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Date Posted: 06:50:12 09/21/14 Sun
Subject: Episode 107 -- The Wedding
I have been thinking about this episode a lot, trying to decide why the episode disappointed me even though it was well shot and acted and contained a lot of the important dialogue and scenes from the book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Why?
I think what bothered me was the choppiness of the timeline. Telling the tale in a series of flashbacks felt disruptive, especially after the flow of the previous episode. Having gotten the audience (in this case me) worked up by repeatedly advertising the episode as "The Wedding, the moment you've all been waiting for," I was instantly put off by having all that buildup dismissed with a single scene of a kiss at the conclusion of the ceremony and an immediate cut to the wedding night. I actually screamed at the TV, "WHAT?!" I was shocked, and all my anticipation crashed horribly. Boo! Hiss! I mean, I knew then that they were still going to show us all the wedding stuff, but that it was going to be in vignettes and flashbacks. I never regained that thrill throughout the entire episode. IMO, the writers wrecked the pleasure of many by doing this. The wedding NIGHT was not the moment I was waiting for. It was the wedding itself.
A wedding is a Big Deal, especially for women. The preparation for a wedding is a huge part of that Big Deal. In this case, the wedding itself was a huge cliffhanger, will she or won't she? How will she react? Even knowing that she will go through with it---I have read these books so many times I can't even really guess at the count, but well past the double digits---I was still excited for Claire's wedding day. Having practically the first scene showing the wedding as a fait accompli completely dismisses all the excitement and buildup to that moment and showing the preparation and ceremony in flashback simply cannot regain it.
I can understand why the writers chose to put J & C directly into their bridal chamber and tell the tale in flashback. They want to show intimacy and give us the opportunity to see lots of skin (hey, it's cable TV after all) without devolving into a series of mmphing scenes and showing scenes from J & C's conversations makes that work. Granted, they have only an hour to get us through the wedding and the wedding night and still advance the story, but I am not convinced that this was the best way to go about it.
Other points regarding the episode:
--The scene I missed most was where Claire passed out after the blood vow and "Dinna fash. There's the two of us now."
--The pearls. I liked these and was glad they showed up in the show, even if they weren't what I pictured in my head. I miss those gold roundels. The length didn't bother me, it looked about right. Long strings like that were not the province of the flapper era as someone suggested. Look at 15th century paintings and you will see strings very similar to these. They are a good period choice.
--Rupert and Angus breaking into the room. WTF was that? meh! I suppose it advanced the idea that consummation must happen, but it seemed rude and clumsy to me.
--The ring. I missed seeing Brian Fraser's ring trotted out and Claire holding it in place, but then, I missed the whole freaking wedding as I said. The key...interesting pagan bit there with the blade and the bowl and I suppose it is a good way to skip over the whole jealousy/Logwart nonsense when they get back to Leoch. I don't care so much that it isn't like the ring described in the book. It's a ring! I am concerned, though, about the ring not being silver. Having rings of both silver and gold is kind of important, I thought.
--I loved the scene with Ned Gowan acquiring the gown. That was funny and well done. Plus, gratuitous bared bosoms to please the male viewers! woohoo?
--I didn't care for switching the "sun coming out" to Claire instead of Jamie, but since we were in Jamie's POV it worked.
--Dougal makes a pass. Hmm. well, okay, I see where they are going with that. Not sure how I feel about it yet, though it was a powerful scene. I never really felt Dougal would be disrespectful of Jamie's marriage like that in the books. I always believed that Dougal offered to wed Claire after Jamie's arrest to get the property, not due to simple lust for Claire's person.
--The sex scenes. These were beautiful, but I feel they are making too much of Jamie's inexperience and not enough of his natural ability. I think I would have preferred more montage stuff to make the encounters seem longer and more intense. Right now there is no "unflagging joy" to be seen, so I am not surprised the line hasn't shown up yet. I suspect it will appear in VO in a later episode. The Jamie in the book takes charge of their wedding night. Not so in the show. It weakens him and I don't like that. I was disappointed that they didn't discuss Frank or keep constantly touching to build familiarity. I also very much missed the line about truth between them. You remember, the "room for secrets but not for lies" line. I hope it shows up later too.
Overall, I would give this episode a grade of B+, for ruining the actual wedding. It was very good, but not excellent. JMHO. (commence the catcalls and mudflinging!)
P.S. I rather liked the cats roaming the abandoned table and munching on the leftovers. At least it wasn't rats!
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Shadow, I have to agree with much of what you said. Most of all there didn't seem to be any "unflagging joy." I think there was so much hype and build up that the expectations were hard to meet. I will stand next to you for the mudslinging! LOL! -- Lady Linda, 07:22:39 09/21/14 Sun
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Same here, Shadow. Ticking almost all of thoses boxes too. I'm sure this episode will grow on me after a few (more) viewings, but at this point I'm still having trouble separating the show from the books -- and the books are clearly winning. For me, it's the first episode where this happens so clearly. The isolated scenes are all nice and pretty, but it doesn't flow as it should, in my head. And I can't believe there was no "TELL THE TRUTH" scene. I find that was absolutely essential -- a founding stone of their relationship. -- Rita (aka FW), 07:40:49 09/21/14 Sun
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