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Jamie Fraser

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This.  This is my favourite scene in The Gathering.  No question about it.

We see witty Jamie

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We see protective Jamie

 

 

 

 

We see Jamie who is willing to put himself on the line for Claire.

OL-S1.4-Jamie-Claire-in-stables3OL-S1.4-Jamie-Claire-in-stables5OL-S1.4-Jamie-Claire-in-stables6   He never tells her why he wasn’t at the Gathering.  He doesn’t need her to know that.  He isn’t doing it so she will love him.  He just wants her safe.

He also never makes her feel like he will tell Dougal that she tried to escape.  His concern isn’t that she wanted to leave, but that she wouldn’t be successful and things would only be worse for her.

***sigh***

Claire knows she can trust him.  She takes his hand and together they go back to the castle.  This is the first time they act as a team.  That is important, and it so often goes unnoticed.

 

What do you think?  Is this your favourite scene as well?  We love to hear your comments.

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Episode 103, “The Way Out,” gives us so many good Jamie and Claire moments.  Their attraction builds, though Claire would prefer to deny it, at least to herself.  Claire also builds her friendship with Geillis, but draws upon herself the wrath of Father Bain after healing Mrs. Fitz’s nephew.  Finally, at the end of the episode, Gwyllyn’s song gives Claire hope of returning to her home.

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This exchange between Jamie and Claire is so precious.  Jamie seems impressed that Claire isn’t fully intoxicated yet, and Claire seems proud of herself that he recognizes her ability to hold her (or Colum’s) rhenish.  This leads us to the next great scene.

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The sexual tension in this scene could be cut with a knife.  Out of feat that Claire will soon be too drunk to find her way safely back to the surgery, Jamie asks Claire to check his bandages.  When he confesses his true intent, Claire decides she may as well check him anyway.  The looks they exchange speak volumes about what they’re feeling.  Jamie looks pleased that Claire is taking such an interest. Had Jamie not been the gentleman he is, he probably could have had her right there in the surgery.

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I am no fan of Laoghaire, but this scene is important because it triggers some unexpected reactions in Claire.  Laoghaire lassos Jamie for a kiss, but Jamie especially enjoys it when he realizes Claire is watching.  Is he trying to make her jealous?

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After seeing Jamie and Laoghaire kissing, Claire teases Jamie in the dining hall.  Clearly it was a dangerous thing to do, and Murtagh chastises her for it.  Murtagh seems to share our sentiments regarding Laoghaire’s suitability as a mate for Jamie.

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Immediately after the dining hall scene, Claire goes outside to be alone and cries.  Claire’s voiceover tells us that she feels guilty for teasing Jamie and that she did it because she was jealous… not jealous of Laoghaire but of their “intimacy.”  Then she has thoughts of Frank.  However, I believe in this scene Claire is an unreliable narrator.  She will not admit to herself that there was indeed some jealousy of Jamie and Laoghaire.  She is fighting the attraction she has for Jamie.

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As Dougal promised, he takes Claire to visit Geillis so we can replenish her herb supply, but Jamie is sent to “fetch” her after Dougal is called by to Leoch.  This scene illustrates Jamie and Claire’s ability to communicate with each other non-verbally.  The expressions on their faces tell us everything.

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This is the first of many times we see Jamie and Claire working together as a team.  With a hefty price on his head, it is quite a risk for Jamie to be seen in public.  This also makes me suspicious about Jamie being sent there to “fetch” her in the first place.  Did Dougal intend to put Jamie at risk of being caught?

 

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There are so many great scenes in Episode 102, but we have picked some favorites to share.  In this episode we begin to see the attraction and trust develop between Jamie and Claire.  We also are introduced to the fabulous Mrs. Fitz.

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When the group arrives at Castle Leoch, Jamie introduces Claire to Mrs. Fitz.  I love our Jamie gives Claire the once over.  Though Claire’s dress is appropriate for her modern times, it arouses suspicion in Jamie’s time.

-D

There really is so much to love about Episode 2 – Castle Leoch.  We discover this world right along with Claire and it is beautiful, and more than a little dangerous.   Picking a favourite scene was difficult and it changes the more I watch it.  Today, I think my favourite scene is when we are introduced to Mrs. Fitz.

 

It is perfect that Mrs. Fitz is the first woman that Claire encounters in this new and strange world.  Mrs. Fitz show herself to be loving, and welcoming, but also entirely capable of handling a herd of warrior highlanders.  She commands their respect and obedience, but it is not out of fear.  They adore her as we will come to.  In this one small scene we learn that Mrs. Fitz is the heart of Castle Leoch.  She is very much like Claire, and Claire recognizes that kindred spirit.  She feels more at ease by Mrs. Fitz’s presence, and we see her regain her confidence and poise.

Probably my next favourite scene would be where Claire tends Jamie’s wounds and reveals his scars.

Jamie is obviously nervous and uncomfortable.  He doesn’t know how Claire will react and you can see his vulnerability.  Claire responds not with pity, but with compassion and empathy.  It is her heart and her healing spirit that come through in this moment.  She is being Nurse Beauchamp and it is the start of her finding her place, with Jamie, and in this world.

 

These are relationships that help shape her, help give her a sense of security, and help her to grow into the woman she is meant to be.

-S

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Temptation!  Being suddenly thrust back two hundred years in time has to be stressful on a girl, but Claire is tempted here.  Who wouldn’t be?  For a few seconds she forgets about the husband she left behind two hundred years in the future.  Being the gentleman and King of Men that he is, Jamie doesn’t take advantage of Claire’s emotional state, but rather comforts her when she breaks away in tears.  As for sexy scenes, this is about as HAWT as it gets with clothes on.

-D

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Mrs. Fitz is a wonderful character, and it was fun watching her and Claire build a mutual respect for each other that eventually evolves into a true friendship.

-D

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Another favorite scene is when Claire visits Jamie in the stables, presumably to check his wounds and take him lunch.  In the book we learn that Claire finds herself making excuses to visit Jamie around the castle grounds.  We know what you’re up to, Claire.  You, too, Jamie.  The mutual attraction is undeniable.

-D

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Favorite scene:  Frank meets “Ghost” Jamie

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Outlander’s premiere episode, “Sassenach,” is one of my favorite episodes containing a few of my all time favorite scenes, Claire meeting Jamie for the first time, Claire fixing Jamie’s “scratches,” and Jamie threatening to throw Claire over his shoulder. Any scene with Jamie and Claire could be called a favorite.

However, there is one scene in this episode that has become the subject of countless discussions. This is the scene where Frank meets presumably “Ghost” Jamie. When this episode first premiered show-only fans couldn’t fully appreciate the significance of the mysterious highlander, whom we have come to call Ghost Jamie. By the Season 2 finale it is safe to believe that most of those fans would recognize the figure as Jamie Fraser. Book readers would have immediately recognized him, but neither group has reached agreement on the nature of Jamie in the scene.

Show only fans and many book fans claim that the figure is indeed the ghost of Jamie Fraser. However, there are some book fans, myself included, who believe that the figure is an astral projection of Jamie. In a few places in later books we learn that Jamie has either visions or dreams in which he travels to the past or the future. He even recounts to Claire a dream he has of seeing her in the future in a place that sounds eerily similar to the scene where Jamie watches her in the window. It is for this reason, and others, that some believe Jamie has the ability to astrally project himself into other places and times.

Regardless of the nature of Jamie’s form, he has come to see Claire on the eve of her first trip through the stones.  Since we are still reeling from the Season 2 finale where Claire leaves him to return to 1968, this scene has renewed meaning.  In the finale, Jamie promises Claire that even if he has to endure two hundred years of purgatory that he would find her, and we see that Jamie kept this promise.  He found her.

Hopefully, one day Diana Gabaldon will settle this issue once and for all.   -D

 

This one was easy for me.  My favourite scene in Sassenach is the opening scene.

I had NO idea Outlander even existed when it started (I know….was I living under a rock?  How did I even go through life?).

My eldest son and my father both nagged me endlessly to watch “this show Outlander”,  they just KNEW I would love it.  Finally, I buckled and started watching right before the hellatus break between 1a and 1b.

This was the moment that I knew I was hooked.  The black screen, the slow reveal, the beautiful landscape…..then the voice over.

“People disappear all the time”

They had me.  I was ALL IN!    -S

 

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https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/147216844584/qFHF6wxP
Dragonfly in Amber
[for the sake of cohesion, I’m not writing this scene by scene as I normally do]

“Children accept the world as it is presented to them”. Reverend Wakefield’s words couldn’t be more true. Brianna only knows Frank as her father.  As she describes him to Roger I can’t help but think, Huh??  But that’s Bree’s reality. However, for someone who seems to love her dad, she’s asking an awful lot of questions regarding who he was and what he was like. Because she knows there’s a back story to her parents’ marriage. And for some reason, she only wants to learn of it after Frank is gone. Because of his temper? Because sometimes after death we idolize someone and don’t want to face the fact that they weren’t as perfect as we’d like to remember?  I love the references she makes about her mum “living in another world”, “she’s insane”.  It lead me to think that Claire has never been 100% present in Bree’s world. That a part of her, for the past 20 years, has been somewhat cut off at times, when she may have allowed herself to turn inward and return to Jamie in her mind. She may never have spoken of him, like she promised Frank, but Frank couldn’t control her thoughts.

Bree is sensitive, argumentative, ready to battle her mother at every turn. That could be grief talking. Or young adulthood. Because Bree is at a point in her life where she notices relationships, and how they work.  What she may want in one, or doesn’t want.  And because she knows there’s an “incident” in her parents’ marriage, the curiosity is killing her. She’s desperately trying to make sense of it. And we witness for ourselves how she tries to talk to her mother about it, but Claire shuts it down.

I love how she is with Roger.  It’s the 60s, and she’s forward and blatantly teasing/flirting/interested in Roger and giving him lots to think about.

Older Claire. The voice tone is different, measured, controlled. This Claire doesn’t put her foot in her mouth.  This Claire thinks before she speaks. I love the conversation between her and Roger in front of the fire. He’s asking how you say goodbye, thinking she’s talking about Frank, when in fact, we all know she’s talking about Jamie.

At first, I found the transitions between the 1960s and the 1700s very jarring. I didn’t like it.  It was too harsh.  But after a while I realized that it very much mirrored Claire. Her present life is having to face the harshness of her past life. And she doesn’t mourn her recently passed husband, but her long dead husband. Which is why the trip to Lallybroch broke our hearts.  When she is faced with her happiest memories and she sits on those stairs and pictures Jamie, her Highlander, Laird of Lallybroch, he isn’t looking as she last saw him, but as he is in her mind. Strong. Tall. Handsome. God, one might even say, Majestic. She feels him on her lips and closes her eyes in remembrance of all she wanted. And had to live without. And we see the crack. The very small fissure in a very tough exterior that is Dr. Claire Randall.  And then, she visibly pulls herself back together again. That’s how she’s done it. That’s how she’s lived for 20 years and managed half a life.

And when Claire is on Culloden Moor and the woman asks if she’s a Fraser, Claire says, “Yes. I am.” and gives a small smile.  Because now she can finally claim her true identity. She can freely call herself Claire Fraser. And she can finally speak to Jamie and of Jamie at the same time. Through Brianna. Brianna IS Jamie to her, in looks and manners. She could always share everything with Jamie, and he would listen.  And she does, again.  And only when she’s come back to him to tell him that he was right, and Brianna is alive, can she say goodbye. Their story wasn’t finished until she could tell him he had a daughter.  And now both soldiers, she and Jamie, can rest easy.

When she’s back in Inverness leaning against the car, it echos the very first time she’s in Scotland. Dreaming of vases and settling down. That Claire, on that trip, was cute and bouncy and happy. This Claire is serious and melancholy and guarded. Which war did more damage? History may say it was WWII but not for Claire. Culloden changed her forever.

Did anyone else catch the parallels in Brianna and Claire’s confrontation? Because in this moment, Bree is Frank.  And Claire is repeating the same speech she gave Frank when she returned, speaking of another man that she loved deeply.  But Bree is also Jamie, because she wants honesty, where Frank really didn’t want the story at all. Brianna states that Claire isn’t perfect, just as Frank declares that she is not the Virgin Mary, and they both accuse her of being fucked by someone else. And once again, Claire reiterates it was all so much more. In the face of their anger, she will not diminish who and what Jamie is to her. Claire tells Bree that she didn’t want to fall in love, that she fought it, yet it was the most powerful thing she’d ever felt in her life.

Also, when Bree talks about “every other bored housewife” did anyone else think she was referring to Frank’s affairs? Because I sure did.

And when we flip back to Culloden we see a very desperate Claire. A reactionary Claire. The direct opposite of the Claire we’ve just seen in the 60s. And it’s a different Jamie. Flashback to Jamie back in Paris telling Murtagh he would never stoop to regicide, but now, NOW he’s looking at Claire considering her plan. We see how Culloden has changed and shaped Jamie as well. Jamie is cold and tired and really, really gaunt. (Well done, Mr. Heughan. I believe you are as weak as you say you are.)  And he is 100% done with Bonnie Prince Wackadoodle thinking he’s Jesus Christ. This is why Jamie can entertain Claire’s plan. Because the Prince is quite clearly, out of his mind. It’s changed him enough that he’ll commit murder. And he does. To protect Claire. To protect Scotland. It’s just not the murder he expected to commit. But in order to move forward in this desperate attempt, one more obstacle has to be overcome. And in the midst of battling Dougal the look on his face says, “don’t make me do this, Uncle”. And when Claire joins in, the sheer horror on both their faces gave me chills.

When it’s time to leave the camp, we finally see the depth of Claire’s love for the first time. She begs Jamie to run away with her. She begs him to let her stay and die with him. Jamie accepts his fate, but Claire will not. Until they speak of the child. And in the middle of this turmoil we have Jamie’s small smile, and Claire’s in return as they share this beautiful secret. And as Jamie once told her that she was his home, she tells him that now.  And she tries to argue, but you see Claire give way to obedience. Remember (as I’ve mentioned before) when Claire promised Jamie before he punished her, that she would do what he said, even if she didn’t agree with it? (Ep. 109)  Claire proves yet again that she loves and respects Jamie. Jamie never demanded her obedience. It was Claire’s to give freely.

The Stones.  My God, the Stones.  The reversal of roles.  When Jamie stops Claire from going through the first time because he isn’t ready, she does so now. And again, Jamie gives Claire choices. He lets her decide how to tell Frank. In some small way he probably expects Frank to believe it, because he believed it. He doesn’t doubt Claire. He trusts her implicitly. Claire knows Frank is different. But how can Jamie conceive of someone who doesn’t literally worship Claire like he does? Claire begs and it’s heartbreaking. Claire Beauchamp hasn’t begged once. Not once. Except now. And as Jamie lists his crimes you can tell in his voice he regrets none of it. Because it’s been for Claire. And as he tells her he will stand before God, and punctuates his sentence with kisses, you can hear in his voice all the love he feels for her, and you can hear his desire for her rising. When he takes her to the ground it echoes the moment in the glade when he says, “Does it ever stop? The wanting you?” Because for Jamie it never stops. Never. And he’ll have his wife before she goes. And as the cannons distract him, he nods at Claire but this time she doesn’t nod back. She doesn’t. And won’t. Because in this they are not Team Fraser.  Instead of repeating the vow “Blood of my Blood” as she did on her wedding day, Claire initiates it.  And they stare and memorize each other’s faces as Jamie walks Claire back to the stones. Her “I love yous” are so much more passionate than the first one she said at Lallybroch, so long ago. And Jamie is so moved by it. And the fact that he keeps nodding and she won’t respond is breaking my heart. Claire will not lie. She will not give him any indication that this is okay with her, because it’s not. Honesty pledged is honesty honoured. Jamie’s voice breaking on her name, it’s too much. I can’t even see through my tears to type this stupid sentence…

Finally, when Brianna accepts her mother’s word, and echoes Jamie’s words of “I believe you. I don’t understand it, but I believe you” Claire cannot contain herself. Bree’s acceptance plays beautifully across her face. Then, when she asks for honesty, it’s more than Claire could hope for. Jamie’s daughter, indeed. And as gotham-ruaidh so eloquently reminded me, the sun breaks over Craig Na Dun in the form of Jamie Fraser.   “…and the sun came out, in the person of James.”– Outlander, “A Marriage Takes Place”

Other Thoughts:

Richard Rankin does an amazing job of showing us how Roger is hit by the lightening bolt that is Brianna Randall.

Gonna go all shouty caps here and say THE TRANSITION FROM BRIANNA SLEEPING TO JAMIE GAVE ME CHILLS. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.

I like Geillis in this episode.  I like seeing her past.  And I like how it won’t clog up Voyager and take time away from the scene we will be waiting for.  And I LOVE, “Why are you here?”  And did anyone else catch the hesitation in Geillis after Roger introduces himself???  Ah, time travel.  How do you work?

Murtagh’s bow to Fergus. Perfection. Fergus’ nod to Jamie.  And Jamie’s nod back.  Frasers.  Family.  And Murtagh, Godfather until the end.  His promise to Ellen, to watch over Jamie.  Even if it means dying together.

Fucking barbeque.  Fucking barbeque???? Nicely played.

I’m gonna say it again.  Dragonfly in Amber is a beast of a book to get through. And the writers did an amazing job of cutting it down into manageable pieces and making it coherent. However, I’m excited for the new writers next season and what they may bring to the table.

But I want to end by saying that the cast was stellar this year. Extraordinary. Sam Heughan’s acting is nuanced but the way he uses his voice as a tool is outstanding. He delivers lines like no other.

But Caitriona Balfe stole every damn scene she was in this year. Every. Scene. She was beyond amazing.  I love her Claire so much more than book Claire. We really are lucky to have them.

 

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http://emertainmentmonthly.com/2016/07/11/outlander-review-dragonfly-amber/

‘Outlander’ Review: “Dragonfly in Amber”

Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

From the upscale halls of Parisian royalty to the blood stained battlefield on Culloden Moor, Outlanderbrings fans on a life-altering journey with season two. The monumental season two finale, “Dragonfly in Amber” effortlessly weaves together the 1745 and 1968 storylines, introduces two, fan favorite book characters and leaves fans with an emotional pit in their stomachs.

When season two of Outlander began, fans learned that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) had been sent back through the stones to 1948 leaving Jamie (Sam Heughan) behind. Not only had Claire returned to Frank (Tobias Menzies), but she was also pregnant with Jamie’s child. Now after twelve, emotionally charged episodes, fans return to the future storyline, this time in 1968. Writers Toni Graphia and Matthew B. Roberts do a beautiful job at bringing Diana Gabaldon’s book to life as they effortlessly intertwine the 1745 Battle of Culloden with Claire’s 1968 storyline. With the 1745 storyline feeling claustrophobic and rushed, the 1968 storyline breathes and lets the weight of Claire’s decisions fully sink in. More than any other episode the repercussions of time travel are at the forefront. Outlander is about time traveling and dealing with those consequences and the season two finale gets back to that basic theme.

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

After an entire season of waiting, fans were finally introduced to Roger Wakefield MacKenzie and Brianna Randall Fraser in an epic 90-minute finale. Following so much secrecy surrounding Brianna and Roger’s introduction into Outlander, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin were formally ushered into theOutlander family. Rankin brings his A-game and brings Roger to life with as much heart and charisma as his character has on the page. One of his first outstanding scenes in finale comes between him and Balfe. After Claire and Brianna arrive in Inverness after the passing of Roger’s adoptive father, Reverend Wakefield, Claire begins to relive the mistakes of the past. One night when she can’t sleep, Roger and Claire have a heart to heart about saying goodbye to those you love. It’s a small scene in the grand scheme of the episode, however it introduces Rankin as a formidable scene partner for Balfe. Rankin’s ability to be the calming voice amongst a sea of chaos in this episode of Outlander proves he’s the right man to bring Roger to life.

When it was first announced that Outlander would come to life on TV, the first thing fans did was dream cast their favorite characters. Of course, Jamie and Claire were at the top of the list, but next came their daughter, Brianna. The actress stepping into the role had to embody characteristics from Heughan and Balfe and be able to bring this eloquently crafted character to life. Seeing British actress Sophie Skelton bring the role to life in the finale is something truly special to witness. From the moment she walks the halls of Roger’s house, Brianna Randall Fraser has leapt off the page in the most perfect way. Skelton has several key moments in the season two finale. Between her chemistry with Rankin to going toe-to-toe with Balfe, Skelton proves herself in this episode.

Caitriona Balfe in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Caitriona Balfe in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

With more storylines going on than ever before, each actor on Outlander steps up their game and delivers truly remarkable performances. First off, Caitriona Balfe leads the cast with such fierceness and heart that it’s hard to separate Balfe from her character. Only leaving the screen a few times in the finale, Balfe gives her second best performance this season. Between Claire’s life in 1745 to her new world in 1968, Balfe effortlessly separates the two versions of Claire, while still maintaining a common thread: a constant love for Jamie. Balfe has several Emmy award worthy moments in the finale and for some of them she doesn’t even have a scene partner.

With Roger showing Brianna around Scotland, Claire decides to visit a very special place: Lallybroch. In one of the most emotional moments, Claire pulls into the abandoned estate and it’s hard not to shed a tear for the place that housed so much life and promise in the 18th century. As Claire exits her car, voice overs from past episodes come flooding back reminding her of everyone and everything she left behind. With no dialogue uttered, Balfe delivers a remarkable performance. With a beautiful score byBear McCreary, coupled with a silent, sobbing Balfe, Outlander proves it can thrive in the quiet moments as much as the big ones. What really brings this scene home is when Claire is seated on the steps of Lallybroch and envisions a strapping Jamie standing in the entrance. As Heughan voiceovers a beautiful poem, Balfe weeps. Any fan will surely remember this scene and it’s all thanks to an utterly speechless performance by Balfe.

The next cry-inducing moment for Claire comes in 1968 when she visits the Clan Fraser memorial on Culloden Moor. Again, a scene that only consists of the beautiful Scottish scenery and a perfectly executed monologue by Balfe. “Here I am,” Claire utters to Jamie’s grave. Claire says she isn’t going to cry, but I never promised anything. In a heartfelt moment, Claire tells Jamie all about Brianna. How she is named after his father, how she was raised and every detail she can possibly remember. This small moment is where Balfe truly shines and proves she can own a scene even when her scene partner is a rock.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

Although the actual Battle of Culloden doesn’t take place in this episode, tensions are high as the Clans prepare to march into battle. Tensions seem to be the highest between Claire and Jamie as the duo decide whether or not to kill Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Andrew Gower) before the battle commences. Of course, nothing can go as planned for the duo as Dougal (Graham McTavish) overhears their entire plan. In one of the most intense scenes in the episode, Jamie and Dougal fight in closed quarters. Heughan and McTavish bring a monumental book scene to life as Dougal’s world comes crashing down in front of him. With one last struggle, Jamie turns Dougal’s knife on him. A great addition to the TV show from the books, Claire assists Jamie as the great Dougal MacKenzie takes his last breath. Between seasons one and two, McTavish brought Dougal to life with equal parts intensity and heart. Dougal’s death and McTavish’s absence will loom large on Outlander going forward.

Before I discuss the gut-wrenching final Jamie and Claire scenes, let’s go back to 1968 for a second. After exploring Scotland with Roger, Brianna begins to piece together her parents past. When she discovers the news article about Claire’s disappearance and realizes Frank couldn’t possibly be her real father, Brianna confronts her mother. Skelton does a great job and combining characteristics of both Jamie and Claire to create Brianna. She has Jamie’s heart and Claire’s scientific mind. So, when Claire begins spewing some “nonsense” about time travel and her real father dying during the Battle of Culloden, Brianna doesn’t believe her at all. This is a scene book fans have been waiting for and both Skelton and Balfe did it justice. It was a rare sight to see Claire step back and be a lesser presence in a scene with another character. If anyone was going to loom larger in a scene, it would be her daughter. Skelton and Balfe do an incredible job at establishing their mother/daughter bond from the beginning. It will be wonderful to see Balfe and Skelton grow that bond going into future seasons.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

Outlander may thrive on time travel, war and perilous historical situation, but at its core it’s a story about love. No matter where you place Jamie and Claire, their love story will come bubbling to the surface. Jamie makes the harrowing decision to send Clan Fraser back home to minimize casualties. Before the battle begins, Jamie first must get Claire to safety and then he will come back and die in the battle alongside Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix). With this decision, Outlander delivers a gut-wrenching farewell that should earn the two stars Emmy nominations.

There are two major parts to the Jamie and Claire farewell. Both scenes fans have been dreading since season two began. The first part comes when Jamie tells Claire he has decided to send her back through the stones at Craigh Na Dun. If this scene was a test before the final goodbye, I failed miserably. From the moment the camera pans and you see Claire’s face as she realizes Jamie’s plan, I was a goner. On top of Jamie telling his plan to Claire, he also reveals that he knows Claire is pregnant. In order to save Claire, their child, and to keep his legacy alive long after the sun sets on the Battle of Culloden, Jamie must say goodbye to his love. Heughan and Balfe nail this scene. Heughan brings Jamie’s conflicting emotions to life while Balfe perfectly encapsulates Claire’s grief. The duo continue to amaze audiences and critics alike and it has been an honor and pleasure to watch them work.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

Like I said, there are really two major parts to this goodbye. The second part probably qualifies as the scene that fans used the most tissues on all TV season. I should’ve bought stock in Kleenex before this scene because an entire box of tissue met its demise. Claire and Jamie ride to Craig Na Dun and it’s there that Heughan and Balfe deliver one of their best scenes this season. From Balfe’s gut wrenching pleading to Heughan’s stoic moments, Outlander shines the brightest during this scene of total defeat. Balfe and Heughan exceed every expectation and bring this pivotal scene from Dragonfly in Amber to life.

“Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.” Heughan delivers this iconic line from the novel perfectly. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, Heughan is the breakout star of Outlander. He has grown so much as an actor during the first two seasons. Heughan, alongside Balfe, have brought two iconic fictional characters to life with grace, heart and tenacity. This final goodbye between Jamie and Claire showcases Heughan and Balfe at their strongest. With one final kiss, Jamie steadies Claire and walks her towards the stones. A beautiful moment perfectly executed by every department onOutlander. From the synchronized choreography executed by Heughan and Balfe to the incredible location to the writing, Outlander proves it’s a heavy hitter. With one final tear down Jamie and Claire’s cheeks, Claire passes through the stones leaving fans and Jamie utterly heartbroken.

Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin and Caitriona Balfe in the Outlander episode "Dragonfly in Amber." Photo Credit: Starz
Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin and Caitriona Balfe in the Outlander episode “Dragonfly in Amber.” Photo Credit: Starz

Back to 1968, Roger, Brianna and Claire come across Gillian Edwards (Lotte Verbeek), Geillis Duncan before she travelled back in time through the stones. In the last five minutes of the episode, Claire, Roger and Brianna rush to the stones to stop Geillis from going back in time and ultimately dying. In an unforgettable moment, Roger, Brianna and Claire witness Geillis travel through the stones and in that exact moment a number of things happen. One, Brianna now believes Claire’s journey into the past. Second, if fans pay close attention they can hear Roger and Brianna mention the buzzing near the stones. Only time travelers can hear the buzzing near Craigh Na Dun, which means Roger and Brianna can travel back in time. An important plot point book fans will know a lot about.

Now that Brianna believes Claire about Jamie living in the past, she asks Roger to reveal some pertinent information. In a heart warming moment, Roger tells Claire that five Fraser’s made it out of Culloden and were taken to be executed. One Fraser escaped and survived: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. With tears in her eyes and her daughter by her side, Claire looks to the stones and decides she needs to go back and find Jamie. A beautiful full-circle moment perfectly executed by Balfe, Skelton, Rankin and the entire crew of Outlander. With this final moment, Outlander season two comes to a heart-breaking, but hopeful conclusion. From high-society Paris to the Battle of Culloden to 1968 Inverness, Outlander accomplished a lot this season and gave fans a hell of a ride.

Looking ahead, for fans that aren’t prepared to go into “Droughtlander” pick up Gabaldon’s third novelVoyager. Start preparing for a season of learning more about Brianna and Roger as well as Claire’s tireless efforts to reunite with Jamie. Until then, this reviewer (and sassenach) raises a glass of whisky to a heart pounding, Emmy-Award worthy season two of Outlander.

Outlander returns with season three next year on Starz

Overall Grade: A

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The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou, among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

While I know the term Hail Mary is applied to any and all last-ditch efforts, I couldn’t help thinking about the prayer itself and how it applied in this episode. Who, exactly, is full of grace? Because grace can mean any number of things. It can mean an act of goodwill. It can mean forgiveness and mercy. It can mean the way someone moves, with elegance. It can mean an attractive quality or good manners. It can mean an act of charity or leniency. Almost every character, at some point in this episode, shows a measure of grace.

Mary. Her voice has changed. It’s deeper. Measured. Gone are the hysterics and the stutter. Finally, she’s grown up. And as she talks with Claire we see how she is full of grace. She shows forgiveness, charity, and leniency all in one exchange at the apothecary’s. And I got a sense that she’s not so much naive as she is in denial about her situation. And when Mary agrees to marry BJR, they both do an act of goodwill for Alex. It eases his mind. And unbeknownst to them, it is an act of goodwill for Clair as it assures Frank’s life. (And say what you want, but this is necessary for Jamie’s child. Get over yourselves). She’s also pregnant, so it benefits her unborn child. Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Jamie. He can see the hour of all their deaths. And it weighs on him so heavily. He looks so gaunt in the face. It echoes what Dougal says, that their strength is dwindling on one bannock a day. But the entire episode his mind is always turning, always thinking of how to get out of this mess. Jamie’s Hail Mary is 100% trying to think of his own last-ditch plan. When O’Sullivan accuses him of ‘coward’s talk’, Jamie’s about ready to take his head off a la Sandringham. I had to wonder, did Claire tell Jamie the gold doesn’t arrive? To stall might be one of his plans. Any information that he receives is turned into another plan. Cumberland’s birthday? Trap the British. Colum handing him the reins? Bring fresh men to the battle. Now, and at the hour of our death.

Prince Charles thinks that their cause is full of grace and cannot fail. That God is with them. The Lord is with thee.

Claire. She is so resigned to history repeating itself. I keep remembering a hopeful Claire on the boat and early in Paris, telling Jamie, “when were you never up for a challenge?” But now, she’s the one who’s essentially given up and Jamie has to rouse her to the challenge. They lift each other up when they need to. She, too, is full of grace, in certain circumstances. With Alex. And in realizing the Mary needs BJR in case history does go according to plan. She is very logical and kind in her explanation to Murtagh as to why he can’t help Mary. Claire’s grace comes in the form of goodwill and wanting to make reparation for her meddling in Mary’s business. And with Colum. You could tell she wrestled with that one, but in the end she decided to forgive anything between her and Colum. And give him what he wanted. Which was to be in control of his life to the very end. Claire is a rare woman in this time. Intelligent. Compassionate. Gifted. Strong. Blessed art thou, among women.

Murtagh. He shows grace by offering to marry Mary Hawkins. An act of goodwill and charity. Unselfish. Gallant. Chivalrous. No wonder Jamie turned out the way he did. Murtagh has always had an easier relationship with Claire than the other highlanders. Like Jamie, he treats Claire as an equal. I believe he recognized Jamie’s love for her right away, when he told her Jamie needed a woman, not a lassie. And he’s always believed Claire to be different. From the beginning he had a gut intuition that Claire was someone special. Right when he found her in the woods and said, “I’ll stake my best shirt she’s not a whore”. And he’s grown to love, respect and trust her. It’s so nice to see that come to fruition. He’s always allowed Jamie to make his decisions and backed him up. So be it. He’s also bothered by what he knows of history. Jamie’s and Claire’s burden is his burden. Pray for us sinners.

Brief moment….can I ask why they made Alex look like the Vampire Lestat after a feeding frenzy?? …moving on.

Colum. Still The Mackenzie, even if he is on “rickety sticks”. In his own way, he asks for forgiveness in the way he compliments Claire. And Jamie. And admits he was wrong about their marriage. And they extend that grace to him. Gary Lewis is a master. His scene in asking Claire for the mercy of a death of his own choosing is heartbreaking. And Claire, not wanting to hear an ill word about her friend. Still showing mercy to Geillis after all these years. Because without Geillis, Claire most likely would not be alive. Is it just me or did anyone else feel like Colum gives Jamie the idea of saving the Lallybroch men from Culloden? I got a sense that a light bulb went off over Jamie’s head in that scene. At the hour of our death.

I absolutely loved watching BJR and Claire square off. They hate each other. They really do. And the fact that they extend no mercy towards each other, EVER, makes all the other relationships in the show that much more tender. Her face at seeing Jack Randall again for the first time encapsulated all the feelings from her miscarriage. She was literally Claire in the hospital, all over again. Her grace most definitely does not extend to Jack Randall. There is no charity or goodwill for him. Only bargaining. Something for something. And the Claire now is so different from the Claire we first met. She’s harder. Bitter. Angry. And when he baits her talking about Jamie, she pulls herself together, musters her hate and hands him guilt. Not grace. Finally, did anyone else think Jamie found his wife hot af when she reminded him she’d help him kill BJR?

You get a sense from Alex that Jack, in a former life, a life before the war, was a different person. Hell, even his name is different. Johnny. A name that is softer, that makes you think of a childhood friend. At one time Johnny was probably full of grace, for his little brother. What changed? Why? And how did BJR come to feed only his darker self? Try as I might to understand why a man might pummel the body of his dead brother, I cannot. Perhaps in order NOT to feel, BJR has to stay in the darkest place he can. Anger. Always anger. There can be no other emotion for this man. Because maybe if he starts to cry he will never stop. Maybe it’s the opposite of Dougal, who was upset that Colum never healed. Perhaps BJR is upset that he couldn’t heal Alex. Whatever, it was the most disturbing of reactions. There is no prayer of comfort for an act like that.

Dougal. The most powerful scene for me was between Dougal and Colum. In his rough and ungraceful way, Dougal is essentially telling Colum that he’s mourned for his brother all these years. Everything he expected his big brother to be changed in an instant. And all of Dougal’s prayers, wishes, and hopes for a recovery were dashed. Forever. In Dougal’s mind, he did all that was asked of him. For Colum. I got a sense he felt like he had to live his life, AND a measure of Colum’s life. Because Colum couldn’t. And when he comes to make peace with his brother, Colum dies. And Dougal can’t have the conversation because he’ll never get the answers he so desperately wants. He loved his brother. He truly did. He never forgave his brother for not getting better. And he weeps for THEM. Not just Colum, but for them…and who and what they could have been. Together. And at the end he runs out of time to repair it. Amen.

Final thought: War. When Claire is at war the first time she leaves Frank for 5 years. When Claire is at war the second time with Jamie she rides beside him. And as we see in the trailer for next week, she doesn’t want to leave him. Even knowing the outcome. She was committed to the War as a nurse the first time, independent of Frank. She is committed to the Jacobite Rising as a wife the second time, in union with Jamie.

Also, Things the writers fixed for me this Season: Claire’s habit of laughing hysterically when she’s stressed.

Having Murtagh accompany Claire to Alex’s boarding house, instead of Jamie.

Fergus as both Claire and Jamie’s and not just Jamie’s.

All of Murtagh. And fleshing out his relationship with Claire, the wife of his godson.

Colum and Dougal’s absolutely true to form brother rivalry.

June 25, 2016

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