#Outlander Re-cap Ep 307, ‘Creme de Menthe, TV Claire, and How I Struggle with This Episode’s Adaptation’

My thoughts before the re-cap:  I love my husband.  If I thought he was dead for 20 years and found out he was alive and was still madly in love with me, there’s nothing that could keep us apart.  If on the second day together, I put his livelihood, life and freedom on the line for someone who was trying to kill me and destroy him, I’d invite everyone I know to kick my ass and send me back through the stones posthaste.

As a 20-year book reader, I have learned about adaptations and how and why they have to be the way they are.  Up until now, there has never been an episode where I was so verklempt about the adaptation, I thought I’d lose my damn mind.  I realize the book is the book and the show is the show, however, other than the physical resemblance to Jamie and Claire, I did not recognize the leads in this episode.  For once, I’m jealous of non-book readers because they’re lucky enough not to know what they’re missing. I’m praying this is an anomaly and next week we’re back on track.  End of rant. Now, on with the recap.

Claire returns to Jamie’s room to discover Sir Percival’s exciseman is looking through his papers. He threatens to rape and kill her. She grabs a knife, fights him, he trips, hits his head and he’s out.  Jamie returns to the room in time for the assailant to moan and show he’s still alive.  The woman who I shall now refer to as ‘TV Claire’ does a 180 and decides that saving the life of the man who tried to rape and kill her is now her priority, even if it means Jamie the man she spent 20 years yearning for could lose his livelihood, go to prison for his crimes and/or be put to death.  The same could happen to TV Claire, Madame Jeanne, young Ian and Fergus.

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TV Claire hightails it to Ye Olde Walgreen’s to buy laudanum and other shizzle for the unnecessary surgery and meets the Rev. Archibald Campbell aka the Fiend, I mean a kindly carny-type guy named Mr. Campbell who has a sister who’s a psycho psychic. TV Claire offers to make a house call if she can cut in line.

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TV Claire begins the unnecessary surgery on her wannabe rapist putting all their lives at risk and generally behaving like an obnoxious B when Sir Percival Fancypants arrives and demands to search the premises.  He is unsuccessful in his search because the boys have gotten rid of the booze along with some unwanted Creme de Menthe.

Jamie heads back from ‘The Lobby of Flailing Bosoms’ to tell her ‘this ends now.’  TV Claire responds nastily with, ‘he’s dead, you’ve got your wish.’  Eventually TV Claire apologizes for her bull$hit.

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TV Claire ‘house calls’ on Margaret Campbell who raves maniacally about frogs and such.  Rev. Mr. Campbell says he’ll be traveling soon to the West Indies because he has a wealthy client waiting.  #Foreshadow

Ian and Fergus hit the local bar where they decide it’s time for young Ian to have some Scottish sexy time with a cutie-pie barmaid.  With a little instruction from Fergus, Ian leaves with the barmaid who doesn’t even have to clock out. They go to the Printshop where, just like his uncle, he tries to do it horsey-style. Doesn’t he have like 5 brothers and sisters? Don’t they ever talk about this stuff?

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TV Claire returns home and their body language and snarking seems more like a couple who’ve been seething rather than burning for 20 years.  She suggests they move out of the brothel and Jamie’s like one of those guys on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy who doesn’t realize how bad his home is until someone with taste intervenes.  TV Claire tells Jamie she wants to open a medical practice out of the Printshop.

Ian Sr arrives looking for his son and is shocked and thrilled to see TV Claire. They feed him their half baked version of events and he seems to swallow it.  McDreamy Murray is sporting a long grey-blonde ponytail with his wee pirate leg, but dude is one sexy Scot. Jamie lies and tells Ian he hasn’t seen his son.

WhereIsIan_meme

At the Printshop, one of Sir Fancypant’s minions breaks in looking for the booze and finds the flyers Jamie said were well hidden. #Eyeroll  Young Ian confronts him, they fight and Ian flings hot liquid lead in his face and minion escapes. The Printshop goes up in flames and Ian swoons.

Back at the hoor house, TV Claire confronts Jamie about lying to Ian about having young Ian with him. TV Claire responds by saying Jamie‘s never raised a child which is about as insensitive a comment as possible.  #ThatsNotHisFaultBee-otch

The Unhappy Head Hooker rushes in to say there’s a fire in Carfax Close.  They take off for the Printshop which is in flames. Jamie rushes in, moves the press to the wall, flings Ian on his back and climbs the wall and saves them both. (He must work out at Gold’s Gym.)  They decide to take young Ian back to Lallybroch and Jamie sends Fergus to get the lowdown from Ned Gowan about what he should do about his other wife. #TangledWebs

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I reeeaaaallly hope next week they’re back to the Jamie and Claire I know and love because for me, this episode was pure torture.  Note: Sets, costumes, casting and music were perfect, but geez.

 

47 thoughts on “#Outlander Re-cap Ep 307, ‘Creme de Menthe, TV Claire, and How I Struggle with This Episode’s Adaptation’

      • You made me cackle. This was wonderful. As both a lover of both the series & the the TV adaptation, I have appreciated Diana Gabaldon’s constant repetition that “the books are the books and the show is the show “. They are very different mediums and what is successful about a book may be “bomb” on the screen.
        Compared to the other episodes in the season so far, episode 307 felt rather short & abrupt. I know they wanted to show that after 20 years, J & C have changed, have both had experiences that they have not yet had the chance to share with each other. While I agreed with J’s questioning why she wanted to save this man who had just tried to rape her, I also, understood her actions as a physician ( Hippocratic Oath). It also was an issue in another part of Voyager which I hope will not be overlooked this season. This 2 people are overwhelmed, tired, scared & holding on to some anger towards each other that they are not yet even aware of. They immediately get pulled into a myriad of happenings that are of J’s making. What we saw was the ignition of a much needed wire to cause a much needed rebalancing of their relationship after its over. I can not understand the need to call C a “bitch” or to see J as the “hero” of the episode. For me personally, OUTLANDER, is a genre defying series of books about history, time travel, romance, friendships, family , traditions and much more. At its center is C&J ‘s story; of a relationship which survives and grows despite many,many obstacles; which survives because they each allow the other to be who they are; and because of this they strive & support each other to be the best both separately & together. Enough.

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    • I totally agree. I didn’t realize quite why I was Disturbed about this episode. You filled in the correct blank. Well done. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on the next episode.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel the same way. It was the weakest of the season so far. You did well describing why. I still love the show. Can’t wait to see how they handle the laorhie (you know who i mean.) situation.

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    • Thats a ditto for me too Jo…Melissa hit this one out of the park and what humor!! Thanks! I felt like I was muddling thru this episode, it was just a mess of a mess of a mess….

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  1. Well, Melissa, you did an excellent job of recapping this verra strange episode. I love that you did it with humor and hope. I did NOT like how Claire acted. There was also the hand wringing about a real hospital in (gasp, she actually said this?) Boston. Really hated that. I think, though, if I weren’t a book reader, I’d just be hanging around for the Jamie parts. So I am hopeful. My hope is that the next writer keeps the characters true. We’ll see. Thank you for your recap. Truly enjoyed it.

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      • Whew! What a relief to find fair criticism of this episode by someone who appreciates both the books and TV show. Thank you for that, Melissa and commenters who support your view. I especially appreciate your first paragraph about how any sensible woman with heart would treat a long lost and adored husband (NOT nit-picking at him!)

        Putting the last 2 episodes together, Crème de Menthe and First Wife, one wonders why TV Claire bothered giving up her daughter and career to risk a 3rd passage through the stones when she seems less prepared to deal with what she finds in the 18th century than when she fell through by accident with no warning. Both she and Jamie are 20 years older and experienced but according to the TV writers, bereft of wisdom (Jamie’s been made into some kind of overgrown juvenile delinquent instead of the Patriot for Scotland and Protector/Provider he remains for Lallybroch. Mature love is above all forgiving and GRATEFUL for each day spent together. It doesn’t bicker (shades of Claire with Frank).

        First season Claire was note-perfect – a fast adapter and feisty++. My God, the woman fought wolves and redcoats for Jamie. 3rd season Claire wilts at bordellos and disapproving sisters-in-law! And this despite being 20 years older with mad skills.

        It was painful to watch Jamie repeatedly declare his total commitment and poetic love for Claire while receiving almost nothing in return. She put more passion into ministering to perfect strangers like the murderous exciseman and the crazy lady than worrying about Jamie, smuggling to support family, not himself, leaping into a burning building, shot by Laoghaire. Indeed, Claire appeared more absorbed in her surgery to remove the buckshot than the thought that she could have lost the supposed love of her life twice in as many days. Even on the clifftop, with his arm in a sling when he’s declaring his love for her, she replies with nostalgia for her half-life in Boston. Jamie gets it right, saying “The print shop (his satisfactory life) is naught compared to being your husband”.

        Honestly, its seems as though HE’S the one accepting the woman Claire is (lukewarm, vacillating) for the sake of the woman she once was ( courageous and committed).

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      • 307 was the first time I was really disappointed in the writing, but for me 308 got the show back on track. You’re right about her comment on the cliff, she had seemed to warm back up and become her Claire-ish self up until then. I wondered if there was something that was cut that would have given more clarity. I haven’t listened to any of the podcasts yet, and I wonder if the writers addressed it. Despite the kebbie lebbie of the writing in 307, Outlander is still my favorite show of all time and that includes Batman and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.😝

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  2. Funniest recap, ever! And you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for the validation of my feelings regarding this episode. I laughed till my sides hurt while reading this. Perfection!

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      • Except IN THE BOOKS Jamie knew where Young Ian was and didn’t tell his father. He was hiding his other wife from Claire. Sorry, but this review was exactly what your rant about the previous episode decried: #OutlandeWhining. I’m not unhappy they’ve cut out the Fiend in Edinburgh (maybe he’ll appear in Jamaica, maybe not), and frankly, I think they nailed Archie’s character. He basically was a confidence man IMHO. They took out the reverend part because there’s a whole lot of preaching elements they cut out too. This wasn’t my favorite episode, but not every one is going to be a gem. When you have to adapt a 1000 or so page book into 13 episodes, the seams are going to show at times.

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      • I agree, I was an Outlander whiner and I hated myself for it. In my defense, I’ve written almost 200 blogs and this is only the 2nd one where I didn’t fall over myself praising and worshipping the world of Outlander. But…I reeeaally didn’t like this one A Lot…🤷🏼‍♀️

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  3. You nailed it. This episode was off. It felt like the writers did not know the characters at all. I can only hope that this was an “one-off” off one. Thanks for recapping with humor, and grace, as always.

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  4. A great summing up of this episode. Made me laugh .Ian snr is HOT. Even with the peg leg. The writer for this episode appears not to have read the books so many differences. Why change Rev Campbell to someone other than who he is. That said i will still watch . Have read all the books at least 3 times . Can.t wait for book 9.

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  5. Melissa, the writers didn’t really give you enough material to allow you to make your usual hilarious comments this time, did they? I too found Claire to be freakin’ annoying in this. Of course she would know where to get surgical instruments in the 1700’s! And JHRC, stop with referring to A Malcolm as Jamie! Didn’t you understand the memo? Thank god they’re leaving Edinburgh before Evil Lord Farquhar and Shrek with the one eye starts asking questions! Anyway, looking forward to next week’s review! Should be a doozie, I mean lord only knows what you’ll come out with about Leghair! 🤣👏😂

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  6. My least liked episode of the season. I’m also hoping they’re back on track with 308. Wonder if the new writers/directors are back gor S4? Love how you referenced her as TV Claire..I shall as well henceforth.

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  7. I couldn’t agree more!!! You are so right, there IS tv Claire who barely resembles book Claire. I’d even go as far as to say there’s s bit of tv Jamie this week; he was very callous in his lie to Ian (very different in the book), he had no intention of taking Young Ian home (needed Claire to force him) they made him seem almost manipulative, certainly dishonest about the other wife, they didn’t explain that his criminal activities are his only means to support his family, just made it seem printing isn’t profitable enough, made him completely insensitive to what Claire wanted in regard to living arrangements and so judgemental that he accused Claire of allowing Brianna to be worse than a whore in her bikini. The character development was just wrong this week. I do like Young Ian and Fergus though and Ian Snr was excellent, but that was another flaw in Claire, she was very blasé when Ian said they grieved her

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  8. I agree with you 100%! I was totally thrown several “loops” in this episode! I do hope the characters we have come to love return next week. The books are a necessity these days to get “the real story”! 😳

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  9. Your comments are hilarious. This is the first time I’ve read anything you have written and you are not only right on about this episode, You are hysterically funny! Truly enjoyed reading

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  10. The episode was good but not great that I normally expect to see. I felt it was one of those ‘move the story lines along’ episodes that I was totally expecting would have to happen . Voyager is a HUGE book and we knew they could not show it all in the 13 episodes. Also by changing some storylines they may be condensing not only things in this episode but future softy lines also, who knows. I appreciate it for what it was ,but although they were moving the story line they should have remembered to bring J & C along for the ride with them-together!! A few tender moments kisses, touching, etc would have shown they are still reconnecting physically all the while adjusting to their new ‘normal’ and getting to know who the other is 20 year later. They are still that couple in love through it all and it needed to show more here.

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  11. The episode left me a bit cold. I hope that the next one is on track. I’m guessing that the serial killer is out to make room for the BIG crisis. Love your blog

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  12. My mom and I are book readers, but my dad isn’t. He got into the show with us because my mom loved it so much, and I think “Faith” was probably about where he got hooked himself. My mom is a bit more picky about it paralleling the book. I am more intrigued to see the creative ways they take it to still accomplish the same spirit of the characters and their arches, and my dad has no clue about the books because we aren’t into spilling spoilers to him before he sees whatever he will see in the show. So as long as the film writing and editing is good (along with the good casting and costuming etc.), we’re all mostly happy.

    This time, we were all underwhelmed and a little insulted by the episode. Particularly my dad. Thing is, he’s an ER doctor. And on top of being aghast at their separation and ridiculous dialogue (everything you said), the mere medical procedure and TV Claire’s attitude towards her doctor duties, were insane to him. The commentary was hilarious though:
    “He has an epidural hematoma! He doesn’t need laudanum for that! He’ll be dead and he’s not conscious right now!”
    “Oh yeah, my patient has a hematoma… Let’s go shopping!”
    “MORPHINE!? He doesn’t need MORPHINE, he needs to get the pressure out or he won’t be need anything ever again….”
    “Well of course he’s dead. You were gone for like a MONTH…”
    “If someone broke into my home to do that and then did what he did, and that happened, ….I wouldn’t suddenly need to save him… I’d pop him one.”
    “Was she this stupid in the book??!”
    [Mockingly] “Oh, ‘I’m the writers, I think I can do it better even though I can’t….’”
    [Dryly at the end] “That was the most painful TV medical scene I have ever sat through.”

    So there’s your commentary from a non-reader (for all those who think the criticisms come from book-loyals).
    And with all that accuracy consulting they claim to get, you’d think at least as far as that went would have been better.
    We all thought the characters were unrealistic, Claire was a terrible person, and all the seemingly minor changes made the plot harder to believe….the whole plot was laughable, slow, and a waste of time. Definitely not true to the intelligent weaving that Diana Gabaldon had already served them.
    We’re all hoping that this was a throwaway anomaly too. My mom may be a bit harder to win over though.

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  13. I totally get that they have to have a few “move-it-along” ones, but the big picture stuff they got through in this one, was nothing. They sat on that unimportant character’s morality for most the episode when, in the big picture, that’s nothing to the plot. They could have actually moved the show further along the plot and it still would have been more believable, true to the characters, and enjoyable to watch.

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  14. Thank you!!! This recap was wonderful because (1) it’s funny as always and (2) I have been SO missing the “real” fictional Jamie and Claire, and feeling like I’m the only one who can’t see them in this writing! (For me, they started changing them second half of year one, and then wavering back and forth inconsistently.) Seriously, I don’t recognize these characters most of the time to the point where I’d stop watching the series altogether if it weren’t for Sam Heughan as Jamie. Even with the diminished character they give him to play, I’ll watch for him… though it may have to be with the sound off, just getting the visuals, if they don’t bring the character traits of J & C back to some semblance of the book characters.

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  15. Excellent comments from all! I have ranted to OL friends about losing the core of these characters and even with Jamie’s tender speech, Claire does not respond except to say must rush off to see more important people (Campbell’s). Campbell is the murdering fiend, while intruder is rapist/attempted murderer so dr Claire has new specialty area?? Fault is in script but also direction and supervising producer. Editing can help or hurt! Much on the floor? Real problem to face is another episode from this team! I think each writer/director gets 2 episodes.

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  16. I agree that this episode was not the best, but I did get a laugh from Fergus and wee Ian. Hoping the next episode will get back to the main characters and get the ratings back up.

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  17. Great review and enjoying all the comments. I tried, really tried for this episode. Made myself watch it several times thinking I missed some nuances??? And yes, there were some facial expressions and significant pauses that spoke volumes that I did not see the first time, although even these seemed rushed. There are disadvantages to being book reader as you tend to skip over or not notice details that are different than the book. Won’t comment on the surgical scene, except that it should have been one of the cuts. Jessica says it all in her comment. I believe without that scene, I could have been more positive about this episode. Claire, up until now, has always been rather ruthless toward people trying to harm her or her loved ones. Remember sgian-dubh in the kidney, straight up? That’s our girl! Hope hope hope our beloved Claire is back soon. (I have begun to have anxiety attacks in which I envision Claire marching through 17th century Edinburgh with a female body part hat on her head)

    Jamie lying to Ian – dialogue attempted to create some reasoning behind it – “young Ian keeps running away, better with me than out in the world on his own. I know better.” Sorry, didn’t work. Got to give the actors something to work with. Without those two little jewels, I am thinking I would rather like this episode. (oh wait a minute, lets get rid of the GOT brothel and have the hoors use their rooms past the flirtation stage) Can totally understand changing up the fiend story due to time constraints. No problem with a little edginess and jealousy creeping in. The portrayal of Jamie being a bit uptight and pre-occupied, spot on. Jealousy from both, well of course, it is in the book people, just a bit different sequence. Reveal of another wife? You want everyone anxious to be back next week, right?

    One last thought – HOLY MOLY – that fire scene! I spent the next half hour coughing!

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    • Book Jamie was “uptight and pre-occupied” helping move the illegal casks with his team but still found time to help his wife get clean of blood and stare at her, thinking she’s “the most beautiful woman in the world”. Similarly, Claire eyes at him and his warrior grace and is happy merely being in the same room with him. THIS is how lovers who have been burning for each other for 20 years behave, not the TV version, bickering and petty like Claire with Frank!

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  18. Thanks for reading my mind! My question is did Sam and Cait object to any of this script? They can’t have been comfortable with this weird twist for their characters’ relationship. Fingers crossed for a better episode this week!

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