Outlander S2 Epi10 – Prestonpans
Directed by Philip John Written by Ira Steven Behr
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Amanda-Rae and Lorinda. Both have read the book. Edited by Vida.
SANGUINE | ANXIOUS | BITTERSWEET | DESPAIR | INESCAPABLE
Amanda-Rae: Ira Steven Behr redeemed himself in my eyes. There were parts of Episode 2 that to me felt like the writing really went off the rails. Writing battle scenes is definitely his strength. Even though the gore went beyond my personal comfort level, those scenes were still well executed. I also liked that the emotional focus on the episode was equally balanced between the main characters and the Highland supporting characters. Angus and Rupert in particular were incredibly compelling. I also appreciated the careful use of foreshadowing because it would have been too easy to hit viewers over the head with it.
HAPPINESS | DOUBT | FEAR | SADNESS
Lorinda: This episode was full of every emotion there is: happiness, doubt, fear, anger, sorrow and sadness. We see Jamie come into his own man. Claire establishing a well-run infirmary. There was happiness in victory and sorrow of losing a dear friend and kinsman.
The episode encompasses the Battle of Prestonpans. We’re going to take Jamie and his troops and integrate them within the bigger Highland army. Prince Charlie returns and the first half is all these people trying to jockey for a position with him. Jamie is the one person who doesn’t have to since he already has the Prince’s ear. And through knowledge of Claire, he knows they’re going to win this battle, so he’s a little more relaxed than you would normally see a person going into a battle. So what we need to show in Prestonpans is how they win this battle. We stay true to the actual battle, it was about eight minutes long total and we pretty much almost show it in real time.
~ Matthew B. Roberts, The Hollywood Reporter
BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS
The Battle of Prestonpans was the first significant conflict in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. However in this episode, a lot of things happen before and after the battle.
AR: That initial close up on the worms crawling on the corpse was quite distressing. I have to prep myself mentally for the battle because we won’t be spared the worst details. Although most of the Highland army survives the Battle of Prestonpans, there will still be soldiers who don’t see their homes or families again.
How many men had I seen killed in war? The rebellion Jamie and I had labored so hard to prevent was now upon us. Our only hope was that somehow we could change the outcome. I feared in my heart that history would not be rewritten. But no matter how many battles we may win, victory would forever remain out of reach. ~ Claire
L: Me too. Opening with Claire and the body, I was thinking he was going to have the bluish green mold on him. Just looking at the body gave Claire pause I know she was thinking of all the men she could lose in this war.
AR: The Bonnie Prince seems even more punchable and disconnected from reality. He stands and watches his best leaders argue. He has no idea about the layout of the land or how to actually get people who disagree to come together.
L: Yeah, I love that Jamie is in the strategy room, in the back, quietly observing the madness.
After he is heard enough of the bickering and complaining, he steps up. The gall of Bonnie Prince thinking the Brits would just surrender to him. He is an imbecile. What he should have done was made Jamie the general. He’s a man of action, thinks quickly on his feet and gets his followers to follow him without hesitation.
Jamie intercedes to make sense of it all.
AR: His statement to Jamie about treating the British before the Highlanders was a crazy combination of insensitive and over the tip idealism. Even though the writers can’t give too much away at this point, you can see where the arguments and idealism clouding common tactical sense are leading towards the lost cause at Culloden.
I have promised my father – and I have promised God.
Be so kind to tell her [Claire], the Prince asks the British casualties must be tended to before the Jacobite wounded.
They are our enemies now, but one day soon, they will be our friends again. ~ Prince Charlie
I’m afraid the British have never been a friend to the Scots! ~ Jamie
L: Yes, this is so him – just a complete imbecile!
AR: Through Jamie and Dougal’s conversation you can still see some of the unresolved tension from last week.
AR: Dougal was looking for a chance in the spotlight, and here it is. He may not be the best professional soldier, but he is willing to stared death in the face.
Dougal in all his glory!
L: Yes, he was. But, Jamie has a plan to figure if they can get to the Brits. His MacKenzie-Fraser gene shows up and Dougal knows it. Since Dougal is bored and wants some honor, he’ll stick his neck out. Dougal is brave isn’t he? I was squirming in my seat while he was in that bog.
Yeah, he’s nothing like the character in the books, physically anyway. He really doesn’t feature in the books that much. Angus is more brought out in the adaptation and I’m glad about that. Credit to the casting director in London. I guess she felt I could bring something to the character that might be a wee bit different, yet still embody the character. Once I got the part and read the book and the scripts, I realized the character wasn’t as prominent and it was a nice bonus to find out they wrote so much more in the scripts.
~ Stephen Walters, Yahoo
MEETING THE PRINCE
I’m your Prince. Charles Edward Stuart.
Are you really? I’m talking to the Prince.
AR: I was disappointed last week when I didn’t see Claire prepping the women for hospital duty. I’m pleased now. She’s in her element now, and she’s much more comfortable with the thick apron on. Her war is turning housewives and farmers’ daughters into medical professionals.
L: Yes, I was also glad to see her back in her element. The home they used for the infirmary looked like it jumped off the pages of the book. Claire ran a tight ship, but also has compassion on her workers. Even if they questioned her methods, she could explain why. I wonder how many people she educated on proper administration of healthcare for the 1700’s. She did effect change in the future, not on the grand scale, but she saved some lives.
AR: Don’t give the class clowns booze. There were quite a few rude locker room-esque scenes in the book, so this was a nice way to consolidate those. Even in the darkest of days they still have humor to ease the pain.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I never saw the humor initially when I read the first scripts. But I think some of it can be explained by the unspoken chemistry thing. Grant [O’Rourke] and I got on very well and the fans seemed to enjoy our banter.
~ Stephen Walters, Yahoo
L: Angus is always the jokester. I guess he feels like this crofter isn’t going to challenge him, but he was mistaken.
AR: Seeing the men promising each other to watch over their wives, children, and property upon death was quite touching. Although they joke about swapping girlfriends and keeping swords, it’s obvious that they’re sticking together as brothers until the end.
What’s mine is yours and yours mine.
AR: Angus and Rupert are the standouts to me in this episode. This episode showed that their relationship is incredibly deep.
L: Yes, they are. I was wondering if Angus ever thought of doing what the crofters did – making sure their family and property would be taken care, if they didn’t make it back. Angus doesn’t even have much to give a sword, dirk and a horrre named Shirley. Loved Rupert’s hackles and that they really love each other as brothers.
AR: Jamie and the mud are becoming one. As the episode progresses he gets even better looking the dirtier he is. I don’t quite remember this bit about the secret path across the marsh in the novel, but it’s a good example of the one thing that the Scots have that could turn the tide.
I know a hidden trail that will bypass the bog
and allow the army to catch the English unawares.
L: Well, I was waiting for him to show up and show them the way around the bog. This is a very important to the victory of the Battle of Prestonpans. Jamie has to tell Bonnie Prince the wait might be fatal. He is definitely general material; he just tells the Prince how it really is.
AR: Jamie openly admitting that he could have lost Claire in Paris is an interesting point for two reasons. Firstly, Jamie let down his guard about his true feelings on the rebellion. Secondly, it shows that for Jamie a life without Claire might as well be hell. I’m not sure how intentional it is but I definitely see this as between the lines foreshadowing.
Every man has a part to play.
In Paris, I almost lost my marriage trying to stop all of this from happening. I failed.
AR: There’s a slight disconnect between their relationship in this part of the books compared to the series. They’re still deeply in love but they are more restrained in their affection.
AR: Fergus, why did you have to ruin a tender moment? His youthful enthusiasm clashes with the soberness around him throughout the episode.
I request permission to join into the fight that is to come.
AR: Although Fergus is use to accompanying Jamie wherever he goes, Jamie and Claire (particularly Claire) have surely come into parenthood with him by protecting and watching over him. They refuse to allow his participation in the battle.
I don’t doubt your capabilities, Laddie.
But without you, who will look after the women?
And, what of our Lady Broch Tuarach?
There’s no one I trust with her safety other than you.
L: I loved that scene and am glad we didn’t get to see intimacy between Jamie and Claire – this lines up with the book. They were so busy, they couldn’t have had time together with preparing for war being a ‘round the clock, 24/7 process. Just when you think they were going to kiss, here comes Fergus. He wants to go to battle, but I loved that his surrogate mom and dad say, “NO”.
These were very poignant, powerful scenes. Though Claire knows the history that the Jacobites will win the battle, she has no idea who among them will return and those who will perish on the battlefield.
Time to send the British army to hell. ~ Angus
Imagine Mistress. This time tomorrow, I could be lying on the field bleeding to death. I would hate for my last thought to be how you denied me my final request.
Although we had no idea of this foreshadowing, we were glad Claire granted his wish.
L: I was tearing up when Angus said it was time to go. Claire is the only woman for all the men. She fits in so well with this group. Angus is always looking for his kiss – shameless – but, he loves Claire. He spent more time with her than Jamie did when she made it to Leoch. Rupert and Murtagh said their goodbyes, Murtagh got the information we win this one.
Watch over Jamie.
AR: Their parting kiss before the battle begins was a great way of referencing the moments cut from the show.
L: OMG, yes it was. That kiss (kisses) said so much – I love you; come back to me – such passion. I flashed back to when she told Jamie, “On your feet solider”, in the first episode.
On your way, soldier!
Jamie’s bow to Claire was priceless! Such a gesture of love and gratitude.
AR: Seeing Fergus sneaking off to be with the men also shows that Fergus has completely abandoned his old life except for the occasional theft.
AR: He’s a mini version of Jamie now. The battle is his puberty moment. He became a man in the worst way possible – seeing the ugliness of war is not as glamorous as he thinks; killing someone is even worse.
L: He really is a mini-Jamie. I loved this scene. Claire finding Fergus just like a doting mother. They have a strong bond. She loves him and he loves her. Fergus could not have believed it was going to be that gruesome; another life effected by war.
I’ve said it before, but I love the way the chapters about Prestonpans are so well described by [author] Diana [Gabaldon], you know, what happens at nighttime and the little ambushes and the fires. It’s such a historical thing, as well, for Scotland and it’s not been done for a long time on film, so we’re very lucky to be reproducing that on film.
~ Sam Heughan, Parade
L: Walking through the fog into battle. I hate battles, but I was ready for this one. Anderson called Jamie general; yes, you are one King of Men!
L: The nerve of Bonnie Prince talking about he wants to lead them in to battle, yeah right. Stay back little man, stay back. Jamie encouraged him to do so. Poor guy has daddy issues; his daddy doesn’t care too much for him and I’m sure Jamie doesn’t either.
AR: I really like the way the cinematography takes advantage of the natural fog to add drama to the nighttime and pre-battle scenes. I love the use of the constant drums right before the attack.
AR: Jamie looks incredibly badass but I’ll admit to looking away often because of some of the blood splattering. From a historical standpoint, it’s crazy how they fought soldiers with guns and cannons using only swords and sharpened farm tools. In a way, this method of fighting made the wounds worse.
L: The sound of them going into battle, all of those feet making the sound of horses rolling in. Jamie, the leader, delivered the first epic blow! Tulach Ard!!! I wasn’t looking too closely after that first hit; too much blood for me. I think I block it out when I read the book.
The battle and cinematography were so EPIC, no need for more words from us!
AR: Kincade, from Lallybroch, is the first casualty in terms of the Highlanders we’ve seen. It’s only going to get worse from here.
RIP Kincade. No, you and Ross didn’t run!
L: Rupert, noooo! My heart dropped during these scenes.
AR: It was heartwarming to see Angus and Rupert looking out for each other even through the cannon fire. Stephen Walters and Grant O’Rourke pulled off both sides of their personalities very well.
L: Angus is such a brother, he won’t stand for waiting, Claire now!
Rupert. He needs you Mistress. N-O-W!
You must save him, Mistress.
L: The faith they have in her healing abilities is astounding! Angus won’t leave his side until he knows he’s okay (loyalty) and he’s been hurt too. Just watching him breath, wow.
AR: Demon Dougal is not a good look at all. Just when he began to redeem himself, I end up hating him again. His encounter with Lt. Foster only hardened his heart.
L: Yes, Dougal is going to make sure every last one of the redcoats is dead. Lt. Foster, why would you talk about losing to British to a war chieftain? Wrong decision young man.
L: Jamie coming back with the announcement of victory and that kiss again! It only took 15 minutes; seemed longer to me. Jamie is now the Jamie of Diana’s book.
AR: I love seeing Claire’s little diagnosis tricks. Jamie, of course, turns it into a teenage boy locker room contest. I find it slightly funny that Jamie in the books is often interrupted awkwardly when he’s engaged in bathroom activities. I didn’t expect the show to pick up on it.
L: Yes, I loved that Jamie’s humor is back along with his heart. That scene with the glass jar and his highness walking in, yea funny. I don’t want to talk about Mr. MARK ME. He’s acting like he’s already won and the Brits are his subjects.
L: Dougal coming in screaming and hugging that woman. H-e-l-l-o! War and winning does not stimulate women. When he sees those redcoats, he’s ready to kill again; he really doesn’t like them huh?
Victory is ours!
AR: No, he doesn’t. HOLD UP. THIS IS THE FIRST SENSIBLE THING THE BONNIE PRINCE HAS SAID IN THE ENTIRE SEASON SO FAR. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS??!
Did I just step into the Twilight Zone??!?! I would have never expected this level of shade against Dougal from the Prince. Never have I been so happy to see someone embarrass themselves!
AR: Jamie had the chance to join in the Prince dragging Dougal. But he’s not that kind of man, not that kind of leader, and not that kind of nephew. Although this conveniently means Dougal gets a taste of power, Jamie also knows that the war effort needs all sorts of talented men. Yet again, Dougal gets his last jabs in about Jamie being a younger version of Colum.
Promoted as Captain of the newly formed Highland Dragoons.
You champion me and exile me at the same time.
L: Wow! Bonnie Prince criticizing the one man who went collecting funding for your cause. Telling him to leave and calling him a barbarian? That’s the second time he has made demands on the very ones who have left all to fight for him. As usual Jamie saves Dougal. He’s a quick thinker and an intelligent young man. It was ingenious how Jamie builds up Dougal and gets him out of the Bonnie Prince and his camp at the same time.
AR: Nooo, I really got to love Angus! I didn’t expect to tear up over him, but I did. The show made me love him a lot more than the books. I would also point out that this is a slight bait and switch because a different character dies.
L: Oh God, I hated this part. I cried and cried though I knew something would happen. Dougal screams for Claire because they trust her work. But, Angus dies among his kinsmen and in Claire’s arms. Rupert senses his brother’s departure and rises in pain to do as Angus asked him – take his sword.
Save me, mistress!
The manor in which Angus dies ties up the loose ends. He really did love his friend. That’s how he goes out. He made the ultimate sacrifice. There is a real sort of undercurrent of warmth and loyalty. It was a clever trick of the writers that you are under the illusion that it is Rupert that might die and then surprise it’s Angus. He was the first one to fight for Claire’s honor so it is a nice arc that he dies in her arms, especially considering how much initially he mistrusted her and mistreated her and spoke down to her.
The actual death scene when Cait was playing that. It is very hard to die on camera. What was nice for me and quite touching was watching Cait be emotional and very involved during the filming of that scene. When we finished, she was really crying, she was.
~ Stephen Walters, Yahoo
RIP Angus Mhor!
You were the comic relief we needed in S1 and S2.
We will truly miss you!
REMEMBERING THE DEAD
AR: That must have been the world’s creepiest drinking song. I wonder if it was actually sung by the soldiers in 1745.
Down among the dead men, let them lie.
L: I don’t know. But, what a way to end the episode with that song and the look of loss on Rupert face. I understood his pain.
Who better to end this conversation than Sam Heughan himself, especially since it’s his favorite episode!
What we are looking forward to in the upcoming episode.
Amanda-Rae: Hopefully, this is not a spoiler. It shouldn’t be by now, just giving warning. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing when Brianna is conceived and also seeing how the Highlanders cope with the continued stress of battle.
Lorinda: I’m looking forward to seeing the church scene and possible escape next week.
Episode Rating (1-5): 4.8 – Shots
It would have been a 5 for one of us if there were a few more quick pans away from the gunshots and stab wounds; but, this is war and not meant to be pretty scenes. We were not at all surprised by Ira Behr’s writing, which was excellent; however, Philip John directing one of the most action-filled episode to date was outstanding. Neville Kidd, cinematographer, was also awesome from the slow-motion shots of the surprise attack and the different men engaged in fighting to shots of Fergus’s bewilderment in the chaos of it all. We also loved how they used bluish-grey hue and the fog to add to the dread of battle. Beyond the gore, it was cinematically beautiful. There were several poignant scenes – between Murtagh and Jamie, Jamie and Claire, Fergus and Claire, Angus and Claire, Angus and Murtagh. But, Angus and Rupert are the standouts in this episode. This episode showed how incredibly deep their relationship is. We will truly miss Stephen Walters and his humorous character, Angus.
How did you rate the episode and why?
Let us know in the comments section.
Outlander S2 Epi11 Preview – Vengeance Is Mine ~ Video via AresPromo
Directed by Mike Barker Written by Diana Gabaldon
Claire and the Highlanders head north after the Jacobite leaders decide to halt their march on London; Claire has an unexpected reunion after a band of redcoats makes trouble for the Scots
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