Last week @bonnie-wee-swordsman suggested I do a WIP video, and so, because she’s awesome, you get a Bonnie-inspired painting this week! Still editing the video, but planning to post it tomorrow! In the meantime, here’s the finished piece :)
Happy Monday everyone! We’re one week closer to September!
You can…call me Da,” he said. His voice was husky; he stopped and cleared his throat. “If–if ye want to, I mean,” he added diffidently.
“Da,” she said, and felt the smile bloom easily this time, unmarred by tears.
“Da. Is that Gaelic?”
He smiled back, the corners of his mouth trembling slightly. “No. It’s only…simple.”
And suddenly it was all simple. He held out his arms to her. She stepped into them and found that she had been wrong; he was as big as she’d imagined–and his arms were as strong about her as she had ever dared to hope.
One of the busiest episodes of the season, La Dame Blanche wastes no time with it’s frantic pace.
Favorite Costume: the purple and red embroidered jacket. It’s a striking color combination that could have been awful but ended up working beautifully. And I absolutely love the way the colors seem to shift drastically depending on the lighting in the scene. Honorable Mention: Louise’s red dress for the dinner party (see a little further down). A bit more ostentatious than Claire’s infamous red dress with a great many more ruffles and bows, Louise easily could have borrowed Claire’s shoes for the evening.
Favorite Minor Character: Louise. Though she has mostly been used for comedic effect, in La Dame Blanche we see a more serious side to Louise as she seeks Claire’s assistance and advice over what to do about her recently discovered pregnancy. Listening to the way she talks about her situation brings home the fact that, while Louise can be shallow she is by no means blind or impractical. Then there is Louise at the dinner party with the recently jilted Charles (she is totally winning that breakup).
Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment, Favorite Book to Screen Adaptation, Favorite Scene, Favorite Performance, Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part, Favorite Location: Jamie and Claire’s fight and reconciliation. Okay, this is a long back-to-back scene/sequence but it is the very heart of the episode and has SO MUCH GOING ON. It manages to be both my favorite Book to Screen moment and “That’s not in the book” moment because so much of the material comes from Outlander rather than Dragonfly in Amber. The blending of the text from both books is seamless and plays into the way they’ve changed Jamie’s recovery, drawing much of his emotional and mental healing from the Abbey into Paris and having the stresses of their self-assigned mission play into the stress that recovery has on their relationship. Favorite Performance goes to Sam Heughan for the delivery of that scene alone. The emotional complexity of what Jamie is going through and trying to understand how and why he is able to come to Claire physically where he had been struggling so much is incredible.
And yes, this all counts as one looooong scene because there is no real pause or break between the two, only a change of set to my Favorite Location of the episode: the blue daybed. I fell in love with that set in the promo pictures mostly because of the blue cushions and bedclothes. And once Jamie and Claire have reconnected physically, we get another few lines from Outlander with Jamie’s reference to the lean-to with its roof for keeping out the rain in what is my Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment.
Favorite Line: “We take what God sends us. Still the bulk of our physicians are better than nothing… You, Madame, are a great deal better than nothing.” Have I mentioned how much I love Mother Hildegarde? It’s pretty much her only scene in the entire episode and it is such a wonderful moment between her and Claire.
Favorite Music Moment: the dinner party disintegrates into a fight. I think my favorite part of the whole sequence and why it is my Favorite Music Moment in the episode has to do with the fact that the music shifts and becomes a little more Scottish when Murtagh joins the fray. (Also whoever it was who did a re-edit of this scene with the Benny Hill theme way back when the episode first aired is my hero)
@whitenightowl asked 4 & 22
4. A drunken kiss 22. Caught in a storm
“Jamie!” I murmured around his frantic kiss. “Jamie stop! The–”
“–counter.” I winced with a drunken giggle, as he let go of me long enough to massage his back.
“Are ye just going to stand there and gawk or come kiss my injury?” He slurred, his r’s rolling with a deeper Scottish burr.
“Hmmm…” I tapped my lips, and pretended to need a moment to think about it.
“Och!” He held a hand to his heart. “Ye wound me, Sassenach! Is that what I get for carrying you through the mud and rain? No sympathy? Just a poor aching back?”
I laughed again. “Carried me through the mud? You mean dropped me! You’re so drunk I’m sur-surprised you were able to even put two feet in front of the other!”
“Weel is that not the kettle-pot-pan calling itself dubh! I’m no as drunk as ye, mo nighean donn.” He sauntered–staggered–over to me, grabbing my hips.
“Besides, ye can blame Robbie for the dirkeness,” his eyebrows furrowd. “Tha’s no right. Dirkeness. No, dunkeness. Och forget it! He’s to blame! Him and his,” he waved his hand, “military concoctions.”
“Oh, so is he the reason we stayed at the fire pit until the mixers were gone and the lightning crackled?”
The side of Jamie’s wide mouth lifted in a heart stopping smile. “Aye, ‘tis Sassenach. That and ye are so carefree when ye’ve had a drink.”
I slapped his chest. Before I could protest his lips were once again devouring my own, and my legs wrapped around his waist as he stumbled back to our bedroom and en suite bathroom.
entered the damp brig, the torch lights throwing shadows against the wooden
walls. He peeked through the bars that held her. She was dirty, her face and
hands smeared with black smudges. The clean areas of her skin, though, stood
out brightly against the darkness, pale as the moon. She lounged languidly on
the hanging bench, speaking softly her herself. Her hands were tied in front of
her. She paid no mind to him; many of the men had come to see her in the past
hour. He was no different.
then, soft enough that he didn’t hear. He turned to her then. She stared
straight at him when she said this, her hawk eyes making him feel quite like a
I didna quite catch that lass.”
“I’m not a
lass.” Her voice was clear and clipped. English lady, indeed. “I’d wager I’m
older than you, kit.”
“Yes, tis a
name for a baby fox. It fits you, I think.” She was taunting him; a small grin
curving her lips, pulling at the scar on her cheek. He would not give her the
satisfaction of his irritation, though.
“My name is
are you?” With this, she sat up and her eyes grew wide, enhancing her owlish
must be mistaken. I didna ken who that is,” Jamie answered sincerely.
“It’s you! ‘Red
are the curls atop his head. Red is the cloth that cloaks his body,” she
gestured to his dark red vest. “’And red is the blood of his enemies spilled.’
That sounds a bit like you, no?”
“If you say
so,” she said, lying back on the bench. Jamie didn’t admit it to her, but it
did sound like him. Was he really a famed pirate and didn’t know about it? He
hoped not. It would just make it that harder to disappear without a trace, and
above them creaked with the weight of a man. Someone was coming.
Dougal’s black boots before he saw the rest of him. He strolled over the cell,
taking a seat next to Jamie.
“How’s our prisoner,
lad?” He spoke to Jamie, but his eyes were fixed on the woman. ‘La Dame
Blanche.’ She scoffed, rolling her eyes to toward the ceiling. “What? Are ye no
our prisoner? Are ye no tied up in our brig?” His eyes grew dangerous, the light
gray turning stormy. Dougal had a temper, serious and harsh. The men knew not
to cross him on such occasions.
took a deep breath, steadying himself, and rearranged his face into his merciful
want to argue with ye, lass. Just talk. Yer name is Claire, aye?” But Claire
was a warrior, and didn’t mind fighting fire with fire.
You’ve taken me at a disadvantage. I’m afraid I don’t know who you are…” Jamie
saw Dougal’s neck turn red: he was holding his anger at bay. If this woman was
who they thought she was, she was a valuable asset and could not be touched.
Even if she was a pain in the arse.
Dougal Mackenzie, ma’am,” Dougal answered with barely contained frustration.
Beauchamp. How did you come to find yourself on The Thistle?”
on.” Dougal rolled his eyes.
“Aye, I ken
that fine. When?”
When you fought that other ship.”
floating out at sea. Figured I’d have a better chance here than out there.”
“And are ye
La Dame Blanche?” The root of the issue made its appearance.
matter? You’ll believe as you do. You’ll do with me as you wish.” She closed
her eyes hard, as if she could will the men away.
Dougal asked, more forcefully this time. He was leaning forward, elbows on his
knees. Claire took a deep breath, and squeezed her eyes shut further.
“I am who
you say I am,” she barely whispered. Jamie could see that her energy was
drained: physically, emotionally, mentally. But either Dougal didn’t notice or
“Is it true
that ye forced Frank Randall to murder his own brother?” Her lips twitched at
“A man had
free will. I can force no one to do something they do not wish. Frank murdered
Jack, because Jack was a monster. Kin or not.”
is your Frank now?” But she merely shrugged her shoulders. “Are ye a witch?”
you wouldn’t.” Jamie watched their exchange with fascination, and a little
sympathy. For who, though, he wasn’t sure. He saw Dougal steel his shoulders,
mind made up.
ye’ll work with the crew, help us reach Port Royal. I’ll decide what to do wi’
ye after that.” And with a swish of his coat, he stood up and left the brig, marching
only as a captain does.
eyes followed him until he disappeared through the door. Then, she closed her
eyes again, tired. Jamie decided to take his leave, but before walked out the
door, he heard her voice, clear as the sea.
Favorite “That’s not in the book” Part: Claire playing with the children and simultaneously plotting her escape. I loved how much planning and thought Claire put into her preparations during The Gathering and the layers of the opening sequence with Claire playing with the children of Castle Leoch - especially wee Hamish. That she was using the games to observe the area and plot her escape shows the resourcefulness that I love about Claire as a character and is one of her better subterfuges. The facts that it annoys her shadows and gets to have fun with the children are just bonuses.
Favorite Line: “We’re missing the festivities.” There is so much great side-character stuff in The Gathering. I love Rupert’s whining when Claire and the children decide to keep playing. The interplay between Rupert and Angus throughout the episode and their childish excitement over the Gathering itself are at their best in this episode.
Favorite Location: the MacKenzie encampment outside the castle. Claire’s voice over where she contrasts the excitement and joy of the MacKenzie Gathering with the celebrations following the end of World War II are beautiful. The atmospheres are so drastically different with joy and community being so prevalent in the MacKenzies while relief and exhaustion were more characteristic of the solemnity of the end of WWII. Her observations and her reactions to them recall the beginning of Sassenach when the war officially ends and Claire seems lost more than relieved or celebratory. Here, she remarks on how a small part of her would regret leaving these people behind, despite the fact that she has been stuck there as a pseudo-prisoner - she feels connected to the odd community of Leoch.
Favorite Minor Character: Angus. While a lot of his great moments this episode involve him playing off of Rupert, this is the first episode where Angus gets to be something other than grumpy for a prolonged period of time. He’s excited but doesn’t regret having to perform his duties the way that Rupert does. This is where you really start to see Angus’ devotion to Dougal as well, from his eagerness to follow Dougal in pledging his oath to Colum to the shinty battle and squaring off against Murtagh.
Favorite Costume: background actor #2. Every time I watch the beginning of the oath taking, my eyes go immediately to this trio of ladies at the front of the crowd. They’re all wearing similar shades of an absolutely gorgeous blue and the one in the middle with the embroidery detailing on the sleeves and stomacher is my favorite (though the blue and green plaid to her right is a close second). That even the background characters have such gorgeous and intricately worked costumes is part of what makes the show look soooooo good.
Favorite Jamie and Claire Moment: the stable. More specifically, the part of the stable scene where Jamie is reassuring Claire about going back after she’s explained her encounter with the drunken clansmen. His immediate concern for her well-being - and rage at the thought that anyone might have done something to her that she didn’t want them to - are palpable but he shifts to light-hearted and calming as soon as he knows she’s all right physically. His pointing out the flaws in her escape plan was a blow and now he’s building her back up by openly admiring her resourcefulness, and he loves that she got the best of Dougal. The little elbow nudge he gives her when he asks, “Knocked him out cold, did ye?” is so cute and sweet.
Favorite Book-to-Screen Adaptation: Jamie’s oath to Colum. The political tensions between the brothers and Jamie’s skillful walking of that fine line between them is one of my favorite aspects of the book. His handling of the delicate situation when he is forced to the hall during the Oath Taking is such a well orchestrated scene in every way. The cuts to members of the crowd/audience, Claire and Murtagh, and between Jamie and the Brothers MacKenzie along with the rising score ratchet the tension beautifully before Jamie successfully diffuses the situation.
Favorite Performance: Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie. There are so many sides of Dougal that come out during The Gathering. The subtle interplay between him and Colum as he pledges his oath; his drunken interaction with Claire as he finds her in the hallway; the way he looms over Jamie as he makes his unorthodox oath to Colum; the sorrow and strength with which he greets Geordie’s death during the hunt; taking his grief and frustration out on Jamie in the game of shitny; and finally, coming to Claire with his proposition for joining him on the road and the respect and gratitude he shows to her after her handling of Geordie’s death (such a contrast to the way he treated her in the corridor while he was drunk earlier in the episode). All of it is just brilliant.
Favorite Scene, Favorite Music Moment: Shinty. Everything about this scene is my favorite. The Clean Pease Stray track from volume one of the show’s score is my absolute favorite from that album and fits perfectly with the action as Dougal emerges from the woods after the hunt that killed Geordie, picks up a stick, and starts hitting men. At the same time, the balance of Jamie’s oath and the lines that were drawn rise to the surface once more as Dougal targets Jamie specifically - and then Murtagh and Angus going at each other as Jamie’s and Dougal’s respective seconds. You’ve also got Claire remarking on the scene next to Rupert who isn’t fazed by a single thing that happens. And the cinematography of the scene… the camera angles, the use of slow motion at various points - I mean, how great is that shot of the guy Dougal knocks into the cooking fire? And then Jamie flipping Dougal over his head?