Outlander 603 Temperance; Superstitions, Power, and Fear

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

Episode 3, Season 6 has so many themes, but what it all comes down to is fear. There is a war brewing and the Fraser’s know it. The people of Fraser’s Ridge have been in conflicts in their homelands, fear the new world and fear and superstitions came with the fisher folk. It is an episode that sets up the story archs for several characters on Fraser’s Ridge, Marsali and Fergus, The Christies, The Fraser’s Ridge Gang (The Weeans), The Cherokee, and of course Jamie and Claire.

Our episode opens with a view of a wide river and a tiny basket carrying a crying baby heads to the rough waters and a sudden drop at the falls. The Fraser Ridge Gang, including young Germain , are rushing down the riverside trying to catch up with the basket. Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) hears and sees the basket carrying the baby, and charges into the waters to retrieve the baby. When the lads think all is lost and the basket goes over the falls, Roger shames them and reveals he has rescued baby Henri-Christian. He quickly begins to Baptise the infant, even though he is not ordained, as his 20th century mind knows this is about superstions and fear. The boys admit that their parents have told them that the child, born a dwarf, is a demon. If they touch it they will burn in Hell. Roger uses the baptism, and uses Henri-Christian’s name, emphasizing the Christian part. He then singles out Germain after telling the boys to go home and that Mr. Fraser will deal with them all later at the big house. He points out that Germain should be protecting his brother, how did this all happen. Germain, shamed a bit, admits that he did not defend his brother due to peer pressure.

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Later, Roger decides to aid in protecting baby Henri-Christian in reminding the people of The Ridge in the Bible story of Moses, the child in the basket found and raised by Egyptians. Good job, Roger.

Stramash

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

Later, after Henri-Christian is brought to safety to be with his family again and there is much discussion about how could this happen on The Ridge. Marsali (Lauren Lyle) comes home to find her bairns asking their father for food, and Fergus (César Domboy) continues to drink. After weeks of Fergus pulling away from he and the family, Marsali finally has it out with him. She will not have a husband unless Fergus is really there with them. Fergus, fuming, tries in vain to discuss what is wrong, but it all comes out wrong, as in making excuses. Having had enough, Marsali tells him to leave.

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

The family has not been able to reach Fergus, truly, since Marsali and Claire were attacked. He was in charge of the Ridge at that time, and should have been able to protect them. When Claire, his adoptive mother, tries to reason with him later, he opens up at last about what his life was like in the brothel in Paris, how Dwarf children were mistreated, sold as objects. In France, dwarf children were often left for the wolves. Domboy has truly grown as an actor in this series, and makes the audience really see the real, deep Fergus. He doesn’t want that sort of life for his son. Fergus has been dealing with his own short comings with missing a hand, a very severe handicap in a world filled with labor intensive work and providing for his family has been difficult. He refuses to go back with Claire.

Later, Jamie comes upon him trying to suicide by the creek. He cuts a gash in his arm and Jamie tells him he is a man of worth, he would be lost with out Fergus, that Fergus is his, of his family. Not to mention the damnation of his soul. He drags Fergus back with him for Claire to treat, and eventually they bring Fergus back to Marsali, where they are reconciled and must discuss how to keep baby Henri-Christian safe with the fearful people of The Ridge pointing fingers at the child and ready to blame him for crop failures or any other bad circumstances at Fraser’s Ridge.

Devil’s Work

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Photo: Robert Wilson ©2022 Star®

Tom Christie (Mark Lewis Jones) is a very difficult man. Claire finds herself pushing back at Tom’s blows of self righteousness, the blustering he furls out to protect himself from sins, in every conversation they have. What it really is, and what Claire recognises, that it is fear of loss of control that is really bein dealt with. Tom wants to be the leader, and is often outshined by Jamie, an truly struggles with it. We see the angry side of Tom, as he takes the strap to Malva. In his failed attempt, he realizes he would have better use of his hand to administer the strap if it did work properly. So this is what drives him to Claire for the operation, or so we think, his only motive is to be able to punish the wicked girl.

What is really happening, and if you haven’t seen it, look again, is that Tom Christie is a moth to a flame. He wants what Jamie (Sam Heughan) has, and despite himself and his blusterings, begins to soften towards Claire (Caitriona Balfe). While Jamie tries to encourage him to take the ether for surgery, and Tom refusing on his high moral ground, Jamie discusses his hand surgery and explains to Tom it is no easy matter. Tom of course refuses, saying it’s the Devils work (ether) it is not natural. Claire explains, as if talking to a brick wall, that he needs to hold still while she performs the surgery the ether will make it so. Tom agrees but only with whisky and  Jamie must hold him down. She calls him a masochist out of frustration, and has to explain the term to both men. With a few drams more and Jamie holding Tom in the surgery chair, and some great surgery FX from the crew, Claire manages to do some fine surgery work. Claire then talks Tom into staying in the surgery for the night to keep an eye on him. Tom gives in, but as we see him softening, we must realize that the man is becoming absolutely besotted with Claire. Watch out for the brewing of sin in this little drama, the man has fallen under her spell.

Watch all the drama and kettle boiling while we slowly head towards war. Next up, Episode 4 “Hour of The Wolf”.

All Media Photos: Robert Wilson ©2022 Starz®

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