Monthly Archives: February 2020

Outlander Episode Free Will Between Two Fires Recap

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©2020 Starz®

It is with great trepidation, I think that’s the right word, caution, taking one’s time, that I finally get around to this recap of Outlander S502, Between Two Fires episode. I usually get these done on Sunday, trying not to rush too much as some of you may still have not seen the episode. I must admit that even though I, like you, rewatch for details a few times, I had to watch this episode 3 times and gather three sets of notes to even see where to go. I usually keep my viewing of other recaps to a minimum as I want to keep my opinions and oppressions not tainted, or I look at them well after. This time I was finding I was peeking around at others as I was trying to figure out how I really felt about the episode. Apparently, all fan feeds and reviews are all over the place in this episode. It may be down to having two very different writers, who have worked on several scripts for the series (Toni Graphia and Luke Schelhaas). There are two separate stories with a third arc. All of the main characters will play with the fire in one way or another in this episode.

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Playing With Fire

With that being said, where else could this have gone after that gut-wrenching farewell between Jamie and Murtagh at the end of the season opener? We knew it would be Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) going full-throttle into his new clan, The Regulators. Our darkly moving waters, always on Jamie’s right man and God-Father, is without a purpose other than to fight for these men and what injustices they have had. Murtagh has never really left the battlefield at Culloden and the injustices that the King’s Red Tunics bring. He has lived with the oppression of his people and lost his beloved Scotland. So it is with a great fierce force that we see Murtagh step away from that “play fair now” attitude in season one’s Jinty match, he’s tired of being patient about it. It’s all a vengeance that is his now instead of for those he loves. He becomes embroiled in the War of Regulation.

We open on Hillsborough, North Carolina and a mob scene with Edmund Fanning being accosted and other officials being tar and feathered. Murtagh pronounces a sentence on them, they are corrupt and will not allow for due process of law for the common people. As we see later in the episode, while tarring and feathering is seen as a humiliation, it is a very real threat to the body of a person. It is torture. It is vengeance. So begins Murtagh’s fight for the right to fair representation.

To understand a little more about what the movement was about, and what sparked it, and why many believe it leads to the start of the American Revolution, read below.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) has been sending dispatches to Governor Tryon elaborating his search for the outlaw Fitzgibbons (Note that neither Jamie or Murtagh mention the Fraser part of that name) and bring him to justice. Of course, Jamie has done all he can to hide the relationship he has with the man, so he begins a very precarious dance with Lieutenant Hamilton Knox (Michael Xavier). He enters into the conversation in subterfuge, dancing the line of truth and honor, which both men find they have a conviction for, but we learn to have different ways of showing it.

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“I admire a man who puts duty and honor above all else,” Lt. Knox

As always, Jamie is being the diplomat that he is, shows his compassion for those who cannot feed themselves. However, we have warning moments of the zealous nature of Lt. Knox’s purpose. He reveals a desire to acquire favor with the Governor, perhaps gain lands of his own if he brings Murtagh Fitzgibbons to hang in New Bern. Jamie proceeds with caution and works hard to show that he intends to follow his oath to crown that he swore.

“Then you’d admire the man who chooses to starve rather than betray his conscience?” Jamie responds.

They arrive at Hillsborough after the riot and are greeted by Edmund Fanning, the Lawyer that Claire (Catriona Balfe) operated on in Season 4 at the theatre. He tells them of the tragedies that have transpired, the tar and feathering and injured parties, one near death. They also have three fugitives. Jamie asks if one is Murtagh Fitzgibbons.

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©2020 Starz®

Lt. Knox confronts the three prisoners, who turn out to be some of the men that Jamie tried to offer land on the Ridge to, Ethan, Lee Withers, and Bryan Cranna. Jamie rushes to cover his association tracks with Murtagh and gives a hint that he is really trying to protect Murtagh by going along with the Crown. The men are interrogated by Knox at sword point. When pressed where the whereabouts of Murtagh, Ethan declares that he is Murtagh Fitzgibbons. In the heat of the moment, Knox loses control and runs the man through. Jamie declares that he has just killed a man without trial. Jamie returns to free the men, as we know he would. Of course, after several tense moments of trying to get the not so bright Bryan and Lee to realize he is trying to help Murtagh and to not lead Knox right to him, he tells them to not make it so easy for them to find Murtagh.

Later at the Regulator’s encampment, Bryan and Lee return and tell Murtagh and Herman Husband of their ordeal, and Bryan confronts Murtagh about his allegiances. He criticizes Jamie Fraser. That Fraser is an agent of the Crown now. Murtagh tries to deflect in a nostalgic realization.

“No, he stands with his people, I stand wi’ mine.”


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Hauntings and The Rise of The Mrs’s Burke and Hare

Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is still haunted by her rape at the hands of Stephen Bonnet. After hearing on her wedding night that he is indeed not dead and back in the colonies, she has been sketching disturbing drawings of Bonnet. She really cannot talk to anyone about what she’s heard, she keeps it all inside. She is broken out of this trance by a sudden emergency in Claire’s surgery. Rushing to help Claire, she becomes her mother’s conscience and shows an aversion to blood and guts.

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A Fraser’s Ridge settler is brought in by his wife with stomach pain and trauma. Claire is asking the wife about what she used as a treatment, she used purging and bleeding, both common barbaric practices in the 18th century, on him. She gave him a Mercury based purgative, sadly Claire backs away and says she can do nothing for him. Brianna assists her as best she can, but we see that she struggles with it, she knows Mercury to be a poison. She is also struggling with the blood. What was clearly the Appendix burst symptoms to Claire, and should have been a simple matter, she cannot do anything. Claire is appalled by the fact that she cannot do what she could have done if she had antibiotics, a simple thing in her time. That and the knowledge to not give people poisons in the first place.

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After a conversation with several women making candles at the Big House, Claire offers her 20th-century knowledge about poisons, and the women scoff. She decides that she must use a bit of subterfuge to help enlighten people enough so they can take care of patients. After Claire enlists the help of Roger to create a fake burial of the man, she uses him for an autopsy. Brianna confronts her about using her 20th-century practices in the 18th-century, how it could possibly change space and time if she brought things like penicillin forward in time. Claire points out they have already altered time by coming through the stones, and that Brianna came to warn them about the fire that might kill them. How was that not altering time?

Roger also gets some modern medicine when Claire checks his eye vision after his unsuccessful hunting with Brianna. And let’s just go back there for a moment, Brianna shoots a turkey, blood involved. She lets Roger pick it up. But back to Roger, who other than a bit of normal short-sightedness in one eye, is fine. As Roger concedes, he’s just a bad shot. A philosophic discussion around Roger wanting to go back to his own time, and Claire suggesting that they should, it would be safer for the three of them. Roger points out that they don’t know if wee Jemmy can travel. That was your foreshadowing moment, folks.

Let’s not forget that Claire also realizes Brianna is having doubts about working with the dead. So she enlists the help of Marsali (Laren Lyle), who has fine butchering skills. If she can refine that into helping by stitching up patients and assisting at surgeries, Marsali with her tough Scottish resolve could help to ease people’s fears over seeking help. We’re in for a treat as the 18th-century version of Burke and Hare start up their own side series.

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©2020 Starz®

So Claire tries her hand at some preventative medicine, by using the name of the doctor who’s medicine box she has, to write informative treatments coming from a male doctor of the 18th-century. Clever girl.


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That House as a Character

Okay, so I have to let this one go I suppose, but put it out there for you. Many book fans have been dying to see the Big House. Of course, we love Jon Gary Steels’ amazing design work, however, such a house would not have been feasible in those times, only if you were a wealthy merchant in a large city perhaps. I guess it’s lucky for the Frasers that the 1798 Window/Glass Tax hadn’t hit yet. Let alone, where they would get all that glass? And window glass was not as refined as it is today. Just another thought I suppose. I guess that wild whisky that Jamie is crafting is getting some serious barter going on. Tell us your thoughts on the Big House.

And let’s not forget Claires experiments with penicillin fishing. Back to the glass thing. Glass bell jars we used to protect plants and create a greenhouse. People had just started keeping specimen plants. If you are trying to catch spores, they cannot go through the glass, so I hope that she remembers what every good doctor knows, that air is the transport for microbes and dust, where spores like to float.

Stay tuned for Free Will Episode 503 next Saturday, February 29 at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, March 1 at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, UK Monday on Amazon Prime.


All images ©2020 Starz®

Outlander Characters Season 5: Edmund Fanning

Lauren Lyle on Marsali’s Medical Apprenticeship

Just Who Were The Regulators?

The intolerable Acts

Writer’s Room Tour

 

Outlander: This Weeks Ramp-up to BTF

In just under three hours you will be glad to see the backside of the “Tryin’ One”. This week we became sadly reacquainted with Governor Tryon (Tim Downie). We knew it was coming after he sent that dispatch to Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) ordering the pursuit and execution of one Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) in the final moments of Outlander S4. We’ve had a good long year to get ready for the eventual tear rendering Season 5 opener. We still weren’t ready.

If that wasn’t bad enough, and we thought he wasn’t a bad enough villain, or as Tim Downie, who plays Tryon himself put it, “The Devil incarnate!”. This is all very sad since I have experienced nothing but kindness and a responsive actor, who learned to make fabulous cakes, self-taught, that features mermaids for his young daughters. But he left Jamie with obKnoxious!

Outlander star Tim Downie warns that Governor Tryon is ‘the devil incarnate’

Murtagh gets more embroiled in the Regulator Cause. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gets frustrated with treating the sick and injured without modern amenities. Do we get to see this Duncan Inness after his being kept from the storyline for three seasons? Bonnet (Ed Speelers) will surely rear his mug at some point soon because the Frasers can’t deal with just one villain at a time, they must have three or four.

And where the heck is wee Adso!

Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.

Red Carpet Interviews on Check Your Local Listings.


“‘Outlander’ Star Tim Downie Warns That Governor Tryon Is ‘the Devil Incarnate.’” n.d. EW.Com. Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/tv/2020/02/16/outlander-season-5-premiere-tim-downie-governor-tryon-interview/.

Murtagh’s on a Mission

Outlander Season 5 2020He’s got nothing to lose now. He has lost his family, the only thing keeping him grounded, and his love. Now all he has is a mission against injustice. A life of suffering from The Crown, he wants to finally stop the tyranny.

Murtagh walked away from Jamie in Episode 501 The Fiery Cross. A tearful parting that left not a dry eye in the house. Murtagh is one of the leaders of The Regulator’s cause. Now it’s all he has. In true Murtagh fashion, he’ll go full bore. Will we see the berzerker of the Culloden battle once more? Or a more refined but no less fearless leader of men? Murtagh has always deferred to Jamie leading, now it is his turn.

Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 next Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.

Outlander Episode The Fiery Cross Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020At long last, we were treated with an early release of episode 501, The Fiery Cross in the US and Canada if you had a subscription to the Starz® App. On the LA Premiere night Thursday, it was announced we would get the first episode dropped at midnight for Valentine’s treat.

Beginnings and Endings

While producers and cast have been stating that the theme this season is based on family and what Jamie and Claire will do to keep the family and extended family of Fraser Ridge safe, it’s the sad business of having to cast a family member aside that hit hard in this season opener. We knew it was coming when Governor Tryon charged Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) with hunting down and killing the leader of the Regulators, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix).

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Episode 501, The Fiery Cross, opens with a young Murtagh walking towards Lollybroch and a very young Jamie Fraser suffering the loss of his mother Ellen. Murtagh speaks his oath to always be there by Jamie’s side to protect him. We know deep down this is going to hurt. Jamie lost Murtagh after Culloden and found him again when he sacrificed himself for his family’s safety ending up in Ardsmuir Prison. He found Murtagh broke and fragile, barely surviving in the dank walls. Only to lose him again as the prison shut down and Murtagh was indentured to a cruel man in the colonies. When the Frasers end up in North Carolina in Season 4, Jamie and Murtagh are reunited. However, in true Outlander fashion, it is but a brief moment.

A Da’s Privilege

Roger (Richard Rankin) ends up in Jamie’s very focused conversational embrace as he gets a very close shave from a cutthroat razor after nicking himself. A bit of sacrificial blood for the day’s events. The nervous declarations of Roger promising to find some way to provide for his family, being the scholar that he is. Jamie all too well knows he cannot hunt, farm, build a house, and quite clearly Brianna wears the breeks at times. He admits that the cabin was so he didn’t have his grandchild growing up in the woods. Jamie in his not so subtle way reminding Roger that he will be watching.501-1200x677

Roger spends most of the next few days wondering when Jamie will ever trust him. Can he find some way to get that chance to prove himself?

Something Old, Something New

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As you know the series is straying further away from scenes in the books, thankfully the long drawn out beginning of The Fiery Cross with Gathering on Mount Halcion being downsized to a gathering for Roger and Bree’s wedding makes perfect sense. Focusing on the Ridge and the grand reveal of the big house, the unfinished parts of the doors and ongoing building reflect the building of the community.

Claire is a proud mother, gushing and preparing Brianna for the wedding, finishing dress bits and being that rare soft side of Claire we don’t see very often. Jamie is fussing over all the accouterments of the tradition to have a bride prepared with something old, something new (whisky, not aged of course), something borrowed, something blue. He can’t help but have doubts about the day, and the loss of his daughter after only just finding her. It’s a matter that plays out for all fathers, to give away the daughter and trust that another will provide for her. When Brianna comes to greet him, she reminds him that he will always be a part of her life.

In further conversations, Claire tries to take Roger’s corner as she trusts Roger to do right by Brianna and Jemmy. Jamie questioning his initial hesitation at taking on the responsibility of the child. Claire reminds him that he did come round. There was, of course, a little matter of Roger being sold off to the Mowhawk and how that transpired that no one will bring upon such a day, and the shock of finding out what happened to Brianna when he was rescued. Scots and their grudges.

Weddings, Interfearing Aunts, and The Uninvited Guest

There’s always got to be someone who ruins the day. And someone hiding away. It wouldn’t be a wedding if something didn’t go wrong. You get that many Scots together and…

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Because there is a price on his head, Murtagh must hide in his shack in the woods, watching the ceremony from afar. Unfortunately, Governor Tryon turns up with a platoon of Dragoons to aid the errant Jamie, who has spent nearly a year dancing around his responsibilities of the Governor’s orders to hunt and kill Murtagh. He is reminded of his duty once in a roundabout, coy way, then more firmly with Tryon announcing he is leaving the Dragoons to aid Jamie in this task. A father really doesn’t need such stress while trying to be all smiles for his daughter on her day.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 1.09.48 PMLord John Grey (David Berry), is one of the honored guests and pulls Jamie aside behind a wagon to discuss the private matter of locating Stephen Bonnet. Unfortunately, Brianna walks up to the other side of the wagon and overhears the conversation. Lord John tells Jamie of his inquiries, what scant intelligence he has that he is following. Brianna is in shock, the worst possible thing that could have happened on her day, hearing that Bonnet is indeed still alive. She stumbles off into the wedding night, trying to keep it all in and away from her family.

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Luckily Roger blissfully ignorant of the situation serenades his wife with a very 1960s song on their wedding night. The next day, the heads are swelling with grog and overindulgence. Roger is summoned to meet with Aunt Jocasta in her pavilion. She tells Roger that she is changing her will, Brianna will no longer be her heir, that she is leaving it all to Jemmy. Roger explodes and tells her where she can put her decisions, that no wife or son of his will take her money. He storms off. Jocasta, of course, being the MacKenzie she is and finding no evidence of Roger MacKenzie’s family, tests him to see if it’s all about the money. As Ulysses asks her if she had the outcome she had hoped for, she agrees. Perhaps Roger has passed her test.

Murtaghs Waters Deepen

Murtagh is a man of conviction. Too long has he an others suffered at the hands of the Crown. The injustices of over taxation and corrupt justice systems in the colony cause him to become one of the leaders of the Regulators, who are not united under one leader but split among North and South Carolina. It is because of this that Jamie is being forced to create a militia to hunt him down. It appears that after years of loss and reconnection, finally finding a home with Jamie again on the Ridge, he must make his decision. Be true to himself, or be true to his kin. Can Murtagh survive with the anchor of the family about to be ripped away?

To add to his losses, while having a love tryst in the love shack with Jocasta, she reveals that a Duncan Inness has asked her to marry him. Book readers will remember that this character was in Ardsmuir with Jamie and had originally been the companion who traveled with him and Claire through the Carribean). In season 4, Murcasta seemed to supplant that book storyline.

It’s not easy for Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), is the widow with a wealthy plantation, there have been many trying to wed her to control such wealth. She and Murtagh cannot be open about their relationship. Her plantation could be taken from her, she could be jailed. Murtagh backs up and tells her he releases her from their relationship. The rollercoaster has left the platform. That sinking drop is hitting home for Murtagh. He is about to lose all he holds dear, and make a sacrifice so that others don’t lose what they hold dear.

IMG_4224The Fiery Cross

We’ve been waiting to see Jamie don a kilt again. The tartans were outlawed after Culloden, and while everyone is gathered in the night, he lights a wicker cross. The Fiery Cross is a symbol of call to arms in the highlands, where clans and those who give fealty to them are called to action against a foe. Jamie uses this time to finally give Roger a purpose and feel that he has earned a place by his side by naming him a captain. It’s a bold move to go in a full kilt in front of the Dragoons, the tartan is outlawed and still punishable by imprisonment or death. The risk is worth it as Jamie knows it’s the only way to rally so many men from different clans to form a new one in the new world.

Breaking of Bonds

In the final scene, we have Jamie walking up to a secret meeting with Murtagh in the woods. He must do what he has been dreading for a year. The stakes are too high. He releases Murtagh from his oath to protect him and his family. If anyone found out that Murtagh was his Godfather, he could lose everything, all the families relying on him for a home and protection would lose. Heavy is the responsibility of being the Laird.

Murtagh is of course in shock but at the same time knew it would come to this eventually. He has been hit from all sides with loss. Murtagh makes an attempt to have Jamie consider time travel, perhaps Claire, Brianna, or Roger could change time? Jamie is taken aback. Murtagh is hit with the relationship with Jocasta ending, because really he has been putting her in danger, and now his surrogate son says to him, “Please– be hard to find”. He walks away from everything that holds him.

We now have set in motion two people who have loved and cared for each other over the years, their kinship, gone. They will now be on opposing sides of a situation Jamie does not wish to be dragged into, and Murtagh stubbornly will not leave. It is a conflict with his political past that he too has sympathy for, but he is haunted by the pain and suffering of the disbanded clans of Scotland after Culloden. He knows that there is a promise of a bigger war to come, that there is a conflict with The Regulators as told by Claire, Roger, and Brianna is the beginnings of a parting with the Crown by the colonists. The colonies are on a slow burn.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 next Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.

All images ©2020 Starz® and Sony Pictures

Trisha Biggar Interview on designing Season 5 Costume and Brianna’s Wedding Dress

Outlander Season 5 Costume Reveals and Teasers

Outlander LA Premiere Today at 5:30 pm PST and Interview Round-Up

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It’s two more sleeps and the Outlander drought is over for this year. Earlier this week, New York had its premiere. And apparently, Sam Heughn let slip that it may be Murtagh’s last stand? Caitriona Balfe tried to save him, or stop him, and Sophie Skelton sought to deflect. But were they successful? There was a gasp in the audience. Was it an intentional slip, meant to tease? Who knows?

Go to the Facebook page for the live broadcast at 5:30 PM.

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Is This The End of…

We have all surmised that it may finally be Murtagh’s end. Historically the Battle of Almanance saw an answer by Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) with the hanging of some of the dissidents. If you are a book reader and history buff, you know about the last stand of the Regulators at Almanance and how it lit the fuel for further rebellion. However, Murtagh has survived before, and possibly he can escape. If Stephen Bonnet can do it, he most certainly can. Or will he sacrifice himself for another? Nail-biting commence. Got that dram handy?

The Low Down

Recent interviews with Matthew B. Roberts, producer, and writer on the series, have revealed what many of us book readers knew, there’s going to be another wedding. I didn’t expect them to be so revealing about it, as they usually like to keep cards close until the first episode has aired.

The costumes and wedding pictures revealed the wedding dress of Brianna very early on this last month. This is a departure from another wedding dress that was kept under wraps for some time. Roberts reveals more details on the season, the conflict as it stands for Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), Godfather and Godson on two opposing sides. Jamie will don the redcoat of the British Army, and the army that has dogged him all of his life, to keep the land grant for Fraser’s Ridge.

Claire will be urging Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy to go back through the stones. The violence is mounting with the heavy taxation by the crown. Both Brianna and Roger, (Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin) know what will happen during the next 5 years. Claire fears for their safety. And everyone has that newspaper clipping about a particular fire on Fraser’s Ridge that is a few years away, in the back of their minds. Jamie is in conflict, he doesn’t want them to leave. He finally has his family around him. He already lost 20 years with Claire after forcing her to go back to their time.

There’s going to be further Murcasta Emo, with ups and downs. Their star crossed love will play out over the season. It will be a bit of a rollercoaster. Not a surprise with two Firey personalities. Will they secretly get married? Or will Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) be forced to marry a particular naval officer to keep suspicions at bay?

When and Where to Watch Season 5

The drop for Season 5 is at Midnight (ET) Saturday, February 15th on the Starz App, 9 pm PT. It will be 8 pm (ET/PT) on Sunday, 16 February on Starz cable. In Canada, it’s on the W Network premiering at 9pm on Starz.

UK watchers can view Outlander on Monday, February 17 on Amazon. Australian viewers on the same date, on Foxtel.

Watch for Sam Heuhan and Caitriona Balfe on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

The series has been very good at managing its pre-season reveals. Many of the supporting actors must wait until it is official for them to announce they’re even being on the show. Veteran actors of the series have been releasing all sorts of behind the scenes goodies.

The Crew

We’d also like to thank the film crew and everyone else who makes this show great. The cast is very supportive of who makes them look fantastic.

Check the cavalcade of BTS below. And one really great shot of Duncan Lacroix by Richard Rankin, Film-Noir Murtagh.

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Interview on Facebook Live if you missed it!

Matthew B. Roberts Interview on The Hollywood Reporter

Did Sam Heughan Just Spoil That Murtagh Dies in Outlander Season 5?

Outlander season 5: Caitriona Balfe says series won’t face problems like Game of Thrones