The Outlander writers made one of their biggest book deviations involving Claire. Was the autopsy a ridiculous change for the story?
Outlander book fans noted a major deviation to the books in Season 5, Episode 2. Claire and Roger buried a coffin full of rocks, allowing her to perform an autopsy. Was this a ridiculous change or one that made sense?
Personally, the change didn’t bother me. In fact, I struggled to remember what happened on the Ridge, knowing there was an autopsy at some point but not exactly when. My memory isn’t perfect, and that’s okay. It’s part of what makes rereading books sometimes fun. (I don’t do it often but have to for the Outlander books).
Anyway, I had to double-check the autopsy, which looking back happens at River Run instead. However, doing it at the Ridge makes a lot of sense for the TV series. After all, there’s a lot to condense into the shows, and keeping things in one place is one of the easiest ways to condense moments.
Why wouldn’t Claire do an autopsy in her own surgery? In her own home? Yes, there are chances that someone like Mrs. Bugg would see, but she can take precautions. There’s nothing stopping her from making it clear that her surgery is completely off-limits to everyone unless she is there. It would be even easier with Brianna around.
Now that Marsali is her apprentice, keeping people out could be even easier. Yes, this is extremely dangerous work, but Claire performing an autopsy makes sense.
This would be something she’d be used to. She knows that the dead hold secrets; that she can advance medicine in the 18th century by understanding more. As she says in the episode, she’s not just dealing with the disease. She has to deal with a cure that is killing people. Understanding how it kills people will help her manage more situations.
Claire’s work in her surgery during this episode isn’t like her work at River Run in “Do No Harm.” It doesn’t put everyone at risk. Okay, if someone were to walk in, it would put the entire family at risk. However, there’s little chance of being caught. She’s not trying to change something major in the 18th century to suit her 20th-century views. She’s just trying to keep people safe, and I see nothing wrong with that.
This is the sort of thing I would expect Claire to do, even Book Claire. I’m glad it was included in.
What did you think about Claire performing the autopsy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Outlander continues on Sundays on STARZ.