Outlander Podcast Hosts Mary & Blake discuss the Outlander Season 4 premiere, episode 4.01, “America The Beautiful”
In this episode, we chat about the circle, noose, rings all tie in thematically, LOVING that song, why Ed Speelers surprised us, and much more…
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Claire was ambivalent about Marsali’s pregnancy because she and Marsali had that conversation about birth control when Marsali and Ferguson were wed. Marsali told Claire she wasn’t ready for a baby on the boat.
Absolutely. That was actually written as “direction for Claire” in that scene in the script.
I can guess why Claire was a little upset that Marsali was pregnant. The reason is the other grandmother Laoghaire, back in Scotland. Think about how bitter Laoghaire is right this minute. Jamie couldn’t love her. Than the woman she considers a witch comes back from the dead to not only steal Jamie back, but invalidate her marriage so that she isn’t even entitled to alimony. Alimony that she still hasn’t gotten, mind you. Than her daughter runs off and marries a one-handed Frenchman who’s only employment prospects are tied to her ex-husband. They all left Scotland, so that Laoghaire doesn’t get to attend the wedding. And now the final nail in the coffin; they’re staying in America and Laoghaire is likely never to even meet her grandchildren, but ‘the witch’ does. Claire will get to deliver them, help raise them, be their grandmother. If Laoghaire had two pennies to rub together, she’d be shopping for an assassin right about now. And Claire knows it.
Welcome back! Nice to hear the podcast again. Just a few notes about things you questioned in this episode:
The Stone Age “standing stone” buliders didn’t come across as a rehash to me, but rather as foreshadowing of someone Claire will “meet.” Mary will know who I mean.
Re Claire’s odd expression when Marsali announces her pregnancy – I think perhaps you forgot Marsali asked Claire for birth control advice, saying she didn’t want a baby right away, in Voyager?
The land grant offer made to Jamie doesn’t come from a “British officer” – despite his outfit, that’s North Carolina Governor William Tyron, an Actual Historical Figure, one of many more to come (and as a history geek, that’s one of my favorite parts of DG’s books).
Oooh, it’s so great to back!!! I’m so happy to be writing a GBG!! First of all, this episode gets a mighty fine 4.8 Kilts from me, it was wonderful overall. The intro with the Stone circle confused me for just a hot second, but then I got the picture. It wasnt my favorite opening, but with the 3 beat of rings echoed throughout the episode, I like it much more upon further viewings. On to the GBG!! My Good was the graveyard scene with Ian and Jamie. I think it would have really been a detriment to the show overall for them to just whistle past what happened to Ian in the last season. For him to have a realistic, traumatic reaction to his abuse speaks volumes about everything we didn’t see, and brings truth to it. For him to confide in his uncle, who he now knows has also experienced something similar, gives him a source of comfort and commeradery that is so important for healing and moving forward. Thank you, Diana, for fighting to keep this in. Brava. My Bad was the second look at Gavin’s dead face. One was horrible enough. Two was just punishment. My GREAT was a Twofer- I ADORE the new version of the Skye Boat Song, omg, I cannot hear it without tearing up…seriously…just writing about it is getting me all misty eyed. I have a very strong emotional reaction to music, and this version is kicking my butt with ALL THE FEELS. My other Great, of course, is the end scene…lordy, they knocked it out of the park for me. It would have been great had they just played the scene by itself, as filmed…but the beauty and heart swelling pride in the song, overplaying the violence and tragedy of the scene, oh it killed me. I particularly highlight Cait’s performance, good God, the grief, shock, and heartbreak she portrays is simply astounding…and when she popped those rings in her mouth, I about had a heart attack, fearing what Bonnet would do…uuuhhhggg, he’s a villain needs killin. Bloody despicable creature, and Ed Speelers does a great job…I always thought he played Jimmy with a certain Greasy charm, so it wasn’t a big stretch for me that they cast him, though I was very curious about his ability to be as terrible as Bonnet…he did not dissappoint. Well done. Gosh, I could go on, but I’ll call it for now. So grateful to be back watching with you guys, I’m thrilled to see what’s coming at us from here on out…and oh, and WHERE’S MY MURTAGH??? 😉
My take on Claire’s reaction to Marsali’s pregnancy was that just a few episodes ago, Marsali had asked Claire for contraception and was clear that she did not want a pregnancy. So I took Claire’s reaction as, “Really? Is this good news? I thought you didn’t want… ? Oh, ok, if we’re happy about it… then I guess I’m happy too! If you’re sure….”
This is going to be my first kilt rating and GBG and I’m excited to be doing it. I have already rewatched several times so I think I will rate this based on the number of parts I fast forward on rewatch. So this episode has to have 5 kilts because I want to watch every minute of it again and again.
My Good – John Bell. I wasn’t totally on board with this casting but he just knocked it out of the park. Hi scene at the graveyard, and sassy comments around the table have me convinced he will be awesome going forward.
My bad – I’m going out on a limb here and say I don’t like the opening Skye Boat Song. This is the first time I haven’t liked Bear’s choice. This version came across as really slow and plodding. Maybe if they speed it up a bit, it would sound better.
My great – Book Jamie is here at last. I’m not a book purest, and I don’t mind the changes to the story. Many of them even make sense. Indeed, I really love the show. It’s just that there has always been something missing for me. When the series first came out, I heard Ron say that his focus was to make Frank worthy enough so that Claire would want to return to him. Diana’s focus was opposite. She made Jamie worthy enough for Claire to stay. I get Ron’s thinking, but IMO Ron’s focus came at the expense of Diana’s. You can’t have it both ways.
Yes, there have been moments to prove my premise wrong, but overall, in the show, I have had a hard time seeing the intense love and unbreakable bond Jamie and Claire have the way I did in the book. Until this episode. Jamie is not perfect and I don’t want him to dominate. This was always an equal partnership with each bringing different talents to make them one. The moment when Jamie gave Claire the medicine chest and knelt beside her with a look of absolute love written all over his face I had to yell YES!! It truly made me cry. All the feels. Then I looked back through the episode at all the tender moments with Claire. The conversations. His moments with Hayes. The “dad” moment with Ian. Sitting round the table leading the family meetings. His meeting with Tryon. All these are the Jamie that Diana created and it was beautiful to watch. It’s why I love this story so.
The trailers give me great hope that they will continue to build on this, and I am ecstatic to see the rest of the season unfold.
Glad to have you both (and the show) back.
GOOD: Claire and Jamie’s convo after the dinner with Claire and the gorgeous stockings (want!). The round table scene with Fergus, Marsali, and Ian. Also, everyone else already explained what was going on with Claire there. How did you forget that Mary!? 😉 Ian and Rollo! <3
BAD: I never really was bothered by the hair as much as people have been before, but yeah those bangs were a verra strange choice. Also, don't shoot me but, the sex scene. It bored me. It was less of a moment that was driving the plot forward, and more of a "well, we have to please the fans by putting a sex scene in so . . ." kinda thing. Next.
GREAT: That ending. Wow! just wow! Aaaand . . . Ed Speleers as Steven Bonnet. I always thought Bonnet was a rather one-dimensional and uninteresting villain in the books. Same with JBR. Sorry, not sorry, Diana. But this portrayal made me sit up and take notice. I think I'm going to enjoy/hate this ride. Way to go Mr. Speleers. And by the way, his name is Speleers, not Speelers. It's pronounced Spuh-LEERS, with the emphasis on the second syllable.
Toni and Matt decided to use America The Beautiful from the start.
The Ian/Jamie scene in the grave yard was originally going to be cut, but Diana suggested they put it back in and they agreed. Good choice.
Honestly, does anyone else want Starz to put subtitles in English when the speak Scots? I have serious FoMo because I want to know what they are saying and have no idea.
Oh my gosh, Blake. Your Outlanderish theories are so crazy!!! I love hearing them.
Great episode guys. You two tend to point out things I think, or don’t think, about..I LOVED that interaction between Jamie and Young Ian. LOVED! IT! And man, I legit FLIPPED OUT when I saw Claire put the rings in her mouth!!! I was rooting for her. I was so pissed/sad that it was Jamie’s ring that was taken away. Nooo!!!!
This season has been SO GOOD so far. Love it.
Again, loved this episode Mary and Blake. (: Can’t wait to listen to the next one. (: Thanks! ?
I don’t know how you tell about the green screen – I’ve never been able to tell. Was it worse here than in the previous season? I don’t remember you mentioning it then.
I’m going to be totally distraught when I get to the end of the existing podcasts…I hope you have continued them during Droughtlander