It’s a fair to say that television shows are allowed a few weeks off. Unlike film, the objective to continuously provide excellence week in and week out is a tricky task to muster. The writing has to be fully fleshed out, the acting needs to be spot on and the storyline must lift off from the week before and delicately in to the week that proceeds it. That element of impeccable continuation is never achieved in a television series and you’ll find that the show is often blighted but one or two “bad egg” episodes. This week’s Outlander - By the Pricking of My Thumbs - is one of those middling to poor episodes that is trying to continue with the change of dynamics of its predecessors.
Whilst separating Claire and Jamie for a majority of the episode may seem like an excellent choice to develop their characters apart, the new dynamics of marriage and assimilation back into the clan, the episode struggles to balance the different plots. Instead of purely focusing on Claire and Geillis, developing that character more so than spiritual effect (which is the better story here), it tries to go down many different paths and unfortunately, loses itself in the forest of story-telling. Tantalising each may be, but put into the same episode they aren’t given the time or space to develop.
It’s a washy episode in the midst of an even bigger scheme. It’s all exposition, setting up for the future of the second half of the show in an ok manner. Also, Simon Callow stars at Sandringham which is always a plus. Outlander is still incredible and is amassing an armoury of plots that, if shot out of that cannon correctly could really hit your heart in a grand way.