Outlander Ep. 106 ‘Garrison Commander’

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It’s Monday and I’m still trying to process this last episode.

Below are my thoughts about it and its characters. If you haven’t watched the episode, be aware that there are spoilers. As for all the rest of you that have seen it, I hope you stop by and give me your thoughts on it.

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This episode starts and ends with hope. It starts where it ended last week, at the brook with Lt. Foster offering assistance to Claire, if she needs it and she tells him she is indeed a guest of MacKenzie’s but he insists for her to accompany him to Ft. William and meet his commanding officer, which she has no choice but do, Dougal in tow. She is actually happy about being among her people and is hopeful in soliciting their help in escorting her to Inverness.

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Well, after meeting some English officers and a few glasses of wine, our Claire gets a bit too comfy and just then, in walks Captain Randall. And from there on, I’m now sure everything will go south. But not Claire! She’s full of hope that one of these noble English officers will sympathize and offer her an escort. After all, these are her people. I loved watching her entertain all these men, but once she proved not to be just an ‘English Rose’ but a woman with a mind, all those men just ran for the hills and abandoned her to one of the best tête-à-tête sessions I’ve ever seen. This was her only hope to convince Captain Randall to help her get to Inverness and let me tell you, our girl tries very hard, but this man can read her like a book.

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He’s not buying any of it, and in the end tells her so. He is plainly playing her like a harpsichord [btw, wasn’t that the instrument playing as she’s dining with the those pompous asses?!], and even I can see her wheels churning as to how to reach this man that reminds her so much of her beloved Frank. Captain Randall wants her to corroborate the fact that MacKenzie is a Jacobite and she’s playing dumb, telling him she knows no such thing.

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At this point he tells her that if she doesn’t cooperate, he’ll employ other tactics to get at the truth [SHUT THE F* UP CLAIRE!]. I just knew she couldn’t let this one pass by! She tells him she’s heard of ‘his tactics’ before. They earned him quite the reputation at Castle Leoch. You could see that Black Jack was itching to talk about this particular case of inflicting pain and administering his own brand of justice to a young man who had already been flogged with 100 lashes just a few days ago. He deemed it appropriate to give him another 100 for having been found with bread in his possession.

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And here is where we get to go into the mind of a monster. What a trip! Hell and damnation, but this is one sick SOB! The way he describes himself, his victim and the act of flogging is very disturbing. But to watch the said act as he is describing it is beyond anything I’ve ever read [excluding the Bible] or seen [excluding Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’]. The scene is brutal in its honesty. If this scene was visually and emotionally hard to watch, I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been on the actors in it. Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies were brilliant. Those scenes opened the eyes of the audience as to the strength of this young man, but most of all, we were let into a dark mind of a monster.

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No normal, sane human would ever enjoy describing his actions as form of bonding and connecting to his victim by flaying him to the bone. No normal, sane human would refer to that heinous act as ‘bloody masterpiece’. However, an insane, sadistic man would and did.

106 c“I think all they could see was the horror. I could see the beauty. I saw the truth. That boy and I, we were creating a masterpiece, an exquisite, bloody masterpiece. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”  Black Jack Randall

Our Claire finally and irrevocably gets the picture, but still, deep within her heart tries to reach him by offering what little understanding she can. Both are trying to explain his darkness by using war as an excuse, but I’m not buying it! BULL! This guy relishes his darkness and he’s not willing to leave it.

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“I dwell in darkness, madam. Darkness is where I belong. I need none of your sympathy and you‘ll get none from me.” – Black Jack Randall

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Now let me back up a minute here. It’s noteworthy to mention that the scene between BJR and Claire took in the garrison’s dining room and only the two of them were there. It was actually exhilarating and amazing to watch the exchange.

Photo credit from: @spetzluv45 @JeSuisPrestNow

Photo credit from: @spetzluv45 @JeSuisPrestNow

To some, this episode may have been boring [once more I say to each their own] but to me, they were tension filled; riveting; painful; absorbing; revealing. And when I say revealing, I don’t only mean ‘character revealing’, I mean it also as showing me the caliber of both, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies, acting abilities. HOLY SHIT but they are brilliant. I couldn’t avert my eyes from Claire’s eyes. This woman’s quiet tears were falling unchecked to her bosom while staring at this man who is oh so casually talking about flogging a man almost unto death. You can see that she is in pain as much as loathing, wishes with all her might to somehow reach deep inside this man, and try to fix him. Well, that is until he sucker punches her! All bets are off now! Kudos to Caitriona Balfe for once more showing us how strong she is in this role.

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

This might have been Tobias Menzies’ finest hour, but he needed someone like her to bring this all out, and boy she held her own! The same could be said for Sam Heughan. Tobias Menzies needed him as well to pull this scene off. In the end, all three did an outstanding job and this show continues to bring it’s A game, as I give props to the writers, directors, show runner, producers, costumes, music [OMG this was great too], and finally those hard-working makeup artists that had me squirm as I watched Jamie’s back.

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The end of this episode came quickly as usual and I whooped as Dougal once again saves the day by whisking Claire out of the garrison, with BJR telling him he’s not done with her and to bring her back for further questioning on the morrow. Dougal may have saved her but he still doesn’t trust her and while they stop by this creek, he once more asks claire, while she’s drinking the sulfurous water from the creek, is she an English or french spy [all the while hiding his dirk behind his back] and at this Claire is pissed as hell for having to repeat it over and over that she’s just plain Claire Beecham. Lo and behold, he says he believes her and the reason for it?!

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

The magic spring! Yeah! If she was lying, she’d be dead by now from water eating her gizzard out! So now that he trusts her not to be a spy, he finally wants to protect her by making her a Scot. And the only way to do that, is for her to be married to one. No, not him but we now know it will be Jamie she’ll be marrying if he’s willing, which HELLO! He sure is and I’m loving this ending and I can finally exhale!

What did you think about this episode? Did you buy into BJR’s excuse? Were you able to watch the flogging? What did you think of Cait’s performance in this episode? And Sam’s? And Tobias’s?

 “Doesn’t it bother you that I’m not a virgin?” – Claire

“No,” Jamie says, “So long as it doesn’t bother you that I am.”  – Jamie Fraser

Here is preview for next week’s episode “The Wedding”

#Ask Outlander with @TobiasMenzies!

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Ron’s podcast said it was your idea to wipe Jenny’s face with your finger – is visiting your dark side fun?

Yes, I’m afraid all that kinda kinki-ness tends to be my idea….ho hum

Will you also be playing BJR’s brother Alex in the next season?

Be fun! but I would have to do scenes with myself….? what could possibly go wrong

Are you a bit jealous – not being able to wear a kilt?

Are you kidding! The kilt is a ridiculous item of clothing……get dressed!

Who is your favorite singer/band?

Can’t stop listen to Everyday Robots by Damon Albarn

Who is your favorite tennis player?

Now Djokovic

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Wich one do you like to play best,Frank or BJR??

Really enjoying them both, the variety is fun

How did you find the humanity in Black Jack? Does he even have any!?

Definitely, its not interesting if he doesn’t, don’t you think?

Favorite outfit, 40’s or 18th century? You look fab in both!

Both great, @draiochta14 is a genius, but have to go red coat

Has Outlander afforded you with more opportunities in films?

Have had a chance to test that water yet, been too busy filming the show, but i hope so. would you go see my film?

We know some really..umm..dark stuff are on the way. How was it like filming those scenes?

We’ve been shooting the wentworth stuff these past few weeks. yeah, its dark, what can I say

Yes or no to Marmite?

YES

Will you also be playing BJR’s brother Alex in the next season?

Be fun! but I would have to do scenes with myself….? what could possibly go wrong

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So, have you ever had to switch from Frank to BJR in the same day of shooting?

Not yet, but I feel sure there’s gonna be a day….

Was acting your first love?

No, I wanted to be a tennis player, I was brought up on McEnroe, Borg, total rock stars

Justice or mercy?

Wow, we’re getting philosophical……mercy

Coffee or tea? And how do you take it?

Coffee, milk and a dash of sugar

Has Outlander afforded you with more opportunities in films?

Have had a chance to test that water yet, been too busy filming the show, but i hope so. would you go see my film?

Do you have an itch to direct any future episodes? Is this an option?

I would love to actually, always had a desire to direct at some point….what this space

@Writer_DG has said she is BJR. What about you-more in common with BJR or Frank?

I love that Diana says this, its great, who could blame her, he’s kinda the best

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How does it feel to be not so liked as a character? Does it effect your real life?

Oh I think you like me a little bit right?!

What do you do to unwind?

Tennis, love my tennis

Who is the most studious on set?

Hmmm, good question….it you’re not sure its probably you

Have a whip do you have handcuffs too?

That would be telling

Is this your most challenging role yet? If not, what was?

This is certainly up there, but I played Hamlet in the theatre, that was a little challenging too

Do you improvise a lot on set? Love your work…and striped socks

No, no real impro, we work on the script a lot and try and stick to it, its quite a precise form of drama

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Do you prefer cats or dogs?

In my old age I have become a dog person

Any tv shows you’re currently watching?

First season House of Cards enjoyed a lot

Did you also do screen tests with @caitrionambalfe? How did they go? Instant chemistry or slow and sweet?

No I didn’t do any chemistry stuff, they kept me separate, probably wise

Does BJR know how evil he is?

I think so, but he draws the boundaries in a different place to most people, but he’s immoral not amoral

Do you have any Welsh ancestry because you sure look like my brother

Betsy Ramsey’s bro pic

Betsy Ramsey’s bro pic

Not as far as I’m aware…but that is uncanny!

How do you step out of the mind of a dark, difficult character at the end of a work day?

Who says I do?

If you could meet anyone, living/dead, who? What 1 question would you ask?

It would have to be, What’s it like to play two characters?

 Can I be honest? My head is so fried by typing like a madman for 30 mins I can’t remember what we said `ahhhhh #AskOutlander

Hey thank you everyone for your questions! great to hang out with you a little….enjoy the show on saturday, sweet dreams.

[all photo credit STARZ]

Outlander Ep. 105 ‘Rent’

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Do I need to tell you that there will be SPOILERS? If you’ve not watched the episode, you may not want to read this post.

NOTE: From this point on I’ll not be recapping [there are so many sites that are doing it, and some are really good while others attempt to be funny and come across silly, but to each his own. We are all entitled to our point of view, and let me tell you, there are many] the episode but will let you in on my thoughts about it. You’re welcome to join in the conversation and put your two cents in.

On the road again ... Photo credit STARZ

On the road again …
Photo credit STARZ

Okay, I really need to get a life … As of now I’m all over the road with Outlander series. Seriously, I watch it every day … sometimes twice a day. I need an intervention. I’m not joking people…Inhale, exhale …

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Let’s start with what this episode did for me. I watched Claire get an eyeful of Scotland, and while she got to drink in all the vistas, I was left thirsting for it. I honestly can’t pick my favorite episode so far, but this one tugged at my heartstrings from the first frame!

This whole episode was an ode to the beauty of Scotland and its past. I salivated over scenes upon scenes of amazing scenery and gut wrenching conflicted emotions of Claire, Jamie and Dougal. I surprisingly didn’t cry at the most dramatic scene in which Dougal rips Jamie’s shirt the first time. I cried at the scene in which 2014-09-07 20.44.01Claire shyly joins the women to help them waulking wool. My heart went out to this young woman who is trying so hard to stay strong. Here more than in any episode she feels as an outlander. In the end the strain of being excluded from the men, she takes a stroll around the village in search of companionship, coming upon some women and you can see the happiness on her face as she joins them. She does everything they do trying to belong and blend in. I give Caitriona Balfe props for embracing this role. She plays the role to perfection. So many people are commenting on her delivery of that famous line “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ” that I thought I’ll give you my two cents on it. I think that JHRC can be said in so many different ways …it can sound as a prayer, as a curse word, without passion and only as a sigh, softly spoken in awe …and on and on. When I read the books, in my mind and “my own English accent” I say it slower, with an exasperated sigh … but honestly, there really isn’t a right or a wrong way to say it.

Photo credit STARZ

Photo credit STARZ

But I digress … Let me get back to this episode and Jamie next. Have you all noticed the intensity with which Sam Heughan embodies this role in every single episode? I honestly think he’s ‘taken on’ the role so well that he’s playing him with an instinct of who Jamie is to him, rather than the direction. Remember what he said? This is his Jamie too. Ron Moore is damn lucky to have found Sam Heughan and snapped him. I’m gob smacked that GoT people missed on this young man’s talent! It has to be the serendipity, right?!

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LOL! I digress yet again! With each episode we get a new insight into Jamie and who he really is and I’m applauding Ron Moore for not rushing his character in becoming ‘King of Men’ within two episodes. It would have felt rushed and uncharacteristic of Jamie, not to mention inauthentic to the books.

105 o6I loved watching his conflicted emotions and walking that tight rope between what he wants and feels is the right thing to do, and what his duty is, which sometimes is not one and the same. Jamie at this point in the story is still an outlaw [he made himself scarce when they came upon the watch, remember?]; he’s still under the protection of the MacKenzie and on this trip at the mercy of Dougal, an uncle that despite of his love for him, wouldn’t bat an eye to kill him, if he decided not to go with his plan to aid his cause; the English Captain Randall who is

Photo credit STARZ

Photo credit STARZ

dogging him and wants him alive so he can continue his torture of him before he kills him; his growing attraction to a woman that he doesn’t understand but still wants to protect in as much as he’s capable at this time [giving her advice to not judge them so harshly] but conform to the place she is in now. At this point, he’s no kin to her, therefore he has no right to her and taking her side in any argument or situation she finds herself in [he soothes Angus’s feathers after Claire calls them all thieves by calmly telling Angus the food she refused to eat, would only leave them with more] would cast suspicion on him.

2014-09-07 19.25.26Jamie has absolutely nothing right now. No home, no land and really, no real family. The only thing he can do is endure. He gave his word that he will be obedient and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Every scene in which finds Claire in danger or on the ‘outs’ with either the clansmen or the English, Jamie is always watching out for her, but using his brains rather than the brawn. It is exactly what the books describe him to be. He tried to give Claire his best advice tonight. For crying out loud, she called them all thieves! For these passionate, burly and devoted men, that was a huge insult and Angus, who by the way is as hot-headed as she is, did the only thing a hurt man would do, he pulled a2014-09-07 23.00.45 knife on her and told her off. She was quick to judge and Jamie pointed out, and rightfully so, to stop getting her nose into things she clearly does not understand. I do understand her frustration, but man! She doesn’t know when to shut the hell up! But then that’s our Clare! We wouldn’t have her any other way!

2014-09-07 20.53.21Now let me talk about these men a bit more. I was participating in a discussion yesterday in which a commenter [and I can honestly say we all are entitled to our opinions, after all we are watching the show with our on POV, so there will be many interpretations and takes on how we perceive what is transpiring in front of us] is very disappointed with this episode and the way the men came off in it. She sees them as gentlemen and feels that they were rude and crude to Claire, and that they were portrayed in the books much favorably. Personally, I am staying away from the books while I watch this series and more on that later, but let me tell you what I see when I look at these men.

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These men are hard-core warriors first and foremost. They are rebels with a cause they will do anything to achieve and protect. Period. They are stuck with a woman they do not trust and believe her an enemy but have a need of her skills so they will use her for it and if in the process they can find out more about her motives as to why she’s in the Highlands all alone, the better.

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Dougal would not hesitate in cutting her throat, if she proves to be a spy and he even said so himself [to her face when they were leaving the cottage and he was helping her on the horse] in the first episode. A gentleman may think it, but would never say it out loud. Their hostility towards her was always prominent. Colum telling her she’s to stay as a ‘guest’ but meaning a prisoner; Dougal having not one, but two men following her every step, and telling her straight out he believes her a spy; even Jamie knows for sure that she is hiding something, although he admits to her that he doesn’t think her a spy.

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They may appear to have accepted her in the earlier episodes but they haven’t by a long shot. Even the old lawyer Ned is sticking close to her and reporting to Dougal every word she utters. Dougal most of all does not trust her and feels that no matter his obvious lust for her, he wouldn’t think twice in killing her. Yet we see them come to her2014-09-07 20.37.55 defense when other people besmirch her name! This is in no way a contradiction to me. It is the first step in accepting her and possibly giving her a chance. The second round of this ‘manly acceptance’ came when she cracked a joke and all were laughing about it. By the way, my crush continues on Murtagh. LOVE this guy. No matter what, he has only one goal: Keep Jamie safe. Have you seen that look on his face as Dougal rips Jamie’s shirt and he leaps without hesitation?! If Jamie hadn’t stopped him, what do you think would have happened?!

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This episode also opened Claire’s eyes to Dougal’s cause. He is a Jacobite and he will do anything to raise money and put Charles Stuart on the English throne. Knowing what she does about the rising of 1745 and the faith that awaits the clans and Highlanders, she can’t figure out if and how to warn them, yet still stay alive. She tries to tell Ned that it is a fact, and that the history will not record another Stuart on the throne, but it will record the slaughter of the clans.

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“History be damned!” Ned says and you can see that she is heartbroken that in only couple of years these men that are loyal, passionate and true to their King and blue and white flag, will probably all die. I loved the history lesson in this episode and that got me 2014-09-07 21.28.06to thinking about the politics of today and the soon to be decided Independence Vote in Scotland. There 2014-09-07 21.29.03are a lot of rumors circulating about the reasons behind UK not picking up the series and one of the reasons was that this show may influence more people to vote YES. I’m not buying that. first, the politics in the book have nothing to do with politics now. Jacobite rebellions [there were more than one?] is about ‘restoration’ of a King and is not about Independence. This is all about rights and money. I have no doubt it will be picked up soon.

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Let me address the book vs. show.

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I can’t stress enough to all the passionate and dedicated book lovers out there. You have to learn to let go of the books for just a bit. They will be there for you always. The show for me is riveting and interesting enough that I’m not even noticing anything else. To me, it’s like reading new material. I love the Voiceover a lot and my hubby even commented that if Claire hadn’t told him what was in that pipe she gave Ned, how would he have known it?

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My thinking is that the book is one thing and the show another. Both have my favorite couple and I can enjoy both separately, without expectations of one not doing the justice to the other. Not gonna lie, it isn’t easy to do but once you do it, I promise that you’ll enjoy the show much more. To put a better perspective on this, just imagine 25 million people out there that have read the books and now are watching and waiting for “their” special scene to come, and it never appears. Now imagine how hard it is for the production to pick and choose what gets in and what doesn’t. I for one couldn’t do the job they are doing so I’m placing my trust into Ron’s hands. From what I saw so far, he is yet to disappoint me.

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These so-called ‘slow’ episodes are crucial for character development of not just Jamie but everyone else. This may be one woman’s journey and perspective but when all is said and done, this is without a doubt an ensemble SHOW. We should treat it and try to understand it and the motives behind it, as such. I urge people to have more patience. When Roger didn’t show up in that first episode,  a lot of people were all over that episode and everybody kept saying how disappointed they were. I’m 100% sure that we will see him in her flashback. Ron has to use that scene to introduce the character because of his future importance. We need to put ourselves into the story and characters and watch them develop at their own pace not ours. I do sympathize though with you and understand where you’re coming from but patience my friends, and some understanding would serve us best.

Photo credit STARZ

Photo credit STARZ

I can’t finish this post without mentioning the music. It continues to mesmerize and add deeper meaning to each scene and I’m really looking forward to the CD or iTunes of it. Bear McCreary is a genius! Check out his blog. He goes in depth about the music he creates for each episode of Outlander. My poor hubby will have to suffer through many hours of listening on our road trips!

Photo Credit STARZ

Photo Credit STARZ

As for the hour, it went by too quickly! We have only three episodes left before the show goes on a short hiatus and I may need serious therapy after watching episode 16. I remember finishing the book around 4 am in the morning and calling in sick, because I was sick. For days I couldn’t get the images out of my mind and cried like a baby!

Oh, and talk about endings, this episode left me gasping for air …

 

 “Tell me madam; are you here by your own choice?”

WHAT?!

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So what are your thoughts on this episode? Do you think Jamie is under used? Is the show too slow for you? Tell us what you liked the best, worst and anything in between … I am ready for this much talked about Episode 106, are you?

Did you know that you can download Ron Moore’s podcast for Episode 105 / RENT for free on  iTunes or listen to it here.

#AskOutlander/Live Twitter Chat w/@grahammctavish

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 · 20h

Find out what it’s like to portray Dougal MacKenzie tomorrow during a live chat with .

Apologies!!!!I am now ON. got delayed with a table read on my next project. But I’m here now. Will do my best to answer as much as I can!

What Are you wearing rgt now ;-)

My costume for The Finest Hours…

What’s the best thing about the Scots?

Their humour and their compassion

Best distilleries to tour on Islay?

Take your time, do them all…

Who do you believe would win a fight to the death? Dwalin or Dougal?

They’d never fight

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

How do you get a horse to go to the toilet??

Build a big one….

Who did you meet FIRST on the set of @Outlander_Starz (on the first day)

Sam…

Unicorn or dragon?

Unicorn, the national animal of Scotland….

How do you feel about independence?

I am voting YES

Favorite period for historical study (since you mentioned you enjoy history)?

17th is a fave

Can you describe Dougal in three words for me?

Complicated, intriguing, passionate

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

Is The Beard high maintenance?!?!

The beard is patient and kind…

isn’t it weird that u have the same surname Jamie’s?!?

A happy coincidence…

Do you think Diana caught the Scottish sense of humor in her writings?

She needed no help there, very funny…

Where’s the first place to go when in Scotland?

I love Skye and Mull

When filming how accurate is your wardrobe? What’s under the kilt?

A cool breeze

Do you eat haggis?

Absolutely!

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Black pudding or white pudding?

Stornoway Black…

Favourite book by Jane Austen? *I know you have read Jane Austen

Emma, and P&P

when your’e not filming or working do you live in the states or in Europe?

a suitcase..

Where is Outlander filmed?

Gods own country, Scotland…

What is it like to work with the horses?

They don’t talk over you.

he shinty game in Ep 104 was crazy! How long did it take to film?

A whole day.

important question: what is your favorite brand of whiskey? Need a suggestion.

Too many…

What’s your favorite character from literature?

Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair….great stuff

Do you wish to return to the stage at some point? Any role u want to do?

Yes, One day….

Where was your cover photo taken? I feel I recognize it

Mount Cook, NZ

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After 4 episodes, my secret crush on Dougal isn’t so secret any more. Thanks!

I won’t tell…

Do you prefer pants or your kilt?

Nothing feels like a kilt….

Who was your role model as a kid?

My Father

How long does it take to shoot one full episode?

Between 22-27 days for every 2 eps.

What role was your first paid performance?

Paris in Romeo and Juliet….Long the ago…

How is it like to shoot in your homeland?

A joy, and a privilege!

Is there anything you’d like to take home from the sets?

My weapons…

Did you already know how to ride? Do u have a favorite horse to ride?

I’ve ridden before, yes

Was there anything about filming Outlander that surprised you?

Horses go to the toilet A LOT

What do you like to do in your free time…hobbies/sports?

reading, history, cycling, drawing

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Who is the prankster in the cast?

Stephen has been known to…

Who is the funniest person on set? :)

LaCroix makes ME laugh!

What’s your favorite place to visit in the world? *And hello!

I loved India…

Which cast member has the saltiest language?

that might be….me…

Who or what inspired you to start acting?

I got into it through writing my own material

Did Claire crack your skull with a foam chair?

Foam!! No, it was a breakaway chair.

Who is your “CONSTANT” amongst the cast/crew

Whoever makes the coffee….

Is there a special school for eyebrow acting?

It’s a very select group…

Which of Dougal’s many facets is your fave to portray?

I’m interested in vulnerability…

What’s the “real life” name of the beautiful horse you ride in Outlander?

Lambert!

Have you kept the beard since you finished Outlander?

You betcha!

Flavored or non flavored lattes?

Never flavored!!!

Did you ad lib any of your lines?

Some popped up…

Does Dougal respect or fear Claire?

He admires her, is intrigued by her….

What is your favorite memory from shooting the show?

xo”The people

What is your next project before Season 2?

The Finest hours for Disney

If you weren’t an actor what profession would you choose?

Was going to be a pilot, like my Dad

How difficult is it to film in the rain/mud?

Harder for Cait, wearing only a shift!

Do you have any idea why Dougal would kill Jamie if Dougal is so fond of him?

He is complex…

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Favorite swear word?

I like to combine them….

What is Dougal’s favorite thing about @grahammctavish?

We have matching beards…

Do you believe Dougal is an honorable man?

Yes, sometimes…

Do you miss you wearing kilt?

How do you know I’m not wearing it now…

Do you think having a beard makes you an Alpha Male?

I think it keeps me warm in the winter.

I sadly have to get back to work. It’s been great, as always. Thanks for the questions…Tulach Ard!!

Outlander Ep. 104 ‘The Gathering’

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RECAP: The episode opens with Claire playing in the near forest ‘hunt the boar’ in which she appears to be the boar. And while the kids are having some fun, she is secretly marking an escape route with her discarded hair ribbons and her fichu. In the next few scenes I loved the way we watched her relationship with Angus and Rupert. Both men are being slowly disarmed by her and in return, she is feeling sad to leave the place of simplicity and apparent joy, yet knows that she must.

b10Before she does that, she needs to stock up on provisions for the road, and she takes us through her plan as we watch her moving more freely around the castle’s halls and kitchen. She also needs a horse and under a guise of needing one for the hunt, she goes to the stables, and Old Alec tells her all of them have been taken, and when she doesn’t take that for an answer and asks if maybe Jamie could help her, he then throws in some free advice to not bother the lad this night, and points her into the stall of a Brimstone who if not tended to will turn back to home. Not bloody likely if she has something to say about it, Claire thinks.2014-09-02 15.45.05

As she enters her dungeon/surgery, she is surprised by her bosom buddy Geillis’ visit, but welcomes her as she has brought a bottle of port [which she plans to spike with valerian root sedative for her unsuspecting duo, Angus and Rupert]. I loved the way Geillis tried to pry some information about Claire’s past by telling her how she came to be in Cranesmuir and why she married the old fart. She doesn’t stop there and keeps on prying into Claire’s marriage and gives her some sound advice by telling her that the Highlands are not for a woman to be alone.

2014-09-02 15.45.20As Geillis leaves, Claire takes us through her elaborate plan of escape and as she’s about to swipe a kitchen knife to serve her as a weapon, Mrs. Fitz pops in and sweeps her away to guise her up for the party, and making it a bit easier on Claire to be rid of her guards as she spends time with Mrs. Fitz.

I loved and thought the Oath Taking was splendid from start to finish! Just hearing the war cry of Mackenzie’s gave me the goose bumps, not to mention the cameo appearances of Ronald D. Moore and Diana Gabaldon. Both were touching and memorable. Watching Leticia lovingly speaking to her husband in Gaelic with their son at her feet was also touching. Murtagh’s obvious reluctance and then acceptance to translate for Claire as they watched the proceedings from the balcony, was such a sweet moment.2014-09-02 15.47.21

Angus cutting in the line ahead of Rupert was funny and his uttering the word ‘port’ with an English accent was hilarious as was this whole scene with Claire trying to get rid of her shadow by plying him with it in hopes he may share it with other clansmen. Good luck with that! Me thinks if Angus continues to hug the bottle, there will be only one man knocked out!

104ocdgAs she sends Angus on his way to ‘bag a lass’, she decides that the time has come to put her plan into action and heads for her surgery, picking her hobo bag full of food, she heads out …just to run into Leery who needs a wee favor with luring Jamie into her clutches by asking Claire if she may have something that would help a lass ‘move a lads heart forward’ ….Oh, yes, she just happens to have a powder just for that … horse dung sprinkled on his doorstep combined with Leery’s chant “there’s no place like love” will do just that!2014-09-02 15.47.07

Rid of the Loony Leery she’s off and running through the castles halls, and just when you think she is well on her way … BOOM! trouble she finds in a way of three burley clansmen that have had too much to drink and would love a bonny lass to help them celebrate! Dougal saves her from their assault but not before she knees one in the bullocks, leaving her alone with Dougal who tries to kiss her and cop a feel but she slaps him pretty hard. This scene was actually very reveling as to Dougal’s feelings toward Claire. He is very much attracted to her but does not trust her. The way he stopped her from leaving, holding her for just a second, inhaling her scent was scary to the viewer as much as it was to Claire. Coming to his senses, he notices her hobo bundle and reaches to take it, she using that moment to brain him with a stool over the head and off she is running, for the stables.

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

JHRC she says as she bumps over [literally] sleeping Jamie who, upon sheeting his knife, notices the same hobo bundle and chuckles asking her how far does she thinks she’ll be going before they catch her? She is crestfallen because her perfect plan just 2014-09-02 15.45.34turned into a nightmare and while she knows this fact, she can’t quite admit it to herself yet, and with deep frustration she dumps all of this, including Dougal encounter, on Jamie who understands her perfectly and with his usual charm and laughter asks to escort her back to the castle, choosing an alternate route so he wouldn’t be detected.

Well, that doesn’t really work out as well, because the guards spot them both and insist 104o12Jamie join his Uncle at the Hall for oath taking, but before they do he asks them to let him change his clothes. As they are about to do that, the young man holding Claire asks if he could have the lassie, and Jamie isn’t keen on that idea so he head butts him but in the process gets himself knocked out by Rupert.

As Claire is joined with them all for his change of clothes, he is given a MacKenzie motto pin to wear, but he says he can’t wear it because he’s not a MacKenzie. He asks her if she by any chance ken’s his clan’s motto and she says she doesn’t so he tells her.

Okay people …. Taking a deep breath …. “Je suis Prest” [I am Ready] never sounded this good from anyone’s mouth as it did from Jamie! He tells Claire to go back to the hall and find a spot, he’ll be there shortly. She then walks in and joins Murtagh telling him that Jamie is here and then you could hear the pin drop as everyone is looking at him and while his left hand is twitching, Claire is confused at all this attention he’s receiving, so Murtagh once more interprets for her the tension they all feel at his entrance.

2014-09-02 15.47.21He explains that because of their Tanis Laws of inheritance, Hamish nor Dougal are not necessarily the ones in line to be the next Laird. Jamie, being of the same blood and not the same clan, is still eligible to be ‘chosen’ Laird by the Clan MacKenzie, but only if he swears the oath of ‘fealty and loyalty’. If he does that, Dougal who feels he should be the Laird next, will kill him for sure, and if he chooses not to do it, the clansmen will spill his blood because they’ll feel he’s not loyal to them.

Jamie-Outlander-Gathering-Nervous

You could cut the tension with a knife in the hall, and Claire is devastated that she is the cause of all this for him. The scenes here as Dougal and Colum are watching Jamie coming ever closer to the dais where they’re standing, as well as the inner conflict on Jamie’s face as he kneels before them is priceless. And then he surprises us all with his cleverness and says:

“Colum MacKenzie, I come to you as kinsman and as ally. But I give ye no vow. For my oath is pledged to the name that I bear. I give you my obedience as kinsman and as Laird. And I hold myself bound to yer word, so long as my feet rest on the lands of the clan Mackenzie.”

Ken the difference, aye? He pledged his ‘obedience’ not his ‘fealty and loyalty’ for only that time that he bides on Colum;s land. Way to go Jamie!

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Now that Claire is resigned to her stay at the castle, she’s off to follow the men who’r off and running after the deadly boars. In the next few scenes we see both, Claire and Dougal, at their best. She’s very much at home under pressure while doctoring the wounded at the hunt and Dougal is the same as he holds tight to a dying friend. Both have seen death up close and personal, and while both are deeply affected, neither is weakened or cowed by it. They also are dealing with it as best they can, and Dougal is ready to get rid of his grief with a game of Shanty that he happens to walk into.

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It shortly becomes clear to all that the game is also a sort of one-upmanship between an uncle and his nephew. When Dougal has Jamie pinned down and says “Yield!” , Jamie comes back with: “What would you think of me if I did?” to which Dougal says: “Not much!” By the way, am I the only one to have heard Jamie yell out “Fraser!” as he passes/hits the ball?!!!! Tell me I’m not the only one to hear it!? Well, Jamie wins this friendly game with his uncle by tossing him over his shoulder and that’s where the game ends as well with Jamie asking Murtaugh if they won, meaning his clan, Fraser. Because now we know it! He yelled it loud and clear! Didn’t he?!

2014-09-02 15.47.38Anyways, we’re back with Claire in her dungeon when Dougal stops by and makes a statement not a question that she’s seen men die before violently, to which she tells him, yes and elaborates with, many of them. Both are willingly keeping mum about his pass on her. Dougal is here for a reason but before he gets to it, he praises her work as a healer, tells her that Mrs. Fitz would have her sit for a portrait if it was up to her, and thanks her for easing Geordie’s passing. He then tells her, not asks mind you, that at first light tomorrow morning he is taking her out from the dungeon and onto the road with them collecting rents and such.

We are left with everyone, Jamie included, heading out of the castle, with Claire saying that she must use an opportunity if it presents itself, to escape and head for the stones. This time she must not fail.

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MY THOUGHTS: Holy crap but I’m obsessed with this show. This is not healthy people! I love everything about this episode, but what I loved the best was the 1940’s music woven through it. It is there on purpose to remind us of Claire’s mission to escape. We are watching her interact with everyone in the ‘present’ while in her head she keeps the ‘future’ close to her heart. LOVED IT!

I’m now in love with Murtagh! This quiet, loyal and trustworthy man is awesome! His line “I’m getting too old for this!” is priceless and as Murtagh from ‘Lethal Weapon’ kept that movies hero safe, so is his namesake.

As for the secondary characters, Angus and Rupert especially, I am gobsmacked watching them steal the scenes they are in! I never expected them to be so funny, likeable and real. Not to mention Mrs. Fitz! What a character she is! I swear, if I lived in that castle, I’d be her.

With this episode we can safely say that everyone involved with this production is bringing their A game, from the creators, directors, set decorators and costume department, to every actor featured so far. This is a show of one woman’s journey, but this is without a doubt an ensemble show and a labor of love. BRAVA!

Not to feed my obsession, but what are your thoughts on it so far? What works for you and what doesn’t? Or are you not even watching it :(

NOTE: From this point on I’ll be giving you my thoughts on the show and point you to couple of great sites for RECAPS. I also listen to Ron Moore’s podcast which you can find here for ep 104.

Here are a few places where you can catch some really fun recaps:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY / OUTMANDER / JEZEBEL / VULTURE / HITFIX

I leave you with a clip of episode 105 in which Claire fights Rupert for the goat! Enjoy!

 

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@Outlander_Starz and @TallShipProds [Maril Davis] on Twitter!

MARIL DAVIS
Here she is, answering Outlander fans’ questions!

Chat with brilliant Co-Executive Producer on Friday! Tweet questions with

Everyone ready for my live chat? Starting…..NOW!

Have you read all of the Outlander books/companion books? Has shared unpublished writings with you?

Yes and Yes.

Will you get a break before filming of season two starts or just go straight into it?

We will get a mini-break before we dive into Season two.

13 ep season 2? Thinking of splitting the book into 2 seasons?

No, Dragonfly will be one season, just like the first book.

Will you be returning to Doune for the next season?

Probably not, since we don’t go back to Castle Leoch in

Who among cast is most like the character they play?

Probably Stong, intelligent lady with a great sense of humor!

Even b4 being renewed were you planning on how to bring DIA to screen? Biggest challenges to this?

We definitely talked about it. Impossible not to talk about future books while breaking 1st season

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

Are the actors as excited for Season 2 as we are? Perhaps they’re a wee bit knackered right at this moment.

We’re all tired, but also INCREDIBLY excited about Season Two!

Does also do scouting for locations? Do you go location hunting? They have been spectacular!

Yes he does and I do too. All the writers/producers scout locations for their blockdo the fans help keep you guys going? we know we’re a handful!

Yes, they do. The support is amazing and keeps us going on tough days.

My man is watching w/me. Did cast and crew significant others know the series before filming?

I would say most of the cast and crew had never heard of the books before they started working on the show

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

Can you tell us if Sir Marcus MacRannoch was part of adaptation of book?

YES!We cast Frazer Hines in the role the man responsible for setting books in Scotland

how mini is a mini break?

Two weeks

Will you be joining Ron in a podcast during the season? love the podcasts.

I don’t know. He hasn’t asked! ;)

Are there different producers for each block? Though it was only the writers and directors.

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

All of our writers are also Producers. so, a different writer/producer covers each block

How do you decide on directors?

We look at their past work and also interview them and get references

Sam isn’t a heroic romantic?

But, of course! However, Sam can blink…. :)

Is anyone keeping costumes? They’re sooo good!

No, probably not. However Terry told me I could have Claire’s coat with the fur trim…..;)

Did T Menzies read bits of both Frank & Jack in casting or did you cast on basis of his general brilliance? :)

The amazingly talented read both a Frank scene and a Jack scene for his audition

What character do you look forward to the most to cast from Dragonfly in Amber?

Probably Lord John and FERGUS!!!

What character do you think will be the hardest to cast in Season 2?

Brianna and Roger

Since you’re already got a huge studio in Scotland, will you be filming DIA there?

Yes, we will continue to use our studio as our home base

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

PHOTO CREDIT STARZ

*on bended knees* do any of you guys know why is not airing in the UK?!

No clue and it’s very sad. We feel HORRIBLE about it!

Have you given some thought into writing an ep?

Hahahahaha, NO.

Who makes you laugh the most?

They ALL make me laugh, but maybe a tie between and

Besides the coincidence of hair style, do you have other things in common with Claire?

LOL – Well some would accuse me of being ballsy and outspoken, so I guess there’s THAT coincidence as well! ;)

Were you a fan of the books before working on Outlander?

Um, YES! This was my passion project gave me books years ago. Loved them. Pitched them to Ron

Thanks for all the questions! Sorry I couldn’t answer them all.Will try go back to answer ones I missed! Until next time!