Monthly Archives: November 2018

Outlander Episode 405: Mysterious Man Murtagh is Coming Back?



Are you grinning yet? I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see Duncan Lacroix credits listed for the upcoming Outlander 405 episode, “Savages”. Many of us have been pinning for our favorite godfather and all out best man to have at your side. As was done in season 3, Murtagh has been wrapped up in mystery, and seriously kept under wraps. Duncan dropped his Twitter account earlier this year. There were many rumors it was hacked, and many fans had speculation as to him marrying Jocasta. I think with all the pressure on about keeping his character under wraps, the huge fan base he had, and the fact that Twitter can drive anyone nuts, we lost him in the media and contact with his fun rants and musings. Never fear, he resurfaced on Instagram and you can get a few tidbits from him on his explorations. Let’s hope he’ll have an interview with a journalist in the next week after the episode, or even post some BTS from the filming.

So, where has he been? If you recall in last season’s separation from Jamie (Sam Heughan), Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) and the other Ardsmuir Prisoners were shipped off to the Colonies for indentureship to serve out their terms. Being indentured means you work effectively as a slave, similar to Jamie’s situation at Helwater, but under less desirable conditions. Indentureship was also used as a way to buy passage to the New World. In essence, it’s another form of slavery and servitude without pay. You are a servant for 14 years with no real control on your life.

download-1In this season, we have seen Jamie Fraser come to the colonies, procure a land grant, and as he mentions to Fergus to start looking for the Ardsmuir prisoners to see if they have survived and can settle the land, no real mention of Murtagh. As a matter of fact, Jamie doesn’t seem to give the man much thought. Very odd for a life long companion and godfather, wouldn’t you say? Or is that true, is he suppressing an urge due to other obligations, or a feeling that he let his kinsman down? It is possible the writers wanted to build up the suspense and keep viewers focused on the developing Brianna and Roger storyline. However, with a relationship such as this, why has Jamie not brought up finding Murtagh sooner, he only references his men from Ardsmuir? Two of them, Lesley and Gavin found Jamie in Edinburgh. What kept Murtagh FitzGibbons Fraser from finding Jamie again? This episode promises to show the hardships of the colonies even more intensely.

Knowing Murtagh as we do, with all this hardship and separation from Jamie, and the fact the man would be in his 60s by this point, would he have survived? Many did not live past 30 years. With his personality, he may have gotten into some trouble in his indentureship, had more years added on. He could have come out of it so scarred from everything that staying and becoming a Mountain Man would be the best answer, it’s as close to his Highlander sensibilities as you could come in the American Colonies. BTS fan filming capture in Cumbernauld last winter showed what appeared to be Lacroix in just such a “rig out”, white hair and mountain attire. Will he have gone a bit native, maybe even have an Indian family? Perhaps he has finally found someone he could settle with. We hope he just brings himself to Fraser’s Ridge.

This episode promises some serious conflict. Book readers will know of the tragedy that download-3faces Claire. Claire spends a great deal of time trying to heal others, and work with the Cherokee (Tuscarora healer in Book), Adawehi/Nayawenne(book)  (Tantoo Cardinal), to understand the plants in the area. She also seeks to help a German family with tragic results. This leaves Claire in Fear for her family’s life.

The Frasers and Young Ian spend a great deal of time building on the common ground they have been trying to establish with the Indians, and Jamie starts showing his talents for acquiring language. Characters are mentioned in the IMDB listing that coincide with the tragedy that is about to roll out. The aftermath of it will make it very difficult for Fraser’s Ridge. Which is why Jamie’s adamant about getting Ardsmuir prisoners settled on the ridge to help to fight off conflict and make up to them all the terrible tragedy that befell them.

Jamie’s omission of outright looking for Murtagh may have been due to having to get himself established and making his family safe. The man has been occupied. It is not that he doesn’t think of Murtagh, he does too much. Would Murtagh have even survived this long? And how will he find him?

Jamie and Young Ian begin the quest to find some of Ardsmuir’s prisoners in 405: Savages. Get a fresh box of tissues out. Murtagh is the one to defend those he loves, we know he will.

Other possible appearances: Book readers know that we are revisited in Drums of Autumn by none other than Lord John Grey, with young Willie in tow. There may be just too much going on in this episode for this scene, and it well deserves to play out in it’s own episode, possibly the upcoming 406: Blood of My Blood, or 407: Down the Rabbit Hole. 

Airing on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 8PM EST 5PM PST in the US on Starz®, at Midnight Drop on December 2 for the Starz App ( 9PM PST). The show then airs on Amazon Prime UK on December 3, 2018. In Canada on the W Network.

Episode 405: Savages on IMDB

Will Jamie Reunite With Murtagh and Young Willie in Outlander Season 4?

All Images ©2018 Starz® LLC

Episode 403: The False Bride


Things are certainly not so cheery in the story so for for Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan). In this weeks episode, we meet up with the Brianna Randall/Fraser and Roger MacKenzie timeline again, but this time it picks up the heat. And yes, book readers, this episode goes way off book, with some favorite scenes being altered and jumped up in the timeline. Patience.

This episode was very different from the previous episodes with Roger and Brianna in that the timelines were alternating at a very rapid pace, within the same episode. The story arc is starting to climb at a fast clip for these two as their relationship grows more intense, and begins to lose that first blush luster of discovery. In the past two seasons, Bree and Roger carved out small time spaces as they got to know one another. However in this season, it’s a ramp up for what book readers know will happen, and the relationship gets quite serious indeed. But it’s not smooth sailing by any means.

In debating the writing for this weeks recap, I thought of a play by play approach with the alternating timelines. The problem is, even that was getting difficult to outline while watching and rather than hop about in this article, we will look at Jamie and Claires timeline and then Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna (Sofie Skelton) in the future. It’s a quick paced story this episode, try to keep up.

In the 18th c. at River Run

After the horrible night of the lynching at River Run, Jamie and Claire make the decision to go riding to the backwoods and Blue Ridge Mountains see if there is anything that can be done with the offer of land sponsorship from Governor Tryon. Claire, Jamie and Young Ian set out to leave River Run, but not before Aunt Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) has her say. She is gentle and persuasive with Jamie, but takes to Claire with a guilting. She tells Claire that she is “Doing Jamie a disservice.” By taking him away from what he was born to do, be a lord of an estate. Claire and her stubborn self defends their choice and will not persuade Jamie to stay. Claire has had enough of others trying to tell them how to live their lives. She and Jaimie would decide how they were to live.Outlander Season 4 2018

Ulysses sees that the Frasers and Young Ian are outfitted for their journey with a wagon, and another Fraser’s Ridge fan favorite, the famous Clarence the mule. Joining them on the journey is John Quincy Myers, the bigger than life back woodsman. On the journey to what would become Fraser’s Ridge, Myers seeks to educate the ever curious Ian and Frasers about the Cherokee and that their women decide who they will lay with and take on, and mentions the lost Tuscarora Tribes. Ian is invited to meet with the Indians when Myers parts ways with the Frasers. It is the beginning of what is to become the growing up of the young man Ian is becoming, as his fascination will become his future with the tribes.

images-1When they are alone, the build up for yet another romantic interlude by Claire and Jamie scene ensues. However the following talking scene is the important part, as much as fans love the steamy romance. Here Claire and Jamie start discussing what they really want, what a home and place to live and settling down would mean. If they took the Governor’s offer, how would it affect them? Taking on a big responsibility and the fact that what what Tryon really wants is some order in the back country as the Regulators are giving some trouble. Jamie discusses if it would be better to be in Boston for Claire. He also brings up if it were just him, he would be fine not settling, but now he has a family, and extended family with Fergus and Marsali, who is with child. He can’t just think about himself, he must think about how to make it better for all of them. Claire is leery of any involvement with the Governor’s plans, as she knows the history of what leads up to the Revolutionary War. She doesn’t want any more conflict. However, she wants to be away from Boston where the Revolution starts, better to be in the back country.

Following comes another departure from the books, both in how the story is told and when in the timeline it occurs. The next day, a storm starts brewing and Clarence spooks and runs. Jamie’s horse has issues with it’s shoe, so Claire volunteers to chase down the mule. In doing so she gets lost and the lightening strike of a nearby tree makes her horse rear. She falls and knocks herself unconscious. Sometime later in the night with Jamie frantically trying to find her, she is hurt and cold and finds the hollow of an upturned large tree for shelter, she unzips her 1960s boots and sets them aside. Feeling about in the hollow, she finds a human skull and starts talking to it, asking it “Who are you?” and in typical fashion for Claire, another mystery begins to enfold. She also unearths a very large opal stone. Then a spectre visits her in the night, a mysterious Indian figure comes with an impossibly lit torch. It shows the same head wound as the skull she has been examining. Then leaves.

In the morning, Claire finds large boot prints leading out of the area, and she can’t find her own boots. Walking in stockings, she finally finds Jamie by a creek and he wonders why she’s been walking without her boots. Claire explains she thinks that the skull she has found belongs to a ghost, and on further inspection she finds silver fillings. She explains to Jamie that silver fillings will not begin being used on teeth for another hundred years. He must have been a time traveler like her.

They travel to a ridge that is filled with strawberries, the Frasers family crest symbol is strawberry flowers. Jamie takes it as a symbol, sign, and the meadow below and all that surrounds as a good place to settle. Claire remarks he has fallen in love, and who can blame him, they are amazing and beautiful streams, meadows and ridges. We leave the Frasers making a momentous decision in their lives, to stake a claim on American soil.

The Gathering of The American Scottish Clans

Roger is pinning for Brianna, and makes ready to go to a Clans Gathering in North Carolina, America. He will be singing and of course, it’s a chance to spend time with Brianna. Brianna allows him to driver her blue Mustang car, and we see Dairy Queen cups and papers. She also tells Roger he’s pretty. The crew did a fantastic job on getting a bit of Americana in this one.

Roger and Bree take in the small festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s time to even download-7have a portrait drawn and Brianna let’s slip the word “Boyfriend”, when indicating Roger MacKenzie and this helps to encourage Roger into his thinking the time may be right. There is dancing at a cèilidh. Roger gets ready and spends the evening as part of the band playing, then does a solo number, the song          “The False Bride”. Brianna grows more in love, as does half the audience. When the two love birds get back to Brianna’s lodge room, she slips off her blouse, and Roger and Bree start in. But Roger breaks off, he runs and finds his gift to her. A silver bracelet with the inscription:

“Je t’aime un peu … beaucoup … passionnément … pas du tout”

“”I love you a little… a lot… passionately… not at all”. Brianna asks for the meaning. Originally this little gem came from the equivalent of the English rhyme for plucking flower petals, “She Loves Me, She Loves Me not”. A description of how maddening love can be. It becomes a curse. Roger declares he wants to not have sex because he wants to marry Brianna, and have children with her. She retorts back about how he has had other women, he retorts with that he didn’t love them. Brianna brings up his hypocrisy, wanting to marry a virgin, when he had many women. The great clash ensues. Roger, the old fashioned values man with when he does want a wife, she must be pure, and not like all the girls he has already had. Brianna willing to throw herself at him. Brianna saying she has university to finish, an apartment, and on she goes.  Brianna states she’s not ready to commit, and one of the reasons is her mother, who married Frank, but found true love later. She is not sure where that leaves her. She doesn’t want to make a big mistake, is this the right choice for her?

On the final night of the festival, the clans gather and calling out the clans is done at the Burning of The Stag. Roger is there to represent Clan MacKenzie. Brianna tries to make friends a bit again, and Roger rejects her. Roger returns to Oxford, and Brianna to Boston.

Coming Up, We Hope

And we wonder critter wise where’s Donas 2?

And when the heck do we get Murtagh back? With the arrival of the settlers? Or is he there to take care of Bonnet? I wouldn’t mind that deviation on the storyline one bit.

Oh, and the preview of Brianna touching the stones is not a dead giveaway at all.

Images ©2018 Starz® Entertainment LLC

Outlander Episode 402: Do No Harm

i-2As you can guess by the title of the episode, there is going to be something that goes against the Hippocratic Oath. Claire being a doctor has faced many a deadly scene, and saved many lives, including an excise man who clearly meant her harm in Season 3, Cream De Menthe. So it is with a title like this that we find that The Colonies are indeed becoming a very dark place indeed for the Frasers. And as always, don’t read on unless you’ve watched Season 4 “Do No Harm”.

I also have to warn you, if you are a big Diana Gabaldon and Drums of Autumn fan, there are story changes in this episode. Many of the changes portend even more to come. I enjoy many of the changes, and agree that not everything can make it to the screen. That said, a few things stay in, if not exactly in the book, then the spirit of the situation. i-1

We begin with our travelers still on the river, heading to Aunt Jocasta’s plantation. Jamie, Claire and Ian show up worse for wear at the River Run dock. After their encounter with Stephen Bonnet, they arrive as paupers, which shames Jamie greatly. They are welcomed in and find that the vast property is heavily worked by slaves. While Jocasta explains away concerns, and that she tries to keep families of slaves together, it is still apparent that the practice of slavery runs deep in the colonies and Jamie and Claire are faced with a moral dilemma. Claire is very adamant about her views on slavery, and is identified as being a Quaker by Jocasta trying to make sense out of such ideas.

john-quincy-meyers.w700.h467To help adjust to life in their new surroundings, Rollo has decided to have an encounter with a beast most foul. The rare bit of Outlander comedy ensues and we meet John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees),  the bigger than life mountain man that will help guide the Frasers and Young Ian through their first adventures in the wilds of America. However, his first mission is to rescue all from a fate worse than death smell that Rollo manages to find,  courtesy of a wee black and white beastie. We also have a change from book, a certain medical procedure seems to not come into play at River Run. However, true to Outlander writer’s form, a far more sinister one comes into play later.


Phaedra (Natalie Simpson), Jocasta’s body slave

Again the Frasers are cursed. We meet yet another odious character in the form of Lt. Wolff (Lee Boardman), and he is just as annoying if not more so than in the books. He is one of many suitors of Jocasta Cameron’s, one she has turned down before.  She has huge acreage and wealth in the plantation and he considers it his right, and uses the Navy contracts to push his personal agenda. He is used to negotiating with Jocasta, and when Jamie begins to assist his aunt, is met with brusque resistance. To make matters worse and as a preemptive strike, Jocasta acknowledges Jamie Fraser as her heir in River Run, showing she is every bit Colum and Dougal MacKenzie’s sister. She seeks to have a way to keep her unwanted suitors at bay and has found the perfect way to do it through Jamie.

download-1A matter of great distress occurs as Jamie is adjusting and discussing the new role of being named heir to River Run. He immediately sets on a path to find some way to do away with the slavery issue, to find some way to emancipate the slaves and pay them as servants. As is pointed out by Farquard Campbell (James Barriscale), a dear and long time friend of Aunt Jocasta’s and landowner, and the every encroaching Lt. Wolff, that the laws must be followed in order to free a slave. Slave must have saved a life, and there is a compensation of £100 per slave to buy their freedom. Unfortunately Jamie learns quickly that the laws are just as hard to work around in the Colonies as they are in Britain. His grand sweeping ideas will meet with great resistance. And this plays out in a terrible fashion.

News comes from the pine works that a slave has attacked an overseer and drawn blood. Jamie, as new Plantation Manager and Claire the healer, rush off to aid the man, and in so doing become embroiled in a scene of slave punishment and laws they do not understand. A young slave, named Rufus, is found hanging by a hook, Jamie rushes in with pistols and demands that Rufus be taken down. With Farquard Campbell trying to diffuse the situation, and explain the laws to Jamie and Claire, there are grave consequences if the punishment of the slave is not carried out. Claire has the young slave brought back to the house and she saves his life from the hook wound, only to have to make a terrible decision later.

Claire has been against slavery and being from the 20th century, finds it abhorrent in any form. In saving a life and following her oath as a doctor, she does not see all that is going on around her or the consequences. In comes Ulysses, to explain the reality of slave life to Claire and her headstrong convictions. The ever faithful Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) is always at Jocasta’s side and as book readers know, really is the one who has kept River Run running. He is well educated for a slave, and seeks to educate Claire on how the lives of the others slaves are affected if one slave does something that is against the law. All slaves on the plantation will be made to suffer if Rufus is not taken to justice by the overseers. Ulysses is a steady hand in the household of River Run, and will keep things running as smooth as possible, and seeks to educate Claire. However make no mistake, his loyalty is to Aunt Jocasta.

Again we see that the Frasers and Young Ian are still not finding a place to call home. The River Run plantation is a great beauty of a place, but it’s underlying current is one that reflects the other plantations in the colonies, that of an ugliness lurking below. It is operated on the backs of slaves and cannot run without them. The laws are unjust, as Claire and Jamie have already experienced in Wilmington, and even more constricting in a place like River Run. The offer of becoming settlers on land of their own that Governor Tryon offered to Jamie and sponsoring other settlers, is becoming more and more appealing to Jamie. Is this an escape and a way to make the rules their own, or will it be filled with just as much danger and injustice  brought on by life in The Colonies?

Book or No Book

There is always the possibility that what was cut out of this episode, may turn up later. Gabaldon’s writings are so rich and much detail has been edited due to time and feasibility constraints. It could even involve a different character, one we all love and hope to see return. I could see a particular medical procedure being performed on this character, the actor is always up for an interesting challenge.




Outlander Behind the Scenes

If you haven’t visited this site by Starz® for the Outlander Series, you should. It’s filled with great behind the scenes insight. Warning, some of the photos of the costumes you cannot take your eyes off of. Not to mention all the great set design details. Staring with this seasons 401 America the Beautiful, check out Claire’s medicine box and Rollo.

Outlander Community



Outlander Episode 401: America is a Dark Beauty


When last we saw Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), they were wrecked on a beach after a hurricane. Their landing in America a bedraggled mess. However, they were alive. They had survived.

In the season 4 premiere of America the Beautiful opener we are shown two circles, a Neolithic stone circle with natives attending and dancing in it, and then a hangman’s noose.

We come across our heroes a month after the shipwreck, entering North Carolina to sort through what to do next. Ian (John Bell), Marsali (Lauren Lyle) , Fergus (Cesar Domboy), and Lesley (Keith Fleming) survived the shipwreck. One other survived the wreck, however Gavin Hayes (James Allenby-Kirk) managed to get himself arrested and is heading for the gallows. The episode is a shaky, a bad beginning for arrival in the Americas. It is not all roses for many who come to her shores. The Frasers and their extended family are about to find out how bad. America has great beauty in her forests and streams, but some of the people can be quite ugly.

There is loss this season, and we start out with losing another set of friends. Hayes’s hanging leaves poor Lesley bereft of his friend. After the hanging when the Frasers are gathered to sort through what has happened and how to bury their friend, Leslie brings up that there has been no proper lament. In Scotland, a lament is called a Cumhadh or Coronach. It is an elegy composed for a friend or celebrated person. The table breaks into a lament, lead by Lesley. They then agree to bury Hayes under the cover of darkness in hallowed ground.

Gavin (Gabhainn) Hayes Coronach

Eisd ris! Eisd ris! Dh’fhàg thu, Gabhainn, sinn fo bhròn! Eisd ris! Eisd ris! ‘S truagh nach eil thu fhathast glè òg. Eisd ris! Eisd ris! Dh’fhàg thu, Gabhainn, sinn fo bhròn! Eisd ris! Eisd ris! ‘S truagh nach eil thu fhathast glè òg!

While setting to bury Hayes’s body, Ian and Jamie have a conversation about what happened to Young Ian in Jamaica at the hands of The Bakra, Geillis Duncan(Lotte Verbeek). Ian tells quite passionately his fears after she made him do despicable things. Jamie consoles him and tells him there is a difference in the physical act of pleasure being forced upon him, and true feeling. When they are going to get the body, they find they have an unwelcome guest, Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) in the wagon. Bonnet was due to be hung with Hayes but had escaped. Then went  about ingratiating himself on the Frasers party, even talking them into helping a friend of their late friend get away from the checkpoints set up to catch him.

Claire and Jamie end up spending the night in the woods to not catch suspicion. And that usually means an intimate moment before returning to the others. A deep conversation about what they truly mean to each other ensues. Jamie says to Claire, “After I die, my soul will still be yours. Nothing is lost, Sassenach, only changed.” This statement reminds us quite well a mystery from the first season. Many non book readers kept asking who the spirit was of the Highlander that Frank caught looking up at Claire in Inverness. It was Jamies ghost. You may wonder how that spirit could travel in time when we know that Jamie is not a time traveller. This statement of love is a strong bond. Jamie will always look out for Claire.

The Frasers find they must sell one of the rubies they took from Geillis, they need funding to feed and clothe everyone. Jamie does not wish to appear shabby in front of his Aunt Jocasta Cameron (Marie Kennedy Doyle). Claire wears the ruby set to attract the attention of a buyer. All goes well in selling the piece, and then Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) makes Jamie and offer of land in exchange for loyalty to the Crown, and to help keep an eye on the back country. Claire and Jamie discuss this new possibility, of staying in America, and what does it mean to have this land and gather settlers. He would be expected to stop any rising in the back  country.

The Frasers decide to stay in America, but have not decided on taking the offer of the Governor just yet. They make plans for taking a barge up the river to Aunt Jocasta’s plantation, River Run. Just when things seem so idyllic, disaster comes in the form of Stephen Bonnet and his river pirates. A massive struggle is joined and Claire is in the process of defending herself and Lesley comes to her aid, only to be killed and Bonnet attacks Claire and tries to take her two wedding rings from her, the gold ring from Frank, and the pewter ring from Jaimie. In the struggle Claire swallows the rings,  however Bonnet manhandles her and regains the ring that Jamie gave her. He takes the ring and leaves. This is a departure from the book, Drums of Autumn, where the ring that was taken was Frank’s ring that had engraving on it. This became very important in the storyline later. I’m very curious to see why they changed this detail, as the pewter ring would not really fetch a price. Of course Bonnet also had all of their gemstones as well.

Catch the next episode, 402 Do No Harm on November 11, 8pm EST, and on the Starz® App at Midnight. UK and Ireland viewers on Amazon UK Monday November 12.



John Bell as Young Ian Murray Will Just Steal Your Heart


If you havenae seen Outlander Season 4 Premiere, read at your own risk.

In Episode 401, America The Beautiful, Young Ian Murray, played endearingly  by John Bell, expands his character by showing us a lad on the cusp of his still childlike innocence, who is fast becoming a young man. Unfortunately, part of that process that made him become a man was the result of some very despicable things being forced upon him. Sadly, youthful innocence takes a knock on the head. Young Ian will have to right himself.

In the graveyard scene, when Jamie and Ian are setting to bury Hayes’ body, Ian has a flashback of his time with Geillis Duncan, AKA The Bakra. Along with her penchant for using husbands for gain, and then dispatching them, Geillis has a like of young men. Ian tells quite passionately his fears after she made him do despicable things. Jamie consoles him and tells him there is a difference in the physical act of pleasure being forced upon him, and true feeling. PTSD counseling in the wild, American frontier from someone who knows.

Young Ian Murray is a big book fan favorite and fast becoming a series favorite. He is always getting into trouble, managing amazingly to get out of it, sacrifices himself, and becomes a very earnest young man. Somehow, he always manages to bob up in the water when thrown in. He has been one of my favorite characters in the books because no matter what, he pops up and may cause a spot of trouble, but will also get everyone out of trouble if he can. He’s the happy-go-lucky relative that many families have, the one you wonder about how will he learn and will he survive. Somehow he always does, a conjurer of special moments and always somehow finding a laugh and a smile. John Bell plays this character so well, and a hats off to the casting team at Outlander, again for finding the right actor to snare our hearts.

Young John Bell will certainly shine continually as he whips up his young powers. He brings an energy to the character that all will enjoy. He will continue to make us laugh and cry. I can already see the action figures fans will create of Ian and Rollo taking on the American Colonies.

See John Bell Interview