Hosts Mary and Blake discuss episode 2.09 of Outlander entitled, “Je Suis Prest.” In this episode you’ll learn all about: man boobs, the return of Dougal, trying to keep Claire an active part of the story, Jamie being a leader to easily, why Jamie is Dougal’s Horcrux, the most consistent wide praise for an episode yet, why the episode looked beautiful but it was the editing that makes it shine, why you never trust a man with two first names and much more!
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Blake, I appreciate the fact that you found the deaths of the two American soldiers so predictable, but to me, it was their deaths that added to Claire's PTSD. I'm sure that if they had survived, the emotional trauma wouldn't have been as great. And since it was all about Claire's PTSD, they had to "predictably" die.
1)Just because Dougal has no idea what he's going to face doesn't make him any less ready to fight. 2) Claire's faking/play-actig…isn't she faking her entire existence in the 1700s, so that's a skill she's honed (one might even say she faked her bravery during WWII as a nurse, pretending to dying soldiers that they were going to be okay, pretending not to be sickened or frightened by the extent of the injuries she must have seen, etc.). And I loved that Claire stepped in to help with William Grey's interrogation…I imagined her standing out-of-sight, listening to the whole thing, and then deciding to step in to save William from being tortured/maimed/scarred/killed. 3) Of course, Jamie lived up to his promise of Claire never being alone… he knows that she will have both Frank AND their child. 5) Love your podcasts!
I absolutely loved this episode. It ranks right up there with "Faith" for me. I gave this episode 5 kilts. I thoroughly enjoyed having the Mackenzie boys back in the fold. I was disappointed that Willy wasn't with them, but I heard in Ron Moore's podcast that there were issues with the actor playing him. Oh well! I loved that they included Claire's PTSD. Claire is such an empathetic person that it would be totally expected that she would have lingering issues from WWII — especially since — as Mary pointed out — she never had time to deal with it. And I absolutely loved, loved, loved Bear McCreary's music. It was so hauntingly beautiful. It invoked so many emotions that you may not have felt without the music.
One other thing that this episode conveyed beautifully was Claire's strong maternal relationship with Fergus. There weren't many scenes, but the ones that were shown were so poignant and expressed just how strong that relationship has become. Claire IS Fergus' mother now. And, that makes the first scene in the show even more heartbreaking. When she goes back through the stones, Claire has not only lost the love of her life, but also her son.
The only issue I had with the episode was the lack of intimacy between Claire and Jaime – but that is an issue I have had with the show since "The Devil's Mark." I'm not looking for a gratuitous sex scene, but I believe that the audience needs to see that that part of their relationship is still strong. So far, we have had so few examples of it this season.
On a final note, I hope that the finale shows more than 17 minutes of the future. Without dropping spoilers, I can say that the "future" sections of the book have lots of revelations and plot points that I believe are key to the story — especially now that we are going to have two more seasons. And, I don't think they can effectively be done in less than 17 minutes – unless the writers include some of those plot points in other future episodes.
But, I'm going out on a limb and predict that the finale will dedicate a full hour to the future and may include future stuff that's not in the book!
I read that the writers switched to Claire having the idea about tricking John Grey because Jamie was already worried about how fragile she was from her recurring war memories (wasn't called PTSD yet, but he certainly recognized it once described), so he wouldn't have sprung something on her at that moment. Good point, writers.
I separated this acting moment from her others because she wasn't acting like a witch for a change and because it was one of the few ways she got to contribute tactically.
I really wish they had included even a short version of Jamie needing to explain to Claire that yes, he would have tortured a kid to get the information, because he had to know where the English were, that he would always have do anything necessary to get an edge, that in the end, there are no rules in war and that it is ugly. Whether Claire knew that from her own experience or not, it was a rare opportunity for viewers to get a look at what is going on in Jamie's mind as a leader. That his true understanding of what it means to ask them to stake their lives informs everything he does to prepare his men and his own tactics.
In the book he is also blunt about the moral cost of war, of what "by any means necessary" might cost a person's soul. But that's clearly a deeper look than the show would have spent time in delving into Jamie's character. Again, unfortunately, because it's also a great insight into what it means to be a soldier – and into what's to come.
Agree with many points made by Linda, Florida and Diane above. I wanted to comment specifically on the objection to TV Claire play acting in difficult situations. Claire has been pretending to be someone she is not since the moment she met BJR by that river in Ep 101. She wasn't quite as convincing in Season 1 because everyone knew she wasn't telling the truth as to who she was and why she was there. However, in Paris, Claire honed those skills out of necessity as did Jamie. The only place she could be herself was at L'Hospital with Mother Hildegard and with Jamie whenever they were alone. The persona of Le Dame Blanche was one that Jamie foisted upon her. The scene where Fergus tells her what Le Dame Blanche is was cut, but it would have differentiated a White Lady who has the magic of the Auld Ones from witches who use black magic. A White Lady is only to be feared by those with evil in their souls and is therefore a force for good not evil and unlikely to be burned at the stake.
Playing Le Dame Blanche for King Louis was a situation force upon her, she had no choice but to play the part and she did so convincingly enough to walk out of there with her life and Jamie's freedom and pardon.
In The Fox's Lair, Jamie evoked Le Dame Blanche once again to save her from harm, and it was clear that Old Simon believed that such magic exists and feared it. The vision of the Seer gave Claire an idea that might work as a "Hail Mary" should Jamie not be able to find a way to get the men he needed without giving up Lallybroch. Claire's performance was intentionally melodramatic because she knew her audience. Jamie read the situation and played along. This is evidence that they are a strong team, working together and trusting each other's instincts.
In Je Suis Prest, when Claire pretends to be an English lady there against her will, she is contributing the only thing she can to the cause. She and Jamie are getting pretty good at this impromptu play acting and it works. I never liked in the book that he stripped her to the waist in front of his men to convince William Grey that he would ravage her before his eyes. I like this version because Jamie remains the gentleman he is and a loving husband who is sensitive to Claire's fragile state.
Not to reveal any spoilers, but this is not the last time Claire will use the fact that she is an English woman in the company of Highlanders to help the cause to her own peril. If they follow the book, she will also contribute significantly in the area of intelligence gathering for the Jacobite cause. If they do this right, she will play an important role and will not be left on the periphery.
RE: Dougal's old war tactics vs Jamie's 'modern' take on war. Old Generals usually stick with what worked in the past, oblivious to current realities. (lookin' at you, Bush and Cheney) The young want to live up to their father's example and prove their manhood. The old want to relive past glories from their youth. Futile.
I have never commented before so I hope I do it right! I really enjoy your podcast (I have been voting!) and I LOVE Outlander. My comment on this episode was… Willie has gone to America!! Fantastic that we may get to see him again, otherwise why mention him?? Cool!
Keep up the great work, Mary and Blake!
Hate to burst your bubble Entwife002, but Willy wasn't back because the producers had some issues with the actor. They didn't part friends, apparently. So, I don't think we will be seeing Willy again, unless he's played by a different actor. Of course that could happen if he's played by a much older actor in another season.
Blake mentions again the scene of Jamie throwing the alcohol into the fire in The Fox’s Lair…did anyone tell him that in the book, Jamie threw the Old Fox’s false teeth (which he had removed and laid on the table)? I wish they could have done THAT in the series – how cool would that have been?
Again – I’ve really loved these podcasts!!! I wish I had been listening to them all along (well, I wish I had been watching the series all along, too – but just started Feb 2019) because I most DEFINITELY would have voted for your podcast in the awards!