Whether Together or Apart I Will Always Love You: Outlander, ‘Monsters and Heroes’

***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Outlander through Season 5, Episode 9, and Book Spoilers through Diana Gabaldon’s The Fiery Cross follow. Spoilers***

What are we willing to do for the ones we love …and the ones we’re just learning to love? That seemed to be the question on our characters’ minds this week as Claire, Jamie, Roger, and Bree were each put in positions requiring swift and agonizing decisions. With an ever-growing family — some by blood and others, circumstance — “Monsters and Heroes” kicked off a perilous hour requiring a little extra from all the Frasers and their extended brood.

While Marsali awaits the newest arrival, a moment she can’t wait to share with ”my ma” Claire, Jamie rounds up the menfolk to gather game that will see the clan through winter. After an awkward moment for father and daughter alike, Roger is volunteered to sub in for Jamie’s best marksman (aka Brianna) and with little ado, the hunt is on.

As prescribed by Gabaldan’s source (The Fiery Cross), Jamie keeps his date with a venomous snake; split off groups means only his son-in-law is at Fraser’s side. Though Roger acts quickly to remove as much poison as possible, its effects are debilitating and no rescue is imminent. Delirious, Jamie secures MacKenzie’s reluctant promise to take on murdering Bonnett as well as the less troubling duty to return his wife, son, and Claire to their own time.

Back at the homestead, the ladies bond over chores; Bree ponders adjusted aspirations for herself and Roger now that they’re both on permanent remote working status. When the rest of the hunters return no one’s terribly worried until the next morning when Ian spies Jamie’s horse returned sans Uncle and by the time Jamie and Roger make it back, the poison in Jamie’s leg has begun its deadly spread. After much ado and a few rounds of will-he-or-won’t-he lose the leg, Bree’s last-minute engineering of the dastardly snake’s fang means Claire’s penicillin can go directly into Jamie’s wound. The hour closes with the trifecta of Jemmy’s rescue (distracted by Bree), a bountiful harvest (Claire’s shot), and Félicité Fraser’s (birthed by Marsali) arrival, then topped off with the cherry of Jamie and Claire’s sweet words and a kiss.

Thoughts:

I loved that sweet opening with Marsali telling Claire she was basically her mother, now. Lauren Lyle plays the character so perfectly; she’s charming and feisty and the kind of bestie we’d all love to have.

As much as I like Claire and Jamie’s steamy scenes together, so do I cringe at Roger and Bree’s — am I alone? It’s not that they can’t or shouldn’t be allowed to have sexytimes; it’s just that my brain doesn’t want to see “Clare and Jamie’s kid” having sexytimes. There’s something about the juxtapositioning of the two pairs that creeps me out (I totally get this might just be my issue).

That said, Bree’s “Nasty sting you got there, want me to blow on it?” comment elicited a laugh.

Speaking of sucking, that was a whooooole lotta blood Roger spat out. And of course, he was smart to take the snake’s head. That said, I can’t quite understand why Claire wasn’t able to come up with a makeshift injection device if it was as simple as a hollow tube and a sharp point. She’s so darned smart and has had to think outside the box many times before. Sure, it was the tie-in the writers wanted for Bree and her engineer background, but that rang a little silly to me as Claire was on the verge of amputating Jamie’s leg.

I was much more worried about Bree’s fall than whether Jamie would lose his leg.

I love Claire’s unapologetic strength and frankness — telling Bree that if she lost Jamie or her daughter, she’d be changed (“I would never be whole …”) but would still have her passion to heal people.

Thought the make-up and drama with Jamie felt ever so slightly forced (well, I knew he’d eventually be fine, so that played into my view), but as per usual, Caitriona Balfe was fantastic with conveying Claire’s mixed feelings without being overdramatic. Sam Heughan was at the top of his game as well — it’s just the way some of his scenes played out, there was a little too much of a melodramatic feel to it all, especially when Jamie was given the cloth to bite down on just a second before Bree rushed in. We’re not children, writers!

It almost seemed as if the writers had forgotten about Roger’s voice issues until the moment he tried to yell back to Ian in the woods. Nice banging, Roger!

All I could think about when I saw this was …

HE’S NAKED UNDER THAT BLANKET! PLEASE FALL OFF, BLANKET!

During their conversation in the woods, Roger and Jamie discussed The Bed of Procrustes, which refers to the mythological character’s torturous taste — the son of Poseidon liked to invite passers-by to stay the night …on his iron bed, where he would maim and mutilate (stretch or amputate) people to fit exactly. They also mentioned Charon’s boat, a reference to the god who ferried souls from the living world to Hades.

“What is this, the bed of Procrustes?

“Could be worse; it could be Charon’s boat.”

All hail young Ian for his Jamie scolding, reminding his uncle that his father (Ian Murray) and Fergus are both missing body parts and still fully whole people. Jamie deserved and needed that little bit of sharpness to get him out of a self-pitying and suicidal place.

Er, is it just me, or did Claire rouse her husband from the brink of death with …a hand job? Because that’s what it looked like.

Love this line from Jamie to Claire:  “When you scold me like a magpie, I ken I’ll be all right.”

Roger’s all ready to go watch Bonnett be offed, if not to do it himself.

Relatable:  Little Jemmy says, “Shit” after hearing Roger say it.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over nine years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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