OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 512 – Never My Love

Art: “Safe” Jamie and Claire, Ep 512, Never My Love by Jamie Payne et al. Starz. 

Here it is, our discussion of Ep 512, the finale – Never My Love. I hope you enjoy it. I will be editing 509 and 508 over the coming weeks, and we will re-discuss 501 along the way. I hope everyone is staying safe and well. xo


PS I finally heard what was being said, and it wasn’t “Jocasta, pass the meat” 😂, it was Jocasta saying: “What if it’s a wee gerrrel, Jocasta’s a lovely name.” 

Check out Karmen’s Fun Fact about this episode – more details about the easter eggs she found in the ’60’s flashback scenes! Fun Fact: Anatomy of an Easter Egg Hunt!

For our Season 5 Episode discussions, catch up here: Episode Discussions

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39 comments on “OutlanderBTS The Discussion, Episode 512 – Never My Love

  1. 😳 even now, I don’t know if I’m ready!!! However, I do have a note that’s on the lighter side. I watched the episode with my husband this weekend. When I asked if he liked it he said that he thought the rescue would be longer/more dramatic, bloodier. I told him the episode was supposed to be about Claire, who he likes, and he remains stuck on killing them all AGAIN. He loved Ian and Fergus echoing Jamie’s oath, as I’m pretty sure we all did, and was engrossed in the rest of the episode.
    But, my FIL’s family is Scottish and, as Claire says, blood will out! 🙄

    • I think a longer and more dramatic rescue would not have changed the outcome – though in real life it might have – Claire would most likely have died. Claire, that poor woman, was going through a horrendous assault, why would a longer rescue have eased her pain. She need help immediately. Jamie, bless his soul, and the support of Ian and Fergus, did what they had to do to save Claire. I have great admiration for Claire, she put up a great fight before her attackers over powered her, and I think that infuriated them even more – because in those days women pretty much did as they were told and Claire never did as she was told, she had her own opinions.

      • Good point. I would have been happy to have seen a little more death and destruction by Red Jamie, but was also happy with how it was directed by Jamie Payne. I believe I mentioned that I felt the choice was made to stay focused on J and C relationship. Let’s face it, the book took many pages to describe the carnage and Claire’s suffering. I was grateful the Fraser men arrived after about 20 mins i to the episode and we did not have to wait until the end of the episode for her to be rescued. Thank you for commenting and listening to us!

  2. Courtney i don’t believe she is crying in the hallway because she can’t do it. it was more that it took everything she had not to kill him and that rips open the door she has been hiding behind. She has been holding it all in for days living with it. it was that moment she became a survivor and not a victim. that was bottom. the bottom of her pain and from there she rises. Cait was brilliant in every aspect of this episode, just the absolute reality of a rape survivor.

    • Emilie – my thoughts exactly. I believe that by NOT killing Brown she started to reclaim herself BUT in doing so – she reclaims everything – including what happened to her … and all the agony that entails. This episode needed more breathing room … though Cait was brilliant in what she was given there was so much more. I know there is talk about PTSD next season BUT there are elements of the IMMEDIATE aftermath that weren’t touched. I’m still feeling my way through my impressions but hope to share with YOU — as your take was so close to mine. BTW – were you as angry as I was that the preview showed that image of Claire!?!?! PR who made that decision should be fired. That moment should have been totally unexpected.

      • They’ve done that all season, Jamie in the red coat, Roger living after the hanging, etc.! Jeffrey Hirsch is the one who spoiled what happened in the finale for me by saying “What she goes through in the finale is just… (something).” Then I knew we would see Claire’s rape. Marketing doesn’t care about spoilers as much as luring watchers, ah well. That’s why I don’t watch the previews!

        • Yes, I don’t care for previews that give the story completely away… though I already knew of Claire’s ordeal through an inconsiderate bookreader spoiler on FB. And yes, as you aptly put, previews don’t care about spoilers as their objective is to lure watchers. My issue isn’t with the storyline being revealed BUT choosing to display an unexpected, profoundly moving moment and lessening its impact within the episode. It was criminal. I don’t equate it with Jamie’s Red Coat because the actor himself (with DG’s help) promoted HIS idea of having Jamie put on the Red Coat … way before the episode and previews.

    • Interesting, Emilie. I do think she was surprised by her inability to compartmentalize as usual, and by her terror upon seeing him. And, I also think she was unable to kill him due to her own trauma, vs an oath. She was having PTSD big time imo. All of that contributed to the falling apart I saw, the surrender, the grief, which is the opening, as you say, to healing (becoming a survivor).

  3. It
    was a breath of delight to listen to the 4 of you! BTW, Fergus was also raped and abused by the pervert BJR! I agree when you all said that Sam is a great actor with his facial expressions and eyes and also think that Cait and Sam are the frontrunners in making outlander EXPLODE to perfection!

  4. Excellent discussion. Thank you. I watched this episode at least 8 times. I am finally through it. 47 years ago as a young teenager I was a victim and couldn’t tell anyone. I was drawn to the support of Sam as Jaime… so powerful and the strength of Cait as Claire. Little details came back to my horror as I watched. My mind finally cleared and I began to truly appreciate the wonderful acting in this episode. Bravo.

    • Elaine, I’m so sorry this happened to you, and that your young self carried it alone, and for so long. 💔

      I’m glad you got to experience Jamie’s love and support – no one should have to go through that. Sending love to you.

    • Elaine I’m sorry you experienced what you did. Having you being able to identify with any part of this story says a lot about Outlander’s excellence and reverence to the human experience. (By the way, Elaine is my sisters middle name).

    • Elaine, I am so sorry that you have experienced sexual assault. I realize it if far more common that many realize. That you could watch it and still appreciate the stellar performances and artistic presentstion is a testament to your strength! Thank you.

  5. A great discussion. Thank you! To add to what Karmen and Antionette said regarding the big theme: To me the episode was about how Claire is able to survive the ordeal because she goes to her heart and soul, her home, in Jamie. I love the 60s or what I think of as a timeless place scenes. As someone else suggested to me, Claire is looking at the Big House on fire as an abstract, something that can’t hurt her or Jamie in that safe place. I also think it’s a reflection of her fear about the obituary.

    When Claire sees the rabbit, it reminds her that Jamie was near death when he saw the rabbit. She knows she may be near death from suffocation and in that moment, tries to free herself from the rope.

    Just before she sees Jamie and the others rescue her, she is slow dancing with Jamie in that incredibly tender scene. I felt she was at once calling on him in an urgent way and also holding him close as if to say goodbye because she felt she may not make it. Then, when she sees that Jamie has come, she breathes a sigh of relief in the 60s scene, and Jamie reassures her that “it’s just the two of us now.”

    I think that theme wove through to the end, when they are on the porch. When Claire says “I love you,” the way Catriona purposely pauses and her thoughtful expression made me think she was thinking of those moments in her timeless place during the rapes and how it kept her alive. When he takes her hand, the scars on his hand from Claire’s surgery on it after Wentworth Prison clearly show. I felt she was thinking about his trial with him then and what they have both been through together. When Jamie says, “if my last words aren’t I love you, you ken it’s because I didn’t have time,” and Claire nods, I felt she knows how he feels because she very nearly didn’t have time.

    I noticed that when Claire says she doesn’t know how long they’ll have that peace and Jamie says, “the revolution.” Claire’s expression in that moment seems to say to me, it’s not the revolution that worries her, but the fire in which they’re both supposed to die.

    I think when Murtagh says, “it’s Prestonpans all over again,” to me it means that what is happening at the moment in her real life (Jamie rescuing her) is as bloody as that battle and that it’s going to be the same end result, Jamie will win and save her. That scene with Murtagh comes when the battle is ensuing.

  6. Once again you ladies brought me so much enjoyment and engagement through your episode 512 discussion and your personal reflections. I agreed with so much that you said. I would like to add a few comments of my own and I’d love to have your take on them.

    What worked for me? An additional thing that worked for me was the very beginning section that reviewed previous episode scenes completely in silence and separated by heavy drum beats. This immediately signaled that this was going to be a heavy, serious episode. It was chilling. It was different. It was done well.

    One of the Easter eggs that was really meaningful to me was a verbal one. When Jamie toasts Claire in the 60’s dinner scene, after he quotes the Blood of my blood and bone of my bone part, Jamie has a line that is straight from the Outlander book that has never been used in the series to the best of my memory. The line is from the Abbey after Claire confronts Jamie and he is on the road to recovery. They are discussing what they will do next. Jamie says to Claire, ” My heart was yours since I first saw you. You’ve held my soul in your two hands and kept it safe.” It think it is a simply beautiful line and acknowledges the fact that Black Jack Randall nearly destroyed Jamie’s soul but Claire fought to rescue his soul. Then it is beautifully connected to the very last scene when Jamie asks Claire, “How do you feel?’ And Claire responds, ” Safe.” Claire kept Jamie’s soul safe and Jamie has brought her back from her own abyss and kept her safe. I was so happy that they finally used that line in the series, and it was a perfect place for it.

    Antoinette’s theme of Claire retreating to that small place within – her soul- reminded me so much of the Jamie scene in which he tells Claire that each to us have that place inside us where our inner self resides. His had been shivering in the cold out in the open, trying to hide under a blade of grass. After he and Claire reconnect physically, he says that he finally has a bit of a roof over that little beings head. His inner soul. There were such amazing parallels in Claire’s and Jamie’s stories in this episode. It was obvious that a great deal of planning, care and thought went in to the writing of this episode. The use of Diana’s lines from earlier books and seasons was masterfully done. The collaboration of Matt, Toni, Cait, Sam and the rest of the team really worked. I can’t even imagine the number of hours that were spent to make this episode

    Another thing that really worked for me was the way they wove the sixties scenes into the 1770’s scenes. There was a reason as to where they were placed in the action. For instance, after we see the two men walking toward Claire with the intent of raping her, there is a long departure to the scenes at the stones and Roger, Bree and Ian arriving at the Ridge, the men gathering for war and the initial battle scenes. Then we hear Jamie calling “Claire.” Then it transitions to a 60’s scene that shows Claire with tears in her eyes, standing at a 90 degree angle to Jamie. He gently turns her and says, “Don’t be afraid there’s the two of us now.” It’s as if she heard him calling her name, and she knew he was with her. Then it’s back to the battle and Jamie’s voice is calling her name more loudly, and then he is at her side. And it is the two of them and he tells her she is alive, she is whole. It’s truly an amazing sequence.

    Another thing that I noticed was that the sounds we hear after Jamie says, “Kill them all,” are shots, swords and thuds as from clubs. Young Ian was carrying a Mohawk club like those we saw in Last of the Mohicans. I thought the attention to detail in the sound track was really excellent.

    Finally, I have a newfound appreciation for Matt, Toni, Cait, Sam, the director, cinematographer, make-up, costume and the entire team who all obviously spent hours of planning, writing, producing and editing this episode. While the content of the episode was very serious and controversial, it was obviously created with a great deal of care, compassion and love. I have often had my doubts about the depth of knowledge of the source material, but it was very evident and impressive in this episode that not only do they have a deep knowledge of what has happened in the series, but also in the source material. While the episode was not perfect, this was a beautiful finale to an amazing season. A season of which they all can be proud.

    • Hi Ruth. Thank so much for taking the time to share your observations with us. I also agree, that the writers really showed their book savvy in this episode. I feel Cait and Sam pretty much always show their book savvy. The director, Jamie Payne, has been marvelous this season, imo. Uses a delicate hand in the filming. Leaves things to our imagination. Doesnt hammer us. 👍🏻

  7. I am thankful that you always have a discussion of episode themes! I actually went back today to rewatch the portion of your discussion that included theme in 512, because it resonated so strongly with me (and brought tears to my eyes!)
    I also thought Claire’s dissociative dream house, full of “Easter eggs” and call backs to key scenes from previous seasons) was such a brilliant decision by Toni and Matt! As the episode went on, I found myself needing to return to the comfort and safety of that dream house in order to continue watching the horrific things that were happening to Claire. I hadn’t thought about the fact that Claire waiting on the couch for Jamie In the dream house was symbolic of her wait for Jamie to come rescue her from her brutal captors!
    I am looking forward to your posts of the other episodes and your redo of episode 501. I’m such an Outlander geek and y’all are the only ones that speak my language with regard to this incredible show (and books!) I’m glad I got to meet y’all in New Orleans! Thanks again Courtney, Catherine, Karmen and Antoinette for yet another fantastic discussion!

    • Elaine I’m sorry you experienced what you did. Having you being able to identify with any part of this story says a lot about Outlander’s excellence and reverence to the human experience. (By the way, Elaine is my sisters middle name).

    • Thank you Parry! I felt as if I was with Claire drifting in her dreamscape, only to be jolted awake with her as her captors heaped further abuse upon her. For me to lose myself like that in an episode is an amazing experience.

  8. A couple questions for the panel of 4 ladies that have provided us with wonderful discussions with varied viewpoints and thoughtful comments. My favorite Outlander discussion by far. First question – I’m wondering why they had Quincy Meyers with Ian and Fergus rather than Roger approach Jamie and Claire in the rescue scene in Ep12. 2nd question – In a couple of interviews just prior to the start of S5 Sam mentioned a scene that was making love without making love. Do you think that scene is the one in Ep12 at the end with Jamie and Claire on the porch with the thunder? I am assuming it is not the final scene when they are naked and on the bed seemingly having just made love, unless my knowledge of the book is influencing me. Finally, an observation – I know that Sam has said it was important to him that EP12 was about Claire and he felt it was important that Jamie was mostly in the background. However, again remembering the books Jamie was in anguish over what happened to Claire, his frustration and anger over not being able to prevent this and knowing how this type of attack is so deeply wounding. The one scene where he says he feels like killing someone just doesn’t convey completely how very devastated he is. Also, I missed the conversation in the book when Jamie asked Roger about how beneficial it was to Roger to have a question of paternity with Jemmy as Jamie considered it was possible Claire could be pregnant from the attack. Great episode, great season and wonderful BTS discussions. Thank you.

    • Hi Claudia,

      Thank you! Ref your questions: 1) I’m not sure, but I think it’s because Roger’s arc in this episode was about killing a man, so they kept the focus there for him? 2) I believe there was actually a sex scene that preceded the last scene, and it was cut. I was wondering about the making love without making love scene myself, and am thinking it was cut? 3) Yes, as you know, we discussed that scene. I think some parts were possibly cut from it, as it was a tad awkward. Some of us thought that was intentional. I think Catherine is right, that there is an approach in the show of giving each episode to a certain character. I don’t think that’s necessary, especially between Sam and Caitriona, they won’t outshine each other imo. Thanks for watching!

    • Hey, Claudia. Excellent comments.1. I wonder if they were trying to show that Roger was too shook by killing a man. He might have appeared more composed had he gone to Claire considering the later scene where he confesses to Bree in the dark. 2. I dont know the answer but am inclined to think he was referring to the resuscitation scene of 509. 3. No, that scene didn’t work so well for me, although I was moved by Claire’s declaration of all she had been through. It almost felt as if Jamies declaration as an after thought that he needed to say something to convey his frustration and rage. That whole thing between R and J was absent. Not enough tome. Fingers crossed that we might get some of these things in deleted scenes. 🤞🏻

  9. Thanks for another great discussion. It took me 3 workout sessions in my basement to get though it all. Just a few comments in response to the episode and things discussed.

    Starting with the failure of Bree and Roger not making it through the stones…they wasted time in numerous episodes, especially 511, leading up to this all for naught. I predicted this would be one of the contrived dramas of the season when I saw the first trailer before the season began. How much time was wasted that could have been used for better fleshing out the story. So disappointing.

    I was one of those who was NOT a fan of Claire’s dissociation and going back to the safe space in the ’60’s/’70’s. That took so much time from an already very shortened episode. I will give the writers credit for showing Claire’s rape and trauma in a way that many victims of these things experience. However, to me, it was distracting and done way too many times. While many thought the Easter eggs were clever, I’m not one looking for cleverness in my storytelling. So it worked for many but not for me. Part of the reason it bothered me was the fact that in the book, Claire was totally present mentally during these events, almost to the point of being coldly, clinically analytical. When she was being defiant by staring and witchy towards Lionel Brown, she was mentally questioning herself with what was she thinking and knowing it would only lead to more abuse. She was present enough to leave a trail so that Jamie would be able to track them. She was vigilant enough to constantly be listening to the first signs of Jamie coming to her rescue. So to me her dream escapes were not who Claire was in the book.

    You all were talking about why they left out Jamie breaking Hodgepile’s neck and justified leaving it out because he would have left Claire after finding her to go do this. Actually, he did this in the book because Hodgepile had gone to Claire to try to use her as as hostage and Jamie came upon him trying to untie Claire to use as a human shield. Jamie then picked him up off his feet and broke his neck in front of Claire so there would have been no abandoning her to do this. To me that was a powerful scene that they omitted and would have shown a justified berserker Jamie.

    I resented the fact that they made this a gang rape instead of just the one penetration by Lumpkin. Did the writers not think that the events in the book were horrific enough to justify Jamie’s “Kill them all”? IMO the brutality and dehumanizing acts of the men through repeated beatings, kicking her and ejaculating on her were the things that did Claire in more than Lumpkin’s clumsy excuse for making love to his dead wife, Martha. IMO that’s where more of the PTSD stemmed from afterwards and why I wish they had included her line about not letting men wiggling their “nasty little appendages” shatter her.

    I thought it was not apparent that the scene at the end showing a naked Jamie and Claire and her declaring she felt safe was after they had made love. Without the book knowledge, many non-readers did not think that was what happened. Many felt he was just comforting her and thought it beyond belief Jamie would be so insensitive to make love to Claire so soon after these events took place. I wish the episode was not so obviously shortened and with the right person writing this scene (Diana ), they had shown the really tough, risky healing process that took place. That would have been really powerful, brave storytelling if done correctly, and I think Sam and Cait would have knocked it out of the park if they were given a great script for that. Would it have been controversial? Absolutely! But if done correctly, that would have been award-winning material and acting.

    Overall I liked Season 5 better than any season since the first half of Season 1, although there were a few episodes and scenes that were major fails for me. This season showed a much closer book version of Jamie and Claire. The finale didn’t leave me with anticipation for Season 6 as they brought so much in from that book already and left so many characters as mere props (the Bugs, Fergus) from Season 5. I hope I’m wrong but I have a feeling Season 6 may be the final season.

    • Hi Maryann. Thanks for all your insights. I won’t comment on them as you have explained your position clearly. I rarely think the TV episodes are on equal par the books. Which is why during Droughtlander, it is the bokks I turn to to get me through. That said, I still think the episode was meritorious. Thanks for writing!

  10. Hello ladies, it’s taken me a while to watch this because my husband keeps coming home and I just need to be alone to watch this and take it all in. The one thing I noticed was when Jamie brought Lional’s body back to Brownsville, when he let the body leave his shoulders and it fell on the floor, the sound it made was more like a sack full of laundry instead of a thud that a man’s body would make. I loved finding all the Easter Eggs too. The whole episode was rife with symbolism and the way they brought it in and out of scenes was perfectly done. I agree with you that Sam will get ignored again and Cait will take home all the awards and accolades, and well deserved, but Sam deserves them too. I have a question, how does one get to be so lucky as the four of you to do this kind of show?

  11. Not sure luck was involved, at least not on my part. Courtney asked to meet me in Vancouver BC 2018. I agreed. Rest is history. You can always get Your own group together and do a postcast, though. Thanks for your comment!

  12. I find that sometimes all you need is a really good cry to clean out the cob webs and lift a load off. Like magic!

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