My name is Denise Sevier-Fries (nee Buchy). Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. Come here for some serious issues, but mainly just some cheeky fun; satire with the odd parody tossed in, and a generous helping of hyperbole, with a dollop of facetiousness.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.


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Monday, April 11, 2016

OUTLANDER Season2 Ep1: SKEPTIC KILLER *and 10 clear-eyed observations

My alternative title was: DRIVING RON MOORE: From Hate to Great in 3.2 Seconds Flat, but I thought it best to get to the point, which is that I really loved the season 2 premiere.

It seriously won me over when I was definitely, in the beginning, not what one would call a ‘fan’. Anyone reading my previous Outlander blog pieces will know what a revelation/confession that is and one not lightly made. 

I HATED the way these marvelous books were being adapted and I HATED how RM changed the very fabric of some characters, molding the tale to but a passing resemblance of our beloved story… I believe I even likened RM to Chewbacca at one point and posted what I thought would be a great RM voodoo doll…but let’s forget petty past presumptions and move on, shall we? In fact, I know Ron has forgiven me: 

 *I passed this note to Ron in class and he used a red marker. We’re cool. 

My attitude towards Starz Outlander changed somewhat last December when I flew to Europe and, trying to fill a 9+ hour void and bereft of any other suitable choice, I figured ‘what the hell…let me feast on Frank then…’ and I binge-watched Outlander on my personal headrest screen. And I was hooked.

I enjoyed it much more the second time around. Perhaps my expectations of a closer adaptation were not an issue anymore and I simply sat back and watched it as a show…and NOT an adaptation. Hard to do when one knows it IS one, and that is what galled me before and still galls many (they have my truest sympathy and understanding) but…and this is the crux of the matter, I keep the books and MY Jamie and Claire in their special place in my heart and bookshelf …and turn to TV Jamie and Claire et al and dive into THAT story, THEIR story... there. I choose to allow myself to enjoy it. And I do. Without any sense of shattered loyalty to the original or dismay at any changes.

It was a gift I gave myself.

But the gift just got bigger. And better.

I just watched S2 THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY and holyshitballsbatman! that was some glass I looked through. Here are the 10 things that stood out for me:

1) Boobage:

If there was ever a concern from any connoisseurs of era-typical flattened breasts that spill over bodices like trapped balloons, I am here to assure you that there will be no shortages in S2, if the opening credits are any indication. *for some reason, my dear husband got a inexplicable craving for fresh baked buns and went to make himself a sandwich

2) Where do lonely hearts go?
Claire howling for her lost love by the Stones juxtaposed Frank’s identical mourning in the exact same place almost 3 years earlier. It was a not-so-subtle reminder that Craigh Na Dun is the new Heartbreak Hill.

3) The loud music and a well written script. The busy, modern hustle and bustle: it all felt foreign and annoying to me and assaulted my senses. Like I was the one newly through the Stones. I didn’t even notice at first, but when Frank shut the radio off, I was relieved. That is testament to a well told story. If you can feel ones discomfort and be affected as THEY would be without even knowing it…that says a lot. 

4) Ghosts

Claire looking at Frank’s reflection for the first time and thinking it was BJR. Excellent segue as it is an instant reminder of both, what Claire went through at the hands of the BlackJackOff, and why she won’t be glad to see Frank in the flesh, regardless of what she feels or felt for him. It also makes him look ghost-like…which makes an unhappy equation: TWO windows + TWO ghosts of TWO husbands = ONE sad, lonely Claire. Frank’s sadness is so thick, it’s almost tangible. It chokes you and brings your hand to your throat in an subconscious need to ease it.

5) Jamie. 
What can you say about Jamie that hasn’t been said before? 

Well, funny you should ask.
How about: "He looks so pale! And what’s with that wig? He looks like Rocky Dennis’s older brother.” That was my daughter who said that. Rocky Dennis is the kid in MASK, starring Cher. Harsh. I understand her point somewhat…the hair is not flattering but come on...HEY! What are you doi…

Okay. Now that you've calmed down, I should say that I like Sam as Jamie but that comment 'ruined the moment' for me. Couldn't get past it after that. *sigh*

I will say that when sporting a ponytail, he looks SO much better. Hard to make such a handsome man look truly ‘bad’ though, hair or no hair. *what does a 16 year old know anyway? But she did make me laugh. And then I made her wash the floor. Feeling kinda protective of the show now… *wink*

6) Harry Potter Glasses.

The man who found Claire and Dr. Edwards who cared for her in hospital are either the same man who was told to take off his hat and don a super fake mustache, or STARZ Props better invest in different glasses. Made me do a Double Take.

7) Murtagh.  

Did he get better looking on that ship? Was it the salt air? Book me a ticket for Christ’s Sake! NOW! I have always liked Murtagh a lot…he is Outlander’s Snape:

*This reads: 'Tragic Heroes who have Loved only One so deeply that their Brows remain Furrowed under the very Weight of it...the eyes beneath, trained in an Ever Vigilant Watch Over the Son that is the Living Spirit of their Heart's Secret Treasure. They would Give their Life to Save that which was Born from the Soul they Forever Cherish. They are...THE KINGS OF UNREQUITED LOVE.'

And even though I have enjoyed Duncan Lacroix’s looks all along, he seems younger and more handsome this season. Not a complaint! *and was it just me, or was his saying that France smelled like frogs supposed to be the birth of the term ‘Frogs’ as a derogatory term used to label the French? *small but notable cringe worthy moment*

8) The closing music. OMG. THAT is the music the entire series should have been using from the get-go (yes, the Skye Boat Song is lovely and singable blah blah, light and fluffy folksy blah blah whatever…but for the Love Of Everything Holy! it is exactly what this show needs!) One of the great things about another favorite show I watch, Game of Thrones, is its beautiful, throbbing and heart clenching music. It haunts you. The closing music of Outlander S2 reminds me of that, in that it is pulsating and heart-awakening too. Love it. Please RM, make it stay and make it the opening music too.

I am not above bribery. Just name your price. *I don’t do dishes.

9) Claire
 Like Murtagh, she got even more gorgeous. Book me a trip on that goddamn boat already! *runs off to splash face with water/table salt...*

10) Frank. 
*(I chose this picture as he is oblivious of the soul-scarring, heart chewing, faith shaking mind fuck he is about to endure from Claire's 'homecoming'. It is probably the last time he is truly happy for the rest of his life.
You know the feeling one gets…the fleeting, split-second delight and delicious pleasure one experiences when one bites into their favorite food…be it a fresh, juicy strawberry or a sinfully rich chocolate cake…and one can only close their eyes and wrap themselves in it? 

That was how I felt when Frank spoke.#OrgasmicVoiceGod
My goosebumps had goosebumps and I immediately leaned forward and held my breath. What Masterpiece he is. Bloody hell. If my husband had wandered past me at that moment I would have tackled him like a rabid footballer and ravaged him right there behind the Begonias. (well, I don’t actually have Begonias in my living room but it sounds funnier than Dieffenbachia).

I once called Outalnder ‘Franklander’ and explained why…and that was reinforced in Spades in this episode.
Frank Randall is the perfect husband (and to those who insist on saying he cheated on Claire in the war, Diana says not FFS. Yes, he MAY HAVE* cheated post-Jamie...who wouldn't? Claire was no wife to him anymore. (I say may have, as his 'non-confessional confession in the story nay be a red herring! Please read OUTLANDER RED HERRINGS AND OCCAMS RAZOR to see what I mean...) Frank makes St Peter look like a slackass whiner. His puppy-dog eyes and begging for love killed me. Killed me hard. He is loving, forgiving, smitten, trusting, selfless…the flattering adjectives are endless, as are the ones that describe the performance by Tobias Menzies. He is utterly and completely sublime. He is SO good, SO believable, that he ups the performance of everyone around him. Nobody looks bad next to Tobias…he makes them better actors. I felt the prick of hot tears threatening to escape when Claire fell to her knees on the road upon confirming the outcome of Culloden, but they began to grow when I saw the hurt in Frank’s hopeful eyes, and flowed uncontrollably when he realized that Baby Bree To-Be wasn’t his. You could feel his anguish and suffering like fist to the gut. My heart still aches for him and it may never stop.

*The beauty of graceful acting: Frank is having a baby!; How can that be?;Reality Hits

In the book, Frank is a mere footnote on the bottom of the page; not in the spotlight very brightly, or for very long. But it is easy to see why RM felt the need to bring Frank/Tobias up-top. It’s where he belongs.  

Bottom Line: Ronald D. Moore has made Outlander his own, and despite my skeptic nature and our the bumpy start, Ron and I are in this love story together…hand in hand, arm in arm, Stone to Stone . He obviously adores Mr. Randall: historian, War Hero (I am still waiting for my vindication with this theory but am confident of its Truth) husband, father, kick-ass street brawler, dapper fashion icon, decent human being and Best Piece of Man Ass In Town, as much as I do, so why would I complain?

To be frank, I love that man.