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- Wee Scottish bands

I think Outlander fans are going to be pouring all of our cash into the coffers of the Scottish tourism industry this spring and summer. I say that as we are planning a trip to Scotland- I had to contact probably a dozen B&Bs in Inverness to find any with vacancies. But I did find one! Inverness! I can’t believe I’m finally going to be there, I’ve dreamed of visiting Scotland for pretty much my entire remembered life.

I discovered this band (one guy in his Edinburgh bedroom, to be precise) recently: Mt. Doubt. This is just fantastic, this song blows my mind.

I just found this band on Bandcamp by randomly clicking on the “scottish” tag, and I am so impressed. I like my Scottish rock with a heavy emo influence, and these guys deliver. They’re from Dundee- I think this is the first band I’ve posted about that’s not from Glasgow or Edinburgh.