Oh, and that trailer.
Breaking Down The Outlander Season Five Trailer
You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. Watch it again though.
One minute of footage of mostly Claire and Bree and I have this to say: Is Outlander Season 5 adapted from The Fiery Cross? Because I know it took me a year and half to get through that book, and that was 10 years ago, but where are the clouts and the Gathering and the microscope and the building of the big house and Jocasta getting married and the toe sucking? I think the only thing I recognize is Bree showing Roger how to shoot.
But I don’t have the best memory of TFC, and the show is an adaptation, so let’s not get stuck on whether or not it looks like the bones of the book. Let’s just think about what the thrust of the season seems to be with this trailer.
This teaser looks like another rendition of that hideous song – Is Jamie Fraser worth all this? As soon as we hear Claire say, “It’s my fault you are all here,” clearly talking to Roger and Bree, we get a shot of Jamie’s face. Because no, he’s here because … HE IS HERE … this is where Jamie is and will ever be. And you think, well, Claire is just being a good mother to remind her daughter that her family would be safer in the 20th century. But then Jamie tells Claire: this war is going to be dangerous (duh) so … you gotta go if it gets too bad. And Claire seems to … AGREE???
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the same thing that happened before Culloden, which separated them for 20 years, and is the one thing that Claire has sworn to never do again (time and history be damned!). The push and pull of this season (according to this particular teaser) is that Claire, Brianna and Roger are going to vacillate allegiances to the family they’ve made and the safety of the time they’ve left.
And while this is always to some degree in the background of the book series (and comes into play when individual circumstances get dire), it is not the full conflict of their lives. Claire made a decision to come back for good. To let her adult daughter make adult decisions without her. Brianna and Roger can make their own choices.
And Claire herself. Would she give up Jamie to keep safe from the dangers of an impending war? Would she abandon the life she has chosen to try to either thwart history again (I think they know that doesn’t work) or to stay safe in a later era (I think they know she doesn’t want that). Why is it that the only over-arching conflict they can drum up is to do with whether or not staying with Jamie Fraser is worth it in the end?
Spoiler alert: it is. It always is.
The Ineffable Outlander Fandom
You never change. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed, how trite the current scripts are in relation to the first season, how totally UNlike North Carolina Scotland actually looks, the Outlander Fandom never, ever changes. Oh sure, some of the people come and go. After all, many of TN’s readers found us through Outlander excitement, and have since moved on from Outlander altogether. Watch an old episode of Hangoutlander, and we are all aflutter, and then watch a S4 one and watch us just drink and drink to forget.
But there are still the people who … gods bless them … are new to the excitement. Who elbow and scheme their way to front row seats at every event. Who find a way to get selfies at the back door of the parking garage at Javits. Who subtweet on Twitter about those other fans who tried to take their seats or used iPads to take full videos of the panel. It never changes. Only the faces and the Twitter names do.
And then there is this hilarious thread that reminds me that it truly is the most entertaining fandom I’ve ever been a part of.
Ladies, if you take your husband to Scotland for an OL themed vow renewal, pls don’t try to make him think the whole idea was completely original and not based on a book/tv show. Bc then I’ll show up and accidentally spill the beans and I’ll feel really bad about it
— Clary 🌸 (@claryclark0) October 8, 2019
I realize that most people never get any moment in the sun with the people from their favorite show. And that those who do get a single moment want to make the most of it because it is likely to be the only one they will ever get. But if there was any way that they could stop falling into the SAME OLD horrible fan patterns that everyone derides time after time, that would be truly fantastic. Here are the doozies from the main panel Q&A.
“I would like to take a moment to read from my latest Sam Heughan Dream Journal Entry”
You don’t need to list every accomplishment he’s ever made since he was LiveOnTour! Batman. He knows what he’s doing. He knows you are following every single Peaker account on the internet, and that you pre-ordered his terrible whisky. He is aware that there are 75 new Clanlands fansites already. He knows the titles of his movies. The public recitation of his CV is an unendurable slog. For everyone. “How do you do it all?” sounds like a question you are asking as you twirl a lock of hair while perched on the corner of his desk. For comparison, when someone fawns over Caitriona, they summarize her charitable works, project choices and general public persona with something like “You have given us so much.” Succinct. Respectful. Try it.
“Everyone gets annoyed when people make a speech … so I’m going to make one.”
You are not the exception to the rule. You either started reading the books in 1979 or you just found the show on Netflix and watched it all in a week. Those are the only options, and they have heard them all. They don’t need your story. You wouldn’t be a fan in line for a Q&A at Madison Square Garden if you didn’t love the show enough to be in line all day to get decent enough seats to be NEAR the line up. “Hi. I’m Beth from TN. Big fan. My question is …” That’s all you need. That will win you lots of love.
“Remember that horrible thing that the creators/the fandom/the author did that one time?”
Yes. We all remember. And we buried it and took a blood oath to never tell anyone where the grave is located because it was horrible then and it will be even worse if we dig it up. And guess what? You have grave dirt all over your t-shirt. Why in the world anyone thinks that they need to remind everyone in the room of the WORST thing that either the show ever did, the characters ever did or … GOD HELP US … the fandom ever did is beyond me. It doesn’t matter your intentions. Even if you are contrasting it with something positive that came out of it, or how the show is better than that now or WHATEVER, the cringe moment of you bringing it up IN FRONT OF ALL OF THEM is NOT WORTH the absolution you feel after.
If you’d like to watch the whole panel, there are some good moments. Caitriona and Sam remind us that as producers this season, they have a seat at the table to influence what is going on and to represent the actors as a whole while decisions are being made. They have seen early drafts of the scripts and been able to impact that as well. It’s the most hopeful I’ve been for a few years, especially when Sam noted (in another interview) that he thinks it’s a better season than the last. And Sam had a very cute, on-brand moment where he earnestly describes Jamie and Claire making love without making love. It was awwww and nostalgia all in one.
And as for The Fiery Cross … get ready for a ridiculous read-along with us as we bring back In the Waterweeds, our online live hangout book club where we talk all things Outlander. We have to bone up so we can break it all down come February!