Outlander Season 201, Ep. 202 (Not in Scotland Anymore)

Titanic Blood And Steel 2012I burned my popcorn in the microwave last night. Well, not literally. Only to say that I’m not scattering popcorn kernels after last night’s episode. I’m going to keep my kernels private, which is more than I can say for the body parts Starz loves to flaunt.

Last night’s episode started off graphically with hot lovemaking between Claire and Jamie. With the young Scot dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s no wonder the lad is having nightmares. Well, you will be privy to that horror as the face of Claire morphs into the face of Jack Randall underneath Jamie, moaning with pleasure. Jamie loses it, grabs a knife, and repeatedly stabs Jack in the chest until he’s killed the bastard. At first, you fear he’s done in Claire during a moment of madness, but Jamie jolts awake dripping in sweat. This is your gory welcome to Episode 202 – you will be drenched in blood.

The things I avoided in the last half of season one, are apparently going to be shoved in my face by Starz regardless of my distaste. I would really like to get through this series, but if my complaining gets on the nerves of the die-hard fans, I am surely going to be hanged, disemboweled, and quartered.

After the shocking start of the episode, we get to the crux of the matter – they are not in Scotland anymore. I will give Starz credit for one thing – they have done a fantastic job with costumes and scenery. They have spared no expense to give its fans a time-travel trip into 18th century Paris. Jamie and Claire are living the life of luxury, wearing beautiful clothes, and making acquaintances so they can get an inroad into the royal court.

However, along with the greatness above, comes the vulgarity (love that word) of the French in the eyes of its visitors. As one scene unfolds in a brothel, while Jamie meets the Prince, you will be entertained by a few shocking scenes of prostitutes with decorative imitation penises and flashy nipples that give Jamie and Murtagh a shock.

I suppose you could call the lighthearted scenes of Claire’s new upper-class friend getting her legs and honey pot waxed slightly entertaining. You’ll later find out that Claire has tried the hairless trend herself and crawled into bed with Jamie. Poor Jamie, however, still sees the face of his enemy underneath and cannot perform.

The remainder of the show deals with Claire and Jamie attempting to infiltrate the court and rub shoulders with the individuals who can help their cause. Episode 202, not as moving as 201 with Claire’s return, pushes the story along. It jumps from nightmarish scenes, lighthearted bantering and hair removal, to dull, watching the king attempting to have a bowel movement, and an unexpected revelation at the end.  Jamie suggests eating porridge in the morning to the king as a means of fiber, since Scots don’t have that problem.  If anything, I can attest that one bowl of oatmeal does the job for me.

As I’ve stated before, no, I haven’t read the entire series in book form. I’m a virgin to the story, so I see this series televised from a different viewpoint. Unfortunately, Starz is apparently going to push those scenes I’ve attempted to avoid into my face nevertheless. Hence, my popcorn burned last night, and I’m keeping the few kernels that escaped to myself.

Oh, and once again, by 11 o’clock Friday night, the episode was posted for watching. At least I’m getting the value of my $8.99 a month Starz subscription. Thanks Amazon.  Here’s hoping Starz stops the flashbacks of terror and moves on with the show.

Outlander Season 201, Ep. 201 (Through a Glass, Darkly)

Outlander25 Kernels

On April 5, 2015, I wrote a post – “Outlander Returns, But I Won’t Be.”  I did not watch the second half of Season 1, mainly out of protest due to the violence and scenes I didn’t care to have burned into my psyche.  It was a personal choice, and I have not regretted that decision.

I don’t have Starz on cable, but I have added the Starz subscription to my Amazon account for $8.99 per month to get back on the ship sailing for France.  Perhaps, out of ignorance of not reading the entire series (except for book one), I have no idea what lies ahead.  Bravely, I decided to pick up the story, which hopefully is a little less violent in nature.  Please warn me if there is something ahead.  I just don’t have the time to read books when I’m busy writing them.

Last night I streamed the first episode of Season 2, which apparently was released ahead of airing on cable.  A lot of reviewers emotionally thanked Starz for that gift.

Jamie and Claire have arrived in France, fleeing the horrid past I failed to watch. Of course, Claire has her agenda immediately after their arrival, in spite of the fact that Jamie is recovering from ghastly abuse at the hands of Randall.

However, the story doesn’t begin there.  Claire is found lying on her back again having come through the portal.  Dressed in her Eighteenth Century clothing, she’s returned to 1948.  After being found wandering the streets by a passing car, she learns that her plan to stop the Culloden massacre has failed – those Brits won anyway.  Everyone she loved and knew is dead, gone, and a pile of dusty bones buried somewhere in the land she left behind.

Mild manner Frank is elated she’s back. Claire at first only tells her journey to the vicar’s housekeeper who danced the dance in Season 1 around the mysterious stones. She is traumatized, heartbroken that she has left Jamie, and pregnant.  Okay, now don’t get me wrong, but something along the time-travel continuum must have went wacky in the creative license Gabaldon took in this instance.  Nevertheless, Claire is carrying Jamie’s child even after coming through the portal.  After Frank discovers all the secrets of her disappearance and impending motherhood, he loses it.  His violent outburst is reminiscent of his psychopathic ancestor.

After calming down, Claire and Frank come to an agreement of sorts. Claire will put the past behind. Frank will raise the child as their own. They will move to Boston and begin a new life. As Claire takes Frank’s hand coming off the plane, we are thrown into the flashback of her arrival with Jamie in France.

What can I say about Claire? Her character irks me a tad. She’s bullheaded and determined, while Jamie questions the morality of their decision to try and change the future. Of course, Claire isn’t privy to all that knowledge we have now about how changing the future can lead to disastrous results. Nowadays, we’ve read enough fiction novels, seen movies, and television shows that point out that fact.  Perhaps, Stephen Hawking can chime in, too, that if it were possible to time travel, it’s not a very good idea to change the past.

After meeting the key players in France, making their first enemy (boy that was quick), viewers are off on another adventure with the Scot.  Admit it — you only watch because of cute Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser.  You’ve seen his naked behind making love to Claire and you want more.  I get it.

So, let’s see how Outlander plays out in the future. I will admit the acting is top-notch, especially for Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies in the first episode of Season 2 last night. They almost had me crying. How Tobias can switch from a maniac to a decent human being shows his wide range of talent.  The costumes and scenery this season look to be stunning. Long gone is the cold castle as it appears the players will now be living in luxury.

I will continue to pen my two-cents worth and scatter kernels for your delight.  In the meantime, my next project is my own time-travel story that will have you scratching your head over my creative liberties.  Should be fun nevertheless but probably not Starz worthy.  No naked Scots in mine, only a crippled Brit.