Outlander – Cameos

Tomorrow is Saturday, you know, Outlander Day. Claire is planning an escape, and a Gathering will be held at Castle Leoch.

Know what else happens? Ronald D. Moore, the executive producer, and Diana J. Gabaldon, author of the Outlander books, will both have a cameo in this episode.

Here they are, in all their finery.

 

 

True Blood, Series Finale – Thank You

True Blood is now HBO history. No more will we look forward to new episodes over the hot and Finale 9 steamy months of summer. No more will Vampire Bill call out to Sookie, like Stanley to his Stella. It’s done, over, no more, put a stake in it!

Reminiscent of Season One, Bill walks into Sookie’s parlor to explain why he must die, and, more importantly, how he wants Sookie to do it. Bill asks Sookie to use all her Fae power to create the Fae Bomb within her hand and shoot it at Bill, killing him. Or as the Fae call it, The Final Kindness. He needs to know that Sookie won’t be discovered, or hunted, by vampires after he’s gone, for being a Fae. If she kills him with her magic fire ball, then she will be a plain old human, with no telepathic abilities, and no sweet smelling blood.

Sookie needs time to think. Bill leaves, back across the cemetery which separates their homes.  Sookie – life and light – on one side, and Bill – darkness and death – on the other.

Eric and Pam, as we predicted, make short work of Gus Jr. Pam gives Sarah her blood, glamouring her to run and hide and wait for Pam to find her. The dynamic duo, Eric and Pam, decide to create and market New Blood themselves. Before they can begin their climb to the peaks of corporate greed, Eric must fly to Sookie’s house. Before Gus died – in the Underground Railroad tunnel by fire – he dispatched his Yakuza to kill Sookie, since she knows about Sarah.

Sookie wakes up, hearing something and goes downstairs to peek through her curtained windows. Nothing. Eric has already killed and scooped up the tattooed henchmen and plopped them into the back of their tuner car, which has fair more room than I would have thought, and is grooving to the hideous music as he drives away. This is the closest Eric will come to Sookie in the finale.

Sookie seeks out Jason’s advice regarding what to do about Bill’s death wish. Bridget is cleaning up his kitchen and is appalled when Sookie insinuates that she and Jason have had sex. Sookie is pleasantly surprised when she reads Bridget’s mind. Bridget is telling the truth, she did not have sex with Jason, and she thinks he’s the sweetest man ever. Before Jason leaves to take Bridget to the airport, Sookie gives her blessing to the relationship.

Next stop for Sookie is the Reverend. She asks if God would care if she shot her Faeness out through her hands. She wonders if she’s some type of celestial mistake. (Yes, we get it True Blood, please stop the bludgeoning of us poor viewers.) The Reverend who truly must be a saint to deal with Lettie Mae, and the craziness of Bon Temps, says that God gave us freewill and brains for a reason. She can decide what is best for her. I hope the Pope wasn’t watching….

Jessica, with Hoyt, goes back to see Bill. She tells Bill that she doesn’t understand his decision, but she wants him to know she’ll be fine. That he doesn’t need to worry about her. Bill asks of Hoyt’s intentions – marriage plans – regarding Jessica. She is obviously surprised and embarrassed, but after a short chat, Bill explains that he never saw his daughter married, never got to walk her down the aisle, because he was made vampire.

Phone calls go ‘a flying as Hoyt and Jessica reach out to friends inviting them to a wedding. Jason is Hoyt’s best man. A nice touch. Sookie is Jessica’s maid of honor. In essence, we have a vampire and a human marrying. Which makes one wonder why Bill is so sure Sookie would not be happy with him?

The wedding is sweet, and lovely, but the most important bit is that the disease starts Finale 3to reduce Bill down to his human self. Jessica hugs him and mentions how warm he is. Bill even says he feels more human than ever. And….as Jessica and Hoyt exchange vows, Sookie can hear Bill’s thoughts. He’s thinking of how much he loves Sookie. How much he wants her to have a normal human life with husband and children and family. After Sookie hears that, the nail in Bill’s coffin is all but struck.

Pam finds Sarah hiding in a carousel ride. Sarah offers herself to Pam, saying she’d make a good vampire. You know, she probably would. Pam rejects the offer.

Sookie has a flashback, remembering Tara and her running home from school. Tara is thinking Finale 7how much she likes Jason. Of course, Sookie hears her thoughts, and Tara asks who she likes. Sookie says boys are disgusting and she doesn’t think she’ll ever love anyone, given her ability. Gran bustles in to tell Sookie to never limit herself. Note: the child who played a young Sookie is Stephen Moyer’s daughter, Lilac Emery-Haynes.

 

Sookie, mind made up, calls Bills. She’s made arrangements and his grave has been dug up. She’ll meet him at the gravesite at dusk. She’s dressed in black, prepared to divest herself of her Fae powers, and send the love of her life to his final death.

Bill arrives, prepared and eager, to move on. Sookie wonders about the coffin sitting at the bottom of his grave. He explains that so many Civil War soldier’s bodies never made it home, so they buried empty coffins. Sitting on top of Bill’s coffin is an old photograph of him and his daughter. Remember those flashbacks, the one with him sitting with his daughter and getting their picture taken. Not sure what all the daughter references are about. Bill opens the coffin and lays inside waiting while Sookie gets her Fae fire ball going. He waits. He waits some more. Finally, he half sits up.

Sookie cannot do it. Being Fae is a part of her. She can’t kill Bill this way. She asks if he still wants Finale 1to die? He does. Grabbing a shovel, she breaks the wooden part in two, and goes down into the grave, straddling Bill, with her wooden stake in hand. Bill wraps his hands around hers and together they slowly drive the stake through his heart. He gasps, and then his facial muscles relax, seconds before he explodes into a bloody goo. Sookie is left sitting in a coffin full of blood and gore. She’s heartbroken, but pulls herself together, climbs out, and uses her hands to push dirt over his grave. We see her walking out of the cemetery, turning to walk down the path to her home, towards the glowing dawn, and the screen blacks.

We’re jarred by an infomercial with Pam and Eric hawking New Blood. Finale 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlaine Harris makes an Finaleappearance as a sound technician.

 

 

 

Three years later we are back at Sookie’s home. She’s very pregnant, glowing, and all that. We Finale 5see manly arms dropping a turkey into a deep fat fryer.

 

Jason is crawling around his house, chasing a little girl. Bridget appears with babe in arms, and another girl comes over to her Dad, Jason. So he has two girls for sure. They pile into the truck and head over to Sookie’s home.

Eric is on his throne with Fangtasia back to full capacity. In the basement, Sarah Newlin is Finale 4chained. A vampire is feeding on her. Pam counts down the seconds and tells the vampire he’s time is up. He resists and she boots him up the stairs. Pam bids Sarah goodbye. Sarah has slipped into insanity. Steve – her dead husband – is taunting her. Asking what she’s thankful for on Thanksgiving. Sarah says nothing.

 

Back to the front yard of Sookie’s home that is lit beautifully with Mason jars as candle lanterns. Long tables are laden with food and New Blood, family and friends sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Jessica and Hoyt, Holly and Andy with their children, Willa, Lettie Mae and Reverend Daniels, Jane Bodehouse, in love with someone who I don’t recognize, Arlene and Wayne, Sam, his daughter, and wife, Lafayette and James, etc.

We never see the face of Sookie’s partner, she hugs him and mouths ‘I love you’, and they all sit down to eat.

The last image of True Blood is the Thanksgiving meal with the characters still living, vampires Finale 6and humans, coming together in love and friendship

 

 

 

 

My thoughts:

I was highly disappointed in the finale. It didn’t make sense to me. Or, I’m starting to think that I’ve been watching the show thinking one thing, while all along the show was about something completely different.

Bill died to give Sookie the life she wanted. Also, he wanted her to get rid of her Fae heritage, so that she could live in peace. That didn’t happen, so she’s still vampire bait.

Who was Sookie’s man? Is he Fae? Is he human? A vampire? It will remain a mystery. I guess, it’s enough that we know Sookie loves him, and she will love her unborn child, and in some small corner of her heart, Bill will remain forever.

Eric, Pam, and Sarah Newlin, that whole arc was a waste. I’d rather have seen Eric and Ginger have sex every episode. The storyline was heartless, and I didn’t like the ending with Sarah being perpetually tortured. I didn’t like Eric sitting on his throne looking like the heartless God that Sookie met in Season One.

I would have liked Eric to be a part of Sookie’s life. To see him at the table with Sookie and friends. But…I get the feeling, and this is just me, that Eric will be guarding over Sookie throughout her life, making sure she and her family are safe. Never seen or heard by her, but always there.

This last season, and the finale especially, felt like it was written by people who were weary of writing for the show. They wanted it to be over. Way back when, Alan Ball said he’d be back to write the last episode, but he was not the writer. He did such a wonderful last episode to Six Feet Under. I was expecting him to grace this last episode with his touch, but alas, it was not to be.

Instead of all the needless Yakuzi / Sarah Newlin business, it would have been nice if they’d done small flashbacks to characters throughout the seasons of True Blood. Tiny homages to make us remember the good and the bad and the crazy.

But in the end, I will always love this show. I remember the excitement of sitting down to that first episode. Enthralled as the camera moved over the parking lot of Merlotte’s and settled on Sookie’s face. Watching her as Bill walked into a bar in the sleepy town of Bon Temps.

Finale 8

What do you think?

The last shots of True Blood  – After True Blood

An excellent website – The Vault - with all things True Blood

 

 

 

 

Outlander, Episode Three – The Way Out

For those of us who’ve read the Outlander books, we know that Claire is a person of strong Outlander 103 2will. And for those who haven’t, you’re probably well down the path to figuring that out. But, if you hadn’t caught on yet, the beginning of The Way Out showcases this part of her character in neon lights. Frank is seeing Claire off at the train station. He has the connections to keep her relatively safe in London, with him, but she won’t hear of it, and insists that everyone must do their part for the war. So instead of Claire seeing Frank off to war, it is the other way around, and Frank is the one left on the station platform waving goodbye.

This is one of the many things I love about the Outlander series of books. Claire is never the damsel in distress. She doesn’t hide behind a man, or anyone, even if it would be better for her to do so. It’s a continuing theme throughout the series, the reversal of the traditional role of women.

Mrs. Fitz is helping Claire wash and dress, even though Claire persists that she doesn’t need the Outlander 103 5help. Claire is uncomfortable being naked, but Mrs. Fitz seems to think nothing of it, even remarking on what beautiful and unblemished skin Claire has. While Mrs. Fitz is attempted to tame Claire’s curls, Claire drifts off into a daydream where she tells Mrs. Fitz how she fell through time. As you would imagine, such an admission ends badly, with Mrs. Fitz declaring she’s a child of Satan. Thank goodness it was only a daydream!

While in the kitchens, Claire learns that Colum’s chambermaid’s son has died the previous night. Outlander 103 6Mrs. Fitz believes it was because the boy visited the ruins of Black Kirk and was possessed by an evil spirit. Of course, this peaks Claire’s interest, but before she can investigate further, she is summoned to Colum’s chamber. His physical condition causes him great pain, and he tells her the former doctor used to massage his legs.

Picking berries and herbs, Geillis tells Claire about Mrs. Fitz’ nephew, Thomas Baxter – a friend of the boy who died, and with him at the ruins – who has succumbed to the evil spirits and is possessed. Claire, a product of the twentieth century, is appalled by such stupidity, but Geillis asks her in her sing-song voice, “Did you ever find yourself in a situation with no earthly explanation?”

Now isn’t that a quandary for Claire. A person of logical mind, and not a shred of superstition about her, sent back in time. If you’d asked her if such a thing were possible just a few weeks ago, she would have laughed. But now, knowing what she does, she isn’t so sure of things anymore. I think this is why she immediately goes to find the ailing Thomas Baxter.

The boy is delirious and tied to his bed. Claire wants to release him, but Mrs. Fitz and his mother Outlander 103 1object, afraid the evil spirit inside him will harm them, and him. They’ve called for the priest, a Father Bain, to come and exorcise the demon. He comes in, a fearsome and heartless looking man, nothing like Reverend Wakefield, and immediately begins to pelt the boy with holy water while reciting Latin. Claire objects, stating that she can help, that he’s sick and not possessed. The priest whirls on her as if he would strike her. Claire implores Mrs. Fitz, but she asks Claire to leave.

Because Claire has eased Colum’s pain with her massage, she’s invited to listen to a singer perform in the Great Hall. Dougal tells her how much better Colum is feeling, and, in his own slightly scary way, how indispensable she is now to the Laird. Oh Claire, in helping others she’s made it just that more difficult to escape.

She sits beside Laoghaire Mackenzie, the girl that Jamie saved from thrashing. James comes to Outlander 103 4sit with them, sandwiched between the two women. Laoghaire is infatuated with Jamie. Who wouldn’t be? He’s ovary exploding handsome, and he saved her from humiliation. But Jamie only has eyes and ears for Claire. Basically, he snubs the poor Laoghaire. Claire has taken a liking to Colum’s Renish wine, and admits to having a few too many glasses. Jamie looking for an excuse to get her alone takes her back to the dismal surgery. He says his bandage has been chafing him. Actually, I could care less, it’s a joy to see the two of them together. Claire and Jamie have such Outlander 103 7 chemistry on the screen. There is a moment, while Claire is checking his gunshot wound, that I thought they might kiss, but it passed….dammit.

 

 

During this episode we get to know a bit more about Geillis Duncan. While Claire and Geillis have completely different personalities, they are both strong women who use what means they have to get what they want. Geillis plies men with her beauty to get her way. She is intrigued by Claire, and I’m not sure that is a good thing. She even gets Dougal to extend an invitation to Claire to visit Geillis’ home, and escort Claire there. Interesting…Dougal doesn’t seem the type to do a woman’s bidding, but then Geillis is exceptionally beautiful and manipulative.

We see Geillis using her skills of manipulation on her husband, Arthur. Our introduction to him Outlander 103 3is interesting….He’s not well, has stomach trouble, and asks Geillis for something to ease his discomfort. She gives him something to drink and he immediately starts farting. I couldn’t help but laugh at this scene, because the sounds affects were something that adolescent boys would conjure up. Before his odiferous entrance, Claire was disturbed to see Father Bain dragging a boy through the streets. Geillis explains that he stole food, and has to be punished to save his eternal soul. Claire asks what the punishment will be. He’ll probably lose his hand, Geillis responds. Claire is very disturbed by this. He’s just a boy, she insists. Geillis shrugs, it makes no difference to her, but for Claire’s sake, or just to show she can, she persuades her husband to be lenient on the boy. Her husband, being the magistrate or judge, leaves to inform Father Bain of the punishment.

Geillis, though a healer like Claire, is not like Claire at all. She seems to have not a shred of empathy about her. Whether the boy’s hand is chopped off, or a boy dies because of superstition, it makes no difference to her. She only drapes herself with the cloak of compassion to get what she wants. Which leads me to believe that he interest and skill with herbs is only for her own benefit.

The boy is to have his ear nailed to the pillory. Given what it could have been, it’s not too harsh. Geillis is puzzled by Clair’s attitude regarding the punishment. “You would think they don’t have punishment or pillories where you come from.” You can almost hear Geillis’ mind whirling with questions, and she directs Claire to sit, so they can talk more.  This scene made me worried, because we know Claire wants to tell someone her story, and who better than maybe another healer. But thankfully, Jamie interrupts them, and says Claire must return to the castle.

On the way back, Claire asks Jamie for a favor, to take her to the ruins of Black Kirk where the boys were possessed. She thinks they were poisoned, and roams around looking for a plant or berry or something that could have caused their illness. Jamie isn’t alarmed by her lack of belief in spirits and demons. He tells her he’s a learned man, knowing Greek and Latin. That it’s a rite of manhood to sneak up to the ruins and spend the night. That even he did so. After Jamie speaks of eating berries and some sort of wild garlic, Claire finds the plant, and realizes what is wrong with the boys. It’s not garlic, but Lily of the Valley they’ve eaten, a highly poisonous woodland flowering plant.

She makes her way back to Thomas’ home where Father Bain is tormenting the poor boy. Mrs. Outlander 103 8Fitz and the boy’s mother are resigned to his death, thinking that his only hope is to have his soul saved by the Father before he dies. Claire tells Mrs. Fitz that he ate something poisonous and is not possessed. Mrs. Fitz believes her and tells her to try and safe him. Why does Mrs. Fitz believe her? Perhaps because Colum was so impressed by her skills as a healer. Also, why does Mrs. Fitz, and not the mother, decide what is to happen to the boy? Mrs. Fitz has to all but throw Father Bain out of her sister’s home. He leaves, but not before glaring at Claire. She has made a powerful enemy in a place where superstition holds sway. Claire administers a concoction and the boys revives. Yet another nail in Claire’s coffin. How is she to ever leave, and return to the stones, if she keeps making herself indispensable.

While in the kitchens Claire spies Jamie and Laoghaire kissing, and at dinner she teases Jamie Outlander 103about it. He’s very uncomfortable and leaves the table. Murtagh admonishes Claire, telling her that Jamie could be forced into a marriage with the girl. That Jamie needs a woman, and not a girl, and that Laoghaire will be a girl until she’s fifty.

 

That night, she attends another performance by the folk singer. In a voice over she explains that everyone thinks she’s a miracle worker, and as she walks to find a bench, they all watch her. Jamie grabs her hand and takes her to sit, and as the performer begins singer he interprets the Gaelic for her. It’s a song about a woman who disappeared through the stones and traveled back to a different land and time. Where she found friends and lovers, until one day the stones called to her, and she touched the large one again, and was transported back to her own time, and to her true love.

Claire wasn’t sure if she could return the way she came, but after hearing the song, becomes Outlander 103 9convinced. She asks Jamie, “She came back through the stones?”  He nods saying they always do. So now she must escape the Castle, must get back to the stones, and back to her own time, and Jack.

Claire now knows the way home…the stones…if she can get to them.

My thoughts:

Claire saved a boy from having his hand chopped off. Eased Colum’s considerable pain. Saved Mrs. Fitz’s nephew from death and, hopefully, created an ally in Mrs. Fitz. Jamie is clearly enamored with Claire. Laoghaire wants Jamie and sees Claire as an impediment. Father Bain will be out for revenge upon Claire. Geillis is far more than a beautiful face, and probably very dangerous. Angus and Rupert, Claire’s bodyguards, are hilarious, and add that little touch of fun to each episode. A tad disappointed there was no Black Jack Randall, he’s so deliciously bad.

Lovely site by the costume designer, Terry Dresbach, with images and explanations about the costumes.

Pinterest sight with loads of screenshots and images. My go to place for pictures.

Previous of Episode Four, The Gathering.

And, Behind the Scenes for Episode Four

 

New release: What Gifts She Carried by Lindsey Loucks

RebeccaTrogner:

Lindsey Loucks on her newest release, What Gifts She Carried, (Grave Winer Book 2)

Originally posted on Cindy Young-Turner:

Congrats to Lindsey Loucks on her newest release, What Gifts She Carried, (Grave Winer Book 2)!  She was kind enough to share an excerpt and answer some interview questions, so read on to find out more about Lindsey and her book.

1333x2000Blurb: Leigh Baxton just wants to pick up the pieces of her life—if you could call it that—but someone keeps resurrecting the dead. These new zombies have a knack for spilling Leigh’s precious blood, something she was warned about by a certain pair of undead sorceresses.

Desperate to find out why they’re here so Leigh can put the nightmares behind her, she must learn more about the gifts she carries. With Tram’s training sessions and clues from her mom’s past, Leigh begins to piece together what she’s capable of.

Too bad there isn’t a Cliff’s Notes version to saving the world.

The zombies have teamed up with followers of…

View original 1,497 more words

Outlander, Episode Two – Castle Leoch

Having read all the Outlander books, some more than once, I felt a tad smug about my Outlander - Castleknowledge of what Claire would encounter at Castle Leoch. Five minutes into this second episode, aptly named Castle Leoch, I realized that what I’d imagined while reading was nothing compared to seeing and hearing the world Claire encounters. The production of this series is astounding. In an age where high tech and comic book heroes are de rigueur in the theatres, we have this gem of a series which is set in 1740s Scotland .

So…what challenges does Claire face at Castle Leoch. In episode one, Sassenach, Claire was transported back in time, almost raped, captured, and plopped on a horse for days of hard riding, Their destination is Castle Leoch, the same castle that Claire and Frank visited in the 1940s. What was a ruin in Claire’s time is now a vibrant community ruled by the Clan Laird, Colum, who stares down from his rooms as she enters the yard. We know before meeting Colum that he rules well. The inhabitants are at ease, there is industry, individuals are going about their tasks without fear, and no one looks hungry or ill treated.

A bustling Mrs. FitzGibbons greets the arriving party and is literally stopped in her tracks when Outlander 2014she spies Claire. After days of riding and sleeping outdoors, not to mention that she ripped her meager dress to create bandages for Jamie, Claire looks haggard and bedraggled. To Mrs. FitzGibbons she looks indecent wearing only a revealing shift. Jamie and Mrs. FitzGibbons make eye contact and Jamie explains she is a guest of Dougal’s. It’s an interesting exchange between Claire and Mrs. FitzGibbons as both of them size up the other. Whatever Mrs. FitzGibbons’ feelings are regarding Claire she keeps them to herself and tries to herd Claire into the castle to get “something more” on.

Only six months separates Claire from her life as a nurse during World War II, and two days since she was transported back in time to the 1740s. She hasn’t adjusted to her new reality yet, and her training as a nurse is foremost in her mind. She insists that she must tend to Jamie’s wounds as she was not able to clean and dress them properly. Mrs. FitzGibbons’ expression changes, perhaps there is respect there, or maybe fear, but she asks Claire in a hushed tone if she’s a charmer. Claire answers that she is something like that.

They walk through the candle lit halls of Castle Leoch with Claire remembering how it will look in the future, when she walked these same halls with Frank. Mrs. FitzGilbbons settles Claire in a room – a very nice room – and Jamie sits by the fire to be re-bandaged. As Mrs. FitzGibbons leaves, Claire thanks her, and is told she can call her Mrs. Fitz, as everyone else does. Mrs. Fitz’s regard means a lot in the castle, and for now, Claire has made a good impression.

Claire, in tending to Jamie’s wounds, uncovers his back.  He’s in his mid-twenties, his body Outlander - Castle 4muscled, bronzed from the sun, the epitome of a viral male. The juxtaposition between his ravaged back and the rest of his body is heartbreaking. Claire, who is no panty waist when it comes to wounds, is so disturbed that she drops her cloth and has to set it back into the kettle of boiling water to re-sterilize it. Jamie is uncomfortable and exposed, but makes no move to cover himself. She asks what happened as she gentle goes back to cleaning his wounds. He explains he was whipped once and then a few days later. That Captain Jack Randall would have whipped him twice in the same day if he thought Jamie would have survived it. She wants to know why he was whipped.

Black Jack Randall and his men were foraging the countryside for provisions and came upon his Outlander - Castle 3home, Lallybroch. Randall took a liking to Jamie’s sister, Jenny, and would have raped her if Jamie hadn’t come running in from the fields. Captain Randall has all the power. He can rape Jenny. He can whip Jamie. He could burn their home down.  Randall, played to perfection by Tobias Menzies, communicated without words his immediate fascination with Jamie. Like a cat with a mouse he tormented Jamie by ripping Jenny’s bodice. He doesn’t want Jenny, but he does want Jamie who he whips in front of Jenny while telling her she can make it stop by going inside with him. Given the choice of being raped or seeing her brother killed, Jenny choses to go with Randall.

Jamie explaining this to Claire is pivotal. In Claire’s time this should not happen. Jamie did nothing wrong. He was only trying to protect his sister. And yet, he was beaten, charged with a crime, and taken to Fort Williams where he is put in prison. If this can happen to someone as strong as Jamie, how is she to survive in this time? Also, it sets up Randall’s obsession with Jamie, his need to dominate Jamie. And in one way he has, as Jamie will bear Randall’s lash marks on his back for the rest of his life. It also shows that Jamie is willing to tell Claire the truth, no matter how ugly. He admits to escaping prison with the help of his family, and though he was almost too weak to stay in the saddle, he’s been charged with killing a guard, and now has a price on his head.

Jamie expresses his gratitude to Claire for taking care of him, and tells her she has a nice touch, and that her husband is lucky. It’s all too much for Claire and she breaks down and cries, thinking of her husband and how he must be distraught looking for her. Jamie asks if her husband is not alive. I love the phrasing of that, as Claire answers in the affirmative, which is true. Frank is not alive, yet. He comforts Claire and tells her, “Don’t be scart o’ me…nor anyone else here. As long as I’m wi’ you”. She asks the obvious question, what about when you aren’t with me? He tells her to remember that being English is not a pretty thing to be in Scotland. So she’s not only found herself in another time, but also, by virtue of her birth, the enemy of her captors.

Claire is hustled out of a very comfortable looking bed by an insistent Mrs. Fitz. Claire, who has a Outlander Castle 10bad case of bedhead, stumbles out to sit by the fire, but before she can eat two spoonfulls of broth, is hustled out of her clothes to be dressed to meet the Laird. I adored the scene with Claire standing in her bra and panties and Mrs. Fitz starring at her. “What type of corset is that?” Mrs. Fitz asks. Claire answers that it is a brassiere, and adds, it’s French. The dressing of Claire is a long affair with multiple layers of clothing. I’m glad they added this, because it gives us a feel of how confining the clothes of this time are compared to her time. Bit-by-bit, Claire’s slight frame is enveloped in a chemise, corset, bum roll, bodice, petticoat, underskirt, over skirt, stomached, stockings, shoes, pockets, mitts and cloak. If you’re interested in knowing more about the clothes, visit the blog of Terry Dresbach, costume designer for Outlander.

While waiting in Colum’s office, Claire searches for something which will tell her the year. A letter on his desk is dated 1743. Before she can look further, Colum walks in. His legs are bowed so severely it’s a wonder he can walk. I immediately thought this is a man with a will of steel to rule with such a condition. Later in the episode, Claire decides he has Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome, and is living on borrowed time. He wants to know who she is, and how she came to be in the woods in her shift. As much as possible, she tells him the truth, that Captain Randall ripped her clothes while trying to rape her. Colum wants to know the reason why an officer would try and rape her “for no good reason”. Claire, being a product of the twentieth century, and accustomed in her role as a nurse and ordering men around, snaps back, “Is there ever a good reason for rape, Master MacKenzie?”

He apologizes for his badly phrased question, but you sense he isn’t one bit sorry, and, that he Outlander - Castle 5doesn’t believe what Claire is telling him. She’s dismissed with his assurance that a tinker will arrive on Saturday (five days time), and she can ride with him back to Inverness, so she can resume her journey to France. Feeling that perhaps her ordeal has an end date, Claire looks out over the yard and countryside watching Dougal play with a young boy, who she assumes is his son, and muses that no matter the time some things never change.

That evening, in the great hall, Claire is placed at the head table, seated between Dougal Outlander - Castle 1and Colum. What an intimidating pair they are. Two brothers who compliment each other to perfection. Colum plies Claire with food and drink – lots of drink – while continuing to press her with questions about her family, the family she is going to stay with in France, the place, why she pronounces her name as Beachum, when the French would say Beauchamp. She does her best to stick with the truth and tells him she has never met them, has never even visited France, and that some earlier relation decided to take the English version of the family name. The looks Dougal and Colum exchange make it obvious they do not believe her. Claire, in an attempt to change the subject, greets a young boy, Hamish, telling him she saw him playing with his father, Dougal. Inadvertently, she’s stepped into a mine field, when she learns that Colum is the his father. It would seem that Claire is not the only one with secrets. Realizing, her mental capacity  is impaired after drinking so much alcohol, Claire asks to be excused and escapes.

The next day, Claire is determined to stay out of trouble for the remaining few days she has left at Castle Leoch, and goes to Mrs. Fitz asking where she can find Jamie. He’s in the stables working a grey horse in a round pin when she steps up to watch, but accidently knocks something over spooking the horse and sending Jamie to his knees. Again, we’re shown Jamie’s kind nature, as he doesn’t get mad or upset at the horse, just laughs it off. On a bed of straw, they sit down to a meal and Jamie tells her more of his past and troubles with Captain Randall. He confesses that his real name isn’t McTavish and that Dougal and Colum are his uncles.

Claire is collecting herbs for Mrs. Fitz humming the tune “Run, Rabbit, Run” that was playing on Outlander Castle 2the radio the day she decided to go back to the stones to look for the Forget Me Not plant. Though her body is in the 1700s, her mind is still in the 1900s. She encounters Geillis Duncan, possibly looking for herbs, bur probably hoping to see Claire. Geillis informs Claire she’s picking a poison plant and that everyone is gossiping about how they think Claire is an English spy. Astounded, Claire denies this.

That evening in the Great Hall, the Laird, Colum, is resolving disputes. Geillis interprets for Claire as they are speaking in Gaelic. There are the usual cases, disputes over land, over cattle, etc., until a young woman, Laoghaire, is pulled in front of the Laird. It seems her father wants her punished for loose behavior and disobedience. Again, we’re reminded that Colum is all powerful in his domain. And that women are treated differently than Claire is accustomed to. Before Laoghaire can be strapped in public, Jamie speaks up and says he’ll take Laoghaire’s punishment.

It’s agreed, and Jamie asks for fists instead of the strap. I guess a strap isn’t manly enough for Outlander Castle 11him. Anyway, the beating is supposed to stop at first blood, but after Jamie spits blood on the floor, Dougal instructs Angus to keep hitting him, until finally, Jamie drops to the floor. Claire, again, is tending to a shirtless Jamie. She wants to know why he would put himself in peril. He says the lass shouldn’t have to live with the shame of being strapped in public. Okay…. Maybe Jamie just wants Claire to keep tending to him, but his hopes are dashed when she tells him of her plans to return to Inverness soon.

 

 

The day of Claire’s departure arrives. She waiting with Mrs. Fitz, who has given her a basket of Outlander - Castle 11food, when Dougal arrives. It seems Colum requests her presence, and if we’ve learned anything, you don’t refuse Colum and Dougal. Reluctantly, she goes back inside, to the dark and dank room that she and Frank discovered. Colum tells her it’s the surgery and that their healer died of a fever. Clearly, she wants to leave and thanks him for showing her the room, but really must go. Colum says she isn’t going anywhere, that she will stay at Castle Leoch and take over the dead healer’s duties, because he doesn’t believe her story, and thinks she’s an English spy.

 

 

Poor Claire, to be so close to escape, and then have it cruelly snatched away from her.  With each day, her dream of getting back to her time, to Frank, to her life, is slipping away. We know how much she’ll come to love Jamie, enough to desperately want to stay with him, but right now she doesn’t know that.

Good News! Outlander has been renewed for a Second Season.

Here is a Preview of Episode Three, The Way Out

 

True Blood, Episode Nine – Love is To Die

Last night’s episode, Love is To Die, was packed with our beloved characters finding peace with themselves and others. All but Sookie, who is still reeling from Bill’s declaration that he will not take the cure. Though True Blood has been a sprawling web of interwoven story lines throughout the years, it has now distilled down to just the core cast.

Sam leaves Bon Temps. It doesn’t Sam seem right that Merlotte’s – now Bellefleur’s – is no longer the front yard of our favorite shifter. As one would expect, Sam packed up and departed without saying goodbye to anyone. Instead he left a beautifully writen letter for Sookie, explaining his reasons for leaving. I’m sad to see Sam go, but he made the best decision, and in that never world that the characters will inhibit after the last credits roll, I have to believe Sam and Sookie will be friends throughout the rest of their lives.

Jessica and Hoyt.  Jessica doesn’t understand Bill’s decision to die, and in her pain demands Bill release her. It’s a touching scene with Bill acknowledging she was made by him as punishment for killing Long Shadow. He goes on to say how much he loves her, and how proud he is of her, how much he’s cherished his time with her. In her grief, Jessica goes to Hoyt seeking comfort. Bridget and Hoyt are in the middle of a fight regarding Jessica. When Jessica knocks on the door, it’s the last straw, and Bridget forces Hoyt to choose between them. Hoyt chooses Jessica.

Hoyt’s memories of Jessica and Jason were glamoured from him, but their love and attraction for each other is true. Jessica explains what she did and why. That they were in love, but she was too young, and cheated on him with Jason. Who happens to show up, because Bridget called him, and immediately gets knocked out by Hoyt.

Hoyt cups Jessica’s face and asks her to tell him “the story of us”. They consummate the beginning of their new love story in a beautifully filmed sequence.

Jason and Bridget. Jason wakes up in his police cruiser with Bridget behind the wheel. She’s Bridgettaking him to the hospital, but he scoffs off the need and says they don’t work at night now anyway. Off to his home they go, but not before Jason declares there will be no sex tonight. Bridget, though clearly attracted to him, expresses she isn’t interested in sex tonight. Jason just gives her a knowing glance telling her “it needed to be said”. She is able to resist is Fae enhanced sexiness, and even engages him in telling her his secrets. Jason confesses he likes pink, and when pushed for something more deep, he says he wants children, but is afraid to have a girl because of the way he’s treated women. I think Jason has met his mate, and see little Jason’s running around in the years to come.

Arlene and Wayne. It struck me last night how much Arlene has evolved over the years. She’s been a joy to watch this season, and has become the glue that holds the denizens of Bon Temps together. She decides to open up Bellefleur’s even though there are no customers, instead laying out a long table with dinner for friends and family. Sookie is clearly unhappy, and doesn’t want to eat, but Arlene speaks with her and explains that sometimes one must will themselves to be happy. Sookie asks about her and Wayne. Arlene says they are taking it slows since she has the Hep-V, but that they care for each other, and hope the cure will come soon.

We leave this scene with everyone sitting down to enjoy each other’s company. There’s Big John – someone who hasn’t gotten a lot of lines over the years. Andy, Holly, and their kids are sitting at the table. Lafayette, looking fabulous, and James are there. It’s nice to see them all come together and we’re left with a warm feeling even though we know we won’t see many of them again.

Eric and Bill. No, they don’t declare their love for each other, but they do care for each other. Eric and BillEric is deeply moved by Bill’s declaration to not take the cure. He goes to Bill’s home, explaining that the disease affects one’s will to live. That he felt the same way Bill does. Bill tells him it is not the disease, but his desire to free Sookie from the pull she feels towards him. Eric tells Bill, “to get over himself”, but Bill explains that Sookie is attracted to their darkness just as they are attracted to her light, she cannot be free to find love and family as long as he is alive. Bill asks Eric to speak with Sookie, and convince her to see him.

I don’t understand this as a valid reason why Sookie can’t be with Bill. Personally, I’m not a fan of Bill and Sookie as a couple, but I want them to be happy. There are a so many different ways for Sookie to get pregnant. Donor sperm and AI. Or they could adopt. All I can figure is it is something deeper with Bill. That he feels she will never be truly happy or fulfilled with him.

Eric and Sookie. It’s nice to see them have a moment together. Eric convinces Sookie that she Sookie and Ericneeds to speak with Bill. That he’s doing this for her. She doesn’t understand why, but agrees. Eric takes her in his arms and flies her home. She even invites him inside, but he flies off.

Love him or hate him, Eric did a wonderful job last night. His depth of feeling for Sookie is touching and he doesn’t press his desire for her, but silently accepts that Sookie’s heart belongs to Bill.

Pam and Sarah. Remember when Pam cut and highlighted Eric’s hair way back when? Well Pamshe’s at it again. Pam can’t take Sarah’s horrible dye job a moment longer and has her foiled and ungagged in Eric’s office.  Not sure how, but I’m thinking Sarah doesn’t die at the end. Maybe her penance is to be under Pam’s control the rest of her life.

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger and Eric. This was my favorite scene of the night, and definitely the funniest of the Ginger and Eric  1whole series. Eric, disheartened from his talk with Sookie, strolls back into Fangtasia  to find Ginger at the bar. She admonishes him for not telling her he was healed. He immediately snaps at her, telling her he’s tired of playing a marriage counselor, and then…perhaps he feels just a small bit of Ginger’s unrequited love for him because of his for Sookie. Or perhaps, Eric is just being Eric. Whatever the case, he tells Ginger that tonight is her night to fuck him. Ginger’s face is priceless. Ginger tells Eric, again, that she is infected. He says he’s immune, as he thinks Sarah is downstairs to cure him. Eric asks where she envisioned their tryst. “The throne,” she immediately states, and he sits down allowing her to straddle him. Ginger and Eric

Eric rips off her panties. Just a note to those who haven’t seen this… both are fully clothed.

 

 

 

Ginger is overcome and within seconds of consummation goes into an earth shattering orgasm. Ginger and Eric 2Eric is dumbstruck as he watches her writhe and moan and slip off his lap onto the floor where she curls up on the rug and falls to sleep.

 

 

 

 

Gus, Eric, Pam, and Sarah. Gus has learned that Eric lied about Sookie Stackhouse. He has Pam truced up in a medieval looking torture device. She has silver wrapped around her neck and a giant stake hanging above her. Gus demands Eric tell him the truth. Did he tell Sookie about the cure? Eric doesn’t and Gus has one of his henchmen lower the stake. Finally, Eric admits that Sookie knows.

We’re left with Pam under peril of the truth death, and Gus and Eric in a standoff. Eric, now newly re-infected, is still powerful enough to take control of this situation. I’m not too worried about Pam and Eric surviving.

The last scene is Bill knocking on Sookie’s door.

So, I expect the last episode, Thank You, will be the resolution of Sookie and Bill’s love story.

A preview for Thank You here