“The Reckoning” S1:E9 | Outlander Thoughts

April 9, 2015 Outlander Thoughts 11

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Airing on Starz, Saturdays at 9PM EST

I rarely watch a show as it airs, but I’m making an exception for Outlander. I’ve really enjoyed this series by Diana Gabaldon and am eager to follow the TV adaptation. Since I’m both excited and opinionated, I thought I’d share my thoughts after each episode. This will be a running commentary, so I’d expect some spoilers. With that in mind, I’ll plan on doing these posts on the Thursday afternoon after the episode has aired, giving a fair amount of time to watch before reading. I’m not a professional television reviewer or critiquer by any means, so know that all views come from a book worm enjoying one of her favorite series coming to life on the screen. Enjoy & feel free to weigh in 🙂

“The Reckoning” S1:E9


Image taken from Candida with permission from artist.

Episode Synopsis: Jamie and the Highlanders rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall.
Original Air Date: April 4, 2015
Length: 1 hour 2 minutes

Overall thoughts about “The Reckoning”

I felt that, while “The Reckoning” was good, it didn’t have quite that wow factor the last few episodes have had, which is a bit disappointing for a mid-season premiere. But maybe I was just too excited for its return? There was definitely a lot of good in it and this episode promises great things in the remainder of the season.

I rate “The Reckoning” a 3.5 / 5

The Nitty-Gritty on “The Reckoning”

I was excited when this episode started from Jamie’s point of view – what a great way to show us what happened while Claire was in Black Jack Randall’s custody! This was a great episode to do it that way – there’s so much going on that Claire is not yet privy to and wouldn’t fully understand yet.


One of the treats of getting this from Jamie’s perspective! A small detail, but I just loved seeing how they put the kilt on laying down. It’s something I’ve wanted to see for a while.

And then we have the daring rescue! How great was that? Again, I’m glad we got it from Jamie’s perspective – how much we would have missed otherwise! I continue to love every scene involving Tobias Menzies- so what a treat to get him with both Cait and Sam. Now I don’t remember the rescue from the book, but I don’t remember the clever unloaded pistol trick. Do you? I would really love to know if someone remembers!

I appreciated several of Jamie’s lines in this episode – they spoke so truly to the man I loved in the books. For example at this moment:

It never occured to me to kill a helpless man, even one such as Randall.

My favorite moment from the rescue:

Leap of faith

“You are sure there’s water down there aren’t you?”
“Aye, I think so!”
And they jump! Yikes! That’s what I call a leap of faith!

After that rescue, you’d think they’d be so relieved to be alive and okay. Instead, let the fighting begin :/ I knew this was coming because of the book, except that their fight didn’t seem quite as relevant to me as it did in the book. Claire’s wondering off was so slight the way they portrayed it, unlike in the book when she acted so stupidly and actually went a day’s journey away. I do think that Claire was a bit too obstinate though – he just risked his life to save her and she’s not apologetic or appreciative, she’s going off at the mouth. Even if I can appreciate the anger at being expected to be the obedient wife. Wouldn’t have worked for me either. But still, SOME appreciation would have been appropriate.

“I went to ye at Fort William, armed with an empty pistol and my bare hands. When you screamed…Ye’re tearing my guts out, Claire.”

The man risked his life and he has to spell it out for you before you apologize? But at least we got a great Jamie moment out of it 🙂

She asked forgiveness and I gave it. But the truth is, I’d forgiven everything she’d done and everything she could do long before that day. For me, that was no choice. That was falling in love.

So Jamie! *sigh* You’ll notice a lot more quoting when we’re getting things from his point of view ;

And then we have the infamous spanking scene! I wondered if they’d do it, since (as I’ve already said) I didn’t feel her transgression was as real in this version of events. But I do think they did a good job setting it up as a legitimate consequence within their world setting. I know a lot of readers had a problem with this in the book, but I never did, because I see it as a very realistic representation of this time and world. Except that Jamie is actually much more understanding than many husbands probably would have been. I personally loved the way Sam and Cait acted the scene out – Claire fought something fierce! And Jamie’s – “I dinna ken what’s a sadist. As for my pleasure, I said I was gonna punish you. I didna say I wasna gonna enjoy it.” – made me laugh and gave it a very BDSM feel (minus Claire’s mutual enjoyment & acceptance, of course).

I think the return to Castle Leoch is what made having this episode from Jamie’s point of view a real treat. I loved having all the behind the scenes information with Colin and Dougal. I liked seeing Colin’s strength and a Dougal’s treachery more clearly. It really gives us a better sense of how potentially explosive things were. And seeing Laoghaire esponse makes future developments even more clear than they were in the book. For those who haven’t read the book – you think this is going to end well?! 😉


Goodness, she did throw herself at him, didn’t she?

This second half did drag for me, though. The tension between Claire and Jamie was annoying and I would have gladly shortened their make-up sex scene for a bit more forward progression in the story. I rolled my eyes at Jamie’s dramatic display of, what? FEALTY to Claire? Was that in the book? I love the sweet things Jamie says, but in my mind he’s always been a bit more alpha than that. I may have just imagined that because I like my men more alpha… respect Claire, but don’t whimper at her feet :/

My final thoughts on “The Reckoning”

For a mid-season opener, “The Reckoning” was enjoyable, even if it wasn’t all I hoped for. I like how well setup we are for some excitement, especially where Laoghaire is concerned and Duke Sandringham’s imminent arrival. And a long ways down the road, for the Pairs phase. I’m really excited for what’s to come!

What did you think of “The Reckoning”?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

11 Responses to ““The Reckoning” S1:E9 | Outlander Thoughts”

    • Berls

      I agree, Julie. With the exception of a couple of really good episodes the show hasn’t been all I hoped.

  1. Sharon

    I haven’t read the book yet but I am enjoying this series. I enjoyed the fact that this episode was from Jamie’s point of view as well. The only thing that bothered me was Claire seemed a little ungrateful for Jamie’s rescue. She had an idea about these times and I think she mouthed off a little bit too much as well.
    Love Jamie more and more with each episode. I can’t wait to start the book.
    Sharon recently posted…Feature Friday – Love at First FlightMy Profile

    • Berls

      I agree! She should have understood she was in a different time and acted accordingly! But I still enjoyed it, and I don’t expect her to act so stubbornly stupid again (for a while at least)z

    • Berls

      I’m enjoying it, but it hasn’t lived up to the book yet for me. With the exception of a couple incredible episodes, it’s been mostly just okay for me. So while I’d say watch it, I’d also say its not a huge loss.

  2. Ramona

    Dear Ducks, I was forced to skim your post on account of me being the only human on Earth who hasn’t read Outlander. So there – I admit it and throw myself to the mercy of the Court, lol. First book is definitely my next audio book, I do so solemnly swear 🙂
    Ramona recently posted…Clean Reader ControversyMy Profile

    • Berls

      I totally understand – I read Outlander for the first time just 2 years ago. It doesn’t help that each book is as long as 2-4 books! But it’s really good, I promise it’s worth it 🙂

  3. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    I actually LOVED this episode. While Claire’s ire did drag on, it felt true to the series given how utterly obstinate she’s being portrayed. And, I no longer expect the TV series to be a complete visual portrayal of the book. Ron Moore stated that interpreting the story for the visual medium will require some differences so I’m going with that flow. I’m just looking to see if the essence of the important elements of the book are translating well.

    What I took away from Claire’s wandering from the earlier episode was that she did just that…she wandered off and drew attention to herself. It didn’t matter how far, just that she did it without regard to the others. The fact that she put herself in a position to be caught was more the point. So I guess that made it a pretty big deal for me.

    But back to Claire’s protracted snit, the thing it did was make what happens next more acute. If they’d made up quicker, I don’t think it would have had as much of a profound impact. It’s clearly a turning point in their relationship. She gets how much she really cares and he put it all out there. By the way, Moore said he never thought about shying away from that spanking scene. It, for him, was an important element that changed the dynamics of their relationship.

    Thanks for the as usual excellent analysis! I always love your perspective.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Anatomy of a Serial Rapist! Night Terror by Stacy GreeneMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Jonetta – I’m glad you enjoy them 🙂 I definitely agree – it did feel true to the book’s important elements. I don’t follow the interviews much, so I didn’t realize Moore had made a statement about the spanking scene. I do agree with him though, and I think they handled it well. I think they made it seem that what Claire had done was serious – and it did have serious consequences – I just keep comparing it to what she did in the book and thinking that’s it’s nothing in comparison. You’re right – I hadn’t thought about how her getting over things more quickly would have made the change in their relationship less meaningful. I just wanted to shake her because how can you be mad at Jamie?!?! After what he did to save her life?!?! Lol 🙂

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