***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Outlander through Season 2, Episode 8 ahead. Spoilers***
Outlander time is a funny thing; I get it. Well, until I don’t — as with this week’s episode, “The Fox’s Lair.” Having traveled from France, Claire, Jamie and Fergus are just settling in with Jenny and Ian — who’ve recently had another baby — and somehow everyone seems fairly recovered from their respective “Faith” traumas. It’s…strange, to say the least. I already felt this way about Jamie’s rather quick transition from completely broken human being, barely able to communicate with his wife, to that oddly chipper “Now I get my chance to kill Black Jack Randall!” when he heard the Captain was still alive. Allowing for the inexplicable stoicism that often takes hold of manly men, and the commonality of folks who don’t like to talk about their deepest feelings and emotions, I was mostly able to swallow that Jamie had — with a little help from Claire — worked his way to just moving on from what happened back in Wentworth Prison. We have seen Jamie looking at and twisting his hand this way and that now and again, but otherwise, he’s adjusted quite well.
It can’t be only me that thinks it doubly strange Claire and Jamie would quickly run off without at least trying to find out if Black Jack’s wound was fatal (seems impossible), or that neither would mention being fearful of running into that masochistic maniac again, but unless they’re now having all their private conversations out of audience view, doesn’t that seem just a little off? Sure, we all needed a break from the past couple week’s sad and sobering events, and “The Fox’s Lair” gave us that needed respite, but how much emotional baggage can these people stuff down? How does Claire not break down every time she sees that newborn bairn? Why doesn’t Jamie completely lose it when he keeps the little one company, late one night? Heck, that almost got me going.
How did Claire look down on that scene and not shed a single tear? She looked wistful, like she might, but somehow Claire managed to hold it together.
And what of wee Fergus? The poor thing is understandably suffering nightmares — which is how Claire found out what Randall had done and caused Jamie to break his promise to her — are they already over and done? How is the couple so quickly ready to leave him behind at Lallybroch?
Thankfully, Jamie came to his senses, because Fergus needs the Fraser’s watchful eyes — if only to comfort him through some unseen difficult moments.
In an interview with Ron Moore, the showrunner confirmed we won’t see much of Fergus’ recovery process; “It’s a supporting role, and it’s a different story.” Moore says the narrative has moved forward several months, and the war is about to take over Outlander. It’s understandable that we wouldn’t be privy to the entirety of the Fraser’s (including would-be-son Fergus) recovery from the the things they’ve been through, but the abrupt dropping of all these emotional lines is disappointing and stands out in an awkward manner. The series prides itself on hitting poignant notes, and in that regard is usual exceptional, but moving on with these characters as if recent events barely registered doesn’t make much sense.
Ending on an up-note though, how cool is it that both Tobias Menzies (Black Jack Randall/Edmure Tully) and Clive Russell (Lord Lovat/Brynden “Blackfish” Tully) are crossing between Outlander and Game of Thrones?