Updated! #Outlander, Episode 3, ‘Doubting Thomas’s Cure’

This week we rejoin our #Outlander friends as Claire is channeling Greer Garson in ‘Mrs. Miniver’ and wishes Frank a sad farewell at the train station because she’s a modern woman and heading to the front lines in WWII.  I’m trying really hard to care about Frank cuz he’s important to the story, but I can’t and I feel guilty about that.

We’re back in the 1700’s where Mrs. Fitz  is helping administer the Ice Bucket Challenge to Claire

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who decides to tells Mrs. F she is a time traveler and Mrs. F goes all Salem Witch Trial and slaps Claire across the face.  But wait…we’ve been Bobby Ewinged and it’s only a day dream!  Mrs. F tells Claire that there’s a big ‘to do’ tonight, and Claire needs to impress Colum and Dougal with her healing skills so they’ll LIKE her and let her go to the BallClaire heeds her advice and trots on over to her Minor Emergency Dungeon and begins to look through the nasty RX supplies which contain disgusting live beetles, eye of newt and rusty saws with her bodyguard Angus nearly dying of boredom.

Claire‘s in the kitchen and Mrs. McNeil, the chamber maid, breaks a dish and Mrs. Fitz who is also ‘Director of Human Resources’, tells her to go home since, you know….her son died yesterday.  Why is she at work?!  Surely, ‘death of child’ gets you an automatic ‘personal day’. Turns out young Lindsey McNeil went to the Benedictine Monestary ruins and the ‘demons’ attacked and killed him.  Mkaaaay.   Enter Mrs. F’s nephew, Thomas who was young Lindsey McNeil’s BFF who says Colum wants to see Claire pronto.

She arrives in Colum’s room as he’s being fitted for a coat by the finest tailor in all of Lancelot who sadly took it upon himself to make a maxi coat to cover Colum’s shrively little legs.  Colum is a wee bit sensitive and threatens to kill him.  Colum takes off his pants and asks Claire to massage his legs, she says it will feel better if she does the base of his spine so he flips up his shirt.  He has a lovely arse, but truthfully it’s not the one we’re here to see.

Colum is feeling better so he invites her to the Hall/Dinner Thing and when Claire arrives, she finds a seat near Laoghaire.  Leery then spots Jamie and begins ‘frothing at the mouth’.  Claire who’s possibly a recruiter for Match. com smooshes over so he can sit between herself and Laoghaire and repeatedly tries to set them up.  Sadly, for Leghair, he’s just not that into her.  Jamie notices Claire is getting plastered, so as a pretense to get her safely back to her room, he asks her to check his wound.  Back in her dungeon, Claire undoes his shirt to examine his shoulder, their eyes meet and flames shoot out due to their unspoken feelz.  But Claire gives him the ‘All Systems Are NOT Go’ look and Jamie, gentleman that he is, skedaddles back to the stables and possibly to his favorite sheep.

Next day Claire and Geillis are berry picking for their healing potions when Geillis mentions that btw, Father Bain is going to perform an exorcism on Mrs. F’s nephew ThomasClaire, who can never mind her beeswax, heads off to Thomas’s hovel to check things out. She diagnoses food poisoning, not demonic possession, but can’t convince Mrs. F that she can help and instead allows Father BainOfOurExistence to go all Rosemary’s Baby on poor Thomas.

Dopy is still on her heels as they reach the castle kitchen and barks at her to Sit. Stay.  Even Claire needs a break from time to time, so she sits down for a moment’s peace but her timing is off because there’s Leeery and Jamie swapping major spit in the alcove.  #WhoCanBlameHer That night in the ‘cafeteria’, Claire teases Jamie about making out with ‘TheTownHo’ and he’s not happy and squishes her little toes with his boot under the table. She kicks him and he spills his drink on Murtagh and leaves. Murtagh/Dr. Phil tells Claire to chill because if anyone gets wind of their extracurriculars, Jamie will have to marry the little ho and even Claire can see that would not be a good idea.

Claire sits outside and cries because seeing Jamie with the ho, made her miss FrankDougal sees her and tells her he’s going to visit Geillis the next day and would she like a field trip?   Next day Claire visits Geillis in her creepy attic lair.  Geillis looks gorgeous and is wearing a grey fur vest she probably made from the hides of small animals she strangled.  Noise outside and Father Bain is dragging a boy to Geillis’s husband, the flatulent Fiscal, Arthur Duncan to be sentenced for stealing some medieval Twinkies and Father B wants the boy’s hand chopped off.

#FatherBainIsOnMyLastNerve  Arthur Duncan/Phil Spector, comes in with a nasty case of gas that makes me grateful I’m NOT watching Smellevision. Geillis convinces him not to chop the boys hand off so he decides to nail his ear to the pillory instead. Satisfied with herself, she leans back and puts her feet up and she’s wearing RED SHOES like the wicked witch of the west!  I pause my DVR and begin shopping for red boots on line.

Knock knock.  Who’s There?  It’s Jamie and he’s been sent to bring Claire home.  At the sight of Jamie, Geillis begins fingering the front of her furry vest and licking her lips.  Vegas odds for Jamie on Geillis action?  A zillion to none.  J and C share some Jedi Mind Communication and she’s all ‘get me out of here’ and he’s all ‘okay!’  Claire talks Jamie into pulling the boy free from the pillory and then she talks him into going up to the Black Kirk where the boys got sick. Seems like she can talk him into a lot of stuff.  He says going to the kirk is a way of proving your manhood and also takes this time to recite his educational resume for viewers who haven’t read the book.  Claire realizes the boys ate toxic Lily of the Valley leaves and takes off leaving Jamie in her wake.  Repeat after me:  ‘Men like strong, self-assured women.’  Say it TEN TIMES!

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Back at Thomas‘ house, creepy Father Bain is all bubble, bubble, toil and trouble when Claire storms in and says she can cure ThomasFather B says he’s in charge because ‘women are dumb and don’t have penises’ #ImParaphrasing and Mrs. Fitz has finally had enough and tells him to back the hell off. Claire gives Thomas medicine and saves his life.  Father Bain is angry and says he smells the vapors of hell on her.  I make a quick note to say that, the next time someone cuts me off in the check-out line at Target.

That night Claire (with extreme Claire hair!) decides to go to the Hall not to socialize, but for the booze cuz that’s healthy!  Jamie drags her over to sit with him, and voila he has a fault.  Jamie is a ‘movie talker’!  I’m surprised he’s not texting!   He then translates the story of a woman who traveled through the stones, and then traveled back to her own time. There’s a convenient flashback of Claire time traveling for audience members who missed the first two episodes.  Claire hears this and finally cheers up and decides, ‘I will escape or die trying!!’  What will happen next week?  How should I know?  And, why am I asking so many questions? Should I stop?  Okay, see you next week, same Bat time, same Bat Channel.

Outlander Fans & The Ornery Tweeters Among Us

I love Outlander.  I am an Outlander fan.  I am an Outlander fan of ‘Rainman’ proportions.  I was Outlandish before Outlander was cool.

So, during the last week as ‘Outlander’ premiered in San Diego and NY, I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time reading articles, blogs and reviews, as well as watching previews of Outlander and interviews with the stars, creators, producers etc.  I’ve also spent a fair amount of time reading Diana Gabaldon’s  Facebook and Twitter pages as well as the Twitter comments of my fellow fans many of whom are as passionate or more so than me.

Most fellow Twitterites are excited about and supportive of the mini-series.  They cheer on the comments and support the ideas that come from Terry Dresbach, Ron Moore, Diana Gabldon, Maril Davis, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and even those very funny Outlander drivers. The Outlander cast and crew have caught our interest just like Bobby Sherman and Davy Jones did during our teen years. But interspersed among this incredibly supportive group of fans,  there are other people.  People who seem to find pleasure in saying mean things.

Here’s the thing I don’t understand.  With the incredibly busy lives we lead with work, family, homes, etc., how can any sane person deliberately go to a Facebook or Twitter page of a complete stranger just to make negative or mean comments?  In this instance do they think the producers will slap themselves on the forehead, fire the cast and writers and start all over just to please them?  Do they think this seasoned group of film makers wants or needs advice?

The following are things that most baffle me.  Why would anyone who has read Outlander think Jamie should be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger topped with bright carrot-colored hair.  Nowhere in the books does it say that Jamie has hair like an orange popsicle or the bulging biceps of a professional body builder.  The mini-series will not be spoiled for me if Claire does not have whiskey-colored eyes.  Have the naysayers seen the previews? Caitriona Balfe is Claire.  And if by chance you disagree and feel you must express yourself, please say it nicely.  What is your motivation in negatively badgering Facebook pages and Twitter feeds about it?  What are you trying to accomplish other than to hurt someone?  If that is your intent, I truly feel bad for you because you need to know right now that you’re wasting your life.

I read recently, and I can’t remember where, that there are small machines that most people in the world possess that can instantly access all the  information known to mankind. These machines are your phone and computer.  And millions of people use them to anonymously provoke and fight with strangers on the internet while others watch videos of cats. I wish I knew who said it, because it’s brilliant.

I don’t know how Diana Gabaldon does it. If I were Diana, instead of being patient and explaining things ad nauseum, by now I would have climbed to the top of New Mexico’s highest mountain and flung my laptop over a cliff.  I could never be her or Sam Heughan or Caitriona Balfe.  I don’t have the thick skin and at my age, I’m probably not going to acquire it.  My intent in writing this, I suppose, is if even one person who reads it, could then pause, think, take a deep breath and decide not to post a mean comment on-line, then I’ve done something positive with my day.  And maybe, just maybe, the next time they want to say something negative about Sam Heughan’s height, hair color and musculature or Caitriona Balfe’s eyes, instead they could take a deep breath and go watch kittens play with yarn on Youtube.  They will be much happier people and the world will be a nicer place.  Or better yet, this Saturday night, sit down with an open mind and prepare to be amazed!

And P.S.  For the life of me I don’t know how anyone could find anything negative to say about Sam Heughan’s appearance; because that is one gorgeous young man. He is better looking than 99% of the population and I hope one day he meets and marries my daughter and gives me beautiful grandchildren who wear kilts and eat haggis.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask for….on second thought maybe it is 😉

Updated, Sept 2016: The Sad Tale of ‘Outlander’ and the Female Reviewer

September 2016 Update.  Like many of you, I’m looking for Outlandish shizzle to read and think about during our second Droughtlander and I happened upon my first Outlander blog post from approximately two years ago.  This was back when I wrote more thoughtfully rather than my now more humorous fare. When the first reviews came out, mostly by women, I was appalled at the snark.  Happily things have improved, although we still have a very prominent ‘Outlander Mean Girls Blog’, most of the female reviewers now review it on its merit rather than what they perceive is the cool/tragically hip way to write about it.

I really like the point I made about how Claire was so strong and independent that the hottest guy in town was in love with her and not that SHE changed herself in anyway to try to win his heart.  This is #GirlPower at it’s finest. Hope you enjoy this oldie but goodie, here it is:

With many of Society’s ‘isms’ and ‘obias’ now slowly moving to the past, it seems like one of the only remaining acceptable ones is Ageism or to be more specific, ‘Middle-Aged Women Ageism’.  Racism, sexism and homo-phobia are thankfully denounced by the educated population although  obviously they still exist but to a much lesser degree than in decades past.

So imagine my surprise, when the initial reviews of Outlander began to surface.  Reviews written by presumably educated and open-minded women strongly leaned towards condescension and snarkism.  And amazingly to me, they dripped with sarcasm towards the original female audience.  I say original, because long-time readers of the series tend to be women of a certain age, who were not of a certain age when they discovered the series 20 years ago.

The Outlander series written by author Diana Gabaldon, has one of the strongest, female protagonists I’ve ever read. This is girl power at its finest.  Claire is strong, compassionate, educated, street smart and a leader.  She stands up for what she believes in, no matter the cost.  As actress, Caitriona Balfe, who portrays her said, “Claire is a bad ass”.  And because Claire possesses these characteristics, one of the strongest, sexiest male characters ever written, Jamie Fraser, is willing to lay down his life for her time and time again.  And yes,  he does this while wearing a kilt.

So listen up young, female reviewers.  Millions of men and women will flock to these books after the series begins to air and they will love them for the same reasons we long-time readers do.  And condescending female critics, who claim to dislike it, most likely because they’re afraid they won’t be allowed to sit with the cool kids at lunch or they’ll be judged by their male counterparts, will begin acrobatic-style, back-pedaling when the general public begins to storm the bookstores, power up their Kindles and order Starz from their cable providers.

Female critics’ blatant bias against something they perceive only middle-aged women will watch, not only makes them look confused, it makes them look ridiculous.  Who do they think paved the road, so they could have these jobs?  Twenty-five+  years ago,  women regularly trained men to do jobs that made the men rich and successful without ever having the chance to hold these positions themselves.  Do you think we were all dumb until you came along?  If you do, you’re wrong.  Wrong about us and wrong about Outlander. Maybe you should actually read the book and learn the characteristics that are found in a strong woman and begin to emulate them.

Don’t worry about how we feel about you and your “Middle-Aged Women Ageism’ issue.  We are old enough and wise enough not to hold a grudge.  We’ll shake our heads and give you a pass.  Because you’re young and you’re inexperienced and even though you don’t deserve it right now, we’ll forgive you and support you and give you another chance.  Because we’re old enough and smart enough to want you to succeed.