Yes, the closest we have gotten to a release date is Summer 2023? No, we got the definitive June 16, 2023! And just like season 1, there will be a two-part split. And not only that, we got the titles of the episodes. Some of you may be concerned about the split, but don’t be. We get to make up for some of that lost production time, and the crew is working on the final season.
So this season 7 will be the penultimate season since they will be having to smash together two very thick books, An Echo in the Bone and Written in My Own Hearts Blood by Diana Gabaldon.
Spoiler alert, if we need to say that.
What will happen this season? Look at the titles of the episodes and guess. We know for sure that the American Revolution is just heating up, and will be the constant backdrop of conflict. However, rest assured there will be family conflict (Brianna meets William Ransome, her half-brother), that old mystery of the French Gold, and people on the Ridge really start to take sides in the politics of their time. Let’s not forget our Claire being in the gaol and another rescue attempt must be made. How many times is that? Oh, and pirates again, somewhere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
We continue our journey celebrating 8 years casting anniversary for Caitriona Balfe, remembering Claire’s development in Season 2 of Outlander.
After our second Droughtlander, yes I count the Droughtlander between Season 101 and 102 as a Droughtlander, we meet Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser in her know-it-all time traveller phase, where she boldly believes she can change the course of history. SEason 2 is based on Diana Gabaldon’s book, Dragonfly in Amber.Not thinking of the consequences to any around her, Claire steps in it the minute she is off ship in L’Havre harbor, France, she obsesses about preventing the Jacobites demise at the Battle of Culloden. The mistakes of the young hold true as Claire endeavors to explore the darker side of love and betrayal.
Roaming the backroads near Inverness, Claire stumbled back though the stones into her own time in the 20th Century. She is forced to reconcile with Frank and Frank agrees to help her to raise the child she is carrying as their child. There must be no more talk of Jamie Fraser. We see a grieving, angry side of Claire.
Back in the past, Claire wraps up Jamie with her new found cause of stopping the Jacobite rebellion and the demise of over 2000 clansmen. This means embedding themselves with the Jacobite cause in Paris, alienating Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) by dragging him into their dangerous game of intrigue, and keeping him in the dark about the reason behind it all.
Making a new and dangerous enemy, the Compte St. Germain (Stanley Weber), by diagnosing the sick men taken off of the Compte’s merchant ship as having plague. The ship must be burned and the Comte threatens revenge on Claire.
Claire and Jamie set up as wine merchants while Jamie’s cousin Jared sails to the Indies, but not before he set’s Jamie up to meet Prince Charles Stuart (Andrew Gower), the man they must stop from leading the Clansmen into a dangerous war they cannot win. Having the wine house, means they can invite political and court members to dinner. A great way to find news of rebellion. Claire begins a campaign embroiling herself, Jamie and Murtagh further into deceits.
Claire meets Maitre Raymond (Dominique Pinon), a small, quick-witted Parisian, at his apothecary and trades medical knowledge with him, and learns that he too is considered a rival of the Compte.
After securing an invite to Versailles and wearing That Red Dress and Shoes, Claire, Jamie and Murtagh bump into the ever annoying Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow) and Claire learns that Captain Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) is not dead.
Claire plots with Murtagh to not tell Jamie of BJR being above ground, as Jamie is still reeling with the dark trauma of their last meeting. Jamie takes on political machinations that further his dark side. Claire loses Jamie further as he seeks retribution.
Claire starts using her healing skills, volunteering at L’Hopital des Anges. Claire also earns and uses the moniker of Madame Blanche, a white witch. Claire gains an adopted son, Claudel, who is renamed Fergus. She befriends Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day), whom she later remembers is the woman who will mary BJR and starts the lineage that becomes Frank Randall. She then begins another conflict with Jamie. If BJR doesn’t marry Mary, there is no Frank. Finally, Claire is beginning to see how altering history makes for a very tangled web.
Claire finally reveals to Jamie that BJR is alive, and Jamie comes out of his dark place, a new mission to extinguish the Captain. When they meet at Versailles, the 18th Century’s most awkward moment is endured.
Claire falls out with Jamie over a plot to stop a wine deal that the Prince is hoping to raise funds for rebellion, beginning to drive a wedge between the two. Claire loses her baby after Jamie enters into a duel.
After Claire fights for her life, she must fight for Jamie’s again, as his dueling angers the king. He is thrown into prison, again. She makes a great sacrifice to bargain for his freedom. After reconciliation the pair tempt fate and return to Scotland. They return to Lallybroch and family.
Back in Scotland Claire returns to Lallybroch, meets Jamie’s terrible uncle Lord Lovet, and Colum MacKenzie brings her Nemesis, Laoghaire, in tow. After much wrangling with the Old Fox, they gain more men to fight and return to Lallybroch.
Claire goes on the road with Jamie and Murtagh as the Jacobites win some early battles, including Prestonpans, were the Highlanders start losing dear friends. As Claire and Jamie fight on, they try to thwart Charles Stewart’s determination to regain the Scottish throne. Claire does battle herself with PTSD from her WWII experiences.
Claire is reunited with Mary Hawkins who is very cold indeed. Claire had selfishly tried to part Mary and her young lover, Captain Randall’s brother Alexander. Claire makes amends by tending Alex who is dying, thus meeting BJR again. Claire makes a deal with the devil, with Murtagh by her side.
Claire is sadly reunited with Mary Hawkins at Lord Sandringham’s where she is held captive. She finally pieces together that he is responsible for having her and Mary attacked in Paris, where Mary was brutally raped and Murtagh feels responsible as he did not protect them. Murtagh takes a hand.
In a flash forward to 1968, Claire travels to the UK with Brianna (Sophie Skelton), her daughter by Jamie Fraser, who has no idea about who her real father is. After years of estrangement within the bargained marriage with Frank, Claire begins to open up about thinking freely about Jamie, yet will be estranged from her daughter. Claire meets young Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) again as they attend the Reverend Wakefield’s wake in Scotland. This begins a long journey for Claire and Brianna as Claire slowly reveals that Frank was not Brianna’s true father. Thus begins a mother/daughter battle of the incredulous concept of time travel.
We return to the past and Claire and Jamie kill Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) before the battle of Culloden, as he blames her for Colum’s death. Claire is thrust towards Crag Na Dun again by Jamie on the morning of the Battle of Culloden, where she enters the stone and leaves Jamie behind.
Claire learns that no matter how right she thinks she is, she cannot change history without dire consequences. She is a hypocrite in her desire to stop Culloden, yet cannot see BJR killed before he sires a son, or there will be no Frank. Diving a wedge of trust between herself and Jamie. And it all appears to be for nothing as finally loses Jamie in the end as he forces her back to her own time.
Let us know your thoughts as you watch Season 2 for the hundredth time. Join us as we slowly get through all the seasons again before the 2022 release of Season 6.
Richard Rankin as Roger Wakefield MacKenzie and and possibly baby Amanda
As with every repeated Droughtlander, and many of you turn these into Draughtlanders with Whiskey, wine, and tears, during Seasons 1-5 weeks long marathons with friends. What you haven’t started yours yet? I just started up Series 1 for the hundredth time. Socially distanced gatherings which unless you are pods is done virtually with Zoom and the telly. At least some of the Outlander cons are making a slow comeback, see Outlander Events.
There will be book references, so spoilers alerts as always.
Speculation is rife as always, so here we will break down some possibilities, keeping in mind that Series 6 will be shortened to 8 episodes and pulling from A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and possibly the 7th book, An Echo in the Bone. The writers have been blending in and cut and pasting story lines into the series to speed up for television translation. The 7th season was announced as going into production in early 2022, which sadly means at an extended 16 episodes will fill out most of the year. Unless they do a split season like they did for season 1, don’t expect this extended season before 2023.
So many of the key players have been seen on BTS pictures, however there has been report by Matthew B. Roberts as showrunner and producer, that the Murray’s will not make it in this season. Both Laura Donnelley and Steven Cree have continued on in stage and series (The Nevers and A Discovery of Witches respectively), and with the shortened season, could not be added. However, they figure in the book storyline for An Echo in the Bone.
And, since Caitriona Balfe announced the birth of her baby boy this last week, it will take time with family before the actress can begin filming for the next season. It is not known at this point if she is producing on the season definitely yet.
So here is what the main points of books the next 2 books are and could possibly be moved around and edited to the television series writers whims:
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
The Dutch cabin family burnings already shown in season 5 New character Major MacDonald tried to recruit Jamie to form a Committee of Safety and warns of similar deaths. And recruits him as Indian Agent for the Crown, and accept more tennant coming from Scotland. The Browns announce they have formed a Committee of Safety, forcing Jamie to take on the role of Indian Agent out of mistrust of the browns after the attack and kidnapping of Claire. Roger is tasked with bringing the new Scottish Tenants residing near River Run, of which the Christies will prove to be the thorn in the Fraser’s sides. The storyline with Stephen Bonnet was extracted from this book for Season 5 The storyline with Claire and Marsali being attacked in the barley shed was changed to Claire’s surgery and extracted for Season 5. Marsali and Fergus have a fourth child, Henri-Christian, and his birth causes disruption and superstitions among the Scottish settlers. What doesn’t. Ian talks of the loss of his Indian wife and child. Jamie must decide if he will sell of the gemstones they have been saving for future time travel should Roger and Brianna to go back. Claire experiments with ether, changing time yet again. There will be a few operations. The Boston Massacre happens. Fergus and family remove from The Ridge, future in printing. Jocasta reveals more info on The Frenchman’s Gold. Roger ordains as a minister. The MacNeill family has a dire illness that spreads to the rest of The Ridge, Claire becomes very ill but believes that she has been poisoned. Jamie breaks with Lord John Grey over the growing colonial tensions and his being an Indian Agent. Richard Brown demands Claire be taken into custody for murder in Wilmington. Claire is asked to be a midwife to the new Governors wife. A rising occurs with colonists seeking the Governor. Brianna is kidnapped by Bonnet extracted and used in Season 5 The Jocasta and Ulysses flight to Canada to her relations there. The Frasers and MacKenzies remove to the cabin to see if the published house fire does really occur in 1776. Jamie joins the rebel’s cause. Brianna and Roger take their new daughter through the stones at Ocracoke as Claire finds she has a heart murmur and needs a heart surgeon.
An Echo in The Bone
Brianna and Roger with their children are living in Lallybroch in the 20th century, 1980. They receive a cache of letters from the past from Jamie and Claire, mentioning the Hoard of Gold. Jamie is now a high ranking officer in The Continental Army. William Bucchleigh travels through the stones and finds Brianna and Roger (Cameo for Graham McTavish fans) Jem is kidnapped. Roger goes back through the stones to locate Jem, but arrives too early in the year 1739. Meeting another time traveller or two. William Ransome serves in the Kings Army and ends up fighting in the American Revolution, eventually fighting in the battle of Saratoga. The Bugs go after the gold, and Ian intervenes. Jamie, Claire and Young Ian return to Scotland to retrieve his printing press. Press gangs and high seas travel bring the Fraser’s right into the heat of the battles for the Revolution. Confrontation between Laoghaire and Claire of course. Ian falls for a Quaker named Rachel. Reports come that the ship that Jamie and Jenny are traveling on is sunk, and in despair the fact that Claire is about to be arrested as a spy, Lord John Steps in to marry her. Jamie turns up alive at Lord John Grey’s house alive and quite incensed.
Which of the above mentioned storylines do you see being in this shortened season 6 and longer season 7? Will season 7 include events of the rest of the American Revolution that follows in 1778 with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. The release of book 9 Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone comes in November 2021 and since it will be hard to press this series on for a 9th season, will we see events come to a conclusion after the War?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 thisSaturday, 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.
At long last, we were treated with an early release of episode 501, The Fiery Cross in the US and Canada if you had a subscription to the Starz® App. On the LA Premiere night Thursday, it was announced we would get the first episode dropped at midnight for Valentine’s treat.
Beginnings and Endings
While producers and cast have been stating that the theme this season is based on family and what Jamie and Claire will do to keep the family and extended family of Fraser Ridge safe, it’s the sad business of having to cast a family member aside that hit hard in this season opener. We knew it was coming when Governor Tryon charged Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) with hunting down and killing the leader of the Regulators, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix).
Episode 501, The Fiery Cross, opens with a young Murtagh walking towards Lollybroch and a very young Jamie Fraser suffering the loss of his mother Ellen. Murtagh speaks his oath to always be there by Jamie’s side to protect him. We know deep down this is going to hurt. Jamie lost Murtagh after Culloden and found him again when he sacrificed himself for his family’s safety ending up in Ardsmuir Prison. He found Murtagh broke and fragile, barely surviving in the dank walls. Only to lose him again as the prison shut down and Murtagh was indentured to a cruel man in the colonies. When the Frasers end up in North Carolina in Season 4, Jamie and Murtagh are reunited. However, in true Outlander fashion, it is but a brief moment.
A Da’s Privilege
Roger (Richard Rankin) ends up in Jamie’s very focused conversational embrace as he gets a very close shave from a cutthroat razor after nicking himself. A bit of sacrificial blood for the day’s events. The nervous declarations of Roger promising to find some way to provide for his family, being the scholar that he is. Jamie all too well knows he cannot hunt, farm, build a house, and quite clearly Brianna wears the breeks at times. He admits that the cabin was so he didn’t have his grandchild growing up in the woods. Jamie in his not so subtle way reminding Roger that he will be watching.
Roger spends most of the next few days wondering when Jamie will ever trust him. Can he find some way to get that chance to prove himself?
Something Old, Something New
As you know the series is straying further away from scenes in the books, thankfully the long drawn out beginning of The Fiery Cross with Gathering on Mount Halcion being downsized to a gathering for Roger and Bree’s wedding makes perfect sense. Focusing on the Ridge and the grand reveal of the big house, the unfinished parts of the doors and ongoing building reflect the building of the community.
Claire is a proud mother, gushing and preparing Brianna for the wedding, finishing dress bits and being that rare soft side of Claire we don’t see very often. Jamie is fussing over all the accouterments of the tradition to have a bride prepared with something old, something new (whisky, not aged of course), something borrowed, something blue. He can’t help but have doubts about the day, and the loss of his daughter after only just finding her. It’s a matter that plays out for all fathers, to give away the daughter and trust that another will provide for her. When Brianna comes to greet him, she reminds him that he will always be a part of her life.
In further conversations, Claire tries to take Roger’s corner as she trusts Roger to do right by Brianna and Jemmy. Jamie questioning his initial hesitation at taking on the responsibility of the child. Claire reminds him that he did come round. There was, of course, a little matter of Roger being sold off to the Mowhawk and how that transpired that no one will bring upon such a day, and the shock of finding out what happened to Brianna when he was rescued. Scots and their grudges.
Weddings, Interfearing Aunts, and The Uninvited Guest
There’s always got to be someone who ruins the day. And someone hiding away. It wouldn’t be a wedding if something didn’t go wrong. You get that many Scots together and…
Because there is a price on his head, Murtagh must hide in his shack in the woods, watching the ceremony from afar. Unfortunately, Governor Tryon turns up with a platoon of Dragoons to aid the errant Jamie, who has spent nearly a year dancing around his responsibilities of the Governor’s orders to hunt and kill Murtagh. He is reminded of his duty once in a roundabout, coy way, then more firmly with Tryon announcing he is leaving the Dragoons to aid Jamie in this task. A father really doesn’t need such stress while trying to be all smiles for his daughter on her day.
Lord John Grey (David Berry), is one of the honored guests and pulls Jamie aside behind a wagon to discuss the private matter of locating Stephen Bonnet. Unfortunately, Brianna walks up to the other side of the wagon and overhears the conversation. Lord John tells Jamie of his inquiries, what scant intelligence he has that he is following. Brianna is in shock, the worst possible thing that could have happened on her day, hearing that Bonnet is indeed still alive. She stumbles off into the wedding night, trying to keep it all in and away from her family.
Luckily Roger blissfully ignorant of the situation serenades his wife with a very 1960s song on their wedding night. The next day, the heads are swelling with grog and overindulgence. Roger is summoned to meet with Aunt Jocasta in her pavilion. She tells Roger that she is changing her will, Brianna will no longer be her heir, that she is leaving it all to Jemmy. Roger explodes and tells her where she can put her decisions, that no wife or son of his will take her money. He storms off. Jocasta, of course, being the MacKenzie she is and finding no evidence of Roger MacKenzie’s family, tests him to see if it’s all about the money. As Ulysses asks her if she had the outcome she had hoped for, she agrees. Perhaps Roger has passed her test.
Murtaghs Waters Deepen
Murtagh is a man of conviction. Too long has he an others suffered at the hands of the Crown. The injustices of over taxation and corrupt justice systems in the colony cause him to become one of the leaders of the Regulators, who are not united under one leader but split among North and South Carolina. It is because of this that Jamie is being forced to create a militia to hunt him down. It appears that after years of loss and reconnection, finally finding a home with Jamie again on the Ridge, he must make his decision. Be true to himself, or be true to his kin. Can Murtagh survive with the anchor of the family about to be ripped away?
To add to his losses, while having a love tryst in the love shack with Jocasta, she reveals that a Duncan Inness has asked her to marry him. Book readers will remember that this character was in Ardsmuir with Jamie and had originally been the companion who traveled with him and Claire through the Carribean). In season 4, Murcasta seemed to supplant that book storyline.
It’s not easy for Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), is the widow with a wealthy plantation, there have been many trying to wed her to control such wealth. She and Murtagh cannot be open about their relationship. Her plantation could be taken from her, she could be jailed. Murtagh backs up and tells her he releases her from their relationship. The rollercoaster has left the platform. That sinking drop is hitting home for Murtagh. He is about to lose all he holds dear, and make a sacrifice so that others don’t lose what they hold dear.
The Fiery Cross
We’ve been waiting to see Jamie don a kilt again. The tartans were outlawed after Culloden, and while everyone is gathered in the night, he lights a wicker cross. The Fiery Cross is a symbol of call to arms in the highlands, where clans and those who give fealty to them are called to action against a foe. Jamie uses this time to finally give Roger a purpose and feel that he has earned a place by his side by naming him a captain. It’s a bold move to go in a full kilt in front of the Dragoons, the tartan is outlawed and still punishable by imprisonment or death. The risk is worth it as Jamie knows it’s the only way to rally so many men from different clans to form a new one in the new world.
Breaking of Bonds
In the final scene, we have Jamie walking up to a secret meeting with Murtagh in the woods. He must do what he has been dreading for a year. The stakes are too high. He releases Murtagh from his oath to protect him and his family. If anyone found out that Murtagh was his Godfather, he could lose everything, all the families relying on him for a home and protection would lose. Heavy is the responsibility of being the Laird.
Murtagh is of course in shock but at the same time knew it would come to this eventually. He has been hit from all sides with loss. Murtagh makes an attempt to have Jamie consider time travel, perhaps Claire, Brianna, or Roger could change time? Jamie is taken aback. Murtagh is hit with the relationship with Jocasta ending, because really he has been putting her in danger, and now his surrogate son says to him, “Please– be hard to find”. He walks away from everything that holds him.
We now have set in motion two people who have loved and cared for each other over the years, their kinship, gone. They will now be on opposing sides of a situation Jamie does not wish to be dragged into, and Murtagh stubbornly will not leave. It is a conflict with his political past that he too has sympathy for, but he is haunted by the pain and suffering of the disbanded clans of Scotland after Culloden. He knows that there is a promise of a bigger war to come, that there is a conflict with The Regulators as told by Claire, Roger, and Brianna is the beginnings of a parting with the Crown by the colonists. The colonies are on a slow burn.
Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 next Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.
Are you ready to “Stand For All”? Starz® released the latest Outlander Season 5 trailer for the New Year and marked a six-week wait until this seasons Draughtlander is over. This more in-depth feature clip. Hold on to your boots.
“Do you ever feel as if everything’s pointing you towards something? Space. Time. History? I am grateful for everyday we have,”
Book readers will know the events surrounding this season’s conflicts for Jamie, Claire and all the other inhabitants of Fraser’s Ridge. The War of the Regulation is coming, and one of the leaders, our beloved Murtagh, Jamie’s Godfather, and life long friend, at the thick of it. At the end of season 4, Governor Tryon sent Jamie a declaration calling in on the promise of a militia backing for the Fraser’s Ridge Land Grant. This conditional grant allows the call of militia from the settlers on the Ridge to fight the Regulators with Tryon’s army. Jamie and Murtagh will be on opposing sides as the conflict will be a story arch through the season.
How will Jamie keep his kin safe, his Godfather from harm, and not lose the land grant? This plot while following similar events in the book The Fiery Cross, has the changed element of the Murtagh conflict. As you will recall, Murtagh is a character that has survived in the series, when his book character perished in The Battle of Culloden.
We are aswoon to see Jamie in a kilt again, the internet has been in a Twitter fest about it for days. However, a cringe-worthy moment in the trailer is when we see Jamie dressed in Lobster Red, the British Army uniform, and the expression on his face as he sacrifices convictions to keep the many who rely on him safe.
We also see Roger, dealing with internal conflict for Bree and their child, for Roger decides to take the child as his own. A marriage, finally settling down, with all the decisions a new marriage brings.
“People consider this the spark of the American revolution. If We stop this fight now, America will never become America.”
Bree talks with Jamie (Sam Heughan) about how he can’t change history, or try to as he has in the past. Jamie wants desperately to find a way to not harm his kinsman, or sacrifice any of his family. However Bree cautions him to let it play out, a new nation is at stake.
He must hide his relationship with Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), his kinsman. Claire (Catriona Balfe) has a new surgery and continues to used modern technical medical knowledge with what she has available to help fight injury and disease, and all the superstition that goes along with it.
Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) form a family unit but are still haunted by Stephen Bonnet. What if he finds them, or wants their son? Brianna struggles with memories of her attack. Roger learns how to hunt and live off the land, with Bree teaching how to shoot. He needs to find respect from Jamie, to show he can provide for his family and make a contribution to life on the Ridge.
Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) must also keep her relationship with Murtagh a secret, especially with suitors milling about that want to get their hands on her River Run Plantation.
Don’t forget, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) and Fergus (Cèsar Domboy) will be expanding their family life on the Ridge, and new settlers will present new problems. We’ll see favorites from Season 4 return, Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) and John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees).
And furball Adso must be kept from destroying Claire’s new surgery.
Season 5 of Outlander contains 12 episodes and will premiere at 8 p.m. Sunday, February 16, 2020. You can download on the Starz® App at Midnight via online or Amazon affiliates.
Starz® just announced today that Season 5 of the Outlander series will premiere on February 16, 2020. The time travel series about a World War II combat nurse Claire, (Caitriona Balfe), her husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) continues its next season on Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina. The Frasers will be dealing with new settlers on the ridge, Jamie seeking recruits for a mustering to hunt down the Regulators and namely his Godfather Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix). Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) will seek to get married and care for wee Jeremiah together, albeit with their history of contention, there will be some rough roads ahead. Not to mention the ghost of Stephen Bonnet. Will we see Young Ian (John Bell) come back from his time with the Mohawk? There will undoubtably be trouble with Governor Tryon, we know that Tim Downie has had quite a few BTS days on his Instagram feed of late. Marsali and Fergus may get that print shop together after all.
It doesn’t state in the synopsis whether they are taking material from The Fiery Cross, or taking elements of the storyline and possibly blending some of it in with the 6th installment, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. It has been stated by Executive Producer Ronald d. Moore that they may be taking half of a book and blending it with another. The books, if you have read them, are lengthly indeed and very detailed. Not everything translates well to screen. And since Dianna Gabaldon is finishing up another installment, which takes 4 to 5 years, it is quite possible that the series my overtake the book series, much lake Game of Thrones surpassed its authors writing and ended as a series this year. Could it be that Moore and Mathew B. Roberts see that the story line may play out or that Starz® may stop production after two more seasons?
Ah, and there is a big gathering at the beginning of the Fiery Cross, the fifth book in the Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon with all kinds of drama and mischief.
Starz® released this synopsis for the upcoming season:
Season 5 of “Outlander” finds the Frasers fighting for their family and the home they have forged on Fraser’s Ridge. Jamie must find a way to defend all that he has created in America, and to protect those who look to him for leadership and protection – while hiding his personal relationship with Murtagh Fitzgibbons, the man whom Governor William Tryon has ordered him to hunt down and kill.
With her family together at last, Claire Fraser must use her modern medical knowledge and foresight to prevent them from being ripped apart once again. However, while focusing on protecting others, she risks losing sight of what it means to protect herself.
Meanwhile, Brianna Fraser and Roger MacKenzie have been reunited, but the spectre of Stephen Bonnet still haunts them. Roger strives to find his place – as well as Jamie’s respect – in this new and dangerous time. The Frasers must come together, navigating the many perils that they foresee – and those they can’t
Starz® will have an Outlander Presence at New York Comic Con for a second year with Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, author Diana Gabaldon, and producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis. For their first NYCCC appearance Duncan Lacroix, Maria Doyle Kennedy and David Berry will be attending. The official Outlander Panel will be at New York Comic Con 2019 will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm ET in The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
With the first of the three last episodes of Season 4 Outlander 411 If Not For Hope, we have three storylines arcing, tangling, and about to snap. This week we see the scenarios begin their play.
Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and Ian (John Bell) continue their search for Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) after he had been sold to the Mohawks. There is a long pursuit as the Indians are weeks ahead of them and know the terrain. They will have to meet with every tribe between North Carolina and New York to find him, it could take months. They also have no idea that Roger has escaped. And as we left off last episode, no one knows if he went through the stones.
Then there is Brianna (Sophie Skelton), beginning to show her bump, at River Run, now firmly in Aunt Jocasta’s grip. Jocasta (Maria Kennedy Doyle) knows the shame of an unwed mother in the family, and finding her a suitable match becomes her next scheme to control River Run. She did not get what she wanted with controlling Jamie, but can she use and manipulate as MacKenzies do, her great niece as a prize to deflect suitors away from herself? There are many men that are after River Run. If she were to make Brianna her heir, and have her married in the bargain, she is still in charge, but would have a man about to act as agent. What a coup that would be, if Brianna wasn’t trying to maneuver the situation herself, which may come in the shape of an old friend of the family who turns up at River Run.
Truly, madly, deeply hunting Bonnet is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix), not one to lose sight of his quarry, not for long anyway. He will enlist the help of Fergus to track this man down, if he himself isn’t being tracked by Bonnet or Tryon’s agents, or a combination of the two. Sticky business for Murtagh and Fergus (Cesar Domboy) ahead.
Previews from Starz ®
This weeks episode, If Not For Hope, Claire, Jamie and Ian are on the trail of Roger. Using the amulet that Ian took in trade for Roger, they start asking tribes where it comes from. Brianna suffers Jocasta’s matchmaking parade of gentlemen, whom we all know are after River Run. Murtagh begins the hunt for Stephen Bonnet. Lord John Grey turns up at River Run, perhaps Brianna will find and ally in him. Murtagh seeks Fergus’ help in a dangerous game.
Tune in on Saturdays at Midnight on the Starz® App, or watch Sunday December 30th at 8 PM EST on Starz® network USA, 10 PM Sundays on Canadian W Network, 6:30 PM Mondays on Foxtel Australia, and Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK.