Outlander Episode 307: CRÈME DE MENTHE aired on Sunday, 29 October and, well, the honeymoon is already over. Now that Jamie and Claire have had oodles and oodles of anticipation sex, it’s time to argue over childrearing. Twenty years ago, Jamie was very concerned about the dangers his wife and child would face without him. But he had no idea things like bikinis existed in the future. Good thing Claire doesn’t mention push-up bras. Oops. Too soon for those. But then, the 60s bullet bra was worse, in my opinion.
It’s day one, and Claire is ready to set up new digs and a back alley clinic to practice her healing skills. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa, says Jamie. What’s wrong with the brothel? It has everything they need. Free room and board. People coming and going. A madam who may or may not want Jamie all to herself. Naked women being snogged in the parlor every hour of the day and night. Who wouldn’t want to pass through that?
Besides the eye loads of bare breasts, there’s lots of mysterious intrigue in this episode. We have a hard-nosed customs officer sniffing around, a would-be (or should I say may-be) excise officer rummaging and pillaging, a fortune-telling hustler who keeps his sister drugged up, and a one-eyed thug breaking and entering into Alex’s print shop. Then enters Ian Murray, looking sickly and pale – and not just from his long journey all the way from Lallybroch. Claire is baffled, but silent, when Jamie flat out lies to his brother-in-law’s face. It’s one of those “I’ll tell you later” moments.
My favorite scenes of the episode are between Fergus and Young Ian. Those two have stolen my heart and the show. Both César Domboy and John Bell add a sparkle to Outlander with their youth and vitality. I could, however, have done without seeing Young Ian lose his virtue to the young tavern wench. But at least she showed him proper. And I’m trying not to imagine a 15-year-old in a ménage à trois – funny as the delivery in that scene turns out. Other than that, who’s for a spin-off following the exploits of these two lady-killers?
Caitriona Balfe‘s Claire is front and center in this episode, first defending herself against an intruder, taking him out, then spending the rest of the day trying to save his life – all against Jamie’s wishes. I understand the desire to emphasize Claire as a surgeon, and I’m all for scenes of skull drilling, blood and gore – especially so close to Halloween. What I don’t understand is her seeming lack of judgment in the situation. She plans to make the bad man all better and turn him into the authorities with no consequences to herself, Jamie or Madame Jeanne’s establishment. I dinna buy it. And that’s all I have to say about dat.
Sam Heughan‘s Jamie is back to business as usual and reminds me of Season 2 Jamie in Episode 206: BEST LAID SCHEMES. I suppose because he’s back to scheming. And now I’m suddenly excited at the prospect of Fergus, Young Ian and Murtagh scheming with Jamie in Season 4. Would things be simpler in Jamie’s life if Claire had not returned when she did? Mayhap. But then again, Jamie has never led a danger-free, simple life. The Frasers, aka Malcolms, are off to a rocky start, but when hasn’t their life together been rocky? There was that one time for about five minutes when no one was trying to frame, arrest, seduce, kidnap, rape or kill one or both of them. Wasn’t there? Anyone? Bueller?
Well, anyway. Let’s start the recap of this episode’s Top 30 Moments for Episode 307: CRÈME DE MENTHE.
#30: Claire’s Average Day In The 18th Century Moment: Has she even been back 48 hours yet?
#29: Jamie and Claire’s Agreeing to Disagree Moment: Or rather, Claire ignoring Jamie and doing whatever the hell she wants.
#28: Jamie and Claire’s We’ve Been Here Before Moment: So, basically, every time Claire is alone and almost gets raped, it’s her fault?
#27: Jamie’s I’ve Got Everything Covered Moment: Might want to re-think this one, old chap.
#26: Young Ian’s Crème de Menthe Moment: If no one in Scotland drinks the stuff, why exactly do they have any at all?
#25: Young Ian’s Justifiable Homicide Moment: Geez. Never mess with a Scot.
#24: Jamie’s Trying Too Hard Moment: A salesman, he ain’t.
#23: Jamie’s There’s Always The Next Time Moment: This is the 18th century. You can’t walk down the street without someone dropping deadish in front of you.
#22: Jamie’s Heartfelt Admittance Moment: Sure to melt Claire’s heart.
#21: Jamie and Claire’s Awkward Moment: Or not. If Claire doesn’t want him, I’ll take him.
#20: Jamie’s What About Me? Moment: Poor Jamie. Claire really did travel 200 years to make love only once.
#19: Jamie’s Clingy Moment: I’m getting a little worried about Jamie’s self-esteem.
#18: Fergus and Young Ian’s Cheers To Themselves Moment: More of these two, please!
#17: Fergus and Young Ian’s Ye Olde Hooters Moment: Better watch it boys … you’re bordering on good, old-fashioned sexual harassment.
#16: Fergus and Young Ian’s Slightly Inappropriate Sex Education Moment: But damn funny.
#15: Young Ian’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High Moment: Guess Fergus should have added a few more rules to the list.
#14: Young Ian’s Fast Learning Moment: Of course, it’s a woman who has to tell him how it’s done.
#13: Ian’s So Good To See Ye Moment: And here enters the only person who’s not a big, friggin liar.
#12: Ian’s Precious Moments Moment: A great performance by Mr. Steven Cree. Just thought I’d help him out a bit.
#11: Jamie and Ian’s Butch & Sundance Moment: That’s a helluva long way to travel for a ten minute conversation.
#10: Jamie’s Not-So-Secret Secret Compartment Moment: Well, that was easy.
#9: Jamie’s I’m Right And You’re Wrong Moment: Someone please smack TV Jamie for me.
#8: Jamie and Claire’s Ridiculous Conversation Moment: 1) Of course, whores don’t parade around in bikinis. They’re naked! 2) Really, Claire? You forgot how rigid the 18th century is? That’s like forgetting they don’t have penicillin. Oh, wait … that you remembered.
#7: Jamie’s Hypocritical Oath Moment: You might want to tone it down there, boy.
#6: Jamie’s Look! Up In The Sky Moment: It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s bionic batman. (Yes, I added a sound effect.)
#5: A. Malcolm’s Print Shop Inferno Moment: Nothing happening here … I just like the flames behind the sign.
#4: Jamie’s Incredible Hulk Moment: Yay! He’s saving the printer. Oh … no he’s not.
#3: Jamie’s These Boots Were Made For Climbing Moment: I had an Edward Scissorhands joke … but then … I lost it. Cool boots though!
#2: Fergus’ Adopted Son Knows Better Moment: F*ck it. I would have told her myself by now.
#1: Jamie’s Day 2 With Claire Moment: What was that he said … “no matter the cost. I would give up everything I have …”
All images used above are property of Sony Pictures and Starz, Inc.
Outlander Episode 308: FIRST WIFE premieres on Starz this Sunday, 5 November 2017 in the U.S.
If you missed the other fun looks from Outlander Season 3, you can find them here:
Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep301: THE BATTLE JOINED
Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep302: SURRENDER
Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep303: ALL DEBTS PAID
Lord John Grey’s Top 20 Looks from Outlander Ep303: ALL DEBTS PAID
Jamie’s Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep304: OF LOST THINGS
Top 30 Moments of Outlander Ep305: FREEDOM & WHISKY
17 thoughts on “Top 30 Moments from Outlander Ep307: CRÈME DE MENTHE”
First Jamie shouldn’t have been callous to Claire but concerned for her and about the man. He is frugal for a very good reason but he was never a penny pincher , he just live a very striped down life.
PS- as a separate thought- do you think they are overcompensating for that fact that season 2 had almost no sex? They seem to have added a lot of possibly gratuitous sex this season (Game of Thrones style prostitutes coitus in public rooms as you mentioned. Did we really need to see Young Ian in a sex scene? Did we need two fairly explicit Frank/Claire sex scenes? Did Jamie/Geneva sex need to be as long as it was? I think in season 2 what the fans complained about was lack of J/C sex and J/C connection — not lack of sex in general.
I have no problem with nudity or sex in a show as long as it’s done well and is not gratuitous. The problem you may be sensing is the seeming lack of emotion compared to S1 and S2. The sex scenes so far have been the actors going through the motions – in my very humble opinion. I still think they are all great actors, but maybe even they sense something is off. When you read a passage or watch a scene, you should feel whatever the writer or actors are emoting. If you feel uncomfortable or dissatisfied, perhaps that’s what the writer was feeling or the actors. I read a great interview with a best-selling author regarding the writing of sex scenes. He said when a sex scene in a book doesn’t work (i.e. is bad), it’s because the writer was embarrassed or uncomfortable while writing it. Thus, that’s what the reader gets off the page. I’m not talking about erotica, btw. That’s a completely different subject. I don’t personally care for it because I don’t believe the relationships/characters are developed enough to make me care enough to feel their supposed passion.
I didn’t have a problem with Jamie and Geneva’s sex scene but felt it was rather kind of blah. The talk after was more interesting to me.
I don’t mind nudity in a brothel (like GOT) because the women are part of the story – not true here, except for the breakfast scene. I’m unsure why they are made to walk around topless in the entrance/lobby. And I’m guessing folks having sex in the parlor is cheaper than renting a room for privacy. Of course, I would have preferred Jamie had partnered with a higher brow establishment. Madam Jeanne’s seems a bit on the “cheap” side.
I think Jamie callously dismissing Claire’s request to move is an attempt to show his frugalness – a big part of his character. Jamie is most definitely not materialistic, despite the grander clothing and locations in the show. He’s still a penny pincher.
At the end of the day, this is someone else’s adaptation. I think I can live with whatever they do as long as it’s done well. More sex does not equal better. Better sex equals ratings.
Thanks for the top 30, totally fun and spot-on as always. Gotta say I didn’t love this episode. Although there were some enjoyable and well done bits (i.e. Fergus and Ian were fun; the fire was amazing), both J & C seemed to be very “off,” not written correctly, if that makes sense. And the overall lack of tenderness between them was very jarring (especially as this takes place immediately after their reunion).
Re: Jamie: his not comforting or hugging a trembling Claire after she was attacked by the intruder– not even asking her if she was OK, seemed out of character for him, especially as it happened immediately after their night together. Jamie being so petulant about not raising Brianna, when he was the one who insisted Claire leave, and insisted Frank raise Brianna- seemed a bit hyprocitical. Jamie saying “why not live in a brothel” seemed inconsiderate. Also, Jamie lying so egregiously to Ian about Young Ian– again seemed really inconsiderate and not really who Jamie is.
Regarding Claire, you euphemistically call it poor judgement- I would be more harsh and say that in this episode they made her look a bit stupid and a bit bitchy. Completely ignoring any repercussions so that she can try to heal the intruder. Insisting on running around Edinburgh alone- after she’d just been attacked. Shouting in the apothecary shop that “a man’s life is at stake!!” when she had promised to be low-key and discreet. Telling Jamie that he doesn’t know about parenting seemed bitchy to me– a low blow. And finally something that bothered me from the last episode: am I the only one who thinks it was beyond stupid to bring a bikini photo to show an 18th century father? Surely Claire would have realised it’s inappropriate– even a modern father from the 1960’s might not approve of such a photo.
I understand the the writers want to create strife, but there is inconsistancy in the way the core characters are written, and I found it very jarring. At their core Jamie & Claire are both intelligent and considerate people. In this episode they both came across as petty, inconsiderate and unintelligent.
I think Diana’s Jamie is a little more modern than adaptation Jamie. In the book, he seems to embrace Claire’s independence and supports her at every turn. In this episode, he’s acting how I expect an 18th century husband might act. Whoever wrote this episode decided to make a bigger deal out of the bikini picture than is made in the book. I would be fine with that if it didn’t feel like an excuse to have them argue only hours after their big reunion. Both Claire and Jamie seem to stray off character in this episode – and I don’t mean from the books.
I’m not a book reader (am waiting until after the show to read the books) so my observations of Jamie and Claire being wrongly written in this episode comes solely from the characters in the show. They both just seemed to be so “off” in this episode. I didn’t know the bikini picture was in the book. Seems an odd and wrong choice to show an 18th century father (even if he is forward thinking)
Glad to know you watch with an unbookbiased perspective. I’ll be very interested in your opinion as the show progresses. The bikini picture in the book is used more for laughs because of Jamie’s shocked reaction, but it never becomes an issue. I agree with you, they dropped out of character – not the actors’ faults.
Your spidey senses are on point!!
The reason she included that bikini photo was to show as much as possible of Bree to Jamie but she should have thought that through a bit better. The reason she tries to save the exciseman is a TV adaptation, In the book Mr Willoughby shoots him and he doesn’t even get to the room to rummage through Jamie’s things. I guess that scene was important for episode 8 when Jamie himself will need Claire to save him from a serious injury, so it explains why she would still fight to preserve someone’s life even if it seems they don’t deserve it.
I believe i.v. understands there are many differences between the books and adaptation. She’ll get the full picture when she reads them all later. I envy her the first reading. 😜
I agree that more sex does not equal better sex. Season 1 had a magic and intensity to it that sadly, seems to be gone (although most viewers probably loved the reunion episode, I personally found it quite flat. The actors seemed to be going through the motions and did not seem into it– unlike season 1. Also, it seemed overly choreographed to resemble the “Wedding” episode, which to me felt contrived and not real). Anyway, I still love the show and will hope for better things going forward.
I believe more than a few people feel that way, but we all continue to support the show. Not every episode will be a winner. I’m looking forward to them hitting the high seas!
If they had followed the book there isn’t any of this crap and there was plenty of stuff going on. I don’t like this Jamie and she would never had done brain surgery, that was simply ridiculous they should have been at Mawbry’s eating oyster stew and having sex!! Ian should have been following the one eyed man. Oh well I’m just a fan of the great writings of Diana Galabdon.
I kept wondering if Jamie had had a new bed installed while Claire was with the Campbells. I wouldn’t want to sleep in it. But I don’t blame the actors for anything off kilter.
Enjoyed your review despite the unfair comments re Jamie! The writers have used their poetic licence rather liberally this time, putting words in mouths that shouldn’t be there; characters and events out of sequence. There’s no trying to save the intruder, ergo, no skull drilling, ergo, no conflict with Jamie and no Claire on her high horse. I know, I know, it’s an adaptation. But not happy with this ep. I’ll be interested to hear the writers explain themselves in The Original Outlander Podcast. Look forward to your next musing…
Indeed. It seems this was not a popular episode. I do not read other reviews or recaps anymore, but I’ve “heard” the grumblings. Adaptations can be difficult for people who’ve loved a series. I try to watch the show unbiased – not easy. Being a writer myself, I am sometimes confused (maybe baffled) why swaths of time are devoted on one subplot versus another, or why more time is not spent on the main storyline. But, we all do that. Thanks for sticking with me!
I completely agree with you, I have tried to watch it four times, but when , we get to the drilling . I just can’t. I don’t know how they can justify this episode. To me it’s such a pivotal book for the characters and the storylines. But what do I know, I’m just one of millions that were , really really looking forward to this year.