Now that I’ve watched the finale of Outlander Season 4 I can honestly say that I feel like I’m in an abusive relationship with this show. Here’s a sampling of my inner monologue over the past 4 seasons:
“Maybe they won’t screw up the story or how Jamie is written next time. I’m sure they won’t do it again next season.”
“They didn’t mean to disappoint the fans and break our hearts – they said we could trust them.”
“They get so upset when we criticize them.”
“They love us and would never deliberately hurt us.”
“They’re doing the best they can! Why won’t we stop nagging them!?”
It’s exhausting. I’ve taken all I can take. I’m done. No more chances. I will miss seeing the actors, but I can’t bear what the writers/directors/producers are doing to these characters any more. I watch certain television shows because I enjoy them. I watch other shows that I don’t “enjoy” in the literal sense due to the subject matter, but I get something from them or they make me think (e.g. The Handmaid’s Tale). But the only things I’m getting from Outlander these days is heartache and agita. So, one last time, and yes, this will be my last blog post about this show, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on where and how this show has completely missed the mark by skipping or altering at least one pivotal, iconic book scene each season.
You all know I love the Outlander books and I so wanted to love the show just as much, perhaps not in the same way, but to the same degree. I often think that if I had never read the books, I probably wouldn’t have this many issues with the show. I would be able to appreciate the many things about it that I DO love (and remain blissfully ignorant of the rest): the cast, which is (mostly) amazing – from the principal actors all the way down to minor characters, the sets, the costumes, etc. If I had never read the books, I wouldn’t know that TPTB and the writing team are deliberately changing the essence of the main characters, particularly Jamie and Claire, and now, to some extent, Roger. I would think that Claire is supposed to be some fantastical, time-traveling hybrid of Mother Teresa, Marie Curie and Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, and that Jamie is her faithful, but largely disposable, sidekick. I would think that Roger is supposed to be an unlikeable, self-absorbed prat. The problem is that I HAVE read the books and I know that this is not how it’s supposed to be. (Yes, I know, Diana says we should put the books down. She may be right, but I can’t unread them. It’s way too late for that).
I never expected the adaptation to be perfect. I did, however, expect it to stay true to the heart of the books. After my last post I swore to myself I wasn’t going to say any more on this subject. The show has taken a hard right from the books, and there is nothing I can do about it. Many fans out there share my opinion on this, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter what any of us think, least of all to TPTB at Outlander. If those of us that don’t like the way Outlander has been adapted to the screen, then we should simply cancel our Starz subscriptions and just stop watching it, right? Until today, I didn’t want to give up on a story that has meant so much to me without a fight. I, and many others, have voiced our opinions on how the show was veering away from how the characters are depicted in the books, particularly Jamie, and we backed up those arguments with prose directly from the source material to illustrate our points. We spoke out precisely because we wanted the show to be outstanding. We even questioned ourselves when we would get pushback. Were we just imagining it? Ron Moore, Maril Davis, Terry Dresbach, Toni Graphia, Matt Roberts, etc., etc. continued to deny it. They kept insisting that they were making a faithful adaptation of Diana’s work. Then, back in 2017, Ron finally admitted exactly what so many of us had been suspecting since the end of Season 2: that he didn’t view this as a love story. In her book, The Making of Outlander, author Tara Bennet quoted a statement by then-showrunner Ron Moore that caught my attention:
While some might argue that the audience initially connected with Outlander because of the heat between the Frasers, Moore says he was unafraid to expand beyond the boundaries of the narrative.
“I didn’t think the courtship romanticism could sustain itself much beyond a year,” Moore says frankly. “If you look at the history of TV, there’s a limit to how long the audience wants to wait before you finally get the ‘two” together. Once they do, it’s a bigger challenge. With the books [Diana] structured it such that the courtship was only in book one, and [in] book two you were dealing with a married couple. I liked that season two was going to evolve and wasn’t locked into this romance ideal.” [Emphasis mine].
First, I agree with the author when she suggests that the audience connected with Outlander because of the “heat” between the Frasers. But to me that didn’t mean only the physical heat; it also meant the heat evident in the fiery, intense love between two equally compelling, equally strong characters. I would argue that this is what draws people to the story in the books, and it is what we wanted to see carried through into the show. Further, I take issue with Ron’s view that the courtship between Jamie and Claire was only in the first book. Not true. Their courtship continued throughout the entire series, spanning centuries and the improbability of time travel. The nature of it may have changed, but it never went away. In many ways it intensified over time. He implies in this quote that it is completely implausible that a married couple that is past the honeymoon phase can continue to feel the intense love and passion that one feels in a new relationship. Again, I disagree. Do relationships wax and wane over time? Yes. Do some of them lose their heat? Unfortunately, yes. And realistic or not, Jamie and Claire’s does not, and that is precisely the point. THAT is what keeps the readers (and viewers) coming back. He was wrong to equate this story with just another “will they/won’t they” story. We knew they would be together from the minute they met; that was never in question. The joy of Outlander was in watching that central relationship (and to be clear, I mean Jamie and Claire, not Frank and Claire) grow and change, yet never diminish, over time.
Season 1 was often described in the press as “groundbreaking.” The reason for that is because, finally, there was a show that didn’t treat the female lead as either weak and ineffectual or bitchy and domineering, and didn’t treat the male lead as a misogynistic asshole or a bumbling doofus. Outlander gave us two equally interesting and complex characters who were made even better by their relationship with each other. That was revolutionary, and women loved it. (Remember us? Adult women? You know, the primary target demographic? A demographic, I might add, that is huge and that TPTB were automatically gifted in the form of legions of book fans). This was one show that didn’t need to be sold to an unknown audience; Outlander fans had been waiting a long, long time for a visual rendering of Outlander. The only two things we wanted? That it stay faithful, as much as possible, to the books and that they give us the man we all love: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.
Season 1 – Jamie’s Recovery
In the beginning, that’s what we got. Almost. Then Ron and Co. decided to fall back on the usual over-used TV cliché of the 21st century: that of the Superwoman and her ineffectual man. Claire saves the day every time. She doesn’t need Jamie – she’s got this. The fallibility and vulnerability of our heroine of the books was gone. She became nearly perfect, commanding, large and in charge. Her husband was made superfluous; he was just someone in the background to make her look even more brilliant. It’s the modern stereotype of the “smart and saucy” woman sneering at her man (see almost any recent sitcom as an example). She loves him, but in a condescending, eye-rolling sort of way. That’s not groundbreaking TV; it’s the easy way out. (To make matters worse, they then used the same trope again in later seasons in the relationships between Roger and Bree and Fergus and Marsali). Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing strong, smart female characters. I am a card-carrying feminist right to the core. But this is not THAT show. This show is about a strong, intelligent COUPLE. Why not take up the challenge of showing these united, passionate people facing the historical events and adventures in the book together as equals? Why not depict two people that respect each other’s strengths and support each other’s weaknesses, without diminishing each other? That would be groundbreaking. What I find the most infuriating is that they had it; they had the lightening in a bottle. The foundation for a truly great show was there and they had the perfect actors to bring the characters to life. And in the beginning, it was fantastic. Then they fell off the rails and started undermining the character of one James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. My question is: Why? Diana Gabaldon has millions of fans that love the way she wrote Jamie and Claire. Why mess with a winning formula? Why not play to that enormous, yet largely ignored, demographic of adult women who LOVE Jamie? Why go out of the way to piss them off? I know they will say they aren’t deliberately trying to make us angry, but after 4 seasons of hearing what we like and what we don’t, and then ignoring it, I’m beginning to think that maybe they are.
The problems in Season 1 started in Episode 12, Lallybroch, when they turned our reluctant, but very capable, Laird into an immature, irresponsible, petulant boy. At the time I thought the “drunk Jamie” scene was cute, but looking back now, I see it was a cautionary sign of things to come. Book Jamie took up the mantle of Laird without too much difficulty, as his father had taught him to do. He didn’t give people back their rents without an attempt to come to some reasonable compromise to deal with their hardships. He certainly didn’t get drunk in front of all of his tenants and have to have his “mommies” (i.e. Claire and Jenny) read him the riot act to straighten up and fly right. This was a small aberration from the books, but it proved to be significant in future seasons. It was the beginning of the diminishment of our beloved Jamie Fraser.
The first truly significant omission came at the end of Season 1 when they didn’t allow sufficient recovery time for Jamie after his rape and torture at Wentworth Prison. They had three additional episodes in the first season (and the shortest of the books to adapt), and they couldn’t find time for Jamie and Claire to reconnect and heal after all of that trauma? The writers knew what would happen to Jamie at Wentworth before they even started writing any of the episodes. It was sheer negligence not to plan for at least 2 episodes at the end for the recovery. The 5 minute “exorcism” in the show was almost laughable in comparison to the book version. And the failure to have Jamie seek out Claire physically was unconscionable. That played a huge part in his emotional recovery. At the time, I remember being disappointed, but loved the season overall. However, I honestly thought they would give us a “grotto” type scene in the first episode of Season 2 to make up for it, so our hero and heroine could come back together and sufficiently recover for all that happens in Season 2. Those scenes needed to be there in Season 1 so that Season 2 could move on from those horrible events. By not allowing Jamie and Claire to re-connect physically and emotionally in Season 1, it set off an unfortunate chain of character assassinations and plot changes that we are still seeing today.
Season 2 – Jamie and Claire’s Goodbye
For most book fans Jamie is as important a character as Claire in this story (some, like myself, think that this is actually Jamie’s story, not Claire’s. It’s just told from her POV – see Looking for Mr. Fraser). Yet, time and time again, we have watched as the writers have undermined and diminished Jamie’s character. In another passage in “The Making of Outlander” Diana was discussing the Season 2 episode that she wrote, “Vengeance is Mine,” where Danton and the Duke of Sandringham meet their ends. In breaking down the way in which the scene was changed from the book, Gabaldon remarks “Ron didn’t want Jamie to look like too much the hero, which always drives me crazy because Jamie actually is the hero.” [emphasis mine]. She continued by saying that Ron wanted Claire to rescue herself in that scene because he “[didn’t] want her to look helpless.”
And then there was Dougal’s death. If Toni Graphia had had her way, Claire would have killed Dougal. (Outlander Was Almost Completely Different ). As it was, they chose to have her “help” Jamie do it (even though there is a much more realistic and affecting version of Jamie doing it alone that ended up on the cutting room floor – “I’m Sorry, Uncle”). Are they kidding? In the book, Dougal is trying to murder Claire and Jamie kills him to save her. He didn’t need her to help him, and he certainly didn’t need her to do it for him. Thankfully, that ridiculous idea never saw the light of day. Toni, et al, dinna fash yourselves. We all read you loud and clear: you think Outlander should be a remake of Claire Randall (not Fraser) – Warrior Princess. We will never be in danger of thinking that Claire is helpless. You’ve shoved her uber-competence in our faces far too many times for that to ever happen.
Finally, there was the nearly complete lack of intimacy, physical and otherwise, in Season 2 (see Yeah…It Kind of IS About the Sex ). Season 1 got a lot of attention for the super-sexy love scenes (and rightfully so). But instead of continuing that into Season 2, we got…nothing. This was done, in part, because they didn’t allow Jamie time to recover in Season 1, so he was still suffering the aftereffects of Wentworth. Consequently, that aftermath continued well into Season 2. Claire and Jamie were at odds with each other for almost the entire season (even after the return to Scotland). They were certainly not the couple from the book series. We had poor Jamie, suffering from PTSD and running all over Paris trying to change the future (at Claire’s behest). Claire was sulking and bitching at Jamie about how hard her life was because she had to go through her pregnancy alone. (Seriously, writers? You have Claire behaving that way after what Jamie forced himself to endure to save her? Do you understand these characters at all? You made Claire so unbearable and unlikeable that I nearly stopped watching back then. But, foolishly, I was holding out hope for the print shop reunion in Season 3. More on that later).
They couldn’t even throw us a bone at the end of the season. Instead of our couple making love ALL NIGHT, desperate to get and keep as much of each other as they could before they parted, they thought, forever, we got a 10 second hump in the mud. Per Toni Graphia, they didn’t include that “one last passionate moment” (her words, not mine) in the cottage because of “logistical difficulties,” which was, frankly, a ridiculous excuse. They could have used the tent they had in the scene prior to Prestonpans or the cottage set where Claire fixed Jamie’s shoulder in Season 1 to substitute for the crofter’s cottage. Hell, they could have just done it without a cottage. Why not just have them spend their last night together outside by a fire? An actual cottage was not necessary to convey the desperation and grief they were feeling in having to leave one another.
And did they carve each other’s initials into their hands? Nope. Per Ron “We decided to skip the hand carving because there was too much going on at Craigh Na Dun; saying goodbye, making love, the exchanging of gifts… We thought it was a step too far.” Well, he thought wrong. “Making love”? Was he kidding? The reason that last desperate coupling in the morning (at the cottage in the book, at the stones in the show) worked in the book was precisely because Jamie and Claire had spent the entire night together prior to that. Without that, it was just absurd. That’s why the readers believe their love never dies for either of them over the next 20 years and why we believe that Claire will leave everything, including her (adult) child, to go back to Jamie. It was a deliberate choice to write that last scene at the stones and completely change the events of the prior night. By doing so it was insulting to both the depth of love that is supposed to exist between these two characters, and to the viewers for expecting that we would buy it.
As for the omission of the carving of the initials, it was “a step too far?” Seriously? Omitting something that is literally mentioned over and over again throughout the next 6 books was ‘a step too far’ but expecting the viewers to believe that a rock with a bug in it would signify a love that spans centuries wasn’t stretching the bounds of credulity?
Here’s a mention from Written in My Own Heart’s Blood:
When I’d lost him the first time, before Culloden, I’d remembered. Every moment of our last night together. Tiny things would come back to me through the years; the taste of salt on his temple and the curve of his skull as I cupped his head; the soft fine hair at the base of his neck, thick and damp in my fingers…the sudden, magical well of his blood in dawning light when I’d cut his hand and marked him forever as mine. Those things had kept him by me.
Perhaps if the writers hadn’t spent a ridiculous amount of time on the harebrained scheme to attack the British army’s party the night before Culloden (which was a plotline added by the show writers), they would have had time to treat Claire and Jamie’s final night together and parting at the stones with the respect and weight it deserved. They told the audience in the first episode of Season 2 that the Scots lose at Culloden (spoiler alert for those who didn’t already know that). Why waste valuable screen time on something that (a) was not in the book, (b) was completely unnecessary to show the audience the futility of the Jacobite cause (which they had been doing all season), and (c) kept Jamie and Claire 20 miles apart on the last night they would have together?
(Note: my apologies for not including the link to the above-referenced interview with Ron and Toni. It may even have been from a BTS video. I had written down the quotes previously but have searched, unsuccessfully, high and low for the link to the whole thing. Some of you may remember it. If someone has the interview link, please send it to me and I will happily edit the post to include it. I assure you that the quotes are accurate).
I even think Sam could see what was happening to his character (although he was far too nice, wily, or contractually bound to say anything outright). In an interview with Vanity Fair from 2016, the interviewer asked him if there were any scenes from Season 2 that they filmed that he wish hadn’t been cut. The one he chose was from “Faith.” I agree with him. In the version that was cut, we got a glimpse into Jamie’s pain and loss over Faith’s death, as well as Claire’s. That is how it should have been. It was tragedy that affected both of them, not just her. Yet another piece of Jamie’s soul on the cutting room floor.
Here is what Sam had to say:
Certainly, from my perspective, you got to see a lot more of Jamie and his angst. I mean, he’s kind of not present for most of that episode. I think that’s important, that’s an important cut. We go on that journey with Claire and see her go through all the stages of grief and mourning and then some sort of brittle resolve. Almost, in a way, we didn’t want the camera to blink from her. I think that’s what was decided. Watching Jamie also go through it, well, absolutely, it’s another side. I certainly know that I really felt very strong in that scene. I felt that it was a very awkward place for Jamie to be that will have some sort of repercussion—even now in Season 3. I don’t think Jamie or Claire get over the loss of Faith. I think it’s wonderful that the fans actually get to see a glimpse into some of the other work that we do that’s not always on the screen.
If Sam ever decides to leave acting, he could easily get a job as diplomat. Just sayin.’
Season 3 – Alterations at the Print Shop and Why are these two together?
Oh lordy, where do I start with Season 3? Between the complete rewriting of Frank as a saint and the fact that I am STILL angry over the scene with the photos at the print shop a year and a half after the fact speaks volumes. For me, that scene in particular is one of my all-time favorites of the entire series. I was hoping against hope that they would just leave it alone and play it as written in the book. But no. Of course not. Given the outrage on social media after it aired, I don’t think I was alone in my anger and disappointment. The way Jamie barely looked at the photos of Bree and then immediately launched into his description of Willie was borderline unforgivable. I wouldn’t have even cared if they included the Willie discussion in the episode, but left it for the following morning, or over dinner, or after they had sex…any time but immediately after his glancing at the photos of Bree. Frankly, I didn’t care for them mentioning Faith in that moment either (although I know that many other people liked it. I think they should have talked about her later). In my view, that moment should have been about their one living child: Brianna. She was the whole reason they were separated for 20 years That scene needed no dialog. Just B&W photo, B&W photo, B&W photo, then BAM, color photo of Bree with her Fraser red hair and then Jamie going “quietly and thoroughly to pieces.” It could have been so powerful and heart-breakingly beautiful. It should have been. But it wasn’t. I know Sam said back then that he was the one who decided to play the scene the way it was done, and he took the bullet for it, but I don’t buy that explanation. First, if it was all his idea, then, frankly, he was wrong (sorry, Sam), and the director should have overruled him. The director has the final decision on how a scene is played, not the actor. Second, if it really wasn’t his idea, and he played it as it was written and then took the blame after the backlash (knowing full well that the fans would forgive him a lot faster than the director or writer), then that’s even more unacceptable because not only was the scene badly written, TPTB allowed someone else to take the blame for the screw-up.
As for the Frank issue, I won’t rehash all of the ways that TPTB have changed him from a cheating, condescending, manipulative racist to St. Frank, the most wonderful, accepting, supportive, honorable father and husband ever to walk the earth. You can go read any of my posts that mention Frank for a multitude of examples (starting with Frank going down on Claire in the very first episode of Season 1. He was NOT willing to do that in the book, so the first time she experiences it was with Jamie. It was a small change, but it mattered). Let’s just say that it was annoying me to the point of distraction in the first half of the season. I also didn’t see the point in giving equal time to Jamie and Claire’s lives during their time apart. Only 2 really significant things happened to Claire during that time: her becoming a surgeon and having Bree. There were so many more interesting things happening to Jamie during those 20 years and it would have been nice to see a bit more of him than Claire during the first part of the season. But that would have meant putting more time and energy into Jamie’s character, and God forbid, they couldn’t do that when we had to watch Claire endure the sexist condescension of every man in creation and then watch Frank’s mistress berating her in public (insert sarcastic eyeroll). Even if they “had” to spend equal time on each, then why not focus more time on Claire’s relationship with Joe Abernathy? That would have been far more interesting than watching the Randalls snipe at each other.
And then there was the weirdly awkward dialog during the sex scenes (at least there were some in Season 3). I’m not talking about the depictions of the actual act (at the brothel, on the ship, the Turtle Soup scene). They were ok – not as realistic as in Season 1, but acceptable. The awkwardness seemed to be in the reading/delivery of the pre- and post-coital dialog. I know that some of the lines were taken directly from the book, which I appreciated, but they just felt stilted and unnatural in their delivery. For example, during the Turtle Soup scene, Jamie comments on Claire’s nipples “staring” at him. That scene read as FUNNY in the book, not seductive. Jamie was joking and being sarcastic, trying to get a feverish, injured and very drunk Claire back to bed so she could rest; he was not trying to seduce her. The build-up to the sex just felt weird and creepy the way it was played in the show. It was more like Jaime and Cersei Lannister than Jamie and Claire Fraser. I’m not sure why…maybe it’s just that Sam and Cait were better friends by then than they were in Season 1. I can’t quite articulate it – it’s just my feeling on it. Maybe that’s why the scene with Geneva was 100 times better and more realistic than the scenes with Claire (shout-out to Sam Heughan and Hannah James!). I miss Season 1 sex.
Finally, why were these two together again? They spent twenty years apart, longing for each other, and then the MORNING AFTER she comes back, she’s barking at him about saving some guy who just tried to rape and kill her (and threatened to kill Jamie, the man she (allegedly) loves), because, you know, we had to have a completely unnecessary scene showing Claire drilling a hole in an irrelevant character’s head! (Never mind that the conditions were completely unsanitary and he was going to die anyway – similar to the scene with the slave Rufus in Season 4’s “Do No Harm” see Claire Fraser: Patron Saint of White Privilege). Then she has the nerve to be mad AT JAMIE for not caring that the guy dies. Oh and Jamie never asks her if she’s ok, if he hurt her, etc (completely out of character for him). WTH, writers?
For quite a few episodes after that, at least until they get on the ship, Claire never reassures Jamie that she came back for HIM, that she loves HIM and that she never stopped loving HIM, even throughout her marriage to Frank. This, again, was the writer’s contrivance. They had rough patches in the book, too (especially the ridiculous scene where Claire took off for the stones after she found out about Laoghaire), but before that, she never left any doubt in Jamie’s mind that she loved him. In the show? Not so much.
I could go on for pages about Season 3, but I won’t. I think you get the gist.
Season 4 – Jamie and Claire Miss the Birth of their Grandson, Where’s Book Roger?and Young Ian’s Transition
Oh…the bitter disappointment of Season 4. It had a few bright spots – pretty much any scene that included Lord John, Stephen Bonnet, Aunt Jocasta, Phaedra, Ulysses or Young Ian. BUT, it also had a few glaring and unredeemable problems/omissions.
First, the “rescue” of Roger was ridiculous. Jamie versus 100 well-armed Native Americans? I almost expected him to do that stop action, mid-air double kick from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And does anyone really believe that after he killed all of those tribe members that they would just let them all go?
Second, regarding Young Ian’s decision to stay, I did think that John Bell and Sam Heughan crushed it when they said their farewells. But I really did miss the book version, where he walks in to Jamie and Claire’s hut (they were all there for quite a while, getting to know the Mohawk, not fighting them), already plucked and tattooed. I also missed that they were there for his Indian naming ceremony and the “birth” of Wolf’s Brother. The show version was good, but it could have been better.
Third, the depiction of Roger. Do the writers have something against this character or Rik Rankin? Roger is one of my very favorite book characters. He’s got his flaws, but he’s a good man and he loves Bree way more than she deserves. Show Roger is almost unrecognizable. He’s condescending, selfish, misogynistic. I just don’t get it. Rik Rankin is doing a great job with what he’s been given, but I don’t understand why the writer’s are portraying Roger as so unlikable.
Finally, the worst offense, and the one that finally put me off the show for good, was the omission of Jamie and Claire at Jemmy’s birth. They turned what was one of the most beautiful, hopeful scenes in the book into something sad. Worse yet, they never resolved the conflict between Jamie and Bree. I think even DG was unhappy with this ridiculously bad decision. She rarely comments negatively on the show, but after the finale of Season 4, she posted the birth scene from DOA on her FB page and on Twitter. Serious shade from Herself. If you haven’t read it, you should, to see how that scene should have been done. It was pivotal to the relationship between Jamie and Bree, and to some extent, Jamie and Claire. They NEEDED to show the reconciliation between them and to show the absolute adoration Jamie has for his grandson. He never got to be there for the births of either of his children or to participate in raising them, which made his presence at the birth of Jem all the more poignant. How could the TPTB not understand this? It’s unfathomable. The other issue was the lack of Claire’s presence at the birth. The writers spent four seasons shoving her medical prowess down our throats every chance they got, then they expected us to believe that she wouldn’t have been there to help her own daughter deliver her first child? In the 18th century? With no medical facilities? I don’t think so.
I suspected this was going to be how they would ruin this scene when they informed us that the Mohawk were in upstate New York (they weren’t that far away in the book), just as I did when they had Jamie 20 miles away from Claire the night before Culloden in Season 2. How is it that seemingly intelligent people fail to understand the truly important scenes that shape our main characters? It’s beyond my comprehension. What I do know is that I’m tired of being angry about a show that I want to love. And I’m really tired of watching them tear down one of my favorite literary characters. I don’t know if they just think we book fans are all just ridiculous, vapid women for admiring this (admittedly) idealized man, so they go out of their way to mock us by undermining his character at every turn in order to make him more “realistic,” or they just don’t get him. I’m not sure which would be worse. I, for one, am done caring.
On a final note, thanks to all of you who have read my posts over the years and taken the time to comment and/or share them. I truly appreciate it. I’ll still be around on Twitter and FB, the coo isna leaving entirely!