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Date Posted: 08:01:08 04/16/16 Sat
Author: Shadow
Subject: Episode 202 - Not In Scotland Anymore ---SPOILERS



I love that the next installment of the show appears to become available at midnight OnDemand on the scheduled show date just as it did last year. It makes a great reward for me after my Friday night workshift. :D

So, about the second episode....
I am impressed by the way the writers have managed to compress DIA to get us through the important background aspects of the story quickly. Frankly, the increased length of the book and decreased number of episodes from season 1 had me bewildered as to how the show could manage to cover all the material. This episode changed several venues for action from the books as well as some of the events themselves to move the story forward very fast without restructuring the tale out of all recognition. Granted, we do lose the sense that Jamie and Claire have become at ease moving through Parisian society due the compressed time, but the decadence of the environment and sense of being aliens in a new world is really interesting to watch.

This episode manages to introduce Mary Hawkins, Alex Randall, Master Raymond, Louise de Rohan, Charles Stuart, King Louis, Monsieur Duverney, and Annalise de Marillac (who is way taller than I expected her to be from the book) in a very short space of time and very effectively. There are several scenes that recapture memorable moments from the book for all that they do not follow the text precisely. I will say that I am glad I did not reread the book just before watching this season. I am finding that having some distance from the book makes me pretty tolerant of the liberties taken with DG's brilliant storytelling. I do miss the hyacinth perfume, but the waxing scene is hysterically funny. Louise is a delight!

The costumes. Wow. The clothes are, as always, gorgeous. Jamie looks like a gentleman born. I'm glad Terry stayed with basic black for him. Even Murtagh looks elegant. Claire's clothes do manage to simultaneously blend in and stand out as she moves through the episode. The Dior-inspired black and white dress is the best example of this but not the only one. I loved the little black and white number Claire wears when Jamie gets the letter from Jared. The red dress is stunning but we've probably all seen a million photos of it by now so I don't suppose need to say much about it here. I was a little surprised by how much brighter it was than anyone else's gown at the ball. Yes, I know the lead character is supposed to pull focus and the simplicity of it in contrast to the elaborate fussiness of the gowns around it was Claire's intent, but I recall that the color was supposed to be a popular one and I sort of expected to see flashes of the fabric echoed elsewhere. It's a minor thing. I do have to mention how delighted I was with the gown of the king's mistress with the swans curling around her bared nipples. O. M. G. It was so great to see that show up in the ballroom straight out of the books! It was an amazing gown. (Murtagh's reaction was a hoot!)

The sets. Magnificent. Versailles was totally believable. The apothecary shop was marvelous. I wanted to go visit it myself and spend hours poking into corners. I need to watch this episode several more times to say more about the scenery because I confess I mostly watched the actors on this first viewing, but the entire episode was a luxurious feast for the eyes.

The action. Well, this was not a heavily dramatic episode, though it had some brief moments of tension as we visit Jamie's nightmares. To me, this episode was one of those necessary expository installments of the story which are establishing background and introducing new faces while setting the scene for later nail-biting. After last week's gut-wrenching scenes with Frank and Claire it was good to relax with eye-candy and humor. I liked seeing Jamie and Murtagh training Jamie's healing hand. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Master Raymond. The Dressing of the King.... I thought the scene was well done, though it seemed odd to me to place that scene in the evening when the ball had already begun with the guests milling about in the ballroom. It made a lot more sense placed in the morning as it was in the book, though I understand the need for speed that this medium requires. Instead of having Jamie spend a week or more in attendance upon the king, this gets Jamie into the king's attention quickly and also is funny as hell.

Speaking of funny as hell--- Louise. BWAAAHAHAHAH!!! I loved the way she smacked her stylist every time he ripped off the wax. I loved the shock on poor little Mary's face as they got to the final stage of that deforestation. I thought Mary was great, although I expected her stutter to be much worse. Still, I suppose that also would have wasted time that the episode could not afford as well as annoying the audience. Funny how you can read something like that on a page and it's not a bother, but watching it on camera will make you impatient.

Okay, that's probably enough commentary for today. Good episode. Well done, all!

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Replies:

[> Agree with all that you said. Did anyone else think that Alex Randall's voice sounded exactly like his brother's? -- Lady Linda, 08:49:50 04/16/16 Sat

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[> Ditto on agreeing with your "review." I'm loving this season. The only thing I wished had stayed the same was Claire not waxing her honeypot. Jamie's reaction in the books was more realistic, IMHO, to what he would have thought. Why would men want to bed what seems like a wee lassie?! -- Kathy in PA, 04:30:16 04/17/16 Sun

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[> [> I completely see your point and generally agree with you, but I suspect it was a sop to Starz (who encourage loads of sex in every episode) and a reaffirmation of Claire as a bold modern woman in charge of her sexuality. At this point in the books J & C had already resumed actual marital relations. In this time-compressed medium Jamie is still working through his trauma and I think this shows Claire's attempt to get him sufficiently intrigued to cross that boundary. In the books it was to show Claire had too much idle time and needed to work at the hospital. A radical change in motivations here but not one that substantially alters the tale. I'm trying to just go with it. -- Shads, 08:12:48 04/17/16 Sun

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[> [> I actually read an interview about this topic. Terry had talked about Cait/Claire NOT shaving her arm pits for the wedding, but Cait doesn't have much arm hair! She said she had "like 6 hairs" so it didn't seem worth it. Thus - no difference if she'd only shaved there now. Additionally, they felt it showed how Claire was trying to help Jamie - something new, intriguing and hopefully not something that would remind him of BJR. -- Lady-Jane, 18:08:54 04/22/16 Fri

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[> Shads, I'm glad you're back to review the episodes! For some reason our local cable doesn't even have it On Demand yet at all so I had to quickly set my DVR for the 2nd showing last night and have yet to watch. Along with the Fug Girls on GoFugYourself.com (they lovingly recap with humor), I look foward to your recaps because I won't get a chance to watch until way later (Kiddo rules). Keep it up! -- TracyAnn, 05:35:00 04/17/16 Sun

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[> I agree with your take on this episode however there were some sections that were laughable (and not in a good way.) The bloody dream sequence came off like a scene out of the movie, Carrie. The Kings toilet was way too long. I thought Master Raymond almost came off cartoonish, but I did smile when I saw the crocodile. Too much time on dildos and not enough on the BJR revelation. Such a letdown. Hopefully when Jamie sees him it will be a more powerful scene. Loved the costumes, set decoration and music. The episode planted seeds for the future duel to come., and dealings with Sandringham. One of my favorite lines from Jamie as he viewed Claire honeypot " it's more complicated than it looks thatched over." Love the books, trying to keep an open mind on the show. -- CarolSR, 11:17:29 04/18/16 Mon

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[> This one left me..... lacking. Carol I think you nailed it on the bathroom sequence, it was a bit long. Everyone said Master Raymonds was too big, but I'm thinking they used a bedroom set or something of the like for it. I liked him. :) I'm thinking Claire should of had her muff maybe trimmed to look like a thistle! :) -- M&M, 08:14:16 04/19/16 Tue

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[> [> a thistle or an broadsword! haha yeah we all have the impression Master Raymond's shop is small but really I think people get the shop confused with the secret back room we haven't seen that yet! -- BetsyG, 12:45:23 04/19/16 Tue

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[> episode two/season two -- ruth stann (ruth waiting), 15:00:14 04/19/16 Tue

So far this season seems cartoonish to me.

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[> One last thing....... I don't like the way Jamie's hair is almost always shaggy over his face. Is it to show that he can hide his feelings? In the books he doesn't need hair to cover his emotions, and with someone who also had "Claire hair", I can't imagine him not running his fingers through it and back off his face. -- Kathy in PA, 03:34:50 04/22/16 Fri

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[> [> I think it's because Sam has a really high forehead! -- M&M, 13:32:22 04/22/16 Fri

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