What a worthy ending of an all in all incredible adapation of book 1 of the Outlander series! I loved it, if that’s the right term to use in regards to the mostly very dark and disturbing final episode.
I admit, that during the first time of watching this episode I kept comparing it to the book version and part of me was a bit disappointed, because they left out so much of what I personally either considered essential to the story or just very much enjoyed reading in the book and would have loved to see on screen. Once I got over that though (like a few minutes after I had finished watching the episode *g*) I could appreciate the episode for what it was: an incredibly good hour of television.
In parts (a lot of parts actually) it was so difficult to watch, which was exactly what Ron & Co were going for. It’s supposed to make you cry and scream and look away and feel your heart break a little for James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser. And for Claire of course, but this was Jamie’s story most of all. And Sam Heughan delivered oh so bloody brilliantly.
Even with all the things they chose to change, I’m so glad that they kept true to the story and focused on what I consider the essential crimes (for lack of better word) BJR commited against Jamie. It’s not just raping him, which is bad enough. It’s not just torturing him, which I’m glad they didn’t show all that much of, at least not all the stuff which is actually in the book (subjecting Jamie to another flogging and such). But BJR didn’t just want Jamie to crawl and beg. He wanted to get under his skin and into his mind and to break his spirit. In the book it becomes clear that BJR manages to tear down Jamie’s barriers by keeping Claire in Jamie’s mind by constantly talking about her and to provoke Jamie to think about Claire, even though he is trying so hard not to. It is these mind games / psychological torture – linking the horrible things he is doing to Jamie or making Jamie’s body do, the shame Jamie feels about all of it – that finally break Jamie’s spirit and leave his soul in pieces.
I love how they’ve kept this as the core of the story about Jamie’s despair but also his redemption. Those scenes in the dungeon, starting with Jamie seeing Claire’s face blending into BJR’s face and back, Jamie’s despair that Claire is gone and up till BJR’s “How will she ever forgive you?” were so heartbreaking to watch for me. Just as heartbreaking as the scenes at the Abbey, when Jamie tells Claire about all of this. But Claire, being Claire, manages to bring Jamie back from the brink of despair with her undying love and with yes maybe a bit unfairly making it about herself *g*, but hey, it worked, so who am I to complain about it?
There are few scenes/dialogues I would have loved to see, but all in all, I’m rather pleased in how this final episode turned out and I for one think it did the story justice. And I would love to say THANK YOU to everyone involved, especially Diana Gabaldon for the source material, Ron D. Moore and Ira Behr for the script, Anne Foerster for directing it, Ron for the final edit…
Tons of thanks and praise to Caitriona Balfe for her strong, loyal, resourceful, loving Claire Fraser.
Kudos and Thanks to Tobias Menzies for embodying this messed up, vicious, brutal, but sometimes equally tender, creepiest guy on TV so perfectly.
And Biggest Thanks and Praise and Admiration and JUST GIVE HIM ALL THE AWARDS NOW PLEASE to the most courageous Sam Heughan for letting us not just see, but feel the revulsion, rage, terror, shame and despair of a tortured and broken man. For giving us a glimpse into Jamie Fraser’s mind and soul. You’ve done a marvellous job in these last two episodes, Sam, and I’m so glad and proud that I was able to witness that.