entire show is off – if only the actors would not deliver lines from the book as if they were quotes. Again, Sam was masterful at delivering Diana’s poetic words with ease in the 1st season … now they are given such weight … with tempo, pauses, overbearing music that they stop all action rather than raise it. And quotes and scenes are STILL thrown in inappropriately or inadequately. Season 5’s disastrous barn scene … watching them try to salvage a ridiculously crafted scene – even Diana wrote that blame should not be put on actors … Cait perhaps tried harder to make it work. Sam just mussed up his hair and grinned. While there was some improvement in last season… I’m still waiting for the scripts and direction to again be worthy of them.
            I’ve read about the “strong woman trope” and how the series approach emasculated Jamie. In of itself, I don’t think the series does that at all. Claire is brash and bold (is that interpreted as less feminine…) BUT Jamie loves her not in spite of it but BECAUSE of it. He doesn’t merely tolerate her impulsiveness, he embraces it. And THAT makes him all man to me. After all, he’s said that he would be a mercenary if not for her… and yet doesn’t being with her provide equal challenge and excitement! “I wouldn’t change you for the world.” The sections of the books that I’ve read…Jamie is far more brutish… a man of his time. Fascinating that the series has ignored almost all of his flaws yet accentuated hers.
            I would also rather have dinner with Caitriona. I would also rather act opposite or direct her.
            I believe Caitriona gets more acclaim from her peers because they see what I see in their different approaches to acting… and the result. I concur that Sam has become… I don’t know if I’d call it lazy… just disinterested. He has also made the disappointing choice of playing age as stoic and pre-occupied. The latter is crippling because it so often severs a connection with a scene partner and draws cheap focus. Which has been amplified with camera work that is now almost always him facing front – directly at the camera – while she is constantly in deferred profile. (Not that she doesn’t have a perfect profile)! I too believe that Caitriona… while always having such a rich inner life in any role… has become more in command of techniques that communicate the depths she can bring to a character. (Her eyes, face, and chin will continue to be the most expressive in the industry). Sam’s journey should be the exact opposite … a freeing from the bonds of technique to a spontaneous, shared authenticity. Yet… I still feel as if he is often (not always) acting more with/to the camera than his scene partner. Not only do I hope the next season’s scripts will challenge and excite him to push … I hope he does not settle for action anti-hero as his career dominion. I was devastated for him that Everest didn’t happen. He deserves that something more. And Caitriona… well, I adore watching her star rise… and rise… and rise!
            I absolutely respect an individual’s take on a moment, an actor, an episode, etc. Actually, for me… Lauren Lyle knocked it out of the park this season. She always does but her scene with Fergus… I was in awe of the specificity of her actions and objectives. AND she is the ONLY one in entire show who keeps pace! My issue with some of the remarks made in this last discussion was an overriding sense that conclusions have been made about a character that then shadow an honest and open understanding or appreciation of a moment.
            I am so grateful for our interaction. Thank you.

          • My reply here is aimed at C. Dianne’s extensive August 22, 10;04 PM response to yours. I’m so grateful for the input of her experience, expertise and detailed insights concerning the acting and direction. The discussion just gets richer and more nuanced as others offer their perceptions for the rest of us to enjoy.

            I have no background in theatre, so reading how others form their judgements season to season and episode to episode becomes educational in the liveliest way.

            Then of course, the more one reads what individuals have to say, matters of taste and preference become clearer as well. Thank you !

  9. Yes. Loose threads. Together with suggestions from your discerning readers/viewers you might have enough for some discussion. Don’t think you could milk it for 2 hours, though.

  10. Lynda… so appreciate YOUR insight… and eloquence! I agree… we all bring different viewpoints formed by our experience both professionally AND personally. I’m fascinated by how two people can watch the same scene or same actor and come away with very different takes. I strive to not invalidate a response but won’t back away from challenging if I find it unfair. As you might have gleaned, I do have a preference for Claire (and the actress who portrays her). And I’ve felt somewhat aggrieved to see unwarranted criticism especially on social media (sadly of both). So I do endeavor to “Clairefy” 😉 I very much appreciate this group’s in depth discussions but sometimes (NOT always) feel an inequity when assessing the two leads. Lively, YES!

  11. Yes, Dianne, disparate points of view will always be part of any dialogue about Outlander. Preferences and personalities come into play as the episodes are assessed. That’s human, and perhaps why Baskin Robins has 31 flavors. Similarly we make different choices about the Outlander show as well as the books. Some episodes/scenes or directors/actors/performances that others vehemently dislike are among my favorites, but I don’t get bent up about that.

    I do, however, wince when any discussion (whatever the genre) wanders into slagging individuals, most especially in broad, blanket statements that are not supported by any reasons (beyond “I don’t like it” or offering of any facts to support a position. On the other hand and just one example, your comments on the differences in Sam and Caitriona’s training and approach (based on informed judgement due to your background in theatre)helped me to understand on one of the things I couldn’t put a finger on–that something seemed “off” about parts of Sam’s performance in Season 6. It was the continuous frontal shots and your comments clued me in as to why I had felt as I did.

    I also think that the numerous precautions necessary for everyone to remain free of the virus changed a great deal of what might have been more organic and enjoyable had social distancing and limited numbers of actors as extras not been necessary. There was a stilted quality to Season 6–and I noticed a similar effect in the Downton Abbey: A New Era. Both felt more like operas in which you expect people to stand and sing, but that’s not what you expect of film and TV nowadays.

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