I had the pleasure of attending the East Coast premier of Outlander S5 last night in New York City. I sat down at the 92nd Street Y with a sippy cup of sparkling rosé — that’s how they serve it, I swear — to watch a screening of the new season’s first episode, The Fiery Cross, and watch the cast and Diana Gabaldon shoot the breeze over flights of whiskey.
Sam, Cait, Rik, and Sophie spoke about producing duties, the hiccups of past seasons, Diana’s books, and Cheer on Netflix. Jerry!!!
Wine. JAMMF. And nachos afterwards. In other words, it was the perfect evening.
So did this episode make mat? Here is what I loved, and here is my one note. (Note is Hollywood speak for “I don’t like this.”)
No spoilers below if you have watched the trailers/previews.
1. This episode is funny
Sometimes I forget how funny these characters can be, and I laughed a lot last night. The writers do a great job of breaking the tension in scenes with humor that feels natural to the characters. If I ever move to the Ridge, I want to live next door to Marsali.
Claire is in Dr. Quinn mode, establishing her internal medicine practice for the residents of the Ridge. I wonder what kind of magazines she keeps in the waiting room? I bet she has The New Yorker. I bet her issues of People are three years old.
Her surgery is all tricked out, with herbs, potions and bottles filled with wee beasties that would make Master Raymond proud. And her sharp surgical instruments would make any executioner jealous.
3. There is a wedding
Who doesn’t love a wedding? Bree looks like a gauzy dream in creamy, embroidered linen, and Jamie is precious as the cautious father-of-the-bride. He even has a meltdown with the baker about the number of hot dog buns that come in a pack. Jamie just needs 8 hot dog buns. Not twelve. Eight!
But, really, who doesn’t love a wedding reception. The booze was flowing, and the band had the Ridgetonians doing the Highlander version of the Chicken Dance. And there was cake! (All I get invited to these days are 50-year-old birthday parties. Someone invite me to a wedding!)
4. This episode is horny
Lots of butts in this episode. Rik Rankin has been doing squats.
A wedding makes everyone think about love and commitment, and what better way to show a man you adore him than by having him lie naked between your thighs? Oui. Je t’aime.
I know we’ve been tough on Roger during Hangoutlander, but the writers and stylists do Roger right in this episode. He is a hot-ass groom, and he earns everyone’s respect with good behavior. And his singing L.O.V.E is swoon worthy, the perfect kind of anachronism to bring to the Ridge. If you can’t have Nat King Cole, Roger will do just fine.
My complaint is about setting. I won’t prattle on about Spanish moss, wicker crosses, or the state of Jamie’s McMansion — or who builds it — but if you want me to believe in something so unbelievable like time travel, everything about the rest of your world should be credible. And there is no good reason to have it be imperfect or inaccurate. Having promo photos that look good on Instagram is not an excuse I will accept.
Final verdict: Outlander does a wedding well. Luke and Laura. Jamie and Claire. And now Bree and Roger.
L is for the way I look at Jamie.
O is for Outlander because it starts with O.
V is I’m very, very hot for Jamie.
E is every time I look at Lord John and say, “Back off, nerd. He’s mine.”
Amy takes pride in being a grumpy optimist. Want to talk sports ball? Amy is your girl. Her favorite New York Times crossword puzzle day is Tuesday. If your book is set in the former Soviet Union or World War 2, Amy will read it. As a recovered Southern Baptist, she is raising her daughter to be happy.