Outlander Season 3 Episode 8 Review: First Wife

I liked this episode a lot more than the last few we’ve had. There’s a lot of truth to this episode, and I don’t just mean Jamie finally coming clean about things he’s left in the dark. There’s truth for Claire, too. In that she finally seems to admit to herself that maybe this was all a mistake.

I think it goes without saying, really… beware, spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz.

Jamie and Claire return to Lallybroch with young Ian. However, things aren’t at all like they used to be. Jenny and Ian’s children are grown with children of their own and Jenny is not willing to welcome Claire back with open arms.

Jamie is just about to tell Claire about his marriage to Laoghaire, when the woman of discussion barges into the room with her daughters in tow and calls Claire a whore and all these terrible things. Naturally, Claire is devastated because she had no idea Jamie was married.

She packs to leave, but Jamie stops her and the fight that ensues between them is very passionate and packed with emotion. Jamie seems almost mad that she had left him, and she is equally heartbroken: he’d told her too! He accuses her of not knowing what it is to live half a life and she fires right back at him. He didn’t really think that life with Frank was happy, did he?!

She goes to leave, and Jamie stops her once again and tries to force affection on her. She slaps him in the face. They grapple on the floor, and then their fight turns to passion and they are wrestling out of each other’s clothes and having sex on the floor. Jenny comes in and throws a bucket of water on them, and tells them to stop it because they are upsetting the rest of the household.

Claire wishes they could tell Jenny the truth about her disappearance but Jamie claims she won’t understand. The next day, Claire has packed and is going to leave, but Laoghaire shows up and threatens to shoot her. Jamie steps in the way, and gets shot instead.

Claire performs excellent surgery on him, and young Ian stands back and watches, completely in awe. Claire notes with some affection that he is the only one who calls her auntie. After Claire has him sewed up, Jamie tells her about what happened with Laoghaire. Claire gives him a shot of penicillin, because Jamie is burning up. She also asks Jenny to give her a second chance. She can’t tell her everything, but she does still love her. Jenny seems to slightly warm up to this.

Claire reunites with Ned Gowan, and he advises them both on what can be done about Laoghaire. He says that technically Claire and Jamie’s marriage is the one that is valid, because it happened first. Laoghaire wants alimony in exchange for not taking Jamie to court. Jamie comes up with a plan to get the Jewels from Silkie’s Island that he had found while in prison.

Young Ian volunteers to fetch them, because Jamie is still hurt. Claire confesses to Jamie that she thinks coming back might have been a mistake. She had a life, a career and friends. Jamie says that they are mated for life. She still seems uncertain, but they are forced to throw their uncertainties to the side when they realize that young Ian is in trouble. He is intercepted on the island and taken away on a ship.

Well, what worked?

  • I want a relationship as passionate as Jamie and Claire’s. Their fight was packed with emotion and very much-needed!
  • Young Ian’s infatuation with Claire is very sweet.
  • We love Jamie’s sister because she is a strong woman; stubborn, independent and intelligent. It is for this reason, she doesn’t accept that Claire would just disappear for twenty years and not come looking for her brother.

What didn’t work?

  • It makes sense that Jenny is suspicious about Claire’s absence. And I wish they can tell her and Ian the truth.
  • Claire and Jamie’s relationship seems on such tenterhooks. Even though the bond between them is still there, there is still so much hurt. Have they really resolved anything?

Will they be able to move on from this? I hope so! Although, it’d be very awesome if Jamie could follow her into the future. Just a thought.

What did you guys think?  Happy Sunday!

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Outlander Season 3 Episode 6 Review: A. Malcolm

I can’t tell you how bummed I was last week when I tuned into Outlander only to find that I had to wait another week to see Claire and Jamie’s reunion! well, now that it’s happened, what did you think?

Beware, Spoilers ahead!

Photo credit: Starz

The episode begins where episode 5 left off. Jamie wakes up from a faint and he is shocked to see Claire is not a dream, but is very real and touchable. Both feel awkward and happy to see each other and the connection is still there…whatever that connection is, exactly.

Claire tells him about Brianna, and Jamie tells her about his son, Willie. It is bittersweet when he looks at the pictures of Brianna. Finally, he gets to see this living, breathing character that we’ve come to know and love, but the moment seems to just remind us that poor Jamie is stuck with the watered-down version. He’s missed twenty years of her life! And he won’t get to see his son much, either.

Claire learns that Jamie is not only a printer, but a smuggler of alcohol, too. Oh, and by the way, he lives in a brothel. Not the place Claire was hoping to spend her first reunion night with her husband, but well, I suppose one can’t be choosy if their husband thought he was doomed for bachelor life to the end of his days.

Claire meets some of his new friends, and reunites with Fergus, which was a treat. Everyone is all shocked to see her, (she is supposed to be dead after all,) but she makes up a story in which she thought Jamie was dead, so she escaped to the Colonies.

Jamie seems confused as to why Claire came back, and she seems almost crushed that she has to explain it to him. I mean, she still loves him, but neither one of them come out and say it. She thought he was dead, and he had convinced himself that he had lost her forever. Seeing each other in the flesh, seems to remind them of what they have lost between them, and what they could gain by coming back together again.

The sex scene was steamy; both need and passion and awkwardness all wrapped into one, but I felt jipped they glossed over the catch-up details with a voice-over narrative from Claire while they ate. In a nut-shell, “they got to know each-other again,” before getting down to some steamy reunion sex. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but we needed more conversation, and less sex here.

The episode ends with Claire getting attacked by a stranger who is looking for Jamie. Gee, that sounds familiar. Really. She gets attacked so soon?

Well, What Worked?

  • The details that reminded us that time has passed: Jamie’s glasses, Claire’s mentioning of her gray hairs.
  • The conversation about Brianna.
  • The meetings between Mr. Willowby, Fergus, and Jenny and Ian’s kid.
  • And the steamy scene between Claire and Jamie. Any scene where you get to see Sam Heughan’s butt is a win.

But What Didn’t Work?

  • Glossing over the dinner they had together where they catch up on each other’s lives, shut the audience out of the connection they may or may not have rekindled. Clearly it’s there, but…it felt like we missed something.
  • Do people really take that long undressing each other? Like ever? Even strangers? This seemed more for the audience’s benefit, than their own.
  • Jamie’s elusiveness about what he currently does for a living is a bit annoying, and almost seems like a step down for Claire. She’s grown up a successful career woman, but now she’s back to just being a wife to a husband who lives in a brothel, and now has to worry about getting raped or attacked by every other man she meets.

Remind me again why going back in 18th century Scotland sounded like a good idea? Oh, Jamie, right. True love across the ages, and all that. I mean, at least in the end, it’ll be all worth it? We hope?  I guess we will have to keep watching to find out!

What did you guys think?

Interstellar Review: A Movie that Thrills with Theoretical Science

My boyfriend asked me why I haven’t written up a review of Interstellar yet (which we saw in I-Max a few weekends ago) and to be honest, I didn’t know where to begin. There are a few things I am sure of, however, and that is one, Interstellar has imprinted itself forever in my memory, and two, nearly three-hours of I-Max will make you sick.

Yet despite the motion sickness, Interstellar is a movie that just begs to be talked about. There are a lot of themes and topics to digest: mortality, life and death, cowardice, good vs bad, theoretical science, time, love and fifth dimensions. And that doesn’t even include the incredible worlds you will see.

****Mild spoiler’s ahead. I discuss a summary of the plot, and highlights. No major plot points spoiled.

Source: Paramount

Source: Paramount

But first, a brief summary:

Interstellar is about Cooper, (Matthew McConaughey) a retired pilot and engineer, and his family, who are farmers, or trying to be. Their world is dying, old ways are written out of history; the world needs food, not scientists. And while the farmers are planting and trying to grow food, blight and drought are killing the crops, and the dust storms that arise are killing the people.

Prompted by a mysterious message, (which turn out to be coordinates,) Cooper and his daughter, Murphy’s Law, or “Murph,” (Mackenzie Foy,) stumble upon the secret remnants of NASA.

NASA’s plan to save the people on earth is to look for other worlds to live on and Cooper is just the pilot they need. Cooper finds himself traveling across Interstellar space with Dr. Brand, (Anne Hathaway) to see if the scientists that traveled on before them have found livable worlds.

It’s been more than a week since I’ve seen the movie, yet the visuals and certain scenes are etched forever in my mind. They encounter a black hole, a smoldering glorious bit of CGI that could be a character by itself; frozen landscapes and on one world: waves as tall as mountains.

While the scientists face many obstacles in their near-impossible task to find a sustainable world, their real enemy is time: Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. They maintain their ‘present time,’ but meanwhile, their loved ones on earth are growing older, having babies, getting married. It makes sense: it takes time to get places because they are so far away, and while they maintain their present age, their loved one’s lives pass on without them.

Source: Paramount.

Source: Paramount:   Cooper and his daughter, Murph, look to the sky as they stand in front of their farmhouse.

I did find a dummy version of Einstein’s theory of relativity here, and even then it is several pages long. Much of the science in Interstellar is based on scientific theory.

Take the black hole that Cooper and Dr. Brand encounter, for example: it’s the projection of a formula developed by Kip Thorne, an astrophysicist, whose math was used to create what is conceived to be the most accurate simulation of a black hole. More details on his involvement in the movie and the science behind Interstellar can be found here, at wired.com. He even has a book on the matter appropriately titled, The Science of Interstellar.

Einstein explained it best this way: “The more massive something is, the more gravity it produces. Objects like stars and black holes do this so powerfully that they actually bend light and pull space and time with it.” (wired.com)

The giant black hole they encounter is called Gargantua and certainly lives up to its name. Without this incorporation of theoretical science, the movie would not exist, as time and gravity is so important to the overall story line. With this in mind, Gargantua could be a character in the movie, and because of the incredible graphics, it certainly gives you the impression that it is alive in some way.

interstellar.black_.hole_

Source: Paramount: The black hole, “Gargantua.”

Like Inception, there is so much to digest in this movie. All the mind-bending twists and turns, the confusion of time; its only major flaw is its length, (it is nearly three hours long,) and the pounding score when scenes get intense.

The length of the movie did not bother me; I love a movie that makes you think, but there were some moments where the score in the film was too loud, especially near the end. It was not necessary (I thought) to express the urgency in the film with loud, pounding music, you could already feel that through the character’s emotions, the quick cuts to each scene and the dialogue. But I imagine this will be something that will get cleared up before it comes out on DVD. Inception’s score was much the same way.

Despite that, however, there isn’t a movie out there right now that is in any way like it. You can definitely see the complexity and the richness of many years of scientific research played out on the screen. And the emotion behind every action, every character’s choice is heartfelt and true. This is one of Christopher Nolan’s best.

And once you see Gargantua on the big screen, you’ll know exactly why.

 

What did you you guys think of Interstellar? Are there certain scenes that stick out more than others?

**Note, I didn’t want too many spoilers in the review in case someone were to stumble on this without seeing the movie. At any rate, if there’s something you want to talk about, leave a comment below!