It is with heavy dread and trepidation if you will, that we consider the fact that it may be the final season for one of our favorite Outlander characters. Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser as a character has been living on borrowed time. He should have died at Culloden. He survived Ardsmuir and was shipped to the Colonies. Does the man have nine lives?Spoilers ahead.
In season 4 episode 05 Savages, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Murtagh were reunited. It was one of the most anticipated moments since the #SaveMurtagh campaigns of Season 2 and 3 began, and Duncan Lacroix‘s loyal, forthright, blunt, and darkly decisive character Murtagh, was saved from his fate on the battle field of Culloden. Audiences jumped higher, filled Twitter live feeds with insane glee and whoops, more so than when he first turned up in Ardsmuir Prison in season 3. A brief return tease only to be shipped off to the American Colonies for 12 years of indentured servitude. When Young Ian (John Bell) comes across Murtagh as a blacksmith in Wilmington, NC while they desperately search for takers to settle Governor Tryon’s land grant, he has an encounter with a jaded smithy. He and Jamie discover after heartfelt, teary eyed reunion that Murtagh, as per usual, is in the thick of it. They soon learn he is involved in The Regulators cause, and is one of their leaders. To find one so loved again, and in such danger is a common thread in Outlander’s Universe. You should be used to it by now.
Murtagh is a leader of men, taking up a cause that echoes Dougal MacKenzie’s money gathering for the Jacobite cause, a cause that is just as doomed. When Jamie and Ian remark on his being their leader, Murtagh informs them that there is no one leader, but many. There are factions of the cause, and they are growing in numbers. He explains the cause is about fairness in excessive taxation. He also informs Jamie that two of the members are set to petition their demands, in writing. Note: They are trying to be taken seriously and be heard. Jamie cautions Murtagh throughout the episode, his concerns being that Murtagh will be sent to prison, or worse. In the colonies, hanging is swift justice. Jamie only just found him again.
Looking at the storyline coming up for the new season, it may be heading for an end for our beloved Godfather. The Regulator’s story runs deep in The Fiery Cross, book five in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It is the main conflict for Jamie and Claire as Claire’s foreknowledge of the War of Independence tells them that they will be on the losing side if they take up the order to muster against the Regulators. The conflict is not the only one plaguing them, Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) will resurface. While Jamie’s militia will help put down the rebellion, being in support of the crown means they will possibly lose when the bigger conflict arises, and they may lose the lands regardless. Deeper than that, Jamie’s reluctance to be involved, putting his family and land to the front, will drive he and Murtagh farther apart. Can Jamie bring the men of Fraser’s Ridge to fight against The Regulators, many of whom are Scotsmen that fought and survived Culloden and the following clearances after the battle? And if they stamp out the Regulators, what will happen with the build up to the War of Independence? Will they in turn be seen as Loyalists, as Claire points out, and forfeit lands when the Patriots win?
Spoiler Alert, again.
Things That Could Happen in Season 5
Depending on how long they want to drag out the Regulator Uprising, or War of the Regulation, concludes in 1771 in the Battle of Alamance. The Regulators do not win. Several men are hung and the others left to swear loyalty. Shades of Culloden. Murtagh is in the thick of it as an organizer and leader. Could Murtagh be captured again, and this time truly head for the noose? We’re already shaking. The writers have taken great care to take Murtagh’s character away and bring him back in to the story line at just the right time to pull heart strings. Will they break hearts this time? Could Murtagh escape, find a way to fake his death? Live to fight another day? Recent previews of filming show actor Duncan Lacroix in fully brown hair again. Was this an attempt at disguise, or a flashback in time? We want Murtagh to continue on and fight by Jamie’s side when the American War for Independence sets off in Boston.
How will the militia forming and fighting affect those on Fraser’s Ridge? Jamie asks Roger to be his right hand in the mustering of militia and finding those willing to put down the rebellion. It will later backfire. In the book, The Fiery Cross, the Battle of Alamance is won by Governor Tryon. It ends with several Regulators being hung. Unfortunately, one of the people hung is Roger MacKenzie, after being falsely identified as a Regulator by his distant relation William Buccleigh MacKenzie. Will Murtagh make a sacrifice, knowing that Roger is Brianna’s husband and what it will do to her if she loses him?
What if Murtagh fakes his death? Can he escape to another state, or make it as far as the colony of New York and find the cairns and stones that Roger found? Would he be able to go through? We have not seen him anywhere near the Craigh Na Dun stones. We don’t know if he can hear the buzz or feel the pull, it’s possible he has time travel abilities in his blood. I don’t know about you, but I could see him coming through the stones and standing in New York in 1972 as a finale ending. I really hope so.
What are your Murtagh hashtags for the coming season? #MurtaghLivesOn
Murtagh’s on Borrowed Time Article
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