The annual Fringe Festival has officially begun, which means overwhelming numbers of people and shows. Whether you’re a local or an out-of-towner, you’re going to have to contend with both at some point (unless you go on holiday for the entire month of August, which is, incidentally, when the rest of Europe goes on holiday). I’m now years into this craziness, and here are a … Continue reading Fringe Survival
Despite the breezy weather, I drag the family out to the Royal Highland Show for a fantastic day out! Continue reading A Visit to the Royal Highland Show
Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie tried really, really hard to avoid the Battle of Culloden, but alas, ‘twas not to be.
1746: The battle is nigh. The very morning of, Jamie is still begging Charles to call the whole thing off, reminding this idiot that his entire army is cold, hungry, and seriously ill-prepared. Charles is basically all, ‘Whatever, doubter. Let me drop some more religion on you, because that often serves one well in circumstance such as these.’ Culloden is on.
Claire decides the only thing to do is to assassinate Charles, which is precisely what Murtaugh has been telling them to do since Paris day one, right? And they told him that wouldn’t work because…reasons. But now that it’s Claire’s idea, it’s totally cool. What Claire wants, Claire gets, and she’s not going to let a little thing like an actual human life stand in her way. And yes, you could make the argument that she’s hoping to save many lives here, but let’s not kid ourselves: she’s only doing this because she’s worried about Jamie. If it were just a bunch of Highlanders marching off to their doom, she’s probably just shrug and mutter, ‘War really is hell, in any century.’ And maybe patch up the survivors.
Previously on Outlander: Claire interfered in the relationship between Mary and Alex Randall but was then able to save Mary from the clutches of the Duke of Sandringham, so I guess they’re moving towards being even.
We’re just a few days from the Battle of Culloden (and, we later learn, Black Jack’s death, so, sad yay?). While Jamie’s rushing around trying to 1) prevent the battle (since the men are starving and dispirited) and, when that doesn’t work, 2) gathering as much intelligence on the British as he can in order to try and turn the tide at the last moment, Claire’s being tasked with easing a couple of people out of this world.
Previously on Outlander: The Jacobites won the Battle of Prestonpans, as expected, but we lost Angus, so now we’re down one comic relief character.
CVO tells us the Jacobites have been moving south into England and doing well, but haven’t been receiving the expected support from the people.
Charles is being advised to turn back, but he’s determined to press on to London. Even the Quartermaster agrees they shouldn’t keep going. Jamie, being insane now, I guess, stands behind Charles and his suicidal plan to press on southward and somehow magically evade the three British armies in their way. Jamie makes a bit show of swearing to back Charles no matter what, but the others conspicuously refuse to fall in line. Charles throws a wobbler over that and accuses the others of betraying him and warns them God will damn them for this.
Previously on Outlander: The rebellion began, Jamie gathered his men, and they trained for battle.
Claire stumbles across the fairly long-dead body of a Highlander who had the misfortune to run into a British patrol. She stares at the body, VOing her fears that they’d fail to change history for the better.
Charles meets with his lords and generals, who are all arguing one way or the other: attack now, don’t attack. Jamie points out that an attack would have to cross boggy ground, which is not good, so he suggests sending some cavalry ahead to check the ground and the British positions. Unfortunately, they don’t really have the dragoons to share. Predictably, things descend into a pissing/insult-hurling contest. Charles suggests meeting with General Cope and offering generous terms of surrender, to avoid a battle. The quartermaster tells him the time for talk is done, and now’s the time for fighting. A general doesn’t want to risk a bloodbath which earns him some more insults from the quartermaster. More arguing. Everyone leaves in a pissy mood.
Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie gathered the beginnings of a little army and set off to join Prince Charles’s rebellion.
Claire VOs that they and their 100 men headed for Murtagh and the others, losing some along the way because, as it turns out, people kind of hate being forced to leave their families and farms to go fight a war they really don’t care about. Simon was sent to try and persuade them to return with gifts of land when the war was over.
They reach their destination and are greeted by Murtagh, who doesn’t think much of the men Lovat sent (unsurprisingly, the old men kept the best for himself). Fergus appears and gets a happy hug from Claire and complains about how awful it’s been having to serve Murtagh. He had to mend socks and everything!
Previously on Outlander: Claire and Jamie realised their time in Paris was spectacularly disastrous, and since Claire managed to get Jamie a pardon through the French king, they decided to head home to Scotland.
Yes! Scotland! Thank God, because I think we can agree that the French interlude…wasn’t great. Well, aside from the costumes.
Claire and Jamie are back at Lallybroch, where Jenny’s produced another kid (wow, she had those two pretty close together, didn’t she? I mean, Claire and Jamie were only in France for about a year, right?) and the soil is producing potatoes. Lots of them. Good call, Claire. There’s some chat about how to cook them (the housekeeper doesn’t see how they’ll make good porridge) but Claire provides some tips. Ian and Murtagh arrive with the post: a letter for Jamie, a letter for Claire from Louise, and some French novels. If you’re hoping for some fun gossip from Louise, you’re about to be disappointed. Jamie looks at his letter and says something in Gaelic that I’m pretty sure translates to ‘Oh, fuuuuuudge.’ It contains a declaration of the Stuarts’ divine right to the throne of Britain and explicitly names the men in support of said declaration. Jamie’s name is included on the document.
Previously on Outlander: Jamie arranged for Murtagh to steal and sell the wine shipment from St Germain, so that’s done. But then Randall did something unspeakable to Fergus that was so bad Jamie had no choice but to challenge him to a duel. During said duel, Randall got stabbed in the balls and Claire went into labour. And then Jamie got arrested.
Strap in, folks, because this is a terrible episode. And I don’t mean ‘terrible’ as in ‘bad’, I mean ‘terrible’ as in ‘harrowing as hell’.
In the 20th century, Claire’s very red-headed daughter finds a picture of a heron in a library book. She asks Claire if she’s ever seen a heron and Claire says she has, in Scotland, a long time ago. Very long.
Previously on Outlander: Claire set about making sure Frank would exist someday, which involved breaking up Mary and Alex and preventing Jamie from duelling with Randall, who showed up in France to help support his brother, who was fired from his job because of Claire’s thoughtless idiocy. Also: Jamie put the word around that his wife’s a witch and got involved in a wine transaction with Charles and St Germain.
Jamie sits pensively at his desk. Murtagh comes in and announces Randall’s been released from the Bastille, so he’ll go arrange the duel that day. Jamie tells him there’ll be no duel. Murtagh demands to know why not but Jamie won’t explain himself. Murtagh stomps out.
Claire distracts herself by spending the day at the hospital. She’s suddenly really hugely pregnant. The executioner asks her to take over with a dead patient, as he’s been called away to execute someone accused of black magic. This gives the man a chance to describe in gruesome detail the sort of execution these people face—drawing and quartering, lovely! But the way he describes it it requires quite a bit of skill on the part of the executioner, so I guess it’s good he takes pride in his work? Before he goes, he suggests she go to see ‘their friend’ Master Raymond.