The bonds that make us. When I went Down the Rabbit Hole Ep 07 #Outlander

Hard to believe we are over halfway through season 4.  There have been so many heated, well thought out and random discussions in the fandom and then here I am…picking something out of the blue to yammer on about.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. For the surprise appearances and how they made me feel. There were a lot of those…feels.

I believe, like the characters in this episode showed us, the bonds created in our life help form who we become. They are huge contributors to developing our personalities and how we relate to others.  Genetics is one thing but the influence of those we surround ourselves with and the interactions we end up having with those people is a large part of who we become.

We see a great deal of Brianna’s past in this episode. Not just in the literal past, but her past. The relationship she had with her father, Frank.  Which I think most daughters can say, good or bad, help form who they become as women.  That relationship will establish how deeply we trust, our loyalties and most important of all be a major contributor to the confidence we have (or don’t have).  The father figure etches parts of us that we can’t recarve.  It’s there.  We can sand it back down but it takes work and it whittles away at the way it was.  Brianna was blessed to have a beautiful experience and positive relationship with the father who raised her.

This episode showed us, it doesn’t matter what we may think about Frank. Our opinion, our view of him, won’t ever be a reflection of Brianna’s experience.  She was ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and even though that comes with its own set of challenges, Brianna has a deep love for her Daddy.  She, of course, wants to be independent and strong, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want his validation.  Naturally, Claire’s determination and willfulness comes out in Bree and Frank handles it with a gentle hand, more so than he did with Claire. That in itself shows the care he had for Brianna and why she saw him the way she did.

Brianna continued to seek Franks approval. Even after he died.  Apologizing for arguing with him, not telling him she loved him, wishing she agreed to go with him to England and finally by promising him to “Soldier On”.  Taking his final words to her and using them to fuel her journey to her mother.  Seeing him on the dock at the end of the episode wasn’t simply a farewell. It was a moment of this is your time and bless and release. I saw this as the moment that Brianna finally understood what her father meant when he told her one day she would understand. She got it and knew it was time to go, head held high, with purpose, determination and her father with her.

Frank will never leave Brianna because he lives in her. He helped shape who she is, what she will accept in life, how she will trust, who she will be loyal to and how she will process and form new relationships. He is a part of her every day without being a physical part of her journey. It’s something people should get used to.

I think Brianna’s grief over the loss of her parental bonds speaks very loudly in the person we see now.  She is not broken…but there are cracks in the armour. Cracks she has to build walls around in order to feel safe.  It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love or feel. It means she protects herself from pain. She puts the feelings aside, in order to meet the task ahead, it seems to me that is what is keeping her upright. For now. Kudos to Sophie Skelton this episode. She did a fantastic job spanning all those years.

There is another bond here that I found immensely interesting.  It involves Laoghaire. Brilliantly portrayed by Nell Hudson.  I know this because I really really do not like this woman, seeing her makes me make that face you make when you bite into something when you think its something else. Go ahead…take a moment to boo and hiss!

You done?

Cool.

I don’t think we were shown “another side” of Laoghaire as much as we were shown her normal every day as a mother. She picked up a stranger off the road that was in distress, she fed, kept her comfortable, shared stories of her daughter and her life with her. All very motherly stuff. However, the ultimate defect in her character was compounded by the severed bond she had with Jamie. Just as solid and tender bonds help form who we become, so do the broken ones. Very often, the broken ones are the ones that create the traits we are less proud of and likely show less often.

We ALL know people that are lovely, wonderful people. They treat most others with kindness, they love their children and would do absolutely anything for them. But. They have “that person”.  That person they despise.  If that person’s name is mentioned…that lovely wonderful human turns into someone you never would have expected. The car keying, punch throwing, gossip spreading devil! Horns, spit, fire…they go off the deep end to get an ounce of satisfaction in hurting the person that has done them wrong.

Am I sticking up for Laoghaire? Oh hell no!  Am I saying Laoghaire reminds me of Karen down the street whose ex-husband married Rita? You betcha! Karen can be a real piece of work.  Laoghaire takes shit to level 98, mostly because it’s TV and going to a level 5 just isn’t worthy of our visceral hate of her.

You know who else demonstrated a bond in this episode? Roger. Richly played by Richard Rankin.

Roger, a man who chose to leave his own time for a woman he loves. Roger, who lost his own mother as a young boy. Roger who so innocently told a child there was no such a thing as a sea monster and later on – the young girl was thrown overboard by one.

For a man like Roger, the horror of seeing suffering doesn’t break him, it does, embolden him. Roger, quickly formed a connection with a young mother aboard a ship full of strangers. Putting him in the position of protector, Roger takes risks he knows he shouldn’t but follows his morals above all else. He was determined to keep Morag and her child safe from certain death. The child’s teething rash was likely to be mistaken for smallpox and they would face the same fate as the others, tossed overboard.  Roger actions were selfless and swift.  Some may question his motives but I think it was simply Roger’s need to feel like he was doing something with all the chaos going on around him. This relationship with Morag and her son grounds him to the goodness he has inside. That goodness nearly cost him his life.

You could see when he thought Bonnet meant to gamble Morag and the child’s life with a coin toss that he was horrified. Yet when it was his own life, he was scared, but he seemed resigned to it.  As if, this was more acceptable to him.

Rogers word is his bond.  He does not give it lightly but when he does, he will stake his life on it. Which means for the next 6 episodes, we are in for a damn interesting ride.

 

Sher (ABOotlander Founder)

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Hidden messages. Blood Of My Blood S04E06 #Outlander thoughts and stuff.

We have experienced yet another powerful episode of Outlander. There are discussions abounding all over social media about changes, wigs, performances and what is to come. I love reading about them all (mostly). I thought about what I would write this week and had a few different things run through the old jellified grey matter.

There were many times in this episode where our characters would say one thing and mean another. There would be a different intention behind the actions they were demonstrating. It really is something we all do though. Sometimes, we do it intentionally, to prove a point. Often we do it subtly, that way we can claim it isn’t what we meant if someone calls us out. Maybe it is just a way to protect the feelings of someone we are with.

In Blood Of My Blood, we can observe many instances of hidden messages being sent our characters way.

Claire’s moments are so well hidden, we barely see them. Mostly because they aren’t present in front of the person they are for. The conflict she has in this episode is 100% focused on Lord John. We have jealousy and annoyance for sure and she doesn’t hide it from John, at all. However, around Jamie, she holds onto it tightly. In fact, she encourages Jamie to spend time with LJG, she actively listens while he shares memories of Willie. She wants him to tell her the stories of the time they spent together. Her love for Jamie has reached a point that his happiness is paramount yet there is that streak of jealousy of knowing someone else is in love with her partner. I don’t think that is a fault either, not many people would take that lightly.

Speaking of that someone else – the super handsome, dignified and yumtastic specimen, Lord John Grey.  The way he watches Jamie cutting wood (sounds suggestive but alas, it’s just wood- hmmm still suggestive) shows that he still has that glow of admiration, in his heart. No, it’s love…he loves him and it shows.  Yet, when Jamie asks what he is doing there, the answer is because Jamie painted such a beautiful picture of his land, LJG just had to see it for himself. Uh-huh.

LJG feeds another story to Claire about why he has come to the Ridge. Naturally, Claire is pretty perceptive and she called him out on it. She knows he came to see Jamie, full stop.  He admits that it is true, sometime later. He says he wanted to know if he could still “feel”.  I think we all know John was quite sure he could feel. He likely wanted to be reminded of how much he could feel. To be reassured of the depth of his emotions. It is my guess that Isobel’s death reminded him of how disconnected he was.  There was likely guilt there and yes, as he admitted, shame.  What better way to drown all of that away than to flood it with love?

LJG tells Claire she is devastatingly straightforward and she claims she can’t help it, she was born that way.  As she turns her back, he whispers with a tear streaming down his cheek “So was I.”  He isn’t speaking of being straightforward, he is speaking of being born loving who he loves.  This scene defies centuries. It is before its time and it is beautiful. It contains that hidden message that people today still need to hear.                                                 Capture3

Lord John gives Jamie his chess set as he leaves. Claiming it would please him to think of Jamie having a game now and then.  I believe this is a very pointed way for John to be sure that Jamie is reminded of him each time he takes the chess set out.

Murtagh had his own moments in this episode but he really isn’t one to shrug away from the truth is he?  His comments are much more angled towards getting his point across without saying exactly what he wants to say.  Not passive aggressive but cuttingly contentiousness. Even with his direct comments about Gov. Tryon and eating rats, it was obvious that Murtagh was still holding back.  It certainly makes you wonder just what he would say if he wasn’t. Say…not do. We have seen he will chop off your damn head if he wanted to. I am talking about if he were to put that particular energy into actual words.

Murtagh is not one to be trifled with and LJG got his dander up and hard. He doesn’t have the benefit of the, let’s face it, unlikely friendship between LJG and Jamie. He can’t quite figure out what the hell is happening here until he gets Jamie alone for a moment.  His sleuthing pays off quickly when he deciphers the clue of pain in Jamie’s eyes at the question “And how does that make the lad YOUR responsibility?”  Murtagh knew at that moment Willie was Jamie’s son. Which spoke to something else. Jamie had a son he didn’t know about. A son in which he trusted this English red coat to raise as his own. A very big bitter pill for his godfather to swallow. Some secrets cause us to grow closer, others, not so much.

I am surprised Jamie’s tongue didn’t split straight down the middle during this episode. He said SO many things while clearly feeling otherwise. To start, “Best he doesna remember” in regards to Willie not remembering the groom he knew as Mac.  You can see in his eyes and his stance he wants nothing more than to be remembered by him.

When LJG introduced William to Jamie you can feel the emotions running through him. The tension as he steels himself in the hope the boy will run to him and when he doesn’t – a Claire quote from Dragonfly in Amber comes to my mind – “I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.”

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However, a simple moment of Jamie calling to the horses in Gaelic does trigger Willie’s memory of the groom, Mac.  Which leads to the boy questioning him as to why he didn’t say they knew one another.  Jamie replied with an anticlimactic “I dinna ken”.  That was cool because William served him a dish of the same back when he told him he was too old for toys in regard to the wooden snake.  You don’t want to give it to me straight old man, well, let me tell you something. Chew on that.

It’s funny, not haha funny but hmmm funny.  When Willie and Jamie return to the cabin after their adventure, Lord John asks “I trust he was well behaved for you?”  Jamie completely omits the part where the little turd nearly got them both killed and plays the OH he was GREAT! Awesome time…you’re a great dad card.  That hidden message was for William. It was praising him for his bravery, it was giving them their own private moment to share.  Jamie did it for himself. A moment to be just theirs. Reminds me of all the times I babysat for little hellions and told the parents the same thing. I did it so I had something to hold over the little buggers heads for next time though.

William is a boy in pain. The loss of his mother, the fear for his father and the recently ripped off band-aid from when he was a small, Mac leaving him. He repeatedly uses his words to hide behind.  From the fly fishing moments to wanting to go home after having enough of rough living. William has a need to protect himself from further heartache and he uses the most useful tool he has in his arsenal. His words. Whether they are effective or not makes little difference, as long as he says them, it makes him feel some control and relief.

Willie asked Jamie quite plainly why he didn’t look back at him when he left Hellwater. This obviously is a very important moment in the child’s life. It is very likely the boy made up a few reasons why in his own head, not all of them good. Jamie let him know it wasn’t because he didn’t care but because he cared so much. Not wanting to give him a false hope that he would see him again because he truly thought they never would. You could see on Willie’s face this was the answer he hoped for.  In return, when Lord John and Willie leave Frasers Ridge we are gifted with a turn of a head. A message to Jamie that they will see one another again.

I won’t leave out the ring. The hidden message really isn’t so hidden I suppose. Although, I believe the deeper meaning was beautiful.  The ring is fashioned from a candlestick that belonged to Ellen, Jamie’s mother. Designed by Murtagh, Jamies godfather and someone who also cares deeply for Claire. As we know, a ring is something that is endless, just as love should be.

Jamie seems to have an affinity for giving Claire jewelry that has to do with his mother, while Claire is naked – so I am going to let YOU decide what that one means. *I’m laughing right now…you can’t see me or hear me but it’s really loud and snorty like*

On that note, I will leave you with a kiss. Or a thousand.

Sher (ABOotlander person)

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Serendipity. In this #Outlander world.

Today it was announced that Caitriona Balfe was once again nominated for a Golden Globe for her stellar performance of Claire Fraser.  This got me thinking of how lucky we are to have her in this role. My thoughts quickly turned into how all the pieces of this production have fallen into place at the perfect time for it to become what it is.

As far back as the ’90s, I recall talking to a friend about the idea of the Outlander book series being made into a television show. That was when there were only 3 or 4 books on the shelves.  Caitriona and Sam would have been teenagers around then, Ron D. Moore was in his Star Trek phase of life.

Diana Gabaldon, the creator of this universe we so happily devour, has spoken of the many times the books had been optioned but those offers never came to fruition.  In the end, Jim Kohlberg had the rights for over five years. It wasn’t until Ron D. Moore and his producing partner Maril Davis approached him with the idea of an epic TV drama, which started the ball rolling.  Both Ron and Maril visited Diana personally with their vision and let’s just say, the rest is now on TV screens around the globe for our viewing pleasure.

Imagine these pieces, all falling into place at the right time. Individual choices that happened to intersect by chance.

I sit back and think about this puzzle. I have a hard time wiggling my brain into believing they could have found a Tobias, Sophie, Caitriona, Sam, Richard, Duncan, Lotte, Nell, John, Graham, Cesar, Roman, Lauren…the list just goes on and on., at any other juncture at any other time. The secondary characters have also been absolute magic and it seems if one were off – the show may have tumbled like a Jenga tower. (Or more likely it would look absolutely nothing like it looks like now and maybe I have a pathetic imagination but I simply can’t picture it looking any better.) 

The writers, crew, sets, costumes and all of those involved in this production seem to have such a passion for this project it shows deep into the guts of it. When viewing the behind the scenes photos or videos, even when they are standing in the cold and gloom, there are smiles and laughter. The crew and production staff that take part in online chatter with fans do so with such a joyful heart, it is a nice reminder that when those creating something enjoy doing it, it makes it a worthwhile thing.dkrccftvaaavlpo

The cast seems to genuinely enjoy one another’s company. They do a lot of press, conventions, interviews and interactions on social media.  The truth is, they don’t have to.  Some media is expected from the studio, sure, authentic interaction is an entirely different thing. We have all seen cardboard interviews between costars before and the cast of Outlander is so far outside of that sphere. They truly make it fun to watch them together. The trust they have for one another is a pleasure to see.                                                      2b42001989373025b267d9028377fe12 tumblr_nb8ocdzp8p1tj014jo1_500

I mean, really…think about it. If Caitriona hadn’t decided she had her run with modelling and not gone back to her first love of acting, we wouldn’t have our Claire. How could that be a thing? Had Sam gotten any of those Game of Thrones roles he had tried for…he wouldn’t be our Jamie Fraser. It doesn’t make sense to me how we could have anyone else in these parts now.

It all leads to that one, beautiful thing my friends…serendipity.

May we have the honour of enjoying it for many more years.

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Sherry (ABOotlander Founder)

 

 

 

 

Emotional bridges. Looking back on Episode 5 of Outlander.

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)

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More than meets the eye. My takeaway from Ep4 of Outlander, Common Ground.

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.

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My own socks tell us this story. 

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)

 

 

 

 

Ghosts are everywhere. My Take on “The False Bride”. Outlander S04E03.

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.

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Going from this kind of friendship…to where she is – is not something any of us should reconcile.

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’.Screenshot (531)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.

Remember to live tweet with us. Canadians watch along with W Network and use the hashtag #OutlanderCAN. We look forward to having you play along! If you love to win stuff and love to fan please follow our friends at FANCITY. They have a great worldwide Outlander giveaway coming up soon!

Sher

Founder of the ABOotlanders

My take on Outlander’s E02, Do No Harm. The lies we tell ourselves.

There are many conversations that can and surely will be taking place about this powerful episode.  I thought, and probably over thought the direction, I would go in my take away.

What I kept coming back to was the self-talk of the characters in our story.  As in life, we tell ourselves lies in order to live with our actions, the situations we create and the circumstances we find ourselves in.  Sometimes those lies are harmless small ones, intended to take the sting away and sometimes they are brutally large because facing the truth would be admitting how incredibly horrible we truly can be.

When people hear the word LIE, they think ‘bad’. They think ‘evil’. That isn’t quite what I mean here. Yes, a lie is an intended falsehood, however, when we are telling those lies to ourselves to help cope with something ~ that becomes the crux of the situation.

We start with that, Jamie and Claire. He is beating himself up over helping Bonnet escape. Claire turns to him and explains he shouldn’t take the blame for the robbery and Lesley’s death, it’s not his fault, they both trusted the bastard.  Truth is, had they given him up to the authorities, they would have made it safely to River Run, gemstones in hand and their friend alive. This is a way to help them cope with their loss.  Of course, we don’t want them to blame themselves. In fact, if someone we loved were in a similar position, we would tell them the same in order to make them feel better.  I ask myself sometimes – Do I want the truth or a comforting lie? Lots of the time…a comforting lie hits the spot quite nicely, thanks.

Now, those fools at the dinner party! Believing if it wasn’t for them coming to America and making it a ‘civilized’ world it would be nothing but a wasteland. This a perfect example of lies we tell ourselves to justify our uninvited and or all around crappy behaviours. Not bothering to see there could be another way, ignoring the logic around us. Even when it is clearly pointed out.  Ian took a moment to do that and was met with a condescending reply. Those reactions are often the biggest clue that we know we are full of rocks and bananas.

Jocasta shared with Jamie and Claire how she saw some of her slaves as friends.  This is a deeply seeded version of the example I just gave. Though there may be hints of truth in her statement, the reality is, the slaves are not her friends, she will not truly treat them as such because it would harm her place in society.  She spoke of her struggle as a woman, not being able to speak her mind or run her business with men as an equal. If she was to open her mind, just a little further, including others being treated even worse than that, by her…that is where change can start, no? Simply with the acknowledgment.

Then, you know, Jocasta outright lies. In the sense that she would rather ask forgiveness than permission.  She knew damn well that she was going to make Jamie heir of River Run. It was the main purpose for her party, “introducing you to society” was a ruse created to foist this grand plan upon him.  It sure makes it hard to say “HELL NO!” In front of people congratulating you eh?

Now keep in mind, lying to oneself is also a means of self-preservation in difficult circumstances. This is Claire’s running commentary throughout the episode.  There is not one moment that she relaxes. She is in obvious perma-clench mode. For good reason.  She is having a visceral reaction to slavery and not only being surrounded by it, but by it being forced upon her. It certainly is easy, from the relative comfort of our living rooms to tell her to smarten the hell up because ultimately she IS making shit WAY more difficult. However, Claire…part of what makes her Claire is she feels before she thinks. In this case, it’s not only her “do no harm” oath, but it is also her hate of a system that she KNOWS is wrong on every level of wrongness that was ever created, and being a part of that in any way, makes her wrong too. So, she lies to herself.  Tells herself, because of her interference, she can help Rufus. There will be something she can do to make sure he lives. When the real truth is…there is nothing.  Deep down, she knows it…and that only infuriates her further.

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We now have Rufus (played impeccably by Jerome Holder). Imagine, putting one foot in front of another, day after day having been taken from the life he knew and loved, forced into this, of all lives?  You would most certainly have to lie to yourself. He was telling himself, one day…one day I might see those I love again.  There has been nothing to show him this might happen, to give him this hope. Yet, he tells himself so he may have the strength to see another day.  We have the power to convince ourselves because we have no other choice…we need to hold onto something in order to survive.

If we sat and examined the stories we tell ourselves on the daily, we would see the lies, the half-truths for what they are.  Coping mechanisms…both good and bad. Human and inhumane. They often define our character.  If we find ourselves angry when someone points them out to us, that may be an indication we need to take a self-appointed time out and do some critical thinking.  It is most definitely not a painless process. That is how change happens.

It’s tough, but someone’s gotta do it!

Thanks for stopping by and if you like what you read, or even thought it was kinda o.k., please give it a share, leave a comment or send me cuddles (pickles and cheese knows I can use ’em after THAT episode!)  We livetweet with the W Networks airing of Outlander in Canada, every Sunday, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN. We look forward to all of our Outlander friends joining us!

For a more in-depth conversation about Do No Harm and the way the show handled the aspects of slavery and the continued effects it has on today’s society, I suggest you hop on over to our friends at Blacklanderz. Their twitter feed has a great deal of the discussions we need to be having.

Until next time,

Sher                                                                                                                                                          Founder of the ABOotlanders