Category Archives: Maria Doyle Kennedy

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.


Trisha Biggar on Season 5 and That 1960’s Look

Ep51203If 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.

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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.

 

Outlander Mercy Shall Follow Me

Outlander Season 5 2020

Billy Boyd Sophie ©2020 Starz®

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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

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.”

IMG_4678To 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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Willmington

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.

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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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Maria Doyle Kennedy and Billy Boyd ©2020 Starz®

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.IMG_4679

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.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

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.

 

Outlander Famous Last Words Recap

Outlander-5x08-Promo-_Famous-Last-Words_-HD-Season-5-Episode-8-Promo-YouTube-Google-Chrome-2020-03-29-19-18-05-768x432

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 Episode 508 Preview

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

From Starz®

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

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

Outlander Better to Marry Than Burn Episode Recap

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Maria Doyle Kennedy ©2020 Starz®

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

Epilogue

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

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

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

Marriage As a Convenience

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

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

Weddings Breed Troubles

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Tim Downie as Governor Tryon ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

Murtagh is Burning

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Colin McFarlane ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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

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Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

The Wee Cheetie Pest Finds a Plague

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©2020 Starz®

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

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

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

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

Questions

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

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

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

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

Outlander Episode 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 LA Premiere Today at 5:30 pm PST and Interview Round-Up

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It’s two more sleeps and the Outlander drought is over for this year. Earlier this week, New York had its premiere. And apparently, Sam Heughn let slip that it may be Murtagh’s last stand? Caitriona Balfe tried to save him, or stop him, and Sophie Skelton sought to deflect. But were they successful? There was a gasp in the audience. Was it an intentional slip, meant to tease? Who knows?

Go to the Facebook page for the live broadcast at 5:30 PM.

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Is This The End of…

We have all surmised that it may finally be Murtagh’s end. Historically the Battle of Almanance saw an answer by Governor Tryon (Tim Downie) with the hanging of some of the dissidents. If you are a book reader and history buff, you know about the last stand of the Regulators at Almanance and how it lit the fuel for further rebellion. However, Murtagh has survived before, and possibly he can escape. If Stephen Bonnet can do it, he most certainly can. Or will he sacrifice himself for another? Nail-biting commence. Got that dram handy?

The Low Down

Recent interviews with Matthew B. Roberts, producer, and writer on the series, have revealed what many of us book readers knew, there’s going to be another wedding. I didn’t expect them to be so revealing about it, as they usually like to keep cards close until the first episode has aired.

The costumes and wedding pictures revealed the wedding dress of Brianna very early on this last month. This is a departure from another wedding dress that was kept under wraps for some time. Roberts reveals more details on the season, the conflict as it stands for Jamie and Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), Godfather and Godson on two opposing sides. Jamie will don the redcoat of the British Army, and the army that has dogged him all of his life, to keep the land grant for Fraser’s Ridge.

Claire will be urging Brianna, Roger, and Jemmy to go back through the stones. The violence is mounting with the heavy taxation by the crown. Both Brianna and Roger, (Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin) know what will happen during the next 5 years. Claire fears for their safety. And everyone has that newspaper clipping about a particular fire on Fraser’s Ridge that is a few years away, in the back of their minds. Jamie is in conflict, he doesn’t want them to leave. He finally has his family around him. He already lost 20 years with Claire after forcing her to go back to their time.

There’s going to be further Murcasta Emo, with ups and downs. Their star crossed love will play out over the season. It will be a bit of a rollercoaster. Not a surprise with two Firey personalities. Will they secretly get married? Or will Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) be forced to marry a particular naval officer to keep suspicions at bay?

When and Where to Watch Season 5

The drop for Season 5 is at Midnight (ET) Saturday, February 15th on the Starz App, 9 pm PT. It will be 8 pm (ET/PT) on Sunday, 16 February on Starz cable. In Canada, it’s on the W Network premiering at 9pm on Starz.

UK watchers can view Outlander on Monday, February 17 on Amazon. Australian viewers on the same date, on Foxtel.

Watch for Sam Heuhan and Caitriona Balfe on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

The series has been very good at managing its pre-season reveals. Many of the supporting actors must wait until it is official for them to announce they’re even being on the show. Veteran actors of the series have been releasing all sorts of behind the scenes goodies.

The Crew

We’d also like to thank the film crew and everyone else who makes this show great. The cast is very supportive of who makes them look fantastic.

Check the cavalcade of BTS below. And one really great shot of Duncan Lacroix by Richard Rankin, Film-Noir Murtagh.

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Interview on Facebook Live if you missed it!

Matthew B. Roberts Interview on The Hollywood Reporter

Did Sam Heughan Just Spoil That Murtagh Dies in Outlander Season 5?

Outlander season 5: Caitriona Balfe says series won’t face problems like Game of Thrones

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®