SEASON 3 IS HERE! Droughtlander is over…finally. New episodes of Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s third novel, Voyager, have begun, and we cannot stop raving about the most recent installment!
We, Sass3, want to share our reactions to the premiere episode, “The Battle Joined,” directed by Brendan Maher and written by Ronald D. Moore, which aired on STARZ on September 10, 2017.
BE WARNED: SPOILERS ARE THROUGH-OUT THIS ARTICLE! If you have not seen the premiere episode of Season 3, read on at your own risk.
As the tote bag given out at the STARZ San Diego Comic-Con booth states: “Outlander gives me all the feels.” This was most certainly true for the first episode of Season 3. I laughed, I cried, I cringed. I felt anger, I felt sorrow, I felt love…I felt it all.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Even having read Voyager, and knowing what to expect, this episode was very well written by Ronald D. Moore and did not disappoint. Being able to view on television more of what Jamie had endured during Culloden than what was revealed in the book, was excellent. I have not been to Culloden battlefield, yet, but I hear from those who have that they get chills; I can only imagine because the combat scenes on TV gave me chills! Watching Jamie drift in and out of consciousness, trying to remember what had transpired, rendered me silent. Then witnessing him suffer the executions of his men was heartbreaking, especially hearing him ask about Murtagh’s whereabouts and Rupert “volunteering” to be the next to be shot… oh my… I was speechless again, except for my sobs and sniffles. Sam Heughan IS Jamie, and he proves it time after time.
Claire…beautiful pregnant Claire. There were so many emotions within her scenes with Frank as well. She was missing Jamie, but could not speak of him. She wanted to live happily with Frank, but it was difficult. Caitriona Balfe nailed what Claire was feeling with her facial expressions. I loved the part where the stove wouldn’t light, so Claire lit a fire in the fireplace to cook as she had done in the 18th century. Tobias Menzies, again, played the part of Frank perfectly. The writers added more to the Claire and Frank relationship so the viewers could truly appreciate what they were feeling towards each other during this trying time.
Ronald D. Moore ended the episode with Brianna’s birth, Claire and Frank happy, smiling, determined to work things out, and then the constant reminder of Jamie is spoken aloud by the nurse asking where the baby got her red hair. OOOHHHH! I can’t wait for the next episode!
I give Season 3, Episode 1, “The Battle Joined,” the highest ranking imaginable!
Wow! Simply Wow! My biggest take-away is Frank! Yes, yes, I know! It’s a Jamie and Claire love story, but with this new installment, I couldn’t help but reflect on my new love for this man. Being a book fan of Diana Gabaldon’s novels first, the creation of her story for television has been outstanding. Even with the show’s storyline changes, I still marvel at what Ronald D. More and his writers have produced. I’m on my third read with Voyager, and I recall my initial feelings towards Frank Randall. For me, at least, I didn’t like him very much, especially with the way he treated Claire. Frank was simply a cheater and cold; however, this first episode on STARZ gave Frank a whole new persona. I just adored him and so will you!
Imagine, staying married to a person who was gone for a period of time, and that person being pregnant with someone else’s child. I wouldn’t be able to stay, seriously! In this new episode, Frank is so accepting and loving, even with Claire’s unavailable intimacy. She agreed to move on and forget Jamie, but we all know how impossible that will be. With their new life in America, Frank is providing for the family and, despite Claire’s emotional distance, continues to show his endearment towards her. What a classy guy!
The ending scene just pulled on my sentiments. At the hospital, Brianna is born. Frank, a proud father (I know she isn’t his child, but he’s still a proud father!), is just so ecstatic. For the first time, you see a deep connection between Claire and Frank, both sharing in the celebration of their new child. It was a profound moment for the two, and then quickly crushed by the reminder the baby isn’t his – Brianna’s fiery hair! There the episode ends, and I am left with the feeling… poor Frank.
So, for me, I rate “The Battle Joined” 5 stars (5/5) and want to give Tobias Menzies a huge high-five for his exceptional performance. Thank you Ronald D. Moore and writers for establishing this slant on his character!
With so much anticipation leading up to this episode, it was difficult to contain my excitement once the opening credits began. Sitting with friends, I remember the music, then instantaneously our group began to sing along to the theme song. Bear McCreary’s music once again set the stage for this epic series. With my coping strategies ready (including tissues and a full glass of wine), I was ready for the perspective Ronald D. Moore would take on this premiere episode, “The Battle Joined.”
I must premise that I am an avid movie fan and have spent countless hours watching films of all genres with my dad. When I reflect back to the movies I have seen, many of them have been films of war. This was a topic my dad could easily relate to, being a veteran and knowing firsthand the impact of war – the unforeseen physical and psychological effects which could be long lasting in nature. As I watched the first episode, I was struck by the scale of the battle scenes at Culloden Moor and the somatosensory effects that were used to enable the viewer to gain greater perspective of what happened on that fateful day. Ronald D. Moore included so many layers to these scenes that made an incredible impact as the viewer, such as changing the cinematic coloring during the battle scenes, altering the pace of the fight scenes to reflect the content being shown, the frequent changes in context due to the multitude of explosions, and the sudden change from chaos to silence. Watching the Highlanders during the Battle of Culloden was heart wrenching, but it was the absolute stillness on the fields and Jamie’s frequent flashbacks to remembered moments during the fighting scenes, that truly set my emotions awry (tissues promptly cued at this point). Jamie’s fluctuations in breath while lying upon the moor with his fellow comrades, combined with his hallucinations of what he saw and endured, made it truly unforgettable.
This episode with two separate time sequences of Jamie and Claire was everything that I could hope for. This installment felt like only minutes had passed, and I enjoyed how there was a constant juxtaposition between the reality of war, the experience of loss, and moments of candor to lighten the hearts of the audience. “The Battle Joined” was well written and executed perfectly, meeting all my hopes and expectations. I know I will be watching it multiple times before the next segment!
Outlander is BACK!
We are ecstatic that our favorite show has returned. The 15 long months between seasons was worth the wait because this episode has truly set the pace of what we can expect to see throughout Season 3. The content of Voyager is grand in scale, and we cannot help but to marvel at the work from all cast, writers, producers, and production crew. Each piece of this production has managed to work flawlessly together to create a phenomenal adaptation of its source – Diana Gabaldon’s astonishing book series that is cherished by fans across the globe.
Reference on 9/10/2017:
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