Outlander: The Watch (113)

This Outlander review/recap/commentary/list/whatever is brought to you by Laphroaig Quarter Cask.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m basically going through the Scotch whiskies that were featured in Scotch Tasting with Sam Heughan and Kristin Dos Santos.  It’s not the same Laphroaig as in the tasting, but the Quarter Cask was on sale.  It’s very smokey.

Jamie gets into a fight wtih members of the Watch.

Jamie Fraser vs. four Watch men? No problem!

Outlander is gearing up for its season 1 finale; “The Watch” signifies the beginning of the end.  Jamie and Claire’s peaceful life at Lallybroch couldn’t last, lest the show lose its male viewers.  (Some were bored with last week’s episode which focused on Jamie’s personal growth.)  The idyllic life came to an abrupt end last week in the form of a gun pointed at Jamie’s head.  If you didn’t guess the perpetrator of this abomination, it was the Watch, those pesky highwaymen who are loyal only to the highest bidder.

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Outlander: Lallybroch (112)

This week’s post is brought to you by Kenwood 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay.  Had to take a break from all the Scotch.

Jamie returns to Lallybroch with  Claire.

Jamie returns to Lallybroch with Claire.

 It’s been an Outlander Watershed Week

“The Devil’s Mark,” met with severe criticism from long-time Outlander fans for minimizing a significant and much loved section of the book.  I too was disappointed these scenes weren’t included, but I still found the episode excellent in its own right. Thus, I decided to enjoy the television show for itself without reference to the books.

Also, I finished reading Voyager, the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and there I will stop.  Well, I might pick up a Lord John Grey novel or two, because he’s a wonderfully sympathetic and honorable character.

In a week of minimal action, Jamie and Claire had a much needed reprieve.  But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama.

Remember when I wrote about how much this show moves me?  The scene of Jamie and Claire riding across a verdant field evoked a love so profound, my heart exploded.  And now, that scene has arrived  (although the actual galloping scene wasn’t in the episode).  They’ve put their time at Castle Leoch behind them.  The horror of the witch trial is over, Jamie now knows the truth about Claire, and they’re traveling toward a new life.  To Lallybroch—and home.  It”s a beautiful ending to a rich story.  Except we’re only ¾ of the way through the story.

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Supernatural: The Werther Project (1019)

I knew there was a reason I needed to go back and watch “The Executioner’s Song” to better understand “The Werther Project.”  Both were written by Robert Berens.  Both were superb (and both make up for “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”).

When an intricately woven plot stands up to scrutiny, that’s a great episode.  When it adds a good-size chunk of personal drama, that’s grand.

The most interesting aspect of “The Werther Project” is that it gives us clear insight into the psyche of both Winchester brothers.  After 10 years, we have a decent understanding of the inner workings of Sam’s and Dean’s minds.  Getting to see those workings in action is still marvelous, and it’s usually much worse than we imagined.

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Outlander: The Devil’s Mark (111)

This week’s post is brought to you by Macallen 12 year old Scotch.  Outlander is doing a bit of damage to my pocketbook.  Also my sobriety.*  I just learned you do not drink Scotch on ice.  About that I will paraphrase what I said about my (previous) preference for blended Johnny Walker Red:  I’m secure enough in my Scotch drinking to not worry about what the snobs enthusiasts say.

*Not to worry.  Alcohol isn’t really my drug of choice.  That would be chocolate.

I’m not sure this is my favorite episode (so far), but possibly it is.

Jamie brings Claire to the stones at Craigh na Dun.

Perhaps you can go home again.

Emmys for everyone!

The performances were off the charts.  The way Caitriona Balfe’s voice broke as Claire told Jamie her true story; the many facets of Sam Heughan’s face as Jamie listened, without saying a word.  Lotte Verbeek was riveting as Geillis Duncan sacrificed herself to save Claire.

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Outlander: The Reckoning (109)

It’s back!

Outlander finally returned after a three- six-month hiatus.  (I discovered the epic series in late December, so my wait time was half that of original viewers.  And even that was too long!)

How did you celebrate?  I pulled out my knitwear (two handwarmers and a 99% finished cowl) and poured myself a glass (or 2) of Scotch, discovering I prefer 12-year-old Glenfiddich to my previous regular Johnny Walker Red.

In keeping with my penchant for lists, lets begin.

1.  Jamie’s voice-over…

… was key to this episode.  It gave us a chance to see what the Scots were up to while Claire was busy being arrested and nearly raped; helped us see Jamie’s perspective of that Controversial Scene; and gave us insight into the politics at Castle Leoch.  But most importantly, it helped move Jamie from the naive young man he was to the intelligent, savvy, adult he is to become.

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Doctor Who: Kill the Moon (807)

Six people head out to explore the moon.

Six head out…

This is the type of Doctor Who episode that’s so entertaining.  What starts as a mundane adventure (if you discount Clara’s pre-credit plea to earth) becomes more and more interesting as events unfold, culminating in a spectacular plot twist.  Oh, and it also delves into some serious discussions about responsibilities, actions, and attitudes.

The moon has been increasing in weight and its gravitational pull on earth has had disastrous results.  To salvage earth, a crew of has-been astronauts in a second-hand space shuttle plan to nuke the moon out of existence.  The TARDIS accidentally lands on the shuttle rather than the moon proper, which forces the Doctor, Clara, and Clara’s precocious student Courtney to work with the three astronauts.  (You just know immediately that two of them will not make it to the end of the episode.)

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Doctor Who Is Late

What’s this?  In a week when Gotham premiered and Sleepy Hollow & Agents of SHIELD began their second seasons, you’re writing about a couple of stale Doctor Who episodes?  Yes,  I am.  It’s partly due to me forgetting to tape Doctor Who (at least that problem’s solved) and trying to get my thought together (which, sadly, isn’t likely to be resolved soon.)  However, thoughts on the above named shows will be forthcoming.

The Doctor and Clara team up with two others to rob a bank.

The “Time Heist” team (Saibra disguised as wealthy bank patron)

Listen (104)

Hailed by many as the best episode of season 8 so far, it was also chastised by others complaining it’s becoming The Clara Show.  I heartily agree with the former, even if I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

Because it must be said:  John Hurt!   Even if it was just a scene from the 50th anniversary special, it was great seeing the War Doctor again.

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