Outlander Television

Outlander: “Never My Love” Review

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Image Source: Tor

Synopsis:

Claire struggles to survive brutal treatment from her captors, as Jamie gathers a group of loyal men to help him rescue his wife; Roger and Brianna’s journey takes a surprising turn.
Another season over, and the finale was a rough one. We got a lot of Easter eggs and references back to other seasons. And it was basically like watching the Wentworth Prison episode all over again, but this time, Claire was the victim.
The writers decided to make this another stylized episode, and while I liked the use of it in Roger’s PTSD episode, I didn’t like it as much in this one. I just thought it was a little weird that it was set in the ’60s, even though I guess in this sense, Claire’s picturing her family in a safer environment, and in a safer time, but I think they used it too much. The Easter eggs were fun to catch throughout the episode, but I’m sure I didn’t catch them all. Here are some from Claire’s dream-escape…

 

1.

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Gif Source: Fanpop

This one’s not shown above, but when Claire puts on the record in her first dream-escape, it reminded me of the opening credits from Season 1, when it shows her turning on the 1930’s radio.

 

2. When Claire is sitting on the couch, she is staring at a painting of Fraser’s Ridge.

3. We see an orange on a table, and towards the end of her dream-escape, she picks it up and walks away. This is a reference to Season 2, when Claire went to visit King Louis, in order to free Jamie.

4. We also see the vase that Claire stares at through the window of the general store, in Season 1.

5. In what could be Claire’s modern day office, we see her microscope sitting on a desk.

6. If you look closely at the walls, you’ll see that the wallpaper from Jamie and Claire’s bedroom in Lallybroch, is hung up.

7. And we see that Fergus and Marsali’s son is playing with a dragonfly, which symbolizes the dragonfly in amber, that Claire receives in Season 1.

All these references were a total surprise, and I think it was a nice touch to add to the dream-escapes, just as a nod to the fans.

Along with Claire envisioning these dream-escapes, I thought that it was interesting that the writers took the approach of Claire’s abuse, in a similar way to how we saw Jamie’s abuse at Wentworth Prison. Instead of seeing it in real time, they were more memories from the character. We see that while Claire gets abused, it’s her remembering what happened, while she’s currently tied up. We get introduced to one of Lionel’s men, and we find out that he’s a fellow time traveler. He talks about “The Man on the Moon,” and makes Claire take a double take. We’ve heard this from her in Season 3 when she tells Jamie about the first flight to the moon.

We get some more Easter eggs…

1. Claire has a dream-escape of Jamie covering her with a blanket, which later changes into his kilt, and he utters the words about her being cold and making his teeth rattle. That is a reference from Season 1, when Claire is on the horse with Jamie, while it’s raining outside.

2. Claire looks to her side, and sees a rabbit. This is very similar to when Jamie was on the brink of death, after the Battle of Culloden.

But let’s take a second to talk about the abuse that Claire endures. We’ve seen a lot of characters get abused in past seasons, and the one that always stands out to me is Jamie’s abuse from Randall. That episode, while very powerful, was also an extremely hard episode to watch. Everything that Jamie endures is horrific and looking back at Season 1, the writer’s weren’t thinking about toning down the violence. But now, we have Claire’s dream-escapes to tone down the abuse that she goes through, but they do still show some of it. Thankfully, she didn’t get too bloodied up, but it was gut wrenching to see her get cut on her breast, and beaten and kicked by Lionel. And in terms of her rape, the writer’s definitely took a different approach. Unlike Jamie’s rape, where we saw it happening from every angle, and from a farther distance, I think in order to also tone down the violence, the rape was shown more close up on Claire’s face, which I think was also effective. It wasn’t as brutal to watch, but we saw all the emotion on her face.

Back at the stones, we see that Brianna and Roger, didn’t travel to Boston at all. When they were thinking of home, it led them right back to where their family was. It makes sense, but all the goodbyes from the past episode, and all the work up to that moment, was basically a waste of time. At least now, Bree and Roger know where they belong.

At the Ridge, Jamie is gearing up to save Claire and sees that Bree and Roger have returned. Roger decides to man up, and help Jamie, and I like that now, Roger is growing some balls and is more comfortable in the time that he currently living in. I also think that’s why him and Jamie’s relationship has gotten stronger. They find Lionel’s camp, and they kill most of the men. I liked that we saw each man fighting individually, but the thing that disappointed me, was when Jamie was fighting, where the camera was filming, you could see that all of Jamie’s hits weren’t connecting. That kind of ruined it for me because that disintegrated the movie magic.

While this is happening, Claire is back to dreaming, and we get another reference. This time, we see Jamie move close to Claire, and say the lines that Claire uttered to Jamie, when she reunited with him in Season 3. Afterward, we see that Jamie has finally found Claire, and looks horrified. He can’t believe the state that she’s in, but he didn’t seem to be showing a lot of emotion to me. I had a conversation with some fans on Tumblr, and they had to let me know that in the books, Jamie is trying to be careful with Claire, because he doesn’t know if she wants to be touched. And I think knowing what happens in the books, makes it easier for me to understand. I think I needed that context to make the connection that Jamie was the same way after he had gotten raped. He didn’t want anyone touching him, but he was more aggressive about it. Claire just looked very fragile. I think Jamie was just more angry than anything else. But he tells her that she’s whole and that’s she alive, and that in itself, is a similar reference to Season 3, when Jamie is hallucinating that Claire is walking to him on the battlefield after Culloden, and askes if he’s alive. And then we see Jamie in full rage when he tells his men to kill the rest of Lionel’s men. It’s basically a blood bath, and then Jamie sees that Lionel is still alive. At that moment, Jamie looked pretty manic, and his look kind of scared me. You knew that Jamie wanted to obliterate Lionel, but instead, had him taken back to the Ridge.

While on their way home, Claire and Jamie stop by a stream, which gave me feelings of when they were on their way to Lallybroch. Claire is in a similar look, her wrapped in Jamie’s kilt, but of course we are seeing two very different scenarios transpire. This scene made me sad because while Jamie is talking to Claire, you can clearly see that Claire is having a hard time looking Jamie in the eyes. Her head is constantly down, and she’s more focused on the ground. Also, for a brief moment, she has a hard time talking.

When they return home, Jamie tries to comfort Claire, but Claire doesn’t want him worrying about her. It sucked that Jamie wanted to connect with Claire because he’s been through the same thing as her, but she’s trying her hardest to get through it by herself. She’s an incredibly strong woman, but sometimes, you need help from others. And back at her surgery, Claire thinks about killing Lionel, but realizes that she’s not that type of person. She lets Lionel live, but has a meltdown in the process. I think everything finally was put into perspective, and she had to let your emotions out. Sadly, I wish that Jamie had been there to comfort her. But while Claire is gone, Marsali gets the courage to kill Lionel herself. I applaud her for that because Lionel didn’t show any mercy for what he did, and he did deserve to die. Jamie comes in later, and takes Lionel’s body back to Brownsville. He delivers his body to his brother, and of course, his brother makes it clear, that there will probably be some kind of revenge that takes place later. Jamie returns home, and talks with Claire. We get a little Easter egg about the crooked pole, which was talked about in Season 4, but later we see Jamie and Claire lying in bed together. Reading more about the excerpts that were cut out of the episode, I found out that before Jamie and Claire are lying in bed naked together, Jamie tries to comfort Claire, and kisses her bruises. That’s what we needed to see. Since I felt that disconnect earlier, seeing Jamie try to get rid of Claire’s pain, would have been perfect to see. Then we would have seen how it got to that point of them lying together. But moving on, they are intertwined with each other, and Jamie asks how she feels. This reminded me of when Claire asked Jamie how he felt after he had got bitten by the snake. They always want to make sure that the other is ok. Claire says that she feels safe, which pretty much sums up their relationship and their whole story, and then it fades to black.

As a whole, I think this season was a million times better than last season, and I think Jamie and Claire’s love for one another was more prominent. I think the first half of the season was a little slow, but after Diana’s comment about how the second half made her more pleased, I would totally agree with her. The storylines were better and the character development progressed at a steadier pace. Now, we have to wait for Season 6, and I pray that the seasons continue to be good quality. I just want the writers to keep to the books as best they can, and be true to Jamie and Claire’s relationship.

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