Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep. 210: PRESTONPANS

In Episode 210: PRESTONPANS, Jamie leads us into battle and faces the loss of a friend. This is a gritty, bloodthirsty episode with our first up close and personal look at Highlander warfare, tempered with moments of combat companionship.

With every episode, Sam Heughan‘s man-no-longer-a-lad grows more mature, commanding, responsible, charming and especially irresistible. This episode is particularly engaging because of all the characters – Dougal’s gallant ride into the bog under enemy fire, Murtagh’s somber reflection on the significance of life and death, Angus and Rupert’s battle banter on and off the field, the Prince’s noble gestures and acknowledgment of his subjects, Fergus’ first-hand introduction to war, Claire’s life-saving measures (except when it comes to Angus, but what could she do?) and Jamie, Jamie, Jamie in the war room, on the field, beside the Prince and all over Dougal.

I must admit my favorite scenes are between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Andrew Gower). Like Simon Callow‘s performance as the Duke of Sandringham, I have thoroughly enjoyed both gentlemen in the roles. Andrew portrays the Prince exactly how I would have imagined him – perfectly entitled and unwittingly delightful.

Due to forces beyond my control, I present to you a very late Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for Episode 210. I may be tardy, but at least I can offer something new to read during Droughtlander.

#30: Jamie’s Prayer For Angus Face – First man down . . .

30 ep210 Jamie Prayer for Angus

Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep. 210: PRESTONPANS

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep. 209: JE SUIS PREST

In Episode 209: JE SUIS PREST, Sam Heughan takes command of James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser and progresses his character arc to a whole new peak. The future of Scotland and its people, the fate of the woman he loves, the weight of the whole damn world rests on Jamie’s shoulders. Rather than let it crush him, he appears to stand taller and pushes back against the gathering storm and his arrogant uncle.

As I state in my review, this episode screams Outlander, much of that due to Jamie’s “commanding of age.” Sam Heughan makes the performance seem effortless, completely natural. He’s been living with James Fraser for quite a while now, but I doubt he ever takes his television ego for granted. Like Diana Gabaldon, he strives to keep the character engaging, entertaining and slightly unpredictable.

One scene often stands out as a favorite in each episode. JE SUIS PREST has two for me – Jamie’s reality of war speech and his meeting of a young man who will one day have a major influence in his life. Without further adieu, let’s dive into Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for Episode 209.

#30: Jamie’s No. 1 Face – Admit it. You were thinking something else. This isn’t The Scottish Prisoner, you know.

30 ep209 Jamie Relieving himself

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A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Ep. 209: JE SUIS PREST

During my viewing of Episode 209: JE SUIS PREST, my primary reaction during the entire 55 minutes and 24 seconds was: This is OUTLANDER. While Season 1 focused on and built up toward a personal climax between Jamie and Claire (no pun intended), Season 2 is all about the future of Scotland as we approach (sniff sniff) the climatic ending of Diana Gabaldon‘s Dragonfly in Amber. Of course, Claire and Jamie’s storyline is what truly carries us along and is what most concerns us. Sorry, Scotland. History is written. Claire and Jamie go on.

In this episode, beautifully written by Matt Roberts and finely directed by Philip John, Claire suffers a major case of WWIIPTSD (World War II Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Jamie takes command of the Fraser and MacKenzie troops and delivers the best speech of the episode and perhaps my favorite of the series so far. Dougal returns with no apologies and begrudgingly takes his place behind General Jamie. Fan favorites Angus and Rupert also return, ready to snog Claire and kill some redcoats. But the biggest delight for me is the introduction of my favorite (secondary) character –  John William Bertram Armstrong Grey. We’ll be seeing more of his character in Seasons 3 & 4.

While Diana’s novels contain elements of romance – the lovey dovey and adventurous kind – they are first and foremost about relationships and marriage. Family. History. Politics. War. Medicine. Displacement. Sacrifice. All these elements are masterfully encapsulated in this single episode.

Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Ep. 209: JE SUIS PREST

Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep. 208: THE FOX’S LAIR

In Episode 208: THE FOX’S LAIR, Jamie (Sam Heughan) faces off against his unscrupulous grandfather, Lord Lovat, in an attempt to appease the even more (or slightly less) unscrupulous Prince Charles.

There’s not a lot of time for Jamie to get back into his old life of farmin’ and takin’ care of his tenants afore he’s forced to march off to an uncertain war. They can change the future. They can’t change the future. They can change the future. They can’t . . . you get the idea.

Nothing in life is certain, other than politicians making bad choices for the good of the people. Jamie happens to be one of those people having choices made for him. But being the warrior he is, he doesn’t give in easily.

I truly enjoy watching Sam Heughan explore the many facets of Jamie’s character in THE FOX’S LAIR, especially during the political storyline parts. This episode reminds me a great deal of THE GATHERING and THE RECKONING, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Jamie goes up against the big dogs of two clans in Outlander and manages to pup his way out of each predicament.

So, whether or not you appreciate this particular episode, I hope you enjoy my Top 30 selects for another of Jamie’s forays into Scottish politics.

#30: Jamie’s Deed Of Sasine Face – Just another example of the rich stealing from the poor.

30 ep208 Jamie Deed of Sasine

Continue reading Jamie’s Top 30 Looks from Outlander Ep. 208: THE FOX’S LAIR

A True Fan’s Nutshell of Outlander Ep. 208: THE FOX’S LAIR

Due to my tardiness, this is a nutshell recap which I hope will be a fun companion to all the other great recaps and reviews already in circulation.

Outlander Episode 208: THE FOX’S LAIR is written by Anne Kenney and directed by Mike Barker. It’s a beautifully filmed episode as seen in the frame I selected for the header which I think is reminiscent of a Renaissance painting. The episode takes a bit of time to set us up for Season 3, which as everyone not living under a rock (or in Dunbonnet’s Cave) knows, was officially announced this week, along with Season 4. Three (or four) cheers all around.

Jamie’s character, missing for most of the last episode, takes the spotlight in Ep. 208. We  are also introduced to a new character – Jamie’s grandfather, Lord Lovat, and reintroduced to several old ones, including Jenny, Ian, Colum and Jamie’s ex-girlfriend, Leery. I don’t know if that last is an accurate description, but he did touch her breast, so . . .

A nutshell I promised, so let’s get cracking. (I did not just say that.)


Continue reading A True Fan’s Nutshell of Outlander Ep. 208: THE FOX’S LAIR

Claire’s Top 10 Looks from Outlander Ep. 207: FAITH

In Episode 207: FAITH, Caitriona Balfe‘s talent radiates even more than usual as Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser. Sam Heughan makes a cameo appearance at the end (insert chuckle) so will have to wait his turn to take back over his reign of Top 30. It’s either that or a list of Jamie’s Top 2 – with and without the Gettysburg beard.

I’m happy to feature Caitriona for this episode because she’s every bit as brilliant a shining star as Sam. I just don’t want to make out with her, though I do have a girl crush on Le Dame Balfe – not embarrassed to admit it.

So, until clean shaven Jamie returns for an entire episode and we head back to Scotland, let’s have a quick bit of fun with Claire, shall we?

#10: Claire’s Hot Chocolate Face – Yeah . . . not the face of a woman who’s craving hot chocolate while her husband sits, rotting in the Bastille.

10 ep207 Claire hot chocolate 02

Continue reading Claire’s Top 10 Looks from Outlander Ep. 207: FAITH

A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Ep. 207: FAITH

In Outlander Episode 207: FAITHCaitriona Balfe does all the heavy lifting while Sam Heughan is off growing a Gettysburg beard. (If you’ve seen the 1993 film of which I speak, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you must. It’s a great film based on the even better Pulitzer Prize-winning classic Civil War novel: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. Check out both mediums.)

But the show isn’t ready for rebellion quite yet . . .

This episode is about power – the power of healing, the power of hate, the power of physical strength, the power to grant life or death, the power of accusation, and the power of forgiveness. It’s about who has the power and who doesn’t.

Claire is put to the ultimate test – losing both husbands, her baby, one of two enemies, her best friend, and finally her virtue (which happens to be a synonym for faith, so there’s that).

Written by Toni Graphia with returning director , FAITH is on par with Ep. 116: TO RANSOM A MAN’S SOUL in that it rips your heart out – again and again. Standing ovations for all but especially Caitriona BalfeRomann Berrux, and the master of music Bear McCreary.

While Bear’s Outlander compositions are all lovely, I don’t always pay close attention to the music during my initial viewing of Outlander. To be honest, I think I’ve paid more attention to Bear’s music in The Walking Dead because it’s jarring, powerful and quite formidable at times. However, the music in FAITH is (if I may borrow a thought from the Duke) sublime perfection.

Caitriona and Romann’s outstanding performances shall be discussed in more detail throughout the recap/review.

Continue reading A True Fan’s Review of Outlander Ep. 207: FAITH

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