Category Archives: John Bell

OUTLANDER Cast Panel Full at Wizard World Virtual

So,in case you didn’t get to hang out with us a few weeks back, here’s Colin, Duncan(occasionally, tech issues), Ed, John, Tim, and Richard. Fun had by all.

Kudos to Duncan for not correcting the host ;-).

Never My Love, Outlander Season 5 Finale

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Warning. The season finale of Outlander Season 5 doesn’t hold back. As with past episodes dealing with extreme violence, you have been warned. You may want to have someone there to hold your hand. Yes, there will be some spoilers.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has had a great deal of tragedy in her life. She was orphaned at 5, lived with her Uncle Lamb, explored the world, married first husband Frank, then war broke out. Seeing death and destruction as a WWII combat nurse, Claire has been banged around for years in two centuries. She has had to sacrifice herself, as in having sex with the King of France to secure Jamie Fraser’s release from prison, has been tortured by Black Jack Randall, forced to endure leaving Jamie behind to be raped. Her daughter followed her into the past and was raped. It’s inevitable that Claire would go through her own tragedy. Nearly losing Jamie to snakebite wasn’t enough. Leave it to the mind of author Diana Gabaldon and the writers of Outlander, in this particular episode Mathew B. Roberts and Toni Graphia, to hit us with one intense script and visceral imagery.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire’s abduction and Marsali’s (Lauren Lyle) beating at the end of “Journeycake” left us on edge for the finale, and some wondering if the abduction would carry on into season 6. But with great storytelling and a dream state sequence that invokes David Lynch in Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks, we open with Claire in the 1960s in an amazing modern house putting the record on the turntable with the song “Never My Love” from 1967. She is young again, in a very 1960’s very red dress. The door opens and in comes a younger Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) short curls and killed. The table is set for Thanksgiving and guests to arrive from the 18th-century. It becomes clear that she is trying to escape her terrible ordeal as we cut to the dark reality, filmed in dark and muted tones, the story of her abduction and torture by Lionel Brown and associates. This contrasts with the bright, autumnal tones in the dissociative sequences with golds, yellows, oranges, blues in that dark color echoed in seasons 1-5 in sets and costumes. Claire escapes to a world where her friends and extended family are, and she barely speaks and watches everything is going on around her.

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Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

Pure Hate

Claire has met with some formidable foes in the series, but one that truly echos that fiendish manipulation of Father Bain (Tim McInnerny). Remember him from season 1 and the witch trial? Who she outwitted with solving the mystery of poisonous plants killing children, only to be used by the good Father in her witch trial, where he admits to his advantage that she had saved the children, but uses it to bolster his position in town. Worse than that and rolled in with qualities of just pure savagery, is Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy). Lionel gets even. With villains like Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet in her past, who were both manipulative in their way, they do not compare with the outright crushing of women’s rights that Lionel Brown shows us. He makes it personal. Claire dared to stand up to him about the abuse of his wife, and to top it off, has been writing under the name of Doctor Rawlings suggesting that women abstain from sex to prevent childbirth. Lionel makes his crushing of Claire a personal delight.

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Sam Heughan, John Bell, and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

After Claire’s abduction and travels are told in sequencing with the arrivals of Ian dressed in 1960’s military attire, Marsali, Fergus and children, Murtagh, and Jocasta turning up for Thanksgiving dinner. The reality is that Lionel confronts her, who informs her in his righteous declarations that he was put on the earth to make Claire pay for the shame she has caused on all men of their women reading her Dr. Rawlings Recommends writings. One way to stop her is to intimidate and silence her. And that won’t happen with just killing her.

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Ducan Lacroix ©2020 Starz®

Claire is always quick thinking, and one of the abductors, a reluctant former slave Tibby, shows caution. He has heard she is a conjure woman. Claire seizes the opportunity and begins cursing them all to hell. The men start to have a fear of her. Hodgepile shoves her around roughly and they make camp. Claire continues to go in and out of dream states, and we see her tied to a tree, bloodied, and a big gash on her breast. Wendigo Donner comes to check on her, seeks that she is choking on her gag. He demands to know where she has come from, and when.

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©2020 Starz®

The next day, Tibby is put in charge of her while they make to cross a creek. She tries to talk Tibby into helping her escape, talking about the water horses taking her away and she won’t harm him. He is close to consenting but Lionel gets wind of something and confronts them. He has plans for dealing with her.

In her dreamscape, Murtagh and Jocasta turn up, they all sit at the dinner table.

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Lauren Lyle, Caitriona Balfe, John Bell, Duncan Lacroix, Marias Doyle Kennedy, and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Claire keeps cursing at the men as they try to tie her up again and make camp. While Hodgepile and the other rough her up, she shouts out an infamous, ” Jesus H Roosevelt Christ!” Wendigo then knows she is like him as he suspected. Lionel and Chisholm tie her to a tree. While lying there she sees a small rabbit. She is choking on her dried, bloody nose, while gagged. Wendigo comes at night and loosens the gag.

“Does the name Ringo Starr mean anything to you?”. Claire is stunned, she realises he is a traveler like her. “He’s a drummer.” Wendigo tells her he knew that Dr, Rawlings had to be like him, someone from his time would know the medical things written down, not a local doctor in the 18th-century. He never thought he would meet another. He advises her that she should have behaved more like the women of this time, not been so forward. She has angered many men, made them feel threatened.

Wendigo tells her his story. He traveled back in time with a group of 4 other men and said it was evident it was too late for the Indians. Claire realizes he was a companion of Ottertooth and asks him. “Where is Bob?” he asks. She tells him the Mohawk killed him. “I need gemstones!” She asks him to help her get back to Fraser Ridge, she has stones and knows where the stone circle is. Wendigo says no, Lionel will kill him. It has become very evident by now that Lionel is one of the ones that has been going causing the crimes that the Committee of Safety claimed to be protecting people from. They are interrupted by Lionel, who has brought a young boy to rape her, to have his first go at dominating a woman.

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 ©2020 Starz®

Claire returns to her alternate dissociation and police officers arrive at the Thanksgiving dinner that everyone is at and have been waiting for Bree, Roger, and Jemmy. All the time everyone had been saying it must be the traffic keeping them. The police inform her that Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie and their son were all killed in a car accident. Claire has been fearing what befell them. This is all going while a series of men take Claire.

Back To The…

Stones. Roger, Brianna wake near the stones, and young Jemmy is very excited…to find cousin Ian sitting on a mossy boulder asking where they went. The trip failed. Brianna and Roger realize they had been thinking of home, and that the Ridge had become their home. They go back with Ian to the Ridge, and just as they are planning to camp for the night, Brianna sees the Fiery Cross burning on Fraser’s Ridge at a distance. They rush home to find the men of the Ridge preparing to go after Claire.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Josiah and Roger pledge to find Claire and seek justice for Claire. Roger begs to come along with Jamie if he will allow it? Jamie is glad to have him and the men set out.

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John Bell ©2020 Starz®

Claire slowly comes out of her fog and the reality becomes a dream sequence. Men shouting, musket fire, battle scenes in the camp. Jamie finds Claire tied to the tree, and he indicates that he knows what has happened to her.

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Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

“You are alive, you are whole Mo Nighan Donn.”

The men come to tell them they have killed all but one of the party. Ronnie Sinclaire asks if Claire would wish to take her vengeance.

“It is myself who kills for her,” says Jamie, with Ian and Fergus echoing, “And I!”. Jamie asks how many raped her, she says nothing. “Jamie gives the command to kill them all. The men of the ridge decimate the abductors, killing all but Lionel Brown. Claire listens in shock. Jamie takes her to view them all, to show her they cannot hurt her. Wendigo is nowhere to be found. Roger asks if they should question him now. They take the injured Lionel with them back to the Ridge.

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©2020 Starz®

Claire finally speaks and asks about Marsali. Jamie and Fergus tell her that Marsali is okay, the baby is fine and she is still pregnant. She asks about Wendigo, tells them that he was from the future like her. No one has seen him. How is it that Roger is there? Whats happened, why are they back? Roger remarks that there’s no place like home.

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Lauren Lyle, Sophie Skelton, and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

While the series has received a lot of criticizing and praise in how it deals with abuse (Jamie’s Rape in season 1, Brianna’s in season 4), this time it is very real for Claire as the one who had to heal both Jamie and Brianna. This time, it will need to be Claire that needs healing. The fact of the matter was that in these times, women were not in power, and often subjected to terror in any way to keep them from having control by men.

Physician, Heal Thyself

Brianna races out to greet them as they come back to the Ridge and it is a long healing process for Claire. Marsali comes out, with a blackened eye healing. She and Claire embrace with Brianna. Brianna takes care of Claire, bathing her, comforting her. Marsali is left to deal with Lionel Brown. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) tells her that she will take care of her, she is there to listen to her.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire keeps her resolve to heal herself, somehow. She keeps examining herself, feeling her bones to see if it’s really her. Her face and body are battered. Jamie comes in. She tells him she will survive this. She declared that she has been through so much war in her own time and other trials, she will not be shattered by this.

Everyone on the Ridge wants to kill Lionel. Jamie tells her that Lionel is still alive. He is only kept alive to get information out of him, and because Claire has her oath to do no harm. He asks her if her oath is so strong?

Roger (Richard Rankin) is shaken by what has happened in rescuing Claire. He did what he promised he would do, defended and avenged Claire. However, Roger’s life was also changed that night. Brianna and Roger are getting ready for bed, and Roger is deeply troubled and asks Brianna if Jamie told her about what had happened. He begs to confess what has happened and asks her to blow out the candle. In the dark, he declares that he has killed someone. Roger was the last hold out, the educated man who struggled with being violent, even in defense of those he loved. Coming from an era of law and the idea of a fair trial, it hasn’t been easy for Roger to cross that line. Now he has.

Hell Hath No Resolve Like a Marsali

Claire finally goes down to the surgery and starts trying to check on Lionel, with Lionel begging for mercy, to loosen his bonds. Lionel tries to manipulate Claire into not harming him. He keeps begging and Marsali tells him to keep quiet.  Claire instructs her to make the comfrey tea. Lionel will not stop, Marsali tells him to be quiet. Claire unrolls her surgical kit, picking up a scalpel. She considers it for a moment. She puts it down, then states she will do him no harm. She leaves the surgery then collapses upstairs in the hallway weeping.

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Lauren Lyle and Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

Lionel is emboldened and snide. Because Claire has said she will do no harm to him, he thinks he’s been saved. He is abusive and bragging about how he has to be treated well, Marsali keeps telling him to mind his manners. He is bossy still. If he is not treated well, his brother will come along with his men. He will slaughter them all in their sleep. Marsali is getting the new syringe filled with something and we are all cheering her on. Oh, Marsali, you go, girl, you tell him.

Marsali, in a deep, matter of fact and a righteous voice says, “She took an oath to do no harm. But I have taken no such oath. You hurt my family, my man, I’ll burn in hell before I let you harm another soul in this house,” and injects Lionel with the liquid, that as we all hoped and suspected, was the Water Hemlock root. Good riddance.

Afterward, she is sitting on the floor, shaking and Jamie comes in and sees Lionel is dead. She asks if she will be haunted by him. Jamie assures her that no harm will come to her. He then wraps the body in a shroud and takes it to Brownsville, alone, and delivers it to Richard Brown, throwing it to the floor. He explained that a group of men including his brother attacked the Ridge and abducted and harmed his wife. He killed all of them. He is indicating that he is to blame, no other.

Richard thanks him for giving him back his brother, he reaped what he sewed. He understands that Jamie must do what he must to protect his family….as he will do when the time comes. The Frasers and Browns feud begins.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

When Will We See Season 6?

We have now officially entered Droughtlander 6, yes that’s counting the first one between the two-part first season. Pre-production has halted due to the pandemic, where work on episode 601 had started. And we will face a good 10 months of filming at the very least. So it will probably be Summer or Fall 2021 before we have season 6, which will be based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, with possibly the 7th book, An Echo in the Bone being adapted in.


How Many Easter Eggs Did You Spot?

A Dragonfly Sculpture – Dragonfly in Amber, Season 2, and symbolic of Claire’s being trapped.

The Red Dress – In season 2 Paris Claire comes up with an extravagant and very revealing red dress for the Versailles court.

An orange – Reference to the orange picks up after having slept with the king to get Jamie out of the Bastille after his duel with BJR

Rabbit – Jamie sees a rabbit on the battlefield of Culloden in season 3 after the battle and he lies wounded before Claire shows up in a vision.

Claire wrapped in Fraser tartan – Season 1 Jamie comforting Claire after several bad things, well most of them.

Claire and Jamie Talking after the rescue, more reminders of season 1 with Claire stabbing soldier in shock.

Car Accident – Frank Randall dies in a car accident in Boston, freeing Claire up to search for Jamie.

Blue Vase – A blue vase finally in a home for Claire, from the series pilot.


Outlander on Wizard World Virtual Live Video Chat Series April 30 and May 5

Sadly, conventions have been canceled due to COVID19. However, Wizard World is getting them online! Join two Wizard World Outlander events live online. You can purchase personal videos and autographs. Some open sessions are free. Go to the Wizard World Website for details.

From Wizard World:

During each session, the celebrities will participate in a FREE live moderated video Q&A, followed by one-on-one video chats, recorded videos, and autographs. Sessions are accessible to virtual attendees on their computers and mobile devices via http://wizd.me/virtual.

Pricing begins at $65 for the individual chat, video, and autographs, and vary by item, available on the Website.

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Virtual Experience Outlander April 30, 2020 

Seasons 1 and 2 cast Stephan Cree, Lotte Verbeek, Grant O’Rourke, Nell Hudson, Stephan Walters, Annette Badland.

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Virtual Experience Outlander May 5, 2020

Yes, @duncan.lacroix (Murtagh), @rikrankin (Roger MacKenzie), @johnhunterbell (Young Ian Murray) Ed Speleers(Stephan Bonnet), @colinmcfarlaneactor (Ulysses) and @timdownie1 (Gov. Tryon). Ahem, where are the ladies? Not that we mind, but fair is fair.

Check back on this link as updates are announced:

Wizard World News

Outlander Monsters and Heros Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020

Caitriona Blafe and Lauren Lyle ©2020 Starz®

As we head towards our penultimate episodes of Outlander season 5, we are treated to an episode that shows the bonds of friendship and trust, preparing oneself for mortality and unfinished business. There are doubts about purpose, and what it truly means to be of value and worth. Oh, and more Outlander animals, two iconic book moments to keep book fans happy, and a young man who has truly come of age. As always, if you haven’t seen episode 509 Monsters and Heros, turn back now.

This is a Fraser’s Ridge Story of bonding and relationships; Two sets of men, one older, one younger, and how they bond over tragedy and the women of the Ridge who must always keep the organic glue together on the Ridge. Fall is a time for preparing and reflecting on the last year, to muster before the cold of winter.

Opening the episode, we have Claire (Caitriona Balfe) examining a very round Marsali (Lauren Lyle), declaring that everything looks ready and a baby should be coming any time now. Marsali is radiant and tells Claire she is happy she will be around for this birth, not off on some adventure. She is glad to share having the baby with her other “Ma”, Claire. Claire beams.

Jamie Interuptus

Roger (Richard Rankin) has failed at having a private moment with Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and is interrupted by wee Jemmy who is wide awake and watching. Parents trying to keep the cabin G-rated on the Ridge joke about young Jemmy’s first word being a swear word of course. After much debate on where that came from, Brianna proposes an interlude later in the afternoon with Jemmy being conveniently gone, when Father Fraser (Sam Heughan) comes a banging on the door remarking about it not being time to laze about, there’s hunting to be had. The Beardsley Twins (Paul Gorman) have found big game, a herd of mysteriously large game. It is the fall, and meat will be hard to come by in the winter.  Jamie, being careful in wording remarks that it would be good to have another expert marksman or woman in this case along. Of course he really means Brianna.

Brianna begs off to work with the other women on the Ridge, dropping the hint that Roger needs to be included and learn skills of hunting. Jamie takes the cue, as he is still struggling with bonding with his son-in-law. Brianna thinking this is a good time for male bonding leaves them to it.  Roger has another chance to prove himself useful which he has been trying to accomplish since he came to the Ridge. Of course you know what luck Roger has.

The men of the Ridge, Jamie, Roger, Fergus, Ian, and the twins set off across the Ridge and beyond. After several hours they decide to split up, Jamie choosing Roger to go with him. You can see the hesitation and affirmation between the two. Jamie and Roger set off on one side while the other group fans out on the other.

Jamie and Roger don’t get far when luck runs out, just when Jamie and Roger discover that there really is something big afoot, Roger makes cow patty remarks, big ones. Jamie passes a tree, and wap gets bit by a viper. The big proud warrior goes down. Roger tries to help Jamie, Jamie questioning what would have been done in his time for such a thing, Roger tries to explain antivenom. Then Roger decides he must cut the bite and suck out the blood. This is the beginning of very crankit Jamie. The man does not like appearing weak or out of control of the situation. Roger leaves to find help, then returns to find Jamie growing weaker by the moment.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Women and Wisdom

Brianna, Claire, and the other women are gathered boiling and dying cloth. Brianna enters a conversation with Claire asking how long she knew she was meant to be a doctor. Claire explains that not all people know their calling right away, she knew that she wanted to do something medically since the war, but that others may try a few paths. Brianna remarks that she and Roger have been trying to find a purpose, they are highly educated, but not in professions admired or required really in the 18th-century. Claire reminds Brianna that her engineering will be needed somehow, she will just have to find it.

The rest of the men show back up on the Ridge late. Ian remarks that they have not seen Jamie or Roger for hours, that they have come back empty-handed.

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Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin  ©2020 Starz®

Remorse and Sin

It’s been a long time coming, due to a serious potentially deadly tragedy, Roger and Jamie are forced to finally place trust in one another. A role reversal in their dynamic comes into play, Roger must lead the way, and Jamie must follow as he has become helpless. And yes, Jamie doesn’t handle this well at all.

It’s night and Jamie and Roger are forced to camp. Roger keeps vigilance over Jamie and does so over the rest of the episode. Jamie is gravely ill, the toxins have mixed with his blood, he is cold and numb in his extremities. Roger keeps insisting he will not die. While by their small campfire Jamie tells Roger he must do what Jamie could not, put an end to Stephan Bonnet. Too many have suffered because Jamie took pity on the man at his hanging, he lost his friend Lesley and Claire was attacked by Bonnet. And later, Brianna suffered because of him. Roger says he cannot kill a man, he has never done such a thing. Jamie insists he must, if he dies Roger must continue it. Jamie is nothing if not stubborn and wills his “son” Roger to take on his sins and failings, and put it right.

Roger is desperate to get Jamie back to the Ridge, back to Claire. The next day, after Jamie barely makes it through he night, he builds a fledge to drag Jamie out. Half the time they are joking and insulting one another, the other half Jamie is fighting against the toxin, and also against his perceived weakness. He feels he is failing everyone, that the weight of the Ridge is on him. Roger grows frustrated with trying to get Jamie out and back to the others. By the morning the men of the ridge realise when one of the horses comes back, that something is wrong. The search party goes out. So fine acting with Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin portraying father-in-law and son trying to find a common ground to unite, and of course they find it in protecting the ridge. Sam is very good at being the stubborn bull-like Jamie, that it must be just so, and Rankin starts taking a more serious approach, and shows that his character can overcome his perceived bad luck, because really it was Jamie that had the bad luck. Roger reminded Jamie that they bother read the obituary that drove Brianna to come back. That he dies in a fire, not by snake bite. Roger, using his educated reasoning.

Finally they are discovered by Ian (John Bell), Fergus and the gang. The race is on to save Jamie.

The Infallible Man

Jamie is not infallible, and thus his decline and internal fight begins. Claire is also not infallible. While she can make many seeming miracles happen, she is at a loss. Jamie talks with Claire in the surgery, the whole Ridge is involved in hunting for magots at Marsali’s direction (to clean the wounds). Jamie remarks to Claire that he knows it’s not good, Claire usually scolds him about getting injured, as he frequently does. Instead she is avoiding him, and quiet. She agrees that it is dire. She admits to Jamie that she doesn’t know how to treat snake bite, it was not a common occurrence. Cranky Jamie remarks that Claire should work on her bedside manner. The conversation turns to the fact that she may not be able to stop the infection. Damn the Browns for breaking the syringe! They have been giving Jamie penicillin in a broth, however it’s not as effective. The talk centers on Jamie not wanting to give up his leg, he will be no use to Claire or the others. He makes Claire swear to not cut off his leg.

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Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Forgiveness

A Large creature shows up in the Garden right next to Lizzie tending laundry and Jemmy. She freaks out and Claire and Brianna rush out. Brianna tries to lure the bison away from Lizzie and Jemmy, she gets charged and flipped, and Claire shoots the bison.

Jamie, despite the Ridge’s Magot hunt, (think Easter egg hunt but squirming), application by Claire of said creatures, Jamie’s leg is looking really bad. I have to give a hand to the special effects and makeup team, this is one rotten leg. Claire has been having doubts and confides in Brianna that she may have to go against her promise and take the leg off. She remarks to Brianna that the magots won’t be able to reach the infection, it is so deep.

In the MacKenzie cabin, Brianna is frustrated because Claire has told her that the penicillin would be more effective if they could inject it. Sadly, the rotten Browns ruined her nice modern glass and steel syringe. Roger tells Brianna of the plan put in motion by Jamie and Claire to lure Bonnet out to Wylie’s Landing. Roger is looking at the severed head he had kept of the snake, the rest of which was B-B-Qed by Jamie seeking sustenance and justice. He doesn’t know why he kept it, thinking Claire could identify the snake or how to treat Jamie. Off go the 18th century equivalents to light bulbs and Brianiac Brianna grabs it.

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Richard Rankin and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Later Roger is keeping an eye on Jamie again, and Jamie asks Roger to get him up to his own bed. We see Jamie as a man resigned to the fact that even with all the care, he may not make it. Being the big bulky and crankit creature he has begun. Roger gets Ian to help. Jamie’s choices for not amputation and that he would rather die has reached everybody. Young Ian is sick with feeling and finally calls out Jamie on how selfish he is being. He points out that when he was young, he did not support his father who had lost a leg, rather idolized Jamie and wanted Jamie as a father and that is why he left Lollybroch. He confesses he was terribly wrong, and that his father had lost the leg due to battle and was courageous, just as a very young Fergus had lost his hand trying to protect Jamie. Both men had gone on living and being productive in some way. Jamie needs to forgive himself and fight to come back. Ian declaires he never thought there would be a day he was ashamed of his uncle. They are saved, by scolding, by Claire who has come racing upstairs after finding Jamie gone from her surgery.

“You’re a Terrible Liar”

Later Ian comes downstairs and finds Fergus has brought in some of the bison meat. Ian is quiet and after Fergus asks what is wrong, he says that he knows that look on Ian’s face. He asks about M’Lord and going up. Ian warns him it may not be a good idea. He tells Fergus of what he just said to Jamie. Ian explains Claire may have to amputate. Fergus asks if the thinks Jamie couldn’t handle seeing Fergus right now. Ian confesses he is concerned after what he just said he couldn’t handle it and was being stubborn. Fergus tells Ian about what happened when he lost his hand, how M’Lord had said that is fergus had lost a hand or limb in service to him, and that Jamie would become a man of leisure. They discuss that they should be there for Jamie. It’s another man hug moment.

It’s a long and desperate night. Jamie is lying in bed and is at a crisis, and Claire believes him to be dead at one point. In another great performance, great emo delivered by Caitriona Balfe over Sam Heughan’s near corpse like apparition.

Mother of Invention

Later Claire is preparing to amputate Jamie’s leg after a very long night with the penicillin broth barely working for Jamie. She is preparing her tools and saw, very nervously having Ian help prepare Jamie for surgery. At the very last moment, Brianna living up to the Scotish for beer, meaning a short disturbance or wind, lives up to that name and stops the surgery. She comes in totalling geeking out on her contrivence, a fang syringe for Claire to work with. Of course next comes the really cool gruesome administration of penicillin directly into the festering snake bite wound. The show should get a BAFTA for the leg effects on this episode.

Later Jamie is much better and Roger gloats about being right, he didn’t die after all. Jamie talks with Claire about what he saw in his dreams, this choice that lay before him. His only choice was to come back to Claire. A war is coming and he must do his duty. And there’s a Adso caMeow.

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Things

Marsali has finally accepted Claire as Mother Claire.

Fergus is finally having deep conversations again, he has been very aloof for most of the season. Perhaps he was saving up for just this moment.

Will Claire start farming magots like the Penicillin factory she has going?

 

Watch episode 510 “Mercy Shall Follow Me” at midnight on the Starz® App April 25, Sunday April 26 at 8:05 PM EST/5:05 PM PST, and Mondays on Amazon UK and AU.

Outlander Famous Last Words Recap

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Colin Mc Farlane ©2020 Starz®

After a two week hiatus, we return to Outlander Season 5 with Famous Last Words. It is a reference with an opening scene were Roger Mac is back at Oxford, lecturing in his Socratic way, to a group of his students in the English University way of Tutor and students around a big table. Brianna slips in through the door, Roger tries to not be distracted, fails a bit, and goes on to juggle “heids” about the famous last words of historic figures, and what they really may have said, or meant.

“Will those really be your last words?”

So begins a very dark and brooding episode in the aftermath of the loss of Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser at Alamance. It is an episode with three brooding men ( Roger, Jamie and the return of a prodigal son) dealing with darkly, difficult emotions. To set the mood, for Rogers’s storyline, this episode references Roger’s and Brianna’s fondness of going to silent classic movie film festivals and uses that style of storytelling to reflect on the darkness and silence of Roger’s survival of hanging and rescue by Claire, Jamie, and Brianna.

Dark Matters

Roger (Richard Rankin) sure has gotten the raw end of the character plotlines in season 4 and 5. Not that he fared any better in Diana Gabaldon’s books. The process of Roger’s hanging and rescue was much more drawn out. Roger’s ordeal of being beaten and sold to the Mowhawk by Young Ian and Jamie created a very long and angry introduction to the yes, you are a historian but had no clue as to how brutal it really was to live in those times lessons for Roger. Now, as if nothing could get worse, Roger has full-on PTSD about being hung and surviving.

“People live and die by words.”

Roger has been despondent for months about his ordeal, struggling daily with everyone on eggshells or overly encouraging him to come back to life. For as Brianna (Sofie Skelton) is constantly reminding him, that she feels like he is dead, not living as he does not speak. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has assured all that he should be able to speak after her emergency surgery on his throat to deal with the crushed windpipe. About that. The cliff hanger last episode.

We come to a series of flashbacks told in silent movie sepia tint style, with cards and showing the silence and despair of Roger being hung and rescued, Claire’s field operation on him. He has a series of reoccurring sepia PTSD moments using the silent film inserts to emphasize his lack of speech and darkest moments.

The first in silent film mode scenes show the Frasers, Jamie, Claire, and Brianna, trying to rescue Roger from the tree hanging scene we left off with at the end of episode 507. Roger is hanging and Jamie and the others are trying to cut him down. Claire discovers he is barely alive and goes into emergency cricothyroidotomy mode, using the stem of a smoking pipe to keep an airway available to him. After he comes out of the PTSD flashback, Claire is examining him and talking about how it has healed nicely and he should have most of his voice back. Brianna is trying to coax Roger to say something, anything. Brianna is losing patience with him, he is traumatized and shutting her and Jemmy out. There is a great deal of stony tension. Roger’s silence is self-imposed.

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Sofie Skelton and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Lord John Gray (David Berry) has traveled great distances again to visit, there is an invitation to dine at the big house. Roger declines, grimacing. Flashbacks intercede again with his many times Great Granddad Buckleigh MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) and friends handing Roger over to Tryon’s men as a traitor. It’s traumatizing to be hung at all, but by your many time great Grandad, it’s a bit much.

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Brianna reads the 5,000-acre grant to her by way of apology for hanging him. Caitriona Balfe, David Berry, Sam Heughan, and Sofie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

Brianna and Claire discuss Roger’s behavior. Brianna talks to Claire about her old college roommate and how her boyfriend came back from Vietnam. He had not been seriously injured, but he had a thousand-yard stare about him. She says she sees that look in Roger and feels she has lost him. Claire tells her about combat stress, and what it does to people. She reassures her that he will come back, it will take time.

After the dinner with Lord John Gray, they read through a letter he has brought giving Brianna five thousand acres in the backcountry. Claire remarks that it is in exchange for the loss of her husband and Brianna is angered. She doesn’t want land, she wants her husband back. Brianna leaves the table and rushes outside. Lord John follows carefully and tries to distract her. He gives her an astrolabe, used for gauging time and distance at sea. She marvels at it and calculates time, off by half an hour as Lord John corrects her. He tells her to have patience, that things generally have a way of working out.

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Colin Mc Farlane ©2020 Starz®

It’s Still Grief No Matter How You Look at It

Jamie (Sam Heughan) has been struggling with the loss of Murtagh, his Godfather. He tries to help Roger and Brianna with their troubles, however, he is struggling under his own weight. Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) visit to pay respects to Murtagh’s cairn and burial place near the big house. Jocasta in her take-charge fashion, trying to not really show her own grief, states she could have paid for a headstone, even though she and Murtagh were not husband and wife. Jamie points out that the feelings are still valid. They agreed that Murtagh was loyal above all else.

Roger trying to keep busy, and playing guitar and singing is a painful reminder turns to stay busy and improve his woodworking skills. He tries to build the sleeping loft for the cabin. In the process of building, he is reminded by rope and canvas of the hanging, the sacking put over his head, everything said by Tryon and his officers.

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Richard Rankin as Roger MacKenzie ©2020 Starz®

Claire and Jamie bring dinner to the cabin. Little Jemmy reaches for a steaming hot kettle and Roger cries out in a very guttural “No!” and Jemmy starts crying. He is embarrassed after rescuing the child. Jamie and Claire take charge of Jemmy. Later, Brianna has been singing “Clementine” to Jemmy as Roger has not sung in months. She keeps hoping to get some interaction from Roger, who is trying to get woodcut and formed for building a loft in the cabin.

Later,  Claire and Jamie are playing with young Jemmy as proud grandparents do. They play a game of hide-and-seek, then Jamie comes upon a wild boar, telling claire carefully to get Jemmy out of harm’s way. Just as the Boar charges Jamie, and we prepare ourselves for another set of Jamie scars, and arrow is shot with great precision into the boar. Jamie and Claire look up, and it is Ian Murray (John Hunter Bell), the younger, dressed in his Mohawk garb and hair adornment. He looks dark and broody. He comes back to the Ridge with Claire, Jamie, and Jemmy. When Roger and Brianna are at their cabin, there is a tense moment as Roger and Ian just stare at one another, they have a guy hug. When last we saw the two, Ian sacrificed himself for Roger with the Mohawk tribe to make up for selling him to them and get him back to Brianna. Brianna hugs her cousin, however, Roger retreats. Ian seems to pick up on the sentiment.

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Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and John Hunter Bell ©2020 Starz®

PTSD in The Cards

After Brianna and Claire seem to not be able to do anything with Roger, and now find they have both Jamie and Ian’s murky waters as well, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) decides to take a hand. Of course, she can’t do it easily, she pulls out a tarot deck and starts laying out Roger’s cards. Of course, we all know how bad this is going to be. Marsali kept pulling The Hanged Man each time she tries to read Roger, and he in disgust dumps all the cards on the floor. Brianna comes in when Marsali is running about picking up cards and asks what the matter is. After Marsali begs off, Brianna lays it in thick on Roger. She relates to her dealings with Bonnet, that she knows about how hard it is to come back from a dark place. She barks that she needs to know that he is not gone and lost forever.

IMG_4591And again that night, Marsali is determined to uproot everyone. She pushes poor Ian who is very quiet and not the fun-loving lad that left them. She and Fergus (César Domboy) want to know everything about living with the Mohawk. Ian is not adjusting to being inside, eating at a table, being around his family. Jamie tries to take control over all the grief going on with the men, being that fatherly laird type he is. He suggests that Ian go and survey the acreage that has been given to Brianna, to stake out the lines. Later Ian ends up sleeping on the porch as he had stared at a bed for some time and tells everyone he is more comfortable sleeping on the ground.

Roger and Ian make up a surveying team. In Brianna’s farewell, she folds Roger a paper airplane. It is their first wedding anniversary, the gift of paper. He takes the plane folded with him on the trip. Over time he and Ian form a bond, each of them struggling. Ian tries to get Roger to talk. He lashes out, how can Roger be this way, he has his whole family. We get more hints of what has happened to Ian with the Mohawk.

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Lauren Lyle and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire later runs out of her surgery calling for Marsali. She has a jar of Water Hemlock, asking if Marsali has prescribed any. There is only one root left. She questions whether Roger may have taken it contemplating suicide.

Later, Ian asks Roger about his dreams. This is, of course, a very touchy subject, but Ian is deeply troubled. He shows Ian the paper airplane, of course, Ian not being from his time doesn’t know what it is. Roger shows him a bit of it flying. Ian makes a remark about birds. While surveying, Roger walks to a precipice and looks down. The mood changes, he has another flash, however, starts seeing color again when he thinks about the paper airplane. He throws it off the cliff and it flies well, and Roger is lifted with the flight. In time, he sees that he is alive.

Later we come upon Rollo, tied up with a rope. This is very unlike Ian to do this, and Rollo is very worried. Ian goes about ritualistically burying his Tomahawk in the leaves. He then recites some Mohawk words while boiling water. He brings out the Hemlock roots to brew a tea, he wants to end his sorrow. Roger comes and kicks the roots and the fire in one sweep. They start brawling. Ian demands it is his right to end the pain. Ian accuses Roger of buying his weapon, his voice. Roger tries to get Ian to come back, fight for family. Their whole family.  After tense moments and the physical guy thing, they return, and Roger finally begins to use his voice. It is still not right, but it is something.

Thoughts

Jocasta seemingly let Murtagh go, and Jamie tried to shake her back into reality. Will we see that she really did love him and misses him?

We’ve had an episode where we barely heard of Bonnet. So, since he knows where Jemmy is, will he try to come to get what he thinks is his son? Will he be the monster? Check out the preview below.

Is it just me, or is Fergus not really saying much this season? He has very few lines.

And why is Jemmy not sprouting that flame-red hair he has in the books?

Only a few episodes left, what other events may get moved up from A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book 6?

Next, episode 509 Monsters and Heros. Catch it Saturday, April 18 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday, April 20 on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland. 

 

Outlander Season 5 Premiere Date Announced February 2020

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Starz® just announced today that Season 5 of the Outlander series will premiere on February 16, 2020. The time travel series about a World War II combat nurse Claire, (Caitriona Balfe), her husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) continues its next season on Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina. The Frasers will be dealing with new settlers on the ridge, Jamie seeking recruits for a mustering to hunt down the Regulators and namely his Godfather Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix). Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) will seek to get married and care for wee Jeremiah together, albeit with their history of contention, there will be some rough roads ahead. Not to mention the ghost of Stephen Bonnet. Will we see Young Ian (John Bell) come back from his time with the Mohawk? There will undoubtably be trouble with Governor Tryon, we know that Tim Downie has had quite a few BTS days on his Instagram feed of late. Marsali and Fergus may get that print shop together after all.

It doesn’t state in the synopsis whether they are taking material from The Fiery Cross, or taking elements of the storyline and possibly blending some of it in with the 6th installment, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. It has been stated by Executive Producer Ronald d. Moore that they may be taking half of a book and blending it with another. The books, if you have read them, are lengthly indeed and very detailed. Not everything translates well to screen. And since Dianna Gabaldon is finishing up another installment, which takes 4 to 5 years, it is quite possible that the series my overtake the book series, much lake Game of Thrones surpassed its authors writing and ended as a series this year. Could it be that Moore and Mathew B. Roberts see that the story line may play out or that Starz® may stop production after two more seasons?

Ah, and there is a big gathering at the beginning of the Fiery Cross, the fifth book in the Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon with all kinds of drama and mischief.

Starz® released this synopsis for the upcoming season:

Season 5 of “Outlander” finds the Frasers fighting for their family and the home they have forged on Fraser’s Ridge. Jamie must find a way to defend all that he has created in America, and to protect those who look to him for leadership and protection – while hiding his personal relationship with Murtagh Fitzgibbons, the man whom Governor William Tryon has ordered him to hunt down and kill.

With her family together at last, Claire Fraser must use her modern medical knowledge and foresight to prevent them from being ripped apart once again. However, while focusing on protecting others, she risks losing sight of what it means to protect herself.

Meanwhile, Brianna Fraser and Roger MacKenzie have been reunited, but the spectre of Stephen Bonnet still haunts them. Roger strives to find his place – as well as Jamie’s respect – in this new and dangerous time. The Frasers must come together, navigating the many perils that they foresee – and those they can’t

Get Your Tickets to New York Comic Con!

Starz® will have an Outlander Presence at New York Comic Con for a second year with Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, author Diana Gabaldon, and producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis.  For their first NYCCC appearance Duncan Lacroix, Maria Doyle Kennedy and David Berry will be attending. The official Outlander Panel will be at New York Comic Con 2019 will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm ET in The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Can you survive 5 more months, Sassenachs?

https://ew.com/tv/2019/08/29/outlander-season-5-premiere-date-starz/

Images © 2019 Starz® and Sony Entertainment

Outlander Season 4 Finale, Man of Worth

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It is with great anticipation, dread, sadness, joy and all other emotions that come along with it, that the end of Season 4 has reached us. Quite a journey the first few years in the American Colonies Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) have had. With all of this seasons new characters, and a few that are still along for the ride, we have enjoyed the roller coaster and now have to survive the drought.

If you haven’t watched tonights episode, go no further. Series and book spoilers ahead.download-1

Rescuing Roger and the Mystery of Otter Tooth

Fair trade with the Mohawk is a no go for the Frasers. After months of searching for Roger, they meet another band of Mohawk who tell them where they can find the tribe that bears the symbol of Ian’s traded medallion. Upon entering the camp, Jamie showing his language acquisition skills and Ian ask the Mohawk if Roger is with them, and can they img_2440trade for his return. Kaherton (Braedon Clarke) asks them to find “Dog Face” and tell the chief that they want to trade for his return. After a few exchanges, all seems to be going well. Then as luck would have it, Claire’s huge opal necklace reveals itself and the tribe is repulsed. They refuse to trade for Roger. Claire asks what is the meaning of the stone to them. She will trade it for Roger. The chief shuts her and Jamie down, and tells them to leave.

imagesLater, when they have gone some distance from the Mohawk and are camping for the night, a small group of Mohawk come and ask them for the opal stone. Claire seeks to trade the stone for Roger, however she wants to know what it means to them. A Mohawk woman tells Claire that the stone belonged to Otter Tooth, a man who claimed to be from their future, who came to them in her grandfather’s time. He spoke of the end of the Mohawk and that they must make war on the white man before they are gone, for the Iroquois Nation will be no more. The man was ostracized from the tribe and downloadeventually killed. Claire tells of finding the skull with the opal and later being visited in the storm by a ghost, Otter Tooth, who guided her.

 

 


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Murcasta: That Relationship Thing Everyone Was Waiting For

Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) arrives back at River Run after dodging the Redcoats for weeks after his jail breakout. Jocasta feeds him and they have a somewhat tension filled img_2462meal at River Run. Jocasta brags a bit about Brianna making a fine match with Lord John, and Murtagh counters in disbelief, that Brianna will wed a Redcoat? Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) is concerned and a bit dismayed that Murtagh has returned to his old ways, getting himself in trouble with the law. He remarks it’s not the first time he’s been on a broadsheet and has managed to survive. She has heard about the jail break from Brianna, and while she will feed him, strongly suggests that he not stay long, img_2459for they will come looking for him. Bristling back he mentions that he has only come to check on the lass, and asks about her health. The conversation goes back and forth from talking to bristle. Two very stubborn personalities, and old friends from the days gone by.

Later Murtagh is spoiled by a glass of good whiskey from Jocasta as an appeasement that doesn’t last long. The conversation turns to accusations by Jocasta of Murtagh being given a gift of living in a new land, where he img_2458could have made something of himself, not inciting discord. Murtagh counters with the fact that others came to the colonies by choice, he was forced there in servitude, the mission of the Regulators as being just, protecting the poor who do not live as grand as Jocasta has been so lucky to, with 3 husbands, etc.. Jocasta jabs back with how Murtagh was always bad when he turned up at Castle Leoch, scowling and slinking about, causing trouble. We really know that was Dougal. Finally after the man defends himself, she throws whiskey in his face. He’s dealing with a MacKenzie of Castle Leoch, they will always find a way to twist and suit conversation to their needs. How does one fight back?

The only way to stop two old friends arguing so, and stop the tension, is somehow by ending up in bed together, or so it goes here. In a storyline twist perhaps telling us that Jocasta had been envious of her sister’s suitor ignoring her from years before, that secretly over the years she had liked Murtagh, something  finally had to give? Sadly, he’s a wanted man. The next morning she has of course changed her tune, she wants him to stay, even though she had wanted him gone. It is risky keeping him there, with Jocasta’s connections and him being on broadsheets everywhere. All Murtagh wants is for her to come back to bed.img_2460

It was a Outlander Fandom obsession for months, that did not go unnoticed by the writers. Many had speculated about Murtagh having the relationship with Jocasta, since he seemed to have taken the place of the book character Duncan Innes, one of the prisoners from Ardsmuir that Jamie had found. That Character marries Jocasta. Perhaps with Season 5 and if the Gathering is used there, we may see a secret wedding. What hasn’t been revealed, and this storyline from the books tells later, is that Jocasta for many years had a relationship with her manservant, Ulysses. Wether this is going to throw a cog in the works later, we don’t know. I for one had hoped that Murtagh would find someone who could fight alongside him or at least be more aligned with the rather complicated man. But as he pointed out, maybe she could use her influence to help in other ways. Yes, I’m a huge Murtagh fan. But really I was hoping for another direction on this one. Remember that bit about MacKenzies being schemers? Would Jocasta be willing to risk River Run for affiliation with such a man?

Here’s your gratuitous Murtagh shot. Enjoy it, it will be a long year. I think Murtagh would enjoy the Clash, at least their, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” song.

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Brianna Meets Her Child

Time goes by waiting on Jamie and Claire. Murtagh stays on, managing to dodge Redcoats,  and asks Brianna the difficult questions, are you going to tell me what the devil you were doing seeing Bonnet and are you really going to marry Lord John? Brianna explains that she wanted to bring peace to herself through forgiveness. She also explains that the betrothal to Lord John was just to get Jocasta off her back about marrying eligible wealthy men in the county, she is still holding out hope that Roger will eventually be found. 4137

In a birthing sequence I have to applaud, we hear music and see the birthing process and not another agonizing screaming scene. We’ve all seen them, through many series and films. This scene was done in a classy way, the emotion was there, raw, all of the actresses, Sophie Skelton, Maria Kennedy Doyle, Caitlyn O’Ryan and the amazing Natalie Simpson were superb. Murtagh pacing outside was a treat, Great Godfather that he is.


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The Mohawk faction that believed in taking the Opal Necklace of Otter Tooth as it will help them to foretell the future of their tribe, offer to help the Frasers to retrieve Roger in exchange for the necklace. Things of course do not go according to plan, and when Claire and Jamie enter the hut, the astonished Roger is distrustful. Claire hurriedly 41313explains what has happened, Jamie somewhat apologizes for beating him and selling him to the Mohawk. There isn’t time, they must get him out. A lengthly escape battle is joined. Of course they are caught, and then Young Ian is also caught after fighting so bravely to get them out of the village. Claire begs for Roger, and Jamie offers to sacrifice himself and stay in Roger’s place.

outlander-season-4-episode-13-the-drama-ends-1700295Ian decides to not translate Jamie’s offer, instead he offers himself to the Mohawk. He has decided to do what Uncle Jamie had requested of him months before, to become a man of worth. This scene is poignant, and probably would make more sense if they had shown more of Ian’s fascination of life among the tribes. However, Ian has shown his true worth and takes to his trial on the gauntlet with all out gusto and feats of street fighting we didn’t know he had in him. He makes it to the chief’s toe, and places a hand there. He rises, he is worthy.img_2465

 

jpeg image-a30dc06aaa75-1The Frasers and Roger leave Ian to the Mohawk. Claire decides it’s time to tell Roger of Brianna, what happened to her that night after he left. She goes into details about Bonnet attacking Brianna. Jamie is infuriated that Roger left her defenseless. He is also smarting at losing his nephew to the Mohawk, and what is he going to tell his sister? Roger counters with Brianna told him to leave, that he tried to come back but was forced onto the Gloriana by Bonnet. The sick realization that Bonnet has caused so much grief for the family incites anger between the two men, while at the same time it should be uniting them. Claire looks on with that “Men!” stance, when really they should be getting back to Brianna. But it’s better to let them fight it out now, then have it drag on for two months on the way back, if Roger is going back with them. Jamie continues to throw blame at Roger, even though Jamie has done terrible things to Roger.

Claire gives Roger a choice after the confrontation continues. She tells him he can make the choice to come back or not, the child may not be his. Can he stand by their daughter? Jamie is outraged that he will not stand up for Brianna, and he and Claire stand firm. Can anyone really blame Roger, after what he has been through, to be told at the last that Brianna has been raped, and that the child may or may not be his?


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Two months pass. Murtagh has managed to stay at River Run without being found by the Redcoats. Brianna’s child is now two months old and quite sturdy, but she is pining for Roger and her parents. The Frasers arrive back, however Roger is not with them. Claire and Jamie thank Jocasta for looking after their daughter, and Claire seems to mend fences with a fairly receptive Jocasta. Funny what a little love will do. While they were gone they gained a grandchild, however they have lost Ian. The Frasers measure what they have and have lost.41317

Later, in a conversation between Jamie and Murtagh, he updates Jamie on Bonnet blowing up with the jail. He is sorry Jamie did not get to exact his revenge the way he wanted. However we know that there is a set of keys. And Murtagh has been wrong before, remember a herd of Red Coos and Black Jack Randall?

img_2457Brianna starts packing and notices a lone rider coming up to River Run while she is preparing to go back to the ridge with her parents. She hesitates then runs through the house, flying down the path. It is Roger, and he has made his decision that he wants to see “his son”. Roger has now shown that he is a man of worth. Right on their tail a group of Redcoats on horseback come. There’s no time to get to warn Murtagh. Luckily Phaedra spots them from the house and warns the others, and Murtagh is secreted away. The riders enter the house and deliver a declaration to Jamie Fraser from Governor Tryon. It is a Call to Muster, to create a militiaimg_2456 to fight the Regulators. In the Call to Muster, there is a statement demanding the death of Jamie’s beloved Godfather, Murtagh as a leader of the rebellion. The deal made with a devil for land has indeed come back to haunt Jamie. This will create the tension and split of Godfather and Godson going into season 5, they will be fighting on opposite sides.

 


Outlander Season 4 2018

Much of this season worked and didn’t work for me as a fan of both the books and the series. There were some things I felt were rushed, however when dealing with action and adventure, things needed to be quick paced. I feel better about the season than I did much of season 3, and really I see where the writers were trying to please as wide of an audience as possible. However, if you look at the ratings for the season, viewership has dropped drastically this season. Let’s hope as they get through season 5 and 6 and it can pick back up, or we may not see the books through to the end.

I have been delighted in the storylines with Ian, Marsali and Fergus, and of course ultimately Murtagh that have developed so well. I feel much of the flavor of Jamie and Claire were lost, while I am not a big fan of the “Shipper” thing, I am more of a character quality person, I have tried to like the Brianna and Roger storyline. I found myself fan-girling on some of Roger’s better realization moments, and yes he was indeed odious in others. Brianna was very much a head strong princess in the first part of the season. I loved the costume, and the care that went into the Cherokee and Mohawk tribal clothing, as well as their depiction and storylines. I think that the production crews and film editors topped themselves this season. I look forward with dread to the Droughtlander we now face, it looks like it may be Spring 2020 before we have season 5, although IMdb says it will be Fall 2019. Filming hasn’t started yet, they are still in preproduction.

Droughtlander Survival

Start (re)reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon now.

Rewatch the season on the  Starz App until the series comes out on DVD.

Travel to Scotland,  and if you’re lucky catch them filming. Check out the filming locations for season 3. The production designer, Jon Gary Steel hinted at work starting on The Big House. If you read the books, you know what that means.

There’s a placeholder at IMdb for Season 5.1 already.

What were your favorite and not so favorite moments in season 4?

Articles

Sam Heughan on the Outlander Season 4 Finale

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Outlander Season 4 Finale Previews

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We have reached the final episode of season 4, Man of Worth. We see a mysterious Indian wearing the opal Claire found in the skull earlier in the season. Jamie, Claire and Young Ian finally reach the Mohawk village and seek to negotiate Roger’s freedom. Brianna is about to give birth and fears parenting alone. Murtagh seeks to rally the Regulators, and discusses fighting for a cause with Jocasta at River Run. Will she betray him? And what of Bonnet, who managed to get the keys to release himself at the last minute?

The season finale episode 413 Man of Worth will air on Saturday January 26 at Midnight on the Starz® App, and Sunday January 26th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network USA, 10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.

411 Previews If Not for Hope

Outlander Season 4 2018With the first of the three last episodes of Season 4 Outlander 411 If Not For Hope, we have three storylines arcing, tangling, and about to snap. This week we see the scenarios begin their play.

Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and Ian (John Bell) continue their search for Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) after he had been sold to the Mohawks. There is a long pursuit as the Indians are weeks ahead of them and know the terrain. They will have to meet with every tribe between North Carolina and New York to find him, it could take months. They also have no idea that Roger has escaped. And as we left off last episode, no one knows if he went through the stones.

Then there is Brianna (Sophie Skelton), beginning to show her bump, at River Run, now firmly in Aunt Jocasta’s grip. Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) knows the shame of an unwed mother in the family, and finding her a suitable match becomes her next scheme to control River Run. She did not get what she wanted with controlling Jamie, but can she use and manipulate as MacKenzies do, her great niece as a prize to deflect suitors away from herself? There are many men that are after River Run. If she were to make Brianna her heir, and have her married in the bargain, she is still in charge, but would have a man about to act as agent. What a coup that would be, if Brianna wasn’t trying to maneuver the situation herself, which may come in the shape of an old friend of the family who turns up at River Run.

Truly, madly, deeply hunting Bonnet is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix), not one to lose sight of his quarry, not for long anyway. He will enlist the help of Fergus to track this man down, if he himself isn’t being tracked by Bonnet or Tryon’s agents, or a combination of the two. Sticky business for Murtagh and Fergus (Cesar Domboy) ahead.

Previews from Starz ®

This weeks episode, If Not For Hope, Claire, Jamie and Ian are on the trail of Roger. Using the amulet that Ian took in trade for Roger, they start asking tribes where it comes from. Brianna suffers Jocasta’s matchmaking parade of gentlemen, whom we all know are after River Run. Murtagh begins the hunt for Stephen Bonnet. Lord John Grey turns up at River Run, perhaps Brianna will find and ally in him. Murtagh seeks Fergus’ help in a dangerous game.

Tune in on Saturdays at Midnight on the Starz® App, or watch Sunday December 30th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network USA,  10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.

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Edisode 410 The Deep Heart’s Core

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Home is where the heart is. With only 3 episodes left in Outlander Season 4, we have an episode where the idyllic life that Jamie and Claire Fraser have tried to create on Fraser’s Ridge, changes suddenly when Brianna’s recovery erupts in discovery. Secrets and lies come to a head. In last weekend’s episode, The Birds and The Bees, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) was dealing with the harsh realities and consequences of rape and losing her love Roger (Richard Rankin) after a fight. We left off where Roger MacKenzie was brutally beaten mistakingly by Jamie Fraser, and Ian leads him off to be traded to a band of Mohawk Indians.

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Life is Fleeting Perfection

As we open on another perfect day on Fraser’s Ridge, there is trouble bubbling under the surface, a pot about to boil over. Bree and Jamie (Sam Heughan) begin a talk about what had happened to her. Jamie tries to console her. She continues in her conversation of self-blame, that she didn’t fight hard enough, she did foolish things to get trapped by Bonnet. Jamie counters with a snide remark that maybe she was to blame. Perhaps Brianna maybe was using the term rape to hide that she had had an encounter she wanted, to make it not her fault. His goading of her worked, and taking the bait she starts lashing out at Jamie. Jamie is using a harsh, questionable way to teach her a lesson. After they fight and he locks her in embrace, one she cannot get out of, he says to her again, that no she didn’t fight hard enough. Softening he asks how could she if she was not as strong as the man who attacked her? She could have been killed. She did what she could to survive it. 

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Brianna, still smarting a bit, asks him quite bluntly how it was with him, did he fight back against Black Jack Randall? So they continue to bond under a shared fate. One that Jamie allowed to happen to save Claire, and he tells Brianna that eventually he killed Randall at the Battle of Culloden. Brianna states she thinks that maybe the only way she can get rid of the shame she feels is if her attacker is dead. Jamie reminds her she has never killed before, and does she really want to live with it such a thing?

“Did you fight back?” – Brianna Randall

Folly

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Roger has been dragged for days with a fellow prisoner behind the band of Mohawk, traveling further and further north. He tries to help the other captive stay alive. Sadly, after a few days, his co-captive perishes and Roger is the one they have left to sell, trade, or assimilate. He is still badly beaten, but somehow still hangs on, determined to get back to Brianna. After trailing behind the band of Mohawk for some time, he falls and has an opportunity at escape finally. When he does, after hiding and running for some time, he hears a familiar buzz, and that pull that only a time traveler knows leads him to where he finds a surprise in Rhododendron dell. He has found  a standing stone. Checking his pockets, he finds the two small gemstones meant for him and Brianna, and standing next to the stone he reaches out to touch it.img_2091

A Family Affair

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Brianna are talking in the cabin later, and Claire leads a discussion in what can be done about the baby. Claire is encouraging her to end the pregnancy, for in that time period being a single mother is looked down on by society and reputations are ruined. They discuss it would have to  be soon, she would have to operate. Brianna asks what Claire would do. The reality being that she must make the choice. The child could possibly be Roger’s as much as Bonnet’s. Claire wants Brianna to go back to her time, and crossing while pregnant can be done, she did it with Brianna. She doesn’t know if Brianna and a child can go through, they could become separated.

Lizzie again sets up to start another calamity. Brianna has been having nightmares about Bonnet for some weeks, and her dreams go from Roger being there to Bonnet attacking her again, but she is fiercely fighting him off. She wakes to find it is Lizzie in the room with her, trying to comfort her again. However we know that every time Lizzie opens her mouth, more trouble begins. She tells her mistress not to worry, that her father has dealt with the man who attacked her. Brianna realizing that the man who came and was attacked by her father was Roger, is angered beyond belief, she races to confront Jamie.

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Jamie is about to get in the hot seat again, and will push back at it. Brianna comes bursting in as a tempest, turning on Ian and Jamie with great force. Murtagh (Duncan Lacoix takes a cue and exits the premises as a family row begins. Brianna demands to know where Roger is and what have they done to him. Claire joins in, noticing again Jamies hurt hand, demanding Jamie tell her what he has done.  After Jamie deflects with Brianna wantonly being lustful, perhaps hiding it behind rape, Brianna tells him off. Both Jamie and Ian realize the mistake at last, and guilt, acceptance, and denial abound. Brianna hits out at Jamie and Ian’s nose get’s bloodied. Brianna takes the lead again declaring that no one gets to be angrier than she is, and asks what they are going to do about bringing Roger back.

“You do not get to be angrier than me!” – Brianna Randall

At this point, Jamie is in serious danger of losing Brianna. The news of her rape and knowing where that suffering comes from, has left him very reactive when trying to deal with his daughter. He loses temper, allowing his anger to get the better of him. On being told he did something wrong in beating Roger, whom he was told was her attacker, he starts losing patience and deflects on Brianna not behaving herself, that she perhaps wantonly had sex with Roger. Brianna claims the hand-fasting was done, however that is not enough for her father to accept. Jamie is in serious denial of blame, and may have lost Brianna’s fragile trust forever. He is not doing as well as he thought he would as a father, and  bringing Roger back may be the only way to save the relationship.

After the large fight, with slightly cooler heads, Ian informs them that the Mohawk will have taken him north, and it could be months before they find him. Brianna insists on going, as Roger will not trust Jamie or Ian. Claire protests, she should not travel in her condition. Claire is also not about to leave her on her own. Brianna insists that Claire go in her place, for Roger to see a familiar face and explain things. After much discussion by all involved, it is decided that Brianna will go stay with Aunt Jocasta at River Run, and Murtagh offers to escort her there while the others head north. 

When the women are out of earshot and Jamie, Ian and Murtagh are alone, Jamie makes a demand of Murtagh, to find Bonnet and bring him to Jamie so that he might kill the man. Murtagh agrees to take on the mission after he has delivered Brianna.

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After the great beginnings to Frasers Ridge, in this episode we see the reality of family hit the Frasers. They thought that their lives would be simple, they would Shepard the settlers on their lands. Once Brianna, their beautiful disturbance shows up, they are happy to be a united family, however the reality of family is so fragile. There are always the misunderstandings, agreeing to disagree, and issues eventually resolved. However in the 18th century colonies, misunderstandings often come with dire consequences, and because of this, Brianna may lose Roger forever. Will Jamie be able to win back his daughter’s trust after such an ordeal? There are only three episodes left to sort through the Fraser family issues.

Future Possibilities

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Aunt Jocasta will start trying to find suitable husbands for Brianna, as she sees it right to fix the problem of the young unwed mother, thus protecting the family reputation as well. Brianna’s 20th century sensibilities will still make her stubborn and determined to face the situation on her own. She will need to cope with the pressure of being in a time that is not hers, with people who will see her in a negative light because she is not wed.

Man of Action

Jamie’s asking Murtagh to hunt down Bonnet and bring him in will put Murtagh at risk. Murtagh is already wanted for his Regulator activities. If Bonnet, who has a keen sense for finding a profit anywhere he can, has knowledge of this, he could lure Murtagh into a trap. We know about the last man who was pursued for vengeance by Murtagh and what his fate was. Each man could end up hunting the other.

We do not know if Roger has gone through the stones, but who would blame him at this point? He has been thwarted from Brianna at every turn, mostly by Brianna herself. His conservative ideals and pride have hurt him greatly, but this does not mean he deserves a terrible fate. Painful lessons have been learned in not parting in anger when you love someone. He has the gemstones still, he somehow managed to keep concealed during all his trials. He has the key to return to his own time, and had planned to take Brianna with him. Will he really turn away at the last?

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