The Women of #Outlander.

I have been trying to find a graceful way to open up this blog.  Should I be eloquent and flowery or hard-hitting and humorous?  I settled on being a bit all over the place – it suits my mood and my nature.

I have wanted to write about the women on Outlander for a while, I chose now because it is helping me pass the time until Season 5 airs.  I figure like attracts like making this mutually beneficial.

Those who watch Outlander are exposed to women who are brave, strong, stubborn and determined.  They grapple with heartbreak and persevere.  They love fiercely and protect one another.  Do they have flaws and imperfections?  Ummmm, yeah! We all do. It’s another reason they are believable and relatable. That is what this blog is really about. How is it that we, as women in 2020 relate to these fictional women set so far in the past (mostly)?

I knew I wasn’t the only person that saw myself in these women on the screen. I was aware that this is how we stay involved and connected, or not. This made me ask those in my twitter bubble, what woman in Outlander did they relate to the most and why? The question wasn’t specifically for women to answer but no men jumped in to tell me which woman they related to, hopefully in the comments, some will. (Not who they like the most, who they relate to – just making it clear).

Gender stereotypes on television have been played to death and it’s intriguing that we have gone back to the 1700s to see them getting knocked around.  Of course, we still see them in characters like Mrs. Fitz, from season 1. She was a dutiful head housekeeper to Colum. She warned Claire, if she did as told, she would gain favour with The MacKenzie. She caused no stir when her grand-daughter was about to be beaten in the great hall. Yet, she stood up to the likes of Father Bain. She ran that kitchen at Leoch like a boss and she smacked around the highlanders if they messed around in her domain. She was granted authority and demanded respect even still abiding by some of the patriarchal rules. I mean, historical accuracy is always a thing in a period drama.

That bit about Mrs. Fitz wasn’t mentioned as a part of who she was when people replied to my query on Twitter. I do love the hashtaggery.

fitz comp

All of these women are aware of Mrs. Fitz’s place in the Outlander universe. It is with their 21st-century lens they are able to pull her strength and fortitude forward. I don’t think they are ignoring Mrs. Fitz’s place in her 18th-century life, I believe they accept and see that Mrs. Fitz was bucking her place where and when she could without putting her life in danger. Something a great majority of women have done – for centuries.  Those women hold shit together while making a difference behind the scenes, subtle changes that help push society forward. It may not be as loud and in your face as some but it still has an impact.

Jenny was a younger, stronger and higher ‘ranked’ version of Mrs. Fitz. For an 18th century woman, Jenny really did have and do it all. Career (Lady of Lallybroch for all intents and purposes), children and adoring husband. This maverick of woman could express milk and torture a dude all in the same day. Her strong personality and capabilities help today’s women feel empowered by their own image of “doing it all”.

jenny comp

As we read these tweets we see that these women not only relate to the character of Jenny, they can see themselves as her and she as them.  Being Jenny is exhausting work.  Besides taking care of everything and everyone – there were plenty of shite pots that needed stirring. 😜

Joking aside, this is why seeing representation on the screen is important. If it is powerful for someone like @ChaoticOctopus who has 6 children, imagine what it is like for women who understand what being abused and manipulated is like.

We might be surprised to know that there are women that feel a kinship with (the often slammed) Laoghaire. If we take a moment to open our hearts, minds and gather some empathy, it shouldn’t be surprised.  My friends express it very well below.

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Sure, some people are pure evil. I don’t think Laoghaire is one of them. She is a product of her environment and eventually, her bitterness clouds a lot of her story. This is not a Laoghaire trait. It is a human one. It isn’t a flaw that is singular to her, it is one that many of us live in. We tend to judge others for doing it instead of recognizing it in ourselves.  I was humbled to see women confident enough in their own character to say they related to Laoghaire. I think many of us, whether we like to admit it or not have had the same feelings of jealousy and bitterness in our lives. Sure, we probably wouldn’t have sent someone to burn – but who knows, it’s not really an option these days either, so there is that.

There is also the fact that I don’t believe that someone truly evil would be able to raise a daughter like Marsali. She is quickly becoming one of the women on Outlander that we are falling in love with.  Her character started out prickly against Claire, not shocking given the circumstances from her viewpoint. Marsali is no dummy, she feels deeply and goes by the information she has. Once she had more information, her disposition changed.

Marsali is seen as someone who is clever and uses her observations shrewdly.  She doesn’t strike anyone as a wallflower. Many fans note her loyalty as one of her most relatable qualities.  I believe that the way she was introduced to us showed her loyalty first and foremost but because of the way so many feel about Laoghaire, I suppose some felt it was misplaced.  When we step out of our own perceptions and step into Marsali’s I think we can have empathy for her. She loves her mother. She sees her hurting and the source of her pain is caused by this woman who dropped out of the clear blue sky. Any of us thinking we would react calmly and love Claire, probably doesn’t remember being a teenage girl.

Thank goodness Marsali’s loyalties didn’t disappear, they only grew.

marsali comp

Season 4 brought us Marsali’s fierce loyalty to a fever pitch, do anything for family and not just along for the ride but literally in the driver’s seat on the excitement side of things. Her courage was not only entertaining to watch it was plainly setting the tone for what we have to look forward to. There is no doubt that we will have many relating to her character in season 5.

My friend Cat of @CatsandKilts was the one person who mentioned relating to Lizzie.  You know the one, Lizzie, who went by exactly the information she had seen, processed what made sense and drew conclusions based on said information. Like every single person does every single day.  In the Outlander universe, this always has crazy consequences. Cat is a brave fan by admitting she feels a kinship to her since Lizzie took a lot of heat last season.  Which was kind of a bummer because Lizzie is so many of us, fallible and doing the best she can. lonelizzie

“Tries to do right tho she often fails.”  I mean, how vulnerable and human is that statement?  We all know how this feels but we rarely say it out loud.  We all make assumptions about someone or a situation just by catching a glimpse yet we don’t always admit if we were wrong.  Though if someone does this to us or someone we care about – the hell to pay – hot AF.

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Another woman who made her Outlander debut was Aunt Jocasta Cameron. She was mentioned in season 1, during the Wedding when Jamie was weaving his family tree together for Claire. We finally met this formidable woman for ourselves. She made quite the impression.  Some say she was a mix of Colum and Dougal, I prefer to say Colum/Dougal and Brian all borrowed pieces of HER. Cunning, determined and affectionate is the perfect Jocasta blend. There is definitely more to her than what she shows us.  She is the blind one but that seems to be a subtle nod to “You can’t see me either”.

jo comp

The two studies of Jo above, show us how detailed our personal lens can be when viewing characters on screen. They both relate to her for very different reasons, yet both are powerful and full of meaning.  Both are also 100% accurate.

I am endlessly fascinated by women. How we relate to one another, how we lift each other up or tear one another down, the mechanics of our pasts and the trajectories of our futures.  The layers/levels/shades and intricacies can’t be explained easily.  Though we can see some of these dynamics when we pay attention to how we relate to one another, how we respond to one another’s personalities and the things that make us…well…us.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many identified with Brianna.  I have seen some interesting assessments of Bree on social media over the years.  It is my belief, the wonderful people in the tweets below…get her.  They see her for who she is, why she is that way and how that makes her special. They know those traits aren’t always perfect. In truth, none of us are and nor should we be.

Perhaps some of Brianna’s qualities go unnoticed so people downplay her. I hope with these women pointing out why they relate to her, others may start to see some things they may have missed before.  For instance, her creativity (not everyone can draw the way she can draw) and intelligence (engineering, need I say more?).

bree comp

Bree, like her mother, chose a career that was male-dominated.  Even by today’s standards, women are still underrepresented in the Engineering field.  Have things gotten better since the 1960s? Of course. Are they where they should be? No. That is why we have women like Claire and Brianna to represent these themes. Hopefully, it inspires other shows to focus on POC and LGBTQ+ in these types of storylines in shows with target markets like Outlander has.

The matriarch of Outlander, as we all know is Claire.  She can’t be described in a few words for the reason that she is notably complex. We have seen her as a nurse from WW2 to a stranger who was dropped into Jacobite era Scotland. She bounced through time, lovers, became a mother and eventually a grandmother. There is a dizzying amount of person there as you will see when we head to this twitter breakdown.

I don’t think I was surprised when it was she who had the largest number of people feeling they related to her.  I mean, many of us really take a shine to some of those classic Claire lines.claire comp

I’m right there with Julia. The first second someone wants to control my decision making – the hackles engage. Oppositional defiance. Whatever you want to call it, I feel it in my bones. That is one of those things that will connect some of us to Claire.  I mean, someone tells her “Stay here.” She hears “Runaway at the first opportunity”.

claire comp02See what I mean?  She does what she damn well pleases when she damn well pleases.  The housework thing is mostly from the book but same – same.  It wasn’t heavy-handed while reading. It was subtle and if it was something you personally identified with you would pick up on it. Which obviously, a few of us did. Imagine it was laundry day on the ridge, everyone is heaving heavy yards of linen and scrubbing in washbasins, Claire would run out of a herb and have to go traipsing through the woods. “OH NO! I ran out of cameltoes guys! George from the pond down the road needs some for his glaucoma! Biiyeeeee!”

Yes, depending on how we live our lives and the focus of our lens – we will get 2 reactions “OMG, ME TOO!” or “UGH! So selfish!”  Both can be right.  It comes down to empathy, understanding and kindness. It is never that black and white.  We can pretend it is, so our point can be simplified and easily argued however, life and relationships rarely are that simple.  That is why when those simple things are explained by a point of view, it helps us ‘get it’.

claire comp01

Now, we might think “I’m not the meek and obedient type” is what makes us relate to Claire. When Karen explains the WHY, she peeled back the layers and showed us. It reveals it’s not only surface ‘stuff’. The connections we have to these characters are strong and often personal. We, as fans, could be kinder to one another sometimes if we took a mental note of this.

Relating to them also brings out a desire to develop characteristics we admire. Sorcha mentions this in her tweet about Claire. It makes me grateful that we are exposed to these personalities and qualities on screen. We may see aspects of their spirit we would like to emulate, this supports our purpose to grow as individuals as we move forward and upward in our lives.

It is obvious to me that even though the men on Outlander get a lot of attention, the WOMEN OF OUTLANDER have developed profound connections with those watching.  We may draw comfort from them or they may infuriate us but one thing is certain, these women are like us. They love passionately, struggle with heartbreak, lash out and experience joy.

Here is to seeing our favourites still with us (and a few more new ones) #RockTheRidge in season 5!

Sher xo

PS- if you didn’t get to weigh in on what women you relate to in the Outlander universe and why, please leave a comment. I would love to hear more.

PSS-Don’t forget we will be live-tweeting while watching on W Network here in Canada, using the hashtag #OutlanderCAN!

WOO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La- La- Lallybroch all the way home!

A dozen. Can you believe we have made it to a dozen episodes already? What started out as a glisten in our eyes.  Damn, time flies when you are a manic obsessive eh?

The Lallybroch episode opens focusing in on puppies. FOOLED YA! Not the puppies you are used to focusing on at the beginning of the show. Not this time. Still they are adorable! There was that Showcase Nudity Expectation…they call it a warning, I call it a shout out of show benefitsadultcontentThere goes that digression again.

If anyone doesn’t have an insatiable urge to travel to Scotland simply by watching the aerial shots the show features…I think you are dead inside. DEAD. Tourism Scotland should pay Diana Gabaldon & all of the Outlander Starz a royalty. I mean…REALLY.

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We are travelling to Lallybroch at mach speeds, that is what we are doing. Jamie is taking NO chances that Claire is going to change her mind. Those friggen airplane flying things she is talking about sound so chill- she probably told him about running water & not having to bury your own poop too. He’s getting her the hell outta stonehedge as fast as Donas can take them.

I know, I know…looks like a slow freaking trot but honestly. It didn’t take that long to get there did it? Work with me people.

Marriage, facetime & all sorts of personal goodtimes later Jamie finds out Claire is robbing the cradle. A good ole SILF. She’s no one’s mother…just a regular ole Sassenach. It’s all good, it’s only a few years, plus girlfriend is VERRA well put together for someone 200 and some yrs older than he is. He could do laoghaire much worse. She has all her own teeth & hardly a pock mark to speak off- except that freaky deaky devilly one on her arm…shhhhh.

shhhh
Shhhhh. Between you n me.

They get to the arriving stages and when Jamie is supposed to be getting happy. The demons of memory start seeping in. He tells Claire he was told rumours about Jenny…uh-huh. Rumours. I think ANY of us could help Jamie our with the rumour department. If you didn’t see it with your own damn eyes or hear it with your own damn ears shut your own big mouth. Or something to that effect eh?

*Rumours - we can tell they travel faster because he heard Jenny was pregnant cuz of Randall but he heard nothing about her marrying Ian. Which wasn't a rumour...it was TRUE. Stupid rumoUrs. PFT!

*Rumours – we can tell they travel faster because he heard Jenny was pregnant cuz of Randall but he heard nothing about her marrying Ian. Which wasn’t a rumour…it was TRUE. Stupid rumoUrs. PFT!

Jamie, as manly as he looks in or out of a kilt or in or out of trews…he still has a lot to learn about being a man…this is where the lessons will start.

I loved the arrival shot…even though I wanted to tell Donas to go home…he looked drunk…boppin into Jamie, then I thought “Hey, if he was walking me like that, I’d bop into him too. You go Donas!”

bigbutts

Just a lil earworm to start your day

“Jamie” A very pregnant Jenny says. A wee lil mite looks up and a big ole red heided man looks over.

She drops, what I hope is dirty laundry…cuz if that was clean…BUGGER…doing laundry back then took too much work to just drop it in the door yard!

god-damnit-o
You are going to have to do all that laundry again. That…man…that’s rough.

 She holds in her baby belly to run into her brothers arms to give him a big hug. Then as quick as the happy homecoming lasts. It’s pretty much over. She chastises him for not texting, sending an email or snap chatting. Rude man. Would have taken just a minute…okay probably would have taken a couple weeks/months to send a messenger. Still RUDE. You deserved that.

little-boy-and-little-girl-o

Then she happily introduces that cute little wee man Jamie to his Uncle. Now because Big Jamie was stupid enough to listen to rumours (remember what happens when you do that people) he jumps on the conclusion bridge and falls through the slats. He makes an ass of himself asking why she would name Randalls bastard after him. DOH!  Jenny doesn’t mince many words…insinuating she is a hoooor? Bad moove dude. GAD…I love it when they bandy about the word hooooor.

Claire tries to get Jamie to see some reason but that’s not gonna go over because a) he’s a stubborn pig headed FRASER b) Jenny called her a trollop.  No worries. I am pretty sure Claire knows a pissy Fraser when she sees one. She takes a step back and lets the rams battle it out a bit.  sibling

Jenny threatens to grab Jamie by the ballocks to make him listen, just like she did when they were younger. So- for all those that said Jenny seemed harsher in the show than the books. You might remember – this passage is FROM the books. Only in the show, Jamie isn’t actually wearing his kilt, he is wearing his trews so they didn’t have her go as fast as a snake and grab his balls…like she did in the book.

Go back in time and tell me THE Jenny that ACTUALLY grabbed his balls & squeezed “wasn’t as harsh” *giggle*.  Truth is, when you are faced with a woman of strength, power & un-shakability. It is stark. Real.  That’s what Laura Donnolly did. 3 cheers girlfriend, you grabbed Jenny “takes no shit from nobody” Fraser Murray by the balls and ran with her. Well done.

Jamie is scandalized she should say such a thing in front of his wife. PSHAW Jamie…she knows all about your balls by now Jenny says. Don’t be such a ninny. Point taken. Claire does…really really does.

Jenny tries to remind him the last time she saw him he wasn’t exactly in the best of condition so how about he change his attitude. Then Ian rounds the corner & sets him straight. Those babies are mine – yep- your Brother in Law & btw…we thought you were dead. Maybe if you only wrote once in a while this whole big mess might have been taken care of.

I get it, the price on your head. Shame how things like that get in the way. It’s all comes down to effective communication folks!

Ya think?
Ya think?

A wee side note…those who have a difficulty warming up to Jenny…thinking she is like sharp glass. Those who see certain women in their lives like this. Are looking at Jenny with their personal experience filter. They may very well be intimidated by those women or dislike them & are attaching those feelings to Jenny. They might not see that but it’s one of those things many of us do without ever realizing it. Sometimes, it is even the traits in ourselves we don’t like…and we see them reflected in those characters. Well, we can outwardly hate them way easier than we can hate ourselves…huh?

right
That’s right…I said it.

Always a Hoppy Guy Ian welcomes Jamie with open arms – Claire too.  Jamie is about to say I am—sorry—but Jenny decides it madlibs time and she finishes his sentence with “a damn fool” and some other unflattering stuff.

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Back into the house for the understatement of the 18th century.  HoppyGuyIan asks Claire “Do y’drink whisky?” She replies “I’ve been known to have a glass or two.” Let’s finish your sentence for you Claire…since you clearly didn’t. “before breakfast.” or “with another 5 glasses of whisky.” or “added to pocket flask to get through every conversation I have ever had.” HoppyGuyIan gives her his seal of approval & lets her know to prep her liver. It’s going to be a meter checking kinda night.

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Jamie glutton for punishment that he is, has this NEED…even though he has been experiencing flash backs.  You see he seems prone to PTSD.  Jamie just has to hear what Captain Creep Master General Randall did to his sister while he was passed out hanging in the yard .  She is only gonna tell you once buddy so you best clean the shit outta your ears and listen good!

This is not just a story, it’s a pop up book…well…not quite. We will get to that.

Captain Creep turns up his level of creep factor to oh…about 942 in this scene. Takes her hand like he is Creepy Uncle Dick leading her to get ice cream in the alley behind Target. You know the one they boarded up last week. Yeah. That one. Then roots her up against the wall. He starts sniffin at her – it’s his way of smelling his prey I think.smellfear

Checking out their fear level. Jenny is doing pretty good though.  It wasn’t bad enough that he cleaned her face in the yard earlier with his nasty fingers, now, he is sticking his damned filthy feelers into her mouth. Those things were sooooo foul that I gagged – and I am not a gagger. Usually. Tobias – you done made me ’bout woof my cookies!

Whomp...there it is
Whomp…there it is

Jenny- She is a no bullshit kinda girl & the taste of those pointers did nothing to improve her attitude, neither did him grabbing her breast like it was bread that needed kneading or having her give him a grope. After making her look at him –  she reached over for a big ole candlestick and bashed him in the head.

Let’s just say Captain Creepy had one hard head that day because it barely phased him! He swung her around & threw her to the ground, figured some pottery would be a nice touch – then up by the hair. This piece of human crap waste sure likes swinging girls around by the hair. Makes my scalp hurt for Jenny! One day…one day…I want someone to grab HIM by that ponytail of his and play the longest game of Tetherball known to man. Just a wee idea!

He tosses her into the next room by the hair & then smacks her. Thinking…that ought to take care of that. Time to get down to business.

Captain Creepy removes his coat, unbuttons his flies & invites Lil Captain Phallus Jr. to the proceedings. Hi there buddy…it just doesn’t seem to be your day. No one is screaming in pain or terror…that’s what you like huh? Awwww…too bad. Is that why your hiding?  Jenny see’s this and well, you know, warbled as it was. She laughed. That can’t be good for the little guy…seems he got REALLY embarrassed, said “No way Jack…I ain’t going out there…THEY ARE LAUGHIN at me!”

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You HAVE to admire Tobias Menzies for committing to this scene the way he did. I mean…he COMPLETELY committed. This was no penis stunt double.  That scene tore down BJR like NO other scene ever could.  It simply couldn’t be “shown” with him “rubbing” at his breeches. The humiliation, the mortification. Jenny’s visual standpoint wouldn’t have been effective had we not known what she had seen, what she & he had both experienced.  People have said “I could imagine it, I did HAVE to see THAT” Could you though?  Could you really?  The dynamic…the nature of that is visceral. Visceral is not always comfortable but its not because it’s genitalia. It’s because it brings you somewhere you might not want to go. Face it, a flaccid penis is not threatening, it’s a part of the human body. It really has the same visual appeal as perhaps…ummm a big toe.  Tobias’—well,  a pretty big toe but – there I go with the digression thing again.

Plus, I am all about equal opportunity nudity.  The body is the body. It’s a part of who we are. The more we hide it and make it shameful the worse society makes people feel for having one. I think that stinks. It’s the reason that using the word penis and seeing a penis becomes some sort of “thing”.  Some said, the penis wasn’t the big deal, it was the “handling” of the penis. I wonder why? I wasn’t supposed to make you comfortable. THAT was the point. A common remark was “I couldn’t do it.”  That’s ok.  It wasn’t you doing it. It was Tobias, in the “role” of BJR, for the part, in the moment.  You aren’t do it for any reason. Take the YOU out of it. Look at it in the perspective it was intended & the why. Take away the negative power the negative hold that has been put into our brains over the years, decades…and TADA. Positive Penis Praise Prevails! – ahem- and yes…I have a vagina. *gasp*

gasp

Now, back to the show. Captain Creepy knows this laughter thing is keeping Lil FlaccidNoodle Jr. from enjoying the job at hand so he figures if he shuts her up by making her turn around and smacking her around…that will cure her for sure.  Nope. Jenny has gone full on banshee by now.  She recalls to those listening, she isn’t exactly sure why…but she could tell both Captain Creepy Sr. & Captain Creepy Jr. didn’t like it when she laughed so she was going to keep that shit up.  She could take a smack but as long as Jr. was flimsy he couldn’t do the job…so LAUGH she would.

hyena-laugh-o

I heard in more than a few articles suggesting Randall wanted her to turn around because he was a homosexual & needed pretend she was a man.  They gathered this after he vied for Jamie (later in the episode).  I have talked to many people who clearly know a little something about homosexuality- seeing how they are…they tell me it’s REALLY hard to pretend a woman is anything but a woman regardless of what hole you are penetrating…let’s not insult them to that degree. SO – I disagree with that particular viewpoint…BJR…has a taste for ANYONE he can terrify. Male or female. As Tuesday, April 28, 2015

” target=”_blank”>Diana Gabaldon as perfectly stated MANY times, BJR is an equally opportunity sadist. He wanted Jenny to turn around so she couldn’t watch his humiliation. Period. He can get aroused by anyone – that he is scaring the crap out of or controlling to his will. Period.  Jenny done screwed over his method of gettin some.

oh no you didnt

Just to make sure he made more friends. He called her a scottish see you next Tuesday and bashed her head off the bedpost. Boy oh boy Captain Creepy! You sure are rackin up the “Degenerate of the Month” points. He stuffed nerveless Jr. back in his pants & they left. Humiliated.

patricks-underwear-o

People found that hard to believe.  Not me.  In my minds eye, there is no way he was going to be able to perform with the last vision of that face being mockery. Better he get the hell out of dodge, letting his men think he done tapped that.

Back to the drawing room. Jenny wanted an apology, Jamie figured he gave her one. Men, do that. Think they apologize when they don’t. Claire had Jenny’s back and corrected him. Now, some think Jenny was being rude to Claire here by saying “This is between my brother & me”  I saw it as her standing up for Jamie. Cool eh? We see things from our perspective- our filters. I have big sisters who push my buttons & stand up for me. Jamie is like “Geez Claire! There ya go again…c’mon… since I can’t spank ya, I’m going to give you a tongue lashin’ and not the kind you like.”

So off to another room they go so he can remind her. He’s the king of the castle & she’s needs to be his queen. At least in public. Remember Leticia? Colum’s wife? She always held her tongue in public, he tells her. She would throw shit at the old codger in private but in public…she supported him. So there’s a visual. Leticia whipping things across the room at a cripple. Tsk Tsk. Classy girlfriend.

Claire tells Jamie he better be careful and smarten up a bit because she can assure him, she has better aim than Leticia ever did.

amen
Claire will drink to a good throwing arm. Hitting her target. Not being meek. Hell…Claire will drink to just about anything.

HoppyGuy Ian breaks the silence, always the sweety. Asking Claire where she is from- doesn’t really matter though does it. This is home she says.

Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home

Jenny is a bit taken aback. Home is it? Been gone 4 yrs. Outlawed and PLUNK back down with a wife & taking over my house. That’s a bit intrusive. What about that thing called a price on your big thick head?  Ah, yet ANOTHER Englishman is going to pull me out of the fire. Hmrph…Jenny “take no flack from anyone especially the English” Murray doesn’t trust this much. Why should she, they tied up her brother in front of her eyes, dragged her up into her room & attempted to rape her. Pretty sure there would be no love loss there for anyone. She is the big sister…see’s yet another button un-pushed on her big brother and gives it a go. “Never thought you’d be so trustin’ of the English.”

pushbutton

Oh Jamie you have SO many buttons to push brother!

I think Claire knows where this is coming from and instead of taking it as too much of a dig, she chooses to leave the room & wash up than to start another English/Scottish war.  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Choose-a-communication-strategy-Tina-Fey-zip-it

Mrs. Fitzgibbons sent Jamie & Claire their things. Sweet lady. Jenny, for all of those who were growling about her being bitchy- bah! She says right about here that since the Laird is staying, he should have the main bed chamber & sends the maids to take care of things.  She doesn’t seem put out, annoyed or bothered. Ian, in fact looks humoured by the whole deal.  Jamie confirms…Yep… I am Laird. Some thought that was arrogant. Perhaps stating the obvious may be a trifle redundant in the moment but sometimes saying things out loud makes it easier for us to accept…doesn’t it? Especially when we are having a hard time believing it ourselves.

So Molly Maid ripped through the Lairds quarters & got rid of Jenny & Ian’s personal belonging making room for Jamie & Claire to take over residence. Now, it’s time for some walks down memory lane.  Claire, do you see…all the blue? Your new home, room…blue. All the pottery, vases…blue. You didn’t need to buy that vase in episode one did you? You are surrounded by them now…and later…well. FLUTTER!

vases

Jamie tells Claire stories of his father. Bringing Brian Fraser to life for us. Who was played by Andy Whipp. Another fantasticalamazaball casting choice. He was on the screen for moments. He came to life in some dialogue in which Jamie talked about his books, boots n blade.

We get to “meet” Brian. In Fort William as Jamie speaks of him. We got a sneak peek at him – those of us that were hound dogs looking for him in “The Garrison” episode. This time – in this flashback. Jamie brings him to before our eyes & Andy Whipp brings him to life.  They look a like, the lilt of of their accents. Damn fine casting.

I can see it...can you?

I can see it…can you?

The way he commands the guards with compassion & dignity. Not groveling. The way he tells Jamie he will stand by him. This father in this time isn’t ashamed to love his son & kisses his cheek. “Y’er a braw lad son!” Major sigh. Reminding your boy to be strong in the face of everything. Yes. Brian Fraser made me love him in about 10 seconds flat. Frogs n arseholes he made me love him!

Then we have to face off against HIM. Again. Ugh. Captain Creep Master General. Sitting there idly writing letters. Probably to his only friends.

dear s&m

Rambling on to Jamie how his Dad couldn’t possibly get his pardon letter and be back on time, but he had a GREAT idea on how he could get out of getting flogged again.

There were two menu choices. 1. Buggery. No butter. 2. Floggery. With Extra Hate on the side.  Geez Jamie. What’s it going to be? You know…Jamie could live without butter he is thinking. CCMG said he would let him go. Suuuuuuuure, he’d let you go alright. Straight to a grave. I think he would have on’d him, then off’d him.

With the feeling of his father’s kiss still wet upon his cheek he is thinking, there is no way he could let his father down like that. Not so much the  buggery.It’s the whole-letting that man “the chair doesn’t even want sitting on it” break his will.

douchechair

Like Jamie doesn’t know how much a second flogging is going to hurt. The big meany pokes him right in the stripes. Not a here’s a wee FB poke to make your day but a remember this? This hurts dunnit?

pokeme

Then, we get to see the flogging AGAIN. GLARF! Like it wasn’t bad enough the first time. Brian has to be there. Seeing it, then dropping. The aneurysm takes him. We knew Brian for moments. Yet when he falls to the ground, he takes my heart down with him. WHY, BRIAN WHY???

cry

Jamie regrets it all. Not seeing his Dad die. Well, we saw it. It was horrible. Didn’t see him taken away, buried & hasn’t seen his grave. Putting off the tough stuff. Jamie- it seems to be your thing these last 4 yrs. Running away. Ammiright?

SUPPERS ON! Claire thinks the best way to anyone’s heart is by giving them booze. Pregnant or not, poor Jenny a glass & you are sure to get in good with sister.  Small talk turns to “You know anything about being awesome like me & running a house like this?”  “Hmmm, not yet but I learn quick, don’t you worry.”

Ian reminds everyone  Quarter Day is tomorrow. Jenny is excited cuz she gets to take everyone’s monies. Ian just wants to celebrate his buddy coming home! Jenny also thinks this is a good time to rib on lil bro again, things just aren’t tense enough and she has 4 whole years of pent up big sister pissing contests to win. She throws down the Daddy’s grave card.  Jamie is still avoiding that splinter under the nail so…

elk

Jamie takes that one because Jenny lets him suit himself. AKA Get stuffed you wee shithead.

Quarter Day brings lots of happy faces. Mine especially. Jamie in leather. MMMMMMM. Nom Nom Nom.  It’s Brians leather BTW. Looks fine on him, fitting into Daddy’s jacket verra well.  People are bringing gifts for the Laird n Lady. First one…a bottle of booze. Claire is thinking to herself SCORE! I’m going to like it here JUST fine. These are my peeps!

yes

She gets all sorts of gifts, then one…one is SUPER special. The little vase with blue deco. The one she should have bought in episode one. It’s not exactly the same vase but a vase still the same, she had never owned one. Now she did, the look she gave Jamie was “You have no idea but I’m home.”

sigh

Quarter Day is going fine however Jamie seems to be giving away more money than he is bringing in, in the spirit of generosity to his tenants during hard times. Jenny ain’t happy ’bout it.

We get introduced to Rab & Rabbie McNabb. Poor wee bugger Rabbie, just wanted a crappy bannock.  His father started smacking him around in front of everyone. Claire isn’t really one to watch boney lil kids get batted around. She got in there and tried her best to diffuse the situation.  ME?   I would have seen just how far his balls could have gone into his stomach under the power of my Reeboks but…then again, I can be a trifle on the vigilant side when it comes to weak men. There aren’t many things that get my dander up. Morons that smack around kids & women for the sake of smacking them around. Yeah.

hold me back

Hold me back bro…

 Claire brings wee Rabbie in the house to be tended, bringing him straight to Jenny. Their relationship exists. If its strained most likely because Jenny has always been the one in charge of Jamie. The only woman to care for him since their mother died. Think about having to give him up to a wife. Yeah…ouch right?  I think Claire is aware of that so she is being delicate with it.

Jamie sees them with the boy & goes over to see what’s shaking, Jenny dismisses him. She has been in run of the house for a long time but truth is. The men are the ones who discipline the children, the women who are the one who tend & love them. Not his business. Truth. This is why he isn’t concerned when Jenny flits him away & he pretty much ignores Claire when she calls after him to do something there and then.

Next thing we hear is drunk music. This was thanks to the awesome Bear McCreary. Then we see Jamie…he done went and got Claire Drunk. I know right? There’s a switch. This whole scene was just awesomely written, brilliantly acted & just funny as hell. Claire’s eye rolling, Jamie’s ass smackin’ I’m the Laird of Lallywood & beat up people, yo ho ho & a bucket o rum was just plain funny.

DogLaughing

I did like the line “the difference between abuse & discipline”- a little token there for peeps. There plainly is a line that some choose not to see – in both directions.

opinions

Drunken convo about elephants, seeing them & riding them was priceless and as annoyed as Claire was with her annoying drunk of a husband, she also thought to herself, “Oh, I guess whats good for gander…”  One good heave and he is snoring happily.

The next morning, we hear hungover music. Nicely played Bear. See a green Jamie…..another nice change. Claire has a remedy that always works for her. MORE BOOZE!

Jenny flies into the room, not caring over much that Jamie’s head is as big as the broch, giving him hell for not taking the rents & not talking to her before putting the boots to Rabbie’s father, she happened to be taking care of that lil problem.  He looked abashed at this but she kept on going and hit the big button, the one she knew would get his goat. The DAD button. As lil brother he knew he just had to puff up and yell back he was boss and didn’t have to ask ANYONE for help! NUHUH not him! I caught a whiff right there that Jenny probably still saw him as her little brother, yes, always would but it was her father that was Laird. Jamie & Jenny were like peas n carrots. The Laird card just got played not the man card.

I'm the Laird, I'm the boss I make the decisions WHINE WHINE BLAH!
I’m the Laird, I’m the boss I make the decisions WHINE WHINE BLAH!

Jamie went & bit into a chunky bannock, I take it they aren’t supposed to be chunky.He called for Mrs. Croooooook, sounded a lot like hoooooor.  She was like “Ain’t my fault I have to grind the stupid flour…YOUR mill is broke”  So, he puffs up and figures HE is going to fix it. Every book reader is thinking WHOOOHOOOO MILL POND, WATER WHEEL SCENE!

Happy Dance EveryBODY!
Happy Dance EveryBODY!

Jamie & Claire head to the water wheel, sure enough, something is stuck! DARN. Jamie has to strip off his kilt & get into that water. This show can be torture sometimes you know. Making us endure this.

If you can't sense the sarcasm...you are broken deep inside
If you can’t sense the sarcasm…you are broken deep inside

By the way, I don’t have a penis…and I had shrinkage. That effin water looked COLD…AND I’m Canadian. I know COLD! Brrrrrrrrrr. Jamie exclaims CAC!  Which I was sure meant “Holy SHIT my balls fell off!” but Àdhamh Ó Broin said it was just “shit”…

Jenny comes running up & Claire admonishes her because of her condition. Saying she didn’t have to come but she says OH YEAH…I did- showing her who ELSE is coming. Red Coats. AGAIN!  Jenny, fast on her feet tells Claire to keep silent, they flare out their skirts to cover Jamie’s clothes. So for those who think Jenny is hardened & Claire can’t stand her… Yeah. All of that- right there.

These redcoats aren’t evil meanie pants though. They want to help fix the wheel. OF COURSE they do! ERGH! Jamie has gotten REAL good at holding his breath. It’s all his practice going down n doing morning alarm clock exercises. Everything happens for a reason I tell ya!

Jamie manages to fix the wheel & throws his shirt in it to make it look like THAT was what was stuck. The redcoats leave with a passing insult but no harm, no foul. Except maybe they take Jamie’s perfectly good shirt with them. Don’t offer to give it back or anything, just lay claim to it. Weenie move guys. Weenie move.

colin no

The girls rush to make sure Jamie is alright. Jenny’s concern of course comes out in something that sounds like big sister condemnation when Jamie is standing there all, glistening, neked & really really cold. Good lawd…that water looked glacier spring cold. Poor buggers. Jamie hardly heard WHAT she was saying only realizing she was there, keeping his own Wee Jamie covered – not so difficult as he has big hands & we have comprehended that water is super duper cold.  Let’s make this VERRA clear to you

effects of cold water
By now, you should be used to seeing these lil guys, and this one has a hat on…more tolerable?

Jamie spins around. He wants to get out of the water but he also doesn’t want his big sister to see him in all together…so he yells at her to turn around so he can get out before his cock snaps off. We all yell at Jenny to go because the last thing ANY of us want is for his cock to snap off! That…would be a catastrophe.

cant happen
some cocks…just can’t snap off…and be gone from us forever. This is one.

Many of us have a “SHUT UP” Button.  Jenny found hers when Jamie turned around.  His back, the scars…in that moment…the story of Jamie being flogged at Fort William was no longer just a story. It was Jenny’s little brother, being flogged at Fort William. Her story of that day & those 4 years apart, suddenly became HIS story & then theirs. You could see it clearly on her face in the few seconds before she spun around and ran away from it. Who would want to face that any longer than they had to.  Honestly? That kind of truth is like a kick in the face if you ask me.  I know you didn’t but if you haven’t figured out…I’m going to tell you *snort*

Jamie harps to Claire after Jenny takes off, wanting to know WHY she was there. If Jamie had lapels to grab n shake, pretty sure Claire would have right now. Plus its a good thing he had a hold of his own manhood because if it was within her grasp…she might of snapped it off herself. She sharply let him know Jenny came to warn him of the Redcoats because she gives two shits about him. With a swirl of her skirts…off she goes.

Claire is upstairs in Lallybroch, looking at the paintings – beautiful- when she & Always HoppyGuy Ian have a moment.  You know, he is perpetually Jenny’s balance, the happy balance…he & Claire seem to have such a connection in the show. One that didn’t really seem to jump off the pages for me in the book. Yes, he cared for her & him her but of course, you don’t get those stolen glances do you? The “Finally I have a brother in arms” against the world to be married to a Fraser as they battle it out in front of them. To read them…and to see them are very different creatures. I suppose if Steven Cree & Caitriona Balfe didn’t artfully present them – they would be lost on us as well. They get to know one another. He shows her part of Jenny she hasn’t seen, still strong, still worthy but soft. His. Hmmm, maybe the part Claire sees in herself a bit.

damn

Claire is also having a hard time dealing with the dynamics of helping Jamie find his niche. He believes he has a roll to fill. It’s a big one & in trying to do that, he is putting on airs that really don’t suit him. This is something so many people are guilty of that the expression was created for those very people. People do this not because they always BELIEVE it themselves they are better…but they think OTHERS think they SHOULD be better.  I will go back to Quarter Day – Jamie wearing his father’s coat, Jamie calling out to his tenants that LIKE his father he would be lenient.

See...more than just a pretty face folks
See…more than just a pretty face folks

AlwaysHoppy Ian let’s Claire know, the best way to deal with a Fraser is a good swift kick in the arse. Claire asks…if that doesn’t work…Kick harder he says.  He oughta know, can’t be easy to kick w one leg. Better take his advice. Claire makes up her mind.

Jamie, sound a sleep in bed. Looks angelic. Until Claire grabs his sheets and unceremoniously dumps his ass on the floor. She lets him know – it’s the Lady of the houses turn to talk. He best be shuttin his wine gob. She tells him he’s Jamie Fraser FIRST…Laird of Lallybroch SECOND and NOT his father but his own person…in so many words.  Even though Sam Heughan is a great actor, Jamie Fraser SUCKS at it.

We have a few shots from Tourism Scotland again. Have you booked your tickets yet?

Then…we are in the grave yard.  Jenny arriving to meet with Jamie who is standing facing  his father’s gravestone…for the first time. Jenny scares the beejeezus out of him. He is surrounded by dead people after all.

Oh you guys really OTTER make up
Oh you guys really OTTER make up

You just want them to kiss n make up but you know- this is going to be more than that.

And it is.

Jamie asks to speak first.  Claire got to him.  He gives Jenny the money for the rents, tries to make amends for the Rabbie situation & Jenny agrees that their father would have agreed with Jamie that the boy would be better off at Lallybroch.  Still Jamie knows, Jenny had the running of the estate for 4 yrs., he should have spoken with her, and he says so…apologizing.

This hits her but where it hits her starts us on a path that leads to Jenny stealing this scene.

I'll just take that scene....Thank you very much Sam
Laura – I’ll just take that scene….Thank you very much Sam

Jenny, after seeing Jamie’s back, realized the fury of the flogging Jamie had taken at the hands of Randall.  All of the years, part of her blamed her brother for their father’s death. Thinking he must of shot his big mouth off to get himself in trouble. That was after all his M.O. while they were growing up.  Those scars though, those were more than that…she turned it back on her own actions. Laughing in the face of the attempted rape.

Jamie pulls her to him. “Cry not”, he says. She needs to. He needs to comfort her. This is their moment to comfort one another. To heal one another. To share a moment of blame…both of them angered Randall. Both of them blame themselves for their father’s death and both of them can pass that fury onto one man. Captain Creepy deserves their wrath. Together.

Jamie tells Jenny he would have gladly died to save her & here we see Jenny’s iron backbone solidify once again & deliver a line from the books that has always resonated.  “If your life is a suitable exchange for my honour, why is my honour not a suitable exchange for your life?”

nananana
NA-NA-NA-NA-NA

She does love him as much as he loves her. THAT’S why they can get so angry, become so offended & know EXACTLY what to say to turn the knife so deep.

“Welcome home, Laird Broch Turach” Jenny says. Then all is right in the world. They accept their new roles in their lives, they finally lay their father to rest. Jamie kisses his sister & they go home to start their new life. Side by side.

SUUUUUUURE they do!

Man I love these people like family.

It happens every time. I guess I am easy
It happens every time. I guess I am easy

Claire is sitting at the window, starting out at the broch. “What the hell is up with this north facing tower thing?” she asks…”The thing is round, thats stupid.”  “Don’t be silly Claire, the door is on the north…DERP!”  *eyeroll* She says “Fraser’s” like one would say “Dumbasses” which…I got a huge chuckle out of.

Get comfy, but only for a couple moments. Claire feels like she belongs. Jamie reminds her, his arms are her home. Telling her why he married her. That he wanted her more than anything else in his life. Talking about her round arse and rock solid head…such a charmer. Then…the love…he tells her he loved her the first time she let him comfort her at Leoch. Also how he loves her more each day than the day before…yeah…She loves him…of course she loves him. Let’s have sex.

Ummm…them…they have sex. We don’t see it this time but we all have good imaginations & have seen it plenty of times we can replay it.

Naturally, we know, this is Outlander. They are NOT going to let us end on a happy note. No. That won’t happen.

We can't be that lucky
We can’t be that lucky

Sure enough, Claire wakes up & she looks drowsily blissful. You know somethings going down, and it aint gonna be Jamie this time.  He isn’t in bed with her.  Up she gets, dressed and out of the room…first thing she hears is harsh voices & the click of a pistol.

Looking down into the sitting room…Claire sees Jamie surrounded by 3 men of the Watch, pistols pointed at his head.  Told she will have scrub floor first thing in the morning if he doesn’t behave himself…and we know how well behaved Jamie is.

Dangit. Claire…never get comfortable sister.

SL-AB-Ootiest of ABootlanders

FYI—Just a heads up folks…next wks blog burst will be late – I am going on all expenses paid vacay to Cancun w the hasbeen for our 23rd wedding anniversary…the company I am with is kind enough to run an incentive trip that happens to fall during this time…booya! So take care of you…keep OutlanderCAN warm for me. Our Twitter LiveFeed will still be a go.  My fellow admin & buddy tlmfarmgirl will be impersonating me & taking over the @ABOotlanders twitter feed for the hour