Welcome back, people!
Spoiler alert, by the way, about Outlander 3.11 and the book “Voyager.”
Wow, that was not what I was expecting! I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty rapt for the entire first fifteen minutes of that episode, which was basically just Survivor: Claire Island.
The red ants, the snake, the dehydration. (Seriously, I’m going to have nightmares about the ants for weeks.) This beautifully paced sequence of events, written so well by Karen Campbell and Shannon Goss, and acted so perfectly by Caitriona, really made me forget about everything for a minute, not sure if Claire would survive or not.
So then we get into some plot with Father Fogden. Now the story here is basically the end of my MOCK SEVEN and the beginning of my MOCK EIGHT. Although, frankly, at this point so much of the story is being omitted and/or changed, we might just have to start throwing the book out the window.
We’ve been discussing since the beginning of this season that the whole last third of the book would need to be amalgamized and curtailed in some ways to make it all fit, and sure enough, that’s what we’re now seeing.
Are we going to get the slave trade in this series? Doubt it. Temeraire? Probably not. Lawrence Stern? Eh, who needs him anyway? I do, however, strongly feel that a reunion with Lord John Grey is probably still going to happen, but maybe not as we had anticipated. At least we still got our favorite bat-brained priest, Father Fogden.
And you know what? I’m super fine with that. One thing my co-blogger Chris and I have been throwing around since starting this website last year is that, as much as we love the art of adaptation, at a certain point, knowing what’s going to happen next is just a buzzkill.
So here we have the bare bones of the novel “Voyager,” twisting itself into a new entity, and becoming a story that, for me anyway, still has the ability to shock. How about that?
Some highlights here, aside from the glorious first fifteen minutes of the episode, were this look on Claire’s face when she took the most deserved bath ever…
…the reintroduction of the concept of Abandawe which, as book readers know, is about to become very important…
…whatever it is Sam is doing to that mast that requires his shirt to fall open in this way.
Other than that, I think the writers are doing a neat job of keeping certain plot points in place (ie: Claire rips her arm open, thus requiring stitches, thus requiring turtle soup, thus requiring…well, you know), even though they’ve excised some of the B story that had originally caused that plot point in the first place (in this case, Pirate Invasion!)
And while I’ll personally be a bit disappointed if we end up skipping the slave trade, because the theme of slavery versus freedom is so central to “Voyager” (as I discussed in my first article on the book), and the horrors of the slave trade really drive that message home, I will understand if they end up skipping it. It’s such a sensitive subject, obviously, and would have been very hard to film in a conscientious way.
Besides, at least they haven’t skipped the two most important parts of this sequence of the book. Namely, this:
And of course, one of my favorite moments of the book, this:
All together now: Awww!
I’ll hopefully be sitting down for my interview with “Outlander” writer/producer Anne Kenney in the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, I can’t wait for next week’s fancy-dress ball! (And to see Ian, Jr., again?) In any event, should be dramatic.
What did you guys think of this episode? Disappointed at the changes? Or excited to be surprised by the new events? Let us know in the comments.
Don’t miss Chris’s fabulous interview with romance novelist Elsie Moody!
And if you’re looking for Outlander-themed jewelry, here’s the link: Sassenach Jewelry