For all of you who could not watch the Virtual PaleyFest LA live August 7, 2020, here’s the panel.
Warning. The season finale of Outlander Season 5 doesn’t hold back. As with past episodes dealing with extreme violence, you have been warned. You may want to have someone there to hold your hand. Yes, there will be some spoilers.
Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has had a great deal of tragedy in her life. She was orphaned at 5, lived with her Uncle Lamb, explored the world, married first husband Frank, then war broke out. Seeing death and destruction as a WWII combat nurse, Claire has been banged around for years in two centuries. She has had to sacrifice herself, as in having sex with the King of France to secure Jamie Fraser’s release from prison, has been tortured by Black Jack Randall, forced to endure leaving Jamie behind to be raped. Her daughter followed her into the past and was raped. It’s inevitable that Claire would go through her own tragedy. Nearly losing Jamie to snakebite wasn’t enough. Leave it to the mind of author Diana Gabaldon and the writers of Outlander, in this particular episode Mathew B. Roberts and Toni Graphia, to hit us with one intense script and visceral imagery.
Claire’s abduction and Marsali’s (Lauren Lyle) beating at the end of “Journeycake” left us on edge for the finale, and some wondering if the abduction would carry on into season 6. But with great storytelling and a dream state sequence that invokes David Lynch in Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks, we open with Claire in the 1960s in an amazing modern house putting the record on the turntable with the song “Never My Love” from 1967. She is young again, in a very 1960’s very red dress. The door opens and in comes a younger Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) short curls and killed. The table is set for Thanksgiving and guests to arrive from the 18th-century. It becomes clear that she is trying to escape her terrible ordeal as we cut to the dark reality, filmed in dark and muted tones, the story of her abduction and torture by Lionel Brown and associates. This contrasts with the bright, autumnal tones in the dissociative sequences with golds, yellows, oranges, blues in that dark color echoed in seasons 1-5 in sets and costumes. Claire escapes to a world where her friends and extended family are, and she barely speaks and watches everything is going on around her.
Claire has met with some formidable foes in the series, but one that truly echos that fiendish manipulation of Father Bain (Tim McInnerny). Remember him from season 1 and the witch trial? Who she outwitted with solving the mystery of poisonous plants killing children, only to be used by the good Father in her witch trial, where he admits to his advantage that she had saved the children, but uses it to bolster his position in town. Worse than that and rolled in with qualities of just pure savagery, is Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy). Lionel gets even. With villains like Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet in her past, who were both manipulative in their way, they do not compare with the outright crushing of women’s rights that Lionel Brown shows us. He makes it personal. Claire dared to stand up to him about the abuse of his wife, and to top it off, has been writing under the name of Doctor Rawlings suggesting that women abstain from sex to prevent childbirth. Lionel makes his crushing of Claire a personal delight.
After Claire’s abduction and travels are told in sequencing with the arrivals of Ian dressed in 1960’s military attire, Marsali, Fergus and children, Murtagh, and Jocasta turning up for Thanksgiving dinner. The reality is that Lionel confronts her, who informs her in his righteous declarations that he was put on the earth to make Claire pay for the shame she has caused on all men of their women reading her Dr. Rawlings Recommends writings. One way to stop her is to intimidate and silence her. And that won’t happen with just killing her.
Claire is always quick thinking, and one of the abductors, a reluctant former slave Tibby, shows caution. He has heard she is a conjure woman. Claire seizes the opportunity and begins cursing them all to hell. The men start to have a fear of her. Hodgepile shoves her around roughly and they make camp. Claire continues to go in and out of dream states, and we see her tied to a tree, bloodied, and a big gash on her breast. Wendigo Donner comes to check on her, seeks that she is choking on her gag. He demands to know where she has come from, and when.
The next day, Tibby is put in charge of her while they make to cross a creek. She tries to talk Tibby into helping her escape, talking about the water horses taking her away and she won’t harm him. He is close to consenting but Lionel gets wind of something and confronts them. He has plans for dealing with her.
In her dreamscape, Murtagh and Jocasta turn up, they all sit at the dinner table.
Claire keeps cursing at the men as they try to tie her up again and make camp. While Hodgepile and the other rough her up, she shouts out an infamous, ” Jesus H Roosevelt Christ!” Wendigo then knows she is like him as he suspected. Lionel and Chisholm tie her to a tree. While lying there she sees a small rabbit. She is choking on her dried, bloody nose, while gagged. Wendigo comes at night and loosens the gag.
“Does the name Ringo Starr mean anything to you?”. Claire is stunned, she realises he is a traveler like her. “He’s a drummer.” Wendigo tells her he knew that Dr, Rawlings had to be like him, someone from his time would know the medical things written down, not a local doctor in the 18th-century. He never thought he would meet another. He advises her that she should have behaved more like the women of this time, not been so forward. She has angered many men, made them feel threatened.
Wendigo tells her his story. He traveled back in time with a group of 4 other men and said it was evident it was too late for the Indians. Claire realizes he was a companion of Ottertooth and asks him. “Where is Bob?” he asks. She tells him the Mohawk killed him. “I need gemstones!” She asks him to help her get back to Fraser Ridge, she has stones and knows where the stone circle is. Wendigo says no, Lionel will kill him. It has become very evident by now that Lionel is one of the ones that has been going causing the crimes that the Committee of Safety claimed to be protecting people from. They are interrupted by Lionel, who has brought a young boy to rape her, to have his first go at dominating a woman.
Claire returns to her alternate dissociation and police officers arrive at the Thanksgiving dinner that everyone is at and have been waiting for Bree, Roger, and Jemmy. All the time everyone had been saying it must be the traffic keeping them. The police inform her that Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie and their son were all killed in a car accident. Claire has been fearing what befell them. This is all going while a series of men take Claire.
Back To The…
Stones. Roger, Brianna wake near the stones, and young Jemmy is very excited…to find cousin Ian sitting on a mossy boulder asking where they went. The trip failed. Brianna and Roger realize they had been thinking of home, and that the Ridge had become their home. They go back with Ian to the Ridge, and just as they are planning to camp for the night, Brianna sees the Fiery Cross burning on Fraser’s Ridge at a distance. They rush home to find the men of the Ridge preparing to go after Claire.
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.
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.
“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.
Claire finally speaks and asks about Marsali. Jamie and Fergus tell her that Marsali is okay, the baby is fine and she is still pregnant. She asks about Wendigo, tells them that he was from the future like her. No one has seen him. How is it that Roger is there? Whats happened, why are they back? Roger remarks that there’s no place like home.
While the series has received a lot of criticizing and praise in how it deals with abuse (Jamie’s Rape in season 1, Brianna’s in season 4), this time it is very real for Claire as the one who had to heal both Jamie and Brianna. This time, it will need to be Claire that needs healing. The fact of the matter was that in these times, women were not in power, and often subjected to terror in any way to keep them from having control by men.
Physician, Heal Thyself
Brianna races out to greet them as they come back to the Ridge and it is a long healing process for Claire. Marsali comes out, with a blackened eye healing. She and Claire embrace with Brianna. Brianna takes care of Claire, bathing her, comforting her. Marsali is left to deal with Lionel Brown. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) tells her that she will take care of her, she is there to listen to her.
Claire keeps her resolve to heal herself, somehow. She keeps examining herself, feeling her bones to see if it’s really her. Her face and body are battered. Jamie comes in. She tells him she will survive this. She declared that she has been through so much war in her own time and other trials, she will not be shattered by this.
Everyone on the Ridge wants to kill Lionel. Jamie tells her that Lionel is still alive. He is only kept alive to get information out of him, and because Claire has her oath to do no harm. He asks her if her oath is so strong?
Roger (Richard Rankin) is shaken by what has happened in rescuing Claire. He did what he promised he would do, defended and avenged Claire. However, Roger’s life was also changed that night. Brianna and Roger are getting ready for bed, and Roger is deeply troubled and asks Brianna if Jamie told her about what had happened. He begs to confess what has happened and asks her to blow out the candle. In the dark, he declares that he has killed someone. Roger was the last hold out, the educated man who struggled with being violent, even in defense of those he loved. Coming from an era of law and the idea of a fair trial, it hasn’t been easy for Roger to cross that line. Now he has.
Hell Hath No Resolve Like a Marsali
Claire finally goes down to the surgery and starts trying to check on Lionel, with Lionel begging for mercy, to loosen his bonds. Lionel tries to manipulate Claire into not harming him. He keeps begging and Marsali tells him to keep quiet. Claire instructs her to make the comfrey tea. Lionel will not stop, Marsali tells him to be quiet. Claire unrolls her surgical kit, picking up a scalpel. She considers it for a moment. She puts it down, then states she will do him no harm. She leaves the surgery then collapses upstairs in the hallway weeping.
Lionel is emboldened and snide. Because Claire has said she will do no harm to him, he thinks he’s been saved. He is abusive and bragging about how he has to be treated well, Marsali keeps telling him to mind his manners. He is bossy still. If he is not treated well, his brother will come along with his men. He will slaughter them all in their sleep. Marsali is getting the new syringe filled with something and we are all cheering her on. Oh, Marsali, you go, girl, you tell him.
Marsali, in a deep, matter of fact and a righteous voice says, “She took an oath to do no harm. But I have taken no such oath. You hurt my family, my man, I’ll burn in hell before I let you harm another soul in this house,” and injects Lionel with the liquid, that as we all hoped and suspected, was the Water Hemlock root. Good riddance.
Afterward, she is sitting on the floor, shaking and Jamie comes in and sees Lionel is dead. She asks if she will be haunted by him. Jamie assures her that no harm will come to her. He then wraps the body in a shroud and takes it to Brownsville, alone, and delivers it to Richard Brown, throwing it to the floor. He explained that a group of men including his brother attacked the Ridge and abducted and harmed his wife. He killed all of them. He is indicating that he is to blame, no other.
Richard thanks him for giving him back his brother, he reaped what he sewed. He understands that Jamie must do what he must to protect his family….as he will do when the time comes. The Frasers and Browns feud begins.
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.
It’s the penultimate episode, and another one filled with danger and loss. In an episode penned by author Diana Gabaldon, what else do you expect?
Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, and Ian are traveling back from Willmington after the ordeal with Bonnet. Jamie teases Claire about the bags of peanuts she has brought back, asking if they are for some medical experiment. Claire smiles and remarks they are for eating and her next experiment will be creating peanut butter.
“I’ll be damned if Jemmy grows up without tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”
All is not smiles for long. The party comes upon a burnt-out cabin and finds several dead bodies inside. Jamie (Sam Heughan) looks around and states that they must have been dead before the fire started. He and Roger (Richard Rankin) go looking around the exterior. Roger comes upon a young girl burnt nearly beyond recognition. He tells her it will be alright and tries to calm her. Jamie looks her over and with a knowing look, making sure Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is not around, indicates that she should be put out of her misery. He is, of course, concerned that Claire will try to save her. He tells Roger he will take care of it, however, Roger takes the responsibility. He found her and had reassured her. It’s a sign that not all is well and that the troubles leading to war are definitely brewing. And might I say, this is indeed another BAFTA set moment. What a set.
It’s been building up over the season that Brianna and Roger, at Claire’s urging, should try to go back through the stones to their own time. Revolution is a dangerous thing. And while Roger is learning that real history is nothing like in the books, he, of course, agrees with and has been trying to persuade Brianna to take Jemmy back home to their time. Brianna has been resisting, not wanting to leave her parents behind, however, after dealing with Bonnet and realizing how truly dangerous it is in the 18th-century, rape and kidnapping being a good indicator, Brianna is in agreement. However, they don’t know if Jemmy can really go through the stones.
Leave it to clever Ian to find that out. Ian is playing a dangling carrot game with young Jemmy, in this case using Ottertooth’s massive opal necklace. The shiny object is of course incredibly attractive, and as young Jemmy touches it cracks and is hot. Brianna and Roger rush over and Brianna interrogates him. Then Claire, Roger, and Brianna hear the buzzing sound of power. They ask Jemmy if he can hear it, and he says yes. They all look at each other and discuss it. Poor Ian of course left on the outside asks what does it mean when he and Jamie cannot hear the sound. Jemmy can travel.
Of course, something always interrupts joyous times, and the Browns (Chris Larkin and Ned Dennehey) come riding in with a large group of men. Jamie addresses them and wants no quarrel. They discuss Morton and grumble about the past and letting bygones be bygones, however, Richard Brown asks Jamie to come to aide with the Committee as the Browns had gone to the Regulators conflict. Jamie reminds them that it was sanctioned by the Governor and did they have authority from the Governor. Ian (John Bell) points out that it was not Indians, it was staged to look like it.
No one on the Ridge wants trouble and they certainly don’t want them finding out about Claire, Brianna, and Roger as time travelers. Claire asks about how young Bonnie is doing (the child that was rescued from the Beardsley’s), she is fine, however, Lionel Brown’s wife is looking poorly in the back of the wagon. Upon examination, Claire and Marsali notice the injury to her wrist has to do with being intentional, not from a fall. Claire, being Claire, asks her questions, and then of course when Lionel comes to the surgery, there’s a confrontation. Lionel gets surly and well, we know that isn’t going to go away easily.
Ian is troubled by what has transpired with the stone. He ken’s that strange things always happen around Claire, and still believes her to be a Fairy. Claire assures him she is not. He wants to know why Roger and Brianna are so different, that he has suspected that there is more to the stories he’s been told. He tells them that the Mohawk discussed the opal, and Otter Tooth, what transpired many years ago. It is said that the ghost appears to those that touch it. Claire admits she has seen the ghost. Claire finally tells Ian that she is from the future. Ian presents them with a small leather journal, one that the Mohawk said Otter Tooth had. Claire looks at it, is astounded. The writing had been done with a ballpoint pen. Ian asks if Murtagh knew, and they tell him yes. Finally, Ian is let in on the store of Claire and how she came to be in the 18th-century.
Claire and Jamie check on Ulysses (Colin McFarlane) who has been staying in Murtagh’s forest shack. Ulysses is horrified at what he had to do, but he would do it again to save Jocasta. Claire has brought him books to read, as the man is dying from boredom. He reveals that he is Manumitted and is a free man. He had been freed after Mr. Cameron had died. He had stayed to help Jocasta. There are penalties for slaves on estates if one commits murder. Jamie and Claire work to find a solution to help Ulysses escape from North Carolina.
Brianna and Roger try to reason out what is going on with Jemmy. He could definitely feel the hot stone and hear the buzzing sound. How would they travel with him? Brianna mentions that the can’t just disappear from the Ridge, too many questions would be asked. Roger and Brianna cook up a plan to tell everyone that Roger has accepted a teaching position in Boston, and they would be moving out of the area.
A Guest Brings a Gift
It is time that Brianna learns she has a brother, and Jamie wants her to know before she leaves. His opportunity occurs when Lord John Grey (David Berry) suddenly arrives (he has that knack), Jamie apprizes him of the fate of Bonnet. Lord John is relieved for Brianna’s sake and of course, for others, he has harmed. He and Jamie have a long conversation as John is returning to London, the Helwater. He must arrange things for William’s estate and make sure that his grandmother, Lady Dunsany, is provided for. He tells Jamie of his son, how he has been at school in London. He must never know of his true father or he risks losing his whole fortune.
Lord John also being a man of the army recognizes the storm that is brewing, and warns Jamie, who is all too aware. He then brings a small portrait gift to Jamie of William.
Later Claire is examining her new lens provided by Lord John for her microscope. She invites Jamie to look. He asks if they are the wee beasties she calls germs, and she informs him that no, it is his seed. He is quite amazed at the vigor of the wee things.
Later Jamie brings the portrait to Brianna and shows it to her. Finally, he can tell her of her brother. Brianna asks a lot of questions, however, she is very glad to know that she has one. She is glad that Lord John has been a father to him. Sadly she will never meet him, and it is discussed why she should not meet him. Jamie then asks when they will leave, struggling with the words. But of course, they must go, Jemmy will be safer in the future.
Even though they have a good exit plan, not that it is not filled with danger, the MacKenzies taking leave of their neighbors. Marsali and Fergus are taken aback, and Marsali is grieved, she feels that Brianna is a sister to her. They then realize that they must say goodbye to everyone on the Ridge. This becomes a really difficult task, as Lizzy (Caitlin O’Ryann) expects to be taken along with them as a servant. Brianna has to release her from service and tell her her home is on the Ridge. She is crushed and Brianna struggles with reassuring her. Lizzie’s whole world has been built around Brianna and Jemmy.
Later Ian, in heartfelt anguish, asks if he can go with them through the stones. Apparently hearing how Claire and Jamie tried to change history and failed, did not rub off on him in the right way, and he is desperate to go back in time, to help his wife he has talked very little of. Brianna and Claire assure him that history cannot be changed, nor can they pinpoint a specific time to go back to. It is not an exact science.
When it comes time to leave, Roger and Brianna ask Ian to help them get to the stones that Roger had encountered when he had been taken as a slave to the Mohawk. Keep in mind that this particular travel took a few months as it was several colonies away. Ian agrees to accompany them, and the MacKenzies with their stones and a rope tied about them, hear the calling of the stones and say farewell to Ian. As they disappear through the stones, Ian is in shock seeing the reality of it, and he then touches the stone, hoping to travel.
Of course, Claire and Jamie are crushed at the loss of their children and grandchild. Claire hears a commotion downstairs near the surgery and rushes to find out who is trashing her medical instruments and medicines. She meets with part of the Brown party, breaking the glass and riffling through all of the drawers. She attempts to stop them and they seize her and take her captive.
Jamie comes to the surgery and cannot find her, he rushes out to the wicker Celtic Cross in the Ridge built to send a call for arms and fires it. He is calling the Ridge to aid him in the search for Claire.
Never My Love airs this Saturday, May 9 at Midnight on the Starz App, Sunday, May 10 at 8:05 PM ET/5:05 PT and Monday, May 11th on Amazon Prime UK and IE.
Brianna and Roger don’t time travel back to the future until A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book six. We don’t know if they really have gone back to the right place, or another parallel storyline in another time. What was the scary thing Brianna and Roger saw when they traveled through the stones? The burnt-out house? Did they go back in time and find Otter Tooth? Or is this the way of dealing with them as the writers and producers have not got a season 7 offer yet from Starz and they are really consolidating storylines from the books.
While this episode has done quite a bit of housekeeping, and we see the beginnings of the feuding with the Browns becoming over the top and the next villains in the cavalcade of baddies for Outlander, I felt like a few things were rushed and brining elements in from book 6 making me wonder if we may not get a season seven. While we do need to see some action getting towards the actual battles of the Revolutionary War coming to pass, there were a few changes here at may not have translated well in season 6. I just this that this episode could have had a bit more threat to it, and it is true that Claire does get taken hostage quite often. It was, however, a reality in the times that people were often absconded with for many reasons, pressing into the navy, sold as slaves, revenge. Here’s hoping that the finale is action-packed and a great cliffhanger.
And stay tuned for an extensive DROUGHTLANDER this time as production crews around the world wait out COVID-19 pandemic closures.
A cautionary tale was begun with the opening episode, America The Beautiful, in season 4. In that episode, Jamie, Claire, Ian, and friends rescue an erstwhile pirate from hanging. And their lives were forever changed. In this tale that has played out until this week’s episode 510, Mercy Shall Follow Me, we met the ugly side of American Colonial Life. The outright lawlessness that seemed to be rampant in the colonies, one that had played out to many a newcomer. For our time travelers, first Claire then Brianna and Roger, would all become victim to one of Outlander’s greatest villains, Stephan Bonnet. The story of Bonnet and his misdeeds forever crossing paths over the years. Until finally he turns up in Willmington again and meets with another Fraser Foe, the lawyer Gerald Forbes. Remember him? Aunt Jocasta’s lawyer and Brianna’s spurned suitor? It’s a tale of ruthlessness, revenge, cruelty, and downright sociopathic.
Birds of A Feather Plot Disaster Together
Stephan Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is a sociopath, one who is erratic, changeable, rages, and a person not able to have a normal life. We open with Bonnet meeting again with Gerald Forbes (Billy Boyd) in a brothel. Bonnet is dressed to the 9s in his refined gentlemanly wear, trying to pass as such. It has been very important for Bonnet to pass himself off as a gentleman as he hopes to claim young Jemmy. Forbes informs him that contacts have been made for a magistrate to sign papers relieving him of any accusations for crimes, witnesses have been found, and their plot to expose Brianna (Sophie Skelton) as a willing participant in Jeremiah’s procreation. This is the diabolical plot to claim Jeremiah as his own and have custody of the child. Forbes warns Bonnet that he must downplay his activities and that rumors are floating that Bonnet is now trading in the flesh.
He advises Bonnet to keep his activities on the “respectable side”, and Bonnet reminds Forbes that his trading has helped many a gentleman on the shores to bolster their profits. Forbes asks Bonnet when he will get his payment for his discretionary services. Bonnet informs him that Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and her recent bridegroom Duncan Innes will meet with an unfortunate accident and that they both shall drink a dram on the porch of River Run in celebration when he has custody of Jemmy and his inherited property. He assures Forbes he will get his 20% of the profits. Forbes informs Bronnet that he is going upriver to River Run as Jocasta has asked for his legal expertise. He shows great contempt for her, and her slights against him when he asked for Brianna’s hand in marriage. He wants revenge and money.
He’s Only a Man After All
The Frasers, Ian (John Bell), and the MacKenzies are themselves plotting in a tavern to pull off the great Wylie’s Landing Bonnet Capture. Claire and Jamie discuss the ending of Bonnet, for he is really only a man after all. Bonnet must be stopped before he harms more people. The pact is made for the men to go to Wylie’s Landing for the arranged meeting to sell whisky by Philip Wylie while Brianna and Claire get some medicinal errands done, to replace a syringe with a glass blown tube, and including a trip to the beach.
The men get to Wylie’s landing, including young Ian who is now in a tricorn and wool suiting to play Alexander Malcolm. Roger (Richard Rankin) tells Jamie he wants to be the one to kill Bonnet, it may have been his daughter that was raped, but it was his wife. Jamie cautions him to be quick to purpose, don’t hesitate or think. Jamie also pledges to avenge him should Bonnet kill him, and Roger likewise. It’s a grand thing they have all bonded.
“A bargain is it?” “A rare bargain indeed.”
Of course, when Bonnet’s men show sans the pirate, all hell breaks loose as a confrontation happens in which Roger shows his fine barrel pitching skills. If you can’t kill them, throw them. Jamie then shows Roger the fine art of questioning at knifepoint.
Which is of course what we have been suspecting, that Bonnet is in Willimington and following Brianna and Claire. In a storyline taken from book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the plot to kidnap and get Brianna and Jemmy is underfoot. Claire and Brianna are having a laugh at the beach, racing each other. Claire is collecting sponges and seashells to get calcium from, always distracted by medicinals, she wanders away from Brianna who is dipping her feet in the waves. She is come upon by Stephen Bonnet, who overpowers her and comes into a confrontation with Brianna. He knocks both women unconscious and takes Brianna after telling her he only wants her and their son.
“It’s you and your son I want.”
Beauty and The Beast
Brianna awakens in Bonnet’s lair, his house on an island. He has laid out tea for them and begins to tell Brianna of his twisted desire to become a father and a gentleman to be right for Jeremiah. She listens in disgust and pity as she hears how truly demented Bonnet is. He asks for her help in learning how to eat like a gentleman and Brianna plays along to buy time. Bonnet is often one who turns on a person without warning. He shows her a box of toys for young Jemmy and tells her he has a present for her. It’s a beautiful dress that happens to fit just perfectly.
“I want something money can’t buy” “A moral compass?”
She tries to play along with his whims and almost succeeds to talk him into letting her go. She fakes telling him the story of Moby Dick from a book on husbandry, a story that is not written for years to come. He starts telling her his back story, his fears of drowning in the sea, the dark. He even tells her that he had no mother or father, was nearly killed by those he thought friends. No one ever comes to save him from his nightmare. Brianna softens a bit too much.
“You can’t make someone love you.”
To punish Brianna who has appeared false after trying to persuade him to let her go get Jemmy and prepare him to live with Bonnet, he realizes she is stalling for time, he has it on with the wench from the “Mare” he fancies from the brothel has come to help with breakfast, and ends up being breakfast instead. Brianna begs her assistance when he leaves. The woman says she cannot help her for fear of Bonnet as he is prone to violence. Brianna begs her to tell her parents where she is. Bonnet makes arrangements to sell Brianna.
Claire rides to meet the men who have come back empty-handed from their meeting and informs them Bonnet has Brianna. They race back to Willmington to find out where Bonnet could have taken her and run into Philip Wylie. After painfully interrogating a fearful Wylie, who is in more fear of Bonnet, he informs them of a brothel, Mistress Sylvie’s where Bonnet frequents. Yeah, the Frasers are off to deal with yet another brothel madame. They’re good at this game. Roger and Ian are instructed to go to the tavern to find out information about Bonnet there.
Jocasta the Bountiful
Meanwhile, our duplicitous Forbes has arrived at River Run to an audience with Jocasta, Duncan, and Ulysses (Colin McFarlane). Jocasta and Forbes ask to be alone and Jocasta goes into a shocking revelation for Forbes: She wishes to make gifts in her lifetime from the bounty of River Run. She starts naming off all of the children of Jamie and his adopted son Fergus, £200 to Ian, £1000 for Brianna and Roger. As Forbes makes a list, he becomes more and more enraged and sarcastic. His 20% of profits are going out of the window. He rounds on Jocasta and starts telling her off.
” You can’t give away my money!”
She is aghast, and he grabs a pillow and begins to suffocate her with it. He is almost successful until Ulysses grabs him from behind and snaps his neck. Incredibly bereft Ulysses races to a collapsed Jocasta’s side, calling out to her with love, “Jocasta!”, finally she breathes air, as she comes to, he gently kisses her hand.
Claire and Jamie come to the brothel and Mistress Sylvie mistakes them for a client couple. After Claire becomes forceful and begs help to save a young girl from Bonnet, the women all look around at each other, not wanting to get involved. Later she addresses the whore that had been Bonnet’s favorite. She claims to have never heard of Bonnet and turns away. Claire, seeking her medical knowledge as a lure, tells the girl of her condition, uneven legs that a simple fix could be done at the cobblers that would release her limp and back pain. Reluctantly she tells them the island where Brianna is a hostage.
Meanwhile, Bonnet has brought another captain to look at the prospect of acquiring Brianna. He starts looking her over like a fine horse and then makes the mistake of looking at her teeth. She of course promptly bites him and things get a bit ugly and Bonnet offers to sell her for a mear £6. The bargain is struck and Bonnet drags Brianna out to the shore where the captain’s man has his money. They are set upon by Jamie, Roger, Claire, and Ian on the dunes and a fight breaks out. After they secure Brianna, Roger chases down Bonnet and beats him soundly.
They all agree to bring Bonnet to justice in Willmington and Roger suggests they contact Tryon who owes them a very big favor for nearly killing Roger, and have him contact the new Governor about Bonnet’s crimes.
And so it is we find Bonnet being sentenced from shore being tied to a mooring and sentenced to death by drowning his one great fear. After the tides begin to come in and he is screaming and distressed, he is shot by Brianna and put out of everyone’s misery.
They all agree to bring Bonnet to justice in Willmington and Roger suggests they contact Tryon who owes them a very big favor for nearly killing Roger, and have him contact the new Governor about Bonnet’s crimes.
And so it is we find Bonnet being sentenced from shore being tied to a mooring and sentenced to death by drowning his one great fear. After the tides begin to come in and he is screaming and distressed, he is shot by Brianna and put out of everyone’s misery.
Well, that’s two more villains cleaned up this episode.
And so ends the timely fate of another great Outlander villain. But wait there are more villains to come, we’ve only just met the Browns. And with that we leave you to prepare for episode 511 Journeycake, an episode penned by Diana Gabaldon herself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a two week hiatus, we return to Outlander Season 5 with Famous Last Words. It is a reference with an opening scene were Roger Mac is back at Oxford, lecturing in his Socratic way, to a group of his students in the English University way of Tutor and students around a big table. Brianna slips in through the door, Roger tries to not be distracted, fails a bit, and goes on to juggle “heids” about the famous last words of historic figures, and what they really may have said, or meant.
“Will those really be your last words?”
So begins a very dark and brooding episode in the aftermath of the loss of Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser at Alamance. It is an episode with three brooding men ( Roger, Jamie and the return of a prodigal son) dealing with darkly, difficult emotions. To set the mood, for Rogers’s storyline, this episode references Roger’s and Brianna’s fondness of going to silent classic movie film festivals and uses that style of storytelling to reflect on the darkness and silence of Roger’s survival of hanging and rescue by Claire, Jamie, and Brianna.
Roger (Richard Rankin) sure has gotten the raw end of the character plotlines in season 4 and 5. Not that he fared any better in Diana Gabaldon’s books. The process of Roger’s hanging and rescue was much more drawn out. Roger’s ordeal of being beaten and sold to the Mowhawk by Young Ian and Jamie created a very long and angry introduction to the yes, you are a historian but had no clue as to how brutal it really was to live in those times lessons for Roger. Now, as if nothing could get worse, Roger has full-on PTSD about being hung and surviving.
“People live and die by words.”
Roger has been despondent for months about his ordeal, struggling daily with everyone on eggshells or overly encouraging him to come back to life. For as Brianna (Sofie Skelton) is constantly reminding him, that she feels like he is dead, not living as he does not speak. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has assured all that he should be able to speak after her emergency surgery on his throat to deal with the crushed windpipe. About that. The cliff hanger last episode.
We come to a series of flashbacks told in silent movie sepia tint style, with cards and showing the silence and despair of Roger being hung and rescued, Claire’s field operation on him. He has a series of reoccurring sepia PTSD moments using the silent film inserts to emphasize his lack of speech and darkest moments.
The first in silent film mode scenes show the Frasers, Jamie, Claire, and Brianna, trying to rescue Roger from the tree hanging scene we left off with at the end of episode 507. Roger is hanging and Jamie and the others are trying to cut him down. Claire discovers he is barely alive and goes into emergency cricothyroidotomy mode, using the stem of a smoking pipe to keep an airway available to him. After he comes out of the PTSD flashback, Claire is examining him and talking about how it has healed nicely and he should have most of his voice back. Brianna is trying to coax Roger to say something, anything. Brianna is losing patience with him, he is traumatized and shutting her and Jemmy out. There is a great deal of stony tension. Roger’s silence is self-imposed.
Lord John Gray (David Berry) has traveled great distances again to visit, there is an invitation to dine at the big house. Roger declines, grimacing. Flashbacks intercede again with his many times Great Granddad Buckleigh MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) and friends handing Roger over to Tryon’s men as a traitor. It’s traumatizing to be hung at all, but by your many time great Grandad, it’s a bit much.
Brianna and Claire discuss Roger’s behavior. Brianna talks to Claire about her old college roommate and how her boyfriend came back from Vietnam. He had not been seriously injured, but he had a thousand-yard stare about him. She says she sees that look in Roger and feels she has lost him. Claire tells her about combat stress, and what it does to people. She reassures her that he will come back, it will take time.
After the dinner with Lord John Gray, they read through a letter he has brought giving Brianna five thousand acres in the backcountry. Claire remarks that it is in exchange for the loss of her husband and Brianna is angered. She doesn’t want land, she wants her husband back. Brianna leaves the table and rushes outside. Lord John follows carefully and tries to distract her. He gives her an astrolabe, used for gauging time and distance at sea. She marvels at it and calculates time, off by half an hour as Lord John corrects her. He tells her to have patience, that things generally have a way of working out.
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.
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.
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.
And again that night, Marsali is determined to uproot everyone. She pushes poor Ian who is very quiet and not the fun-loving lad that left them. She and Fergus (César Domboy) want to know everything about living with the Mohawk. Ian is not adjusting to being inside, eating at a table, being around his family. Jamie tries to take control over all the grief going on with the men, being that fatherly laird type he is. He suggests that Ian go and survey the acreage that has been given to Brianna, to stake out the lines. Later Ian ends up sleeping on the porch as he had stared at a bed for some time and tells everyone he is more comfortable sleeping on the ground.
Roger and Ian make up a surveying team. In Brianna’s farewell, she folds Roger a paper airplane. It is their first wedding anniversary, the gift of paper. He takes the plane folded with him on the trip. Over time he and Ian form a bond, each of them struggling. Ian tries to get Roger to talk. He lashes out, how can Roger be this way, he has his whole family. We get more hints of what has happened to Ian with the Mohawk.
Claire later runs out of her surgery calling for Marsali. She has a jar of Water Hemlock, asking if Marsali has prescribed any. There is only one root left. She questions whether Roger may have taken it contemplating suicide.
Later, Ian asks Roger about his dreams. This is, of course, a very touchy subject, but Ian is deeply troubled. He shows Ian the paper airplane, of course, Ian not being from his time doesn’t know what it is. Roger shows him a bit of it flying. Ian makes a remark about birds. While surveying, Roger walks to a precipice and looks down. The mood changes, he has another flash, however, starts seeing color again when he thinks about the paper airplane. He throws it off the cliff and it flies well, and Roger is lifted with the flight. In time, he sees that he is alive.
Later we come upon Rollo, tied up with a rope. This is very unlike Ian to do this, and Rollo is very worried. Ian goes about ritualistically burying his Tomahawk in the leaves. He then recites some Mohawk words while boiling water. He brings out the Hemlock roots to brew a tea, he wants to end his sorrow. Roger comes and kicks the roots and the fire in one sweep. They start brawling. Ian demands it is his right to end the pain. Ian accuses Roger of buying his weapon, his voice. Roger tries to get Ian to come back, fight for family. Their whole family. After tense moments and the physical guy thing, they return, and Roger finally begins to use his voice. It is still not right, but it is something.
Jocasta seemingly let Murtagh go, and Jamie tried to shake her back into reality. Will we see that she really did love him and misses him?
We’ve had an episode where we barely heard of Bonnet. So, since he knows where Jemmy is, will he try to come to get what he thinks is his son? Will he be the monster? Check out the preview below.
Is it just me, or is Fergus not really saying much this season? He has very few lines.
And why is Jemmy not sprouting that flame-red hair he has in the books?
Only a few episodes left, what other events may get moved up from A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book 6?
Next, episode 509 Monsters and Heros. Catch it Saturday, April 18 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday, April 20 on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland.
We have a week hiatus from continuing with episode 508, Famous Last Words. We will have a funeral for a dear friend who’s passing left many of us reeling this week. Duncan Lacroix hinted in an interview this week that Jocasta will be singing a Scottish song. It also looks like Brianna may get a visit from Lord John Gray. Oh and some Hemlock is missing.
The Frasers must come to terms with all that has changed in the aftermath of the Battle of Alamance Creek. An unexpected visitor arrives at the Ridge. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ.
Outlander is on the Starz App at midnight on Saturdays (April 11), April 12 on Starz at 8:05 pm EST 5:05 pm PST. Available in the UK and Ireland on Amazon on Mondays.
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.
I was concerned about how late this article was hitting the blog. With our current international situation, I have had to try to sit and actually watch this episode several times, as I always do. However this time, I really wanted to have a think about it. We’ve come through the halfway point of season 5 of Outlander, and with the current situation in the world, there may be a delay again for filming production on this show. How timely some of the themes of episode 506, Better to Marry Than Burn, hit us now as we face isolation and survival.
We begin with the backstory to Jocasta’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) past. As you probably have guessed by now, my main character’s favorite is Murtagh. Being both a book reader and a series fan, I was so happy to see how this character was broken out into a character that has survived the dismal death at Culloden. I was not too pleased about how the whole Murcasta thing came about. I know, the series and the books are absolutely different animals and should be accepted as such. I have praised much of the decisions that had to be made. It is extremely difficult to translate what is in a book, and what grows with a series on television. Some things just don’t translate. Bring in the fact that you rescue a favorite series only character (yes, Murtagh doesn’t survive Culloden in the books), and great acting by Duncan Lacroix to create such a figure that breaks our hearts, and partner him with the formidable Jocasta Cameron. Well, that’s fire and damnation. And finally, we see why Jocasta is as Jocasta does.
It’s hard to see how Jocasta came to be as she is, a wealthy woman who has already gone through 3-4 husbands and is now going on the 5th? Despite her affliction of blindness, she still sees everything. Unfortunately, this becomes quite painful for her. On the eve before her wedding to Duncan Innes (Alastair Findlay), a book character that has been pushed aside for the Murcasta relationship, she reflects on a painful memory of the past. Her decision to wed is a compromise she must make to keep River Run from being controlled by a man who would not respect the nuances of how the plantation is run. Jocasta is experienced in how marriages go, as well as wealth and the world of things in the 18th century. A woman must find a way to be safe and in control. The only way is through marriage to someone who wants her happiness, not a cause.
We open the episode on a moor with a carriage speeding as fast at horses can carry, careening away from Culloden. A younger Jocasta and her husband, Hector Cameron (Christopher Bowen), with their youngest daughter Morna, are fleeing the ruin of Culloden. They are stopped by a couple of the King’s Dragoons. While they and the youngest daughter are asked to exit the coach and be interrogated, one of the Dragoons spots a chest with a lock hidden under the carriage. He pulls it out and breaks it open. To Jocasta and Morna’s surprise, it’s a chest of French gold. Hector had stolen it as it was destined for Bonnie Prince Charlie to help fight the Jacobite cause. As Jocasta realizes that they have been put in danger because of Hector’s political sympathies, and altercation occurs, and the two Dragoons end up dead, as well as young Morna, who is but 16, left to rot by the roadside as Hector drags Jocasta on in the coach to flee with the gold. It is this painful memory that Jocasta carries on the eve of her next wedding.
Marriage As a Convenience
We come to the present. Jocasta, feeling the blue ribbon run through her fingers that she had saved from Morna’s hair. She is thinking about her past. How she got to be mistress of River Run, and how Hector had made her leave the daughter behind. She is about to embark on her 4th or 5th marriage, for in the world of the 18th-century, women could not be in charge of their destiny. She was readying to marry a man who would allow her to run River Run, and be a shield against a male-dominated society. She hoped at least he would only want her happiness and had no political ambitions. He brings her a lavender-filled pillow to soothe her the night before. Duncan expresses the knowledge that they do not really love each other, but maybe with time, there can be affection. Jocasta is rather brusque with him. The pillow is embroidered with the MacKenzie clan motto, ” I shine, not burn”.
Ulysses enters and glares as Duncan leaves. Jocasta remarks on his being unkind when she herself has been brusque with him. He brings Jocasta to Jamie and Gerald Forbes, the spurned suitor of Brianna. Jocasta is formally placing River Run in trust for Jeremiah MacKenzie. Remember this.
Weddings Breed Troubles
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
Jocasta is still composing herself after dealing with guests and in her chambers, Ulysses announces another guest has come to give her a present. She dismisses it until she hears Murtagh’s voice. She chastises him on many fronts. Why has he come when the Governor was downstairs? He gives her a Luckenbooth brooch with a ribbon as a gift and demands of her why is she marrying a man she doesna care for. The two barb at each other, as always.
However, when she finally makes her statements of why, other than the obvious that Murtagh is a wanted criminal, she can’t risk the loss of River Run, the real reason behind it all is her painful experiences at the loss of her daughters after Culloden, and because a husband who believed in the Jacobite cause was willing to risk all their lives. Murtagh states that there will be a way for them. She tells him the tales of her losses, the death of her children. That she just wants to have a life of happiness. She takes her blindness as punishment for the fact that stolen gold built River Run after the deaths of her daughters. She spurns Murtagh, she cannot love a man who would believe in political causes that endanger her again and tells him to leave.
It is at this point that the two star-crossed lovers break apart and Murtagh finally declares that he loves her, something he should have said long before. Duncan Lacroix and Maria Doyle Kennedy give us another tumultuous dance of passion and loss. Murtagh leaves struggling to keep all emotions from bursting out. He carefully leaves the brooch she has thrust back to him. We see Jocasta break down in her true pain. Murtagh is crushed and now has nothing but his fight to live for.
“I love you, Jocasta MacKenzie. This world may change, but that will never change,”
Meanwhile, Jamie arrives back at the stables where Claire is asking the horse if he is worth it. He is drunk. He has won the bet and traded the horse back to Wiley for brokering a whiskey deal with Bonnet. Claire is still bristling and declares that Bonnet has cost them again, he has torn at their trust of each other. Of course, this ends up with Claire wanting to play a rough game with Jamie which always seems to lead into a roll into the hay with these two.
Later Jamie strolls into Governor Tryon’s Pavillion while he is being fitted for a new red tunic. He declares that it looks like they will get their war after all. He had hoped to avoid it while he hopes to take the Governorship of the colony of New York. Jamie knowingly takes the news of the Regulator leaders not taking Tryon up on the pardons. He gives that look that he’s thinking how he is going to warn Murtagh and his compatriots before Tryon is upon them.
The Wee Cheetie Pest Finds a Plague
Well, really, he is just the cutest little harbinger of doom, isn’t he? Back on the Ridge, wee Adso finds a large bug that turns out to be a locust and drops is at Roger and Brianna’s feet. The pair soon discover that all the settlers will be engulfed in a Biblical plague. Roger, sarcastically declares he thought it would just be a few cows going astray. But don’t kick a mushy icky bug gift.
Rogers remembers stories of locust plagues and how smoke was used to drive and divert the swarms from crops. He sets about getting all of Fraser’s Ridge farmers together and at first, they doubt him, being stubborn Scots that they are. He has had trouble getting anyone to trust his judgment, first Jamie and now the farmers. Luckily his ingenuity with creating smudge pots and burning very greenwood at the edges of the fields help to deter the swarm down to a few manageable leftover locust critters to swat at. Roger proves himself to the Ridge.
In closing the episode, we see that slime lawyer Forbes at a coffee house. Unnervingly he is meeting with none other than Stephan Bonnet (Ed Speelers), who is always prickly and quick to slash out at anyone. He informs Bonnet that his son is now master of River Run. Revenge.
Where the heck is Phaedra? Why would she not be present at Jocasta’s wedding? Could it be that like the character of Jenny, played by Laura Donnelly, other commitments came up in filming? I couldn’t find anything published as to the actor’s whereabouts.
Oh, and yes there were a few real locusts used for filming. However, the ones used for close up were bred to be sterile and wrangled safely.
Next week, after working so hard on the Ridge, we have episode 507, The Ballad of Roger Mac.
Catch it Saturday, March 28 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday 30th of March on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland.