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September 2017

Season 3

Favorite Scene Friday – Episode 303, All Debts Paid

September 29, 2017

Outlander Episode 303 All Debts Paid

Oh my! Before I get to my favorite scene from Episode 303, All Debts Paid, I just gotta say…did we have some big surprises in this episode or what? Biggest for me – Murtagh is alive!

All Debts Paid - Murtagh

At least he is for the time being anyway. I can’t wait to see what they do with his character going forward! Second surprise, Frank DID cheat – as the series writers saw it – and that’s the way I had always interpreted it in the book – right or wrong. I know Diana is still leaving that somewhat up in the air and she can do that…she wrote the books!

Another big surprise for me, and maybe not so much for you, was how much I really liked Lord John Grey. I know a lot of people love his character in the books; however, he just hasn’t been one of my favorites and I didn’t expect to like him in the show. I’m very protective when it comes to Claire and Jamie’s relationship and anyone who might want to tinker with that is not high on my list. However, I have to say that David Berry brought a real compassion and loveability to Lord John that I failed to see in the books.

Outlander Episode 303 - Lord John Grey

In large part due to Berry’s interpretation and portrayal of his character, I see more clearly that Lord John is a man of compassion, integrity and honor. He is someone I can see Jamie really coming to like and even admire as a soldier, a man and a friend. Actually, they have a lot of attributes in common. I love the books but sometimes the show helps me to see things from a different perspective and I love that! I can read the books and be perfectly happy and I can watch the show and be perfectly happy but I thought this episode was a wonderful compliment to the book and vice versa. Speaking of this episode and before I ramble on any further, I have to get on with my favorite scene of Episode 303, All Debts Paid. But before I give it away, I want to let you know that my pick for this episode is very personal and something I’d like to share with you from my heart.

My oldest sister has suffered from Alzheimer’s for about 15 years and has been in a nursing home for about the last ten of those. This past Monday morning at 2 a.m., she passed peacefully away in her sleep. It’s been a very rough week for my other sister and me as we have dealt with her passing and all that goes along with it – notifying relatives, going to the funeral home to discuss and decide on arrangements, picking out her final clothing ensemble, talking to the florist, meeting with the minister to discuss the service, and then the funeral service itself. But the hardest thing was the first viewing of her body at the funeral home. It took my breath away. There she was lying in the coffin, looking more beautiful and alive in death than she had looked in her final years of life. All the suffering was gone from her face. The struggle was over. When I looked at her, I saw the sister I had known since infancy, since early childhood and beyond, who had in many ways been a mother figure to me because she was 22 years my senior. There she was – the person I remembered. Not the shell of the person she had become at the hands of a savage disease.

When Claire walked into the morgue to see Frank for the first time after his accident and resulting death, she saw the Frank she had known and loved when they had married.

Ep 303 - All Debts Paid - Claire-Frank

Her first love, as she put it. She didn’t see the man who thought she had lost her mind twenty years before or the man who resented her undying love for Jamie or the man who cheated on her (or didn’t?) nor did she see the man who had threatened to take Brianna away from her.

Outlander Episode 303 - Frank

Episode 303 Frank

No, when Claire looked at Frank on that table, she saw the man she had met, loved and married. The struggle for Frank was over. The torment he had endured and the betrayal and bitterness he had felt ever since Claire had come back to him twenty years before was no more.  And, there he was – the person Claire remembered.

Ep 303- All Debts Paid - Claire Frank

One last comparison and the most important one, if you will allow me.  When I stood by my sister’s coffin looking at her, I thought about the things I wish I had been able to do for and say to her before she died. I wish I had visited her on Saturday as I had first planned instead of waiting until Monday morning when it was six hours too late. I wish I had been able to tell her one more time that I loved her and say it repeatedly until she came out of the dark abyss to say it back to me as was the routine between us when I visited her. But regrets and good intentions cannot undo what has not been done.

It was the same for Claire. Things put off or left undone. Words of love left unspoken. We know that Frank could never replace Jamie as Claire’s true love but Frank was her first love and she did love him very much. She didn’t speak those words to him after her return through the stones and when she saw him lying there, more peaceful in death than in life, she knew too late the things she might have spoken and the things she could have, and perhaps might have done differently. Claire then speaks the words of love to Frank if he is close enough to hear which she wished she had spoken before but was too late.

Ep 303 - All Debts Paid - Claire-Frank Kiss

As Claire walks out the door, she starts a new chapter of her life without Frank.

Ep 303 - All Debts Paid - Claire

I, too, now start a new chapter without my sister. Like Claire, I don’t know what that next chapter holds but I do know that it will be filled with more words and actions of love. I will not wait or put off or make excuses because life can change in a heartbeat and in a heartbeat it can be too late.

What was your favorite scene of Episode 303, All Debts Paid? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! In the meantime, Dear Readers, I want you to know how much I love and appreciate each and every one of you! Now, do me and yourself a favor, go tell someone you love them! You may not get another chance!

Photo Credits: STARZ

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Season 3

Favorite Scene Friday – Outlander Episode 302, Surrender

September 22, 2017

Outlander Episode 302 SurrenderHow do you pick a favorite scene from so many wonderful moments? Episode 302, Surrender, was filled with them. What an emotional ride we Outlander fans took! Claire’s visions of Jamie, Jamie’s vision of Claire, Claire and Frank coming together then breaking apart, Claire meeting Joe Abernathy, Fergus losing his hand, Mary McNabb lying to cover up for Jamie and Jenny, Jamie and Mary’s tender scene in the cave, and Jamie being arrested in a carefully hatched scheme. And, that’s just to name a few. So, what’s my favorite? It’s one I didn’t mention.

My favorite scene was the heartbreaking moment when Jenny comes downstairs to the sitting room to find Jamie after Fergus loses his hand.

Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 1Jenny says, “Your quick action saved him, brother.”

“I should have stopped them,” Jamie answers.

To which Jenny replies, “Then ye’d be dead and so would he. We’d all be dead.”

At that moment, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, the king of men, crumbles to the floor, sobbing in his sister’s arms. The weight of the events of his life driving him to his knees.

Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 2Our beloved warrior who has been through so much, suffered so much, lost so much finally “surrenders” to the burden and clutches desperately onto the only person remaining who might possibly understand.

Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 3There, cradled in Jenny’s arms, did Jamie see flashbacks of his life and all the could have beens? I can imagine that he did. Life had not turned out the way he had expected.

Jamie was not born to be a laird but when his older brother Willie died, he had been groomed for the position by his father. As a young boy, I’m sure he dreamed of becoming laird of Lallybroch one day. There was hope and excitement for all that the future might bring. But the future as he saw it would be cruelly snatched from him as he, a Scottish lad at the time, was arrested and taken off to Fort William where he was brutally flogged by Black Jack Randall. As if things couldn’t be worse, his father died as a result of watching the flogging. Those events were the beginning of Jamie’s life turning from one of hope and excitement to one of danger and fear.

In the years that followed, Jamie’s life was anything but easy. On the run with no safe home, burden was built upon burden, struggle upon struggle, pain and heartbreak one upon another like the stones of a cairn. But then he met Claire. We know that he loved her from the first night he saw her and even though he had no reason to believe that she would ever return his feelings, in those moments in the darkness on the night they first met, a small light of hope had to have gleamed in his heart. Could there be love and happiness after all? When he married Claire, he must have felt that spark of hope fully realized. His words from The Wedding episode,

“I remember every moment, every second. I’ll never forget when I came out of the church and saw you for the first time. It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day and suddenly the sun came out.”

That cloudy day had been Jamie’s life for the past three years and Claire suddenly became his sun.

After his marriage to Claire, Jamie would likely have thought his life was changing for the better and perhaps things were going to work out after all.  It wasn’t long before he understood there would be no happily ever after. Savagely imprisoned, tortured and raped by Black Jack Randall, Jamie’s life turns to despair. It is Claire’s love that heals him but he must flee his beloved Scotland for France and there again, tragedy strikes. Fergus is raped by Black Jack resulting in the breaking of Jamie’s promise to Claire and the duel with Randall ending with the miscarriage of Baby Faith. Returning to Scotland, there is once again renewed hope for Jamie & Claire but it is quickly dashed by The Bonnie Prince. Jamie must now go to war in an attempt to once more change the tide of the future but again, the light of hope is stamped out beneath the boots of the Redcoats on the battlefield of Culloden Moor. Claire is gone forever and he is alive despite his wish to be dead. But, for Jamie, his life really did end on that battlefield. Jenny put it well,

“Brother! You ken why I can lie to the British and feel at peace? It’s because I’m not lyin’. James Fraser hasna been here for a long, long time.”Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 9

The one person he had loved more than anything or anyone else in the world, the one person who had helped him move on and survive all the scars, all the wounds, all the heartbreak and hopelessness of his past, the one who had healed him on so many different levels was gone. Claire was gone.  As Ian told Jamie,

Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 8“My leg, it’s not there, as anyone can plainly see, and yet, it pains me terrible sometimes. Even wakes me up at night. Fergus, the lad, he’ll likely feel the same wi’ his hand. Feeling a pain in a part of ye that’s lost…and that’s just a hand. Claire was yer heart.”

Hiding in a cave for seven years, Jamie had become only a glimmer of the man he once was. He wasn’t supposed to be there after all and living as a coward, as Fergus had described him, was not who Jamie was.  As it turns out, it was the tragedy of Fergus losing his hand which becomes the one weight Jamie cannot withstand. Added to all the other things that had come before, the mighty, teetering stone cairn of his life crumbles and falls.

In this scene, I see a man reliving the moments of his life wondering how it all came to naught, all the hopes and dreams of his childhood and those of his marriage to Claire. I grieve with him as he remembers the horrific events of his life which have brought him to this place. And it is there, at Lallybroch, where hope had begun for him as a boy, that it ends for him as a broken man. In this scene, I understand his tears and the whys he must have spoken inwardly and the complete despair he shows outwardly.

Outlander Episode 302 Surrender Favorite Scene 5

Jamie had lost everything, most of all his heart, and there was nothing left of the hopes and dreams he had once had. Like Claire, they were gone. On that floor at Lallybroch, he surrenders his strength at last and mourns the loss of all that he held so dear.

So there you have it. My favorite scene. Tell me, what was yours? And why? I’d love to hear from you.

(Photo & Script Credits: STARZ)

Outlander North Carolina Season 3

Outlander Season 3 Premiere Thank You Notes

September 13, 2017

Outlander Season 3 The Battle Joined

The Outlander Season 3 Premiere has come and gone! I had good intentions of doing a recap right after but life got in the way and I’m running a bit behind. So, in the spirit of Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show, I’d like to write out some Outlander Thank You Notes for the Season 3 premiere.  Is that ok with you guys? Great! To really get you into the spirit of thankfulness, the Thank You Note Music can be playing in the background as you read! Ready? Let’s get to it!!!

Outlander Season 3 Jamie


Outlander Season 3 Murtagh


Outlander Season 3


Outlander Season 3 Claire


Outlander Season 3 Dragonfly In Amber


Frank Outlander Season 3


Outlander Season 3 Jon Gary Steele


Millie Nelson Season 3


Outlander Season 3 Dean Jackson


Outlander Season 3 Lord Melton


Outlander Season 3 Dr. Thorne


Outlander Season 3 Jamie

So, what are you thankful for now that the Droughtlander is over and Season 3 has begun?  What was your favorite scene? Please leave me a note in the comments and if you think it’s share worthy, you have my permission to share this post!  Oh, one more thing, check out our Facebook Group Page to stay in the know with all things Outlander and North Carolina!

Outlander North Carolina

In Defense Of Sam Heughan

September 6, 2017

In Defense of Sam Heughan

Actually, I do not need to defend Sam Heughan.  He is perfectly capable of defending himself.  So, why am I writing this blog post?  It’s not to defend Sam but to pose some questions that might be on the minds of several of you today.  WARNING: Soapbox moment ahead!

I was so looking forward to seeing Sam on Live with Kelly & Ryan.  I never watch the show but I thought it was pretty great that they were having Sam on to promote Outlander Season 3 and perhaps his new movie, The Spy Who Dumped Me. So, what could be better, right? Outlander gets a real promo push and so does Sam! Instead, what I got was a childish, inappropriate interview by Kelly & Ryan.  I was so unimpressed and the more I thought about it, the more disgusted I became. Here are my observations from that interview:

  • The interview starts with Kelly asking Sam about his new movie which Sam responds to briefly, mentioning it had just wrapped and giving the name of his co-stars. Kelly nor Ryan ever ask the name of the movie or give Sam a chance to discuss his new movie further.
  • After that, they go immediately to the Q & A.  Please allow me to paraphrase. Ryan asks if Sam wears a kilt.  Kelly asks what Sam wears underneath the kilt.  Kelly says “Then, it’s an open air situation?” Ryan asks if Jamie & Claire think each other are dead.  After Sam tries to answer the question, Ryan says (with an uninterested sigh), “Suspenseful, yeah.”
  • After that already humiliating round of questions, they go to the extremely tacky love note ending with Kelly reading her own love note.

I don’t know this for a fact but I’m guessing Kelly & Ryan have never read the Outlander books or even watched the series. If they had, they would appreciate Sam’s tremendous talent and would not have treated his interview with such frivolity. They would have understood the wonderful story of Diana’s books and how the STARZ series brings them to life.  They would never have made Sam into simply a kilt-wearing sex symbol. They would have at least talked about Season 3 instead of saying “Were those explosions real?” Really? Was that the best Kelly could do after viewing the promo video?

Here are my questions:

  1. Was it appropriate for Kelly to ask Sam what he wore under his kilt?
  2. If the answer is yes, would it have been fair play for Sam to ask her what she was wearing underneath her dress?
  3. If the answer to #2 is no, why not?
  4. Should Kelly & Ryan ask Caitriona what she wears under her skirt?
  5. If they do ask Caitriona what she wears under her skirt, would it be appropriate?
  6. I’m going to speak to the women right now. How can we, as women, expect to be treated with equal respect as men plus demand we be looked upon as something more than sexual objects when we are doing the same thing to men?

Bottom line. For me, there was nothing even remotely funny or relevant about that interview.  Call me old fashioned but the interview crossed the line in all sorts of ways. Outlander wasn’t promoted, Sam wasn’t promoted, except in a sexual way, and the Outlander community as a whole was demeaned. Why do I say demeaned? Because obviously it’s believed in some circles that all we Outlander fans care about are two things – sex and what Sam is wearing under his kilt.  I’ve said this before but there is so much more to the Outlander story than sex. And although I’ve never met him personally, I know from other view-worthy interviews that there is so much more to Sam Heughan than sex appeal!  Of course, Sam took it all in stride. Honestly, what else could he do? He was his same, gracious self but he should never have been subjected to that type of interview.  I just hope the interviews to follow this week for both Sam & Caitriona are, as Mrs. Fitz would so aptly say, a bit more.

Time for me to step down off my soapbox now and let you talk.  How do you feel about Sam’s interview on Live with Kelly & Ryan? Please leave your thoughts below in the comments and you don’t have to agree with me.  As always, thank you for reading!

Outlander North Carolina Season 3

Seven Days Of Droughtlander Activities

September 3, 2017

Daily Droughtlander Activities

As we are gearing up for next Sunday’s premier of Outlander Season 3, you may be wondering what you can do to make the time during the last seven days of this horrific Droughtlander go by faster. Yes, it’s been an exceedingly long drought and we have suffered quite enough already without new episodes of our favorite show.  How can we be asked to endure the next 7 days without wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth?  In the spirit of saying farewell to Droughtlander and, by so doing, also helping us to survive the next 7 days, I have comprised a list of daily activities which you will find below.

We will start the week out pretty slowly but as the anticipation grows so must our activity! In order to avoid terrible bouts of sleeplessness, anxiety, hopeless frenzy,  delusional thoughts, snapping at our loved ones, calling our friends names for not sharing our obsession and a loss of appetite, among many other advanced symptoms of Droughtlander, it is imperative ALL activities listed for each day be completed.  Of course, please let me know if you have any problems accomplishing them. ­­ I don’t think I will have the time to talk to you about it but you can still let me know or either take two aspirin and call Dr. I. Fash Yeken in the morning.

7 Days of Droughtlander

Happy End Of Droughtlander!

P.S.  Julia LeBlanc’s wonderful Outlander videos can be found by clicking here.