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BWW Recap: OUTLANDER Mid-Season Finale; Full Review!


It's shocking to me, fellow lads and lasses, that we've already reached Episode 8. Seems like only yesterday we were tumbling through the stones of Craigh na Dun like a wee little Sassenach. I approach this mid-season finale with mixed emotions. Of course I'm excited to see what happens next to the Highlands' newest "it" couple, but with a recently announced air date of April 4, 2015, the midseason premiere just seems so far away. Too far away, I tell you! And I know tonight's episode will end with a cliffhanger, because showrunners just love messing with fans that way, don't they? They seem to get some sick joy out of it, and I both love and hate them for it. Such is the burden of the TV junkie.

If I have any real hopes for Episode 8, it's that Frank play a more dominant role. Conveniently, the promo released by Starz suggests pretty strongly that I'll get my wish. Awesome. Because as lovely and charming and sweet as Jamie is, Frank deserves to have his moment--if only so Tobias Menzies can show off his totally rad double acting skills again. It'll be interesting to see how Frank's been taking the whole Claire M.I.A. thing, because to be honest, I think that's something most of us have already forgotten about. A bit like Claire, we've gotten wrapped up in the adventure and romance of Castle Leoch and Jamie Fraser and lost sight of how we got there to begin with. The promo also teased a major decision being made on Claire's part, so I expect this dilemma will also be addressed tonight.

But whatever happens on the finale, this season has so far lived up to all of my expectations--which were fairly high, having been a fan of the books long before the series was even a glimmer in the STARZ network's eye. The timing of its conception may have had a hand in its success; today's audiences gobble up adult fantasies like Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, and it's easy to see why. At their core, these stories that we watch week after week in our living rooms can be reduced to one common thing: people. And there's nothing more relatable than that. Whether it's a khaleesi riding a dragon or a father decapitating a zombie, people often play the pivotal role in fantasies, and we as audiences take pleasure in watching them rise and fall through the extraordinary. OUTLANDER is no different. Sure, there's time travel and Celtic folklore and maybe even some witches, but it ultimately boils down to a story about people. A husband and wife. Rebels and oppressors. Lairds and bairns. Stripped down to its purest form, there's always something a little magical in watching people be people. Plain and simple.

So here's hoping this hit goes out with a real bang. But let's find out together, shall we? Check back in with me as I recap the midseason finale of OUTLANDER live.

9:02 Is anyone else as in love with this opening sequence/song as I am? I might not really know what she's saying, but oh hot damn is this my new jam.

9:08 So here we are back in Inverness, 1945. I'm so happy that we're getting to see what Frank's been up to since Claire's disappearance. It makes him more of an actual character, more fleshed out, not just some figment of flashback or Claire's recollection. Also, I already said it in my recap of Episode 6, but I gotta say it again: shout out to Tobias Menzies. He's probably got the toughest job on the show, playing two vastly different characters with the same face, and he makes it look easy. Like in this scene here; the last time Menzies was prominently featured on screen, he was socking Claire in the gut as Jack Randall, but here...he's so obviously Frank. His face is softer somehow, less, um, scary.

Oh wow, talk about juxtaposition. "Um, excuse you, sir, she's def not with another man"-cut to Claire and Jamie canoodling (has a more delightful word ever been crafted from the letters of the English alphabet?) on a lonely but romantic hillside. Ouch. But my goodness, you can't help but smile at these two...and Jamie is so clearly smitten...Really, who do you root for here?

9:10 Woah! An arrow! Out of nowhere! Danger, Jamie Fraser, danger! Oh, nope, ha, just Jamie's old pal Hugh Munro coming to say hey. Y'know, as you do. I have no idea what he and Jamie are talking about, but it's definitely important...Aha! As I predicted, it's super duper important: Hugh knows of a witness to Jamie's escape from Fort William, and this alleged witness saw who actually killed the sergeant Jamie was accused of killing that day. Well, that's mighty convenient. Gee, Hugh Munro, where have you been all this time? There's a chance Jamie can now get the price lifted off his head and finally return home to Lallybroch with his new best gal on his arm. Ah yes, happy days are here again. Let's celebrate with a quick hug between husband and wife and a zoom-in on-oh no. Those two wedding rings. That image is so emotionally taxing, c'mon.

And of course the zoom-in cuts to Frank's wedding ring. Sure, why not, let's just make Kara even more upset. Ugh, he just looks so sad. And poor Reverend Wakefield trying to be a good bro. Okay, sure, Frank. They haven't found a body. There was no blood. No sign of a struggle. It looks bad. But, um, look at what else could have happened! Oh my gosh, he's even got his own suspect board. It's CSI: Inverness.

Book fans, rejoice! A baby Roger sighting! What a cutie-give him all the biscuits he wants, give him all the biscuits in the world.

9:15 Oh great, Frank's decided to drink his troubles away. Classic. He even looks like he just stepped straight out of a film noir. And wait, who is this "Sally" girl casually walking around with that wanted poster of phantom-Jamie in her pocket? "Hello, Mr. Randall. I know you, but you don't know me," and all that jazz. Of course, the old "you think this guy is having an affair with your wife, well you're in luck 'cuz I can take you to him" routine. Just remember to bring that reward. Hint. Hint. Wink. Wink. Oh, Frank, honey, don't you know this is a trap?

9:22 There, see, I told you. Now you're just going to get mugged-woah, I take that back. Frank can sure throw a punch. Hmm...just like...his...great...great...great...Oh. Oh. Okay, here we go, this definitely requires discussion. Frank is just laying into these hooligans, and I swear, you absolutely get a glimpse of Jack Randall. Brutal, unrelenting, and a tad bit terrifying. Unlike Randall, however, Frank stops. And he seems sorry for it. And here we have Reverend Wakefield trying to be the bro again with some holy but totally bro-like words of wisdom: turn away from the darkness and return to the light. Darkness, huh? I see what you did there. You know who was a total denizen of the dark by his own admission? Jack Randall. He said so himself Episode 6. Connections, people. Connections.

9:30 It's about time that Claire learn how to properly defend herself, isn't it? I mean, the dangers in 18th century Scotland seem to be aplenty, to say the least. Yup, see, definitely time. These redcoats are like cockroaches, just constantly creeping up on you out of nowhere. And now Claire's got her first kill under her belt after being nearly raped again. Truly traumatizing, and watching her go into shock is enough to leave you with chills. I certainly don't blame her for suddenly remembering now that getting back home, that real one 200 years away, would probably be a good idea.

9:40 Wait, Frank just drove past Craigh na Dun. Wait, Frank's turning around.

Wait, Claire's left alone in the woods. Wait, Craigh na Dun is literally right.there.

Oh no, Frank's running. And now Claire's running. Oh my goodness, my heart is exploding. The running. The desperation. The music. It's all too much! And now they're shouting to each other through the stones-y'all, I have goosebumps. I officially have goosebumps. Look, I love Jamie, who doesn't, but you just cannot deny what's happening here. This moment is an absolute highlight of the season: man and wife, torn apart by time itself, finally just within each other's reach-

9:46 These redcoats, I swear! A truly beautiful moment left in the dust. Great. Now I'm sad. Probably not as sad as Claire is though; her shot was right there, a golden opportunity gone just like that. And to top it all off, she's brought to Fort William aka Randall Headquaters. Not exactly ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

Now this is trippy. I was literally just bouncing up and down with truly sappy delight as Frank screamed his wife's name through the stones; cutting to Randall so quickly is jarring. It just amazes me how unlike Frank this monster actually is. His face, his voice, the way he carries himself. Tobias Menzies is going places, people. Mark my words.

9:52 Claire's good at thinking on her feet, I gotta say. Oh, you work for the Duke of Sandringham? Oh.Em.Gee. Me too! It even looks like Randall buys it for a second-but of course not. It's impossible to get anywhere with this guy, no matter how clever you are. Dude's got rope just casually chilling in his desk drawer. You cannot reason with dudes who have rope just casually chilling in their desk drawer. Oh wow, Randall is shaping up to be such a formidable foe, a quality TV villain. It's like he's barely even a person, dead in the eyes, heavily breathing like some unearthly predator.

9:55 Ah! But what's a good villain without an even better hero, right? It's Jamie to the rescue! Oh, this is going to be good. Can't wait to see how Jamie and Claire get out of this one--

And what, that's it?! We gotta wait 7 months for that cliffhanger to get resolved?! Darn you, Ronald D. Moore. I can't stay mad at you. You've got me hooked. Hope you're pleased with yourself.

Photo Credit: STARZ

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From This Author Kara McCoy

Kara McCoy graduated magna cum laude from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island with a BA in English. As a Long Island native currently working (read more...)