Finding Fraser: How Boogie-Woogie Divided a Fandom & Why That’s OK!
I haven’t sat with the novels as long as some. I recently finished Book 3 and intend to make my way through all eight books while eagerly anticipating Season 2 of the STARZ series. So, I too find myself making comparisons at times between the book and the television adaptation even though both are still so new to me. But, with that said, I think it can be argued that at no other time during the airing of Season 1 of Outlander has there been a more polarizing Episode than Episode 114 – “The Search.” It’s here where we find some of the most divergent opinions on both the story and narrative beat of the television series overall.
The Search in Episode 114 isn’t just about finding James Fraser, however. It’s about finding and exploring the depths of feelings, relationships and the motivation behind the extraordinary things these characters will do for love. For example, you can more fully see the love that both Claire and Murtagh have for Jamie in the cave scene on the beach because of what they have been through on the road prior. This scene works because for so long Claire had to suspend her belief (as did many viewers) that the song and dance routine was really a plan worth following. Multiple times in the episode Claire clearly shows her disdain for and disbelief that the silliness would prevail. Non-book readers, particularly, must have been asking themselves this throughout those seemingly endless singing and dancing montages. But, Claire chose love and she realized that Murtagh also chose love for his Laird and godson and out of respect for her, otherwise he would have ditched Claire and chased the gypsies himself! Claire and Murtagh both understood in that cave on the beach that whatever it took to find Jamie was a goal they shared, despite both feeling throughout weeks of searching (we only saw it compressed into 24 on screen minutes, thank God!) that the plan was shaky at best.
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