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Date Posted: 14:41:05 11/11/18 Sun
Subject: Season 4 Episode 2
I have just viewed the 2nd episode of Outlander Season 4 on STARZ and I must say that I am entirely disappointed, which I am sorry to say, has pretty much been my reaction since Season 3 Episode 5. Being an avid reader of Gabaldon’s books, I simply cannot understand why the current producers and writers of the series find it necessary to pretty much ignore the rich and varied material in Diana Gabaldon’s story lines. It would seem that they are more interested in interjecting 21st century politically correct commentary into each program, rather than exploring the historical richness of the 18th century. The theme of time travel is a timeless device which when used properly let’s us discover the market place of ideas of a DIFFERENT time than our own. This episode in particular (prior to that was the “Batman” episode) left me scratching my head and wondering what Graphia, Maril, et al can be thinking. Claire has become a caricature of the Claire one knows and admires in the books. I find her approach to those in the 18th century to be strident and down right rude, at times. Balfe is delivering a nearly one dimensional portrayal of a very complex character. In short, I find her to be more annoying than anything else, wanting her to just shut up and sit down. As her over bearing judgmental manner continues, Jamie’s character has been reduced to acting the part of her idiot dog who must continually contend with the consequences of her inappropriate (for the time) actions. The final result being a rather one-sided relationship interspersed with scenes of intimacy which show none of Jamie’s former over powering “king of men” sexual prowess or power. Let’s face it. Don’t we all love to see the wildness, sometimes savage Highlander tamed in brief moments? I realize that Jamie is supposed to be an educated,multifaceted member of Scottish nobility of his day, but seeing him totally whipped by his overbearing wife is quite another proposition.
Next, again sorry to say, that being involved in the field of medicine for the last 30 yrs, the plot line of Claire opting to perform abdominal surgery on Rufus who has been impaled by a less than sanitary bale hook is ludicrous. No, kidding! Howls of laughter in the ER. “Do No Harm”??? Actually, the operative oath is “FIRST do no harm.” Let’s see, the number of injuries which would have caused a quick and painful death are too many to mention. But here are just a few; perforated intestine & bowel, shredded abdominal aorta, massive puncture to the omentum, certain peritonitis. Did Claire’s character never learn of shock in med school? Why would any physician, especially one from Harvard, embark on such a foolish course of action with the tools at hand? Gabaldon’s book has Claire ease the man into his certain fate with palliative care, which is truly the merciful and sane course of action. This scene in Episode 2 went straight from a lovely work of fiction to an installment of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. This change from the book is just silly; entirely too silly.
Finally, speaking as a daughter of the South, and as a homeowner in coastal North Carolina, my disappointment at filming NC in Scotland is more than I can bear. These people have no clue concerning geography. An afternoon’s journey to the Blue Ridge Mountains (which are located in Virginia) on your way to dinner in New Bern or Wilmington requires a jet. By car it’s a nine hour drive at best, if you travel above the speed limit. Traveling at the speed of horse is a journey of several days if not weeks. The Great Smokey mountains are part of North Carolina. Traveling from Charleston, SC to New Bern or Wilmington, NC brings one no where near the Great Smokies.
All in all, I cannot for the life of me understand why Maril, Graphia and others sit around and congratulate themselves during the after show when they’ve turned out such an inferior product. I am truly sorry to be so negative about a once beloved series, but since “Batman” I just cannot take it anymore. Please, someone explain to me when you have such dynamic acting talent available to the series as Heughan & Balfe, are you giving them such tripe to attempt to emote as it spills out into our homes. Have you no respect for the living rooms of your viewers or their brains? You do no favors to the younger demographic and are demoralizing the older demographic which made these books so popular. Please, stop the silliness.
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