Outlander Recap: “The Way Out” (S1E3) or Gimme More Geillis

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Athena:

Pro:

The opening scene was a cute flashback to Frank and Claire saying goodbye at the beginning of WWII! Lots of those scenes are going to be necessary if the showrunners want this to actually be a love triangle and not just the Claire & Kilty show.

I loved that Frank confirmed it was Claire’s self-confidence and self-assertion that he loves about her, rather than him loving her despite her feminist streak. And of course she was super charming as usual, flirtatiously refusing to let him dissuade her from going to the front lines. Frank voiced concern over their gender role reversal (he was an intelligence officer working away from the immediate violence), but didn’t hold her back. It gave us a dose of the late 1930s without shoving sexism in our faces (that’s to come later).

Did it make my clothes fall off? No. But the chemistry was clearly there and it was sweet. Unfortunately that flirtation was all we got from these two this time. No knickerless oral sex in Scottish ruins.

Also for any Canadian readers it totally reminded me of that “Heritage Minutes” commercial series from the 90s, the one about Superman!

Con:

When the dialogue wasn’t working toward character development it was a little heavy handed. Frank made Claire promise to return to him, that was their parting moment. While of course it makes sense in the context, we get it. She wants to get home and she doesn’t want her husband to think she’s run away or dead. Kinda dampened the romantic feels because it was so obvious.

What are your thoughts on Claire and Frank?

Heather:

Pro:

Actually, first I want to talk about the credits, because those are pretty wicked. Love the song. Love the decision to use loads of shots from the show as background for the credits. One of the few credits I’ll actually watch all the way through.

Anyway, yes, as for the Claire and Frank scene… Claire and Frank are just so sweet together. I really want those two kids to work it out somehow. Like, maybe Clarie could meet The Doctor and he could use the Tardis to help her carry on some sort of time travelling polyamorous relationship with Frank and Kilty. Other than that, you pretty much summed up the pros of this bit.

Con:

Yeah the goodbye dialogue was a bit heavy handed. Reminded me a bit of the Titanic, “I’ll never let go, Jack” moment…and not in a good way. Other than that, though, I can’t really fault anything in this scene.

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Hannibal Recap: Sakizuki (S2E2)

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This poster makes me all kinds of uncomfortable.

Athena:

The second episode was not to be outdone by the premiere, so it started off with a different kind of bang. OHMYGOD. That opening scene! I don’t know if I’ve ever cared about an unnamed character more on television than in that moment. HE WAS SO CLOSE TO SURVIVING!!!! The injustice! The cruelty! The repulsive ripping of flesh! It was perfect. It seems like we can always rely on Hannibal to wonderfully gruesome.

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Outlander Recap: Episode 1 & 2 or Kilty McSexy Redhead

*heads to tumblr for sexy gifs*

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You’re welcome.

*Unlike the serious tone and rigorous analysis of our Hannibal recaps, here we’re just focusing on all the foxy fun of Outlander. This just contains our initial overexcited-about-Kilty thoughts. Future recaps will have more structure and pay more attention to, you know, plot and stuff.*

Heather:

There’s this new show out on Starz called Outlander. Apparently it’s based on some books, but I’ve not read them. All I know is that I fell in love with the show within the first fifteen minutes of the first episode. I mean, the location alone was enough to make me watch. The Scottish Highlands are freaking beautiful. Add to that the nerding out on history and the bit of archaeology, and I was hooked. Plus, the main character, Claire, is brilliant. She’s all self assured and well travelled and spent World War II as a nurse.

And then there’s my favourite scene in the episode. Claire and her husband Frank are wandering around the ruins of a castle and she sits up on a table all sexy like and her husband comes over and realises she’s not wearing any knickers. Then her husband goes to kiss with her and Claire’s like, “Buddy, I did not go knickerless all day so that we could make out. On your knees!”

Okay, she doesn’t actually say that. But it’s in her eyes; you can see it. What Claire does do is she push Frank down before he can kiss her. Then Frank performs cunnilingus on her. Here we have our first important history lesson: Brits in the 1940s engaged in cunnilingus. Someone put it in a textbook.

Athena:

Based on the romance series by Diana Gabaldon! I had never heard of these books before the series, and after all the foxy, foxy moments in the show I’m thinking about picking up a copy.

I read a review on Flavorwire beforehand and what I gathered from that was “sexy feminist woman” and “sexy kilted dudes”. SOLD. If this is Starz’s version of Game of Thrones and Reign, I am so down with that.

Same. In the first episode that was my favourite moment too. I was like “Where was this feministy sexiness I was promised?!?” And oh, did they deliver, just like her husband. Good casting on their part. All the people I am supposed to be attracted to in the series, I am.

But it’s totally not excessively romance in the way that some shows get, where they forget the characters are people and have stories. I get a sense that each character is a living, breathing human (Frank and his love of history parallels my own, Claire’s flashbacks and overall personality do so much to make me love her). Which for me actually adds to the steaminess. Like it’s more stimulating for me to watch characters I give a fuck about give and receive fucks with each other. Do you get that too? Or are babely babes enough?

Actually when Frank was all like “history excites me” (EXACT QUOTE) I was super into that. He could be my 20th century husband too. Though his sex appeal was totally lost when we saw his great great whatever lookalike (same actor) in the 18th century try to RAPE CLAIRE. This show isn’t fucking around, Starz wants us to know they’re bringing the gritty realness that TV is so obsessed with right now to ye olden days of Scotland (Though I guess ye olden days were gritty and real). Like when the show jumps forward to the 20th century (I heard that happens but I could be wrong), I don’t know if I’ll be able to look at Frank the same way. Neither will Claire, I imagine.

But enough about recent history. I think we both want to talk about Kilty McSexy Redhead.

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Hannibal Recap: Kaiseki (S2E1)

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Shit gets fucking real really fast this season

Athena

So it seems as though one of the themes again this season is duality. But whereas last season it was duality within the self, now it seems to be between others. In their relationships with each other, which are becoming increasingly blurry. Also with the way they examine things. Each of them are seeing two sides of Will, and trying to navigate what that means, and what the reality is.

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AHS Hotel: Room Service (S5E5)

 

Athena:

Hello and welcome back to the beginning of the end of Alex having meaningful plot lines!

I mean there are some interesting things to come because of her actions, but I don’t feel like her character has a chance to shine anymore. I was not a fan of Alex suddenly throwing her life away to go vamp. Like I know she loves her son but can’t she be her own woman and not just Sad Mom?! Plus her daughter is still around. I don’t know. No matter what she looks like not the greatest parent (not that women are obligated to be the best) and not the most well written character anymore.

So she’s doing her doctor thang post-Countess breast, like taking her temperature to try to quantify the differences and TREATING PATIENTS even though she just did something real wacky. We get some cool close up shots on Sevigny’s face and then some weird blurry shots from her perspective. She’s in the hospital to try to treat anti-vaxx mom’s dying son, and she’s about to make more real wacky decisions because I guess that’s who she is now? Why did she go from clear-headed doctor to this? Not that her character can’t have layers,  but I don’t feel like the transition or her emotional struggle was captured particularly well.

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AHS Hotel: Devil’s Night (S5E4)

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2013

Heather:

I don’t even know where to start with this episode. For all the problems AHS has, at least it’s never boring. This episode, though, was actually boring. With very little exception, I just could not bring myself to care about the murder party. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode opens with what I still think is some of the best spooky ambient electronic music, I’ve heard. A random guy waltzes into the hotel and right up to the desk, rings the bell and signs in. Liz Taylor comes to the desk and is sort of awe struck by the guy, who we find out is Richard Ramirez. Or, more accurate, the ghost of Richard Ramirez (which the audience might not realize until Ramirez states he died in 2013). Ramirez explains that he has a standing reservation for Devil’s Night (the night before Halloween) and Liz Taylor shows him up to his room. Liz mentions that “the master” left a couple of treats on the pillow and we can guess what that means. This is the Cortez, after all.

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AHS Hotel: Mommy (S5E3)

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Athena:

Okay I actually like Tristan in this episode.  He’s much better dead than alive. It begins with him wandering around the room where he met James March (one of my top fav AHS serial killers). Tristan says he understands now and he’s a big fan.  He notes that March is a scorpio, which somehow “explains a lot”, and calls him the greatest serial killer that ever lives. It takes a lot of ego stroking but March reappears, wanting to know how someone could possibly know so much about him. Tristan googled him of course, something that sounds totally obscene to a guy who’s been dead nearly a century. Then Tristan asks for a high five and March leaves him hanging with a blank look on his face before saying “Good!” Peters is hilarious in this role. He nails the ‘Old timey doesn’t get new timey references’  trope without feeling like a total cliche. March is excited that someone will finally get to use the hotel to its full potential once again. The acid pits and asphyxiation chambers could use some company. He shows Tristan the “Black Closet” and we get a gory flashback of a frightened man backing into a spike. They have a great dynamic together and I hope we get more scenes with both of them.

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AHS Hotel: Chutes and Ladders (S5E2) Recap

You are not an artist you just have big emotions

Heather:

This week’s episode of AHS was chock-full of plot reveals, character introductions, horror and sex so let’s dig right in.

It starts with a synthesized beating heart as Sally looks out a window in a room at the Cortez. She looks back toward the bed and we see that the mattress has been cut open and stitched back together (like the mattress in the first episode). Fingers are sticking out of the stitching and it’s fairly obvious who’s they are. She walks over to finish her work and, of course, it’s poor Gabriel in the mattress. His head isn’t sewn in yet so she bends down and it looks like she’s going to kiss him. But instead she just breathes into his face and he takes this big gasping breath. She tells him something about how he can’t cheat death then she kisses him. She’s quite melancholy as she’s doing all this, on the verge of tears. I assume it’s more self pity than empathy for Gabriel because then pushes his face down into the mattress to finish sewing him in.

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AHS Hotel: Checking In (S5E1) Recap

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Athena:

Hello and welcome to the inaugural post on our brand new TV recapping blog! We’ve previously recapped various episodes of Hannibal and Outlander on my personal blog, and we thought it was about time to combine forces. What better way to start than analyzing one of the most absurd(ly entertaining) shows on right now?

I want to begin by saying that I love American Horror Story. Despite all it’s flaws and wild inconsistencies, I’m so here for a boundary pushing horror series that prioritizes female characters (even if it also fails them sometimes). It’s an experiment. It’s a show that really tries. AHS is definitely a significant part of the horror renaissance that’s been happening on television in the last 10 years. Without a doubt it helped popularize the anthology format that we’re seeing more and more of.  I love the gore, I love the bizarre characters, I love the mystery and the unpredictable storylines even though these sometimes fizzle out.

In case anyone is curious: Murder House is my personal favourite season. Some of it is the novelty and charm of the first season. But everything about it just drew me right in. It’s my favourite to rewatch for sure. However I think Asylum was the best season. It was consistent, scary, and probably the most successful for a variety of reasons. So they both hold a special place in my heart. Which one was your favourite?

Because of it’s track record critics have been hard on this premiere and reluctant to become invested. But I thought they really knocked it out of the park with this one. This opener is full of cliches, tropes, on the nose references, and homages. I think AHS actually does an excellent job of working these to feed that horror craving. It gave me what I was looking for, what I hoped for, and some things I didn’t expect. However to enjoy AHS you really have to expect it to be AHS and not like the horror version of a prestige drama like Mad Men. I think people have lofty expectations for this series and tend to let themselves down. It’s one of those shows where you just have to chill out and enjoy the ride. (Not to say it doesn’t deserve criticism or we shouldn’t strive for better. I just think it’s okay for it to be what it is.)

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