A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 112: LALLYBROCH

As this is a special day – my one-year anniversary with wordpress – I’d like to dedicate this 116th post to all #Outlander fans who have visited this site from 163 countries. According to wikipedia, that means, at least 66% of the world’s sovereign states have lovers of #Outlander residing within their borders.
Thanks for your support this past year. Here’s hoping we reach all 247 countries over the next twelve months! Now, on to my recap.

Outlander Episode 112: LALLYBROCH introduces two well-loved and vital characters to the Outlander story – Janet “Jenny” Flora Arabella Fraser Murray, Jamie’s older sister, and Ian Alastair Robert MacLeod Murray, Jamie’s best friend from childhood. In case there’s any doubt, SPOILERS are ahead.



The episode also welcomes back a popular character – Captain Jonathan Wolverton Randall, Esq. – in all his sadistic grandeur. Each confrontation delves deeper into the fascinating mind of this troubled man who “dwells in darkness.” Most of what we know of him lives on the surface which may be the main reason for his dreadfulness. The unknown factors of his past make him an enigma difficult to solve.

LALLYBROCH is a much anticipated episode as it also introduces a sentimental location – home. I’ll make mention now of Lallybroch’s unexpected opulence as envisioned by production designer Jon Gary Steele. He holds nothing back in the design of the estate’s interiors – from the baroque parlor with its wraparound staircase and comfy-looking seating, to the ornate dining room with its wall-to-wall medieval tapestries and Jacobean furniture, to the Laird’s luscious bedroom with it’s to-die-for-fireplace and blue forested toile walls. It may not be how we envisioned Lallybroch, but there can be no argument regarding its beauty.

This episode concentrates primarily on the rekindling of Jamie and Jenny’s awkward reunion and Jamie and Randall’s treacherous history. With Jamie’s return to Lallybroch come the many haunting memories of that “one day in October” and the tragic days which followed, including the death of his father – Brian “Black Brian” Robert David Fraser. Jamie’s homecoming is overshadowed by those remembrances, as well as the many painful thoughts of his sister’s assumed welfare.

LALLYBROCH is directed by two-timer Mike Barkerwho has the unusual challenge of weaving the sheer darkness of Captain Randall flashbacks in-between some rather cumbersome comedic moments. The flashbacks do well, setting the stage for WENTWORTH PRISON. I’ve mentioned Ep 115 quite a few times over the past weeks because I believe it will be the most groundbreaking episode of the series with heroic performances by all.


Anne Kenney penned this jam-packed episode. She also wrote Ep 103: THE WAY OUT and Ep 107: THE WEDDING, episodes with two vastly different storylines. LALLYBROCH is disparate from both those scripts, having to progress the story arc along more than one subplot in a short amount of time while manipulating a bevy of raw emotions.


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Ron Moore’s Live Tweets for #Outlander Ep 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

Executive Producer, Ron D. Moore, live tweeted Outlander Ep 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK. If you missed his creative insights and witty jocularity, here they all are:

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Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

Each Outlander episode this season has left it’s special mark, but Episode #111: THE DEVIL’S MARK sets the emotional bar very high with Claire, Geillis , and Jamie  taking us on a whirlwind adventure of fear, suspense, revelation, sacrifice, honesty, and love.

Jamie (Sam Heughan) is at #PeakPerformance in this episode, saving Claire from being burned as a witch, putting his trust and faith in her word, placing Claire’s pleasure before his own, sacrificing his own happiness by allowing her to return to the 20th century, and finally, receiving his reward for all his good deeds.

When amassing my collection of Jamie faces for each episode, I normally work around camera angles, dark or difficult lighting, motion blur, and sometimes goofy expressions. This week, the camera loved, loved, loved Jamie, and he loved the camera right back with quite a bit of eye contact and wistful stares in Claire’s general direction.

What this amounts to is my most difficult Top 30 yet. How do I choose between this perfect image versus that? It’s a dirty job, but I’m up to the task. After all, this episode is about sacrifice.

I present to you now, Jamie’s most perfectly photographed Top 30 of the season so far:

#30: Jamie’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 Face – If Sam Heughan and Uma Thurman are ever in an action movie together, I hope you remember this moment.

Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

Outlander Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK is – in two words – intensely moving. You know from my previous reviews, I have been enjoying the series a great deal, but this is the first episode which brings the Outlander novel to full life.

The story focuses on Claire and Geillis for the first part of the episode, then on Claire and Jamie for the second. What brings Diana Gabaldon‘s written word to colorful being is the evolution of Claire’s relationship with Geillis and the fruition of Claire and Jamie’s love. Claire makes several choices in this episode, at the expense of herself, and finally, at the expense of Frank.

Perhaps you view it a different way: Claires stays for Jamie. True, but I believe she stays more for herself. She makes the choice to turn her back on Frank, the 20th century, relative safety, and what she knows. None of that can be taken lightly, especially given the sad blue eyes saying goodbye to her. But let’s not jump ahead too far.

THE DEVIL’S MARK delivers one or two surprises while handling the most precious moments of the episode with all the care and faithfulness we’ve come to expect from the performers and producers of this show.

Lotte Verbeek, as Geillis Duncan, gives another outstanding performance, but the star of the show takes her place in the spotlight. Caitriona Balfe, as Claire Fraser, shows us why no one else could have played this part. She glosses through a range of emotions, chilling to the bone and rousing to the heart.

THE DEVIL’S MARK is directed by Mike Barkerwho beautifully handles every scene from the most terrifying of the episode to the most heart-wrenching. My tears are still on reserve for WENTWORTH PRISON, but I do choke up a bit during the courtroom climax of Geillis’ self-condemning confession to save Claire.

Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 111: THE DEVIL’S MARK

A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS

TerrOutlander Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS is the first dual-perspective episode of the ereason, although the monologues are restricted to Claire’s voice. The show has made the smooth transition to traditional story-telling mode, following both Claire and Jamie on their separate journeys.

Much is revealed in this episode as we make our way toward Jamie and Claire’s crucial scene at Craig na Dun. Not to jump ahead too far, the brothers fall out of favor with each other – again – with Jamie caught in the middle – again. Laoghaire’s claws come out (but I still think it’s mostly Jamie’s fault). Mrs. Fitz shows, once again, what a horrible grandmother she is. And we finally meet the Duke of Sandringham (played by the marvelous Simon Callow) with all his pomp and flair. He’s a minor character, and I wish we had the screen time to explore his flamboyant history and dubious connections.


Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS

Outlander Episode #110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS has quite a bit of action. Jamie  (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) move onto the more advanced stages of marriage and make us almost not care what happens after. Claire and Laoghaire  (Nell Hudson) have a face off in the kitchen and come to a direct understanding. Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) does a naked wicca dance in the woods and makes a number of revelations. Claire meets the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) and parries words with him. Dougal (Graham McTavish) goes on a drunken rampage and swings his sword at everything that moves. Poor Arthur Duncan (John Sessions) finally meets his demise and ruins the party. Jamie duels against three Highlanders at once and kicks their asses.  Finally, Colum (Gary Lewis) has a hissy fit and kicks everyone out of the Castle. See what I mean?

In this episode, Jamie displays an impressive range of Jamie faces, the main motivation being the quest to clear his name. Though the return to Lallybroch is the central theme, this was one of the more challenging episodes to break down because of the wide array of action.

Here we go with the 10th Top 30 of the season:

#30: Jamie’s Holding The Baby Face – A very tender scene. Makes me sad Jamie never gets to hold Brianna . . . or Faith.

Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 110: BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS

A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 109: THE RECKONING

The Outlander mid-season premiere, Ep109: THE RECKONING, can best be described in two words: Politically Intriguing. Did I disappoint you? How about Politically Spankelicious? Yes, we have spanking and we have politics – both sexual and civil – all in one episode. Only Outlander can deliver a potpourri of sadistic flirtation, unfair justice, fraternal conspiracy, virginal seduction,  and knife sex.

My recap is later than usual (Apologies!) but hopefully my readers – both faithful and new (Welcome!) – are not too satiated by all the other wonderful blogs out there. Hopefully, I can keep you entertained as this review has it all, including  SPOILERS.

The Reckoning is directed by Richard Clark who has also helmed a few episodes of another show popular among Outlander fans: The Crimson Field. Matt Roberts is the talent behind this particular script, expanding the characters beautifully beyond the book while giving the cast some very juicy dialogue to bandy.

If you’ve been living in the dunbonnet’s cave for the past six months, you might not have heard this episode is all about James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. I doubt there will be any complaints from viewers that there’s not enough Jamie in this episode.

As the show opens, we join Jamie by a stream . . . but before I take you there, I thought we could start with a little fashion show of Jamie putting on his kilt during the opening credits. I believe he does all his own stunts here.

Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 109: THE RECKONING

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