A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL

It seems fitting to write my final Outlander Season One review for Episode 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL on World Outlander Day. It was twenty-four years ago on June 1st, 1991, Diana Gabaldon‘s groundbreaking novel was first published. And twenty-four years later, we have the complementary groundbreaking television series to further indulge our appetites.

I’m foregoing my usual recap for this episode. Sorry if anyone is disappointed, but you’ve all seen the episode or you wouldn’t be reading this article. Frankly, I don’t feel like rehashing Jamie’s scenes of torture.

In lieu of a recap and traditional review, I generated a list. You know how I love to make lists. Needless to say, the following mentions barely scratch the surface of this astonishing episode.

Ten Things I Love About Outlander Episode 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL and One Thing I Could Do Without:

Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL

#Outlander Mini-Recaps

As Outlander nears the big finale, I decided to take a look back over the episodes and revisit the posters I created for the second half of the season. The exceptional cinematography and lighting in each episode prompted me to make major updates to all eight posters to include some of my favorite shots.

I love to hear from readers, so let me know what your favorite episodes of the season are so far and why. Thanks so much for reading and supporting my musings!

And because I can never post artwork without doing a bit of yakking, I’ve added very short, itty bitty, mini-recaps for each episode.

Episode 109: THE RECKONING

The Reckoning puts us inside Jamie Fraser’s mind for the first time and places him in several awkward situations – from settling matters between his two feuding uncles, to facing his old flame Laoghaire back at Castle Leoch, all starting with his rescuing Claire from the fiendish Randall’s clutches.


Of all the landscapes, I especially love the snowy Castle Leoch scenery in this episode – breathtaking. And the setting between Jamie and Laoghaire near the river is very “organic” – her approach (down below) and her departure (here) both being a bit haunting. It’s almost as if she’ll be haunting Claire and Jamie for a long time to come . . .


But the most memorable scene for me is that between Claire and Jamie in the bedchamber where he takes this oath:

“I swear on the cross of my Lord Jesus, and the Holy iron in which I hold, that I give you my fealty and pledge you my loyalty. If ever my hand is raised in rebellion against you again, then I ask that this Holy iron might pierce my heart.”

#109_The_Reckoning_Poster Continue reading #Outlander Mini-Recaps

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON

In Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON, Jamie is in big, big trouble. It’s bad enough he’s sentenced to death, but Claire’s rescue attempt only seems to make the situation worse. What could be worse than the hangman’s noose? Why Jonathan Wolverton Randall, of course.

While there are a few heroic and handsome Jamie looks this week, he spends a great deal of time in agony. Sam Heughan‘s performance is extraordinary, but I called on PocketJamie again to humor things up.

Here’s hoping PJ has the right stuff in this 2nd Special Edition PocketJamie Countdown. Beware of dark humor.

#30: Torture Device PocketJamie – Don’t worry, lassies. That’s PJ’s stunt double hanging there.


Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON

A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON

Outlander Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON is about hope. Claire hopes she can rescue Jamie from the gallows. Randall hopes he can break Jamie before the object of his obsession permanently escapes, and Jamie hopes to meet death on his own terms.

Ironically, it’s Claire’s actions which enable Randall’s dreams-come-true and launch Jamie into a lifetime of nightmares. I’m not attempting to add unnecessary hype to Episode 116, but as I watch each episode, I tend to think about Claire and Jamie’s future as Diana Gabaldon has written it in the follow-up novels. There is much joy and happiness to come, but Jamie will pay the price for this one night for the rest of his life.

Episode 106: THE GARRISON COMMANDER showed us the dark side of Jonathan Wolverton Randall though his very own eyes. In Episode 115, he has a very different look in those same eyes – one of absolute delight. I compare his smile when first entering Jamie’s cell to that of a child on Christmas morning – gleefully laying eyes on the gift he most craves.

I’d been looking forward to this episode because of the performances I knew the actors would deliver, and they do not disappoint. As a matter of point, they exceed my expectations. I’m one of many fans who can’t seem to resist Randall’s delicious evilness. It works because Diana created the character as complex. He’s not simply a single-minded sadist. Add to that, Tobias’ breathe of life and voi!

Throughout the episode, the strain on Claire is evident. She’s filled with fear but doesn’t let it overtake her at any time, even when matters seem hopeless. She can’t. This episode is about hope.

Jamie is the bravest we’ve ever seen him. He’s a dead man and knows it, but groveling is not in his nature. Jamie thinks he knows Randall’s true nature, but someone with a soul of light cannot possibly fathom one with a darkness as black as Jack’s.

By the way, there is a warning of nudity at the beginning of this episode, which I did not detect – not that I was scrutinizing for it. But it had me worried for a bit. Guess I’m glad Marley doesn’t provide any gratuitous glimpses. Perhaps the ratings board has raised their standards and Jamie’s bare feet and ankles qualify. Or maybe I blocked out Randall’s PocketBlackJack.

Ira Steven Behr returns to ravish us with another heinous encounter between Jamie and Black Jack, although we know the actors create the genuine spark in each character – bring them to life in all their soulfulness.


Anna Foerster directs a very different episode from THE WEDDING, but evokes the same intense emotion from the opposite side of the spectrum.


Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 115: WENTWORTH PRISON

A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH

In Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH, a brave turn is taken, in that two of the  most powerful characters are absent throughout the entire show. Jamie Fraser is missing – obviously – and Captain Randall is lurking just off screen.

Taking Jamie’s place is his sister, Jenny – a woman we are just getting to know and starting to love. Murtagh returns in full force, showing not only his comedic side, but also his most vulnerable. However, every episode requires a villain. In this case we have two: Seoirse Warden – the gypsy king with a heart of slightly tarnished gold, and Dougal MacKenzie – the war chief back to claim his unwilling prize.

Given the many Jamie point-of-view scenes added this half of the season, one might ask: Why is Jamie missing from this episode? I’m sure that question has been answered already by important people like Ron D. Moore. In my humble opinion, I think adding scenes of Jamie in the clutches of the English, making his escape, on the run in the Scottish countryside, hiding out in villages, chasing after Claire and Murtagh, and finally being recaptured – how’s that for a recap in a nutshell? – much, if not all, of the suspense would have been diminished.

This episode takes me back to SASSENACH and RENT – back to Claire’s single perspective on the road. We’re supposed to bite our nails, pull out our hair, sit on the edge of our seat, and worry with our heroine – and we do, all while learning a little more about Jamie through Murtagh and Dougal.

Matt Roberts is back with, what I consider to be, one of the most challenging scripts of the season. Luckily for us, it’s placed in the right hands – in those of a long-time and knowledgable fan of all Diana Gabaldon‘s novels. Matt’s appreciation and understanding of the material shows in this episode.


Metin Hüseyin, who is currently busy directing Episode 201, helms THE SEARCH. He draws the lighter edge of Murtagh out for our entertainment, lets loose the dark side of scheming Dougal, and coaxes Jenny’s loving ruthlessness to the forefront. He also marshals us between several different locales – from the intimacy of Lallybroch, across Scotland’s countryside and seaside shores, through village after village, and finally into the gloom of Dougal’s den.


Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of #Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH

Although Episode 114: THE SEARCH brims with Jenny and Murtagh goodness – not to mention Dougal badness – it is, alas, very Jamie-shy. But you knew I wouldn’t let you down, right? Even without Sam Heughan gracing us with his performance this week, he still finds a way to brighten our day.

PocketJamie to the “Search and Rescue”! PocketJamie joins the episode, heroically assisting where he can and making the ladies swoon in his pint-size presence. Even life-size PocketJamie makes an appearance in this Special Edition PocketJamie Countdown. I hope you enjoy my silliest Top 30 yet.

#30: Co-Starring PocketJamie – Well, if Sam’s not around, PJ is always available to step in as needed. #EmmyForPocketJamie


Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 114: THE SEARCH

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

Episode 113: THE WATCH presents Jamie with some rather formidable challenges. Not only is he forced to share close quarters with The Watch, but he must also welcome into his home a familiar and dangerous acquaintance from his recent past – angel eyes Horrocks.

On the personal side, he learns Claire may not be able to give him the house full of children he’s always dreamt of having. Obviously devastated, he puts a brave face on for his wife’s own broken-hearted tears.

Jamie shares quite a few greatly appreciated scenes with his brother-in-law, Ian, as well as some dramatic moments with new character – Taran MacQuarrie. Together, Ian and Jamie face the threats imposed by The Watch and Horrocks, both conflicts ending with disastrous consequences.

Sam Heughan‘s performance in this episode is outstanding, as he expresses more emotion with his face than through his dialogue. I do not intend this as an insult to his verbal acting skills. It’s more a praising of his expressive artistic skills which are what compelled me to create the Top 30 in the first place.

I make special mention of the cinematography and lighting in my review, but I’d like to acknowledge it here as well. Lighting isn’t only important to make the actors and action visible to the audience, it sets the mood. This week, the lighting is most definitely a friend to Jamie’s Top 30 Looks. I present them to you now in their very well-lit glory.

#30: Jamie’s A Week Too Early, A Day Too Late Face – Timing is everything. Unfortunately, Jamie’s timing in the last two episodes sucks. He arrives at Lallybroch just in time to meet up with The Watch, then realizes too late they’ve entered a trap. If only the witch trial could have lasted a few more days . . .

Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from #Outlander Episode 113: THE WATCH

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