This morning my Twiiter feed and FaceBook pages were filled with images from the upcoming episode of Outlander on Starz. Episode15 has been talked about and feared since the series was announced. What happens at the prison is that controversial and that disturbing. I have no real words of comfort to offer because Wentworth looms and its shadow casts a chill of foreboding.
Diana Gabaldon, the author of the book, has already seen the finished product and has felt the need to warn fans that:
- The actors were brave
- It follows the book
- It will be uncomfortable viewing
Just these three statements alone are reasons enough for me to both look forward to and yet feel somewhat nervous about watching this episode. Diana Gabaldon’s story of what happens between the sadist Black Jack Randall and our beloved Jamie is tough to read and knowing that we will “see” what happens is disconcerting… to say the least. This visual version of Diana’s story has had a tendency to be well acted, well executed and well…it’s going to feel real. I’ve seen some social media posts that suggest this episode could trigger feelings and memories for folks, especially for those suffering from PTSD and I believe it could. Quite frankly, it IS a concern and I’m glad folks are being warned.
Only Diana truly knows what happened in that dungeon room, but she said she shared her knowledge with the producer and actors. They were then able to decide what they would feel comfortable acting and showing us. They haven’t shied away from difficult scenes yet and I don’t imagine they’ll start now. I fully expect to be staggered, impressed and emotionally exhausted by the end of the episode. This series will continue to be ground-breaking and I couldn’t be prouder.
Yesterday, I ran across an interesting thread on Facebook that paired an image of Jamie in irons and the poem Invictus by Ernest William Henley. I asked Denise Cataudella, the lady who shared the poem and picture, if she would mind my using her post for inspiration for this article. She was gracious and said, “please do”. I was struck by the feelings this poem and picture evoked when paired with the book fan’s knowledge of what will happen to Jamie. People were sharing with Denise that it sent a chill down their spines and brought tears to their eyes.
…black as the pit from pole to pole… There in that dungeon…alone…believing he would die the next day…never again to see his love…his Claire…
…fell clutch of circumstance…captured…escaped…captured again…in the clutches of a man he knows to be a monster…who has flogged him to within an inch of his life…and…desires him…
…under the bludgeoning of chance…what he suffers…the torture…physical…mental…spiritual….his despair…
…beyond this place of wrath and tears…how desperately he tries…tries…to hold on …to himself…
…looms but the horror of the shade...soon…soon…it will be over…think on her…until they come…
…I am the master of my soul…
The word represents one of those concepts that we all understand and yet have a tough time defining.
- the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body
- the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect
- the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.
- the animating principle; the essential element or part of something.
- a human being; person
These definitions are good, but I think Jamie explained it best when he said:
“It’s …difficult to explain. It’s…it’s like…I think it’s as though everyone has a small place inside themselves, maybe, a private bit that they keep to themselves. It’s like a little fortress, where the most private part of you lives–maybe it’s your soul, maybe just that bit that makes you yourself and not anyone else.” …”You don’t show that bit of yourself to anyone, usually, unless sometimes to someone that ye love greatly.”…”Now, it’s like …like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder–there’s nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree, and the little naked thing that lived there is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear…”
– James Fraser, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
This Saturday, a soul will be in jeopardy and a fortress blown to ash.