Tag Archive | Outlander Dragonfly in Amber

Thoughts on Outlander season 2 Finale

Before I take the somewhat risky journey back into the often volatile world of Outlander, I just want to share a few other thoughts and update you on my absence. As many of you know, I have taken a break from posting in order to focus on my family history research. Because of my work schedule, family commitments and events, I currently have little time to devote to my personal passions such as the family history, history in general, and this blog. 

Many of you are also aware that this spring, I took a much needed vacation to Britain in order to explore some of that history I am so passionate about. The journey was not without it’s moments of frustration and even panic. It was a journey of self discovery and soul searching. During the trip, there was a point when in the middle of that soul searching and panic, I reached out to who ever might be listening above or beyond this plane and asked for some guidance. It was in those moments of silent conversation with myself and those I could feel around me that I was reminded of my ties, my connections to all of those ancestors who came before me. It was an odd moment of reflection or revelation that I should take some time to refocus on what was truly important to me, take time to pause and change my direction or my path. It’s been a few months since that trip and I have found myself more driven and determined to work on my family history. That research has pretty much taken over what little free time I have. The direction of the research also changed in that I am no longer quite so interested in the far distant and ancient past- though I am still intrigued by it. Now the focus of that research is more one of a slightly more recent past in which my ancestors all made the choices and decisions to make the journey to a new land and a new beginning in America. They came from England, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany in search of that freedom that this new country would offer them. Some came for religious freedom but others came because there was little left for them in their homeland. I find myself now interested even more in those individual stories of survival in this new land. I have come to a point in the research where I feel like I can rest a bit from it and now sort through their stories and their journies to eventually share them here.

Some of you are probably wondering what on earth this all has to do with Outlander? Well, quite simply, it has everything to do with Outlander because in reality, Outlander is just such a story- an ongoing story of how and why a family came to be in this new America. It is an epic saga of one family’s journey, of their life, of the choices they make along the way and the reasons for those choices, of the people who become a part of their world and influence the paths they each take in life. It is in some ways a reflection of our own family histories. We each have stories of the past locked away within our family histories… granted, hopefully ours do not include time travel, standing stones and other such intriguing fantasies, but if we search through our family histories, we will all most likely find some of those well kept, well guarded secret skeletons in our closets that me may or may not be comfortable in the discovery of.  

My recent research has inspired more of an interest in the Colonial history of America, from the earliest times when my Puritan ancestors made the difficult decision to immigrate, the later years of industrial upheaval in England when other ancestors lost their economic livelihoods and made the journey out of economic necessity, through the period of the Revolution for independence here when those ancestors had to choose sides- you might think or assume that should have been an obvious no question about it decision but if you look deeper into those lives you will find that it was truly a difficult decision for many of them. As I learned more about my own ancestors and their lives, I was drawn back to the stories that Diana Gabaldon tells of that time period through the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser and their family legacy.

For the most part, I have tried to remain outside of the realm of Outlanderia after the first season’s debut. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, while I did enjoy the first book of the series, I would not say that I was all that much of die hard obsessed fan in the beginning. In fact, in retrospect, had I read it when it originally came out and had to wait years for the next installment, I probably would not have bothered picking up the next book. Because I read it more recently and the next book was available on sale, I went ahead and read the second one just to find out what happened… I was not overly impressed or enthused with that one either but by then I was intrigued and getting a bit sucked into the overall story and people in it. So, of course since the third book was readily available, I thought I might as well just read it. I can honestly say that while I was not all that enthused with the Pirate aspect of Voyager, the rest of that book totally sucked me into the world of Outlander. From then on I admit I became somewhat of an obsessed fan of the books. I will say that my obsession in tame compared to that of many other fans.

When Starz took on the challenge of presenting this saga to us, I was as excited as anyone at the prospect of seeing the story come to life. I did enjoy that initial introduction to the story but as it progressed, I found myself struggling with some aspects of it. One of those aspects I struggled with was the overwhelming tide of Outlander fandom and storms of aggressive heated and sometimes confrontational debate over show versus books, readers versus non-readers. Then there is the continuous ongoing flood of debate, controversy and intrusion into actors’ personal lives- which in my personal opinion takes away from being immersed in the character they are portraying. Another issue for me was of course the fact that I was not as interested or invested in the first story or even the second story other than in how they lead up to the rest of the stories.

One added issue for me with the first season was that I can honestly say that I am probably one of the minority of fans who does not look at this series as a romance/love story of Claire and Jamie. For me, that is really almost secondary compared to the rest of what is involved in this saga. As I watched season one, I had the feeling that it was becoming or would become more of a romance story and I really was just not interested in seeing it go that route. As a result, I stepped back out of the raging storms of Outlander and chose to remain for the most part, a silent observer.

I did not impatiently await or endure any typical droughtlander in anticipation of season 2 because well, because as I’ve already mentioned, it was not one of my favorite books anyway so I had no real emotional investment in how it would be presented other than in how it would be presented in relation to future seasons. I was happy to see that it did not go the route of being the “breathtaking” romance of Jamie and Claire. It was a fairly realistic representation of what they went through during that time and I for one appreciate that! I am not going to go into all of my thoughts on the entire season here but I do have to say that I think I enjoyed it more than season one. I am also not going to address the changes and deviations made from the book to the show. They have already been hashed over and debated to no end by everyone. I understand why the changes were made and personally I am looking forward to seeing what differences the future brings between the two stories. I’ve tried hard to separate the show from the books but find that having read the books, it is almost impossible not to make comparisons between the two. I am enjoying the differences that the show is presenting and I look forward to seeing how it takes the story along  possible alternative paths. I am looking forward to seeing how the story plays out with some changes.

****Spoilers, Yes there are spoilers! This is your warning!”

season2 finale3

Through the Stones or not... One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

Through the Stones or not… One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

For now, I am just going to give my personal thoughts on the finale and the introduction of my two favorite people- Roger and Bree! I will readily admit that I was and am emotionally invested in the story from this point on and I was concerned about how these two characters would be represented. I also admit that I do have some  initial reservations about Sophie Skelton and whether she can fully portray Bree as I know her in my head… Then again, I have to remind myself that I had these same reservations about Catriona Balfe in the beginning and she has completely won me over! So, with that in mind, I am giving Sophie benefit of doubt and going with a feeling that she will eventually find her footing and capture that essence of Bree that Ron D Moore and others must believe she’s capable of doing. I did find that I was more comfortable with her performance and portrayal after watching the episode a second time with a more open mind and a thought towards that overall awkward situation that she finds herself in.

Bree on better terms with Claire

Bree on better terms with Claire

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Don't be dragging him into this fantasy!

Don’t be dragging him into this fantasy!

I did see some glimmers of that inner Bree so I am going to assume that Sophie has actually managed to give us a fairly accurate portrayal of that younger Bree caught in the difficult and awkward situation that she was placed in at the time… As I’ve said, I’ve liked Bree from the beginning. I never saw her a spoiled brat who treated her Mother so awful. She was a young woman who as Claire mentioned, was just like her Father- stubborn to no end with a fiery temper. She is also a young woman who suddenly discovers one of those skeletons in the closet, discovers that her parents have lied to her for her entire life. Put yourself in Bree’s shoes for a few moments and imagine that your own Mother told you such a story? Would your reaction really be so much different than hers was? Would you have immediately just have accepted such a story and said, “Ohhh this is all so exciting and wonderful for all of us!”  My one thought while watching this all play out on screen was actually that I wished Bree had shown more of that temper! I was waiting for her to completely explode and destroy the room in that fit of uncontrolled rage and frustration over the entire situation.

If it hadn't been for the battle of Culloden OMG Stop just stop... I was not bored

While so many others are venting and bashing on spoiled Bree, I’m sitting here enjoying her outbursts and her evolving sarcastic humor. I watched it all play out and had the same thought as I did with the book.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way they managed to merge the book events with the limits of the show with Bree’s thought and suspicion that something was not exactly right with her parents’ relationship and that there was something, some incident that they had kept secret. When people stay in a bad relationship “for the children” and assume that their children do not know something is wrong, they are not giving their children enough credit…Children sense things and usually know far more than we are willing to admit. Bree loves both her parents but she knew instinctively that there was something not quite right with their relationship.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn't really love him.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn’t really love him.

Bree My Mother lives in another world2

As to the character of my dear Roger Mac… I initially had a few doubts about Richard Rankin portraying him but that is due to the image I have stuck in my mind of him from the books. After the first few moments of watching Richard’s performance, I was already seeing that other image merge with the new image of Roger- so well done Richard Rankin! You’ve managed in one episode to assure me of your ability to transform yourself into my Roger Mac. I need to add here that I put off watching the finale because I was in the middle of re-reading the Fiery Cross which involves some very serious life struggles for Roger.  I knew I was going to have a difficult time regrouping from those events that have such a profound life altering affect on Roger so I waited until I was finished with the book before watching. I have to say that seeing Roger in the show helped ease my left over sadness. To see him awkwardly trying to impress Bree, to watch the beginnings of his and Bree’s story made me smile! An added reminder here for others who had some difficulty with this portrayal of Roger… I’m not really sure what you may have been expecting but Richard Rankin presented us with just exactly what Roger is at this point in his life, a university history professor, a rather reserved and quiet young man who was raised by a minister. Roger is a work in progress and Richard Rankin shows us that. He stumbles, he falls, he fails, he is not some perfect Highland Warrior type and he knows this. Richard Rankin gives us that somewhat imperfect guy who is immediately infatuated with Bree and can not hide it very well. He has also captured that quirky sense of humor and dry wit that he and Bree will share as time goes on. 

We meet Roger and Fiona

We meet Roger and Fiona

Roger's rat satire

Roger’s rat satire

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

I think we found your incident

No stay it's your house after all

No stay it’s your house after all

Roger Ummm what don't look at me like that cause really I think you're crazy too I'm just trying to be polite about it So you're saying my ancestors are a war chief and a witch..2. Roger it's not important if I believe it or not she believes i2t

My Mother's insane Hmmm a sentiment echoed by daughters everywhere.... no mine really is

One other performance I want to give my highest praise and appreciation of is that of Catriona Balfe in her transition to a much older, wearier and somewhat wiser Claire. My only comment to this older and wiser Claire would be to those watching the situation with her daughter play out… Really, what did you think Bree’s reaction would be to such a story? Did any of you honestly think or assume that on being told such a story, anyone would react any differently than Bree… or for that matter Roger. Of course their immediate reaction is that the woman is insane. Bree is horrified that her Mother has apparently went off the deep end while Roger is a bit more restrained in his reaction but is trying to hold it together for benefit of Bree. 

 

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire on her own mission to remember that other world Claire visits Culloden and adds her own thoughts

Yes, Claire’s visit to Lallybroch left me in tears

visions of Jamie at Lallybroch

But, I did have one other thought when I saw the condition of Lallybroch… please not the very small for sale sign by the steps. 

lallybroch circa 1968

sending Fergus to Lallybroch for two purposes...

How do I explain that I traveled through time and got pregnant without making myself sound like a lunatic

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

 

 

I was moved to tears by Claire’s haunted memories of the past, and the other thing I was personally moved by was the narration of the events at Culloden… that was Tobias Menzies/Frank’s voice was it not?

Claire walking through Culloden field while what sounds like Frank's voice narrates the event

Claire visits Culloden while Franks voice narrates the events that took place

Clan Fraser

 The remaining events of the past played out as I expected- Claire was not at the battle, she could only recall events leading up to that point- we should see the actual event unfold in bits and pieces in future seasons. I did cry as she remembered sending Fergus off to Lallybroch with the deed and for his own safety. And in my mind, I was saying my own goodbye to Murtaugh with much sadness. I was even moved to some tears over the demise of Dougal and his gut wrenching feeling of ultimate betrayal from Jamie. Yes, Jamie was acting in self defense and protecting Claire, and yes Dougal made more than his own share of bad decisions that led to this action, but his loyalty to the cause was indisputable and Jamie knew that. 

I'll guide the men to safety but ken this then I'll return to die with you

You've betrayed us all of us

You’ve betrayed us all of us

Dougal: I'd rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal: I’d rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal's despair

Now, having this book and season finished, I have to admit that I am suffering a bit of droughtlander if only for the fact that I am so looking forward to Voyager and, to Drums of Autumn. I am thrilled that we’re assured of seeing at least these next two seasons because for me this where the adventure of their life truly begins to unfold. I even look forward to that nasty encounter with a much changed Geillie Duncan. Speaking of Geillie…

Gillian Edgars future psychopath

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice...

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice…

And she's off to make history...

A few last thoughts to keep in the back of your mind while waiting for the future… I’ve always believed that Frank knows far more than we think, and hopefully the show will give us some that- at least in flashback form. 

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He's not the man I thought he was

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He’s not the man I thought he was

Frank knows more than we think and some of it has to do with Roger’s story…

roger's plane again

 

 

 

Outlander: The Matter of Frank Randall part 2

Previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-on-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-one/

You don't know frank

Ahhhh Well, then after our sojourn at the local pub, Frank and I are both a bit more relaxed and… yes, slightly tipsy but we shall endeavor to continue this discussion? I have explained to Frank all of the rumors about him flying around and have assured him that I really just want to set the record straight and get his side of the story… or at least as much as he is able to share? I, being of a military background myself, completely understand the protocol of  keeping classified information classified until such time as it is set down as unclassified. I respect Frank’s loyalty and his honor to his code of  professional ethics, if not so much in the way of his personal ones… that is between him and his conscience! Now, as to when such additional information might be deemed unclassified and open to public perusal, that would be entirely up to Diana Gabaldon! We may have to wait quite some years before we are allowed to access the private files of Frank Randall!

Anyway, Frank and I retired to a quieter location where he agreed to shed some light on his life. I decided to once again start back at the beginning and asked him about his early relationship with Claire- nothing to personal yet… just the usual like how he met her and such.

Frank first met Claire when he came to consult her uncle, Quentin Beauchamp, an archaeologist and historian, about a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice. After a period of time, they were married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by a year together before the outbreak of World War II.  Hmmm, my mind ponders “Uncle Lam”…. I casually ask, “So tell me a bit more about Quentin Lambert Beauchamp?”

Frank4

Frank shrugs and comments in a tight lipped way… I know he is hiding something! “Well, there’s really not much to tell? He was an historian and archaeologist working in Egypt for a long time. He was interested in a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice and I did some work with him on the subject. He was Claire’s uncle and raised her after her parents died in an accident when she was a child.”

Prentis Hancock as Uncle Lam

Lambert Quentin Beauchamp Claire's uncle

Young Claire, growing up with Uncle Lam…

young Claire

I hide my curiosity and my inner suspicions… “Ohhh, that is a rather obscure and odd subject, don’t you think? Are you much of an expert in either of those fields, Frank? I assumed your expertise laid more in terms of British and Scottish history, such as the subject you are so passionate about- the Jacobite years, and maybe military history…”

Once again we seem to have hit a touchy subject for Frank… he would rather not comment on it at this time, if I don’t mind? No not all, I assure him, all the while filing this piece of information in the back of my mind for future consideration!

 

I continue in a hopefully non-threatening or suspicious manner, “So, you were working on a French historical matter with Mr. Beauchamp… Ahhh yes, they are of French descent aren’t they? I believe that Claire has mentioned this a number of times. You met Claire through him and were immediately taken with her?”

Frank Randall2

Photo edited from original fan art by Isa!

At this comment, frank softens and smiles, “Well, yes, yes I was immediately drawn to her. She was so full of life, free spirited and independent… not like so many other young women back then. She was vibrant, alive, cared so deeply and wanted to help others even back then. The thought of her back then still brings a smile to me even now, such energy and that infectious laugh of hers… Yes, I was smitten as some might say from the first meeting of her even though I was some years older than her and I probably should have known better than to think or assume that she could love me as I loved her?” He seems lost in his thoughts now and I feel a bit guilty for bringing back these memories.  He goes on quietly, “I felt deeply for her from the beginning… I loved her, wanted to give her all those things she felt like she missed? She never had a home or a real family with Lam and she always had a feeling that she didn’t quite fit but she wanted to? I wanted those things for myself and for her, for us together?” His smile was sad now, “In retrospect, I think I wanted to capture some of that wild free spirit she had for myself?” He sighed and thought before going on, “I admit that I come off as quite the conservative, straight laced and as you put it earlier, the bit of cold fish? I often did wonder what she saw in me?”

frank today

“Ohhhh come now Frank, you are not nearly such a “cold fish” as many would accuse you of! I don’t know whether you’re aware of it, but you are a quite fine looking man and there are a great many women out there who would agree on that!” I do blush a little at this admission but, what the hell… I’ve had my share of whiskey and he is a fine looking man! Claire and others, even Roger would attest to that fact?
Frank Randall Tobias Frank2

Roger's description of Frank Randall

At my admission, Frank laughs and smiles at me so charmingly that I forget for a moment what we were talking about! Ohhh ummm what was I going to ask again…

 

Ohhhh yes, I did have another thought that I wanted to bring up now as long as we’re on the subject of him and Claire, their relationship, and him not being disconnected or a “cold fish”? Heavens, it’s a good thing I’m more than bit sloshed now otherwise I couldn’t bring myself to broach this rather intimate topic! I cough, clear my throat, and blush again before forging ahead, “So, ummm Frank, on that topic of you being not so much of a “cold fish” and being much more than you appear… I was uhhh just wondering about something?

Frank gives me a quirky and curious look, “Go on then, what is it you’re wanting to know?

frank6

Drunkness aside, this is of a highly personal nature, but I really can’t help bring it up and ask about it… “So, ummm on yours and Claire’s more intimate relationship, we have seen some rather graphic displays of your affections for each other, and of some of your activities together?” I cough again… Frank is smirking at me silently, Ohhh My God, I can not believe I am going to bring this up! “Ummm anyway, not to get into the most intimate of details… but uhhhh I am sure others are wondering as well…

Outlander-Frank-Claire-Castle-Leoch

“Well, okay then there is that extremely intimate moment between the two of you there at the Castle? Then there are the shaving scenes which Claire seemed to remember with such fondness?

claire and frank11

“You both seem to have a rather great fondness for the razor, although Claire, probably not so much now that she knows who’s razor  it was and what he did with it… but that has nothing to do with what I am getting to here? What I am leading up to is actually a comment on the differences between your personal details and those of that other as yet un-mentioned man?” I am only bringing him into this discussion because of something I came across recently that reminded me of those differences between your relationships with Claire? I am going to say here that there are probably some things that you and Claire might have enjoyed and indulged in which that other man did not find quite so interesting or erotic?”

Frank and Jamie today

“I am only bringing this up because I find it rather interesting on some levels and I believe it weighs in on your side Frank, for the fact that as Claire mentions, some men and women do find it erotic… perhaps, you and Claire shared this but it was not something that Jamie found in the least bit to his liking?”

Jamie’s reactions to Claire shaving any parts of her body hair in Dragonfly in Amber!

Claire shaves and Jamie is not impressed 1 Claire shaves2

 

Uhhhhh I think I went too far… Frank has no answer but seems lost in his own memories and thoughts again!

claire and frank8 claire and frank10