Rather, nobody SHOULD put Jamie in a corner, but that is what has happened. I don’t think there is a soul on this planet that can convince me otherwise, but many will try. It is, once again, time to give you my Outlandish Opinion, and please remember that it is my own, and I am entitled to it.
I was really looking forward to Outlander returning to my television screen, as the wait has been long, but we did survive Droughtlander. I really did not mind the wait, because I was used to it due to reviewing True Blood, and watching Game of Thrones. I just occupied my time with other projects and television shows.
I am not saying I did not like the first two episodes, but there were certain things that I was not crazy about. My main problem has to do with the characterizations of certain characters (mainly Jamie) or rather lack thereof. I really hate to say it, but Jamie has taken a backseat to Claire, and that does not set well with me.
I love that they are taking into account his PTSD, but it makes him look weak to a certain degree. Trying to stop the rising gave Jamie a focus, which helped him to continue fighting off the PTSD. It is the compressed timeline that plays one of the key factors here. If more of his healing at the Abbey had been shown, then the weakness would be gone. Even if it wasn’t completely gone, he still would not be doing Claire’s every bidding in this scheme. He would be an equal partner, and right now he just feels like a minion.
I keep hearing that there was not enough time for Jamie to heal more at the Abbey, but I disagree. I can think of several scenes from episodes that came before it, which could have been cut (even though they were fun and good at the time) in favor of filming more of the healing. I recall thinking “Wow that healing was rushed” and I wondered how it will flow into the start of season 2. The verdict is in now, and it is not doing very well, at least on my end.
At this point in the story, Jamie should not be as underdeveloped as he is seen onscreen, and that is a detriment to his character. Sam is a brilliant actor, who has proven that he can handle the heavy stuff. I’ve been down this road before, and have heard the term “adaptation” more times than I care to count.
I know it is an adaptation, and I understand that changes must be made to fit said adaptation, but some things should just not be trifled with. My biggest pet peeve is changing characterization, because it screws everything up. I am a bookie, and proud of it but I have read DIA only once, and don’t remember every nook and cranny of it, but I do remember Jamie. What I am seeing of Jamie on-screen is missing crucial bits of book Jamie.
My line of thought has always been that just because it’s an adaptation doesn’t mean it can’t be true to character. Making changes to fit a TV adaptation is fine, but characterization should be left alone. In my opinion, that part of the adaptation is already set in stone, through words already written by the author. If you tinker with characterization, then it ruins their whole arc, and their motivation. It just changes the tone, and makes everything seem off-kilter.
What I am missing is the team dynamic of Jamie and Claire, but all I have seen is Claire barking out orders, and Jamie and Murtagh are just her minions. Jamie and Claire were a team in this whole Paris scheme, and in the show so far Jamie has taken a back seat to his wife. He might as well bow down to her as much as he is just doing what she says. That goes ditto for Murtagh, as well!
My opinion that Jamie is not an equal partner to Claire in this scheme only intensified while watching episode 2. I know that since they are men that Jamie and Murtagh have to do all the work, and what not, but you could tell that Claire was running the show. Pretty damn good for someone who doesn’t know much about what happened leading up to the big battle.
In my opinion, Claire gave them enough information to go on, so now she should just let the chips fall where they may. Instead, I heard (and I will not get this word for word) something along the lines of “Jamie, why don’t you go watch the King in his dressing room”? or “”Jamie, why don’t you go entertain our new friend, the minister of finance while I chat with the Duke”. I found her to be very bossy and rude!
I was perusing Tumblr for a few gifs, and saw a sneak peek of episode 3, and in the video Jamie was explaining to Claire why wee Fergus was coming to live with them. I saw that when a fan reblogged the video, it was with the note “Oh Jamie, you came up with a plan all on your own?!?!?!” and with the hashtag “Don’t dumb him down to make Claire look smart”.
I would not have went with that last bit about dumbing him down to make Claire look smart, but it is obvious that I (which I already knew) am not the only one that feels Jamie is not an equal partner in this scheme. I thought Claire looked shocked that he came up with a great idea, hell Jamie looked shocked that she paid him a compliment. This is what I meant about characterizations being changed when there is no call for it.
I hear by episode 5 Jamie and Claire will be equal partners in this scheme, but I think I would like to see and hear that for myself. I really hope that is true, because I don’t want to be disappointed in this show.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if they got it right mid-season, because there are things that they cannot come back from. It all started with shortening the healing time at the abbey in favor of other things, and it worked its way into the second season with things feeling off.
This season is in the can, and changes certainly cannot be made now. My hope is that if they get a green-light for season 3, they really think about how changing characterizations can really have long-term effects on the overall arc of the story being told. I want the show to be renewed (which I am fairly certain it will be) because there is a lot more story to be told, and I want to see it.
However, I can’t pretend I am okay with everything I see on a TV show, and the powers that be deserve to know that. If they don’t know how fans feel about certain aspects, then they will continue on as they have been. Who knows, they might just do that anyway, but at least I know I spoke up.
I will leave you with this final thought, if things change for the better in way of characterization, and it does get better by episode 5, why start him off that way in the first place? I still think that taking the time in season 1 for Jamie to heal at the Abbey would have better served his character coming into the start of season 2. I don’t understand why so little time would be spent on something that huge.
Well, that has been my Outlandish Opinion for the week, and it is my own. Sound off below if you wish!