Category Archives: Paul Gorman

Never My Love, Outlander Season 5 Finale

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

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

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

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

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

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

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Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

Pure Hate

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

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

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

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Maria Doyle Kennedy and Ducan Lacroix ©2020 Starz®

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

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©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ©2020 Starz®

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

Back To The…

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

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

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

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John Bell ©2020 Starz®

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

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Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

Physician, Heal Thyself

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

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

Hell Hath No Resolve Like a Marsali

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

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Lauren Lyle and Ned Dennehy ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

When Will We See Season 6?

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


How Many Easter Eggs Did You Spot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Outlander Monsters and Heros Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020

Caitriona Blafe and Lauren Lyle ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

Jamie Interuptus

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

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

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

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

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sophie Skelton and Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Women and Wisdom

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

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

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Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin  ©2020 Starz®

Remorse and Sin

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

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

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

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

The Infallible Man

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

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Caitriona Blafe ©2020 Starz®

Forgiveness

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

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

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

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Richard Rankin and Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

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

“You’re a Terrible Liar”

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

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

Mother of Invention

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

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

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Things

Marsali has finally accepted Claire as Mother Claire.

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

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

 

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

Outlander’s Wee Droughtlander and Plague

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

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

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

©2020 Starz®

Outlander Episode The Company We Keep

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Kyle Rees and Richard Rankin ©2020 Starz®

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

Roger Just Can’t Get a Break

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

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©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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

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

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©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Back on The Ridge

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

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

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

The Scene Swapping

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

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

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

Outlander Episode Free Will Recap

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Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser ©2020 Starz®

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

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

An Education

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

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

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

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

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

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

Bonnet Sightings

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

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As if That’s Not Creepy Enough

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

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

Rules for horror films set in the woods:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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