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WatchrTina

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    Austin, Texas
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    Outlander

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  1. Well, I woke up thinking about Outlander (as you do) and I have a theory! Specifically I've been thinking about the increased role the native Americans have played in the first few episodes including, especially, the dispensing of justice. The bear-man is shunned by the Indians for rape but then their hands are tied when he goes mad (they cannot "see" him to punish him for his later crimes) and so they are grateful for Jamie (an outsider) doing what must be done to eliminate this dangerous man. The Indians kill Mueller (and his wife, alas) after Mueller commits a heinous crime -- the murder of a woman, an elder, their medicine woman. The murder (by Mueller) was motivated by ignorance and superstition, which made Mueller a dangerous man. One can make an argument often heard in Western tales that "he needed killing". But when the Indians catch Willie violating their laws and both Jamie and Willie act honorably -- each offering to take the punishment for the other -- the Indians show mercy with only a token blood-taking. The murder by Mueller IS in the book but the shunning of the bear-man and the punishment of Willie by a symbolic blood-taking are not. What IS in the book is that when Jamie kills the bear the Indians watch him prepare the carcass for butchering by first offering thanks to the four directions. I love that scene in the book and I always imagine the Indians thinking "Well here's white guy who's not a complete heathen." The show's depiction of the grudging respect by the Indians for Jamie (and his growing understanding of their ways) is well served by the new scenes. So here's my early-morning revelation: I think it's pretty clear that one of the motivations behind showing us Indian justice (and Jamie growing awareness of it) is that it helps to inform a pretty big plot-point coming down the road -- ones that could make some viewers hate Jamie (which the writers will want to avoid.) Jamie giving Roger to the Mohawks is probably Jamie's single biggest fuck-up in the entire series. Can you think of another that is bigger? It is HUGE. And let's be clear -- we LIKE Roger. Book Roger is very likable and TV Roger is as well, though he clearly lost some brownie points with some viewers when he reacted so negatively to Brianna turning down his unexpected marriage proposal. (Book Roger's proposal is more romantic, more reasonable, and the reader is more sympathetic to his disappointment.) Nevertheless, I'm pretty confident that most viewers like Roger. So there is a real risk of those viewers resenting the hell out of Jamie when they find out he gave Roger to the Indians as a slave. The viewers don't yet know about the Mohawks practicing slavery -- in fact we haven't met any Mohawks at all -- so I do wonder when that element will be introduced. But that's my speculation for why so many of the interactions with the native Americans have been changed. There are many good reasons for it (reasons I've talked about in other posts) but I now think that one of the over-arching reasons we've seen so many examples of Indian "justice" is so that viewers will have a clearer understanding of why Jamie gives Roger to them. TV Jamie has suffered at the hands of British "justice." As such, one could understand his not trusting it entirely and -- after seeing all these encounters with the native Americans -- one could (possibly) conclude that his decision to turn over his daughter's "rapist" to the Indians IS a reasonable action (or would have been if Jamie had gotten his hands on the right man.)
  2. S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    I am decidedly NOT an equestrian and even I knew that (though, not being an equestrian, I did NOT notice William being hoisted up on the wrong side, so good catch!) I'm surprised the horses tolerated it. I can remember being told that if you try to mount a horse from the wrong side, they'll just keep stepping away from you as if to say "What ARE you doing?" I wonder if horses that routinely work in show business are simply more tolerant of, well, everything. I remember seeing the behind-the-scenes documentaries about the Lord of the Rings and those horses we desensitized to noise, flapping fabric, swords swinging around, men in masks -- the works. So maybe the horses on Outlander are true show-biz horses who aren't fazed when humans do strange things. This is slightly off-topic but one time in Rotterdam I saw mounted police ride in to break up a fight between soccer fans from opposing teams. They had invaded a pedestrian mall and we shoppers all retreated into the shops who then locked their doors. Those horses were AMAZING -- they would shoulder right into the crowd (as means of separating the two groups) and you betcha those soccer hooligans got OUT of the way. Is that Jamie's horse? I speculated that it was actually Lord John's and Jamie just borrowed it when he took William into the woods. It looked awfully fancy for a work horse and I'm guessing Jamie's horses are trained primarily to pull wagons (and possibly a plow). I can't image that beautiful horse pulling a wagon but I CAN imagine it carrying Lord John (who can afford very nice things).
  3. S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    One thing I recollect from the book about the privy scene is that after trying to shoot the snake (I think it's the recoil of the gun that causes William to fall in but don't quote me on that), William drops the pistol in the muck. So after William stalks off to the river to wash, Jamie orders Ian into the hole to find the gun. Thus Ian ends up at the river in as bad a state as William. I've never really thought about it before but I presume William and Ian must have moved the outhouse itself, so as to give them a better view of the muck pit where the snake was hiding. Otherwise, it really makes no sense that William could fall in. And now I think I will got look at pictures of puppies to clear those mental images from my brain.
  4. Wait, are we talking about Seasons 3 now? Just kidding. Except it's true. The second half of Book 3 is absolute madness -- full of kidnappings and secret wives with guns and people being torn asunder in the middle of the ocean. Compared to that, Book 4 is a cake-walk. Jamie and Claire have a home and they get to stay on dry land. (Brianna and Roger however . . . ) Anyway, my point is that I enjoyed Season 3 and the writing team was able to turn that roller-coaster-ride of a book into a coherent season so I'm keeping the faith that they'll be able to manage the complexities of Book 4. But yeah, I too dread "Rapelander" making it's way back into the conversation. I'm sure you are right, but in my mind's eye, when I read about the two of them running around together and getting in to trouble it works. On screen, with these two actors, I don't think it would work. It's like the scene where Jamie holds the weeping William and comforts until he falls asleep (when they are forced to go into the woods together when Lord John falls ill.) It works in the book because you are in Jamie's head and you know that Jamie loves his son and is acting in an appropriate, fatherly way. On camera -- that visual does not fly.
  5. I've had a another thought about why Ian was left out of ep 406 and thus does not have the infamous privy misadventure with William. Book-Ian and Book-William are relatively close in age. That's why they gravitate naturally to one another and end up getting into trouble together. But TV-Ian is much older than TV-William. I don't think the pairing would have worked. It would have felt a bit like child abuse if TV-Ian had been responsible for TV-William ending up down a privy. The actor playing young William may be the same age as the character in the novel in these chapters, but on-screen he reads younger to me while John Bell comes across as quite a bit older than Book-Ian. I'm glad TV-William was cast younger because it makes his bravery in stepping forward and taking the Indian's punishment all the more affecting (and quite frankly a teenager might not have gotten away with it.) But I can't see that actor -- who still looks like a child -- running around the woods and getting into trouble with John Bell, who's been playing younger than his real age all along but who is clearly an adult at this point. Just imagine the visuals of the two of them together. TV-William is quite short (remember that hug-around-the-waist he gave Jamie?) John Bell (Ian) is a full-grown man at this point. They would have looked very odd standing next to one another, much less getting into mischief together.
  6. S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    I have no idea what this means nor why you quoted my entire post to say this. Maybe you should edit your post so the quoted part only includes the part you are responding to.
  7. Really? I'm sorry to hear you say that. I'm still a cock-eyed optimist when it comes to this show. There are occasional things that I bitch about (see my LONG history of posting here) but they delight me 9 times out of 10. I'm about to watch this episode for the 3rd time -- this time during the official airing on STARZ -- and I'm going to watch the twitter feed. That should should be interesting.
  8. I talked about this bit back in Season 2 when I wondered how they were going to find someone who looked enough like Tobias Menzies that they could credibly be mistaken for him. I was wondering how they were going to do that scene where Jamie (in Paris, at Versailles) sees/hears Alex Randall and nearly draws his blade thinking it is "Black Jack" Randall. (Only Claire's fainting averts disaster.) I was speculating back then about how they were going to handle that and the answer ended up being that they simply cut it out of the story. Having a look-alike in a novel is one thing. In a visual medium it is MUCH harder to pull off. So I think all those instances of sudden recognition (people seeing Jamie and William together and going "A ha!") are just not going to happen. The people who have to recognize that there is a familial relationship between Jamie and William are just going to have to be told about it.
  9. I'm bringing this quote by NoDorothyParker here so I can speculate to my heart's content. Warning -- If you have not seen episode 406, Blood of my Blood, stop reading now. Aaaaand this is why I love this online community because I never thought of this. That being said . . . when William gets lost in Dismal Swamp it is many years later. It is unlikely that William would recognized Ian after all that time anyway, especially since Ian is wearing Indian garb (and a Mohawk hairdo, I think) when he finds William. I can well imagine a feverish William introducing himself to the Indians, using his full title, with all the pomposity he can muster because he thinks he is going to be killed, and then Ian piping up and saying, well then you must be acquainted with my uncle, James Fraser. I imagine that Jamie's friendship with John will be well known to Ian (John and Jamie are already corresponding with one another -- that was made clear in ep 406) and it seems reasonable that Ian will hear about Lord William Ransom regularly via those letters as the years pass and thus he could just recognize the name when William identifies himself. The "friendship" between William and Ian could simply grow out of Ian's rescuing him from the swamp (he builds a travois and drags William to the home of a certain Quaker brother and sister, right?) Still, how would Ian learn that William is Jamie's son? In the book they look very much alike (particularly when angry) and that's how Ian figures it out. I suppose they could just try something like that. There is also a moment in a later book when Jamie & Claire decide to confess to Ian about Claire being a time-traveler. (He responds "I always kent you weren't a fairy.") If Ian can be trusted with that secret, then he can be trusted with the secret of William's identity too. Perhaps there will be a scene where both Ian and Brianna are just told about William. (That will head off the need for Brianna to "recognize" William as Jamie's get when she sees in in the street in a later book.) William and Ian's failure to meet in ep 406 IS a variation from the book but I think they can work around it.
  10. S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    GENERAL This episode is a tour-de-force of ensemble acting. There is so much quiet drama in this episode – so many smoldering emotions seething just below the surface and then bursting forth. Wow. I thought the young actor playing Willie did a good job and he looked so much like the prior incarnation of Willie that I had to double-check. It is not, however, the same actor. THE GOOD Oooh that title-card was a nice shout-out to the readers. I recollect a snake-in-the-privy story line and if I’m remembering it correctly Ian and William both end up covered in shit. I am A-OK with that bit of the story being deleted (that’s not a visual I need to see) but I like the snake being there on the title card. I wonder what the non-readers will think. I wonder if they will think the snake in the privy is a metaphor for hidden danger – some vague reference to the simmering animosity between Murtagh and Lord John and the fine line that Jamie is trying to tread between their opposing points of view. I liked that Jamie was chopping wood when John arrived. Otherwise he should have heard the horse and seen the rider before John calls out his greeting. (In the book, people always shout a “Hello the house!” from a good way off so as not to surprise people, which always struck me a good manners and a sensible safety precaution.) That scene in the cabin when Claire, Murtagh, and Willie walk in on Jamie and John is just wonderful. The look on Jamie’s face when he sees his son! The look on Claire’s face when she sees John! And Murtagh’s reaction to John’s friendly greeting! That whole scene was made of win. It continued to be great when Claire & William go outside and Jamie, Murtagh, and John are left alone to form an agreement to not mention Ardsmuir Prison (but with a wee bit of snark thrown in by Murtagh.) The tension at dinner – what with Murtagh stirring the shit and Claire lending a hand – was a thing of beauty. Poor Jamie. I like that we cannot know whose version of the story of the tax-collector being beaten and paraded through the streets is true. John says there were witnesses – presumably he’s been told there were witnesses (and told by people he trusts) – but he probably hasn’t actually spoken to those witnesses and we know how stories evolve in the telling. Meanwhile Murtagh presumes it’s a lie told to discredit “his” side – a tactic he is no doubt familiar with from the Rising in Scotland. I’m an American I ought to be TeamMurtagh but I’ve also read the books so I know that not all of the “Regulators” were good guys like Murtagh. Some were mere thieves (like Bonnet) who saw an opportunity to dress-up their lawlessness with feigned righteousness by targeting tax collectors. Willie recognized “Mac”! Wow! That’s a HUGE change from the book! But I applaud it. All that follows (including Willie reverting to some childhood stubbornness about getting on the horse and “Mac” taking the same tone with him that he did in childhood) was great. It makes it all the more poignant when William hears Jamie “lie” to the Indians and claim to be his father so as to take his punishment. BTW the scene with the Indians was great addition. In the book, during this trip Jamie comforts William in his grief with a calming draught (provided by Claire) and then he holds him as they sleep. That works fine in the book (because we are in Jamie’s head and we know his actions are those of a loving father) but on screen – in this day and age – that would not fly. Instead, TV!Jamie had to sit by the fire all night keeping watch over the sleeping boy so that there is no question of his intentions. But as such, there needed to be another scene – another action – to drive home the bond between Jamie and William that is cemented during this trip. That’s why the new scene by the river, with both Jamie and William trying to take the punishment and spare the other, is so great. And then we get to the scenes between John and Claire. Holy shit those were great! The writers pulled in all the best moments from the prior books that had been skipped over and incorporated them into those scenes so that every bit of resentment and jealousy between those two spills out onto the screen. And then we see their begrudging recognition of their similar fates – of not being able to love the person they married – at least not in the way they both loved Jamie. I applaud Cait’s performance (as usual) but I have to say BRAVO to David Berry. He was amazing in a very nuanced performance. Speaking of new scenes – now Murtagh knows about Willie too! I don’t know if that will ever impact the story – Murtagh can keep a secret, ye ken – but what a moment! I’m okay with the change because it felt earned. It is the only thing Jamie could have said to explain why the arrival of John – their former jailer – brings such joy to Jamie and why Jamie is so protective of John’s “son”. Okay here’s a bunch of little things I loved: · Jamie and John playing chess again. · John not realizing he is ill because he thinks he’s hung-over from Jamie’s rot-gut home-brewed whiskey. · Claire automatically washing her hands in alcohol after diagnosing John and Jamie doing it as well without being told. · Jamie chastising Willie saying “Don’t kick. It’s ill-mannered.” · Jamie later manipulating Willie into gutting his first deer by saying “Maybe your not quite old enough.” · Jamie’s mentioning his own father serving as the trigger for Willie’s fears about John bubbling to the surface. · John in bed. Sue me. As his temperature fell, he actually kept getting more and more “hot.” · Every single moment when John and Claire were alone together. · Claire’s subtle farewell wish to John that he find “satisfaction” (love) in the future. · The choreography of the bathtub scene was great – especially the moment when Jamie presented the ring. · And look! We got the ring described in the book! Remember the ruckus on this board in season 1 when the “ugly” ring – the one made from the key to Lallybroch – was first seen? Ah, good times. THE BAD When Murtagh took his leave from the dinner table I was confused. I thought he was leaving entirely but that didn’t make sense given that it was night. Now I assume he was just going outside to set up a campfire for him to sleep by. Does that really make sense? In the books there are many occasions when Jamie & Claire’s cabin is wall-to-wall with sleeping visitors. I’m going to hand-wave it away because one of the things that makes this episode soar are all the private conversations that happened between various combinations of the five main characters. Each grouping opens up a new private topic to be addressed and those conversations are EVERYTHING. So I’ll just ignore Murtagh’s plan to sleep rough right outside the cabin as well as Jamie and Claire building yet another fire outside the cabin for no apparent reason. Jamie tells Claire (when they are building that unnecessary fire) “I’ve been dreaming of a moment alone with you for weeks.” Wait, what? They appear to have been alone at the cabin for a while. Ian is gone when Murtagh arrives. So what “weeks” is Jamie talking about? That “romantic” scene outside felt shoe-horned in and made me cringe. I really hate it when this show makes me cringe. Cringe #2 came when Jamie is bathing Claire and starts spouting drivel about being “jealous of the rain itself” while Claire questions whether his kisses will rain down “in a drizzle or a torrent.” Ugh. The Jamie and Claire that live in my head don’t talk that way and, in my opinion, neither do the ones that live in the pages of the book. THE UGLY I cannot think of a single thing to list in this section and that is a first! OTHER I want to love John’s final line to Claire during their bed-side chat. When he comments again on how startlingly forthright she is (after she makes clear that she knows he is in love with Jamie) she says “I was born this way.” He quietly responds, “So was I.” I want to love that line because I love the way John’s homosexuality is portrayed. In the books he is strong, heroic, honorable, and gay. It’s just part of who he is. I love, love, LOVE that Diana has created this heroic character who just happens to be gay. But, alas the line, “I was born this way,” spoken in this context, conjured up images of Lady Gaga in my mind and that took me out of the moment. Damn you Pop Culture!
  11. S04.E06: Blood of My Blood

    Whoo hooo! I loved it. I'm posting without reading anyone's comments. I just wanted to weigh in to register my happiness. It's not perfect (more on that later) but there was SO MUCH TO LOVE in this episode -- both in what they kept from the book, what they changed, and how they went full circle to un-do a prior change from season one (the ring.) Now I'm off to watch it a second time with the closed captions on. I love, love, LOVE David Berry as Lord John but I had a wee bit of trouble understanding him in a few moments. Whoo hooo!
  12. Outlander In The Media

    Well I got my copy of Entertainment Weekly's "Best of 2018" issue and the good news is that Sam & Cait (as Jamie & Claire) are included in the montage of faces on the cover. But I could not find a single mention of them or the show in the pages of the magazine itself, which is odd. Did anyone else see any mention of the show IN the magazine? I guess this means the magazine just wanted to generally acknowledge the continued popularity of the show but didn't have anything specific to say about it this year. Oh well -- being on the cover is nice (I guess.)
  13. S04.E05: Savages

    I've just learned that Connie Verzak, who used to do funny photo-recaps of the episodes at tvkillstime.com, is instead doing just episode commentary. I didn't stop to read what she wrote about episodes 401 thru 405. I always loved her photo recaps, which were clever and very funny, but if I'm looking for in-depth commentary I find enough of that here. I'm not keen to read long blocks of text at yet another website. Still, I went looking -- hoping she'd put up a photo recap -- after I saw that Diana gave her a shout-out on Facebook. That's how I learned that she is refusing to refer to this particular episode by its title "Savages." I think that's a mistake AND a misreading of the title. I assumed it was chosen as the title as a means of questioning our assumptions about just WHO the "savages in the episode ARE. Clearly Mr. Mueller thinks the native Americans are "savages" but in the end, who is it that scalps a woman -- a tribal elder and a healer? It's Mueller who commits that atrocity. So who really is the "savage" referred to in the episode title?
  14. S11.E09: It Takes You Away

    I find it interesting that some people liked this. I hated it. HATED it. Let me count the ways: The Doctor eating dirt in order to figure out where and when they are. The Doctor breaking and entering into someone's house. A father who abandoned his blind daughter, leaving her alone in a boarded up house after setting up speakers so that she thinks there are monsters outside. The Doctor making a bargain she has no intention of keeping (she was clearly not going to give up her sonic.) Carnivorous moths that'll get you if you move. Except when they don't. String that stays taut even after it's been cut. A small blind girl knocking out a grown man with a door. Did I mention the piece-of-shit father who ABANDONS his blind daughter and sets up speakers to TERRIFY her? The super-powerful alien manifests as a frog? Really? God that was crap.
  15. Small Talk: Chewing The Haggis

    Okay I'm coming here to register my amazement at what some people will tweet to Diana. As I think we are all aware, Diana does not discuss politics in her tweets, her Facebook postings or (I presume) anywhere else in the Outlander online universe. Nevertheless, today somebody decided to take her to task because (according to that person) she had checked out us (Diana's twitter followers) and based on her investigation of what WE tweet about she has determined that it's clear we're predominantly from the political left. Ergo, she felt fully empowered to ascribe to Diana the political views that this person saw expressed by some of Diana's twitter followers and then to take Diana to task for supposedly promoting those views. WTF? Diana is not perfect (nor am I) but I have to give her full marks for the effort that she makes to engage with her readers and the show's viewers. She is amazingly accessible to us and we are (let's face it) occasionally a demanding, opinionated bunch. In all that lovely back-and-forth I have NEVER seen her talk about politics. So it really pisses me off that someone would try to chastise her for the political views held by some of her fans. Of course I don't really have to get my knickers in twist over this because Diana does not suffer fools gladly and she set the woman straight. But still . . . I hate it when I see an Outlander "fan" behaving badly. I feel like it reflects poorly on all of us.