OUTLANDER Wonders Where Is Waldo

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Episode 114: “The Search”

[Photos: Sony Pictures Television]

Change a dorky hat and glasses for a Scottish accent and a hunky body, and Outlander’s own version of “Where is Waldo?” will look very much like the latest episode, where it’s all about finding Jamie…

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So maybe it’s an adult, live action version of Finding Nemo, instead… why yes, with an episode as pointless as “The Search”, I was left with extra time to think about the most ridiculous things. Comparing Outlander to kid’s entertainment was one of them. Another was being really impressed with Jenny’s ability to travel so soon after giving birth. That was some real superhero action right there.

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There is a feminist “test” to establish whether or not a female character is relevant to the storyline. It’s called a “Sexy Lamp Test” and it asks only one question. If the character was replaced by a sexy lamp, would the storyline change at all? Here’s the problem I had with this episode:

If I erased it completely from the line up, the only thing I would need at the end of the previous episode was for Ian to tell Claire the most probable place the Red Coats could take Jamie to was the prison. Boom. We would be spared a set of scenes that were almost painful to watch. And if I never see Murtagh dancing, ever again, it will be too soon.

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The other thing I could live without was the Game of Thrones attempts at making Dougal still relevant to the plot. His play at getting Lollybroch and wedding Claire felt weird. Technically it all made sense in the grand scheme of things, since Dougal already tried getting into Claire’s metaphorical pants (and his determination in getting the rebellion ready has been well established, as well). Still, I can’t shake off this feeling that it was out of place. Maybe if we had this in a different episode, one that would add to the story…

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It’s rare that an episode leaves me so indifferent that I struggle to find something to talk about, but “The Search” was possibly the weakest episode this season. Not even the revelation that Murtagh was in love with Jamie’s mother was able to save it for me. I tried hard to care about Claire’s quest (since I adore Jamie and want to see him safe and sound), but the song and dance routine seemed a little far-fetched and the encounter with the Gypsies was completely out of the blue.

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I gotta wonder, am I missing something because I haven’t read the books? Would this episode be more interesting if I was able to identify clues to some relevant book event? Is Claire’s quest to find Jamie so important in the books that it required an entire episode? Is this what I waited six months for?

What about you? Did you enjoy the episode or were you just as disappointed with it as I was? Were there parts you enjoyed? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter! See you next week!

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