Reflections on Episode 116

I don’t usually post about the specific episodes on my blog because my point of view is going to differ from others because I am seeing the episodes from my own lens.  By nature, opinions are going to be subjective. I responded to a tweet last night right after I watched the episode, just finished watching, overcome with emotion. Want to say more, hopefully coherently, can’t right now. The tears didn’t start to flow until after I watched the entire episode.

Truthfully, I watched episode 115 two weeks ago with a Crown and Coke in my hand, tissues, and chocolate.  My husband also watched the episode with me.  For episode 116, not for any particular reason, I didn’t have any of those things.  I sat cross-legged on my bed watching the episode clutching a pillow in my lap, shouting, “No! No! No!” at my TV.

I expected to feel heartbroken, sadness, despair, and sympathy.  I did not expect to feel anger.  Anger at the characters, anger on behalf of the actors portraying the characters.  Anger at the show runners for making the decision to go as far as they went with the material.  I am still sitting with the anger.  I need to percolate about that more.

Through all of these emotions, I also could not help but feel proud of the actors and show runners.  I read the book three years ago.  I knew what was going to happen, what needed to happen.  I cried when I finished reading those chapters in the book.  When I started watching the show in August, I wondered how the actors were going to prepare for these episodes.  I don’t have any acting experience, I haven’t taken any drama classes, I don’t have any frame of reference, but I watched something so brave on my television screen last night.

My husband didn’t watch this episode, but asked me, “Are you so upset because it happened to Sam?  Would you be so upset if it was someone else playing Jamie?”  In answer to the first question, I said, “No. Yes.”  In answer to his second question, I said, “No.”  My hope is to explain coherently, so let me clarify.  I was so upset because it was happening to Jamie.  Sam is Jamie in this show.  Sam’s performance, not only the delivery of the dialogue, but the emotions conveyed on his face affected me so much that I couldn’t sleep for hours.  I don’t think another actor could have brought the sensitivity he brings to the material, so therefore in my opinion, no, I wouldn’t have been so gutted if another actor played those scenes.

Something that resonates with me about Sam as Jamie is the fact that he is a good listener.  Access Hollywood has done two interviews with or about Sam Heughan that are my favorite interviews that I have read or seen.  In the September 2014 interview with Jolie Lash, Sam says, “There was one show I was doing — there was a woman… she was a fantastic actress and she had a quite emotional scene and I used to go down like half an hour before my call and just sit in the wings and listen to her, and I’d love, somehow, the sound of people listening. There’s something about the silence of people listening to someone, or watching someone — I just… I love that.”  Read the entire interview at  Duncan Lacroix did an interview with Access Hollywood where he describes Sam, “He’s a very good actor at listening”.  Read more at I feel this quality brought so much depth to those scenes.

I started to reread Outlander at the end of the first half of season one.  I still haven’t finished the book.  They have gotten married in my reread, and I thought about skipping to the Wentworth chapters to prepare myself.  I didn’t, but after I watched the show last night, I reread the last chapter, “From the Womb of the Earth”.

I am Catholic, again my lens, and I sat during Mass this morning thinking about the show and books.  Coincidentally, the Mass centered on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.  I was reminded of Diana Gabaldon’s piece “Jamie and the Rule of Three.”,  I was soothed as I thought of Jamie and his motivation for his actions.  The scenes in the show regarding Claire’s confession were beautiful to watch.  The message of second chances and redemption so powerful.  I was left feeling grateful and thankful.

I am grateful and thankful for a show and books so amazing that they make me think, feel, and try to empathize and sympathize with others and the challenges in their lives.  I will be thinking about episodes 115 and 116 for many days, weeks, and months to come.  I started writing this blog in October because I was inspired by the words in the books and the writing in the adaptation on the television screen.  I feel so appreciative of the journey that I have taken due the blog.  It is gratifying to stretch my brain in a different direction, and I am so thrilled about the opportunity to meet new people because of this experience.

Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, and Sam Heughan all deserve Emmys for their performances last night.  The whole cast and crew deserve Emmys for their work and dedication to the show.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jenny McOutlander – Facebook

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