***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Outlander through Season 5, Episode 5, and Book Spoilers through Diana Gabaldon’s The Fiery Cross follow. Spoilers***
After Claire’s prophetic words contemplating the effects of changing history and the good versus any harm they might do, it didn’t take long for the Frasers to test both sides of the equation. Trust in a being she can’t see, hear, or feel has carried the good doctor to where she belongs — by Jamie’s side — and it is her faith that carries Claire wherever traveling through time takes her.
In flashbacks to Boston, we meet the man whose unexpected demise dominoed into the mother-daughter trip that led Bree to Roger — and both women learning that Jamie was still alive — which in turn brought them all to Fraser Ridge. In the present past, Claire has rather quickly developed the right strain of mold just in time to use it on the brothers Beardsley who to the shock of everyone watching, suffer side-by-side tonsillectomies.
After Jamie finishes recruiting the last of fifty or so men for his militia, he’s just in time to hear the governor’s plan for rounding up the Regulators has been called off; instead, a pardon for the leaders — Murtagh excluded — is inexplicably in order. Not one to let things go, Lieutenant Knox informs his friend he discovered one of the men had been at Ardsmuir Prison and so, a list of names has been ordered to root out known associates. With no choice but to confess his past, Knox and the audience alike are in for another shock as Jamie nonchalantly chokes the life from his temporary pal, begging his forgiveness for not giving him a proper soldier’s death.
When Roger recognizes Bonnet’s stone he picks up from a dropped jewelry box, Bree confesses all the secrets she’s been keeping. Her stunned husband understandably needs a moment (or an entire night) to himself to digest that his wife actually spoke to Stephen Bonnet and worst of all, told her rapist that Jemmy was his. When Claire happens upon him during her morning search for Goldenseal, she gives Roger the marital advice he didn’t know he needed — “…don’t be careless with the time you have together.” Returning to the ridge, Roger learns the last shocker — Bonnet’s still alive and could be in the area.
Kitten in hand, Jamie receives his warm “Welcome Home, soldier”, Knox’s words”What kind of deceitful devil wears guise of honor and talks of justice and of mercy” ringing in our ears. As they struggle to reconcile words with thoughts and deeds, protecting their family at any cost, who can truly answer Fraser’s haunting question, “Which of us is righteous?”
This was a super-interesting episode that left us with so much to ponder about these characters we think we know so well. As much as Jamie’s been through, the shock of how quickly he had to make a decision and take out Knox did leave me feeling conflicted. He basically did have no choice and I’d consider it self-defense, but there was something about his demeanor, and how he could come back to Claire and be all, “Here’s a kitty!” left me uncomfortable. Of course, that’s intentional, and a nice play on what Claire said last week.
Not that I’m a stickler for perfection, but Knox’s death happened way too quickly and easily, to the point of ridiculousness. Nobody chokes out that fast.
Speaking of quickness, Claire’s nipping of tonsils was quite efficient, wasn’t it? Makes one think about the protracted hospital procedures in this futuristic world we’re in …
Every week, Roger and Bree get a little bit better, with Richard Rankin slightly outpacing Sophie Skelton, I’d say. He’s opening up — you can see the emotions in all his facial reactions — and at least once every hour, Skelton lets go and her performance feels much more natural. The scenes of them in bed together this week were so much more relaxed than earlier episodes. For those who’ve watched Outlander from the beginning, we’ve seen Caitriona go through a similar evolution and over the years, she’s become absolutely brilliant.
Claire’s musings on her creator are disturbing sometimes: “Is god the spider, embracing us through death and resurrection, or simply the spinner of the web?”
Gotta love the character name given to the stranger who led Claire and Bree to Roger. “There was something about Graham Menzies, I let myself get attached to a patient.” Heh, something indeed.
“Do you ever feel as if everything is pointing you toward something, you can’t quite figure it out somehow?”
YES, CLAIRE, YES!
Adso is, of course, adorable.
Jamie’s “Not a word or I’ll throttle you” — not so much.
I did laugh though when a moment later, Claire said, “I’ll bet you’d kill for a saucer of milk.” Maybe that’s why Adso and Jamie “took an instant liking to each other.”
Am I the only one who wants to see a sitcom with Jamie and Frank as Bree’s My Two Dads?