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November 06 2018 @ 04:05 pm
EP 401: American the Beautiful  

From start to finish what was your thoughts on Stephen Bonnet? Did you believe him about being Gavin's friend? What about his talk with Claire?

What did you think about the ring in the end?

Poll #2086696 What is your kilt rating?

(1 dislike, 5 best thing ever)

Mean: 4.00 Median: 4 Std. Dev 0.00

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siobhan63: powerpuffmesiobhan63 on November 7th, 2018 01:08 pm (UTC)
I've managed to watch the episode twice now -- I like to do that before attempting to comment on it. First, I have to say that the way my brain works, I rarely pick up on symbolism/recurring themes/metaphors -- that sort of thing. I'm a very literal person and just take everything at face value. So it was only after I'd read Connie's review of the episode that I picked up on all the ring symbolism. So I won't get into that -- you all can go read Connie's take on that side of things.

Anyway, I thought the episode, overall, was very well done. I can imagine that for non-book readers, there might have been a few things that they'd find confusing? Perhaps like how on earth did Jamie and Claire end up at that dinner with the Governor et.al.? I saw on Twitter that they had filmed a scene showing just that -- the invitation -- but had to cut it for time concerns.

Ed Speleers as Stephen Bonnet was incredible. When I'd read of his casting, I had my doubts since I mostly knew him as Jimmy the Footman from Downtown Abbey. And Jimmy the Footman was one of the sweetest, most decent characters on that show -- you know, the total opposite of Mr. Bonnet. Well, watching his performance, I completely forgot about Jimmy the Footman. So well done, Ed.

I was a bit puzzled re: the ring swap at the very end (as in, why is it Jamie's ring that Bonnet makes off with and not Frank's, as per the book). At least in the book, the ring Jamie gives to Claire is an actual ring, that would have actual value other than sentimental -- not a piece of a key banged into ring shape. Jamie's ring in the show would have zero $$$ value to a thief -- who'd pay anything for that? So really not sure why they changed that bit.

I will say that I am undecided re: the use of the Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful" over the last scene. I know many complained (on Twitter) that it was too political, but my issue was more the anachronistic aspect of it. I know they used a 1960s song in season 3 -- I think that one worked a bit better because it started off in that period, but I still wasn't that keen on it's use when applied to the 1700s. Same here. I didn't hate it like some did, I just didn't love it either.

But overall, solid episode and the season is off to a great start. I really hope we don't have to wait too long to see Bree and Roger -- I am really looking forward to their parts of this season.

On a side note: I have a problem with tennis elbow, and so limit my computer use when at home in the evenings and on weekends since I do research and writing at work all the time and am always at the computer. Consequently, I tend to do most of my checking of LJ while at work. However, I've noticed over the last few months that LJ takes FOREVER to load now at work. I think it's due to upgrades in our firewall and security software -- I think all of the .ru extensions that have to load when you visit LJ are causing problems. It loads fine for me at home, but at work, it's painful trying to get LJ to do anything. Just to post this, it took almost 20 minutes before the reply box finished loading so that I could enter text. I just wanted to explain that since it might take me longer to comment on things/reply to people.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on November 21st, 2018 09:02 pm (UTC)
I noticed the Governor thing too. How on earth did that happen. I mean a conversation at the table of the people who found them on the beach introducing them or being there with them would explain it. And it would be simple. I get cutting the scene but I would have been okay if they'd just had the governor at Jocasta's party. That could have worked too.

That is all I knew him from too. I mean I had foreknowledge of Bonnet but when Bonnet interjects in the conversation between Gavin and Jamie my first thought was he's manipulative. And we see it again when he invokes Gavin's name for assistance. Slimy! So I think Ed is awesome.

I think in part it was less about the ring having value monetarily. Bonnet sees it has personal value and therefore maybe luck to Claire. I think that is why he wanted them. Listening to what he says when he's talking to her in the wagon really highlights his strange thoughts. And going forward I think it is much more of a stand out ring should anyone be on the lookout for it.

So I disliked the use of the song only because it is so modern rather than time period appropriate. As to political.... I hate politics and I'm a little annoyed people bring in into fantasy and tv. Generally, I'm opened to opinions and discussions but people forcing political meaning just pisses me off. I'm pretty sure it wasn't at all meant to be that.

I believe the reasoning behind it was that it was ironic. They'd been talking about the new and glorious land and then something so awful happened. So the song is kind of ironic in that sense. For that it made sense but again... I prefer more period music.

Sometimes I have trouble at work. I've gotten in the habit of typing everything in Notepad and then pasting it when I can. My issue is that the browser will crash and I'll lose all I've written.