Welcome back, Heughligans and Caitriots alike! After my initial blog post, I realized I’d been remiss in addressing the stellar musical score. It was poignant, and haunting, and—
|“For the LAST time, woodwinds— MORE VERVE!”|
1) The music, when done well, effectively becomes another character and augments the setting. Bear McCreary’s theme is superior, and captures an emotional quality that makes me, a male, uncomfortably emotional. If I’d wanted to experience surging feelings, I wouldn’t have married a polite Norwegian Lutheran.*
2) I’d like to thank the wonderful participants in last week’s blog. I received a great deal of funny, charming, witty input. I also managed to wrangle three marriage proposals and one restraining order. Otis– you’ve been warned. No means no.
3) An additional point I failed to mention was the ethereal scene in the stone circle. Look, I’m a four decade geek veteran. I know the entirety of Druidic culture through years of celibacy and playing Dungeons & Dragons. The notion of a group of druids in a modern setting was one of those scenes that could have been wildly successful or sadly tacky. What we saw onscreen was exactly what I envisioned. A blend of whirling shapes, music, natural beauty and mystery all braided together. It was a rousing success, due in part to– once again– the music. Let’s face it, thumping tympani just seem right, primal, and natural. I think the specific music for that scene was a nice hybrid between the old and new. Think “Loreena McKennitt meets Clannad”. I know that had Stevie Nicks been present, she would have been overcome by the driving beat and atmospheric quality of the scene.
|“I JUST WANNA SPIN!”|
4) In continuation from last week, the hub of Castle Leoch is introduced as a de facto character. It’s big, ominous, and most importantly, it’s not the relatively civilized atmosphere of, say, a home in the Cotswolds. Or a pit full of dragons, for that matter.
|“Plumbing? Never heard of her.”|
5) The Highlands breed tough, hard people, and Claire begins to understand that the definitions of man and woman have changed during her fall down the rabbit hole. Men are– well, for the viewer, they’re wholly alien. They don’t wear Axe body spray, and they don’t concern themselves with things like manscaping.
6) Claire is incredibly resilient, but the men leading the culture she is immersed within are simply. . . different. The disconnect goes beyond anything superficial. Even things like diet are– let’s say– more direct.
7) As a nurse, and a modern human, Claire understands that within this life, there is a great deal of risk. And for anyone who has ever made the mistake of saying, “Yeah, I know how to do that!”, the lesson is clear: Don’t make yourself indispensable, because then, you become a prisoner who has to casually inform a group of suspicious warriors that their previous medicinal regimen of powdered dung and dandelions may not have been in their best interest. Claire is no shrinking violet, but even the brutality of Scotland is shocking. Jamie’s flogging isn’t the most ghastly moment; it’s the casual nature of violence. But, let’s move on to happier topics for now. As in, the fact that Jamie is being. . .rolled out, incrementally, like a rare car at an auction. And yes, ladies, I know what you’re thinking. Claire knows botany, and you’re willing to learn.
8) The firelight scene is what the audience wanted. Intense, wrenching, and filled with the whole gamut of emotion between Claire and Jamie, the undercurrent is powerful. Don’t look at the mud, and the pain. In our world of immediate gratification, Jamie and Claire are not meant to find each other on Tinder or OkCupid ( THANK GOD). Yes, there is attraction, but it’s more of a flash followed by the kind of simmer that will linger.
9) As a male, let thank whoever cast Caitriona one more time. Two words: Plunging Decolletage. That is all I am currently allowed to say under existing American marital law.
10) Oh, Claire. You’re a seasoned combat nurse. Why did ye imply ye knew anything?
|“You need more air in yer bodily humour plumbing!”|
11) After seeing that “Kitchen”, you have my permission to scissor kick me the next time I complain about peeling potatoes.
12) So, we get to meet Geillis Duncan. The term “Dipped in Crazy” comes to mind, but let us recall that Outlander is set in a time mere decades after a woman was accused of witchcraft for making an apple dumpling. Seriously.
13) Betcha won’t use the term “hero” for a sandwich again after the asswhipping Jamie took as a proxy. Jamie shines here, taking the kind of beating that made me wonder if blood loss doesn’t lead to undue valor. Note to Jamie: just because you can withstand something doesn’t mean you should do it, unless there is pie involved. And to my horror, I saw no pie exchange hands.
More to come, this was, as expected, a LOT to take in for one evening.
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