Claire and Coco: Their chemistry cannot be denied

I was so impressed by the chemistry between Claire & Coco, I felt they should have the chance to act out some classic film moments. So I made memes. Many, many memes…       

1 you talking to me

TAXI DRIVER – 1976


 

2 failure to communicate

COOL HAND LUKE – 1967


 

3 go ahead make my day

SUDDEN IMPACT – 1983


 

4 well do ya punk

DIRTY HARRY – 1971


 

5 nobody puts Baby in a corner

DIRTY DANCING – 1987  


 

6 my precious

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: TWO TOWERS – 2002


 

7 snap out of it

MOONSTRUCK – 1987  


 

8 whistle

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT – 1944   


 

9 you can't handle the truth

A FEW GOOD MEN – 1992  


 

10 I'm as mad as hell

NETWORK – 1976  


THE WIZARD OF OZ -1939   


 

12 say hello to my little friend

SCARFACE – 1983  


 

13 you had me at hello

JERRY MAGUIRE – 1996  


 

14 Frankly my dear

GONE WITH THE WIND – 1939   


 

15 fasten your seatbelts

ALL ABOUT EVE – 1950  


 

16 kindness of strangers

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE – 1951   

 

 

17 I want to be alone

GRAND HOTEL – 1932  ?


 

18 I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse

THE GODFATHER – 1972  


 

19 As God is my witness

GONE WITH THE WIND – 1939  


 

 

 

20 Hasta la vista, baby.

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY – 1991   

 

bonus claire and coco casablanca

CASABLANCA 1942


“You might feel some discomfort.” – Outlander 301

You know when you go to the doctor or dentist and they say you might feel some discomfort? Sometimes they really do mean you’ll be uncomfortable for a moment. But you know it’s just a euphemism for some level of pain. And sometimes it means LOTS of pain.

Well Ron Moore must have been a doctor in a previous life, because he caused me every euphemistic level of discomfort in the season 3 premiere of Outlander. The Battle Joined brought me everything from “you’ll feel a slight pinch when I give you this shot” all the way to “you may feel some discomfort as I saw off your leg, so here’s a leather strap to bite down on.”

From the very beginning I was crying from the pain of Culloden. My visceral reaction to the absolute waste of human life was swift and felt like a punch to the gut. It reminded me of when I stood on the actual Culloden battlefield, and experienced the real weight of the tragedy that happened there. Knowing what would come after, the destruction of the Highland way of life, made it even more painful. Ron has said they’ve been promising Culloden since the first episode, and boy, did they deliver.

301 outlander-s03e01-the-battle-joined-720p-mkv_000152319

The thing was, thanks to Diana Gabaldon’s amazing story and the fabulous TV adaptation, it didn’t feel like I was just watching a reenactment of a long-ago battle. It seemed so personal. These were MY friends, MY loved ones being wiped from the face of the Earth. All I can say was it felt so REAL to me, and I was in mourning.

Then I saw Jamie. Now, I first read Voyager in 1993, so it’s not like I wasn’t expecting this. I thought I had braced myself for this level of pain. But the combination of Ron’s script with it’s lack of dialog, the way it was filmed and edited, and the shear bloody brilliant acting of Sam Heughan made this excruciating. That labored breathing, his inability to move, his nuanced facial expressions, the flashbacks that gave us a glimpse of what happened, had more impact than if we had seen the battle played out in a linear fashion.

301 jamie

It did something else, though.  Ron somehow made ME feel like I should be able to do something to ease Jamie’s pain. That psychological discomfort of wanting desperately to help someone, but not being able to do anything is literally the stuff of my worst nightmares. Whether he intended to make me feel that way, I don’t know. But that feeling of uselessness was devastating to me.

It became full-blown “cut off a limb” discomfort when the British arrived, and began the process of killing my friends who survived, one by one. Again the mixture of what really happened after Culloden, combined with my personal attachment to the story made me lose it. That cold, dispassionate “next,” the recording of the name, the brief pause, then the sound of gunfire off-screen. And Rupert, joking til the very end. Though so much of this was directly from the book, the pain felt real. Even when Jamie was begging to die, against my will I was thinking, “oh please, someone put him out of his misery.” And knowing I felt that way was ultimately more painful still.

The more I think about it, I do believe Ron knew exactly what he was doing. Because once I saw Claire and Frank, it was all about psychological discomfort. Watching these two kind, caring, and decent people struggle in an impossible situation made me cringe. It was like when I was young and my parents would have “discussions.” I usually didn’t know what was going on, but I knew from their tone that it was bad, and all I wanted to do was stop it. Brianna isn’t even born, and I’m already dreading those discussions on her behalf.

301 claire and frank

As an adult, it was so uncomfortable to watch. The mind-blowing acting of Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies sucked me right into their nightmare. It was as if I was a good friend, watching two people I love have a major meltdown. I felt the same pain, and cried the same tears for them, as I did for Jamie. And I felt just as helpless.

Seeing what it meant to be a woman in 1940’s America also caused some euphemistic discomfort. I KNOW that’s the way it was, but it doesn’t lessen the impact when I see a realistic portrayal.  But it was harder to see Claire not being CLAIRE. Oh, I totally understood she was grieving and trying to find herself again, but it still made me squirm. In season 1 when she landed in a different time, she was full-on Claire from the moment she commanded the men not to touch Jamie’s shoulder. She never doubted who she was, or what she should do. The only other time I saw her so lost was in Faith, and it hurt to watch that, too. Caitriona is the most amazing actress, and the life she brings to the character of Claire leaves me breathless. Don’t even get me started on “Where is my baby?”

301 claire baby

Even the fact that the timelines didn’t neatly match was unsettling. Jamie’s timeline happened over the course of perhaps a day, but when we switched to Claire, weeks or months had passed for her. What was more disorienting were the actual transitions from one timeline to the other. They seemed more abrupt than the “smoother” ones used in 213, and it made me feel unbalanced. I now suspect everything about the episode was SUPPOSED to make me feel uncomfortable.

By the end, I was given a wee bit of salve for my wounds. From the long shot of the wagon at Lallybroch, I saw Jamie’s arm finally reach up and embrace Jenny, and I knew it was a small sign he might be ready to live. And when Brianna was born, I could feel the joy that radiated from both Claire and Frank.

301 lallybroch

Then “Dr. Ron” throws in the line about red hair, and I realize I’ve just been given another leather strap to clench between my teeth.

But guess what I discovered? I may be a bit of a masochist, because I loved every excruciating minute of this episode.

It’s clear to me that Ron Moore and his team of artisans are brilliant. They’ve delivered an episode creating so much discomfort, that I felt as out of place and lost as Jamie and Claire. Nothing is the same for any of us, and the show makes sure I know it. I’m not supposed to be sitting back and enjoying my regular Outlander viewing. (Not that it’s ever been what I’d call easy.) No, I’ve been given full warning that for at least the first few episodes of season 3, I’m going to be uneasily teetering on the edge of my seat, clutching my stomach, and reaching for the tissues and whisky. Rarely, if ever, will I feel “comfortable.”

The hopeful thing is, to put an end to the metaphor, is that when I have that pain at the doctor’s office, I almost always feel better afterwards. So I’m ready to withstand whatever discomfort Ron and company dish out. Because I’ll relish every moment, and when I reach the healing part of Outlander season 3, it will be all the sweeter for having survived the pain.

3 print shop

Edited to add this acknowledgement: I realized after posting this, that I failed to point out that Ron was able to study the master of this technique. Diana Gabaldon is my original Doctor, and I’ve loved being her patient since 1991. –Cat


 

Note #1: I actually felt some lightness in 301: seeing the rabbit and the little bird. I’m not sure about the bunny, other than thinking it’s a symbol for life. But the little bird reminded me of three previous things in Outlander.

  • Colum’s caged birds – and how he was trapped himself
  • The murmuration of starlings – when Claire & Geillis were trapped in the thieves hole
  • The blue heron at the beginning of Faith – Claire sees it in a vision, flying free while she’s trapped in the horror of her miscarriage

I may be reading too much into it, but for me it was a little reminder that though she may be feeling trapped, if that little bird is flying free, maybe there’s hope she could follow?

301 birdie

Note #2: Many of you have been kind enough to ask if I’ll continue doing my musical recaps of each Outlander episode. When I finished 213, I was sure that it would be my last one. Then I watched 301, and my head filled with songs. Mainly sad ones. I think that means I’ll be doing at least one more…

cats and kilts recap

 

 

I feel lucky

I adore Outlander so much, it’s kind of hard to quantify. But one of the things I love the most is the humor that Diana has woven throughout the story. I think the TV adaptation has done an amazing job of spotlighting that humor, and in some cases, even expanding it. Just think about the comedy duo of Angus & Rupert!

If you watch my musical recaps, you already know I love to laugh. And I’ve been lucky enough to attend several Outlander fan events.  Being me, I’ve managed to express my humor in my interactions with the stars. The fabulous thing is that the stars all seem to have amazing funny bones themselves, and have been willing accomplices in my escapades!

I Am The Warrior…

I just got back from the Highlanders 2 fan event in Blackpool, England, and had fun with my two group shots. I was excited they offered a group shot of the women of Outlander – Rosie, Caitriona, Lotte,  and Annette. It seemed perfect for a real warrior pose!

outlander women watermark


Waulk This Way…

The real highlight was the group shot with all 10 celebrities: Finn, Grant, Stephen, Graham, Gary, Steven, Rosie, Caitriona, Lotte, and Annette. I was dressed in my lovely costume made by my great friend Anne Swetonic (@aswetonic), and I did a little waulking demonstration. Their expressions are priceless!

waulking con watermark


Later in the day, I entered the costume contest.  I was a “waulking woman” and I had a flask for drinking, some cloth for waulking, and a bucket for…well you know. Thanks to Grant Gowdy, there’s photographic evidence.

 

For my finale, as a joke, I threw the contents of the bucket on the judges. And it wasn’t  what you think – it was gold confetti! Thanks to Maggie Bond there’s video of it! I THINK they were laughing!

 

This picture from @AniaNL captured their expressions perfectly. Poor Lotte!

judges by @AniaNL

 


Time After Time…

As much fun as I had,  I don’t think I’ll ever top my “Time Travel for Dummies” prop at Emerald City Comic Con. Sam and Caitriona reacted perfectly – and in character! This just may be my avatar for life. No doubt about it. I feel lucky!

sam cait eccc cropped watermark 850x600


 

 

 

Cat’s Recap of Outlander Episode 213 – Dragonfly in Amber

 

Thoughts and feelings:

I cannot express the relief I felt finishing this recap of the last episode of Outlander Season 2! I finished it right before I left for San Diego Comic Con, so I was able to fully enjoy myself, knowing there were no more recaps waiting on me to come home.

As much as I dreaded recapping the Claire & Jamie story-line, I was thrilled to finally get to put music to my Roger. Yes, MY Roger. See, from the very beginning, I knew Jamie wasn’t for me. He and Claire are so perfect together, they almost make a new singular entity. And there’s nothing about my personality that would make me a match for Jamie.

But Roger? Oh yes, from the first moments of meeting him in 1992, I knew he was my kind of guy. And I have maintained my pretend relationship with him every since. And finally, in 213, I got to meet TV Roger, aka Richard Rankin. It was love at second sight.

 

roger watermark

roger 2 watermark

 

This partially helps explain why this is my longest recap ever.  I wanted to make sure Roger (yes and Brianna), had some happy getting to know you time.

But I also had a need to honor the heartbreaking events leading up to that moment at the stones. And as a loyal book reader, I wanted a nod to Claire and Jamie carving their initials in their hands. So I added a few extra slides.

 

213 amber slide 2

213 first

213 2

213 3

213 4

213 5

213 6

213 last 2

213 beyond last


 

Now that we’ve reached the end, let me say thanks again for all your support of my recaps, and I hope you like this final installment.

 


Spotify playlist of music used in the recap.  It’s 3-1/2 hours of musical goodness.

 

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!

murt-awwwww3

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.

this is my lover's prayer 211

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.

 

prestonpans - Copy

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.

outlander581011

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.

angus rip watermark

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.

Leery gate.jpg


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!

imgp2585

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.

emerald-city-pin-2

 

capture

 

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!

 

emerald-city-pin2

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