Imagine. Writing a whole blog, over 5 hours of thoughts, feelings and analysis only to say “Nope. Not good enough.” – I didn’t leave it to ponder about but hit delete. Done. Over. I did that last night. I spent most of the day Monday, off and on, putting my thoughts about Monsters and Heroes here, on this identical template I am staring at right now. It was complete. All except for those annoying GIFs that I add to drive ya all crazy but they add my boneheaded personality.
I deleted it because I struggled with it. It felt pushed, unnatural and well, obvious. I usually wouldn’t even tell you what I wrote about but I will. I wrote about friendship. See? 🧀 anyone? It felt overdone, it felt sappy and it felt so NOT me. Not because I don’t have friends (I know, SHOCKIN’, I can count at least 3! ) but friendship is a concept we all understand for the most part. I don’t need to write a whole farkin’ blog about it, and I did. 😨 LAME!
This topic though, bendability, I hope isn’t. I could have taken the path of publishing the blog that everyone would have easily identified with. That would be the easy way out. Choosing to be a little uncomfortable, to stretch myself in another direction, do something different…that makes more sense to what I try and accomplish with my blogs. Will it work?
Time to stop blathering and get on with it shall I?
The title of the episode “Monsters and Heroes” can be seen in direct connection to the title of the blog. These don’t have to be two separate entities, they can be the same person, to the same people at different times in their life. We opened with that situation. Claire and Marsali. Marsali, she first saw Claire as a monster. She only knew her from the perspective that she grew up with, shown via her mother and the life experience she had. Marsali is a strong-willed, determined and sass-laced woman. There was as much likelihood she would have dug her heels in and not accepted Claire or simply ignored her existence. Marsali used her ability to bend to see her own truth. If I were to venture a guess where this trait came from I would say it was the influence of Jamie through Fergus.
Her direct experiences with Jamie likely were clouded by her mother’s perceptions of the relationship. We heard as much from her early discussions with Claire. She and Fergus doubtlessly have had a long relationship. He grew up at Lallybroch, not far from where Marsali did. Fergus is the epitome of adaptable and that virtue, not only admirable, tends to rub off on those closest to them.
We’ve witnessed Marsali view Claire as a monster in her world. When she transforms into being her “Ma”, it’s special. She now sees her as someone she learns from and admires. A heroine. That, my friends, is bendability.
I wonder how many people we have had in our lives that we have written off because of the stories others have told from their perceptions of them, through their experiences, one-sided. We may have labelled as unworthy of our time or bad people simply because someone we knew/cared about, hated them. Our lack of bendability may have shut out someone that may not have been such a monster after all.
There will be times in our lives that we have no choice but to bend. The reason being if we don’t – we will break. There is no alternative. Roger and Jamie were placed in this position. Their relationship of tentative tiptoeing around one another with passive-aggressive taps-n-shots wasn’t going to get them through the crisis they found themselves in. Jamie, in need of rescuing and Roger in the position to save him. The pair were forced to bend to the other’s reality.
Jamie’s snakebite set in motion events that created a bromance we will enjoy for years. Seriously though, the dynamic that mess brought on was instrumental in the Roger/Jamie bond. Not many have seen Jamie so vulnerable. We KNOW no one has ever sucked on his leg like that.
Roger had every reason to resent this red-headed brute of a man. From the first moment Roger laid eyes on him, to that very morning being the cockblocker he was. Yet, there was this man doing everything he could to save his father-in-law and keep his spirits up. Without handing out spoilers, Roger may very well have found his purpose on this dreadful excursion.
We went from two men circling one another warily, wondering where they stood in each other’s life to two people who found a comfortable, mutual respect and even a playful place with one another. Where there was trepidation the day before…a father and son connection was born. It took devastating circumstances forcing them into an uncomfortable space to do it but I am not certain anything less would have forged that relationship these men would need for the future.
How about that not so Young Ian? He has shown us we have the ability to not just bend but sway and twist. In fact, he knowingly steps into situations that will force him to bend. Being a young lad in he left his small community and made way for adventure. Getting much more than he could have dreamt possible or wished to have. This young man chooses to evolve, with new people and lifestyles, knowing it is him that is going to have to do all the adapting.
In this episode, he set an example for someone who is supposed to be much wiser than he. What we saw here was Ian saying the hard stuff. That in itself is bendability. It’s not comfortable, for anyone. These conversations takes us out of our comfort zone of supporting and holding up those we care about. Knowing deep down that those are the words they need to hear takes an extra push, a lot won’t manage due to how difficult it is. The ones that do get the words out, almost always feel bad. That’s because they have a heart and they love. It isn’t supposed to feel good to say something severe to people we care for.
When the person is open enough to hear us, yes, bendable themselves, the message will strengthen the bond we have. When saying the tough things, as hard as they are to say, they are hard to hear. Jamie took the shaming well. Had he the energy to fight back, I am not sure he would have. The truth of Ian’s words hung in the air for some time after he left the room.
Not everyone is so receptive to the truth on occasions such as these. I admittedly am not always a fan. I have had the truth face me down and sometimes the first reflex is to defend. When that is my reaction, it’s often my clue I’m on the wrong side of things. I REALLY hate that. Being defensive indicates I am not confident in what I am arguing about. I use this as one of my life check-points to stop being rigid and look for the place to squeeze in that bendability. It isn’t comfortable, it isn’t easy but, it’s more often right than it’s not. That is where Jamie ended up. It took him time and pride but he got to where he needed to be. He didn’t end up losing his leg, thank goodness.
Brianna is our used car lot balloon lady bendable, physically and emotionally. You know, she’s having some ale on the porch and in a split second facing a charging 2000 pound buffalo to save her son and BFF. She is questioning if she can use her intelligence in a world where raising babies, making candles and dying day is considered the “life”. The need for Bree is to bend reality. The reality of the world she lives in. She had to stop seeing herself as fitting into the 1700s and just be Bree. Where an opportunity arises to use her engineering background, she will be taking it, as she did with creating the syringe for her mother out of the snake’s fang. I am sure this is only the start of Brianna putting her creative mind to work to make life easier on the ridge.
A big “Monsters and Heroes” take away for me was to loosen the hell up. Come on, I literally deleted a whole blog because it wasn’t ‘good enough’. True, it showed some bendability but it also showed I’m kinda an ass. We are all under extra stress right now, some more than others but that never takes away from what each individual goes through. It is times like this when we should do our best to let some of our austerity go. When we are feeling anxious, stressed and we add our own rigidity to it, we get so wound up it makes us feel all the more confined. If we bend it, allow it some slack, we allow ourselves some room to breathe.
It’s my hope you have the room.
Until next time,
Don’t forget we live tweet with the Canadian airing of Outlander on W Network Sunday nights at 7 pm MT. using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN. We would love it if you would join us. Only 3 more episodes left!
I decided to take a bit of an extended vacation after my adventures with Outlandish Vancouver. That is why I am a little late to the show., plus, it’s me. You are used to it.
I decided I was going to do two blogs about my time at the Outlandish Vancouver event. One, overall, about my experience, some highlights and observations. Another to cover a uniquely mind-blowing life-altering magical moment that I couldn’t have predicted. No one could have possibly predicted. Here is a hint – Ed/SomeStuff/Me. That’s all I’m sayin’.
My fellow ABOotlander Admin, Lee and I decided that we have had enough of watching others have all the fun at these big Outlander events. With our group being based in Alberta, a trip to B.C. was pretty do-able so we made plans to attend Outlandish Vancouver, obviously the closest Outlander fan/cast event to us. We did so, in style. Lee hooked us up with matching T-shirts with our lovable mascot, Toger the beaver, emblazoned on our chests.
He ended up getting quite a bit of attention over the wknd, being repeatedly mistaken for my beaver. So many jokes.
You are all going to have to wait for that story. It’s a gooder, watch this space.
I am not great with huge crowds, have newly forced mobility issues and to be honest, am apprehensive about any kind of ‘convention’ thing. My dear friend, Cat, VideoRecap/PhotoOp Convention expert, assured me this particular event was not only small (about 100 attendees) but was a smooth-running machine. This eased my anxious nature of not knowing wtf was going on being sent into overdrive. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have people in your bubble, that have experienced MANY events who can let you know what to expect without blowing smoke up your ass.
KoKo, Pippi, Hey, You! (I am sure there are other things she was answering to over the course of the weekend) the event coordinator, as busy as she was – never made me feel like I was a bother. Even though, I was. I gots the mobility, dietary issues and well…I’m just annoying, you all can tell.
Koko made every effort to be sure EVERYONE was feeling good about their experience. Her team (seen below with the Outlander talent) was extraordinary. If one was asked a question they didn’t know the answer to – they knew who would know and never left you hanging. They worked with their cast members closely, keeping them on top of things and happy. What a delight to see.
I may not have attended an Outlander cast event before but I have been to a plethora of events in my lifetime and this crew, this event, had it down. They knew their stuff and the best part was how obvious it was they were enjoying themselves. If they were stressed or panicked by any problems, in particular, their guests never knew it or sensed it. THAT’S HUGE. From the outside, it appeared they were experiencing others have a fantastic experience. Fans AND talent, alike.
The Outlander cast invited were meant to bring OLD and NEW world together were and brilliantly selected. They played off of one another, getting along fabulously, it was pretty special to be a part of.
Let’s talk about the cast who attended, in no particular order.
Carmen Moore (who I previously interviewed for this blog), was as bewitchingly intense as I had hoped she would be. She has such an incredibly kind and open heart. One thing I admired about Carmen, her understanding of self and willingness to share this path of growing into the warrior she is. We were honoured to hear about her latest work making the film festival circuit. Rustic Oracle, a story told from the perspective of an 8 yr old girl when her older sister goes missing. By exploring the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women, it is receiving powerfully positive reviews. Carmen and her young costar, Lake Delisle have already won awards for their portrayals in this groundbreaking film. Please watch for its release in a theatre near you, March 2020. *warning- have tissues handy*
As the only woman from the cast to be present at the event, Carmen wasn’t at a loss for entertainment or topics of conversation. It seemed to me that she and her costars are as equal as it gets with their respect and banter with one another. Carmen has a certain way of carrying herself that says very clearly, “I belong here.” I admire her self awareness, her willingness and desire for constant growth. Those striving to learn about themselves and the world they live in, are the most interesting kinds of humans. I thought myself lucky to have interviewed Carmen all those months ago, now I feel blessed to have hugged her lots (I’m not a big hugger) and to have gotten chances to chat with her one on one. I do love a good side-eye over breakfast. I hope Carmen finds herself in Edmonton one day, with a little extra time on her hands – she knows she has a place. ❤
I can not say enough good things about Braeden Clarke. Those in attendance were privileged to meet the other side of this dynamic young man. Onscreen in Outlander, Braeden played Kaheroton, the dark yet vivid war chief of the Mohawk Village where Roger is being held captive. The flip side is this entertaining, engaging and wildly energetic yet compassionate young man. Braeden is obviously a natural-born actor. His enthusiasm for creating a scene that is not only believable but sincere comes straight from his guts. He most certainly gets lost in his role which creates nothing less than magic.
He relayed to us, during a take (as he watched the woman he loved, Johiehon, walk into the flames that engulfed the man she loved) the director asked him to bring his emotions up to the point of just about to break – but – don’t break and HOLD. Of course, that was much harder said than done but he held it, barely – so when the director ended the scene he had to get away from everyone to let it tip over the edge. Taking it to that point, he couldn’t swallow it back, it could only come out. The dam needed releasing, so to speak.
Oh, and a fun take away from this guy – any life hacks you need when you don’t know how to do something, or maybe you stretched the truth on a CV – “YouTube that shit.” Great advice! Know why? It’s true. Literally…everything!
Trevor Carroll who played, what some may consider a small role, Otter Tooth joined us. Many fans that attended Outlandish Vancouver have also read the books, so Trevor’s character has deep meaning. His haunting portrayal of Otter Tooth, a man with a foot in both worlds, believing he is capable of changing the tragic fate of his people may have been short on screen time but it won’t be forgotten.
Trevor was asked, not surprisingly, as an Ojibway man, would he take the opportunity to go back in time to change the fate of his people? He diplomatically made it known, he probably wouldn’t have done things as Otter Tooth did, but being an Indigenous person, wanting to change the past for his people, would be the only option. Both of his panel costars emphatically agreed with him.
Trevor is clearly a family man. He lovingly spoke of them a number of times. It was heartwarming to see how protective of his family he is. Protectiveness is a running theme in his life, it seems. He has a passion for mixed martial arts, his involvement in Battlefield Fight League brings this to light. Also a creative artist as well, you can find examples on his website, Reverie Arts. His art shows more of his soft-spoken and intent nature. He is definitely not a simple man but one of many talents and tastes.
Most were saying how very different he looked from his character. I guess it’s true what they say, “A smokey eye can make all the difference.”
For our UK cast, let me start with Keith- who goes by- KiKKi, Fleming…the ill-fated Lesley. Who believe me, when you get to hear his views on a) politics b) his fellow castmates c) politics d) food e) politics f) great places to visit close to home, he is filled with fantastic quips, quotes, jokes and antidotes that will make you think, smile and laugh out loud. Ummm, Koko, we didn’t talk about politics!
Fear not, he also isn’t bitter about being killed off. Not even a little. 👌 Pretty sure we fans, after the weekend was over, were far more upset about that than he.
Kikki is a very engaging human. He had his fellow entertainers in stitches a great deal of the time. You can tell he is a born storyteller and really, onboard for just about anything. When asked to perform the lament he sang in Episode 401, he was bashful for all of 2 seconds, cleared his throat then sang it loud and proud. It was a treat for all.
Why we thought it was fair to caterwaul the Skye Boat song back at him, I’m not altogether sure. 🤣🤔Never let any good deed go unpunished or something like that? Braeden took a video of us- I thought at first “It must be because we are SO awesome.” Then, I looked at my picture really close…
As a Scot, the man can spin a yarn and it isn’t because of his accent you sit spellbound. It is because he is funny AF and damned interesting. We all enjoyed a fun recounting of a table read re: Jamie/Claire sex scene where his internal dialogue was having the best time making fun of things and he had us ALL in stitches. Those sitting on the panel included. It is really easy to see why he stays friends with many of his fellow cast members. When you can delight so many, so easily, they want to be around you.
Kikki made my face spasm more than once. There was a LOT of beaver talk. Sorry, not sorry, you will have to stay tuned for the Ed Speleers-n-Me blog for THAT whole story though. There I was, poor Lil Bell’s Palsied face me…laughing so hard my face seizes up in its fool hemifacial spasms – I tell ya, it’s a cute look absolutely NO ONE EVER said, so for our selfie (that wasn’t a selfie) we decided to see who could look serious for longer.
I believe John Bell might be the sweetest, most charismatic and genuine souls- ever. As an outgoing, silly and wonderfully accommodating person as he was – the 3 or 4 minutes on a quiet balcony where two introverts got a recharge from the chaos, was probably my favourite time with him. It was simply he and I…some quiet thoughts about the importance of alone time and just ‘being’.
John truly loves to make people smile, he enjoys giving fans “their moment.” All you have to do is check out the photos from those who attended the wknd. Every photo with John, that smile – catches his eyes. As a young man, he is incredibly mindful of the people around him, he has a deep understanding of their desire to be around him and puts it into its rightful place. Where it could be misunderstood, it isn’t and he continues to be grounded (because he does the worm like a master) To be completely transparent, I don’t think there is ANY dance move that guy can’t do. It’s impressive and entertaining!
He has been acting since he was 8 but it is very obvious the young man was born a star. There is a light in his eyes that simply shines through. Which is noticeable the first time you speak with him. Funny enough (not funny 🤣 but funny 🤔), when he spoke about Young Ian’s arc to come, he knows how changed Ian will be. John wants to be sure Young Ian always has that *twinkle* in his eye.
I think that may just be the icing that John Bell has put on the Ian of the Outlander TV show. Yes, Young Ian in the books is an amazing character, always was one of my favourites. John’s portrayal of Young Ian has given us another version of him and I love him equally. I look forward to when and how he returns. John was very tight-lipped and no, the head shave was for him, not the show. He did add, for those in the back, he will be fighting for those face tattoos. He wants them VERRA badly.
And…then…there was Ed. Ed Speleers. I have a lot to say about my experience with Mr. Speleers. You will be able to read about it here, in a couple of days. The truth is, I didn’t “see” Stephen Bonnet in him at all. That is a good thing – there was none of the ‘slithering’ or the thing sunnuvaBonnet does with his face…you know, that ‘thing’.
Ed isn’t shy, he shares openly what he thinks about himself, his previous work. Even the things he may not be so proud of. He also lights up when he talks about projects he has in the works, like Dad Was. This guy listens when you are speaking not just hearing the words but listens to what you are sharing with him. Ed takes in more than what is immediately in front of him, he seems to have one of those minds that sees what is shown and then dissects all the things beyond in order to truly understand. This is likely what makes him passionate about producing.
It was refreshing and let’s face it, a helluva a time, to talk to someone that is as filter-free as myself. He has a sense of humour that is can be dark and sometimes as crude as mine, all the while empathy and awareness are right there on the surface. You know what I call that? Well fricken rounded!
I also had an amazing time meeting fellow fans/friends I have had online but not had the pleasure of meeting in person. In MY like fashion, I got ZERO pictures of us together, not bc I don’t like taking pictures BUT because my mouth is too busy yakking with them to even think of it. By the time I do – the trip is over and I say “Next time!” and then it happens – AGAIN. I’m insufferable. Truly.
Cat has been someone I have played online with forever and to finally have met her was a big ole tick on the ABOUTFUCKINTIME box. This fandom thing is a blessing. It brings us together…over the miles…across oceans and countries…like attracts like.
I have been reading and following Erin Conrad from Three If By Space for what seems like forever and suddenly, she becomes our ride or die over a matter of days. A heart as big as her brain – though I’m not sure everyone is supposed to know that. Too late. Sorry, Erin…now they know. You are going to have to come at me…I will put the coffee on. Alyson was our navigator – she turned out to be a better friend.😜 I feel lucky that Erin and Alyson let me and Lee hang out in their back seat…we can be a real pain in the ass.
It was great to sit and shoot the proverbial shit with Karmen of Outlander Anatomy. It’s all kinds of nice to connect with people we have had the pleasure of getting to know online. When we get to see with our own four-eyes that they are what they put out for the world, it’s a comfort.
I only got a smidge of time with Courtney from #OutlanderBehindTheScenes but you know, a smidge is better than nothing. The girl knows how to give a hug, I will say that. It was a fairy tale…catching her eye across a crowded boat, running slow motion into one another’s arms. No. That didn’t happen. We did recognize one another instantly but my hobbly butt was parked in stationary mode. I look forward to getting to see her again for a longer visit. Until then, we will continue to make one another snort on the interwebs.
There are so many wonderful people I was able to finally meet. Kelly, Linda, Karin, Samantha, Frances ( I am sure I am forgetting names and people because – I forget my own most days) and made new friends too. Zee, Christine, Marcella (others I am forgetting). You simply can’t be in a group of people who love the same thing and NOT connect with many of them.
The atmosphere of Outlandish Vancouver is one that doesn’t force you to be stampeded or corralled. There is room to breathe and not feel rushed. While making allowances for those in need, there is no playing of favourites for perceived popularity. The planning is down to the minute and anyone that knows event planning, understands when staying within a 15-minute window – shit is under control – and it was always within 5-8 minutes. Not that I paid attention.
The truth of the matter is expectations for attendees are clear. “This is what is happening, aren’t here by this time? It will happen without you”. It is, what I call “respect the event” and as someone that values my time and appreciates other’s efforts, I am so grateful for this. Watching how relaxed others were and how much they enjoyed the event proved I wasn’t wearing first-timer goggles.
As a wrap-up, Outlandish Vancouver suits me, my personality, all of my weird quirks and yeah, those pesky needs. Everything happens for a reason and well…Outlandish Vancouver and I were meant to be. I don’t think I will be seeking out any other events and will be comfortable saving for this one, right next door, again next year.
I have said it many times already but I think they are due for a public one. Thank you, Koko for all of your hard work and dedication to this event and to me. Your extra care and kindness towards me were most certainly not necessary but it was very appreciated. To the rest of the team, Karin, Christine and Samantha. The venues and the lunches – all went without a hitch.
Do stay tuned. I am hoping to have part 2 of my adventures published by midweek.
And Lee…you are a spectacular roomie! Love you through the stones and back xoxo
ABOotlanders Blatherer, Sher XO
Carmen Moore is one of those actresses that you see a dozen times and think she is a dozen different people. She is like a chameleon, morphing for her roles, not only in appearance but her voice, those small mannerisms that most of us don’t even notice we have. When I first saw her in Outlander’s Providence, giving Roger a hard time, I was drawn to her. I took note of her name and looked her up on IMDB. My jaw hit my laptop. I have seen Carmen in many productions and not once did I put it together that she was the same person. (And it’s not just because I’m thick…it’s because she’s magical.)
Magical…talented…for those of you reading this who have only experienced Carmen’s work on Outlander – let me share something with you. She has been nominated and has won numerous awards in Canadian television and film. I’m not just blowing smoke. This isn’t small potato stuff – 9 Nominations and 6 Wins so far! You know, to be exact about it.
I would have been walking around the Outlander set saying “Hey everybody! I’ve won 4 Leo’s and I am a Woman OF Distinction, dontcha know?… Imma big damn deal in Canada eh?” but something I learned about Carmen is she is incredibly down to earth – with a touch of sass. The girl loves herself some emoji’s and even her signature warns you that she might be up to something – “sent with love and mischief”. I’m excited to help you get to know her a little better, I think you are going to like her a lot.
It is an interesting coincidence that Carmen Moore landed a role in this Ronald D. Moore production. She has starred in 2 other shows that Ron created. The Battlestar Galactic web series: The Resistance and Battlestar Galactica Caprica. She also appeared in the Battlestar Galactica TV Movie: Blood and Chrome. Worth noting, she has never met Ron Moore and nope, not related either. There, that was our fun fact.
Everyone asks that generic “How did you get started in acting” question, there is a reason for that, it usually is an interesting story. I wanted to know Carmen’s. I’ve been “performing” for most of my life, although not professionally. 😂 Mom says I used to stand on the living room footstool at two years old and pretend I was on stage. “Carmen-wonderfender!” was how I introduced myself…to no one in particular! I discovered drama in grade 9 and fell in love with it. I did local theatre in Vancouver for a few years before an agent sitting in the audience of one of my shows approached me and offered to represent me. She started sending me out for tv and film auditions, which hadn’t occurred to me because I was so in love with theatre. I started booking right away and was just in the right place at the right time. It was just after Dances with Wolves was released, and I was basically the only “Native” actress in the city at that time that looked like Disney’s Pocahontas (although, I’ve never considered myself a “Native” actor…I’m just an actor).
Carmen says “right place at the right time”. I think it has a helluva lot to do with talent, those nominations and awards do a lot to back me up.
I found it very interesting that you seemed to break out of that typecasting many Native actor/esses speak about being put into. Was there something that you did or a conscious effort on your part to make that happen? YES!! Like I said, I was booking mostly Native roles in the beginning, and I really didn’t want to get stuck in that box. It’s easy for casting directors, especially in Vancouver, to become limited in how they see you, so we need to be responsible to open their minds to us. At one point I thought I wasn’t going to get out of the “buckskin” period pieces so I did the dramatic thing and chopped off all my hair. I went with this cute little bob and started booking cop/detective, lawyer, professional roles. It was risky, but it worked. And, I think I had a bit of an advantage as well because I don’t just look “Native”…I can play just about anything, including Caucasian…just a little more tanned than some! 😁
Do you recall what your reaction was when you heard you landed the role and would be headed to Scotland? Oh my gosh, I think my heart skipped a beat. 😁 I was sitting in a food court having a terrible meal when I got the call from my agent, so I couldn’t really let out the “whoop” that I was feeling. And I think it took a few days for it to sink in…and even then, it wasn’t really REAL until I landed in Glasgow! It was my first time working outside of Canada…I’ve worked on many American shows, but they were all shot within Canada, so this was a special experience. There is something magical about Scotland. It’s indescribable. It’s a very spiritual place. Best experience of my career thus far.
From the moment your character of Wahkatiiosta came on screen you gave her this essence that spoke ‘strong warrior’. Tell me about that. I fell in love with Wahkatiiosta right from the start…when I auditioned, they were looking for a woman in her 50’s that could tell the Otter Tooth story, and someone to lead the Warriors in to accost Jamie and Claire for the stone. When I booked it I thought, “well this is the oldest I’ve ever portrayed!” 😂
Then I got the scripts and she had been rewritten as “30’s”…and that helped a lot, especially once I saw what they were planning to dress me in….I embraced a more youthful energy and she just got more and more tomboy as I contemplated who this woman is…because she’s not in the books. She was created for the series, so I got to create her in my mind! She is two-spirited, she has very masculine tendencies, but she’s still a woman so much of her strength lies in her emotion. She loves deeply, LOVES her people and would do anything for them, but she wears this invisible armour. It’s all over her.
When I heard Carmen’s take on Wahkatiiosta, I watched both Providence and Man of Worth again, I urge you to do the same. Come back and let me know in the comments if it impacted how you saw her. I ask you to do this because I am curious if your thoughts match mine. I appreciated Carmen’s portrayal the first few times I watched but after hearing her speak of her creation of the character – I ‘saw’ her and there was a depth I had missed. It makes me wish we could have the artists who connect with their characters tell us what they feel is at the heart of their performances because I believe it brings us closer to them.
Can you tell me more about Wahkatiiosta? Your speaking voice for her was gravelly and set- it gave me chills- what was your influence for that? I had just spent a couple of days in Montreal before flying to Scotland meeting the director (Sonia Bonspille Boileau) and my co-stars for the Indy feature I shot last summer (Rustic Oracle). They are all Mohawk, and oddly enough I played a Mohawk woman in that film as well. I tried to listen to their accents out on Kanesatake and Kahnawake (First Nations reserves in Quebec) and mimic them as best I could, and Sonia explained how it’s similar to French in some aspects…the “ongh” sounds, like when you say no in French “non”…it’s somewhat nasal and they speak from the back of the throat. That helped tremendously. My friend Kim from Tyendinaga had translated all my English dialogue for my audition into Mohawk for me. After spending weeks studying our Mohawk lines with our translators and cultural advisors, Wahkatiiosta’s voice just sort of came out that way. Sometimes the characters I portray surprise me as they emerge. It’s like they have a life of their own and Carmen is just the vessel.
And what a badass fighter! The scenes where you were fighting your Mohawk family to get Roger and his family out of the village may have been visually dark but the fighting scenes were awesome. It really looked like it would be fun to do. Can you tell us about those sequences? I was super excited to do my own stunts for that! I did have a stunt double just in case (Cherie Shot Both Sides was on stand by), but we are quite different body types, so if I had felt uncomfortable doing stunts it would have been obvious it wasn’t me! But, I was game! Our first take running from the “idiothut” as I’m leading the group was interesting. Our director Stephen (Woolfenden) said during rehearsal “make sure you’re looking back to make sure they’re behind you”…so, first take I did. I looked behind me as I was running, hit a tree stump, or root, or something and down I went! I bailed. I think Sam almost tripped over me! 😂🤣 I wish I had that moment actually…maybe they have it in a blooper reel somewhere…
Watch Carmen get some direction for her badassery with this exclusive BTS video.
The last we saw Wahkatiiosta, she was banished from the Mohawk. To me, this could be an open door for her return to the series. Since she is a character created for the show with no storyline laid out for her that we are aware of. Would you be open to reprising the role at a later date? OF COURSE, I WOULD!!! I would absolutely LOVE to go back…yes, Scotland is amazing, and it’s always great to be working, blah, blah…but, I really miss everyone I worked with. And Wahkatiiosta is such a joy to portray…I’ve already mentioned she’s my favourite character I’ve ever taken on. So, yeah…I would jump at the chance…
Livin’ the dream. You were able to work with many of Outlanders main cast. Break it down in about a sentence for us what your thoughts were on them.
I understand many of the actors/esses that joined you on set have worked together before or at least have knowledge of one another, what was it like to be all together across the ocean in this new place, doing what you love with people that you know? Yes…I had a number of friends there. Some I’d known for years, and some that I’d met briefly here and there. That was surreal. To be overseas on this incredible set with familiar faces. And, of course, we all became a little family…I still stay in touch on Facebook with a number of the background and stunt performers because we spent 4 weeks together…some of them had been there for much longer. Gregory Odjig (who played Satehoronies) said at one point as we’re looking around our incredible Mohawk village, “We’re at work right now…in Scotland…that’s awesome!” 🤣
I have spoken to others that have said good things about Outlanders portrayal of the Native culture but I am interested in your take as you have appeared in many productions. How do you feel Outlander stacked up? I was uber impressed when I went for my wardrobe fitting and the costumers explained how long they had been researching the culture. Most everything was made by hand, and they showed me pictures of the stuff they tried to recreate. They went back as far as they could with what’s been documented, but of course, had to take some artistic liberties here and there for things that are too old to have any records of. They tried to be and were as respectful and accurate as they could be. Our translators/cultural advisors were from Akwesasne and were there to answer any questions we had. Of course, it IS television, it IS make-believe…it is a science-fiction show about TIME-TRAVEL! 😁 So, I had to let my guard down a little here and there and make some concessions. For example, I don’t believe a Mohawk woman would EVER abandon her child for a man 😉Also, Native people don’t speak that fast! I was constantly being told to speed up my dialogue (because they only have 42 minutes for each episode! 🤣) and I really struggled with that because Mohawk words (and, any Native language for that matter) take time to get out properly. So, I felt as though I was speaking in warp speed. I actually have a line that I speak to Tom and I feel like they sped up the tape! 🤣
All in all, they did a VERY good job 💖
Until I can create my own memories in Scotland *insert feel bad for Sherry here*, I live through other peoples adventures. What are some of your fondest memories from your time there? Hahaha…the fondest memory was throwing pillows out our hotel window to the boys below so we could have the most epic pillow fight in George Square! Running through the streets of Glasgow at night, pillows in hand, strange looks from everyone, cast versus background/stunts…there must have been about 40 of us. 🤣😂 It was beautiful. I did a live Facebook video of it all. That, and putting the cones on The Duke of Wellington statue.😉
OK, that looked like a crazy amount of fun. Those are some 3rd level pillow fights! Click on those links so you can see for yourselves. If you ask me…when Carmen is left to entertain herself, it seems she gathers up the boys and tells them what’s happening and how they are getting there. I need to mention, I really like her! You can also watch a lovely video she took while on an excursion to Loch Lomond with her friend and co-star Sera-Lys McArthur (Johiehon) by clicking HERE!
Carmen has an upcoming project, Rustic Oracle. MMIWG (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls) has been a plague in our country that has largely gone ignored because of the systematic racism our First Nation population faces. I asked Carmen to share a little about her involvement in this movie. Rustic Oracle was filmed last summer in Oka and Kanesatake. It’s finished and is being submitted to film festivals at the moment, with a theatrical release scheduled for later this year. I haven’t seen it yet but spoke to Sonia recently and she’s very excited to share it. 💕
It’s set in the mid-‘90’s, 6 years after the Oka crisis so there’s still a LOT of tension between Mohawk and non-native. Written and directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau, it’s the story of a single mother (me) searching for her missing teenage daughter, but told through the eyes of the 8-year-old sister (the amazing Lake Delisle). I jumped at the chance to shed a little more light on this epidemic in Canada and the US, that not enough has been done about. It’s not going to be an easy one to watch, that’s for sure…but, so SO important.
I think saying I am looking forward to seeing it would sound flippant. I certainly am intrigued. Facing these truths is uncomfortable, especially for us not living in the communities affected. We stand on the outside, looking in. Very often, judging something or someone we know very little about. What do you feel, we as a society can do to improve our relationship with our first nations cousins? We assign ourselves proud when they perform in productions we love, yet we pay little attention to the troubles here on our doorstep. I believe listening to those who know is the first step. What can we do? That is a BIG, BIG question…that I don’t think anyone has an easy answer to. There is so much to be done in regards to reconciliation with the First Peoples of Turtle Island. It doesn’t help that this country’s racism is still so hidden and dismissed as non-existent…and further to that, we have a Prime Minister who used the mask of solidarity with First Nations to get elected but its now spitting in our faces.
They love the celebrities, but shoot the troubled Native youths in the head and call it “defending my property”, they claim that the culture is so beautiful, but let our dead sisters murderer go free…they steal our babies because Native children are worth more in the foster care system…they talk about sustainable energy, and let’s get rid of plastic straws because that will make such a difference, but they judge our people for blocking the pipelines trying to go through Native land, because…you know…economy…why is it always NATIVE land the pipelines are crossing? Because they wouldn’t DARE put non-natives at risk like that…
Wow…I just went on a rant…what’s the answer to all of this? Maybe acknowledgment is the first step.
When we read a message like the one Carmen shared with us here and feel shame, sadness, anger or yes, maybe even offence, that should be a sign to us. A sign that says we need to get on the right side of this. I am grateful that she spoke the hard truth. This isn’t a simple political issue, it is a human one.
That is why I will continue to listen as long as those like Carmen, continue to talk. We need to learn because it is the only way we will grow. Be an ally.
That got pretty deep so – from one extreme to another. I end my interviews with pure silliness. Why? Because I’m a bit of a goober and after heavy stuff, I think levity is a good thing.
Carmen, as a Canadian you get the upper hand because you probably know what these Alberta goodies are but here we go anyway.
We, the ABOotlanders, have invited you to dinner and being the guest of honour, you get to choose the main course, tell us which one catches your fancy?
A) Moose Droppings B) Beaver Tails C) Prairie Oysters D) Taber Corn
What the heck???! 🤣😂 I’m going to McDonald’s… I LOVE THIS, the first time anyone has ever demanded an early checkout. This woman is my kinda people. Definitely not prairie oysters…I’m not a big beaver tail fan…moose droppings I could probably indulge in…I’ve never had Taber corn, and I love corn…so, I’d probably go with that 😉
It was so great getting to know Carmen. She is one of those people you want to sit down, have a great meal with but know your food is going to get cold because you are too busy talking and laughing.
I am very much looking forward to seeing her upcoming projects and am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that we see her again on Outlander. #BringBackWahkatiiosta, that could be a thing right?
Until next time,
Sherry (ABOotlander founder)
Funny, the way things happen. All season I have been happily live-tweeting our #OutlanderCAN hashtag each episode as they air on W Network, here in Canada. I then ponder over each episode to try and pull something not so obvious from it. I have gotten decent feedback most of the time and am pretty proud of what I have done in both departments.
It so happens that during the airing of season 4’s finale, I ended up in the emergency department of my local health center and then whisked to the hospital for testing. What was I thinking about? Well…my imminent death or loss of a limb was first in my mind but I was also thinking about not being there to live tweet. I’m not even shitting you. I was thinking about that. So I tweeted to apologize and explain why I wouldn’t be there. Like people cared like I did. I mean, come on.
There is where the “not so obvious” for the season finale popped up for me. It’s not about you. The season finale wasn’t about me being there to live tweet or not, how important do I think I am anyway? 🙄 There were many instances I could easily say that to a character during the episode. I also find it amazing how often this happens in our every day. We tend to personalize other peoples behaviour, internalize it and make it about ourselves. We will get it in our heads that other people get up in the morning just to make ‘our‘ day more difficult. A little FYI, that usually isn’t a thing. Most peoples objective is to do things “for” themselves, not “against” someone else. This is not to say there is not collateral damage, there always is. That usually isn’t their intent.
The opening title card scene we see two young boys running around playing what they are taught to believe is an innocent child’s game of “Cowboys and Indians.” Watching is a proud Native American man that we later realize is Otter-Tooth because of the gemstone around his neck. This is not about the children, this is not about the ignorance of the systematic racism that caused us to believe this game wasn’t hurting anyone. This is about the man on the bench, the history of his people being changed and being replaced by society.
Claire, Ian and Jamie make their way into the Mohawk village looking for Roger. They know he is there. All three are trying to wheel and deal to get him back. Claire ends up with her scarf off and Otter-tooths gemstone exposed. This causes many in the tribe to gasp in fright and move away. Claire and Jamie’s first reaction is to calm them down, say they mean no harm, they want to help, to trade. Their immediate first thoughts are about what they can do for them. This isn’t about you Claire. This isn’t even about the tribe. This is about the gemstone. It is about the fear the tribe has for what that gemstone represents.
Murtagh has more than a few “this ain’t about you” buddy moments. What I found very interesting was it was Ulysses that silently gave him a lesson. Murtagh and Jocasta are discussing Brianna’s impending marriage to LJG. Which, Murtagh is taking very personally. There was one point when the discussion between Jocasta and Murtagh went from curt to argumentative. We could only see Ulysses’s hands- he went from gently holding them in front of him to loose fists at his side. Signalling protection. When Jocasta decides to leave Murtagh to his food, Ulysses takes her arm and offers Murtagh his assistance but with a very curt manner, the extra eyebrow added all we needed to know in this scene. Jocasta and Ulysses were letting Murtagh know Brianna’s future…not about you dude. Little did they know…it wasn’t about them either.
Going back to Otter-tooth for a little bit. I know people get upset about the story here, about his message of killing all the white people, of the war he wanted to lead in order to save his people. It upsets me too but maybe for different reasons. It upsets me because it would seem like the logical thing to do if I were in his place. If I were to be 100% honest with myself, which is not an easy task in any event, what he was saying would be the most effective way to save his people. It’s brutal and it is ugly, so is what the Native Americans and First Nations people of North America went through because of colonization. So, for this one. It’s not about you. Or me. Or any of the people Otter-tooth wanted to save his people and his history from. It was about the Mohawk and what they ultimately went through.
We finally get to Roger. Finally. Naturally, there is this crazy “no take-backsies” going on but since trading seems to be the currency in all things, even peopley things, Jamie offers himself up. Young Ian goes to work something out, in this, he thinks he is a better deal than the old gingersnap. Jamie is caught off guard, assumes he will rescue Ian away or Young Ian will escape when Ian shuts him down. This isn’t about you Uncle Jamie. Young Ian swore to the Mohawk, he gave them his word. He would stay with them, in return, Roger could go with Jamie and Claire, back to Brianna. Sweet Young Ian was taking responsibility for his actions as well as making a choice for his future. One that didn’t have anything to do with anyone else. Sometimes the choices others make can hurt us but they aren’t making them ‘to‘ hurt us. We have to be aware of that.
So, off goes Roger with Claire and Jamie. The first opportunity he gets to put a beating on Jamie, he takes it. I don’t blame him in the least. Apparently, neither does Jamie. Claire tries to stop him but Jamie knows, this is what Roger needs right now. I believe Jamie also wants Roger to let loose on him. His form of penance so to speak. In a way, Jamie is making Roger’s rage about him in order to rid himself of some of the guilt he feels over what he has done. Error in judgement or not, he owns it, as he should.
When Roger doesn’t go back with them to River Run right away, I don’t think it about the news that Brianna’s baby is possibly Bonnet’s. I think it is more about staying in the past. This has never been the plan. This is a new thing. It not just about Roger and Bree and their future anymore. It is about being a family in a completely different time. It is about living in a family with a man that damn near beat you to death and sold you to the Mohawk. It’s about living in a time when your wife was raped. This is a dangerous world and making the choice to live there. Making a choice like that without taking a moment to think would be doing a disservice to yourself and to the one you love. Not to mention all the people that will end up in your life as you move forward. This is a case of it’s not just about you.
Brianna was the one that was the victim of so much “It’s not about you” that it was painful to watch. Only because she did personalize so much of it. I was thankful that the birthing scene was Bree focused. It showed her strength, tenacity, ability and her dedication to doing this thing on her own when everything came down to it. Yes, she had her aunt there, her friends but ultimately, giving birth is about a mother and her child. There is no need a secondary narrative to focus on there. When Bree held her son for the first time, this story became about him now. That was her choice. Her love for him shone through.
When Claire and Jamie arrived back at River Run without Roger, the look that came over Bree’s face when she realized he wasn’t with them was pure heartache. It wasn’t about her but we all do what Bree did. She was personalizing Roger not coming back. Very likely creating a story in her head to match the pain she was feeling. It is such a common mechanism for us humans and so often our imaginations don’t match the reality. We replay other peoples choices like we have control over them. It is this weird dance we do. If I had done a, b or c. Only, it doesn’t work like that because they will always make the choices they want to no matter what we do. Roger does return to her though, as I knew he would. He returns to claim her as his wife and the baby as his son. It isn’t about any one person, it becomes about them as a family.
As Red Coats come riding up to River Run everyone assumes they are after Murtagh because he is, after all, the local fugitive in hiding. Jocasta and Murtagh share a little tête-à-tête that both Claire and Jamie witness and share their WTF faces. It’s ok guys, THIS little love affair…isn’t about you, so step off. Aunty Jo is getting herself some Silver Foxtail on the side and won’t be listening to any of your nonsense about it.
Last and certainly not least is the not so love letter from Governor Tryon. Jamie is expected to follow his beck and call. In this case, that means whippin’ up a militia and hunting down and killing Murtagh.
Well, Tryon, I know he likes to think everyone is just clamouring to serve him and his brilliant red coat wearing English army but here is the thing, they aren’t. No matter what Jamie’s obligation is to him we know that Jamie’s first obligation is to his family. It always has been and will be. Gov. Tryon happens to think this whole Regulator thing is me against them. That is where he is wrong. The Regulators have said from the start, they are more than willing to pay taxes, they are not willing to pay for the elites shitty castles and corruption. Plain as day, Gov. Tryon. Not. About. You. It’s about the people he is supposed to be helping. If he were to take the same amount of time he takes to fight them and listen to them instead, he might learn from them. Even this shows us we often make up our minds because we feel attacked when someone disagrees with us. Instead of listening we react. So much can be lost when all of that noise is happening.
Imagine. 13 weeks of Outlander is already gone. POOF! I absolutely loved this season. Every episode I enjoyed for different reasons and I was able to learn a little something in the hidden corners that helped me realize the writers, directors, cast and crew give so much to it. Still, Outlander isn’t about me.
It’s about so many people. Too many people to ever keep track of or make happy and that’s o.k. too. Want to know why? That is what makes life interesting. We can have animated conversations. We can discuss what we love, what we don’t and the things we missed and maybe why we think things were done the way they were. What I think the secret might be is respecting one another’s views and opinions as just that. Personal opinions based on personal experiences. They don’t have to assume someone else’s intent or be presented as facts. We can have fun with it because when it comes down to it, this thing called Outlander is a TV show that is created for our entertainment. It is supposed to bring up emotions. All of them. That is what makes great TV.
I’m not going to stop blogging over #Droughtlander, granted, I probably won’t do one once a week. I hope that we can keep each other company, stay engaged and not lose focus of what brought us together in the first place. A great story.
Sher (Founder of the #ABOotlanders)
That got your attention huh? Just like the cold but hot open of this episode probably got you. I know my attention was captured, but a naked Roger will do that.
Now, this may be very obvious to everyone out there and you may say to me that this blog is the worst of the season because I haven’t dug deep enough and that’s fair. I don’t think I really did. This just stuck with me through the 3 times I watched. It became more and more obvious and the reality is, I wanted to talk about it, so I am.
In this episode, our characters were on full display. They might as well have been playing their parts how Roger started the show for us. In the raw. That would have made the dinner party a lot less appetizing mind you.
The levels of exposure we saw in If Not For Hope went deep. This may take me a while so you might want to pour yourself something hot or cold, grab a snack or two.
The obvious is Roger. His literal nakedness isn’t just there for our viewing pleasure. I believe it speaks to a few things. He is now stripped completely of who he was. The buttoned-up historian of many layers. Each one tore away until he was bare and now, being recreated. This Roger we will get to know was always beneath the layers but had no reason to be exposed. The layers have been ripped away and no longer protect him, this Roger steps forward to run the show. Well, at least keep one foot in front of the other. Which is all we can seem to hope for.
Granted, Roger himself wasn’t physically present in the episode but make no mistake, he was there. Through Brianna, Claire, Jamie, Ian and even Lord John, each bringing him to the surface. They repeatedly reminded us of how perilous Roger’s situation is. How he was relying on them to save him from this situation they had a hand in placing him in (except Lord John…he’s cool).
Roger is completely on the outside of all of this. He has no reason to believe anyone is looking for him. He has to trust that Brianna loves him as much as he loves her. That, my friends, is blind faith. Which is perhaps the most vulnerable anyone can make themselves emotionally. This is intricately tied to the horrific moment at the end of the episode. Roger makes himself just as vulnerable physically. He realizes what he needs to do. He stands to accept a substantial beating at the hands of his captors in a type of gauntlet, a blind faith, trusting he is strong enough to make it through.
Personally, I would have rathered another shower scene. Richard Rankin, for the lack of screen time, has most certainly given Roger a surprising amount of depth.
I will add, it would be fantastic to see either, in conversation or flashback, what happened at those damnable stones. Richard conveys so much of what Roger thinks in facial expression alone (something I think this cast is flippin’ remarkable at) I would love a peek at that moment.
Please know I do not view vulnerability as weakness. It is a state of being from which each one of us needs to be in, in order to trust or love.
In Brianna’s case, she was all over the vulnerability scale from frailty, threat, disquiet and even pliancy during this episode. She was open to her own pain, in fact, the first moment we saw her in this episode she was in the midst of drawing it. Lizzie saw this as demons. They were in a sense, Brianna’s own demons…of sadness, anger and worry.
Speaking of Brianna’s drawings, it seemed she was using them to expose her disquiet. The opening credits showed many pictures of the slaves at work. Phaedre came into her room, Brianna saw how the light caught her face, she asked Phaedre to sit so she could draw her. To me, this showed Brianna’s discomfort with the way this world was working around her. She was able to capture that and put it to paper. I do believe Phaedre was pleased with being seen by Brianna, yet, you could feel her unease. Even if she were safe with Brianna at that moment, she was only safe with Brianna at that moment. The second someone else came into that room that safety would disappear instantly.
Next is Brianna, exposed lamb to the slaughter, Tinder 1700’s version. This was painful to watch with a modern eye. I had to keep facepalming myself to reset.
Seeing Brianna have to shut down the fake compliments, the greasy ‘we should ride into town alone together after just meeting one another’ and ‘hey, my mom doesn’t know I’m gay, let’s pretend to be bff’s.’, was too much. Brianna made the right call with the fake ‘case of the vapours’ to get the hell out of there. I now know why so many women fainted back in those days and it wasn’t because of the tight corsets. Women are tougher than that. It was to get the hell out of the room and away from all the creeps. They literally had to pretend they were unconscious before people would let them leave the damn room.
After the delightful dinner party (she says with dripping sarcasm), Jocasta gets some alone time with Brianna and in that small amount of time Brianna pliancy grew. At first, she started this conversation out strong but Jocasta, always cunning, knows exactly which string to pull to unravel even the most complex of patterns and she does just that. She grabbed onto the Roger and baby strings and pulled, hard. Brianna went from bold to pliant, which is a completely different variant of vulnerability. Jocasta used the perfect words to cut Brianna down and weaken her ‘Roger’s gone…no matter dead or alive. GONE.’ ‘If your baby is born out of wedlock, their life is RUINED.’ Brianna is brought to the point of being forced to look at her situation as the condition it is being referred to.
Jumping ahead Brianna is armed with what she thinks is the blackmail of the century. Bree decided to hit LJG where it hurts, in the ‘being gay is punishable by death’ spot. She felt this was a pretty great plan, she could coerce him into marrying her because she knew this big secret and he would never want to sleep with her because he didn’t like women. Win Win. LJG is a great guy and all but he isn’t one to be trifled with. He clapped back, letting her know the Vaginawagon wasn’t in mint condition and she would do well to stand down.
That moment with LJG is where Bree is the most exposed. She allowed him to know all the details of her pregnancy and her desire to protect her child even over her own happiness. It proves it doesn’t matter if we are trying to show others how strong we are, if there are cracks in the armour, someone will get through it. Even if it ends up being us, no one can stay locked in there forever. It’s stifling.
Lord John Grey. That name deserves a moment. He isn’t one you would feel is in a state of vulnerability given his status. Lord John, however, is a man who happens to love men. In colonial America, this is a crime punishable by death. This instantly makes Lord John a person in jeopardy. The moment he is introduced to Brianna you can see him soften from Lord John Grey…to John, Jamie’s friend. Which in itself brings an openness to him. Since he is raising Willie, Jamie’s son, it makes sense that he would have a soft spot for Brianna, Jamie’s daughter. You would think when LJG is most vulnerable is when Bree exposes his throat and threatens to chow down on it by telling the world he is gay. The idea may be threatening but after the initial imagery passes, he knows this won’t happen. The moments he is truly most vulnerable is when he is speaking of his relationship with Jamie and Claire. When he speaks to her of Willie. Many of LJGs vulnerabilities lay in the secrets he must keep. The more people he opens himself up to, the more likely those secrets will be exposed.
Lord John chose to keep Brianna and the child safe by becoming engaged to her. It was LJG , after all, who told Bree to trust that Jamie and Claire would bring Roger back. By promising to marry her, he was giving her the hope she needed and saving her heart from breaking any more.
It certainly was beautiful to see Marsali and Fergus again. Their relationship is one I wish we could get more of. They are strong and fierce but when it comes to one another, so tender. Fergus is being attacked by a toxic mentality of not being ‘man’ enough and Marsali is requesting Murtagh fix it. She knows very well she could tell Fergus, a million times, he is more man than anyone, it won’t make a difference. Until Fergus feels that himself, it will tear at him.
When we love someone, even things we are not responsible for, weigh heavily on us. We want to fix them, which will sometimes cause us to be exposed to our own vulnerabilities. Marsali is not a fan of asking for help, but she does, for her husband. It works out perfectly in the end as Fergus feels needed but also knows his place is with his family.
Marsali knew she wasn’t responsible for Fergus’s pain but she worried about it. We see Jamie worrying about Brianna’s pain, and he did cause hers. Naturally, this is weighing very heavily on not only him but Claire. Both are in solitary and pensive states.
I believe as long as Brianna feels angry, Jamie will feel guilty. That is par for the course, isn’t it? As family dynamics go, when we hurt someone, intentionally or not, most will stew about it, worry, wonder what we can do (if we can do) anything to fix it. Jamie was in his own head, as he should be. A big part of forgiveness is beating ourselves up, I think we all know that.
Taking responsibility for our actions means owning them and feeling bad they happened. Wrapping it all together means having apologized and trying to make things better. Sadly, when we attempt to make things better we become vulnerable to not being forgiven. That is the scariest thing of all. When we have created pain for someone, it is never up to us if they can move past it. I think that is why Jamie is in this space he has created. Jamie’s future happiness as a father to Brianna is 100% out of his control. What an all together powerless feeling, but one he understands, from the things he said.
Claire knows some of this though, she is the healer. She does that for them both, physically and emotionally. She identifies the wound, assesses the treatment and then, she does the best she can. The same we do for those we love. In turn, we expect those who love us to accept it. This couple is best when they share their vulnerabilities and allow the other to be the strength where they lack. With each struggle, bump in the road, argument and disappointment – couples grow. We see Claire and Jamie settled into their life as a couple but still growing and that’s important.
Knowing we are watching Brianna and Roger in their infancy as a couple excites me because it means we still have so much more to look forward to. There is nowhere to go but up.
Now that I wasted a whole hour of your day, I will wrap it up. I could go on to mention every character and how they were vulnerable and exposed but even I get tired of myself…
When we get naked, let our vulnerabilities be exposed – do we do it knowing there is the possibility of getting hurt? Do we hide our nakedness all together so no one has the opportunity to hurt us but we are so lonely…it hurts? Maybe we only allow certain people to catch a glimpse here and there and still find ourselves harmed in some way.
Life is messy, isn’t it? It’s messy…but it’s beautiful. It’s chaotic…but it’s an adventure. What we focus on expands…what are we choosing to look at?
We only have 2 more episodes left before the next Droughtlander commences my friends, this had gone by so fast!
Sher (Founder of the ABOotlanders)
Please live tweet with us Canadians as we watch on W Network at 8pm MST using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN
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)
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I need to start by saying my heart was overjoyed to see the rabbit. Just yeah, bring on the Bree-bunnies, I will have them all. That was an emotional bridge over all of the seasons that I was both surprised and thrilled by.
This episode of Outlander gave me whiplash. That sensation of running back and forth across an emotional bridge. One moment I was giddy with happiness and love the next, I hoofed it to the other end and was brought to tears. Now look, I am, in fact, bipolar…this episode made me need a therapy session cuz I wasn’t sure if I forgot my meds or what!
The despondency of Roger in his poop toque (yes, I had to) walking away from Ms. Bairds is heartbreaking, yet in the next breath, we were given a wee bit of hope when hearing her call him back. Then the letter brought us back down to earth – flat on our asses.
Claire as a healer, handing a new baby to her mother with kind and gentle hands was then switched to a mediator, showing incredible bravery in the face of ignorance. Ignorance which nearly caused bloodshed on a doorstep because a man refused to see the truth of a situation out of fear.
We felt the anticipation and pure joy of hearing Murtagh’s voice and again when he turned to face Jamie. We had to witness the confusion/pride and ultimately the heartbreak Jamie felt watching his godfather wax poetic about the injustices served, in the name of Tryon.
We became an audience to the magic Claire and Adawehi shared speaking of Bree being with her mother. Only then to suffer the horror of Adawehi’s murder.
Brianna, though we didn’t see her much in this episode, tends to do the same as her mother. Act first, think later. She found out about her mother and Jamie dying in the fire and boom…off she goes, caring about Roger but not truly thinking about how this might affect him. Maybe not really thinking how it might affect her in the long run. Her heart leads her. Honestly, I don’t blame her. It isn’t a fate I would leave my mother to either, though I think I would have had a conversation with the man I loved first. Granted, Brianna doesn’t seem to want to admit that she does love him yet. I’m anxious to get to that part of the story – bring me some more #MacnCheese, please!
Personally, I think Roger has been putting his logic before his emotions. That’s what makes our world a cool place. People are different. He thought it through quite thoroughly and came to the conclusion that Brianna was better off not knowing the whole truth. He just didn’t take into account, if the information was out there, she would be able to find it too. I have this suspicious feeling, all of those emotions we see all over Roger’s face (damn, Richard Rankin is GOOD at that), are going to start leading him by the nose hairs and shit is going to go down. And go down hard.
Murtagh’s story is one I am so looking forward to because I have no fricken idea what it will look like. I am convinced he had more dialogue in this one episode than he did in the entire 3 seasons prior. I adore his voice. O.K., I’m distracted by the silver foxiness of Duncan Lacroix, it gets me stuck in this crazy circle of hummina hummina. His emotions were at an all-time high this episode. Naturally. He was reunited and it felt so good. He had a fire in his belly that had been re-ignited from injustice done in his past which are resurfacing in his present. He always was a protector of Jamie, now I believe he adjusted that to being the protector of a people. Of justice itself. He did end up on Fraser’s Ridge after some thought, so I am very anxious to hear what that thought process was and what the plan will be.
This episode was filled with our characters joy and pain, such as life is. Each time led by emotion, as we often are. That isn’t a bad thing, however, if we took the time to truly think about things before we reacted to them, we can admit we would often do things differently. I know I can think back to many times in my life that I wish I could stuff words back in my mouth…delete something I did. There are even those times I don’t say or do something and after I have time to think about it, I want to kick myself because I come up with all these brilliant things I COULD have said or done.
Until next time,
Sherry (Founder of the ABOotlanders)
Here I am again, trying to not just pick through the obvious or delve into the dramedy of the week for each episode of Outlander.
Truth be told, I am doing it more to challenge myself, tear off a couple of layers and see something a bit different. It helps me stretch my brain basket out.
The plentiful nuggets of common ground between characters and the land are both unmistakable and subtlely scattered throughout the episode. It gives the title of the episode a lot of meaning. I am going to nudge that aside so we can experience the remnants of all the things that aren’t and how they showed up numerous times in Common Ground.
We all do it. Take one glance at someone or thing, get our first impression, assume we know the story and continue on with that notion in our head. We may tend to block all the other stuff out because it doesn’t suit what we have already convinced ourselves is real.
Starting instantly with the Governor Tryon scene. This guy. Him and his “I want the best people to settle the land” and “I’m noble and wonderful and everything good about the British.”
We know that there is a dash of dastardly tucked underneath that powdered wig and tighty whities (stockings) of his. Certainly not all noble nor wonderful. In fact, here we have a couple of duplicitous characters. Jamie has been a traitor before. That is where I was going with the “not everything is what it seems” with this particular scene. I believe Jamie eluded to this in his comments to Claire about making this a great country for Brianna earlier in the season. It certainly isn’t just in building Fraser’s Ridge but the impact he might have in the coming revolution.
Oh, then we have Marsali. Remember when we first met her? Our initial impression? Wow. What a snide wee thing she was.
But why? Outwardly, she most certainly hated Claire and wasn’t afraid to show it. In return, many instantly thought her a mean-spirited brat. Marsali, let us not forget, is a teenager. Her only knowledge of this Claire woman is the image she had painted by her very bitter mother (whom she loves dearly, she should, she IS her mom). Any daughter would take her mother’s side and react accordingly. Claire, being the adult, totally understood this and didn’t take it personally. She let it ride.
What we saw at the beginning of the episode is the growth of both of these characters. How many stepdaughter/mother relationships never heal? You can have two fantastic human beings who will hate one another forever because of the completely separate relationship of two other people they both love. It is a real head-scratcher. ( Yes I know…some people ARE just horrible, I’m not talking about them😉) Marsali and Claire have chosen to look at one another as individuals. Apart from those relationships and are better for it. Imagine both of them taking their first impressions and holding onto them? How ugly would that be to watch, week after week?
Leaving Marsali and Fergus, of course, reminds Claire of leaving Brianna. Jamie opens his mouth and the word version of cotton candy, unicorns, rainbows and butterflies escape his lips. It seems such a special moment, between Jamie and Claire. If we were to step upon that moment we would see the love and the connection.
What we wouldn’t see is the pain. Claire being torn up on the inside. How many times has this happened to us? In public, surrounded by people and able to look to the person in front of us and manage a grin – all the while, inside, we’re screaming in pain? Yet, there we were, fooling nearly every person in the room because they only see what we allow them to.
It doesn’t always have to be people, it can be nature. It was present throughout this episode. Frasers Ridge itself, visually captivating, has a dream-like quality to it. When that happens, the brain does funny things. When we think something is beautiful, we tend to feel better when we are around it, when we feel better, we feel safer, when we feel safer, we may let our guard down. Letting our guard down isn’t always a horrible thing but when there is something else out there that is looking to harm us, it uses that vulnerability to its advantage. Nature itself is like this, whether it be the creatures that make it their home or the weather itself. Both of these can dispell the wonderful first impression of beauty such places give. It reminds us just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s kind.
Let’s get comfy and talk about Roger and Bree. After last weeks dumpster fire of miscommunication, what do we have to look forward to? By all appearances, not a fricken thing. After Brianna left Roger at the festival to find a TapCar back to Boston we don’t have much hope.
Roger has returned to his various shades of brown existence at Oxford. He seems to be going by exactly what Brianna has given him during his call to her and vice-versa. There are no questioning things deeper on either part and yet, if one of them had, so much of the miscommunication could have been remedied at least a little bit. Settling for what is on the surface can sometimes be our way of taking the easy way out. Let’s face it if we simply take the generic “I have to go grade papers”, it excuses us from taking a chance and asking “Do you miss me?” Sure, we avoid the possibility of them saying the very thing we fear but it also prevents them from saying the one thing we hope they would.
Fiona looks quiet and innocent but that girl has got all the people figured out and just so happens, she serves it with grace. Everyone should have a girlfriend like her. The kind that people sadly mistake for a piece of the furniture. She sees and hears everything. They are the ones that will be able to tell you what’s what and where you can find it. We would be better humans if we paid more attention to what women like Fiona have to say instead of keeping them a silent witness to everything around us. I bet if we all thought about it, we could think of a few of those women throughout our lives and be surprised at how we allowed them to stay in the shadows. How we still utilized their gifts and input when they shared them but rarely asked them for it. Hell, you may be one of those people yourself. So let me just say…you are valued…in case you haven’t heard it lately.
Now, to the glaringly obvious “it is not what it appears to be” is our bear. First, the menace and destruction were thought to be the Cherokee neighbours. Then, the monster bear. There were pretty clear signs pointing toward that. It likes meat, pooped like nobodies business, left a pretty serious claw slashing down the shoulder of Findlay, Fraser’s trusty steed. Had the Fraser’s been aware of the Cherokee’s dealings with the cracked but not broken bear-man, they would have known what they were truly dealing with, rather than go by what their eyes were telling them. This just proves the whole “working together” gets better results theory. Pretty simple stuff, this one.
I must mention the fact that Brianna went to Scotland WEEKS ago to visit her MOTHER! I don’t think this was a simple case of Brianna just missing her Momma. Roger thinking Brianna would only know the information he was giving her, seems to have been a case of underestimation. This is something many of us do as well, which is why I love how these characters are written. They are relatable. We often predict what others will do based on what we would do. We interpret others actions as a reflection of our own intent. Sometimes we are accurate but not always and it is the ‘not always’ that tends to cause us to stumble. It pays to look deeper, or step back to see the big picture. It may be uncomfortable but the outcome will often be a positive one.
First impressions should be just that. An impression. They are developed in an instant but given time, they can be remoulded, reshaped and in some cases, shattered and recreated. The more we discuss, observe and listen, the better we get at understanding the whole picture. The whole picture tells a story one word never could.
RTs would be cool if you feel others might enjoy a piece of this. Come live tweet with us Canadian folk, we watch Outlander on W Network at 8 PM MST Sundays. We use the hashtag #OutlanderCAN to keep track of one another and help others gauge where the commercials are. Yeah…we have phones with cords AND commercials. It’s ok though. We are a hearty people.
Until next time…and I already CAN. NOT. WAIT!
Sher (ABOotlander founder)
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