"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Outlander 1.9: Spanking Good

Outlander returned for the second half of its first season last night with a raunchy episode 1.9 that was just what was needed to kick off this second act.

The best strategic part of the episode happened at the very beginning, when Jamie rescues partially naked Claire from the grip of Black Jack with a cleverly unloaded gun - unloaded, that is, because a gunshot would attract too much attention, and then Jamie is hoping Jack gets the gun from him, turns it on him, which gives Jamie the chance to overpower Jack.  Good quick thinking, and it works. Well, of course it works, we're not going to see Jamie shot by Jack at this point, and forced to witness Jack's rape of Claire if Jamie's conscious.

Less believable is why Jamie spares Jack's miserable life.   Jamie says he doesn't believe in killing someone like that - even someone as bad as Jack - when he's down.   But clearly the narrative needs Black Jack far too much at this point for him to be dispatched.

The rest of the episode could be considered the schooling of Jamie in the art of marriage, even though he's the one who spanks Claire's unclothed bottom (I'm getting far too courteous in my language, that's what happens from watch a show from this age.)   Though, actually, Claire, not from this age, does call Jamie a "fucking bastard," which is probably the first time I've ever heard that on television. Jamie claims never to have heard that expression at all, and Claire helpfully explains what it means, as the two cuddle together at the end.

But back to the schooling:  Jamie thinks he has to spank his wife, for disobeying him, which he does. I guess we're supposed to get from this that Jamie, as decent a man as he is, can't escape completely the male brutality towards women in this time in history.   Were there no men back then who didn't believe in spanking their wives?  Who knows, this is, after all, fiction.   I was sort of surprised, though, that Claire allowed this to happen - even though she did show her disapproval, first by not sleeping with him the next night, and then putting a knife to his neck and warning him never to hit her again when they do make love at last.

Good to be back in the mists and earthy aromas of Scotland.

See also Outlander 1.1-3: The Hope of Time Travel ... Outlander 1.6:  Outstanding ... Outlander 1.7: Tender Intertemporal Polygamy ... Outlander 1.8: The Other Side

podcast review of the first half season

Sierra Waters series, #1, time travel



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