Hey there fellow Outlander fans! Claire, Jamie and co. had a busy and emotional week! Sorry for the delay on this post, but I had a terrible head cold and couldn’t look at the computer for a while! After 10 hours of sleep I am now ready to dive in to this week’s episode, Useful Occupations and Deceptions.
- Fergus is here! This character is one of the remaining introductions I alluded to in last week’s post. Hope you enjoy him, because this young pickpocket will be around into adulthood! I personally enjoyed the scene where Jamie caught and hired him. It was one of those things that you never saw directly in the book and I thought it was great to see the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
- Claire begins to volunteer at the charity hospital. This causes a lot of friction between her and Jamie because he has some very 18th century ideas of what a pregnant woman should do with her free time, and surrounding herself with sick people is not an option. Obviously I side with Claire in this argument, and I think it is great for her. However, seeing it play out on screen, I couldn’t help but wonder if her actions would have really flown in the 1940s either. I think what most struck me about this situation is that it is easy to think of Claire as a modern woman transported back in time. The fact is, even “modern” Claire was born about a hundred years ago. Which makes her feminism all the more remarkable. That it is not only remarkable, but perfectly believable, is a true credit to the writing skill of both Diana Gabaldon and the television team.
- In the hospital Claire meets Bouton, a clever dog that can find infection with his nose. We have started to see stories and studies in the modern day about dogs that can detect all kinds of maladies, but Bouton is much more of a novelty in the 18th He is accompanied by Madame Maxime- I mean Mother Hildegarde! An engaging woman, to say the least, Mother Hildegarde has connections to nobility, is a musical prodigy, and seems to be quite the accomplished physician. She also gets a chance to show off her mad skills by decoding a musically coded letter to Charlie from none other than the Duke of Sandringham. The scene where she decodes it has many delightful moments. From her casual name dropping of Bach, to Claire’s reaction, it is a pleasant little scene in a fairly heavy episode.
- Claire unloads some of the weight of her Jack Randall news on Murtagh. So now they are both miserable. This entire storyline stresses me out a little bit. In the book we don’t know about Black Jack until he shows up. I feel them knowing and leaving Jamie out of the loop is going to make things so much uglier when he does turn up. Which is definitely dramatic for television, but I feel like it changes the core dynamic a bit.
- On a lighter note, I find the conversation with Mary Hawkins lack of understanding of the birds and the bees all the more entertaining for Louise’s presence! I have loved every scene that Louise is in. She is obviously fairly rude and even a little mean, but in an odd way that is what I find funny. I look forward to seeing her every week.
There were so many long complex storylines that advanced in this episode, it was hard to limit it to a top 5. Next week looks to be another exciting episode. Another top 5 will be here before you know it. Au revoir!