1) Embrace the Fandom and Your Outlander Friends
Our shared love of All-Things-Outlander has brought us together. It has created regional fan groups, “Clan Gatherings,” small businesses, a multitude of Outlander Facebook Groups, exercise teams, Blogs like this one (written by the fans, for the fans), podcasts, fan artists and video creators — all of which together have created a worldwide community of Outlander Obsessenachs joined together by Diana Gabaldon’s epic story of love, family, war and history. I’ve befriended people I would have never met if I hadn’t fully embraced the strange draw of this story and its characters two years ago when I personally discovered the Starz series and the books. It’s become very personal for me. Each week during Season 2, I have relied on my Outlander friends to inform, entertain, understand and even help tolerate changes to the TV version of the story that may not sit well with me. I have laughed and I have cried with these people and I have found great joy in knowing that I am not alone in the euphoric feeling we all get when we hear the first few notes of Bear McCreary’s Skye Boat Song at the beginning of each episode. Despite occasional Fan shenanigans, most of us respect the actors, producers, writers and creators of the television series as well as the differences in opinion that often arise between us. But, we are united by more than what separates us and from this we draw strength.
I personally have never meditated. But, as the end of Season 2 has drawn closer and I have literally felt the panic rise within me after each episode has aired, I wondered if it might be a good idea to look into Meditation 101. And so I did – and was surprised to find this very helpful article from the Mayo Clinic, no less. Managing feelings of anxiety and stress, increasing self-awareness, focusing on the present, reducing negative emotions are all benefits of meditation. Meditation can help you focus your attention and dispel the stream of jumbled thoughts (Will Claire and Jamie have that final moment of intimacy before Claire goes through the stones? Will the writers/producers GET the ending RIGHT?) that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.
“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.” —Claire in Outlander, Chapter 38
Or, how about just…
“Je Suis Prest”
So, if you are finding the anxiety overwhelming as we approach the Finale – then find a comfortable position and a quiet setting, breathe deeply and repeat a comforting mantra about our Jamie and Claire. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps reduce your stress and feel better overall. Namaste.
If you don’t have a pet at home, then you might want to skip this survival technique. But, if you do, then pay attention.
For almost 8 years, my pet – an amazing little creature named “Robbie” – and I were an Animal Assisted Therapy Team at a local hospital. Over those 8 years we had literally hundreds of patient interactions. Many of the patients we saw were sick, of course, but many were also extremely anxious, nervous and stressed. It’s amazing what the human-animal bond can do to reduce anxiety and stress and even achieve physical improvements in even the sickest patients. I was always a believer in the healing benefits of animal therapy, but I saw it often first-hand. It was often profound and sometimes even miraculous. And (stay with me here), it’s not only the ill person who reaps the benefits. Many times family members who were present during our visits would report a lessening of their stress, too. You may have heard of Animal Assisted Therapy teams visiting non-medical settings, such as universities and community programs to help people deal with every day stressors in life. It’s becoming very popular for Animal Therapy teams to visit universities during Final Exams. We are also seeing Animal Therapy teams deploy to areas where there has been a natural or man-made disaster to help survivors manage stress. Sadly, we have even seen Animal Therapy teams most recently present in the aftermath of mass shootings – all to provide a sense of well-being and calmness – something the animals are uniquely (and mysteriously) suited to doing.
So, here’s the thing. Clear your pet’s calendar on July 9th. They have a date with you on the couch or your favorite easy chair for the Outlander Season 2 Finale. When the final five minutes of the Finale is ready to play out and your blood pressure soars, reach out and pet your dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, rabbit or turtle. It will help. And, if you don’t have a pet – maybe borrow one for the night!
Yes. That’s what I said. Trust Ron. Ronald D. Moore is Outlander’s storied Showrunner, Executive Producer and sometime episode writer. Ron and his producing partner, Maril Davis, championed the making of the Outlander books into an episodic television show on Starz and have embraced the series author, Diana Gabaldon, and her insights and counsel as the show has been made. Ron himself is a book reader and is married to the show’s costumer designer, who has famously declared the Outlander novels as her “favorite book series.” To survive not just the Finale but the entire run of the show, we need to Trust Ron and his exceptional abilities as a television producer.
Believe me, I don’t come to this decision lightly. I talk about this subject a bit in a blog post here. Frankly, it’s been difficult to accept some of the book changes and/or omissions throughout Season 2. Most notably, we have seen much of Jamie and Claire’s intimacy – so on display in Season 1 and throughout all 8 novels – disappear in Season 2 to be replaced with forehead kisses and a few lingering embraces. Fellow writer, Janet Reynolds, explores this in a post here. I do understand the story arc of Season 2 and how much had to be condensed into just 13 short episodes. And, therefore, it may be why more weight was given to the political intrigue in Paris and the pre-war machinations in Scotland then to Jamie and Claire’s love life. Yes, it’s disappointing not to have seen that electric connection between our lovers. I know we are ALL hoping for a certain book scene to play out in its entirety during the Finale. But, if it does not, we still have to remember to Trust Ron because I believe this will help us get through both Droughtlander and future seasons. Why, you say? Hear me out.
But, Hollywood isn’t for amateurs and you have to acknowledge that Ron Moore at the helm has a whole heck of a lot to do with Outlander’s continued success, multiple year renewal and big, big budget that makes it all live up to the image that book readers had in mind when the novels came to the small screen. It’s the stellar industry reputation of Ron Moore that has given Outlander sustained life on television. Moore understands the responsibility he has been entrusted with to bring this story to life.
I also believe he knows that he has two audiences to play to – book readers and non-book readers. He needs both to continue Outlander’s success. I also believe that Moore listens to fans and makes the effort to hear them with regard to both the positive and negative perceptions of the Outlander production. Frankly, I have never heard of a showrunner who has given more intimate access to fans whether it be via Social Media or in person at fan events or even during his personal time off while watching a baseball game for heaven’s sake! I also believe that Moore is not infallible and has and will make some mistakes with the production. It happens. But, overall, I believe he is focused on excellence and making the production the very best it can be for new and old fans of Outlander while also continuing to bring in ratings and a return on investment for the network. Therefore – when I watch the Finale, I will be Trusting Ron no matter whether the scenes play out exactly as I might like them to. Because I know that more Outlander is on the way – 3 more years…and that will get me through any disappointment I may feel. But, really, I don’t expect to be disappointed. I expect to love it as I have loved Season 2, even the little bits that may have rubbed me the wrong way. And, if you believe – like I do – then get your #TrustRon t-shirt at the Mary and Blake Store now!
7) Share, Engage, Vent HERE!
My final tip to survive the Outlander Season 2 Finale is to ENGAGE and SHARE right here at the Outlander Cast Blog. Folks, there is a whole COMMENTS SECTION at the bottom of this post. It’s there for YOU. It can be cathartic to share your fears, hopes and/or just tell me I am full of shite with regard to my survival tips in this post. I go back to Tip #1 and that’s to gather together your Outlander buddies, friends and fellow Obsessenachs. We’ve been through a lot. The excitement and anticipation of Season 1 and the devastation and shock of a very difficult few episodes at the end. We held each other together and encouraged each other through several VERY long Droughtlanders between Season 1A and Season 1B and the start of Season 2, of course. We have cried and laughed our way through Season 2, rejoiced together when the series was renewed and now find ourselves together again breathlessly anticipating what we know will be an emotional and heartbreaking Season 2 Finale.
Don’t let your feelings fester. Express yourself and tell us what emotions you are experiencing and how you expect to get through the Finale. We’re here for you at the Outlander Cast Blog! Take a leap and comment…we are listening!!!
Onward to the Finale. Follow these tips or not, but at the end of the day, we will all be here when it’s over and we’ll be strong together during Droughtlander. Slainte!