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Episode 104 – The Gathering – The Gàidhlig bits I could decipher this week


Check out Mandy’s latest Gàidhlig translations for Episode104: THE GATHERING

Originally posted on Great Scot!:

What a wonderful episode! This week we were treated to even more of life among the MacKenzies.  Also, we had tons of Gàidhlig this week. Unfortunately, many of the longer sentences were beyond my ken, but here is some of what I was able to decipher. As always, as others contribute, I’ll update the post.

As Claire, Rupert and Angus walk through the MacKenzies camping on their way back to the Castle

5:08 Heard in the background

Ciamar a tha thu? – How are you? (This is one sentence everyone should learn. It’s very useful. You can hear an example here.)

 The Gathering in the Hall

15:36 No Gàidhlig, but take a moment to admire Ron Moore in his fine blue coat as well as Howie from 21st Century Kilts.

16:00 And then admire Herself as well. What exactly is the history between Iona MacTavish and Mrs. Fitz?

17:37 Colum addressing…

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Episode 104: THE GATHERING is hands down my favorite episode so far this season. It is all about survival. No sex. No gratuitous nudity – maybe Angus. No flirting – maybe a little. No wanton looks – maybe one or two. I loved it!

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) schemes to escape, outwits her shadows, and shows her sympathetic side. Jamie (Sam Heughan) drops his puppy-dog glances at Claire in an obvious effort to take control of his emotions. He displays the serious and gallant side of his character. I melted more than a few times during Episode 103: THE WAY OUT, but my heart pounded during his scene at the Gathering even though I knew the outcome.

REVISION: You see, this is why I love it when people take the time to leave me a comment. In my initial review for this episode regarding Producer Matt Roberts’ script in the series, I wrote

“If I wasn’t sitting down right now, I’d give him a standing ovation. I loved everything about this script, but to keep my review honest – I must admit I did not care for Claire’s line, “There’s no place like love. There’s no place like love.” Otherwise, I thought it was perfection!”

A thoughtful reader reviewed my review and pointed out the timing of The Wizard of Oz release; therefore, I’d like to revise my previous review with this . . .

The Wizard of Oz premiered on August 25th, 1939 – only days before Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1st, leading to the outbreak of World War II.

In my mind, I imagine Frank taking Claire to see it, or perhaps Claire dragging Frank to the theater. It’s a wonderful scene, epitomizing youth and innocence before the world entered the darkness of World War II. The movie is a classic in our time, but to Claire, the line “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home” is something fresh and germane to her situation. This puts an entirely different spin on Claire and Laoghaire’s scene – for me. I realize now why Matt Roberts borrowed the line, and it makes perfect sense.

No, I did not miss the comparison of Dorothy to Claire, or the analogous colorization techniques applied to Outlander. I simply goofed.

Now I must add, I wish we could have had a flashback scene of Claire and Frank watching The Wizard of Oz if for no other reason to see them young and in love – before the war, before the world changed them, before they lost their innocence.


Costume Designer Terry Dresbach posted several new sketches and photographs of the stunning costumes in this episode, including those for a certain author making her cameo appearance, Geillis’ ivory Arisaid, the MacKenzie pin, Claire’s lovely plaid, and of course – Ron D. Moore’s dapper outfit. There are loads of costume goodies on her site. Be sure to dash over there. Personally, I’d love to get my hands on one of the gowns pictured below, especially the one in the middle.

Shot of crowd at The Gathering in Leoch Hall.
Shot of crowd at The Gathering in Leoch Hall.

Per protocol, here’s my  SPOILER alert. Proceed at will.

THE GATHERING bursts onto screen with drama, suspense, action, and Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon, in her cameo appearance as Iona MacTavish. We start out in the woods with a man in a watch tower, and I am immediately reminded of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. Claire is being chased – hopefully not by “Those we don’t speak of.”

Thankfully, it turns out she’s playing with Hamish (Roddy Gilkison) and some of the other children from Castle Leoch while a disgruntled Angus Mohr (Stephen Walters) and Rupert MacKenzie (Grant O’Rourke) watch and wait. The two hairy Highlanders have become quite the sidekicks, offering perfectly-timed comic relief to every scene they steal. Today, they’re unhappy about missing the festivities while Claire runs amok.

As we’ve come to expect after only three episodes, Claire Randall via Caitriona Balfe sports several priceless expressions.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gets a look up Angus' kilt. Expression: Eww.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gets a look up Angus’ kilt. “Eww.”
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is in no hurry to return to Castle Leoch with her shadows. Expression: Too bad.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is in no hurry to return to Castle Leoch with her shadows. “Too bad.”

Claire’s voiceover explains her fun and games are merely covert cover for her escape preparations. For several days, she’s been plotting her path to freedom, tying a trail of ribbons to guide her way. Her plans are set. She only needs to rid herself of her shadows – Angus and Rupert. Easily done. She spots the perfect distraction in the form of a buxom young woman.

Victoria Taggart, credited as the Rubenesque Woman
Victoria Taggart, credited as the Rubenesque Woman. Nice basket on the right. Can I pick one up at The Container Store?

For once,  Ang and Rup are diligent in their duties and don’t notice the woman checking them out. Quicker than a Scot can pull out a flask of whiskey, they are shoving each other aside to gain her singular attention . . . until Claire intervenes and suggests they draw straws for the lady’s, well, hand.

Angus (Stephen Walter) and Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) fight over the fair maiden.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has Angus () and Rupert draw draws for first dibs on the laundress. Expression: Gotcha, Rupert!
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has Angus (Stephen Walters) and Rupert (Grant O’Rourke) draw straws for first dibs. “Angus wins. Gotcha, Rupert!”

Claire next heads to the stables – where I’d be hanging out a-a-l-l-l the time – to pick out a horse for the hunt (and her escape). Old Alec (Liam Carney) doesn’t seem happy to see her.

“Perhaps Mr. MacTavish can help me. Where’s Jamie?” she enquires. Good question, I say.

“Not here,” Old Alect grumbles and even advises her to “leave Jamie to his own thoughts today, lass.”

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is confused. “What? Jamie’s not here when I want him? I’m a bother?”

Up ’til now, Jamie’s been at Claire’s beck and call. Something’s different. By the way, I’d like to point out, this stable is a much better location for a roll in the hay rather than the smaller, open air stalls where Jamie and Claire had lunch. Know what I mean?

Castle Leoch stable has lots of cozy places to get intimate.

I have two additional notes to make about this episode. 1) The music. Claire’s mind is on returning to her own time, thus the music following her is a soft, melancholy 40s tune with a voice like Billy Holiday. It’s not out of place at all and fits Claire’s mood perfectly. 2) Jamie. He’s a bit scarce in this episode, but what his scenes lack in quantity greatly make up for in quality. So, we’ll leave him to his own thoughts for now.

Claire trudges back to the castle with the Billy Holiday music in her head. The record screeches to a halt when she is surprised by Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) waiting in her surgery – kind of a like a spider.

Geillis’ overactive curiosity steers her into a swift interrogation. No more sipping port and braiding each other’s hair while sharing secrets. Geillis wants to know all there is to know about Claire, and she wants to know now. What’s with all the food hoarding? Is she pregnant? Without waiting for an answer . . . Is the bairn illegitimate? If your husband’s not alive, is he dead? Why don’t you have any children? Are you barren? Are you having trouble sleeping? I’m surprised she didn’t come right out and ask, “Are you from the future?” It’s a good thing Claire doesn’t keep a diary.

In return, Geillis tries the old, I’ll tell you my secrets first. See if that works. “I drug my husband every night to avoid having sex with him. It leaves me free to have a life. Tee hee.”

Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan, trying to whittle information out of Claire.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan, trying to whittle information out of Claire.

Claire doesn’t take the bait.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) watches Geillis finally leave. “I have got to get out of here.”

On to the MacKenzie Gathering . . . Claire enters the kitchen in search of a handy weapon and more food – How far away are the stones? You’re traveling through time, not across the ocean. Mrs. Fitz (Annette Badland) catches her and immediately whisks her new Barbie-Claire upstairs to dress her for the big shindig.

Properly primped, they enter the great hall and pass a familiar-looking face – Executive Producer Ron D. Moore as Mr. MacTavish. Mrs. Fitz leads Claire up to the gallery, passing by Mrs. MacTavish (Diana Gabaldon). The two women are obvious adversaries – perhaps both in love with Mr. MacTavish at some point in the past? Another story to be told . . .

Ron D. Moore as Mr. MacTavish, charming the MacKenzies.
Ron D. Moore as the dashing Mr. MacTavish, charming the MacKenzies.
Diana Gabaldon as Iona MacTavish.
The lovely Diana Gabaldon as Iona MacTavish.

For more on Ms. Gabaldon’s big debut, here’s a look inside Episode 104: THE GATHERING with Ron Moore:

Meanwhile, on the main floor everyone is dressed in their finest as Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) makes his grand entrance to a wailing bagpipe. Lots of Gàidhlig in this episode. Luckily, Murtagh FitzGibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) stays close to Claire and offers a bit of translation for her and us.

Mrs. FitzGibbons (Annette Badland), Murtagh Fizgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) and Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) watch Dougal MacKenzie make his vow to his elder brother, Colum.
Mrs. Fitz (Annette Badland), Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) watch Dougal swear his oath to his elder brother, Colum.
Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) swears his loyalty to his Laird and chief.
Dougal (Graham McTavish) swears his loyalty to his Laird and chief.

After Dougal pledges his oath to Colum, Claire decides ‘you’ve seen one oath swearing ceremony, you’ve seen ‘em all.’ It’s time to make her exit and return to the stones. Translation: Time to get out of this damn corset and back to hot showers, carbon-fueled transportation, and modern medicine. Oh, and Frank! Claire’s been without for too long.

While Rup is busy with the buxom pot stirrer – when did that happen? – Claire whips out a bottle of laced port to bribe Ang and dashes down to her surgery to collect her go-gear. No busybody Geillis this time, but Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) attacks Claire in a dark corridor and holds a knife to her throat – warning Claire to stay away from Jamie. “He’s mine,” she says. “You’ll never have him!”

Okay. That doesn’t happen, but we know it could have. Instead, Leery asks Claire for Love Potion #9 because Jamie will only give his lips to her – not his heart. Talk about greedy.

Claire doesn’t have time to explain why Jamie doesn’t love the young lass. She has to hit the road. So, she offers up a 99¢ bottle of horse dung. Quickly, she tells Leery to sprinkle the potion over Jamie’s threshold – I didn’t know Jamie had a threshold – and recite “There’s no place like love. There’s no place like love.”

I must admit, as much as I love this episode – I do not completely understand the purpose of this scene other than to stall Claire and perhaps show the innocent side of her one-day nemesis. I don’t feel sympathy for Leery any more, but we were afforded some lovely shots of both Claire and Laoghaire.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gives Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) a love potion. Should have told her to sprinkle it over her parritch.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gives Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) a love potion. Should have told her to sprinkle it over her parritch.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) advised the naive Laoghaire.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) advises the naive Laoghaire.
Laoghaire MacKenzie (Nell Hudson) is determined to capture Jamie's heart.
Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) is determined to capture Jamie’s heart.

Moving on to more pivotal scenes . . . Claire comes upon a nasty Highlander using the corridor as a urinal. Before she can flee to safety, she is surrounded by a gang of nasty Highlanders coming out of the walls to which she is pressed against. They spit Gàidhlig in her face, no doubt telling her what they plan to do to her. Poor outnumbered Claire is rescued by Dougal MacKenzie – who always seems to pop up whenever she’s alone. First he rescues her, then he tries to take his reward. What a guy! Where’s Jamie when you need him? Thank goodness his uncle didn’t raise him.

Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) to the rescue. Claire Randall (Caitirona Balfe)
Dougal (Graham McTavish) to the rescue. Claire Randall (Caitirona Balfe)
Dougal (Graham McTavish) wants his reward from Claire (Caitriona Balfe).
Dougal (Graham McTavish) wants his reward from Claire (Caitriona Balfe).

When Dougal get handsy and kissy, Claire gets slappy then knocks him out over the heid with a convenient stool in the hallway. With Dougal out cold, she’s free to make her escape to the stables.

Rather than go through the beats of the second half of the show, which I more amusingly cover in Jamie’s Top 30 Looks, I want to say simply how pleased I am with the performances of Mr. Heughan and Ms. Balfe throughout the entire episode, especially during the scenes in the stable, in the “dressing room” and the great hall during Jamie’s oath pledging.

In the stable scene, Jamie and Claire play off each other in a very different way than in their previous intimate encounters. A definite change is apparent in both characters. Jamie’s schoolboy looks are gone. Claire is still desperate to get home, but her eyes are opening to what’s in front of her for the first time. This is no lad with a crush. He’s a man, and he proves it in this episode.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) catches Claire (Caitriona Balfe) in the stable.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) catches Claire (Caitriona Balfe) in the stable.

With each scene that follows, Claire’s eyes open wider. She senses something dangerous is happening as Jamie prepares to attend the Gathering, but he goes to great effort to protect her from the truth, making jokes and telling her not to worry.

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) senses danger for Jamie.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) senses danger for Jamie.

The audience is given a reminder of just how far this man is willing to go.

Jamie's (Sam Heughan) back scars.
Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) back scars.

Finally, we come to Jamie’s climax in the show as he enters the hall to take his place in front of Colum. It’s a well-orchestrated scene as he makes his way through the crowd with Murtagh and Claire providing dialogue. Jamie’s tense expressions tell us what he’s thinking and feeling every step he takes toward his potential death.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) enters Castle Leoch hall for the Gathering.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) enters Castle Leoch hall for the Gathering.

Co-Executive Producer Maril Davis asked what our favorite scene in the show was. I went with my gut – as I often do, and picked this one:

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) leave the hall. Claire (Caitriona Balfe).
Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) leave the hall. Claire (Caitriona Balfe).

Jamie is never quite in focus and is mostly off screen for the entire shot. He gives Murtagh a big smile and a smaller one to Claire. Less than an hour ago, he thought he was a dead man. He doesn’t stay to drink or flirt but leaves with the only man with whom he entrusts his life. It’s a short yet powerful scene with only one line of dialogue delivered by Murtagh, “I’m getting too old for this.” Claire’s eyes are wide open.

In the same way SASSENACH swept me into its story, THE GATHERING kept me thoroughly engrossed from beginning to end. I knew what was going to happen, but it didn’t diminish the intensity of the experience.

Claire’s relationship with Dougal also takes a great leap in this episode, crossing different levels of intimacy than that with Jamie. She witnesses Dougal at his most vulnerable not once but three times. I consider his stance at the Gathering more vulnerable than not, or Jamie’s life wouldn’t be in danger. In the end, Dougal approaches Claire with a much-earned respect.

To the makers of the Starz Outlander series:

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the dynamic range the actors are taking these characters through, being so well-written in the novel. But I am. Each week, I watch the characters grow in ways I didn’t think would be visible without dialogue. The subtly of each expression, touch, glance, and emotion speaks volumes.

I pay attention to the details you painstakingly add. I see what you are doing in each corner of the screen. I understand this story means as much to you as it does to me. I am in awe of how delicately you are putting it together.

But it’s not only the actors, producers, writers, cinematographers, and directors making this show superb. It’s the people working in locations, art department, props, costumes, hair & makeup, electrical, grip, camera, music, sound, video assist, special effects, visual effects, animal wrangling, stunts, the ADs, the PAs, the drivers, and the caterers, too. We see the messages from the producers hailing the efforts of the cast and crew toiling in adverse conditions. It makes me smile because I know how dedicated and close they all are. Frankly, it also makes me a bit sad not to be up to my knees in mud with them!

If the filmmakers and cast wonder whether their largest to smallest efforts are noticed, I for one am hear to yell, “YES!”

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is the heart and soul of the television series, but Tall Ship Productions, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, the entire cast and crew brought it to life in a way I don’t believe anyone thought possible. I wrote in my initial review for SASSENACH this show is groundbreaking because of the quality and care given to the first episode. With this latest addition to the series, you managed to surpass your own standards.

Bravo and thank you.

You can listen to Ron Moore’s podcast for Episode 104: THE GATHERING here or download it for free on  iTunes.

Episode #105: RENT airs next Saturday, 9 September at 9:00 pm EST.


Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #104: THE GATHERING

Outlander Episode #104: THE GATHERING presented an array of dramatic looks based on superb performances by the entire cast. The character arc for Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) delivered him into his full-fledged manhood.

While I very much enjoyed his lovey-dovey looks from THE WAY OUT, his soul-baring looks from CASTLE LEOCH, and his bloody-sexy looks from SASSENACH, I was astounded by his courageous and heart-felt looks in THE GATHERING.

As I state in my review, this is my favorite episode thus far because it focuses on the intricacies of the plot while advancing Jamie and Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) relationship in a way that’s not obvious. Jamie and Claire have been on different paths since they first met, but the night of the Gathering brings them together in a way neither of them expected.

Here is my list of Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for THE GATHERING. As predicted, the selections get more difficult each week. I’m sure #1 will be no surprise to those who watched the show, but I hope I captured a few unexpected ones for your viewing pleasure. Let’s begin.

#30: Jamie’s I’m Swearing An Oath But I’m Not Face – Thought I’d start with one that pictorializes the entire episode. “We are gathered here today . . .” Well, we’re gathered, just not for that.


#29: Jamie’s Thanks For Fixing My Scratches Face – Let’s play a little word association game, shall we?

I say “Scratch,” and you say, “Itch.”

I say, “High.” You say, “Low.”

I say, “On,” and you say, “Off.”

I say, “Kilt.” You say, . . .


#28: Jamie’s That’s My Lassie! Face – Everyone keeps putting their hands on Claire except Jamie. What is wrong with this show?!


#27: Jamie’s I Win Face – Ah, there’s nothing like burning off a little steam by WWFing your uncle and body slamming him to the ground for the win.


#26: Jamie’s Watch Out! Face – Oh, for Pete’s sake. Poor Jamie finally gets his hands on Claire and Wham! He’s knocked out cold by a dastardly Rupert. Come on, Claire. You should have pulled him down on top of you, then held him there – just until you knew it was safe. An hour or two would have done it.


#25: Jamie’s Come And Get It Face – Jamie and Dougal (Graham McTavish) have been eyeballing each other for four episodes. It’s time for the smackdown – Outlander style.


#24: Jamie’s Dougal Touched You? Face – Even Jamie’s uncle got to Claire before he did. Damn it, man! Make your move.


#23: Jamie’s He Was Drunk? Face – Whew! What a relief. Well then, he won’t remember trying to take advantage of you, Claire. Too bad that doesn’t help Claire wipe away the memory of almost being raped – again!


#22: Jamie’s How The Hell Do I Get Out Of This One? Face – Poor Jamie. No girlfriend. No wife. A bounty on his head. Can’t go home. Can’t stay. He swears an oath to Colum (Gary Lewis) – he dies. He doesn’t swear an oath to Colum – he dies. This guy needs a break.


#21: Jamie’s Let Me Change Before The Gathering Face – I couldn’t agree more. Jamie is very, very dirty. He needs to be bathed and dressed. Mrs. Fitz is busy. I’ll do it. An hour or two should be fine.


#20: Jamie’s That’ll Teach Ye To Mess With Me Face – Jamie’s 3-0 against Dougal. Unfortunately, we know Dougal has a way to get back at him.


#19: Jamie’s Jamie Versus Dougal Face – I love the timing of this shot. The two men make their way to the front of the hall, pretending not to notice one another. No words here but strong emotions are exchanged in the tense environment. Plus, Jamie looks really hot.


#18: Jamie’s I’ll Take Ye Face – This is the last playful moment before things get really rough. It’s all fun and games until someone takes a shinty stick to the wrong balls.


Right, Angus (Stephen Walters)?


#17: Jamie’s That Was Fun Humiliating You Face – Well deserved, lad.


#16: Jamie’s I Got Outta That One Face – Yes, we all knew Jamie would prevail, but what a performance!


#15: Jamie’s I Can’t Wear This Face – You know, you’re right. I did a terrible job picking out your clothes, Jamie. Let’s go back to your room and try it again. Won’t take but an hour or two.


#14: Jamie’s He’s Looking At Her Face – Things are happening. Jamie’s still staring at Claire, but the look has changed. And he’s not the only one doing the checking out. See #13.


#13: Jamie’s She’s Looking At You Face – I know Jamie’s smiling face is off to the side, but this look is all about Claire. She’s looking at Jamie, and she likes what she sees. Who’s got puppy dog eyes this time?


#12: Jamie’s Who’s Next? Face – Me! Me! Me! I’m next. Can you do that thing where you wrap your arms around me and hold on tight? Is it okay if I don’t fight back? Then, when you throw me to the ground, can you kind of lie on top of me?


#11: Jamie’s Why Does She Keep Talking About Leaving? Face – Well, geez, man. Maybe if you kissed her, she’d stop talking about leaving. Ever think of that?


Welcome to the Top Ten of Jamie’s Looks for THE GATHERING.

#10: Jamie’s F#@* You Uncle Dougal Again Face – No explanation needed.


#9: Jamie’s I’ve Got Something To Show You Face – Is it bigger than a bread box? Also, we can’t see Claire’s face, but she doesn’t look to be in any hurry to get up. Go with it, lass.


#8: Jamie’s Quiet Thoughts Face – This lad has a lot on his mind tonight. He’s tried so hard to stay away from Claire, then Boom! She’s in his thoughts again, yammering about leaving.


#7: Jamie’s My Head Is Harder Than An Iron Pot Face – Well, because you brought it up . . .  have anything else harder than an iron pot? Inquiring minds want to know.


#6: Jamie’s I’m Sorry Claire Face – The only thing sweeter than hearing the word Sassenach on Jamie’s lips is Claire. Don’t know what it is about the way he says it, but yum. You know, Claire and Candida both start with a C . . .


#5: Jamie’s You Want A Piece Of Me? Face – Oh, yeah. Can I get all your pieces to go, please?


#4: Jamie’s It’s Just Me Face – This shot reminds me of all the times Jamie springs out of bed armed with a dagger, crouching in combat mode – ‘cept he’s usually naked. What’s wrong with this show?!


#3: Jamie’s I Might Die Tonight Face – Yeah, he might die tonight, but he’ll die sexy as hell.


#2: Jamie’s Take It Or Leave It Face – This is the pivotal moment of the show. Jamie’s just sworn his allegiance without swearing an oath to clan MacKenzie. The man knows how to put on an intense look. There’s no time for moony-eyed stares when everyone around you wants to put a dagger in your back.


#1: Jamie’s Je Suis Prest Face – I do believe we met the real James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Bonne Nuit! Buenas Noches! おやすみなさい! Dobranoc! God natt! Buonanotte! Gute Nacht! Good Night!


Being my favorite episode thus far, makes this Top 30 list also my favorite. Most of Jamie’s looks had to do with his complicated life. As fans, we already know everything about him, but it was wonderful to meet the real JAMMF tonight.

Outlander Episode #105: RENT airs on Starz on Saturday, 6 September in the U.S.

If you missed last week’s Top 30, you’ll find them here: Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #103: THE WAY OUT

My review for Ep104 is also available: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #104: THE GATHERING


Ask TallShip

Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone. This week’s twitter Q&A put the spotlight on our very own Maril Davis, Co-Executive Producer of the Starz Outlander series. I missed #AskOutlander last week, but today I covertly tweeted questions to Maril from my desk with one hand & one eye on my phone and my other hand & other eye on my monitor. Yes, it was tricky but well worth the effort as Maril answered two of my questions! Perusing the tweets below, I see some of my unanswered questions were asked by others and answered by Maril.

One of the main topics piquing people’s interest is undoubtedly Season 2. We’re all eager for the cast and crew to take a well-deserved break before they get to work on Dragonfly in Amber though I suppose the show will simply be called Outlander Season 2.

Ah, Season 2. There are several scenes to which I am personally looking forward to seeing next year. I list a few of them below in chronological order – not going to attempt prioritizing. Just to be safe, I’d better give fair WARNING to spoilers ahead.

1. Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) sausage chase and the meeting of young Fergus. Who among us is not dying to see that scene? I suppose it might be told in flashback as Claire is not there to witness the hilarious and heroic events.

2. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie’s sighting of Alexander Randall. Will Tobias Menzies prevail and snag the role? Wouldn’t that be a lovely triple treat?

3. Meeting Mother Hildegarde and Bouton at L’Hôpital des Agnes. They can’t possibly leave out good ole’ Bouton or Mother Hildegarde!

4. Jamie and Randall’s duel on the Bois de Bologne in Paris which leads to a devastating sequence of events, including Claire’s submission to the King of France.

5. One of the most pivotal scenes in the book – though it may not seem so upon the initial reading – is Jamie meeting the young John Grey for the first time. As everyone knows, LJG is one of my absolute favorite characters, thus my eagerness to “meet” him myself.

6. Jamie and Dougal’s (Graham McTavish) final confrontation. Oh, heck. all the events surrounding the final days before Culloden, but especially that.

7. I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to Jamie and Claire’s parting at Craigh na Dun, but I know it’ll be beautifully done, so . . . I’ll bear it but without a grin.

8. And last but not least, the introduction of Brianna and Roger MacKenzie! Yes, I know we meet them early in the book, but who knows what Tall Ship will do . . .

What scene do you most long to see visualized in Season 2?

Reflecting on Dragonfly in Amber does make me a bit sad as we are forced to say goodbye to several wonderful characters. Whether it’s your favorite or least favorite novel, it is certainly packed with some of the most dramatic moments of the series because of their definite and sometimes seeming finality. It’s an immense amount of drama to squeeze into 13 episodes, but we know Outlander Starz and Tall Ship Productions won’t let us down!

Now, onto the tweets  . . .

[Technical note: If the tweets below do not appear embedded, please click on the title "ASK TALLSHIP". This will fix the problem. Sorry for the inconvenience.]


The Enchanting Geillis Duncan

I haven’t posted an Outlander trailer in quite a while. Today, Outlander Starz released a new one which I particularly love because it showcases Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), looking lovely, mischievous, secretive, and innocent as ever. WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Geillis’ character in the Outlander novel by Diana Gabaldon can be described with a single word – delicious, and Ms. Verbeek’s performance has so far done great justice to the role. Her giggles, voice, and facial expressions are not what I expected at all, but as it turns out – they very much suit Geillis Duncan. Like the other stars of the show – Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, and Gary Lewis – Ms. Verbeek disappears on screen and simply becomes the enigmatic woman.

She is, in my opinion, more dangerous than Black Jack Randall because she hides her true self. Black Jack wears his measure of insanity out in the open. What a delicious – to use the perfect word again – confrontation these two could have had. She might be the only woman to suit him, if he liked women . . . Every night would have been a game of cat and cat in their bedroom – always trying to outwit or outdo each other. Who do you think would have come out on top? – and I mean that quite literally.

Of course, Geillis being from another century adds zest to her character, perhaps something to give her an edge over Black Jack? We’ll never know unless their paths crossed when she first arrived – a story yet to be told. Too bad Ms. Gabaldon doesn’t take requests. How I would love to read a tale of their meeting.

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) meets Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) meets Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Ignoring for the time being that Geillis is a Scot and a Jacobite loyalist and Black Jack is a Captain in His Majesty’s Army, putting these two  together brings up several questions.

– In a stare down, who would blink first?

– How long would it take Geillis’ giggle to drive Black Jack further into his darkness?

– Would Geillis consider Black Jack’s sneer a challenging turn on?

– Would Black Jack fit into her century as well as Geillis fits into his? I’m reminded of the 1979 film, Time After Time, starring Malcolm McDowell as H. G. Wells and David Warner as Jack the Ripper. Hmm. Similar names. Jack the Ripper travels from Victorian England to 1979 in H. G. Wells’ time machine. H. G. Wells pursues. During their final confrontation, Jack claims he was born in the wrong century and fits into the violent 20th century better than his own. I wonder if Black Jack Randall wouldn’t feel the same way.

Interesting thoughts, but Black Jack had a trailer of his own. It’s time for Geillis and her gradual slide into madness. Below are glimpses of what we’ve already seen of her many faces and what’s yet to come . . .

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) spies on Claire & Jamie.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) spies on Claire & Jamie.

Often when I watch a show or film, I concentrate on the story first. While watching Outlander, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the subtle and the distinctive expressions the actors cast at one another. Dialogue? Who needs dialogue with performances like we’re seeing? Well, okay . . . I don’t want to lose the dialogue. Heaven forbid we should miss another line like, “Lily of the Valley.”

Above and below, Geillis’ face tells her own micro-stories. One minute, she’s amused by Claire’s quirky ignorance and Jamie’s not-so-cunning stares (of course, she noticed), and the next she’s trying to outwit a fellow time traveler. Oh, Claire. It’s a good thing you’re such a great doctor because you really would make a horrible spy.

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) tries to pry secrets from Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) tries to pry secrets from Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) greets Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) greets Claire, eager for another go at her secrets.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan. As I said in my review for ep102: CASTLE LEOCH – not the best way to introduce yourself.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan. As I said in my review for ep102: CASTLE LEOCH – not the best way to introduce yourself.
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) isn’t sure what to make of Geillis Duncan. By the way, not a good position to be in around a supposed witch.

While this show is primarily about Claire and Claire & Jamie, we’ve been gifted with several scene stealers – among them, Dougal MacKenzie, Black Jack Randall, all the hairy Highlanders, and Geillis Duncan. She simply lights up the castle with her bright eyes, burnished hair, glowing skin, and her enchanting smile. Season 2: DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is the end of the line for several of our favorite characters. Here’s hoping we see Geillis again in Season 3: VOYAGER.


Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #103: THE WAY OUT

Sam Heughan may be considered the sexiest man on television this summer, but Jamie Fraser has proven himself the sexiest man of the 18th Century. With his red locks, searing blue eyes, innocent smile, broad shoulders and Gàidhlig tongue-rolling r’s – he’s hot, hot, hot.

But can we stop objectifying him for one minute, ladies? Really. Let’s not forget, he’s educated and a master of foreign tongues, er, languages – including Scots, Gàidhlig, English (because there is a difference, ye ken?), French, Greek, Latin, a little Chinese, and a mishmash of Native American. I’m sure he picked up on Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Prussian at some point, as well.

He knows the bible like the back of his hand, has a mind for military strategy, is wise beyond his years, and has the steel fortitude of a nun.

Okay, back to objectification. You’re not here to read about Jamie’s head for figures. You’re hear to check out his fine figure. And I won’t let you down. Here we go again with a shiny new list of Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for Episode #103.

#30: Jamie’s Yeah Sure She’s A Bonny Lass Face – If you read my review, you know what I think of this scene. As annoyed as I am with Jamie, Claire isn’t much better. She really puts Jamie on the spot.


#29: Jamie’s Sorry I Dinna Remember Ye Face – Notice how different his smile is compared to when he looks at Claire? Night and Day. Have a heart, Jamie. You know what it feels like to pine, aye?


#28: Jamie’s Drink in the Face Face – He pretty much deserves this, being a bit of dog this episode. Boys will be boys, eh?


#27: Jamie’s Here Wench Take This Empty Glass To The Kitchen Face – Yeah, this is where I would have splashed the drink in his face. Crush over.


#26: Jamie’s Jerk Of The Head Face – Lesson #1 on how to be a man: Rip Your Ear Off. So many hidden messages in this episode. Did someone say jerk?


#25: Jamie’s A Man Enters A Bar Face – Castle Leoch is hopping tonight! Gwyllyn the Bard is in town and playing for two nights only. Jamie is stag and on the prowl.


#24: Jamie’s Dinna Tempt The Fates Face – He may be an educated man, but he ain’t stupid. Yep. There’s a big difference between book smart and street smart – or in this case, respectful of the Black Kirk superstitions. I love how Jamie makes the sign of the cross to ward off Claire’s pissing the spirits off.


#23: Jamie’s I Thought We Were Friends Face – Speaking of pissing off spirits . . . Dinna piss off the hand that bandages you, lad.


#22: Jamie’s I Bit My Tongue Face – Stat! Jamie’s tongue needs attention! Stick it out, so we can see.


#21: Jamie’s Do You Want Me Now? Face – Ooh, he’s a dog, isn’t he? We all know he’s using poor Leery to get to Claire. By the way, thanks for making me feel sorry for Laoghaire MacKenzie! 


#20: Jamie’s Why Does She Want To Leave All This Face – Now, I feel sorry for Jamie. He just can’t figure out why Claire is desperate to get away from his ginger-goodness.


#19: Jamie’s How Do I Get Claire Alone? Face – It’s not hard, man. Just give her one of your looks. You know how. Try #1.


#18: Jamie’s I’m Working The Fillies Face – Are these the spirited fillies of which you speak, Jamie? You can’t seem to stay out of trouble around the ladies or the fillies.


#17: Jamie’s I Thought I’d Get My Ass Scalped If I Touched It Face – You say “skelped,” I say “scalped.” Oh, so many goodies in that single line even though I got it wrong. Where to start . . . where to start? 1) I’m afraid to ask, but exactly how hairy does one’s ass have to be to get scalped? 2) Touch what? Please be specific and descriptive. 3) An unrelated question but, does your ass look anything like Colum’s hairless kilt jewel?


#16: Jamie’s I Should Go Face – Let me finish that . . . Before Something Starts To Rise Again. And he doesn’t mean Claire’s blood alcohol level which is quite high at the moment.


#15: Jamie’s You’re A Miracle Worker Face – Yeah, I pretty much like Jamie’s face every time he speaks Gàidhlig.


#14: Jamie’s Overindulgent Face – Translation: You can overindulge on me any time, Sassenach.


#13: Jamie’s I’m An Educated Man Face – He knows he’s been a bad boy this episode and tries to impress Claire.


#12: Jamie’s S$*@ Why Did I Sit Here? Face – Never, ever, under any circumstances should a man sit between a woman he desires and a woman who desires him – unless he can handle the pain.


#11: Jamie’s Well This Sucks Face – Yeah, Claire keeps touching him but in all the wrong places.


Welcome to the Top Ten of Jamie’s Looks for Episode #103.

#10: Jamie’s A Man Has Needs Face – I hope you don’t think this is the same as #21. At this moment, he’s stealing a kiss from a young lass. In #21, he’s pretty much rubbing it in Claire’s face. I think this scene was perfectly written and aptly played. If Jamie had tossed Leery aside when he saw Claire, we’re back to jerk status. It’s bad enough he’s kissing someone he doesn’t really seem to like all that much, but she’s attractive and not preoccupied with thoughts of another man, so . . . I forgive you, Jamie. Give us a kiss.


#9: Jamie’s I Don’t Mind Face – Jamie doesn’t mind Claire seeing the scars on his back. Frankly, he doesn’t mind her seeing his front either, or what’s under his kilt.


#8: Jamie’s Chaffing Face – It’s amazing how the bandages on his shoulder are chaffing his groin.


#7: Jamie’s I Had A Good Tutor Face – Keep trying, lad. Claire’s distracted at the moment with thoughts of saving a young boy’s life, but she hasn’t forgotten you.


#6: Jamie’s Swollen Lips Face – Oh, she got you on that one, man! If you can’t stand the heat . . .


#5: Jamie’s I’m A Highlander Born And Bred Face – And we thank the Lord every day for that little act of creation!


#4: Jamie’s I Can’t Stop Staring Face – Jamie’s fallen hard for this woman and can’t keep his eyes off her face – and other parts of her anatomy. One day, Claire will be his Latin tutor . . .


#3: Jamie’s Still Staring Face – Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, man! Claire is a bit clueless in this episode showing her ignorance of the customs, but how the hell is she missing these looks? Oh, yeah. She’s trying to save lives. You go, girl!


#2: Jamie’s Lily Of The Valley Face – Oh My God. I could listen to Jamie say “Lily of the Valley” over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over over and over and over . . .


#1: Jamie’s It Doesna Get Any Hotter Than This Face – This look requires multiple choices. Confession time, ladies. How many of you:

A) Forgot you were watching a television show?

B) Could feel yourself in the room with Claire and Jamie?

C) Screamed, “Claire, you fool!”?

D) Licked your television screen?

E) All of the above.


Whew! The looks seem to get steamier and steamier each week. I don’t know how I’ll survive putting together a Top 30 for THE WEDDING, but I’ll do my darndest when it gets here. You can count on me.

Outlander Episode #104: THE GATHERING airs on Starz on Saturday, 30 August in the U.S.

If you missed last week’s hot Top 30, you can find them here: Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Episode #102: CASTLE LEOCH

My review of this week’s episode is full of Outlander fun, too. So check it out if you’re so inclined: A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Episode #103: THE WAY OUT.

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Outlander Episode 103 – The Way Out – The Gàidhlig Bits I Could Decipher


Mandy shares her gift for Gàidhlig once again. Check out her blog to find out what the heck those Scots are saying.

Originally posted on Great Scot!:

Before I start into the Gàidhlig translations—of which there weren’t that many this week—let me take a moment to commemorate this post as my 100th since I began this blog in February. When I first started GreatScot, I really wasn’t sure if anyone else was going to be as interested in the Gàidhlig language and culture as I was. I’m happy to say that as of tonight, the blog has topped over 54,000 page views, and 24,oo0 of those have been since mid-July. So I guess I’m not the only person interested. Thanks for following along with me!

Hall Entertainment

18:07  Letitia to Hamish

I think she says something with ‘seinn’ and  ‘tu air’ in it. Seinn is sing. (Thanks to Lori for helping with this one)

18:10 Colum to Hamish

I think Colum says something with ‘gu bràth’ meaning forever.

Geillis’ House

42:47 Jamie to Geillis

Mòran taing dhut – Thank…

View original 76 more words

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