It’s the penultimate episode, and another one filled with danger and loss. In an episode penned by author Diana Gabaldon, what else do you expect?
Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, and Ian are traveling back from Willmington after the ordeal with Bonnet. Jamie teases Claire about the bags of peanuts she has brought back, asking if they are for some medical experiment. Claire smiles and remarks they are for eating and her next experiment will be creating peanut butter.
“I’ll be damned if Jemmy grows up without tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”
All is not smiles for long. The party comes upon a burnt-out cabin and finds several dead bodies inside. Jamie (Sam Heughan) looks around and states that they must have been dead before the fire started. He and Roger (Richard Rankin) go looking around the exterior. Roger comes upon a young girl burnt nearly beyond recognition. He tells her it will be alright and tries to calm her. Jamie looks her over and with a knowing look, making sure Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is not around, indicates that she should be put out of her misery. He is, of course, concerned that Claire will try to save her. He tells Roger he will take care of it, however, Roger takes the responsibility. He found her and had reassured her. It’s a sign that not all is well and that the troubles leading to war are definitely brewing. And might I say, this is indeed another BAFTA set moment. What a set.
It’s been building up over the season that Brianna and Roger, at Claire’s urging, should try to go back through the stones to their own time. Revolution is a dangerous thing. And while Roger is learning that real history is nothing like in the books, he, of course, agrees with and has been trying to persuade Brianna to take Jemmy back home to their time. Brianna has been resisting, not wanting to leave her parents behind, however, after dealing with Bonnet and realizing how truly dangerous it is in the 18th-century, rape and kidnapping being a good indicator, Brianna is in agreement. However, they don’t know if Jemmy can really go through the stones.
Leave it to clever Ian to find that out. Ian is playing a dangling carrot game with young Jemmy, in this case using Ottertooth’s massive opal necklace. The shiny object is of course incredibly attractive, and as young Jemmy touches it cracks and is hot. Brianna and Roger rush over and Brianna interrogates him. Then Claire, Roger, and Brianna hear the buzzing sound of power. They ask Jemmy if he can hear it, and he says yes. They all look at each other and discuss it. Poor Ian of course left on the outside asks what does it mean when he and Jamie cannot hear the sound. Jemmy can travel.
Of course, something always interrupts joyous times, and the Browns (Chris Larkin and Ned Dennehey) come riding in with a large group of men. Jamie addresses them and wants no quarrel. They discuss Morton and grumble about the past and letting bygones be bygones, however, Richard Brown asks Jamie to come to aide with the Committee as the Browns had gone to the Regulators conflict. Jamie reminds them that it was sanctioned by the Governor and did they have authority from the Governor. Ian (John Bell) points out that it was not Indians, it was staged to look like it.
No one on the Ridge wants trouble and they certainly don’t want them finding out about Claire, Brianna, and Roger as time travelers. Claire asks about how young Bonnie is doing (the child that was rescued from the Beardsley’s), she is fine, however, Lionel Brown’s wife is looking poorly in the back of the wagon. Upon examination, Claire and Marsali notice the injury to her wrist has to do with being intentional, not from a fall. Claire, being Claire, asks her questions, and then of course when Lionel comes to the surgery, there’s a confrontation. Lionel gets surly and well, we know that isn’t going to go away easily.
Ian is troubled by what has transpired with the stone. He ken’s that strange things always happen around Claire, and still believes her to be a Fairy. Claire assures him she is not. He wants to know why Roger and Brianna are so different, that he has suspected that there is more to the stories he’s been told. He tells them that the Mohawk discussed the opal, and Otter Tooth, what transpired many years ago. It is said that the ghost appears to those that touch it. Claire admits she has seen the ghost. Claire finally tells Ian that she is from the future. Ian presents them with a small leather journal, one that the Mohawk said Otter Tooth had. Claire looks at it, is astounded. The writing had been done with a ballpoint pen. Ian asks if Murtagh knew, and they tell him yes. Finally, Ian is let in on the store of Claire and how she came to be in the 18th-century.
Claire and Jamie check on Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) who has been staying in Murtagh’s forest shack. Ulysses is horrified at what he had to do, but he would do it again to save Jocasta. Claire has brought him books to read, as the man is dying from boredom. He reveals that he is Manumitted and is a free man. He had been freed after Mr. Cameron had died. He had stayed to help Jocasta. There are penalties for slaves on estates if one commits murder. Jamie and Claire work to find a solution to help Ulysses escape from North Carolina.
Brianna and Roger try to reason out what is going on with Jemmy. He could definitely feel the hot stone and hear the buzzing sound. How would they travel with him? Brianna mentions that the can’t just disappear from the Ridge, too many questions would be asked. Roger and Brianna cook up a plan to tell everyone that Roger has accepted a teaching position in Boston, and they would be moving out of the area.
A Guest Brings a Gift
It is time that Brianna learns she has a brother, and Jamie wants her to know before she leaves. His opportunity occurs when Lord John Grey (David Berry) suddenly arrives (he has that knack), Jamie apprizes him of the fate of Bonnet. Lord John is relieved for Brianna’s sake and of course, for others, he has harmed. He and Jamie have a long conversation as John is returning to London, the Helwater. He must arrange things for William’s estate and make sure that his grandmother, Lady Dunsany, is provided for. He tells Jamie of his son, how he has been at school in London. He must never know of his true father or he risks losing his whole fortune.
Lord John also being a man of the army recognizes the storm that is brewing, and warns Jamie, who is all too aware. He then brings a small portrait gift to Jamie of William.
Later Claire is examining her new lens provided by Lord John for her microscope. She invites Jamie to look. He asks if they are the wee beasties she calls germs, and she informs him that no, it is his seed. He is quite amazed at the vigor of the wee things.
Later Jamie brings the portrait to Brianna and shows it to her. Finally, he can tell her of her brother. Brianna asks a lot of questions, however, she is very glad to know that she has one. She is glad that Lord John has been a father to him. Sadly she will never meet him, and it is discussed why she should not meet him. Jamie then asks when they will leave, struggling with the words. But of course, they must go, Jemmy will be safer in the future.
Even though they have a good exit plan, not that it is not filled with danger, the MacKenzies taking leave of their neighbors. Marsali and Fergus are taken aback, and Marsali is grieved, she feels that Brianna is a sister to her. They then realize that they must say goodbye to everyone on the Ridge. This becomes a really difficult task, as Lizzy (Caitlin O’Ryann) expects to be taken along with them as a servant. Brianna has to release her from service and tell her her home is on the Ridge. She is crushed and Brianna struggles with reassuring her. Lizzie’s whole world has been built around Brianna and Jemmy.
Later Ian, in heartfelt anguish, asks if he can go with them through the stones. Apparently hearing how Claire and Jamie tried to change history and failed, did not rub off on him in the right way, and he is desperate to go back in time, to help his wife he has talked very little of. Brianna and Claire assure him that history cannot be changed, nor can they pinpoint a specific time to go back to. It is not an exact science.
When it comes time to leave, Roger and Brianna ask Ian to help them get to the stones that Roger had encountered when he had been taken as a slave to the Mohawk. Keep in mind that this particular travel took a few months as it was several colonies away. Ian agrees to accompany them, and the MacKenzies with their stones and a rope tied about them, hear the calling of the stones and say farewell to Ian. As they disappear through the stones, Ian is in shock seeing the reality of it, and he then touches the stone, hoping to travel.
Of course, Claire and Jamie are crushed at the loss of their children and grandchild. Claire hears a commotion downstairs near the surgery and rushes to find out who is trashing her medical instruments and medicines. She meets with part of the Brown party, breaking the glass and riffling through all of the drawers. She attempts to stop them and they seize her and take her captive.
Jamie comes to the surgery and cannot find her, he rushes out to the wicker Celtic Cross in the Ridge built to send a call for arms and fires it. He is calling the Ridge to aid him in the search for Claire.
Never My Love airs this Saturday, May 9 at Midnight on the Starz App, Sunday, May 10 at 8:05 PM ET/5:05 PT and Monday, May 11th on Amazon Prime UK and IE.
Brianna and Roger don’t time travel back to the future until A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book six. We don’t know if they really have gone back to the right place, or another parallel storyline in another time. What was the scary thing Brianna and Roger saw when they traveled through the stones? The burnt-out house? Did they go back in time and find Otter Tooth? Or is this the way of dealing with them as the writers and producers have not got a season 7 offer yet from Starz and they are really consolidating storylines from the books.
While this episode has done quite a bit of housekeeping, and we see the beginnings of the feuding with the Browns becoming over the top and the next villains in the cavalcade of baddies for Outlander, I felt like a few things were rushed and brining elements in from book 6 making me wonder if we may not get a season seven. While we do need to see some action getting towards the actual battles of the Revolutionary War coming to pass, there were a few changes here at may not have translated well in season 6. I just this that this episode could have had a bit more threat to it, and it is true that Claire does get taken hostage quite often. It was, however, a reality in the times that people were often absconded with for many reasons, pressing into the navy, sold as slaves, revenge. Here’s hoping that the finale is action-packed and a great cliffhanger.
And stay tuned for an extensive DROUGHTLANDER this time as production crews around the world wait out COVID-19 pandemic closures.