“The Battle Joined”

By Jennifer

The title of the first episode of Outlander’s third season, “The Battle Joined”, is a fitting title for this review because, in many senses, it encompasses the theme of the entire season to come. As someone who has read the books multiple times, I know what’s ahead for these characters, but, as a fan of the show, knowing what will happen is not the same as knowing how it will play out on screen. If you wonder why readers want to watch adaptations of their favorite books, what the cast and crew of Outlander put on screen should answer that question for all time. To take the grand tomes that Gabaldon has created and then boil them down to thirteen hours of television is a monumental task, but to do it in a way that consistently brings fans back even after a fourteen-month hiatus is Herculean.

They make it look so easy I nearly forgot that Droughtlander ever happened. Continue reading

A Love Sandwich: An Outlander Season Two Post-Mortem

by Jennifer

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Now that Outlander’s second season has come and gone and the story of Dragonfly in Amber has been told, for better or for worse, it’s time to revisit the season as a whole to look at the particulars that made this season what it was. Originally, I wanted to call this week’s post-mortem a look at the good and the bad, but it’s difficult to write bad when looking at a copy of the second book and realizing what a massive undertaking this season was for the writers. Continue reading

Building a Bridge: Thoughts on Outlander 2.13, “Dragonfly in Amber”

by Jennifer

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When I was out of town last, my mother texted me a picture of a bridge my son had built between two concrete blocks. He likes bridges; at almost five years old, they make sense to him. You take two things and you connect them with whatever’s handy. They’re a means to an end, a way of getting from one place to another, bringing together two disparate places to continue a journey. While I was watching this last episode of Outlander’s second season, I saw the bridge from what the show has been to what it will become. Continue reading

Herself Writes an Episode: Outlander 2.11, “Vengeance Is Mine”

by Jennifer

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With the end of season two imminent, it’s time to staying tying up loose ends and who better than Diana Gabaldon herself to help that process along? This week’s episode features revelations galore and a spectacular end to a problematic presence. Work in some gore, a bit of humor, and Claire playing both badass in charge and a woman in distress and it’s pretty much Outlander at its best. Continue reading

“Too Many” – Outlander 2.10, “Prestonpans”

by Jennifer

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 If you think that Outlander is a show whose audience should primarily be women, then you have missed the point of the show and the book series it adapts: it’s the purest of storytelling, epic in scope, but familiar and intimate in its subject matter. Love between two people and the resulting familial bonds set within a context that brings complexities well-known to many generations: politics at the macro and micro level; war and its tragedies; and pioneering with its many risks. If you think all of this is merely women’s literature, then you are missing out on so much. Continue reading

“Like a Dragonfly in Amber” – Outlander 2.09, “Je Suis Prest”

 by Jennifer

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On Wednesday, Starz announced that the cable network had renewed Outlander for seasons 3 and 4, a two-season renewal that speaks to the popularity of this adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s series. These two seasons should cover the books Voyager and Drums of Autumn, which is amazing news for Sassenachs everywhere, especially after we see what I suspect will be in this season’s last episode. Continue reading

“It’s All Coming to Pass” – Outlander 2.08, “The Fox’s Lair”

by Jennifer

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Sassenachs, we are already on episode eight of Outlander’s second season! Can you believe it? This season feels like it’s alternately flown and crawled by. This week’s episode embodies both; it felt like the parts at Lallybroch flew by, but the trip to Beaufort Castle and Lord Lovat lingered long than it needed to. Like episode two, this week is a bridge, the transition from one part of the season’s overall arc to another. Along the way, though, this bridge exposes what one might think of as a weakness, but I want to show you that it’s not. Continue reading

“To Carry It Together” – Outlander 2.07 – “Faith”

by Jennifer

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Good storytelling is more about showing than telling. Storytelling in a visual medium like television is all about showing; you can do some telling, but the audience will tire of that quickly and will want to see the action. The question then becomes: how much can you show before your viewers have had enough? Where is the balance between showing enough to tell the story and telling your audience too much in lieu of the story? Continue reading

Made of Assumptions: Outlander 2.06 – “Best Laid Schemes…”

by Jennifer

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If you haven’t yet invested in a box of tissues, I advise you, Sassenachs, to start looking for good deals now because you’re going to need them. This week’s episode is not yet the crest of the crescendo from which the rest of the season descends, but is the first part of it and portends next week’s major happening, one of those pieces of history in any relationship which defines it for better or ill for the rest of its life. Continue reading