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Supergirl Premiere Is Quite An Adventure

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Supergirl Season 2 Reviews: Episode 01, “The Adventures of Supergirl”

Premiere night!!!

There’s so much to see! Superman is here and Lena Luthor, plus a new villain and Project Cadmus. Plenty of Supergirl/Superman action and bonding throughout, and Kara makes some major life choices with Cat Grant’s mentorship. The DEO gets a brand spanking new building, too (It’s so shiny). The change to the CW doesn’t seem to have affected the tenor or writing of the show. The premiere lived up to our expectations, and felt like the same show we gushed over last season, er, last week. And now we’re back together again and ready to talk about all the excellent things that happened last night (and that One Other Thing). Get ready for some fangirling. We’re excited. But in the spirit of objectivity and fairness, we’re not without critique.

Quick Recap

Introducing Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor.

After a voiceover recap of Season 1, the episode starts with the final scene from the finale: the Kryptonian pod crashing. The nameless, comatose man in the pod gets taken to the DEO, which has some swanky new digs (a skyscraper in the middle of downtown National City). Kara is trying to figure out what to do with the opportunity Cat gave her to choose her own job; Cat pushes her to look inward. Cat’s new assistant has a ‘Kira’ kind of day (making mistakes with salad dressing). Venture, a new spaceship, launches but has trouble. Enter super dorky Clark Kent and his very undorky chiseled jawline to help save the day as Superman, after Kara gets there first. (Side Note: they’re the freaking cutest team ever! She tells random strangers she used to change Clark’s diapers. LOL. We love them. Superhero Kryptonians are puppies, it is confirmed.) Ahem. Supes visits the DEO to check on the mystery man from the Kryptonian pod. Winn is a nerd so excited to meet Supes that he almost passes out. Alex thinks Clark smells nice (he seems like an Old Spice kind of guy). J’onn and Superman have a strained greeting that Alex, true to form, doesn’t fail to comment on.

Next is bring your cousin to work day! Cat is flirty adjacent (and apparently thinks Clark, Superman, and Lois Lane have a ménage à trois). We learn Lex is in prison, but Lena, his sister, was suspiciously not present on the Venture launch despite having booked a seat on the shuttle. We also have a new villain—who was behind the Venture explosion—who has just acquired some high powered drones. Clark interviews Lena Luthor, who wants to rename and rebrand Luthor Corp in National City and make it a force for good. Kara shares how overwhelmed she feels by her options (with James, with Cat and Catco) with Clark, who encourages her to follow her heart. Alex confronts J’onn about “Operation Emerald”, the operation that put a wedge between him and Superman. J’onn had been on the team to first discover kryptonite on earth, and instead of destroying it as Superman urged, he chose to kepteep it for safekeeping. Winn figures out that Lena was the target of the Venture bombing just in time for her helicopter to be attacked by two of the drones. Superman goes to save the civilian population from more drones while Kara rescues Lena. Kara and James have a heart-to-heart-ish talk about her not knowing what she wants. Cat mentors her about diving in and not being afraid.

Brenda Strong plays an excellent villain.

Finally, the name of the new villain is revealed: John Corben, an assassin hired by Lex to take out Lena. Superman confronts J’onn about keeping the stock of kryptonite. Corben bombs Lena’s corporation renaming ceremony; the Supers save the day, with help from Alex and Lena. Corben is shot, but doesn’t die. With some prompting from Lena, Kara decides she wants to be a reporter (which Cat saw coming a mile away). Kara tells James they should just be friends, because she is unable to juggle so many obligations at the same time. Winn leaves Catco to join the DEO. Clark tells Kara he’s proud of her and offers to stay on for some family time. A mystery woman (Brenda Strong, Queen Nia, from The 100) from Project Cadmus offers Corben the chance to become Metallo.

Best Quote: “You’re standing on the shore afraid to dive into the new waters and you’re afraid because you don’t want to say goodbye to the mild-mannered, love-lorn Kara Danvers the sweet and dutiful assistant to Cat Grant. You are standing there looking out at your options: the icy blue river, the fast flowing water, and the choppy sea and they all look very appealing to you because you’re dying to go for a swim but you know that water is going to be cold and journey is going to be hard and when you reach the other side you will have become a new person. And you’re scared to meet that new version of yourself. Now we all get used to our own personas or used to our own comfort zones, but trust me. In order to live, we must keep daring, keep diving.”—Cat Grant, to Kara

Thoughts & Feelings

Let’s start by saying that this definitely felt like the same show from last season, which was a primary concern for us going into the network change. The biggest noticeable difference between Season 1 and Season 2 is the pacing. Season 1 was rather deliberate and slow, juggling only 2 to 3 plot balls at any given time. Season 2 comes out the gate juggling 5 to 6 plot balls while riding a skateboard, meaning that individual plot points aren’t getting as much screen time as we are accustomed to. This may not be a bad thing, but it so will depend on how they pace out each of these plots across the season. Frantically juggling too many plot balls often results in dropping all of them, and this storytelling problem has taken down many shows of recent memory. However, it’s difficult to make a definitive statement about whether or not this is a good change judging from just one episode, but it’s something to keep an eye on going forward.

 

Something else that was noticeable was how the show just jumped right into the Season 2 plots without wasting time wallowing in the Season 1 arcs. The show does very little handholding in transitioning to a potentially new audience, and this is understandable considering how tightly the first season wrapped up. The one plot point pulled over from the last season was the Season 1 cliffhanger, which was surprisingly the plot point that got the least attention in the pilot episode. While it wasn’t exactly the number one priority to resolve this cliffhanger within the first episode of Season 2, we hope they don’t keep it on the back burner too long. It gives off the impression that the show is trying to distance itself from its predecessor, which does not inspire hope within the returning fandom.

Once again, it’s hard to make a definitive statement about the pacing with only one episode as reference, but we can say that Season 2 seems to be aiming for much faster plot development. We are willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to the writing team, but this is something we are keeping an eye on, since the deliberate and slow pacing of the first season was something that made the show really stand out.

Moving on to the new characters introduced in the pilot, we of course have to start with the Man of Steel’s small screen debut. Clark gets a great ‘running down an alley while changing costume’ sequence. He is both well cast and well written, in our opinion, so he slides into the show’s established cast very well. He is definitely his own man, but his camaraderie with Kara is well demonstrated and lives up to the subtle seeding from the first season.

Clark and Kara together is everything we’d hoped for and expected. Everything. They have such a sweet, loving, mutual, respectful relationship. Clark is supportive and treats Kara as an equal even though he’s been a superhero for longer. He jokes with her, gives her advice, and acts all around like the best older brother Kara could want. While we’d have liked more Alex and Kara time, we appreciate what they gave us enough to forgive them. Alex and Kara’s relationship is side-lined in favor of building up Clark and Kara’s, but not to the detriment of the sisterly bond. We know it’s still there, just in the background for a while.

As we were hoping last week, Clark definitely comes across as Kara’s teammate, not her superior. She gets the ‘heavy lifting’ job saving the venture and corrects Lena Luthor when she ignores Supergirl’s presence at the rescue. She comes up with the plan to save the building while Clark acts as the muscle. But they’re a true team, a partnership of equals. You don’t get the idea that her having moments of brawn and problem solving is pandering at all. It helps that Superman’s so genuinely excited for her when she succeeds and takes his cues from her, as befits a visiting superhero and cousin. They give us all the feels. And that final scene, where Superman asks Kara if he can stay so she can tell him more stories about Krypton and his family? *Hearteyes*

Second in our new character lineup is Lex Luther’s sister, Lena Luthor. Hot damn Lena Luthor. We couldn’t keep our eyes off of her; Katie McGrath commands your attention on screen. We can’t wait to see how she evolves in the season. She’s going to be an interesting foil for Kara. They’re both adopted, both attempting to use their family name as a force for good, and was it us or did Lena give Kara the once over in a flirty way?

We appreciate how she contrasts with Lord, too. She’s proved herself less distrustful and more open. She shares intel willingly where he held back from reporters and the government; she appreciates Supergirl/man instead of resenting them. Put her in a room with Lord and let them duke it out please and thank you. It is also noteworthy that she seems to be playing straight-faced when it comes to her mission to redeem her brother’s business. She’s come to National City in an effort to rebrand her brother’s company, trying to polish off the tarnish left by his crimes that resulted in 30+ consecutive life sentences. While there’s equal set up here for a villain arc, we’re kind of hoping that they don’t take that path. Thus far we’ve received no indication that she’s going to make an about-face, and when given the opportunity to she has been distinctly leaning towards the side of good. She seems genuinely interested in taking on a trademark Supergirl redemption arc; we hope she stays that way.

At the tail end of the pilot, we get to see the origin of Metallo. Damn, we’re ready for Metallo. He’s a pretty epic Superman villain—a cybernetic assassin powered by a kryptonite core—so you won’t want to miss next week’s episode. Plus, we get the reveal that Metallo is a product of Project Cadmus, presumably to fight against Kryptonians like Supergirl, Superman, and any remaining convicts from Fort Rozz (if there are any Kryptonians left). Project Cadmus as the big bad this season thrills us. We can’t wait for it all. Plus, Project Cadmus means that maybe Superboy/Kon-El will make an appearance. Fingers crossed.

Moving on to the characters we know and love from last season, J’onn and Alex didn’t get enough screen time for us (we love them), but hopefully that will be remedied soon. J’onn’s beef with Superman sets up the threat Metallo will serve next episode and makes sense of why J’onn has never shown much interest in having Superman around. While simple and understandable, the friction between J’onn and Superman seems a little thin, and too easily resolved. We are expecting that conflict to come back later, as it definitely could use a little more solid development considering how important it is to Superman’s relationship with the DEO and J’onn himself.

Don’t go Cat! We’re going to miss you and your epic sunglasses.

Cat continues to have some of the best dialogue, mentoring monologues and snippy one liners included. We know she is going to be making a change, since Calista Flockhart will be appearing in fewer episodes this season, and they’ve seeded it already this episode. Tying it to Kara Danvers own journey of self-discovery and pursuing her passion works well, and it gives us faith that the show will give Cat Grant the graceful exit she deserves from primary hero to secondary protagonist.

On to James Olsen and the fly in the ointment, the one letdown in this action packed ball of sunshine and adorableness that was this premiere: the potential sinking of the James x Kara ship. The conversation with James and Kara was a bit awkward and unexpected, given that we know they were kissing just a day or so ago as the family dinner shown in the Season 1 finale was the opening scene of this episode. James’ reaction was on point and fit with the overall tenor of the show toward non-mutual relationships, but this felt rushed. As much as we enjoy the lack of relationship drama on this show overall, we feel like they needed to drag this out a bit.

Relying on dialogue and exposition has always been one of the show’s strengths, but in this case it’s fallen into a weakness. While we can absolutely accept that their relationship would be heavily strained by Kara’s attempt to juggle so much at a time, we feel that the show needed to let us watch it happen, rather than tell us that it would. There hasn’t been enough time for us to accept this as a foregone conclusion. Kara having a moment of “I have a lot going on, a lot is changing, and I don’t know how to handle it all. I need time,” would have made more sense and allowed for the same amount of tension. With all the build-up from last season, this lovely interracial ship deserved better than a “we’re just friends” within the first episode.

We’re not ready to call it quits on this ship yet, though. Maybe the writers are trying to slow burn more, maybe they just thought Kara had too much going on and wanted to give her more space to grow as a person before getting them back together. Maybe she’s going to be the queer one instead of Alex (Oh please, oh please. We want a bulletproof LGBT character more than anything). Who knows? It’s honestly too early to tell. We’re a bit annoyed, but not ready to bust out the pitchforks yet.

Random Thoughts

  • They have not diminished their CGI budget it seems. Damn. Though it will be interesting to see how they escalate the stakes in future seasons. Kara saved a plane, then she and Superman saved a space shuttle. What’s next? The moon? We’re hoping for the moon.
  • We keep wondering how Superman and Supergirl keep their capes under their clothes. Maybe they have a magic pocket they tuck them into that lays completely flat? Must be special Kryptonian technology.
  • The volume for this episode was really low for Gretchen in Wisconsin. The show was barely loud enough, then the commercials blared. No idea if this is something the network can fix or if it was just the fact that she uses antennae for reception (I don’t want to pay for cable, so sue me—Gretchen).
  • They addressed the fact that Superman looks so young: apparently Kryptonians age more slowly on Earth
  • J’onn named kryptonite, that’s neat
  • Helicopters don’t fare well on this show, do they?
  • Clark uses his x-ray vision much more than Kara does. It makes sense given that Jeremiah Danvers gave her glasses specifically to block that use of her powers. She grew up not utilizing it.
  • This moment:

    Cat wrote “reporter” on Kara’s resume when she interviewed her. Priceless.

  • After being saved by Superman, a man says “We’re moving back to Gotham”. LOLZ
  • Biracial family on bikes spotted! We love how diverse the background characters are.
  • Being a reporter runs in the family, it seems.
  • Cat reverts to calling Kara “Kira” when Kara is in her ‘feeling lost’ phase. Was that on purpose or a reflex of communicating with the shy, unassuming Kara of much of Season 1?
  • ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE KARA GAY. The only way we will forgive them for destroying Kara x James is if they give her a girlfriend. Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that reaction out of the way, we can wrap this episode up 🙂

In Conclusion


Images courtesy of CW

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Should Let Rosa Date Gina

Megan

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Gina and Rosa

Google most non-canon LGBT ships, and you get results for various fanfiction sites, maybe an article or two about why they should be canon, why the show is clearly missing the opportunity of a lifetime. Google Rosa/Gina—dubbed Dianetti—and you get tweets from the two actresses involved.

Though media has made huge strides in the past decade or so with LGBT relationships, there is still a lot to be done. Queerbaiting remains common, as does the bury your gays trope. Relationships—especially wlw ones—are still seen as less valid, less possible, than their straight counterparts; this is in part due to many writers, actors, and showrunners continuing to tease of F/F relationships. By creating a dynamic where two women are clearly not just friends (and, of course, never making that dynamic explicitly romantic either), they get the best of both worlds: LGBT viewers who crave representation with none of the potential backlash for so-called political correctness.

The Beauty of B99

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, however, has never fallen into that trap. Holt and Kevin may be the subject of many jokes, but they are never the butt of any. Similarly, topics like racial profiling and police corruption are taken seriously. It is a comedy show, but it is also a show that recognizes the power of its platform. Where another show would tease these topics and turn them into a punchline, Brooklyn Nine-Nine turns them into a discussion.

Holt and Kevin marry each other as quickly as possible.

(Source: tumblr)

So, of every show on television, I know that Brooklyn Nine-Nine would treat Rosa and Gina well. That is an important part of the discussion that is oft forgotten: representation does not end when it begins. Instead, it is an ongoing process, most successful when the writers and showrunners make continued efforts to deepen and better their characters and relationships. When we ask for representation, we are asking for a commitment: at the very minimum, do not kill them. Because that is still often too much to ask, we never get to the next step: do not cheapen them, do not forget them. Do not let them be a checked box on a list of things a show needs to have.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has proven they can do it. So why don’t they?

The Case For Dianetti

Over the past four seasons, we have seen Gina and Rosa flit in and out of various relationships. All the while, however, they have been there for each other.

Rosa is closed-off, awkward whenever the slightest hint of emotions are involved; Gina, on the other hand, is as open a book as she could possibly be. In the same way that Jake and Amy build on each other and make each other grow, Rosa and Gina could do the same.

In the past, the show has paired Rosa with men who are too different or too similar. Marcus was very openly emotional, and while the importance of having such a character cannot be understated, he was not right for Rosa. Adrien, then, had the opposite problem: he and Rosa never truly get to know each other during their relationship because both were content being unattached in that way.

Enter Gina. She is the perfect option, the perfect mix of emotional and independent; she is the one who can make Rosa consistently smile, the one who isn’t semi-scared of her at all times.

There are not many women on television that are like Rosa, and to give her a chance to find true, lasting love would be very valuable to many viewers. Having her and Gina both go through several unsuccessful relationships is good—it’s realistic and done well. But just as Jake and Amy found each other, just as Kevin and Holt found each other, I would like to see Rosa and Gina do the same.

In a world where F/F ships are punchlines to jokes that weren’t funny the first time, it is a rare and very special thing to see such an opportunity supported by both actresses involved. We have the support, and we have the chance; all that remains is for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to take the leap.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine consistently surprises me with the topics they are willing to tackle and the grace with which they do so. So, as it returns this month for its fifth season, I hope that they will tackle Rosa/Gina next.


Images courtesy of Fox

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The Neighbors from Hell

Kristen Roche

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This week’s episode of American Horror Story: Cult opens with a blonde woman, Rosie, speaking with Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) about how thanks to him she’s overcome her fear of being trapped in dark places. (Sidebar: why is Ally the only important woman without white/blonde hair in this show?) When Rosie and her husband Mark, return home, however, they are accosted by clowns and nailed into coffins. Rosie’s worst nightmare that she admitted to Dr. Vincent. It makes you wonder if the Doctor is part of the cult. Hmm…

Switching up the timeline of things (again), we return to where we left off after last week’s episode; the Mayfair-Richards household following Ally’s (Sarah Paulson) gun play. Detective Samuels (Colton Haynes) assures Ally that he doesn’t think charges will be pressed because the murder of Pedro was in self defense. Though Ivy (Allison Pill) knows it was accidental and not self defense, she agrees with the Detective and the power finally returns.

The next day, protestors gather outside the Butchery on Main, branding Ally as the “lesbian George Zimmerman,” and the news is there to broadcast the protest. Unable to show her face, Ally is forced to stay in the car while Ivy goes to work. Before Ally can go home, however, she is confronted by Kai (Evan Peters) who calls her brave. He tells her to never apologize and that he’ll take care of the mob for her. When Ally does arrive home, she receives a very different greeting from Meadow (Leslie Grossman) and Harrison (Billy Eichner). The couple, dressed in sombreros, condemn the accidental murder and accuse her of being a racist.

Ally and Ivy are unable to avoid the news of the protestors on television. The news finally moves on to announce the deaths of Rosie and Mark, who were found in coffins in their home with a smiley face symbol painted above them. The same symbol that was found on the Changs’s house.

Things turn to the strange (or stranger, anyway), the next day when Ivy and Ally find dozens of dead crows in their yard. It gets stranger yet when Winter accidentally lets an unknown man into the house. The man was responding to an ad on Craigslist that listed lesbians looking for pleasure from a man.

During a phone session, Dr. Vincent talks to Ally about the Craigslist ad. It’s in this scene that we get our first election reference of the episode, a record few this time. Dr. Vincent suggests Ally file a police report then asks for an emergency meeting to talk about an inpatient facility. Ally (obviously) disagrees with the doctor’s assessment and ends the call. When she reaches town, protestors accost her car, but with a single word Kai is able to get them to leave.

Returning home, Ally and Ivy find Oz and Winter playing with a guinea pig with a cisnormative name.  They learn that the animal was a gift from Meadow. When Ally tells him that he cannot keep the pet, Oz lashes out and says that he wishes Ally wasn’t around. Ally then calls Harrison who is sitting with Meadow and Detective Samuels. Harrison states that he likes Oz but not Ally, and that Oz needs testosterone in the house. Angry, when Ally sees a truck spraying green mist, she chases the truck down to no avail.

Elsewhere, Meadow and Kai play the pinky game. When asked for her greatest fears, Meadow offers a superficial fear that Kai slaps her for. This is a revolution and he doesn’t want his time wasted. Kai calls her out as being afraid of never really being loved.

In a rare moment of levity and normalcy, the Mayfair-Richards family having a nice family dinner at the Butchery on Main. Oz apologizes for lashing out at Ally, and she decides to let Oz keep Mr. Guinea. When they arrive home, however, what was a good night takes a turn.   smiley face is painted on the door, and Mr. Guinea blows up in the microwave.

Ally crosses the street and enters the neighbors house where she assaults Harrison. She accuses the couple of being responsible for all the wrong that has been done to them, but Meadow is genuinely scared when she hears about the smiley face. Ally escalates matters and threatens to kill them before leaving. Ivy finally reaches her breaking point with Ally, calling her out on her absurd reactions, when Oz points out that the same smiley face is on the side of the Wilton’s house. Instead of warning the couple, however, Ivy and Oz return home. Ally follows behind, only to find mysterious people spraying a green substance on her lawn. When she tries to reveal their faces, she finds smiley faces in the place of where real faces should be.

Meadow is not the only Wilton to play the pinky game with Kai. This time, Harrison plays, and does a better job telling the truth to Kai than his wife. He admits that he wishes Meadow were dead.

When Detective Samuels calls on the Mayfair-Richards home, Ally talks to him with crazy eyes about her conspiracy theory. She’s finally the one that seems to be making some sense and no one is listening. It makes her look even crazier to have make-up smeared down her face. 

The conversation is halted by Oz’s scream. His mothers immediately head upstairs to find him closing his laptop. He admits that he got past Ivy’s parental controls as he saw her type in the password once, “Clownz”.  Sorry Ivy, but you’re starting to look pretty suspicious here. Ivy and Ally finally convince Oz to reveal what’s on the computer. It is a video of Ally in the bath getting fingered by Winter. Whomp, there it is.

Ivy wastes no time retaliating once they bring their conversation to the hallway and punches Ally in the face. She starts yelling about Ally breaking their family, while Ally seems hung up on the fact that someone planted a camera in their bathroom. Both valid points.

Not willing to stay in the same house as her cheating wife, Ivy prepares Oz to leave with her. Just as they are about to leave, however, police arrive across the street. They exit the house to find Harrison is freaking out and upon seeing her, accuses Ally of murdering Meadow. He woke up covered in Meadow’s blood, Meadow nowhere to be found. While the adults were arguing, Oz returns to the house. His mothers run after him to find him staring at the walls. Walls that are now covered in blood with a bloody smiley symbol on the living room wall.

Closing Thoughts

At this point, it seems as if the cult behind all the murders and strange happenings in this small Michigan town is larger than expected. In fact, it seems almost as if Ally and Oz are the only ones that aren’t part of the cult. With Meadow and Harrison both deferring to Kai, it appears that the blue-haired man might be one of the ring leaders. But then again, there’s also Dr. Vincent and Ivy to think about. Where do they fit? Are they secretly behind it all? And if Ivy is involved, what is it about Ally that makes her want to torture her so much?

With more questions raised in this episode, such as the questionable green substance, it’s easy to wonder where this cult is going, but perhaps the biggest question is; do we really care?


Images courtesy of FX

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Outlander Slows Things Down for Episode 2

Meg

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This week’s Outlander was much slower than last week’s, returning to the steady pace they set in the first few episodes of both seasons 1 and 2. Unlike other shows that use this tactic (*cough* The Walking Dead *cough*), it works in Outlander because of how invested I am in the characters, no matter what they’re doing.

Recap

Like last week, this week’s episode divided its time between Jamie in the 18th century and Claire in the 20th. Jamie is at Lallybroch with his family, but he’s a wanted man. The redcoats frequently harass Jenny and Ian, even randomly throwing Ian in the clink in the hopes that they’ll all decide to betray Jamie’s whereabouts. Since they don’t ever really do anything to him, and he seems largely friendly with the soldiers, it’s a fairly empty threat.

Still, it’s dangerous, because in the aftermath of Culloden, being a Scot in Scotland was essentially outlawed. By that I mean clans were no longer allowed to wear their tartans, bagpipes were banned, and Scots weren’t allowed weapons (except I guess what they had to have to have hunt, like a bow and arrow or a knife).

Jamie has gone full-on wild man of the woods, complete with giant beard and long hair. He doesn’t really speak, just brings offerings of excessively large game (seriously, it was huge) and makes crazy eyes at people. Fergus, my dear son, is still in his service, and for all that it’s been 6 years, he’s not that much taller or older. It’s like the Stark kids in reverse.

For real, Bran’s like 25 and Fergus is still just 14.

While Ian’s locked up, Jenny goes into labor a bit early, and her sons Robbie and Jamie see a raven perched on the gate. They tell Fergus that a raven’s bad luck and can mean the death of the baby. The boys found a pistol hidden in the dovecot, so of course they use it to shoot the bird. Because why not!? Pistols aren’t against the law or anything.

The redcoats hear the shot because black powder guns are LOUD, and of course the tenacious captain brings some of his boys around. Unfortunately Jamie chose that moment to come a-visiting, so he’s walking around the house carrying his new nephew when the English show up.

Jamie hides and Jenny tells them the baby died, and while the commander is being semi-respectful, his corporal, a Scot named MacGregor, is a real ass. Ultimately the maid shows up with the pistol and says it was her dead husband’s, and she shot at a raven to scare it away.

The commander says to leave her, she’s no threat, and the soldiers leave. Fergus is giving them the stink eye as they go, and apparently it gives the Scottish corporal the idea to follow him, thinking he’ll lead them to Jamie. He’s wise to their bumbling, however, and he leads them away from Jamie’s cave. He taunts them as Jamie, hiding in the woods, watches in horror.

The soldiers catch Fergus and the corporal, um…chops his hand off with a sword. Which wasn’t nearly as violent and/or bloody as it could have been, thank goodness, because my poor son! As soon as they’re gone, Jamie wraps his stump and carries him back to the house.

Noooo, my wee angry son!!

Fergus later tells Jamie he’s lucky, because when he first hired him, Jamie swore if Fergus was hurt while in his service, Jamie would keep him for the rest of his days. “With one blow I’ve become a man of leisure,” he says with a grin.

Fergus’s maiming causes Jamie to realize that hiding out isn’t helping anyone. He tells Jenny and Ian they have to turn him in, partly to get the hefty reward money, but also so that the soldiers know once and for all that Jenny’s loyal to the Crown. She isn’t happy about it AT ALL, but she agrees. She sends her maid out to Jamie’s cave with some food, and she helps him shave the beard and cut his hair.

She also takes her dress off and offers him some old-fashioned comfort, which he reluctantly (and tearfully) accepts.

Later Jamie shows up at Lallybroch acting all “Jenny, it’s me after all this time! I certainly haven’t been hiding in a cave in the woods for the past few years! What a random happenstance!” The soldiers are there, of course, and he’s carted off while Jenny watches, crying.

Meanwhile in the future (which is our past, but not AS past as Jamie’s time), Claire is trying to be a full time mom and housewife. If y’all learned anything about Claire the last 2 seasons, you should’ve learned that that would NEVER work. It starts with her fantasizing about Jamie while Frank sleeps next to her, then the two of them having sex while she thinks about Jamie. Poor Frank.

After a dinner party one night she seduces him in front of the fire, but when she won’t open her eyes to look at him, he stops and tells her that when they’re together, he’s with her, but she’s with Jamie. She doesn’t deny it, and after that they go back to being much more distant.

Later Claire enrolls in medical school, and all the little white boys in her class are Shook. But they’re even MORE shook when a Black man walks in. He sits next to Claire and introduces himself to her, and in that moment a beautiful friendship was born.

“YOU got into Harvard Medical School?”
“What, like it’s hard?”

The episode ends with Claire and Frank crawling into bed to say goodnight. Claire turns off the light and lies down to sleep, and as the camera pulls back we see they’re now sleeping in twin beds. I guess their pretense of returning to their marriage has ended, and they’re staying together mostly for Bree’s sake.

Review

Like I said, this was kind of a slow episode. Not a lot happened, really. It was mostly about Jamie and Claire trying to adjust to their new lives without each other. Jamie is essentially dead inside, a shell of himself, while Claire has Bree to think of.

They both tread water for a time, but eventually realize they have to figure out some way to keep going. Jamie turns himself in to the English because he knows he’s hurting his family and putting them at risk by being a fugitive. Even if they never find him hiding out on Fraser land, they’ll always suspect Jenny and Ian are sheltering him, and one day they may not be so congenial when they cart Ian off to jail.

If I have a criticism of the episode, it’s that Fergus losing his hand—a moment that shocked Jamie back to life, so to speak—lacked some of the punch it was clearly meant to have. Maybe I was just really tired, but my reaction was kinda like, “Oh no my son! Welp. Sucks for him.” I don’t know what they could’ve done differently with it. I certainly didn’t need it to be gorier. I guess it just seemed sort of…sudden? And possibly after Jack Randall’s antics, any old dastardly redcoat just doesn’t really compare. The whole thing was a little rushed in an episode that otherwise took its time.

I’m gonna admit it, y’all: I hate seeing Jamie with another woman! I can deal with Claire with Frank, but Jamie with the serving lady (who was very nice and very brave) had me seeing red. Like, duh he believes Claire’s gone forever, and it’s not like I’m mad at Jamie for seeking comfort with someone else—he needs to move on and get out of his emo phase. But STILL! Logic be damned!!!

“No cage could compare to the one I’ve been living in!” *cues “Welcome to the Black Parade”*

I honestly love this show and these characters, so I really could watch them stare at their shoes for an hour, but having said that—I hope next week picks up the pace just a li’l bit. Just a smidge. Especially on Claire’s side, because while yeah I love seeing her make That Face She Makes when men are sexist jerks, I want her to have something more to do than miss Jamie. Medical school and her career should definitely help that issue.

All in all, this was a solid filler episode, and I was glad to see Jenny and my (now one-handed) son Fergus again. Next week we’ll re-meet Sir John Grey, so that should be interesting. Also I wanna see more baby Bree because that is a super cute baby. Like, wow.

Episode Grade: B. It wasn’t as good as last week, but it’s a great show, so it earns some generosity from me. Also all the emotional notes were spot-on.


Images curtesy of Starz

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