“Savages” – Recap and Review

Okay, y’all…here’s another Outlander recap for ya!

1700’s North Carolina

Outlander Season 4 2018

So this episode starts off with Claire and the Cherokee medicine woman spending time together picking herbs and trying to learn each other’s language.  During their conversation, the medicine woman asks Claire if she has children.  Claire replies that she has a daughter, but she lives far away.  The medicine woman informs Claire that her daughter is there with them.  Claire figures she means that Brianna is in her heart.  Shows what you know, Dr. Fraser.

In the next scene, we see the finished product of Jamie and Claire’s house, and man…Jamie did that.  It’s a pretty two story log cabin with a porch and a farm!  Jamie’s about to head out to town with Ian to get more settlers on Fraser’s Ridge, whereas Claire is about to leave the house to help a local girl give birth.  Before either of them go, Jamie mentions that he had a dream that Brianna had a diamond shaped birthmark behind her ear, and that he gave her a kiss there.  Claire confirms that Bree does have a birthmark there, and wonders how Jamie could’ve possibly known that given that she never mentioned it and Jamie’s never laid eyes on Brianna.  Of course, the answer is unknown.  Jamie leaves, but not before telling Claire that he doesn’t like leaving her all alone on that land.  Claire, being the hardheaded chick she is, assures him she’ll be just fine.  *Sigh*

ezgif-5-2acb174302dc

When Jamie gets to town, he offers the people 100 acres of land a piece, and informs that they can live on the acres rent free for the first year.  Not one man had time for what Jamie had to say.  Neither Ian nor Jamie can figure out why none of the men would turn down that much land for no rent.  When Jamie asks one of the locals, he tells him that basically the taxes are way too high, and that they gave up their farmland so they wouldn’t have to make the rich even richer.

Later that day, Claire is still with the local girl—who comes from a German family—who’s just given birth to a little girl herself.  The girl’s father and her brother show up sometime after the birth, and they’re over the moon.  However, the happy mood soon fades when the father catches wind of the hot Native American guys committing the heinous crime of getting water for their horses to drink.  Ooooooh!  The nerve!  The audacity!  How dare those no-good bastards try to get water for their horses on land that was initially theirs?

Wat (Alt)

Anyway, the father runs out with his son, guns drawn and ready to shoot the Native Americans…for the crime of watering their horses.  Claire tries to diffuse the situation letting the Natives know that although water belongs to everyone, Herr Dummy doesn’t see it that way.  Hot Guy, who’s among the men, decides to let it go, given that Claire is Mrs. Bear Killer.  However, Hot Guy decides to bless the water before he leaves.  He probably figured it was infected with stupidity.  Further proving this point, Herr Dummy tries to shoot Hot Guy for blessing the water.  Claire lets him know him know about the water blessing ritual and that he’s not trying to poison anyone.

For the next few days, Claire goes about her routine of housework, which includes feeding the animals, getting her medicinal herbs prepared, cooking dinner and throwin’ back some liquor.  I couldn’t help but notice that the animals seem to be eating better than the humans, considering that they appear to be eating salad, whereas the Fraser/Murray clan has been surviving off a beef jerky diet.  Snap into a Slim Jim!

ezgif-5-760edab8d87a

In the meantime, Jamie and Ian’s trip to get more settlers for Fraser’s Ridge turns out to be a complete bust.  Before they head back to the house, they see that their horse’s bit is broken, and Jamie sends Ian to the local blacksmith to fix it.  When Ian goes to the blacksmith, he refuses to mend the bit, seeing as it’s almost time for him to get off work.  Ian pleads with him, and the blacksmith agrees to do it for it for 21 shillings (is that like $10.00 nowadays?).  When the blacksmith turns to face Ian, we see it’s none other than Murtaugh!  MURTAUGH’S BACK!!!!!

ezgif-5-0b9dc9d1888b

When Jamie finds out that Ian had to spend all the money they had to mend the bit, he’s pissed and goes to give the blacksmith a piece of his mind.  Of course, when Jamie sees who the blacksmith is, it’s all smiles and hugs.  Murtaugh even gives Ian the money back.  Awww…  Jamie and Murtaugh catch up, discussing Brianna—who Jamie is more than psyched to brag on, considering that she’s a young woman that attends a university and she’s currently living in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one—and Claire, who Murtaugh’s more than psyched to hear about coming back through the stones to the 1700’s.  It was so cute to see him get so hyped up about that.  Jamie asks Murtaugh if he by chance knows how to forge silver, too (Jamie took one of his mother’s silver candlesticks that his Aunt Jocasta gave him, and he’s been looking for a silversmith ever since.  Every time he went to the local silversmith’s house, he’d always bump into his thirsty THOT bucket of a wife).  Murtaugh says he can work with silver, and will assist with whatever he needs.  Jamie also asks Murtaugh to come back to with him to Fraser’s Ridge.  Murtaugh refuses, especially after hearing that Governor Tryon granted Jamie the 10,000 acres.  After all, Tryon’s the one that’s been taxin’ the hell out of everyone.  Instead, Murtaugh extends an invite for Jamie to come to a meeting later that night.

Jamie and Ian show up at the meeting, and lo and behold, it’s a Regulators meeting.  It turns out Murtaugh isn’t just a member of the Regulators…he’s also the president.  Murtaugh asks Jamie to join up with them after the meeting, but he refuses, considering that Governor Tryon granted Jamie the land only under the condition that Jamie could keep the peace between the Regulators and the sheriffs.  Jamie informs Murtaugh that although he won’t join them, he won’t stop them, either.

Back at Fraser’s Ridge, things start to take a turn for the worse.  The local preacher visits Claire and tells her that the young German girl that just gave birth died of measles, and so did her baby.  Claire immediately tries to go to the German family’s home to console them, but the preacher stops her.  He tells her that Herr Dummy is blaming the Native Americans and her for what happened, and he’s out for blood.  You best believe Claire’s on her guard then!

ezgif-5-13bbab505f00

Sure enough, Herr Dummy comes to Claire’s cabin a few days later, and Claire makes sure to have her rifle and Rollo ready for any foolishness that might jump off.  However, Herr Dummy tells her that he’s actually there to make sure she’s okay and that she wasn’t infected with measles like his baby girl and grandchild.  When Claire hears that she lets ol’ boy in and allows him to grieve over the loss of his family.  Herr Dummy mentions that he and his son had measles not too long ago, and Claire lets him know that measles is contagious and can be passed from person to person (duh).  Herr Dummy still thinks the Native Americans had something to do with, considering that the baby died so quickly.  *Sigh*  He tells Claire that he took care of everything though, and he gives Claire a gift.  Claire assumes it’s the doll she previously gave the young lady as a gift after the baby was born.  Sadly enough, it’s not the doll…it’s the medicine woman’s scalp.  Claire is understandably horrified; Herr Dummy justifies his actions by saying he just took out the witch that concocted the spell the Natives put in the water in the first place.  Whatever.  Claire promptly kicks Der Furher out of her house.

It turns out that Herr Dummy isn’t just ignorant when it came to measles or being tolerant of other people’s beliefs/cultures, he’s also hella dumb when it comes to the subject of vendettas.  Violence just begets more violence, and the Natives were definitely all about taking an eye for an eye.  The hot guys show up at Herr Dummy’s house again, but this time, they don’t want no doggone water.  Just the opposite—they start shooting flaming arrows, Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves style.  Herr Dummy’s poor wife catches an arrow to the back, and God only knows if his son makes it out of the house alive.  Maybe he did and traveled back to Germany and sired the man, that sired the man, that sired the man that sired Hitler.  Just kidding.  Anyway, Herr Dummy turns up just in time to see his wife’s dead body burning and for the Natives to light his ass up…literally.

ezgif-5-ad83c5f4c8fa

Jamie finally comes back home, and after living in fear for the last few days, Claire is more than happy to see him.  He asks her what’s wrong, and Claire asks him to just hold her, which he does without question.  A day or so later, Claire’s out gathering firewood, and she hears someone whistling “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” behind her.  She turns and sees Murtaugh, and she couldn’t be happier.  Yay!

1970’s Scotland

Outlander - Brianna's Picture (Alt)

Things aren’t too much better in modern day Scotland.  Roger goes to Inverness to try to find Brianna, but according to the taxi driver and the woman that runs the local bed and breakfast that he speaks with, they’ve seen Brianna, but she’s been gone for a hot minute.  The innkeeper gives Roger a letter that Brianna left for him.  Even though Brianna instructed her not to give Roger the letter until a year passed, she goes ahead and gives it to him right then, seeing as his heart was broken.  She makes sure to advise Roger to go “find a nice Scottish girl.”  I don’t know why, but for some reason, that cracked me up.

In the letter, Brianna tells Roger that she found out on her own that Jamie and Claire die in that fire, and she has to go back and try to help them.  She also refuses any help from Roger and tells him not to follow her (yeah, right!  Like he’s really gonna listen to that!).  The next thing we know, we see Brianna at Craigh Na Dun, dressed in 18th century garb.

Outlander - Brianna at Craigh Na Dun (Alt)

She walks up to one of the stones as the camera pans around the back side of it.  By the time the camera reaches the other side of the stone, Brianna is gone!

This episode was really good, but the non-stop racism that the Frasers are experiencing lately is just depressing.  Yes, I know this is how things were in the good ol’ U.S. of A. during this time period, but it’s infuriating nonetheless.  Thankfully, they don’t have to deal with that in the next episode (more about that later).  I was so glad to see Murtaugh again.  After he disappeared on season three and didn’t get so much as a mention afterward, I figured he’d just remain out-of-sight, but they brought him back.  His reunion with Claire and Jamie and the Native Americans’ revenge were the highlights of this episode, hands down.  Yeah, I said it.  Herr Dummy had no business killing an innocent woman—an innocent old woman, at that—that had nothing to do with what he thought happened to his daughter and grandchild.  I just hate that his wife and son had to suffer for his sins.  On another note, I love Jamie more and more as the series goes on.  The silversmith’s THOT wife kept throwing herself at him, but Jamie was just like, “I’m married, so don’t even try.”  On top of that, he was so proud of Brianna’s accomplishments and he it was adorable how happy he was to come back home to Claire.  I also loved the way his joy immediately shifted to concern once he saw that Claire was upset, and all he wanted to do was comfort her, just like she asked him to.  We all need a Jamie in our lives.

—Written by Nadiya

What did y’all think about “Savages”?  Who did you believe was the real savage:  Herr Dummy or the Native Americans?  Is Claire hard-headed?  Should she have listened to Jamie when he mentioned that she shouldn’t be alone?  How did you feel about Murtaugh’s return?  Are you excited?  How do you feel about Brianna traveling through the stones?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

“Common Ground” – Recap and Review

Hey, y’all!  I know I’m still behind, but I’m trying to catch up, so let’s jump right into this review, shall we?

The 1700’s

Outlander Season 4 2018

We start off with Jamie meeting with the governor of North Carolina, signing his deed to Fraser’s Ridge, which is a whopping 10,000 acres of land!  I looked it up; that’s 15 square miles!  I failed to mention this before, but it was discussed in “America the Beautiful” that Jamie making this land deal with the governor could prove to be detrimental.  When the American Revolution comes in the next few years—and it will come—the governor may consider Jamie to be on the side of the British since he accepted this deed, which means he’ll have to fight for them when the war starts.  As we all know, the British lose the war, and the folks that were British sympathizers ended up losing the land they had…if they even survived.

Bruno - What (Alt)

The governor asks Jamie if he’ll has any other settlers coming to the property, and Jamie tells him he has his best man (Fergus) putting out the word.  The governor warns Jamie to be careful who he lets on his land, considering that there’s “regulators” protesting against the tax collectors, and even some of the lawmen are stealing the tax dollars when policing the radicals.  I have a feeling this will be an important piece of info later on.

Before setting back out to Fraser’s Ridge, Claire goes to get some provisions.  Marsali tells her that she would’ve packed some food for Claire herself, but thanks to her morning sickness, she can’t even think about anything edible.  Marsali appears to be sad, and Claire asks her what’s wrong.  It turns out that she misses her crazy ass mama.  I have to be honest, even though I can’t stand Laoghaire’s nasty ass, I totally get where Marsali is coming from.  I’m damn near 40 myself, but whenever I feel sick, it’s so comforting to have my mom nearby.  Claire comforts Marsali, and tells Jamie that when she was pregnant with Brianna, she desperately wanted her mother there with her.  Claire worries about Brianna and sometimes wonders if she should’ve stayed with her.  Jamie tells Claire that when they were separated, he held on to her memory to keep him going.  He says that Brianna will do the same thing.

The family leaves for Fraser’s Ridge and starts setting up posts around the property boundaries.  While doing so, Jamie steps in some animal poo (gross), and Ian wonders what creatures may be roaming in their neck of the woods.  Claire informs him of the mountain lions and bears that might be in the area.  Just then, the Fraser/Murray family receives a visit from the Native Americans themselves…some smokin’ hot Native Americans at that.

ezgif-5-ebcc785894c0

Jamie, never letting his guard down, drops his knife and shows them that he’s all about peace.  They men ride off, but they return a few days later, saying something to him and the others in Cherokee.  I’m sure it was something along the lines of, “Get off our land!  We were here first!”  Later that night, Claire confesses to Jamie that she feels like the Native American ghost she saw a few nights before may have been warning her that they’re not supposed to be on that land.  Jamie insists that the ghost brought them to the area and that the mountain spoke to him.  They’re right where they’re supposed to be.  He just wishes he could communicate with the Cherokee to let them know that they mean them no harm.  Claire suggests making a gesture of goodwill to them.  Jamie agrees and and says that he’ll talk with Mr. Meyers in the morning.

When they go to sleep that night, they hear some rustling in the woods.  At first, they think it’s the Cherokee coming back, but when their horse returns seriously wounded with scratches, Claire deduces that it’s a bear.  Jamie sees Mr. Meyers the next day and tells him what happened.  Mr. Meyers says that the Cherokee have been talking about tskili yona (pronounced “scheely yonah”) for the last few weeks, which is Cherokee for a bear that’s a bit more than the average bear.

ezgif-5-005ae2c7aa5b

Old heads like me understand that reference.  😉😉

Some time later, the Cherokee are meeting for some type of ritual.  Nearby, the Fraser/Murray clan is turning in for the night, when they hear yet again another noise outside.  When they head outside to check it out, they see Mr. Meyers outside, mauled by a bear and hanging on by a thread.  The only thing the poor man is able to do is repeat the words tskili yona.  Claire rushes him in their makeshift hut, shifting instantly in doctor mode.  Jamie goes out to find the bear.  Meanwhile, the Cherokee ritual shows a medicine woman smoking a peace pipe and reciting a type of chant, while the others dance as if they were bears.

While Claire’s trying to save Mr. Meyers, she notices a bite on his neck and realizes that what’s been harassing them all this time wasn’t a bear at all.  At that same moment, Jamie is attacked by the true culprit:  a man dressed as a bear.  Jamie and the man fight, and thanks to the fact that he disarms Jamie right away and is armed himself with a knife and fake claws, he has the upper hand right off the bat.  As they’re fighting, Jamie notices one of his property posts nearby, and he manages to run from the dude just long enough to get to the post and pry it from the ground.  As expected, the bear-guy rushes Jamie and falls on the sharp end, which impales him through the chest.  Ouch.

Jamie takes the body to the Cherokee and greets them as Mr. Meyers instructed.  The hottest one out of the tribe—I’ll just call him Hot Guy—asks Jamie in English if he killed the faux bear.  Jamie tells them that he did, and the dude wasn’t some type of mystical bear; he was just a man.  Hot Guy replies that they knew he was just a man.  A while back, he raped his wife and that’s against Cherokee custom, so they banned him from their village.  The dude’s harassed them ever since, and basically lost his everlovin’ mind in the process.  Jamie asks if there’ll be anymore trouble from the tribe.  Hot Guy tells Jamie that death follows white men.  Jamie assures him that his family has come in peace.

Thankfully, Mr. Meyers survives his attack, and the Cherokee people visit the Fraser/Murray family to let it be known that they can co-exist in peace.  They’ve even bestowed the name “Bear Killer” to Jamie (Ian got a kick out of that!).  I swear, this man has too many doggone names.  Jamie invites the Cherokee to eat and the medicine woman tells Claire that she had a dream about her, and that Claire will grow to be a wise healer, with a great deal of medicine to cure the sick.  She also tells Claire that death comes from the gods and “it” will not be her fault.  Claire is understandably confused.

Elliot - Confused 3 (Alt 2).gif

Later on, Jamie, Claire and Young Ian continue working on Fraser’s Ridge, as well as their new home.  In a very sweet scene, Jamie carries Claire over the threshold of their unfinished house, describing how the finished product will look, blissfully unaware of the tragedy that will befall them.

The 1970’s

Outlander - Roger (Alt)

A year has passed, and Roger is still sulking over his botched proposal to Brianna.  In a moment of nostalgia, he pulls out the drawing that an artist sketched of himself and Brianna while at the Scottish Festival, and he also reads a bit of the book Bree gave him a as gift.  The book is about Scottish people that settled in North Carolina during the early colonial days, and in it, there’s a passage that gives some information about Fraser’s Ridge.  Roger hits up the author, and within a few weeks, she provides him with documents detailing Claire and Jamie’s time together on their land.  Roger decides to call Bree with his newfound info.

Call Someone Who Cares

Brianna, who’s still in Boston (with a foxy black roommate with the perfect ’70s ‘fro), is happy to hear from Roger (apparently, she’s told her roommate all about him, too…proof that Brianna has strong feelings for him…although he wants to act a damn fool), and she’s even more psyched to learn that her mother found her biological father.  However, when Roger gives the news to his childhood friend Fi—who knew about Claire traveling through time all along—she gives Roger other documents revealing that Claire and Jamie die in a tragic fire on Fraser’s Ridge a few years after they find each other!!!

ezgif-5-d9874f049c9b

Roger tries to make another phone call to Brianna to give her the bad news, but her roommate, Gail, drops a bomb on him.  Brianna traveled to Scotland to “visit” her mother.  Sorry y’all, but I have to post another GIF for this revelation.

ezgif-5-8f078b8130ac

Yep, that ’bout sums it up.

This episode was…decent.  The first time I watched it, it didn’t really hold my interest until the “bear” started wreaking havoc on the family.  The second time around, I found myself slightly more invested in the story, but it’s still not exactly hooking me into it.  However, we’re coming up on episode five now (once again, I know I’m behind), and Ms. Brianna decided to walk her rump through those stones and enter an era she’s not familiar with (reading about something and experiencing it firsthand are two different things), so things should start to pick up very soon.

I can’t wait to see Jamie’s finished house.  They show a glimpse of it in the opening credits, so I know it’s going to be nice, but I want a full tour.  I also can’t wait for Brianna to be reunited with her mom and meet her father for the first time.  That’s really gonna be interesting.  From what I’ve heard, Roger will go through the stones himself to find his woman, so these next few episodes should be chock full of drama, and hopefully I won’t feel like I’m watching a TV series as an assignment for my history class.  By the way, I’m really feelin’ those Native American men.  Be still, my beating heart.  ❤️❤️

—Written by Nadiya

How did y’all feel about “Common Ground”?  Was it a great episode, or just average?  Do you think Jamie will be able to keep Fraser’s Ridge?  Will Brianna and Roger find them in the 1700’s and save them from the fire?  What do you think about Brianna going back in time?  Do you believe The Frasers and the Native Americans can truly live in peace?  Are you psyched to see Jamie’s new house?  Let me know in the comments section!

“The False Bride” – Recap and Review (Plus the Mini Recaps of Eps 1 and 2!)

What’s up, y’all!  I told you I’d do my Outlander recaps this season, didn’t I?  Yes, I know I’m late as all hell, as usual (and yes, I’m aware I’m still an episode behind), but better late than never!  I was wrong about one thing, though.  Instead of doing one mini-recap, I have to do two before going into what happened in last week’s episode.  Not much is happening this season so far so the recaps won’t be too drawn out.  Here we go!

Episode 1 – “America the Beautiful”

Claire and Jamie 7 (Alt)

“America the Beautiful” starts off with Claire and Jamie in North Carolina, awaiting their friend’s execution for basically defending himself against a pissed off husband that tried to murder the poor man after finding him with his lyin’ ass wife.  Jamie suggests causing a distraction to free his friend (whose name I can’t remember at the time, and I’m not going out of my way to find out, considering the guy was a peripheral character at best), but his buddy refuses and accepts his fate.  We see that Jamie’s friend isn’t the only person about to be hung on the scaffold.  There’s also a dude named Stephen Bonnet that’s about to be strung up as well for the crime of piracy.  Long story short, Jamie’s friend dies, a commotion is caused by someone else in the crowd right afterward and Bonnet escapes.

The Frasers consider taking a ship back to Scotland to take Young Ian back to Jenny and Ian, Sr., but they soon decide to stay in America, because…reasons.  Fergus and Marsali decide to stay for a more legit reason:  Marsali’s pregnant, which means Claire, Jamie and nutty ass Laoghaire will be grandparents!  While finding a spot to officially bury Jamie’s friend later that night, they find Stephen Bonnet hiding in their wagon, and he begs them to help him escape the authorities.  Claire and Jamie’s hearts are made of gold, so they help the dude out.  Big mistake.  When they travel with Young Ian down the river to go to Jamie’s aunt’s plantation, Bonnet catches up to them and thanks them for their kindness by robbing them blind and killing Jamie’s other friend from prison, with Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful” playing in the background.  This is America.  Don’t catch you slippin’ up.

Episode 2 – “Do No Harm”

Outlander - Claire and Jocasta (Alt)

*Sigh*  This episode’s story line pissed me off so much, I thought I’d need a damn drink afterward.  After Jamie and Claire are robbed by murderous pirates, they finally make it to Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta’s house.  Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta has a beautiful plantation right on the river (as a matter of fact, the property is known as River Run), that’s chock full of slaves.  Claire, of course, is not here for the foolishness, so you can imagine her reaction when she finds out that Jocasta left the plantation to Jamie when she dies.  Jamie figures he can take the property and free all the slaves, but he soon finds out in order to do so he’d have to go through a ridiculous amount of red tape that I won’t even try to break down, because it’s all bullshit.  So much for slavery being a choice.

To add insult to injury, Jamie is later summoned to be a witness “to ensure that justice is done” after a slave has injured an overseer near River Run.  However, when Jamie gets to the location, he sees the slave with a hook in his side and a noose around his neck.  The overseer, injured though he may be, is the one stringing the man up.  Guess he wasn’t hurtin’ too damn bad.  Neither Claire nor Jamie is up for this shit, and Jamie orders the man off the noose.  Oh, that pissed off the townspeople plenty.  Claire takes the slave, Rufus (the young man admitted to Claire later that he was taken from Africa, so there’s no telling what his real name is), and performs surgery.  Jocasta warns that they’re making a grave mistake and they must turn Rufus in to the authorities as mandated by the law.  They basically give Jamie until 12:00 AM to hand Rufus over.  Needless to say, the bloodthirsty racist ass mob shows up at River Run around 10:45.

Jamie suggests to Claire that they should euthanize Rufus instead of delivering him into the hands of the mob, where he’ll undoubtedly face a long, agonizing death.  Claire agrees and puts some poison in a tea and allows Rufus to drink it.  After Rufus recalls his happier times in Africa with his sister to Claire, he passes away.  Jamie delivers Rufus’s dead body to the River Run chapter of the KKK and they proceed to string him up on the nearest tree as Jamie, Claire and Young Ian watch in horror.  Welcome to the dirty south.

Claire - You Bastard

The Current Show!

North Carolina, the 1700’s

Outlander - Claire on a Horse (Alt)

This brings us to the present, so to speak.  After the Fraser/Murray family personally witness a live retelling of Roots, they wisely decide not to spend any more time at River Run.  Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta isn’t too happy about that, especially when she hears Jamie’s plans to live out his days as a printer, but she’s just SOL.  They’re going.  Jocasta makes sure to give Claire an earful before they head about about how Jamie is squandering his birthright and how he should have been a laird, and yadda-yadda-yadda.  Yeah, Claire.  How dare you?  Being a slave master isn’t that bad!  It’s perfectly fine to snatch up an entire race of people just because they’re a different color than you, debase them, split up their families, force them to change their culture and religion and have them work for you day and night…for free!  What’s even better is that Jamie can get freaky with the slave girls, knock them up and either sell the babies for profit or utilize them for even more labor!  What’s even better is that this practice will go on for another hundred or years!  Jamie had the perfect chance to carry on the practice of systematic racism and oppression.  Damn you Claire, you selfish ho.

FOH (Alt)

Right before Jamie and Claire leave Jocasta to her foolery, Ian lets it be known that he’s staying in America with them and not returning to Scotland.  Jamie tries to convince Ian that he’s not old enough to be on his own, but Ian reminds his uncle that he’s been attacked by pirates twice, gone through a hurricane, kidnapped and thrown in a dungeon (not to mention he’s been sexually assaulted and witnessed a hate crime).  After all he’s been through, he’s basically grown from a boy to a man in the past few months.  I had to agree with Ian after hearing that, and Jamie does too.  Jamie relents and goes to write Jenny and Ian Sr., but Young Ian tells his uncle that he’s a man now, and a man can write his own letters.  You go, young man.

The Fraser/Murray family set out with the family dog, Rollo, and Mr. John Quincy Meyers, a local guide.  Ian, who has become pretty close with Mr. Meyers (they started to bond in the previous episode when Mr. Meyers helped Ian wash Rollo after the pup had an encounter with a skunk), breaks away from Claire and Jamie with his new friend to trade tobacco with the nearby Native Americans.  While the Frasers have some time to themselves, they chat about Brianna, and how in her time, women can be anything they want to be.  Claire admits that Brianna hadn’t quite found her way when she left (we learn during this episode that Brianna began studying engineering at MIT sometime after Claire went back through the stones).  Jamie assures Claire that Brianna is a smart young lady, and she’ll eventually find her purpose.  Claire later asks Jamie if he was making decisions about his life just for her sake, and if being a printer would really be enough for him.  I guess Jocasta’s foolery got under Claire’s skin after all.  Jamie tells her that although he enjoyed living the life of an outlaw, he’ll gladly give that all up for her, Ian, Fergus and Marsali.  Just then, they hear thunder from an oncoming storm, and their mule runs off.  Hardheaded Claire runs off after the mule although Jamie tells her to stay there.  You can imagine Jamie’s surprise when the mule returns, but Claire doesn’t.  It turns out when Claire runs off to find the mule, she ends up lost in the process.  Learn to listen, Claire.

ezgif-5-2acb174302dc

To make matters worse, while Claire’s trying to find her way back to Jamie, lightning strikes a nearby tree and spooks her horse, causing her to fall off it and hit her head.  *Sigh*  By the time Claire wakes up, the storm is in full force, and she has to find shelter.  She camps out under a large tree and uncovers a human skull as well as a jewel.  Claire seems to be intrigued by what she finds (I’d be creeped out by that doggone skull), and she notices someone carrying a torch nearby.  At first, she figures it’s Jamie coming to save her, but it turns out to be a Native American man walking towards her.  Now here’s the kicker:  each time the lightning flashes, the man disappears, but he reappears once the lightning stops.  I’d really be freaked out by this point.

When Claire wakes up the next morning, she finds her boots gone, but there’s fresh footprints in the ground.  The footprints seem to match her boots, so she follows them.  They lead to a stream, and not only does Claire find her boots near the water, she finds Jamie, too.  Yay!  It turns out Jamie followed the footprints to the stream as well, and he asks why Claire walked to the stream in her stocking feet.  Claire tells him that although her boots are there, she’s never been to that stream before.  Sometime later, she’s washing her newfound skull by the water and notices that there’s a silver filling in the skull’s teeth.  It doesn’t sound too farfetched to us, but fillings aren’t invented for another hundred years or so.  Come to think of it, toothbrushes and toothpaste didn’t come around for another hundred years, either.  I bet everyone had breath bad enough to singe somebody’s nose hairs.

Bad Breath (Alt)

After Claire makes her revelation, she and Jamie look out over the land and see how beautiful it is.  Jamie’s smitten by the location, and he decides that he and Claire will make a life there in that very spot.  Jamie decides to call it Fraser’s Ridge.  Awww…

Claire and Jamie - Fraser's Ridge (Alt)

North Carolina, the 1970’s

Roger and Brianna (Alt)

The series has gone back to giving us Roger and Brianna’s storyline along with Claire and Jamie’s (yay?), and we see that two years have passed since we last saw the budding couple.  They’ve never officially said they were together, and Roger admits that they haven’t really had a chance to hang out in the last few months due to their schedules—and the distance they have apart, I’m sure—but Roger is committed enough to leave Scotland, fly out to Boston and drive with Brianna to North Carolina to attend a Scottish festival with her.  The ludicrous notion is mentioned by other characters within the show, and I’m glad it is.  That’s like me leaving South Carolina, flying to Philadelphia then driving to Syracuse to attend their version of the Egg Scramble Jamboree (South Carolinians—namely ones in the Pee Dee region—know what the Egg Scramble Jamboree is.  The rest of y’all Google it).

Roger and Brianna start off having a great time together, on the drive to North Carolina and at the festival itself.  It’s obvious they’re both falling in love with each other, and Brianna decides to take the relationship to the next level, and by next level, I mean actually telling people that Roger is her boyfriend.  Plus, the entire trip, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see that Brianna really, really REALLY wants a piece of that Scottish strudel.

My Body is Ready 2 (Alt)

When nightfall arrives, Roger performs a few songs with his guitar as he promised, and even sings a beautiful solo.  By this time, Brianna has to damn near be hosed down.  Brianna invites him to her room for drinks, and doesn’t waste anytime making her move.  Roger decides he wants everything to be “perfect” before they do the do, though.  Basically, that translates to him completely ruining everything in 3…2…1!  This fool proposes marriage!  Of course, Brianna is shocked, and informs him that he’s moving way too fast.  After all, she just started introducing him as her boyfriend that afternoon.  Roger doesn’t care.  He wants the wife, the house, the white picket fence, the four kids, etc.  Brianna stops him in his tracks.  She doesn’t want to get married—at least not at the moment.

Roger has the audacity to get pissed, and reaches the highest point of pissivity when Brianna continues to try to kiss him.  “You won’t marry me, but you’ll fuck me!?”  Wow.  Roger goes on to slut shame Brianna, and she reminds him that it’s 1970, not 1870.  He damn sure ain’t no virgin, and there’s precious few women still saving themselves for marriage.  Roger figures that Brianna just doesn’t love him, but she assures him that that’s not the case.  Roger isn’t trying to hear it.  Later, Brianna meets up with Roger again during the stag burning ceremony (if anyone knows the official name for this ceremony, let me know in the comments) and tries to talk to him.  When he asks if she’s changed her mind, she tells him she hasn’t…but she does want to be with him.  Roger tells her that either she’ll love all of him or none of him.  Roger goes to burn the ceremonial stag in the name of the MacKenzie clan (no disrespect, but this scene put me in the mind of The Wicker Man a bit.  The original, not the wack Nicolas Cage remake) and Brianna leaves, ending the show.  *Sigh*

Audrey Hepburn - It's Too Much (Alt)

So far, this season of Outlander has been pretty ho-hum, and this episode was no exception.  It’s not quite as sleep inducing as the first half of season two featuring the Frasers in France (God, that was awful), but it’s not grabbing me as of yet.  You know it’s a sad day when Roger and Brianna bring more drama and a tad more interest to the screen than Jamie and Claire.

While I’m on the subject of Roger and Brianna, let me just say that although Brianna isn’t my favorite character on the show (that honor is bestowed on her daddy), I agreed with her wholeheartedly on this.  Some folks might say this is why I don’t have a man, and hell, maybe it is why, but I believe Roger was actin’ a damn fool in this episode.  Like I said before, they weren’t even officially calling themselves a couple until that very same afternoon, and before he left for America, he wasn’t even sure what their status was.  But yet you went out and spent God knows how much on a ring?  Boy, bye!

Beyonce - Boy Bye (Alt)

Plus, Brianna is what, 22?  She hasn’t even finished school yet (she mentions this herself)!  I can’t blame her for not wanting to jump the broom before really experiencing life just yet!  Personally, I can’t stand when men take it to the extreme over the least little thing!  I remember when I was 18, I met a cute dude at the Eckerd drug store (telling my age again).  I gave him my number, and everyday, multiple times a day, starting at 9:00 AM sharp, he would call me and tell me that he missed me.  He missed me!?  I just met the dude!  See how ridiculous that is?  Roger really needs to pump his brakes.

The recap for the next episode is gonna be late is all hell too, but I’m on it.  Stay tuned!

—Written by Nadiya

So what did you think about “The False Bride”?  Was it interesting, or mostly dull?  What about Roger and Brianna’s storyline?  Was Roger right to propose marriage so soon, or did he jump the gun?  What do you think about the Native American man Claire saw?  Was he a ghost?  Do you believe Jamie is wasting his ambition and birthright not taking his aunt’s plantation?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

Stan Lee: 1922 – 2018

Like most red-blooded American kids, I read comic books growing up.  However, my comics were more geared towards Archie, Mickey Mouse, and Duck Tales.  Every now and again, I’d check out the comics featuring superheroes.  I was mostly drawn to the movies and TV shows they starred in.  So it’s no surprise that I didn’t learn of Stan Lee’s existence until I was 15 years old.  I was watching the movie Mallrats (I think my sister and I are the only people that actually like that film), and true to form, Stan made a cameo.  That was my first introduction to the legend.

ezgif-2-8b54ef270c4eezgif-2-39d831ddd1ca

Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of The Incredible Hulk and Spiderman as a child (Spiderman especially), but I never thought about the man behind the stories; the creator himself.  Stan Lee was greatly responsible for bringing us so much of the entertainment that helped shape our lives and give us so much enjoyment today.  Just think about it:  a lot of my posts are about Marvel films.  I just wrote one last month about my top 10 movies in the MCU.  It’s thanks to Stan Lee that I was able to fall in love with Thor (and yes, I realize Thor was a mythical Nordic God, but it was Stan who gave him mainstream appeal), rush to the movie theatre to see the next Avengers film, and enjoy reruns of “The Incredible Hulk” TV series.

Stan was also an extremely forward-thinking man, seeing as he helped create the characters of T’Challa and Luke Cage during an extremely turbulent time in America (more so than the present day, believe it or not).  He also modeled the X-Men storyline from the Civil Rights Era, and based Professor X and Magneto on Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, respectively (although Malcolm X was no where near as murderous as Magneto).  Let’s not forget the now legendary edition of “Stan’s Soapbox” that he printed in 1968 where he blasted the practice of racism and bigotry:

Stan's Soapbox

Stan was truly one of a kind, and although I’ll miss him—especially his hilarious cameos in ALL his Marvel films—I can’t be too upset that he passed on.  Mr. Lee lived a wonderful life.  He created a universe that will be revered for generations to come.  He was active and in his right mind right up until his last days.  He lived to be 95 years old.  When people think of Marvel, they automatically think of Stan Lee.  Those are brillant accomplishments that we all wish we could aspire to.   Rest in power, Stan.

ezgif-2-798943867157

Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan Lee:  December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018

—Written by Nadiya

Sing Me a Song: ‘Outlander’ Season 3 Recap

What’s up, y’all?  I’m sure most of you know that the new season of Outlander premiered a week ago (Sun. Nov. 4, 2018)!  As most of my loyal readers already know, I didn’t do a lot of writing on my blog last year, so there were no Outlander reviews and recaps of each individual episode for season 3.  With that being said, I’ve decided to recap what happened last season, before I start reviewing season 4.  Let’s get this party started!

The Suck Years

Claire:  1948 – 1968

Outlander Season 3

Let’s begin with the 20 years that Claire and Jaime spent apart, or as I like to call them, “The Suck Years.”  So, when Claire goes back to her time, it’s 1948, and it’s been three years since she went through the stones.  As we learned from season two, Frank took Claire back, although she married another man back in the 18th century and returned pregnant with his child.  They migrate to the States and spend the next 20 years together.  And man, what a miserable 20 years it is.  No matter how hard Claire tries to make it work with Frank, her heart still belongs to Jamie, and no matter how hard Frank tries to rekindle what he had with Claire, it’s evident that Jamie will continue to haunt their relationship.  The only saving grace is that Frank loves Brianna unconditionally.

I have to say though, Frank becomes a bit of an asshole over time.  Yeah, he’s been through a lot—I’ll give him that much—but after a while, he decides that he and Claire should have an open relationship, and he starts messin’ around with some chick he works with.  After the side piece makes a visit to the house—while guests are there celebrating Claire’s med school graduation—Claire decides that she and Frank should throw in the towel.  Frank refuses, saying that if they divorce, Claire would take Brianna away from him.  Even though Claire assures him she would never do that, he doesn’t believe her.  Fast forward a few years later to Brianna’s high school graduation, Frank is the one who announces he wants a divorce so he can marry his side piece, and even goes so far as to say that when they break up, he’s taking Brianna with him to the UK.  Dick move.  Sadly, Frank dies in a car accident that same night, and the side piece has the audacity to get in Claire’s face some time later and call her selfish for holding on to a man that she didn’t love.  Have a seat, girl (preferably with your legs closed).

ezgif-2-76d4fc030e50

To add insult to injury, we all witness Claire being respected (albeit extremely hard earned) by her male peers in the 18th century, but as soon as she returns to the 1940’s, she has to endure damn near non-stop sexism and chauvinists/racists (Claire’s colleague/best friend, Dr. Joe Abernathy, is a black man, and one of Claire’s med school professors made it clear he didn’t want either of them in his class).  Whenever she voices her opinion about serious subjects around Frank’s co-workers and superiors, she’s either be written off as being cute or talking way too much.  Her decision to become a doctor is met with snide remarks and disdain, too.  I couldn’t help but notice that during this era the colors used for the cinematography seemed to be monotone and dull, as if Claire was trapped in a completely depressing and monotonous environment.  I didn’t call them the suck years for nothing.

Jamie:  1748 – 1768

Outlander - Jamie on Horse (Alt)

Claire wasn’t the only person that had to put up with constant misery for the next two decades.  Jamie’s 20 years away from his beloved were just as bad, if not worse.  I take that back; they were worse.  Hell, at least Claire had TV and indoor plumbing.  After Claire travels through the stones, Jaime goes back to the Battle of Culloden to accept his fate.  Thankfully, he doesn’t die…but that damn Black Jack Randall did!  Kick rocks, bitch!  As we already knew, the Scottish don’t win the overall war, and it’s not long before the English catch up to the wounded men that made it out of the battlefield and execute them all, including Rupert.  Young John Grey’s brother realizes that Jamie is among the men, and instead of executing him, he keeps his brother’s word to leave Jamie unharmed and makes arrangements to take him back to Lallybroch.

Four to six years later, Jamie is laying low in a cave not too far from the Lallybroch estate.  By this time, Jenny has enough kids to start her own basketball team—including teenaged Fergus, Robbie McNabb and baby Ian on the way—and the Brits are harassing her and Ian Sr. damn near every day looking for Jamie (who’s now known as “The Dunbonnet”).  In one instance, one of the redcoats follows Fergus into the woods thinking he’ll lead him to Jamie, but Fergus leads the fool on a bit of a wild goose chase.  When Fergus teases him for his stupidity, the nasty ass soldier cuts the young boy’s hand off.  Fergus being maimed is the last straw for Jamie.  He convinces Jenny to turn him into the authorities so the family can have some peace, and off to prison The Dunbonnet goes.

When Jamie’s in prison, he crosses paths with Lord John Grey himself, who’s now all grown up and handed the title of prison warden.  Jamie also reunites with Murtaugh (yay!).  While inside, Jamie is known as “MacDubh” (pronounced “McDoo”) and does his best to look after the other inmates.  Jamie and John develop a special bond (for John, it’s unrequited love), and when the inmates are later transferred, John sees to it that Jamie is made a butler for a well-to-do English family, The Dunsanys.  Lord John also makes sure to keep Jamie’s real identity as a Jacobite secret.  While Jamie is working for the Dunsanys, their spoiled rotten daughter, Geneva, sets her sights on him.  She’s betrothed to an old ugly man that she can’t stand, and she makes up her mind to lose her virginity to a sexy Scot, and of course, Jamie is a perfect choice.  Jamie initially refuses, but Geneva blackmails him into sleeping with her by threatening to tell her parents that he’s really a Jacobite.  Jamie gives in and does the deed with her, and lo and behold, Geneva ends up pregnant.  Boo…

Sadly, Geneva dies after giving birth to baby William, but Jamie looks after Willie for the next few years.  However, more and more people begin to notice the resemblance between Willie and Jamie, and learning the boy’s true parentage was not an option.  Lord John, who’s married Geneva’s sister Isabela by this time, agree to take Willie in and raise him as their own.  Jamie leaves Willie behind, his heart destroyed for the second time.  Sometimes I wonder why I love this show.  By the way, I just realized that Jamie’s two-decade separation was a lot shittier than Claire’s.  Poor baby.

ezgif-2-eafd2a19dcd9

Happy Days Are Here Again…Sort Of

Outlander Season 3 2017

Now that we’ve gotten past the unpleasant 20 years that Jamie and Claire spent apart (Jamie especially), let’s go on to the hot couple getting back together!  Roger Wakefield, Brianna’s love interest and the son of the late Reverend Wakefield, does some research and learns of Jamie’s whereabouts 20 years after Claire walked through the stones.  It turns out he was running a printing press in Edinburgh under the name Alexander Malcolm (look, I know that this last alias was made up of Jamie’s actual middle names, but let’s be honest…the man’s had more name changes than P. Diddy). Claire feels some type of resentment that Roger told her where to find Jamie…at first.  Then she comes to her senses and decides to go get her man back.  She stitches up an 18th century dress complete with pockets and whatnot, buys some Loving Care to dye her grey streaks brown (was anyone else confused as to why Claire looked older in the 20th century than she does in the 18th century when she went back?  It ain’t the dye job), tells her baby girl goodbye and takes a little trip to Scotland.  And what does Jamie do when he sees Claire again?  He drops like a sack of potatoes.

Needless to say, Claire and Jamie spend the day together trying to get to know each other again, and later that night, they go back to Jamie’s place (a whorehouse) and make luuurrrve.  I have to say, Claire and Jamie’s “I missed you” sex scene almost rivaled the wedding night scene.  Almost.  However, the honeymoon is short lived.  Claire kills some idiot that broke into the Fraser’s room trying to learn where Jamie hides his illegal liquor for his smuggling business, causing her and Jamie to bicker damn near the entire morning after (Claire tried to save the fool, but Jamie figured he should just go on to glory since he tried to rape Claire, causing a neverending argument).  Another idiot—working for the same fool that sent the first idiot—breaks into Jamie’s print shop to see if he can learn where the casks of liquor are stored, but comes across Jamie’s seditious pamphlets instead.  He grabs them and burns Jamie’s print shop, with 16-year-old Ian Jr. still inside (and the boy was getting his freak on while all this was happening).

Thankfully Ian is unharmed, but when Claire and Jamie take him back home to Lallybroch, Jenny isn’t too psyched to see Claire again.  Jenny even goes out of her way to let Claire know that Jamie’s married to someone else by sending word to his wife and stepchildren to stop by the house.  If that’s not bad enough, Jamie’s wife is none other than slack ass Laoghaire (who became crazier and a lot less attractive in 20 years)!   When Laoghaire learns that Jamie still loves Claire and always will, she shoots him—in all honesty, she was trying to shoot Claire, but missed—and demands a divorce, as well as alimony to boot!  Jamie remembers finding a lost treasure on a remote island from back in his prison days, and he decides to use it to pay Laoghaire’s crazy ass.  However, when young Ian swims out to the island to retrieve it, he’s kidnapped by pirates and taken to Jamaica.  Claire and Jamie waste no time going after him.

Jamaican Me Crazy

Outlander - Claire and Jamie 4 (Alt)

It turns out that the pirates that snatched up Ian work for none other than Ms. Gellis Duncan herself, and if she wasn’t a witch before, she damn sure is one now.  I mean, this chick bathes in blood, consults with mediums, holds esoteric rituals, kidnaps and rapes young boys (Ian included) before sacrificing them, the whole nine.  Claire and Jamie take two of Jamie’s prison inmates, Mr. Willoughby (a Chinese gentleman that Jamie befriended a few years back), and Fergus (who’s now completely grown up) to help them get Ian back.  Fergus drops a bomb on Claire and Jamie:  he’s marrying Marsali, Laoghaire’s daughter.  In case you were wondering, yes, Marsali is almost as annoying as Laoghaire.  Her favorite name for Claire was “hoor” (whore), never mind the fact that Jamie was Claire’s man first, and they never were officially divorced.  Too bad Ms. Marsali never learned that her mother is a murderous ho herself.

Anyway, after a rough ass trip over the seven seas (one that includes a deadly epidemic, a conspiracy, Jamie and Claire being separated again thanks to the British, a storm that takes out half the crew, a slightly disturbed doctor on a nearby island and Fergus and Marsali’s wedding), the gang finally make it to Jamaica.  Before y’all start having visions of sunny beaches, bright skies, the sound of reggae music and weed crops as far as the eye can see, please keep in mind that this ain’t the same Jamaica we see on TV nowadays, and Claire soon learns that.  1700’s Jamaica is full of colonialism and slavery.  Claire finds herself sickened by the slave auctions and begs Jamie to help one poor soul that’s being molested while he’s put on display (I’m not making this up).  Jamie buys the man and intends to free him after he helps them try to find Ian.  Some viewers accused Claire and Jamie of being white saviors using a slave for their own selfish purposes, but that subject is for another blog post.

Long story short, Claire and Gellis later reunite at the governor’s party on the island, we learn that the new governor is Lord John Grey (who still has a crush on Jamie and manages to pardon Jamie for all his crimes in Scotland), and they later learn that Gellis has been holding Ian this entire time.   Just to backtrack a bit, do you remember when I said that Gellis was consulting with mediums?  She hired a woman named Margaret and her unscrupulous brother to tell her exactly how Scotland can free itself from English rule (Claire treated Margaret while she was in Edinburgh, ironically enough).  Margaret basically told Gellis that a 200-year-old baby would have to be sacrificed.  After Claire tells Gellis that she returned to the future pregnant with Jamie’s child, it doesn’t take long for Gellis to figure out that the 200-year-old baby is Brianna.  Gellis is all gung-ho to go back to the future and take out Brianna like The Terminator’s mama (there’s a Jamaican version of Craigh Na Dun in a nearby cave).  But what role does Ian play in all this?  He’s the human sacrifice Gellis needs to go back to the ’60s.  I really wish someone would tell this chick that people don’t have to get killed for the time travel stones to work.  Jamie and Claire find Gellis just in time and save Ian and Brianna by damn near cutting Gellis’s head off.  Jamie frees the young slave he bought (and I’m sure he went on to sire Bob Marley’s people…just joking), and Mr. Willoughby decides to stay in Jamaica, as he’s fallen in love with Margaret.  Oh yeah, and Margaret’s no good brother is killed, but no one cares.

If that ain’t enough, on the way back to Scotland, the ship encounters yet another storm, and this time Claire is thrown from the ship.  Thankfully, Jamie saves her and they’re washed up on the shores of Virginia!  Whoo!  Ms. Claire, if you thought Jamaica was a trip, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Thor - You Have No Idea (Alt)

Whew!  That was basically everything that happened in Outlander last season, so now you’re caught up to speed!  I’ll have a mini recap of episode 1 and a full recap of episode 2 from the new season up real soon!

ezgif-2-a3cbde4fec4c

—Written by Nadiya

What did you think of Outlander’s third season?  Was it bonny or was it a load of bollocks (if you’re from the UK and/or watch the show, you know what I just said)?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

Burt Reynolds: 1936 – 2018

Side Note:  Before I started writing this post, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” started playing from my Apple Music playlist.  All things considered, I feel like that song perfectly conveyed my feelings concerning the legend I’m dedicating this acclamation to.

Usually when I write a tribute about a celebrity that’s passed on, I start with a story about the first time I was introduced to that particular person.  However, this article can’t start off that way.  The reason being is because I honestly can’t remember the first time I saw Burt Reynolds or heard of him.  He was always just there.  Burt was always in the news, or on the TV, or in a movie while I was growing up, and he remained a constant in my life as I transitioned into young adulthood.

Burt Reynolds - Explosion (Alt)

I remember all the headlines about his and Loni Anderson’s divorce like it was yesterday.  One of my favorite episodes of The Golden Girls centered around the ladies getting a chance to Burt Reynolds, and the shenanigans they get into behind the meet and greet.  When I was a little girl, I watched All Dogs Go To Heaven a million times (Burt voiced Charlie, the dog that forsaked heaven to get another chance at life).  I finally watched Smokey and the Bandit last year (don’t judge me), and I loved every minute of it…not to mention the fact I learned that once upon a time Coors couldn’t be sold east of the Mississippi River, and if it was found past that point, it was considered contraband.  Every time I see a case of Coors in Wal-Mart now, the first thing I think of is the Bandit and the Snowman, rushing the beer back to Atlanta for the Burdette brothers.

Burt Reynolds - Smokey and the Bandit 2 (Alt)

Even though I hated Boogie Nights as a teenager—I appreciate it a lot more now that I’m grown—I always thought that Burt’s role was the best thing about it.  I have to say that one of my favorite performances of his was as Nate Scarborough in The Longest Yard remake.  I know y’all are wondering why I haven’t mentioned the original film.  To be honest, I tried watching the 1974 version a few years back, but I couldn’t quite get into it.  I loved the remake, though (once again, don’t judge me).  The Longest Yard remains my second favorite Adam Sandler movie, and Burt Reynolds is a big reason why.  The role of the weathered, yet dedicated and compassionate coach fit Burt perfectly.  Sadly enough, I didn’t see Burt too much after he starred in the Adam Sandler vehicle.  About a year or so ago, I was curious to see what he had been up to, so I looked up his filmography on Wikipedia.  It turns out Burtwas still working, mostly on slightly smaller-scale films.  Despite having to deal with heart issues and overcoming an addiction to painkillers after being injured, he worked until the very end.

Burt was an extremely handsome, funny and talented man that brought lots of joy to me, my friends and family throughout the years.  Plus, he was bold enough to do this (WARNING:  NSFW):

Burt Reynolds Naked (Alt)

He’ll be sorely missed.  See you later, Bandit.

Burton Leon Reynolds, Jr.:  February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018

—Written by Nadiya

‘Luke Cage’ Season Two Review (WARNING: Slight Spolilers!)

Y’all…I finished watching the second season of Luke Cage on Jun. 29, and man…it was good.  Damn good.  I was pleasantly surprised, considering how disappointed I was with Jessica Jones’s second season.  It took me a week to binge the entire season, and the only reason it took that long is because of my day job.  If I had more free time, I’m sure I would’ve watched all 13 eps in about two days.  It was that doggone fantastic.  So much so, that I purposely missed Claws, Pose and the 2018 BET Awards to binge some episodes (although when it comes to this year’s BET Awards, I don’t think I missed much).

Luke Cage - Dab (Alt)

The second season picks up where The Defenders left off.  Luke is back in Harlem trying to protect the city he loves, but now, he’s a bit more of a local celebrity.  He finds himself fighting a lot more than bad guys.  He’s also fighting with some internal issues, which include crossing the fine line between being a hero and being a villain, and whether or not he should forgive his father for turning his back on him when he needed him most.  Of course, Mariah and Shades (who are now officially a couple) make Luke’s life harder with their shenanigans and their own personal battles.  To make matters worse for both parties, another villain comes into the mix named Bushmaster, a Jamaican crime lord that has a personal vendetta against Mariah and her family, and also carries a disdain for Luke, considering that his strength and power is nearly equal to Bushmaster’s.

This current season had all the usual stuff that makes it great:  action, intriguing plot, stellar performances, hot love scenes, and an even hotter man (Luke).  Even Danny Rand aka The Immortal Iron Fist and Colleen (Danny’s homegirl) made appearances (more on that later).  However, this season of Luke Cage had a little something else going on with it as well…it was really deep.  Season two was chock full of recurring themes that manifested from demons that nearly every main character had to face, and not all of them were able to overcome them.

WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS TO THE NEW SEASON OF LUKE CAGE.  IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SECOND SEASON YET, I SUGGEST YOU DON’T READ ANY FURTHER!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Heroism

Luke Cage 2 (Alt)

Throughout the season, Luke struggles with the true meaning of being a hero.  Luke believes that in order to protect Harlem, he has to do whatever he can to get the job done, by any means necessary.  This means sometimes stooping to the bad guys’ level.  There’s a scene—without giving too much away; as I said, these are slight spoilers—where Luke is confronted with a no good so-and-so that lays hands on his baby mama and child, so Luke decides to give him the same courtesy.  Needless to say, Luke beats the man half dead.  I have to be honest, I didn’t shed not one tear for that fool.  However, Claire wisely confronts Luke about the dark path he’s going on and they have this exchange:

Luke:  I’m finally getting results, Claire.  Shit’s getting done.  Pops always talked about Kenyatta*, right?  I see his point.  I’m rough, but I’m still a hero.

Claire:  Really?  If beating your chest around town is what you need to call yourself a hero, then I question your understanding of the word.  This shit is changing you, Luke.

Luke:  It’s making me more of who I am.

Ironically enough, Mariah fights the same struggle with heroism.  We as the audience know that she’s far from being a hero, but Mariah honestly believes in her mind that she’s the one and only savior of Harlem, and continues to struggle with being in “the life,” and trying to become 100% legit.  She even has a conversation with her daughter Tilda (a very interesting new character), that’s very similar to the one Luke had with Claire:

Mariah:  Your great-grandmother was a ghetto philanthropist.  Your cousin Cornell financed all of my campaigns.  Now I am a legit philanthropist.  That’s the American way, girl.

Tilda:  You’re a crook and a liar.

Mariah:  I serve Harlem!  And yes, I will do whatever it takes!  Your profession is not too pristine, my dear.  You never took money from a shady pharmaceutical company for a greater good?

Tilda:  That’s why my medicine comes from the ground.  To do no harm.

Mariah:  It’s better to do a little harm for a whole lot of good than it is to do no harm for jack shit.

Later in the series, Tilda herself is faced with some situations where she has to decide between doing what’s right, or doing what’s best for the people.  Seeing how she comes to those decisions—and the effect caused by her decisions—will surprise you.

Vengeance

Luke - You Started This (Alt)

Another huge theme in Luke Cage’s second season is vengeance.  Bushmaster’s taste for vengeance against Mariah’s family makes him blind to everything else around him, and his loved ones warn him that his vengeance can be his downfall.  Sure enough, we begin to see his desire for revenge eat away at him.  Bushmaster’s uncle tells him midway through the series that “an eye for an eye makes the world blind.”  It turns out truer words have never been spoken.

After Bushmaster comes at Mariah in the worst way possible, she decides to seek out her own vengeance and becomes everything that she once hated.  She’s able to see Bushmaster squirm a bit, but she loses her soul in the process.

Forgiveness

Luke and His Dad

Forgiveness is one of the other big themes of the second season.  This issue mostly affects Luke alone, considering that Mariah and Bushmaster aren’t trying to forgive any damn body for their trespasses.  As I mentioned previously, Luke is reunited with his father this season, and the initial meeting is pretty damn tense.  Unlike Jessica Jones, who didn’t know her mother was still alive, Luke his well aware that his father is very much alive, but would rather go on as if he wasn’t around.

Once again, Claire can read Luke like a book, and she knows that a lot of his anger stems from the fact that he can’t forgive his father for his past sins (yep, preachers sin, too!).  Claire warns that if Luke can’t forgive his father, his anger and resentment will continue to consume him…much like Mariah and Bushmaster’s anger and resentment consumed them.  Hmmm…  You could say that this ties into the vengeance theme, and in a way, it does.  However, Luke has the good sense not to go that route.  Luke would rather his father just leave him be.  Do they ever bury the hatchet and rekindle their relationship?  Watch and see.

Luke Cage - Bottle Smash and Kick to the Head

All this isn’t to say that this season of Luke Cage was without its flaws, because it wasn’t.  One of the things I had an issue with is that Danny aka Iron Fist only appeared in one episode.  Come on!  Y’all could’ve at least let him stick around for two episodes, especially considering that he was giving Luke some pointers on how he could defeat Bushmaster.  That was a wasted cameo.  The same thing goes for Colleen.  She was teaching Misty to not let the loss of her arm make her feel worthless, and the time she spent with Misty helped her be herself again.  Then, poof!  Colleen was gone, too.  Wasted cameo.  That’s it.  Everything else about the show was gravy.

I’m sure most of y’all have watched the second season of Luke Cage by this point, but if you haven’t, I definitely recommend it.  I know that the Netflix Marvel Universe hasn’t delivered in the past few months with Jessica Jones and The Defenders having lackluster seasons as of yet, but this season of Luke Cage certainly delivered.  Go check out this dark chocolate Boy Scout immediately.  😍😍

Luke Cage - I'm Just Getting Started (Alt)

SIDE NOTE:  I’m so sorry it took me this long to get this published.  Between all the overtime I’ve had to put in at my day job, my birthday last week (I’m officially 37!  Gettin’ on up there!), and these sinuses killin’ me softly day after day, I was lucky if I could produce two paragraphs a day!  However, I finally got this bad boy finished for y’all!  Sorry about the delay!

—Written by Nadiya

What did you think about season two of Luke Cage?  Was it as good as the first season, better, or just average?  Did you think the recurring themes were deep?  Did you notice some other themes in the show that I didn’t mention?  Do you think Danny and Colleen’s appearances were wasted, or did they spend the right amount of time on the show?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

*Kenyatta is the main series from a book series written by author Donald Goines.  His character is that of a black militant man that takes upon himself and his crew to rid Detroit of drug dealers and racist cops anyway they have to.