By and large, we do think that the reviews and reaction to Outlander season 3 episode 10 entitled “Heaven & Earth” are for the most part positive. Yet, with that, there is one critique we’ve heard many times from readers: The omission of Lord John Grey (David Berry), who in the books was on the Porpoise alongside Claire Fraser. It was a chance for the two to bond, and that opportunity is seemingly now gone. A character that important to the story certainly couldn’t have just existed off-screen. They would have shown us, so our presumption is that on the show he is not aboard.
We’re not a book reader, and because of that we cannot quite explain what the impact of Lord John’s absence means ub the long-term. Yet, we can try to wrap our brain around the show chose to make the decision that they did in this instance.
1. Time – By and large, this is the reason for most deviations from the source material. While Outlander may have thirteen episodes, you can still argue that Voyager is a dense enough book that they could make sixteen or even eighteen episodes of it. All of Helwater, for example, was condensed down into a single episode, and we’ve had to speed through certain parts of this book. If Outlander wants to tell the story of one book a season, there are going to be certain casualties that come as a result of that. Losing Lord John in this instance is seemingly one of them.
2. Different stakes – If Outlander had wanted Lord John aboard that ship, they could have easily made it happen. However, there was also another reason that producers may have opted to save Lord John for down the road: They wanted to raise the stakes for Claire on it and make her even more of an underdog hero. Without a true ally, Claire managing to figure out a way to heal everyone and make her escape is all the more impressive. We feel like this is ultimately what this story was all about: Claire managing, using the skills that she has, to fulfill her duty as a doctor while also fulfilling what she believes to be her duty as a wife, to help inform her husband of the storm that’s coming his way. She hasn’t quite been successful in reuniting with Jamie just yet, but some of the early seeds of the subject have been clearly sewn.
This episode of Outlander is probably not going to be the last this season to feature a change from the books — maybe Lord John is written in down the road or there could be other changes made along the way. This still isn’t the biggest change of the season — that from our vantage point goes to keeping Murtagh alive.
What did you think about the omission of Lord John Grey on Outlander season 3 Sunday night? Share now in the comments!
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