Outlander: Bismillah—A Study of “The Devil’s Mark” Episode 111

To say that The Devil’s Mark was a show bursting at the seams is a gross understatement. I agreed with what Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore said in his podcast; each of three events within it—the trial, the revelation, and the decision—didn’t merit their own episodes but were a challenge to execute within just one. Since the episode aired last Saturday, much has been made about expansions and diversions from the source material. I’m usually a big ol’ fan of these woulda-coulda-shoulda moments on screen, but it’s my opinion that unnecessary, languorous passages nearly suffocated the story line this time around.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
I got the idea for the name of this post in a somewhat flip and passing thought. I’m in full-on geek mode while writing these posts, but I like to keep it light, too. That’s especially true when an episode this heavy is on the docket.

When Father Bain (Tim McInnerny) implores his congregation/audience at the trial to expel him from the parish, I couldn’t help but think of these lyrics:
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. (Let him go!)

It’s a tricky gambit to invoke the much-beloved Bohemian Rhapsody lightly. What’s more, I’m a middling Queen fan at best. I wouldn’t identify as a fan whatsoever, were it not for how awestruck I am by the groundbreaking artistry and singular talent of Freddie Mercury. While arena rock just isn’t my bag, I can absolutely appreciate that what both the band and its lead vocalist created was not only best-in-class, but legendary. Nothing like Queen ever existed before, nor will anything quite like them ever be created again.

I have no good reason for including this picture, except this guy looks like Dave Grohl, who once said, “Every band should study Queen at Live Aid. If you really feel like that barrier is gone, you become Freddie Mercury. I consider him the greatest frontman of all time.” I know it’s a stretch. Did I mention that he looks like Dave Grohl, though?

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