Category Archives: Caitriona Balfe

Outlander Episode 508 Preview

We have a week hiatus from continuing with episode 508, Famous Last Words. We will have a funeral for a dear friend who’s passing left many of us reeling this week. Duncan Lacroix hinted in an interview this week that Jocasta will be singing a Scottish song. It also looks like Brianna may get a visit from Lord John Gray. Oh and some Hemlock is missing.

From Starz®

The Frasers must come to terms with all that has changed in the aftermath of the Battle of Alamance Creek. An unexpected visitor arrives at the Ridge. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ.

Outlander is on the Starz App at midnight on Saturdays (April 11), April 12 on Starz at 8:05 pm EST 5:05 pm PST. Available in the UK and Ireland on Amazon on Mondays. 

Outlander The Ballad of Roger Mac Recap

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 4.19.46 PMIf you haven’t seen this episode, seriously turn back now.

Hillsborough May 1771

We open with Roger Mac (Richard Rankin) singing Clementine, a very tragic song, to young Jemmy. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger discuss leave-taking, how he is going off to fight. Brianna and Jemmy are staying with a family acquainted with Aunt Jocasta. History is discussed a bit. Roger reluctantly leaves, he is already running very late.

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Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are encamped with the militia near Alamance Creek. It is the morning of his 50th Birthday. He and Claire discuss taking stock of one’s life. He muses that he has lived longer than his father, his parts seem to still be working. They also discuss Culloden, that fateful morning when Jamie and Claire kill his uncle Dougal. Remember Dougal? Claire sings “Happy Birthday To You,” very Marilyn Monroe like, while peeling off her Cutty Sark, and creates a morning seduction as only Claire can.

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Sam Heughan and Kyle Rees ©2020 Starz®

Governor Tryon (Time Downie) readies the troops and militia to get ready to fight with commanding officer Captain Bullox. They have cannon and close to a thousand men, and as Jamie tries to deter and talk Tryon out of conflict, remember another glorified leader needing to be dissuaded, yes, there are many likenesses to the battle for Culloden in this episode. The king’s forces were outnumbered but had military might with cannon and calvary. Jamie tried to pressure Prince Charlie to not fight. History is repeating again. Captain MacKenzie is late to the call, as noted by Jamie and the men. It appears Roger is always late.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin, and Kyle Rees ©2020 Starz®

Jamie gives the men a yellow cockade to help identify them as militia, as the red armbands were not readily seen. He emphasizes that this is important as fighting in this terrain would make it difficult to know who your enemy or comrade was. The militiamen were not wearing a uniform and looked just like the Regulators. Isiah Morton turns up at the last, angering the Browns who are always a powderkeg waiting to go off. They threaten to kill him. The news comes the rebels have ambushed the munitions carts, angering Tryon and the Captain.

The minister Rev. Cauldwell turns up with a grievance letter from the Regulators, he urges to try to settle the matter without bloodshed. Tryon takes it as an insult that the Regulators are asking for Parlez. Jamie tries to get Tryon to Parlez back. Anything to stop the bloodshed. Remember Jamie’s reasonings with Bonnie Prince Charlie?

Historic Niggling

In Hillsborough, Brianna is being entertained by the Sherston’s (Matthew Cole and Charlotte Asprey). Hugh shares that he has heard that the Regulators have made camp at Alamance Creek. Brianna is bothered by a trace of memory. That name. The next day she is racing on horseback to the camp to worn her Da. She finds Jamie, Claire, and Roger discuss the battle to come. She tells them that her professor had said the Battle of Alamance was considered the spark of the American Revolution.

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Sophie Skelton and Charlotte Asprey ©2020 Starz®

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Jamie seeks to warn Murtagh, to get him to lead his men away as the Regulators will be defeated, shades of Culloden again. Brianna argues they cannot change history, if they do, the American Revolution may not happen. Jamie is desperate to save his people, the militia, and Murtagh from bloodshed. Roger offers to go warn Murtagh to leave if he cannot persuade his men to follow. Poor Roger, he always seems to find trouble. Jamie gives him a white kerchief to use as a truce, to wave as a banner, and to show the cockade should the fighting begin. Roger leaves that night and heads to the Regulator Camp.

A Man With Nothing to Lose

Murtagh is whipping up the fervor of the men in his camp. They outnumber the Troops and Militia. But as when Roger turns up in the camp and talks to Murtagh, they talk in a tent as Roger tries to lay down the facts. Murtagh argues they have numbers, he argues that they do not have calvary and the cannon power that the groups have. He delivers the message from Brianna, Murtagh knows they are from the future and have prior knowledge of history. Murtagh does start to come around, maybe he has learned from Culloden. He tells Roger he cannot stop the men, they are determined. Roger begs him to leave, save himself for Jamie’s sake. Roger waits in camp with Murtagh to hear the response to the Treaty they have sent. The next morning delivers the Governor’s reply and Murtagh reads out the response. The governor wants a fight. Roger leaves the camp to head back.

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“His blood will soak this ground!”

As Roger’s luck will always have it, he bumps into his many times Great Gran Morag MacKenzie, who he had first met on Stephan Bonnet’s fateful ship. She remembers him and he is set to try to convince her to get her family away, they are all in danger. She points out they have nothing to go back to. Roger on impulse hugs Morag. Then, we hear a familiar voice, one demanding that Roger step away from his wife. It’s none other than William Buccleigh MacKenzie (Yes, Graham McTavish), Dougal’s illegitimate son by Geillis Duncan, his ancestor. He sees that Roger has a yellow cockade and will not let him return to the militia despite protests that Roger aided Morag on the ship and was also a MacKenzie. Roger is knocked out with a rifle butt and taken hostage.

Red Tunics and Oaths

Back at the militia camp, Tryon insists that Jamie don the red tunic of an officer. Jamie is of course taken aback, and forced to wear it or betray his true allegiance. Jamie is faced with finding Roger Mac who has not returned and must warn Murtagh if Roger failed. He fights with himself as he dons the red begrudgingly. He kisses Claire goodbye, and she is the only one who truly understands how distasteful the wearing of that red is to Jamie, what it stands for.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Claire and Brianna ready the field hospital tent.  Brianna is distressed, there has been no word of Roger. Jamie readies his men, telling them to keep an eye out for Captain Mac, he has not returned. The troops spread into a formation to fight, against a single line of Regulators. It’s definitely a trap and ambush tactic, Jamie recognizes it. There is an exchange of fire and Tryon takes the bait, advancing. In the charge, young Isiah Morton (Jon Tarcy) is shot in the back. Jamie tells the men to fight hand to hand as their combatants are doing, it’s highland fighting style, and to show mercy and take captives.

Back at the hospital text, Brianna gets more aggravated at Roger’s absence. Isiah Morton is brought in with his wound, the Morton’s are in the hospital and tell Claire not to treat him. She checks his wounds and finds he’s been shot in the back while running to the conflict. She accuses the Browns of shooting him.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Kith and Kin

Jamie gets cornered and almost shot by a Regulator until Murtagh arrives and intercedes. Their eyes meet briefly and Murtagh lets down his guard and is shot by one of the militia. Jamie races to catch him and takes him to a tree, begging for help. The following performance by Sam Heughan and Duncan Lacroix will leave you reeling. Murtagh tells Jamie that it is not painful to die. Jamie is overcome and begs Murtagh, saying he takes it back, he does not release him from his oath to protect him sworn to his mother. Desperate, Jamie begs help from John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees) and others to drag Murtagh back to Claire. Claire can save anyone.

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Duncan Lacroix ©2020 Starz®

Murtagh is brought to the hospital tent, and Jamie is desperately telling Claire how she has to save the man. She feels for a pulse and Claire steps away from the body with that knowing look. There’s no saving Murtagh, he is gone. Jamie is in disbelief, confronted with the reality that he has truly fought on the other side from his kinsman, who was really a father to him. Murtagh’s last sight of him was in British military uniform. He is reeling and leaves the tent. Jamie loses control of himself in his grief.  Tryon shows up and Jamie now can vent. Tryon in his usual annoying smugness argues back. Jamie points out that it was an unjust fight and that the Governor has harmed his constituents in a massacre. Tryon brings up duty, Jamie throws down the uniform and tells Tryon he is no longer beholden to him. He has fulfilled his part of the bargain for Fraser’s Ridge.

As he looks around, he sees Brianna in distress. Still no Roger. Claire, Brianna, and Jamie begin questioning all in the militia and troops if they have seen Roger Mac. They finally come upon a hanging tree, where Tryon had ordered some of the captured rebels to be hung as an example. Hanging from the tree is a man with a sack over his head, and a white kerchief hanging from his pocket. Is it Roger Mac? Fade to black.

Thoughts

Somehow in all of this, no one has informed Tryon that the number one wanted man in North Carolina is dead in the hospital tent.

We have lost one of the best characters in the series. I am so deeply disturbed by this and loved the amazing performances by Lacroix and Heughan together. Their last scene together, unless we are treated to more flashbacks as they have done with Frank.

Is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser Dead?

Character Death and Parasocial Relationships

Next, episode 508 Famous Last Words. Catch it Saturday, April 11 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday, April 13 on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland. We have a mini Droughtlander with a two-week break. On April 4, Starz® is having a mini-marathon of Season 5.

Outlander Better to Marry Than Burn Episode Recap

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Maria Doyle Kennedy ©2020 Starz®

I was concerned about how late this article was hitting the blog. With our current international situation, I have had to try to sit and actually watch this episode several times, as I always do. However this time, I really wanted to have a think about it. We’ve come through the halfway point of season 5 of Outlander, and with the current situation in the world, there may be a delay again for filming production on this show. How timely some of the themes of episode 506, Better to Marry Than Burn, hit us now as we face isolation and survival.

Epilogue

We begin with the backstory to Jocasta’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) past. As you probably have guessed by now, my main character’s favorite is Murtagh. Being both a book reader and a series fan, I was so happy to see how this character was broken out into a character that has survived the dismal death at Culloden. I was not too pleased about how the whole Murcasta thing came about. I know, the series and the books are absolutely different animals and should be accepted as such. I have praised much of the decisions that had to be made. It is extremely difficult to translate what is in a book, and what grows with a series on television. Some things just don’t translate. Bring in the fact that you rescue a favorite series only character (yes, Murtagh doesn’t survive Culloden in the books), and great acting by Duncan Lacroix to create such a figure that breaks our hearts, and partner him with the formidable Jocasta Cameron. Well, that’s fire and damnation. And finally, we see why Jocasta is as Jocasta does.

It’s hard to see how Jocasta came to be as she is, a wealthy woman who has already gone through 3-4 husbands and is now going on the 5th? Despite her affliction of blindness, she still sees everything. Unfortunately, this becomes quite painful for her. On the eve before her wedding to Duncan Innes (Alastair Findlay), a book character that has been pushed aside for the Murcasta relationship, she reflects on a painful memory of the past. Her decision to wed is a compromise she must make to keep River Run from being controlled by a man who would not respect the nuances of how the plantation is run. Jocasta is experienced in how marriages go, as well as wealth and the world of things in the 18th century. A woman must find a way to be safe and in control. The only way is through marriage to someone who wants her happiness, not a cause.

We open the episode on a moor with a carriage speeding as fast at horses can carry, careening away from Culloden. A younger Jocasta and her husband, Hector Cameron (Christopher Bowen), with their youngest daughter Morna, are fleeing the ruin of Culloden. They are stopped by a couple of the King’s Dragoons. While they and the youngest daughter are asked to exit the coach and be interrogated, one of the Dragoons spots a chest with a lock hidden under the carriage. He pulls it out and breaks it open. To Jocasta and Morna’s surprise, it’s a chest of French gold. Hector had stolen it as it was destined for Bonnie Prince Charlie to help fight the Jacobite cause. As Jocasta realizes that they have been put in danger because of Hector’s political sympathies, and altercation occurs, and the two Dragoons end up dead, as well as young Morna, who is but 16, left to rot by the roadside as Hector drags Jocasta on in the coach to flee with the gold. It is this painful memory that Jocasta carries on the eve of her next wedding.

Marriage As a Convenience

download-5We come to the present. Jocasta, feeling the blue ribbon run through her fingers that she had saved from Morna’s hair.  She is thinking about her past. How she got to be mistress of River Run, and how Hector had made her leave the daughter behind. She is about to embark on her 4th or 5th marriage, for in the world of the 18th-century, women could not be in charge of their destiny. She was readying to marry a man who would allow her to run River Run, and be a shield against a male-dominated society. She hoped at least he would only want her happiness and had no political ambitions. He brings her a lavender-filled pillow to soothe her the night before. Duncan expresses the knowledge that they do not really love each other, but maybe with time, there can be affection. Jocasta is rather brusque with him. The pillow is embroidered with the MacKenzie clan motto, ” I shine, not burn”.

Ulysses enters and glares as Duncan leaves. Jocasta remarks on his being unkind when she herself has been brusque with him. He brings Jocasta to Jamie and Gerald Forbes, the spurned suitor of Brianna. Jocasta is formally placing River Run in trust for Jeremiah MacKenzie. Remember this.

Weddings Breed Troubles

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Tim Downie as Governor Tryon ©2020 Starz®

Trouble seems to always brew at weddings. The Frasers are beset by another trial on their relationship on the eve of Jocasta’s Wedding. Jamie and Claire must entertain Governor Tryon and his wife. Claire and Her Excellency part from the annoying political convo of the men, and we find we really do like H.E. as she is very sympathetic and not at all like her husband. The sensible of the two. Sadly a cursed soul from Claire’s past, Mr. Wiley is spied by H.E. and she moves to intercept. Claire stalls next to some ladies discussing Dr. Rawlings suggestions that women do not let their husbands sleep in their bed chambers during certain days of the month. Claire can’t help but chirp in some reasoning, and of course is ostracized by the ladies, turns and splashes Mr. Wiley, fop extraordinaire and cad-about-town, with enough powder on to empty a flour sack. We all know he has lusted after Claire for some time. H.E returns just in time to save Claire briefly, but he will not be put aside.

Wiley Catches Claire back up and she then starts a fiendish plan of subterfuge when Wiley spins tales of being able to procure anything she desires with the help of a certain Irish captain smuggler type. Yep, it’s him (Bonnet). Claire uses her guile to talk Wiley into tasting some of Jamie’s Fraser’s Ridge less than 3-year-old whiskey and suggests that maybe this Irish captain can broker business for them. After sinking her hook in a bit, she foolishly follows him out to the stables to meet his prized possession, Lukas, a stunning Fresian horse. Of course, Wiley makes a play for Claire and she knocks him soundly into the horse dung on his oh so pretty frock coat. (You think she would have learned with the Minister of Finance and the red shoes back in season two) Jamie arrives finally, pulling a knife. Claire reminds him it would be very bad to kill a man on the eve of Jocasta’s wedding. After Wiley is gone, she fills him in on her plot to deliver Stephan Bonnet in a way that justice can be served.

Jamie leaves to challenge Wiley to a high stakes game of Whist. However, to enter the game he must use Claire’s two wedding rings as collateral for his stake. Of course, Claire gets very upset that he would gamble with her gold ring, which she knows Wiley is causing her pain over. She is upset at Jamie’s willingness to gamble with Frank’s ring, so she gives him both rings.

Murtagh is Burning

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Colin McFarlane ©2020 Starz®

Jocasta is still composing herself after dealing with guests and in her chambers, Ulysses announces another guest has come to give her a present. She dismisses it until she hears Murtagh’s voice. She chastises him on many fronts. Why has he come when the Governor was downstairs? He gives her a Luckenbooth brooch with a ribbon as a gift and demands of her why is she marrying a man she doesna care for. The two barb at each other, as always.

However, when she finally makes her statements of why, other than the obvious that Murtagh is a wanted criminal, she can’t risk the loss of River Run, the real reason behind it all is her painful experiences at the loss of her daughters after Culloden, and because a husband who believed in the Jacobite cause was willing to risk all their lives. Murtagh states that there will be a way for them. She tells him the tales of her losses, the death of her children. That she just wants to have a life of happiness. She takes her blindness as punishment for the fact that stolen gold built River Run after the deaths of her daughters. She spurns Murtagh, she cannot love a man who would believe in political causes that endanger her again and tells him to leave.

It is at this point that the two star-crossed lovers break apart and Murtagh finally declares that he loves her, something he should have said long before. Duncan Lacroix and Maria Doyle Kennedy give us another tumultuous dance of passion and loss. Murtagh leaves struggling to keep all emotions from bursting out. He carefully leaves the brooch she has thrust back to him. We see Jocasta break down in her true pain. Murtagh is crushed and now has nothing but his fight to live for.

“I love you, Jocasta MacKenzie. This world may change, but that will never change,”

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Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser ©2020 Starz®

Meanwhile, Jamie arrives back at the stables where Claire is asking the horse if he is worth it. He is drunk. He has won the bet and traded the horse back to Wiley for brokering a whiskey deal with Bonnet. Claire is still bristling and declares that Bonnet has cost them again, he has torn at their trust of each other. Of course, this ends up with Claire wanting to play a rough game with Jamie which always seems to lead into a roll into the hay with these two.IMG_4450

Later Jamie strolls into Governor Tryon’s Pavillion while he is being fitted for a new red tunic. He declares that it looks like they will get their war after all. He had hoped to avoid it while he hopes to take the Governorship of the colony of New York. Jamie knowingly takes the news of the Regulator leaders not taking Tryon up on the pardons. He gives that look that he’s thinking how he is going to warn Murtagh and his compatriots before Tryon is upon them.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

The Wee Cheetie Pest Finds a Plague

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©2020 Starz®

Well, really, he is just the cutest little harbinger of doom, isn’t he? Back on the Ridge, wee Adso finds a large bug that turns out to be a locust and drops is at Roger and Brianna’s feet. The pair soon discover that all the settlers will be engulfed in a Biblical plague. Roger, sarcastically declares he thought it would just be a few cows going astray. But don’t kick a mushy icky bug gift.

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

Rogers remembers stories of locust plagues and how smoke was used to drive and divert the swarms from crops. He sets about getting all of Fraser’s Ridge farmers together and at first, they doubt him, being stubborn Scots that they are. He has had trouble getting anyone to trust his judgment, first Jamie and now the farmers. Luckily his ingenuity with creating smudge pots and burning very greenwood at the edges of the fields help to deter the swarm down to a few manageable leftover locust critters to swat at. Roger proves himself to the Ridge.

In closing the episode, we see that slime lawyer Forbes at a coffee house. Unnervingly he is meeting with none other than Stephan Bonnet (Ed Speelers), who is always prickly and quick to slash out at anyone. He informs Bonnet that his son is now master of River Run. Revenge.

Questions

Where the heck is Phaedra? Why would she not be present at Jocasta’s wedding? Could it be that like the character of Jenny, played by Laura Donnelly, other commitments came up in filming? I couldn’t find anything published as to the actor’s whereabouts.

Oh, and yes there were a few real locusts used for filming. However, the ones used for close up were bred to be sterile and wrangled safely.

Next week, after working so hard on the Ridge, we have episode 507, The Ballad of Roger Mac.

Catch it Saturday, March 28 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday 30th of March on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland. 

Outlander Episode Perpetual Adoration

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Caitriona Balfe and Laren Lyle © 2020 Starz®

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.

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César Domboy and Sam Heughan © 2020 Starz®

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.

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Sam Heughan © 2020 Starz®

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.

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© 2020 Starz®

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 IMG_4392then 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?

Perpetual

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.

Impetuous Pirate

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.

Outlander Episode The Company We Keep

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Kyle Rees and Richard Rankin ©2020 Starz®

There’s no sugar-coating this one. We finally meet The Browns, and in Brownsville, we have quite a murky quagmire of problems occur. Sadly, the neighbors just keep getting worse and worse for Fraser’s Ridge.

Roger Just Can’t Get a Break

Roger continues his inner struggle with not meeting up to Jamie’s standards as a son-in-law and now as a Captain of Fraser’s Militia. Roger first encounters the Browns while searching for more recruits to join up with the militia to help combat The Regulators. Even with money promised as payment for service, Roger just doesn’t have the commanding experience and bravado that Jamie Fraser has. He is trying to win his father in laws approval and just keeps failing.

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©2020 Starz®

Roger (Richard Rankin), Fergus (César Domboy), and the militia come upon Brownsville and walk right into a feud, which unwittingly they have brought with them, in one Isiah Morton. Guns are pointed and they nearly get their heads blown off. Roger tries to calm down the tensions and find out what is going on. Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy), informs them that Alicia Brown(Anna Burnett) and Morton has dallied with her and that has cost them a land acquisition in the marriage of 10 acres. Despite Fergus’s warnings, Roger decides to give the Browns a cask of the famous Fraser whisky meant to be used for bartering and acquiring more militia. You know where this is going. Roger sequester’s Morton to appease Lionel, stalling for Colonel Fraser to arrive.

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Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, and Paul Gorman ©2020 Starz®

Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) show up with the young baby Beardsley with them. Jamie sees that something is amiss and Roger’s explanations of how he handled the conflict are not what a captain should have done. Jamie has to, of course, take over as commanding officer, and yes Roger had given the men a great deal of the whisky meant for trading. This had also annoyed some of the militiamen, who did not like how Morton was just handed over. They had deserted the night before. To say Jamie is red to the ears annoyed doesn’t cover it. To make matters worse, Jamie goes to meet with Morton to get his side of the story. We find out that Morton is in an arranged marriage himself, miserable as Jamie was with Laoghaire being married, and is in love with Alicia. Jamie tells Morton to run.

Claire discovers Kezzie Beardsley has also got tonsilitis like his brother and informs Jamie that she must perform surgery soon. Jamie takes this as a good way to give Roger an out, as he is clearly not suitable to be in the militia and cannot make decisions as a captain. He assigns Roger to take Claire and the Beardsley twins back to Fraser’s Ridge. But no before more drama ensues. The Browns who have sobered up a bit, discover that Morton has flown, and confront Jamie and the Militia. Long rifles are drawn on both sides and in sweeps Richard Brown (Chris Larkin), head of the family.

He has been trying to patch things up with the family with 10 acres that wanted Alicia until she became spoilt. He seems to have a cooler head than Lionel Brown, and Jamie states that if there is a conflict, the Browns will be seen as “Enemies of the Crown.” Well, no one wants that. Richard pledges the Browns to serve in the militia, with pay of course. His condition is that he commands them. Jamie postures that he is in command and that Richard must answer to him. This uneasy alliance will come back to haunt the Frasers.

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Claire and Jamie have a walk in the woods after the Brownsville hootenanny that evening. Jamie softens and says it’s good to see Claire with a bairn again, and that they should keep the wee bonnie and take her to the Ridge. He misses that they could not raise a child together, after losing Faith and then having Brianna raised by Frank, Jamie has been wanting to maybe try to have a child again. Claire is touched by his thoughts, and it would be difficult for her to do so at her age. She tells him that she thinks she’s found a home for the child with a couple who have just lost their baby. Jamie thinks that the Beardsley estate, such as it is, might help make amends for the land loss of the Browns. They hear a shot in the w

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oods. Upon investigation, they find young Alicia making a mess of trying to kill herself. Claire takes her back to the Browns and their rooms and consoles a tearful girl.

Later that night, Morton comes back into Brownsville and threatens Jamie with a pistol. He insists that Jamie bring him to Alicia. Morton confesses to Alicia that he is married and does not love his wife, that he only cares for her. Jamie and Claire confronted with star crossed lovers begin to soften and then Roger Mac comes in and they concoct a plan to sneak the young lovers out. The next morning Jamie creates a hullabaloo with the escaped horses of the Browns as a distraction and the young lovers escape the back way.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Back on The Ridge

While all of the Brownsville capers were happening, life back on the idyllic Ridge was becoming worrisome to young Brianna (Sophie Skelton). Mrs. Bug returns from town with young Jemmy. In his basket, there appears a strange coin. Mrs. Bug tells a strange tale of a young Irishman admiring Jemmy so, and Brianna fights to keep her growing horror in. She surmises that it is Bonnet. She removes her and Jemmy to the Big House.

Later she goes out in the night for wood and is spooked. She returns to find only Germaine in the house playing while she is looking for Jemmy. She panics and starts looking for him everywhere. Marsali tries to calm her, finally, she finds him on the porch. Marsali sees that something is up and pours them both a dram. Brianna really never states what is troubling her, despite Marsali confiding in her and trying to draw it out.

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A bit of cheeky BTS Laren Lyle, Sophie Skelton, and young Robin Scott ©2020 Starz®

The Scene Swapping

While this episode could have been more dramatic, we do finally get to meet The Browns and see a bit of foreshadowing of trouble brewing for the Frasers. The presentation of the scenes was very choppy, alternating between storylines with the militia and the Ridge. I think if they had not alternated so frequently the episode would have been a bit smoother and the characters would have built up more as the Browns become more a part of the story in the future. While seeing the story arc for Brianna as she is dealing with a mother’s fear of her child being taken away does build some important character points for her this season, having scenes presented in more of a 1/3 grouping might have made things more believable.

Up next we have episode 5, Perpetual Adoration this Saturday, March 14 at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, March 15 at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, UK Monday, March 16 on Amazon Prime.

Synopsis provided by Starz:
Jamie and his militia arrive at Hillsborough to find that Governor Tryon has proposed a rather unorthodox solution to deal with the threat posed by the Regulators. Busy with present-day life at the Ridge, Roger and Brianna must nevertheless come to terms with their past.

Outlander at Wizard World Cleveland

All you lucky Mid-west and Easties got to have the lovely Caitriona Balfe, Duncan Lacroix, and Richard Rankin at Wizard World Cleveland March 6-8. Fun was had by all. It looks like Richard Rankin is thoroughly addicted to the Wizard World Con circuit and Duncan Lacroix is picking up a few cons going into spring. Fingers crossed they will come West Coast way later this Con season.

Sadly Colin McFarlane had to cancel due to illness.

WE hope that doesn’t mean that we lose Murtagh at the end of season 5 as we get into the heated conflict with The Regulators. Since the production is taking up filming at the end of April, and Duncan is slated for a new con at the end of that month.

Speaking of Duncan, he seems to have not gone home since the holidays and his 50th birthday. He has been hanging in LA with friends for a couple of months now. Mayhaps he is doing the Hollywood audition circuit, and may even venture into Hollywood North, otherwise known as Vancouver B.C.

Catch Caitriona’s panel here, part 1 and 2

and part 2, Duncan and Richard show up, and Richard is a handful…

Outlander Episode Free Will Recap

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Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser ©2020 Starz®

It’s one of the creepier stories in the Outlander books, the acquiring of the young Beardsley lads as part of Fraser’s Ridge. It’s one story many were glad to see had been kept. It’s official, we’ve begun the episodes I like to subgroup as “Please won’t you be my neighbor?”. Sadly much of the neighbor meeting is far from that warm and fuzzy childhood program feeling. Instead, the reality of the frontier and colonial isolation, of those forging to make new communities, and those taking advantage of tax gauging as we have already experienced with the Regulator wars starting up. It’s that very poor and backcountry situation where many create their own forms of justice. Men roam and raid, just like they did in the old country, and it wasn’t always the natives you needed to be afraid of, there were those that tried to make it look like it was Indians, when it was really smugglers and brigands, just like back in Scotland. Well, you wouldn’t want it to be perfect, would you?

Episode 503 Free Will shows us the theme of free will and making decisions. It’s an episode about making choices. We open with Claire and Marsali in Claire’s Surgery with the multitudes of mold experiments that keep failing (It is going to dawn on her to stop covering them with glass, right?) And a time-lapsed exposure of mold growing, notice that one does not have the glass over it.

An Education

Claire is questioned by Marsali on how she knows about searching for the mold, did she read it in a book, etc. Claire is determined to go against history, that it be damned. She is going to bring penicillin discovery forward 147 years. However, remembering her witch trial experiences, she turns the questioning around on Marsali and in a Socratic manner, starts asking her questions about why the mold could be significant. Marsali starts using reasoning and we get to see more of the multitudes of glass bell captured experiments and workmen still working on the house.

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Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser ©2020 Starz®

Jamie finally returns from Hillsborough and tells Claire that he must muster up the men that swore fealty to him and aid Lt. Knox in persuing Murtagh and the Regulators. He is worried about leaving the Ridge so close to harvest. Claire declares that she will go with him, and of course, he argues no with the typical Claire getting the upper hand, you will need a doctor with that many men, and Claire will ride with a large group of men, including the new Captain Roger MacKenzie.

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

Jamie meets with Fergus, who hands him a letter he secrets away and instructs him to write up an advertisement to be published regarding a call to arms. Fergus hastily grabs one of Claire’s medical papers and writes on the back of it. Now, a little foreshadowing of future trouble will no doubt come of this. Either her carefully tracked experiments with mold or her writings of care in the home for sick persons encouraging boiling of water (Dr. Rawlings Recommends). We’ll see later what trouble it will brew. Could it be a note that was meant for Murtagh?

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Sophie Skelton, Richard Rankin, Lauren Lyle, and César Domboy ©2020 Starz®

Bonnet Sightings

When the group breaks for setting up camp, Jamie pulls Claire aside and tells her that there have been sightings of Bonnet, up to his old tricks smuggling in Wilmington.

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As if That’s Not Creepy Enough

When the Frasers leave with their band of men, they run across young Josiah stealing their food from their encampment in the morning. However, it’s not Josiah as Jamie appears next with the young Josiah (Paul Gorman playing both). It’s his twin Keziah. Josiah must tell their tale of woe to the party, about being indentured at 5 for 30 years to the Beardsleys, and Kezzie losing his hearing due to beatings from. Jamie still wants Josiah to be a hunter for the Ridge, especially if he is gone fighting, so he tells Claire and the Beardsley lads he is going to buy their indentureship from Aaron Beardsley.

So Jamie and Claire set on a side adventure to the Beardsley homestead.

Rules for horror films set in the woods:

  1. Don’t go into the spooky cabin.
  2. Don’t go in the basement, luckily they don’t
  3. But seriously don’t go into the creepy attic with dripping stains that must smell of human waste and rotting flesh. That smell Claire really should know.

The set of the buildings is reminiscent of many a horror flick we have seen. The “Don’t enter that cabin in the spooky woods!”  warning is lost on Jamie and Claire. He is determined to get the lad’s indenture papers from Beardsley. It doesn’t take long for Claire and Jamie to come upon the very troubled young Fanny Beardsley, the fifth of that name. Mr. Beardsley is a cruel man and has worn down four previous wives. Fanny tries to find them the indentured papers and swears that Beardsley is dead. She just wants them gone. After some time bumbling around in the cabin, dealing with goats, and hearing a noise from upstairs, Claire, who always manages to land in it, finds the source of the most putrid odor she has been smelling. Now, being trained medically, granted there was both goat odor and excrement probably in the house, but what physician doesn’t know the smell of what she encounters on the pallet? A very emaciated and flesh filled with maggots Beardsley.

Horrified and disgusted, the Frasers try to revive the man, whom Fanny tried to kill. Fanny explains that the man was trying to harm her when he had a fit. But Claire sees evidence of wounds being reinjured or not allowed to heal. Fanny was making death a very long torturous affair. Claire and Jamie demand to know the story, and in the middle of an altercation when Fanny tries to kill him, she goes into labor. After Claire delivers the child, Jamie remarks the child is black. Fanny finally opens up about life for her and the poor lads, and how the apoplectic (stroke) Beardsley had mistreated all his now dead wives, and that one wife is a ghost she talks to on a regular basis. So people do just go mad in the backcountry.

The purpose of this long drawn out story? We see the kinds of other people that make up the society of the colonies. The child, who Fanny abandons after conveniently finding both the deed and the indenture papers, is left with the Frasers. Claire discusses raising the child on the Ridge, Jamie brings up that they could try to have another child. What Claire really needs to discuss with Jamie is that she feels that Brianna, Roger, and wee Jemmy should go back to the 20th century where they will be safer. Jamie, who has spent most of this season trying to not lose Brianna, who he has just given in marriage and now is being told that she should go back to her time, digs in a bit and reasons that they don’t know if they can go back, or that Jemmy can even go through the stones. At the end of the episode, we see Jamie asking the man if he wants to die, to stop suffering. The man agrees by blinking, as he cannot speak. In the end, we hear a single pistol shot.

Okay, one more episode and finally Adso? Because we need that cuddle fiend. Oh, then there’s that Scottish officer.

Next episode, we meet the even more charming Browns. And you thought the Hatfields were fun. Catch Company We Keep, Episode 504 this Saturday, March 7 at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, March 8 at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, UK Monday, March 9 on Amazon Prime.


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