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Wynonna Earp is the WLW Telenovela We’ve been Asking For

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Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 10, “I See a Darkness”

The one that’s a telenovela in the best possible way. Near deaths! A secret wife! A secret twin sister! Amnesia! This episode has it all. The only thing it’s missing is a secret love child, and that’s only because everyone knows that baby Earp is (probably) Doc’s lovechild!

I love family get togethers to kick demon ass.

Seriously, though. Words cannot express how delighted I was by everything in this episode. I laughed. I cried. I screamed “What the fuck?!” multiple times. All in all, a top shelf episode of Wynonna Earp.

OMG, what?

The episode opens with Mercedes attacking Nicole, whom she mistakenly believes has the third seal. Waverly busts in, quoting Ripley from Alien and busting out her sweet escrima moves. In the ensuing fight, Mercedes realizes they don’t have the rings after all, but not before biting, and poisoning, Nicole. Wynonna asks a favor of Nedley while at the hospital visiting a faceless Mercedes. She hears Waverly in the hall as Nicole is rushed in; she’s not breathing. Waverly recognizes one of the nurses as Greta, Mattie Perley’s (the white witch known as the Blacksmith from S1) twin sister. She then lets slip that Rosita’s a revenant and tells Wynonna and Dolls the Widow Mercedes was looking for the third seal. When Waverly goes to get air, Dolls tells Wynonna Nicole only has 2-3 hours to live. Wynonna demands they find a cure, whatever it takes.

“Neither of us knows where the third seal is, Mercedes, but we are available for nose jobs.”—Waverly

Outside the hospital, Waverly runs into the Widow Beth, who promises an anti-venom in exchange for the third seal. Nicole asks Wynonna to pull the plug should she succumb to the venom because Waverly would forgive her. Wynonna agrees. Waverly and Nicole exchange apologies. Nicole confesses that she loves Waverly more than anyone just before the doctor induces a coma. Team Earp discuss Jeremy creating a cure. Dolls goes to get more venom from the Order, and Wynonna to find a test subject, with Doc’s help of course.

“No matter what happens, I need you to know that I have never loved anyone the way that I love you.”—Nicole, to Waverly

Doc plays poker with a revenant named Stevie who seems awfully keen to go into the Shorty’s basement. Wynonna interrupts. Doc’s no longer quite so amenable to helping her take down the Black Widows as he was last week now that he’s mortal, but agrees once he hears Nicole is dying. The widow Beth taunts Waverly, who then runs into Nedley asking for the key to Nicole’s place so he can pick up her cat, Calamity Jane. He informs her he spoke to Nicole’s next of kin. Waverly finds out what this means when she returns to Nicole’s hospital room and meets Shay, Nicole’s wife.

“If you’re trying to pass for normal human, maybe don’t jump women in broad daylight.”— Waverly, to the Widow Beth

Dolls confronts the Order to get more venom, but they’ve already burned the Widows’ victims, including Juan Carlo. Ewan offers to take care of unborn baby Earp and returns the plate weapon as an act of faith so Team Earp can take out the Widows. At the hospital, Shay and Waverly exchange awkward pleasantries. Shay explains that she and Nicole had a whirlwind Vegas wedding that cooled off. Meanwhile, Wynonna confronts Rosita at Shorty’s and ‘finds’ a test subject for Jeremy’s anti-venom experiments. Dolls picks up Waverly at the hospital. Jeremy feels super guilty for testing the anti-venom on Rosita.

“Every step is like an adventure in discomfort. Miracle of life my ass.”—Wynonna

At Nicole’s apartment, Doc major side-eyes Wynonna using Rosita as a test subject for the anti-venom; just because she can’t die from it doesn’t mean she can’t feel the pain. He then finds blood that leads them to Calamity Jane, and the realization that Mercedes must have kidnapped Nedley when he came to pick up the cat. Mercedes, meanwhile, tortures Nedley for information on the seal while he uses the only weapon available to him: a big fat load of sarcasm. At BBD, Waverly stops Jeremy’s experiments on Rosita and explains the deal the Widow Beth offered. Dolls tells her to take the deal and blame it on him, only he doesn’t know where the seal is. He then offers himself up as a test subject instead of Rosita.

“What are you a witch? A pokemon? You think this is my first demon rodeo? You know we had an actual demon rodeo?”—Nedley

Mercedes continues to torture Nedley for information; Nedley continues to snark (never change Nedley). At the hospital, Shay says Nicole truly loves Waverly. Unwilling to say goodbye since Nicole is close to death, Waverly leaves to find Greta, Mattie’s sister, aka “The Iron Witch”. Greta agrees to help, but for a price. Waverly agrees to anything, and the spell Greta casts leads Waverly to Doc’s ring, hidden in Nedley’s mug. Doc and Wynonna flirt track Nedley and the Widow Mercedes to an abandoned barn. They kick the shit out of her, then take her prisoner to extract venom directly from her glands. Wynonna jaunts over to the hospital with the anti-venom to discover Nicole is already better. She realizes Waverly must have done something and questions her. Cut to the Widow Beth with the ring walking into what looks to be the burned out church, ready to resurrect her husband.

“My tracking skills are quite virile.”—Doc

While Greta finds Waverly at Shorty’s to exact her payment (the marzaniok demon in the trophy), Dolls shows Wynonna the ‘weapon’ the Order returned to them. At Shorty’s, Doc tries to stop Greta’s spell, but disappears when he touches the trophy. Meanwhile, Wynonna disappears just before she can tell Dolls how to use the plate as a weapon. Greta tells Waverly she made Wynonna disappear. As Waverly screams for Wynonna. Jeremy busts in, asking her who “Wynonna” is. Waverly can’t remember, and the two leave to plan a wedding. The episode ends with Doc once again trapped in the well.

Favorite One Liner: “Kill ‘em hard, Wynonna. Town’s had enough of this shit.”—Nedley

I Gotta Say…

This feels more like the Wynonna Earp I adore. Last week’s episode was a bit rough around the edges, but this week’s was dynamite. Snark, fast paced action balanced with emotional heft, excellent fight choreography set to suspenseful music, meaningful character interactions. This is Wynonna Earp at it’s finest. It honestly might be one of my top five episodes of all time.

I dig the Johnny Cash reference—“We got married in a fever”, the first line of the Johhny Cash/June Carter duet “Jackson”—John Callaghan included in the episode. Especially since the title itself is a Johnny Cash song. I suddenly feel the need for a WayHaught (or Waynaught) vid set to “I see a Darkness” stat. There were a few other nerdy easter eggs sprinkled in the episode, as well, and I loved every one.

On the acting front, Meghan Heffern is killing it as the Widow Beth. The level of creepy bubbliness she embodies reminds me of Aquamarine from Steven Universe in the best possible way. Dani Kind continues to impress me with her depth and range; it takes a lot of skill to evoke that much rage without it turning melodramatic, and she nailed it.

While we’re on the topic of acting prowess, Melanie Scrofano’s scene talking to comatose Mercedes. Top shelf, man, top shelf. She’s simultaneously fierce mama bear and hero with a chip on her shoulder. It’s beautiful to see a female protagonist given such an emotionally meaty and nuanced part to embody.

How can it not be with all the Earp Sisters feels and sexy, sexy (and earned) WayHaught drama? Bonus points for epic baby bump.

Also, Haught damn. Nicole may have been in a coma much of the episode, but her brief scenes with Waverly touched me in my core, and Kat Barrell knocked it out of the park. Of course Nicole would say that the DNA test matters, because she’s a Suffering Empath who puts others emotional needs before her own. Likewise, Waverly’s heartfelt apologies and dismissal of Nicole’s lie stems from the same place. They’re both so concerned about the other’s emotional well-being, and I just want them to be happy.

Nicole’s confession of love, echoed later in the episode by Shay, is both a lovely confession on its own and a subtle hint at what’s to come with Shay. For a part of Nicole’s backstory that comes completely out of nowhere, the writers did an excellent job setting it up just enough that I accepted it at face value. Nicole has been pretty quiet about her life, family, and history. A secret shotgun Vegas wedding might be the stuff of telenovelas, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of place. In fact, I kind of loved the weirdly understated melodrama of it all. (Yes, that sounds like a contradiction, but it works, doesn’t it?)

Speaking of telenovela style reveals that didn’t feel out of place at all, Mattie Perley has a twin sister! She was honestly pretty awesome as an unexpected antagonist, and I hope she sticks around. I was sad to see Mattie go and would love to have another Perley sister on the show again.

And lets not forget the telenovela-style memory wipe/amnesia! God, I love this show so much. Only Wynonna Earp can serve up so much melodrama while maintaining a sense of gravity and levity alongside it. When I call it a telenovela, I mean that as a compliment. I grew up watching them with my mom, who speaks fluent Spanish and would help translate for me while I used them to learn Spanish for school. So trust me, this is a good thing.

I’m so glad Nedley got so much screen time. He’s a gift.

Back to good character moments. Waverly’s emotional breakdown in the hospital was one of the best acted scenes of the episode. Dominique Provost-Chalkley serves up a heaping slice of feels. Her begging for them to act like they’re winning for once, then freaking out about breaking Jeremy’s mug felt so raw and real. “What if he can’t fix it, Wynonna?” just about killed me. We all know it isn’t about the mug, yet we all have experienced what it’s like to project while we’re grieving and in shock. The littlest things become conduits for our pain, like a transformers mug.

As far as the overarching plot, this was such a good way to do an ‘impossible choices’ situation. Waverly’s willingness to trade the ring for Nicole’s life instead of wait on a cure from Wynonna is of those times that a tired trope for straight couples is refreshed/subversive when applied to a queer couple. Waverly fighting to save Nicole’s life functions as a cipher for her fighting for their right to exist as a couple. And yet, the show doesn’t make it overtly about that. The result is a story that both normalizes the love they share and Waverly’s desperate exchange to save her lover’s life—a common trope for straight romance—and challenges the idea that queer women must die for Drama™.

That’s not to downplay the theme of difficult choices reflected in almost every character’s arc this episode. The plot played out as a series of Sophie’s choice/Catch-22 situations of which Waverly’s was one. But that’s part of the beauty of it. It’s both one among many ‘impossible’ choices characters had to make and a choice that thumbs its nose at Hollywood’s recent spate of queer female character deaths. At the same time, it also reflects the struggle queer women have in fighting for their right to exist and be taken seriously. Yet, it does so without going to the other extremes of either sanitizing/infantilizing their story or overdramatizing it. It has the appropriate emotional weight for what it is.

The final blow was the Gift of the Magi-esque reveal that Waverly’s deal with the Iron Witch wasn’t necessary. It works so well as a plot device here. The outcome (Clootie coming back) could be reasonably predicted, but the route to get there this episode was a magnificent, emotional, heartbreaking rid because of the multiple Catch-22 scenarios.

While Nicole being bitten is the precipitating event, one could argue the tangled web of Sophie’s choices starts with Wynonna. Her “whatever it takes’ mentality at the beginning drives Dolls to urge Waverly to take the deal with Beth. That same mentality also leads Wynonna to being willing to subject Rosita to physical torture to save Nicole’s life. Her choice affects Jeremy, who must then live with his own choice to go along. There’s never a straightforward ‘way out’. Everyone is making what they believe to be the best, or shall I say least shitty, choice based on the options available to them. That still doesn’t make them good choices. They’re reasonable choices under the circumstances, but they’re also choices that hurt people and have real, negative consequences for the characters and their relationships.

I just love how tangled up everything is. This is one of the best executions of “no good choices” I’ve seen in a long while. The best part is, the show didn’t have to tout itself as specifically addressing that in universe to draw attention to how Clever™ and Nuanced™ it was being (unlike another show I watch). They told the story and let the audience come to it’s own conclusions; this episode did a hell of a lot of showing and did very little telling, and it paid off big time.

The only part that confuses me is why Wynonna now wants to keep Clootie from rising. Last week, she was all about resurrecting Clootie and killing him. She delivered a whole speech to Doc about it, and he agreed to help her, which is why he gave her his ring. Her desire to protect the ring and his initial standoffishness about helping her don’t fit neatly with last week’s characterizations. Still, it isn’t a big deal. If I didn’t overlook a beat somewhere that would explain this, I can chalk it up to last week’s episode being a bit rough overall.

I will end with how much I love Nedley. He’s the dad friend who is sometimes awkward about life choices, but always loving and supportive. I adore his sass, and he had some of the best one liners this episode, hands down. But his steadfast belief in Wynonna even after all the trouble she caused in her youth? That’s heart.

I see you, Andras Callaghan

  • 3 women fighting, and not over a guy, bless this show
  • I see that Alien reference
  • Waverly saying komodo dragons are cool to make Jeremy feel better even when she’s losing the love of her life just kills me.
  • I see that mug pun, and I 100% endorse it.
  • Jeremy’s Silence of the Lambs joke, A+
  • Waverly got so many hugs this episode, and I’m so glad. She needed them.

Give Waverly all the hugs.

Tune in next week for Emily Andras being a troll with the title, “Gone as a Girl Can Get”. There will be Black Widows and demons and Wynonna no longer being pregnant?! But the real question is, WHO IS GETTING MARRIED?? If it’s Waverly and Champ, I might die. But I’m here for a WayHaught wedding!

Oh, and thanks to Kori for the review title! It’s perfect.


Images Courtesy of SyFy

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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