This is not the book. I don't actually mind because at the heart of this visual story is the book we love. The thing is something the book isn't going to translate successfully to the screen. We've all heard this by now. What I think we also need to realize is that Starz is trying to entertain the fans that love the story without destroying our story. And I for one think they've been pretty successful with the first season and Through A Glass, Darkly is no exception.
I'm going to talk about this episode so if you've not rushed to watch it you might not want to read any further.
I have to admit to a mixed reaction after the episode ended. At first, I was annoyed that half the episode took place in 1948 with Frank. How could they not toss us into Jamie and Claire's story immediately? Mrs. Graham is completely in on ever thing? Frank believes everything Claire said? Claire is searching for Jamie in history? And let’s not forget Frank’s reaction to the pregnancy news and how you glimpsed Jack Randall. Speaking of pregnancy, how can Claire barely be pregnant and be further along back in the 1700s? I mean we’ve all see those pictures. And worst of all, Claire considers taking off Jamie’s ring?
This all bothered me for a while after the show. Here’s the thing, I personally think the PTBs (let’s call the writer’s and crew he Powers That Be) want us to feel this loss. Claire has been separated from Jamie and as we see when the show opens, it is devastating. Everything about it is agonizing. Claire’s wails, her desperate need to know who won the Battle of Culloden, her annoyance at the modern world with all its noises, and her need to know what happened to the man she loves. Through the entire 1948 part Claire is subdued. Even when she smiles you can see the sadness in her face. Every moment, good and bad without Jamie is painful. The PTBs want us to feel this and remember because we are going to move towards the moment when this separation is explained and when we will bale our eyes out. You thought you cried when Claire was crying? Just wait.
Mrs. Graham believing and being in on Claire’s adventures seems plausible. Do I think it is necessary? Maybe not but I get the idea. Claire immediately has an ally. She isn’t the crazy woman to everyone and for me that is okay. I’d rather see someone believe her than watch while everyone doubts her sanity.
Claire’s search through all of Rev. Wakefield’s books on the Jacobites, looking for Jamie; she never did that in the book. She didn’t want to know but is that true? Claire did want to know in the book but she couldn’t bring herself to look. The thing is that never felt real to mean, no offense to Herself. Why wouldn’t you want to know? Why wouldn’t you look for the father of your child, the man you love beyond time? To see Claire searching for him is painful and real. It feels painful and as if she’s lost something great. I for one didn’t mind it nor that Frank asked her not to look.
Frank’s blanket willingness to believe Claire made me like him. I have never liked Claire. The moment I read the scene where Frank wonders if Claire had a romance during the war, I disliked him. To me that meant he did and was trying to justify his actions. That doesn’t mean he did but the idea upset me. There wasn’t much of Frank in the early books but I couldn’t like him. Her, all he wants is his wife back. He loves Claire with everything he has and doesn’t care that she loved another until that moment he realizes what that meant. Claire is having Jamie’s child and Frank gets so angry. Angry like you’d see Jack Randall lash out and harm someone. You see it on Claire’s face. She’s comparing Jack and Frank. She’s already seen a flash of Jack Randall when Frank first approached her. How can she get past the image of Jack Randall? Frank, however, is a man of more substance. He isn’t going to succumb to the BJR violent urges but instead sees this as the opportunity it could be. All he asks is that while he lives Jamie is put aside and Claire stops searching.
That sad part is, instead of doing it for Frank, Claire does it for Jamie and you see the realization on Frank’s face. His anger here is justified whether you like Frank or not. He’s just been told by his wife that she’ll do as he asks for another man. This can’t sit well with anyone. But Frank is willing to raise another man’s child and love that child as his own. That is a very big thing to do considering the circumstances and that is one aspect of Frank’s character that I tend to overlook myself.
But here is the thing; Claire never wanted to take off Jamie’s ring. If she had I would be so angry at the PTBs but I can concede that she might consider it for Frank but not be able to do it. As for Frank not insisting, again, why are you making me like him??? He’s so happy just to have Claire back that he’s willing to let her continue to wear another man’s wedding ring? Seems to me that right here Jamie and Frank has something else in common, besides loving Claire.
As for the pregnancy, as a book reader I know what is going on but you’ll have to watch and find out.
Overall, I thought this episode was wonderful and I can’t wait to see what other trouble Claire can get into and how their Best Laid Schemes will pan out.
*Check local listings for show times. Starz apps making episodes available at 12am ET.