Category Archives: Outlander Series

Outlander Season 4 Collector’s Edition

90fa0b66-667b-4ea0-81ba-57710f394964._CR0,0,300,300_PT0_SX300__Official release date is May 28, 2019. But some of the features have already leaked out on the internet. I highly recommend the Collector’s Edition. The packaging has been great for previous seasons, and this season they are adding even more features.

To get the deluxe  collector’s edition or not, is the question. I will tell you that I did not for Season 2 and regretted it as the packaging for the Blue-ray makes you jumble and shuffle the discs in storage. The price has officially dropped in Season 4 Collector’s Edition, averaging $44.98 US from the original $68.99. UK £20.00 to £30.00 . UK Amazon not offering the collectors edition at this time. As promised this boxed set includes some features including:

  1. 28 page book featuring exclusive photography (this means it’s probably already leaked on the internet so keep a look out for more BTS and exclusive photos in the next two months for your Pinterest collecting and your own blogging obsessions.
  2. Exclusive sneak peaks from Diana Gabaldon’s New Book, Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone, book 9
  3. Season 4 soundtrack. I will still wait for this to be released by Bear McCreary on vinyl, but nice to have. The music this season can be read in detail in his website posting. However out of all the seasons, it’s the one that didn’t grab me much.
  4. Outlander Untold 4 Bonus Scenes that are already leaking on YouTube. It may be worth it for these left out stories that help cement characters relationships
  5.  4 Featurettes on making of the season and and Season 4 relationships
  6. Deleted and extended scenes, starting to leak out already but good to have your own clean copy.
  7. Gag reel

In the UK, it is  being packaged as an “Untold Edition” at Amazon, running at about £27.00 for the Blu-ray.

‘Outlander Untold’

In ‘Outlander Untold’ found on the ‘Outlander’ Season 4 Blu-ray and DVD, dive deeper into the season with four all-new bonus scenes featuring fan-favorite characters. These extended stories dive into Lord John Grey’s life as a single father to William, Murtagh and Marsali navigating a confrontation with deceitful landlords, Young Ian meeting Rollo for the first time, and Aunt Jocasta teaching Phaedre & Lizzie a lesson about working together.

Available on www.Amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com,  www.amazon.co.uk

 

 

Bursting the Murcasta Bubble

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Yes, spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good romance. It’s just you see Murtagh’s a favorite of mine, a very special character that’s had a lot of grief in his life, a survivor. One we know would not be content to just live after all the hardships, well the easy life won’t do for him. He’s feisty to the end. Many were so quick to jump to the pairing of two unlikely characters, the fandom’s big fantasy of many fans on Murtagh taking the place of Duncan Innes came to life. He was a Drums of Autumn and Fiery Cross book character, who eventually weds Jocasta to secure River Run against marauding neighboring landowning and non-landowning suitors . You see, Jocasta in the series has been pretty tame so far. She’s smoldering under the surface. However her machinations and control aspect, as a MacKenzie, have barely begun to surface. It’s a tale of survival by wits and how else can a woman retain power in the man’s world of the 18th Century?

So why am I taking the angle here, it’s certainly  not the popular one? I just don’t see that they have a future, really. Can Outlander handle another power couple? I mean I am rooting for a change up on Jocasta, maybe Murtagh can change her so, get her to see the truth. When you are in a healthy relationship, growing together is one thing, having to make someone change, or trying to make them change, doesn’t always bode well. Murky waters ahead for sure.

Believe it or not, there were those of us cringing when this coupling happened. Many of us book readers know a different Jocasta. Granted, very few things from the books have been in this season, or at least not the way they went in the book Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. To be fair, you have to give screen Jocasta a chance. But I believe we really haven’t seen her true self. It’s true that Ron Moore warned at New York Comic Con 2018 that the books will be there in essence, some books may be split, some mixed in timelines, and characters changed. So here’s my take on why I see Murcasta heading for sweet disaster:

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River Run

Jocasta Cameron, played by Maria Kennedy Doyle to perfection, has been mistress of River Run for many years, and relies heavily on Ulysses, her slave, to run the plantation. Indeed, you come to find that really it is he who runs the plantation, and quite a bit more. She has been fending off many influential men herself since her forth husband died. She may be almost totally blind, however her other senses are very, very sharp, and she runs things like a fist of iron through Ulysses. She has avoided several offers of marriage herself, as she knows that the suitors are after River Run. When Jaimie and Claire turn up, she finally has a solution: her nephew can help her run the place, thus she makes him her heir. She tries to control another pawn piece. It’s a game to keep control, especially when she has lost her sight and her youth. Claire picks up on her manipulations to control Jamie, and when Jamie and Claire make the decision to take up Governor Tryon’s sign-in-blood offer for land, Jocasta tells her she is doing her nephew a disservice by persuading him to leave River Run. Because, she has to blame someone, Jamie cannot make a decision for himself. Claire, in her usually stand up fashion, tells it like it is. Really, Jamie is his own man, and wants his own land and opportunities on his terms. Unfortunately he makes a deal with a devil to do it. However, he can chose his devil. Really, we don’t like that Jocasta tried to come in between Jamie and Claire.

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The Heir

In the book storyline, and in the series, we see Jocasta latch on to the next best thing for some control over River Run’s future, the saving of Brianna’s reputation, and perhaps naming a new heir. She spends a great deal of effort to try and secure a wealthy influential neighbor for Brianna’s and child’s security, which really is about the family saving face. And well, having a familial ally to help her just is another card in her game. Brianna’s resistance and quick thinking finds a temporary ally in Lord John Grey. By keeping up appearances and having a beneficial betrothal, and well, having a Lord in the family with property does just as well, Jocasta has made quite a coup. Jocasta, being a busy body and manipulating others in such a way, really doesn’t score high on the redeemable qualities. In the book. Ever a MacKenzie. Is Jocasta redeemable?

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Which Brings Us To Murtagh

So, many of you will be rewatching Season 4, probably already have, and certainly rewatch the finale Episode 413 Man of Worth, again, if anything just to watch and hear the Murtagh and Jocasta dialog. Some funny things have niggled at me, as I like to look at storylines from all angles. Murtagh, played intrepidly by Duncan Lacroix, was an indentured man for 14 years, then stayed on as smithy in a small town a few days up river from River Run. Now, Jocasta, who has her pulse on everything going on from the coastal waters to the mountains and beyond, did not know that a “Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser” was in the vicinity? Someone she knew from the old days, someone she had a little crush from the side on because he was in actually in love with her sister? Or did she know full well, and didn’t want to tarnish her reputation and estate with such acknowledgement? Indeed in the Murtagh and Jo tête-à-tête, where many short heated accusations occurred from their past, I was waiting for her to slip up that she knew where he was and had not contacted him because he was the trouble maker he was. This could still turn up in an outtake. Of course, when the sparks flew with two old adversaries, the reality set in that Jo did like him, and was just too proud to do anything about it, or knew that her families’ many machinations to get her married and allied for their gain, would stand in the way. Remember, the man we all love has never had more than two sticks to rub together, except when he ran the smithy. Sadly we know that what little he had gained with his smithy, he has had to forfeit because he is fighting in a just cause.

When Murtagh shows up after his jail escape, Jo is tells him to fill up and be on his way. She does give him a whiskey and the conversation turns. Of course, not one to back down from a fight or pointing out injustice, Murtagh sets right in with tearing apart her perfect River Run life. He tries to reason with her, point out that others have lost all they had, she of course goes on about how others had made something out of themselves. He brings up he did not come there by choice, but he did make something, and the over taxation was strangling him and others. He had been and seen the same cruelty play out in the past. It happened to many a Highlander up to Culloden, and the subsequent crushing of the Scottish people after that forced many of them out of Scotland. It would continue as long as The Government exploited the king’s subjects. Of course, when the two pair up, and somehow she conceals him at River Run, while there have been search parties for weeks, we are wondering how she managed that. Jamie and Claire notice the relationship it in the mad dash to get Murtagh out to the slave quarters to hide. They are not sure about this new development either.

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Future Twists

More spoilers ahead. Turn back now. If you think Jocasta hasn’t lead her own interesting life, there’s a few mysteries about her that end up coming to light in subsequent books. You then start seeing her more robust self, the woman she was before she lost most of her sight. She has survived several husbands. She has her own uprising story to tell, and subsequent fleeing to the colonies.

Her right hand man has been Ulysses. He has run everything for her for years and has been closer to her than you think. Is he willing to just step aside for another man? Or will Jocasta have to wed again for convenience sake, since she can’t openly do so with Murtagh, a wanted man? Or, will the wily pair contrive an existence of Jo hiding and running guns through her plantation to help Murtagh’s cause, while keeping up appearances? Would Ulysses ultimately manipulate this himself?

Then there is the conflict with Jamie and Murtagh having to be on opposing sides now that Governor Tryon has declared war on the Regulator Uprising. Murtagh will be conflicted, Jamie will be conflicted. Jamie will have to make it look like he is keeping the Regulators in check, and hunt his Godfather. This means separation for the couple. Will there be coded letters and messages? Will Jocasta decide to stick to her old ways and not endanger her lifestyle? Or will she by the end of season 5, break from it all and follow Murtagh and live in hiding. Will Murtagh allow that sacrifice?

img_2102Ultimately, I hope that Jocasta can change, she can come around a little to the reasoning of Murtagh, that she can actually see ahead despite her physical limitations, that owning slaves is wrong, and that over taxation is cruel. That she should meet the man she loves at least half way. That the rebelliousness that had her flee Scotland to seek a better life, could include a full, real life. However that would be too easy, and perhaps will be a long hard lesson for her. It will certainly add some spice and make sparks fly in the coming season.

Then there’s that other Duncan Innes plot twist book readers know about. Hmmm, that could twist things up a bit.

I’m digging out my Season 1 part one DVD set. I have been a fan of Murtagh from the beginning, and Jocasta better live up to that man’s love. Let’s hope she proves it in Season 5.

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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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Episode 408 Behind The Scenes

b628c4a7cdca8594de644d99ede49d38ed999414_ols4_408_031518_09971The Theatre location, possibly St. Andrews in the Square, Merchant City, Glasgow, where filming took place last spring. The interior set designs by Jon Gary Steele are lavish and the details right down to the American penned play are accurate. 

We also met the first of the colonial historical figures that pop up as characters in the Outlander book series by Dianna Gabaldon. Colonel George Washington and his wife, Martha, make an appearance at the play.

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Visit the behind the scenes details, including the script at: https://www.outlandercommunity.com/

Links

In Outlander, All Roads Lead to Wilmington

Traveling to Scotland, use our location finder table on Google Docs to help plan your trip. If you have visited any of these locales and wish to add your suggestions, please contact us.

Outlander Filming Location News

 

 

In Outlander, All Roads Lead to Wilmington

IMG_1959 2All roads lead to Wilmington in this episode, as a large crossroads town and serving capitol for the Governor of the colony, it is a great meeting place for many of our characters as their storylines cross paths. In episode 408 Wilmington, we see many dangers arise, and reunions met, and emotions that run the gamut. Now, remember back in Outlander Season 2 in Paris, the insane intrigue and plotting to stop the Battle of Culloden? It looks like the Frasers are going down a similar path, only this time they are eventually going to meet a revolution. Hang on to your seats, there’s a lot going on here.

Prelude 1769

In an episode filled with reunion, connections and intrigue, we start off with the across time reunion of Roger (Rik Rankin) and Brianna( Sophie Skelton). Roger makes it to Wilmington, North Carolina, and is fervently asking anyone in town that we meets if they have seen Brianna. He carries the nearly worn out portrait of himself and Bree that was done at the Scottish games two hundred years in the future. It reflects his beleaguered self, the worn out man seeking a woman he loves who didn’t just go away, passed back in time to do so. The life of a traveler is one fraught with danger and many trials. He turns to ask Fergus Fraser (Cesar Domboy), after leaving his place of employment at the printers, if he has seen the woman in the picture, and Fergus says no.

As Fergus continues on, he heads home to Marsali and their young wriggling son, IMG_1976Germaine. A surprise is in store, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are in town at the request of Governor Tryon. Claire is spending time with grandchild and discussing the Governor’s real agenda, to check up on the Fraser’s and test Jamie’s loyalties. For 10 thousand Acres is at stake.

 

IMG_1984Marsali (Lauren Lyle), in a rare moment, confides in Claire how much motherhood has changed her. She feels she would do anything to protect her child, take a knife to her belly even. We see the tension that was once between Claire and Marsali has melted into a kinship of understanding, that Claire is not the evil witch Marsali was led to believe, and that the two women are family and have to support one another. We also see that Claire feels the loss of Brianna while handling baby Germaine.

Surgery as Subterfuge

download-2That evening Jamie and Claire attend the play at the Governor’s firm request and meet Mr. Fanning, who among other things, is the magistrate of the lands that encompass Fraser’s Ridge and surrounding areas. They are told the story of the man trying to placate some of the insurgents the previous spring, by bringing them a cask of rum drink after a recent outcry of taxation woes. He indicates to them that he had injured himself in the process. Other characters pop up and we are introduced to the first historical figure, Colonel George Washington and his wife Martha. Claire of course makes a historical faux pas about cherry trees. She later tells Jamie who he really is, and will be in the future.IMG_1975

Governor Tryon (Tim Downey), takes Jamie, Mr. Fanning and Col. Washington further into confidence while gauging his support against the insurgents, who he states should have no right to call themselves Regulators. Jamie finds out that the Governor knows that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is one of the leaders and must find a way to escape the play to warn him after the Governor let’s slip that his men have gone to surprise the raid on the tax collector’s carriage. Tryon has a planted man in the insurgent’s camp, and knows of their movements.

JPEG image-9D3880A4E461-1In true Outlander fashion, a diversion must be made to allow Jamie to escape unnoticed, and one conveniently arises when Mr. Fanning goes into convulsions of pain from his injury, after Jamie conveniently aggravates the area, which Claire had suspected was a hernia. A table is laid clear and Claire performs surgery, cleverly diverting Governor Tryon in the process of performing the surgery by demanding his help. Jamie exits and finds that Col. Washington is leaving early and receives a ride in his coach to get into town under the guise of getting his wife’s medical bag, and sets off to warn Murtagh. He comes back before he is noticed missing, thanks due to some superb surgery by Claire, all done with efficient purpose, and not a drop of blood on the immaculate ivory dress.

The play’s the thing, and the intrigue involved was classic Outlander and hails back to IMG_1974season 2 in Paris with Kings, Princes, and an evil Compte. This time Claire and Jamie are battling a greedy Governor and people in power, like Fanning the magistrate with his hands in both pots. The colonies have become infused with backwater politicking. In order to survive, Jamie and Claire must appear to be in the Governor’s favor, yet let Murtagh know he’s in danger. The scene was played out with great finesse and aplomb by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, as their characters performed a ballet around Tryon and the other guests. How long they will be able to keep up this game, is not known. In Paris it nearly cost them their marriage, and they lost a child in all the strain their plots caused Claire during pregnancy. The stakes are very high again, with a large land grant, getting settlers, and appearing to help keep the peace will prove to be very difficult, and make for at least another season’s storytelling.

Regulator Action

Murtagh408Murtagh Fitzgibbons has done a great many things in his life. He’s been a cattle rustler, soldier, prisoner, indentured man, and blacksmith. And yes, when in Paris twenty years before, he acted as highwayman at Jamie’s direction, to steal the Comte’s and Prince Charlie’s wine shipment to foil the gaining of money to further the cause of fighting in Scotland. Now, as a leader of the Regulators movement, Murtagh is making his own plots and intrigue. His men are at the ready. His purpose to take back the tax monies taken from them. After surveying the road and thinking, Murtagh joins his men and they lie in wait, when the action is about to happen, Fergus comes crashing in and identifies himself as Fergus, and that M’Lord has asked him to worn them. Murtagh recognizes him and they call the raid off just in time. Fergus waits until the others leave, warning Murtagh that MurtaghFergus408there is a traitor in his camp. Murtagh is glad to be reunited with Fergus, however asks why his Godson could not deliver the message himself? Murtagh is incensed that Jamie did not come, growing impatient with Jamie’s neutrality declaration.

Laying the Blame

Later with Governor Tryon and Jamie in the carriage, Tryon bemoans his plans being thwarted and states someone must have warned them. The only people he told were with him in the carriage, except for Fanning who of course was being operated on. Another gentleman points out that Col. Washington had left, and Jamie helps going along with it most have been him. Tryon makes the annoyed statement to, “Never trust a Virginian!’ and that “Washington’s day will come!”. A very prophetic statement. And how will Jamie keep his involvement in going along with this pointing a finger, not bite back later?

The Fasted Hand

IMG_1971Roger is disappointed and well beat with searching for Brianna over two hundred years time and the dangers of sea crossing. There is nothing like finally getting to where she should be located, and not finding her. While sitting in the tavern of Brianna’s Inn, he has a frustration moment and gets up to leave, and then he hears her voice, booking passage up the river to River Run. They reunite and a slight tustle begins again, for their courtship will ever be a rocky one. Lizzie, Brianna’s maid, witnesses as Roger drags Brianna outside and they have another lover’s quarrel. In the street they agree to move to a shed that happens to have a bit of a fireplace and storage room. They declare their love and Roger brings up the old Scottish tradition of Handfasting, to become promised as husband and wife for a year and a day. They perform the ritual in front of the fire and have their wedding night.

In conversation after coupling, Roger let’s slip the fact that he had read the same obituary that Brianna had regarding her parent’s death. In true Brianna fashion, she takes exception when she discovers that Roger knew of the fire that would kill her parents, had read the same article, and did not warn her.

Roger again fails in becoming the parental figure, argues that it would have been dangerous and careless, he had wanted to protect her from the pain. The conversation goes from bad to worse, accusations of Roger controlling what Brianna thinks and does, and Roger rounding with he should perhaps treat her more like a wife and control her more, things would work out better. They come to a head with Brianna telling Roger he should just go. Roger with after traveling 200 years to find her and the dangers of her being on her own. Brianna states that she and Lizzie were doing just fine.

Sadly, Brianna has just set herself up. The 18th century is a very dangerous place for a woman to be alone in. After going from complete happiness, to utter betrayal with her lover, she is devastated, in shock. After Roger leaves, she stumbles back to the inn, where things become much worse. Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is drinking and gambling in the tavern downstairs and is flashing about her mother’s wedding ring. Brianna recognizes the ring and tries to buy it off him, and get any information she can about her mother. Bad judgement, and filled with anxiety and desperation about Claire, she follows him to another room, right into his trap. What follows is a terrible blow, a day that started with finding her love, the loss of him, and then becoming a victim to a sociopathic man. The rape scene is off camera with the effect being that you hear everything, but the camera stays on the tavern room with everyone in Bonnet’s crew continuing on as they acknowledge, and yet ignore the scene going on next door. A very beaten Brianna is allowed to take her mother’s ring, as payment for services, and she slowly, painfully goes back upstairs to her rooms with Lizzie.

Remember, Lizzie saw her mistress leave with the man, Roger, and come back hurt. Will Lizzie report the incident? And to whom.

Outlander Producers on the Difficulties of Dealing with Sensitivities With Sexual Violence

Season 4 has a great deal in common with season 2, with the plots and intrigues very close to the previous spying and intelligence gathering that Claire, Jamie, Murtagh and Fergus did to sabotage Prince Charles’ battle plans in Scotland. You would think they had learned the first time. The Frasers are falling into the troubles that are prelude to a war, the over taxation of the colonists is just one. As Claire has already brought up, there’s a revolution in 6 years time. War may seem far off, however, it will come to the backcountry and slowly begin to boil.  How can they place themselves out of harm’s way, how to keep Fraser’s Ridge a sanctuary from war.

Tainted Warnings

JPEG image-4D2E75B6D40E-1After the foiled carriage raid, Murtagh is annoyed that Jamie himself could not come and warn him, but is glad of the warning and reuniting with Fergus. We see another seed of the growing conflict between Godfather and Godson, as Murtagh questions Jamie’s loyalties. Perhaps he is becoming old and jaded, and who can blame him? He doesn’t trust the situation with the Governor, even though having Jamie appear close will help him to get information, which is what he had asked Jamie to do, and was refused. Jamie declared he would not help or hinder, that there was too much at stake. Murtagh feels betrayed, and if you remember back to a scene in a courtyard in Paris, when Jamie finally told Murtagh what they were trying to do in Paris, Jamie got quite the punch from his Godfather. Murtagh takes exception to not being trusted or included. Losing Murtagh again would devastate Jamie, he is the last of his clansmen. Do we think that Fergus will become involved with the Regulators, we know he wanted to fight so badly at Culloden. Murtagh will not like how Fergus lost his hand. JPEG image-FE5AAAA94E8E-1

Brianna and Roger

Sophie Skelton has another fine performance in a truly brutal scene. After telling the man she loves to leave, again, Brianna lands in the worst possible situation, becoming the victim of a sociopath. Skelton’s performance in the aftermath of the rape by Bonnet shows her growth as a performer over the last 2 seasons. The Hand Fasting and perceived betrayal, and consequential rape of Brianna at Bonnet’s Hands was on par with a Game of Thrones story line in it’s brutality. Rik Rankin is taking to heart playing a very stubborn man and his much outdated sense of love, but in some ways you cannot blame him. He is right about the dangers in the colonies, he is a historian, he knew what could happen. And Twitter was on fire with how Roger should have stayed! However, he will need to find some way to have more modern concepts of love while being in the 18th century, or he loses Brianna forever. We’ll see what happens next time on Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees, only 5 more episodes to go.

Rik Rankin on The Wilmington Clash at SyFy.com Video

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“Is there a message you wish to give me, lass?”

 

 

Episode 403: The False Bride

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Things are certainly not so cheery in the story so for for Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan). In this weeks episode, we meet up with the Brianna Randall/Fraser and Roger MacKenzie timeline again, but this time it picks up the heat. And yes, book readers, this episode goes way off book, with some favorite scenes being altered and jumped up in the timeline. Patience.

This episode was very different from the previous episodes with Roger and Brianna in that the timelines were alternating at a very rapid pace, within the same episode. The story arc is starting to climb at a fast clip for these two as their relationship grows more intense, and begins to lose that first blush luster of discovery. In the past two seasons, Bree and Roger carved out small time spaces as they got to know one another. However in this season, it’s a ramp up for what book readers know will happen, and the relationship gets quite serious indeed. But it’s not smooth sailing by any means.

In debating the writing for this weeks recap, I thought of a play by play approach with the alternating timelines. The problem is, even that was getting difficult to outline while watching and rather than hop about in this article, we will look at Jamie and Claires timeline and then Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna (Sofie Skelton) in the future. It’s a quick paced story this episode, try to keep up.

In the 18th c. at River Run

After the horrible night of the lynching at River Run, Jamie and Claire make the decision to go riding to the backwoods and Blue Ridge Mountains see if there is anything that can be done with the offer of land sponsorship from Governor Tryon. Claire, Jamie and Young Ian set out to leave River Run, but not before Aunt Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) has her say. She is gentle and persuasive with Jamie, but takes to Claire with a guilting. She tells Claire that she is “Doing Jamie a disservice.” By taking him away from what he was born to do, be a lord of an estate. Claire and her stubborn self defends their choice and will not persuade Jamie to stay. Claire has had enough of others trying to tell them how to live their lives. She and Jaimie would decide how they were to live.Outlander Season 4 2018

Ulysses sees that the Frasers and Young Ian are outfitted for their journey with a wagon, and another Fraser’s Ridge fan favorite, the famous Clarence the mule. Joining them on the journey is John Quincy Myers, the bigger than life back woodsman. On the journey to what would become Fraser’s Ridge, Myers seeks to educate the ever curious Ian and Frasers about the Cherokee and that their women decide who they will lay with and take on, and mentions the lost Tuscarora Tribes. Ian is invited to meet with the Indians when Myers parts ways with the Frasers. It is the beginning of what is to become the growing up of the young man Ian is becoming, as his fascination will become his future with the tribes.

images-1When they are alone, the build up for yet another romantic interlude by Claire and Jamie scene ensues. However the following talking scene is the important part, as much as fans love the steamy romance. Here Claire and Jamie start discussing what they really want, what a home and place to live and settling down would mean. If they took the Governor’s offer, how would it affect them? Taking on a big responsibility and the fact that what what Tryon really wants is some order in the back country as the Regulators are giving some trouble. Jamie discusses if it would be better to be in Boston for Claire. He also brings up if it were just him, he would be fine not settling, but now he has a family, and extended family with Fergus and Marsali, who is with child. He can’t just think about himself, he must think about how to make it better for all of them. Claire is leery of any involvement with the Governor’s plans, as she knows the history of what leads up to the Revolutionary War. She doesn’t want any more conflict. However, she wants to be away from Boston where the Revolution starts, better to be in the back country.

Following comes another departure from the books, both in how the story is told and when in the timeline it occurs. The next day, a storm starts brewing and Clarence spooks and runs. Jamie’s horse has issues with it’s shoe, so Claire volunteers to chase down the mule. In doing so she gets lost and the lightening strike of a nearby tree makes her horse rear. She falls and knocks herself unconscious. Sometime later in the night with Jamie frantically trying to find her, she is hurt and cold and finds the hollow of an upturned large tree for shelter, she unzips her 1960s boots and sets them aside. Feeling about in the hollow, she finds a human skull and starts talking to it, asking it “Who are you?” and in typical fashion for Claire, another mystery begins to enfold. She also unearths a very large opal stone. Then a spectre visits her in the night, a mysterious Indian figure comes with an impossibly lit torch. It shows the same head wound as the skull she has been examining. Then leaves.

In the morning, Claire finds large boot prints leading out of the area, and she can’t find her own boots. Walking in stockings, she finally finds Jamie by a creek and he wonders why she’s been walking without her boots. Claire explains she thinks that the skull she has found belongs to a ghost, and on further inspection she finds silver fillings. She explains to Jamie that silver fillings will not begin being used on teeth for another hundred years. He must have been a time traveler like her.

They travel to a ridge that is filled with strawberries, the Frasers family crest symbol is strawberry flowers. Jamie takes it as a symbol, sign, and the meadow below and all that surrounds as a good place to settle. Claire remarks he has fallen in love, and who can blame him, they are amazing and beautiful streams, meadows and ridges. We leave the Frasers making a momentous decision in their lives, to stake a claim on American soil.

The Gathering of The American Scottish Clans

Roger is pinning for Brianna, and makes ready to go to a Clans Gathering in North Carolina, America. He will be singing and of course, it’s a chance to spend time with Brianna. Brianna allows him to driver her blue Mustang car, and we see Dairy Queen cups and papers. She also tells Roger he’s pretty. The crew did a fantastic job on getting a bit of Americana in this one.

Roger and Bree take in the small festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s time to even download-7have a portrait drawn and Brianna let’s slip the word “Boyfriend”, when indicating Roger MacKenzie and this helps to encourage Roger into his thinking the time may be right. There is dancing at a cèilidh. Roger gets ready and spends the evening as part of the band playing, then does a solo number, the song          “The False Bride”. Brianna grows more in love, as does half the audience. When the two love birds get back to Brianna’s lodge room, she slips off her blouse, and Roger and Bree start in. But Roger breaks off, he runs and finds his gift to her. A silver bracelet with the inscription:

“Je t’aime un peu … beaucoup … passionnément … pas du tout”

“”I love you a little… a lot… passionately… not at all”. Brianna asks for the meaning. Originally this little gem came from the equivalent of the English rhyme for plucking flower petals, “She Loves Me, She Loves Me not”. A description of how maddening love can be. It becomes a curse. Roger declares he wants to not have sex because he wants to marry Brianna, and have children with her. She retorts back about how he has had other women, he retorts with that he didn’t love them. Brianna brings up his hypocrisy, wanting to marry a virgin, when he had many women. The great clash ensues. Roger, the old fashioned values man with when he does want a wife, she must be pure, and not like all the girls he has already had. Brianna willing to throw herself at him. Brianna saying she has university to finish, an apartment, and on she goes.  Brianna states she’s not ready to commit, and one of the reasons is her mother, who married Frank, but found true love later. She is not sure where that leaves her. She doesn’t want to make a big mistake, is this the right choice for her?

On the final night of the festival, the clans gather and calling out the clans is done at the Burning of The Stag. Roger is there to represent Clan MacKenzie. Brianna tries to make friends a bit again, and Roger rejects her. Roger returns to Oxford, and Brianna to Boston.

Coming Up, We Hope

And we wonder critter wise where’s Donas 2?

And when the heck do we get Murtagh back? With the arrival of the settlers? Or is he there to take care of Bonnet? I wouldn’t mind that deviation on the storyline one bit.

Oh, and the preview of Brianna touching the stones is not a dead giveaway at all.

Images ©2018 Starz® Entertainment LLC

Outlander Episode 402: Do No Harm

i-2As you can guess by the title of the episode, there is going to be something that goes against the Hippocratic Oath. Claire being a doctor has faced many a deadly scene, and saved many lives, including an excise man who clearly meant her harm in Season 3, Cream De Menthe. So it is with a title like this that we find that The Colonies are indeed becoming a very dark place indeed for the Frasers. And as always, don’t read on unless you’ve watched Season 4 “Do No Harm”.

I also have to warn you, if you are a big Diana Gabaldon and Drums of Autumn fan, there are story changes in this episode. Many of the changes portend even more to come. I enjoy many of the changes, and agree that not everything can make it to the screen. That said, a few things stay in, if not exactly in the book, then the spirit of the situation. i-1

We begin with our travelers still on the river, heading to Aunt Jocasta’s plantation. Jamie, Claire and Ian show up worse for wear at the River Run dock. After their encounter with Stephen Bonnet, they arrive as paupers, which shames Jamie greatly. They are welcomed in and find that the vast property is heavily worked by slaves. While Jocasta explains away concerns, and that she tries to keep families of slaves together, it is still apparent that the practice of slavery runs deep in the colonies and Jamie and Claire are faced with a moral dilemma. Claire is very adamant about her views on slavery, and is identified as being a Quaker by Jocasta trying to make sense out of such ideas.

john-quincy-meyers.w700.h467To help adjust to life in their new surroundings, Rollo has decided to have an encounter with a beast most foul. The rare bit of Outlander comedy ensues and we meet John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees),  the bigger than life mountain man that will help guide the Frasers and Young Ian through their first adventures in the wilds of America. However, his first mission is to rescue all from a fate worse than death smell that Rollo manages to find,  courtesy of a wee black and white beastie. We also have a change from book, a certain medical procedure seems to not come into play at River Run. However, true to Outlander writer’s form, a far more sinister one comes into play later.

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Phaedra (Natalie Simpson), Jocasta’s body slave

Again the Frasers are cursed. We meet yet another odious character in the form of Lt. Wolff (Lee Boardman), and he is just as annoying if not more so than in the books. He is one of many suitors of Jocasta Cameron’s, one she has turned down before.  She has huge acreage and wealth in the plantation and he considers it his right, and uses the Navy contracts to push his personal agenda. He is used to negotiating with Jocasta, and when Jamie begins to assist his aunt, is met with brusque resistance. To make matters worse and as a preemptive strike, Jocasta acknowledges Jamie Fraser as her heir in River Run, showing she is every bit Colum and Dougal MacKenzie’s sister. She seeks to have a way to keep her unwanted suitors at bay and has found the perfect way to do it through Jamie.

download-1A matter of great distress occurs as Jamie is adjusting and discussing the new role of being named heir to River Run. He immediately sets on a path to find some way to do away with the slavery issue, to find some way to emancipate the slaves and pay them as servants. As is pointed out by Farquard Campbell (James Barriscale), a dear and long time friend of Aunt Jocasta’s and landowner, and the every encroaching Lt. Wolff, that the laws must be followed in order to free a slave. Slave must have saved a life, and there is a compensation of £100 per slave to buy their freedom. Unfortunately Jamie learns quickly that the laws are just as hard to work around in the Colonies as they are in Britain. His grand sweeping ideas will meet with great resistance. And this plays out in a terrible fashion.

News comes from the pine works that a slave has attacked an overseer and drawn blood. Jamie, as new Plantation Manager and Claire the healer, rush off to aid the man, and in so doing become embroiled in a scene of slave punishment and laws they do not understand. A young slave, named Rufus, is found hanging by a hook, Jamie rushes in with pistols and demands that Rufus be taken down. With Farquard Campbell trying to diffuse the situation, and explain the laws to Jamie and Claire, there are grave consequences if the punishment of the slave is not carried out. Claire has the young slave brought back to the house and she saves his life from the hook wound, only to have to make a terrible decision later.

Claire has been against slavery and being from the 20th century, finds it abhorrent in any form. In saving a life and following her oath as a doctor, she does not see all that is going on around her or the consequences. In comes Ulysses, to explain the reality of slave life to Claire and her headstrong convictions. The ever faithful Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) is always at Jocasta’s side and as book readers know, really is the one who has kept River Run running. He is well educated for a slave, and seeks to educate Claire on how the lives of the others slaves are affected if one slave does something that is against the law. All slaves on the plantation will be made to suffer if Rufus is not taken to justice by the overseers. Ulysses is a steady hand in the household of River Run, and will keep things running as smooth as possible, and seeks to educate Claire. However make no mistake, his loyalty is to Aunt Jocasta.

Again we see that the Frasers and Young Ian are still not finding a place to call home. The River Run plantation is a great beauty of a place, but it’s underlying current is one that reflects the other plantations in the colonies, that of an ugliness lurking below. It is operated on the backs of slaves and cannot run without them. The laws are unjust, as Claire and Jamie have already experienced in Wilmington, and even more constricting in a place like River Run. The offer of becoming settlers on land of their own that Governor Tryon offered to Jamie and sponsoring other settlers, is becoming more and more appealing to Jamie. Is this an escape and a way to make the rules their own, or will it be filled with just as much danger and injustice  brought on by life in The Colonies?

Book or No Book

There is always the possibility that what was cut out of this episode, may turn up later. Gabaldon’s writings are so rich and much detail has been edited due to time and feasibility constraints. It could even involve a different character, one we all love and hope to see return. I could see a particular medical procedure being performed on this character, the actor is always up for an interesting challenge.