Outlander. The stuff of my dreams

I have taken a break to focus on work and writing my own television series but last few days I binge watched all of the television series Outlander and I was inspired to really take the time to share with you why it is I love television and programs in general and it is shows like Outlander that inspire me. Outlander is sexy, passionate, intelligent, challenging and at times unbearable to watch and I am obsessed. If you do not know what series I am taking about, Outlander is an adaptation of a book series by author Diana Gabaldon it follows Claire Randall who accidentally travels through time to 1742 where she meets Scotsman Jamie Fraser and the Scottish. Together they try to rewrite history and save thousands of men doomed to die in the future during the Battle of Culloden. Claire and Jamie go on an incredible journey of love and sacrifice and it’s pure and beautiful telling of the strong lead female and her equally as stubborn and handsome Scotsman.

It has been 24 hours since I finished the second season and I have spent the day still emotionally reeling from it. For the first time in my life, the powerful storytelling and characters of Outlander have shaken me emotionally. My heart hurts with love, with sadness, with longing for the next chapter of Claire and Jamie’s story. Throughout today I have done nothing but think of this series and the power love story it told and it gave me a pit in my stomach that made me feel ill for how it ended. The incredible creator, writers and overall performance of cast and crew did the sometimes-impossible thing; create and take the audience incredible and powerful story through history.

These two characters have loved, trusted, lost, forgiven and overcome war and rape. Sam Heughan plays Jamie Fraser whose performance during scenes for a difficult storyline for Jamie in the first season is by far the most outstanding male performance I have ever seen on screen. In addition to Sam’s performance, the chemistry between Sam and Caitriona Balfe who plays Claire Fraser is undeniable strong and added to the authenticity of Jamie and Claire love story that makes you truly fall madly for these two incredible characters. It is a love story that is envious and I too hope to have one day. Over the series, Jamie has protected, loved, trusted, honoured Claire in a masculine and passionately caring way fit of a gentleman who is strong-willed and steeped in traditions of his country. Claire and Jamie prove that love endures time and place. Claire Fraser is just as remarkable in her own right; she sacrifices her life in the future to stay with Jamie and hopes to change the future to save thousands of men’s lives. She is strong headed, stubborn, selfless, and compassionate woman. Using her skills as a war nurse she becomes a trusted healer and often must tend to Jamie’s reckless and severely battered body.

The final two episode of season two had me hysterically crying. I fell madly in love with Claire and Jamie and all that they have endured during their three years together. If you have seen the series then you would have a better understanding of what I am talking about. If you haven’t, please stop reading and go to Netflix to watch the first series and do what you must to watch the second (November 2 it is released on DVD, I already checked). I promise it truly is incredible viewing.

This episode in question apart from the overall series is season 2, episode 13 entitled Dragonfly in Amber. It had me in tears from the first scene. It was everything and so much more, but it broke my heart as I watched Claire and Jamie’s story take an excruciating turn. Outlander has affected me in such a way that television has never done so. Here are a few reasons why.

It was gut-wrenchingly painful to watch the scene at Craig Na Dun where Jamie takes Claire in his arms one last time as they laid in the grass for one last moment of passion after which they walk together backwards towards the stones. Jamie holds Claire’s hand forcing her to touch the stone where she returns to Frank in 1948, three years since she first came through. Though from the first episode of the second season, I knew it was coming it was still painful to watch. I did not anticipate was the immense emotionally connection that I have ascertained over the past 29 episodes and that it would have such a deep impact on my world.

In this episode, Claire returns to Scotland for the first time in 20 years. This is what got me. Claire in now 50 years old and Briana her daughter is 20 years, she has her father’s red locks. They come to Scotland for the reverends funeral a character who was a part of Frank and Claire’s future storyline. It was the first time since Claire has thought or been close to Jamie for 20 years. This episode also shows the beginning of the Battle of Culloden as it comes to fruition despite Jamie and Claire’s mission to stop it from happening. Jamie makes the unbearable, difficult to watch,  decision to send Claire back to her time knowing full well that Claire was with child. He sends her back to her husband Frank Randall who though innocent of his ancestor’s crimes I grew to hate because of what Jack Randall put Claire and most of all Jamie through. Frank raises Claire and Jamie’s daughter as his own which gave me such a horrible feeling. Briana will never know her true origin, never to meet or to know the truth of her father as Claire promised to leave Jamie in Scotland when they moved to Boston for a new life.

While Briana and Roger (an ancestor of the McKenzie Clan and true patronage revealed as Geillis and Dougal McKenzie child) Claire visits locations of her old life. She travels to Lallybroch, the history of records to see who owns it and then to Culloden where the final battle between the English and Jackabite’s of Scotland in 1745  and where Jamie ‘dies’. Sitting in front of a boulder stone engraved Fraser Clan Claire speaks to Jamie and tells him all about Briana. AH the feelings. After which she is done she returns to Briana who has now learned of the missing three years and connects the dots between her paternity.

Towards the end of the episode and after my brief intermission to emotionally regain composure, Briana learns of her mother’s missing three years and then heartbreakingly attacks her and her story of time travel, furiously claiming that her mother’s story is false and that she betrayed her ‘daddy’ Frank. Oh the pain cuts deep. A stand out line without crying over Jamie and Claire’s beautiful dialogue was between Briana and Claire. And forgive me for the colourful language

Briana – ‘You fucked another man’.

To which Claire yelled back ‘It was not just fucking he was the love of my life.’ I could feel myself dying a little more with each moment.

What gives me hope is that in the final moments her Geillis Duncan travels through the stones that there is hope the Claire can go back. She must go back. Finally, Briana believes her mother’s story of time travel and wants to know about her father. And it kills as Jamie is not there. Then in the closing scenes, Claire learns that Jamie did not die at Culloden and escaped.

I am tearing up as I write because for 20 years Claire and Jamie lived apart. For 20 years, Frank raised Briana and allowed her to think she was his own and 20 years she did not know the truth, the sacrifice her father made for her existence. Jamie would have been the most loving father and will never know, meet, raise his daughter especially after the death of Faith Fraser, Claire and Jamie’s stillborn daughter in France he would have cherished her. That cuts me to the core knowing that they will never meet and that he was not there to see her grow up or raise her with Claire. Knowing that for 20 years these two incredible lovers missed out being together, sharing life, growing old and raising their daughter together. After all that they have been through they deserved to be together and happy. To have, to hold, to love, grow old together. I wanted that, I needed that. To know that they will be together and that isn’t really the direction it went and that is why I think it touched me so much. I wanted it so badly for them and for all love stories. But on the other hand, boy did it make for brilliant television.

The burning questions and desires I am left with at the end of the season are when (of course she will) Claire goes back will she be 50 or will she go back to the age she was when she left? Will Jamie and Claire get those 20 years back? Will Jamie ever meet Briana? It pains me that he won’t get those 20 years to know her. Of course, because this series is an adaptation I just couldn’t wait till next year to learn about the future for these characters. So I had a read synopsis of the future books that will be adapted for the third and fourth season. And in short, the answer is a painful mixture of uncertainty depending on the writers and without reading the novels I will have to endure months of waiting until season three airs in mid-2017, nowhere near as painful as waiting 20 years to learns and grow old without the love of your life. All I can do now is count down the days till the new season and promotional interviews and clips to get me by.

I would give this show a 10. For drama, writing, performance, locations, production. It is filmed beautiful and carries the most incredible love story I have watched since Castle and Beckett. It creative, wonderful writing and acting that drives me to create. I love the power, the emotions, and the joy that television can bring me. When I am troubled, stressed, bored or lonely, television has always been there and though it took me a while to find Outlander I will forever be grateful for the viewing experience I had and look forward to the future.




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