Thursday, December 6, 2018

“Who are the Savages?” A recap of season 4 episode 5 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage originals 

From circles to intentions; from decisions to reactions - and now to divisions. There are many clashes throughout this episode. Clashes of culture, clashes of belief and clashes of will all combine to bring an emotional hour to the screen. 

As the episode opens, Claire and Adawehi are sitting by the river washing plants and herbs, while they teach each other their respective languages, each learning the words for rabbit, mother and tea, as Adawehi provides Claire with herbs for an expectant mother. She asks Claire via gestures if Claire has any children. Claire answers that she has a daughter who lives far away, but Adawehi looks puzzled. “She is here,” she says. While we know from the ending of the previous episode that this is likely to be true, Claire interprets the meaning to be that Brianna is always “here” in her heart. 

Back at the now fully built cabin, (and what a cabin it is!) book viewers are given their first glimpse of the infamous white sow. Inside, Claire and Jamie are the picture of domesticity: Jamie looking for his hat, Claire packing her medical bag and asking her husband to pass her the last of the jerky from the jar on the shelf. This is a gentle, relaxed scene and it is nice to see Claire and Jamie occupied with relatively normal household chores for a change! Jamie is preparing to go into Woollams Creek to try and find new tenants for the land, while Claire is heading to the Mueller family cabin to help deliver a baby. Jamie comments on who has the hardest task ahead of them, saying that Mrs Mueller’s cooking not withstanding, Gerhard Mueller is as stubborn as their mule, Clarence! While Claire is busy gathering the last of her supplies, Jamie takes one of the silver candlesticks that Jocasta gave him and places it into his saddlebag.

Ian comes in with Jamie’s hat, having rescued it from the sow. He is in good spirits and anxious to be away on the trip. He goes to help himself to more jerky before being quickly dispatched outside with Claire’s medical kit. Jamie asks Claire if she wants him to return, in case the child comes sooner than expected and leaves her in the cabin alone. But Claire reassures him: she has been alone in the cabin before, she says. Jamie knows this, but comments that it doesn’t make it any easier leaving her. Tenderly, he helps her into her wrap. When she turns around, it is obvious that he has something on his mind. 

Haltingly, Jamie asks Claire if Brianna has a birthmark on her neck. Claire confirms that she does, but remarks that she doesn’t remember telling Jamie about it. With a look of wonder on his face, Jamie replies that he saw it in a dream the previous evening. He proceeds to describe both the shape and location of the mark - a small brown diamond behind her left ear, much to Claire’s teary amazement. She hasn’t thought of the mark in years, as it is usually hidden. “Behind her hair”, Jamie says, finishing the sentence along with her. Jamie tells Claire that he kissed Brianna there in his dream. Claire holds him in return - it is a lovely tender moment between the two.

In 1971, Roger has come to Inverness, searching for news of Brianna. At the taxi booking office, the manager confirms a one way fare to Craigh na Dun 10 days earlier. Roger asks where Brianna was collected from and is told it was from Baird’s Bed and Breakfast. This is the same hotel where Claire and Frank stayed, but it is now being run by a Miss Baird, presumably the original owner’s daughter. Roger shows the woman the sketch of Brianna, and Miss Baird recognises her immediately as the young American, commenting on a resemblance to actress Ali McGraw. Roger asks how long Brianna stayed and is told that it was just for a few days. When asked if Brianna left anything behind, such as clothes or books, Miss Baird says that nothing was, but she stammers over her answer. The question has rattled her for some reason. Roger thanks her, saying that he was hoping he would find something and walks away. But Miss Baird calls after him. She goes inside to fetch something, returning with a letter. Miss Baird tells Roger that Brianna had asked her to wait a year before sending him the letter, but she takes pity on him. It is obvious, she says, that Brianna has broken Roger’s heart. Being the fine looking lad he is, he should go and find himself a good Scottish lass. “Yes, perhaps I should,” Roger replies, disconsolately. He bids Miss Baird farewell, and walks off, the letter clutched in his hand.

Jamie and Ian have arrived in Woolams Creek. They are confident. Myers has told them of at least a dozen Scottish families and the offer of 100 acres is likely to attract a fair number of tenants. Jamie passes out flyers that advertise the deal, as Ian muses on how nice it will be to have neighbours again. Jamie longs for a decent chess opponent, while Ian is more concerned to find families who have daughters to woo. The two split up: Ian to distribute more pamphlets and invite interested people to a meeting the following day, Jamie in search of MacNeill, the silversmith. 

Instead, Jamie finds MacNeill’s flirtatious wife, the silversmith being away. She is keen on inviting Jamie inside, but he deflects her offer, asking if there is anyone else who knows the silversmithing trade. There is something particular he wants made, he says, and we can hazard a good guess as to what this is. Mrs MacNeill replies that there is no one with her husband’s talents, Jamie thanks her for her time and walks off.

Meanwhile, Claire is at the Mueller’s cabin. The birth has gone well and the women are singing softly in German to the baby girl, remarking how much she looks like her dead papa. Claire smiles a little sadly, obviously thinking back to the first time she saw Brianna and saw the resemblance to Jamie. Almost as if she can read Claire’s mind, Frau Mueller asks if Claire has any grandchildren. “Not yet,” Claire replies, prompting Frau Mueller to declare that Claire will share hers. Claire is incredibly touched by the gesture and the women clasp hands.

In the tavern, Jamie is meeting with prospective tenants. Any man who settles with him, he says, will receive 100 acres, with no rent to be paid until after the first harvest. Furthermore, taxes will be capped at 1 half penny per acre per annum. It is obvious that Jamie expects the men to sign up immediately. Instead, they begin to refuse him. Jamie is confused: “Do you not want 100 acres for yourself and your family?” he asks. 
“I thank you,” says the first man, “but no.” 
Following this man’s lead, the others get up to go. One of them expresses regret at turning Jamie down, but cites his recent employment at the cooper’s shop and muses that it would be unwise to leave.  

Ian is confused too. “Did six farmers just refuse the offer of land - and without charge?” he asks. Jamie goes over to the bar to try and convince the regretful man. Discovering the man’s name is Brian, Jamie says that was his father’s name, asking the man if he has heard of Broch Tuarach. But Brian is from Banffshire, agreeing withJamie’s compliment that it is a bonny place. Jamie tries again: was Brian imprisoned? “Tilbury Fort” the man replies, adding that he fought with Farquarson’s regiment. “Then you were to my left, Brian,” Jamie replies. The memories of Culloden pass between the two men and Brian again expresses regret at refusing Jamie’s offer. 

Jamie asks why he is doing so and Brian explains. Men have cultivated lands before, he tells Jamie, only to have it taxed when it became plentiful. Jamie comments that everyone must pay taxes, but Brian explains that the taxes have not been fair. Tax collectors had come repeatedly, and when the men didn’t have the funds to pay, they had their stock and tools seized. In the end, they gave up their farms and moved to the town, rather than continue to line the pockets of Governor Tryon’s dishonest tax collectors. Now, Jamie realises the enormity of the task ahead of him. There is no love for Tryon amongst the Scots here in the town and even though he intends to be fair to his tenants, he does not have the reputation that he did in Scotland. No one will agree to settle with James Fraser on the strength of his word.  But Brian makes one last offer, saying “There’s a meeting soon. If you’re interested.” It is the only way that Jamie will understand the feelings of the men.

Herr Mueller has arrived home, along with his son, Tommy, both anxious to meet the baby. Mueller thanks Claire, who tells him that she will return in a couple of weeks to check on the baby, but reminding him to send for her should he need anything. Before she leaves, Claire is told the baby’s name. The little girl is to be named Klara, after her. She tells them how honoured she is and thanks them profusely, while Herr Mueller unwraps a little doll from a piece of cloth and hands it to his daughter for the baby. 

The happy family scene is interrupted by Rollo’s barking and baby Klara begins to cry. The mood changes abruptly, Herr Mueller grabbing his rifle. The savages are outside, he says, stealing the family’s water for the horses. The women start to pray, as Claire looks through the window. It is the Cherokee, who are indeed watering their horses at the creek. Claire tries to reason with Herr Mueller, but he is angry, heading outside to confront the Indians. She follows, trying desperately to keep the peace. Mueller aims his rifle; the Cherokee their rifles, bows and arrows. Claire calls out to Tawodi, introducing herself and telling the men that she is a healer like Adawehi. Tawodi recognises her, addressing her as “wife of Bear Killer” and expresses surprise that she should be at the Mueller’s house. Claire explains that she came to deliver a baby and that the Muellers are good people, only trying to protect their land.

“Water belongs to everyone,” Tawodi responds. Claire agrees, but adds that Herr Mueller doesn’t see it that way. She begs Tawodi to take the horses to another part of the creek, in order to keep the peace. He agrees, but only because of Claire’s friendship with Adawehi. Claire thanks them and they leave, Tawodi sprinkling some powder on the ground before he goes. Mueller is immediately suspicious and raises his rifle again, asking what the Cherokee man is doing. Claire explains it is a blessing for the water. It has been a tense standoff and a reminder of the unrest all around them.

Claire and Rollo arrive back at Fraser’s Ridge. Claire is relieved to be home, collapsing gratefully on the bed. A montage of domestic scenes begins: with Claire feeding the livestock and talking to the animals, preparing herb bags, knitting and cooking stew. That evening she notices that one of the candlesticks is missing. The routine begins again the next morning, with the addition of Claire having a dram of whisky. The overall effect is to create the impression of Claire Fraser: frontier woman  - and it works. Claire is becoming as adept at farming life as she is with a scalpel in her hand.

Jamie and Ian have given up and are heading home. Ian asks if Tryon will demand the return of the land if they can’t find settlers and Jamie responds that he will have no choice: he can hardly afford to pay the taxes on ten thousand acres by himself. What he can do, he says, is to offer protection for his tenants, guarding against unfair taxes and the seizing of their land. The tax collectors would come to Jamie first and when they do, he will only agree to pay a fair tax, nothing more. Just as they ready to depart, Ian notices that the horse’s bit has broken. It needs to be fixed before they can travel, so Jamie tasks Ian with the job, handing him a purse of coins,while he calls on the silversmith MacNeill one last time.

The sign says “Barker’s Smithy” and the white haired blacksmith faces away from Ian as he approaches. Gruffly, the man refuses Ian before he can even explain what he needs, telling the young man that the day is done. Viewers immediately recognise the voice: at last, here is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser in the flesh! Ian tries again: will the blacksmith make an exception for a fellow Scot? “I’d be here all night by that logic,” he replies. But Ian isn’t giving up. They have 3 days’ travel ahead, he says and his uncle will have his guts for garters if he doesn’t get the bit mended. He asks what it will cost for an extra hour of the blacksmith’s time, offering first 10, then 11, then 12 shillings. 
“21,” is the response. 
It is an exorbitant amount and both know it. But Ian hands over the money, and the job is done.

Meantime, Mrs MacNeill tries one last time to seduce Jamie, telling him that her husband is still away, but if he’d like to come in, she’ll serve him a hearty piece of pie. The double meaning is not lost on Jamie. He tells the woman that his wife is expecting him home and when she muses that Claire must be a good cook, he replies with one word: “Very.” It is an amusing little by-play, but Jamie’s quest to have the candlestick made into what can only be a replacement ring for Claire has been thwarted.

Ian is waiting when Jamie returns. As they head out of town, Ian comments on the “old coot” of a blacksmith, telling Jamie he had to pay far more than he thought for the bit. When Jamie finds out that Ian has spent the entire purse, he is incensed, not at Ian but at the blacksmith. He reins in the horse - and every viewer holds a collective breath...

Murtagh is working the bellows when Jamie storms in to the smithy. “What the devil’s the meaning of charging a lad twenty one shillings for a bit?” he yells. We see the recognition on the older man’s face as he hears Jamie’s voice. Slowly he turns and Jamie’s eyes widen in shock. Each whispers the other’s name, before Murtagh walks forward and grabs Jamie in a huge bear hug. 
Ian is confused. “Do you ken this old coot?” he asks Jamie and Jamie nods, tears shining in his eyes. 
“Aye,” he says, softly.

Murtagh says that he never thought he would lay eyes on Jamie again, asking what has brought him to Woolams Creek. Jamie explains that he has land three days north of the town and has come in search of settlers. He introduces Ian, who tells Murtagh that he has heard all about Jamie and Murtagh’s adventures together.
“There’s so much to tell you,” Jamie says.
“And I want to hear every word,” Murtagh replies. With a wink at Ian he says, “Now, who are you calling an old coot?”

Back at Fraser’s Ridge, Claire is performing her ‘feeding the animals’ routine when a pounding at the cabin door startles her. She goes to investigate and finds Pastor Gottfried, who has brought grim news from the Mueller’s cabin. Petronella, Tommy and the baby have all died from measles and Herr Mueller has lost his mind. The Pastor has come with a warning. Frau Mueller is afraid that her husband blames Claire for their deaths and is seeking revenge, believing that Claire let the Indians curse their water. Claire remarks that she told Mueller that Tawodi’s gesture was a blessing, but the Pastor echoes her earlier statement: “He doesn’t see it that way.” He tells Claire that she can’t stay at the cabin and must go somewhere safe, but Claire is adamant that she is going nowhere. Jamie will be home soon, she tells him, and she has a rifle. The Pastor reluctantly agrees, calling “God be with you” as he leaves. Rattled, Claire goes inside and loads the rifle.

Murtagh is telling his story to Jamie, filling in the years since they were together at Ardsmuir. He was an indentured man for twelve years, he says, to a violent blacksmith named Barker. More than once, he had thought of retaliating, but when the man finally died, his widow offered to sell the smithy to Murtagh. By this time, Murtagh says, he had mastered all forms of smithering. This gets Jamie’s attention and he takes the candlestick from his bag. Murtagh recognises it at once. “This was Ellen’s, no?” he says.
“A surprise for his wife,” Ian adds. 
When Murtagh asked Jamie if he married again, Jamie sends Ian to the bar for more ale, after Murtagh returns the purse from earlier. With Ian out of earshot, Jamie tells Murtagh that Claire returned, and Murtagh pounds the table with joy. He asks about the baby, Jamie replying that their daughter Brianna is alive and well, living in Boston in 1971. 
“Well,” Murtagh observes, “Any daughter of yours will be a canny lass.”
Jamie asks if Murtagh will return to the ridge with them, offering to build a forge, adding that with ten thousand acres they will need a blacksmith.

This amount of land can only mean one thing and Murtagh frowns. He comments that Governor Tryon must think highly of Jamie. Jamie says that he realises the governor is not well liked and that they have had trouble finding tenants because of it. Murtagh echoes Brian’s sentiments from earlier: the taxes have left people aggrieved. Not many Scots will be willing to settle on land granted by him. Jamie argues: just because some sheriffs are corrupt, it doesn’t mean that men can’t prosper. “Come to Fraser’s Ridge,” he says. “We’ll work together as we always did.”

But Murtagh does the unthinkable: he refuses. He says he has work to do in Woolam’s Creek, important work. Instead, he tells Jamie to go with him to the forge. He will do the silversmithing, but is then going to take Jamie to a meeting. Suddenly it dawns: Murtagh is a regulator. 

Back at the cabin, we get another glimpse of true ‘frontier woman Claire’ - sitting by the fire, rifle on her lap, tearing at a piece of beef jerky, as she restlessly keeps guard in case Herr Mueller should appear. Rollo is nervous too, barking at every noise, which at this stage, is nothing more than the wind.

The meeting of the regulators is beginning. Jamie and Ian are eyed with suspicion as they enter. Murtagh murmurs that he will find them later, and stops to greet Brian, with whom Jamie had spoken earlier. Indeed, all of the men who refused Jamie are here. It is unusual for Jamie to have no influence over others, but this is Murtagh’s show. He calls for silence, as he instructs everyone present to drink to the tax collectors. There is confusion at first, until the group realise that Murtagh is telling them to wish their tax collector and sheriff a fine supper, a good bottle and a soft bed, because it will only be the calm before the storm. He leads a rallying cry, promising that soon the tax collectors will have no peace. “The day is coming”, he says, the day when they make plain their complaints and stand for what’s right. They will only pay what is fair, standing together against the corruption. “You’ll need your courage,” Murtagh tells the impassioned crowd, “a rifle of two couldn’t hurt neither, for the time is coming when we will march!” The group erupts in cheers and you can’t help but see the similarities here with Dougal in season 1, inciting the crowd into a frenzy against the English and to join the Jacobite cause. But instead of Jamie’s scarred back to spur him on, Murtagh has his piece of Ardsmuir tartan pinned to his chest. 

The meeting ends with men pledging themselves to the cause by signing their name. Jamie and Ian approach Murtagh, Jamie saying, “So, you’re a regulator then” and Ian observing that not only that, but the leader of them. Murtagh disagrees, saying he is only an old man who has been through it all before. He urges Jamie to join them, but Jamie provides a word of caution. He tells Murtagh that a gathering of such a size could well become violent. Murtagh is under no illusion that Jamie is right, but merely smiles and tells his godson that he risks what he must for his beliefs. But Jamie has Claire and Young Ian to think of, he says. “And the land,” Murtagh observes. This is true too. The land came with the proviso that Jamie would help to quell any unrest. He gave his word, he tells Murtagh, and can’t in good conscience, involve himself with the regulators’ cause. But neither will he try to stop them. “I pray one day you’ll come find us,” he tells Murtagh and there is sadness on both their faces. 

This is a big deal. A show-only storyline is taking front and centre, and it is one that will apparently have repercussions well into the next season. Just what these will be is anybody’s guess at this point, but it is no small matter to have Jamie and Murtagh on opposing sides of a conflict, when they have always fought by each other’s side. Of course, none of this action happens in the book, given that Murtagh died at Culloden, so it will be fascinating to see where this original storyline goes and whether or not it overlaps with plot points from the original books. This is certainly not the first time that changes have been made (the reappearance of Laoghaire in season 2 comes to mind, as does the Randall family life from 1948 onwards) but previous changes have still seemed connected to the source material. This is different, in that there can be no book kernels in this storyline, given Murtagh’s demise on the page. It also puts to rest the popular fan theory that Murtagh would replace the character of Duncan Innes at River Run. Murtagh has his own post Culloden back story now, and has evolved past being the man at Jamie’s side to being a leader in his own right - and possibly a violent one at that, who could find himself coming into direct conflict with the man that he had sworn to protect. We can only stay tuned and watch with interest! 

A sleeping Claire is woken again by Rollo’s barking and this time it is indeed Herr Mueller who is outside the cabin. Aiming the rifle at the door, Claire asks what he wants. But far from threatening her, Mueller seems genuinely concerned. He tells Claire that he has been worried that the measles would take her too. Her voice shaking, Claire thanks him for his concern and assures him that she is well. But Herr Mueller is grieving. “They are dead,” he says,sitting down at the table. Claire lowers the rifle and approaches him, expressing her regret that there was nothing she could have done. Mueller tells her that the curse had been strong and that they had died very fast. Claire tries to explain that measles is a disease that spreads from person to person and that the disease probably travelled with him from Cross Creek. But Mueller will not accept this explanation. He and his wife had both had measles before and had merely been sick for a week. Everyone had died too quickly, he says. Claire tries again. Their bodies would have been weak after the birth, she tells him and would never have survived the fever. 

But Mueller is becoming more agitated. He is convinced that his family have died from a curse, telling Claire that the savages hate them and want their land. The Indians should die from the pox, he says, not a Christian family who believes in God. But then he shakes his head in resignation. It is over now, he says. He has taken care of them, for his family and for Claire. He hands a wrapped object to her. Believing it to be the doll that he had brought from Cross Creek for the baby, Claire takes the cloth and thanks him. But on unwrapping it, Claire is horrified to see a scalp, with Adawehi’s hair and beaded jewellery still attached. “Adawehi,” she whispers and looks desperately at Mueller. “She was a healer,” she says. 
“She was a witch,” he retorts. “There can be no curse without a witch.” 
Her anger rising, Claire tells Mueller that all the Indians had wanted was some water. He yells in response that water is everywhere: the creek, the lake, the stream. He does not believe that they came to his land for water. They are savages, he screams, come to show that his land is theirs. Claire’s eyes fill with tears and she stares back at him. “Goodbye, Herr Mueller,” she says firmly. After a beat, he returns the farewell and leaves the cabin.

It is Claire’s turn to grieve. Wrapping Adawehi’s scalp in her own cloth, with the herbs they had gathered together “for the mother”, Claire puts the cloth into a wooden box that she then places ceremonially into the fire, watching as the flames take hold. 

Other flames are also being lit. Flaming torches are shot through the air, landing in another cabin and setting it alight. The door of the Mueller’s cabin opens and Frau Mueller staggers out. She has been shot by one of the arrows. As she pitches forward into the dirt, the flames take hold of her body. Herr Mueller arrives home in time to see this. He races towards his wife but he is too late. Another arrow shoots him in the chest and he falls. The rest of the cabin catches alight and the Cherokee watch as it burns. They ride away, and the last image we see is that of baby Klara’s doll, also succumbing to the flames. 

The next morning, an exhausted Claire is roused from sleep when Rollo hears more noises outside. She races for the rifle, aiming it once more at the door. But then she hears Jamie’s voice calling for her. Relief floods through her as she stumbles outside. He is walking towards her smiling, arms outstretched, but seeing her distress, breaks into a run and gathers her into his arms. “Oh Jamie,” she sobs, “I’m so glad you’re home.” 
Jamie asks what is wrong, but she merely asks him to hold her, which he does. 

Some time has passed and a calmer Claire is gathering logs for the fire when she hears a familiar whistle. It is the song that she had sung back in season 1, when she and Murtagh had been searching for Jamie. Disbelieving, she turns. It is indeed Murtagh, who strikes a pose with a chuckle. It is a beautiful reunion. “Is it really you?” Claire asks. 
“Well, it’s not the boogie woogie bugle boy,” he responds and the two embrace warmly, before heading into the cabin.

The final scene begins in a familiar place, with a familiar haunting tune. We are back at Craigh na Dun, but it is Brianna’s voiceover that we hear, as she reads the letter that Miss Baird has handed over in an earlier scene. Bree tells Roger that she has found out that something terrible is going to happen to Claire and Jamie and that she would never forgive herself if she didn’t try to help them.  

The scene cuts between Brianna standing in front of the central stone and Roger’s reactions as he reads the letter sitting at the fountain. We see the emotion clearly on his face as Brianna tells him that cared about him very much and asks him not to follow her. She reminds him that he had told her that she should think of her mother living happily in the past. Now, she wants Roger to think the same way about her.  With one final look around, Brianna, dressed in an approximation of 18th century garb and touching Roger’s silver bracelet for courage, walks up and touches the stone as a light breeze blows. The camera pans around - and she has gone.

This was an excellent episode, with much food for thought. In addition to the central theme of division and the philosophical question as to just what causes savagery in the human soul, we also see touching reunions, heartbreaking farewells and the sowing of seeds that will undoubtedly bring future conflicts. Hold onto your hats (once you’ve rescued them from the white sow, that is!)

This episode recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She knows it’s a total departure from the books, but she loved the reintroduction of Murtagh and may have shed a tear or two as he was reunited with Jamie and Claire - and she can’t wait to see where his storyline leads.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Inside episode 405, Savages by Outlander community

For a full look

Our favorite hightlights of episode 405, Savages

The script

Set department about Frasers Ridge

All about Murtagh from Duncan Lacroix

Murtagh's costume

Thursday, November 29, 2018

“Finding Common Ground” - a recap of season 4 episode 4 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage originals by Susie Brown 

Circles, Intentions, Decisions and now Reactions. In this episode, Jamie and Claire react to the new challenges of owning land already owned by the Native Americans, as well as the dangers that exist in their new environment. The Cherokee react to them in turn, as the two groups try to find the common ground necessary to coexist. Both Claire and Marsali are also reacting to the absence of a significant woman in their lives - for Marsali, this is her mother; for Claire, it is her daughter. Lastly, back in the twentieth century, Brianna and Roger react to the news that Roger has discovered. Both are also still reacting to the damage caused by the events of the festival, searching for some common ground and a way back to their relationship. 

After a title sequence of Indian warriors donning traditional garb, the episode opens with Jamie’s signing of the deed of land that has been offered  to him by Governor Tryon. The Governor brands Jamie’s decision a commendable one, Jamie responding that it is one that he doesn’t take lightly. Jamie now has ten thousand acres at his disposal, and Tryon comments on the herculean task before him. The deed is handed over, along with another offer. The Governor offers accommodation for Claire while Jamie’s land is being settled. Jamie thanks him, but says that Claire will be going with him. When Tryon expresses surprise at this, Jamie replies that Claire is a healer with a great deal of fortitude, who has seen both war and plague. He couldn’t do it without her, he says. 

The Governor contents himself with a disbelieving look, before changing the subject and asking if Jamie has found others to settle on the land. Jamie replies that he has his best man making enquiries. Tryon encourages restraint, commenting that Jamie should take his time choosing settlers and warning against the regulators who are proving troublesome by pitching themselves against tax collectors. He is particularly scathing, branding them men of shallow understand who believe themselves sole arbiters of right and wrong. What is wrong, Tryon insists, is their refusal to pay their taxes. Jamie asks about the power of the sheriffs to take control, but Tryon comments that he finds some of them untrustworthy as well, as the taxes are not reaching the treasurers. 

Jamie expresses his sympathy, but Tryon is quick to remind him of the conditions of the deal he has just agreed to. “It is not your sympathy I want, Mr Fraser,” he says. In the exchange that follows, Tryon attempts to gain the upper hand. He asks Jamie if it is true that he has dined with both prince and pauper and when Jamie confirms this, Tryon then asks him to compare the similarity of the highlanders to the Indian savage. But Jamie is equal to the exchange, commenting that savagery can exist in many forms and he has witnessed it in both prince and pauper. He has won the point and Tryon knows it. Icily, Tryon cautions that those who live in defiance of the king are no better than barbarians and that often the law is not efficient in containing them. Jamie swiftly turns Tryon’s earlier words back on him commenting that there is the law and there is what is done. 

But Tryon merely says that he is glad the two men understand each other. The fact remains that should it come down to it, Jamie would need to support Tryon against any conflict with the regulators. Still, Tryon coats this reminder in a compliment. An agreement with a gentleman is worth its weight in gold, he says, especially one who knows both the world and its troubles. Jamie replies that he hopes the world will keep its troubles to itself. Tryon’s parting comment is to brand Jamie “just the type of settler that North Carolina needs.”

In the tavern, Claire is bringing down the last of their provisions for transport. Young Ian offers to take them out to the wagon, leaving Claire with a now visibly pregnant Marsali. Claire orders some food for the journey from the tavern owner, prompting Marsali to comment on her morning sickness. She cannot even think of supper, she says, without being queasy. Claire offers Marsali advice, telling her to chew peppermint and to eat small meals. Marsali is emotional, admitting to Claire that she misses her mother. She knows that there is bad blood between the two women, she tells Claire, but with the child coming, she wishes that Laoghaire was there with her. Claire understands immediately, saying that it’s not unusual for a pregnant woman to want her mother at such a time and offers her own help. Marsali thanks her, adding that if things were to go wrong, there is no other healer she would want by her side, but that delivering and raising a child are two different things. Claire replies that Laoghaire did a fine job raising Marsali and that she will do just as well. It is a touching scene, beautifully acted by Caitriona Balfe and Lauren Lyle.In the absence of Brianna, Claire is given the opportunity to be maternal towards Marsali and we can see the bond growing between them.

Jamie, meanwhile, is instructing Fergus on the settlers that he should be trying to find. Highlanders are the first choice, Jamie says, particularly the men from Ardsmuir prison, who should be around - and one can’t help but wonder if Murtagh might be due to make an appearance soon! Fergus promises to look for the men Jamie wants. It is Jamie’s turn to be paternal now, asking Fergus and Marsali if they have enough money. Fergus says that he has managed some work and that Marsali has been doing some sewing. They have enough. Young Ian announces that the wagon is loaded and farewells are said. Claire and Marsali hug warmly, the younger woman promising to write as soon as the baby arrives. Jamie makes his own promise to the couple: there will be a cabin waiting for the three of them when they are ready. 

As they head outside, Jamie comments on Claire’s faraway look. He has missed nothing. Marsali is glowing with her pregnancy and, given that she is about the same age as Brianna, it is natural that Claire will be thinking of their daughter. Claire admits that sometimes she worries that she shouldn’t have left Brianna. Claire missed her own mother when Brianna was born and she regrets that she won’t be there for Bree either. Jamie tells her that when they were parted, he held onto his memories of Claire. “Our daughter will do the same,”  he says. Claire is tearful, but the words are comforting. Waved off by Fergus and Marsali, they head off.

Stopping for a rest, Claire and Jamie admire the view while Ian minds the horses. It is a spectacular sight and they take a moment to bask in it, Jamie commenting that God should be complimented on His brush strokes and Claire adding that He “has a certain touch.”

In the next scene, they are hammering in boundary posts to mark their land, Claire consulting the map, as they marvel at the size of the grant. Claire quotes “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.” It is a song, she tells Jamie, called ‘America’, with the same tune as ‘God Save Great George our King’. They joke about Americans stealing the song and making it their own, prompting Jamie to add that he applauds the gesture.  He asks Claire to sing the song, but she refuses. His voice husky, Jamie tells her that when she sings all prim and proper as if she were in church, it makes him want to do indecent things to her. It is a sexually charged moment and she is receptive, but they are interrupted by Ian, who has noticed two large trees, known as witness trees. Jamie says that they mark the furthest boundary of the land and  he carves the initials “FR” into the trunk of one, as a signal to all who pass that they are entering Fraser’s Ridge. He follows this significant moment by promptly stepping in a large pile of animal droppings and they start to muse as to what animal could have left it. Ian asks if it could be the raccoons that Myers has told him of, but Claire suggests it is a much larger, more dangerous creature. Wolves, mountain lions, bears are all possible candidates.

Rollo starts to bark and the tension heightens as Claire asks if there is something behind them. It is then we see the Cherokee warriors, standing with rifles, looking at them. Rollo growls, as Jamie instructs Claire to give him the knife and move behind him. Jamie and Ian discuss in low tones what the men might want. Ian remarks that the Cherokee whom Myers dealt with were friendly and says he will go with Jamie. But Jamie refuses, telling Ian and Claire to stay by the rifles as he walks towards the men. He holds his hands wide and drops the knife into the ground, while pointing to himself. “I am James Fraser” he says. The men say nothing, but begin to walk away. The leader stays a moment longer, fixing Jamie with a stare before turning and following the others. It is an unsettling moment for everyone.

The scene shifts back to 1971, as a colleague of Roger’s at Oxford University is bemoaning a student’s inability to hand in an essay. But Roger is not listening. He apologises for being busy and distracted, mumbling in a non committal way when invited to join the others for a drink and a smoke. Left alone in the office, he opens his desk drawer, taking out the book that Brianna had given him at the festival. He looks at the pencil sketch of the two and, as poignant music plays underneath, notices a picture of Mt Helicon, now known as Grandfather Mountain, settled in the 1770s by Highland Scots. As Roger’s voiceover continues, we see Jamie and Claire working the very land being described. It is a clever linking of past and present. blurring the time boundaries once again. Roger reads of a place known as Fraser’s Ridge, and we watch the beginnings of the cabins being made, as Jamie chops down trees. At the same time Ian finds a stone arrowhead in the dirt, a reminder that the land has other owners and occupants too.

Jamie and Claire discuss the cabin, Jamie explaining what rooms will be in their new home. Jamie points out the imaginary shed for meat, as well as their temporary stores, that have been tied high up in the trees away from animals in the meantime. The grand tour continues. Jamie points out what will be Claire’s shed for healing. “You’ve thought of everything,” she says, but Jamie is distracted. He has noticed a crooked post and goes to fix it. The lighthearted moment comes to an abrupt end, with Ian’s frantic cries. He runs towards them, the Cherokee in pursuit. This time they do more than just stare. They have brought the boundary posts, which they throw at Jamie’s feet. The leader of the group speaks to them and the note of warning in his voice is clear. In a script released by the writers, these words are translated: “This is not your home. For a long time the Cherokee people live on this land. You all go away!” It is a highly charged moment and leaves the three breathless as the Cherokee ride away.

A package has arrived for Roger. It is from the author of the book and contains official documents of Fraser’s Ridge. “Oh my God,” says Roger, as he looks at a copy of the deed with Jamie’s signature and the map of the land. He has found them. 

A phone rings in Boston and Brianna answers. She is pleased to hear Roger’s voice, pleasure that is further highlighted by the pantomimed conversation with her roommate Gayle, who immediately makes herself scarce, so that Brianna can chat. It is an awkward beginning: each asking haltingly as to the other’s health. It is obvious that the events of the festival have taken their toll. Brianna admits to Roger that she has been thinking about him, but stops herself from saying anything else, choosing instead to ask if Roger has had a nice holiday. He corrects her, as it is the following week that he will be in Inverness and tells her that he is just getting the last of the boxes from Fiona. Roger moves onto the reason for his call, telling her that he has news about her mother. The shock of this is written on Brianna’s face immediately. Roger explains that he had seen the entry in the book and contacted the author for more information. “And?” says Brianna, urgently. 
“Claire found Jamie,” says Roger. “They were reunited and lived in North Carolina at a settlement called Fraser’s Ridge from about 1768, not far from Mt Helicon, which is now called Grandfather Mountain.” Brianna realises that this was the location of the festival, and that her parents had actually been early Americans. Roger then tells her that he has the land grant, along with a letter from a woman to her family who mentions both Jamie and Claire by name. It is proof positive and Brianna is overcome with emotion. “Roger, I can’t tell you what this means to me,” she says. She thanks him for looking, despite everything that had happened between them. 
“Of course,” says Roger. There is a pause. Both want to speak, but neither are able. Awkwardly, the conversation ends. Roger says he has essays to mark and they say their goodbyes. 

This scene is beautifully performed by both Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton. The longing, regret and emotion shows large on both Roger and Brianna’s faces and we see how much they still care for each other. The hurt is still too raw, however, for them to reconcile.

It is night. As Ian sleeps, Claire and Jamie consider their options, in the wake of the Cherokee’s latest visit. Claire suggests that they could build somewhere else, given the size of the land grant they have been given. But Jamie dismisses the idea. “This is the place,” he says. They are close to the stream, the land is good and they are sheltered from the wind. Claire suggests they move further away from the shared border, but Jamie comments that a line of a map hasn’t stopped the Cherokee so far and if the Indians mean to be rid of them, they will find them wherever they settle. Claire reminds Jamie of the skull she had found. What if he hadn’t led them back to each other and to this place, she says, but was instead giving them a warning. “He’s someone like me,” she says. “What if he knows that something bad happens here?”

But Jamie is convinced of the “rightness” of the place. The mountain has spoken to him, but he can’t speak with the Cherokee in turn and assure them that he will respect the boundary lines. Claire suggests that perhaps they can make a gesture of good will. It is a good idea.

Later that night, Claire, Jamie and Ian are woken by Rollo’s barking outside. Grabbing the pistol, Jamie assumes the Cherokee have returned. Claire and Ian follow him, each gathering weapons. Jamie lights a torch to see more clearly. But it is not the Indians. The meat has gone and Ian’s horse staggers towards them, with ugly scratch marks on its flank. “This isn’t the Cherokee,” says Claire. “This is a bear.”

Enter John Quincy Myers. By daylight, he and Jamie are discussing the roaming bear that nearly cost Jamie a horse. Myers remarks that the Cherokee had told him of a “Tskili Yona”, which translates roughly to mean the evil spirit in the form of a bear. Myers offers Jamie some of the drying meat, given that they have lost their provisions. Jamie replies that he hasn’t come to see Myers for charity, but for counsel. Myers offers it in kind: without food in their bellies, he says, their minds will be empty too. Jamie then accepts the beef jerky, as Myers comments that they will come across more food soon enough, but that the threats of the Cherokee require more thought. The return of the boundary posts has sent a message. Jamie comments that he had hoped to make them an offer of some kind and Myers suggests tobacco. Fortunately, he has a ready supply from River Run and offers some to Jamie. They discuss the respectful way to greet the Cherokee, Jamie echoing Myers’ spoken phrase, “Siyo Ginali”. But Myers has another idea. The Cherokee are restless and he is known to them. Perhaps he can take the tobacco on Jamie’s behalf. Jamie is grateful for the offer. Myers offers one last piece of advice: to hold off on the building of the cabin until the matter is resolved. The next time, there might not be a warning.

Meanwhile, Claire and Ian are preparing fish that they have caught. Ian has mended the net, which he says is akin to knitting and shares his knowledge of the craft with Claire, expressing surprise when she admits that she cannot knit. Everyone can “clickit” he tells her, even Jamie, who had knitted Young Ian a pair of stockings for his baptism. Ian goes to check on his horse, and he and Claire briefly discuss the possibility of the bear returning. Left alone, Claire is practising her marksmanship,  when Jamie appears. She is a reasonable shot, but Jamie is a better one, showing her how to load the rifle properly. 

The Cherokee are on the move, carrying burning torches. Rollo again alerts everyone to a strange presence. But as Jamie and the others move outside, it becomes clear that it is not the tribe who have disturbed their sleep. The campfire is burning and no one is about. Rollo whimpers now, and a human cry is heard. It is Myers, who is in a bad way. He has been mauled, and there is a horrible wound to his chest. “Tskili Yona,” he grunts, as Claire tries to stop the bleeding. 

Meanwhile, the name “Tskili Yona” is being chanted elsewhere. The Cherokee are having their own ritual, trying to banish the bear. Thanks again to a translated script, the words being chanted are:  “We pray to be rid of Tskili Yona. Let us pray for Tskili Yona to leave us and never return. Let us make it so.”

Claire and Ian are attempting to treat Myers, when noises are heard outside. The bear is still nearby. Jamie goes outside to deal with it, as simultaneously, the Cherokee continue their ritual. A Cherokee woman throws something into the fire, drums are beaten and people dance, as Jamie brandishes a torch in the darkness. The noises come again and Jamie picks up the rifle and shoots. He misses. The dancing ritual continues and Jamie reloads. Inside the cabin, Claire notices that Myers has been bitten. The bite is human... 

The “bear” lunges at Jamie and we see that it is a man in a bear’s skin. The dancing becomes frenzied as the fight intensifies. The rifle has been knocked aside and Jamie is fighting for his life. The Tskili Yona is stronger, raking at Jamie’s arm with real bear claws. He aims for Jamie’s throat, but Jamie manages to escape. He runs, the “bear” in pursuit. He grabs one of the remaining boundary posts and in a last desperate effort, turns and thrusts it at Tskili Yona, impaling him. Exhausted, Jamie collapses to the ground, breathing hard in relief.

It is daylight and Jamie drags the body of the Tskili Yona on a makeshift sled. He arrives at the Cherokee camp, dropping the body at their leader’s feet. It is a tense standoff, but Jamie remembers the greeting Myers had taught him: “Siyo Gnali” he says. But the Cherokee man speaks American accented English. “You killed him?” he asks. Rifles are still trained on Jamie and he raises his hands in surrender. “I did,” Jamie replies and the rifles are withdrawn at the leader’s command. 

Jamie shows them that Tskili Yona was a man, not a monster. “Often times, man is monster,” the man replies. Jamie stands and turns, with a look of understanding. He knows this better than most.  The Cherokee explain that Tskili Yona had been one of them, a great warrior, until he mistreated his woman. He was banished to live alone in the woods, a punishment he did not accept. He tried to return, but was ostracised. Eventually he lost his mind, taking on the form of a bear, and becoming Tskili Yona. “We could not kill what was already dead to us,” the Cherokee leader explains, adding that now there will be no more trouble from the bear. Jamie asks if there will still be trouble from the Cherokee. He explains that his family wish to live peacefully, giving his word with his hand over his heart. It is a wary start between the two groups.

In the next scene, Claire is advising a recovering Myers on the best ways of keeping his strength up. Myers is grateful, telling Claire that he owes her his life. “We all do,” Ian observes. Jamie tells Myers that he is welcome to remain with them while he recuperates. Suddenly, the Cherokee appear from the trees.  The man Jamie spoke to now acts as translator for the leader of the tribe. The leader, Nawohali, says “ We pray no more blood is spilled between us”, Jamie responding that this is their wish as well. It is then that Jamie is given his Cherokee name: Yona Dihi, which means Bear Killer. Young Ian is mightily impressed by his uncle’s new status amongst the Cherokee people. Jamie invites the group to join their fire and they do. It seems that they are beginning to find common ground. 

Two Cherokee women approach Claire. The younger woman introduces herself as Giduhwa and the older woman as her husband’s grandmother, Adawehi. Claire introduces herself in return and Giduhwa explains that the older woman had dreamt about Claire. Adawehi begins to speak and Giduhwa translates. 

“The moon was in the water,” Adawehi says. “You became a white raven. You flew over the water and swallowed the moon. The white raven flew back and laid an egg in the palm of my hand. When it opened, there was a shining stone inside. This was great magic. The stone could heal sickness.”

Claire realises that the older woman must also be a healer, a fact confirmed by Giduhwa. Adawehi has a prophecy for Claire. While Claire has medicine now, she will have more when her hair is white like snow, with wisdom beyond time. But Giduhwa translates one final troubling message. Death is sent from the Gods, she says. Claire must not be troubled, as it will not be her fault. Claire doesn’t understand what she is being told, but no further explanation is given. Claire leads them over to the fire.

Back in Inverness, Roger has gathered the final box and thanks Fiona for storing them. Fiona is making her own stamp on the house. She is hanging curtains and asks Roger what he thinks. He hesitates over his reply and Fiona asks Roger if he has spoken to Brianna. “For all of five minutes, a week ago,” he replies. 

Fiona is sympathetic, telling him that it’s a start. It has been the first time they have spoken since his proposal. Roger comments that he doesn’t know whether Brianna was happy because he had called her, or because of the news he had shared. He skirts around the details, but he needn’t have bothered. Fiona has known the story all along, telling a stunned Roger that the walls of the house are not as thick as he had thought. She had overheard Claire, Brianna and himself speaking of Jamie. Besides, Mrs Graham had been the caller at the stones: Fiona knows all the stories of people disappearing. She comments that losing Claire must have taken its toll on Brianna and Roger agrees. He says that he had kept looking until he could give Brianna the reassurance that Claire had indeed found Jamie. He had hoped it would be a new  beginning, but he hasn’t heard from her since.

Fiona has other news. She had found her own evidence of Jamie and Claire, courtesy of research that Mrs Graham had helped the Reverend compile. It is an obituary, announcing the death of Jamie and Claire by fire on Fraser’s Ridge. The date is smudged, but their death is sometime within the following decade. Roger knows that Brianna will be devastated and says that he can’t tell her. Fiona argues that she should know the truth, that her mother is dead. But Roger reminds her that Claire is dead anyway - it is two hundred years later. This news, he says, would break Brianna’s heart all over again. Fiona reluctantly agrees and returns the papers to the drawer.

Back in the 1700s, the cabin starts to take shape. Jamie, Claire and Ian split wood and slowly the foundations are built, log by log. Finally, Jamie carries Claire over the threshold, and the grand tour resumes. Jamie indicates the pantry and the hearth, which he will bless. They plan the bookshelves, and talk of candles and tables and the bed that will face east to watch the sunrise. It is a beautiful picture. They kiss tenderly and look out at the possibility of their future.

Gazing into his own fire, Roger makes a difficult decision. He dials the number and the phone is answered in Boston. But it is not Brianna. Gayle asks if she is speaking to “the” Roger, expressing her surprise that Roger doesn’t know that Brianna has gone to Scotland to visit her mother. Roger is stunned: he knows what this must mean. The episode ends with his reaction, as we reach the same conclusion along with him. Brianna has travelled to the past. 

Yet again, the airing of this episode had mixed reviews. While many were thrilled with the hour’s action, others lamented the changes. In the book, Jamie fought a real bear not a man; the native Americans were Tuscarora, not Cherokee; Myers was killed by the bear, others scenes had been invented. And so on. It is perhaps ironic that this episode was titled Common Ground. It could be argued that perhaps it is time for some book fans to finally find their own “common ground” with the adaptation to the screen!

This episode recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She thought the introduction of the “Tskili Yona” was a fabulous idea and that all the actors in this episode did a wonderful job portraying the tensions and tenuous beginnings of the relationship between all the inhabitants on Fraser’s Ridge. 

Inside episode 404, Common Ground by Outlander Community

For all the details on Outlander Community and the rest of their post.

Our favorite highlights of episode 404, Common Ground...

This week we loved one passage especially between Claire and Jamie.

The authentic Indian wardrobe.

Frasers Ridge settlement's line and the Outlander documents about Claire and Jamie's future...

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

“A Wolff in Sheep’s Clothing” - an interview with season 4 actor, Lee Boardman conducted by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage originals
Season 4 has introduced a number of new characters to the Outlander family. From bloodthirsty pirates like Stephen Bonnet, to Jamie’s formidable aunt, Jocasta Cameron, each of the new faces interact with the Frasers as their adventures continue. One such new face belongs to Lieutenant Wolff, a naval officer with designs on the River Run estate. Wolff becomes one of Jocasta Cameron’s suitors, although she is well aware of the reason for his attentions. He considers himself a man of some importance and takes personal offence when Jocasta chooses Jamie as her heir. So what is it like to play this unlikeable character? Actor Lee Boardman agreed to chat to us here at Outlander Homepage, about both his career and his on screen persona.

We started by asking how Lee chose acting as a profession.

“I knew I wanted to act from the age of 14,” Lee said, “and I feel lucky that I knew from an early age what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve been fortunate to have had a wide and varied career. I got a scholarship to The Oxford School of Drama and started out in classical theatre before falling into TV and film work.”

And what were some of his projects before appearing on Outlander?

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be in many TV shows over the years,” Lee told us. One of the ones you’d know internationally is the HBO series Rome, with my old pal and Outlander alumni Tobias Menzies. Tobias is a wonderful human being and we had some great times shooting that series in Italy over two years! I was also in another Starz series, Da Vinci’s Demons, in which I played Amerigo Vespucci, the discoverer of America.”

Playing disreputable or controversial characters is not new to Lee, as he soon explained. 

“I was the murderer in Harlan Coben’s The Five series on Netflix,” he said. “I’ve also recently completed filming the forthcoming movie, Brexit, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, in which I play campaign co-founder, Arron Banks.” 

So how would Lee describe Outlander’s Lieutenant Wolff?

“He is pompous, ambitious and greedy in all ways,” Lee said. “I’m delighted to be portraying him, but want to assure you all that I’m nothing like him!”

When we asked Lee to tell us a bit about life on the Outlander set, he had nothing but good things to say.

“The Outlander team are such a great bunch of people - cast, crew and production team,” Lee enthused. “It’s been a joyful thing. The operation is so professional and ‘bedded in’. Cait and Sam lead by example and set the tone. Everyone is incredibly kind and supportive and I’ve rarely laughed as hard on any set!”

So, what did a typical day involve?
“The fun always started at Glasgow Airport, and being picked up by one of the lads,” Lee said. “We had a few days up at the Gleneagles Hotel which was absolutely wonderful. The martini bar took a hammering!”

As for the actual scenes themselves, Lee had a particular observation to share. 

“I’ve found that the more harrowing the scene to shoot, the higher the level of giggles,” he said. “I think it’s a subconscious thing, in order to help you cope with the scene. We had a scene where we were all in fits of giggles, literally crying with helpless laughter before a take. An actor’s brain works in strange ways!”

And how does Lee relate to his co-stars? While he has nothing but praise for everyone, he singled out three for special mention.

“Firstly, I have such fun on set with the brilliant Maria Doyle Kennedy, who’s a joy,” Lee told us. “In fact, I’m often guilty of trying to make her laugh mid-take. Once I told her that I imagined Wolff had previously told Jocasta that he looks like Tom Selleck in Magnum. She can’t see him so she doesn’t know! Next, James Barriscale, who plays Farquard, is incorrigible and has become a great friend. Finally, Sophie Skelton (what a brilliant actress she is!) comes from the same town as me, so we feel like a couple of Stockport gangstas!”

When we commented that the Outlander set sounded like a great place to be, Lee agreed wholeheartedly.

“I’ve had some very happy times on set,” he said. “It’s a huge privilege to be a part of this show. It’s an amazing series of books and they’ve been transposed to the screen so well.”

Given that the workload on Outlander is well known for being intense, we wondered what Lee likes to do when he has some down time.

“My down time involves spending time with my wife and kids and concentrating on our acting school, ‘Actor Tribe’, Lee replied. “We set it up more than 5 years ago and it’s been a joy to see students come in and learn and get work in the business. Our ethos is one of inclusivity and I know the work we’ve done there has changed lives for the better. It’s an absolute joy in our lives.” 

And if he could have a perfect day?

“A perfect day for me involves an excellent bottle of red wine and a long country walk, before sitting down and watching a BAFTA screener in front of the fire.” Lee said.  “Bliss!”

Finally, we asked Lee where he would like to go if he could travel through the stones himself. 
“Oh, I’d love to go forward 100 years into the future,” Lee answered. “Dental hygiene of the past makes me feel uncomfortable going back in time! If you pinned me down, I’d say the Louis XIII’s House of Bourbon. I’d even get a nice cognac out of it!”

We’d like to thank Lee for giving up his time to answer our questions and hope that we see the disapproving Lieutenant Wolff on our screens again soon!

This interview was conducted by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She’d love to hear more about Lee’s ‘Actor Tribe’ school and wonders if any of its alumni might appear in future Outlander seasons!