Sunday night’s new episode of Outlander carried with it the title of “The Doldrums,” and when you think about possible awards consideration we do think that this episode could prove to be an asset.
First of all, can we give some credit to the set design and costume crews for some outstanding work? This was a totally different environment than anything presented on the season to date and they should be commended for that. It probably is not said enough but if some of the technical departments are snubbed next year at the Emmys it will be one of the biggest travesties in recent awards-show history.
In terms of performances, the episode brought us everything we could want. What made this episode outstanding in terms of showcases for Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan is how many different dimensions that had to play. Jamie was the frustrated pseudo-parent to both Marsali and Fergus, the love to Claire, the action hero, and the strategist within a single episode. Meanwhile, Claire was the stranger in a strange land, a healer, and a voice of reason at times it was needed. While we’re not sure that this episode will topple “Freedom & Whisky” or “Of Lost Things” as the best respective performance from Balfe and Heughan, this was an outstanding hour for the two parties that should further cement them as serious Golden Globe contenders, if not vying to get an Emmy nomination for the first time. (That moon scene was on another level!)
The surprise entry into the Emmy race from this episode is Gary Young, who made a strong case for a possible Guest Actor nod with a wonderful monologue near the conclusion of this episode. This showcased brilliantly the humanity of Mr. Willoughby, a character offered so much more depth in the TV show and someone who fulfills many different roles. He has served as a companion to Jamie and Claire, but tonight he was also a source of insight and strength. He brought calmness to a storm of chaos aboard the ship; his influence provided some much-needed peace before the winds and the rain actually arrived.
Young’s speech was the one part of the episode where we were moved to almost-tears, and as an extremely cynical/jaded TV journalist in 2017 it takes a lot to get us to that place. Maybe it’s happened a few times this year. Just for that episode alone we’d give him strong consideration for a nod, and that is without even seeing the remainder of the competition.
Next week, the journey of Outlander will continue, and we will be back once more at CarterMatt to look at the show through the lens of awards consideration.
For more Outlander news…
Whether it be a review for tonight’s episode or a preview for what is coming up next Sunday, you can view all of it over at the link here.
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