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.
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.
When 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 have 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.
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