Ah the Rent is due! With this I’ll be attempting some screen caps that I’m not pulling offline but making myself. (not willing to brush up on my gif making at the moment… maybe for the wedding 😉)
Favorite Claire Look:Side-eyeing You From the Riverbank. There’s just something about the way she’s looking back that I love. Maybe it’s her sassiness peaking through, her “I know what you’re up to,” glare at Dougal, or just in general how awesome this is.
Favorite Jamie Moment:Trees Are Safe Sassenach. Jamie has so much going for him in this scene. At first you get to see him and Dougal verbally fight it out and Jamie lets Dougal win. When Claire makes herself known while Jamie is beating up a tree, he agrees with her about Dougal doing that again. What I loved the most was that he said, “A man has to choose what’s worth fighting for.” Not only is he showing his ability to pick and choose battles which is an excellent sign of a leader (Laird Broch Tuarach!) but I also feel like he’s inferring a little bit that he’s chosen her and will fight for her; ever since that first day at Leoch when he promised her protection, he’s reassuring her in this moment. This scene is also special since it shows Claire and Jamie bonding yet again. These little snippets, there are too few of them and they are no where near long enough for my taste. I love the development of their relationship, how much Jamie respects her and how he’s the exact opposite of Frank. He shows her that by the way he gets to know her. So this scene proves to me that he’s trying in his own way to show her how much he does care by thinking of her well-being and promising protection again.
(side note, doesn’t it look like Claire is wrapped up in Jamie’s plaid? Another way to add protection if I didn’t know he was wearing his.)
Favorite Not in the Book Moment: Claire Makes a Joke. “I think your left hand gets jealous of your right. That’s about all I Believe” “I’ve never heard a woman make a joke before!” I adore this scene! I love the lighthearted banter while she’s realizing that they might not survive what’s to come. In this moment, Claire has just been defended by these men she didn’t believe even liked her until they defended her honor. She’s slowly feeling more comfortable and trying to, I wouldn’t say fit in, but be more welcoming/open makes a joke that I know I would have loved to have made in that moment! Everyone laughs, even Dougal and Murtagh. It’s a wonderful moment where everyone just enjoys each others company.
Favorite Book to Screen: Jamie Sleeping Outside Claire’s Door. I love this scene in the book and I love it in the show. The minor alterations that were made still worked and the essence of this scene didn’t get lost. This is all about Jamie being the protector for Claire yet again–he’s protecting her not only from the “curious men filled with drink,” but he tries to protect her reputation. He doesn’t want anyone to mess with her…in any way possible. This shows so much devotion on his part. He’s a wanted man, if he’s recognized as someone that’s wanted by the British then he’s a goner. In the books there was a little bit more of a thrill to it since they did have to dodge the Red Coats a few times with Jamie (especially after they are married…) The image I’ve chose shows Claire loving her only friend. She offers the blanket from her bed and chooses to sleep in her cape to make sure he is warm. He means so much to her already and deep down, she knows she loves him as more than a kind friend but can’t admit it to herself. When she hands him the blanket and their hands touch, that small connection, a spark of electricity… it gives me chills. It reminds me so much of Pride and Prejudice when Darcy helps Elizabeth into the carriage. Physical contact was not a social norm in the 19th century and I’m no historian but I’m going to make an assumption it was similar in the 18th. Just the small contact to help add fuel to the fire for Jamie’s want and Claire’s buried lust. Also the scene right after this, the knowing smiles, the bashful looks.. oh yeah these two love each other and it’s in those moments you can’t help but sigh and eagerly fast forward through one of the worst episodes ever to see the Wedding.
Another of my favorite episodes of the season (just like almost every other episode of the season).
Favorite Location: first camp by the loch. Give me all the landscape shots in this episode. They’re all soooooo gorgeous but the opening shot with Claire reciting poetry is perfection (I’m also really partial to the river where she and Ned have their chat about legalities but more on that later). One of the things that just makes this scene is the raucous of the men teasing and wrestling with Willie that’s just audible below Claire and Ned reciting their John Donne.
Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part, Favorite Music Moment: Claire waulking wool with the village women. Since Claire spends so much of the rent collecting trip - both on screen and in the book - surrounded by the men of Castle Leoch, I loved that the show dropped in this few minutes of Claire spending time with and bonding with the women of the community. I also love that one of the songs they sing is about “mo nighean donn.” I don’t know what all the lyrics translate to but I recognize that phrase. So glad these songs were included on volume two of the show’s score.
Favorite Line: “Only two.” While I like that in the book, Claire is able to figure exactly what Dougal is up to on the first guess, her confrontations with Ned Gowan over the particulars of Dougal’s actions and the legal arrangements - and the way Ned plays along - are one of my favorite sub-plots for the episode. His acknowledgment that she would have made a fine advocate (though we learn and he knows that she’s missed the mark, her explanation of the evidence at hand is sturdy) is more genuine than just humoring her and her own knowing retort as he walks away (that they both know something the other doesn’t creates such great balance) and then Claire’s judgmental stare as Ned rejoins Dougal…
“It’s a pity they don’t allow women to practice law.”
“It’ll be a few centuries before that happens.”
Favorite Performance: Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser. It’s not that his performances leading up to this one weren’t fantastic, it’s that in this episode Jamie had so much more to do that Sam was given a greater opportunity to demonstrate what he can do. Jamie has been on the outskirts of Castle Leoch trying (and failing) to keep his head down and not attract attention. On the road with the men, his protectiveness of Claire (and growing feelings for her) forces him to walk a delicate line as he fights to keep the peace between her and the other men in camp (especially Angus). He is patient and gentle with Claire but also frank and honest as he calls her on her attitude. He is also put on display in a way he hates as Dougal uses the scars on his back to raise money for the Jacobite cause. Heughan makes the most of every scene in Rent.
Honorable Mention for Music Moment, Favorite Shot: history lesson on the Jacobites. 1945 Claire’s reflection in the framed Scottish flag as Frank and Reverend Wakefield discuss the failed Jacobite rising with the music rising into a somber version of the show’s opening theme is just beautifully managed on so many levels.
Favorite Book-to-Screen Adaptation: Jamie confronts Dougal. I love that in both versions, Jamie doesn’t make a scene by calling Dougal out in front of people. Jamie has far more tact and diplomacy than that. In the screen adaptation, I love the fact that you can hear whispers of their conversation as Claire moves in to eavesdrop and watch before the camera’s focus brings the audience fully into the conversation between the two men. There are some little changes as the scene shifts (logistically and emotionally) with Dougal walking off and Claire chatting with Jamie (I rather prefer the book version where it’s Claire who suggests Jamie hit the tree to blow off steam), but the conversation they have and their blossoming connection hit all the right notes for both characters and deftly handles another meaningful chunk taken right from the book.
Favorite Costume: Claire’s fur accented coat. Claire has way more outfits and accessories than is practical for being on the road and the rough camping they do during the episode but none of that matters because all the accessories look cozy and gorgeous but none look quite so tempting as that coat. How she manages to keep the fur so fluffy and clean in the damp and muck of camping and riding, I have no idea (magic, maybe?).
Favorite Claire and Jamie Moment: the inn. I’m counting all of this together from the moment candlestick-wielding Claire trips over Jamie outside her door to their adorable greeting downstairs the next morning. Despite the tensions from the night before after Dougal’s speech, when these two are around each other they wind up in their own safe bubble of cute. Jamie’s face the following morning as he excuses himself it just the cutest/funniest thing; he looks like a kid who got caught stealing cookies from the jar and instead of being punished was given an extra cookie and told not to tell anyone else, so pleased with himself.
Favorite Minor Character: Ned Gowan. Who doesn’t love Ned Gowan with his mutual love for adventure and the law? His yearning for the days of his youth when the Highlands were truly uncivilized, his admonition against accepting live pigs, the way he plays with Claire’s interpretation of what Dougal is up to (and keeps Dougal from giving his true purpose away), there’s just so much to love about Ned. But I think my favorite Ned scene in this episode is when Claire earnestly tries to warn him that the Jacobite cause is doomed, that history will never record the name of another Stuart king and his response, “History be damned.” Then of course as the fist fight breaks out, he is right at Claire’s side keeping safely out of the physical fight.
Favorite Scene (and yet another honorable mention for Music Moment): Claire makes a joke. Everything about the joke Claire makes and the reaction to it is a perfect payoff for the journey she takes this episode as she truly becomes a part of this community - she’d been largely welcomed into Castle Leoch by Mrs. Fitz but without Mrs. Fitz there, it’s been a rough few weeks and the tensions got pretty high there for a while. There’s that beat before Rupert laughs and the tension breaks with all the other men admitting in their own ways the merits of her joke. And then the emotional pendulum swings once more to somber at the mention of Culloden Moor and Claire revisiting her earlier reflections on the Jacobite cause but from a place where she is so much more personally attached. The lesson from Frank and Reverend Wakefield earlier and Claire’s voice over then were more detached and clinical; in this scene the camera lingers on the faces of the men who she knows, who will likely fight that battle and it is so much more real for her at this later point of the episode (and the music once again supports the emotional weight beautifully; the Wrong Side of History track is my go to for finding the right place mentally to write angsty ficlets).
This episode had some amazing performances, scenery and costumes. Claire looked stunning (as always) in practically every shot for someone roughing it in the Highlands. this ep also introduced Ned Gowan!
Present in Absence
Absence here thou my protestation Against they strength, Distance and length: Do what thou canst for alteration, For hearts of truest mettle Absence doth join and Time doth settle.
Loved everything about this! The music, the women, Claire joining in with a huge smile on her face… Everything!
Favorite Transition Shot
Claire’s Trailing Hand
Angus First Up For Claire
After everything, he - and the Highlanders - defended Claire. Shows a great side to their honor and despite their reservations toward her, they still had her back!
Outlander-palooza with the new trailer, we push forward with “Rent”.
Blanket-sex. These two could make a cactus look sexy. Jamie offers the
protection of his body to Claire even before the wedding and we can really see
that she’s not indifferent to his attentions – even though she tries really
hard to cover it, she’s feeling the love.
“Angus can kiss my English ass.” You tell him, Claire.
The argument by the river shows an angry Jamie that will stand for what he
believes and Dougal should know better than to mess with a redhead in fury.
Favourite character in the episode (and favourite
Claire shows some flaws in this episode meddling in things she doesn’t
understand, but that makes her human and more relatable. Also I really love her
practicality, her wits, but also the softness in her heart. She becomes one of
the guys in this and I love it.
A shirtless Jamie a day keeps the doctor away.
Favourite comic relief
“We can insult you…but God help any other man that
some fleshy moments in this episode. He’s a wee bastard, but ultimately his
heart is in the right place.
Seasons of Love would still fit perfectly here, don’t you think?
Episode 5 fav’s:
Favourite costume: Ned’s outfit. I really enjoy that he’s the only one wearing a tricorn hat, and his coat is more elegant that the others’ in the rent party - a little callback to his Edinburgh upbringing. Also, Terry Dresbach and Ron Moore shared in a podcast that since Bill Paterson was uncomfortable on the horses, they gave him gaiters (the lower-leg covering), which are actually something the redcoats would have worn. Their imagined backstory was that Ned at some point stole them from a dead redcoat (after a skirmish between Dougal and co & some redcoats). That seems like such a Ned thing, taking stylish trophies of the fight and then probably lowkey boasting about it to someone later.
(Fun headcanon that have turned into an Imagine ficlet: One reason Claire bonds so quickly with Ned is because he resembles her Uncle Lamb. Both are romantic adventurers, but prefer not to participate in the violence accompanying the adventure (see: Ned hiding with Claire during the brawl, Lamb being an archeologist) (I can totally see both loving stories of war, but not having a warrior’s disposition at all), both are learned gentlemen who left a settled, city life for said romantic, adventurous life, and I assume they’re about the same age. Sound plausible to anyone else, or am I alone here?)
Also, Ned having his quill strapped to his horse like a weapon is just such a Ned thing. I love it. So make that two favourite costumes: Ned and his horse.
Favourite line: “Guma fada beò Stiùbhart!” (Gaelic - or Gàidhlig - from this fabulous site). This line - and the revelation it sparks in Claire - reminds us of a major thread in this series: the Jacobite uprising of 1945. We’ve had hints of it before now, but this is our introduction to it as it touches our characters. Also I love love love how Graham McTavish practically roars it - gives us a little more insight into just how passionate Dougal is about the cause.
Favourite scene: It’s a hard choice, but I think I have to go with the wool waulking scene. It was great to get a bit of an inside look at the daily chores of 18th century Scottish women, and it also showed us how willing Claire is to jump in, lend a hand, and be part of the community. She’s really someone who’s courteously curious about the culture she finds herself in (a trait I imagine growing up traveling across the world with her uncle), incredibly affable, and never content with sitting idly by. And, though she didn’t achieve her goal, it was nice to see Claire quickly bond with the women, listen to their stories, and fight for them against what she (and, I’m sure, many of us) saw as Dougal’s unjust acceptance of the goat Donalda needed to feed her baby.
(Oh Claire, I know you get a lot of shit for your sharp tongue and fiery temper, but never change. It takes a lot of courage to always stand up and fight for what you believe is right, and that’s something most people lack)
Favourite performance: Another toughie. Honestly, I want to say Caitriona Balfe again, cause the range of emotions she goes through in an episode is really a joy to watch. But in the interest of picking someone different every time (I mean, I’ll probably start repeating people later in the season, but I’m sticking to the new episode new favourite for now), I choose Stephen Martin Walters. Normally Angus is comic relief with Rupert (#Rupus4life), but here we get to see a darker side of him, when he threatens Claire after she derides them for stealing the chickens. We also get to see a lighter side of him, when he defends Claire with the others after the men at the inn insult her.
(Nice to see you rounded out, Angus.)
Favourite book-to-screen adaptation: Claire tripping over a sleeping Jamie, lying outside her door to protect her. Again, here’s Jamie honouring his promise to protect her. Also enjoy Jamie’s innocent outrage at the idea of sharing a room with Claire, alone, was adorable and lovely. And never before has giving someone a blanket been so HOT. I’m surprised their fingers didn’t strike a spark onto the blanket!
(Must’ve been awfully hard for him to sleep just outside all night.)
Favourite “this wasn’t in the book” part: I have two: being introduced to the Watch, the threat they pose to Jamie, and that horrifying way of striking fear into the Scottish countryside.
(Gorgeous shot, and absolutely chilling.)
Qualms & quibbles: Okay, so Ron Moore clarified in a podcast that Lieutenant Foster was just in the village to re-shoe his horse, which makes sense once you hear it, but that wasn’t terribly clear in the episode. Also, why is he all alone? Where are the other redcoats that he finds by the end of the episode? Surely they would’ve been riding with him, so they should be in the village too. That said, really it only amounts to a minor quibble.
(Did your buddies just ditch you?)
Favourite location: Culloden Moor. Claire and Frank’s bleak walk through that field, and Claire’s dread; wondering who amongst these men would lie beneath it in three years, as they joked and prepared to ride off, was chilling and beautiful.
(I be a puddle of tears if any of them die, but Willie in particular.)
Favourite minor character: Lieutenant Foster. The redcoats are very clearly the villains of this story, so it’s nice to see examples of redcoats who are decent people. The English certainly committed atrocities against the Scots, but to make even redcoat character cruel would make them horribly cartoonish. We see that they clearly view themselves as superior to the Scots (next episode, mainly), but that doesn’t mean that some aren’t kind people, following the path set up for them by life. Lieutenant Jeremy Forester clearly doesn’t bear a huge prejudice against the Scots, actually seeming to respect Dougal, particularly in episode 6. However, the scene he witnesses between Claire and the others makes him think they’re holding her prisoner and mistreating her. Being a nice guy with the power to help, he seeks to ensure her safety.
(You’re a credit to your people, Jeremy Foster.)
(Random note: It made me unreasonably happy to hear lieutenant pronounced “leftenant”. We pronounce it that way in Canada too, but you rarely hear it on TV. Granted, the American way does make more sense, but still.)
Favourite music: The wool walking song. The use of Gaelic in this show is great, and I love hearing it in a song, especially a song casually sung to make the working hours pass faster.
(Anyone else notice the lyrics repeat “Mo nighean donn”?)
Favourite medical moment: Claire invents the first puffer. Well, not quite. Jimson weed was used long before this in India, and popularized in Europe by James Anderson, but let’s give Claire the credit for the first puffer in the Highlands.
Asthma such as Ned’s is commonly caused when the body misinterprets an external substance as a threat. In response, the immune system kicks into gear, causing bronchoconstriction (tightening of muscles in non-cartelagenous airways (bronchi & bronchioles), leading to a narrowing of the lumen of these airways, hypertrophy (thickening) of the bronchiolar wall, and production of a greater amount of thicker mucus. This asthmatic triad causes difficulty in breathing.
The active ingredient in Jimson weed leaves (Datura stramonium) is atropine, which - as we learned in 1x03 - blocks acetycholine. Acetycholine is primarily the agent of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is what causes bronchoconstriction, which occurs primarily during exhalation, as the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are alternately activated in inhalation and exhalation respectively. This which is why asthmatics often have a harder time exhaling, causing wheezing (though people usually assume the problem is in inhaling). So by blocking input from the parasympathetic system, the bronchi and bronchioles dilate once more, and the asthmatic person experiences instant ease of breathing. Fun fact: it’s also a powerful hallucinogen. Luckily Ned didn’t seem to experience that side effect!
(Can you spot the wee seedpods from which it gets one of its alternate names; thornapple?)
Another fun fact: It’s also called Devil’s snare.
(Just rewatched this last night, so I’m still in geek-out mode.)
Favourite little detail: Jamie spinning his dirk. Thank you to Sam Heughan for including this little book detail! It makes me smile, cause of course Jamie would spin his dirk to pass the time. It’s such a cute, childish little thing, but at the same time, you’re like WTF how are you not drilling a hole in your hand you crazy Scot?
(Seriously Jamie, what is the magic that prevents that sharp-ass piece of metal from shredding your palm? Willie’s with me on this.)
“Rent” Between the 2005 Chris Columbus film adaptation and the 2009 final Broadway bow DVD recording, this record-breaking rock musical from the late Jonathan Larson has already been exhaustively adapted for the screen. But wouldn’t it be great to see today’s buzziest young stars take on pop rock classics? Rachel Bloom as Maureen? Chris Colfer as Angel? 5 Seconds of Summer star Luke Hemmings for Roger? Sign us up!
Somebody should really give Yuichiro a gold medal for his loyalty. His concept of family is like, “I don’t care if you have six wings or an extra arm, as long as I consider you family, you are FAMILY and there is no escape”. When Yuichiro loves someone, he loves wholeheartedly ( as Chihiro is finding out ), and that’s one of the things I really admire about him.
reminder that I won’t be on much, if at all, starting this evening until monday! I’ll probably be mobile, however, and the queue’ll be running once a day but I’ll continue to be primarily inactive when it comes to my inbox/chat/skype/ic interactions.