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On the Trail of History: A Journey through Diana Gabaldon’s North Carolina, Part I

May 9, 2019

Guest post from Lisa A. Margulies

I recently had the opportunity to visit several sites in North Carolina, tracing the steps of the 18th Century historical figures, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser and his wife, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser. What? They are NOT real historical figures? Don’t tell that to the fans of Diana Gabaldon’s writing. To us, they are as real as the locations the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources brought the author to this last weekend in April.

My journey began in Iowa with a flight from Des Moines to Raleigh, NC. I drove to the historical town of New Bern on the eastern coastal region to kick off my tour. Tryon Palace would be the first to host Diana’s visit so I decided to familiarize myself with the Palace and the community in which it is centered.

The Palace as described in the Diana’s Outlander series is indeed like the grand opulence on display today. The first NC Governor’s state of residence was completed in 1770 and occupied by Governor Tryon until 1771 when a new Governor, Josiah Martin replaced him. Tryon went to great lengths to document the construction and furnishings of his mansion. This proved invaluable for the 1959 reconstruction of the Palace. All but the original stables were destroyed by fire just 28 years after its completion in 1798. The Governor had hired an English architect to create a place of residence worthy of King George III and Queen Charlotte of England, one that could support visits of royalty and promote the affairs and the Crown’s dominion. It is easy to imagine the pages of The Fiery Cross come to life and to understand the the Regulator’s points of view regarding unfair use of tax payer’s dollars! The Palace is definitely fit for a King! No wonder Governor Tryon “got out of Dodge” (or accepted the commission of Governor of the State of New York taking his furnishings with him in late 1771) before the backlash of his spending could ignite a Revolutionary War. Wait, in a way, it did. The grievances aired by North Carolinians to their government became seeds of revolutionary discontent. Thus, history as we know it.

The beauty of the Tryon Palace was used as a backdrop for Diana Gabaldon and the two events for which she was the guest of honor. The first, “An Evening with Diana Gabaldon,” began with a small group and cocktails at a private historical residence in New Bern and then moved to the North Carolina Historical Museum adjacent to the Palace for a lavishly Outlander themed dinner with seventy plus in attendance. The event had been planned for the South Lawn of the Palace Gardens but due to inclement weather was moved indoors.

Diana was escorted in by her husband, Doug Watkins, with accompaniment from a local bagpiper playing the Skye Boat Song . The attendees were seated, (well, actually standing at that point), around ten tables, pumped to hear all that she had to share. Introductions were given by various members of the North Carolina State Government and Diana was given platform to speak for approximately 30 minutes before taking questions from her followers. Our character-themed dinner and dessert followed the conclusion of the Q&A session.

So what did Diana share? She began by addressing her writing connection to North Carolina and the importance of the Regulator history in the story of Jamie and Claire, and now, Murtagh, in the TV series. This storyline, by the way, was her suggestion and she is pleased with the conflict it sets up going forward in the adaptation. While she does see the scripts and is allowed notes upon them, Diana does NOT have complete control of every detail. Sometimes her voice is heard, sometimes not. She joked that the NC of the show is NOT geographically accurate and that the powers that be are counting on viewers not having been to the actual state of North Carolina! She further added, that having seen the dailies from season 5, at least the wigs are a lot better! (Cheers from all!)

Back to the subject of writing and specifically why it takes so long for Diana to complete a book… The average novel is 100,000 words. Outlander, the shortest book in the series is 300,000 words. It takes at least 2 1/2 years to write a book with all the research that she puts into each novel. This led to Diana’s reasoning for not having an assistant. She could tell someone to go to the store and pick up hotdogs and beans but if she went to the store, she might see other interesting ingredients. Thus changing, adapting, creating a whole new menu at the end of the day. DG has many times described her writing style as nonlinear in fashion. Her example illustrates this as well. Needless to say, none of her adoring fans will be hired as a personal research assistant anytime soon. (Sigh.)

Diana also looks for first person historical accounts to weave in the details of her storytelling. She cited the Battle of King’s Mountain and the historical account of an actual soldier’s experience for this. The Battle will be included in the ninth book. Watch for details about tree bark flying from bullet spray and the aftermath of other sights, sounds, and smells experienced by a character in Bees. “History is not what happened, it’s what people wrote down about it.” Diana went on to share other consultant and script-writing anecdotes. She told the story of Jamie’s missing hat in an early season four episode. It was written that after the misplaced hat had been found in the pig’s pen the hat was to be thrown away in the trash can. Diana had to step in and explain the value of the leather and that nothing would be thrown away in that time period, especially in a wastebasket because that didn’t even exist! The scene was rewritten and the hat was then placed on an upper shelf. Script writers think dialogue first then what people are actually doing last!

Overall, DG’s experience with the series, writing and being on the set has been most enjoyable. Everyone is always joking around! Diana made us all want to stow away in her luggage next trip to the set.

Six questions were answered from the audience during the last part of the formal programming and before dinner. Diana was asked about how much input she has in the casting process and she told the story of finding the leads Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. Diana has no say in the hiring and remembered thinking Sam was a chameleon actor, he looked different in every role he had played so far. Diana was shown “grotesque” pictures of him but the tape sent to her was “Jamie.” The standing joke was that Jamie would probably turn out to be the UPS man, but Sam was found quickly in the selection process! Finding Claire proved to be the difficult one. Down to the wire in time, everyone was sent home with the reject pile and told to find her. Caitriona was then unanimously selected from that pile based upon her own self tape with an episode 1 scene, “Help, he’s going over!”

Other questions were also answered:
Q: Has there been any talk about a spin off Lord John series?
A: Although lots of interest has been expressed by many sources, no official conversations have been had.

Q: How has Diana’s Catholic upbringing influenced the characters and her writing?
A: Diana has knowledge, for one, (unlike many of the show’s script writers). Also, Celtic Catholics/Christians have an interesting take on religion. They tend to incorporate incantations, charms, rituals into their beliefs and daily lives, lending to a more natural process. The issue of killing was discussed and the introduction of other characters such as Quakers help to give the story balance here.

Q: Does Diana know what her characters will be and do? How do her characters come to her?
A: The pace and process take shape from a kernel, scene by scene. Diana went on to describe this process of her writing from the kernel in her mind’s eye of a Scottish crystal goblet.

The final question of the evening revolved around the origin of her writing and 1st novel. Her practice novel had to be historical because if she couldn’t come up with original stories, at least she’d have something to fall back on. Many of us have heard this telling of the Doctor Who episode that sparked the flame for an 18th-century man in a kilt who would become our beloved Jamie. Her English character, Claire, wasn’t having any of that 18th-century vibe though, and Diana knew from her voice and that first cottage introduction that Claire would be a modern woman having gone back in time, thus creating the sci-fi aspect. This origin of Outlander is a pleasure to hear in Diana‘s voice anytime.

On a personal note, I was given the opportunity to mingle a few minutes at the end of the evening. After bit of fangirling, I recovered my senses enough to ask this final question: If she could remove Herself as author and just be a fan of The Fiery Cross, what three moments would she most like to transfer to the visual medium of season five? Diana responded with the scene that involves Claire in the windowsill in the middle of the night. Jamie comes in to find her with goosebumps on her arms. What transpires then is a very intimate moment that Diana is really pushing for inclusion this season. (Fingers crossed!) The next scene she described to me I will only say, for spoiler reasons, is a moment of great impact on Roger and his character. She would want to include that and also the poignant aftermath with his son.

Of course I was thrilled to have had this interaction with my all-time favorite author. So, along with my thanks for her insight and time that evening, I told Diana I would be following her as she traveled across the state over the next few days. (Now cemented in the mind of Diana Gabaldon is the image of me as a stalker. Great.)

This incredible “Evening with Diana Gabaldon” transpired over four plus hours and was made possible by the coordinated efforts of Bill McCrea, Executive Director of Tryon Palace, Susi Hamilton, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary and their amazing team members. Many thanks and much praise to everyone involved.

Thank you so much Lisa for sharing your “Evening with Diana Gabaldon” at Tryon Palace with us!

Tryon Palace is a great place to visit, as well as the adjoining NC History Center, with informative and interactive exhibits–it’s fun and educational! We appreciate the folks at the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources bringing this amazing event to eastern North Carolina in support of historic New Bern. All proceeds went towards continuing repairs at Tryon Palace from Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

Drums Of Autumn Native Americans Season 4

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best & Worst of Outlander Episode 412, Providence

January 25, 2019

It’s time for the final Admin Choice Awards for Outlander Season 4. What? No awards for Episode 413? Nope. We’re skipping the awards for the finale besides I think we will all be too depressed to even think about it. Not to mention, I have a date with a certain mouse down in Florida so I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off to try to forget all my sorrows as we head into that unspeakable thing called Droughtlander. And speaking of that horrid word, how in the world did we get here? How can 13 weeks go by so quickly? How are we to endure the rest of 2019 and probably part of 2020 without our favorite show? Well, we here at Outlander North Carolina have some ideas and we will be trying to fill the gap for not only ourselves but for you as well with some things we think you’ll appreciate. Special projects and posts are on the way so don’t despair, my Outlander friends! We will muddle through together!

So without any further whining and complaining, I present to you the winners of this week’s ONC Admin Choice Awards for Episode 412, Providence. This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Mitzie Munroe, Nancy Roach and Harmony Tersanschi. The envelope please…

Susan:  This may sound morbid, but watching a man be tortured and die for his beliefs made my heart swell. The priest’s death didn’t speak to me as much in the books, for some reason.  

Nancy: My choice may surprise you, but I was happy to see a little bitter, sarcastic humor show up in the script as Roger referred to himself as an idiot for making poor choices because of his love for Bree. I loved that he referred to his place of captivity as “the idiot’s hut”. I think that should really have been the title of the episode.

Mitzie: Seeing Roger make the decision to abandon his escape and return back to the Mohawk village to help the priest die a quicker death, thus ending his suffering. The musical overlay to the most stunning sequence of visual events that transpired during that whole scene was just amazing. Bravo!

Harmony: This is going to be a tough one for me, because I truly loved the entire episode. If I had to choose though, I think I’d go with the scene with LJG & Bree discussing her wanting to speak to Bonnet. Everything about that scene was wonderful, the acting, chemistry between the two, the way LJG was there for her, and the icing on the cake was Jamie narrating his letter to Bree.

Susan:  Roger: “Ah, f*@#in’’ hell.” Everyone has said something similar when they realize they’re about to do something that doesn’t make good sense.

Nancy: Roger:  “That’s it lads. Take me back to the idiot’s hut.”

Mitzie: Bree telling LJG “You are impossible not to like”. That was just too, too sweet. And so, so true. #TeamLordJohnGrey

Harmony: Bree to LJG, “you are impossible not to like”. That was such a cute moment & Oh so true!

Susan: Richard Rankin was absolutely wonderful in this episode.

Nancy: Richard Rankin. This was his episode.

Mitzie: This years Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor is…… This years Emmy for Best Supporting Actor is…… This years Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor is…… RICHARD RANKIN!!!!!! Seriously, he better be on one of these lists for that performance.

Harmony: I have to give it to the actress who played the Mohawk woman, the love interest of the priest & the mother to his child. She was absolutely phenomenal throughout every scene she was in!

Susan:  The grief of the Mohawk man-I didn’t realize his feelings were so invested in Johiehon until I saw his face as she climbed onto the pyre.

Nancy: The Mohawk woman stepping into the fire. This was not in the book.

Mitzie: Seeing the mohawk woman (Johiehon) step onto the pyre to die with her love. That was so heartbreaking to witness. And to see Kaheroton’s grief upon witnessing her decision and he’s left holding the only thing left of her, her child, that just had me bawling.

Harmony: Was watching the Mohawk woman walk into the flames with the priest. Such an emotional moment.

Susan:  The realization that every major scene came about because someone was doing something that seemed unreasonable because of their own personal convictions.

Nancy: Roger’s performance. He was really outstanding.

Mitzie: All the conversations Roger had with the priest. Roger’s emotions were so gripping, I was completely sucked into his despair. And bless him, he tried his damndest to convince the priest his convictions were not worth dying over but alas the priest would not relent and Roger could not abandon him to save himself. Roger is such a good guy!

Harmony: All the moments with LJG and Bree together. Those two just completely shine when in a scene together!

Susan:  Knowing that Lord John had knowledge of the jailbreak and he let it go. He could get into as much trouble as everyone else.

Nancy: The portrayal of the priest and Mohawk woman’s demise was a little over the top for me.

Mitzie: Nothing really bugged me in this episode except the fact that no one noticed the keys on the floor. Really? No one noticed? I did find myself yelling at the screen “Ya’ll, get the keys”! But I guess it was needed to extend our beliefs that we will be seeing more of Bonnet in the future.

Harmony: I can honestly say that there wasn’t one thing that I disliked about this episode. Shocking, I know lol.

Susan:  This episode knocks 403 off the number one spot on my list.

Nancy: Will wait until next week to rate the episode.

Mitzie: 1st*409 / 2nd*405 / 3rd*412 / 4th*403 / 5th*404 / 6th*407 / 7th*408 / 8th*411 / 9th*410 / 10th*406 / 11th*401 / 12th*402

Harmony: This one took the cake for me. By a hair it slid into my #1 spot, followed closely by the episode of Sam & Bree’s meeting.


A BIG thanks to all the administrators who took the time out of their busy schedules to contribute their votes each week during this season and thank YOU for taking the time to read our Admin Choice Awards! We’ve had fun doing them and then comparing each other’s opinions once they got posted. But now, we want to hear from you? What did you think of Episode 412, Providence? What were your favorites? What didn’t you like?

P.S. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks after some emotional therapy with “the mouse”. In the meantime, keep a chin up and hang on tight, Sassenachs! We can do this!!!

Your Forever Outlander Friend and Fanatic,

Beth


Drums Of Autumn Season 4

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best of Outlander Episode 410, The Deep Heart’s Core

January 12, 2019

After a much-needed holiday break, we’re baaaaaaack with the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards! For this post, we are focusing on last week’s Episode 410, The Deep Heart’s Core.  This week’s voting contributors are Mitzie Munroe, Susan Jackson, Tara Heller, Cameron Hogg, Stephanie Bryant, Nancy Roach, and me, Beth Pittman! Without further ado, the envelope please….

Cameron: Bree’s confrontation of Jamie and Ian about Roger’s disappearance.  It shows that Bree is just as strong and fiery as both of her parents, and despite all that has happened to her, she does not see herself as a victim.

Susan:  The family “meeting” headed up by Bree, calling the menfolks out for almost killing Roger.  Excellent acting by every single cast member.

Stephanie:  Loved when Jamie and Bree are walking in the woods and he “shows” her how she physically couldn’t have fought Bonnet while she was being raped. They shared a common experience, having both been raped. Bree was able to conclude she couldn’t have done anything to stop him, and if she did, he would’ve killed her. These walks seem to strengthen the bond between father/daughter and highlight how much these two really have in common, besides blood.

Mitzie: Seeing for a brief moment a very happy Fraser clan sitting down together having dinner. It’s all smiles and laughter and you can see Jamie’s pride in having his family surrounding him.

Tara:   I just loved Claire and Bree going back and forth about what they missed from the future. I love seeing their mother/daughter exchanges. It’s neat to see they can both talk about their other life together.

Beth:  I know this sounds very simplistic but I loved the moment when all the Frasers are gathered around the dinner table. This is the family Jamie always wanted and the home Claire never had. It’s the one moment of family bliss before all you-know-what breaks loose.

Nancy: Jamie’s and Brianna’s discussion of their mutual rape experiences. It was a difficult conversation and strange bonding experience between a newly acquainted father and daughter.

Cameron:  Jamie telling Young Ian to get up off his knee when he proposes to Bree.  This episode was so emotional, it was a well needed laugh at the end.

Susan:  “Get off your knee, ye eejit.”  I cracked up at that one.

Stephanie:  After Young Ian says, “It would be my honor to take your hand in the holy sacrament of marriage” Favorite line is Jamie’s response “Get off yer knee, idjit” This exchange lightened the tense and awkward scene, allowing the viewer to smile. Jamie then stepped in to talk to Bree, saving her from responding to YI’s proposal.

Mitzie:  “I will find him Lass.I will not rest until I do. You have my word”. Brianna: “I’ll hold you to that vow”.

Tara: “She’s at peace here isn’t she? Aye in her wee garden.” That’s what I hope to have this year in mine. Peace. 🙂

Beth:  “Get off yer knees, ye idjit.”  The one moment of comic relief in a very serious episode.

Nancy: The White Sow would say when Claire and Bree were reminiscing about food they missed from the future, “Hamburgers, messy cheeseburgers, with all the fixings from Carnies” and “ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. With the White Sow it is always about food.

Cameron:  This episode really spotlighted Sophie Skelton.  I’ve not been a huge fan of her portrayal until the past couple episodes, but this episode really impressed me.

Susan:  I’ll have to give a group award for this one:  Sophie, Cait, Sam and John win for the blow-up scene.  Every emotion and action was perfectly portrayed.

Stephanie:  Best Actor: JAMMF! He has shown and continues to show all the emotions he is feeling without always verbalizing them. For me it’s more what his face and body language say then his words. That’s a true sign of a great actor!!

Mitzie:  This is hard; Richard, Sophie, Sam…. All did wonderful jobs in their character moments. But I am gonna give it to Sam this time. His facial expressions, delivery and screen presence was just spot on. Sophie is a super close second.

Tara:  Sophie. She’s really starting to own her character and we get to see different sides of her acting.

Beth:  Sam! I’m telling you he has been spot on this season with the portrayal of Jamie and I love ALL the emotions he displayed in this episode. And the moment with Bree when he “taught” her that she couldn’t have done anything to prevent what Bonnet did to her was one I had looked forward to from the book. Perfection!

Nancy: This was Bree’s episode. From her difficult conversation with Jamie about her rape, her PTSD dream about having sex with Roger who turns into Bonnet, to her fury when she learns Roger was sold to the Mohawk, Bree held her own in this episode.

Cameron:  I thought the ring switch (which one Bonnet stole from Claire on the ferry) really paid off here.  It made for a big reveal during the scene in which Jamie learns it was really Bonnet who attacked Bree.

Stephanie:  Roger at the stones was surprising. As a book reader, I was initially upset when his hand ALMOST touched the stones, then they cut away! What a relief!! That’s all I’ll say!

Susan:  The Mohawk man’s glance at Roger when he said something about how his carriage awaits–was that a knowing-of-the-future glance?  Or had the Mohawk just seen carriages and spoke enough English that he knew that Roger was being sarcastic?

Mitzie:  I always joke that the slap that Claire laid on Laoghaire in Season 1 was like “The Slap Heard Around the World” but Brianna’s towards Jamie and then her roundhouse punch towards Ian was quite deafening.

Tara:  It’s very slight, but Roger showing up next to Bree and then realizing it was a dream!

Beth: Not really surprising but I was a little thrown by the way the episode ended. How many times have we been left wondering whether someone is going back through the stones or not. Having read the book, I know what’s going to happen and what’s not so I guess unless they totally change the storyline, it’s to throw off non-book readers. I pray the writers don’t change the storyline.

Nancy:   I had two.

  1. Briana’s hitting both Jamie and Ian hard enough to cause Ian’s nose to bleed surprised me. That seemed out of character for a daughter raised by two traditional British parents in the 50’s.  I had to go back and reread this part of the book. Bree did hit Jamie, but I pictured it more as a slap.
  2. Roger’s ability to outrun the Cherokee when he almost collapsed the day before just trying to walk. Starved, dehydrated and exhausted, he still was suddenly able to run. (Also, shouldn’t his wrist be broken, dislocated or at least sprained after hanging by it?) How lucky he was able to keep those two tiny gemstones safe despite all he went through. I would have lost them in the first fight with Jamie.

Cameron:   I know it’s not like the book, and not maybe a popular opinion, but Murtaugh and Jocasta getting together would make me really happy.  Murtaugh deserves a happy ending, and the chemistry between Duncan Lacroix and Maria Doyle Kennedy in just the one scene they shared in this episode is great.  

Susan:  Again, I have to say I love watching the scenes of them “living”–the family meals, working around the homestead.

Stephanie:  Loved the family around the table scene, even though it wasn’t so harmonious this week. It’s a more accurate depiction, families sometimes disagree, argue and have heated words! Although it may have went too far when Bree started hitting people!

Mitzie:  The looks on Lizzie’s, Jamie’s and Ian’s faces when they realized they screwed up royally! You can cut the anguish in that room with a knife it was so thick.

Tara: Seeing more life on the ridge. Seeing Claire in her garden.

Beth: Just seeing them all settling into life on the Ridge. I love that they all feel at home now and that they belong to not only the place but to each other.

Nancy: I enjoyed seeing the Fraser’s working together and dining like a normal, happy family for a change. Of course it didn’t last long. I was also excited to see another White Sow cameo with her trough of beautifully arranged tossed salad.

Cameron:  Claire never takes much responsibility for the Roger/Bonnet mix up.  She could have stopped it all by telling Jamie who the attacker was. I know she promised Bree she wouldn’t, and that Jamie already feels responsible for helping Bonnet escape, but it still makes me mad that Claire stays so angry with Jamie, when she’s not innocent in all this.

Susan:  Too much of Roger wandering around.  I know we need to see how he’s suffered, as well as his prisoner companion, but I think they could’ve showed less of that and a little more of life on the Ridge.

Stephanie:  I was a little bored when they kept showing Roger being pulled by the Cherokees. I understand the writers wanted the audience to understand what he was experiencing but I got it rather quickly after the other poor captive fell and barely got up.  (After, he seemed to be a little too healthy conversing with Roger and tied to the tree). Several scenes kept panning to all the Cherokees on horseback, I didn’t need to keep seeing them to know what the situation was.

Mitzie:  Jamie’s actions towards Brianna in the woods to get her to admit that she couldn’t do anything to stop Bonnet from raping her. It was agonizing to read that part in the book. Seeing it wasn’t much better.

Tara:  Bree slapping Jamie and Ian. I mean, I get it she’s pissed and heartbroken but gees pick something up and throw it instead! Jamie can be pissed! Afterall, Bonnet did that night robbing them and killing their friend. Of course he has the right to show his anger like you Bree! Ok, I’m done.

Beth:  I didn’t like the look of disdain Claire gave Jamie after she put the ring on the table. She wasn’t exactly guiltless either. This is one of those instances where it was everbody’s fault and no one’s at all.  

Cameron:   Hard to say an exact ranking, but this is definitely in my top 5.

Susan:  Top five (because have mercy, the episode numbers are running together in my poor brain):  406 is still my favorite, followed by 404, 405, 409, 410.

Stephanie:  Episode 10 wasn’t my number one favorite in the series, the Bree meeting Jamie in Episode 7 can’t be topped in my opinion. But it was at least equal to the others so far. Drums of Autumn is my favorite book, besides Outlander, so I’m satisfied the writers have chosen to use Diana’s most important words and plot points.

Mitzie:   1st*409 / 2nd*405 / 3rd*403 / 4th*404 / 5th*407 / 6th*408 / 7th*410 / 8th*406 / 9th*401 / 10th*402

Tara:  This episode comes in second for me. The best one for me was The Birds and the Bees.

Beth:  This is probably my third favorite of the season behind The False Bride and The Birds and The Bees.

Nancy: I can’t remember where I am on episode ranking anymore. Lol! I think I’m going to wait until the last episode to rank them.

_______________________________________________________

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 410, The Deep Heart’s Core. Leave it in the comments!


Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Native Americans Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period River Run Season 4

Episode 410 Recap – The Deep Heart’s Core

January 11, 2019

Guest Post by Cameron Hogg

After last week’s episode, I was especially excited for this week to see the truth about Roger’s disappearance come out, and this episode did not disappoint!

As a devoted Daddy’s girl myself, I love the dynamic building between Bree and Jamie.  This episode starts with a heart to heart between the two of them, but it becomes clear that this is not an episode of “Father Knows Best.”  Jamie does some pretty slick reverse “psychologizing” on Bree here.  He smoothly goes from reassuring Bree that no one thinks less of her “for something {she} didn’t do, but was done to {her},” to turning things around and suggesting that maybe she was “playing with the truth” to cover a mistake.  But it doesn’t take long for Jamie to bring on the brawn to show her there was no way to have prevented what Bonnet did, no matter how strong Bree feels she is or feels she should have been. Man, does this guy know how to create a great teachable moment, or what?  Then the two discuss how Jamie has dealt with his own experiences with BJR at Wentworth.  Scenes like this help show Jamie’s depth and complexity, and I think Sam Heughan plays it beautifully every time.

You may be wondering what poor Roger is up to right about now.  Oh right, he’s being dragged through the mountains by the Mohawk.  Our writers and producers do love a good slog through the wilderness, now don’t they?  At least these treks seem to be getting shorter, and this one had more plot relevance than 15 minutes of Claire hacking through the jungle or Bree limping through the highlands, but I digress…

Meanwhile, back on the ridge- Claire and Bree have an emotional talk about what Bree plans to do regarding her pregnancy.  They discuss all the options, and both are essentially contemplating the loss of a child- Bree is deciding on the future of her pregnancy, and Claire is facing the possibility of losing Bree a second time if Bree chooses to go back to her own time.  Could someone please pass the tissues?

On a lighter note, I loved the exchange between Claire and Bree lamenting all they miss from the future.  From cheeseburgers to Led Zeppelin, toilets to aspirin, this was a sweet moment for the two of them displaying how much they’d missed each other when separated by 200 years also. 

In a nod to Jamie’s nightmares season 2, Bree’s dream sequence includes a loving visit from Roger, showing how incredibly understanding he is and how much he loves Bree but quickly turns terrifying when he is replaced by Stephen Bonnet and we get a taste of the violence Bree likely experienced during her attack, but was mercifully left out in the original scene of their first meeting.  When Lizzie tries to comfort her, Bree realizes that Lizzie has been keeping something a secret and begins putting together that Roger isn’t really missing or back in the 60’s after all.  Side note- does anyone else want to smack Lizzie right about now?  Maybe she needs a Jamie-style teachable moment about not jumping to conclusions. 

Now that Bree knows what’s up, stuff is about to get real… Bree storms in to confront Jamie about his part in the mix up that sent Roger packing.  If that weren’t enough to make you mad at Jamie, then he turns around and accuses Bree of actually lying to cover her pregnancy and claiming to be raped when it was really consensual.  Well now, Jamie deserves slapping too… and Ian doesn’t get left out for his part and gets slapped… hey, Lizzie’s there, can we slap her now too?  Here we really see how Bree is just as fiery as her parents and all heck breaks loose when Jamie gets all indignant again, when Bree calls him on it saying, “you don’t get to be more angry than me!” Go, girl!  During this exchange, Jamie learns that Bonnet was the real rapist when Claire slams the retrieved ring on the table, and the change (from the book) of which ring was taken by Bonnet pays off!

Now comes the time when Jamie and Young Ian acknowledge their mistake and promise to get Roger back.  It’s also here that we learn that Bree is planning to keep the baby, if there’s even the slightest chance that the baby is Roger’s.  But Bree doesn’t trust the menfolk to get it right after all that happened, so she tells Claire she has to go to supervise.  Understandably Claire balks at this as it means she can’t be with Bree when the baby is born.  Bree tries to convince her she’ll be fine… because she has Lizzie.  Is that supposed to be reassuring at this point?  Thank goodness Jamie suggests sending Bree off with Murtaugh to Jocasta’s.  Murtaugh certainly doesn’t seem to mind a visit to Jocasta, and knowing his fondness for Jamie’s mother, could this be foreshadowing of their relationship to come? 

Jamie and Claire argue over the situation and it occurs to me that Claire doesn’t really have a lot of right to be so mad at Jamie for it when she knew it was Bonnet all along.  But Jamie entrusts Murtaugh to find Bonnet after seeing Bree safely to Jocasta’s so that Jamie can kill him, as he’d persuaded Bree not to do when they were recounting the attack at the beginning of the episode…the phrase, “do as I say, not as I do,” comes to mind, but you have to love the protective instinct Jamie has for those he loves.  

Fast forward to the painful goodbyes- Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian are about to ride off on their quest to find Roger, and Bree, Murtaugh, and Lizzie are headed for River Run.  Leave it to Young Ian to provide a bit of levity here, vowing to marry Bree if they can’t find Roger, only to be called an “idjit” by his uncle.  Jamie reassures Bree that there will be no need for that, as he won’t rest until Roger is found. 

Bree arrives safely at River Run, and meets Jocasta, who reacts especially well to a previously unknown pregnant niece appearing on her doorstep, in my opinion.  Maybe Murtaugh being there softened the blow.  Can you tell, I’d love to see him find a little happiness after all this time?

Talk about a cliff hanger! While Jocasta welcomes Bree into her home, Roger is still with the Mohawk when he falls and dangles from a rope over a rocky ledge until the rope snaps and he can finally attempt his escape.  He manages to elude the Mohawk recapturing him and finds himself near a buzzing stone structure.  He has the jewels he received as payment from Bonnet, he’s right there, he reaches out, but does he go?  We’ll have to tune in next week to know for sure!

Cameron Hogg is a North Carolina girl currently living in northern Virginia. She is a mom to twin boys and works in nursing education and clinical practice, which may explain the draw to Claire and the medical aspects of the books and show. She enjoys history and loves to explore the notable sites wherever she goes, but especially those that have a tie to NC and more recently those related to Outlander. She is also a moderator for the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group. 

Cameron Hogg
Fraser's Ridge Pre-Revolutionary War Period Quotes Season 4

Daniel Boone ~ A North Carolina Legend

January 3, 2019

By Susan Jackson

Unfinished Portrait of Daniel Boone c.1820

Did you notice in “The Birds and Bees” when Jamie was showing Bree the view from the Ridge, and Bree mentions Daniel Boone? Very likely, she was familiar with the television show that aired in the 60’s, if not from history class in school.  Boone was a trapper, hunter, frontiersman, landowner, politician, and in spite of his Quaker birth and upbringing, owned slaves. He is credited with “discovering” the state of Kentucky. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1734, but his family moved to North Carolina around 1750, settling on the Yadkin River in what is now Wilkes County.

Boone was not afraid to defend the white settlements from the Native Americans, and at 16, joined a militia for that reason.  1755 brought the French and Indian War to his region, and he served as a wagoner, and when that was done, he married. He built two cabins, one near the Yadkin, and one on Beaver Creek, and settled down. Eight children later, he and his wife Rebecca moved to Kentucky, and in 1755, he helped arrange a treaty between the Transylvania Company and the Cherokee, who sold the majority of what is now Tennessee and Kentucky to a Richard Henderson, owner of the Transylvania Company.  Boone and other settlers built and lived at a settlement called Boonesboro. The land is now a state park in Kentucky, complete with camping sites and a living history museum.

Boone never returned to North Carolina, and, after losing his land in spite of being a Kentucky representative in the Virginia General Assembly, moved his family to what is now Missouri, where he was given land by the US Government in exchange for clearing the land. Upon his death in 1820, he still owned 850 acres of the homestead.

Much of what was written in the early history books and biographies about Daniel Boone are stuff of legend, and mostly untrue.  One author interviewed Boone, but elaborated a great deal in his book, and other biographies were written about him, mainly to encourage people to settle in Kentucky.  One story goes that he dictated his life story to his grandson, but the papers were eventually lost when a canoe he was traveling in tipped over, and the “manuscript” was lost in the water.  

He was somewhat famous, however, and he didn’t like it much, stating, “Nothing embitters my old age [more than] the circulation of absurd stories … many heroic actions and chivalrous adventures are related of me which exist only in the regions of fancy. With me the world has taken great liberties, and yet I have been but a common man.”  Wonder what he’d have thought of the television series?!

According to findagrave.com, “Seven counties, a national forest, and numerous towns and schools across the United States are named for him.”  The lovely mountain town of Boone, North Carolina is one of those namesakes.  Those of us at the recent Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming got to visit Whippoorwill Academy, where there is a replica of the cabin Daniel and Rebecca lived in and raised their family.  The rocks that form the chimney are from the original cabin.

Appropriately, in Boone, NC, you’ll find the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, and during the Summer months, they produce the long-running outdoor drama, Horn in the West, portraying the life of Boone and other settlers in the region before and during the Revolutionary War.

Oh, and, according to his son Nathaniel, Daniel Boone never wore a coonskin hat.

Susan Jackson is a mother of four who lives in coastal North Carolina, and is an avid Outlander fan.  Besides reading, she loves cooking and baking, and music.  She is a thyroid cancer survivor and has worked in education most of her life. She hopes to one day blog about her thyroid cancer journey. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina and, among other articles, has previously written about the infamous Stede Bonnet in Will The Real Stephen Bonnet Please Stand Up?