Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 212 – The Hail Mary

Thoughts and feelings:

Again, how much can Outlander pack into an hour? It turns out a whole bunch! This was another jam-packed full of intrigue episode!

There were three prevailing plot lines:

  1. The last ditch efforts to stop Culloden
  2. Two sets of dysfunctional brothers
  3. The solidification of the awesomeness of Murtagh

Jamie works on the first plot, coming up with the idea to lead a surprise attack on the British the night before Culloden. Of course anything involving Prince Charles is always problematic. As to the second, we get to see to wildly differing brotherly relationships: the MacKenzies and the Randalls.

For Colum and Dougal MacKenzie, there was an emotional conclusion to the rocky relationship we’ve seen since the beginning. But in my usual wacky way, I keep getting a picture in my head of  the two of them doing a modified rendition of the “Sisters” number from White Christmas. I kept myself from putting it in my recap, but couldn’t resist making a meme. Sorry for the indignity, Graham and Gary!

Dougal Colum dysfunctional brothers 2


Of course – there are MORE dysfunctional brothers: Jack and Alex Randall. I have to say even I was shocked by the bizarre twist introduced in their final scene. Yikes!

Finally, the last plot point leads to the most incredible Murtagh moment: when he offers to marry Mary. Yep, you sure can see where Jamie gets it!

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And that’s exactly why @ConnieBV was right when she coined the best Murtagh catch phrase ever!

always take a murtagh


As it was intended to do, other than the Murtagh bit, this left me feeling discouraged, drained, and dreading what is to come in the next episode. I don’t think I have enough whisky & tissues to recap 213. Sigh.

Despite the turmoil, I hope you enjoy my quirky take on The Hail Mary.


Spotify playlist of songs used in this recap:

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 211 – Vengeance Is Mine

Thoughts and feelings:

This was another jam-packed episode, full of plot twists and intrigue. It’s not surprising, since this episode was penned by Diana Gabaldon. Even though she was constrained by the set storyline she needed to cover, there are many places where you can clearly hear her voice.

The best example is when she gives us a moment that is quintessential Claire and Jamie. And for me, the kind of thing from the books that was sorely missing for much of season 2. It was just a beautiful and poignant few minutes amidst an action packed episode, yet it conveyed the deep and abiding love between my favorite couple.

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Everything is falling apart with Claire and Jamie’s plans to try and change the outcome of Culloden. A run in with the British army leaves Rupert wounded, and when fixing him up, Claire gets to make a pirate joke. As soon as I heard it I knew I had to put in a bit of Black Sails music in honor of Bear McCreary!

It was great to see our good friend Hugh Munro again, and especially nice to see he was able to keep his head during the TV version of the adventure!

i've just gotta get a message to you

Another familiar face that was lovely to see was Mary Hawkins. Unfortunately, we also saw the Duke of Sandringham, too. But our Murtagh made sure it would be the last time. And he proved the old adage that two heads are indeed better than one!

i lay your vengeance at your feet

Thank you as always for following along.  And if you want to hear the complete versions of the songs I used, here’s the Spotify playlist!

 


 

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 210 – Prestonpans

 

 

Thoughts and feelings:

Moving ever closer to Culloden, this episode highlights one of the Scottish victories during the Jacobite Rebellion. There are many exhilarating scenes where we feel the triumph along with the tragedy.

 

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I want to point out one of my favorite things: we again see Claire working together with other women. I’ve said it before, but I love how Claire makes connections wherever she goes. First with Mrs. Fitz and Geillis; the waulking women in Rent; Jenny and the other women at Lallybroch; and then her deep, close, relationships in Paris with Mary, Louise, and Mother Hildegarde.  So often, women are portrayed as being enemies of one another, and it makes me happy to see women working well together. In truth, we have done so throughout history, but we rarely get mentioned because men were telling the stories.

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Beyond that, I appreciated seeing the other side of war. The women who are forced to wait and worry, but manage to arm themselves to do battle when the wounded come back. Claire gives a little speech, that to me, echoes Jamie’s to the men in Je Suis Prest. It really must take such bravery to face the after effects of what men can do to each other. Especially when the victims are people you know and love.

There is so much to love about this episode, but it has such sadness, too. Of course it’s war, and men die in war. But I was unprepared for my emotional response. Kincaid was a new character, but his close relationship to Ross endeared him to me right away. And Lt. Foster, aka Lt. Cutie-pie from season 1, had a brutal and unnecessary death.  I lost all respect for Dougal in that moment.  And finally, our dear Angus. I didn’t see that coming at all. They lulled me into thinking this is where Rupert will die, (since he ultimately does in the book), and then it turns out to be Angus. I’m so glad they showed extra moments with Angus throughout the episode, as a kind of farewell to both the character, and the actor.

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I was lucky enough to see Stephen Walters, Grant O’Rourke, and Caitriona Balfe at various conventions. I asked them to suggest songs for their characters. Stephen, a huge Beatles fan, immediately said “Let It Be,” and I knew he meant it for this particular moment. So I tried to honor both Angus and Stephen with that song, along with all the additional Beatles music in the recap.

Grant suggested anything Hall & Oates, so you’ll note I managed to get 2 in there for him. Caitriona told me during season 1 it felt like she was always bandaging someone, and she would think of the song “Bandages, bandages.” It turned out to be a perfect choice since we saw the bandages being prepared! I’d never heard of the song, so I hope the one I found and used, by Hot Hot Heat, is the one she meant!

Thank you as always for following along.  And if you want to hear the complete versions of the songs I used, here’s the Spotify playlist!

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 209 – Je Suis Prest

I’m really closing in on the end of my recaps of season 2! Matt Roberts gave us such an amazing ride with Je Suis Prest, and it was one of my favorite episodes.

I just loved seeing Claire’s backstory from WWII. Claire has always been so real to me – after all she’s been a friend and hero to me for more than a quarter century! So it meant so much to me to have this new insight into my favorite character. Matt made Claire seem even more human by showing a dark experience from the War, and how she was still having issues years later. He also put a face to the soldier who inspired her “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!” While that was so lovely, it was emotional, too. It made me love that young man in a split second, and I cared even more when we witnessed that fatal night.

Another wonderful thing was seeing Jamie step up and fully embrace his position as Laird. For all those who didn’t like his demeanor in Lallybroch 112, and worried over his character in France, here was the Jamie we’d loved from the books. He was decisive and sure, yet retained his kindness, compassion, and humor!

Part of this journey to leader involved our old friends Dougal, Angus, and Rupert. It was good to see them again, but Jamie sure had to do some wrangling to make them understand that HE was the one in charge!

We also met new characters, Ross and Kincaid, who proceeded to win the hearts of Outlander fans everywhere. And for the book readers, we had the satisfaction of seeing young William Grey, who later grows into another favorite, Lord John Grey.

Whew! As I said, it was an AMAZING ride! Please enjoy my musical, and hopefully humorous, recap!


Bonus for you music lovers: a Spotify playlist with almost all the songs I used for this recap! A few songs I used were not available on Spotify, but there are still 38 songs, with a total playing time of 2 hours and 7 minutes!

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 208 – The Fox’s Lair

I was so excited to see this episode! After all that time in France, we were going home to Scotland. Home to Lallybroch! And then of course, reality arrived, and we spent just a few brief minutes of happiness . Seriously, in 13 episodes we can’t get 15 minutes of Lallybroch contentment BEFORE the next life-altering event? I know, I know. Diana rarely gives us 15 minutes of happy reading, either. And don’t get me wrong – I’d still rather watch Outlander than any other show!

The Fox’s Lair caught a lot of heat from fans. I’m betting the number one reason was because of the unbelievable Laoghaire storyline. After turning Laoghaire into such a villain in season 1, they had to scramble to try to “redeem” her enough for what will happen in season 3.  I was not a fan of the changes, but as per usual, I decided to make a joke about it, and put it to music.

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A super cool note about this episode: when I was at ScotCon last year, I was lucky enough to meet several Outlander actors. One was Clive Russell, aka the Old Fox. He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and he was intrigued by my question of what oldies song would work best for Lord Lovat. It took some time, but eventually he contacted me with a suggestion: “Under My Thumb,” by the Rolling Stones. Perfect!

Now for the over-the-top exciting bit. I sent him the link to my video, and he responded. He not only watched it, he called it “both insightful and hilarious!”  Just think, the first person associated with the show to like one of my recaps. Talk about a brush with greatness!

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So here it is – I hope you enjoy it!


 

Outlander Buttons for Emerald City Comic Con

I make a button for each Outlander event I attend, and give out a few to friends. For Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con in March (#ECCC) I created this “Outlander Meets Emerald City” mashup button.

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To be fair – I want to point out the buttons did turn out a bit darker than I wanted – but I believe Outlanders will easily recognize Jamie and Claire on the yellow brick road!

 

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If you have questions, comment here, or DM @CatsAndKilts on Twitter.

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 207 – Faith

Well, I’ve reached my one of my all-time favorite episodes of Outlander: Faith.

For me, Faith is like a punch in the gut to even think about, but it’s so brilliant, I willingly let myself take the beating over and over again. Even after all these months, I can tear up just thinking of it. (I wrote about it’s impact on me earlier in Faith, spiders, and balls).

Claire Fraser has always been my hero. (My moment of Claire-ity). Caitriona Balfe has made me see Claire in ways I never had when I read Diana Gabaldon’s books. From the first moment I saw her she WAS Claire. But the range she shows in Faith is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. It’s stunning…breathtaking…heartbreaking…amazing. I don’t think there are enough adjectives.

I’m not the only one to think this way. Cait has been nominated for many awards this year, including a Golden Globe, and has won the BAFTA Scotland 2016 award for Television Actress.

When the Blu-ray edition came out, and I got to see the additional material of Jamie coming back from prison, it was like a 1-2 punch. We finally got to see what the loss of Faith meant to Jamie. For me, Sam Heughan is probably the only actor that could equal the intensity and brilliance of Cait. I feel so lucky that I get to see them bring my favorite characters to life.

So as I started this recap, I decided I needed to include the whole story – not just the version that originally aired. I spent all of the holiday break crying and drinking whisky, and worrying that I was doing Faith justice. What with the extended scenes and my desire to show everything fully, this turned into a very long video. And I am extremely proud of it.

I’m not sure “enjoy” is a word to associate with this episode recap, but I do hope you can see the love and respect I have for Claire, Cait, Jamie, Sam, and everyone responsible for giving me the gift that is Faith.


 

 

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 206 – Best Laid Schemes…

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

 From To a Mouse, by Robert Burns, 1785.

And boy do thing go a-gley in this episode! So many of the strands of all the French plots culminate in a most unhappy way.

But first we get some wonderful Murtagh moments. As always, he is the one you want to have with you wherever you go!

murtawwwww

Running a close second is Fergus, and we get to see him in action as the worlds cutest Secret Agent Man!

fergus-james-bond

France has not been a friend to Claire and Jamie, and I for one can’t wait for them to get back to Scotland. We have one more episode in France, and it will be the hardest of all.

Meanwhile, I hope you are able to enjoy a few laughs with me, before the bottom falls out…


 

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 205 – Untimely Resurrection

Another Paris episode where tons of separate timelines crisscross – and one unwelcome character returns. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the intrigue!

There’s another costume Easter egg from Liz Boulton in this episode. When they were piecing together the Versailles garden dress, they ended up with at least one panel that was “blank,” and needed Liz to replicate the embroidery. She created one of the pink flowers on the front bodice, and added a little something extra!

 

For those of you who also watch The Big Bang Theory, I hope you enjoy the wink to Schrödinger’s Cat!

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Hope you enjoy!


 

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 204 – La Dame Blanche

Another Paris episode where there are a crazy number of plot-lines to follow. I managed to cram them all in – but it’s my longest ever recap!

One of the funniest – yet shortest – moment comes the morning after Claire tells Jamie that Black Jack Randall is still alive. I love her selective memory!

claires-revisionist

I felt it very important to get in Jamie’s “blade of grass” speech with no comment or musical snips. I had to edit out his pauses in order to get it all in, but I feel it’s one of the most important moments of Season 2.

And I purposely kept the portion that dealt with Mary’s rape brief. Not because it’s not important, but because it IS.

On the lighter side, I included a wee tribute to Liz Boulton, the wonderful embroiderer on Outlander. She gave us the lovely dog bone on the wedding dress, but as a true fan, she slips in other Easter eggs when she can. In this case, I was lucky enough to see the costumes displayed at Saks 5th Avenue in LA and NY, and I spotted this one for myself! It’s one of my favorite costumes, made even more special since Liz put in a Fraser strawberry!

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I so appreciate all of you who stick with me, and watch each recap. I hope you enjoy this one!