Five Tips for Surviving Outlander Season 3
Making it through Outlander‘s Droughtlander was just the start. Our Outlander Fan Survival Guide can help you survive Season 3.
If the Outlander premiere episode, “The Battle Joined,” is any indication, Season 3 was well worth our wait. Here’s the problem. It was one thing to survive Droughtlander (please tell me that you took none of the advice from this post), but it’s going to be another thing altogether to survive this season. I expect television to transport me to different places and times; to make me laugh or cry, depending on my mood. I expect it, sometimes, to divert my attention from the terrible things that are going on in the world around me. I have never, however, expected or required that television take my breath away, but that’s exactly what happened when I watched the premiere episode of Outlander Season 3.
For the first 20 minutes, I clutched a tissue to catch the tears that would inevitably come, unable to do anything other than take the occasional gasping breath between scenes. To see glimpses of innocence, brotherly love and romantic love in the stunning devastation of a battlefield was brilliant and wrenching, and I could not look away for even a moment. To see Claire struggle to fit herself into a life that she has clearly outgrown and is, possibly, powerless to change reminded me of my own emotional imprisonment. Claire’s wistful look at the bird, Jamie’s hope to see Rupert and Angus together again, and Jamie’s pleas to be shot were all reminders that there are things worse than death and that sometimes death can be a welcomed end to suffering.
This is not why I typically watch television, but last Sunday night it was, and it’s the reason why I will return every Sunday night for the next 12 weeks.
I thought I was prepared last Sunday night, but I simply wasn’t. I knew what was going to happen on the battlefield, but I was not prepared for the emotion of seeing it played out in front of me. I knew that Claire and Frank’s relationship would look awkward, but I wasn’t prepared for how awkward it would make me feel as I watched them try to bail water from a sinking ship.
Given all that, I have decided that a plan is in order for the next episode and the ones that follow. It’s my Outlander Fan Survival Guide. Here are five tips that I’ll share with you for free, but only if you promise not to litigate if something goes terribly wrong.
Location, location, location
As with real estate, location is everything for the proper viewing of Outlander. I know some people like to watch with a group, but I think you’ve got it all wrong. You know you’re going to watch every episode more than once (10 times?) so be selfish and make the first viewing yours, yours, all yours. That’s right, be selfish about it. Inform the household that you are out of commission for one hour, find a quiet space, and then barricade yourself.
A bedroom with a locking door is an excellent first choice. In a pinch, you might also think about a linen closet, a walk-in closet, or the laundry room (you know nobody’s coming in there). If you have access to yellow caution tape, or maybe something with ATF or CSI printed on it, you could also tape this to the door of your viewing room. It’s one thing to tell your family that you need an hour to yourself, but showing them that you have tools used at crime scenes might show them exactly how much you mean it.
If someone tries to breech the barricade by knocking on the door or yelling “Mom, Mom, Mommm, Mommmmm,” I would suggest moaning “leave me be” in a pained and breathy voice. That should be enough to frighten away anyone not requiring stitches. On a related note, if someone does need stitches, you should hit the pause button and take care of that.
You won’t often hear people express regret over not having a drink, but here goes. I had an uncharacteristic moment of piety just before the premiere and decided that I would watch with a glass of room temperature water by my side. I cannot tell you how wrong that was.
Please, for the love of all things holy, pour yourself a drink. Had I written this post three weeks ago, I would have gone on about finding just the right Scottish whisky for the evening and, perhaps, recommended sharing a dram with your life partner right before you push him out of your viewing room and lock the door behind him. It’s not three weeks ago. It’s now, and this is serious.
It doesn’t matter what you drink (as long as it’s not room temperature water), just grab something, anything, that will dull the pain of the emotional knife blades that will repeatedly pierce your heart in the next twelve episodes. Whisky? Cool. Whiskey? Also cool. Blackberry Boone’s Farm? Bring it. Now, I understand that not everyone imbibes and for a variety of reasons. For you, I say seek out an Irn-Bru because there is apparently nothing more Scottish than drinking something that looks like the discharge from rusty pipes. As my great-grandmother used to say, “it’ll grow hair on yer chest.” And if you’re not going to consume alcohol, you’ll need that hair to keep you warm after all the goosebumps. Did someone say PRINT SHOP?
I cried no tears during the premiere episode. This from a woman who cries at insurance commercials, episodes of Modern Family (every single time) and violin recitals. I couldn’t cry because I was so caught up in the intense drama and then there was the forgetting to breathe thing. The tears are coming and I’ve made it a point to be prepared when they do.
If you are on a budget, I recommend plain ol’ tissues. They’ll get the job done and you can just throw them away, like all those years with Frank. See what I did there? If you are on a budget but also mindful of the environment, you might want to consider purchasing a kitchen sponge. It can be wrung out when full and you can use the same one each week, provided you aren’t squeamish about bacteria. Tissues with lotion or aloe are the ultimate indulgence. They are neither cost-effective nor environmentally friendly, but they will come in handy if you need to go to work tomorrow and not look like a character from The Wolf of Wall Street. You might also consider a rain barrel to both catch your tears and water your plants—your begonias will thank you. Also, if you’d like to know how to keep mosquito larvae out of your barrel, my engineering-minded child can assist you with that.
I know a lot of people baked a lot of sausage rolls and scones last weekend and that’s cool. You were having a party and food was part of the celebration. The party’s over and it’s time to get serious. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but I believe that BJR and Jamie’s showdown at Culloden will not the be the last epic battle we witness this season. Do you really want to have a sausage roll in your pie hole the next time you see Leg Whore’s face on the screen? Exactly. Get rid of the snacks and just keep drinkin’ sister…just keep drinkin’.
You won’t be able to call in sick each Monday for the next 12 weeks, but you might want to pre-plan a couple of illnesses just to recover from the occasional episode. And, by recover, I mean watch it 12 more times while the kids are at school and the significant other is stuck in an eight-hour training session on how to use the new time clock. You could do the old *cough*cough* routine on the phone with your boss or you could just tell him that you need to be out of the office for two days to take care of a friend who has been battling an acute case of post-Culloden syndrome.
I’ll be watching each episode from the comfort of my bedroom with a glass of wine in hand. What about you? Do you have any viewing rituals? Are you doing anything different for Outlander Season 3?