Another week goes by and yet another filler episode has descended on Outlander. As we move further into red coat territory again, it becomes apparent that either the television show has no idea where it is heading or it is blighted by trying to adapt everything from the book. Stringing the plot and fleshing it out to fit twenty plus episodes means that, rather than focus on the drama, we get a pained and strained second half of a series that should have sprung into some sort of action. It’s disappointing that we’ve galloped back to dullness once more.
The first infuriating element of this is that the episode started strongly, with Jenny and Claire hunting for Jamie and pushing their morals one side to torture anyone with information. There was an epic flow between the pair that isn’t explored enough. It was squandered when Jenny had to go and was replaced by the mourning dribble of a man, Murtagh, who laments over his lost love in order to connect with Claire. Lo and behold, that woman was Jamie’s mother so he has to care for him and we’re all supposed to weep for his story. Except, even as Claire sobs, we shuffle awkwardly. Excruciatingly, Balfe’s performance here is so subpar that it is painful. She is usually such a competent actress and yet she cannot seem to translate the emotions well enough here.
Hopefully, this is a blip in writing. Perhaps they were all sleepy when they wrote this episode. But it wasn’t good - it wasn’t good at all.