Strong female characters do not always mean ferocious angered fighting women who back sass and a punch. It’s a trend in movies and television shows that has always irked me because people expect claps on the back for portraying a women as a bullet machine and then labelling them as strong. Similarly, hot-headed women who don’t need men and fight them at every whim. That’s not to say that they aren’t greatly done - at times - but you need to counteract it with shyness. In short, you need to fulfil their character traits and flesh them out.
Which is why Claire is particularly annoying this week.
This is the first time I’ve truly felt annoyed by Claire’s pig-headedness (that’s a glorious pun by the way). As she tries to escape, it’s like she has completely forgotten how to assimilate to the country and time that she is in. She infuriatingly battles against the same people, arousing suspicion whilst all the while trying to flee the castle. The conversations are a bit stale because they are the same as before and in some places, you almost want the Benny Hill theme song to be playing in the background to make it a little more entertaining. Despite this, you’ll have faith in the character as this is just a momentary blip of writing - rather than poor acting skill on Caitriona Balfe’s part.
The biggest gripe, alongside the narration (which reared its ugly snout again in a scene that didn’t need her thoughts but just her emotions), is that Claire is conveniently by a translator in royal proceedings so that she can understand what’s going on. It feels entirely illogical - this is a castle who want to keep her and figure out where she is from and who her allies are with. Yet, when it comes to elements such as legalities and the Castle’s law - why would someone explain it to her? If they believed her to be the enemy, then let her wallow in ignorance. That way, she couldn’t exploit them in anyway.
Other than that Outlander has somewhat lost its fantastical elements that made the pilot so strong. Instead, it seems a duller affair. It will, hopefully, pick up when the English are back at war.