Season 3 of Outlander just keeps getting better and better. Episode 301 was great; episode 302, better; episode 303, even better, possibly the best; episode 304, possibly the best, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the streak likely ends here. The second half of Voyager isn’t nearly as compelling as the first half, falling into some pretty terrible tropes. Plus, there’s no more Lord John Grey (for a while).
And now on to…
Of Lost Things, Episode 304
1. Brianna sucks
It’s a shame she’s the offspring of the two main characters because Brianna is not a nice person. In fact, at one point she says, “I’m a terrible person,” and Roger Wakefield replies, “Finally, something we can agree on.” Too true.
She makes fun of the lovely Fiona Graham for having a crush on Roger, partly because she knows she’s got him wrapped around her little finger. The writers may think they’re making her interesting with her ability to fix a distributor cap, but it just reeks of manipulation to me. Where the hell would Brianna have learned about car engines? From her nerd father Frank? From her mother Claire, who, for all her great medical skill, has never shown any interest in mechanics. Did Brianna take a Shop class in high school? I highly doubt it.
Perhaps the character wouldn’t be so annoying if in the hands of a more capable actor, but this is the one huge mistake the casting department made.
2. “You useless Scotchman!”
It’s what Lady Geneva says to Jamie as he’s preparing her horse for a ride. I’d say “Really??” except that I remember having difficulty with the distinction between Scotsman and Scotchman. Then again, I was six years old at the time. Still, I laughed.
(Incidentally, here’s what the Scots think about the Scotch, at the 4:12 mark.)
3. Lord John Grey’s queue >>
Jamie Fraser Alex MacKenzie’s
Good Gawd! Sam Heughan’s hair was hideous in this episode! Seriously, what kind of look were they going for? Jamie’s hair was pulled back a couple of times in season 2, and while it was short, it never looked this frightful. Caitriona Balfe has been wearing wigs all season. As Lord John Grey, David Berry had two before they settled on the brunette “curly queue.” (I crack myself up sometimes.) Both were quite lovely. Why can’t they just give Sam some extensions or a wig and not worry about the humidity on any given day?
4. Hot sex
How hot? Hotter than anything we had in season 2. In fact, it felt similar to scenes from “The Wedding” in its nudity, steaminess, and length. On the one hand, it felt inappropriate given it was a forced one-night stand and not a by-product of Jamie and Claire’s love. But perhaps it was given so much depth and significance because the result was Jamie’s son. At least the television version was 1000 times better than the problematic book version.
5. Poor Fiona
The Randalls treat her like shit. It’s bad enough that know-it-all Brianna (who, by the way, had NO friends at her 16th birthday party!) made fun of her crush on Roger. But Claire has almost no response when Fiona gives her the pearls that had belonged Jamie’s mother. Geez, Claire, would it have killed you to give Fiona a hug?
6. Test or not?
I’ve come to learn there are many factions in the Outlander fandom based on several different aspects of the novels. One of the most prevalent is Jamie’s offer of his body to Lord John Grey in exchange for looking after his son. In a later novel, Diana Gabaldon reveals the offer was a test. If Lord John had accepted his offer, Jamie would have killed him. Wow. If that’s the kind of conditional friendship Jamie is offering, I don’t want it.
I believe, and will continue to believe the offer was genuine. By now, Jamie would certainly know the kind of man Lord John is, that he would never harm a child, regardless of his inclinations. Honestly, I think Gabaldon added the “test” to appease the fandom’s uproar at the time of Voyager. Fans claimed that Jamie would never have done such a thing given his history with Black Jack Randall. I claim that if Jamie truly is the “King of Men” he’d be smart enough to know that being a homosexual does not make you a sadist. He’d know that Lord John Grey is the antithesis of Black Jack Randall; that John loves him, and that he’d never do anything to harm him or his son.
You cannot change my mind. It’s one of the reasons I will not be reading any of the other Outlander novels, with the exception of the Lord John Grey series. (See item #1 above for the other reason.)
7. I could play Lady Isobel!
(Give or take 30 years.) I have her features; her big eyes, biggish nose, and nearly all the rest of her profile. She appreciates the beauty of horses and cares about them. Plus, she gets to marry Lord John Grey! Other people say she’s doomed to a sexless marriage. But John is an admirable man. He even said he could get it up for a woman (well, he put it much more nicely). And besides, as he also said, there’s more to a marriage than carnal knowledge.
What! Nothing about Lady Geneva and little Willie or #stinkinpapists? Nope. Let other people discuss their significance. I’m much more interested in the Greys.