Finally, it’s a bit of action. We start this episode with a flash-forward, or back because time travel is relative, to Claire Randall in a Catholic church in Boston after Frank has died. She is sitting and observing a Eucharistic or Perpetual Adoration for a loved one. We surmise that it is for Frank, however as the story continues with time jump between 20th-century and back to the 18th-century, Claire travels on a journey of remembrance and starts along a path that brings her back to Jamie and her future in the past on Frasers Ridge. Hold on it’s another montage of past and present scenes with Jamie and Claire.
Changes of Plan in Hillsborough
Jamie (Sam Heughan), Fergus (César Domboy), John Quincy Myers(Kyle Rees) and the rest of the militia meet up with Lt. Knox who is frustrated as Governor Tryon has come up with a plan to flush out Murtagh Fitzgibbons. The militia meets up with some very annoying townsfolk who first take them for Regulators, and they’re having none of that. When Jamie straightens them out that they are the King’s men, they are still grousing and want nothing to do with them. Eventually, they lead Jamie to where Knox and his troupes are watering at an inn.
Lieutenant Knox informs Jamie that he is awaiting a letter from Ardsmuir where many of the men that have joined the Regulators served after Culloden, hoping for a prisoner Roll. Jamie continues his rouse of being loyal to the KIng and Knox confides in him that Governor Tryon has a new plan, to pardon the leaders of the Regulators, that if they disperse they will receive a full pardon. All but Murtagh Fitzgibbons. Jamie hands over the muster roll for the militia. Jamie becomes agitated. Knox informs him that he will continue the hunt for Fitzgibbons and that he wants Jamie to disperse his militia and then deliver the pardons to the leaders.
Later in Knox’s quarters, Knox remarks that he is fond of Jamie and starts to talk about meeting a fair-minded person and praising him. He receives the letter he has been waiting for. Jamie, uncomfortable and knowing what he will find, tells him that he will find his name among the prisoners. Knox is in disbelief, and when he realizes it is true, he chastises Jamie for being false. He notes that Murtagh has a surname of Fraser, and Jamie admits it’s his Godfather, and he could not betray him. Jamie points out that any man would support and protect his family.
Knox wants Jamie arrested and Jamie overpowers Knox, chokes him until the life goes out of him. He strips Knox’s boots and makes it look as if he has been abed, then burns the Ardsmuir prison rolls and sets the room ablaze. He makes sure the room is alight and then exits out the window and onto the roof, while landing in the alley, he meets wee Adso, a grey stray kitten. He then finds Fergus and rushes out to see that the soldiers have pulled Lieutenant Knox from the flames and that he is dead. He, Fergus and the rest of the Ridge Boys leave town.
Meanwhile, Back on The Ridge
Claire and Marsali are elated, Claire has a Eureka moment as she has finally found the mold that is penicillin in her bread experiments. She and Marsali then must prepare a mixture to assist in taking out the Beardsley twin’s tonsils with. And somehow Claire has procured a syringe because it looks a bit different than the one she brought back with her, and gives Kezzie a shot of penicillin. There is a graphic surgery moment with plenty of blood and cauterizing to make Lizzie squirm. Claire feels quite comfortable playing God.
Let’s not forget the ongoing trials of Brianna and Roger. Roger is rummaging about and comes upon the black diamond that Bonnet gave Brianna when she visited him in jail. He recognizes it as one Bonnet had used in playing a game of cards he had cheated at with Roger on the ship bringing Roger to the colonies. He knows it is Bonnet’s and confronts Bree. He is angry that she has kept a secret, not confided in him, her husband. Brianna explains what had happened at the jail, she had inferred the child might be his to give him peace, that Bonnet had given her the stone. She said she had taken it for Jemmy, for a way back to the future if things went wrong. Roger, with his two big insecurities of not meeting Jamie’s expectations, and the bigger one of whether or not he is Jemmy’s father, is affronted (he seems to be so at least once in every episode he is in). He storms out and camps overnight away from Brianna and Jemmy.
The next morning, he encounters Claire off to rummage about for herbs. She senses things were not good at the cabin. He confides a bit in the conversation with Bree and Claire gives her sage advice about marriage. It’s something that takes time and is to be worked on. Claire gives advice on honesty being the best policy. Later he returns to Brianna and apologizes for being upset. She confesses that Bonnet is still alive, that she heard it at the wedding, and confides in him about the coin found in the basket, Mrs. Bug having an Irishman admire the baby, what her fears are. All things she probably should have told him before. They really have to work on the trust thing.
The question is, will Roger ever get beyond whether Jemmy is his son and make him his son, as he has sworn? Will he and Brianna ever get on the same page as parents?
Claire flashbacks/forward on a patient, Graham Menzies. It’s one of the ones that has always trouble her, the loss of a patient when you do all the right things, in this case, doing a penicillin reaction pretest. The procedure was followed, it seemed clear, however, the man died from a reaction to penicillin after surgery. What should have been a routine procedure, ended in the patient’s death. Claire is remembering what went wrong with the gift of penicillin, reflecting as she tries to bring a boon to medical care into the 18th-Century. Somehow this playing God is going to backfire.
One of the few books references this episode. Go ahead, SQUEE! We find Claire in the lounge at the hospital, and Joe Abernathy comes in to chat with her. Joe asks her what is up, is it something to do with the mystery of the Scottish man she hinted at. Claire mentions the loss of a patient. It’s the thing that always niggles a true physician, the one you tried to save. The one that really should not have died. The patient was a Scotsman, who had lived in Boston since the War. Joe and Claire talk about patients, and that lost love that Claire had.
The flashbacks are all about Claire reminding herself of the road that leads to getting back to her true love, Jamie Fraser. The path that made her realize she was not whole, she had followed her promise to Frank, and after raising Brianna with him, she could go back to the man she truly loved.
If she had not had a patient, who had succumbed to penicillin anaphylaxis, and talk with Joe Abernathy about going back to Scotland, and talking to Brianna about going to London as Frank wanted her to go. Then reconnecting with Roger at the wake for Reverend Wakefield, then finding out that Jamie survived Culloden. She would not have taken the chance of going through the stones, finding Jamie again, and finally having a home with the people she loves on Frasers Ridge. It was all connected.
Adoration and a Gray Fuzzball
When Jamie finally returns to the Ridge, he has much to talk to Claire about. However, as he is getting ready to confess to Claire, the wee cheetie, Adso, makes a noise. He gifts Claire the gray kitten he found in Hillsborough to take care of the mice in Claire’s surgery. We come to a full circle of the perpetual adoration, of Claire and Jamie’s love, and how Claire found her way back to him.
Please tell me more about Adso!!
Next on Outlander, Jamie must deal with Governor Tryon after the Lt. Knox affair. Jocasta is getting married. Claire gets really angry.
At Jocasta’s wedding, Jamie learns that the Regulator threat is far from over and Claire discovers information about a former enemy from an unexpected source.
Watch episode 506 “Better to Marry than to Burn”, on Outlander at midnight Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22nd at 5:05 pm EST/8:05 PST on Starz. The UK on Monday, 23rd of March on Amazon Prime.