It’s hard to believe a year has passed since our birthday girl, Connie Sandlin, Queen of Outlanderia (my favorite pretend vacation destination) helmed the very successful Austin, Texas screening of Sam Heughan and Suki Singh’s indie film ‘Emulsion’.
I ‘met’ Connie on line and immediately fell in love with her genuinely sweet, caring personality along with her never-ending passion for all-things Outlander. Since Connie lives in Costa Rica, there were a few things she wasn’t able to accomplish long distance and I was happy to be her Aide-de-Camp on the ground in Austin. Hunky Director, Suki Singh generously donated the wool trench coat and fedora that Sam Heughan wore in the movie to auction on eBay and Connie and I spent weeks scrounging around for more things to raffle before and after the event at the theatre.
It took an intense amount of publicity, organization and crazy Twitter shenanigans to pull off the event. Connie and I were in touch 3 to 5 times a day for two-ish months, but I’m happy to report it was a big success with a total amount of $5048.00 donated to Sam’s charity Bloodwise.org.uk!
Several things happened before and after the screening, auction and raffle:
1) Fans traveled to Austin from around the state and the Country for the event and many new friendships were made that are still going strong today! Hey gurls!! 🙂
2) Sam tweeted a photo of my girl, Gracie, holding up a sign with the grand total. I’d left my cell phone on the night table and due to the craziness that occurs when Sam Heughan and Outlander Twitter fans connect, the phone vibrated off the table, hit the floor and shattered the screen. #Oops
3) Last but not least, we all got to know and love Connie. Connie is a walking Outlander encyclopedia and Head of the Fan Recruitment Division*. (*Totally made up job.) If Outlander was the Love Boat, Connie would be Julie, the Cruise Director. So now Connie and I are friends and Connie and You are friends. And aside from raising money to help beat cancer, that’s my favorite thing of all.
So Happy One Year Anniversary Connie and oh yeah…one more thing. Today is Connie’s birthday she’s approximately 42-ish today so please join me in wishing her a fabulous day! And while you’re at it, let’s surprise Connie and ask Sam to wish her a happy birthday too!
The lovely and efficient Karen Henry of Outlandish Observations announced the winners of the Droughtlander Photo Contest earlier today. 150 entries came in from around the world and the only rule was the photo had to include one of Diana Gabaldon’s books. In my sensitive and thoughtful entry, I’ve imagined a boring evening at home with Jamie Fraser, my hair in curlers, our faithful dog by our side and his CPAP mask securely attached to his handsome face.
To see the other entries, go here: http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.com/2015/11/results-of-droughtlander-photo-contest.html
Thanks to the Cast, Crew, Costumes, Casting and Writers for bringing us the best show ever! Okay, Radio Times, it’s your turn. After 16.5 million votes, Sam Heughan deserves to be on the cover and one more thing….don’t forget Caitriona, cuz ‘It’s All About #TheBalfe’ and we love her too!!
Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is bursting with rich characters. We know and love these folks as if they were our real-life friends and many of us wondered how this would translate to the screen. Would they be able to find just the right actors to play the characters we know and love? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding yes. I’ve made no secret of my admiration for the Outlander Casting Swamis who found Jamie, Claire, Frank, etc. But these Swamis weren’t satisfied to perform miracles when finding the main characters. Oh no. They took it a step further and found absolute perfection in the minor ones too. Some of these actors and actresses were on the screen for less than five minutes, but their performances were so real, they left an everlasting impression on us. Here are some of my favorites:
Mrs. Graham is the Rev. Wakefield’s housekeeper. She cleans his gargantuan home, cooks his meals and raises his foster son, wee Roger Wakefield (more about him later). She does all this while wearing lovely dresses and sensible brown brogues. She’s a druid/witch and has a pretty good idea what’s going on with Claire and if anyone would bother to take her seriously, the entire mystery could’ve been solved in under 15 minutes. Luckily, nobody did or we wouldn’t have this story. I love Mrs. Graham, she’s a good witch, very skilled at her job and everything about her screams ‘COZY’ from her teapots to her soft sweaters to her cookie baking with wee Roger on the Aga.
Mrs. Fitz runs Castle Leoch for Colum MacKenzie. She’s on her feet over 12 hours a day keeping the maids and cooks on task, shooing Rupert and Angus out of the kitchen and taking stray sassenachs under her wing. She does all this while wearing the same constrictive undergarments as Claire which inhibit her from taking a deep breath from sun-up to sundown. She’s also a great cook, a loving friend and a closet feminist who’s not afraid to take a stand. Back off Father Bain!
Hugh Munro is mentioned several times in the books, things don’t always go very well for him, but in his one brief scene in Season One, he made a strong impression on us. He can’t speak due to a run-in with ‘the Turks’, but he’s still able to communicate and be a loyal friend to Jamie and also bring a thoughtful wedding gift to Claire from her Target Gift Registry. #DragonflyInAmber
The Lady In A Loveless Marriage
Claire and Murtagh roam the countryside searching high and low for their beloved Jamie. Murtagh dances, Claire sings (a song that was stuck in my head for weeks–thanks for that Caitriona Balfe!) and demonstrates lousy fortune telling skills. She even gets this poor lady’s hopes up that she has a chance at some first-class JAMMF love. Oh sweet lady, only Claire will experience epic JAMMF action, but in a different time and place, there’s a good chance a certain Texas crooner might be your boo.
The Wee Toddlers:
Wee Roger Wakefield
Roger Wakefield is being raised by the Reverend Wakefield (and Mrs. Graham) due to his parent’s ‘death’ in WWII. Book readers know he will grow up to become a tall, dark and dishy dreamboat who will play a very important part in the lives of the Frasers’. When we first meet him, he’s an adorable lad, wearing a teeny, tiny tweed suit with short pants asking for ‘another biscuit please.’
Wee Jamie is the son of Jenny Fraser Murray and Ian Murray and is Jamie Fraser’s name sake. His clothing is also miniature and adorable and when he giggled and splashed Claire, I’m pretty sure my breasts turned to the auto-lactate zone due to the overwhelming cuteness overload and sudden urge to procreate.
The Real Housewives of Leochville
The Real Housewives of Leochville live very exhausting lives, yet they’re able to make ‘a day of it’ pissing in a bucket and rubbing it over the wool all the while sneaking hooch and raising their voices in song. Their faces show they’ve been through a lot, yet they seemed much happier than their pampered 21st century counterparts. #WantToHangOutWithThem
The Gypsy Who Stole The Song
The Gypsy was in one episode and only a couple of scenes, yet he managed to grab our attention and make it seem like he could be a real threat to reuniting Jamie and Claire. He also reminded me of Johnny Depp in Chocolat which is always a good thing.
Horrocks was a very minor character in the books, yet by expanding his role and casting a delectable bad boy to play him, he made us fall slightly in lust with him in one episode and want to murder him in the next. #WeAllLoveBadBoys
The Duke of Sandringham
The Duke of Sandringham is not a nice man, but the way he’s portrayed, we just don’t seem to care that he lets Black Jack roam the countryside raping, pillaging and plundering. He has a major thang for JAMFF and even that doesn’t seem to bother us cuz we do too. I can’t wait to see what the Powers that Be have in store for the Duke when next we meet.
Last but not least, we have Ned Gowan. The books describe him as a wizened old man, but for many of us, he’s our bespectacled book boyfriend. Ned was just another hard-working lawyer bored out of his mind on Wall Street, so, as one does, he ran away to join the MacKenzie Circus and who could blame him. For some people, sitting in an office can be mega-boring. For Ned, it was unthinkable. He’s a poet, a business man and a true and loyal friend to Claire…what more could we want?
These are a just a few of my favorite minor characters who had a major effect on me. Who were your favorites? Let me know in the comments. Also, for more of your favorites, stay tuned for my upcoming blog… I’m Madly Missing the MacKenzies!
I convinced myself if I listened verra hard, I would understand the Gaidhlig. Uhm no. Did not happen. So, here’s my Really, Really Bad Gaidhlig Translation, #Outlander, Episode 116
For more fun, synch it up with the scene and enjoy!
Author’s Note: I’ve read Outlander an embarrassing number of times, 10-ish?, so I obviously knew what to expect this week. There were incredible performances all season long #EmmysForCaitrionaBalfe and Sam Heughan, but nothing, NOTHING, prepared me for the brilliance of Sam Heughan’s multi-layered performance in this episode. Brave doesn’t begin to describe his agonizing, heartbreaking portrayal of a man who sacrifices EVERYTHING to save someone he loves, and I truly hope those who vote for acting awards, don’t let his leading man looks overpower their perception of his talent. That shizzle usually only happens to women though, so he’ll probably be okay.
So let us begin….
The sun is shining on a beautiful Wentworth morning (#Oxymoron) and the hills are alive with the sounds of fife and drums which remind me of happy July 4th Celebrations from my New England childhood. The redcoat who read the names at Taran MacQuarrie’s hanging is there and he’s leading the morning drill. This soldier has a hero’s face and just like I hoped he’d save the men at the hanging, I have a glimmer of hope he’ll intervene and save Jamie, but alas he does not.
Jamie is lying on his cot in the dungeon cell and the look on his face breaks my heart. Both his hands are bloody and I want to bring him some antibiotic ointment and bandages, but that isn’t possible. The camera pulls back to a chilling sight as Jack Randall is asleep next to him.
The music has awoken Randall and he stands and walks toward his clothing as his now benign naughty bits half-heartedly bounce with each step. He hears a strange sound and goes to investigate leaving Jamie begging to be killed in a voice that does not sound like his own. Just as BJR arrives at a door, MacRannoch’s cows stampede and knock him unconscious on the floor leaving him bleeding from the head. The MacKenzie men hurry past him and I wish they’d stop for a moment and finish the job.
The men find Jamie; Murtagh wraps him in his kilt and carries him out the door looking for all the world like the hero he has become to us. All Hail Lord Murtagh!
Claire is waiting for the men in the middle of a road and when she spies the wagon coming toward her, she quickly jumps aboard to help Jamie and just as quickly he tries to choke her. Rupert knocks his hand away and takes off like a bat out of hell for the Abbey. They arrive and get Jamie settled on a cot in a sparsely appointed room. Claire tries to coax Jamie to talk, but he rejects her plea. Jamie flashes back to his time in the prison with Randall. Just after Claire left, BJR pulled the nail from his hand, and Jamie fell to the floor and vomited. Randall pulled him into his arms and ‘baptized’ him. (It’s been a very busy week, I’m exhausted and there’s so much religious imagery in this episode, I decide to skip church on Sunday and work in my garden which is usually my ‘closest to God moment’ every week as I love working with soil.)
BJR says the only thing I’ve ever agreed with which is “Dear God, you are a magnificent creature.” Randall begins to fondle him and it’s very difficult to watch. #gag He then threatens Jamie saying he needs to respond or “my men can have Claire back here within the hour.” Jamie spits in his face….hard and accurate and for one brief moment I think of American baseball where they spit way too much and it comforts me. Randall turns into the sadistic lunatic we know he is and throws poor Jamie over a table and ……. I really can’t go there, we all already know.
Claire sedates Jamie with whisky and laudanum and performs a grueling surgery to repair Jamie’s hand. One of the monks comes into the room and hands over a scary looking vice.
A monk tells Claire to go rest as he will watch Jamie, so she staggers from the room and vomits in the hallway, which is becoming somewhat of a habit, and then goes to chapel. (Aside: My hubby and his ten siblings had 12 years in Catholic school and he LOVED this scene! I’m a Presbyterian and only liked it. ) While at the chapel, she takes a moment and unburdens her heavy heart to this man. I’m a big fan of his soup can art.
The next day, Jamie tells Claire he does not want to be saved. He refuses to eat; they are all worried about him. Murtagh, the world’s second strongest, kindest man, goes to speak to his godson. Their conversation is in Gaihdlig. I think if I listen hard enough, I will understand. I have obviously overestimated my talents cuz I got nuthin.
Back to the dungeon cell and terrible things are happening. Jamie is hallucinating, BJR is torturing him, there’s horrible pain, branding and Sam Heughan is delivering the goods. #EmmysForSamHeughan
Back at the Abbey, the MacKenzies and Claire have realized Jamie’s not getting better and they must leave Scotland as they are not safe from the damn redcoats. Murtagh goes to secure passage on a ship. Jamie tries to bully sweet Willie into giving him his knife so he can kill himself. Willie refuses and tells Claire. Claire confronts Murtagh and finds out Jamie also told Murtagh he wants to die. Claire faints. This episode is so painful to watch and re-cap, and I know I must watch it at least two more times. So, I decide to do a shot every time somebody faints or vomits because that will get me through.
The monk tells them Jamie’s soul is in torment and Murtagh says the only way to save his soul is for someone to enter the darkness with him and they look at Claire. Later, Claire picks lavender and pounds it and makes it into an oil. She rubs it on herself and Jamie and forces him back into the dark world he inhabited with Randall. I’m not going to re-hash what happened, we all know…but I’ll take a moment now and mention again Heughan’s bravery as an actor.
Jamie finally tells Claire what happened with Randall and says that “Randall broke me”. Claire disagrees and tells him “you did what was necessary to survive”. Note: I wish men understood that if we love you, we will do whatever it takes to help you, save you, keep you well. She reminds him that he swore he would protect her with his body if need be and she’s right. She says if he stops being her husband, she will die there with him. And…finally he listens to her, they embrace and thus begins his slow journey back to life. First stop? Murtagh cuts out Randall’s brand.
Jamie, Claire & Murtagh are leaving for France. They’re all on the beach with the ship waiting a small distance from the shore. Claire kisses Willie goodbye. Angus has a humongous brain fart and tries to get jiggy with Claire as he says goodbye. Rupert is a gentleman and kisses her hand. Murtagh tells them all to ‘piss off’. I love Murtagh and I love them too, so I wrote a song! It’s right down there….can ye see it?
On the ship, Jamie seems to be getting stronger as he’s able to walk unassisted. They briefly discuss what their future may be like and then Claire shares the joyous news that she is pregnant and we finally get a real smile of hope from Jamie. They kiss and embrace and sail off to their new life in France ending our first season of Outlander, the best television program of the year.