Category: Reviews

Outlander Season 2, Ep. 203 (Occupations & Deceptions)

Mary Hawkins

Mary Hawkins – The Key to Frank’s Existence

Once again, my Starz subscription on Amazon had the episode posted at 9 p.m. PST last evening. Even though I was ready for bed, I clicked on play to time travel back into the past with Jaime and Claire. However, the episode struggled to keep me engaged, and I admittedly yawned a few times.

The story is progressing this episode at a rather slower pace. Not as lighthearted or intense as others, I call these types of episodes fillers – the necessary scenes to push the story along. Nevertheless, you will find Claire and Jamie at odds with one another during the current state of affairs. Not much by way of romance, except perhaps for naked boobs dangling in front of Murtagh’s face as he’s getting it on with Claire’s lady’s maid. Starz couldn’t help themselves giving us a flash of flesh and nipples, as usual.

Early on in the episode, the light comes on in Claire’s head regarding Frank when she realizes little innocent Mary (concerned about what French men put between the legs of ladies) must marry a Randall in order for Frank to be born. Okay, time out. I got lost at this point and went Internet searching. Holy Outlander, people! There is an Outlander Wikia with character backdrops and forums to discuss the ancestral lineage. You’re all obsessed!  (Oh, wait, that line is from Phantom of the Opera.)

Apparently, there is some confusion about who begat who besides me scratching my head over the names in Frank’s family bible. If you are one of those fans with an insatiable need for anything Outlander, you might follow this link and try and figure out Black Jack Randall’s lineage for yourself. OUTLANDER INFO CLICK HERE. It’s Johnathan Randall who marries Mary Hawkins so Frank can be born generations later. Dear oh, dear. Gotta keep that bastard alive a bit longer for Frank to be born.

Moving past ancestral ties, Claire is bored while Jamie is running to and fro trying to save the Scots from being wiped-out in the future.  She’s sleeping alone while he’s spending nights rubbing elbows with the necessary society at the brothel.  (Thank God, at least he’s faithful and not rubbing anything else as the prostitutes keep throwing themselves at him.)  She is bored – he is tired. Hence the episode title, “Useful Occupations and Deceptions.”

Claire decides to volunteer her time at a charity hospital to find purpose again. It’s hard being dressed up in finery all day and having tea and playing cards. When the nuns discover her usefulness, she’s accepted into the fold, tasting urine and lancing puss-filled legs so you can watch the gore on the screen.  Your tolerance for blood up close will be tested again by the camera crew.

Meanwhile, Jamie is entertaining the Prince at the brothel, playing chess, decoding stolen letters, and coming home looking for wifely comfort over a bad day. When Claire is nowhere to be found, he’s angry that she’s not taking care of her real purpose in life — being his wife. While she’s tending the sickly poor, Jamie is rightly concerned that she is putting the baby at risk by exposing it to disease. On the other hand, let’s not talk about her drinking during pregnancy.

They seem to be drifting apart, the romance is a bit cooled, and Murtagh keeps telling Claire she better tell him that Randall is still alive. Of course, the episode ends, and she doesn’t.

What about kernels? Sorry, I dropped the popcorn bowl last night watching the lancing of the leg with oozing puss and am still picking up the mess. Nothing to scatter in this review. My stomach is a still upset.

Netflix: Everything leaving in May – Business Insider


“The Animatrix,” “Blade Runner,” and “Clerks” are all being removed in the coming weeks.

Source: Netflix: Everything leaving in May – Business Insider

How long can Netflix stay king of content?

Source: How long can Netflix stay king of content?

In the past two years, a whole host of companies have ramped up their streaming video options, from Amazon Prime (AMZN) to YouTube Red (GOOGL) to HBO Now (TWX) to new apps from cable networks. But Netflix (NFLX) is still the undisputed heavyweight king of original content.

The Queen (Movie 2006)

Queen4 Kernels

Included with my STARZ subscription is the movie The Queen, starring Helen Mirren in her Oscar-winning performance as Elizabeth II. I had not seen the movie at the theater.

It would help if I got in the habit of reading a synopsis before watching a movie. To my detriment, I just clicked and streamed not realizing the movie focused on the death of Princess Diana. Reliving that episode in history only turned me into a blubbering fool at eleven o’clock at night. Needless to say, it resurrected the images and sadness over the terrible accident that took her life far too soon.  Be forewarned, you will see again actual news footage that could cause tears.

As far as the remainder of the movie, it attempts to showcase the reaction of the Royal Family regarding her death and that in particular of Queen Elizabeth. When watching re-enactments of private affairs behind closed doors that historically occurred, it’s hard to know what to believe. Were their reactions portrayed truthfully because of a tidbit of gossip garnered from former staff or was it pure conjecture? I haven’t looked into that matter to determine if any of it rang true.

Nevertheless, history will probably all agree that the silence from the Royal Family during this period did nothing to endear the monarchy with the general public. The stiff upper lip mentality and adherence to private grief, only made Elizabeth appear cold and uncaring. As far as Prince Philippe, I would like to think that the man privately is far better in character than the terrible portrayal of coldness given to him in the movie. Thankfully, the movie did one thing right. The boys who played the young princes were never shown by their face or had speaking parts in the movie — a respectful decision.

I suppose that one must understand that at this point in the Queen’s life, she is only reacting to how she was raised. However, the people cannot relate to her cloistered as a figurehead behind closed doors, which is why everyone loved Diana so much. She was indeed the people’s princess, and the outpouring of grief from the nation and world was deserved. Unfortunately, Elizabeth did not realize, at least in the movie, how beloved her former daughter-in-law had been. She, on the other hand, has become hated, which is something that she has never experienced in her life or realized for that matter.

Helen Mirren’s performance won her an Oscar in 2007, beating out such greats as Cruz, Streep, Dench, and Winslet. As Elizabeth, she fit the role well. I have read that the queen did give Helen a nod of approval for her performance. Michael Sheen portrayed Tony Blair, who I thought did an excellent job. The movie also holds interest for a peek behind closed doors at the lives in the palace and the stunning scenery at Balmoral Castle. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind being cloistered away from the world there either.

Now twenty years later, it is fair to say that the monarchy has gained a resurgence of popularity in the eyes of the people. Elizabeth, now about to become ninety and the longest reigning monarch, has changed over the years. She is now more of a people’s queen and touchable. Of course, Diana’s two boys, are admired throughout the world. Diana certainly continues to live through her sons, having taught them values to be respected. It is good to know that even after her death, Diana was instrumental in changing the monarchy.

Watch on Amazon

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