Category Archives: Lauren Lyle

Never My Love, Outlander Season 5 Finale

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Warning. The season finale of Outlander Season 5 doesn’t hold back. As with past episodes dealing with extreme violence, you have been warned. You may want to have someone there to hold your hand. Yes, there will be some spoilers.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has had a great deal of tragedy in her life. She was orphaned at 5, lived with her Uncle Lamb, explored the world, married first husband Frank, then war broke out. Seeing death and destruction as a WWII combat nurse, Claire has been banged around for years in two centuries. She has had to sacrifice herself, as in having sex with the King of France to secure Jamie Fraser’s release from prison, has been tortured by Black Jack Randall, forced to endure leaving Jamie behind to be raped. Her daughter followed her into the past and was raped. It’s inevitable that Claire would go through her own tragedy. Nearly losing Jamie to snakebite wasn’t enough. Leave it to the mind of author Diana Gabaldon and the writers of Outlander, in this particular episode Mathew B. Roberts and Toni Graphia, to hit us with one intense script and visceral imagery.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire’s abduction and Marsali’s (Lauren Lyle) beating at the end of “Journeycake” left us on edge for the finale, and some wondering if the abduction would carry on into season 6. But with great storytelling and a dream state sequence that invokes David Lynch in Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks, we open with Claire in the 1960s in an amazing modern house putting the record on the turntable with the song “Never My Love” from 1967. She is young again, in a very 1960’s very red dress. The door opens and in comes a younger Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) short curls and killed. The table is set for Thanksgiving and guests to arrive from the 18th-century. It becomes clear that she is trying to escape her terrible ordeal as we cut to the dark reality, filmed in dark and muted tones, the story of her abduction and torture by Lionel Brown and associates. This contrasts with the bright, autumnal tones in the dissociative sequences with golds, yellows, oranges, blues in that dark color echoed in seasons 1-5 in sets and costumes. Claire escapes to a world where her friends and extended family are, and she barely speaks and watches everything is going on around her.

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Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

Pure Hate

Claire has met with some formidable foes in the series, but one that truly echos that fiendish manipulation of Father Bain (Tim McInnerny). Remember him from season 1 and the witch trial? Who she outwitted with solving the mystery of poisonous plants killing children, only to be used by the good Father in her witch trial, where he admits to his advantage that she had saved the children, but uses it to bolster his position in town. Worse than that and rolled in with qualities of just pure savagery, is Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy). Lionel gets even. With villains like Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet in her past, who were both manipulative in their way, they do not compare with the outright crushing of women’s rights that Lionel Brown shows us. He makes it personal. Claire dared to stand up to him about the abuse of his wife, and to top it off, has been writing under the name of Doctor Rawlings suggesting that women abstain from sex to prevent childbirth. Lionel makes his crushing of Claire a personal delight.

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Sam Heughan, John Bell, and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

After Claire’s abduction and travels are told in sequencing with the arrivals of Ian dressed in 1960’s military attire, Marsali, Fergus and children, Murtagh, and Jocasta turning up for Thanksgiving dinner. The reality is that Lionel confronts her, who informs her in his righteous declarations that he was put on the earth to make Claire pay for the shame she has caused on all men of their women reading her Dr. Rawlings Recommends writings. One way to stop her is to intimidate and silence her. And that won’t happen with just killing her.

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Ducan Lacroix ©2020 Starz®

Claire is always quick thinking, and one of the abductors, a reluctant former slave Tibby, shows caution. He has heard she is a conjure woman. Claire seizes the opportunity and begins cursing them all to hell. The men start to have a fear of her. Hodgepile shoves her around roughly and they make camp. Claire continues to go in and out of dream states, and we see her tied to a tree, bloodied, and a big gash on her breast. Wendigo Donner comes to check on her, seeks that she is choking on her gag. He demands to know where she has come from, and when.

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©2020 Starz®

The next day, Tibby is put in charge of her while they make to cross a creek. She tries to talk Tibby into helping her escape, talking about the water horses taking her away and she won’t harm him. He is close to consenting but Lionel gets wind of something and confronts them. He has plans for dealing with her.

In her dreamscape, Murtagh and Jocasta turn up, they all sit at the dinner table.

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Lauren Lyle, Caitriona Balfe, John Bell, Duncan Lacroix, Marias Doyle Kennedy, and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Claire keeps cursing at the men as they try to tie her up again and make camp. While Hodgepile and the other rough her up, she shouts out an infamous, ” Jesus H Roosevelt Christ!” Wendigo then knows she is like him as he suspected. Lionel and Chisholm tie her to a tree. While lying there she sees a small rabbit. She is choking on her dried, bloody nose, while gagged. Wendigo comes at night and loosens the gag.

“Does the name Ringo Starr mean anything to you?”. Claire is stunned, she realises he is a traveler like her. “He’s a drummer.” Wendigo tells her he knew that Dr, Rawlings had to be like him, someone from his time would know the medical things written down, not a local doctor in the 18th-century. He never thought he would meet another. He advises her that she should have behaved more like the women of this time, not been so forward. She has angered many men, made them feel threatened.

Wendigo tells her his story. He traveled back in time with a group of 4 other men and said it was evident it was too late for the Indians. Claire realizes he was a companion of Ottertooth and asks him. “Where is Bob?” he asks. She tells him the Mohawk killed him. “I need gemstones!” She asks him to help her get back to Fraser Ridge, she has stones and knows where the stone circle is. Wendigo says no, Lionel will kill him. It has become very evident by now that Lionel is one of the ones that has been going causing the crimes that the Committee of Safety claimed to be protecting people from. They are interrupted by Lionel, who has brought a young boy to rape her, to have his first go at dominating a woman.

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 ©2020 Starz®

Claire returns to her alternate dissociation and police officers arrive at the Thanksgiving dinner that everyone is at and have been waiting for Bree, Roger, and Jemmy. All the time everyone had been saying it must be the traffic keeping them. The police inform her that Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie and their son were all killed in a car accident. Claire has been fearing what befell them. This is all going while a series of men take Claire.

Back To The…

Stones. Roger, Brianna wake near the stones, and young Jemmy is very excited…to find cousin Ian sitting on a mossy boulder asking where they went. The trip failed. Brianna and Roger realize they had been thinking of home, and that the Ridge had become their home. They go back with Ian to the Ridge, and just as they are planning to camp for the night, Brianna sees the Fiery Cross burning on Fraser’s Ridge at a distance. They rush home to find the men of the Ridge preparing to go after Claire.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Josiah and Roger pledge to find Claire and seek justice for Claire. Roger begs to come along with Jamie if he will allow it? Jamie is glad to have him and the men set out.

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John Bell ©2020 Starz®

Claire slowly comes out of her fog and the reality becomes a dream sequence. Men shouting, musket fire, battle scenes in the camp. Jamie finds Claire tied to the tree, and he indicates that he knows what has happened to her.

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Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

“You are alive, you are whole Mo Nighan Donn.”

The men come to tell them they have killed all but one of the party. Ronnie Sinclaire asks if Claire would wish to take her vengeance.

“It is myself who kills for her,” says Jamie, with Ian and Fergus echoing, “And I!”. Jamie asks how many raped her, she says nothing. “Jamie gives the command to kill them all. The men of the ridge decimate the abductors, killing all but Lionel Brown. Claire listens in shock. Jamie takes her to view them all, to show her they cannot hurt her. Wendigo is nowhere to be found. Roger asks if they should question him now. They take the injured Lionel with them back to the Ridge.

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©2020 Starz®

Claire finally speaks and asks about Marsali. Jamie and Fergus tell her that Marsali is okay, the baby is fine and she is still pregnant. She asks about Wendigo, tells them that he was from the future like her. No one has seen him. How is it that Roger is there? Whats happened, why are they back? Roger remarks that there’s no place like home.

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Lauren Lyle, Sophie Skelton, and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

While the series has received a lot of criticizing and praise in how it deals with abuse (Jamie’s Rape in season 1, Brianna’s in season 4), this time it is very real for Claire as the one who had to heal both Jamie and Brianna. This time, it will need to be Claire that needs healing. The fact of the matter was that in these times, women were not in power, and often subjected to terror in any way to keep them from having control by men.

Physician, Heal Thyself

Brianna races out to greet them as they come back to the Ridge and it is a long healing process for Claire. Marsali comes out, with a blackened eye healing. She and Claire embrace with Brianna. Brianna takes care of Claire, bathing her, comforting her. Marsali is left to deal with Lionel Brown. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) tells her that she will take care of her, she is there to listen to her.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire keeps her resolve to heal herself, somehow. She keeps examining herself, feeling her bones to see if it’s really her. Her face and body are battered. Jamie comes in. She tells him she will survive this. She declared that she has been through so much war in her own time and other trials, she will not be shattered by this.

Everyone on the Ridge wants to kill Lionel. Jamie tells her that Lionel is still alive. He is only kept alive to get information out of him, and because Claire has her oath to do no harm. He asks her if her oath is so strong?

Roger (Richard Rankin) is shaken by what has happened in rescuing Claire. He did what he promised he would do, defended and avenged Claire. However, Roger’s life was also changed that night. Brianna and Roger are getting ready for bed, and Roger is deeply troubled and asks Brianna if Jamie told her about what had happened. He begs to confess what has happened and asks her to blow out the candle. In the dark, he declares that he has killed someone. Roger was the last hold out, the educated man who struggled with being violent, even in defense of those he loved. Coming from an era of law and the idea of a fair trial, it hasn’t been easy for Roger to cross that line. Now he has.

Hell Hath No Resolve Like a Marsali

Claire finally goes down to the surgery and starts trying to check on Lionel, with Lionel begging for mercy, to loosen his bonds. Lionel tries to manipulate Claire into not harming him. He keeps begging and Marsali tells him to keep quiet.  Claire instructs her to make the comfrey tea. Lionel will not stop, Marsali tells him to be quiet. Claire unrolls her surgical kit, picking up a scalpel. She considers it for a moment. She puts it down, then states she will do him no harm. She leaves the surgery then collapses upstairs in the hallway weeping.

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Lauren Lyle and Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

Lionel is emboldened and snide. Because Claire has said she will do no harm to him, he thinks he’s been saved. He is abusive and bragging about how he has to be treated well, Marsali keeps telling him to mind his manners. He is bossy still. If he is not treated well, his brother will come along with his men. He will slaughter them all in their sleep. Marsali is getting the new syringe filled with something and we are all cheering her on. Oh, Marsali, you go, girl, you tell him.

Marsali, in a deep, matter of fact and a righteous voice says, “She took an oath to do no harm. But I have taken no such oath. You hurt my family, my man, I’ll burn in hell before I let you harm another soul in this house,” and injects Lionel with the liquid, that as we all hoped and suspected, was the Water Hemlock root. Good riddance.

Afterward, she is sitting on the floor, shaking and Jamie comes in and sees Lionel is dead. She asks if she will be haunted by him. Jamie assures her that no harm will come to her. He then wraps the body in a shroud and takes it to Brownsville, alone, and delivers it to Richard Brown, throwing it to the floor. He explained that a group of men including his brother attacked the Ridge and abducted and harmed his wife. He killed all of them. He is indicating that he is to blame, no other.

Richard thanks him for giving him back his brother, he reaped what he sewed. He understands that Jamie must do what he must to protect his family….as he will do when the time comes. The Frasers and Browns feud begins.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

When Will We See Season 6?

We have now officially entered Droughtlander 6, yes that’s counting the first one between the two-part first season. Pre-production has halted due to the pandemic, where work on episode 601 had started. And we will face a good 10 months of filming at the very least. So it will probably be Summer or Fall 2021 before we have season 6, which will be based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, with possibly the 7th book, An Echo in the Bone being adapted in.


How Many Easter Eggs Did You Spot?

A Dragonfly Sculpture – Dragonfly in Amber, Season 2, and symbolic of Claire’s being trapped.

The Red Dress – In season 2 Paris Claire comes up with an extravagant and very revealing red dress for the Versailles court.

An orange – Reference to the orange picks up after having slept with the king to get Jamie out of the Bastille after his duel with BJR

Rabbit – Jamie sees a rabbit on the battlefield of Culloden in season 3 after the battle and he lies wounded before Claire shows up in a vision.

Claire wrapped in Fraser tartan – Season 1 Jamie comforting Claire after several bad things, well most of them.

Claire and Jamie Talking after the rescue, more reminders of season 1 with Claire stabbing soldier in shock.

Car Accident – Frank Randall dies in a car accident in Boston, freeing Claire up to search for Jamie.

Blue Vase – A blue vase finally in a home for Claire, from the series pilot.


Outlander Monsters and Heros Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020

Caitriona Blafe and Lauren Lyle ©2020 Starz®

As we head towards our penultimate episodes of Outlander season 5, we are treated to an episode that shows the bonds of friendship and trust, preparing oneself for mortality and unfinished business. There are doubts about purpose, and what it truly means to be of value and worth. Oh, and more Outlander animals, two iconic book moments to keep book fans happy, and a young man who has truly come of age. As always, if you haven’t seen episode 509 Monsters and Heros, turn back now.

This is a Fraser’s Ridge Story of bonding and relationships; Two sets of men, one older, one younger, and how they bond over tragedy and the women of the Ridge who must always keep the organic glue together on the Ridge. Fall is a time for preparing and reflecting on the last year, to muster before the cold of winter.

Opening the episode, we have Claire (Caitriona Balfe) examining a very round Marsali (Lauren Lyle), declaring that everything looks ready and a baby should be coming any time now. Marsali is radiant and tells Claire she is happy she will be around for this birth, not off on some adventure. She is glad to share having the baby with her other “Ma”, Claire. Claire beams.

Jamie Interuptus

Roger (Richard Rankin) has failed at having a private moment with Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and is interrupted by wee Jemmy who is wide awake and watching. Parents trying to keep the cabin G-rated on the Ridge joke about young Jemmy’s first word being a swear word of course. After much debate on where that came from, Brianna proposes an interlude later in the afternoon with Jemmy being conveniently gone, when Father Fraser (Sam Heughan) comes a banging on the door remarking about it not being time to laze about, there’s hunting to be had. The Beardsley Twins (Paul Gorman) have found big game, a herd of mysteriously large game. It is the fall, and meat will be hard to come by in the winter.  Jamie, being careful in wording remarks that it would be good to have another expert marksman or woman in this case along. Of course he really means Brianna.

Brianna begs off to work with the other women on the Ridge, dropping the hint that Roger needs to be included and learn skills of hunting. Jamie takes the cue, as he is still struggling with bonding with his son-in-law. Brianna thinking this is a good time for male bonding leaves them to it.  Roger has another chance to prove himself useful which he has been trying to accomplish since he came to the Ridge. Of course you know what luck Roger has.

The men of the Ridge, Jamie, Roger, Fergus, Ian, and the twins set off across the Ridge and beyond. After several hours they decide to split up, Jamie choosing Roger to go with him. You can see the hesitation and affirmation between the two. Jamie and Roger set off on one side while the other group fans out on the other.

Jamie and Roger don’t get far when luck runs out, just when Jamie and Roger discover that there really is something big afoot, Roger makes cow patty remarks, big ones. Jamie passes a tree, and wap gets bit by a viper. The big proud warrior goes down. Roger tries to help Jamie, Jamie questioning what would have been done in his time for such a thing, Roger tries to explain antivenom. Then Roger decides he must cut the bite and suck out the blood. This is the beginning of very crankit Jamie. The man does not like appearing weak or out of control of the situation. Roger leaves to find help, then returns to find Jamie growing weaker by the moment.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Women and Wisdom

Brianna, Claire, and the other women are gathered boiling and dying cloth. Brianna enters a conversation with Claire asking how long she knew she was meant to be a doctor. Claire explains that not all people know their calling right away, she knew that she wanted to do something medically since the war, but that others may try a few paths. Brianna remarks that she and Roger have been trying to find a purpose, they are highly educated, but not in professions admired or required really in the 18th-century. Claire reminds Brianna that her engineering will be needed somehow, she will just have to find it.

The rest of the men show back up on the Ridge late. Ian remarks that they have not seen Jamie or Roger for hours, that they have come back empty-handed.

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Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin  ©2020 Starz®

Remorse and Sin

It’s been a long time coming, due to a serious potentially deadly tragedy, Roger and Jamie are forced to finally place trust in one another. A role reversal in their dynamic comes into play, Roger must lead the way, and Jamie must follow as he has become helpless. And yes, Jamie doesn’t handle this well at all.

It’s night and Jamie and Roger are forced to camp. Roger keeps vigilance over Jamie and does so over the rest of the episode. Jamie is gravely ill, the toxins have mixed with his blood, he is cold and numb in his extremities. Roger keeps insisting he will not die. While by their small campfire Jamie tells Roger he must do what Jamie could not, put an end to Stephan Bonnet. Too many have suffered because Jamie took pity on the man at his hanging, he lost his friend Lesley and Claire was attacked by Bonnet. And later, Brianna suffered because of him. Roger says he cannot kill a man, he has never done such a thing. Jamie insists he must, if he dies Roger must continue it. Jamie is nothing if not stubborn and wills his “son” Roger to take on his sins and failings, and put it right.

Roger is desperate to get Jamie back to the Ridge, back to Claire. The next day, after Jamie barely makes it through he night, he builds a fledge to drag Jamie out. Half the time they are joking and insulting one another, the other half Jamie is fighting against the toxin, and also against his perceived weakness. He feels he is failing everyone, that the weight of the Ridge is on him. Roger grows frustrated with trying to get Jamie out and back to the others. By the morning the men of the ridge realise when one of the horses comes back, that something is wrong. The search party goes out. So fine acting with Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin portraying father-in-law and son trying to find a common ground to unite, and of course they find it in protecting the ridge. Sam is very good at being the stubborn bull-like Jamie, that it must be just so, and Rankin starts taking a more serious approach, and shows that his character can overcome his perceived bad luck, because really it was Jamie that had the bad luck. Roger reminded Jamie that they bother read the obituary that drove Brianna to come back. That he dies in a fire, not by snake bite. Roger, using his educated reasoning.

Finally they are discovered by Ian (John Bell), Fergus and the gang. The race is on to save Jamie.

The Infallible Man

Jamie is not infallible, and thus his decline and internal fight begins. Claire is also not infallible. While she can make many seeming miracles happen, she is at a loss. Jamie talks with Claire in the surgery, the whole Ridge is involved in hunting for magots at Marsali’s direction (to clean the wounds). Jamie remarks to Claire that he knows it’s not good, Claire usually scolds him about getting injured, as he frequently does. Instead she is avoiding him, and quiet. She agrees that it is dire. She admits to Jamie that she doesn’t know how to treat snake bite, it was not a common occurrence. Cranky Jamie remarks that Claire should work on her bedside manner. The conversation turns to the fact that she may not be able to stop the infection. Damn the Browns for breaking the syringe! They have been giving Jamie penicillin in a broth, however it’s not as effective. The talk centers on Jamie not wanting to give up his leg, he will be no use to Claire or the others. He makes Claire swear to not cut off his leg.

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Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Forgiveness

A Large creature shows up in the Garden right next to Lizzie tending laundry and Jemmy. She freaks out and Claire and Brianna rush out. Brianna tries to lure the bison away from Lizzie and Jemmy, she gets charged and flipped, and Claire shoots the bison.

Jamie, despite the Ridge’s Magot hunt, (think Easter egg hunt but squirming), application by Claire of said creatures, Jamie’s leg is looking really bad. I have to give a hand to the special effects and makeup team, this is one rotten leg. Claire has been having doubts and confides in Brianna that she may have to go against her promise and take the leg off. She remarks to Brianna that the magots won’t be able to reach the infection, it is so deep.

In the MacKenzie cabin, Brianna is frustrated because Claire has told her that the penicillin would be more effective if they could inject it. Sadly, the rotten Browns ruined her nice modern glass and steel syringe. Roger tells Brianna of the plan put in motion by Jamie and Claire to lure Bonnet out to Wylie’s Landing. Roger is looking at the severed head he had kept of the snake, the rest of which was B-B-Qed by Jamie seeking sustenance and justice. He doesn’t know why he kept it, thinking Claire could identify the snake or how to treat Jamie. Off go the 18th century equivalents to light bulbs and Brianiac Brianna grabs it.

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Richard Rankin and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Later Roger is keeping an eye on Jamie again, and Jamie asks Roger to get him up to his own bed. We see Jamie as a man resigned to the fact that even with all the care, he may not make it. Being the big bulky and crankit creature he has begun. Roger gets Ian to help. Jamie’s choices for not amputation and that he would rather die has reached everybody. Young Ian is sick with feeling and finally calls out Jamie on how selfish he is being. He points out that when he was young, he did not support his father who had lost a leg, rather idolized Jamie and wanted Jamie as a father and that is why he left Lollybroch. He confesses he was terribly wrong, and that his father had lost the leg due to battle and was courageous, just as a very young Fergus had lost his hand trying to protect Jamie. Both men had gone on living and being productive in some way. Jamie needs to forgive himself and fight to come back. Ian declaires he never thought there would be a day he was ashamed of his uncle. They are saved, by scolding, by Claire who has come racing upstairs after finding Jamie gone from her surgery.

“You’re a Terrible Liar”

Later Ian comes downstairs and finds Fergus has brought in some of the bison meat. Ian is quiet and after Fergus asks what is wrong, he says that he knows that look on Ian’s face. He asks about M’Lord and going up. Ian warns him it may not be a good idea. He tells Fergus of what he just said to Jamie. Ian explains Claire may have to amputate. Fergus asks if the thinks Jamie couldn’t handle seeing Fergus right now. Ian confesses he is concerned after what he just said he couldn’t handle it and was being stubborn. Fergus tells Ian about what happened when he lost his hand, how M’Lord had said that is fergus had lost a hand or limb in service to him, and that Jamie would become a man of leisure. They discuss that they should be there for Jamie. It’s another man hug moment.

It’s a long and desperate night. Jamie is lying in bed and is at a crisis, and Claire believes him to be dead at one point. In another great performance, great emo delivered by Caitriona Balfe over Sam Heughan’s near corpse like apparition.

Mother of Invention

Later Claire is preparing to amputate Jamie’s leg after a very long night with the penicillin broth barely working for Jamie. She is preparing her tools and saw, very nervously having Ian help prepare Jamie for surgery. At the very last moment, Brianna living up to the Scotish for beer, meaning a short disturbance or wind, lives up to that name and stops the surgery. She comes in totalling geeking out on her contrivence, a fang syringe for Claire to work with. Of course next comes the really cool gruesome administration of penicillin directly into the festering snake bite wound. The show should get a BAFTA for the leg effects on this episode.

Later Jamie is much better and Roger gloats about being right, he didn’t die after all. Jamie talks with Claire about what he saw in his dreams, this choice that lay before him. His only choice was to come back to Claire. A war is coming and he must do his duty. And there’s a Adso caMeow.

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Things

Marsali has finally accepted Claire as Mother Claire.

Fergus is finally having deep conversations again, he has been very aloof for most of the season. Perhaps he was saving up for just this moment.

Will Claire start farming magots like the Penicillin factory she has going?

 

Watch episode 510 “Mercy Shall Follow Me” at midnight on the Starz® App April 25, Sunday April 26 at 8:05 PM EST/5:05 PM PST, and Mondays on Amazon UK and AU.

Outlander Famous Last Words Recap

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Colin Mc Farlane ©2020 Starz®

After a two week hiatus, we return to Outlander Season 5 with Famous Last Words. It is a reference with an opening scene were Roger Mac is back at Oxford, lecturing in his Socratic way, to a group of his students in the English University way of Tutor and students around a big table. Brianna slips in through the door, Roger tries to not be distracted, fails a bit, and goes on to juggle “heids” about the famous last words of historic figures, and what they really may have said, or meant.

“Will those really be your last words?”

So begins a very dark and brooding episode in the aftermath of the loss of Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser at Alamance. It is an episode with three brooding men ( Roger, Jamie and the return of a prodigal son) dealing with darkly, difficult emotions. To set the mood, for Rogers’s storyline, this episode references Roger’s and Brianna’s fondness of going to silent classic movie film festivals and uses that style of storytelling to reflect on the darkness and silence of Roger’s survival of hanging and rescue by Claire, Jamie, and Brianna.

Dark Matters

Roger (Richard Rankin) sure has gotten the raw end of the character plotlines in season 4 and 5. Not that he fared any better in Diana Gabaldon’s books. The process of Roger’s hanging and rescue was much more drawn out. Roger’s ordeal of being beaten and sold to the Mowhawk by Young Ian and Jamie created a very long and angry introduction to the yes, you are a historian but had no clue as to how brutal it really was to live in those times lessons for Roger. Now, as if nothing could get worse, Roger has full-on PTSD about being hung and surviving.

“People live and die by words.”

Roger has been despondent for months about his ordeal, struggling daily with everyone on eggshells or overly encouraging him to come back to life. For as Brianna (Sofie Skelton) is constantly reminding him, that she feels like he is dead, not living as he does not speak. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has assured all that he should be able to speak after her emergency surgery on his throat to deal with the crushed windpipe. About that. The cliff hanger last episode.

We come to a series of flashbacks told in silent movie sepia tint style, with cards and showing the silence and despair of Roger being hung and rescued, Claire’s field operation on him. He has a series of reoccurring sepia PTSD moments using the silent film inserts to emphasize his lack of speech and darkest moments.

The first in silent film mode scenes show the Frasers, Jamie, Claire, and Brianna, trying to rescue Roger from the tree hanging scene we left off with at the end of episode 507. Roger is hanging and Jamie and the others are trying to cut him down. Claire discovers he is barely alive and goes into emergency cricothyroidotomy mode, using the stem of a smoking pipe to keep an airway available to him. After he comes out of the PTSD flashback, Claire is examining him and talking about how it has healed nicely and he should have most of his voice back. Brianna is trying to coax Roger to say something, anything. Brianna is losing patience with him, he is traumatized and shutting her and Jemmy out. There is a great deal of stony tension. Roger’s silence is self-imposed.

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Sofie Skelton and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Lord John Gray (David Berry) has traveled great distances again to visit, there is an invitation to dine at the big house. Roger declines, grimacing. Flashbacks intercede again with his many times Great Granddad Buckleigh MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) and friends handing Roger over to Tryon’s men as a traitor. It’s traumatizing to be hung at all, but by your many time great Grandad, it’s a bit much.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Brianna reads the 5,000-acre grant to her by way of apology for hanging him. Caitriona Balfe, David Berry, Sam Heughan, and Sofie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

Brianna and Claire discuss Roger’s behavior. Brianna talks to Claire about her old college roommate and how her boyfriend came back from Vietnam. He had not been seriously injured, but he had a thousand-yard stare about him. She says she sees that look in Roger and feels she has lost him. Claire tells her about combat stress, and what it does to people. She reassures her that he will come back, it will take time.

After the dinner with Lord John Gray, they read through a letter he has brought giving Brianna five thousand acres in the backcountry. Claire remarks that it is in exchange for the loss of her husband and Brianna is angered. She doesn’t want land, she wants her husband back. Brianna leaves the table and rushes outside. Lord John follows carefully and tries to distract her. He gives her an astrolabe, used for gauging time and distance at sea. She marvels at it and calculates time, off by half an hour as Lord John corrects her. He tells her to have patience, that things generally have a way of working out.

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Colin Mc Farlane ©2020 Starz®

It’s Still Grief No Matter How You Look at It

Jamie (Sam Heughan) has been struggling with the loss of Murtagh, his Godfather. He tries to help Roger and Brianna with their troubles, however, he is struggling under his own weight. Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) visit to pay respects to Murtagh’s cairn and burial place near the big house. Jocasta in her take-charge fashion, trying to not really show her own grief, states she could have paid for a headstone, even though she and Murtagh were not husband and wife. Jamie points out that the feelings are still valid. They agreed that Murtagh was loyal above all else.

Roger trying to keep busy, and playing guitar and singing is a painful reminder turns to stay busy and improve his woodworking skills. He tries to build the sleeping loft for the cabin. In the process of building, he is reminded by rope and canvas of the hanging, the sacking put over his head, everything said by Tryon and his officers.

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Richard Rankin as Roger MacKenzie ©2020 Starz®

Claire and Jamie bring dinner to the cabin. Little Jemmy reaches for a steaming hot kettle and Roger cries out in a very guttural “No!” and Jemmy starts crying. He is embarrassed after rescuing the child. Jamie and Claire take charge of Jemmy. Later, Brianna has been singing “Clementine” to Jemmy as Roger has not sung in months. She keeps hoping to get some interaction from Roger, who is trying to get woodcut and formed for building a loft in the cabin.

Later,  Claire and Jamie are playing with young Jemmy as proud grandparents do. They play a game of hide-and-seek, then Jamie comes upon a wild boar, telling claire carefully to get Jemmy out of harm’s way. Just as the Boar charges Jamie, and we prepare ourselves for another set of Jamie scars, and arrow is shot with great precision into the boar. Jamie and Claire look up, and it is Ian Murray (John Hunter Bell), the younger, dressed in his Mohawk garb and hair adornment. He looks dark and broody. He comes back to the Ridge with Claire, Jamie, and Jemmy. When Roger and Brianna are at their cabin, there is a tense moment as Roger and Ian just stare at one another, they have a guy hug. When last we saw the two, Ian sacrificed himself for Roger with the Mohawk tribe to make up for selling him to them and get him back to Brianna. Brianna hugs her cousin, however, Roger retreats. Ian seems to pick up on the sentiment.

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Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and John Hunter Bell ©2020 Starz®

PTSD in The Cards

After Brianna and Claire seem to not be able to do anything with Roger, and now find they have both Jamie and Ian’s murky waters as well, Marsali (Lauren Lyle) decides to take a hand. Of course, she can’t do it easily, she pulls out a tarot deck and starts laying out Roger’s cards. Of course, we all know how bad this is going to be. Marsali kept pulling The Hanged Man each time she tries to read Roger, and he in disgust dumps all the cards on the floor. Brianna comes in when Marsali is running about picking up cards and asks what the matter is. After Marsali begs off, Brianna lays it in thick on Roger. She relates to her dealings with Bonnet, that she knows about how hard it is to come back from a dark place. She barks that she needs to know that he is not gone and lost forever.

IMG_4591And again that night, Marsali is determined to uproot everyone. She pushes poor Ian who is very quiet and not the fun-loving lad that left them. She and Fergus (César Domboy) want to know everything about living with the Mohawk. Ian is not adjusting to being inside, eating at a table, being around his family. Jamie tries to take control over all the grief going on with the men, being that fatherly laird type he is. He suggests that Ian go and survey the acreage that has been given to Brianna, to stake out the lines. Later Ian ends up sleeping on the porch as he had stared at a bed for some time and tells everyone he is more comfortable sleeping on the ground.

Roger and Ian make up a surveying team. In Brianna’s farewell, she folds Roger a paper airplane. It is their first wedding anniversary, the gift of paper. He takes the plane folded with him on the trip. Over time he and Ian form a bond, each of them struggling. Ian tries to get Roger to talk. He lashes out, how can Roger be this way, he has his whole family. We get more hints of what has happened to Ian with the Mohawk.

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Lauren Lyle and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Claire later runs out of her surgery calling for Marsali. She has a jar of Water Hemlock, asking if Marsali has prescribed any. There is only one root left. She questions whether Roger may have taken it contemplating suicide.

Later, Ian asks Roger about his dreams. This is, of course, a very touchy subject, but Ian is deeply troubled. He shows Ian the paper airplane, of course, Ian not being from his time doesn’t know what it is. Roger shows him a bit of it flying. Ian makes a remark about birds. While surveying, Roger walks to a precipice and looks down. The mood changes, he has another flash, however, starts seeing color again when he thinks about the paper airplane. He throws it off the cliff and it flies well, and Roger is lifted with the flight. In time, he sees that he is alive.

Later we come upon Rollo, tied up with a rope. This is very unlike Ian to do this, and Rollo is very worried. Ian goes about ritualistically burying his Tomahawk in the leaves. He then recites some Mohawk words while boiling water. He brings out the Hemlock roots to brew a tea, he wants to end his sorrow. Roger comes and kicks the roots and the fire in one sweep. They start brawling. Ian demands it is his right to end the pain. Ian accuses Roger of buying his weapon, his voice. Roger tries to get Ian to come back, fight for family. Their whole family.  After tense moments and the physical guy thing, they return, and Roger finally begins to use his voice. It is still not right, but it is something.

Thoughts

Jocasta seemingly let Murtagh go, and Jamie tried to shake her back into reality. Will we see that she really did love him and misses him?

We’ve had an episode where we barely heard of Bonnet. So, since he knows where Jemmy is, will he try to come to get what he thinks is his son? Will he be the monster? Check out the preview below.

Is it just me, or is Fergus not really saying much this season? He has very few lines.

And why is Jemmy not sprouting that flame-red hair he has in the books?

Only a few episodes left, what other events may get moved up from A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book 6?

Next, episode 509 Monsters and Heros. Catch it Saturday, April 18 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday, April 20 on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland. 

 

Outlander’s Wee Droughtlander and Plague

This week we are still reeling from the loss of our favorite Godfather, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser. I personally haven’t handled it well at all and slept fitfully a few nights. So, yes, I too have lost a best mate.

Outlander is taking a two-week hiatus, with this coming weekend being a mini-marathon of the first half of the season. Great distraction for those of us feeling quite lost over The Ballad of Roger Mac. Keep up hope.

So to lighten the mood a bit, here is a clip from 506 BTS about Locust Wrangling 101. Lauren, dahling, we want those shades! Paul Gorman, Laren Lyle and the rest of the Ridge crew get creepy crawly.

©2020 Starz®

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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©2020 Starz®

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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©2020 Starz®

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 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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©2020 Starz®

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.


All images ©2020 Starz®

Outlander Episode The Fiery Cross Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020At 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).

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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.501-1200x677

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

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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…

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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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 1.09.48 PMLord 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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

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.

IMG_4224The 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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

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.

All images ©2020 Starz® and Sony Pictures

Trisha Biggar Interview on designing Season 5 Costume and Brianna’s Wedding Dress

Outlander Season 5 Costume Reveals and Teasers

Outlander Season 5 Fiery Cross 2020 Trailer and the Murtagh Conflict

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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,”

IMG_3976Book 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.

Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 1.58.23 PMWe 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.Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 1.33.33 PM

“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.

IMG_3997He 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.Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 2.00.51 PM

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.

IMG_3918Aunt 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.

Deadline Article

Outlander Season 5 Opening Scene

Images and video clip © 2019-2020 Starz®

Outlander Season 4 Finale Previews

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We have reached the final episode of season 4, Man of Worth. We see a mysterious Indian wearing the opal Claire found in the skull earlier in the season. Jamie, Claire and Young Ian finally reach the Mohawk village and seek to negotiate Roger’s freedom. Brianna is about to give birth and fears parenting alone. Murtagh seeks to rally the Regulators, and discusses fighting for a cause with Jocasta at River Run. Will she betray him? And what of Bonnet, who managed to get the keys to release himself at the last minute?

The season finale episode 413 Man of Worth will air on Saturday January 26 at Midnight on the Starz® App, and Sunday January 26th 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.