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These last two episodes of Season 1 are difficult to watch.  It does not seem fitting to call all of them “favorite,” so some scenes, particularly those that highlight Sam Heughan’s incredible acting talents,” will be considered “memorable.”

“You owe me a debt.”

This is one of those “memorable” scenes.  Assuming his impending death and loss of Claire, Jamie begs BJR to fulfill his part of their bargain.  Jamie had agreed to give himself to BJR in exchange for Claire’s safety and he would receive a death by his method of choice.  Jamie has nothing left to live for, and when Black Jack is distracted by the invasion of highland coos, he begs him to fulfill their agreement.  Again, another example of Sam Heughan’s superb acting skills.

A “Highland Coos” Drive-By

This is truly a favorite scene, at least in the sense that we are glad BJR is incapacitated for a while and won’t pose a threat to Jamie in the immediate future.  We could not help cheering when Black Jack Randall was run over by a stampede of highland coos.

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Thanks to Murtagh’s brilliant idea of using wayward cattle in the rescue mission, he, Rupert and Angus were able to not only rescue Jamie, but put BJR out of commission for a while as well without having to risk their lives in battle with him and/or other British soldiers.  As we know, they incorrectly assume Black Jack is dead.  If only they had taken an extra few seconds to ensure it.

“You are a magnificent creature.”

This is a memorable scene because it is the one thing on which we can agree with Black Jack.  Jamie is indeed a magnificent creature.  Even Jack’s sadistic nature and the darkness in which he lives cannot blind him to this fact.  Perhaps that is what draws him to Jamie… a need to destroy that which is good and beautiful.

“No more Claire.”

Part of what makes this plot line so tragic is that Jamie believes he will never see his beloved Claire again.  She is lost to him, and Jack uses her and Jamie’s love of her against him.  Jamie hallucinates Claire’s face on Jack, and when her faces disappears he realizes she is gone.  We cry with Jamie, and it is a tribute, again, to the talent of Sam Heughan.

Out of the darkness and into the light

Many of the scenes in this episode are shown in flashback after Jamie is rescued and taken to the abbey.  He recounts some of his experiences to Claire, who is desperate to heal him in body, mind, and spirit.  Jamie is equally desperate to resist her healing.  Murtagh again shares his wisdom with the suggestion that in order for Jamie to be healed, someone will be required to enter into the darkness in which he exists right now and force him back into the light.

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That is exactly what Claire does.  After a a visit with Fr. Anselm and a little roughhousing to get his attention, she finally tells him that if he insists on dying, she will die with him, right there, right then.  Again, Claire is shown to be Jamie’s Achilles Heel.  This time Claire turns that weakness into a strength because he will not let her die with him.

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“Whatever your sins might be, have faith that they will be forgiven.”

Fr. Anselm find Claire alone in the sanctuary and offers to hear her confession.  Claire hasn’t shown a great appreciation for organized religion and its dogma, but she accepts the Father’s invitation to confession.  And, man, does she confess.

He is the only person outside of her immediate family with whom she has shared her amazing story.  She tells Fr. Anselm that the situation is her fault, and her confession empowers her with the spiritual strength she needs to bring Jamie out of his darkness and back into the light.  In a sense, she ransoms her own soul as well as Jamie’s.

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Claire is shocked to see that Fr. Anselm doesn’t judge her.  He declares her story as marvelous, extraordinary, and perhaps even a miracle.  He believes her and assures her that whatever her sins might be, she will be given.  Claire must recognize that the Father is a good, holy man, the antithesis to Fr. Bain.

“I was wrong.”

Jamie’s road to recovery will be a long one, but at least it has begun, and they set sail to France.  The good news is that Claire has a wonderful surprise for Jamie.  Their lives have been forever changed, and under the circumstances it it hard for Jamie to believe he could ever be himself again or feel happiness, aside for having Claire with him.

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Neither thought it could ever happen.  Jamie thought he would never feel happiness again.  Never say never.

 

 

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When we first began thinking about favorite scenes for this episode (and the next), we wondered how we could pick “favorite” scenes from an episode replete with tragedy and torture.  Upon careful consideration, however, we realized there are some things we enjoyed, apart from the brilliant performances by Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Tobias Menzies.  Regardless, we will not address the most brutal scenes.  It is simply too hurtful.

Let us first address the obvious.  Sam Heughan proved in this episode that he is worthy of any and all accolades and awards for his brilliant and heart-wrenching performance.  Much of his acting was done without dialogue.  Sam has mastered the art of communicating with his eyes and face to give us a wide range of emotions.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Black Jack Randall burns Jamie’s Petition of Complaint, yet he gets no reaction from Jamie.  That must have been a disappoint, since we know how BJR likes to evoke strong emotions from his victims.

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BJR’s attempts at intimidation fail.  He asks Jamie how he would prefer to die, and wants him to admit that he is terrified.  If he admits to being terrified, BJR promises to give him an honorable death of his own choosing.  (What a deal.)  Still, Jamie doesn’t beg or surrender.  He remains calm.

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No matter what form of intimidation BJR employes, Jamie remains cool.

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This is one of our favorite scenes because it illustrates the amazing acting talents of Sam Heughan. The tear rolling down his cheek breaks our hearts.  Finally, after BJR threatens Claire’s life, Jamie surrenders himself.  Claire is his Achilles Heel.  The only weapon BJR has against Jamie.

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Brave Hearts

Claire and Jamie sometimes make foolish decisions, but their bravery cannot be questioned.  Jamie isn’t the only man to find Claire’s courage and bravery attractive.

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Claire Fraser, “a most singular woman” (Dougal Mackenzie), “no coward,” and a “fit match for [her] husband” (Black Jack Randall).  Yes, she is a quite extraordinary and “rare” (Jamie Fraser) woman, and we love her well.

One of the most satisfying scenes of the episode is when Claire tells BJR she curses him.  She is no physical match for him.  The only weapon she has in her arsenal is knowledge, and she wields it expertly.  What a brilliant mind f**k.

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We love it when Claire plays the witch card.

 

 

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Episode 108 is the mid-season finale.  We see what Frank has been doing since Claire went through the stones and we also see how Jamie and Claire’s relationship continues to grow.  She has become one of the clan.  She forgets about her plans to return to Craigh na Dun until she suffers an attempted rape and happens upon the stones while awaiting Jamie’s return from meeting Horrocks.  Before she can touch the stone, she is captured by British soldiers and taken to Black Jack Randall.  Jamie rescues her just in the nick of time.

It’s different.

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Jamie and Claire are married two days when they picnic at the top of the cliff and meet the beggar, Hugh Monroe.  Hugh gifts Claire with a unique fossil, which appears to be a dragonfly trapped in a chunk of amber.  We will see this fossil twice more in Episode 213.  However, my favorite part of this scene is illustrated in these gifs.

Jamie, as inexperienced as he is, recognizes that their relationship is special and wonders if what they have is typical of married couples.  Out of guilt, Claire fights her feelings for Jamie but ultimately does not lie to him.  She confesses that what they share is not usual, it is different.  This may be the first time Claire admits to herself, as well as Jamie, that they share a unique and special love and a unique and special physical relationship.

May I just add here that the hand sex in the last gif is super sensual?

The Sgian Dubh.

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“Every man and woman must know how to defend themselves, Sassenach, especially those married to a Fraser.”

After the attack by the Grants, the Highlanders decide Claire should learn to defend herself from an assailant.  Poison is often seen as the weapon of choice for women, but as Dougal points out, “it has certain deficiencies in combat.  The lass needs a sgian dubh.”  Angus trains Claire in the proper use of the sgian dubh (hidden dagger), and we later realize that this scene is foreshadowing an imminent future event.

 

The Sgian Dubh Again.

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While frolicking in the meadow (because the wanting never stops), Jamie and Claire are attacked by two British soldier deserters.  The situation looks grim, as one soldier holds a gun to Jamie’s head while the other attempts to rape Claire.  Claire takes a brief moment to gather her wits and recalls her sgian dubh training.  Because she has the weapon and knows how to use it, she is able to save both their lives.  During the instant the gun wielding soldier is distracted by the screams of his dying partner in crime, Jamie is able to slit his throat.

I love badass Claire.

The Cliffhanger.

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Jamie rescues Claire before BJR can harm her, but Jack’s reaction is priceless.  “Good God.”  Then he laughs like he is happy to see Jamie, which is probably true given his obsession, but Jamie is the last person he expected to see in his window.  This is a great cliffhanger because we know we’re going to see a confrontation, a battle between good and evil.  We even suspect Claire will have some explaining to do since she promised Jamie she would “stay put.”

Then begins our first Droughtlander.

 

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