Outlander: The One With All The Reckonings—A Review of Episode 109 (Part 2)

The second half of Episode 109 serves as a great example of how variations on a theme make for fascinating storytelling.

Ain’ No Party Like a Leoch Party
Having all but exhausted my thoughts on this episode’s first half, let’s get our arses back to Leoch, where the most awkward surprise wedding reception ever awaits us!

While NITB, this feels completely organic, and the cringe-worthy silences are both a brave directorial choice and highly effective.

I can’t get enough of Colum’s strained sneer-grin or Leticia’s stole. I don’t know what kind of animal was used to make it. Let’s call it weasels in honor of the scene that immediately follows this one.

“What’s going on here?” was the question in my mind, not only because this is this a nifty expansion of the source material, but it’s also a slight deviation. In the book, Colum and Dougal are of the same mind when it comes to Jamie diverting himself from succession to Lairdship. They’re both pretty pleased that the lineage is unequivocal once again. They want Jamie back as Laird of Lallybroch at his earliest opportunity, so long as his legal status is such that his head won’t be parted from his body any time soon. You’d think this would be naturally be the sentiment between uncles and their deceased sister’s only living son, but you’d be wrong. The MacKenzie wants Lallybroch in control of an ally because it’s well-placed strategically, should battle come to the Highlands. That’s about as far as their warm and fuzzy feelings go.

TV Colum, however, isn’t so pleased that marriage to a Sassenach has removed Jamie from any possible leadership consideration. Colum harbors the same distrust of his brother that many of the clan members possess, and he’s uneasy about a succession to his son, Hamish, before he’s old enough to handle all of what it entails.

In any case, the Laird and Lady soon depart, and the festivities resume. Not for long however – there are more uncomfortable encounters to come!

Continue Reading: http://www.lippsisters.com/2015/04/13/outlander-the-one-with-all-the-reckonings-a-review-of-episode-109-part-2/

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Outlander: All is Forgiven—A Review of The Reckoning, Episode 109 (Part 1)

I’ve tossed this episode around in my thoughts all week, and I still don’t have my head around it. I wrote and scrapped hundreds of words, hoping that some clear conclusions would surface. In turn, I’ve been ecstatic, disgusted, inspired, aroused, and pissed off by The Reckoning.

I really didn’t want to dwell on the beating scene all that long. Clearly, the showrunner didn’t want to dwell on it too long, either. Ronald D. Moore does have a strong argument for curtailing the “spanking” as he calls it. It’s a different experience to see something; it’s far more intense than reading it. Still, I’m left thinking that writing, directorial, and editing choices took the easy way out on this one. Imagine if they hadn’t. Claire’s posterior might have accomplished what Kim Kardashian’s didn’t. The internet might have actually broken this time.

The fact that this week’s review has been so hard to write reminds me how damned exquisite this story is, both in novel and television format. If I wanted less challenge, I’d spend some time with a bodice-ripper. Better yet, I’d plop down with that turns-my-stomach-to-mention-the-name-of, god-awful tripe-turned-pseudo-sado-flick that lazy reviewers continue to insist upon comparing to Outlander. I’m verbose, but I’m not lazy. So, this review will be posted in two parts. The source material’s more than sufficient fodder.

Continue Reading…

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Outlander: Illusions I Recall—A Review of Both Sides Now, Episode 108

A post about the trickiness of foreshadowing and symbolism, with references to Friends, Monty Python, hedgehogs, waterweed, brass rods, and more.

Outlander: Illusions I Recall—A Review of Both Sides Now, Episode 108.

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Outlander: Mind, Body, and Soul – A Review of The Wedding, Episode 107

The phrase “Female Director” kind of pisses me off. I know how naïve that makes me. I don’t know how Hollywood works except from what I’ve read, but I do know there’s nothing inherently masculine about the title of Director. I know that every last director I worked with through school, save two, were women. The academic world rarely resembles the real world, of course. It can take generations for the ways of the ivory tower to trickle down into the mainstream.

That’s why, when Ronald D. Moore says that he insisted that the director of The Wedding be a woman, I have to put my initial gut reaction aside and applaud. What I would have given to hear him say something more like, “I wanted the best-qualified director available for this assignment, and the best-qualified director was Anna Forrester.” She was, after all, given the evidence of the spectacular work that made it to screen. Any way you look at it—the performances, the cinematography, the costumes, the lighting, the editing—I just can’t imagine anyone having done a better job.


We’re not to the point that Moore could have said what I’d wanted to hear him say, however, any more than we can pretend pay equity exists or that we live in a post-feminist era. Until we reach a time in which a term like “female gaze” is not only irrelevant but absurd, entertainment will need Moore-like strategy to tell stories authentically. It is, and it will continue to be vitally important that leadership choices are made, conscientiously regarding gender (not to mention race, religion, economic history, sexual identity and orientation, etc.) as a vital component of the eventual script, episode, film, or a franchise. May we one day get to a point that Kathryn Bigelow directing The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty is just as unremarkable as Rob Reiner directing a so-called chick-flick.

Read More via Outlander: Mind, Body, and Soul – A Review of The Wedding, Episode 107.

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Which passage best highlights the romantic aspects of Release?

Release is not a romance novel, but aspects of it certainly meet the criteria.

I’ve been invited to spotlight Release on a fabulous book blog focused on the Romance genre. I need your help choosing what to highlight.


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Outlander: Know Thy Enemy — a Review of The Garrison Commander, Episode 106

The producers of Outlander did a brave thing in this passage, both on page and screen. By not pulling punches (pun only slightly intended) in The Garrison Commander, Gabaldon and screenwriter Ira Steven Behr send the message: if you’re squeamish or skeptical now, best return this book to the shelf or change he channel; I’m sure there’s a rerun of Home Improvement somewhere on the dial. http://www.lippsisters.com/2015/03/19/outlander-know-thy-enemy-a-review-of-the-garrison-commander-episode-106/


Outlander: Know Thy Enemy — a Review of The Garrison Commander, Episode 106.

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Review of Outlander Episode 105: RENT

Welcome new fans! RELEASE is literary women’s fiction. To deepen my study of the genre, I am reviewing Outlander by examining the adaptation from the novels of Diana Gabaldon. Check out my post about Episode 105: RENT.

via Outlander: Like La bohème, but with Less Consumption and More Live Pigs – A Review of Rent (Episode 105).

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