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To Ransom A Man’s Soul Ep 1×16 Review

WARNING: Mature subject matter follows.  

Take a moment. Breathe slowly in and out. You along with Jamie Fraser survived the Outlander Season One Finale. 

The acting raw, gritty, and terribly truthful. Absolutely outstanding across the board throughout. Each cast member raised their own bar to meet the other.

The Darkness Inhabited 

  
Special kudos for Tobias Menzies and Sam Heughan.  Incredibly bold and brave. Deeper into the sadistic, twisted desires of Black Jack Randall together viewers are taken. Sheer brutality and indignities upon Jamie Fraser. 

The horrific terrors of rape are offered up too easily by Black Jack Randall. A desire to overpower, gain submission, and twist emotions that force the breaking of Jamie for his sadistic drive.  Played to exquisite perfection.

More than the physical side of rape is shown by the use of disturbing psychological tools invoking Jamie’s desire for Claire to finally get the response he is after. As Jamie says, “He made love to me.” A heartbreaking moment for a broken Jamie and viewers. Randall has accomplished his end goal. 

Definitely a difficult watch. It is shocking, absolutely enough to induce memories of those who’ve endured sexual assault.  
  
These scenes are straightforward with a no holds barred view of Randall. Black Jack Randall is not lauded or given a sympathetic point of view. He is darkness, not evil. Evil infers the supernatural, darkness is of this earth. 

Jamie is plunged so away from the light he wishes to die by any means when Randall’s promise to kill him are thwarted by his rescue.  As he put it Randall hurt him too much and not enough.   


By Highland kine stampede Jamie is rescued and lovingly carried out of the prison by Murtagh. What a brilliant and unexpected plan using reveille to disguise the noise of the encroaching herd.  What a clever decision usings cows as a means to rescue.  Hope given by hooves.

  
More hope is offered to viewers in Black Jack Randall being crushed under the trampled door presumably dead.  Momentary satisfaction and relief as the story moves ahead. 

Darkness continues to hang on after taking refuge in a monestary with FatherAnselm and Brother Paul.  The devastating effects are obvious in Jamie’s demeanor. He wants to die, cannot touch or look at Claire, vomits up all food and drink, and though physically healing well is fevered and lacking will to live. These symptoms of deep trauma are examined with consideration and reality.  The desperation spreads through Claire, Murtagh, and the Brother.  They recognize wisely there is more at play causing Jamie’s want of death as escape. 

  
Murtagh seeing  Jamie needs to be joined in the darkness by Claire to find out what he is hiding and reclaim him from it. The idea is sound, the execution goes off mark. Claire sets herself up to invoke the memory of Randall in order to get Jamie to share the secrets, to fight back. The use of lavender oil is smart but then instantly he realized it is Claire he is fighting and not Randall. They slap, kick, tumble to the floor? Why, if not to fight Randall? How does fighting Claire help him regain himself and begin healing? It doesn’t quite make ends meet. 

  
In this process the brand is exposed. After which he does reveal the secret of being broken and ferls unable to be a husband any longer.  A small breakthrough. Then something awkward occurs. Claire makes it all about her and says she will die right here with him if they cannot be together.  That is what turns him back toward her and he begins to come back. Again this math doesn’t quite add up in my estimation. What about what he needs to feel strong and whole? Virtually left out of his process back.  

Claire’s fierce protection is also not displayed to what we know it can be during the scenes at  the monastery. She seems partially present outside of setting his hand. Her demeanor is more fretful than proactive as she usually is.

  
A solid move and return back to path happens in Murtagh cutting out the brand from Jamie’s skin by his request while sober and in his right mind. Finally we are getting somewhere.

 
 The exit to France is a clean departure from Scotland into the future. The conversation between Claire and Jamie on the deck of the ship feel strange and forced. It was a sore disappointment how Claire divulged her pregnancy. The lack of intimacy of the outdoor location of a ship’s deck  was a misstep, though Jamie’s first real smile in a couple of episodes warms the heart. Seeing them in a state of sexual reconnection and emotional coming together would’ve wholly altered this sequence.

    

The first season sails off to France where season two will pick up. Hope, a pregnancy, and trying to change the future together.

Overall this episode gets an A-  for the strength of the first half of the episode and the efforts to get on point in the second half.

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Podcast To Ransom A Man’s Soul Ep 1×16 Review and Recap

 Outlander Season One has come to a close.  We get drawn into the world of Black Jack Randall in a disturbing and real way. We see the aftermath upon Jamie and Claire. Can he survive his ordeal? Can she save him? Where will they go?

Listen to my recap and review for all the information.

 

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A Few Words From An (Outlander) Fan

Oh, like many of you, I’ve been pondering Outlander author Diana Gabaldon’s, “A Few Words From The Author” tweet. 

Also, like many of you, I didn’t appreciate the delivery toward how some fans feel anticipating viewing the rape and torture of Jamie Fraser by Black Jack Randall in the  season finale episode 1×16 To Ransom A Man’s Soul.  Those of you who worry about how difficult it will be are not whiners or complainers. You’ve a right to your own feelings about what is to come, just as Herself does.  Apples and oranges the perspective of a fan and the perspective of an author.

I’ve no doubt the acting is exquisite and award-winning. I’ve no doubt the actors had to be excessively brave and trusting of each other, the crew, and the team.  Those are not the issues at hand here. Nor is Sam’s humor or Diana’s. Frankly no one has the right to tell a reader or viewer,  how to feel, how to process, and how to interpret the material. Once the characters and story spring to life in any medium, they now in essence belong to the individual reader or viewer.

Loving a book series and accepting what is within the pages, does not mean absolute love or fealty of every scene, every character, every choice, or every path that unfolds. Secondly in the written, the reader ultimately chooses what imagery exists in his or her mind’s eye. There is a choice to what level the material is let in. In the visual medium, there is no room for softer filters or integration. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. Watch or close eyes. Viewing is much more vibrant and dare I say real than reading. There is little room to move toward or away from content as desired or needed. Reading is also an active participation where viewing is a more passive engagement. Again, the experiences are vastly different from one medium to the next.

to the content, the elephant in all of this. Experiencing rape and brutality in the written is nowhere near what is experienced in the visual.

Being an avid lover of the Outlander series doesn’t mean I relish all the challenges the characters go through. They’re vehicles toward character growth and depth. We see the personalities dim and flourish under hardship. We see truly what each individual is made of. The fruits of devastation as it were. The meaning of grit, love, brokenness, grief, joy come flooding in. Gifts at the end of near mortal losses or actual deaths. These events are mirrors into the souls of people created from one and placed onto pages to fall in love with or loathe to the end.

All that said and knowing Outlander intimately since 1991, during the horrific events, I struggle in heartbreak, anxiety, gut wrenching awareness, whether by delving into the word again or into the visual medium. In general, rape and torture are not topics I wish to read about or see, yet I do and I will for what will be born out of them in this instance. And perhaps for the hope of justice, even revenge that might come upon the perpetrators against my friends, these characters so real.

I will watch. I am excited and scared. I will not enjoy seeing all that will be seen. I set my joy on the beauty from ashes that will come for these beloved friends.

 

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Season 1 Finale Ep 1×16 Trailer and Stills

By the looks of the To Ransom A Man’s Soul Episode 1×16 preview trailer the darkness is going to be very graphic and more vivid than in Wentworth Prison.  Seeing Randall shirtless and menacing with a weapon in his hand chills the spirit.

Claire with purpose and loving intent gives up not. She has Murtagh by her side.  He has a plan that includes the 19 kine we met at MacRannoch’s home. How do you suppose they will come into play?

Hands in prayer, tears of sorrow, Murtagh a bridge to hold Claire steady, Father Anselm a needed confessor, to the ends of sanity and love.

How does love win? How far will she go to save Jamie’s mind, body, and soul? What of Black Jack Randall?

So many questions will be answered with intensity and fury during this season finale episode. Hang on. We simply need to get to the other side. Breathe with me. Slowly in and out. We can do it together.

I hope you enjoy the screen captures I’ve gathered.


                           

  

 

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Bold and Unapologetic Season 1 Final Episodes

WARNING this post contains non-detailed spoilers. 

Please read no further if you do not want to have a peek into the ultimate outcome for our hero.

The Outlander TV series has been bold and unapologetic in adapting Diana Gabaldon’s work to a visual medium. It is thrilling to not only have brave actors putting it all out there for viewers, but the brave team in the writers room who are willing to get the sexy, ugly, horrific, scary, triumphant content to the actors. What Outlander has to show is not titillation. The thread of real these characters all have in common with us causes passionate fans to be born.


“Wentworth Prison” and “To Ransom A Man’s Soul” are the darkest moments to date for these characters. Brutal. Gutting. Disturbing. Powerful. Intimate. Ultimately, inspiring. From the depths of hell beauty grows. Through hardship and loss, bonds are strengthened. In short, these characters must suffer to prevail. They are fully revealed to us through the fires.

The last two episodes of Season 1 are going to push the envelope even further than what most are able to imagine. Delving into male rape coupled with sadism, the bold and fierce loving courage of Claire to save Jamie, taking a look into PTSD from the holistic assault Jamie endures, and a harrowing healing effort in the end.


These episodes will be difficult to watch and experience. It will be worth it. Trust me as a fan. Trust Ron. Trust Diana.

 

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