Dec 30, 2018, 8:55 EST
On December 30, 1996, Delacorte Press was released Autumn Drum, the fourth book in the blockbuster stealth Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. Tonight, 22 years before publishing day, the most anticipated, loved, interesting, and frustrating scene in the book came to life on the TV adaptation that was very popular in the series. Although the episode revolves around the faltering dynamics between a young woman and a father she has never met, it is mother, Claire Fraser, and the woman who plays it, Caitriona Balfe – serial spanner, the force of gravity that maintains the force Outlander the world is on track and viewers are back for 51 episodes and growing – which is quietly shaping time.
Entitled "Birds and Bees," this episode focuses on Brianna Randall Fraser (Sophie Skelton) born in the 20th century who tracks her mother Claire (Balfe) and Jamie's father (Sam Heughan) in 1769 North Carolina. A thorny alliance took place between the stubborn American father of the 1970s and the Scottish Highlander whom he first met. Confused? Welcome to the world Outlander, where certain parts of the population can travel through time with the help of certain prehistoric monuments. More about that.
Above: Jumpsuit and earrings, Tom Ford. Below: Settings, Nina Ricci; Shoes, Prabal Gurung; Ring, Vintage Georg Jensen Nanna Ditzel Ring from Beladora.
This is what fans devour books and track Gabaldon members every movement (the fandom New York time describe as "One of the most passionate television fan bases") have waited more than two decades for: Claire and Jamie, the textbook "perfect partner," reunited with their long-lost daughter to complete the Fraser family unit. "When Brianna returned, you saw Claire looking around the table like, Oh, my God. I finally got it all, "Balfe explained by telephone from LA after a confusing month spending time promoting OutlanderFourth season.
It was a picture Claire had never imagined for herself, and the road to now was sprinkled with family trees jumping up and down for three and a half seasons. To recap quickly: In 1946, Claire, a British WWII nurse, accidentally traveled to 1743 through a group of mystical standing stones in the Scottish Highlands. Although married in his own time, Claire married a Highlander, Jamie Fraser, for protection, and they fell in love. Two years and a half dozen life-threatening adventures later, Claire returns to pregnant with the 20th century with Brianna. He fled after the Battle of Culloden, the Scottish conflict with England which was the end of Highland culture – and where Jamie planned to die with his colleagues.
Claire spent the next 20 years in the 1950s and 60s, mourning Jamie and raising her daughter with her first husband, Frank. After his death, Claire and Brianna, with the help of an old friend (and Bree's romantic interest in the future), historian Roger Wakefield, learned that Jamie survived Culloden, and Bree urged Claire to return to her husband in the past. When Season 4 was opened, Frasers happily reunited and settled in America in 1767. Meanwhile, Brianna, basically an orphan in the 1970s, found clues in historical documents showing the deaths of Jamie and Claire, and decided to take a dangerous journey through rocks to warn them. (When Roger found out where Bree was going, of course he followed him.)
Although the relationship that developed between Brianna and Jamie – complicated by luggage for two centuries, including the image of another father – was the subject of this episode, there was something to push about Claire and Bree's reunion. Claire – who has experienced some upheaval for life and should, at this point, be physically unable to deal with surprises – good and truly stunned. Even though Gabaldon wrote Claire as a character whose face betrays each of his emotions, Balfe always plays a role with a slight erase, with far-reaching pride betrayed only when Claire decides to speak his mind. But in this scene, there is no pretense, no emotional barriers – only touching help. This is very moving, compounded by Skelton who almost drops Balfe from his feet in a hug. ("Everything in the hug he gave his mother," said Skelton. "I ran toward him and threw myself at him, like Bree would do, but I thought Cait was about to fall.")
Maybe, this is the first truly uninterrupted interaction between these characters. Their relationship in the 20th century was tense at best, the truth about Brianna's father stretching the gap between working girls and working mad mothers was almost irreparable. It took what both considered a permanent separation to bring them closer than before, and their reunion closed the last remnants of the gap. "Claire and Brianna really met each other with the same footing," explained Balfe. "This is a woman to a woman, whereas at the end of Season 2 she is still trying to raise a child – you are still very trying to guide them, trying to teach them and telling them. When you are a mother of an adult, there is friendship that appears in it. [Claire] knew he could not dictate to him anymore or tell him how to live his life. He saw that he was a full woman who still needed care and comfort from his mother, but at the same time, Brianna was a woman now. And I think Claire acknowledges that. "
Suits and sweaters, Fendi; Ring, Melinda Maria and her own stylist.
The previous episode in the season made Jamie and Claire at home where they could really welcome Brianna, with the couple making the decision to really sit quietly for once. They bought a piece of land in the interior of North Carolina and founded Fraser's Ridge, a guesthouse where Jamie could farm while Claire practiced the medicine. "It's nice to see this couple resolved … There is a strong foundation that Jamie and Claire wake up, not only in their relationship, but now in this family, in this community," Balfe said. "There is satisfaction and settledness that we have never explored before." While the previous season saw Jamie and Claire venturing into the Highlands and parts of mainland Europe before their breakup in Season 3, Season 4 allowed couples to settle down – and, of course, involved in what fans expected and desired. "Season 1 and Season 2, Claire constantly reacts to events that occur around her, and then last season was an investment in her professional life and daughter, but at the expense of personal fulfillment in such an intimate way," Balfe said. "This season, it's about self-care, where it's never really been about that before."
Balfe admits that he wrestles with Claire, a woman who is equally skilled at holding knives against criminals who are glancing at him because he is a scalpel in the operating room, who chooses the role of a housewife. "I think we can all fall into a trap in our own lives and in ourselves, and as an actor you can fall into a trap with the characters you like, Oh no, this is who they are and this is the way I see them. When I read the first scripts, I needed one second to understand the shift. But I think that's what's very interesting about being on an event like this—[it] keep you alert and challenge you every season, "he said. "It finds value in what you are given to be explored at a certain time. This season, he found a value in maintaining his side that he had to ignore for 20 years … This is the first season where we see all parts of him united in a more cohesive way. "
In "The Birds and the Bees," it is Balfe's performance as a mediator and a mother who grapples with shifting family dynamics – which quickly turns to concern for her daughter's well-being – which reminds viewers why Claire is the essence of the show. Apart from this happy family portrait, viewers knew there was a heartache for Frasers. What should have been a celebration event for Brianna was marred by the impact of last week's episode, which saw him raped in the hands of a pirate, Stephen Bonnet, with a decisive bond with his parents. Bonnet stole Claire's wedding ring at the Season 4 premiere, and when Brianna met him in the episode last week and tried to pay for his return ring, the pirates attacked him. Skelton gave a prominent appearance when a young woman was stunned by sadness, and when Bree finally told her mother what she was going through, the four-minute scene was cathartic for the audience and spectators. "The whole storyline is very terrible," Balfe said. "The very dangerous thing about sexual violence is the result of every relationship in someone's life."
Balfe and Skelton's performances are terrible, and the relationships between actors underline true friendship. "You get a very generous actor [on this show] and Caitriona is one of them, "said Skelton. "Even when it's not his decision, he gives you 100 percent performance. He is not tired for you. If he cries for him, he will cry over you because you react to the same thing. There aren't many actors like that. "
This is a show that reminds us of some of the best Balfe has given on the show – think of his strong belief in facing Season 1 general confusion, or the result of the rebirth of his first daughter in "Faith." Season 2 is easily seen why he received four nominations Golden Globe in a row for its efforts. (The most recent, this season, awaits the award ceremony the following Sunday.) Its energy and tenacity have been one of the most interesting factors of this series since the premiere in 2014 – not to mention the chemistry with prominent Heughan men and their sex smoldering the scene, the attraction that lies in the gaze of women attached to the event. "Somehow this event was originally a breakthrough because the female character is more perfect than what we have ever seen when you tell this relationship," recalled Balfe lovingly. "We can see sex through his eyes, we can see all this through his eyes. It is surprising that in 2014 it was a bit revolutionary. I knew we were not the only show that did it, but we were the only ones. "
Hats and jackets, Saint Laurent.
Tonight's episode explores some of the darkest material ever portrayed on the show, but Balfe always elevates material that can seep into the area of soap operas, bringing depth, nuance and gravity to every scene. Claire's reaction to Brianna's news was the opposite of her sadness after Faith's death; Claire could not give herself completely to her anger because she had to have strength for her suffering daughter. "For Claire as a mother to know that in some ways her actions … Claire couldn't help feeling guilty in many ways, and pain because she couldn't fix this, that she couldn't fix it," said Balfe. " It must be every mother's worst nightmare, when something happens to your child, that you cannot protect them from that. "
Outlander has seen several main characters and supporters experience rape in the past season, with critics and fans alike criticizing the show and its source material for the use of sexual violence as a plot tool. Brianna's attack on last week's episode received mixed reviews, with some praising the decision to close the door on the action itself, while others questioned the need to include rape at all. "It's very important to discuss these things and explore them, because unfortunately everything is too real in our world," Balfe said about the storyline. "We straddle this hardline because we follow the path set in books, and it is regulated in a period of time where sexual violence is a weapon that is freely used and still exists in many places today. We must tell this storyline because it is an integral part of the whole story. But there are joint efforts made on behalf of our writers and producers and actors, if we are going to do it, then let's find the best way to do it. "
Balfe also sees this storyline as an opportunity to convey vital truths: "The shame of sexual assault does not lie with the victims. I think that is the most important message, especially in this episode – we don't embarrass the victims. And that would be the usual reaction at that time. It was nice to see Claire, especially when she told Jamie how the conversation was guided to go in a completely opposite way. "
The episode ends on a cliff hanger, with Jamie defeating Brianna's partner, Roger (remember him?) Almost dead after Bree's travel companion, Lizzie, mistakenly identifies him as a Bree rapist. The rest of the season will discuss the consequences of this monumental misunderstanding and Brianna's pregnancy (she doesn't know whether the baby belongs to Roger or Bonnet). So yes, everything will be more messy. And when the last four episodes explore this convergent storyline, it's impossible to miss the inevitable changes in the method of telling the event. Throughout Season 4, Outlander slowly split from the sharp focus on Claire and Jamie to make room for Brianna and Roger – extensions of the original duo to the quartet. "The story is the same as Brianna and Roger, also Claire and Jamie," Balfe said. "This show has evolved to tell the story of this couple, and many more, this family."
This season also marked the first with an episode where neither Balfe nor Heughan appeared. "We are very happy. We like, yay! Break! "Balfe said, laughing. He recounted the tiring shooting schedule in the first seasons of the show, "11-day fortnights" which was a six-day shootout and five days a week in a row. "There is a level of fatigue kicking," he said. "I think all actors will tell you when you are in production like that, it's like you step out of the real world and you live in this bubble. You can do it for a certain period of time, happily, but then a few years later you realize that real life knocks on doors and demands to be dealt with. "
Balfe is excited about the opportunities this change can provide – in fact, he hopes to get to know Claire better. "In the future it will be a much more even storyline. I will get my moment to really study Claire, but there will also be a moment where I have to take a step to the side and let one of the other characters do that, "he said. He remembered the method of Tobias Menzies in Season 1: "[He] will enter and he will have two, three weeks off, and he will take his character and see it from seven, eight different points of view. The way it works is amazing. I think one thing that makes me happy is the luxury of sitting with characters in different ways and can approach the process in a very different way. "For fans who have lamented in protest, don't panic:" This will only benefit the program, "promises Balfe:" Every world that is more nuanced and given a broader view can only be better. "
Lawsuit, Giorgio Armani; Blouse, Dior.
Balfe also hopes for expansion Outlander the universe will provide an opportunity for him, together with Heughan, to explore an outside acting role in the production of performances. "We will both enjoy responsibility. I definitely want to direct the phone, and I think he will do it too. I would love to be on location when Sam Heughan ordered me, "he said, laughing. Balfe, of course, is very protective of Claire, and her influence extends beyond the camera and into the writer's room: "It's important to have a voice. We have built these characters from day one, and I think we feel – especially when so many Our core author is not on the show anymore and we have a new author coming in – that is [important] to maintain that line throughout the season. "
I asked Balfe whether the work behind the camera was something he considered when he began his career: "I think I always have secret ambitions somewhere, but many of them are fearful, first of all, voicing it. And then fear, Can I do it? But because it is always ready, the time we have collected in doing this show is education. You can watch people at the peak of their careers. I try and become like a sponge and absorb as much as possible when I work with other people. There is confidence that comes from watching other people do it every day and learn from them. You feel like, Oh, I can do it."
And that goes beyond personal. Just like Claire, Balfe doesn't dare to speak, her Twitter gives a window of opinion and passion. This extends to discussions around #MeToo and #TimesUp, and women in entertainment. "What happened at the zeitgeist and this conversation about needing more women, [there’s a] realization of, Well, if I don't move and I don't do it, then how can I talk about it [how] do we need more women? You realize that each of us has a responsibility to break through that fear barrier. There is one thing that talks about it, and there is one more thing you have to do and really do it, "he said with a laugh. "So I tried to let myself go."
Outlander officially updated for Season 5 and 6 in May, which means Balfe has a lot of ingredients that can be used for work. Meanwhile, he voiced the characters on upcoming Netflix Dark Crystal prequel ("This brings me back to a certain time in my childhood") and will act as a sports car driver (and fellow driver's wife Ken Miles, played by Christian Bale) in Ford v. Ferrari. Then there is a wedding that will be planned with Tony McGill's fiance. But first, there are the last four episodes of Season 4, which Balfe promised will signal what will happen. "This is a great transition season, and I think that makes us ready for the next few seasons. In many ways this is a great calm before the next storm. "
Photography by Ryan Pfluger; Styling by Anita Patrickson at The Wall Group; Assistant to Garrett Ives; Hair by Marcus Francis using Suave Professionals on Starworks Artists; Makeup by Molly Greenwald uses Chanel Beauty on Starworks Artists; Manicure by Erin Moffett at Opus Beauty uses Chanel Le Vernis; Production of Oona Wally; Design by Perri Tomkiewicz.
November 12, 2019
November 12, 2019
November 12, 2019
November 12, 2019