It's time to talk about Jamie. I had some issues during the whole season and the last episode just highlighted my problem with the way Jamie is written in the show.
Many have pointed out how OOC it was Show!Jamie in Episode 13, and the overall concern that Ron and the writers just don't get him and why he is such a beloved character.
I've seen this on tumblr the other day and, while I don't agree with everything, and it's up to episode 12, but I think it's a good starting point to discuss it. (cutting bits, because is a very long post)
Jamie Jamie Jamie…
We hardly know you. And, if the fallout from episode 112 is any indication, the fandom is not happy. Ironically, though, I loved episode 112. Why? Finally, character development and some background!
Which brings me to the problem at hand: the all-around, season-long character assassination of one James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser. Well, it’s more what’s missing than outright attack. However, what’s missing tends to poison what’s left by making him seem so young, naive, and foolish that it’s like watching him be assassinated anyway.
What we’ve got is a Jamie Fraser without the:
- Tendency to fight - physically and verbally
- Emotional intelligence
- Political skills
- Crudeness (my favorite!)
What we’re left with is a nice young lad, a bit of a boy scout, a puppy dog and definitely a pawn, kind of clueless but loveable who’s really, really into Claire. And loves having sex with her. (Whose really, really hot - sorry, it felt hypocritical to leave that out.)
Let’s Talk About Dickishness
In episode 112, Jamie acts like a bit of dick. It’s the wrong setting for it and he did not do this at Lallybroch. He would never lecture Claire, telling her to be meek and obedient (that was Frank). And he would never put his sister and her husband out of their room and not consult them about the running of the estate.
So, why did I like it? Well, Jamie is a bit of a dick and always has been. Not in a terrible way. Just enough to make him interesting and layered.
He always does the right thing, the more than right thing - he’s just … a bit of a dick about it sometimes. In the end, his heart is so much bigger than his ego, that the dickishness is almost lovable - almost.
A Disney Prince
Jamie is not a Disney prince; he’s a man. A man’s man in the way of Scotland’s finest. But also very intelligent, savvy, and with a depth of emotional understanding that is quite shocking for a man of his time. These things don’t usually go together but seem natural in him.
You never really know which way he’s going to go: sweet, humorous, or gruff and violent. But you - like Claire - can’t wait to find out.
My experience of Jamie is that you’re never know if you want to slap him, kiss him, or fuck him and you’re not sure which would make you feel better … so you often just laugh in exasperation as Claire does. No matter what, he has your full attention at all times.
The Disney prince with only noble goals on the TV wedding night? That’s a Hallmark card.
That Old Spice
In the series, he is often depicted as flat as a pancake and just as bland. And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Especially when they found a man like Sam Heughan who can embody all of Jamie when they let him.
In episode 112, I was just so happy to see some spice* that I was willing to overlook this particular character assassination. We finally get some nuance and … it’s him being such a jerk that he’s unrecognizable to most fans. No wonder fans are annoyed.
You’ve got filet mignon in Sam Heughan. What’s with the hamburger? I love hamburgers. But when I know there’s filet mignon in the kitchen … I want filet mignon,
I have said more than once that there are writers that just don't get Jamie, and I wonder if they didn't trust Sam's ability to portrait Jamie in first place (but luckily in 1b they've finally given Sam something better than being the eye candy)
Sadly it's quite evident (to me) that Ron is among those who don't get Jamie and probably he doesn't care about Jamie enough, at least not as much he cares for Claire (and I can understand, as she is the main character of the show) or Frank.
I do wonder if it's because Jamie is the Romantic Hero and he is constantly toning down the Romantic aspect of the show. Is he taking Jamie for granted, so to speak, and developing other characters/stories knowing we will still watch for the glimpse of Jamie we'll get?