The latest episode of Outlander aired Saturday night, entitled ‘The Garrison Commander’, and boy was it chock-full of fun (she writes sarcastically) – and oh so enlightening. This was the first episode I had the pleasure of viewing going into it with knowledge of what was to come, having just surpassed the storytelling of the TV series two days prior reading the book. Nonetheless, it was still quite enjoyable, and not just because it shook things up a bit by differing from the book in where certain events were placed timeline wise. Having continued further in the book, though, let me just tell you; I’m looking forward to the next episode even more.
Anyways, getting back to this episode, I found myself enjoying the momentum of this TV series, in respects to the book. The way they’ve laid out certain conversations (i.e. how she’s informed of Jamie’s second whipping) and gotten to certain moments (Claire not being taken to Inverness, but actually needing to be handed over to the dubious Black Jack Randall for “questioning”) works much more efficiently with regards to the medium of TV than how it was plotted out in the first novel. The showrunners and writers seem quite capable with the material they were given from the books, and properly translating that onto the screen.
So, basically this week we learned just how terrible a person Jack Randall is, by way of his flashing back on the flogging of Jamie some years prior, as well as his brief beating of Claire to elicit the truth out of her. This is the pivotal moment when Claire truly realizes just how great a departure this Randall is of her dear – unborn – husband and is able to see him as more of the villain of the piece – at least in my belief. We also discovered, in order to not be handed over to Randall and the English Red Coats, Claire must wed a Scot – none other than the beautiful (despite/in spite of his back) Jamie *insert correct last name here*. This led to what is probably my favourite part of this episode; the conversation between Claire and Jamie at the end.
In regards to other aspects of the episode, I would just like to raise my hand now and say that I, for one, enjoy the voice-overs by the ever-lovely Caitriona Balfe (Claire). I really don’t understand why everyone is all up in a tizzy about the voice-overs; I honestly believe they help us delve into the mind of Ms. Claire Beauchamp. Also, I would like to commend all those involved in the flogging scene, other than some slightly unrealistic skin flap, it was quite well done. Speaking for myself, I liked the real look of the streaming blood, and the way they filmed the scene with Sam Heughan (Jamie) slipping all over the place. This was quite a pivotal moment for this season, and not only to demonstrate Randall’s monstrous qualities, but to establish Jamie’s character as well. To go through all that pain, and not to cry out or be broken by it – quite remarkable.
All in all, this was a very well put together episode. This certainly marked the point where the momentum of the series begins moving much more fluidly, and shed a great deal of light on our leading characters. I absolutely adored getting to see more of the Scottish countryside, and particularly liked that stream marked as something liars may not drink from and expect to be able to lie without consequence. The pieces of this series certainly appear to be coming together quite well as this point, and I look forward to the last two episodes before the split season break.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10.
“The truth carries a weight that no lie can counterfeit.” – Randall explains to Claire.
“I believe that a part of you lives still.” – Claire remarks. “It would be pretty to think so.” – Randall replies.
“Doesn’t it bother you that… that I’m not a virgin.” – Claire inquires. “Well, uh, no. So long as it doesna bother you that… I am. … I reckon one of us should ken what they’re doing.” – Jamie responds.