"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, May 31, 2015

Outlander Season 1 Finale: Let's Change History

I thought most of the previous episode of Outlander, two weeks ago, was unnecessarily violent and unwatchable, and therefore I didn't review it.   A lot of Game of Thrones is like that, too, and life's too short to write about that, also.  Some of tonight's season finale of Outlander continued the brutally graphic story we saw two weeks back, but there was enough about the episode that was redeeming, hence this review.

The best personal part of the episode - love can conquer and heal all - was well played and well motivated.   It was good to see Claire and Jamie together at the end.

Even better was what Claire proposes to Jamie - that she and he can try to change history, by connecting with Prince Charlie in France.  This raises a whole series of intriguing questions, attendant to any time traveler's attempt to change history.   If Claire succeeds, then how is it that she knew to want to change the future in the first place?   The multiple-worlds hypothesis in physics is the answer usually provided:  Claire 1, in World 1, in which the Scots are subsumed by the British, travels back in time, stops that subjugation, which creates World 2, in which the Scot Highlander culture thrives, independent of England.  In this World 2, Claire 2 has no knowledge of a Scotland under English control, but paradox is avoided because the agent of the change is not Claire 2 but Claire 1.  If these multiple worlds sound crazy, they're no more crazy than time travel itself.

Of course, there's another reason why Claire's attempt the change history won't rob her of the knowledge of the history that she wants to change:  Claire and Jamie's attempt to change history fails, and unfolds the way she - and we - know it.

It will be fun to see which of these scenarios plays out next season - or maybe it will be a third, completely different scenario (and, again, I have not yet read the books).   But one thing is certain: Claire is pregnant, and, if that baby comes to term, that will in itself dramatically change history for all concerned.

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 ... Outlander 1.9: Spanking Good ... Outlander 1.10: A Glimmer of Paradox ... Outlander 1.11: Vaccination and Time Travel ... Outlander 1.12: Black Jack's Progeny ...Outlander 1.13: Mother's Day ... Outlander 1.14: All That Jazz

Sierra Waters series, #1, time travel


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