For the second week in a row, we’re back for some more Outlander scene analysis … and it shouldn’t shock anyone that we’re discussing Claire’s first meeting with Joe Abernathy. This is a character and a story we were very much high on going into the season, both for its significance to Claire and also its significance in history. You had two people who were both trailblazers in their own unique way. They are working to become doctors at a time in which such a profession at a time in which not many women and African-Americans held the position, and they had to deal with the scorn and the prejudice that came along with it.
So what made the presentation of their first meeting so special? There were a wide array of fantastic things about it, with one of the biggest ones being that the show chose to make the moment small and subtle. It wasn’t so much about their words; instead, you could see the connection through their actions. Through Claire’s conversations earlier on in the episode, you knew of some of the rampant sexism that existed in the profession. No matter what she was to do, it didn’t feel like she would ever be accepted the way in which she probably should have been. She felt the frustrations of this prejudice when she arrived to class and saw the fellow students; yet, she still fought on and was determined to fulfill her dream. This is what drove her in part to challenge herself in the first place; this is a woman who persevered through thick and thin in the past, so she was well prepared for some of these chauvinistic doctors to underestimate her.
As for Joe Abernathy, when he walked in the room he knew immediately where he wanted to turn: Claire. While we know very little about him, their connection was simple, subtle, and perfect — they were the two standouts in the room, both in terms of identity and probably with their skill. Thanks to them being treated so unfairly, they have to overcompensate and probably will continue to do so. Even with their meeting, they didn’t try to draw attention to themselves; they don’t have to, since their work will eventually speak for itself.
For Claire, this shared status as the other should allow her to share a common bond with Joe — something simple can always turn into a relationship that is far more complex. You have to remember that Outlander is playing the long game here with Claire’s story and with this relationship; you will see more of these characters together, and more of how their story unfolds.
For now, though, we can say that Joe received the right amount of time. You know that he matters, but the show is still holding many of its cards for down the road. Some of these said cards are likely going to be played in the weeks to come. This was the right way to kick things off for the two.
What did you think about the Claire – Joe Abernathy meeting on Outlander season 3 episode 2, and was it the right mixture of subtle and significant? Be sure to share now in the comments!
Meanwhile, you can head over to the link here in the event you do want to preview what lies ahead on Outlander season 3 episode 3 when it airs. (Photo: Starz.)