Jen- Episodes 14 & 15- The Search & Wentworth Prison

The Search felt a little like a weird episode to me. I liked it a lot, actually, but I ended up feeling like it probably worked really well for people who have read the book and not well at all for people who haven’t. I love the out-of-left-field idea of Claire and Murtagh singing and dancing their way around the highlands trying to flush Jamie out. I also like Claire and Jenny working together on their initial hunt for Jamie. After the heavily Jamie-centric episodes 12 and 13, it was great to be reminded that this is Claire’s story, and Claire is the heroine literally riding to the rescue. Also, how great was Claire’s outfit when she was dressed in drag for her performances! That lady can rock a tricorn hat.

I did have a big issue with the way the Dougal scene transpired, because in the book he’s cruder and scarier and Claire never says she would agree to marry him if Jamie dies. I mean, let’s be real, if Jamie dies, why on earth wouldn’t she hightail it back to Craig na Dun and get back to running water and cars? I can see, though, that maybe the show was trying to not make Dougal into a total monster and leave some room for him to be sympathetic in the future. So, I would have preferred Claire not even considering giving in to Dougal, but I can live with it (like I have a choice, right?). My other minor issue is that I think the episode was kind of slow for people who might not be as invested as the book-reading audience. It was a nice break from action episode, and I think I’ll like it even more when I watch in a block of a few episodes at once.

Now, Wentworth Prison. I was pretty distracted through the episode by trying to identify the scenes that were shot at Linlithgow Palace, since we watched the episode a couple of days after visiting Scotland. This episode was indeed not a picnic to watch, as anyone could guess just from the super creepy title card at the beginning. They really did justice to the book, while not being as gratuitous with the gore and violence as I think less tasteful show runners might have been tempted to be. Tobias Menzies did a fantastic job of portraying the depths of just how sick Randall is. This show lucked out so incredibly by finding Sam Heughan, he embodies Jamie so perfectly it’s almost ridiculous. His performance was so moving. Finally, Caitriona Balfe brought it, showing how frightened, heartbroken, determined, and brave Claire is.

Also, I’m glad they left the wolf scene out (though according to Ron Moore’s podcast they had originally written it in, but late decided it would be impossible to film). It is just a bit too bananas in a story that already has tension dialed up to 11.

This show! The acting, the thoughtful writing and show running, the costumes, the sets, the Scottish vistas. It is such a fantastic adaptation, it really was worth waiting some 20 years to see the book brought to life.

Tonight, the season finale!

Scottish music time!

Here’s a band that was recommended to me by a guy in a band in Glasgow (do you know how much it thrills me to be able to say that?!). This singer’s voice is amazing!

And here’s an instrumental post-rock band from Glasgow that I have been loving lately, in:tides.

Jen & Drew- Live Chat, Episode 15- Wentworth Prison

Sorry for the hiatus, folks! We spent a week in Scotland (pictures and stuff to be posted… soon. It’s hard to get back into the groove again after vacation). We watched The Search while traveling, so we couldn’t do our live chat for it, and I think time has marched on past that ep, so I’m going to catch up to everyone else and post Wentworth. We watched it Monday night so we’re kind of belated on everything this week.

Here’s our chat. It was not a particularly chat-inducing episode, as I think you all could guess.

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Jen- Episode 13 Review: The Watch

Wow, this episode veered pretty far off-book. I actually liked it a lot. There isn’t much in the Lallybroch chapters in the book to form a climactic hour of tv around, so I’m on board with the adaptive liberties. Ron Moore says in his podcast for this episode that they had to give this some structure for tv, which makes a lot of sense.

I could have done with way less of the Jenny giving birth scenes, though I can understand that they wanted to give Claire her own story in this episode, and it was nice to see the women bonding. I am often squicked out by how Diana writes about motherhood, so I was not thrilled to hear one of Jenny’s book lines, but Toni Graphia (this episode’s writer) specifically mentioned in the podcast that she loved that line from the book. Sometimes I wonder if I read a different book, OMG. They left out the amazing conversation between Claire and Jamie when Claire ran to him from the stones- about how she can’t live without him, and how Jamie prayed for the strength to not beg her to stay. I so wish that conversation was in episode 11. I was glad, though, they kept Jamie’s line about being able to bear his own pain but not Claire’s. Jamie’s face, though, you could see him struggling with the idea that he would never be a father- well done, Sam Heughan.

Horrocks! Loved the change for how Jamie ultimately gets taken in by the Redcoats. That actor does have charisma- in the episode podcast Ron Moore says that after seeing Horrocks in Episode 8 they rewrote this episode to get the Horrocks actor back. I was genuinely tense for a lot of this episode, and the confrontation between Horrocks and Jamie was tightly wound. Having Ian kill Horrocks just at the moment I thought Jamie would do it, that was a well-written twist. Poor Ian!

Jamie and that piece of bread! That was a great scene. And then Claire and Jamie’s parting scene, perfection.

Drew – Episode 13: Who Watches the Watch on the Watch?

After missing last week’s recap, I admit that my heart may not be in this anymore. Not much seems to be happening and we’ve reached the point where even if you have not read the books, you can pretty much guess what will be happening. I really need a nutso left turn to keep my interest up. Jen claims things go bananas next week, but next week we’re on vacation in Actual Scotland so who knows.

So I’m not going to do this week either. Instead, I have secured a Special Guest to recap with me. Don’t worry – he’s really, really cool. What’s even better, he was actually involved in the production of this episode, so hopefully we can get some behind the scenes info.

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Jen & Drew- Live Chat, Episode 13: The Watch

Jen: Are you ready?!

Drew: SOOooo we’re watching that Big Boxing Match that I have never expressed any interest in but now dearly wish to see?

Jen: Ha ha

I can’t believe that after this episode we’ll only have 3 left in this season

Drew: Only!

This song shifts perspective too much. C+

Also, this show has promised hot field hockey action for like 13 eps and has yet to deliver.

Jen: You saw that shinty game in episode 4!

Drew: Shinty game?

Jen: Oh I have heard good things about the director for this episode

I am already tense! It’s only 1 minute in!

Drew: Who is MacTavish? A man of mystery?

So this is the local MacMob Boss, right?

Jen: Yup

Drew: I want to see a mule on fire kick stuff

Jen: Ah shut up Claire

She is making me nervous

Drew: Seriously. She is the worst spy.

Jen: I know, right

Drew: Knock Knock. It’s the Jerk Squad.

Uh Oh. Winkle Face is about to be an issue.

Jen: WTF these watch guys are super jerks

Drew: None shall be seated during the Fire Scene.

So is this from the books?

Jen: Oh shit

No this is all off book

Drew: Sexy Horrocks!

Jen: That was a nice creepy wink Horrocks. Guess who’s getting another bag of gold

Drew: More like a sack of gold if you know what i mean

(Jamie’s balls)

Jen: In the book the Lallybroch chapters are all nice and calm and Claire and Jamie just have nice domestic and romantic times

Drew: (Jamie’s balls)

Jen: These Scottish children are too adorable

Drew: It’s a Changeling, Jenny. Don’t fall for its spell.

Jen: Oh that’s right, I forgot, Jamie and Ian fought side by side because Jamie is left handed

Drew: Awww. Did they knuffle their tumkins when the googie was so?

Time to strangle that baby in the womb, Claire. I want to join the Black Watch, Jen. I can be a hanger on.

Jen: You want to barge into people’s houses and make them uncomfortable while eating all their food?

Drew: Yes. Also I want to look like Zach Galifinackis, just like Horrocks.

SORRY I SPOILED HIS CREDIBLE THREAT

I hope this baby bursts Kool Aid Man style into this world.

Like, yanno, nature dictates.

Jen: Shouldn’t Claire call for a midwife? She’s a combat nurse, how many babies has she delivered?

Drew: She’s delivered bullet babies.

Also, she wants to kill Jenny. There can be only one.

Jen: This weird talk is straight from the book. Gabaldon is so weired

Oh, they did try to call the midwife. Ugh it is just going to be gross

Drew: oh no the baby will be born in this taxi cab it has never been done before snnnnnzzzzzz

Jen: No but breech is still dangerous even today in modern times. They aren’t supposed to come out feet first!

Drew: Ungh. Sibling siblrey.

Isn’t there some plant she could eat? Or maybe she could do the Geillis dance? or she could get that stick out of her butt

Jen: Eeeeeee this is a great book line

Drew: So this is setting up the reasons for Future Things, huh?

Jen: Well I think it’s more explanation for why she isn’t knocked up yet because they have been doing it quite a lot

Drew: Boston is an expensive city, Horrocks.

PROBLEM SOLVED

Jen: Whoa was not expecting sword in the back

Yas, Ian!

Drew: Ian goes crazy with bloodlust.

Ian is so lonely.

Jen: Oh Jamie’s little snake!

In the book he carries it in his sporran all the time

Drew: He has a serpent in his sporran, I bet.

Ungh. Just murder her Claire and get it over with.

Jen: Oh My God any dude yelling at a woman giving birth needs to be kicked in the balls for like an hour

Drew: So did they not understand optimal cup construction back then or do they just have a really crappy potter at Castle Lollipop?

This guy seems like a reasonable thug to work for.

Jen: He can do math!

Drew: No dental, sure.

Jen: That took an unexpected turn

Drew: But lots of butter in the crock.

Like, he’s everything Dougal could have been. Also, he has nice hair. I’m in love, Jenny. Sorry, Larry, you’re gawped back to #2.

Jen: You have my best wishes, you and grimy local thug #1

Drew: Woah, That’s Mr. Grimy Local Thug #1 to you, hussy.

How much older than Jamie was dead Willie?

Jen: He was like 5 or 8 years older

Drew: So he was 10-13 when he carved that snake?

That’s primo Etsy wank right there.

Jen: *fanning myself* OMG they are the best couple on tv ever

Drew: Woah, Hawkeye’s wife is totally fine with Clint being and Avenger.

Jen: You’ve got a money making Etsy scheme there. Drew’s Totally Old Timey Good Enough Snake Carving

We are crossing our banter!

Drew: I WANT THAT WATCH

Jen: You love that Poem Skull don’t you?

Drew: STARS WHY IS THAT WATCH NOT FOR SALE

STARZ STARZWATCH PLZWATCH Get me that watch, Jamie. plz

Jen: So it’s going to be raining like that the entire we’re in Scotland right?

Drew: Yep.

Jen: This childbirth is making me more uncomfortable than the dudes with guns.

Can’t she do a c-section? That was invented for Julius Casear, wasn’t it?!

Drew: …

Do you even lift, bro?

Jen: Gasp!

Drew: Time for Jenny to bleed out?

Or Ian. Or Jamie. Just tell me the watch is okay.

Jen: Drew & Skull Watch = OTP

Drew: That’s Mr Skull Watch to you.

Those are some mad big earrings.

Jen: OMG they remembered the bracelets!

I am excited about this!

Drew: Murdoch’s got claws, yo.

Jamie wanted the watch too. That’s why he stayed.

Jen: That was really good!

Drew: Cut to Jamie poking furiously at his Uber app. “Why won’t anyone pick up form the Highlands!” he moans to the sky.

Jen: I can’t wait for next week! Agh!

Drew: The episode is called the Watch. It is all about the watch. The Watch.