15. “The Watch” Episode 13
It shouldn’t come as a big of a shock to find “The Watch” listed at the bottom of our list of best episodes of season 1. Just like “The Search,” the episode was problematic almost from the very start. While both episodes were both “The Watch” and “The Search” were directed by Metin Hüseyin, it wasn’t the reason why it was uncomfortable to watch. The episode “The Watch” was written by Toni Graphia and if we’re truthful, fans were disappointed. Graphia wrote the fantastic episode “The Devil’s Mark,” so expectation was high for her to get this right. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this episode.
Again, our intention is not to come off as books snobs, but certain liberties were taken in this episode that wasn’t unnecessary welcome. If you haven’t read the books, Jamie never meet up with Horrocks at Lallybroch. The Watch never comes to extort money from Jamie’s family. There’s no raid that Jamie takes part in and get’s caught by the Red Coats. It never happens and for the show to completely make up these events to us is a cut direct to what the author wrote. What I would have like to have seen was more of Claire and Jamie settling into what their life in Lallybroch could have been like if they have stayed. We already know they are going to go through hell can we take an episode or two to enjoy domestic life? Another point of contention is the blatant push for Claire and Jamie’s sister Jenny to bond over her difficult labor. It’s done solely for the purpose to make the being of “The Search” to make sense. Please don’t take my dismissal as an admonishment of the acting ability of Laura Donnelly or Cait Balfe. They both did the best with what they were given; it just ran hollow. Jenny’s hard labor also facilitates Claire coming clean about her fertility issues with Jamie.
Just like the child’s birth, Jamie immediately casts it aside like it’s a non-issue. That’s not how any of this works.