Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Second Half Discussion


Spoiler – my thoughts on The Watch!

We know from previous episodes that Jamie was willing to be flogged or killed to save his sister’s virtue. They made peace in the last episode. We also learn that Jamie lost his mother (and sibling) to childbirth and we hear the screams from Jenny who is facing an unlucky breech birth. You would think that would engage Jamie in Jenny’s story. It is my opinion that the episode lost an opportunity to show how helpless men of that time would have felt when their loved ones were giving birth. We see a bit of that with Ian. Jamie’s response to Claire’s concerns that she could not conceive would have been so much more believable if Jamie appeared to be at all concerned with his sister’s welfare. ( He’s already kicked his sister out of the master bedroom knowing she is in her final stages of pregnancy.) Let’s see…I lost my beautiful mother (and sibling) in childbirth, my sister is going through complete hell, I have a price on my head…it’s ABSOLUTELY for the best that Claire has not yet conceived. However, Jamie is way too preoccupied with The Watch burning hay, dirty boots on the Laird’s table and the compass and coins that Horrocks is stealing.
I do understand Allison’s point that there needs to be action sequences that move the episodes forward. I am of the opinion that the Watch and Horrocks and McQuarry was just overwhelming for this episode and took Jamie’s character development off course. If the reason for having this episode was to show Jenny giving birth, then allow that to develop and choose one of action threads or bring Murtagh or Dougal back into the picture. Murtagh and Dougal getting drunk with Ian and Jamie would have felt exactly right to me. I would have been happy with an episode where we see a young Jamie, maybe some adventures that he, Ian and Jenny had as children, a glimpse of Brian and Ellen and their married life. Their presence and influence is still pervasive at Lallybroch and it would have been a bittersweet glimpse into the life that Jamie and Claire could have had.
A small criticism…Pregnancy is a fun and beautiful time and I would have loved that silhouette of Jenny in her shift before labor but not during. During labor it was just creepy. I had a baby in breech position, the labor is not at all normal and I think I would have shot my husband if he tried to take a pic like that of me. I also did not care for the men looking down at Jenny laying on a heap of hay. It reminded me of the mare having difficulty foaling and Claire having to help out with that. Sorry, that appears in the story not the series but I can’t erase those memories. All I kept thinking was poor Jenny is now the mare….
On a positive note, I loved the sets for Lallybroch. The costumes were my favorite of the season. Claire and Jenny are fantastic together. I liked the scene where Jenny tells Claire what pregnancy is like. It would have been better before the labor started. Once labor starts, it is really hard to go there with your mind. The birthing scene where Jenny and Claire are crawling around and then Jenny sits back on her lap…I was right in that moment and I remembered that pain! Wee Jamie, Pan and Merlin steal the show. I was impressed with the actors portraying McQuarry and Horrocks. Again I don’t think there was enough time for all of that so I’ll go with Horrocks because he sets up my favorite scene in the episode. Ian running Horrocks through! I loved Ian and Jamie in this moment. Ian is shaking and Jamie is solid as a rock. Finally.