It’s another episode filled with conflicts. The Fraser’s, MacKenzies, and people of Fraser’s Ridge, keep bumping up against traditions, religion, customs, superstitions, and of course, loyalties. Families mean kinship, and all that comes with it.
Are You Not My Kin?
And so begins the job of Indian Agent for Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Jamie and Ian meet with the local Cherokee Nation as Jamie takes on his new role as Indian Agent for the Crown. Ian is helpful trying to translate, while he mostly knows the Mohawk language. Chief Bird (Glen Gould) and Still Water (Simon R. Baker) tell Jamie that the Cherokee people have fought with the king before, and won. Why would they aid the king now? The settlers are pushing at the treaty lines. How will they defend their own people? They point out they could have killed the settlers if they wanted to, they don’t need guns for that. Jamie is hesitant and refuses to request guns for the Cherokee, questioning where their loyalties lie. Ian asks him why, and Jamie reminds him that Claire and Brianna have told him of what happens in the future to the Cherokee and other nations. Ian asks to know more. It isn’t good.
At the heart of this conflict, Jamie and Ian are the remaining kinsmen. Jamie has lost his Godfather, Murtagh, and must continue his turn as a father figure for Young Ian, who is not so young anymore. Young Ian identifies greatly with his adopted Mohawk family and the Cherokee people he wishes to protect. One of the reasons he identifies with the tribes, is that they are very much a clan, an extended family and honor is important. A rift starts to form as Ian cannot understand why Jamie will not agree to seek guns for the Cherokee. He feels they are family to him. Jamie questions him, is he not a kinsman to Jamie? How can Jamie just give them guns, and hope they don’t use them on the people of the Ridge? Jamie asks Ian to think about it, would giving the Cherokee guns mean they could be used on the people of The Ridge.
Of course, we have a few scenes right out of the book, and there is a good one. One of them is the night that Jamie and Ian spend in a Long House, where suddenly Jamie finds not one, but two naked Cherokee women, Walela (Blair Lamora) and Selu (Barbara Patrick), are under the skins with him. The scene is well played by Sam Heughan, finding himself at the mercy of these two women, not wishing to offend, and Ian (John Bell) enjoying the situation far too much. It adds some much needed humor in an episode filled with doubts. It also makes Jamie head for home and into the arms of Claire.
Roger seems to have the worst of luck, always, before he gets something. He has found himself drawn to helping officiate as a clerical leader on The Ridge, since he was raised by a Protestant Clergyman. He has tried to help a recent widow with her small son, and Tom Christie asks him to officiate at Grannie Wilson’s wake at the meeting house/church.
Sam Heughan and Robin Scott
Roger sees it as a honor to help, he hasn’t had it easy since coming to the past and sufering as a slave, hung, and losing much of his singing voice after surviving that ordeal. However, as he seeks a purpose, perhaps he can use his speaking voice in helping the fisher folk who have come. So this opportunity of giving a service at the wake, and he hopes it will help unify the newcomers with the Catholic presence on The Ridge. Of course, while Roger is saying words for Grannie Wilson, a stiring of the corpse to sitting upright and demanding to know what is going on spooks everyone and lends more fear and superstition to what will in later episodes become a powder keg situation. After Grannie has her say, and the Sin Eater has had his bread, Grannie does finally have her last breath, after Claire of course checks her over to be sure.
Roger does get the upper hand later when he comes to the aid of Marsali. She is having a very difficult birth, and Fergus is no where to be found. He knows she needs Fergus and seeks him out. Roger confronts Fergus and tells him to man up, be the man Marsali needs right now. Fergus has been dealing with the aftermath of feeling helpless when Marsali was attacked, and has been drinking heavily. In counseling Fergus, and seeing Fergus go to Marsali’s aid, is Roger finally feeling his calling, to be of good counsel to others in need?
Jessica Reynolds and Caitriona Balfe
Claire’s PTSD symptoms continue to plague her, as other memories from the past come to haunt her. Alan Christie discouraging Malva from her adoration of Claire’s skills as a surgeon/healer, doesn’t help when he brings up that such women may be suspected of witchcraft. Allan is still smarting from the lashing he took. With that and Claire’s haunted surgery where her attacker was silenced by Marsali, and his ghost seems to be haunting Claire, not Marsali. Claire has been using ether to deal with her stress, collapsing into a motionless heap when she feels overwelmed. What will the people on The Ridge think when she begins to use ether in surgeries? To make people as if dead, then bring them back to life?
Lauren Lyle and Caitlin O’Ryan
Claire is on cue when Marsali suddenly goes into a long and difficult labor. With Jamie yelling “Where the hell is Fergus?”, and Marsali’s only comfort being wee Adso, Claire uses the labor as a teachable momment with young Malva, which just makes you want to cringe. Claire begins to soften and bring down her guard, encouraging Malva who has no support from her family, to learn healing. Of course we start seeing that Malva covets Claire’s standing and independence, and the power she wields as a healer. Claire is becoming too trusting of the seemingly innocent lass.
And speaking of surgery, the devout Tom Christie comes calling to a frosty Claire, suggesting he may want the surgery he had refused earlier. Claire suggests he comes back when he has full use of his newly injured hand. It seems that Christie is drawn to Claire like a moth to the forbidden flame. Hold that thought for later in the season.
Jamie is walking on the property in the evening and overhears Young Ian talking about his bairn he had with his Mohawk wife while holding Marsali’s baby, Henri-Christian. He confides that he lost the child, and when Jamie overhears this, he makes a decision on writing to the Governor to request guns for the Cherokee. He realizes that the Cherokee people have fears for their families just as he does. They should have the right to defend their own people. Wouldn’t it be better to work on an allyship with them?
Should I also mention the rumor going around that Laoghaire may make an appearance? Because the Christie’s and Brown’s presence is not enough to deal with.
Here’s a Wee Adso making a nuisance on the Majors’s tunic to cheer you up.
Behind the Scenes in Episode 602 Allegience
Next time on Outlander Season 6 Temperance
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