Outlander: Both Sides Now review

The final episode of the first half of Outlander season 1 leaves us with some questions...that won't be answered soon. Here's our review.

This week’s installment (and the last installment before April, kill me now) of Outlander managed to do the unthinkable: Convert me to team Claire and Frank. Which is alarming, and not just because it forms the hilarious and unfortunate portmanteau of  ‘Crank.’

Toby Menzies’ continued powerfully strong performance and the brilliance of the writers who decided that exploring the six weeks after Claire’s departure from Frank’s perspective in 1945 was the way to go are the combined factors to blame for this alarming reversal that has me all being, “Jamie WHO?” What can I say? The course of true love never did run smooth, and the course of Frank and Claire’s love is rocky enough that I don’t even think it qualifies as a course. It’s more like the idea of one.

This is not to say that Jamie was ungallant. He was anything but. He cooed about how great sexing Claire was and saved her from rape not once, but twice. That’s pretty damn gallant. But, is it as gallant as Frank, bruised and beaten, returning to the hill of stones to cry out to his missing wife? It is as tortured and romantic as Frank believing some con artists who want to rough him up for the reward money, causing him to reveal his dark Black Jack Randall-like streak and beat them senseless? No, no it absolutely is not.

Outlander has managed to perfectly encapsulated the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) desperation Frank feels with Claire’s disappearance. Of course he’s frantic and upset and lost! Claire, frankly, hasn’t even had TIME to feel Frank’s loss. She’s been so caught up in the business of staying alive, unflogged, and unraped. The beautiful scene intercut between her racing to the stones and Frank racing there as well finally made me believe that Claire hadn’t just shrugged off Frank — she’d been in crisis mode. It’s only natural that taking a life would inspire her to reassess her situation and to try to return to the life — and man — she loves.

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This begs the question, will Jamie be able to win us AND Claire back? Sure, saving a woman from being raped is all well-and good, but it’s not exactly wooing a broad, is it? Jamie will have to be proactive to help Claire answer the question she set out for herself (IN THE TOTALLY UNNECESSARY, OUT OF PLACE AND PROLONGED VOICE OVER) — who, exactly, does she want to be, and who does she want to be with?

You can read all of our Outlander coverage right here.

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4 out of 5