#Outlander, the Icky Bits, and Nutella

I haven’t weighed in on Season 2 of Outlander yet.  Maybe I was letting it sink in, perhaps I needed to process it a bit…to decide just what I felt about it.

Other fans shared their thoughts and opinions.  I heard talk about how Episode 1 Jamie seemed remote, hard to relate to, almost wooden.   They bemoan the change and how Season 2 Jamie isn’t “their” Jamie–how he’s not the same as Season 1 Jamie.

And, of course, they are right.

They mention the rape, talk about his PTSD, and how he is traumatized.  Yes, yes.  Of course he is.  But a lot of these comments are followed up with the something like, “I’ll be glad when the old Jamie is back.” 

What they likely mean, of course, is that they will be glad when camera focuses less on Jamie’s pain and trauma and gets back to the good times.  They want less screen time that focuses less on his nightmares and more on his smile, his wit, and his cute tush.

And I get it.

I do.

Or maybe they simply mean that they want his suffering to end.  That’s not bad, right?  I mean, they really like Jamie.  Who wants to see someone they like in pain?

But, really, if one of our BFFs suffered a trauma, would we try force “normalcy” on her so quickly?  Or would we give her time to cry, to grieve, to bury her pain in a pint of Ben & Jerrys (or a pint of Guinness, I won’t judge), and to curse the son of a bitch that hurt her…all while we planned his very painful and humiliating demise?

Sometimes you need to hang out in your sweat pants and watch bad Lifetime movies while eating Nutella straight from the jar.  Sometimes that chocolate-hazelnut goodness is all that gets you through the day.

These episodes…they are Jamie’s Nutella Days.  The guy has earned it.  Don’t try to take the jar away just yet.

Yes, broken Jamie is painful to watch.  Broken Jamie doesn’t want to think about Sexy Time.  Broken Jamie is short tempered and doesn’t whisper sweet nothings in Gaelic.

Geez.  Next thing you know, Broken Jamie will start talking about bills, and carpool, and he’ll leave the toilet seat up…

But the thing is, people are like that.  Life is like that.  Love is like that.

There are things you simply can’t rush.  You can’t rush healing.  You can’t rush forgiveness (of yourself or of others).  You can’t rush growth, or understanding, or love.

One of the things I love so much about the books is how Diana Gabaldon doesn’t rush things.  She doesn’t write Jamie’s rape and then pretend it never happened.  We are reminded of it– Jamie is reminded of it—over and over and over again.

Diana Gabaldon did not merely craft a character and a scene.  She crafted scars for him to bear, specters to haunt him, guilt to chain him, and faith to heal him. Her books gave Jamie—and the readers—time to work through what happened and its implications.  She breathed life into fantasy.

Jamie’s rape casts a long shadow, and it reaches through the books and colors events for many years to come.  I appreciate that what he endured was not a simple plot device that, once used, is swept under the rug.  The thread of Jamie’s sacrifice is woven through all of the books…through each page (oh, so many pages) of all of the books (those wonderfully long books!).

Have I mentioned that I love long books?  (Thank you, Diana!)

I do.

Because you can’t rush a good story.

Stories are more than just the good parts.  Life is more than just the good parts.  Love is more than just the good parts.

So I will watch patiently.  I will bear witness to the painful bits, the heartbeats of sorrow, and the moments of aching longing, because these times are the building blocks for what is to come.

Things get better.  They do.  Wounds heal.  Disappointments fade.

Both on screen and on the page…and in life.

Until then, pass the Nutella.


11 thoughts on “#Outlander, the Icky Bits, and Nutella

  1. We live in a world of instant gratification. Unfortunately, movies and television shows these days don’t dwell on character development as much as they used to. I remember the series, Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman and how long the courtship of Dr. Mike and Sully took. Years!!! I was ecstatic when they finally got married, though it seemed at times, they would never get together. It took time, which is difficult for viewers who want it now.
    It is painful to watch Jamie and Claire go through these difficult times in the effort to stop Culloden from happening. True love’s journey is never easy, which makes it more precious. The fires of adversity will make their marriage stronger in the end, which is worth waiting for. Be patient, Outlander family!


  2. Excellent post. Thank you. I’ve been hearing so much about “weak” Jamie and “miserable” Jamie and you’ve absolutely captured the false thinking here. We would give our loved one a lot more time to heal. Jamie is so broken still.


  3. Once again I love your take on these episodes, how you put into perspective our disappointments and our anticipation of the fulfillment of Diana’s excellently written pages. The best part is how you are able to relate these to our everyday life. P.S. I hope family is doing well and life is being kinder to you and yours.


  4. THE best review of Season 2 yet!
    THANK you for verbalizing what we long time fans feel. Because we expect a reflection of real life in this show, from Diana’s words, we ENJOY Jamie’s angst and Claire’s dispair. They use it to make their marriage and love whole. Bravo, Starz and Ron and Sam and Caitriona! Like Jamie and Claire, we FANS are in this for the duration!!!! Tulach Ard,!!


  5. We seem to have entered the Twilight Zone of child rearing. You can’t turn on a television without seeing a college student whining about the pain he or she is exposed to because of anothers right to voice their opinion on such things as Political candidates, religion, even what is appropriate to wear as a Halloween Costume. We are raising a generation of children who will have no tools to survive in the real.

    No one wants to see their children in pain and it is our responsibility to try and keep them safe. Unfortunately that isn’t always possible so it becomes even more important to teach them what they will need to survive.

    Sports have long been a wonderful way to learn these lessons. How to work as a team, sportsmanship, healthy competition and perhaps the most important; how to be gracious whether a winner or losser. Now days kids are having the pride in success being taken away, robbing them of while at the same time the eagerness to succeed is being undermined. The lessons learned in childhood, are what shapes us, giving us the strengths needed to face the heartbreak of loss or trauma that life throws at us..

    I hope no one is enjoying the reasons for Jamie struggles, but be glad he grew up in a time when these lessons were taught. His father taught him the lessons he would need to know as the Laird of Lallybroch. Honor to lead the families under him. To care for them and if necessary to be willing to give his life for the good of the clan. To be a good and decent man. Perfect? Hardly. He is young, sometimes stubborn, occasionally insensitive to a young girl feelings but never intentionally mean.
    Even as a young man he was respected by men and women and this brought him enemies. Men like his Uncle Dougal, Men like BJR,

    Jamie fascinated Black Jack from the time he stood against him in the kailyard of LallyBroch in defense of Jenny, to Fort William where he refused to submit to Randall’s rape or beg for mercy, Despite what he told Claire, I believe a part of him wanted to be like Jamie; and if he couldn’t be, then he would destroy him. He got his chance at Wentworth Prison. Would he have been able to break Jamie if Claire hadn’t been there? I don’t believe so. Oh I think Jack would have done every vile thing he did but without Claire there, Jamie would never give in.

    There are many manuals that offer guidelines on how to get over loss, grief, even the most heinous crimes. There are even well meaning friends and professionals who tell you how long you mourn is acceptable. The truth is there is no time frame, and it is important that we show that. If this show can give one person who has or is going through this the validation they need to hold their heads up then take the time needed.

    I know many people are complaining about the lack of sex in the first three episodes. I miss it too but
    there is something missing that I think is far more important. For those who are or have access to Diana’s books I encourage you to read Chapter 36 (MacRannoch) pages 560-562 in the big paperback.
    It is a beautiful passage between Claire and Jamie showing the depth of love between them. Jamie is in shock but despite this his first concern is Claire. We hear Claire thinking, hoping that Jamie will open up and tell someone what was done to him; but hoping it won’t be her. On the heels of that thought she tells Jamie if he wishes to talk she’ll listen. A quiet moment. shared by two people that are both traumatized, not at the end of a cure, instead the beginning of the journey, one that has many dark days ahead. Instead of focusing on finding ways to grow a rift between Jamie and Claire, show the mutual love and support.

    It is so good to have you back and hope things are better for you and your. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts


  6. Hi, I found your blog through Twitter. I too am an Outlander fan. I’ve been nosing around in your posts and enjoy what I’ve read so far. I’ve just read “…the icky bits..” and as I sit here with tears on my cheeks (happens frequently even when I’m only reading bits from the books) and felt I should say so. I often got annoyed when show fans complained about the lack of the “real” Jamie in season 2 as though they really couldn’t see his pain or cared but only wanted the dream Jamie. Like you the books have seen me through a time when my husband became very sick and I understand that some things never really leave one, even when we get better. It still always amazes me how real these characters have become to me and its probably because they experience life in a real way.

    I will continue to nose around amongst your posts.
    HilarieC (http://justhilarie.jabana.se/)


    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It is amazing how books can provide such refuge and can make friends of strangers. I hope you husband is doing well (and you, too). Sláinte.


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