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Susan Jackson

Burns Night Outlander North Carolina

Robert Burns Night–Scotland Style

January 25, 2021

special guest post by Mhairi Jarvie

Our special guest post is from Mhairi Jarvie, a valuable member of the Inverness Outlanders, as well as  the Outlander North Carolina Clan. We are excited to bring her knowledge to ONC–read on as she shares a bit about Burns Night!

Robert Burns, or Rabbie Burns as he’s more commonly known here in Scotland – poet and songwriter extraordinaire. World renowned and celebrated. Quite simply, one of the best writers that ever existed, in my humble opinion. So, who was this guy, and what does he mean to Scotland, Scottish emigrants, the world, and little old me?

He was born on 25 January, 1759, in Alloway, Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland. He was the oldest of seven children borne by William Burns and Agnes Broun. I could go on and tell you all about the man, but that’s what Wikipedia is for! It’s no secret he had a very tough childhood, full of hardship and poverty. It’s also no secret that he *ahem* had an eye for the ladies! But I was asked to put together a piece on my own experience of Burns, what he means to me, Scotland, and the world.

Thatched roof with a dark sign with gold lettering Burns Cottage Robert Burns the Ayrshire poet was born in this cottage 25 January AD 1759 and died 21 July AD 1796 age 37 and a half years

As a child, in what we in Scotland call primary school (aged 5 to 11), it was practically the law, every Burns night, that we recite a verse of his poetry. It was usually from “To a Mouse”, as it’s quite an easy one, and children can relate to it. A scared wee mouse, running away from the farmer’s plough. Looking at it now, as an adult, I see it as a man’s awareness of the damage humans can do to the natural habitats of animals, apologising for same. John Steinbeck obviously identified with Burns, and a line from this poem specifically, as he named his best selling novel “Of Mice and Men”. The line from the poem is “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley, an’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain for promis’d joy!”. Basically, rough translation from Scots, even the best laid plans can go astray and leave us with grief and pain instead of joy. When I reached secondary school, or high school (aged 12-18), I read that book, but never knew the connection. It makes perfect sense. Sadly, although Scotland has its own education system, to this day more time is given over to Shakespeare than Burns. Anything I know of Burns poems, I’ve been self taught. I’ve no idea why he isn’t taught more in Scottish schools, as we can learn such a lot from his writings.

As part of that primary school Burns tradition, we were also challenged to write a poem of our own. Now, writing poetry is something that’s in my blood! My Dad, and his Dad, wrote poems in English and Welsh. On my paternal grandmother’s side, I’m descended from a Welsh bard. It’s the same on my maternal grandfather’s side, I’m descended from a Scottish Gaelic bard. I’ve written poems and songs since childhood, inspired by Burns, and other Scottish writers. So yes, he’s inspired me. I love singing his songs too.

Burns night, 25 January, his birth date, is celebrated more than that of our patron saint, St Andrew (on 30 November), in Scotland and in all Scottish communities throughout the world. Scots are spread all across this globe, whether that be by choice, or, through the 18th and 19th centuries, some by force. Wherever they settled – America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, etc. – Scottish societies were formed; Scottish churches were established; streets, towns and villages were built and given Scottish names. Scottish music, stories, songs, language and dance also went with them, and Burns continued to be celebrated. The very first Burns club, or association, was set up in Greenock, to the west of Glasgow, in 1801, only 5 years after Burns passed away. It was set up by some merchants, some of whom knew Burns and counted him as a friend. This club is known as The Mother Club.

Every official Burns night has a set format – piping in the guests, chairperson’s welcome, Selkirk or Burns grace, piping in of the haggis, address to the haggis, toast to the haggis, then you tuck in to the meal. The Selkirk, or Burns grace, is this –

white plate holding haggis, neeps or rutabagas and tatties or potatoes with a small glass of whisky beside the plate

Haggis, neeps & tatties with a bit of whisky to wash it down

 

“Some have meat and cannae eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit”

Address to the Haggis poem imposed on black stone plaque in gold lettering

First verse, Address of the Haggis by Robert Burns

In your every day common household though, most families will just tuck into the haggis, neeps and tatties, – or haggis, turnips (swedes), and potatoes. Someone will maybe say the first verse of the “Address to a Haggis”, but there’s not very much pomp or ceremony involved. In this house, it’s the only time of year I’ll eat haggis, but it must be mashed together with the neeps and tatties, or I can’t eat it I’m afraid! Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really a fan! Nor am I a fan of whisky! Anyway, I digress!

Burns poems and songs are known around the world, and some are more famous than others. The most famous, by a country mile, is Auld Lang Syne. This has become synonymous with New Year, or Hogmanay, celebrations absolutely everywhere. There won’t be many places on the planet where this song is not known. A lot longer than the normal two verses sung, it’s a song of friendship and remembrance. Strangers cross arms and join hands during the second verse, and they dance together as they sing the rest. Please, please note though, for the sake of Scots everywhere, that the word “syne” starts with an S and not a Z! It’s pronounced sign, and not zine. The collective hairs on the back of all Scottish necks go up, and teeth grind, as they hear zine!

I mentioned earlier the influence Burns had on John Steinbeck, but he has been an influence to so many. Bob Dylan cited “My Love is like a Red, Red Rose” as one of the songs that touched him the most, that was one of his greatest sources of inspiration. It’s said that Michael Jackson was a Burns fan too. In the 1990’s, he recorded twelve of Burns’ best known poems set to music. US fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger was the 3x great nephew of Burns. Apparently it wasn’t spoken about due to Burns womanising and boozing, but Hilfiger later embraced the connection through his love of plaid in his designs. There’s a folk festival held in Scotland every January, for the last 30 years now, called Celtic Connections, featuring musicians, singers and poets from all over the world (it’s online this year for obvious reasons). Every year, without fail, Burns songs are sung and poems read out. Some are sung or recited in original form, some are adapted, translated, or interpreted as something else like dance.

Burns is also responsible for a lot of tourism to Scotland, specifically the areas he was born in, grew up in, and farmed in. The cottage he was born in is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and houses approximately 5000 artefacts, including original manuscripts. Burns also saved a bridge! There’s a film called Brigadoon, from 1945, which features American tourists who stumble across a mysterious Scottish village that only appears for one day every 100 years. There is a real Brig O’ Doon though, in Alloway, where Burns was born. It was built in the 1400’s, rebuilt in the 1700’s, but a newer one was built in 1816 to cope with increasing demand of traffic (horses and carts). The old one was due to be demolished, but there was such an outcry at this from Burns fans. The bridge features in the Burns magnificent poem, “Tam O’Shanter.” To me this is his best work. It’s long, but it’s just brilliant! Tam returns home from market in Ayr, drunk, when he comes across a coven of witches and warlocks in the grounds of the Auld Alloway Kirk. He’s seen, and chased by them. By tradition, a witch won’t pursue anyone over running water, so Tam rides his horse at full sped towards the bridge, and escapes with his life – and his horse without its tail.

snow covered sign that reads Brig o' Doon with snow-covered stone bridge beyond the sign

It’s been 225 years this year since Burns died, yet he is still held in very high regard in Scottish life, culture and tradition. His songs and poems are the stuff of legend. The stories of love, heartbreak, life in general, are enough to make anyone stop and think. Yes, he may have been as Tommy Hilfiger’s family portrayed him – a man of womanising and booze. But he was a literary genius, a caring soul, an egalitarian who spoke out about the slave trade during his time working on a plantation in Jamaica, just before abolition. I challenge you to find one person who can’t hum or sing Auld Lang Syne (S, not Z, remember!). He has statues in Russia, New Zealand, America, and elsewhere. His portrait has adorned postage stamps, shortbread tins, tea towels and lots more!
As I say and watched the inauguration of President Biden today, and listened to his speech, it was Burns that sprang to mind, from his poem “A Man’s a Man for a’ That’ll -“

“Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a’ that,
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree an a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s comin yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man the warld o’er
Shall brithers be fir a’ that”

painting of a man with dark hair, slightly receding hairline, full sideburns dressed in jacket and shirt with open collar and undershirt tied in a knot at the neck

Mhairi, thank you so much for this wonderful and interesting lesson on Burns Night and a bit o’ Scottish history!

Will you be celebrating Burns Night? Tell us about it in the comments!

Mhairi meets Sam Heughan

Mhairi Jarvie was born in Edinburgh, and currently lives in Inverness with her husband Alan and German Shepherd dog Abby; she is stepmother to two adult “children.” Mhairi loves her job as a civilian police support staff in Inverness.   She did not discover Outlander until 2016, thanks to two Orlando, Florida hotel employees! Needless to say she is now a devoted fan, and is part of the Inverness Outlanders group. Mhairi has been lucky to meet Diana Gabaldon, Graham McTavish, and got to snap a photo with Sam Heughan! Mhairi loves her husband, her pets, music,  photography, travel, family research, writing poetry, Disney, Nike shoes, and Scottish history. 

Droughtlander Outlander North Carolina The Droughtlander Diaries

Droughtlander Diaries

October 24, 2020

from the diaries of guest poster Dawn Woo

It’s been 5 months since we left Jamie and Claire standing on the porch of the big house on Fraser’s Ridge waiting on “the storm” to approach, both figuratively and literally. To add to our “40 years in the desert”, we are experiencing a pandemic that none of us thought would last this long. School was put on hold and it affected both part-time jobs I have:  coaching high school tennis and working for a historical company that does hands-on 18th century field days for elementary schools. I was left with a good bit of time on my hands. You know what they say about busy hands: “Busy hands are happy hands.”  I thought I would share with my Outlander North Carolina family some of the entries from my Droughtlander Diary. I hope your days have been as full as mine and you have come closer to your inner-Claire (or Jamie, of course).

July 20, 2020
Dear Diary,
I have my patio addition!
Jamie and Claire…..”Jamie stood in front of the new hearth, stretched out a hand to me, and drew me to stand by the hearthstone beside him.” (Drums of Autumn, chapter 19)

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One of the advantages to having 3 sons…two of which are in engineering…is that they can “engineer” things to great detail. I wanted a rock and slate patio to tie my existing patio to my deck and all three boys built it. My oldest son, Ben, helped me to design the patio and also served as supervisor to the crew. I served as design consultant. It was fun watching all three trench and level, build a stone border and lay pieces of big slate.

August 3, 2020
Dear Diary,
We decided to take a little trip to the mountains.
Jamie to Claire….”’How shall I tell ye what it is to feel the need of a place?’ he said softly. ‘The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave to Adam…..’”  (Drums of Autumn, chapter 19)
We decided we needed to see the mountains for a few days so we headed to Northeast Tennessee, the West Highland Rim, with two of the four dogs in tow. On the way, we stopped in Valdese and met fellow ONC admin, Dawn Mathews and husband Steve, for lunch at JD’s Smokehouse. The food was just as I remembered from our Friday night BBQ dinner at Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming and the company was even better. 
Our rental home rested on the edge of the Wolf River with a great view of the river and a huge canyon wall from the back deck. We watched all types of wildlife throughout those few days. Our favorite was the family of mink that moved back and forth along the canyon wall at the river’s edge every morning.

August 15, 2020
Dear Diary,
I took time to sit and read a book.
Claire……”The breeze rose with the cooling of the day, and the fluttering leaves of the trees made the multiple shadows dance in the grass. I could easily imagine fairies on the hill, dancing with those shadows, threading through the slender trunks to blend into the depths of the wood.”  (Outlander, chapter 16)

Team Edward!

There are a certain species of mystical creatures that have always captured my attention in stories and those would be vampires. I had originally read all Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series and was excited to learn that she had finally finished the book that was leaked, Midnight Sun. It is basically Twilight from Edward’s point of view. (I’ve always been Team Edward).  It was an interesting book and I loved how Meyers got into Edward’s vampire head. There were a couple of spots, though, where I likened Edward’s constant brooding to William’s endless wandering in the Great Dismal – lol.

August 30, 2020
Dear Diary,
I have cooked and eaten and cooked and eaten.
Claire and Jamie…..” I poked him rudely in the ribs. ‘You’re much too fit. Most men in their forties have begun to go soft round the middle, And you haven’t a spare ounce on you.’ ‘That’s mostly because I havena got anyone to cook for me,’ he said ruefully. ‘If you ate in taverns all the time, ye wouldna be fat, either. Luckily, it looks as though ye eat regularly.’ He patted my bottom familiarly and then ducked, laughing, as I slapped at his hand.” (Voyager, chapter 25)
I had a full house this summer. All of my children were home, plus girlfriends, plus two dogs in addition to our two. Food is a central thought in the minds of 17-24 year olds, especially home cooked food and desserts. It was an absolute joy having all of those feet under our table from May to August, although I am wearing that “joy” around my middle in the form of a few extra pounds. So like Claire, we ate regularly and well.

September 1, 2020
Dear Diary,
There’s a reason it’s called “binge-watching.” You JUST. CANT. STOP!
Jamie meets George Washington…..”The man was as tall as Jamie himself, and Jamie found himself looking straight into sharp, gray-blue eyes that took his measure in the instant it took to shake hands. ‘George Washington,’ the man said. ‘Your servant, sir.’ ‘James Fraser,’ Jamie said, feeling mildly stunned. ‘Your….most obedient. Sir.’ (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, chapter 10)
I decided to finally watch two series that originally aired on AMC, “Turn“ and “Hell on Wheels”.  I regretted not watching them years ago. “Turn” scratched that 18th century itch with George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the spy tactics used in the Revolutionary War. On the other hand, Cullen Bohannon in “Hell on Wheels” stepped up to the plate as pinch hitter for the king of men, Jamie Fraser, for a few weeks….although we all know that Jamie is a home run ALL day, EVERY day! The series was set post-Civil War against the backdrop of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. It, too, featured several historical figures.

September 15, 2020
Dear Diary,
I planted my garden in spring and fall.
Mrs. Fitz to Claire….”’Keep back a few heads,’ she advised me. ‘Divide ‘em and plant the bulbs single, one here and one there, all round the garden. Garlic keeps the wee bugs awa’ from the other plants. Onion and yarrow will do the same. And pinch the dead marigold heads, but keep them, they’re useful.'” (Outlander, chapter 6)
I planted my garden early and had to cover it with sheets several times to protect it from the cold. I put down tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, cabbage, purple hull peas, and the candy roasted squash seeds that Mary Helen Ellis gave us at Homecoming 2019. I also have a small established herb garden with rosemary, sage, cilantro, peppermint, and oregano. I was able to dry a lot of these for use this winter. 
My gardening did not stop with the end of summer. I planted a fall/winter garden for the first time. I have broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce. I’m seriously considering trying my hand at making sauerkraut when the fall cabbage crop comes in.

Some of my historical clothing pieces, including my woven tape, and upcycled pocket.

October 5, 2020
Dear Diary,
I hope my fellow ONC clan members have been able to channel their inner Claire or their inner Jamie. I’ve been as happy as the “white sow under the big house” sewing some 18th century garments, learning to tape weave, getting my hands dirty in the garden, and having “my clan” all around me on “my ridge” these past months.
I hope my fellow clan members’ Droughtlander has been happily busy and fruitful. I hope they’ve found pleasure in the everyday mundane that we sometimes take for granted.  As Jamie said to Claire, “The world and each day in it is a gift, mo chridhe-no matter what tomorrow may be.”  (The Fiery Cross, chapter 58)

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5 Finale, “Never My Love”

May 16, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  It’s difficult to believe that season give is now behind us!  As we’ve been doing all season, some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode, and hope you have enjoyed it as well! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach, Stephanie Bryant, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for the Outlander season five finale, “Never My Love.”

Dawn: The iconic line from Jamie to Claire – “When the day shall come that we do part, if my last words are not ‘I love you’…you’ll ken it’s that I dinna have time.”

Nancy: I agree with Dawn.

Stephanie: Agree with everyone but add “Kill them all” as a close 2nd.

Mitzie: Agree with my ladies, by far, it’s when we finally got to hear Jamie utter those iconic words of “When the day shall come, that we do part… if my last words are not ‘I love you’ — ye ken it was because I didna have time”. Such a swoon worthy moment.

Susan: I have two–Jamie’s “…because I didna have time,” and when Claire answered Jamie with the single word, “Safe,” at the end. 

Dawn: This was such a ‘visual episode’ and so many great moments that made this episode what it was. I can’t choose just one great moment…it was Roger telling Jamie that he’d stand by his side; the image of Ian shaving his head and putting on the war paint (wasn’t he just stunning?); it was Jamie reaffirming her, ‘there’s just the two of us..you needn’t be cared”; Marsali telling Brown that he’d hurt HER family…..It’s all the moments that show the bonds, faithfulness, and loyalty of family.

Nancy: I loved the moment when Jamie and Claire are intertwined in the nude. Jamie seems to be cradling Claire as she tells him she feels safe. I understand from the script that they edited out a lot of the scene. I would love to see that additional footage.

Stephanie: All of the above, the whole episode actually!! The finale needed to be longer. Did love the show “kept on giving” after it was over,trying to figure out the all Easter Eggs.

Mitzie: I’m with Nancy. Seeing Claire and Jamie nakedly embraced in the end. It was very tastefully done and embodies such a beautiful moment that they were able to share with each after such a traumatic event.

Susan: I wanted to shout when Marsali jabbed that needle into Lionel Brown’s neck–loved it!

Dawn: Hands down….Caitriona Balfe

Nancy: This was Cait’s episode. She deserves an Emmy for her performance.

Stephanie: I can’t disagree.  Cait nailed it! She portrayed Claire in this episode equal parts strong and vulnerable. An Emmy is definitely in her future!

Mitzie: Cait better be penning her acceptance speech because this episode just earned her some serious accolades! Amazing job Caitriona!!!!

Susan: Caitriona was phenomenal in this episode–she deserves awards regardless, but if there was any doubt, there is none now.

Dawn: I think the most surprising moment was the choice for Marsali to be the one to kill Lionel Brown. When she held up that syringe, I was rooting for her to stick it in his neck.

Nancy: The most surprising moment for me was the ‘60’s montage. It was totally unexpected.

Stephanie: Bree/Roger time travel to nowhere was not a big surprise but highly anticipated, as we didn’t know definitely where they turned up. Hoping Roger would be there to help save Claire.

Mitzie: Dawn and I are on the same page with this one. Marsali taking it upon herself to rid themselves of Lionel, with a syringe of water hemlock, into the neck! DANG GIRL! She has just proven without a shadow of a doubt that she will stop at nothing to protect her family and it solidifies how she feels about Claire being very precious to her.

Susan: I’m with Nancy here–when I saw the record player, my first thought was that Bree and Roger really were sent ahead in time, but to the late 60’s/early 70’s. When I realized it was Claire and Jamie’s home, I was blown away.

Dawn: I really liked all of the ‘Easter Eggs’ in this episode….all of the lines and objects used. It was well thought out. I think it goes to show how deep and caring the writers are for DG’s material.

Nancy: I thought the effort the producers and actors made to display the rape scene with sensitivity was great. Reading many positive online comments from actual rape survivors, I think they really achieved their goal.

Stephanie: Marsali killing Lionel Brown. I mean she isn’t even from the future like Claire, where a woman could take a more assertive position to make her own decision, yet she had the courage to kill the old coot! Marsali’s a hero!

Mitzie: I really liked how Claire’s disassociation world was created. So much symbolism that I felt connected to a lot of the major moments from past seasons to the present but was still fully connected to Claire’s current situation. It was a very unique and creative idea and I really liked how it played out.

Susan: Lionel Brown getting his just desserts.

Dawn: I think the whole altered and premature storyline of Roger, Brianna, and Jemmy going back through the stones was just unnecessary. I just felt like it was obvious that they didn’t go anywhere.

Nancy: Like Dawn I found the failed attempt of the MacKenzies to go through the stones irritating. What a waste of time and gemstones!
I hate to admit when I first saw a stiff, creepy, manikin-like Claire in a red dress, staring at the abstract painting of the big house, I wanted to shout at the producers. But after reading posts and comments, listening to the after show producer discussion, and watching it a second time, I changed my mind. I saw that much research was done on the subject of rape to create a sensitive picture of this difficult subject matter. Then I had a good time going back to the scene and hunting for Easter eggs.

Stephanie: I was disappointed that they saved Lionel Brown to bring back in order to try to get information from him. I thought immediately “what information are you talking about Roger”? Then Jamie agreeing, after knowing what transpired. The “kill them all” should’ve included him too. Marsali killing him did make up for it though.

Mitzie: That this was the last episode of the season! BOO!!!! HISS!!!! GRRRR!!!!!

Susan: I feel like the whole Bree/Roger/Jemmy and “going home” was a waste of time that could’ve been devoted to something else.

Well, there you have it–our last ONC Admins Choice Awards for season five of Outlander! *insert Droughtlander tears* So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for the finale episode!

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, Journeycake

May 9, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach, and Susan Jackson. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 511, Journeycake.

Dawn: Jamie to Brianna—“You have made my life whole.”

Nancy: For me it had to be when Claire said, “I smell like the White Sow.” That wasn’t in the books, so DG did that as an homage to the White Sow. I tweeted a thank you to her. 

Mitzie: Jamie’s final moment’s with the dying girl at the burnt cabin when he said: “Thou goest home this night to thy home of autumn, of spring, and of summer; Thou goest home this night to thy perpetual home, To thine eternal bed, to thine eternal slumber.” OMG, that had me boo hooing big time.

Susan:  I loved what Jamie said to the dying girl, too.

Dawn:  The scene between Brianna and Lizzie and Brianna trying to explain to her that she can’t come with them. “You are brave..one of the bravest I know.”

Nancy: The intimate window scene between Claire and Jamie. (I’m glad to finally see signs of menopause in Claire.)

Mitzie: Watching Jamie light that cross to call the Clan together for Claire. That was a powerful piece of symbolism when it comes to his priorities. 

Susan:  I got chills watching Jamie running to the cross and lighting it afire–such a dramatic ending. Anything for Claire. *sigh*

Tara:  All of them, each cast member did a wonderful job in this episode!

Dawn:  Brianna/Sophie Skelton

Nancy: I really thought everyone was good in this one. A special shout out to the actress who played the burnt girl and Rik Rankin in that scene.

Mitzie: Cait has this one for me. I enjoyed all her facial expressions in this one, plus she delivered some good lines with concordant feelings.

Susan: John Bell stands out in my mind–Ian’s still heartbroken, and John conveys his feelings so well.

Tara: When Bree Roger and Jemmy actually went to the stones. I like others didn’t think They’d actually do it.

Dawn:  The decision to send Brianna, Jem, And Roger through the stones. I wasn’t expecting it so soon.

Nancy: First, Roger, Bree and Jemmy going through the stones. That wasn’t supposed to happen until Bree has Mandy and Mandy has a . heart defect. Second the attack by the Browns at the end.

Mitzie: Claire’s abduction and Bree and Rogers attempt to travel forward are tied for me because I am not ready for either of these events and they both hint to ideas that I don’t want to entertain during Season 5. I don’t want to think that Outlander could possibly ramping up for a final season next year –  I’m just not ready to think about that! 

Susan: Definitely Brown’s attack on the Ridge–I wasn’t expecting that scene to happen this season. (And is that Donner I see behind the lovely Mr. Brown when they come to visit Jamie and ask for his support?!)

Tara:  There wasn’t any really funny moments in this episode but, Claire and Jamie each describing what the other one’s eau du perfume smelled like. 

Dawn:  Jamie describing what he thought germs would look like…with teeth. Then talking about his handsome sperm…with the tails and how they swam so well. 

Nancy: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich scene with Jamie cutting his sandwich with a knife and fork. It was so wonderful that they brought up Claire’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich that Claire carried with her through the stones to Edinburgh since they left it out in Voyager.

Mitzie: Watching Claire as she describes to Jamie what it is he is seeing in the microscope. She just had the best expression on her face the whole time. She had that cat that ate the canary kind of look. I was grinning right alone with her.

Susan:  Jamie eating PB&J w/ a fork!

Tara: DG for her amazing writing for tv and the cast’s execution of the storyline. All the feels!

Dawn:  The whole episode…how it focused on family and relationships in the day to day activities of life….making peanut butter! I think this is a reason we all like the books….we can relate to the family.

Nancy: That DG wrote this script. It really makes a difference. 

Mitzie: I’m going to say the best overall thing was that Diana wrote this episode and it showed in spades! So much fluidity from one scene/storyline to the next and a lot of key parts were covered in this episode too without the individual scenes seeming too drawn out or too short.

Susan: What they said! ^^^

Tara:  The smushing of all the storyline. It makes me wonder what is going to come in the finale episode and Season 6. 

Dawn: The decision to send Roger and Brianna back through the stones. It is a premature event according to the book storyline. We are missing so much of Roger and Bri’s story in the 18th century..and the real reason they went back through the stones.

Nancy: The burned, scalped woman. That was so hard to watch. I hated that they had to smother her to put her out of her misery.

Mitzie: Watching poor Marsali getting round-house punched! And the way she hit the floor, like dead weight, while pregnant! I really don’t like seeing that, even in make believe.

Susan:  Knowing what’s coming for Claire–if they keep it in the story, anyway. But I’m still not caring for Roger and Bree going through the stones right now–if they did, anyway. Too soon.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for Episode 511, Journeycake!

A Breath of Snow And Ashes Ocracoke Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, Mercy Shall Follow Me

May 2, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Stephanie Bryant, Nancy Roach, and Cameron Hogg. So, without further ado, the winners for episode, Mercy Shall Follow Me are…

Cameron:  Brianna telling Bonnet, “I could never think any less of you.” I do love a good backhanded compliment. 😉

Stephanie: Bonnet talking to Forbes: “I suggest you start to behave more as my lawyer and less as my priest”

Nancy: I have to agree with Cameron on this one. “I could never think any less of you.”

Dawn: Jamie to Bonnet – “Know that whatever happens, the last thing you see on this earth willna be that of a friend.”

Tara:  When Roger beat the snot out of Bonnet and they bound him for Wilmington.

Cameron:  Agreed.  It was good to see Roger take care of things with Bonnet and finally get his part in avenging Brianna’s suffering.  

Stephanie: Seeing Bonnet’s face while slowly drowning!  Priceless!!

Nancy: When Roger beats up Bonnet. When Bree shoots Bonnet in the head.

Dawn: The scene with Jocasta and Forbes…when Ulysses saves Jocasta and then calls her by name and kisses her hand. Hmmmm….a hint of things to come??

Tara: I have to go with Sophie on this one. She really showed different emotions in this episode.

Cameron: As much as I disliked the character, I thought this was a really good episode for Ed Speleers.  Sometimes during his scenes in the past, I got a little too much of a Captain Jack Sparrow knock-off feel from him, but I think he finally settled into Bonnet as a distinct character, and he showed a lot of depth playing his various facets in this episode.  

Nancy: Ed Speleers as Bonnet.

Stephanie: I think Ed Speleers nailed it as Bonnet! As creepy as he was, he was that perfect mixture of charming and sadistic!

Dawn: Ed Speleers (Bonnet), for sure! He made Bonnet só despicable.

Tara:  When the whole Bonnet storyline came to a head. Not sure what they will do with S6 since his storyline was woven throughout the book.

Cameron: The way they presented the whole courtship angle in the time that Bonnet and Brianna were together and how she stalled and played along to try to save herself.  

Stephanie: I guess I was surprised Bree didn’t put up a struggle at all. It was played a different way then is in line with her character. Yet in hindsight, I get it. 

Nancy: Bonnet getting killed. It’s supposed to happen in Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Dawn: I was surprised the Bonnet storyline was ended prematurely.

Tara: Roger holding up Wylie and him acting like a woose! 

Stephanie: I thought it was cute when Roger asked Jamie, during the fight in the shed…. what took you so long, Jamie responded that Roger was doing so well without his help. Apparently not!!

Nancy: I agree with Stephanie on this one

Dawn: Bonnet- “What I need from you is something I can’t buy.” Brianna – “A moral compass?” (Loved that she got her digs in.)

Cameron: I missed that line at first, Dawn, but that is a good one!

Tara: I loved the beach scenes since that is one of my favorite places and Scotland coastline as a stand in for Ocracoke.

Cameron: I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I actually really liked the ending scene with Roger and Brianna when she shot Bonnet.  Though things happened differently in the book, I thought for the changes that were made, that last exchange still worked.  When Roger asked Bree if that was revenge or mercy, it was an interesting look into what they both were thinking or feeling now that Bonnet is gone. Even after all that happened, I think that it was mercy and revenge that Bree was aiming for (no pun intended). I think she really took to heart the conversation that she and Jamie had last season about forgiveness, but it had to feel good to know that he was finally gone, and she was the one who ended it once and for all.  

Stephanie: I liked that Roger is finally gaining confidence to stand on his own. He’s earning Jamie’s respect. I like the way we are seeing Roger in a new light. Not as a frightened professor but as a 18th century badass, beating the crap out of Bonnet!

Nancy: I like what everyone else has said. I also want to mention two things I liked — I was happy to see Stephen Bonnet go for the plus size prostitute. I was also glad that they finally hinted that there was something romantic going on between Jocasta and Ulysses.

Dawn: When Bonnet has Brianna on Okracoke, and he asks her to teach him to be a gentleman and how to love. The relationship basically turns to that of Mother and Child. She scolds him about his table manners. She reads to him bc he can’t read. He exhibits such childlike behavior responding to her, esp when she “read” Moby Dick And he threw a tantrum about wanting to know how it ends. 

Tara: The Bonnet and the hussey going at it in front of Bree. I could have done without that.

Cameron: Again, I agree here… I get that it was to show his cruelty, but I’m not sure that scene was the only way to do that.  It reminded me of something that they might have done in the BJR storyline, so it wasn’t surprising, but still wasn’t totally necessary in my opinion.  

Stephanie: Yes! Bonnet and the prostitute… I can’t unsee that scene, ugh!

Nancy: I agree. Bonnet having sex with the prostitute in front of Bree.

Dawn: Ugh….The Bonnet And Eppie sex scene. I felt like I needed to Clorox my brain after that.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for Episode 510, Mercy Shall Follow Me!

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