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La Dame Blanche

Are you ready for Saturday?  Read on for the recap, comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a little Outlander postcard:

Here is a recap of the Frasers’ previous antics:

Episode 3 left off with a lot of tension between Jamie and Claire. Claire found a useful occupation helping the estimable Mother Hildegard, where we also met the beloved Bouton.  Claire makes the mental “Mary Hawkins” connection by recalling seeing the family tree with Frank.  Fergus becomes part of the deception and steals mail…leading to the discovery of Sandringham’s musical “key” and it’s implications to stopping the Rising. Jamie and Claire decide to plan a dinner to bring the interested parties together.  Despite Murtagh’s urging Claire to tell Jamie that Black Jack lives, she continues the deception.

Enter Episode 4: La Dame Blanche
What is that you see? Is someone messing with the carriage pin? Hmmm, what is up with THAT?

e4cog Fast forward to Jamie playing yet another game of chess with the Master of Finance, who had practically begged Jamie to lose a game to plead his case, and this time Jamie is completely distracted by Claire’s presence and talking baby names.  Baby Lambert? Baby Dalhousie?  Jamie finds Lambert “too English” and Claire wants to “sneeze” over Jamie’s suggestions.  Le Comte St. Germain to the rescue!  Le Comte totally gives away the game and Jamie gives up. Claire realizes she is a distraction, so off she goes.  Monsieur Duvernay tells Jamie the King is intrigued by the Scottish “King’s” patrons who want to pledge boat loads of money to the cause.

ep4drinkmemeWhy yes, I’ll have a drink! Claire’s glass face is a dead giveaway to the bad taste of the drink and immediately falls victim to…to what?

Le Comte is lurking and watching, what has he done?

ep4comteClaire starts choking and moaning, she is whisked away by Jamie and they make a dramatic exit after drawing attention to themselves.

Did Claire drink bitter cascara in the drink?  Well, Claire, does not know, but now they are on alert.  What problem will this create? Well, no spoilers here, but book readers know of the events to come.
Jamie comes up with a scheme to host a dinner party to bring the parties together, everyone Jamie has been rubbing shoulders with at court can meet Bonnie Prince Charlie at their Paris apartment, since said Bonnie Prince cannot be accepted at court.  Claire makes her recovery bed her place of fessing up to Jamie that Black Jack Randall is alive.


Say what?  Jamie is nearly jumping out of his skin at this “wonderful news” that Black Jack is still alive!  He professes that Claire has given him a gift, that he wasn’t robbed of spilling Black Jack’s blood himself and that now he can be the one do to it.  Thank you, truly, for more excitement to come.  Of course he isn’t going back to Scotland to run Black Jack through.

Claire encounters Murtagh and flippantly tells him Jamie knows that the Captain lives, and disses him by telling him she didn’t know why he was so worried.

mood meme
Claire confronts Master Raymond, who professes his innocence at selling any poison directly to le Comte, but of course!  Any servant could have purchased it.  Master Raymond invites Claire into his hidden lair, one of the scenes we have been waiting for.  While the details of this scene are not from Dragonfly in Amber, the vision of Master Raymonds hidden room, filled with skulls, certainly is. Kudos.

e4skullsMaster Raymond is a fortune teller, or is he? He plays fortune Yahtzee and tells Claire she will see Frank again but that he doesn’t know his fate.  Master Raymond is not as he appears.  She departs with a gift, the poison-induced-color-changing bauble we’ve ready about in the books.

cuckooCuckoo, cuckoo! Louise summons Claire to discuss her enceinte situation and she wants Claire to help her.  Isn’t Claire in the business of saving people?  She is now suggesting how Louise can abort the child?  Claire has no idea who Louise’s lover is, but Louise cannot leave her husband but she needs to convince her husband the baby is his, no small feat when they haven’t had whoopee together in months.  Louise is so child like, not taking into consideration her actions, only of the pleasure of the flesh in the here and now. She muses on how she can can raise a baby with a father who isn’t the father of the baby…sound familiar?  If it doesn’t, go watch Episode 1 again.  All the child needs is love.  Truer words have never been spoken.

Sneaky Jamie, he thinks he’s going to crawl into bed and give Claire a bit of himself, finally. Woah!

bite memWhat the hell are those BITE MARKS on his legs? Naive Jamie goes from stepping into a pot hole to jumping into his own grave. He has spent the evening with whores, one of whom bit him on both thighs when attempting to engage in soisant-neuf. This scene is hilarious in that Sam has played Jamie’s innocence so well, trying to make her believe that he is again alive with passion after being aroused by whores. Well, Claire is having nothing of it. This leads us to one of the biggest and most missed lines that did not happen in Season 1 – the destruction of Jamie’s fortress.

 “Now it’s like….like my own fortress has been blown up with gunpowder—there’s nothing left of it but ashes and a smoking rooftree, and the little naked thing that lived there once is out in the open, squeaking and whimpering in fear, tryin’ to hide itself under a blade of grass or a bit o’ leaf, but….but not….not makin’ m-much of a job of it.” Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon”

This is one of the most emotionally stimulating scenes from Outlander and we find it here.  Sam should definitely be nominated for an Emmy for this emotional and insightful portrayal of Jamie’s fragility from Wentworth and how he has finally found himself able to be alive. The speech is given over two scenes, but this is one of the most emotional moments so far in Season 2.  He goes to sleep elsewhere and Claire follows.  Make up sex, is there anything better? While Jamie’s fortress was blown apart by Black Jack Randall, Claire has helped him build a little lean-to, with a roof, no more hiding under a blade of grass, naked and afraid.

Speaking of the roof, Bonnie Prince Charlie makes a grand entrance, into their window after walking on the roof.  Alas, this is not the way he is supposed to meet Claire, but this is what happens in the book. After a little bit of conversation and an examination of his injured hand, Jamie and Claire deduce that the Prince is romantically involved with Louise and is the biological father of the unborn child. Prince Charlie was roof-hopping because Louise’s husband came home early and he had to make a hasty exit after they quarreled. #Markme. The Prince will win her back.

Prince Charlie and Louise are a pair who both live in a fantasy world, both dreamers, who have lofty ideals without real means to obtain their dreams. A man without a country and a woman without love, together they make a baby. Such is the life of dreams, where can I sign up?

You can almost see the wheels spinning in Jamie and Claire’s heads as they come up with the idea to use Louise and her husband – by exposing her pregnancy – in front of Prince Charles and allowing him to make a fool of himself.  A fool and his money are soon parted, at least that is what the Fraser,s are hoping for, that the Prince loses financial backing from the Duke of Sandringham.

Claire beats a quick exit to help Mother Hildegarde because the house staff won’t let her near any of the chores to get the house ready for the soiree.  And because she likes to be at L’Hopital helping ailing Parisians.  While waiting for Claire, Murtagh and Fergus have a little heart-to-heart on the behavior of women.Murtagh does not want to take advice from a child but Fergus has been around the “ladies” for too many years not to notice how fickle they are.  Fergus makes a point to tell Murtagh that Suzette is in love with any man who goes by her door.  Ouch.

A compound fracture is what that looks like, nasty business and a difficult injury treat, even in our time.  Claire learns how to perform a nerve block and is treated to the luxurious feel of the hangman’s grease…given to Mother Hildegarde by Monsieur Forez.  Ewww. Mary, Claire’s surgical helper, is clearly disgusted, but Claire is prompted to find out where Mother Hildegarde would get such grease.  The good doctor is, in his regular job, the executioner and I guess the bodies aren’t immediately buried – some of the dead make a detour for Monsieur Forez to take a bit of the blobby fat to make salve.  More ewww.  Mother Hildegarde confesses that while the bulk of physicians (who help her) are better than nothing, Claire is a great deal better than nothing.  Claire has finally won over Mother Hildegarde.  Time to go.

Murtagh tells Claire the wheel to the carriage was broken – remember the opening scene? That one where someone took out the cotter pin to the wheel? Yeah, sabotage. They beat feet back to the house, with Fergus ahead of them to let Jamie know they’ll be late.  Where is MacGyver when you need him?

Tick tock. No Claire…

ep4 clockMeanwhile, back at the house, Jamie is receiving guests sans Claire, and looking none to pleased about it, or about kissing the Duke’s ring, either.  Mary’s Uncle Silas and her betrothed arrive, as does the Prince, Louise and her husband arrive, whereby the Prince commences to inappropriately kiss Louise’s hand for way too long, but she lets him up to a point.  Fergus tells M’lord (Jamie) that Murtagh, Claire and Mary will be late.  Dun du dun….in walks le Comte St. Germain with his wife.  Jamie is clearly stunned, the Duke invited them.

While Jamie is greeting guests, Claire, Murtagh and Mary are attacked and Mary suffers the ultimate degradation for a virgin.  The only reason the attackers left as they did is because one of them recognized “La Dame Blanche” and high tailed it away.  Keep in mind that hand shot of the birthmark…

They get back to the house, Jamie is notified and they rush outside along with Alex Randall. Jamie and Murtagh are ready to draw blood, but they have a dinner party to attend. Too much at stake.

After getting Mary settled and giving Alex instructions on how to care for her (a man alone with a woman in a bedroom in the 18th century? Tsk, tsk). If her attack isn’t enough to taint her, this certainly is. Claire readies herself and Jamie lets her know the Comte is downstairs. Say what?

Claire enters and the party begins! Making conversation around the table, the Duke, who is sitting across from Prince Charlie, starts dissing the Pope and his lack of availability when he was in Rome. Prince Charlie, who always takes himself waaaaay too seriously, dishes right back to the Duke about how a Catholic king must be restored to the throne. Who would have thought Claire would ask the Duke to tell a joke? His facial expressions were far better than the politically incorrect joke he told – way to go Simon!

ep4 duke
What else do you talk about at a dinner party in Paris? Jamie suggests the Prince discuss God’s plans for Scotland, but oh no! That line of conversation was waylaid by flitty Louise who wants to talk about the opera. How about marriage and women? What the hell is “pulchritude?”  Maybe babies are a better topic?  Oh yes, Jamie and Claire out Louise in front of the Prince, who as planned, makes a complete ass of himself at the dinner table.

Meanwhile upstairs Mary awakens and mayhem will ensue when she mistakes Alex as her attacker…wait for it.

baubLe Comtesse admires Claire’s bauble and her wiley husband tells her of it’s magical powers. Did the female viewers wish they were that morsel on the Comte’s fork as he fed himself?  Crash, bang, what the hell?

fightJamie and everyone else rise to find Mary under Alex on the floor in the sitting room. The mother of all fights, so far, ensues. What about dessert? The Duke must go elsewhere to sate his appetite. And who knew a curtain tie back could be such an effective weapon? Dinner is ruined, much like Mary’s reputation. Exit Prince Charlie with le Comte and the others, but not after le Comte sends for the Parisian police.  Rut roh.

curtain tieThis episode was completely action packed, setting the stage for many scenes that happen, at least in the book.  We have yet to find out how it will play out on screen, but for now, ENCORE!

Comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win this very difficult to find Outlander souvenir:


All images except for the one just above are courtesy of STARZ, opinions are my own.


En France: Cauchmars, Godemiché, et Mamalons Percé

Last week we left off with the destruction le Comte St. Germain’s cargo ship, who vowed to make Jamie and Claire pay for their meddling.  This week’s Season Two Episode Two opens with visions of a woman in a beautiful costume (previously on display at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City), but who is that woman?  CUT!  Jamie is making passionate love to his bride, and both appear to be enjoying it.  All of a sudden Claire becomes Jack Randall who encourages Jamie by saying “don’t stop” and what happens next is a scene from American Psycho.  It’s a nightmare, a cauchmar, but Jamie feels Black Jack is alive…in his head.

dontstopThis face instead of Claire’s would give me nightmares, too.

Fast forward…

Running out of the house gowned in 18th century Dior, Claire is splendidly magnificent in a very simplistic way, ready for an outing, after insulting the maid and the footman.

dui                                          Terry’s Dior inspired gown.

As we travel through the streets of “Paris” (which is actually Prague), we are delighted by the scenes of regular life as viewed from the street. Ballast paved streets. Those streets never cease to amaze me in thier simplistic sturdiness. Ballast laid in patterns and filmed in such a way as to appear to be a fan to engage the flames of the political intrigue.  I’m sure none of that was meant to be; it’s how I see it in my mind’s eye.

ballaststreet                                          Ballast streets of “Paris.”

We listen to Claire’s tale about the Eiffel Tower, WWII, the coming revolution, but we don’t know where she is headed.  She is obviously looking for something, and then she arrives at her destination.  La Apothicaire de Maitre Raymond.  She enters the mystical world of Master Raymond, through a blue facade, wearing blue, and he calls her Madonna (sounds Spanish, though) and they launch into a repartee of herbal-speak.

adea                                                  Maitre Raymond

But the Maitre has already heard of Claire, from le Comte St. Germain, no less!  Maitre Raymond is well cast and just as froggy as I expected him, despite his wig. Claire finds a friend in Maitre Raymond through their mutual frenemy, le Comte.

What is Outlander without a good sword fight?  Murtagh takes Jamie through the ranks of getting back to his old physical self.  We see him struggle with the blade, his hand tremble, and he finally finds the verve and fends off Murtagh’s blade.  Old Jamie is coming alive!  By the way, sword fighting is just too cool for words.

adaara                     Training with his faithful Godfather, Murtagh.

The French look on as though Murtagh and Jamie are savages…oh wait, they are Scottish Highlanders and a bit like aliens to the locals, certainly savages to the British.  Murtagh, full of insults, to the people, the country, and the aroma.

Yet, we would think he is a stout Jacobite and he suggests that to kill the rebellion, the head of the snake (Prince Charlie) must be cut off.  Such words!  Me thinks he just wants to hasten his return to Scotland and stop wasting wine by selling it instead of drinking it.  After returning to Jared’s Paris apartment, the real action starts.

ftrAnd how about the asymmetric design of Claire’s dress? Just a hint of what is to come.

Without prolonging the details, the rest of the episode exposes different parts of decadent French culture, complete with a penile scene at Madame Elise’s with Jamie and Murtagh in the company of Bonnie Prince Charlie. While le Prince is attempting to convince Jamie to act on his behalf in seeking an audience with Le Roi Louis Quinze de France. Why? Because the Prince is not accepted at court, so Jamie has to do his dirty work.


So what was the deal with the dildos?  While Jamie and Murtagh clearly look uncomfortable during the “wifely” display at the brothel, the Prince was all for it, exclaiming he would buy all the dildos on parade!  Murtagh stands up to the Prince after Jamie does, but Charles wants only to hear God the Almighty whispering in his ear “Be King, be King, you are the King of Scotland.”   So to show his divine nature to his newfound friends, he goes to dip his sword into the nearest honeypot.  The Prince is well played.

Were there really male appendage toys in France at the time? Yes, there were and here is an example of one that is believed to be from 18th century France.

dilNo thanks, not for purchase or otherwise.  Image from Science & Society.

Continuing on with the body part theme, Claire goes to visit her friend, Louise de la Tour de Rohan, a social butterfly of the French court and while in need of Claire’s friendship, well suited to the Fraser cause.  Waxing?  And by a Turk?  Yes, it is a big thing there and while Louise is undergoing 18th century depilatory, we meet Mary Hawkins. The shy stutterer, who is aghast at Louise’s lack of shame while she spreads ’em on the chaise lounge ready to have her Brazilian bikini wax.

OUCH.  Never having done anything like THAT down THERE, the ripping of linen off flesh had me cringing

adfadfadamore than Claire and Mary…


Mary, where has Claire heard that name before?  She can’t place it, but will.  Louise extends the much anticipated invitation to court, ready for the next phase of stopping the rebellion.

Never meek, Claire goes for la cirer de sexe and shocks Jamie with her hairless honeypot.  As he enjoys bringing her pleasure, he again has the Claire-turns-into-Randall image, which is the quickest way for Jamie to experience coitus interruptus.  Again we see a frail man, still in the construction phase of his lean-to from that fortress he had prior to his torture at the hands of Captain Randall.

Red, I’m seeing red.

redSo is Jamie.  And Murtagh.  Not enough red in the socially right places, though.  THAT infamous red dress appears down Jon Gary Steele’s magnificent staircase, exposing at least down to Claire’s second rib.  Having seen the dress in person, it is a sight to behold, even holding Murtagh’s gaze longer than is proper. There is no other way to gain the King’s attraction than by distraction, from others.  Terry pulled off the corset-less masterpiece and Claire is held into the dress by pure sempstress genius, no tape, no nuthin’ but red holding in her girls.  Jamie can’t see down to her navel, and the “third rib” is purely colloquial, since you could see her third rib because the dress was that low.

No escape for Murtagh, but clearly his sensibilities are in shock as are Jamie’s. Jamie, being a Renaissance man, accepts Claire’s fan as good enough, albeit with a suggestion to have a larger one (which she procures).

I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed the rather short nature of Claire’s dress, well above her ankles.


This apparently was a trend in the 18th century and is when shoes became a fashion accessory, just like those to-die-for gladiators Claire wore with the red dress.

satradfadfaTo read more about dress fashions, click here.

The last episode was also all about Terry’s stunning costumes.  Louise prances about in the bow-tie dress (was the neckline lower than her aereolae and the bow covered them?), Claire in her red dress, Mary looked magnificent in lavender satin.

adfea In runs Annelise de Merriac, who throws herself into Jamie’s arms while Claire, Louise, and Mary look on, puzzled.  I guess Jamie forgot to tell Claire of his monk-inducing and failed pursuit of the lovely Annelise (you can read a bit more about Jamie’s desire to be a monk in The Exile).  BUT, Annelise to the rescue, she takes Jamie to meet King Louis on his, er, throne.

kingthroneUp to now, this has to be the funniest part of the episode, watching the King try to pinch one off.  The poor man has stage fright! Parritch!  Bring some parritch!  Jamie’s grand introduction to the King and all he can do is suggest he eat a bowl of oats, mid valsalva maneuver.

Stuck in yet another awkward situation, Claire makes a quick exit to get some air, with a much larger fan, after discussing peters and pricks with the French noblewomen, and spying Miss Mary talking to a very young man.  Who is the young man?  Definitely not her intended, as he was described as old.  She still can’t place where she knows Mary from, either.

Enter Monsieur Duverney, there is no other man more hilarious than he.  Louise baits him into thinking Claire wants an assignation, which leads to the man making a complete and utter fool of himself by fondling Claire’s red-clad feet.  Jamie tosses him off the balcony, and a soggy Minister of Finance emerges from the pond, wig in hand. After le Monsieur promises his friendship to the Frasers, in walks the King, with his most recent paramour…and her breasts.

swmsIn another stunning declaration of her talent, Terry gives Outlander fans another infamous dress, the Nipple/Swan Dress. This was so well done and even Murtagh appreciated the costuming, much to Jamie’s chagrin.


The final scenes encompass the disastrous previous meeting with the Duke of Sandringham and his duplicitous nature. Murtagh swears to be his undoing, Jamie succeeds in garnering a sale of port, and Claire…Claire orders Jamie and Murtagh awa’ to deal with the Duke? Very un-Jamie like, to let Claire give him the fluff in public.  Ah well, Claire decides to dish on the Duke that she is aware of his two-faced actions and in the process meets Alex Randall, the younger brother of the very much alive, Jonathan Randall. To say that Claire was visibly shaken at the news of Black Jack’s survival is an understatement.  In addition, Alexander Randall was the very man with whom Mary Hawkins was conversing.  aaaaaaaaa

Fireworks. Thundering explosions. The chaos outside mirrored Claire’s own internal chaos of Jamie’s reaction – if she tells him – that Black Jack Randall was alive.  Well put: what then?

There was a lot of material covered in this episode, and mixing of different areas of the book, Dragonfly in Amber. Some additions, but all in all, Ron Moore et al did a fantastic job on the episode.  Terry Dresbach hit a grand slam on costumes.

Most photos from Starz.   All opinions are my own.




The Return of Outlander – In All Its Obsessable Glory

This is it Outlander fans, the end of Droughtlander is a mere days away.   Recent photos released by Starz has gotten many to think about how the new season will start, what do you think?  The Puget Sound Sassenachs ran a poll  (join here!) a couple of weeks ago asking when they thought the story would pick up for Season 2.  The overwhelming winners were 1) On the dock where they left off from Season 1,


or 2) With Claire in the hospital bed


What do you think?  I think it is the hospital bed as the opening scene, and this is because during an interview with Diana after SDCC, she mentioned that the season would be starting differently from the book and that we would be seeing a lot more Frank.  So after seeing the trailer with Claire sitting in a hospital bed, that was the first thing that came to mind.  For the record, Diana did not divulge anything, just that that it was different.  For those attending the premiere on April 4th in NYC, you will know the answer soon!  How do you think it will start?  Comment on the blog, and you will be entered to win an Outlander poster (from Season 1).


Starz has recently rolled out a new slogan for their shows – obsessable.  Certainly Outlander in print and television media qualifies as obsessable; and didn’t the show recently win an award for being the most binge-worthy show?  That seems to be about the same as obsessable.  Kudos to Starz for giving us a name for our behavior toward Outlander.  If you’d like to read the article about Starz and the rebranding, click here.

Want more ways to win? Enter the rafflecopter contest to have more ways to win, and don’t forget to tune in on April 9th for the rollout of Outlander – Season2.

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Vive Les Frasers!

All images from Starz Season 2 Trailer or the Outlander Facebook page.  Edits are my own.