13 Thoughts on the ‘Outlander’ Season Three Premiere, “The Battle Joined”

Ashley and I were two of the writers on this site who were at the Outlander San Diego Comic Con panel and therefore saw the season three premiere that surprised everyone (okay, some of us had figured it out beforehand).  While it was great that we were able to see the premiere early, we lost out on valuable Q & A time with the cast and crew.  It would have been great to have a two-hour panel, but I am sure that would have been a dead giveaway for what was about to happen.

Episode 301 is called “The Battle Joined,” written by Ronald D. Moore, and directed by Brendan Maher.

So what did we think of the episode?  We can’t post a full review until the end of August, so we are teasing you with some thoughts on the premiere.  If you prefer to stay spoiler-free, go ahead and skip the rest of this post.

  1. The opening credits are basically the same with the some of the scenes from season one and two’s opening credits along with some new ones.  For example, the turning of the radio dial has turned into the turning of a TV knob.  I get emotional during the opening credits every single time during the first viewing of a season premiere, and this premiere was no different.
  2. Time passes slower for Jamie than it does for Claire, and his time is brutal.
  3. We hear Jamie breathe more than any other episode, probably (and hopefully) ever.
  4. Roger and Brianna are not seen in the premiere.
  5. Two characters that are fan favorites return and one not so favorite returns also (not referring to Frank).
  6. Culloden is brutal and loud, but it is not the focus of the episode.
  7. There are easter eggs from seasons one and two in the premiere.  The ones that are noticed easily are the dragonfly in amber piece and lines from season two’s “Faith.”
  8. Both Jamie and Claire are in chaos at the beginning of the episode and are at a new beginning at the end.
  9. We get a really good taste at what it was like for women to live in Claire’s “modern” time, and I don’t think I could put up with it.
  10.  I was so happy with the Jamie and the Black Jack Randall interaction/scene. It does both of their characters justice with how we last see them both alive in the field. Strong, stubborn, willful men with a purpose. I literally had chills watching them.  (Ashley)
  11. When there were hints that there would be more Frank In season three, I probably did an audible groan. I will happily be the first to admit in this episode I WAS WRONG. Franks addition was seamless and really needed. I think the three main characters were so balanced with screen time, and storyline and because of the despair we were going through with Jamie we needed the Claire and Frank “relief” (not that it was lighthearted it just literally pulled us out of the moor). (Ashley)
  12. Ashley really listened to the music and picked up on composer Bear McCreary’s themes that make a welcome return.  I was too busy processing everything, and focusing on the technical aspects.  The lighting and segues are really top notch in this episode.
  13. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ is heard at least once, and, “Rustle me up some vittles.”
  14. (Ashley added this after this posted) And the pacing of the episode!! It’s the best yet. I hope all of season three storylines move at this pace with no lulls

Source: Outlander TV News