I am going to open this #TheBirdsandTheBees blog with a huge SIGH.
There. I feel better now I suggest all of you do the same. Deep breath in…let that sucker out. Feels better, doesn’t it? Episode 409 was one that made us hold our breath more than once. I want to talk about all the things that made me tear up…the things that made me rage and the things that made me just sigh with pure joy and happiness. That isn’t what my blog has been about this season though and I shouldn’t change that now.
This time for me, the loudest thing was the silence. Bree’s silence, in particular, was deafening.
Like most of us, Brianna learned from those around her. To protect those we care about, we deny them the truth and shoulder the burden of our secrets. Her mother and father both did this for her. It is her natural go-to whether or not she understands it, almost like a reflex.
This young woman is so protective of those around her that she carries each worry on her own. She is taking such great care of Lizzie, that she holds onto the joy and heartbreak of her time with Roger. She keeps the subsequent violent rape at the hands of that sunnuva bastard piece of Bonnet to herself. Lizzie all but begs her to share her burdens but instead, Brianna holds them even tighter. Bree shows she is strong enough to weather any storm alone and as impressive as that might be, there is no reason for her to do it alone.
Ian retells the horrid story to Brianna, of how Bonnet attacked the family on the river and stole Claire’s ring. She takes note of this and puts this in her own personal file as “Reason 132 why I should heap more onto my breaking heart to protect my mother and Jamie and not think of how it will eventually affect me”. Yes. Brianna, you are strong, you are mighty, you can handle all of the things, but should you?
We can see the toll that the secrets are taking on Brianna as the episode goes on (I would mention the meeting with her bio-da and reunion with her mama but I would just cry again and I have Bells-Palsy and my ugly cry is a butt-ugly cry so…no). Bree is distracted, uninterested in things that would usually thrill her, flustered and easy to anger. All normal reactions that happen when we are holding onto something toxic, they poison us from the inside and start showing on the outside. Claire notices, not just because she is in tune with her child but because it is like looking at a mirror. Claire does exactly the same thing when she is hiding something, the behaviour is familiar to her.
How often do we walk through life saying “I can do it on my own.” “I don’t need help.” Or “I’m fine by myself, I’m good.”? You know what? We probably are. It’s also probably hard and would be easier with help, it likely would feel better if we said “Sure, here…thank you.”, and simply allowed the person who offered to help, to do that, help. We struggle and we carry the heavy stuff all for…what? Who does it help? Who does it end up protecting? If we answer this question honestly we will often find out the answer is – no one. In fact, sometimes, it ends up hurting someone in one way or another. We become so busy protecting people we lose focus on the important things. We become so involved in hiding our hurt that we fail to see the other things going on around us.
Brianna keeping the truth from Lizzie allowed her to create a story from the information she had. Something all of us do. We take visual cues and fill in the blanks, it is how the brain works. Brianna not telling anyone about the ring ensured no one knew who raped her. Leaving those doors open for further misunderstandings. Yes, Bree, you can do it alone – you definitely should not have. We all make mistakes, some repercussions cost more than others.
Jamie rounded out this picture for us at the end of the episode. He chose to go it alone. Demanding Lizzie not tell Claire or Brianna what was happening. Storming off to take care of who he thought was Brianna’s rapist. Just because you CAN do it alone…doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
The proof is in the pudding with this one…the pudding being poor Rogers beautiful face.
We may be strong. We may be capable. We may be all of the things we think we should be. We also are allowed to be tired. We are allowed to lean on people. We are allowed to accept help without shame or regret. We never would tell a loved one they are weak for letting us help them, we would never tell a friend they couldn’t rely on us for a hug or an ear when they needed one – so someone please tell me why do we feel we are any different? Why should we be the exception?
I wish you the happiest of New Years.
Sher (founder of the ABOotlanders)
Join us for Live tweeting while us Canadians watch on W Network Sunday nights at 8 pm MST. Use the hashtag #OutlanderCAN so we can find you!
There is no shortage of drama this season is there? The cool thing about having a blog in this fandom is I get to decide what I talk about. I have decided to challenge myself to NOT write about the obvious this season.
I want to look past the topic du jour and move to the things that made me go hmmm and maybe they will make you go hey…meh…or OH! Either way, I will have said it and hopefully, feel good about it when I am done. That’s the point of my watching Outlander in the first place. It makes me feel good. I like it. My Mom used to say “If it doesn’t feel good…don’t do it.” I live by that.
So…ghosts. I’m not talking about Casper, the bent neck lady or the very obvious Native gentleman caller from the episode we are talking about. I am referring to the ghosts in our life that either guide our decisions or keep us from moving forward out of fear of facing them. They were ever present in The False Bride, whether we noticed them or not.
Right at the very start, Roger sitting in the old empty manse and Fiona coming through the doors to take up residence reminded us of Reverend Wakefield and Mrs. Graham. Both now, just memories, shadows in the halls but very much a part of who Fiona and Roger are today. As we see later with Roger when he has his meltdown with Brianna. He was raised by a Reverand. It makes more than a little sense that ghost still sits in his mind and when that is the case, it affects his heart as well. Those are the ghosts that often speak the loudest.
Claire sees her fair share of ghosts in this episode. Both literally and figuratively. To start, there is no doubt she is thinking of the ghost of her friend, Joe Abernathy. Black, free, a doctor…her dear friend. Someone she may have been judged for being friends with but still “allowed” to be friends with. She watches as the slaves walk by and you can see it pains her because she has seen the other side of this story. She knows the truth of the people she sees being treated ‘less than’. The pure inhumanity of it bubbles to the surface.
As they ride away from River Run, they leave the ghost of Rufus behind them. Their troubled time there. They also leave the people they couldn’t help. This is something that I am sure will continue to haunt Claire.
Claire confronts Franks ghost as well. He will be ever present when she speaks of Brianna. He was the only father her daughter had. He raised her and owns that space in her world. As she speaks of Bree to Jamie, you can see both of them feel Franks ghost pass through the moment. Claire as a reserved embrace, and Jamie with a grateful chill.
Then, we have Claire’s literal ghost. Good ole Claire takes off after Clarence the mule in a storm and ends up lost, alone and in the dark.
It’s ok though, she has company. She finds a little head, ok, it’s a skull. One that has been cracked down the middle and removed from the rest of its body. This particularly unlucky fellow decides to pay Claire a visit, in a jarring and pretty cool way. He makes his way toward her during lightning strikes. Then what does he do? Dude steals her shoes. He makes up for it by wearing them and leads her to Jamie and Jamie to her. Awwwwwwwwww.
This particular ghost is filled with more questions because his mouth is filled with silver fillings. Which clearly means he is a time traveller too.
Young Ian had a different group of ghosts he faced in this episode. The pirates not once, but twice. Geillis. The hurricane. That was a lot of trauma for a young kid. He grew up PDQ (pretty damn quick). Those experiences formed who he’s now become, a young man who knows his mind. Thankfully, the ghost of the child he was, will always be there for us. His smile and pure cheekiness each episode gives me hope anyway.
Jamie had his own ghosts, didn’t he? When speaking to his aunt Jocasta, the ghost of the laird he would have been in Scotland lingered there. He knew what she didn’t though. River Run could never be that for him, some things cannot be recreated.
The ghost of Jamie’s mother was real and alive when his aunt gifted him Ellen’s silver candlesticks. Something tangible, he could touch and take with him to his new place, where ever that may be.
While visiting the ghosts of Scotland in his memories, he was able to see his future. Looking out over the vista, Jamie fell in love with the land he saw before him because of the echoes of his past. The strawberries and the mountains all familiar to him yet, this new world made him feel hope.
I want to finish up with Brianna. The Scottish festival was the first shiver of her ghosts coming to the forefront. Bree seemed to want to deny she was thinking about her mother but Roger knew it had to be there, raw and real. The memory of her and the ramifications of her travelling through time to find Jamie. Those ghosts came to visit the festival that day, who could blame them? The music was bangin’.Bree is a young woman that knows what she doesn’t want. That is very much because of her ghosts. One ghost is the father she grew up with. She now knows he lived in a marriage of convenience with her mother. Another is the ghost of a father that she never knew, he was the recipient of her mother’s love and devotion. Given the choice she was faced with in the episode tonight, those ghosts would have sat upon each shoulder like the good choice and bad choice. Each in her ear.
We all have our ghosts. Whether we see them, hear them or feel them. They are there, influencing us and the choices we make. We should really trust our own voice rather than rely on the ghosts, but you know…to each their own.
Sometimes, those ghosts…they just make us run up the basement stairs really quick or check behind the shower curtain before peeing. Either way…do you.
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Founder of the ABOotlanders
Jamie and Frank.
Both married Claire. Is that where their similarities end?
Some may say “Yes, a historian and a warrior don’t have ANYTHING in common.”
Oh…but not I. They have a few traits that make them similar. I think it would be strange if they didn’t- considering Claire did love them both…once.
They know their wife..wives… “place”. Meaning Claire won’t be put in a place, much less stay there. Jamie gave Bonnie Prince Floofypants that “Uh-huh sure…YOU tell her” face when he implied his wife would listen to her husband…cuz that is what they do. Frank in S3Ep1 stood behind Claire…knowing… in this moment she might just tell the Dean at Harvard to kiss her combat boots before she lost one up his arse. Knowing what your wife is made up of…is a trait some men lack however, Frank n Jamie…they know.
Cat like reflexes are needed. Claire likes to throw things and unless you are quick about it, you will get a candlestick or an ashtray up side the head. Both of these men are gifted with agility. Good thing too. We like their faces and Claires aim can be deadly accurate.
Modern men in their not so modern worlds. Jamie, in the 18th century learned a few lessons from Claire…it is one thing to love your partner…it is another to release the things you were brought up to believe. When those ideas created unhappiness (and rage) in Jamies partner…he looked deeper and chose to change how he viewed the world. Thats some progressive stuff for a man in centuries passed. Franks upbringing likely didn’t gravitate too far from the basic ideas Jamie had, however, being in the war and knowing his wife was there too, likely brought the scope of her ability to be independant into focus. He may not have always liked it…but back to #1 – he accepted it.
Honour with a side of honour and a pinch more of the honour. Jamie and Frank pretty much gathered all the honour in all the centuries. Frank, I mean really. This guy stayed with a woman who flew through the past, married and loved ( had a lot of the love) another man. A man there is no competing with, a ghost AND he raised his child for him. He was in it for the long haul. Jamie, his honour is from an age where a mans honour was more valued that what was in his sporran. So, They have that.
Double, double toil and trouble. These guys are pretty chill on the most part. It takes a bit for them to blow their gaskets…but when they do, take cover. Not the road ragey kind of tip offs…these are the slow burn to the explosion. More like a long fused dynamite than a firecracker. Which is preferred – as Claire can actually attempt to put it out before it is too late.
Bonus similiarity- Mmmmmmmmmm BacON! Frank enjoys himself some bacon. He said so – I figure, Jamie’s all about the meat – so yeah…he’d be a bacon lover. And for alls who say “What about Canadian Bacon?” Ham…thats ham…only people NOT from Canada call it Canadian bacon. *blink blink*
For reals, can you picture Jamie as a vegetarian?
Since us ABOotlanders have chosen not to live tweet with each episode or do recaps, we are going to do an #OutlanderCAN twitter aftershow. We would love for you to join us. There will be some observations and discussions about the episode of the week. The more activity, the longer we will engage.
Let’s take this voyage together and make this season the best yet. Fandomstyle *snort*
Until next time, Sher
Yup. In the history of Outlander there has always been discussions about Frank. If we think this is a new topic of conversation because of the way the TV show has presented him. We are wrong. This is just one discussion that is 6 yrs old . It took place on Karen Henry’s blog, Outlandish Observations, which was started in 2008. See…WAY before the show became a “thing”.
I assure you, these discussions/arguments have been happening since the first book came out. My guess, somewhere in the world on June 2, 1991 the first debate about Frank and his place in Claire’s story took place. Why? Because there is a distinct character there, with a distinct personality. The interesting part is which side people fall on.
Frank is the man who was left behind by Claire’s unintended trip into the past. It’s funny, not “haha” funny but “Hmmmmm, how about that?” funny – that if you love him, you defend him like no one’s business – or you despise him and everything he stands for…oh wait…everything we believe he stands for.
Frankly (heehee), he is one of the most complex characters in the Outlander series. Why in the world would I say that? It’s true. That’s why. In 8 books, we keep getting snippits of his story. We THINK we know it all but that’s not true. Diana still has not fully revealed what unquestionably happened in the 20 yrs Claire spent with Frank. I don’t think that is because she doesn’t care or it’s not important. I believe it is because there is so much to tell, so much that is laying underneath…Frank is simply one of those Tetris pieces that hasn’t fallen completely into place. We don’t have to like him to know his importance in the story. Perhaps that is where some of us stumble. “WE” don’t like him so he doesn’t belong. Seems kinda like my high school years allllll over again. OMG…I’m FRANK!
I hope we can see how short sighted that mindset is in the grand scheme of Diana’s tomes. Everyone, whether we like their character or not, has their place in the story she has written. We might think Mr. Willoughby served no purpose but the truth is, he did. In Diana’s story…and lets be frank (snort), it is HER story. We digest it the way our brain see’s fit, not necessarily as it was written. Its like broccoli, some people devour it and love everything about it and some get indigestion and end up super gassy.
The “F” word has been popping up again because of this picture in this article.
Lots of people took it as a personal nose rubbing because Frank isn’t that big of a deal to them, they don’t personally care for him or they believe he needs to hurry up and die already. Lots of people LOVED the photo, saw it showed what life would be like for Claire & Frank in the future, validated their feelings that Frank’s a good guy. An important good guy.
Neither of these view points are wrong. Why? Because people are people and they feel how they feel. The trouble is when we get to the point where we believe only our view has merit. Only our view is “right” and our need to express it in ways that are pointless to the grand scheme of things. Examples of pointless expressions might be : anger, telling people how to do their job, spitefulness or passive aggressiveness. One of my favourite sayings is…You can say what you mean – without being mean. We can also do that without trying to make others adhere to our beliefs.
Outlander (the show) has a story to tell. The writers, producers and directors want to make the best show possible in their eyes. That is where the crux of it all is. Their eyes. What is the thing about eyes folks? They are all unique. They all see things differently. Those who want to bask in the things they see…will. Those who want to contradict the same visions, won’t stop because someone says “You are wrong.” If it were the “fans” that created the show it would say in the credits SHOWRUNNER – Fans, but it doesn’t. It says Ronald D. Moore. Whether you believe that’s good or bad, it’s his to run the show.
I have no issues at all with those who use critical thinking to express their thoughts. I have no issues with rose coloured glasses and those who choose to love everything. My view is simply to be kind to one another while expressing your differences and maybe, just maybe allow each person their view.
Frank isn’t the bad guy. He isn’t the hero. He’s an intricate part of a story about a woman who is torn between times. The story, whether we believe it needs to be told or not, is the story. Perhaps sitting back and experiencing the ride is the solution. Like a roller coaster, some are going to love it…some are gonna wanna puke when it’s over. Either way…it is the experience that creates the outcome.
Hold on everyone, buckle your seat belts. If I know anything about this fandom, and I think I do…it’s gonna be a helluva ride!
Side note- I don’t think anyone can deny…Tobias Menzies…is super awesome, pretty good looking and well – brought Frank to life. Whether you like that particular life or not – is up to you.
Founder of the ABOotlanders