WHAT UP PLAYAS Arrow S3 “itunes Sneak Peek” Photo Recap

This featurette was hard to find, beautiful and elusive like an albino king cobra, and potentially just as deadly. Andy K is here to tell you some things you’ll like, some things that will make you chew your nails to the third knuckle and other things that you will pretend you just never heard because you don’t want to leave fingerprints on your screen from pointing emphatically.

As always, I reserve the right to ignore anything that doesn’t interest me or that we have seen before in other previews, and no apology for my rampant Olicity. Let’s begin.

The wholesale barter of my soul to @ArrowWriters begins immediately, because they own me even in the afterlife, and those %$#@! know it.

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/shakes fist

Here’s Andrew Kreisberg, our featurette sherpa.

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He begins by saying that last season was an exploration of “Am I a Killer, or Am I A Hero?” and that both Oliver and Sara wrestled with it. The theme for Season 3 is “Identity,” and it is one all the characters will wrestle with. Oliver, for example will ask himself if he has to be Oliver Queen or the Arrow.

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Digg is going to question whether he is a father and family man….

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…or whether he is a member of Team Arrow.

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Thea is going to be asking herself if she is Thea Queen or Thea Merlyn, and that they dynamic between she and Malcolm is interesting because they have each lost and gained a parent and child, respectively, and now they are coming together.

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Moving on to our protagonist, he says that Oliver has taken to the idea of being a hero, and that Starling City has also settled into accepting him as one, which is very different thank the pilot, where he was being hunted by the police and was a “real dark force for vengeance.” Now that he is a hero, and “enjoying the fruits of that, he’s starting to question if he can have a life.” Andy tells us that one of the fun parts of the Season 3 premiere where “everything is coming up Ollie” that he starts to be believe that “maybe there is a life for him beyond the hood, and maybe that could start with Felicity.”

Hold on, I gotta do something real quick.

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I am so easy to please, A-K. Thank you. Andy says that in the first episode, “we see Oliver go on a date with Felicity, to both comical and tragic results.” (“I’m going to ignore whatever came after “and”.)

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He says that “they clearly have a very strong bond, and clearly there’s love there, but this season is really both of them wrestling with, you know, is there any world where this could really work?” YES OF COURSE. LALALALASHUT IT.

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But according to Party Pooper In Charge A-K, there are “other options for Felicity, mainly in the form of Ray Palmer, AKA The Atom, played by Brandon Routh.” He says that the chemistry between Emily and Brandon is “off the charts” and while I have no reason to believe he is lying, I think it’s off the charts in the sense that it is not measurable by human senses. Also, NO. Also, NEVER.

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In any case he says that Ray is a “strong rival, and a good option” for Felicity. I’ll have to wait and see how he does on the salmon ladder or else NO DICE.

Next AyKay talks about the big bad for the season, Ras-al-Ghul, who is “definitely the biggest, baddest, scariest, most malevolent force that Oliver has come up against.” You can tell by the outfit.

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As for Slade, he is still in prison in what A-K calls the “Argus Supermax on the island,” and that his story continues through the season. He says Oliver “has done a great job of bottling up his demons both figuratively and literally” and that there is “always a chance for them to come out.”

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For all the characters, whether it’s Oliver, Felicity or Digg, past mistakes that they have made end up “sort of catching up to them.” Roy, for example, did some very ugly things last season under the influence of the Mirakuru which are going to rear their ugly heads in season 3.

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He describes that one of the two big ideas they had when they made the pilot was that Sara would still be alive, and that the other would be that Oliver would wake up at the end of S2 “not on the island” in the flashbacks. The flashbacks are exciting this year, he explains, because previously they worried that locking into that one place and limiting the cast to the “island repertory players” would become stagnant. I don’t think that will be a problem this year.

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So this year they will introduce both Karl Yeun as Masseo, and Amanda Waller to those scenes, as well as some old familiar faces “in new and surprising ways” makes those scenes “richer and grander.”

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They will also use the flashbacks to explain how the Suicide Squad was created, because they are both a “fan and a writer favorite”.

He also touches on the Flash/Arrow crossover event, saying that having met Barry in Arrow last season, we know what a fan he was and that working with the Arrow is sort of a dream come true for him.

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However, they have announced that the name for that episode will be “Flash vs. Arrow,” so in his words “obviously that partnership is going to have some quirks in it.” He says if you love these shows, seeing the nods and crossovers makes it feel like “one complete experience.” So for example you are reading a Superman comic and Batman shows up on the last splash page, you are like, “wow, that is so cool,” seeing who is going to get together. So rather than putting it off, they just want to “get to the good stuff” sooner.

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Finally, Andy says they feel they “have worked out the kinks and figured out what works on the show” and that this season is “even more epic…

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even more romantic…

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…even more heartbreaking…

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and even more hilarious than the previous two seasons” and that they are “so excited to show everybody where Oliver Queen’s adventures take him next.”

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Time for a rant!

Every time I see a post on social media criticizing one group or another for its approach to the community, it’s upsetting to see just how many people are left in the world that never outgrew this mindset. To that end, I’ll make a few points, and if they help anyone feel better, great, but it’s really to explain my attitude towards fandom and how I expect to be treated, not a lecture for anyone else.

1. Gratitude. I’m happy that any of the comics or books I loved got made into shows. I don’t expect anything from the creators, and any jokes I make about characters being pointless or dumb are done in humor. I don’t expect fidelity to the source material because I know that there are demands in each medium that are particular to that medium alone.  I’m happy that the creators and actors take time to connect with us when able, and I try not to browbeat them for that communication because I feel that once they have committed that performance to film, the rest is gravy in my eyes. As to fanfic or fan-generated content, it can come when it comes. Thank you for giving me free things I enjoy. Not gonna be demanding about that.

2. Humor. Mine is not universal. I find a lot of things funny that perhaps I shouldn’t, and I do love to curse. I am a broad more so than a lady and if you have preconceived notions of what is acceptable behavior from me because of my reproductive organs, you’re due for disappointment. If you don’t like what I do or find it not funny or offensive, then stop reading now and go to the blog of someone more in tune with your worldview, because I’m pretty set in my ways and life is short.

3. Respect. If you are in the fandom and we disagree, I will do so respectfully and directly to you. If I perceive that disagreement is disrespectful, then I will likely ignore or block you because I don’t have time for trite bull. If you wish to give me advice as to how to behave, please refrain. The responsibility for my behavior is my own, and I ride that pony ALL DAY LONG. I’m all for educated debate, but I’m middle aged and way past where talking smack about another fandom or group or individual makes me feel anything other than emotionally stunted, so I will liberate myself from any situation with those parameters POSTHASTE.

In short, love is love, let’s all get along and of course…

Flea out.

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Outlander Photo Recap S1E07, “The Wedding”, Pt. 3

This is it, the home stretch, and I don’t mind saying that I enjoyed every freaking last 20 minutes of it, luxuriating in the gooey rewatches like a baby double-fisting birthday cake.

Small disclaimer for those of you hoping for nekkid funsies–you’ll have to Google. As I’ve mentioned before, I feel weird putting the actors’ bodies out there in still form, so I’m drawing a line there and I’ll try to cover the bikini bits. Probably NSFW. Read at your own risk. Onwards.

Jamie tells Claire that after the way she kissed him, (full tiptoe) he had hoped she “did not regret marrying him, after all.” Her expression clues you in as to what she may be thinking.

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Because let’s face it: when you’ve been alone and stranded on a mad lib of an Adventurequest and have a young strapping lad telling you you are lovely and dropping metaphors like Browning, the last thing that comes to mind is to issue a shagamatum, amirite?

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It’s great to watch all the subtle expressions cross his face when he realizes it’s on, and if this recap takes another 70 caps, it’s because Sam and Cait are geniuses and I need to capture everything.

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Claire walks to one end of the room, briefly looking uncertain, but I like to imagine it’s the millions of fangurls like me giving her courage to go through with it. Do it for us, Claire. And by “it”,  I mean Jamie.

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She turns decisively on her heel and tells Jamie to “Take your shirt off. I want to look at you.”

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His expression is at first confused and then somewhat cocky. He stands up and once again proceeds to make love to the fabric because these are the two most tactile people in Scotland and we’re about to be verra verra grateful for that.

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He keeps eye contact with her until the last second he pulls the shirt over his head, and we get a glimpse of Jamie from the back and Claire’s expression, which was the same one Cher Horowitz had when she first laid eyes on Christian.

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His gaze is no less smoldering, and DAMN IT SAM STOP LOOKING LIKE THAT I HAVE THIS RECAP TO WRITE.

Fine, you win.

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His expression becomes a bit more uncertain when Claire starts to walk around him. He keeps his eyes down, and only follows her with tilts of his head.

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She comes over to his cabin to see him and he puts on a Solomon Burke record and she apologizes for lying to her father about the money… No wait. I’m remembering something else.

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*sigh* Oh, Johnny. Still gets me.

Back with the Frasers, Claire walks around him in a leisurely, slow circle, and he is quiet until she is done. It is a beautiful moment, intimate and vulnerable and with the traditional genders reversed, which is a refreshing twist.

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When she finishes making the circle, the tension is palpable, and he doesn’t break eye contact with her when he says “Fair’s fair,” and asks her to take hers off, as well. I actually flinched when he rolled those two r’s in a row. I flinched like someone had drawn a gun.

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I don’t know why, but in my head the sexier things get, the more formal the language of the internal monologue. This next part, however, honestly doesn’t really need my captions because the thoughts are broadcast all over his face. Kudos to Sam, who probably gets flashed bewbs at the drugstore buying cough drops, for convincing me Jamie’s never been at arm’s reach from a pair. Now that’s acting.

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He even steps back to get a better gander at her, which, if any boys are reading this PULL THIS MOVE. You’re welcome.

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It knocks Claire a little off her game, because she smiles a little nervously and asks him if he’s never seen a naked woman before. Jamie replies that he has, but he grins self-consciously and adds, “but not one so close…” That’s all the encouragement needs to get back in the driver’s seat. She takes Jamie’s hand and places it on her breast, and his voice drops a good octave as he finishes his statement. “…and not one that’s mine.”

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He grabs her, they kiss and get your lace fans and your smelling salts, ladies because the brakes are OFF, and they are both taking this gig out for a spin.

/cue Prince

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Jamie flips her over and unlike last time, seals the deal for Claire and she gets to finish as well. I am so happy for her, because after all she has been through, she really deserves to have her bell rung.

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Jamie, alarmed by her noises, gets startled and thinks he’s hurt her. When he stops and apologizes, Claire laughs and says “You didn’t”. He asks if she is sure and as she gasps out “yes” and tries to calm her breathing, Jamie clues her for looks, smiles, and the candle lights.

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He asks her, “I did not know a woman could….does it happen every time?” Claire, flush with energy, flips him over and says “only when the man is a very good lover,” which okay I’ll let you have that but the correct answer was “IT SHOULD ALWAYS YES AND IT’S YOUR JOB TO SEE IT DOES.”

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Jamie, worried tells Claire that she is “so small” and he just doesn’t want to hurt her. Claire is feeling generous because what woman doesn’t want to be told she’s dainty and crushable, so she decides to teach Jamie a bit about pain. She grins and kisses his palm, then nips his wrist where the wedding cut is still healing, and his chest, playfully asking “Did that hurt?” Poor Jamie, a little perplexed as to where this is going, goes for honesty and admits “A bit.”

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And I think this is where I fall in love with them as a couple all over again, because while people make a big deal of Jamie (and he is), he is relentlessly practical and Claire brings some playfulness to his day-to-day (and now night-to-night) that is so heartwarming to see.

Exactly because Jamie is a quick study,  when Claire moves her hand down and asks if he wants her to stop, however, he seems to get with the program.

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And he seems to enjoy it. I know I did. /high five

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He mumbles something in Gaelic and when Claire asks what he said, he tells her he thought his heart would burst.

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They are both perfectly happy and in sync, so Jamie has to go be a dude and fall asleep in the time it takes Claire to take one deep breath.

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HOW DO DUDES DO THIS?

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Doesn’t seem to bother Claire, though. She gets up to get some water from the ewer only to see it is empty, so she pulls on Jamie’s plaid and heads downstairs to get some, since all is quiet and most everyone has gone off to bed. Down there she meets IntroKitty.

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That was largely pointless except it made me lol, so let me rephrase and say it was crucial.

Claire wanders about, finds a pitcher of water and gets ready to walk back upstairs to hydrate when she is interrupted by the sound of a door closing and Dougal saying, “Mistress Fraser.”

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Turns out he’s just back from informing Randall “that Claire is no longer at his beck and call.” Claire wants to know what he said, and Dougal jokes that there are “likely even limits to [her] tolerance for foul language.” Kind of sounds like a challenge to me.

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It’s not that I don’t enjoy Graham McTavish (I do), but Dougal is like the Tywin Lannister of Outlander. I know that the acting will be superb, the quips will be sharp and most of all, that %$#@! will go down because the end, to him always justifies the means. This is why I wasn’t at all surprised at what happened next. Claire, worried, asks if Randall “plans to take any further steps” and Dougal replies that he doesn’t think so, as he has “better things ta do than to chase one stray Sassenach around….(WAIT FOR IT)………no matter how pretty.”

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Claire looks modestly down, but you can tell she’s not comfortable with what he just said. Dougal adds that Randall is not likely to want to “rile up Collum by kidnappin’ his nephew’s wife.” Claire smiles, thanks him and prepares to go back upstairs to her husband when Dougal has to go Dougal sh*t up.

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He tells Claire that while he “commends her for doing her duty” (and how!), that it “needn’t stop her from taking other pleasures,” and that he “finds her the most singular woman.” This would all be more romantic if she wasn’t coming down to get something to drink because she’s parched from all the sex she just had with her new husband, WHO HE PAIRED HER UP WITH. Oh, Dougal. Your brain is the most complicated of corn mazes. HAHAHAA MAIZE. Sorry. Back to Dougal and Claire:

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Likely because he hardly ever gets denied what he wants, Dougal is surprised when Claire pulls her chin away, brow wrinkled and quietly but firmly reminds him “I’m Jamie’s wife.” And when I meant surprised, I meant furious.

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He drops his hand and she steps back as they hear the door open, and Rupert comes in, flush with drink and singing a cheerful tune like a man who doesn’t know he’s walking on a land mine.

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Claire takes advantage of his entrance to make a beeline for the stairs. Right before she starts to climb them, her manners get the best of her and she turns to thank him for “[his] kindness towards” her, saying “the ring is magnificent.” This is how you know it’s love, kids.

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Rupert, touched by the compliment, tells her she is welcome and offers her “a most hearty congratulations on [her] weddin’ day.” This is what they look like while this is happening.

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Claire thanks Rupert and turns to go, and as she does, Rupert leans over to Dougal and says that “young Jamie may not have much experience, but that one looks well ridden” and well, Dougal’s had enough of people using their mouths for things he doesna care to hear.

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Rupert, who did not expect to get punched for doing what he does, is ticked and asks Dougal what that was for. Dougal takes a pull from a bottle and tells him to go check the horses. When he says he already did, Dougal tells him to “do it again”, and he grimaces but obeys and walks out, neither noticing that Claire is hidden by her doorway in the balcony above them, and has seen everything before letting herself back into her room and leaving Dougal alone downstairs.

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Upstairs, Claire is gazing into the fire wrapped in the Fraser tartan, and Jamie wakes to see her there.

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He quietly stands to get something out of his sporran, then walks up behind Claire and drapes the object, a pearl necklace, over her neck. He takes a seat by her as they both pause to admire it.

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They are “scotch pearls”, he tells her, and they belonged “to my mother, now to my wife.” They are “one of the few things” he has “left of her…very precious to me….” and here his voice drops to a gruff whisper, “…as are you, Claire.

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She is startled by his admission and he knows it, dropping his head and not looking her in the eye. But Claire isn’t made of stone, damn it, so she does the best she can without saying a word.

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It of course segue-ways into round three, but the tone is much different than the first two. The first time was a kind of ripping off of a band-aid and the second time was two incredibly hot people acknowledging each other’s naked game–but this is LOVEMAKING.  Every touch is slow, deliberate and no words are spoken, so I had to take the gag off my id.

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The next morning, they are playful and in a hurry to get downstairs to breakfast.

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Jamie jokes about being so hungry that he’s about to take a bite out of her. Claire reminds him he already did, and he tells he looks forward to doing it again real soon.

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He dashes out and reminds her to hurry, lest she be left only with crumbs. It is cheerful and domestic and she is happy. You can tell, cause I wrote it right there.

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One Jamie is gone, she reaches for her wedding dress to pack it up, and as she shakes the dust off, a bit of symbolism rolls out to greet her.

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Not only is Claire in shock, but we are as well. The last twenty minutes did such a fine job of cocooning us in the Fraser’s wedding night that we forget all about Claire’s other husband. Her gold wedding band, stuck in the floorboards of her current honeymoon suite, reflects her distorted shape as she bends over to pry it out.

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She shakily puts it back on the third finger of her left hand, notices Jamie’s parallel to it on the third finger of her right, and contemplates the physical evidence of her dilemma.

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And that’s it, guys. Tomorrow is the mid-season finale, which I will also recap, and then  a bit of a drought. I plan on doing some character appreciation posts and for some reason, an alphabet, so there will be more silliness in the months to come. In the meantime, follow me here or @conniebv on twitter. Thanks for reading and as always. comments are love!

 

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If you had ever told me that HERSELF….

…would be looking forward to reading something that came out of my big dumb melon I would try to sell you a bridge. For real.

Life is awesome right now and I love everything.

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ALL THE OUTLANDER THINGS I EVER WROTE.

Here are all my Outlander recaps and posts since the beginning, back when I only did My Favorite Scene up till the full recaps I am doing now that were posted/tweeted by Diana!

Just proud to be in this fandom. Thanks so much for your time, comments, tweets and general love. All I ask is that if you share, you credit me here or at @conniebv on Twitter. Now with FULL recaps for previously missing Episodes 1-3!

SEASON 1:

Photo recap E1, “Sassenach”

My favorite scene, E1, “Sassenach

Photo Recap E2, “Castle Leoch”

(OLD) My favorite scene E2, “Castle Leoch

(OLD) You Know You’re a Highlander When, E2

Photo Recap E3, “The Way Out

(OLD)My favorite scene E3, “The Way Out

Photo Recap E4, “The Gathering

Photo Recap E5, “Rent” Pt. 1

Photo Recap E5, “Rent” Pt. 2

Photo Recap E6, “The Garrison Commander

Promo for E7, “The Wedding” Photo Jerkoff: Hawt Scenes from the Promo

Photo Recap E7, “The Wedding” Pt. 1

Photo Recap E7, “The Wedding” Pt. 2

Photo Recap E7, The Wedding” Pt. 3

Photo Recap E8, “Both Sides Now” Pt. 1

Photo Recap E8, “Both Sides Now” Pt. 2

Character Appreciation Post: Murtagh

Character Appreciation Post: Dougal

The Outlander 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Outlander Offerings, Promo 1. “A Glimpse Ahead

Outlander Promo Recap, “Love Forces a Person to Choose

Outlander Promo Recap, “A Look Ahead

Photo Recap E9, “The Reckoning

Photo Recap E10, “By The Pricking of My Thumbs

Photo recap E11, “The Devil’s Mark”

Photo Recap E12, “Lallybroch

Photo Recap E13, “The Watch

Scotland Now Mini-Recap 112, “Lallybroch”

Scotland Now Mini-Recap 113, “The Watch”

Scotland Now Mini-Recap 114, “The Search”

Scotland Now Mini-Recap 115, “Wentworth Prison”

Scotland Now Hiatus Week: 10 Highland Cows Tell You How They’ll Save Jamie Fraser

Scotland Now Mini-Recap 116, “To Ransom a Man’s Soul”

 S1 HIATUS:

Scotland Now “10 Times Claire Fraser Sassasmacked the Patriarchy“

Scotland Now “7 Reasons Jamie Fraser Makes You Reconsider Monogamy”

Scotland Now, “The Outlander Dating Game

Scotland Now, “On Thankfulness, Goodness, and Outlander

Scotland Now, “The 2015 Outlander Gift Guide

Scotland Now, “5 Reasons to be Excited for Outlander’s New Roger Wakefield

Scotland Now, “Outlandthreads: Claire’s Second Season Closet

Scotland Now, “’The Next Chapter: Outlander S2 Promo

Scotland Now, “Vive Les Frasers S2 Promo

SEASON 2:

All recaps for S2 were done for scotlandnow.com

E201, “Through A Glass, Darkly

E202, “Not in Scotland Anymore

E203, “Useful Occupations and Deceptions

E204, “La Dame Blanche

E205, “Untimely Resurrection

E206, “Best Laid Schemes…

E207, “Faith

E208, The Fox’s Lair

E209, “Je Suis Prest

E210, “Prestonpans

E211, “Vengeance is Mine

E212, “The Hail Mary

E213, “Dragonfly In Amber

S2 HIATUS:

Scotland Now, “Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook review

Scotland Now, “Merry Samsmas

5 Outlander Characters That Hate a September Premiere More Than You Do

Teaser Trailer Mini-Recap: “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

I would’ve dated every character on Outlander.

“Parallel Lives” Promo Recap

Character Appreciation Post: “Black Jack” Randall

SEASON 3:

E301 Deep Thoughts

E301 Recap, “The Battle Joined

E302 Deep Thoughts

E302 Recap, “Surrender

E303 Deep Thoughts

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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Outlander Photo Recap S1E07, “The Wedding”, Pt. 2

Let the honeymoon continue!

My fashion runs toward the eclectic, so trust me when I say that only Jamie could pull this look off and be endearing, not creepy.

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Also, this is when I realized he had sex for the first time with his boots on. Who says romance is dead?

Jamie immediately gets teased about his prowess and general lack of no-how the second he walks down, but one of his more endearing qualities is his ability to roll with punches, so he lets them have their fun because he knows he’s the only one going upstairs to service something other than his hand.

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And there is a brief moment where he walks over to Murtagh, who is apple-cheeked and smiling and they have the sort of affectionate silent exchange dudes have when one of them finally gets his cherry popped. I can’t hear their thoughts, but I can imagine them.

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Jamie tells the rest of the lads that they can go to bed now, no need to stay up and as they continue to tease him, one lone figure has neither dude-shoves nor jokes, and that figure is bald.

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When Jamie gets ready to walk back upstairs, Dougal stops him cold with a very ominous “I don’t think ye’ve thanked me properly….” the sentence starts out pretty basic, so Jamie doesn’t really react, but then Dougal, who is trapped in a green spiral, ends with “…for givin’ ya somewhere better ta stick yer c*ck than the horses in the stable.”

OH NO YOU DID NOT.

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I actually gasped out loud when he said this, and if Jamie’s expression is anything to go by, he isn’t too ticked either.

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Admirably, Jamie doesn’t ask for a shinty caman but reins it in and quietly says “Thank ye. Truly,” because Claire is awesome and you should be thankful, kid. Dougal mhmphs and when Jamie turns to leave, he tells him that he should sit for a while, as he shouldn’t “appear to keen to return to yer…bride.”

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We hear Claire asking if “he really said that” and then we realize that Jamie is telling her about the events downstairs while they eat the food he gathered. It turns out that Dougal told him that he should “never let a woman see you too eager to please her. Gives her too much power.” Jamie says this with a smile, but Claire’s reaction speaks for all of us:

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She asks Jamie what he had to say to that, and he tells her that he said that he was “completely under [her] power and happy to be there.” Claire grins and they are so adorable together I want to smack the first bald man I see.

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Claire asks if there is any more whiskey, and when Jamie gets up to get it for her and pours it over her right shoulder, he becomes distracted by the firelight in her hair, and whispers something in Gaelic.

Claire asks him what he said, and he replies “my brown haired lass”. She says that she has always thought that brown was a pretty dull color, but Jamie disagrees, comparing her hair to water curving around rocks and pointing out how it is auburn in the sun, stroking her shoulder as he speaks. Claire is so turned on she immediately feels guilty and places a verbal orange cone by Jamie’s privates.

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That’s right. She wants to know about Jamie’s new plaid, and so he tells her the story and we get another flashback to Jamie and Murtagh in the barn.

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Murtagh found the widow of a Fraser who let them borrow his kilt for Jamie to wear during the wedding. This is the scene from the preview, where Murtagh worries that Jamie will “paint a target” on his back when he, a tall redhead, goes about in the Fraser plaid. Jamie tells him that he will only marry once, and he will do so in a manner that would honor his mother. When Murtagh makes a Scottish noise at him, he softens and asks him what he “thinks of Mistress Beauchamp”.

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Murtagh says “she’ll do,” but when Jamie insists, asking if his mother would approve, Murtagh asks for Jamie’s brooch and while he is spit-shining it, tells him that his mother had a smile “so sweet, it would warm a man to the backbone just to see it”, and that Claire’s smile is “just as sweet.” The bromance is palpable.

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Jamie and Murtagh are the JD and Turk of Outlander. It’s my second favorite relationship on this show. Back in the inn, Jamie is telling this story to Claire and she can’t believe something so poetic came out of Murtagh’s mouth. “Still waters run deep, ya ken,” says Jamie, and Claire asks if he is a Fraser or a Mackenzie. Jamie recites his full name (He is a Fitzgibbon Fraser) while clinking glasses with Claire and you can tell they are both tipsy but also PRECIOUS.

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Claire comments that it is a wonder that Dougal let Murtagh go get the kilt, he was in such a hurry. “He was,” says Jamie darkly,“ but I slowed him down.” Another flashback where we see Jamie’s conditions for the marriage. He tells Dougal he will do it, but he has three conditions. When Dougal gripes that it would just be easier to kill them both, Jamie smiles and says yes, but harder to explain.

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Condition 1 is marriage in a church, by a priest. Dougal’s solution to this is to take Young Willie to rouse and then threaten the sneezing local curate, who will not marry them unless the banns are read. When Dougal resorts to threatening him, he pulls a small knife and says they can’t kill him because neither of them is a priest.

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He and Young Willie throw bible verses for and against back and forth, but finally Dougal figures out his price, and it’s windows for his abbey so he no longer freezes to death.

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Priest secured. Back at the inn, Jamie tells Claire that the priest barely skipped a beat before asking when the ceremony should begin. Claire brings him a piece of cheese and jokes about priests and money, and Jamie tosses the cheese into the fire and begins to kiss her wrist, so Claire does what any hot-blooded woman would do, and prompts him for the second condition.

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Flashback to Rupert and Angus, who have been sent by Jamie with a key to melt the top part and keep the “bow and the blade” intact. Angus would have preferred to win a proper ring gambling LIKE YOU DO but Rupert days it’s Jamie’s wedding, so they will do what he wishes.

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When it comes time to pay, however, Rupert has to pony up to get it made the same day and he berates Angus for not splitting it as promised. Back at the inn, Claire admires her new ring, which she is wearing on her right hand.

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She and Jamie look very cozy and affectionate by the fire until she asks where the key was from, and he nervously answers that it was just something he had in his sporran and walks away. It is obvious he is lying, but Claire chooses to leave it alone and asks him about the third condition. This one, he says, he left to Ned.

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Flashback to Ned surrounded by…um…ladies. Professional ones.

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As much as I like the character, watching him get licked by whores is EXACTLY LIKE WATCHING HIM GET LICKED BY WHORES and Good God it’s not even a little good. The women are parading both their breasts and dresses in front of Ned, who has obviously been sent to find the wedding gown. In a whorehouse. Thankfully the madam saves the day.

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Turns out a nobleman of her acquaintance bought a dress for his wife on a trip which he then bartered for services, if you catch my drift. Won’t Ned take it? When she sees him pull out his purse to pay, she says it’ll take a while to wrap, and she can keep him entertained in the meantime.

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Back at the inn, Claire calls BS on the story, but Jamie says he got it from Ned himself, who was red in the face as he told it. He also asks Claire if she didn’t see “the strumpet” at their wedding. Claire asks “Oh, is that who that was?” and I am ticked I missed this. Jamie wants to know what Claire did all day, and her response is to show him the bottle she stole from Dougal the day before.

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Flashback to Claire on the morning of her wedding day, being woken up by Murtagh telling her she doesn’t want to get married looking like she does, which is ROUGH.

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Jamie asks Claire if she doesn’t remember anything about her wedding, and she responds that does, but she had a monstrous hangover. Jamie says he remembers “every moment, every second”, and finally, we see it through his eyes.

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Jamie dirty is sexy and magnetic, but clean Jamie is like a Disney Prince you want to lick clean like an OCD jungle cat.

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His voice over is intensely romantic as he tells Claire that he will “never forget” when he saw her for the first time. “It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day and suddenly-the sun came out.” We see the innkeeper remove Claire’s cloak and the light in the scene warms up like a shaft of sunlight, and it glints across the acorns and oak leaves (symbols of fidelity, natch) embroidered on her gown. Radiant she may be to Jamie, but Claire looks like she is going to a funeral, not marrying the hottest Scot in a ten-mile radius.

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Must be one hell of a dress, because no one seems to notice the bride is on the verge of panic. All the guests look delighted, and even the two gruffest haters in the group share a squee.

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Granted Murtagh is overcome by love for his ‘ship and Dougal is just inappropriately into the bride, but they do look way happier to be there than Claire.

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Jamie walks up to his bride and formally bows to her, saying “Your servant, madam” and I scare my cat because I am shrieking so loud and I think Claire must hear me, because her panic finally gets the better of her and she tells Jamie she can’t marry him.

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He looks concerned for a moment, until she says she doesn’t even know his real name.

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Claire, scared witless and in a state of high anxiety, replies to “James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser” with “Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp” and at least her manners haven’t suffered because she tries to shake on it.

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Dougal, who hasn’t snarked at anything in maybe 10 seconds, interrupts to snark that if they are “quite finished” he’d like to “get on with it”. What a softie. Jamie asks Claire if she remembers anything, and she says “not all of it, but some things are very clear.” Right before she walks in, We see Claire take off Frank’s wedding band, and stash it in her bodice.

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And on with the ceremony. Both Jamie and Claire say their vows very slowly and clearly, but while Jamie radiates earnestness Claire is a total downer who keeps looking down and sounds like she is going to cry. It’s verra romantic.

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Once she is done, the priest asks if Jamie has a ring, and he proudly places it upon the bible. Claire looks surprised to see it, and when he places it on her finger, their looks speak volumes about their feelings and they seem to speak with their eyes.

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To be fair, Claire has loads more experience on what it means to be married, while Jamie is just besotted and thrilled to have her. Both sides have their advantages, really. They stare into each others’ eyes for a couple of beats and I am starting to think it is very touching when Dougal, probably sensing that I am enjoying this, stomps into frame and roughly cuts both their wrists with Jamie’s dirk.

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Turns out this is the Highlander part of the wedding, and as Jamie places his wrist on top of Claire’s so their blood mingles and Dougal ties them together, he asks Claire to repeat after him. Back at the inn, Claire asks him what the words meant, and they are beautiful enough for me to take seriously, if at least for a moment.

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The priest says that Jamie may kiss his bride, and it’s official.

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Outlander Photo Recap S1E07, “The Wedding”, Pt. 1

First of all let me say that this was delicately and honestly brought to life by all involved and it was a highlight as a fan of a beloved book series to see this produced so superlatively. That said, I was sitting on my couch waiting for this to start and all I could think was:

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And what glorious nudity it was. On to the recap.

The episode starts near the end, chronologically speaking, with a Frankback of her memories as Claire remembers her first wedding, and periodically jumping back to the events that lead to this moment, so if I seem to jump around it’s because yes, I’m jumping around.

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Pre-War Frank and Claire are on their way to meet his parents at a restaurant when Frank, inspired by a couple getting married in a civil service at the registrar’s stops Claire in the street. Although Claire points out that his parents have never even met her, Frank says they never have to meet Claire Beauchamp, because he will introduce them to Mrs. Frank Randall. My mom would have smacked me, but whatevs. He proposes, Claire says “of course” and they kiss…

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…which brings us to Claire and Jamie at the end of the ceremony, and the declaration of “man and wife”.

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Jamie is obviously humming with HELL YES, the attendants are in full tumblr fandom mode, and Claire has an expression that we will see repeated a whole hell of a lot this episode:

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Forward to the room at the inn, where Claire is seated at the vanity in her undergarments, musing on how memories are like a strand of pearls that can break and be lost forever, or maybe you try to lose them but can’t? I’m a bit confused by it but the gist is she is trying not to remember Frank during this her waaaay waaay better wedding night OR she is missing her pearls.

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I understand in her mind she’s a bigamist and conflicted but thankfully the show moves on and Jamie comes into the room, adorably apprehensive when he sees her dejectedly sitting and not making eye contact, just how every groom imagines his bride will receive him.

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Claire breaks the silence by asking if the wedding party is still going on downstairs and if they will go to bed any time soon, to which Jamie replies that yes it is, and no they won’t leave until they “have made things official”.

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Claire snaps that it’s a wonder they didn’t want to watch, and Jamie says only Rupert and Angus. When she looks up, shocked, he says it was a joke and she says he’s no Bob Hope. Jamie asks if he was a funny man, and Claire smiles, saying she always thought so. More awkward silence, until Claire proposes, “perhaps a drink?”

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Jamie adorably toasts his bride in a speech he makes up on the spot and during which he is visibly nervous and Claire is terribly embarrassed. IT IS THE GODDAMN CUTEST THING EVER SINCE CATS HAD KITTENS. Text of toast: “To a lady of grace…um…a woman of strength…and a bride of astonishing beauty. My wife…Claire Fraser.” He enunciates those last two words with an intense look that pants-meltingly awesome, and Claire reacts with silent panic.

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They drink, and Claire reaches back to refill both their glasses. As she downs her second glass in one pull, and goes back for thirdsies, Jamie’s brow knits and he realizes she may be panicking.

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He gently tells her that she doesn’t need to be afraid of him, because he is not the kind of man to force himself on her. She smiles nervously and says she never thought he would. Then, as you do when you have a hot piece of ginger man ready to come at ya, you tell him you have questions and want to talk.

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Jamie agrees and asks her what she wants to know. Claire says she will just come out with it, and the obvious question is why did Jamie marry her? This leads to a flashback of the moment when Jamie was told of Dougal’s plan.

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Dougal and Ned are explaining to Jamie and Murtagh that they are setting out in “a boat made of paper”, and that they must follow the letter of the law to make sure Claire is safe from Randall. Ned tells them that the la specifies not only that the marriage be consummated immediately, but that witnesses must be present “in the building, if not in the room itself.”

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Jamie asks if Claire is aware of this, and Dougal says that she has no say in the matter. Jamie makes subtle eye contact with Murtagh, who quietly says that he thought Dougal didn’t hold with rape. Dougal replies that it isn’t rape, but persuasion (ugh). he crosses over to Jamie and says that Claire is a “smart lass” who will see the need for it in the end, but that Claire and Jamie could secretly agree to say the marriage was consummated when it wasn’t. He then says he can think of worse things than…. well, I’ll let the picture do the talking:

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That’s right. He describes having sex with the woman he is giving in marriage to his nephew, in case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that he a) wants to bang her b) wants Jamie to know that he wants to bang her. Wedding party foul, Dougal, and Jamie’s not having it. He roars “Enough!” and stalks out of the barn, fuming that if Claire does become his wife, he’ll thank Dougal to “stop talkin’ and thinkin’ of her as some common whuuurre”. Dougal, realizing he may have approached this the wrong way, catches him to apologize.

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Haha, no. Did I say ‘apologize’? I meant “berate”. He tells Jamie that there is no “if” about it.  Claire took several hits from Randall and kept silent (which is “a fair sight more than [Dougal] expects of any ordinary” woman”), but Jamie knows Randall and what can be expected from him if he delivers her back to him as promised. It is here that we see that Dougal is genuinely concerned for Claire’s safety, even if he is a total sh*t about it. and that the thought of Randall putting hands on her finally prompts Jamie to make his decision.

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Back to their room at the inn where Clare asks if he married her to keep her safe. Jamie says a gruff “Aye, that’s the gist of it” and their expressions here are the sweetest. Jamie is revealing how much he cares, and Claire is noticeably struck by it.

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It also leads to one of the more beautiful monologues between these two to date. Jamie earnestly tells Claire “Now you have my name, my clan, my family, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well.” Claire finally realizes the caliber man she is getting.

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That’s right, a speech so heartfelt and bosom-heavingly awesome that the only way to repay it is immediately put out. Claire puts her glass down with an audible clink, Jamie accepts with an audible gulp, and it seems this show is about to get on the road.

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Claire does what any experienced woman should do with a skittish man-child she’s about to induct into the ways of love and holds his hand to reassure him that it’s okay.

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Claire thinks this is as good a time as ever to use the age-old Scottish trick of getting a Scots to speak of his family to buy time and delay the inevitable a bit longer. Jamie proves once again he has both intuition and a fine sense of the ridiculous when he asks her how many generations back she would like to go. She smiles and says his parents is far enough. Ah Jamie. It’s adorable because you’re a hot virgin and Claire is actually nervous about banging you instead of the other way around.

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In a voiceover, Claire mentions that they spoke for the next several hours of each others’ families and how they were raised, generally getting to know each other as new spouses. Jamie, she says, was charming, a born storyteller like most Scots, and after some time and some drinks she started to feel not only relaxed but to enjoy herself and they seem perfectly in sync, laughing and content…

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…So you know something had to happen, and those two somethings are drunk, hairy, full of innuendo and will walk into a married couple’s bedroom without knocking.

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Jamie is visibly annoyed and Claire hurries to try to cover herself (because she is in her underthings, even if she looks fully dressed). It turns out that they are interrupting on a mission from Dougal, who wants to know if the deed’s been done because he wants to tweet it.

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When Angus points out that they can’t have because they “still have their clothes on”, Rupert says you can still do it with your clothes on, to which Angus, outraged retorts “No on yer wedding day!” This is enough for Jamie, who pushes them out the door and shuts it in Angus’s face when he expresses a desire for a peek at Claire’s um, rack.

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And as angry as he seems, the moment the door is shut, both he and Claire start to laugh. Claire asks if he is related to them and Jamie says only Rupert, who is a distant cousin. Awkward silence as they once again remember their pending matter.

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Claire takes the leap, telling Jamie that it is late and they should get to bed. His clarification of this statement is ENDEARING AS F&^%$.

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Once he is sure things are going to happen, he nonchalantly says that whichever way things go, Claire is not likely to sleep in her corset, so he will help her with that. It warms my heart that he has thought about his “move” and that this is it. Practical AND provocative? Gold star, sir.

She stands so that he can help peel her layers off like a sexy banana, and he gets the same expression I would if I had to figure out what to untie first.

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And just because I’m curious, let’s see how many layers he has to peel off before we can get to the good stuff.

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Poor Jamie. It’s taking a while. Claire even laughs at his exasperated expression.

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But once her corset is off and she is in her shift, the tone changes.

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Jamie leans down to kiss her once more, but Claire delays him again by saying it is now her turn, and she reaches for his belt. Let’s compare, shall we?

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And that’s as far as we’ll get because that is all it takes for Jamie to lose his cool and basically kiss her face off. It’s damn sexy.

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When they break apart, Claire asks him where he learned to kiss “like that”. Jamie says he’s a virgin, not a monk…

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…and if he needs guidance, he’ll ask. With that he does what we have all been waiting for since Sam Heughan was cast.

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Round 1 is ON.

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As the books say, what Jamie lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm, and before Claire knows it, he is done and she is left hanging. There is a brief moment of awkward silence where he suspects he may not have done things quite as he should before he smiles like any proud owner of a sexual organ does when he or she discovers they can make it go boom, and Claire asks him if it was like he thought it would be.He starts to tell her something but repents, saying that she will laugh at him. Claire sincerely promises not to and then does when he confesses he thought they would do it back to front like the horses.

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As they laugh together, Jamie picks that moment to ask Claire if “she liked it”. Claire tactfully lowers her eyes and says nothing, but message received. Poor Jamie.

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He says that Murtagh was right about that, then and Claire questions him. He says that Murtagh told him that women “generally do not care for it”, which was an opinion then echoed by Rupert and (omg) NED. That’s quite the brain trust. Apparently he heard a lot of advice on the subject the night before. He sits up at the edge of the bed looking dejected and it breaks my black heart. I can’t stand it, and neither can Claire.

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She tells him in a very quiet voice. “I DID like it, Jamie,” and in a voiceover, states that this is her problem: not only is she a bigamist and an adultress, but she’d enjoyed it. Suddenly the guilt and the hopeful look on her new husband’s face is too much and she excuses herself to get something to eat.

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Jamie tries to stop her, but too late.

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She comes out to realize that the entire wedding party is still downstairs and as such has heard everything, not to mention she and Jamie are standing on the balcony in their shift and shirttails, respectively. They tease Jamie about his night and he takes it in good humor, but his playful expression changes when he looks at his wife.

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He tells them off and then asks Claire to go back into the room, since they won’t be at peace until they have “had their fun”.

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Jamie goes downstairs to get their food, and Claire shuts herself in their room.

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And that’s it for Part 1. Hard to be snarky because I am a romantic at heart, but 80 caps for 20 minutes? I am EXHAUSTED. This show.

I am EXHAUSTED. This show.

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Outlander S1E07 “The Wedding” Photo Jerkoff: Hawt Scenes from the Promo

You guys, I can’t stop. I am probably sick like Black Jack except my illness causes me to look for sexay Frasers in frames of the next episode preview instead of beating the crap out of people and being a total tool that people hate. Lucky for you guys, this is the sort of juvenile nonsense that you have to look forward to when you follow me!

This is the flashback bit in between Jamie’s attempted kiss, frame by frame, because I heart you:

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I’ll be in the shower, saying the rosary, hoping that I travel forward in time to Saturday.

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Outlander Photo Recap, S1E06, “The Garrison Commander”

Guys, Ron Moore is NOT F$#@ING around. Things happen in this episode that shouldn’t happen to a girl that was just trying to eat dinner and watch Outlander at the same time. The episode warning really should have looked like this:

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Big cliffhanger last week resolves itself immediately.

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Dougal is so happy. Lookit his happy face:

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Contrary to what I thought she would say, Claire tells Lieutenant Foster that she is “a guest of the Clan Mackenzie”. You can see his disappointment (and Dougal’s infinitesimal but obvious smirk), but he still requests that she go speak to his commander, who is staying at the inn at Brockton. She accepts, and Dougal says that if she is going, so is he, so they all set off for the English Garrison in the title.

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As they travel. Claire is filled with warm fuzzies because she is once more again her own English army in which she spent six years nursing, and being treated with sympathy and respect. She also thinks about how she knows how Dougal must feel as the lonely Scotsman surrounded by enemies on his own land, but I think she underestimates his hubris.

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A friendly reminder to everyone that Dougal gives zero f*cks. As they walk in, the officers are at what I assume to be their evening meal, and they are way happy to see an English lady.

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The Lieutenant briefly introduces Dougal as the “Dougal Mackenzie, War Chief of the Mackenzie and brother to its Laird” while spending almost 15 minutes introducing his top dawg, “Brigadier General Sir Oliver Lord Thomas, Knight of Bath and Commanding Officer of the Northern British Army.” Here is a picture of what that introduction looked like, and it is exactly as you imagine.

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General Thomas tells Dougal that he certainly looks the part of a War Chief and finally speaks to him directly to ask how to address him but fails to understand his accent, which leads to him openly mocking the War Chief as unintelligible and the room joins in to give it the feeling of an animal in the zoo.Thomas even refers to him as “the creature”. Alhough both Lieutenant Foster (“He is speaking English”) and Claire (speaking of Newcastle accents also being hard to understand) try to gently maintain the polite atmosphere, Dougal lets his temper show for the first time when Thomas says the world would be an easier place if everyone spoke like Londoners.

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Even though his voice is very low and fatherly when he says it, General Thomas (who now miraculously perfectly understands him) gets his dander up.

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Thomas says that he would happily oblige him and go back, if not for the Scots not acting like “loyal subjects of the British Crown” and as the two men stare at each other, you realize just how tense the atmosphere in the room is, and how easily things can get out of hand, and just how freaking huge Dougal’s balls are.

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General Thomas then jokes about how he does enjoy the field, and wishes his servants moved as fast as his soldiers, even fancying that he could be a Laird, telling everyone that he knows it’s bad form to ask what he wears under his “skirt” when Dougal interrupts him, once again speaking like you would to a child, to ask if he enjoys embarrassing Claire or if he’s just arrogant. This sets the Lieutenant and Dougal against each other (one insisting on an apology the other won’t give) until Claire interrupts, probably really hungry damn it, telling them they are both acting like children. Thomas gets all turned on by Claire’s bossiness and put out when Dougal agrees with a smile that she is good at telling men what to do.

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The entire thing basically stops one yo momma joke away from a full rap battle. General Thomas kicks Dougal out under the guise of not having enough room and the venison getting cold, and Dougal says to keep their “scraps”, as they are still serving “good Scottish ale in the taproom” and he tells Claire he will be downstairs.To Dougal’s credit, the entire time he remained impassive and derisive and if there is a class for broadcasting different ways to imply “fuck off”, please have Graham McTavish teach it so I can take it.

After he lets himself out, We see some scenes of Claire eating and laughing with the English soldiers. She has obviously got them in the pal of her hand, and she has just managed to get General Thomas to agree to have Lieutenant Foster escort her to Inverness.

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Then it all goes to hell.

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Turns out Capt. Randall has interrupted his commanding officer’s dinner because he just saw Dougal downstairs and when he is ordered to go outside and shake off the dust of the road, he sees and recognizes Claire.

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When Thomas asks if they know each other, he says he thought he recognized her, but that he was wrong. Claire picks up on this and says she thought the same thing. The clueless General then introduces them, and then presents himself again to the table to tell them about Dougal. Thomas clarifies that they know, Dougal brought Claire and when Randall says he “can’t wrap his head around” an English lady with Scots,  Thomas has the bright idea to ask him to escort Claire to Inverness to tell him her stories. Foster claims she was treated well by her “Scottish friends” and this causes Randall to say that he didn’t know “the English could have Scottish friends”, and he bets “Private McGreavey would agree with me.” Everyone gets very quiet, and Thomas is annoyed.

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He tells Randall that Claire will have the vapors if he brings up that story, but Claire says she’s not the type. Randall then tells the story of how two weeks ago, Private McGreavey wandered away and was found two days after, tied to a tree with his severed head in his hands. Claire blanches and says it was a terrible day when he was assigned to Scotland but that’s not good enough for Randall, who scoffs “Is that all you have to say” at Claire.

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She then counteracts with the story of the crucified Highlanders, to which one of the English officers says is only English justice to what were surely traitors.

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Claire says both sides have committed atrocities which they should be ashamed of, and the same officer says this is why he never discusses politics with women. Claire smartly says she thought they were discussing morality, not politics and this give Randall the perfect opening to imply that Claire is Dougal’s whore, otherwise why would she side with “the Scottish aggressors” over her own people?

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This makes me sad because almost three hundred years later, slut-shaming is still considered THE way to get a woman’s opinion dismissed.

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Claire tries to stick up for herself and the Scots, claiming that English are the aggressors and that the Scots just want the same freedoms the English enjoy, and that they are occupying Scots land. Randall smirks out the window, and it becomes obvious that this was his purpose all along, to neatly cut the ties of trust and friendship that Claire managed to establish with the officers prior to his arrival. Mission accomplished.

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General Thomas points out that the land is the Crown’s, and questions Claire’s loyalty. Claire sees her opportunity to get back to Craig Na Dun evaporating and hurries to reassure them that she is a loyal subject, but the damage is done. Proving he is a class A mindf*cker, Randall now sticks up for her and says she has “lived among the savages too long” and when Thomas menacingly says she should get back to her family posthaste, Claire says she will leave today if he allows it. His consent is interrupted before it can be given, however, by the announcement that men are being shot at outside the town, and that there is a wounded man downstairs but that even though they have sent for the surgeon, they are not sure where he is.

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Claire offers to go, citing her medical experience. Downstairs she sees Dougal, who tells her that he saw “that bastird Randall” go up and asks if she is okay. Claire asks if his men would have been responsible for the attack and when he responds that never without his say-so and that he can’t be held without evidence, Claire tells him that they are just looking for someone to blame and she would feel better if he made himself scarce. This provokes as close to a double-take as we’re gonna get from Dougal, who takes her advice and steps out.

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Claire takes charge with her usual aplomb, diagnosing an amputation and prepping the patient until the surgeon comes in. I know this because he haughtily announces “I am the surgeon here” and asks Claire if she’s going to faint. She says she’s stayed awake through worse and maybe she won’t faint, but I sure as heck might the second I see his tools.

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Ugh. She does stay awake, but I’m pretty sure she cries throughout and when she makes it upstairs, it’s to be greeted by the sight of Psycho “Black Jack” Randall getting a very erotic (I can’t be the only one that thought this) shave from his young ginger page, LIKE YOU DO.

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Claire asks where General Thomas has gone, and he responds that he has gone “hunting rebels”. As she watches, Claire sees the razor he is using is the same as her husband’s, a cherished antique, and we get another short Frankback (shaving pron edition) where Claire shaves Frank during one of his breaks during the war.

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I know I’m supposed to care about their relationship and Ron Moore really is doing an excellent job in theory, but damn it, I just don’t. I care more about that excellent nightgown and where I can get one. Claire’s indrawn breath after coming out of her daydream causes the young Private to nick the Captain, which causes this really odd scene where he yanks him down and then proceeds to force-shave him while crooning advice about controlling his nerves.

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He dismisses him with orders to not let himself and Claire be disturbed and let me tell you, if you are already uncomfortable with the mixture of anger and violence and sexual overtones, better skip to the end of the episode because it gets WAY worse before it gets better.

Claire wants to leave for Inverness and advises Randall not to touch the General’s claret, but because he is a sociopath, this is his response.

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He wants to question her again, and goes back to the well on what is fast becoming his patented move: lure them in with kindness. He apologizes for near-raping her when first they met and assures her that he is ashamed to think of it, and looks forward to showing her his “true nature”. Claire’s thoughts really are written on her face.

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Doomed for disappointment, dear. He asks that she be as honest with him as he plans to be with her, and she agrees. He questions her about where she is from, why she is in Scotland and won’t accept her usual answers. He tells her there are no Beauchamps in Oxfordshire, and she points out that he is from Sussex, so he shouldn’t know. They speak briefly in French and he tells her he doesn’t see anything of the prostitute about her, for which she thanks him. When she asks her for her maiden name, she apologizes for her comments about the Scots and saying she needs to be along her journey. He says she isn’t helping her case, and she denies having a case. He comes clean and says that she is either a spy or a whore. When she asks if those are her only choices, he says that if she has another explanation she shouldn’t keep it to herself. Claire then invents a long tale about falling in love with an officer stationed in Scotland who ended up being false tried to rape her, which is why she ended up in her shift, and begs him not to pry further if he is a gentleman which, SPOILER ALERT HELL NO HE IS NOT.

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It is very obvious she is barking up the wrong tree. He asks her for the name of gentleman and when she demurs, stares at her like a velociraptor, walks over and sketches something on a napkin with what I assume is a blackened piece of his soul. He then asks her for her opinion on the sketch, which he will call “Beautiful Lies.”

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We really need to be more respectful of that which we as a society allow ourselves to call “art”. AMIRITE? Randall tells her that if she wishes to get to Inverness, she will provide him with proof that Dougal is raising funds for the Jacobite cause, which he already knows to be true. Claire denies having witnessed anything of the sort during her travels, and of course he doesn’t believe her because Claire is an awful liar.

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Claire finally gets tired of his interrogation and says she will not submit to it unless she is under arrest, flouncing off to sit in a chair to wait for General Thomas to come back so she can go to Inverness. She says if he wants to guard her, that’s fine by her. Randall comes to stand behind her chair and informs her that she will not go anywhere until he is satisfied that she is innocent as she claims, and that if she won’t submit he has…alternative methods that he’ll have to try. Claire says she knows all about his methods and I want to scream SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP CLAIRE because you can see him tense up when he realizes she must know Jamie, but Claire is just at the end of her rope and you can tell she wants to chastise him for it.

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Claire tells him that she has heard of him through tales told by the Mackenzies of one of their own that was whipped by him to the bone. This is where sh*t starts to get VERRA CREEPY because while Claire is shaking with outrage, this motherf*cker is all dreamy like he is hearing about a hot chick he used to date and remembering the first time they did it. Claire says she has heard flogging is a sport, and he says no, he takes it very seriously, and that the “poor Highland boy” she refers to is a “wanted thief and murderer”. When Claire says he had only stolen a loaf of bread, Randall asks if Dougal told her this and she nods her assent. This brings us to a flashback, through Randall’s eyes of Jamie’s famous flogging.

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Disclaimer: I am not going to show his back. I am sure you can find images online if you wish, but it was harsh and has zero comedic value so no. I canna.

Randall opens with the fact that Dougal was there, and even though Jamie had already received 100 lashes for trying to escape, he felt an additional 100 were merited when he didn’t make a sound, feeling that this was not a message he wanted to send into a crowd of rebels.

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I can’t even enjoy shirtless Jamie, and that is how you know this was a motherf*ckin crime against humanity. GOD DAMN YOU, BLACK JACK.

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Jamie is brought out into a courtyard and chained up to a post, and Randall walks around him like he’s examining a horse he wants to buy, finally coming up by his manacled hands and explaining that he usually “likes to work on a blank canvas” because then he can really see the marks. When Jamie doesn’t respond, he points out that he is shaking, and Jamie retorts that it’s only because he is worried that if he keeps talking it’ll take so long he’ll freeze stiff before it’s done.

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You want to cheer Jamie for his cheek, but you also cringe because Randall gives him a half-smile and tells him that he will break him, punching him in the gut before walking around to begin. Back at the Inn, Randall dreamily asks Claire if she has “ever seen a man scourged” and that “the thought of the whip coming down on that pitiful, raw flesh” made his “stomach flutter, my legs shake.” Claire stares at him, and while she seems to think he is repentant, he really sounds transfixed, and once again, IT IS CREEPY.

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Randall tells Claire that he had meant to pace himself because whipping someone is hard work, let’s face it, but that Jamie wouldn’t cry out. He wonders if he hoped to stir him to pity, which was a mistake, because he knew he was hurting him. He describes the sensation of the whip going “up [his] arm and exploding into [his] heart” and it is so disturbing because it is then you start to realize that Randall’s pain/pleasure wires are not only crossed, they are very likely tied into knots like a psychotic abacus.

Flash back to the courtyard, where Jamie can barely stand upright because he is slipping in a pool of his own blood and oh Jesus save us WHY WHY WHY. What follows are some screen caps with my train of thought laid over them, and by train of thought I mean the sh*t I was screaming at my TV.

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At this point Randall is splattered in blood, Jamie is barely conscious and the skin of his back is in ribbons with great chunks missing and I want to get on a plane, fly to Craig Na Dun, travel back in time, find Randall’s mother and punch her in the uterus. Except I can’t because this is fiction. DAMMIT.

Randall pulls Jamie’s hair to wake him and asks him if he’s had enough. when Jamie does not respond, he resumes flogging him, so hard at one point that he slips and falls on his blood and flogs from the ground as he struggles to get up. It is so violent that one of his men faints at the sight, and it causes a nervous titter of laughter through the crowd.

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Laughter of course is emblematic of happiness, so of course Randall puts a stop to it in the most violent way he can. He tells Claire that in that moment, he “determined to bleed him to he bone”. He describes how the world narrowed to himself and Jamie, the whip connecting them both and that the crowd’s laughter went from gasps to crying. More random thoughts laid over these images.

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Ron Moore, I’m going to need you to fork up for my therapy. You know you’re a good director when you give your audience PTSD. Congrats.

Back at the Inn, Randall calls the crowd fools for “only seeing the horror” while he “could see the beauty” and “the truth”, that Jamie and he together “were creating a masterpiece, an exquisite bloody masterpiece” which was “the most beautiful thing  [he] had ever seen”. His expression and Claire’s could not be more opposite, and you realize, as Claire does, that this man is batsh*t insane.

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He then tells Claire that “the truth carries a weight that no lie can counterfeit” and that he had promised to reveal himself to her, and so he has. He also says that no doubt she imagines him a monster, and that “it very well could be so”. Claire answers that the fact that he still cares what she thinks gives her hope for his soul. Randall says that he was not always that way, that he came to Scotland to serve King and country and found himself a guardian of so a “squalid, ignorant people prone to the basest superstition and violence” (takes one to know one) and now he finds himself so consumed with “darkness and hatred of the very world itself” that he hardly recognizes the things he does or the man he has become. Claire tearfully tells him that he can’t undo what he has done, but that he can “win back [his] humanity” and that with his “insight and self-knowledge” can still choose to be the man he wishes to be.

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Randall jokes about “the rehabilitation of ‘Black Jack’ Randall and says that maybe he will start with having her escorted back to Inverness. Claire smiles happily, and he orders another soldier, a Corp. Hawkins in to assist him. We soon find out for what.

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That’s right. HE PUNCHED HER IN THE GUT and while she lays on the floor gasping for air Randall pulls her head back by her hair, not unlike he did to Jamie, to tell Claire that he lives in darkness, and that’s where he belongs. If she was looking for sympathy from him she will find none, and he will get the truth from her one way or another.

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He then matter-of-factly asks the corporal if he has ever kicked a woman, and says it is “very liberating”. When the younger man expresses reluctance and kicks her only lightly, he bullies him into kicking her harder and expresses disdain that Claire is “soft”. He says to kick her again. The young Corporal is crying, Claire is crying and I am punching my pillow pretending it is Randall’s groin when thank God, game changer:

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That’s right, Dougal is there and for once I am happy to see him. He tells Randall that he is taking Claire back now that he knows she is not a prisoner of Collum’s, and Randall tells him he has no right to hold to keep her from him since she is an English subject and has to be available for questioning. Dougal says that may be, but that he is not questioning her on Mackenzie land unless he cares to start a war.

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Randall relents, but tells Dougal that he must deliver Claire to Fort William before sundown the next day, or he will be accused of “harboring a fugitive from English law and hunted and punished even unto death, war chief or no.” He orders the guards to let them pass, tells Claire he looks forward to their next meeting and they get out of there.

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Thank God. My poor heart. Claire tells us via voice over that the last thing she wanted was a gallop through the highlands and that she was close to fainting by the time Dougal stopped. He tells her there is water nearby and they climb down into a lovely sort of grotto that is just gorgeous. Let us stop and restock our souls with its beauty:

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Claire balks at the water’s smell, but Dougal urges her to drink since it’ll “wet her throat” all the same. As she drinks, he takes his dagger out and hides it behind the folds of his tartan, once again asking if she is a spy for the English or the French. Claire is annoyed she has to answer that again….

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…but Dougal says it is the last time, so she yells that no, she is just plain Claire Beauchamp and can they be done with it now? Dougal says “Aye,” and puts away his dagger. When Claire sees it, she asks if he was going to use that on her. Dougal said he would have regretted it, since she is “a handsome woman” but had she proved false, he would have had to.

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Claire asks how he knows she is telling the truth, and he says that the water is St. Ninian’s Spring, and that anyone who drinks from it and lies would have their “gizzard burnt out”. Claire mocks the “magic spring” but Dougal says she should believe in the power of magic, being a healer. Claire snarks that she doubts Captain Randall will be so easily convinced, but Dougal says that if he does what he tells her, she never has to see him again.

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Dougal explains he thought it may come to this and so he consulted Ned Gowan, who said that an English officer cannot compel a Scottish person to appear unless they have proof a crime has been committed and even so, not without the permission of the Laird concerned, so the way to get Claire safe from Randall is to convert her from an Englishwoman to a Scots and that way is…to marry one. Claire at first flatly refuses, but when Dougal points out that maybe she would rather go to jail, she asks if it will be he whom she marries. His reaction is delightful, telling her that it would “tickle” him to “grind her corn” but no, he has another nominee which is…..

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THAT”s RIGHT, Y’ALL! Time for our OTP to make it official. But first, real talk from Claire, who has been reading the marriage contract like a good 20th Century gal. Once Jamie sits down, she announces in a mopey voice that Dougal wants them to be married.

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Jamie surprises her by saying he knows, and already earns hubby points by bringing her hard liquor to help her process. She asks him if he is willing, and Jamie explains that not only has she mended his wounds more than once, but he’d be a crappy friend if he let “that mad bastard Randall” get his paws on her, so he figures he owes it to her. So romantic.

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Claire, clearly drunk and forgetting their Sexy Blanket Loan, mentions that certainly a young man like himself has someone in who he is interested. Jamie says that no, he is not a very good prospect for marriage what with the poor soldier’s pay and the likelihood that he will be caught and executed by the English, ha ha.

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Claire waspishly says that by him then, they may as well start the honeymoon tomorrow and Jamie says “Aye, whatever suits you”. Seeing that she will get no help dodging bigamy (even though she is technically single as Frank isn’t born yet) she blurts out to Jamie if it doesn’t bother him that she isn’t a virgin.

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His response is adorable and not unexpected. I doesn’t bother him that she isn’t, as long as it doesn’t bother her that HE IS. He is verra serious when he confesses it, then his natural playfulness takes over and he whispers that he “reckons one of us should ken what they’re doing.”

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Claire stares at the fire, momentarily nonplussed as she thinks about what decision to take and the whopper she just unearthed, but really, when faced with the option of going to 18th-century jail or nailing James Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser like a gazebo, which would YOU take?

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That’s right, Claire. Smart girl. Always err on the side of the hawt ginger.

Next week: THE WEDDING. I will be doing finger exercises and picking out my formal wear. Then just one more episode left, I don’t know what I’ll do! (Recap Arrow, but still, I will miss my Frasers). Leave a comment if you can, you know I love them, and if you share, thanks and please credit me! Till next week!

 

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