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"The Great Escape"


Claire carefuly planed her escape. She marked the trees, poisoned the escort and secured herself a horse. Everything was fine till she met a big red head obstacle she just couldn't bypass. Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

Much has happened in this episode - and I can't wait to talk about it with you folks. Unfortunately, this week official photos are mainly from the oath ceremony. So you will have to use your imagination.

1. Field hockey

Many Canadians have Scottish ancestors. It makes perfect sense cause clansmen apparently love (field) hockey. And no wonder - its winter version is the best team sport in the world. McKenzies like to play rough. And since they don't hire referees - no holds barred. The match was very entertaining to watch. Jamie throwing Dougal on the ground was the best moment of the episode.

2. The hunt


As we know from Game of Thrones hunting is a dangerous business. Unfortunately, poor Geordie paid the ultimate price. The scene in which he died in Dougal's arms was heart breaking.


Also Dougal saved Claire's life. He had to do it if he wants to molest her more.

3. Do you require my services? Are you sure, you don't?

Geilie was very nosy this week. She wanted to know if Claire was preggers. I guess the abortion business isn't going too well and Geilie needs money. I think she should invest in advertising - maybe make some promotion like every third abortion is for free or something?

4. The Main Social Event of the Season



So all McKenzies came to Castle Leoch to pledge their allegiance to Colum. Everyone was very elegant. Mrs. Fitzgibbons dressed Claire in a beautiful gown. She looked gorgeous.


Seriously look at them! McKenzies are loaded. How many of them have their own mansions / castles?


The oath taking was very unhygienic. First of all you had to kneel on hard stone floor (poor Scottish knees!). And then you had to kiss a blade (you can count yourself lucky if you don't cut yourself in the process) and drink wine from an unclean bowl. No wonder XVIII century Scots often died in young age. This whole thing has hepatitis written all over it.

Many people say that Outlander shows Red Coats in a bad light. That's true. However, this week we found out that drunken Scots are as eager to molest and rape women as their southern neighbors. Dougal chased out the clansmen just so he could have his own way with Claire. Luckily our protagonist managed to knock him down.


Jamie is very cunning. Colum & Dougal wanted him to swear an oath to clan McKenzie. Fortunately he found a way to walk out of it without making 200 new enemies. Good for him.

Have you ever wondered why there is a price on Jamie's head?


That's why!

Also the next episode should be very interesting!



So there you have it - that was episode 4. And since it was episode 4 - it's time to ask the question:

poll

Did you like "The Gathering?" Share your thoughts!

Also Claire gave Laoghaire a horse dung to "attract" Jamie. Do you think it will work or quite the opposite?
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The review of "Rent" is now online.
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Further evidence that my newest TV crush was well placed in Geilie. I don't know if she thought she was being more subtle than she was, but LOVE her basically calling Claire on every aspect of her plan without actually saying it and leaving Claire to wonder just how much she knows. Atta girl!

I'm still having a little diffuculty in Claire's "make it back to the stones or die trying" plan. Putting aside that her entire belief system is based on a folk tale in a language she doesn't understand loosely translated to her on the fly...it's not like she's going to the corner and back. First, as mentioned, "The Highlands aren't a safe place for a woman travelling alone", she's got to make it past the McKenzies, avoid the British and navigate her way back to a place without a single recognizable land marker. Presuming she gets that done, there's the HUGE assumption that just touching the magical stone will send her back. Here's the question I've never heard her voice over ask, "What happens if I go through all this and it doesn't work? I sailed under a star hooking up with this Scottish clan who, by and large, have taken pretty good care of me. What are the odds if I'm stuck here I'll be able to find another one of those cause there won't be any going back?"

Not having read the books, I don't know where this is all going, but I really can't stand seeing smart characters, especially smart female characters, make REALLY bad decisions, especially when there's a "for a man" element (I'm looking at you Olivia Pope).

Many people say that Outlander shows Red Coats in a bad light.

Umm, I wonder how many of those "many people" know that in 1744 Scotland, the Red Coats were the bad guys?
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Making bad decisions is kind of Claire's speciality.

"Umm, I wonder how many of those "many people" know that in 1744 Scotland, the Red Coats were the bad guys?"

I think the problem is that in the first book basicaly all Red Coats are bad guys and they all commit terrible crimes. Fortunately, in later books the author introduces more positive English characters.
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Ohhh, it's gonna be one of THOSE shows. Okay, I'll try and get used to it...until I can'ts takes no more.

I'm certainly no scholar on Scotland circa 1744, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say there weren't too many "positive" British soldiers. That they want to introduce a couple for dramatic effect is fine, but seeing as they seem to be trying to stay authentic to the time period...I'm not sure why anybody would be upset at them being portrayed as villains.
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You're right that Claire's plan only goes as far as getting away from Castle Leoch and improvising her way back to Craigh na Dun, but I don't necessarily agree that this is in some way a disparagement of Claire. It's certainly more heavy-handed than the book—"or die trying" and all that—but given the supernatural circumstances of her arrival in the 18th century, the most logical thing to try in order to get back to the 20th would be to repeat her steps at the stones. She knows its dangerous for a woman, especially a woman alone, but Leoch isn't without its dangers too. (After all, she's been assaulted and nearly raped both outside and inside the castle.) I also think it's reasonable—from both plot and psychological perspectives—to want to escape your captors. Despite a few friendly faces (Jamie, Mrs. Fitz, and sometimes Geillis, who can also be slightly menacing), Claire is a prisoner. She has no freedom, no guarantees. I have to admit that I'd want to escape my kidnappers, even if I were reasonably comfortable and even if I didn't know where exactly I was being held.

The "for a man" bit I can entirely agree with. But what's funny is that fans of the books and the show argue that one both ways: Why doesn't she return for her husband? Why doesn't she stay where she is for Jamie? And Claire does use this rhetoric herself, in both versions, but I also think it's more that she wants to go home. I think she'd want to go home even if she weren't married. But it's also true that Frank is at home, and she loves him sincerely.
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this is the worst review I've ever read. you focused on all the stupid things and passed over on the meat of the episode!
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The worst review you have ever read? Really? Not the second worst or the third worst? I'm speechless. I should hide in the corner and cry till at least next episode, right?

Seriously - it's ok if you didn't like my review. I'll survive. The world will not end. However, it would be intersting to find out why you think it was the worst. What "meat" have I passed over?

Or you know what would be even better - you could write you're own review. Since it will be far superior then mine I will gladly read it and comment on it. Deal?

Also "First Hater" achievement unlocked! :)
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Everybody's a critic's critic ;)
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I have liked very much the 4 eps so far! The acting is so good I sometimes feel like a voyeur, LOL.

Main casting has a lot of chemistry and well, Caitriona Balfe is sooo beautiful! I think she was very well cast. I wonder if she looks like the character for some of you who have read the books...

I just love Gary Lewis as Colum MacKenzie... mmm an I also wonder if it was his bottom that Balfe massaged in last ep!

It's a keeper anyway, even if we end up with the one season it would have been a job well done and very much appreciated!
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Caitriona is my Claire. She looks and feels exactly how I imagined Claire while I was reading the books. Same goes for Sam and Jamie.

I think Claire massaged Colum's lower back.

And since Starz has already renewed the show - we will get at least two seasons :)

I'm glad you enjoy the show! I highly recommend reading the books too!
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Mmm lower back... bottom... mmm
Two seasons? Great!

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I'm not ashamed to say that I really like this movie.


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No wonder - Fantastic Mr. Fox is awesomesauce :)
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Still loving it. 4 episode test was passed in 1. Still an A. Of the meager offerings prior to the fall season start this show and 'Dallas' (stop the heckling, its back and its still awesome, Larry Hagman would still be loving it. What other show from the late 70's is still kicking it just like before? The rarest of finds, the awesome reboot.) are the two best programs airing. Sure Showtime has some good shows going as does FX with a few things its finishing up with pre-'Sons' but its these two filled with soapy goodness that I'm watching live.
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God I do love this show and the every interaction between Jamie and Claire is amazingly perfect. I almost forgot how protective Jamie is over her, nobody almost rapes her without him getting angry and wanting to pound them, pound them into the dust. How rough was that game, Dougle went straight for Jamie but nobody seemed to care they just kept playing.I can't wait for next week to see what happens on the road.
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I enjoyed the subtle bit where they played 1940's music as Claire was putting her plans into place. It showed clearly where her head was at the moment. Nicely done.

I loved the episode in total. Every performance is sterling and the added bits make it easier for folks like my husband (who never read the books but is loving the series) to "get" some of the parts we who have read the books understand. Last week's Father Bain scenes will make it easier for my hubby to get why the crusade against Claire later.

The oath taking and all the details made Jamie's situation more tense IMHO. They played it well, very solemn and important just as in the book.

I loved the softer side of Dougal at the death scene of Geordie, great acting! You can see why he's later grabbing for Claire since they had an emotional connect at that point. I felt it was out of the blue in the book actually.
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IMO there is no emotional connection between Claire and Dougal.

Minor Spoiler (highlight to read)
Dougal's future interest in Claire is purely materialistic. He wants Lallybroch - Claire would only be for him a nice addition to the property. End of Spoiler

As for 1940's music - I didn't like that part. It felt odd.
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Certainly I've heard compelling arguments on both sides of both of these points, but I'm with @kathleenpfeiffer716 on this one. I loved the use of the 40s music to highlight Claire's inherent anachronism, as a reflection of her head-space in the moment as she muses on getting away and back home. I also LOVE that it stops abruptly when she walks into her surgery and is surprised by Geillis. Even her ejaculation—"Christ, Geillis!"—is still more at home in 1945 than 1743. As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm interested to watch how and when they incorporate those little anachronisms, and whether or not they gradually wean Claire off the pop culture in her old life.

As for Dougal, I don't think I'd call it an "emotional" connection, not exactly. But I do think they share moments of startling mutual respect and a surprisingly strong ability to work as a pair. In helping Geordie die with whatever grace they can give him, they're entirely on the same page, despite not sharing any words with one another. When Dougal thanks her later, it rang as humble and sincere. In addition to being a charismatic, womanizing rake by nature, Dougal also seems genuinely attracted to Claire. Partly because he just likes women, partly because I do think he respects her expertise, partly because she's alarmingly strong and capable and foreign, partly because he cannot quite control her as he is accustomed. These characters do share a spark. When a very drunk Dougal assaults her in the hallway after intervening to stop a gaggle of other drunk men from raping her, his reaction to her, particularly when he first grabs her and smells the back of her neck, is disturbingly intimate. It's no less a violation, but it's more about Claire than it is about a stray woman in the halls. He wants her and he wants to control her. (That said, I prefer the encounter in the book in which he kisses her against her will but then lets her go: "Get ye gone, lassie. Before you pay a greater price." It's an even greater expression of power and threat that he holds himself back even when that drunk.)
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For sure Dougal fancies Claire - and no wonder she's beautiful woman (I imagine every man fancies her). However, Claire doesn't return his fascination / affection.

I think we can't talk about "connection" if it's one sided thing.

Also let's be honest - tv version of Dougal is too old for Claire. (He's younger in books as far as I remember)
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I guess what I'm saying is that I do think Dougal and Claire share a chemistry, though the lust is far more one-sided. If there weren't some fiery, volatile, sometimes perverse connection between them, Claire's scenes with Dougal wouldn't be as distinct as they are from Claire's with Colum. I think there's a lot in common between the chemistry of a good antagonism and of a good romance. I also think that the fact that Claire confronts Dougal with the ferocity that she does is also a testament to their dangerous chemistry. She maneuvers with everyone else, mostly.

As for his age, I also don't recall just how old Dougal is supposed to be. I'm not actually certain we're ever told. Graham McTavish is, I believe, just over 50; Caitriona Balfe is mid-30s (Claire in her late-20s). It's not an inconsiderable age gap, but not absurd. Considering the apparent age gap between Geillis and Arthur Duncan, age is certainly not an obstacle. There are many others far more relevant.
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Geordie: Did you sleep with my sister?
Dougal: Yep
Geordie: OH GOD I'M GONNA DIE!!! OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T TELL ME THAT!!!......urgh.....
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Graham McTavish is not-so-secretly Outlander's MVP. The way he's able to balance and swing being both an intimidating, suspicious bully and a charismatic, humble ally is mesmerizing. You really believe he could charm Geordie's sister, even as he assaults Claire in the castle corridor. If I were Claire, I would find him very unsettling, more so than those who are predictably antagonistic.
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I totally forgot to put that dialog in the review - thanks Grumpy :)
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I loved this episode. I was laughing at Claire when she thought they were going to hunt cute little piggies, I guess she'd never seen wild hogs before. Even here in Florida the descendents of the hogs brought over here hundreds of years ago are pretty scary sometimes. They are mixed with domesticated pigs, but they still have tusks and can still kill you. Of course they are more dangerous to people's hunting dogs than to the people since hardly anyone hunts on foot like that anymore.

Anyway... I am loving the show very much. I'm really happy with how it's all turning out, and how it looks.
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The idea of hunting cute little piggies is repulsive to me ever since I watched Babe.



I agree, the show is fantastic. Hopefully we will get many seasons of Claire and Jamie bliss :)
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