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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!

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