After months of wondering about the fate of one of the best television series to come out, we have our answers. Season 7 will premiere in the summer of 2023, and feature 16 episodes. Wondering if this will be like the long two-part series 1? It may be. Filming is still ongoing.
Starz® delivered a few announcements this week. And sadly our story will end in its eighth season. Book fans are wondering how much will be smashed up in Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone and In My Own Heart’s Blood in Series 7, and then will the remainder of IMHOB and Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone will be in the final season? Only the writers’ room knows. Gabaldon is writing the 10th book in some interviews she has said is the final book, and others discussed the prequel book that involves Jamie’s mother Helen, and father Brian’s love story will be released soon.
It is through this book that the new prequel series Outlander: Blood of my Blood has been given the green light at Sony pictures for the team of Maril Davis and Ron D Moore and their Tall Ships production company, along with current series showrunner Matt Roberts to develop the new series. Given the history of Outland series 1 production, and the fact they will have to go back to some old haunts, which fans will love, hopefully, the new series won’t take as long to produce. It could even be in co-production during season 8.
So what does this mean? All good stories must come to an end. They go on to prequels that show you the young versions of old favorite characters. This means they will need to recast some characters if they can not have the actors who portrayed our favorites, Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis), Dugal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish), and Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) their sister, convince us they are younger. We met Brian Fraser in season 1, also much older. And we have been assured a young Murtagh, who is one of many of Helen’s Suitors, will be recast? Helen is the only character we have not met yet. Although it is said she is like Brianna, hmmm.
Who do you think will reappear in the Outlander: Blood of my Blood series?
Mark me, dear Flora, your kindness will not go unremembered
As always, this contains spoilers.
In Episode 605 “Give Me Liberty”, we step back in time to just after Culloden and a defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower Cameo), being rescued by Flora MacDonald (Shauna MacDonald), dressed as an elderly and simple woman. Flora uses her guile and is able to convince the army officers that the prince is an elderly woman of no consequence.
Is He Loyal?
Lord John Grey finds himself a guest of Governor Josiah Martin, who reads out the letter of resignation as Indian Agent from Jamie Fraser and asks Lord John bluntly, is it a letter of resignation or a declaration of a rebel. Lord John assures Martin that his good friend Jamie Fraser is loyal, and finds himself asked to attend the Flora MacDonald event to ascertain the loyalties of Jamie and other former Jacobites. This puts Lord john in a rather tight spot, as good friends they may be, but he is always loyal to The Crown.
This true recount, otherwise known as, where that Skye Boat Song came from, is what makes the celebrated Flora MacDonald of the Jacobites a big draw at Willmington, where Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have come to meet up with Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and her 4th husband, Duncan Innes (Alistair Findley). The Crown, Governor Martin (Eugene O’Hare), and Major MacDonald (Robin Laing) have produced this gathering to use Flora to rally the Scots who were once rebels, to side with The Crown and keep their loyalty, lands, and business by not joining the rebels in the colonies.
Jamie and Claire must keep up appearances, however, they will find ways to keep their new allegiance to the new rebellion by walking a fine line. Here history repeats itself as Claire and Jamie begin another subterfuge of appearing to be on the side of The Crown while seeking out information about the rebellion. Claire, Brianna, and Roger have all told Jamie that the American Colonies will unite and win the war, but that is still in the future for Jamie. Jamie doesn’t wish to be on the losing side again.
To do right by my conscience, and right by my brothers.
While at the inn in Wilmington, Jamie tells Claire of an appointment in the Inn’s pub, where Cornelius Harnett ( James Weber Brown), a member of one of the Committees of Correspondence, wants to meet with him. Jamie meets with Cornelius and recognizes his Masonic ring. He gives him the Masonic handshake under the table and begins a discussion of brotherhood when asked why he is seeking to join The Sons of Liberty. Cornelius is suspicious, as it is all treasonous to meet. Can he trust Jamie? Jamie seeks to convince him that he is a brother of like mind, seeking a path that avoids conflict and uses reason. Jamie is invited to a Sons of Liberty meeting.
A Toast To Us
After Flora MacDonald’s speech, Aunt Jocasta takes a turn with her health and has a severe headache. Claire, who has long suspected that Jocasta is suffering from Glaucoma, asks if Jocasta would like some help with the pain, and takes Flora with them to the pergola. She produces a pipe and when asked, tells the ladies it is hemp flower. It is remarked that they are like a gentlemen’s society and as everyone gets a bit more philosophical, Claire points out that they should be toasting Flora, for she is brave to have rescued Prince Charlie, who she informs with her “powers of the future” is drinking himself to death in Italy. Mark me, was it 4:20?
Here’s that scene again
Truth Be Told
While dining after the Flora MacDonald speech, Mary (Mercy Ojelade), Aunt Jocasta’s slave, comes to beg the assistance of the men, a printer down the street is being threatened by rebels for printing the Flora MacDonald broadsheets publicizing the Loyalist speech. Lord John and Jamie rush to aid the printer.
Jamie always has an affinity for printers and Lord John Grey for justice, quickly runs to the aid of the printer, with a mop of tar as a defense weapon. Lord John is a crafty one. While Jamie may or may not agree with the printer’s political views, he views mob violence as wrong. Lord John is conveniently somewhat convinced of Jamie’s loyalty until he sees that glint in Jamie’s eyes after reading the publication. Jamie mentions his conscience and how he cannot support the over-taxation and the might of The Government against the colonists. Lord John finally sees the truth and asks him if he will be at the meeting that the army will be raiding that night, a meeting of The Sons of Liberty. However, Ainsley Beeston (Freddie Stevenson) has seen Jamie with Lord John, the known Loyalist, rescuing the printer.
Lord John, out of friendship, tells Jamie he will delay the military as long as he can, giving Jamie time to worn Harnett and Beeston. However, they are not convinced Jamie is not a Loyalist, they have doubts. Jamie must quickly tell them he is there to warn them. The army arrives with torches. The men escape out the back of the inn.
Form Whom The Bell Must Toll
The MacKenzies have been left in charge of Fraser’s Ridge again in the absence of Jamie and Claire. When the parents are away, there always seems to be trouble brewing back home. If they only knew how much. While walking with Lizzie, Malva and Marsali, they come across a burnt-out space with bones by the path, that Marsali identifies as looking like a love charm.
Roger (Richard Rankin) has been helping Amy McCallum, again. This of course leads to trouble. While visiting Marsali and hearing about the preparations for moving to meet with Fergus, Marsali guesses that Brianna is “with child” again, and teases her for not telling her sister. Brianna tells her she hasn’t even told Roger yet. Later, after hearing of gossip on The Ridge about how much time Roger is spending with the young widow McCallum, Brianna calls Roger out on it.
Roger admits that he is trying to help her, as Amy views him as a minister of sorts, and he has a weakness for widows, having lost his own father in the war. Brianna understands that he loves her, and is trying to be kind, however, tongues are wagging. Roger admits that he feels a little useless at home, with brilliant Brianna plotting to bring indoor plumbing to the people of The Ridge, that he is helping someone less fortunate. Roger agrees that his place is with his own wife and child. He will look for a solution.
Brianna (Sophie Skelton) must also step in while Claire the healer is not in residence. While walking with Lizzie and some of the other women of the Ridge (Marsali, Lizzie, and Malva), Lizzie has a fainting spell. She quickly deduces that Lizzie is having trouble with malaria again. Okay, so if you are a fan of the books, you know about the malaria problems, in great detail, that Lizzie has. When did they ever mention this in the last two seasons?
Anyway, as quickly explained by Brianna, malaria must be causing the ailment. The Beardsley twins Josiah and Kezzie turn up very concerned over Lizzie’s health. Brianna hands them a jar of liniment and explains they must seek a plant to help with Lizzie’s ailment. While this is another dear moment from the book, it’s rather hurriedly thrown in.
Roger, accompanied by Tom and Allan Christie, hauls a large bell up the hill to the newly built meeting house. Tom tells Roger to go inside and get some rope and tackle to help lift the bell up to the belltower. He runs inside and finds Malva Christie going at it with Obidiah Henderson. He stops them and tells Malva her father is right outside. She rounds on Roger and threatens him, telling him if he breathes a word that she will tell everyone on The Ridge that he is doing more than mending Amy McCallum’s chimney. Quickly Roger brings Obidiah out with him to help put up the bell, while Malva sneaks out the back.
Roger comes to a solution with “the Amy McCallum situation”, and tells Obidiah to help with mending and fixing things at her place. This way an unmarried man is helping, and maybe staying away from Malva. Smells like more trouble is brewing.
What Was That?
Claire and Jamie are packing up to leave Willmington. While getting the wagon loaded and about to start off, Claire hears a faint tune she remembers, whistling on the wind. It’s not from the 18th century, it’s a tune from WWI. You may know it as The Bridge on the River Kwai March, however, it is Colonel Bogey March. This makes Claire jolt a bit. When Jamie asks, “What’s wrong, Sassanch?”, she infers it is nothing.
However, in the Willmington goal, a figure behind bars is whistling the tune. Windigo Donner is back.
Tune in tonight on the Starz® App at Midnight for Episode 606, “The World Turned Upside Down”, and Sunday at 9 PM CST on Starz®
Some really great news to help us get over the longest ever Droughtlander.
Starz ® announced during #WorldOutlanderDay on Twitter that it’s a wrap on Season 6. Here’s what we know so far:
There was an apologetic celebration on Outlander_Starz announcing that due to the difficulties of dealing with a world pandemic and restrictions on filming and production, they have decided to have Season 6 end after the 8th episode. Sounds a little ominously GOT to me. However, they have promised to return with a longer Season 7, with a promise of 16 episodes and a Season 6 opener of 90 minutes length. Plenty of time to set up the aftermath of Claire’s ordeal and recovery at the end of Season 5 in “Never My Love”.
The time travel adventure will take on two of Diana Gabaldon’s books in the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in The Bone. Given it takes Gabaldon anywhere from 5 plus years to write a book, with her 9th book Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, due out this fall, we wonder if Season 7 may be the last season. Indeed since one more book is planned, the writers, who have already changed and added storylines, will no doubt have to wrap up the series. We are hoping we can see it reach a Season 8, and finally the mystery of the Ghost of Jamie in Inverness in the 1940’s will finally be explained.
Robert Wilson for Starz
And new pictures have arrived! What we do know, is that Claire (Caitriona Balfe) will be recovering from her kidnapping and rape, only to have a whole other ordeal to live with coming to the ridge. The seeds of the American Revolution have been sown, and war is on the horizon. Fergus and Marsali continue to add to their family, and that if one of the book storylines is brought in, the MacKenzies may just make it back to the 1970’s as war becomes more of a reality.
The Season 6 Episodes so far titled are:
“Echos”, written by Matthew B. Roberts
“Allegiance”, written by Steve Kornacki and Alyson Evans
“Temperance”, written by Shaina Fewell
“The World Turned Upside Down”, written by Toni Graphia
We have perhaps our first glimpse of Amanda, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger’s (Richard Rankin) daughter?
Robert Wilson for Starz
New relationships (Beardsleys and Lizzie) will blossom on The Ridge, as well as a powder keg of ideals with religion, loyalties to King, or the new forming country.
Robert Wilson for Starz
Returning for Season 6 are: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton, David Berry as Lord John Grey, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Cesar Domboy, John Bell, Lauren Lyle, Caitlin O’Ryan, and Colin McFarlane.
Keep an eye out in these pages as we confirm this season’s locations and add them to our inclusive list of Outlander Locations. It was a season of very well kept locals for production and Covid standards expediency. So once travel get’s back to normal, we are all heading back to the highlands, lowlands and all places in between.
Robert Wilson for Starz
So now watch Happy World Outlander Day with your fellow fans, where you will see old friends and new characters. See who is returning and joining the cast here:
What a great madcap team Tim Downie and David Berry have become with this podcast! If you are still Droughtlandering along, stop, listen to these!
Great fun as Tim and David invite guests to pick a favorite scene and have them play the parts. Tim is so great at mangling the Scottish accent, and David Berry loves playing female characters. With great insight with each actor on their own character. So, go in deep for the silly dive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you haven’t seen “Never My Love”, the finale episode of Season 5, please turn back now.
Trish Biggar took the helm for Season 5 on costumes and has done a marvelous job of blending the colors of the landscape of New England for the colonial inhabitants and their abodes of Fraser’s Ridge and beyond. The colors have been rich and reflective of fall in New England. We have even been treated to some fabric dying and quite a lot of colonial homespun.
But truth be told, much of the fabrics used at the time may have been produced as raw goods, shipped to England, then made into cloth, and sold back to the colonists at much higher prices. Some did weave on small looms if available, and some fabric creation with wool knitting might be local, the forced resale of finished material products contributed to the colonial strife along with many other taxed goods, such as tea.
For the finale, we have a dream escape sequence where Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is in a part of her mind trying to survive her horrendous ordeal, she isolates and creates a world where she and Jamie are young again, and many of the people in her life from the 18th-century are brought into the 20th. In this sequence, we are treated to a menagerie of objects as Easter Eggs from all 5 seasons, and the pallet of the 1960s/early 70s colors with a fall theme as Claire is welcoming people from her past to a Thanksgiving feast in a 1960s house. And the feast is echoed in the costumes for the sequence. Reds, golds, that blue that Jon Gary Steel has had in many sets for the past 4 seasons. Colors of fall and accents from past episodes.
Oh, and I died over that gold and crazy plaid trousers Duncan Lacroix rocked as Murtagh! And Maria in those colors. Check out the dragonfly she holds, one of the many Easter Eggs. And yes, we know Duncan wanted to take that suit home! So here it is in all its glory.
Read the interview with Town & Country on dressing Season 5 finale
Photography by Aimee Spinks.
For the Town and Country Interview with Trisha Biggar Look Here.
A cautionary tale was begun with the opening episode, America The Beautiful, in season 4. In that episode, Jamie, Claire, Ian, and friends rescue an erstwhile pirate from hanging. And their lives were forever changed. In this tale that has played out until this week’s episode 510, Mercy Shall Follow Me, we met the ugly side of American Colonial Life. The outright lawlessness that seemed to be rampant in the colonies, one that had played out to many a newcomer. For our time travelers, first Claire then Brianna and Roger, would all become victim to one of Outlander’s greatest villains, Stephan Bonnet. The story of Bonnet and his misdeeds forever crossing paths over the years. Until finally he turns up in Willmington again and meets with another Fraser Foe, the lawyer Gerald Forbes. Remember him? Aunt Jocasta’s lawyer and Brianna’s spurned suitor? It’s a tale of ruthlessness, revenge, cruelty, and downright sociopathic.
Birds of A Feather Plot Disaster Together
Stephan Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is a sociopath, one who is erratic, changeable, rages, and a person not able to have a normal life. We open with Bonnet meeting again with Gerald Forbes (Billy Boyd) in a brothel. Bonnet is dressed to the 9s in his refined gentlemanly wear, trying to pass as such. It has been very important for Bonnet to pass himself off as a gentleman as he hopes to claim young Jemmy. Forbes informs him that contacts have been made for a magistrate to sign papers relieving him of any accusations for crimes, witnesses have been found, and their plot to expose Brianna (Sophie Skelton) as a willing participant in Jeremiah’s procreation. This is the diabolical plot to claim Jeremiah as his own and have custody of the child. Forbes warns Bonnet that he must downplay his activities and that rumors are floating that Bonnet is now trading in the flesh.
He advises Bonnet to keep his activities on the “respectable side”, and Bonnet reminds Forbes that his trading has helped many a gentleman on the shores to bolster their profits. Forbes asks Bonnet when he will get his payment for his discretionary services. Bonnet informs him that Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and her recent bridegroom Duncan Innes will meet with an unfortunate accident and that they both shall drink a dram on the porch of River Run in celebration when he has custody of Jemmy and his inherited property. He assures Forbes he will get his 20% of the profits. Forbes informs Bronnet that he is going upriver to River Run as Jocasta has asked for his legal expertise. He shows great contempt for her, and her slights against him when he asked for Brianna’s hand in marriage. He wants revenge and money.
He’s Only a Man After All
The Frasers, Ian (John Bell), and the MacKenzies are themselves plotting in a tavern to pull off the great Wylie’s Landing Bonnet Capture. Claire and Jamie discuss the ending of Bonnet, for he is really only a man after all. Bonnet must be stopped before he harms more people. The pact is made for the men to go to Wylie’s Landing for the arranged meeting to sell whisky by Philip Wylie while Brianna and Claire get some medicinal errands done, to replace a syringe with a glass blown tube, and including a trip to the beach.
The men get to Wylie’s landing, including young Ian who is now in a tricorn and wool suiting to play Alexander Malcolm. Roger (Richard Rankin) tells Jamie he wants to be the one to kill Bonnet, it may have been his daughter that was raped, but it was his wife. Jamie cautions him to be quick to purpose, don’t hesitate or think. Jamie also pledges to avenge him should Bonnet kill him, and Roger likewise. It’s a grand thing they have all bonded.
“A bargain is it?” “A rare bargain indeed.”
Of course, when Bonnet’s men show sans the pirate, all hell breaks loose as a confrontation happens in which Roger shows his fine barrel pitching skills. If you can’t kill them, throw them. Jamie then shows Roger the fine art of questioning at knifepoint.
Which is of course what we have been suspecting, that Bonnet is in Willimington and following Brianna and Claire. In a storyline taken from book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the plot to kidnap and get Brianna and Jemmy is underfoot. Claire and Brianna are having a laugh at the beach, racing each other. Claire is collecting sponges and seashells to get calcium from, always distracted by medicinals, she wanders away from Brianna who is dipping her feet in the waves. She is come upon by Stephen Bonnet, who overpowers her and comes into a confrontation with Brianna. He knocks both women unconscious and takes Brianna after telling her he only wants her and their son.
“It’s you and your son I want.”
Beauty and The Beast
Brianna awakens in Bonnet’s lair, his house on an island. He has laid out tea for them and begins to tell Brianna of his twisted desire to become a father and a gentleman to be right for Jeremiah. She listens in disgust and pity as she hears how truly demented Bonnet is. He asks for her help in learning how to eat like a gentleman and Brianna plays along to buy time. Bonnet is often one who turns on a person without warning. He shows her a box of toys for young Jemmy and tells her he has a present for her. It’s a beautiful dress that happens to fit just perfectly.
“I want something money can’t buy” “A moral compass?”
She tries to play along with his whims and almost succeeds to talk him into letting her go. She fakes telling him the story of Moby Dick from a book on husbandry, a story that is not written for years to come. He starts telling her his back story, his fears of drowning in the sea, the dark. He even tells her that he had no mother or father, was nearly killed by those he thought friends. No one ever comes to save him from his nightmare. Brianna softens a bit too much.
“You can’t make someone love you.”
To punish Brianna who has appeared false after trying to persuade him to let her go get Jemmy and prepare him to live with Bonnet, he realizes she is stalling for time, he has it on with the wench from the “Mare” he fancies from the brothel has come to help with breakfast, and ends up being breakfast instead. Brianna begs her assistance when he leaves. The woman says she cannot help her for fear of Bonnet as he is prone to violence. Brianna begs her to tell her parents where she is. Bonnet makes arrangements to sell Brianna.
Claire rides to meet the men who have come back empty-handed from their meeting and informs them Bonnet has Brianna. They race back to Willmington to find out where Bonnet could have taken her and run into Philip Wylie. After painfully interrogating a fearful Wylie, who is in more fear of Bonnet, he informs them of a brothel, Mistress Sylvie’s where Bonnet frequents. Yeah, the Frasers are off to deal with yet another brothel madame. They’re good at this game. Roger and Ian are instructed to go to the tavern to find out information about Bonnet there.
Jocasta the Bountiful
Meanwhile, our duplicitous Forbes has arrived at River Run to an audience with Jocasta, Duncan, and Ulysses (Colin McFarlane). Jocasta and Forbes ask to be alone and Jocasta goes into a shocking revelation for Forbes: She wishes to make gifts in her lifetime from the bounty of River Run. She starts naming off all of the children of Jamie and his adopted son Fergus, £200 to Ian, £1000 for Brianna and Roger. As Forbes makes a list, he becomes more and more enraged and sarcastic. His 20% of profits are going out of the window. He rounds on Jocasta and starts telling her off.
” You can’t give away my money!”
She is aghast, and he grabs a pillow and begins to suffocate her with it. He is almost successful until Ulysses grabs him from behind and snaps his neck. Incredibly bereft Ulysses races to a collapsed Jocasta’s side, calling out to her with love, “Jocasta!”, finally she breathes air, as she comes to, he gently kisses her hand.
Claire and Jamie come to the brothel and Mistress Sylvie mistakes them for a client couple. After Claire becomes forceful and begs help to save a young girl from Bonnet, the women all look around at each other, not wanting to get involved. Later she addresses the whore that had been Bonnet’s favorite. She claims to have never heard of Bonnet and turns away. Claire, seeking her medical knowledge as a lure, tells the girl of her condition, uneven legs that a simple fix could be done at the cobblers that would release her limp and back pain. Reluctantly she tells them the island where Brianna is a hostage.
Meanwhile, Bonnet has brought another captain to look at the prospect of acquiring Brianna. He starts looking her over like a fine horse and then makes the mistake of looking at her teeth. She of course promptly bites him and things get a bit ugly and Bonnet offers to sell her for a mear £6. The bargain is struck and Bonnet drags Brianna out to the shore where the captain’s man has his money. They are set upon by Jamie, Roger, Claire, and Ian on the dunes and a fight breaks out. After they secure Brianna, Roger chases down Bonnet and beats him soundly.
They all agree to bring Bonnet to justice in Willmington and Roger suggests they contact Tryon who owes them a very big favor for nearly killing Roger, and have him contact the new Governor about Bonnet’s crimes.
And so it is we find Bonnet being sentenced from shore being tied to a mooring and sentenced to death by drowning his one great fear. After the tides begin to come in and he is screaming and distressed, he is shot by Brianna and put out of everyone’s misery.
They all agree to bring Bonnet to justice in Willmington and Roger suggests they contact Tryon who owes them a very big favor for nearly killing Roger, and have him contact the new Governor about Bonnet’s crimes.
And so it is we find Bonnet being sentenced from shore being tied to a mooring and sentenced to death by drowning his one great fear. After the tides begin to come in and he is screaming and distressed, he is shot by Brianna and put out of everyone’s misery.
Well, that’s two more villains cleaned up this episode.
And so ends the timely fate of another great Outlander villain. But wait there are more villains to come, we’ve only just met the Browns. And with that we leave you to prepare for episode 511 Journeycake, an episode penned by Diana Gabaldon herself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And 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.
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.
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.
We have a week hiatus from continuing with episode 508, Famous Last Words. We will have a funeral for a dear friend who’s passing left many of us reeling this week. Duncan Lacroix hinted in an interview this week that Jocasta will be singing a Scottish song. It also looks like Brianna may get a visit from Lord John Gray. Oh and some Hemlock is missing.
The Frasers must come to terms with all that has changed in the aftermath of the Battle of Alamance Creek. An unexpected visitor arrives at the Ridge. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ.
Outlander is on the Starz App at midnight on Saturdays (April 11), April 12 on Starz at 8:05 pm EST 5:05 pm PST. Available in the UK and Ireland on Amazon on Mondays.
I was concerned about how late this article was hitting the blog. With our current international situation, I have had to try to sit and actually watch this episode several times, as I always do. However this time, I really wanted to have a think about it. We’ve come through the halfway point of season 5 of Outlander, and with the current situation in the world, there may be a delay again for filming production on this show. How timely some of the themes of episode 506, Better to Marry Than Burn, hit us now as we face isolation and survival.
We begin with the backstory to Jocasta’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) past. As you probably have guessed by now, my main character’s favorite is Murtagh. Being both a book reader and a series fan, I was so happy to see how this character was broken out into a character that has survived the dismal death at Culloden. I was not too pleased about how the whole Murcasta thing came about. I know, the series and the books are absolutely different animals and should be accepted as such. I have praised much of the decisions that had to be made. It is extremely difficult to translate what is in a book, and what grows with a series on television. Some things just don’t translate. Bring in the fact that you rescue a favorite series only character (yes, Murtagh doesn’t survive Culloden in the books), and great acting by Duncan Lacroix to create such a figure that breaks our hearts, and partner him with the formidable Jocasta Cameron. Well, that’s fire and damnation. And finally, we see why Jocasta is as Jocasta does.
It’s hard to see how Jocasta came to be as she is, a wealthy woman who has already gone through 3-4 husbands and is now going on the 5th? Despite her affliction of blindness, she still sees everything. Unfortunately, this becomes quite painful for her. On the eve before her wedding to Duncan Innes (Alastair Findlay), a book character that has been pushed aside for the Murcasta relationship, she reflects on a painful memory of the past. Her decision to wed is a compromise she must make to keep River Run from being controlled by a man who would not respect the nuances of how the plantation is run. Jocasta is experienced in how marriages go, as well as wealth and the world of things in the 18th century. A woman must find a way to be safe and in control. The only way is through marriage to someone who wants her happiness, not a cause.
We open the episode on a moor with a carriage speeding as fast at horses can carry, careening away from Culloden. A younger Jocasta and her husband, Hector Cameron (Christopher Bowen), with their youngest daughter Morna, are fleeing the ruin of Culloden. They are stopped by a couple of the King’s Dragoons. While they and the youngest daughter are asked to exit the coach and be interrogated, one of the Dragoons spots a chest with a lock hidden under the carriage. He pulls it out and breaks it open. To Jocasta and Morna’s surprise, it’s a chest of French gold. Hector had stolen it as it was destined for Bonnie Prince Charlie to help fight the Jacobite cause. As Jocasta realizes that they have been put in danger because of Hector’s political sympathies, and altercation occurs, and the two Dragoons end up dead, as well as young Morna, who is but 16, left to rot by the roadside as Hector drags Jocasta on in the coach to flee with the gold. It is this painful memory that Jocasta carries on the eve of her next wedding.
Marriage As a Convenience
We come to the present. Jocasta, feeling the blue ribbon run through her fingers that she had saved from Morna’s hair. She is thinking about her past. How she got to be mistress of River Run, and how Hector had made her leave the daughter behind. She is about to embark on her 4th or 5th marriage, for in the world of the 18th-century, women could not be in charge of their destiny. She was readying to marry a man who would allow her to run River Run, and be a shield against a male-dominated society. She hoped at least he would only want her happiness and had no political ambitions. He brings her a lavender-filled pillow to soothe her the night before. Duncan expresses the knowledge that they do not really love each other, but maybe with time, there can be affection. Jocasta is rather brusque with him. The pillow is embroidered with the MacKenzie clan motto, ” I shine, not burn”.
Ulysses enters and glares as Duncan leaves. Jocasta remarks on his being unkind when she herself has been brusque with him. He brings Jocasta to Jamie and Gerald Forbes, the spurned suitor of Brianna. Jocasta is formally placing River Run in trust for Jeremiah MacKenzie. Remember this.
Trouble seems to always brew at weddings. The Frasers are beset by another trial on their relationship on the eve of Jocasta’s Wedding. Jamie and Claire must entertain Governor Tryon and his wife. Claire and Her Excellency part from the annoying political convo of the men, and we find we really do like H.E. as she is very sympathetic and not at all like her husband. The sensible of the two. Sadly a cursed soul from Claire’s past, Mr. Wiley is spied by H.E. and she moves to intercept. Claire stalls next to some ladies discussing Dr. Rawlings suggestions that women do not let their husbands sleep in their bed chambers during certain days of the month. Claire can’t help but chirp in some reasoning, and of course is ostracized by the ladies, turns and splashes Mr. Wiley, fop extraordinaire and cad-about-town, with enough powder on to empty a flour sack. We all know he has lusted after Claire for some time. H.E returns just in time to save Claire briefly, but he will not be put aside.
Wiley Catches Claire back up and she then starts a fiendish plan of subterfuge when Wiley spins tales of being able to procure anything she desires with the help of a certain Irish captain smuggler type. Yep, it’s him (Bonnet). Claire uses her guile to talk Wiley into tasting some of Jamie’s Fraser’s Ridge less than 3-year-old whiskey and suggests that maybe this Irish captain can broker business for them. After sinking her hook in a bit, she foolishly follows him out to the stables to meet his prized possession, Lukas, a stunning Fresian horse. Of course, Wiley makes a play for Claire and she knocks him soundly into the horse dung on his oh so pretty frock coat. (You think she would have learned with the Minister of Finance and the red shoes back in season two) Jamie arrives finally, pulling a knife. Claire reminds him it would be very bad to kill a man on the eve of Jocasta’s wedding. After Wiley is gone, she fills him in on her plot to deliver Stephan Bonnet in a way that justice can be served.
Jamie leaves to challenge Wiley to a high stakes game of Whist. However, to enter the game he must use Claire’s two wedding rings as collateral for his stake. Of course, Claire gets very upset that he would gamble with her gold ring, which she knows Wiley is causing her pain over. She is upset at Jamie’s willingness to gamble with Frank’s ring, so she gives him both rings.
Jocasta is still composing herself after dealing with guests and in her chambers, Ulysses announces another guest has come to give her a present. She dismisses it until she hears Murtagh’s voice. She chastises him on many fronts. Why has he come when the Governor was downstairs? He gives her a Luckenbooth brooch with a ribbon as a gift and demands of her why is she marrying a man she doesna care for. The two barb at each other, as always.
However, when she finally makes her statements of why, other than the obvious that Murtagh is a wanted criminal, she can’t risk the loss of River Run, the real reason behind it all is her painful experiences at the loss of her daughters after Culloden, and because a husband who believed in the Jacobite cause was willing to risk all their lives. Murtagh states that there will be a way for them. She tells him the tales of her losses, the death of her children. That she just wants to have a life of happiness. She takes her blindness as punishment for the fact that stolen gold built River Run after the deaths of her daughters. She spurns Murtagh, she cannot love a man who would believe in political causes that endanger her again and tells him to leave.
It is at this point that the two star-crossed lovers break apart and Murtagh finally declares that he loves her, something he should have said long before. Duncan Lacroix and Maria Doyle Kennedy give us another tumultuous dance of passion and loss. Murtagh leaves struggling to keep all emotions from bursting out. He carefully leaves the brooch she has thrust back to him. We see Jocasta break down in her true pain. Murtagh is crushed and now has nothing but his fight to live for.
“I love you, Jocasta MacKenzie. This world may change, but that will never change,”
Meanwhile, Jamie arrives back at the stables where Claire is asking the horse if he is worth it. He is drunk. He has won the bet and traded the horse back to Wiley for brokering a whiskey deal with Bonnet. Claire is still bristling and declares that Bonnet has cost them again, he has torn at their trust of each other. Of course, this ends up with Claire wanting to play a rough game with Jamie which always seems to lead into a roll into the hay with these two.
Later Jamie strolls into Governor Tryon’s Pavillion while he is being fitted for a new red tunic. He declares that it looks like they will get their war after all. He had hoped to avoid it while he hopes to take the Governorship of the colony of New York. Jamie knowingly takes the news of the Regulator leaders not taking Tryon up on the pardons. He gives that look that he’s thinking how he is going to warn Murtagh and his compatriots before Tryon is upon them.
Well, really, he is just the cutest little harbinger of doom, isn’t he? Back on the Ridge, wee Adso finds a large bug that turns out to be a locust and drops is at Roger and Brianna’s feet. The pair soon discover that all the settlers will be engulfed in a Biblical plague. Roger, sarcastically declares he thought it would just be a few cows going astray. But don’t kick a mushy icky bug gift.
Rogers remembers stories of locust plagues and how smoke was used to drive and divert the swarms from crops. He sets about getting all of Fraser’s Ridge farmers together and at first, they doubt him, being stubborn Scots that they are. He has had trouble getting anyone to trust his judgment, first Jamie and now the farmers. Luckily his ingenuity with creating smudge pots and burning very greenwood at the edges of the fields help to deter the swarm down to a few manageable leftover locust critters to swat at. Roger proves himself to the Ridge.
In closing the episode, we see that slime lawyer Forbes at a coffee house. Unnervingly he is meeting with none other than Stephan Bonnet (Ed Speelers), who is always prickly and quick to slash out at anyone. He informs Bonnet that his son is now master of River Run. Revenge.
Where the heck is Phaedra? Why would she not be present at Jocasta’s wedding? Could it be that like the character of Jenny, played by Laura Donnelly, other commitments came up in filming? I couldn’t find anything published as to the actor’s whereabouts.
Oh, and yes there were a few real locusts used for filming. However, the ones used for close up were bred to be sterile and wrangled safely.
Next week, after working so hard on the Ridge, we have episode 507, The Ballad of Roger Mac.
Catch it Saturday, March 28 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday 30th of March on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland.