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    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

“The Iconic Stable Scene – Ep. 506″

Jamie and Claire in the stable.“Better To Marry Than Burn”

Now, overall, I liked Ep. 506 (of the STARZ Outlander TV show)—especially Jocasta’s heartbreaking final words with Murtaugh—Maria Doyle Kennedy is fabulous (and Duncan LaCroix was right there with her)! Parade Magazine asked me what I thought of the iconic stable scene, though, and so I told them what I thought.

I know a lot of people found it arousing and enjoyed it, and that’s great—I’m all for people liking the show in all its manifestations <g>, and people being people, they’re going to like different things.

That being so, let’s respect each other’s opinions—and I’d like to hear all of them!

So—what did y’all think of 506? (And have you ever eaten grasshoppers or locusts? I have. Once…)

Read “Outlander Fans Get the Sex Scene They’ve Been Hoping for, but Diana Gabaldon Thinks They Might Not Be Satisfied,” by Paulette Cohn for Parade.com. Published on March 22, 2020.

Passage From the Parade article featuring Episode 506::

“As for Jamie and Claire’s fight—and I suppose you would have to call it makeup sex, though as played, it was more or less a continuation of the fight—this is one of those ‘iconic’ scenes from THE FIERY CROSS,” Gabaldon tells Parade.com exclusively.

“Those are the scenes that book readers particularly value, and spend months hoping will be included in the show. The book fans will be happy that it is included.” However, the more nitpicky fans might be distracted. “I’m afraid it’s one of those situations where they’re so provoked by the omissions and changes that they may forget to be thankful.”

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29 Responses »

  1. I agree about the first several lines and the positioning. . . seemed like it wasn’t yet fully scripted. Unfortunate, though, as it could have been much better. The visuals of having a show, versus the narration and description in a book, require different treatments. Sigh.

  2. Of course, I was happy to have the scene included; however, the brevity of the scene and the adapted context were disappointing. I am hoping the writers and producers are not going to back off the intensity and passion of J and C’s physical relationship just because their characters are older. They still have a relatively young marriage and older married couples, contrary to popular belief, still enjoy passionate, intimate sex lives — and I am thankful that DG offers this perspective in the books. Please, youngsters, never scoff at the authenticity of this perspective. But please, producers, including Sam and Caitrina, it’s Jamie and Claire’s relationship that must always stay at the center of the show, ALL aspects of that relationship. Do not shortchange the fans, I beg of you.

  3. I am one of the fans of the Outlander series – ofcourse.
    I must say, I read the first two books when I was much younger and had less experience in life. Now, I am 65 and trying to make sense of the life I lived so far. As you know ‘life is a bitch and then you die’. But in the mean time, you may have a lot of fun.
    What I want to let you know, is, the Outlander series and the Traveller books strike me as yes, I know it is absolutely fiction – although I am very impressed by how you are able to weave true history through the lives of the persons in your books, especially the main characters. They are very real and might even have lived this lives and this way. So, respect.
    Another thing that is most intrigeing in your books – at least to me, probably to more people – is the way you describe the ‘group of souls’ being and coming together in lives.
    What do I mean by this? In ‘Snow and Ashes’ you describe how Donner explaines that he is one of a group ‘of about 200 or 300’ people time-travellers.

    Have you ever heard of, read from, Michael Newton?
    He is a Ph.D and Master Hypnotherapist (think he died recently) who wrote and investigated ‘in between life’ as he calls it.
    It is mainly about ‘why are we on earth’ and especially, how are we supported in reaching our goals in life? He states that groups of souls are coming into this life together with the intention of supporting one another.
    If I go back to the above mentioned title of your book, I can just imagine how the ghost of Jamie looks at the window where Claire is behind in one of the first shots of the film; I also can image that the attraction between several souls is at the level of soul-mates rather than partners for ‘life’.
    I am also most intrigued by the medicine you let Claire use, as I am a homeopath for 25 years myself and several of the remedies you mentioned are still used, AND working, the way you describe. Nice!
    Anyway, I enjoy your writing and I enjoy the films that have been the result so far. Your main persons are very nicely portraited by Caitriona and Sam.

    I hope life treats you well and you and your loved ones will be spared from corona. Thank you for reading this message,

  4. Hey, thanks for giving your opinion. Its aways interesting to hear what you think about the interpretation. I didn’t like the way it was framed. Claire isn’t ‘just a women’ to Jamie. The series and the books are quite far apart on characterisation now, so i suppose I shouldn’t have been to surprised but the amount of rejigging everything around to make space for the Murtagh/Jocasta storyline (which on its own is a lovely nuanced bit of screenwrtting). It has cost a lot of the other characters in story development and left this scene feeling a bit hollow. Anyway, thats my take. I’m hoping for a bit of an improvement in tempo and better use of Roger & Briana in the final half of the season. Cheers!

  5. Omg
    That is such a great answer

    “Those are the scenes that book readers particularly value, and spend months hoping will be included in the show. The book fans will be happy that it is included.” However, the more nitpicky fans might be distracted. “I’m afraid it’s one of those situations where they’re so provoked by the omissions and changes that they may forget to be thankful.”

    Haha haha…. May forget to be thankful ….. so true.

  6. I am a latecomer to the Outlander books but caught up quickly last year. Subscribed to Starz and had no regrets until episode 506. Thankfully I read a sentence from the Parade article which calmed my unease. “I’m afraid it’s one of those situations where they’re so provoked by the omissions and changes that they may forget to be thankful.” This helped put things into perspective. Thank you Ms. Gabaldon for writing this marvelous story.

  7. I wasn’t crazy about it. But I guess I’m what would be called a “Purist” in the Outlander world. I no longer compare the show to the book – I understand why things have to be different. But I thought the sex scene was gratuitous. It was out of character for hoe Heughan plays Jamie. And the dialogue in the scene did not match the action. So Idont compare the episodes to the book, but I do compare them to previous seasons and episodes. This one just didn’t ring true or even almost compare to the first 2.5 seasons.

  8. I remember other times in the past when Jaime was drunk, and acted a bit rashly, so I chalked his actions in the scene up to that. I also suppose that both Claire and Jaime were so upset and angry from their argument over the use of the rings, that they needed to “explode” with each other to release pent up emotions. Anyway, I liked the scene.
    The scene with Jocasta and Murtaugh was so wrenching and real, both actors deserve awards. It was one of the most powerful scenes in the whole series.

    Grasshoppers: my mother was a bit of a jokester, so one Christmas she purchased a box of chocolate-covered grasshoppers from Macy’s gourmet shop to serve with the other after-dinner desserts of plum pudding, pies, cakes, nuts, etc. My Dad bit into one and said it was crispy. That’s when she told everyone at the table what they were, and my Daddy looked like he was going to choke. The rest of the company slowly backed away from the table while Mom just laughed and giggled. It was a memorable feast!

    • Hi, Clare,

      Glad you liked the scene.

      And I loved your Mom’s grasshopper prank! Guess it wouldn’t have helped to say that insects are an excellent source of protein, even in chocolate. Ha!


  9. Wow!wow!wow! Loved the episode. Murtagh grew on me throughout the series. So many tears for him and Roger. Had to watch it back to back. Also Graham McTavish what a great avtor was happy to see him again. Waiting patiently Diana for that next book. Thank you so much hope to meet you one day. Hope you and your family are staying safe. See you soon Amiga!

  10. I enjoyed it. It did not have all the wonderful undertones and passion the book has, but it was alright for the show. Sam and Caitrina did a good job with what they were given. This season has more feeling to it that last season. On a side note – it would be easier to be in quarantine if I were reading Bees.

  11. I’m with you, Diana. That scene was awkward and poorly lit. It seemed like the director struggled with the complexities of that particular scene. It was shot as if she was embarrassed by the scene and just wanted to get it over with which is unfortunate because it’s such a powerful moment. I would have liked to have seen what Toni Graphia would have done with it. It was strange to see Cait and Sam appear stiff and somewhat awkward with each other. We know they have no problem with chemistry. I’m just pretending that scene didn’t happen ;) Everything was back to what we expect to see from Jamie and Claire by the next episode.

  12. I loved the stable scene. Despite their anger and disappointment, Jamie and Claire’s love and passion for each other prevailed. If the book series is about “married love”, this scene showed it well. Plus, it was a big improvement over the tepid sex scenes of late.

  13. I enjoyed Episode 506 a great deal. The lady playing Jocasta is excellent but I myself couldn’t have let Murtagh go. And now in 507 we have lost him. Now I know from owning all eight other Outlander books that he didn’t survive Culloden but so enjoyed watching this very handsome man act. Can’t wait till the next book comes out. Mrs. Gabaldon your an excellent author and I just consume these books. I have turned several people on to the books and the series and we watch it on Monday’s all together. I hope you and your family are well during this pandemic. Keep up the excellent writing as you are one of my most favorite author’s. Yours Sincerely,

    Sherry Hawkins

    • I’m well into book #7, An Echo in the Bone, and watching Season 5 for the third time. Differences between a screenwriter’s script and the book are literary license; not quibbling at all. Oh well. Fact of life in the movie business. I enjoy each independently of the other. Regarding dear Murtagh – loved his scrappy character as much as (almost) Jaime’s. I looked forward to his reappearance in America when he was released from Ardsmuir prison. The backstory between Jocasta and Murtagh was ingenious and bittersweet, and I admit I teared up: 1) at the scene (in the season 5 ) when Jocasta told Murtagh of her impending marriage; and 2) his death in the battle at Alamance. Love these books! Love the DVDs!
      Best wishes to you and family; be well. I hope to see you again at a book signing for “Bees.”
      Starr Seesler

  14. I am so happy with Season #5. It has been excellent. My husband & I have not been fans of Season #4. But this 2020- season #5 has been amazing.
    I stay up late on Saturday night-Sunday morning to see each new episode. We are thankful to have this series available during this health crisis.
    Thank you to all for a much better season after the disappointment of the previous season.
    My concerns are that it wasn’t filmed in North Carolina.

  15. Nothing about the scene was erotic or arousing. The acting wasn’t particularly good nor the way the scene was written. Seemed rushed and almost desperate. Blah

  16. I always have an appreciation for the effort on the part of so many to bring as much of your words and ideas as they can to us on film each episode. Ep. 506 is no exception. This is the first time that I felt compelled to comment about deviating from the original though and not so much for the more obvious reasons; I can generally cope.

    This time the differences took me ‘out of’ the experience for the first time and left me asking “why”?

    Yes, the choices made around the “sex scene” into a “make-up sex scene” was unfortunate to be sure.
    This, instead of being about the inevitable magnets that Claire and Jamie are to one another, drawn unavoidably together, which I felt from their written encounter.

    What I really didn’t understand were the changes to the actual plot line leading up to the confrontation(s) with Mr. Wiley and the need for the barn confrontation, in the end, with Jamie. Claire managed it herself in the moment as it was first conceived. That for me was a more important action than Jamie having to intervene in the moment.
    I found that the character of Mr. Wiley was unnecessarily overwritten; well cast, but overwritten. He could have just been as written and he would have been sufficiently creepy for us; AND we wouldn’t have ‘seen him coming’ as obviously as they made us. I simply wasn’t shown, as I usually am by the writers, where the need was for the changes.

    I suppose, if I were given the space to tuck one disappointment only in this reflection box though, it would be that they missed one of the best “punch lines” in the whole book series. “I took his horse”. I remember laughing out loud in that moment on first reading it and smiling with each re-read. By telling us all about Mr. Wiley putting up his horse ahead of the game… well… they / we missed the joke.
    I will still choose to remember it that way. Thanks for the chance to comment.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your interesting input.

      But the TV show is an adaptation of my books, and will always have some differences. That’s the nature of translating from book form to video scripts that are split into episodes.

      All best,

  17. I loved Episode 506. The stable scene is absolutely one of the best in the series. That look on Jamie’s face when she slaps him says it all.

  18. I’m so thankful for the tv series and my only complaint is that there are not more episodes in each season ! I have read all of the main books and loved them. There were storylines and characters that I didn’t love as much as others but Diana is the author and she is in charge of those things. I’m looking forward to Bees of course like everyone and then #10. I was fortunate enough to see the premiere of season 5 and the panel in nyc in feb and it was such a thrill !

  19. Ok so I was torn on this scene. At first I wanted to be nit picky about it. Then I thought about it a little and realized that because of time allowances and the grit part of acting the changes can make sense. It was not what it could have been but remember that this is a show not a novel it was good and still did keep the general feeling from the novel. When major changes happen in the show I try to remember that while the show is close to the books they are actually there own things.

  20. Episode 506: I loved it. I could see at the beginning where he is reminding Claire that she is a woman ‘in his time’ was of great significance. It is a statement he probably needed to be drunk a little to be able to have the guts to piss her off a little, but a little isn’t it. She is mad but he can tell she still wants him when he kisses her. It’s one of those times when a woman needs to be taken by her man on a primitive level, not just because of love but because of want. She needs to be consumed with him/claimed by him. It’s a different kind of love making and I loved it! It’s so hot!

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