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October 09 2017 @ 03:09 pm
Episode Discuss: 305 Freedom and Whisky  
As Brianna grapples with the life-changing revelations of the past summer, Claire must help her come to terms with the fact that she is truly her father's daughter – her 18th century Highlander father. To complicate matters further, Roger brings news that forces Claire and Brianna to face an impossible choice.

I keep forgetting to share that you can vote for the better episode at Season 3 Episode Battle.
 
 
 
siobhan63: powerpuffmesiobhan63 on October 9th, 2017 10:50 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! I am running out of superlatives to apply to this season.

If last week's episode was mostly about Jamie, this one was mostly about Claire. There were some notable deviations from the book, but really only in terms of locations rather than plot, so they weren't the sort of changes that made me sit there wondering WHY????

It was so good to finally see Sophie Skelton with some actual material to work with. I love her as Brianna, and the accent is becoming less annoying/distracting to me. She and Richard Rankin as Roger work so well together. I am so glad that we know there's a season 4 -- both of them will have huge roles and I am so looking forward to that!

Interestingly, while the titles of all of the preceding episodes have been really relevant and appropriate, I wasn't sure about this one. Is it just because "Freedom and whisky" is the line that lets them find Jamie working as printer and writer of seditious materials? The other titles worked on many levels, but if this one has multiple meanings, they escaped me.

This episode really did a nice job of wrapping up Claire's life with Frank. Her choice to stay with Frank, as has been hinted at (sometimes loudly) in other episodes, impacted everyone around her, not necessarily in a good way, and that was really driven home. The confrontation with Sandy, Bree's doubts about both Frank's and Claire's love for her -- we see the costs of Claire's choice to stay. And then we see the cost of her choice to leave -- Brianna will be, for all intents and purposes, orphaned.

There were a couple of things in this episodes that book readers were sure to immediately jump on, and which non-book readers likely missed or wondered what the point was. The first was the skeleton Joe asks Claire to examine with him. I won't say more about that because this will be important later in the show so SPOILERS! *Big Smile* The second was during the surgery, where I think they were trying to hint at Claire's almost "magical" or "mystical" skills when it comes to healing -- something that was oft-repeated in the book, but the only way they could have done the same in the show would be to have her voice-over explaining how she is able to literally "see" what needs fixing before even cutting open a body.

Near the end, when Claire's in the taxi enroute to the airport, and her voice-over is talking about her childhood fear of stepping into a puddle... and then the show transitions and she's getting out of a carriage, back in 1766 -- did anyone else flashback to the end of episode 201, when Claire's stepping down out of the place, Frank reaches out his hand to her and the shot transitions back to 1744? No? I did!

And that nasty little tease of an ending!! And now we have to wait TWO WEEKS!!!
Eumel: comforteumelkeks on October 10th, 2017 06:34 am (UTC)
This episode really did a nice job of wrapping up Claire's life with Frank. Her choice to stay with Frank, as has been hinted at (sometimes loudly) in other episodes, impacted everyone around her, not necessarily in a good way, and that was really driven home. The confrontation with Sandy, Bree's doubts about both Frank's and Claire's love for her -- we see the costs of Claire's choice to stay. And then we see the cost of her choice to leave -- Brianna will be, for all intents and purposes, orphaned.

This was one thing I did not enjoy. Their take puts all responsibility on Claire. She stayed with Frank first because she was traumatised and then because he offered to be a father to Brianna at a time when single mothers did not have an easy ride. Yet it was, in the end, his choice to cheat on his wife. I did not like that the show gave him a parallel love life with one other person when in the books he had been a womaniser. And I most certainly did not like the confrontation between wife and mistress in which the mistress put all the blame of Claire for not letting Frank go. There are two people in a marriage and this is getting ridiculous. It's as though Frank had no agency and was at Claire's mercy, which I think is preposterous given the times.

I did also not like that Bree had to have it spelt out that her father had an affair. Girl he was in your home when your mother graduated and it could not have been more awkward. I'm not really buying what they are selling because either the marriage is so cold than anyone could notice (and Frank clearly stopped being subtle), especially the daughter living with them, or it's well-acted and well-pretended so that Brianna and anyone else is gobsmacked by the revelation that this was not a happy marriage.
siobhan63: powerpuffmesiobhan63 on October 10th, 2017 12:07 pm (UTC)
I did not like that the show gave him a parallel love life with one other person when in the books he had been a womaniser.

I'm not going to get into the whole big Frank debate, but there really isn't actual proof in the books that he cheated. Claire thinks he has, and her voice is the only one we have in those chapters, but she's hardly an unbiased narrator. Diana Gabaldon herself said this recently:

The books never _do_ answer that question; assorted readers are obviously convinced that he did or he didn't--but they don't have any hard evidence to prove it one way or the other; the moral ambiguity abides, and they can argue it 'til they turn blue in the face, so far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, this is the show, not the book. Choices were made in the show by both parties, and those choices had consequences. Claire (and this is true of book Claire as well -- or even more true of book Claire) sometimes seems to have trouble seeing or understanding her own motivations, and often even sidesteps blame when it comes her way. This makes her more human and not perfect -- and that's good because a perfect heroine is a boring heroine. Frank wasn't a saint, but neither was Claire. And the confrontation with Sandy in this episode wasn't really about Claire and Frank, it was about Bree and providing the opportunity for her to express her doubts about Frank's love for her -- which she had in the source material as well. You may disagree with the story arc the show took, but it's what they went with and it was brilliantly executed.
Eumel: which witch?eumelkeks on October 10th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
You may disagree with the story arc the show took, but it's what they went with and it was brilliantly executed.

That comes across as a teensy bit disparaging. Is that the official line of the community or your opinion? Just asking before posting any further comments.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on October 11th, 2017 09:45 pm (UTC)
We'll that that as opinion because the communities stance on Frank is you can either love him or hate him.

I tend to agree with you even though I know Claire is far from innocent in that relationship but we never have to agree.
Jill aka Jo: TP: Dual MPsireesanwar on October 11th, 2017 09:44 pm (UTC)
I don't want to get into the Frank thing either but I think their was proof in that Claire knew it was happening. She tells us and people keep saying that could be her own imaginings but when she confronts Frank in Voyager he basically says that he thought he'd fooled her. DG I feel is trying to appease people.

I thought Frank was a cheater from the first book when he asked if she slept with someone during the war and how it would be okay.

This is something I've heard cheater say because they conscience is weighing on them.

But I'm okay with agreeing to disagree. I just think love or hate Frank there are reasons.

I can't say I always hate Frank because there are moments in the books when you learn about something and think that was very decent of him.

And having said all that. Frank wasn't the only one at fault. I mean yes he said he's take her back but he clearly was never fine with Claire having moved on with Jamie and technically Claire cheated. So all in all it was a very bad situation.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on October 11th, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
Kind of with you. I wasn't keen on the changes with Frank and I really think no matter how you look at it he didn't really ease into a life with Claire and I don't truly believe it was accepting of her love for Jamie as he said.

I actually think Brianna was just going to Claire for conformation about her own speculations. I liked that she got clued in that Frank wasn't perfect.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on October 11th, 2017 06:50 pm (UTC)
Right. These episodes are just getting more and more amazing. I'm loving every minute.

I was so thankful we got to see Sophie with more than two lines. She did a great job. She had a few moments when I wasn't keen on her reactions but overall I thought she did fantastic. I don't hate her accent. It seems like she's more American with British thrown in. I don't think she'd sound like a Bostonian.

No, I think this episode title is to the point like the next one will be.

I loved how they really fleshed out the cost of Claire's choice and how much Brianna was willing to sacrifice for her parents. I was really proud of Bree.

I didn't really get the surgery at the beginning. There was something there but it wasn't well defined and I have to wonder if it will come up later. The bones thing was great and I think touched on it a little more but that will be a nice bit of ... look at what we did.

I didn't remember that but I was so pleased they used parts of the prologue of Voyager the book. I love that prologue.

Two weeks is killer but they are showing the first 5 episodes all over again.