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The Droughtlander Diaries

September 9, 2020

Droughtlander Diaries: Tara

Well here we are, in the thick of Droughtlander. This time, it’s kind of like we are stuck in the desert alone without any water and none in sight. Luckily, when the ‘Stay At Home’ orders went in effect, we had a good two months, give or take, of episodes left. The “Outlander” cast and crew are projecting (and hoping) to go back to work in the Fall.

So as we head into the end of the Summer and approach Fall, let us, the Outlander North Carolina Admins, give you some ideas of what to do with your time. Here is what I have been doing…

Gardening Like Claire

If you haven’t read my ‘Gardening like it’s 1776’ post, head over there for some inspiration. One plant mentioned many times in the Outlander books is yarrow, and I grew some this year for the first time. This Spring, someone gave me some black beans to try called ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears Black Beans.’ They are heirloom seeds said to be taken with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Luckily, my husband made me lovely wood tuteurs, or trellises, because I needed them. The bean vines grew like wildfire, and I have been harvesting them like crazy! It’s so fun! Also, like Claire, I grew herbs like lavender, sage, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary and parsley. I have already started harvesting bunches of them and drying them in my home. This Fall and Winter, I plan to dabble in making tinctures with the herbs as well.

Since I have been harvesting more this year, I wanted something to keep all the veggies without having to run into the house and grab a bowl. I found the idea of a ‘harvest apron’ while perusing Pinterest. My sister-in-law helped me make it, as I am not exactly skilled at using my sewing machine for such a detailed project. I picked a fabric print with bees since the new book is coming out soon and a yellow print to complement it. I love it! Now I have somewhere to put my garden scissors and cellphone if needed.

As I was writing this post, we wrapped up the start of what I hope becomes a vineyard at the back of our property which butts up against a farm field. It has been a dream of mine to have a vineyard ever since I visited the Williamsburg Winery back in 2007. I decided this was the year we would start one. We planted a Concord grape vine. Next year, I plan to add a white grape (or this year if I can still find one at a nursery). In addition, I decided to put two of our red raspberry and black raspberry bushes there.  I am looking forward to making jams, jellies, juice from the fruits, and wine from the grapes someday, and it’s so exciting to look out there and see vines growing!

While we are on the subject of making things...

…exciting plans to help a friend with 18th and 19th century reenacting this year were put to the side when COVID hit and all the events were cancelled. Coincidentally, my husband’s business got very busy and he needed more of my help. With that said, I had already made my 18th century skirt and apron. I’m halfway to having an outfit for next year’s Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming!

What I Am Reading and Watching

I have been re-reading/re-listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes. There is soooo much I missed the first time around in my race to read through all the books. The book series These Highland Hills by Kathleen Morgan is another I’ve been dabbling in. A friend who is a fellow “Outlander” fan loaned them to me and thought I might like them. The story is set in the 1500s and has very old Scottish language so it takes some time to read. I was reminded of the movie Far and Away (have you heard of it? I’m astonished at how many people haven’t!). I borrowed the DVD from the library and my husband and I had a movie date. I have also started rewatches of “Poldark” and “TURN: Washington Spies.” Basically, anything to get my history fix, and a bit of romance, too. I’m just buying time until “Outlander” Season 5 comes out on DVD. I told my husband that’s part of my birthday present since it’s due to release September 15th.

Raising Quail

We recently started raising quail. Originally we were going to build a chicken coop and raise chickens. My oldest has been asking to do so for awhile now since my brother raises chickens and ducks, as well as homing pigeons in the past. He recently got some quail and thought it would be good for us to start out with for bird-raising since they are smaller, easier to care for and have less of a footprint. We’ve been enjoying it and plan to add to our flock when my brother hatches more.

DIY Queen

My hopes for creating a She Shed this Spring have been put on hold until at least the Spring of 2021. I also wanted to install a stock tank pool in our backyard, but everyone else must be as well, because stock tanks are hard to find! This Fall and Winter, I would like to put up a Colonial-inspired board and batten up in our dining area, adding pegs to hang my aprons and my herbs.

I thought I’d channel my inner Mrs. Bug and try brewing my own batch of cherry bounce! Several of us were brewing individual batches for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, but sadly, that won’t be happening this year, so I decided to bring a little bit of Homecoming to my house and brew it anyway! However, I chose to wait until at least New Year’s Eve to partake–I’m really looking forward to trying it!

Little brown jug of cherry bounce!

Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on what you can do while we wait for the next season (which sadly could be a year away).

What are you enjoying during Droughtlander?

Thank you so much for sharing all of your busyness, Tara! You have definitely made the most of your time during these warm months of Droughtlander!  Tara is also a My Peak Challenge member, and her Peaker story is one of the most-read posts on the blog–check it out!

Now, what Tara asked–what are you doing/watching/reading to get through Droughtlander? It better be plenty, because it looks like we have to wait a little longer. (Just remember the old “good things come to those who wait” logic to keep you sane!)

18th c. Culture Fraser's Ridge NC History Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

Fact or Fiction: Fanny Beardsley’s Baby & Inheritance

March 12, 2020

Guest Post from Traci Thompson

In our last Outlander “fact or fiction,” we examined  North Carolina land grants. In this installment, we will take a look at North Carolina inheritance law as it relates to the story. 

Season five episode Free Will, in a stellar adaptation, recently dealt with the creepy Beardsley family storyline. In both the book and the show, a child is born to Fanny Beardsley, and it is revealed that the baby (who is later named Alicia) is not her husband’s and is of mixed race. In the book The Fiery Cross, Claire and Jamie have this discussion: 

“Do you think we ought to take her?” I asked cautiously. “I mean – what might happen to her if we don’t?”  Jamie snorted faintly, dropping his arm, and leaned back against the wall of the house. He wiped his nose, and tilted his head toward the faint rumble of voices that came through the chinked logs. “She’d be well cared for, Sassenach. She’s in the way of being an heiress, ken.” That aspect of the matter hadn’t occurred to me at all. “Are you sure?” I said dubiously.  “I mean, the Beardsleys are both gone, but as she’s illegitimate –“ He shook his head, interrupting me. “Nay, she’s legitimate.” “But she can’t be. No one realizes it yet except you and me, but her father – “Her father was Aaron Beardsley, so far as the law is concerned,” he informed me. “By English law, a child born in wedlock is the legal child – and heir – of the husband, even if it is known for a fact that the mother committed adultery. And yon woman did say that Beardsley married her, no?” It struck me that he was remarkably positive about this particular provision of English law…”I see,” I said slowly. “So little Nameless will inherit all Beardsley’s property, even after they discover that he can’t have been her father. That’s…reassuring.”  “Aye,” he said quietly…”So ye see,” he went on, matter-of-factly, “she’s in no danger of neglect. An Orphan Court would give Beardsley’s property – goats and all” – he added, with a faint grin – “to whomever is her guardian, to be used for her welfare.”
– The Fiery Cross, Chapter 31, “Orphan of the Storm,” p. 510-511. 

Jamie is certainly correct that the colony of North Carolina was under English law. But should he be quite so certain about the nature of bastardy, adultery, and inheritance under that law?

The Beardsley property from Outlander episode Free Will

In reality, English law was not straightforward nor one-size-fits-all on the issue of legitimacy. Sir William Blackstone, in his commentary on English law (1765-69) declared that some circumstances would make children born in wedlock bastards in the eyes of the law:

“As bastards may be born before the coverture or marriage state has begun, or after it has been determined, so also children born during wedlock may in some circumstances be bastards…”1

One reason given by Blackstone was if it were known to be impossible for the man to have fathered a child, such as not being physically present with his wife at time of conception: 

“So also if there is an apparent impossibility of procreation on the part of the husband…there the issue of the wife shall be bastards.”2

Determining legitimacy was very important in an intestate situation because under English law intestate inheritance was by lineal blood3; thus such terms as “the heirs of his body” and “of the blood” are often seen in reference to legitimate children. By contrast, illegitimate children were legally considered a “filius nullius” or “nullius filii, “child of no one” or “sons of nobody”:

“BASTARDS are incapable of being heirs. Bastards, by our law, are such children as are not born either in lawful wedlock, or within a competent time after its determination. Such are held to be nullius filii, the sons of nobody; for the maxim of law is, qui ex damnato coitu nascuntur, inter liberos non computantur [the offspring of an illicit connection are not reckoned as children]. Being thus the sons of nobody, they have no blood in them, at least no inheritable blood; consequently, none of the blood of the first purchaser: and therefore, if there be no other claimant than such illegitimate children, the land shall escheat to the lord.4

Fanny Beardsley sharing her story of abuse with Claire, as well as the parentage of her new baby.

While the law did generally lean towards a presumption of legitimacy in the case of children born to married women, this was only in absence of obvious evidence to the contrary.  As the racial factor made Fanny Beardsley’s child an obvious bastard to Claire, so her appearance would have to colonial society as a whole. “Judicial error was tolerated when it meant that a white child, unrelated by blood, would be made a white man’s legal heir. An African-American child becoming a white man’s legal heir, however, was unacceptable. Faced with this situation, the court essentially suspended application of the presumption.”5  Although it certainly happened – and often – miscegenation was against colonial law at this time, which would automatically render any marriage void, and therefore any offspring illegitimate:

North Carolina followed suit [with miscegenation laws] in 1715 providing that ‘no White man or woman shall intermarry with any Negro, Mulatto or Indyan Man or Woman under the penalty of Fifty Pounds for each White man or woman.’ In 1741, the North Carolina act was amended to more closely track the earlier Virginia statute: ‘And for Prevention of that abominable Mixture and spurious issue, which hereafter may increase in this Government, by white Men and women intermarrying with Indians, Negroes, Mustees, or Mulattoes, Be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That if any white Man or Woman, being free, shall intermarry with an Indian, Negro, Mustee, or Mulatto Man or Woman, or any Person of Mixed Blood, to the Third Generation, bond or free, he shall, by Judgment of the County Court, forfeit and pay the Sum of Fifty Pounds, Proclamation Money, to the Use of the Parish.’6

Sweet wee “Bonnie’s” future seems uncertain

As we see here, unfortunately for Fanny’s child, several strikes would be against her were she a real person. If Aaron Beardsley did not dispose of his property by will, intestate inheritance law would immediately come into play, and an inquiry into the identity of any legitimate lineal heirs would be undertaken by the county court.  Aaron Beardsley’s incapacity would not likely factor in, as he had only been in that state for about a month when Jamie and Claire showed up, and thus could have fathered a child before that time. However, the fact that he was not apparently able to father a child with any of his previous wives could have raised doubt and become an issue. But the definitive reckoning would be the child’s mixed-race parentage, which the books and show indicate was obvious by the child’s physical appearance. If it were known or believed that Aaron Beardsley was a white man, and it was thought that the child was anything other, then a status of illegitimacy would automatically follow, which would absolutely eliminate inheritance. 

Verdict: FICTION 

Bonus Trivia: Did you know? An “orphan” was legally a child whose father was deceased, regardless of the status of the mother.7 After 1799 in North Carolina, a change in state law recognized illegitimate children as heirs of their mother and were enabled to inherit from her.8

Sadly, the past was not kind to babies born out of wedlock, and little “Bonnie” would not have been an exception. Are you on Jamie’s side–hopeful that wee “Bonnie” will inherit the Beardsley property, or will she have to rely on her new adoptive parents for her raising? From the looks of the scene where Lucinda and her husband ask Claire if they can keep the baby, she will not lack for love at all. Tell us what you think!

Thanks, Traci, for this insight about bastardy and inheritance laws! Traci Thompson is a married mother of two who lives in eastern North Carolina, and is, of course, an avid Outlander fan. Traci is a Certified Genealogist and Local History & Genealogy Librarian. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina.

Footnotes:
1.  Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4 volumes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765-69), 1st  ed., Volume 1, “The Rights of Persons,” Chapter 16, “Of Parent and Child”; digital transcription, The Avalon Project (https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/blackstone_bk1ch16.asp : accessed 2020).
2.  Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England.
3. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2, Chapter 14.
4. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2, Chapter 15.
5. Mary Louise Fellows, “The Law of Legitimacy: An Instrument of Procreative Power,” Scholarship Repository University of Minnesota Law School, 1993 (https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/ : accessed 2020), p. 502.
6.  Judy G. Russell, “Intermarriage and the Law, Colonial Style,” The Legal Genealogist 1 June 2012 (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/06/01/intermarriage-and-the-law-colonial-style/ : accessed 2020).
7. Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., “Estates Records,” in Helen F.M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chapter 12, p. 189, “Guardians and Conservators.”
8.  John Haywood, Esq., A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina (Raleigh, NC: J. Gales, 1814), p. 274, “Intestate’s Estate,” section IV, 1799.
Photos from Outlander Online

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

ONC Admin Choice Awards–Episode 3, “Free Will”

March 5, 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” 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 Susan Jackson, Carolyn Baker, Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Cameron Hogg and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 3, Free Will are…

Susan: When Fanny’s face was suddenly in the window. Just about had an accident when Jamie turned around–kinda like that scene from The Shining, but without the “Here’s Johnny!”

Dawn W: Maybe not a best moment, but I do like it a lot and the scene has been repeated with Jamie throughout the series. When he sees “home”, he stops and looks at it from a distance. We saw it with Lallybroch….we saw it with Helwater (although not what he particularly wished for)….I think we saw a far off shot with Leoch. (And when he’s walking into the house at the first, is that a dog trot he’s walking through??)

Tara: I agree with Dawn. I loved seeing the silhouette of Jamie standing on top of the hill overlooking the Big House. It reminded me of George Washington or a statue or something. Then going in and standing over Claire and then her waking up. I love moments with those two.

Carolyn: Piggybacking on Dawn and Tara, when Jamie stands over Claire after he comes home, crosses himself and thanks the Lord for her.

Mitzie: When Jamie comes home and stands over Claire, crossing himself and thanking God, with such a look of adoration on his face. (Swoon)!!!!

Cameron: I’m with Susan… there was something really cool about finally seeing Fanny Beardsley after envisioning the scene play out while reading the book. I did miss the more pronounced lisp, though. I found that kind of made Fanny a little more endearing.

Nancy: The opening scene between Claire and Jamie that lets us know the romance is still there and love is on a deeper level. By having this scene at the beginning of the episode, we are reminded of that love and are ready for them to go forward together and face whatever calamity lies ahead.

Susan: When Fanny screams at Beardsley “You hear that? You old bastard! She isn’t yours!” I can feel all of the revenge this abused woman is enjoying while announcing her secret to her now-helpless abuser. 

Dawn W.: Claire’s reply to Jamie’s request to give him the same mercy that he gave Beardsley…”I’ll do what must be done”. There was an added line in the book. But I think it’s an interesting statement and a careful statement because coming from her as a doctor, it means something totally different. 

Tara: Claire- “I’m coming with you…then you’ll need a physician. Murtagh, Knox, Tryon they’ve all made decisions, and I’ve made mine. You’ll need my help” Jamie- “I always have and always will.”They are still a team.

Carolyn:  Jamie to Mr. Beardsley “Will you pray for forgiveness?”

Mitzie:  Jamie: “Deo Gratias”. Claire: “What are you thanking the Lord for”? Jamie: “For the sight of you, Sassenach”. Me…. (Still Swooning)!

Cameron: It was a sad line, but memorable- Fanny saying that having a baby didn’t make her a mother anymore than sleeping in a barn would make you a horse. It seemed to really give some insight into Fanny’s state of mind.

Nancy: I have to agree with Mitzie on this one – Claire: “What are you praying for?” Jaime: “For the sight of you, Sassenach.”

Susan: Paul Gorman, for playing the parts of the Beardsley twins–he’s going to do a fine job, I think. He’s gonna be busy, to say the least.

Dawn W.: I have to give it to the man with no lines…Mr. Beardsley. He looked awful…acted like he was in pain….and just looked wicked.

Tara: Definitely the man playing Mr Beardsley.

Carolyn: I’ll give this one to the actress playing Mrs. Beardsley. I didn’t like her at all to begin with but ended up loving and really feeling for her in the end.

Mitzie: Bronwyn James, who plays Fanny Beardsley. I like seeing new faces in a breakout role and I think she did a wonderful job.

Cameron: Mr. Beardsley. So expressive with absolutely no words.

Nancy: I have to agree with others, my vote goes to the actor playing Mr. Beardsley. To emote with just your eyes and pain filled moans and gurgles had to be challenging. I think the make up artists did an excellent job of making his body grotesque and that blackened foot nauseating.

Susan: When nasty old man Beardsley made enough noise to show he was alive. I was thinking that maybe they were going to portray him as dead for time’s sake. But, nope.

Tara: Not sure there were any surprising moments for me since this episode was pretty much right out of the book. But I guess for me it was when Fanny’s water broke and I thought to myself- guess we aren’t going into the woods with this party of the story.

Dawn W.: I think I’m most surprised at how well they pulled off 2 characters with one actor….in the same scenes!

Carolyn: When Mrs. Beardsley’s face suddenly appeared in the window of the house. I jumped!

Mitzie: How well the special effects team merged the actor playing both roles of Josiah and Keziah Beardsley together in that one scene. That was really well done.

Cameron: I agree with Tara. I wasn’t expecting her to deliver in the cabin. But the whole scuffle with Jamie, and his pushing her off, that led to her water breaking was a bit of a surprise.

Nancy: When Fanny’s water suddenly broke,( at first I thought she had peed out of fright), and she gives birth. In the book she her goats are everything to her. She continues to cradle a kid in her arms.

Susan: The men being boys around the campfire was kind of funny, but there was something that made me lol but I can’t remember what it is. Guess I need to rewatch…

Dawn W.: The men around the campfire talking about how cold it was.

Tara: I agree with Dawn, the campfire. My husband laughed at that. He never laughs during Outlander.

Carolyn: Ditto on the campfire scene!

Mitzie: Jamie, Myers, Roger, Claire, et al sitting around the fire, just cracking some jokes. It was a light moment in such a dark episode.

Mitzie – Jamie, Myers, Roger, Claire, et al sitting around the fire, just cracking some jokes. It was a light moment in such a dark episode.

Cameron: I liked the offhand comment from Bree, about feeling like Scarlett O’Hara, when all the men left the plantations. I love some of the inside jokes between Claire, Roger, and Bree about the future and later pop culture references.

Nancy: I liked the scene with the pounding on the locked door. Jaime and Claire approach the door with dreaded anticipation that Mr. Beardsley is behind the door only to reveal an errant Billy goat.

Susan: Can I have four? No? Well, I’m taking them anyway: (1)When Jamie stops at the crest of that hill and sees home–then (2) walks in and does the sign of the cross and gives thanks. sigh I SO miss this Jamie in the show–it’s not the religiousness of it, it’s just part of what makes Jamie Fraser Jamie Fraser. We haven’t seen that in the show since season 1, I think. (3) The gloominess of the Beardsley home, all of the suspense–I found it much more suspenseful and spooky than the book scene. (4) The exchanges between J&C seemed so natural–S&C come across so well onscreen. It’s like watching the old friends I know from the books. I’ve missed the “every day” between them. #TeamFraser is the hashtag for this episode.

Dawn W.: Jamie And Claire….their exchanges have a maturity….Claire is not fighting to be só headstrong but working with her husband. They just have a “oneness” about them.

Tara: I just give this whole episode an award. It was pretty much straight from the book. Bravo writers!

Carolyn: How Jamie and Claire worked together in this episode. He was definitely the strong, leader we all know and love, but she was also the physician who handled things at the Beardsley home. I loved it when she delivered the baby and handed her off to Jamie, who was more than willing to take her and help get her cleaned.

Mitzie: I liked the special effect touches and dark staging throughout this episode. From the time-lapsed molding bread to the passenger pigeons darkening the sky, I felt like they did a good job taking the direction of this episode to a more creepier level than previous episodes.

Cameron: Having the Beardsley twins side by side in the scene in the woods was really well done. Sometimes when they try to have “twins” in the same scene, they always have one in silhouette from the back or the effects look weird, but this was pretty seamless

Nancy: My best overall award goes to the writers for sticking with the storyline in the book. Kudos to you!

Susan: I still dislike all of the accessories Claire has in her “lab.” All of the cloches, and equipment–it’s too modern, if that makes any sense. Oh, and Captain Mackenzie telling that mother that he’d bring her sons back to her. I mean, looking at her face, she knew he was full of it, because you just can’t promise someone’s going to come back from any battle safe and sound, but to make that promise as a ruse to get someone to let their sons go–just kind of silly to me.

Dawn W.: I have two…..Claire checking out Keziah’s ears with a mirror and diagnosing his burst eardrums. Can you really see your eardrums like that?? And…since Fanny brought up Mary Ann, I kind of wish they had gone into more of Mary Ann and the whole ghost thing. Mary Ann, supposedly, caused Beardsley to have the stroke bc he saw her.

Carolyn: I know it was necessary, but the Beardsley man was definitely the epitome of “a scary old man!”

Mitzie: Some of the gruesome sights during the Beardsley cabin segment. I pretty much watched the whole thing with RBF on my face.

Cameron: I didn’t really get the need to have the few moments of seeing the scene from Mr. Beardsley’s point of view. There weren’t enough of it to make it seem logical with the rest of the episode. If that had been more cohesive, it could have been more impactful.

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 503, Free Will. Leave it in the comments!

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

ONC Admin Choice Awards–“Between Two Fires”

February 28, 2020

Welcome back to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards for season five!  Now until the end of Season 5, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” 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 Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Harmony Tersanschi, Traci Thompson, Stephanie Bryant and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 2, Between Two Fires are…

Mitzie – Bree teaching Roger how to shoot by adjusting his stance, leaning in close and laying her head on his shoulder, breathlessly telling him to breathe.

Stephanie– How happy Bree is when she’s with Jemmy. Glad to see that she still can have some happiness even after she heard Bonnet was alive. I was afraid the terror we saw on her face and in her drawings would linger throughout the episode.

Harmony – I really enjoyed the interaction between Claire & Marsali when she was speaking to her about becoming her apprentice.

Dawn W.- I really liked the moment when Claire And Marsali looked at each other when Marsali was processing/butchering  the goat. It was a moment where you knew that they were comfortable in their relationship with each other. 

Nancy– I have to agree with Marsali’s reaction to Claire’ corpse and invitation to assist her. 

Mitzie – Marsali “Don’t make me say it, Claire. Don’t make me say it. Was she right, my mom, was she?” And Claire’s response, “I’m not a witch”! I laughed out loud during that exchange!

Stephanie– Mr. Fanning “It’s getting worse and worse, this country is going to the dogs”
Scary to hear a line like that, very apropos to modern day, in my opinion.

Harmony – I’m with Mitzie on this one, “Don’t make me say it Claire. Don’t make me say it”. That had me cracking up!

Dawn W.– I think I liked what Murtagh said toward the end when they were back in the Regulator camp. He corrected one of the men who said that Jamie was fighting for the Redcoats. Murtagh said that Jamie was fighting with his his men just like he was fighting the Regulators. (They were both standing with their men.)

Traci – both Marsali’s “Don’t make me say it” and Fanning’s “this country is going to the dogs.” One was funny & hilariously acted, and the other puts things in perspective – someone’s always thought the country was going to the dogs in one way or another!

Nancy– All Marsali’s lines when she walked in on Claire and the corpse.

Mitzie – Lauren Lyle has my vote this week. I am really liking her character development these last couple seasons. She was so funny acting all shocked and affronted when Claire showed her the body still in her surgery, but then she looked excited about jumping in and learning all she can from Claire.

Stephanie– Have to agree with Mitzie, Lauren is so good as Marsali! I like the way the she responded to Claire’s offer to help… from outraged,to suspicious to the beginnings of acceptance.

Harmony – Yup, Lauren Lyle for me as well. I love that we’re seeing more of her this season!

Dawn W.– Lauren Lyle

Traci – Yes, Lauren shone in this episode! I find myself liking her more and more.

Nancy– I have to agree Lauren Lyle stole the show in this one. I think her acting talent has inspired the writers to write more lines for her this season and make her part bigger.

Mitzie – Bonnet not yielding mercy and instead going in and cutting the bridge of the nose/eyes of that man. Not that I expected anything less from him, but he had no qualms to do that in front of a crowd and so it shocked me that he felt safe enough in that company to not suffer any repercussions from his actions. He feels like he can do absolutely anything and get away with it. It’s going to make psychopathic Bonnet even more dangerous and unpredictable.

Stephanie– Bonnet mentioning he was a father. Who would think he cared? I’m not sure he’d really say that but I guess it’s a set-up for the future plot line.

Harmony – Bonnet being so close & mentioning being a father.

Dawn W.– Bonnet “….after all, I’m a father now.”

Traci – Murtagh still hanging around (wasn’t he supposed to “be hard to find?”) and Marsali becoming the surgery sidekick – but I like it, it works!

Nancy– The realistic tar and feathering scene. I have seen this portrayed in movies, but don’t think they showed the aftermath of burnt flesh. My dog even barked during the act of tar and feathering. Also Claire hiding a corpse in the surgery and deceiving a family by burying a coffin full of rocks. (See more info on this in my answer to least liked overall award.)

Mitzie – Roger and Bree’s exchange during target shooting practice about Tufty Fluffytail. Brought back memories from when I was a kid, obsessively reading Ranger Rick.

Stephanie– Marsali asking in a roundabout way if Claire was really a witch. I mean I’m sure Laoghaire pounded it into her head growing up so she was bound to think it at some point, with Claire practicing her 20th century medicine.

Harmony – Marsali and Claire’s whole dialogue when they were there with the body. That was such a great & well acted scene!

Dawn W.– The whole autopsy scene with Marsali And Claire. Marsali’s facial expressions…her dialogue…her body language. Don’t make me say it Claire!

Traci – Far and away the Claire & Marsali scene!

Nancy– Again Marsali, Claire and the corpse.

Mitzie – Overall I liked seeing Roger and Bree trying to still adjust to their new life here in the past. Bree is having an easier time with finding her niches but Roger is struggling. He’s always bringing in modern references; Tufty, Nancy Drew, Jeremiah was a Bullfrog. It’s as if he is desperate to not forget or it helps to ground him in such an unfamiliar circumstance.

Stephanie-Jamie…trying to keep his emotions in check. I really felt his dilemma being caught “between two fires”. His expressions said it all, no words necessary!

Harmony – I really loved the candle making and seeing more of the day to day activities on the Ridge.

Dawn W.– So many different scenes with Roger and with everyone he stood out. His delivery is so natural…..his singing added so much to the episode…his facial expressions.

Traci – the overall harmony of everyone being “caught between two fires” – Claire with her medicine, Bree/Roger between two time periods, Jamie between two political groups & all that goes along with that, even Murtagh between Jamie and the Regulators and Marsali torn between what to think of Claire.

Nancy-Again Marsali, Claire and the corpse. I’m always partial to humor in the show.

Mitzie – Jamie being forced to hunt down Murtagh, and in turn he is crossing paths with people he knows. Good people who are fighting for what they know is right and seeing Jamie longing to stand by their side, but can’t because of his oath. It worked out this time that he could secretly save the two caught regulators, but I don’t think he will be so lucky again.

Stephanie– I didn’t like all that gore in one episode. Claire and the autopsy,the tar and feather scene,the killing of the Regulator and Bonnet in the brutal fight scene was just too much to handle in one hour.

Harmony – Murtagh and the whole tarring and feathering. I had to close my eyes for half of it, and I’m usually not that squeamish.

Dawn W.– I can’t put a finger on anything that I did not like.

Traci – Roger finding the pictures of Bonnet and then trying to pretend everything is okay instead of saying something. I could have done without some of the gore, too – while tar & feathering was appropriate for the time period in general, I would have been happier had the Hillsborough riots been depicted closer to reality.

Nancy– Claire hiding a corpse in the surgery. I know the writers put it in this episode because they couldn’t put in later, but how could Claire hide a smelly bloody corpse from people? I worked in a hospital before I retired. We had a situation where a corpse in the morgue created a stinch throughout the main floor of the hospital where my office was located. Maintenance brought in fans to help blow the smell out the nearest door to the outside, but it didn’t help. I know people in the 18th century stank, but even they would cover their noses at that smell. I also find it hard to believe Claire would deceive someone by burying a coffin full of rocks. It just seemed out of character for her.

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 502, Between Two Fires. Leave it in the comments!

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

ONC Admin Choice Awards–The Best of Outlander Episode 501, The Fiery Cross

February 21, 2020

Welcome back to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards for season five!  Now until the end of Season 5, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” 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, Cameron Hogg, Carolyn Baker, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Dawn Matthews, and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners are…

Tara– When Jamie put on his kilt and marched out to round up the Ridge residents.

Cameron- The scene when Roger and Jocasta talk about her plans for who will inherit her estate.

Carolyn – When Jamie prepares and then presents the wedding gifts to Bree.  

Traci – Roger pledging his loyalty to Jamie (and of course Jamie in kilt regalia) 

Dawn W.- Roger claiming Jeremiah as his own….cutting his hand and putting the blood on Wee Jimmie’s forehead and claiming him Blood of my blood and bone of my bone. 

Mitzie – Watching Jamie put his mother’s pearls around Brianna’s neck. Such a touching father, daughter moment.

Nancy– Two moments 1–the flashback to Jamie and Claire’s wedding and the look they gave one another; 2–Jamie’s address to fellow Scott’s to stand by his side.

Dawn M.- Claire and Bree’s time together before the wedding. 

Tara– ‘If Governor Tryon wants a Scot, I will give him a Scot.’ (Traci too, along with background music.) 

Cameron– Jocasta’s response when Ulysses asks if the conversation with Roger went as planned, “even better than I had hoped.”

Carolyn – When Jamie and Bree go outside to begin the wedding ceremony and Jamie exclaims “The Fraser’s of the Ridge are here!”

Dawn W.-Jamie’s speech when he was basically asking his “clan” to pledge fealty. He asked them to stand by his side and he would do the same. Loved it! He molded it to fit their new surroundings…their new way of life.

Mitzie – It’s a toss-up between “The Frasers Are Here”! and “Tryon wants a Scot, I’ll give him a Scot”!

Nancy– I have to agree with Mitzie.

Dawn M.- “If Tryon wants a Scot, I’ll give him a Scot!”

Cameron– I thought Sam and Duncan saying goodbye in the woods was great. Both playing it tough together, but Sam breaking down once Duncan left was poignant without being melodramatic, and seemed very much in character for Jamie. I also thought his pre-wedding rituals and time with Bree were fabulous, so Sam was my pick.

Carolyn – Sam was my pick as well. He did a great job with showing his emotions both with giving his daughter away and in parting with Duncan. Also, with the way he lovingly looked at his wife at the wedding, remembering their own and his love for her.

Traci – Brianna overhearing the Bonnet discussion.

Dawn W. – Sam when Jamie told Murtagh to please be hard to find.

Tara– Sam and his eye acting

Mitzie – I’m going to have to give this one to Sam. Once again we got to see a gauntlet of emotions from him; suspicion, excitement, awe, joyful tears and sorrowful tears, pride, nervous apprehension (did you catch Jamie’s finger tapping), anger, loving admiration, strong confidence and also soul crushing grief.

Nancy– Sam – He became the leader we all have been longing to see!

Dawn M.- Sam. As usual his facial expressions get me every time.

Tara– Seeing Governor Tryon at the wedding.

Carolyn – I loved the look of surprise on both Fergus’ and Marsali’s faces when Jamie called him to pledge his allegiance.

Traci – either Jocasta & Ulysses smugly agreeing that all had gone as planned, or the mention of Duncan Innes’ proposal – wasn’t sure if he would be mentioned or appear at all.

Dawn W. -Jamie calling Fergus…son of my name and of my heart.

Mitzie – When Roger told Jocasta to take her money and “cram it up your hole, aye?”! And she laughs! Those are some Mackenzie’s for you, sizing each up; dishing it and taking it.

Nancy– Roger’s rebuff to Jocasta about her money, “Cram it up your hole!”

Dawn M.- That Roger had taken some time to manscape his back and he and Bree weren’t hard to watch in the bed scene🤣!

Tara– I cracked up when Germaine said, “Grand-Pere says all Presbyterians have hair ticks.”

Carolyn – I loved Ulysses’ reaction and laughter when he turned to Jocasta to ask if she was pleased with her conversation with Roger, as Roger stomped off.

Traci – “Hair-ticks” too, but Roger’s face as he is being shaved by Jamie gets honorable mention!

Dawn W.-The tongue twister contest….Marsali’s pheasant plucking twister and then LJG and his Shakespeare

Mitzie – During the tongue twister game, poor LJG just couldn’t relate: “Some Shakespeare, anyone”?

Nancy– John Quincy Myers falling down drunk. I was so glad they represented his comical antics.

Dawn M.- “Cram it up yer hole, aye?”

Tara– I enjoyed the whole wedding/wedding after party. Marsali during the drinking game cracked me up. I want to sit at her table.

Carolyn – The feel of the entire episode was heart-warming. The “Big House” and surroundings felt just like home.

Traci – The gathering: seeing the Scottish community coming together, celebrating, and making their new homes in NC.
Dawn W.-the gathering as a whole…the dancing and “community” after the wedding

Mitzie – When Jamie dons his kilt and sets the cross ablaze, setting the stage for a rallying speech to draw loyalty from the Ridge residents. The musical accompaniment was perfect as it brought memories back from when Jamie was rallying and training his troops during the Jacobite rebellion.

Nancy– This episode. When we start ranking them, this will be my favorite.

Dawn M.– The fact that Jaime and Claire have their groove back.

Tara– Governor Tryon and his wedding crashers

Carolyn – That Murtagh had to part ways with Jocasta and she let go of his hand, and with Jamie, and how it pained him to do both.

Traci – the “bigger-than-big” big house, the Spanish moss, and redcoats that have to ruin everything.

Dawn W. -when Jamie came out dressed in his kilt and he nodded to Claire and she nodded….I thought that was hokey. There should’ve been some dialogue. I just don’t think Claire would not have had something to say.

Mitzie – Watching Murtagh’s fate unfold more and more with each episode. I hated seeing Jamie release him from his vow. With that bond verbally broken, I’m scared to see if their emotional bond will withstand.

Nancy– I have to speak for the Outlanimals. Where were they? I expected to at least hear Clarence welcoming the visitors to the Ridge. Lol! However, I’m sure that would have been too noisy and distracting. I do hope we eventually hear the White Sow making unholy sounds underneath the big house.

Dawn M.– I loved the episode that Starz made, but it strayed so far from the book. Since the opening of book 5 is my favorite of all the scenes, I was really disappointed that it was just a wedding, and not a true gathering. Sigh

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 501, The Fiery Cross. Leave it in the comments!