SPOILER ALERT: This blog post contains spoilers for the mid-season premiere of Outlander “The Reckoning” on Starz.
Oh yes they did! They actually put the notorious “spanking” scene in the show. It was an important part of the book. I really wanted to see it on the screen, but couldn’t imagine how they could get away with it on TV today. In modern times “spanking” your own children is questioned! How would “spanking” your wife appear?
When I got to this part in the book I literally laughed out loud because it was so far from left field (for me) that it was comical. Jamie “disciplined” Claire for disobeying his orders for her to stay put and got herself captured. Yes, spanking as in, lay you over my lap and lash you on your bare bum with my belt, spanking. It probably got a whole bunch of feminists all worked up, but within the context of the time period… I’m assuming this kind of stuff happened in the 18th century. Claire put up a good fight though.
The first half of the season follows the book almost to the “T”. I’m curious to see if the rest of the season is going to end like the book. I’m guessing it’s not and will end with a cliffhanger, which means it would end at the beginning of book 2, Dragonfly in Amber.
The scene opens with Jamie skipping stones, then you hear his voice narrating his thoughts. His perspective is NOT in the book so it threw me off a bit. I think it could have done without it, but I know the story so well that I don’t need a “narrative” to tell me what’s happening. People who have never read the book may require some explanation, but the scenes alone explain the emotions and you get the gist. The voiceover didn’t ruin it for me though. I still really liked this episode.
Jamie orders Claire to stay put while he goes to get information that could possibly prove his innocence, but she wanders off and winds up getting captured. She is taken to Fort William, where she’s about to get raped, and probably maimed, tortured, or killed by Black Jack Randall. Jamie and the rest of the Highlanders head to the fort on a rescue mission. Murtagh and the rest of the group knock out some soldiers and blow up some stuff creating a diversion for Jamie.
Jamie attempts his daring rescue by entering through a window with an empty pistol in hand, hoping no one would notice it wasn’t loaded. He ends up having to surrender his pistol after Jack threatens to slit Claire’s throat. Jack takes the pistol, aims, shoots, but it misfires.
Taking advantage of Jack’s temporary disbelief, Jamie grabs him, slams his face into the desk, knocking him unconscious, and he and Claire make a run for it.
After he gets them to relative safety and exchanges a quick “Are you okay?”, Jaime impatiently waits for an apology from Claire for putting them through unnecessary danger. As if she had done it on purpose, wandering off in hopes of getting captured to get back at him for the incident in the glade… Well, she kind of did.
Being a tough, modern woman from the 20th century, Claire is shocked by this allegation. They argue and voice their resentment for each other, saying things they really don’t mean. It’s all quite emotional and every married couple has probably had this fight once, if not many times.
They both settle down and make up… for the time being.
The rest of the men also saw that Claire was to blame for the unnecessary danger to the group. The punishment for this negligence was a good ol’ spanking. The person responsible for administering this punishment was… her husband. Claire resisted, putting up a real good fight and the deed was done, but Jamie didn’t leave unscathed. ‘Twas a rough night for all.
They return to Castle Leoch and get a formal congrats from Colum for their new marriage. Now, Jamie has to explain to Laoghaire MacKenzie (the girl he was making out with in the alcove) why he was now married to someone else. Apparently she had been waiting for him. He probably didn’t know, or didn’t care, or didn’t want to discourage her not to wait. Saved by a technicality! He promises to explain later, but says it was not planned and was Dougal’s arrangement. He failed to make any implication that he no longer had any interest in her.
She finds him later to “speak” but tries to seduce him instead, wearing only a corset underneath her shawl. He tells her he’s made a vow and would not break it, but not before he got to touch some booby. Heartbroken, she leaves.
Jamie goes to Claire and with his dagger, swears an oath of loyalty to her and “if ever his hand is raised in rebellion against her, the dagger would pierce his heart”… She forgives him, of course.
Then, there’s an intense love scene where Claire, as she’s “riding” him, takes his dagger to his throat and says, “Listen to me. If you ever raise a hand to me again, James Fraser. I will cut your heart out and eat it for breakfast. Do you understand me?” Mind you she’s still grinding away as she makes her declaration. I guess the oath swearing wasn’t enough for her… It was HOT!
After the hot and heavy soft porn, Claire finds a suspicious bundle of twigs under their bed. They were doing it on the floor, so that’s how she saw it. Jamie called it an “ill wish” to cause pain and/or death.
Who’d put such a thing under their bed? Jamie knew who put it there, Laoghaire MacKenzie.
That’s it! Cliffhanger! Until the next episode tomorrow night. Here’s the preview.