Category Archives: Tim Downie

Outlander The Ballad of Roger Mac Recap

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 4.19.46 PMIf you haven’t seen this episode, seriously turn back now.

Hillsborough May 1771

We open with Roger Mac (Richard Rankin) singing Clementine, a very tragic song, to young Jemmy. Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger discuss leave-taking, how he is going off to fight. Brianna and Jemmy are staying with a family acquainted with Aunt Jocasta. History is discussed a bit. Roger reluctantly leaves, he is already running very late.

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Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are encamped with the militia near Alamance Creek. It is the morning of his 50th Birthday. He and Claire discuss taking stock of one’s life. He muses that he has lived longer than his father, his parts seem to still be working. They also discuss Culloden, that fateful morning when Jamie and Claire kill his uncle Dougal. Remember Dougal? Claire sings “Happy Birthday To You,” very Marilyn Monroe like, while peeling off her Cutty Sark, and creates a morning seduction as only Claire can.

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Sam Heughan and Kyle Rees ©2020 Starz®

Governor Tryon (Time Downie) readies the troops and militia to get ready to fight with commanding officer Captain Bullox. They have cannon and close to a thousand men, and as Jamie tries to deter and talk Tryon out of conflict, remember another glorified leader needing to be dissuaded, yes, there are many likenesses to the battle for Culloden in this episode. The king’s forces were outnumbered but had military might with cannon and calvary. Jamie tried to pressure Prince Charlie to not fight. History is repeating again. Captain MacKenzie is late to the call, as noted by Jamie and the men. It appears Roger is always late.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin, and Kyle Rees ©2020 Starz®

Jamie gives the men a yellow cockade to help identify them as militia, as the red armbands were not readily seen. He emphasizes that this is important as fighting in this terrain would make it difficult to know who your enemy or comrade was. The militiamen were not wearing a uniform and looked just like the Regulators. Isiah Morton turns up at the last, angering the Browns who are always a powderkeg waiting to go off. They threaten to kill him. The news comes the rebels have ambushed the munitions carts, angering Tryon and the Captain.

The minister Rev. Cauldwell turns up with a grievance letter from the Regulators, he urges to try to settle the matter without bloodshed. Tryon takes it as an insult that the Regulators are asking for Parlez. Jamie tries to get Tryon to Parlez back. Anything to stop the bloodshed. Remember Jamie’s reasonings with Bonnie Prince Charlie?

Historic Niggling

In Hillsborough, Brianna is being entertained by the Sherston’s (Matthew Cole and Charlotte Asprey). Hugh shares that he has heard that the Regulators have made camp at Alamance Creek. Brianna is bothered by a trace of memory. That name. The next day she is racing on horseback to the camp to worn her Da. She finds Jamie, Claire, and Roger discuss the battle to come. She tells them that her professor had said the Battle of Alamance was considered the spark of the American Revolution.

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Sophie Skelton and Charlotte Asprey ©2020 Starz®

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Jamie seeks to warn Murtagh, to get him to lead his men away as the Regulators will be defeated, shades of Culloden again. Brianna argues they cannot change history, if they do, the American Revolution may not happen. Jamie is desperate to save his people, the militia, and Murtagh from bloodshed. Roger offers to go warn Murtagh to leave if he cannot persuade his men to follow. Poor Roger, he always seems to find trouble. Jamie gives him a white kerchief to use as a truce, to wave as a banner, and to show the cockade should the fighting begin. Roger leaves that night and heads to the Regulator Camp.

A Man With Nothing to Lose

Murtagh is whipping up the fervor of the men in his camp. They outnumber the Troops and Militia. But as when Roger turns up in the camp and talks to Murtagh, they talk in a tent as Roger tries to lay down the facts. Murtagh argues they have numbers, he argues that they do not have calvary and the cannon power that the groups have. He delivers the message from Brianna, Murtagh knows they are from the future and have prior knowledge of history. Murtagh does start to come around, maybe he has learned from Culloden. He tells Roger he cannot stop the men, they are determined. Roger begs him to leave, save himself for Jamie’s sake. Roger waits in camp with Murtagh to hear the response to the Treaty they have sent. The next morning delivers the Governor’s reply and Murtagh reads out the response. The governor wants a fight. Roger leaves the camp to head back.

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“His blood will soak this ground!”

As Roger’s luck will always have it, he bumps into his many times Great Gran Morag MacKenzie, who he had first met on Stephan Bonnet’s fateful ship. She remembers him and he is set to try to convince her to get her family away, they are all in danger. She points out they have nothing to go back to. Roger on impulse hugs Morag. Then, we hear a familiar voice, one demanding that Roger step away from his wife. It’s none other than William Buccleigh MacKenzie (Yes, Graham McTavish), Dougal’s illegitimate son by Geillis Duncan, his ancestor. He sees that Roger has a yellow cockade and will not let him return to the militia despite protests that Roger aided Morag on the ship and was also a MacKenzie. Roger is knocked out with a rifle butt and taken hostage.

Red Tunics and Oaths

Back at the militia camp, Tryon insists that Jamie don the red tunic of an officer. Jamie is of course taken aback, and forced to wear it or betray his true allegiance. Jamie is faced with finding Roger Mac who has not returned and must warn Murtagh if Roger failed. He fights with himself as he dons the red begrudgingly. He kisses Claire goodbye, and she is the only one who truly understands how distasteful the wearing of that red is to Jamie, what it stands for.

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

Claire and Brianna ready the field hospital tent.  Brianna is distressed, there has been no word of Roger. Jamie readies his men, telling them to keep an eye out for Captain Mac, he has not returned. The troops spread into a formation to fight, against a single line of Regulators. It’s definitely a trap and ambush tactic, Jamie recognizes it. There is an exchange of fire and Tryon takes the bait, advancing. In the charge, young Isiah Morton (Jon Tarcy) is shot in the back. Jamie tells the men to fight hand to hand as their combatants are doing, it’s highland fighting style, and to show mercy and take captives.

Back at the hospital text, Brianna gets more aggravated at Roger’s absence. Isiah Morton is brought in with his wound, the Morton’s are in the hospital and tell Claire not to treat him. She checks his wounds and finds he’s been shot in the back while running to the conflict. She accuses the Browns of shooting him.

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Caitriona Balfe ©2020 Starz®

Kith and Kin

Jamie gets cornered and almost shot by a Regulator until Murtagh arrives and intercedes. Their eyes meet briefly and Murtagh lets down his guard and is shot by one of the militia. Jamie races to catch him and takes him to a tree, begging for help. The following performance by Sam Heughan and Duncan Lacroix will leave you reeling. Murtagh tells Jamie that it is not painful to die. Jamie is overcome and begs Murtagh, saying he takes it back, he does not release him from his oath to protect him sworn to his mother. Desperate, Jamie begs help from John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees) and others to drag Murtagh back to Claire. Claire can save anyone.

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Duncan Lacroix ©2020 Starz®

Murtagh is brought to the hospital tent, and Jamie is desperately telling Claire how she has to save the man. She feels for a pulse and Claire steps away from the body with that knowing look. There’s no saving Murtagh, he is gone. Jamie is in disbelief, confronted with the reality that he has truly fought on the other side from his kinsman, who was really a father to him. Murtagh’s last sight of him was in British military uniform. He is reeling and leaves the tent. Jamie loses control of himself in his grief.  Tryon shows up and Jamie now can vent. Tryon in his usual annoying smugness argues back. Jamie points out that it was an unjust fight and that the Governor has harmed his constituents in a massacre. Tryon brings up duty, Jamie throws down the uniform and tells Tryon he is no longer beholden to him. He has fulfilled his part of the bargain for Fraser’s Ridge.

As he looks around, he sees Brianna in distress. Still no Roger. Claire, Brianna, and Jamie begin questioning all in the militia and troops if they have seen Roger Mac. They finally come upon a hanging tree, where Tryon had ordered some of the captured rebels to be hung as an example. Hanging from the tree is a man with a sack over his head, and a white kerchief hanging from his pocket. Is it Roger Mac? Fade to black.

Thoughts

Somehow in all of this, no one has informed Tryon that the number one wanted man in North Carolina is dead in the hospital tent.

We have lost one of the best characters in the series. I am so deeply disturbed by this and loved the amazing performances by Lacroix and Heughan together. Their last scene together, unless we are treated to more flashbacks as they have done with Frank.

Is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser Dead?

Character Death and Parasocial Relationships

Next, episode 508 Famous Last Words. Catch it Saturday, April 11 at Midnight on the Starz® APP, Sunday at 8:05 pm EST and 5:05pm PST on Starz®, and Monday, April 13 on Amazon Prime in the UK and Ireland. We have a mini Droughtlander with a two-week break. On April 4, Starz® is having a mini-marathon of Season 5.

Outlander Better to Marry Than Burn Episode Recap

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Maria Doyle Kennedy ©2020 Starz®

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

Epilogue

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

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

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

Marriage As a Convenience

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

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

Weddings Breed Troubles

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Tim Downie as Governor Tryon ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

Murtagh is Burning

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Colin McFarlane ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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

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

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Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser ©2020 Starz®

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

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

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Sam Heughan ©2020 Starz®

The Wee Cheetie Pest Finds a Plague

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©2020 Starz®

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

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton ©2020 Starz®

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

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

Questions

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

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

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

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

Outlander Episode The Fiery Cross Recap

Outlander Season 5 2020At long last, we were treated with an early release of episode 501, The Fiery Cross in the US and Canada if you had a subscription to the Starz® App. On the LA Premiere night Thursday, it was announced we would get the first episode dropped at midnight for Valentine’s treat.

Beginnings and Endings

While producers and cast have been stating that the theme this season is based on family and what Jamie and Claire will do to keep the family and extended family of Fraser Ridge safe, it’s the sad business of having to cast a family member aside that hit hard in this season opener. We knew it was coming when Governor Tryon charged Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) with hunting down and killing the leader of the Regulators, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix).

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Episode 501, The Fiery Cross, opens with a young Murtagh walking towards Lollybroch and a very young Jamie Fraser suffering the loss of his mother Ellen. Murtagh speaks his oath to always be there by Jamie’s side to protect him. We know deep down this is going to hurt. Jamie lost Murtagh after Culloden and found him again when he sacrificed himself for his family’s safety ending up in Ardsmuir Prison. He found Murtagh broke and fragile, barely surviving in the dank walls. Only to lose him again as the prison shut down and Murtagh was indentured to a cruel man in the colonies. When the Frasers end up in North Carolina in Season 4, Jamie and Murtagh are reunited. However, in true Outlander fashion, it is but a brief moment.

A Da’s Privilege

Roger (Richard Rankin) ends up in Jamie’s very focused conversational embrace as he gets a very close shave from a cutthroat razor after nicking himself. A bit of sacrificial blood for the day’s events. The nervous declarations of Roger promising to find some way to provide for his family, being the scholar that he is. Jamie all too well knows he cannot hunt, farm, build a house, and quite clearly Brianna wears the breeks at times. He admits that the cabin was so he didn’t have his grandchild growing up in the woods. Jamie in his not so subtle way reminding Roger that he will be watching.501-1200x677

Roger spends most of the next few days wondering when Jamie will ever trust him. Can he find some way to get that chance to prove himself?

Something Old, Something New

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As you know the series is straying further away from scenes in the books, thankfully the long drawn out beginning of The Fiery Cross with Gathering on Mount Halcion being downsized to a gathering for Roger and Bree’s wedding makes perfect sense. Focusing on the Ridge and the grand reveal of the big house, the unfinished parts of the doors and ongoing building reflect the building of the community.

Claire is a proud mother, gushing and preparing Brianna for the wedding, finishing dress bits and being that rare soft side of Claire we don’t see very often. Jamie is fussing over all the accouterments of the tradition to have a bride prepared with something old, something new (whisky, not aged of course), something borrowed, something blue. He can’t help but have doubts about the day, and the loss of his daughter after only just finding her. It’s a matter that plays out for all fathers, to give away the daughter and trust that another will provide for her. When Brianna comes to greet him, she reminds him that he will always be a part of her life.

In further conversations, Claire tries to take Roger’s corner as she trusts Roger to do right by Brianna and Jemmy. Jamie questioning his initial hesitation at taking on the responsibility of the child. Claire reminds him that he did come round. There was, of course, a little matter of Roger being sold off to the Mowhawk and how that transpired that no one will bring upon such a day, and the shock of finding out what happened to Brianna when he was rescued. Scots and their grudges.

Weddings, Interfearing Aunts, and The Uninvited Guest

There’s always got to be someone who ruins the day. And someone hiding away. It wouldn’t be a wedding if something didn’t go wrong. You get that many Scots together and…

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Because there is a price on his head, Murtagh must hide in his shack in the woods, watching the ceremony from afar. Unfortunately, Governor Tryon turns up with a platoon of Dragoons to aid the errant Jamie, who has spent nearly a year dancing around his responsibilities of the Governor’s orders to hunt and kill Murtagh. He is reminded of his duty once in a roundabout, coy way, then more firmly with Tryon announcing he is leaving the Dragoons to aid Jamie in this task. A father really doesn’t need such stress while trying to be all smiles for his daughter on her day.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 1.09.48 PMLord John Grey (David Berry), is one of the honored guests and pulls Jamie aside behind a wagon to discuss the private matter of locating Stephen Bonnet. Unfortunately, Brianna walks up to the other side of the wagon and overhears the conversation. Lord John tells Jamie of his inquiries, what scant intelligence he has that he is following. Brianna is in shock, the worst possible thing that could have happened on her day, hearing that Bonnet is indeed still alive. She stumbles off into the wedding night, trying to keep it all in and away from her family.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Luckily Roger blissfully ignorant of the situation serenades his wife with a very 1960s song on their wedding night. The next day, the heads are swelling with grog and overindulgence. Roger is summoned to meet with Aunt Jocasta in her pavilion. She tells Roger that she is changing her will, Brianna will no longer be her heir, that she is leaving it all to Jemmy. Roger explodes and tells her where she can put her decisions, that no wife or son of his will take her money. He storms off. Jocasta, of course, being the MacKenzie she is and finding no evidence of Roger MacKenzie’s family, tests him to see if it’s all about the money. As Ulysses asks her if she had the outcome she had hoped for, she agrees. Perhaps Roger has passed her test.

Murtaghs Waters Deepen

Murtagh is a man of conviction. Too long has he an others suffered at the hands of the Crown. The injustices of over taxation and corrupt justice systems in the colony cause him to become one of the leaders of the Regulators, who are not united under one leader but split among North and South Carolina. It is because of this that Jamie is being forced to create a militia to hunt him down. It appears that after years of loss and reconnection, finally finding a home with Jamie again on the Ridge, he must make his decision. Be true to himself, or be true to his kin. Can Murtagh survive with the anchor of the family about to be ripped away?

To add to his losses, while having a love tryst in the love shack with Jocasta, she reveals that a Duncan Inness has asked her to marry him. Book readers will remember that this character was in Ardsmuir with Jamie and had originally been the companion who traveled with him and Claire through the Carribean). In season 4, Murcasta seemed to supplant that book storyline.

It’s not easy for Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy), is the widow with a wealthy plantation, there have been many trying to wed her to control such wealth. She and Murtagh cannot be open about their relationship. Her plantation could be taken from her, she could be jailed. Murtagh backs up and tells her he releases her from their relationship. The rollercoaster has left the platform. That sinking drop is hitting home for Murtagh. He is about to lose all he holds dear, and make a sacrifice so that others don’t lose what they hold dear.

IMG_4224The Fiery Cross

We’ve been waiting to see Jamie don a kilt again. The tartans were outlawed after Culloden, and while everyone is gathered in the night, he lights a wicker cross. The Fiery Cross is a symbol of call to arms in the highlands, where clans and those who give fealty to them are called to action against a foe. Jamie uses this time to finally give Roger a purpose and feel that he has earned a place by his side by naming him a captain. It’s a bold move to go in a full kilt in front of the Dragoons, the tartan is outlawed and still punishable by imprisonment or death. The risk is worth it as Jamie knows it’s the only way to rally so many men from different clans to form a new one in the new world.

Breaking of Bonds

In the final scene, we have Jamie walking up to a secret meeting with Murtagh in the woods. He must do what he has been dreading for a year. The stakes are too high. He releases Murtagh from his oath to protect him and his family. If anyone found out that Murtagh was his Godfather, he could lose everything, all the families relying on him for a home and protection would lose. Heavy is the responsibility of being the Laird.

Murtagh is of course in shock but at the same time knew it would come to this eventually. He has been hit from all sides with loss. Murtagh makes an attempt to have Jamie consider time travel, perhaps Claire, Brianna, or Roger could change time? Jamie is taken aback. Murtagh is hit with the relationship with Jocasta ending, because really he has been putting her in danger, and now his surrogate son says to him, “Please– be hard to find”. He walks away from everything that holds him.

We now have set in motion two people who have loved and cared for each other over the years, their kinship, gone. They will now be on opposing sides of a situation Jamie does not wish to be dragged into, and Murtagh stubbornly will not leave. It is a conflict with his political past that he too has sympathy for, but he is haunted by the pain and suffering of the disbanded clans of Scotland after Culloden. He knows that there is a promise of a bigger war to come, that there is a conflict with The Regulators as told by Claire, Roger, and Brianna is the beginnings of a parting with the Crown by the colonists. The colonies are on a slow burn.

Outlander Season 5 2020

Stay tuned for Between Two Fires Episode 502 next Saturday, 22nd of February at midnight on the Starz App, Starz Channel Sunday, 23rd of February at 5:05 pm ET 8:05 PT, Canada on W Network at 9:00. UK Monday on Amazon Prime.

All images ©2020 Starz® and Sony Pictures

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Outlander Season 5 Costume Reveals and Teasers

Outlander Season 5 Premiere Date Announced February 2020

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Starz® just announced today that Season 5 of the Outlander series will premiere on February 16, 2020. The time travel series about a World War II combat nurse Claire, (Caitriona Balfe), her husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) continues its next season on Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina. The Frasers will be dealing with new settlers on the ridge, Jamie seeking recruits for a mustering to hunt down the Regulators and namely his Godfather Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix). Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) will seek to get married and care for wee Jeremiah together, albeit with their history of contention, there will be some rough roads ahead. Not to mention the ghost of Stephen Bonnet. Will we see Young Ian (John Bell) come back from his time with the Mohawk? There will undoubtably be trouble with Governor Tryon, we know that Tim Downie has had quite a few BTS days on his Instagram feed of late. Marsali and Fergus may get that print shop together after all.

It doesn’t state in the synopsis whether they are taking material from The Fiery Cross, or taking elements of the storyline and possibly blending some of it in with the 6th installment, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. It has been stated by Executive Producer Ronald d. Moore that they may be taking half of a book and blending it with another. The books, if you have read them, are lengthly indeed and very detailed. Not everything translates well to screen. And since Dianna Gabaldon is finishing up another installment, which takes 4 to 5 years, it is quite possible that the series my overtake the book series, much lake Game of Thrones surpassed its authors writing and ended as a series this year. Could it be that Moore and Mathew B. Roberts see that the story line may play out or that Starz® may stop production after two more seasons?

Ah, and there is a big gathering at the beginning of the Fiery Cross, the fifth book in the Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon with all kinds of drama and mischief.

Starz® released this synopsis for the upcoming season:

Season 5 of “Outlander” finds the Frasers fighting for their family and the home they have forged on Fraser’s Ridge. Jamie must find a way to defend all that he has created in America, and to protect those who look to him for leadership and protection – while hiding his personal relationship with Murtagh Fitzgibbons, the man whom Governor William Tryon has ordered him to hunt down and kill.

With her family together at last, Claire Fraser must use her modern medical knowledge and foresight to prevent them from being ripped apart once again. However, while focusing on protecting others, she risks losing sight of what it means to protect herself.

Meanwhile, Brianna Fraser and Roger MacKenzie have been reunited, but the spectre of Stephen Bonnet still haunts them. Roger strives to find his place – as well as Jamie’s respect – in this new and dangerous time. The Frasers must come together, navigating the many perils that they foresee – and those they can’t

Get Your Tickets to New York Comic Con!

Starz® will have an Outlander Presence at New York Comic Con for a second year with Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, author Diana Gabaldon, and producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis.  For their first NYCCC appearance Duncan Lacroix, Maria Doyle Kennedy and David Berry will be attending. The official Outlander Panel will be at New York Comic Con 2019 will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm ET in The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Can you survive 5 more months, Sassenachs?

https://ew.com/tv/2019/08/29/outlander-season-5-premiere-date-starz/

Images © 2019 Starz® and Sony Entertainment

Tim Downie is Back With a Quack as Governor Tryon

21-outlander.w700.h700We’ve all been wondering if our second evil annoying villain of season 4 of Outlander will make a return. Well, considering he has asked for Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) to muster men to form a militia and hunt down the outlaw Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix), he had better stick his head in.

This week Tim Downie posted that he was heading to Glasgow, which is the major Scottish city near Wardpark Studios where Outlander is headquartered. Later in the week, Tim posted his annoyance at fowl creatures not allowing him to say his lines. He did not mention Balfe or Heughan. Rather, a resounding interruption of quacks during lines.IMG_3010

We are assuming that Outlander is filming the Gathering on Mount Helicon Hillsborough Riots scenes and the mustering of men for militias to aid Governor Tryon. This means this usually like-able fiend actor will have us truly annoyed. He’s good at that.

Tim is very busy and has just finished production and getting ready for the film version of Horrible Histories to premier. Yes, the series is available on Brit Box since many countries have really bad history bits and comedians like Downie must populate them. He has also starred in the UK version of Drunk History. He has also been in several really silly productions such as The Upstart Crow, which is now available on Amazon Prime.

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Horrible Histories

In Outlander, All Roads Lead to Wilmington

IMG_1959 2All roads lead to Wilmington in this episode, as a large crossroads town and serving capitol for the Governor of the colony, it is a great meeting place for many of our characters as their storylines cross paths. In episode 408 Wilmington, we see many dangers arise, and reunions met, and emotions that run the gamut. Now, remember back in Outlander Season 2 in Paris, the insane intrigue and plotting to stop the Battle of Culloden? It looks like the Frasers are going down a similar path, only this time they are eventually going to meet a revolution. Hang on to your seats, there’s a lot going on here.

Prelude 1769

In an episode filled with reunion, connections and intrigue, we start off with the across time reunion of Roger (Rik Rankin) and Brianna( Sophie Skelton). Roger makes it to Wilmington, North Carolina, and is fervently asking anyone in town that we meets if they have seen Brianna. He carries the nearly worn out portrait of himself and Bree that was done at the Scottish games two hundred years in the future. It reflects his beleaguered self, the worn out man seeking a woman he loves who didn’t just go away, passed back in time to do so. The life of a traveler is one fraught with danger and many trials. He turns to ask Fergus Fraser (Cesar Domboy), after leaving his place of employment at the printers, if he has seen the woman in the picture, and Fergus says no.

As Fergus continues on, he heads home to Marsali and their young wriggling son, IMG_1976Germaine. A surprise is in store, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are in town at the request of Governor Tryon. Claire is spending time with grandchild and discussing the Governor’s real agenda, to check up on the Fraser’s and test Jamie’s loyalties. For 10 thousand Acres is at stake.

 

IMG_1984Marsali (Lauren Lyle), in a rare moment, confides in Claire how much motherhood has changed her. She feels she would do anything to protect her child, take a knife to her belly even. We see the tension that was once between Claire and Marsali has melted into a kinship of understanding, that Claire is not the evil witch Marsali was led to believe, and that the two women are family and have to support one another. We also see that Claire feels the loss of Brianna while handling baby Germaine.

Surgery as Subterfuge

download-2That evening Jamie and Claire attend the play at the Governor’s firm request and meet Mr. Fanning, who among other things, is the magistrate of the lands that encompass Fraser’s Ridge and surrounding areas. They are told the story of the man trying to placate some of the insurgents the previous spring, by bringing them a cask of rum drink after a recent outcry of taxation woes. He indicates to them that he had injured himself in the process. Other characters pop up and we are introduced to the first historical figure, Colonel George Washington and his wife Martha. Claire of course makes a historical faux pas about cherry trees. She later tells Jamie who he really is, and will be in the future.IMG_1975

Governor Tryon (Tim Downey), takes Jamie, Mr. Fanning and Col. Washington further into confidence while gauging his support against the insurgents, who he states should have no right to call themselves Regulators. Jamie finds out that the Governor knows that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) is one of the leaders and must find a way to escape the play to warn him after the Governor let’s slip that his men have gone to surprise the raid on the tax collector’s carriage. Tryon has a planted man in the insurgent’s camp, and knows of their movements.

JPEG image-9D3880A4E461-1In true Outlander fashion, a diversion must be made to allow Jamie to escape unnoticed, and one conveniently arises when Mr. Fanning goes into convulsions of pain from his injury, after Jamie conveniently aggravates the area, which Claire had suspected was a hernia. A table is laid clear and Claire performs surgery, cleverly diverting Governor Tryon in the process of performing the surgery by demanding his help. Jamie exits and finds that Col. Washington is leaving early and receives a ride in his coach to get into town under the guise of getting his wife’s medical bag, and sets off to warn Murtagh. He comes back before he is noticed missing, thanks due to some superb surgery by Claire, all done with efficient purpose, and not a drop of blood on the immaculate ivory dress.

The play’s the thing, and the intrigue involved was classic Outlander and hails back to IMG_1974season 2 in Paris with Kings, Princes, and an evil Compte. This time Claire and Jamie are battling a greedy Governor and people in power, like Fanning the magistrate with his hands in both pots. The colonies have become infused with backwater politicking. In order to survive, Jamie and Claire must appear to be in the Governor’s favor, yet let Murtagh know he’s in danger. The scene was played out with great finesse and aplomb by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, as their characters performed a ballet around Tryon and the other guests. How long they will be able to keep up this game, is not known. In Paris it nearly cost them their marriage, and they lost a child in all the strain their plots caused Claire during pregnancy. The stakes are very high again, with a large land grant, getting settlers, and appearing to help keep the peace will prove to be very difficult, and make for at least another season’s storytelling.

Regulator Action

Murtagh408Murtagh Fitzgibbons has done a great many things in his life. He’s been a cattle rustler, soldier, prisoner, indentured man, and blacksmith. And yes, when in Paris twenty years before, he acted as highwayman at Jamie’s direction, to steal the Comte’s and Prince Charlie’s wine shipment to foil the gaining of money to further the cause of fighting in Scotland. Now, as a leader of the Regulators movement, Murtagh is making his own plots and intrigue. His men are at the ready. His purpose to take back the tax monies taken from them. After surveying the road and thinking, Murtagh joins his men and they lie in wait, when the action is about to happen, Fergus comes crashing in and identifies himself as Fergus, and that M’Lord has asked him to worn them. Murtagh recognizes him and they call the raid off just in time. Fergus waits until the others leave, warning Murtagh that MurtaghFergus408there is a traitor in his camp. Murtagh is glad to be reunited with Fergus, however asks why his Godson could not deliver the message himself? Murtagh is incensed that Jamie did not come, growing impatient with Jamie’s neutrality declaration.

Laying the Blame

Later with Governor Tryon and Jamie in the carriage, Tryon bemoans his plans being thwarted and states someone must have warned them. The only people he told were with him in the carriage, except for Fanning who of course was being operated on. Another gentleman points out that Col. Washington had left, and Jamie helps going along with it most have been him. Tryon makes the annoyed statement to, “Never trust a Virginian!’ and that “Washington’s day will come!”. A very prophetic statement. And how will Jamie keep his involvement in going along with this pointing a finger, not bite back later?

The Fasted Hand

IMG_1971Roger is disappointed and well beat with searching for Brianna over two hundred years time and the dangers of sea crossing. There is nothing like finally getting to where she should be located, and not finding her. While sitting in the tavern of Brianna’s Inn, he has a frustration moment and gets up to leave, and then he hears her voice, booking passage up the river to River Run. They reunite and a slight tustle begins again, for their courtship will ever be a rocky one. Lizzie, Brianna’s maid, witnesses as Roger drags Brianna outside and they have another lover’s quarrel. In the street they agree to move to a shed that happens to have a bit of a fireplace and storage room. They declare their love and Roger brings up the old Scottish tradition of Handfasting, to become promised as husband and wife for a year and a day. They perform the ritual in front of the fire and have their wedding night.

In conversation after coupling, Roger let’s slip the fact that he had read the same obituary that Brianna had regarding her parent’s death. In true Brianna fashion, she takes exception when she discovers that Roger knew of the fire that would kill her parents, had read the same article, and did not warn her.

Roger again fails in becoming the parental figure, argues that it would have been dangerous and careless, he had wanted to protect her from the pain. The conversation goes from bad to worse, accusations of Roger controlling what Brianna thinks and does, and Roger rounding with he should perhaps treat her more like a wife and control her more, things would work out better. They come to a head with Brianna telling Roger he should just go. Roger with after traveling 200 years to find her and the dangers of her being on her own. Brianna states that she and Lizzie were doing just fine.

Sadly, Brianna has just set herself up. The 18th century is a very dangerous place for a woman to be alone in. After going from complete happiness, to utter betrayal with her lover, she is devastated, in shock. After Roger leaves, she stumbles back to the inn, where things become much worse. Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) is drinking and gambling in the tavern downstairs and is flashing about her mother’s wedding ring. Brianna recognizes the ring and tries to buy it off him, and get any information she can about her mother. Bad judgement, and filled with anxiety and desperation about Claire, she follows him to another room, right into his trap. What follows is a terrible blow, a day that started with finding her love, the loss of him, and then becoming a victim to a sociopathic man. The rape scene is off camera with the effect being that you hear everything, but the camera stays on the tavern room with everyone in Bonnet’s crew continuing on as they acknowledge, and yet ignore the scene going on next door. A very beaten Brianna is allowed to take her mother’s ring, as payment for services, and she slowly, painfully goes back upstairs to her rooms with Lizzie.

Remember, Lizzie saw her mistress leave with the man, Roger, and come back hurt. Will Lizzie report the incident? And to whom.

Outlander Producers on the Difficulties of Dealing with Sensitivities With Sexual Violence

Season 4 has a great deal in common with season 2, with the plots and intrigues very close to the previous spying and intelligence gathering that Claire, Jamie, Murtagh and Fergus did to sabotage Prince Charles’ battle plans in Scotland. You would think they had learned the first time. The Frasers are falling into the troubles that are prelude to a war, the over taxation of the colonists is just one. As Claire has already brought up, there’s a revolution in 6 years time. War may seem far off, however, it will come to the backcountry and slowly begin to boil.  How can they place themselves out of harm’s way, how to keep Fraser’s Ridge a sanctuary from war.

Tainted Warnings

JPEG image-4D2E75B6D40E-1After the foiled carriage raid, Murtagh is annoyed that Jamie himself could not come and warn him, but is glad of the warning and reuniting with Fergus. We see another seed of the growing conflict between Godfather and Godson, as Murtagh questions Jamie’s loyalties. Perhaps he is becoming old and jaded, and who can blame him? He doesn’t trust the situation with the Governor, even though having Jamie appear close will help him to get information, which is what he had asked Jamie to do, and was refused. Jamie declared he would not help or hinder, that there was too much at stake. Murtagh feels betrayed, and if you remember back to a scene in a courtyard in Paris, when Jamie finally told Murtagh what they were trying to do in Paris, Jamie got quite the punch from his Godfather. Murtagh takes exception to not being trusted or included. Losing Murtagh again would devastate Jamie, he is the last of his clansmen. Do we think that Fergus will become involved with the Regulators, we know he wanted to fight so badly at Culloden. Murtagh will not like how Fergus lost his hand. JPEG image-FE5AAAA94E8E-1

Brianna and Roger

Sophie Skelton has another fine performance in a truly brutal scene. After telling the man she loves to leave, again, Brianna lands in the worst possible situation, becoming the victim of a sociopath. Skelton’s performance in the aftermath of the rape by Bonnet shows her growth as a performer over the last 2 seasons. The Hand Fasting and perceived betrayal, and consequential rape of Brianna at Bonnet’s Hands was on par with a Game of Thrones story line in it’s brutality. Rik Rankin is taking to heart playing a very stubborn man and his much outdated sense of love, but in some ways you cannot blame him. He is right about the dangers in the colonies, he is a historian, he knew what could happen. And Twitter was on fire with how Roger should have stayed! However, he will need to find some way to have more modern concepts of love while being in the 18th century, or he loses Brianna forever. We’ll see what happens next time on Episode 409 The Birds and The Bees, only 5 more episodes to go.

Rik Rankin on The Wilmington Clash at SyFy.com Video

Watch Outlander Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays, W Network in Canada on Sundays.

All images ©2018 Starz® LLC

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“Is there a message you wish to give me, lass?”

 

 

Outlander Episode 408: Wilmington Previews

Murtagh’s in a whole lot of trouble. This weeks previews and photos show him hip deep in intrigue. Claire and Jamie are deep in plots and subterfuge again attending a play, and trying to find out how much the Governor knows about the Regulator activities. Governor Tryon confides in Jamie about his knowledge of the insurgent’s leader, Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) and we get another reunion glimpse.

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Brianna and Roger make port, and Roger meets Fergus. Eventually  he meets up with Brianna, however Brianna will unfortunately encounter Stephen Bonnet. Something you should never do, is make Murtagh angry. Guess who is foolish enough to do that?

Roger and Bree’s reunion Fun Preview Article Entertainment Weekly

 

 

You can watch these episodes at midnight on Saturdays with the Starz ®App and at 8PM EST on Starz®. Amazon Prime in the UK on Mondays.