Spoilers for the Outlander novel will follow.
So one of the downsides of working shorter and slower is that I have not been able to speak to current episodes as efficiently, but since being asked for my thoughts prior to the episode, I thought I would share. Here are the thoughts going through my head as I prepare for it, and the advice I would give anyone if anyone asked for my advice. If you don’t want suggestions, consider maybe watching this nice video instead or remembering that much as I would relish it, I have yet to develop the power to bend you all to my will. 🙂
1. If trigger warnings are needed, I am giving you one now. If you have suffered through abuse and feel that you may gain more anxiety than pleasure from something meant to be a leisure activity, maybe sit this one out. Your mental health is first and foremost, and you are important. It is better to avoid an episode and read about it the day after to decide you want to see it than watch and propel yourself into an emotional black hole. Be responsible and take care of you, because you are real, and Jamie is not.
2. It’s gonna KILL ME. And yes, I’m all in. Those of you saying that you hope it’s not “too much”, or that you “hope you don’t get freaked out” and are “already sick thinking about it”… It will be, you will, and you should be, or else you are a robot (HI ROBOT!). Remember reading the book and having to put it down? SAME. Think of it as one of those freaky haunted graveyards you visit at Halloween. It is meant to be creepy and awful, and second-guessing the experience will only dilute it. If you feel like you want to dig a hole and live in it forever, tweet Ron and let him know that he has been successful. I bet he’d be thrilled. This is art, and it should envelop you and overtake your emotions. If it doesn’t, it’s not great art.
3. Yes, the actors are hot, and yes, the violence is not. Would I love to be any kind of nominal vegetable in between the beautiful sandwich meats of Menzies and Heughan? Absolutely. Anyone who knows my penchant for deli meats and witty men knows I’m holding the truth stick. That said, acts of violence on an unwilling victims are not sexy. I can celebrate and enjoy the beauty and talent of the men bringing this to life while still condemning real-world violence. No blurred line here.
4. Remember the moment. I have said it before, and I will repeat it now. There are series that make seminal, landmark moments in television history, and I believe Outlander is one of them. This is a scene that will be referenced for years to come, and which took no small amount of preparation, discussion, compromise and hours to assemble. It will likely hit the nail on the head for some and veer wildly off mark for others, but it will absolutely change the landscape of television viewing and cement the talents of the actors. For book readers, it is the culmination of decades, so even if you hate it, revel in it like a baby in a smash cake. Rewind. Drink. High five someone. Holy hell, they’re putting this on television!
5. Heroes are forged in fire. This is the event that shapes Jamie and Claire’s journey, the critical tragedy in Jamie’s life. There is a beauty in his rise from so dark a hole, and the part Claire plays in it. This one small part is a tragedy, yes, but what life is without it? Why do all of our greatest stories involve great loss, great suffering? Because stories are the way we tell others of our lessons, and it is in our deepest losses that we gain our most enduring strengths, we discover the relationships that matter most, and where we emerge reborn, better, nobler. So I’m not dreading Wentworth. I want the payoff. I want that growth. I want the kind of love that overcomes the darkest night. Gimme.
Wentworth is coming, and my eyes are wide open and I. AM. READY.
WITH A PILLOW.
And I’ll be here after if anyone wants to hug it out.