LETS TALK ABOUT THE RECKONING

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    Sam

    OOOOKAAAAAAYYYYYY. Let me start this off by saying The Reckoning is hands down my favorite episode of all of season one. I’ve watched it more than the Wedding. Listening to the podcast, I actually took NOTES so I could make a nice post about everything you guys talked about.

    The fact that this episode reminded Whitney of Zorro explains why I
    love it so dang much. Zorro was my first superhero and no one will
    ever convince me he isn’t a superhero. So, when I watched it for the
    very first time (The Reckoning) the explosion and the whole mission
    impossible feel was amazing. I loved all of it.

    As for BJR and Jamie and Claire. The thing I keep in mind when it
    comes to BJR is that he’s about power, not sex. I don’t think he’s
    more attracted to men than women. I think he uses sex for power,
    especially rape. Because rape isn’t about sex, it’s all about the
    power. BJR is a sadist who feeds on the pain and suffering of others.
    In his time, he’s found the best and most visceral way to do that is
    through various forms of rape. That being said, his whole ‘maybe you should join us’ ick factor gross ness was more about the power play than the actual act.

    Some part of me believes BJR didn’t believe the pistol was loaded.
    Because I agree that he wouldn’t want to kill Jamie so quickly and
    easily. He wants the pain, he wants to break Jamie. I think he might
    have been half hoping it was, half hoping it wasn’t. Then his reaction to it not being loaded would make sense because he was shocked Jamie made it so far with a gun that couldn’t do anything.

    Now. About the strapping scene. I understand that it’s controversial.
    (I don’t know what my opinions say about my psychological state but
    lets not look too deeply into that, aye?) But I, for one, liked it. At
    this point, Jamie and Claire have only been married a short time
    (weeks? days?). Jamie didn’t get to experience much in the way his
    father and mother were in their marriage. He’s witnessed how Dougal is and how Colum is, but those are his only real models to work from. He knows Brian loved Ellen and all that, but he didn’t get to witness their marriage for very long before Ellen died. That being said, he’s working with what he knows. Think back to the Gathering for a moment.

    Laogahire was brought forth to be punished. I might be remembering this wrong, but I think she had the option to be strapped or beaten. In the Reckoning, Jamie is choosing the best thing he can, and he’s doing it himself. Yes, she’s apologetic and she says she won’t do it again, but Claire is stubborn and headstrong. I honestly thing, if she’d been given the option again, she might have made another run for the stones.

    As for Jamie enjoying the strapping… Remember in the book (it didn’t
    happen in the show) he had an erection after the Grant raid. For some
    reason, Claire’s description of ‘hard as a brass rod’ stuck in my head
    so I will always remember it. So for Jamie, something violent and
    painful is a bit of a turn on. Especially when it’s a nearly-naked
    Claire, who is throwing things, scratching, kicking, screaming. Pretty
    sure that’s a secret fantasy of his. And Claire doesn’t shy away from
    the rough stuff either, so I guess I didn’t have the same issues with
    this scene as a lot of people. Plus, we don’t see where Jamie slept
    that night. I firmly believe he slept on the floor.

    Now. With Willie getting beaten up, I refer to a deleted scene.
    There’s a scene where Mackenzie clansmen start fighting each other,
    showing the viewers that the whole clan is on the brink of civil war.
    So later when Colum refers to ‘clansman fighting clansman’, he’s
    talking about the brawl that had taken place outside.

    Onto Laogahire.

    I hate her. Every fiber of my being wants to put her on a ship and let
    her sail off into the bloody sunset were she won’t bother Jamie or
    Claire ever again for all eternity. But that ain’t gonna happen. So
    here’s my thoughts on the scene by the river.

    Okay the episode is definitely all about choices. We know that. But
    the way I see it, we as fans are repulsed by Laogahire. Jamie isn’t.
    Not yet, anyhow. Yes, him allowing her to put his hand on her breast
    was wrong. Yes, he let it linger far too long. BUT, to his credit, he
    pulled away and chose to honor his vow. He was out there skipping
    rocks to try and figure a way to repair what was damaged between him
    and Claire. He doesn’t know exactly how to do that, but he DOES know
    (from watching Dougal cheat on his own wife) that taking Laogahire up on her offer isn’t the right way. He’s a man of honor and he owed her a conversation, which he gave. I think he’s being his polite and unintentionally charming self in the whole episode, especially with her. And at this point, he’s still blissfully unaware that Laogahire is in lust with him. (I firmly believe that, given later evidence, Laogahire is NOT in love with Jamie. She’s in love with the IMAGE of Jamie and is in lust with his body. Cause he’s purdy.)

    So I do agree that there are some parts of that he allowed to continue
    for too long. But I don’t think it’s against his character. She came to him when he was in a very vulnerable state. He’s gotten used to having a woman to take to bed anytime the notion tickles him, and now it’s been a few days. Who’s to say he wasn’t thinking of Claire when
    he touched Laogahire? No no, don’t yell at me. I’m not excusing his
    behavior. But riddle me this. <strong>If Claire had had this same fight with Frank, would he have walked away?</strong>

    ANSWER: NO. BECAUSE HE’S A CHEATING PIG.

    Anywhooo. I disagree that they went back to not talking to each other.  She was a little dazed and looked a little sleepy when he came in that
    night. She was listening, but I think her lack of verbal response was really just letting him have his words. I think she was preparing for
    another fight or maybe worried that he’d force his way into her bed.
    He said he wouldn’t do that on their wedding night, but it tilted her
    world a bit when he used the belt on her, so she’s not sure what he’s
    capable of now.

    But she’s hurting too, I believe. She misses him and I think she
    misses the easy friendship they’d developed. But she won’t back down either. It isn’t until he says ‘wives obey their husbands’ that she
    gets really irritated. Because she thinks he’s going to go into the same ‘you will obey me or suffer the consequences’ again and she’s not
    having it.

    INSTEAD WHAT HE DOES IS SO MUCH MORE AWESOMER!!!! He gives her the oath that he WOULD NOT GIVE COLUM!!! The man who’s hiding him, who has the power to cast him out and turn him over to the Redcoats. He would not give that loyalty to. But to Claire, he would carve out his own heart and offer it to her. Which is essentially what he did. I think the hesitation Claire has in answering his ‘do you not want me anymore’ is because she’s processing what he did. She knows the danger he risked by doing that and here he is, offering that oath to her.
    *SWOON*

    I have to say something now. ASHELN. BITE. YOUR. TONGUE. How could you POSSIBLY think of FRANK when you have Jamie in all his ginger, Scottish, romantic glory!? Seriously!! I don’t think we can be friends right now.

    But, of all the sex scenes in season one, that is my favorite. Because
    it alters between them both. They’re both giving and taking the power, the control. He gives as good as he gets. And then she literally holds
    his dirk to his throat and gives him an oath of her own. To me it
    really felt like a meeting of equals, rather than one being dominant
    and the other submissive. Jamie doesn’t want a meek and submissive
    wife. He wants Claire.

    #485 Reply

    ashandwhitj
    Keymaster
      Ashlen here:

    Great points and a great conversation starter. I will start with the Black Jack Randal thing first. His sexual pleasure is a very interesting topic as it just not seem to have a whole lot of consistency. I can see what you mean in regards to the power, however the fact that he could not get it up when he took Jenny would lead me to believe it is not just power. No one can deny that power is important for Randall. In addition to the Jenny scene, we get the scene in Season 2 with Fergus in the Brothel. What is Randall doing there if it was about the power? Even when he decides Fergus would do, he was still under the belief that Fergus was what he will be paying for. He is not making them submit, unless he has them doing some sort of role play.

    Back to the Strapping. I agree whole heartily that what Jamie did was within the times and set up by the Laogahire story line to gives us the perspective of 18th Century Scotland. However, one of the biggest issues I have with it is that Jamie mentions that he understands that Claire is from somewhere that women are treated differently. I felt like there could be a better compromise there. Especially if Jamie feels like he will ‘no do it again’. Do you think Jamie was surprised by Claire’s response to the whole thing? I am inclined to say no and if he understood what it meant to her, he could have found an alternative solution. Make her stand in the comer for 30 mins! There needs to be a consequence, but I wish Diana had written a different one for her.

    Oh Laogahire….First of all I am sure Whitney would agree that Sam skipping stones by the water is worth having the river scene no matter what. I do agree that the scene, although necessary, was not bad conceptually. Is it realistic that Jamie is going to have women throw them selves at him, yes. It is realistic that sometimes the most temptation comes at the most opportune times, yes. I would disagree that Jamie would not know what Laogahire is all about at this point. He has always been able to read people and understand motives, so I would say that it applies her. I do, however, feel like he is being nice and not wanting to destroy her feelings like you said. I just cannot overlook the fact as if he seemed truly tempted. Just does not jive with me. We just do not learn much from this scene.

    As for the response about Frank: We do not know what Frank would do or not do as we never hear him talk about what happened during the five years that he was gone. If he believed that Claire was truly in love with him, then I do not believe that Frank would cheat on Claire, even if they did get into a fight. We get no evidence that he ever did before the war.

    As for the make up, Jamie handles this very well. This is where I think he goes into super Jamie mode and I think it is very difficult to swallow his pride, but he does it. He still feels as if he is right “wives obey their husbands”, but knows the hurt at fear he brought to his wife. I love that he swears the oath to her, almost like writing your own vows, but not during a wedding ha. You bring up an interesting point about Claire hesitating though. I was always under the impression that Claire knew the gravity of what he is saying and she is still undecided if she is going to go back to the stones. What Jamie is saying is intense and to give it credence is only going to hurt him more if she leaves. Which at this point she does not want to do either.

    I think the thought about Frank was more about my internal question I had about why Claire would take Jamie to bed right away. Even if he did just pledge an oath and look so dashing while doing so.

    So once again, and maybe I am just too analytical, I liked the concept of this sex scene and mostly not the execution of it. The dagger is good because of the point you make about being equal and Jamie needing a certain type of woman that can go “toe to toe” with him. Claire proves her strength in that moment and yes that would be a huge connection with Jamie. I have always struggled with the you are mine, possession, master talk…and that makes it way into this scene as well. The emotion, the music, everything that happened before was definitely good. I just felt what I saw on screen was different that what I saw in my minds eye and that is probably the reason for my disappointment.

    Wow great post, I find the role that sex plays in this series interesting and this episode has it all. From BJR, to Claire and Jamie, and to what Laogahire wants to happen ha!

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