17 September 2014

Outlander - Episode 6 - The Garrison Commander

***Spoilers ahead - kind of.  If you haven't read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and want to, you might not want to continue reading.  If you've read the books, you know what's going to happen...the show is one interpretation. ***

***Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened.  When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.*** 

You can watch the first episode for free until June 2015 on Starz play.  Other episodes are only available with a Starz subscription.

Most of my "review" is written live while watching the episode and then edited for clarity.

We start out where we left off - with the cutie patootie Redcoat soldier (I think he's cute, but didn't put much stock in it since he's a 'bad guy'; however, other fans have attached themselves to him) asking Claire if she's alright. Dougal is doing his best menacing stare, we're holding her breath, and . . . phew, she said the right thing.

Dougal looks relieved by her answer.  Or surprised.

Um. Did they tell the rest of the group they were wandering off with the redcoats?

I didn't know the British army were called  Tommie's in WWII (and WWI was where it began: Link). Learn something new.

I'm still liking Claire's narration.

When arriving at the village/their destination, Cutie patootie redcoat had an interesting little swagger (definition of swagger) going on there.

Okay, good for him making his men care for their horses. Though, cutie patootie lost points being insulting to Scots in front of a Scot.

The entirety of the dinner guests are snotty after snotty. Seriously RUDE! General started out politely, "Cutie Patootie (Lieutenant Foster) are you going to introduce me to this noble Scottish gentleman?" And the introduction was polite. But it devolve quickly from there, "War chief, eh? I say this for you, you look the part." Dougal responded in a thick Scottish accent, quickly, which was probably deliberate. Heh, Claire's amusement makes me think she agrees. The English continued with their assery.  It's like they don't realize they're being asses.

Cutie Patootie made an attempt to call them on their assery over Dougal's accent and then Claire followed up with saying some English have horrid accents too. General replied, "the world would make a lot more sense if the world spoke like Londoners." (Meh eh ha laughs all around. So clever.)

*gif from Tumblr

"If ye wished to hear Londoners speak, perhaps should've stayed in London."


OoOoh, BURN by Dougal!

Funny how he can easily understand an insult.  And that is his "bitch, I will cut you" face.

Phew, Claire stepped in just in time.

General: "You do know how to order men about."
Dougal: "Ay, she does that."

*Insert our cackling laughs here.* No really, we cackled at Dougal's sass there.

And Claire looks so relaxed with her impending chance to get home. Time to drink it up! Nice chatty, happy music, laughy laughy montage.

Enter Randall! Dun dun dun! OoOoh, what is he going to say about Claire. Her expressions are brilliant here. Fear, wariness, and the relief and smugness over his exclamation of not having met her before.

Danger, Claire, danger. He's trying to get a rise out of you. Be careful.

Ugh, she wasn't careful.

Your chance is slipping away...


And Claire's character shows out. She easily abandons her concern for her welfare to go help the injured redcoat. And then she surprises Dougal by telling him she would feel better if he was scarce so they can't easily blame the injuries on him.

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Dude! That amputation was more graphic than I was expecting. Very well done.

Back with Randall, and no commanding officer to be a buffer. Nice touch with the straight razor shaving déjà vu. We get to see Claire's surprise and disorientation over two men that look so much alike.

"I look forward to revealing my try nature to you." Such an ominous statement from Randall.

Claire has much trouble keeping from making little slip ups with Black Jack.


New tactic, new attempt, another lie.

*Adam found her description of the man of her affair hilarious as it was Randall she was describing to Randall.*

He isn't buying it.
*This photo is from:

He draws?

Easy out, Claire. Give up Dougal and his men and get home.

*This photo is from:

And then she mentions the flogging and gives away that she has seen Jamie. If he doesn't believe any of your stories so far, Claire, he is not going to believe you have just 'heard' of Jamie.

Randall relishes in telling her of his punishing Jamie. His pleasure in seeing how far he had to press Jamie to get him to crack and his frustration over his impotence in being able to beat Jamie's stubbornness. (Link to Sam and Tobias account of filming that scene.)

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They draw the whipping scene out so long. You get the brutality not only through the whip actually making contact with Jamie's back, the blood bursting from the old cuts with Jack's first stroke, the puddle of blood, but from the looks on the faces of the spectators and their gasps, the narration from Jack, the echoes of the whip behind that narration, and Claire's weeping. She not only cries because she saw the scars that brutality left and Jamie's embarrassment of them, but for the final realization that Jack is not Frank. There is nothing of Frank's gentleness and care for her sitting in front of her, no matter how hard she desires it. Her heart is breaking for Jamie and Frank, and herself. She repeatedly grasps for any hint of humanity in Jack so she can hold onto Frank.

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We knew this episode would be one of the harder ones to watch, but still it was hard. I felt like the whipping went on for ages. I wanted it to be over quickly, but I think with how they did it - how they made it feel longer - was well done. They need to convey Jack's sadism to us (especially considering us as viewers who haven't read the books).

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I think Jack is fascinated with breaking Claire as much as he was with breaking Jamie. He easily reads Claire's despair on her face and plays her, encourages her attempts to give him redemption and her hope. He gives her joy and relief by saying he'll let her go, and then literally and figuratively punches her in the gut.

What is a milksop?
  1. Milksop: a person who is indecisive and lacks courage.

Yay! Dougal to save the day! Phew!

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Dammit Scotland. There ya go being all beautiful again. Bastard.
*Photo from

Why didn't Dougal think of St. Ninian's spring (link??) before?
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"If you drink from that and prove untrue, it will burn your gizzard out." The delivery of that line was perfection.
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"So I'm to marry you?!"
"Well, I must admit, the idea of grinding your corn does tickle me..."

'Grinding your corn' Ha! That killed me. Robert happened to be watching at that moment (he sneaks a few moments each episode, maybe testing to see if it will hold his came in too late this time, dear) and he was amused by that too. Who came up with that euphemism?

Unlike the Facebook Outlanderites, who want to turn each discussion into arguments of why they should have picked someone else to be Jamie/Claire/Frank-Jack, should have done it like, should have not changed this, should have changed that - essentially just arguing for the sake of arguing - I really like the Tumblr Outlander community. They've embraced the actors chosen and the changes and additions to the show and revel in the joy of this show. They acknowledged the darker aspects of each episode but they have made some brilliant gifs sets and memes for the good bits.  Like the interchanges between Claire and Jamie.

Especially this one:

*This gif set is from this Tumblr post.

And this one:

*gif set from this Tumblr post

Claire angrily stomping away after snatching the bottle is a perfect end to this episode.

Also, this photo:
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Murtagh is a Clairmie/Jaire (Claire+Jamie/Jamie+Claire) shipper.

Let's see. Next week's episode is The Wedding. The one a lot of the fans have been looking forward to. The story goes from just Claire's, to Claire's and Jamie's story.

How do you think they did with the whipping? Do you love/hate Tobias's Black Jack?  The first time I watched, his sniffing as Jack made me pause...but the second time (yes, I watch the episodes more than once, I'm not going to write while watching for the first time) it didn't make me pause and I only truly noted it once. Is it his (Tobias) way of getting into the Black Jack character and differentiating it from his Frank character?  Is that something other actors/actresses do when playing double (or more) roles in shows? Not specifically the sniffing thing, but something extra or different that they do with one character that they don't with the other. The first thing that comes to my mind is Fringe and Olivia and Altlivia, but I can't remember noticing quirks or nuances that the actress gave each person. Something to ponder when watching shows in the future.

*If you cannot see the photos or gifs in this post, visit the blog here:

*Most photos in this post came from the photo recap done by:

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