Category Archives: Film/Television

“But What About Frank?” – Outlander S1, Ep7 (The Wedding)

outlanderstarz

The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority. – Stanley Milgram

Episode 7 – The Wedding

Most often when I consider the ripple effect reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander had on my life, it was in terms of how it may have impacted my choice of spouse rather than the relationships with my friends. For a number of years it was a personal mission to ensure that every friend, acquaintance and occasionally even strangers read it. The alchemy of this story has become legend between my friends and I. Though coincidentally my husband is a 6’4 former red head but of English, rather than Scots ancestry, other than his stature and once red hair he doesn’t bear much resemblance to the character, which now that I think about it, is probably a good thing.

From IMDB The Wedding (S1, Ep6) – Marriage to a Scot seems to be the only legal way out to save Claire from falling into the paws of Black Jack Randall. And Jamie accepts to become her husband and protect her. Claire is overwhelmed by circumstances that are forcing her into becoming an adulteress and a bigamist. The hasty marriage takes place and, in order to be legal, it must be consummated that night. 

Perhaps recommending and discussing Outlander was the first outlet for my many book related opinions that would later be fulfilled by the creation of my blog. My bestie resisted my efforts for a solid seven years …until Christmas showing up more than two hours late and in a state.

giphy

When I asked her what the problem was she cried “But what about Frank?!?!?!?!?” I don’t remember what my response was other than I am sure a snort and something to the effect of “Obviously you haven’t read enough about Jamie yet!” However more than a decade later my opinion has changed somewhat and this thought seemed to echo throughout this most recent episode as Claire braced herself to consummate her marriage to Jamie.

3a10c8b0-4138-11e4-bee2-db74400aacc3_Claire-Randall-Caitriona-Balfe-and-Jamie-Fraser-Sam-Heughan-

To avoid a torturous, literally, interrogation at the hands of Captain Randall, Claire is faced with an untenable choice. As a English subject she is at the mercy of their military, however if she were to become a Scot, Randall would have no legal means to impel her to submit to questioning. Rather than marry her himself Dougal has come up with an ingenious solution that not only secures her safety but keeps her accessible as his nephew, Young Jamie’s wife.

After watching the episode and recovering from the glory that is Sam Heughan sans vêtements, (truly, he is glorious) I found myself reflecting on my friend’s words. Told in flashbacks that are incredibly romantic you see the wedding from both Claire and Jamie’s perspectives. Despite wanting to smack Claire for her reticence I also found I could understand her reluctance to simply grab Jamie and deflower him already. Alas my gratification was not to be immediately fulfilled, truly this episode was possibly the most skilfully rendered yet and that it saying something after the visceral horror of Jamie’s flogging in The Garrison Commander, which proved that in this case my imagination did not come close to doing the torture justice.

8afcd120-390d-11e4-a104-a16bebb3d37b_starz-outlander-106-garrison-commander-240224

Twenty years ago when I read Outlander for the first time I don’t remember giving the sanctity of Claire’s vows to Frank much thought. However, when I laughingly reminded teachergirl73 of her distress, she was as dismissive as I once was of the small complication of having two husbands. Whether it was the long years of separation during the war or the degrading treatment at the hands of his doppelgänger or quite simply the irresistible pull of Jamie, it is clear that the hold of her other life is beginning to falter.

Unfortunately we will only be able to ponder this for the next 6 months following next week’s mid-season finale. In lieu of methadone I would highly recommend keeping the first 8 episodes on your PVR for repeated viewings.

Both Sides Now (S1, Ep8) – PROMO

RELATED ARTICLES

 

Advertisements

Outlander S1, Ep6 “The Garrison Commander”

outlanderstarz

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

Episode 6 – The Garrison Commander

This episode begins with a significant departure from the book as Claire and Dougal are discovered by some red coat officers, one of them the lieutenant who tried to help Claire back in Episode Five, when Claire was having a good row with Angus and Dougal. That same lieutenant appears again just as Claire and Dougal are arguing once again and it is clear that the he believes that Claire is being held against her will. One would have thought that this was Claire’s chance to break free of the Mackenzie clan, she does not take it. Whether it was her previous encounter with Captain “Black” Jack Randall or because her time with the highlanders has not been all bad, she declares that she is a guest of the Mackenzie.

8a779b90-390d-11e4-990a-8d36f7c0f891_starz-outlander-106-garrison-commander-090748

Tobias Menzies, who plays Capt. “Black” Jack Randall, gets to display some fabulous acting skills he gives us a look at the deeply disturbing nature of Black Jack’s character. The scene where Jamie was flogged by Randall was truly horrific, which for anyone who’s read the book would know.  The show’s decision to change the retelling of the event from Dougal to Randall, certainly provided Menzies with the opportunity to show his breadth and depth as an actor. The problem is, when actors get to play characters that are as polarizing as Black Jack, I think that it’s sometimes hard for audiences to see them any other way.

Outlander 2014

This is where Menzies will get the chance to prove his acting ability. We have only seen bits of Frank Randall, Black Jack’s future heir and much nicer, kinder alter ego, as after the first initial episode we have only seen Frank in Claire’s memories. This has allowed the truly twisted and demented personality of Black Jack to dominate. By getting to play both characters, Menzies has the role of a lifetime where he gets to play both sides of the coin within the same production. I’m really hoping for more glimpses of Frank in future episodes and to see if Menzies can make me like Frank again or at the very least feel compassion for him, because right now my response to the question, “What about Frank?” is “Who cares!“.

RELATED ARTICLES

 

 

Outlander, S1, Ep. 4-5 “Taking Oaths and Warmongering…”

outlanderstarz

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

Episode 4 – The Gathering

I really do think that script writers for Outlander, have done an excellent job translating the original story with a new and original perspective.  The evidence of this expertly interwoven storytelling is demonstrated in Episodes Four, Five and Six. Although this post will deal exclusively with the events of Episode Four “The Gathering” and Episode Five “Rent”. Episode Six “The Garrison Commander” requires a post all on its own (once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand).

“The Gathering” is a very significant turning point for both Jamie and Claire as they both try in their own ways to avoid becoming more involved in the power and the politics of the Clan Mackenzie.  Of course, neither Jamie nor Claire can avoid the inevitable push and pull that is the Clan, but then again, it would be a much different story to tell if both characters escape plans had been successful.

The fourth episode opens with Claire playing with the children of the castle in the woods. To her guards and anyone else watching, it merely appears that Claire is having fun playing a version of “hide and seek” with Hamish Mackenzie, Colum’s son, and the rest of the castle’s offspring. However, Claire’s intentions for playing in the woods with the children are much more serious. What she is in fact doing is reconnaissance of the property surrounding the castle so that she can plan her escape. As she secretly leaves “breadcrumbs” to mark her escape path, to everyone else, she appears to be getting into the festivities of the Gathering.

All seems to be going as Claire has planned until she discovers Geilis Duncan in her surgery, who is openly snooping through Claire’s meager belongings as well as her stores of various herbs. Subtly malicious in her friendliness Geilis questions a clearly wary and uncomfortable Claire about her husband, she leaves her with a warning that the “highlands are no place for a woman on her own”.

In a significant departure from the original story-line, just as Claire’s getting ready to flee the castle, she is interrupted at her surgery door by Laoghaire. The young girl has come to seek Claire’s help with “moving Jamie’s heart forward” with a love potion. This is another one of those moments where Claire does not fully appreciate the superstitious nature of the highland folk. Claire thinks it is a sweet and innocent request from a young girl with a crush, and does not fully appreciate what this request might cost her in the future.

OUT_104-20140205-JH_8934.jpg

The rest of the episode travels along following most of the original story-line, where Jamie inadvertently is forced into swearing an oath of sorts to Colum, thanks to Claire, despite what the political and personal consequences might be for him. There is a wild boar hunt where Claire and Dougal have a bonding moment as they help a fatally injured clansman pass on with dignity. At the end of the episode, Dougal declares that he will be taking a group to collect the rents from those living on the Mackenzie lands that couldn’t make it to the Gathering and that Claire will be going with him.

leaf divide

Episode 5 – Rent

The tone of Episode Five is quite different from the way Claire is treated in the book. While travelling through the Mackenzie lads, Claire is treated as an outcast most of the time. The clansmen are far more antagonistic towards her and she is treated quite poorly by them. The only exceptions to this treatment seem to be Ned Gowan, the Clan’s lawyer/accountant and Jamie. But I felt at times that even Jamie was colder towards her in this episode than he ever was in the book at this point. The novel portrays Claire’s relationship with the clansmen as more jovial and light-hearted, and there’s a greater sense of camaraderie.

Outlander 2014

While out collecting the rents, Claire finds her own amusement by helping a group of women working wool.  Enjoying her afternoon working with the village women, Claire takes the opportunity to ask some questions about Craigh na Dun, trying to figure out how far away she is from her escape. Claire’s day takes a turn for the worse when she gets into an argument with Angus about how she is spent her day. Emboldened by some whiskey shared with the other ladies,  she makes quite a scene, causing Dougal to step in. It is while Claire is in the midst of an argument with Dougal in front of the townsfolk that tensions become more heightened as an Englishman appears from one of the huts and tries to intervene. This gallantry on the part of the Englishman does not go over very will with the clansmen and when it looks like swords and blood might start flying, the lone Englishman backs down. After Dougal and his party leave, we see that he is actually a British officer.

This trip is not just to collect the Mackenzie rents. Unbeknownst to Claire, Dougal is also using the trip to collect funds for the Charles Stuart, the Catholic king and “rightful” heir to the Scottish throne. His tactics to help the return his king to the throne begin with using Jamie’s back as the proof that the British are not fit to rule. But when they come across the bodies of two highlanders strung up for all to see. Dougal’s retelling of finding the desecrated bodies left in the open for the crows to eat, helps to further his warmongering cause. Claire tries to warn Ned Gowan, strongly implying that the Scots won’t stand a chance against the British army, but it is to no avail.

There is a moment near the end of the episode that seems to help break the tension felt between Claire and the clansmen. Following inappropriate comments from others about the “Sassenach” the Mackenzie men start a room clearing brawl. In defending her honour the Mackenzie men find a way to coexist peacefully with Claire.

As the party moves on to the next town, Dougal and Claire have another conversation where he questions her about who she really is and why she is in Scotland, as he knows about her conversation with Ned Gowan about the fate of the Stuart cause. Claire tries to tell Dougal that she is just trying to save his life and that of his men when they are interrupted by the British officer that they encountered earlier in the episode. The episode comes to a close with Dougal clearly outnumbered, and the lieutenant questioning Claire if she is being held against her will. You’ll have to watch Episode Six, “The Garrison Commander” to find out what Claire’s response is…

The Garrison Commander (S1, Ep6) – PROMO

 

 

If Scotland Had Been Watching Outlander, the “YES” Vote Would Be A Slam-dunk!

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

yes no scotland

 

The premiere of Outlander, the television series, is rather convenient given that on Thursday, September 18th, the people of Scotland will be asked to cast their vote, “Yes” or “No” to the following question:

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

You can read all about why the Scots should vote “Yes” according to the Scottish government’s website on the vote:

http://scotreferendum.com/

If you want to read why the Scots should vote “No”, check out the UK government’s response:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/scottish-independence-referendum/about

But here’s the irony of it all, the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK, haven’t been able to view the show (unless they have tried online streaming) because none of the television networks have picked it up yet! The fact that the entire show has been filmed in Scotland, and it’s a story involving a rather significant piece of Scottish history as it was the last attempt to force the English out of the country, seems not to matter.

Now before you start… , reminding me that the story is NOT real and it’s just a TV show, I know all of that….I haven’t completely lost touch with reality. But it does beg the question that if the Scots could see the show right now, with the most important vote they will ever participate in their lifetime in two days time, how would the show influence the voting?

In the first few episodes, the most inflammatory acts of British oppression, really only come from one man, Captain “Black Jack” Randall. We know from the first episode, that he is not a nice guy, (to say the least) and as Claire hears more about Jamie’s experiences with Randall, we realize just how bad he is. At that point, we just assume that he is evil incarnate and that he’s just one guy with too much power.

“The Garrison Commander”, S1, Ep6 paints a very disturbing picture of how little respect the English ruling class had for the Scottish people. The scene that I refer to involves Dougal, Claire and a room full of British high-ranking officers. I won’t give the away the details except to say that the appalling arrogance and disrespect demonstrated towards Dougal, was unbelievable. Again, as this a fictional story, and this particular storyline is meant to invoke sympathy for the Scottish clans in its viewers. The unmitigated display of disdain for the people of Scotland, is also the interpretation of the show’s writers and what I assume is loosely based on real events and journals about the attitudes of the time that would have been authenticated in part through research. But I know that as I watched the scene, I was appalled, and I cannot help but think that if I were a Scottish national, it would be a very difficult scene to swallow and not have some kind of reaction. Given the current political climate in the country today, I think that the “No” side is pretty lucky that no network has picked up the show yet.

How is it possible that the UK could be losing Scotland? Perhaps it is a 21st century version of that same English arrogance that is ushering the people of Scotland down a path to separation?

It is clear that David Cameron’s government has been blindsided by the increased support for Scottish independence and now at the 11th hour, his government is scrambling to turn the tide. What will be the final outcome? The polls are declaring it a tight race right now but it could be that after Thursday’s vote we see something that the highland clans could not achieve back in 1745, a free Scotland.

For further reading on the topic check out the following links:

If I Were in Claire’s Shoes: An Exploration of Alternative Reactions to Being Sent Back in Time or “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

GUEST POST – Dude, Where’s My Car? by Auralee Wallace

Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to insult Outlander. I understand the power of Outlander. I bow to all that is Outlander. Please don’t hurt me.

outlander0807141280jpg-0d271d_1280w

So I finally watched the first episode of Outlander the other day, and my reactions were many and varied (actually not so varied). First, the filming was beautiful (Why oh why can’t I see it in HD in Canada? Boo). Second, the costumes, settings, props, they, too, were beautiful (my husband even got sucked in for a minute or two based on his admiration of the cut Frank’s jacket.) Third, Jamie is BEAUTIFUL. Let’s pause for a brief Jamie moment, shall we?

Boom!

Oh my. Yes, that’s better.

I did, however, have one little hiccup in my generally glowing reactions. Claire. I have difficulty relating to Claire. I just don’t get the way she thinks sometimes. It got me thinking, how would I react if I were suddenly sent back in time? Would Claire’s strategies really help her survive? Would mine? I just couldn’t figure out the answer. But maybe you can…

Below I will present the evidence. Then after I ask you:

Who is Woman Enough to Survive 18th Century Scotland?…or …Who Will Get Booted Off the Horse?

off the horse

EXHIBIT A

THE SITUATION: you just woken up after being sent back in time…

CLAIRE:

time travel

Claire: What?

Her lovely figure dressed in flowing white gown wanders over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: When confronted with the impossible, the rational mind will grope for the logical. Perhaps I had stumbled onto the set of a cinema company filming a costume drama of some sort. But there was no logical reason for actors to fire live ammunition.

Runs.


AURALEE:

Beeker

Auralee: What the…? Did I pass out? Think, Auralee think. Did you mix allergy medication with wine last night? No…no…I swore I would never do that again. Where’s my car? Don’t tell me I forgot where I parked again. I hate it when I do that. God, every freaking time! You think I could study a landmark, remember a freaking tree or something.

Her figure, dressed in soccer shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, stomps angrily over lovely hill and dale.

BANG! Gunshot rings out.

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: What the f*#@ was that!

Runs…faster. Running shoes, remember?

Commentary: I think I totally nailed that one, don’t you?

EXHIBIT B

THE SITUATION: You’ve been taken back to what seems little more than a hut to a group of rough looking highlanders. They’re joking about assaulting you. Yeah, not funny. One of them, a rather fine looking lad, is injured and sitting by the fire. His arm is obviously dislocated. You know how to fix it.

CLAIRE:

Jamie

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: The wisest course of action would have been to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and wait for the search parties Frank must have called out by now.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Claire: Don’t you dare! Stand aside at once. You’ll break his arm if you do it like that.


AURALEE:

Burn the witch

INTERNAL DIALOGUE: They think I’m witch. Stupid soccer shorts and running shoes. They totally think I’m a witch. I’m just going to keep my head down, and my mouth shut.

Big man moves to pop handsome and also big man’s shoulder back in wrong way.

Auralee: Oh! Pardon me. Pardon! Yes, if I a lowly witch woman, sorry, I mean, just woman, could have a word? I think perhaps I could show you how to do that perhaps without breaking his arm…then maybe you could consider not killing me?

Commentary: I’ll admit, I’m not quite sure which is the best approach here. I don’t like to consider myself snivelling, but I not at all am convinced that Claire’s feisty approach would go over too well…at least not long term. I typed into Google “treatment of women in 18th century Scotland”. Let’s just say I didn’t find anything really great.

EXHIBIT C

THE SITUATION: You’re on a horse with hot highlander. You’re freezing. It’s raining.

CLAIRE:

plaid
Claire: Careful. What are you trying to do?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Claire: Thank you. But I’m fine, really.

Jamie: You’re shaking so hard, it’s making my teeth rattle.


AURALEE:

Auralee: Um…what’s going on back there?

Jamie: I’ll get my plaid loose to cover ye. You’re shivering.

Auralee: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh God, thank you. So, what do you have on underneath that plaid? (Just kidding. I wouldn’t ask that last part. But I’d totally be thinking it.)

Commentary: Feisty be damned. I hate being cold. I always feel like Jack Nicholson when I’m cold.

So cold

EXHIBIT D

THE SITUATION: You’ve been riding forever now. You’ve almost been killed. It’s cold and freezing. Jamie offers you some alcohol.

CLAIRE:

Jamie: Have a wee nip. It willna fill your belly…

Claire angrily yanks head away.

…but it will make you forget you’re hungry.”

Claire deigns to drink.


AURALEE:

drinking

Commentary: Not necessary…I’m mean, seriously.

Well, there you have it. I’ve presented all the evidence. Who do you think would survive being sent back to 18th Century Scotland? I’m dying to know your thoughts, but until that time, I’ll just tide myself over with more Jamie. Ah, Jamie…

 

ABOUT Auralee

photo (1)Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Book Reviews https://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and three rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog http://auraleewallace.com.

ABOUT SIDEKICK

SidekickHeroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world…

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy

 BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON US | AMAZON AU | B&N | KOBO

Outlander, S1, Ep. 3 “The Way Out”

 

outlanderstarz

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

The third episode of Outlander opens with a flashback memory that Claire has of saying goodbye to Frank as she goes off to her nursing post along the front lines, leaving him behind to play spy. As her train is pulling away, Frank makes Claire promise to return to him, and she does. I find myself really enjoying the flashback moments that Claire has of her life with Frank. In the book, Frank is present for such a short time and then he’s gone, but in the show, the writers have given us a more fulsome character. It’s nice to get an answer to the question of “What about Frank?“, especially one that provides us with a clearer look at Claire’s relationship with her husband. So as Claire comes back to the reality of her current situation, it is this promise to return to Frank made so many years ago, that is clearly weighing on her.

frank-claire-outlander-episode-3-starz

Early on in the episode, a very popular travelling poet and musician, Gwyllyn, has arrived at the castle to provide entertainment for the Laird and his clan. Claire finds herself sitting with Jamie McTavish and the young girl Laoghaire, who clearly has a crush on Jamie. Claire tries to point out how lovely Laoghaire looks to help the young girl’s cause, but it all basically falls flat. It is clear that Jamie is not interested in the young girl. Not too long into the evening, Jamie asks Claire to take a look at his bandages, and off they go to the surgery, leaving Laoghaire to enjoy the night’s entertainment on her own.

Later on in the episode, Claire makes some comments speculating on Jamie’s love life while talking with Murtagh and his opinion of Laoghaire is classic!  Murtagh points out that Jamie needs a woman, not a lassie, and that Laoghaire will be a lassie still when she is 50. No truer words have ever been said, as those you who have read farther in the series might appreciate the accuracy of that statement.

Storytelling

Back at Claire’s surgery, Jamie and Claire share an intimate moment, where they discuss how he doesn’t mind her seeing his scars, but that he doesn’t want others to see them. Jamie explains that once people see the scars, that is all they can see about and they no longer see him for who really is. As Claire is examining his shoulder wound, we see the first real sparks of chemistry between them. Sam Heughan definitely has the “smouldering” look down pat! All I can say is give us more!

Also in this episode, we get to see some foreshadowing of future troubles to come. The bottom line is no one trusts Claire, with the exception of perhaps Jamie, which is natural given the fact that she’s saved his life and patched him up many times over in their brief acquaintance. But no one else from Colum and Dougal to the staff of Castle Leoch to the villagers really knows what to make of Claire’s sudden appearance.  As much as she is trying to fit in, Claire isn’t fooling anyone, including Geilles Duncan, the fiscal’s wife and local herbalist, who seems to have quite the knack for always steering the conversation back to Claire and her life before arriving in town.

Then there is Father Bain. He is clearly one of those priests that thinks ruling with an iron fist is the way to do God’s work. He believes that Claire is a servant of Satan when she interferes with the treatment of a sick boy. Claire realizes that the boy has been poisoned, but the priest insists on an exorcism. After much hoopla, Claire, with the help of Mrs. Fitz (the boy’s aunt), forces her way past the priest to give the sick child the treatment that he needs, ultimately saving the boy’s life. Instead of being grateful, Father Bain is livid. He doesn’t care for being upstaged by a woman, and a Sassanach to boot! I suspect that in the 18th century, this response would have been a fairly typical reaction by most men (see Auralee’s post on surviving in the 18th century). So while it is clear that Claire has garnered the respect of Mrs. Fitz, she has also made an enemy of Father Bain.

Outlander - Episode 1.03 - The Way Out - Promotional Photo

As the episode comes to a close, Claire has some renewed hope that she might actually make it back to her own time. Gwyllyn tells a story of woman who travels through time, about 200 years,  coming through some standing stones during “Samhain” (pronounced “Saween” what is known as Halloween today) just as Claire did. The woman in Gwyllyn’s story goes on living her life in the past, and even falling in love, but then eventually returns through the stones to her own time. Claire realizes that this legend must have some truth to it, now that she has lived the experience herself. Claire is more determined than ever to get back to Craigh na Dun, as she vows to do whatever it takes to leave Castle Leoch.

The Gathering (S1, Ep4) – PROMO

 

Outlander S1. Ep2. “Castle Leoch”

outlanderstarz

GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

Beautiful. Stunning. Marvelous. Exquisite. Wonderful.

All of these adjectives can be used to describe one of the most anticipated new television series in years. And you thought I was just talking about Sam Heughan!

In all seriousness, I believe that all of these descriptors can be applied to Outlander from the perfectly eerie and moody backdrop of Scotland, to the transformation of the novel to television screenplay, to the casting that seems to have captured the characters from Diana Gabaldon’s novel with a real authenticity.

In the second episode,  Claire arrives at the Castle Leoch and her first significant introduction is to Mrs. Fitzgibbon. Mrs. Fitz (as everyone calls her) runs the castle and appears to accept Claire as a new guest to the castle, with just a wee bit of wariness.  As Claire checks on the condition of Jamie’s earlier battle wounds, he tells the story behind how he came to be flogged at the hands of Captain “Black Jack” Randall. As Claire’s disbelief of the reality of her situation turns to acceptance that she is no longer in her own time, Claire finally breaks down in Jamie’s arms. Unlike in the book, we get to see the filling out of Claire’s musings about Frank, how worried he must be now that he’s realized that she is missing, appearing to have vanished into thin air.

Outlander 2014

The next day, Claire is brought to “Himself”, otherwise known as Colum Mackenzie,  the laird of Castle Leoch. Claire arrives in his room and discovers that she has a few moments to herself. As she rifles through books and papers on his desk, she finds the confirmation that she needed. She discovers a letter on his desk, dated 1743. Before she can do anything else, Colum enters and begins to deftly question Claire about who she is, where she’s from and how she managed to end up in the clutches of Captain Randall. Colum interrogates Claire under the guise of caring and concern for her well-being, but it is clear that he has ulterior motives. At the end of the conversation, there is a slight deviation from the book, when Colum tells Claire that she could catch a ride with a travelling merchant who should be passing by at the end of the week. Claire leaves this meeting believing that she’s a week away from getting back to Craigh na Dun, and she seems to become almost ambivalent about her situation.

After the meeting, Claire spies a moment of playful fun between Dougal and a young boy in the courtyard. Mistakenly thinking that she was witnessing a touching father-son moment, Claire later realizes her error when she is officially introduced to Hamish Mackenzie, “son and heir to Colum Mackenzie”. She quickly excuses herself from the dinner table,  before she makes anymore errors in judgment.

outlander-ep-2

The next day, Claire goes to check on Jamie at the stables and hears more of his story. Jamie reveals to her that he is an outlaw, wanted for murder, and living under an assumed name. After hearing about Jamie’s precarious position, hiding from the Redcoats, with a bounty on his head, Claire asks him why he chose to share his story with her. His reply simply stated, “You asked”, and that he “decided to trust” her, rather than hide from her. At the end of this scene, we also see how Claire’s being watched by Dougal’s men everywhere she goes.

CJ

Later in the episode, Claire witnesses Jamie intervene on the behalf of the young girl Laoghaire who is to be punished by Colum for displaying “loose behaviour and morals”. Laoghaire was to receive the strap in front of everyone attending the hall. It is clear that Jamie’s intervention is received with suspicion by both of his uncles Colum and Dougal, and that Murtagh is clearly a confidant of Jamie’s. Claire, also begins to suspect that perhaps Jamie is the cause of Laoghaire’s punishment, as she ponders why he would save her from the humiliation.

At the end of the episode, just as Claire is about to leave with the travelling merchant, Dougal comes for her, and Claire experiences deja vu as Dougal brings her to a room in the Castle that Claire had explored with Frank. It is in this room that Claire and Frank had a very intimate moment in 1945, that Colum reveals his grand plan for her. Colum has decided that Claire is to remain at the castle as the local healer. This does not sit well with Claire,  but Colum makes it very clear that she will remain at Leoch until he is sure that she poses no threat to him, his family, or his clan.

The Way Out (S1, Ep3) – PROMO