Caitriona Balfe, our Dora Queen, sailed on an unforgettable trip to Australia December of last year.
So unforgettable that we remember it every time we pay the therapy check.
Surrounded by friends (#upset we were not invited), the actress had her engagement announced by Melissa Hoyer, a heartless journalist from
After editing her post on Instagram SEVEN times, this engagement of every hologram creator’s dream, it was officially confirmed by People Magazine during the
worst lovely 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, in January of the same year.
Wrapped in mysterious circumstances, Dora’s engagement (a very private person) is still the talk of the year in the Outlander Fandom and because of that, we will walk you through on how, who, when and where it all went down.
That a deep breath. Relax.
Drink some tea and sail with SIS (this time) on a surprising trip back to Australia
Yes, many events on this trip were surprising, except the destination choice.
Dora, as stated above, is usually very discreet about her personal life, but in this case, she made it a point to show where, when, how and with whom she would enjoy her vacation.
And that’s just weird.
She created #GratefulFor on Twitter and went on telling us all about her whereabouts and her plans for days to come.
How many times have you seen Dora doing that? Or even Harry?
Her footsteps were as clear as DG’s mad mind (with all due respect, of course).
Our Department of Investigation, at the time, took the opportunity to go to the movies, to get their nails done and eat gnocchi!
To this day they haven’t had the same luck. It’s been A YEAR! #ImagineTheNails
The Australia Brief, for all the facts that it contemplates, has always been a priority in our investigation department.
Consequently, after many hours of work and a very well informed SIS, we discovered an unusual track.
There is, within this event, a single link, or rather, a single person that unites everyone involved in this trip to Australia.
“The Australian Brief”
Before I tell you everything that Dora has been exploring on this strange trip with these strange people, let’s show who the main players were and what they all have in common.
Caitriona Mary Balfe, better known as Dora Queen, wifey, my amigo and co-star of Sam Heughan, our Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with Chocolate Topping Receipt Giver, is our Claire Fraser from Outlander who loves vanilla ice cream, tacos and cats. One cat. One fat cat, Eddie.
As the Protagonist of this story, she mysteriously became engaged to her friend and longtime assistant, Tony McGill. Maybe it’s Brian, we’re still not sure. In doubt, we go with Tobrian.
THE SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tony McGill or Brian, has a more secret identity than Batman. Music producer, Dora’s assistant and Pub owner, Tobrian has no social network, no public record (besides those that the PRs publish, learn more here and has zero, ZERO input in this whole story. We never even heard the man’s voice.
Rumor has it that he might be an hologram. I have no idea who started that possible awful rumor. #NotSIS
Since January 1st 2018, Tobrian has had his status elevated to Caitriona’s fiancé.
As you can imagine, it was a big shock. The earth moved, the angels fell and even my neighbor’s mother became speechless. That woman has never shut her mouth. EVER.
Who’s Tony in the bread line? When did he arrive at the bakery and how did he jump the line?
These are questions we have no answer to, because as always, didn’t get invited to the bakery.
But, we can clarify a little of this mystery, presenting those involved in and of course, starting with the one who probably made it all happen.
THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
James is the glue that unites everything and everyone. He is the center of our puzzle. He’s close friends with half of the Australia Brief. #ExceptOurs
James is a photographer and so we find it interesting how strange photos of Cait and Tobrian have appeared in the fandom after this new year.
He is married to Brian (not Tobrian). Well married, said our source who knows a couple who knows James and Brian.
Our source went to the Bafta party and found Cait drinking on the bar. They chatted, and he said that his friend (our SIS) was crazy about Outlander. Remember, Tony was at the Bafta’s red carpet walking behind Cait.
She was friendly, receptive and very polite. They talked more amenities and no sign of Tony/Brian/Tobrian anywhere. Our source even found her again on the dance floor, alone, where she stepped on his foot.
As the ancients say, an apple never falls far from the tree, so let’s meet the one who is James’s partner and husband, Brian.
Brian is Cait’s friend, owner of BMG Consulting, which is a firm specialized in restaurants, hotels and bar management. He owns The Highlands, a gastropub in New York, as well as being an interior designer and dealing with real estate.
He was decisive in this story since he started following a shipper account a few days before Cait was supposed to arrive in Australia. An action that turned all eyes to his account and left him with the direction in his hand.
In addition to knowing what the shippers were talking about, he still dictated what they should think, see, and believe. #MarriedCoupleThatWorkTogether
A good example of this would be the first post he did in which appears a woman identical to Caitriona Balfe. Which brings us to the next character of this story.
She is the daughter of the former Australian Prime Minister and sister of Katherine Keating.
Friend of James, Brian and half of those in The Australia Brief, we don’t need to say how influential she is. Maybe not as much as she looks like Cait, so similar that we confused them.
The Keating sisters have a connection with Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys, the couple from the show The Americans, who hid their relationship during the show and even had a baby.
They are Donal’s friends, one of Cait’s best friends. They all have homes in Upstate NY. #SISDoesn’t
Want more details of this couple? Click here.
In fact, Kerri and Matthew coincidentally have the same PR company as Sam, the Jennifer Allen.
And speaking of Sam, he was not left out of this plot! After all, where Dora is, Harry is also.
Our captain is hubby, my amigo and co-star of our protagonist, Dora Queen Balfe. He is Outlander’s James Fraser and the King of Men (and king of SIS too, always in a fancy and respectful way)
Sam is known as our captain because he loves to guide us and it’s from him that we receive the greatest receipts. #HarryTheReceiptGiver
This time he played a slightly different role than usual.
First, because in December 2017 he was gone for two days, then he wished Merry Christmas on the 12th, took 14 hours to get from Glasgow to London and posted very punctual songs, poems, and videos that were, to a certain extent, against the narrative they were trying to tell.
Harry, during all that time, signaled. Listened and understood whoever wanted to.
But some people were so shaken that they focused all their attention on another person in this story.
Melissa is the heartless journalist from hell Australia who was the ONLY person to post Dora’s engagement (not even Dora did that) on SM on January 1st, 2018. #NoNiceOfHer
She has been friends with James for 25 years and is directly involved with all in The Australia Brief.
Melissa, contrary to what many people think, is not a rising journalist trying to get famous at the expense of publicity.
She is connected to the most famous Australian celebrities and has a very consolidated career.
She is a well-respected entertainment journalist and works for Seven Network and News Corp, an Australian arm of Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Melissa is friends with Craig Markham, director of marketing for Firmdale Hotels that includes The Crosby Street, a hotel where Sam and Cait usually stay in SoHo, New York.
If you’re a supporter then you had access to the video we made when our two SISs stayed there at Comic Con in NY in October 2018.
Craig is also the director of The Charlotte Street Hotel in London, where the Sam / Steven Cree video scene occurred December 2017. Remember the Journal post? The one that William Shatner posted on his twitter? Yes it is, own. Read the post here
Melissa attends Craig’s annual Christmas lunch with all her friends, the same small circle that James is a part of too, in Sydney every year. He was even in Sydney while Caitriona was signaling her trip there.
Many of the people who were at Belongli Beach (Byron Bay) are all BEST friends with James, Brian and Melissa. This enabled them to “polish” the picnic on the beach before the storm exploded. And they gave us Tony with the stick! #TonyWithStick
Well, now that you know who are the main characters to this plot, let’s look at how and when it all happened on this crazy trip that nearly killed half of the Outlander fandom.
It is always good to remember that in this virtual world there are always two stories happening simultaneously, the real and the virtual one.
The virtual is the one we all have access to, the ones that are told through posts, photos, videos, stories, likes and comments. The other is what really happens. James and Brian had the power to tell the story and be part of the reality. #James&BrianWereBornToBeStalkers
A well told story, where truth is the main plot, with no doubts and/or place for assumptions. A lie, on the other hand, smells from afar and attracts the interest of many people.
Human behavior also says a lot. We have “real” and even virtual ways of doing stuff.
stalked studied our couple and their networking 24/7. SIS already understood their ways and routine.
A friend once told me she was so tired that when it was time for a vacation, she posted an old travel photo on Instagram and made everyone think she was traveling.
She spent the holidays at home, binging tv shows and resting. #SheFooledMe
When we get out of our routine or when our behavior change, people notice.
Even Tony and his Ray Ban, notice.
And Cait changed. Considerably. We have noticed this change over the course of this year, which began in Australia.
Many famous Australians living in US were home for the holidays.
Australia was full of celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Daniel McPherson (the guy who was in the helicopter with MM and Sam).
A more than perfect setting for Cait’s engagement announcement. Besides that they could walk free and unrecognized by most people, except in those moments where they would have to be seen and recognized.
A job for James and Brian!
Who would pay attention or even know who Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were? #MyMother #Leanne #DG #SISters #SIS but again #NotInvited
Wait. Sam Heughan? Yes, the one and only.
Both were seen in Brisbane, in the first-class lounge of an airline leaving Australia, which meant that he entered the country at some point and was with Cait.
Or are you one of those who arrives with your fiancé and leaves with your co-star? #Won’tJudge #HaveYouSeenTheCoStar?
This person is friends with a SIS and was in the same lounge. Of course we do not have photos, as the place for such was inappropriate. So feel free to believe it or not.
SIS believes because we know the source.
What was Sam doing in Australia and where were they staying?
After studying the geography of the country and relying on the experience of one of our SIS, we understood that Sam and Cait probably wouldn’t be staying in Byron, the way they wanted us to believe.
The population of Byron Bay explodes in December, especially in the two weeks between Christmas and New Year. It is a place to be seen and noticed. That’s where Chris Hemsworth lives.
Many Australian celebrities spend the last two weeks of the year in Byron. So, definitely not the place to be if you don’t want to be recognized.
But a two hours drive, however, would provide the perfect coverage. Solitary confinement and anonymity. The Costa del Sol with the main beaches of Noosa and Coolum is ideal.
Cooroy Mountain is the perfect place to ride a bike and we know that Harry loves a mountain bike, right? #MeToo #NoIDon’t #ButILoveHarry
Tropical rainforest and rental of vacation homes, seems like a perfect spot to relax and unwind. And with friends like Dan McPherson (who was also in Australia for vacation) to give them the right recommendations, Harry and Dora could go unnoticed.
This is why we only saw Dora when James and Brian wanted us to see and why we DID NOT see Sam at all!
These factors were HOW and WHERE could of happened without raising suspicions.
What the eyes can’t see, the heart doesn’t feel. #ExceptASIStersHeart. We see everything, even reflection on Sam’s ball Christmas tree.
We are now at the moment to tell you what happened and when.
THE WHATs AND WHENs
This part will lead you into a chronological explanation of the events of this trip. It may seem confusing at times, but in the end everything will fit like a puzzle and a (almost) perfect script! Because they had their mistakes.
My brother-in-law’s great-uncle once said: three mistakes are not two, nor four, it’s three. #WiseWords. And they made three mistakes.
Since we met Dora through social media, she spends her Christmas and New Year’s holidays with a group of friends (except this year, 2018, she appeared at Harry’s house).
James and Brian are among them. How do we know? Photos that she or friends posted. #WeNeverReceivedAnInvintation
The first mention of a possible trip to Australia happened in July and then again in October during a Q&A, where Dora confirmed it.
Obviously, she wanted everyone to know where she would be. Normal attitude for a private person who is finally going on a vacation and wants to relax.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, or rather in this case, Scotland.
But in September, prior to the confirmation of this trip, Cait quoted Tony for the first time in a magazine article. But she called him Brian.
Maybe she was confusing names. #WeCan’tJudge
You can read it here.
And as we mentioned above, RIGHT BEFORE Cait arrived in Australia for a well deserved vacation, Brian (not Tobrian) followed a shipper account that follows her and her co-star, Sam Heughan, on instagram.
Another very reasonable action.
What did he get out of this? Shippers and fans of Dora fans following him. What does this cause? It dictates what we should see. A good way to control an obsessive and thirsty fandom for information.
As the saying goes: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
As anticipated, they started making posts with photos of Australia and everyone got hooked on them because Cait could show up at any time.
They posted boats, restaurants and tagged Cait, but Cait was never seen. Maybe she was the designated photographer.
One hour she appeared. Well, in a way. They tagged her in this photo, which made us think she’d be with them.
But apparently she was not.
How do we know?
Just 25 minutes after that post, our SIS went to the same place.
Remember: SIS is everywhere.
Upon arriving she was informed that a Christmas party was going on there.
As a good SIS, not satisfied, she checked and walked all over the area and nothing. NOTHING.
None of the people involved in the photo or tagged appeared there. No one with their description entered or left the premisses, and she also went through the bar and restaurant, located downstairs.
To say her timing was wrong, she sat and waited for 2 hours, TWO WHOLE HOURS, 120 MINUTES, 7200 SECONDS.
After that, the next day, Dora posts a photo of the airport, with #gratefulfor, saying that in a few hours she would be “somewhere.”
When you’re on vacation with your friends, how often do you pretend to be somewhere with people you’re not with you? What is your purpose in doing that?
After then, they posted stories of a boat trip and a lot of people thought it was Caitriona with them. But it was not, it was Alexandra Keating.
She looks a lot like Cait, which makes us think: was it intentional?
Two days later, Cait appears on Twitter with her #gratefulfor and says that she had her first view of the Sydney Opera House, in addition to thanking a friendly Uber driver and dinner with friends.
Cait appeared in this picture when she was tagged by a fan who said she had met her and Tony.
On this we have two things to say:
First, we got in touch with the person who posted this photo. She talked to us and said she had dinner with Dora and Tobrian.
He/she said it was great, but he did not confirm that they were together and when we said that our cousin had the hots for Tony, he/she was uncomfortable and disappeared from the map.
Poor cousin. #Upset
Second, at the time, we identified the exact location of this photo. Chinatown, Sydney. Our investigator was ninja!
However, after a closer look at the place, we found that it’s not the first choice for any tourist, specially those first timers. Very dark, deliberately away from the main part of Sydney’s Chinatown precinct.
What was Cait doing there?
This place is 20 minutes (by car) from the beach that Brian tagged us into think they were staying.
A very public and small boutique hotel. Would a PRIVATE person like Dora stay there? Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel , take a look. A very HOT destination during summer. Drinks at the outdoor bar is a MUST for the young and bronzed Sydney siders. Private IT’S NOT. People are always watching.
Which raises an obvious question.
Why wear this hat being so far from the beach?
According to our SIS, no one in Sydney wears that kind of hat in that place at that time.
It’s also a fashion issue, and for a catwalk Diva that’s always been tuned into the fashion world, this hat shows just the opposite.
What would be the function of a hat at the moment?
The photo was deleted later. OBVIOUSLY.
It seems that it only served the purpose of showing Cait and Tony together in Sydney, Australia, in an inappropriate place, with an old-fashioned hat.
We consulted our specialist, Mariana Capaz, who had already done that post on Tony’s fake pic, to analyze some of these photos.
She said she didn’t find anything that could prove that those photos were a manip in any way. Their quality is low and dark, making accurate analysis impossible.
Would that also have been on purpose? Post a photo with the lower quality than normal?
Dora didn’t show up in any other photo until the Stories festival of 01/01/2018.
Meanwhile somewhere in the world …
Harry appeared and lead us to think he would maybe be spending New Year’s Eve with Gabs. Can you imagine her happiness?
Every Stranger Thing started to happen to Harry when he announced that he would go to This Morning show with Dora on December 10th, 2017.
He and Cait were very excited about going to the show. But then came her nomination to the GG and she said she would be going alone because Harry would still be working.
He came to twitter to respond the exact opposite, that he was no longer working, wished a Happy Holidays and vanished.
Everyone was pretty much confused. Until that day, he had never done that. He simply said she was lying.
Why didn’t he go to the show with Dora? Why did she say he couldn’t go because he would be working?
Why did Dora dismiss Harry like that?
Till this day that is still a mystery! It’s not like them to do something like that, because they are always supporting and having each other’s back.
Another mystery to be solved.
She appeared the next day on the show looking like she had cried.
After that, Sam became more and more enigmatic.
He made a post about the most searched terms on Google, where Outlander was included, tagged Cait as “my sassenach,” and soon afterwards edited it and then deleted it.
He posted songs, poetry, photos of bridges and on Christmas day even used Cait’s hashtag to wish happy holidays to everyone!
One of the songs he posted just before 01/01 has a very suggestive lyric.
Are you keeping up?
The plot is really complicated. So much so that we’re here, a year later, putting together the pieces of this crazy puzzle.
Meanwhile, here in Brazil, we already started 2018 in shock.
During the night (on our time zone), James posted many stories and photos.
They posted live of them on the beach!
Our Investigation Department has been following James and Brian on IG for a year. Do you know how many lives they’ve done throughout this whole year of 2018?
But that day they made lives. We saw Dora in bikini and no ring and Tobrian all happy carrying a big purse and a stick in his hand.
We even had “couple” photo.
First was the hat in that dark alley, now that leather bag on the beach? What happened to you, Dora? Not to mention that everyone there was dressed for a different occasion. Guess which one was going to sleep, going surfing or going to a restaurant?
And then that was this photo:
James tagged everyone in the photo and tagged Melissa. And in that moment Melissa became known to us.
Until then, who was Melissa at Christmas dinner? James put her on the map, making all the fans pay attention to the journalist.
We need to understand that Melissa is famous and respected within Australia, not the world, let alone the Outlander fandom.
And what did she do? Announced that the actress Caitriona Balfe, that she JUST GOT TO KNOW, was engaged!
What a happy news Melissa! #not
She posted it, then changed her mind, changed the caption, posted back, changed her mind once again … 7 times.
Yes, SEVEN TIMES!
Do you think that in any of these posts Melissa mentioned the NAME OF THE FIANCE?
NOPE. NOT ONCE.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON meets an actress who is notorious for keeping her personal life private, announces on Instagram that she has just been engaged and tags her?
It can only be crazy kind! A person who took advantage of a situation to gain followers.
WRONG! VERY WRONG!
As we have already said, Melissa is a respected journalist in Australia and has connections with many influential people and important artists.
Then why be so inconvenient and disrespectful?
Because she was doing a favor to a friend.
The only person that Melissa had no intimacy with in this great spider’s web, curiously, was Caitriona Mary Balfe.
Until the day of the engagement announcement on Instagram, Melissa didn’t follow Cait and vice versa.
Do you know when they started to follow each other?
To this day, Dora doesn’t follow her. But Melissa started to follow Dora on January 1st 2018.
So, you ask: when did the journalist get this intimacy with Caitriona?
She didn’t. Her friend in this whole story is James Houston.
Which leads us to believe: he was responsible for producing this whole plan.
Soon after Melissa did the damage and announced to the world that Dora was engaged, causing half of the fandom to depression and the other half to go on twitter to congratulate Cait (which she ignored solemnly), our captain appears as if nothing was happening by posting a video of his feet on a beachy water!
If Sam was supposed to be in London, where did he find this tropical beach?
At the time, SIS thoroughly investigated this video. SISters all over the world went to beaches, made videos and sent us. California, Spain, Cape Town, among others …. were cloudy, cold or rainy, except in Australia and a few others. Read the post here.
And during that whole mess, Karolina (Cait’s friend), who was on vacation in the Scottish Highlands, posted a photo on the Instagram.
Normal, after all, that’s what we do when we’re on vacation, right?
Apparently not to Cait, since until today she hasn’t posted a miserable photo of this unforgettable vacation.
Except that Donal, Cait’s best friend, had to remind Karolina in a totally random comment that our beloved protagonist was on vacation in Australia. He was as subtle as an elephant!
Donal is another friend who is always with Cait at this time of year, but interestingly this year he was not. Neither Donal nor Karolina.
I wonder why?
After everything above, all we had to do was wait. We had a pijama party in our clean and disinfected bathroom, with caipirinhas and shrimps, after all, it was New Year’s Eve!
So the Golden Globe week arrived. Sam and Cait showed up at a party and everyone kept looking for a ring on her finger, but there wasn’t any.
Not an engagement ring.
We sighed with relief. Melissa said that the engagement happened in Australia in the new year, but she was not wearing any engagement ring. Maybe what happens in Australia stays in Australia. #ThankYou
As one of the nominees for best drama actress, Cait is expected at several parties. The Bafta Tea Party, which occurs days before the GG, is one of them. Fans looked forward to seeing her there.
That never happened.
She went on Twitter and said she got sick. At the time, one of our SIS, a doctor, was surprised by this tweet because it contained Tamiflu.
From what we understand, Tamiflu is something you take if you are very sick and she was beautiful and diva the next day! Full of health and strong! (except to carry her bag, which Tobrian did to her, wonderfully).
But the most interesting of all, it was a video a few days later, from Sam at the airport, saying that Cait called him saying she was sick because she caught a virus inside the plane.
It turned out that everything was a well-designed plan. Why “debut” an engagement ring at a party with little notice when you have a Golden Globe to do that and draw much more attention?
During the red carpet, she didn’t say anything, didn’t take a miserable photo with Tobrian and his Ray Ban and much less walk next to him. But the ring was there and it gave the message. Clearly.
Later that evening, BOOM! People Magazine!
The super discreet actress and the most shy fiance on the planet announced the engagement.
They bought an engagement announcement on People. Those in the business know that this is how things work.
Cait, despite being nominated for the award, is not a Class A celebrity, meaning People probably never asked her anything.
It was bought and planned to be released that night. Night in which the actress would have notoriety above normal.
Let’s recap some things here:
Cait’s GG nomination was on 12/11/17.
- Cait told us on TT that Sam wouldn’t go to the show with her anymore because he would be working.
- Sam appeared on twitter much later looking rather annoyed and telling Cait wrong.
Could this have been the beginning of all this? Could it have been there that the plan got the go, since Cait had already announced her vacation destination?
The Golden Globe on January 7th, 2018 closes this chronological order with the official announcement of the engagement.
From then on, publicly, Caitriona Balfe became a woman committed to Tony McGill.
The speculations surrounding her and her co-star are over.
Or should be.
Your feelings and attitude towards the one you love comes naturally. No need for effort. We believe this is universal, even for those who are more shy and has a hard time showing feelings.
For a person who values their intimacy to announce their engagement that way, and then try to hide it at the same time and to show it, makes no sense at all. There is a serious miscommunication here.
“Ah, they never came forward as a real couple because shippers want her with Sam.” That phrase is as absurd as saying that Brad doesn’t go back to Jen because fans like Angelina more and want them together. Please.
“Ah, but Sam is gay. That’s why Cait does this, to hide her friend’s secret, since he doesn’t want to come out“. What?
So Cait pretends to have something with Sam in order to hide her co-star’s homosexuality, but got engaged to another man she never claimed by insinuating that she actually cheats on him?
Sam has his own PR team. Cait doesn’t have to be his or anyone’s alibi. They would solve his advertising and image issues themselves, if needed. The same way she would too.
It is imperative to understand that no, absolutely no decision is ruled upon what shippers think or want. I wish we had that power. The scenario would certainly be quite different.
Decisions are set according to what the involved ones want, in this case Sam and/or Cait, or whoever is above them. Only.
Don’t even try to say that shipping this couple or any other will affect their personal or professional life. You are wasting your time and I know you have more productive things to talk about.
There is one very important factor in this environment that we can’t ignore: the receipts. Which are many and some very clear. NetSIS proves that.
Sam and Cait give reasons that there is something far beyond a friendship that they want or should preserve for personal and/or contractual reasons like several other examples in Hollywood.
Whatever the reason, they worked out a plan of action.
On paper, it’s a really good plan. Too bad they forgot a lot of loose pieces on the way and also forgot to tell the protagonists of the story that they spent 2018 giving the biggest receipts that this fandom has ever seen.
Happy New Year!
To read this post in Portuguese, click here.
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Author: Bianca Portela, Flavia Labruna
Collaborators: JPG, Carolina Ramires, Lotti
Investigators: Carolina Ramires, Catarina Balfe, Eloise Zanatto, Flavia Labruna, Lotti
Images: Catarina Balfe
Arts & Memes: Talita Brisola
Formatting (text): Thais Belluzzo
Proofreader (Portuguese): Thais Belluzzo, Carolina Ramires, Lotti
Translator: Bianca Portela
Proofreader (English): JPG, Talita Brisola, Beatriz Labruna
Compiler: Alexandra Favoretto
SM: Alexandra Favoretto