Friday, December 14, 2018

“Blood of my Blood” - a recap of season 4 episode 6 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

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“Connections” is this reviewer’s theme word for this episode. Many are made throughout the hour: from old friends reconnecting, to family bonds being unknowingly established; from potential rivals sizing each other up, to new understandings and intimate moments. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, David Berry, Duncan Lacroix and young Oliver Finnegan are all impressive as they portray the varied emotions required.  

The title sequence is a clever nod for book readers, but perhaps a little confusing for show-only viewers. For those in the know, it’s an indirect mention to the famous privy scene. For those who have no idea what this means, it’s well worth a read - all is revealed in “Drums of Autumn!”  

The episode begins with Jamie hard at work sawing wood, when Lord John rides into the clearing. Jamie is facing away from view, giving John time to compose his features. Once he has, he tethers his horse and calls out “Jamie”. 

Jamie is disbelieving at first, but walks towards him smiling. “What the devil?” he asks. “What are you doing in the back country?” John remarks that Jamie’s letters had painted such a beautiful picture, he was determined to see it for himself. Besides, he adds, he has business in Virginia. Jamie is sceptical, given that the distance from Fraser’s Ridge to Virginia is possibly the biggest detour ever. But John insists that the rest of the travelling party has been sent to Woolams Creek, to make preparations for the rest of the journey. But one of John’s companions remains nearby - Willie is waiting by the stream, allowing for Jamie and John to speak first. 

As the two men go into the house, Claire and Murtagh are collecting water from the aforementioned stream. The buckets are heavy and Claire cautions him: pride goeth before and a broken back, she says. But Murtagh retorts that she should be grateful for the help while she has it. The teasing continues, Claire suggesting that Murtagh should stay, given that he has barely had time to complain and Jamie seems fond of him. Murtagh gives as good as he gets, saying it is a blessing to see her too. It is lovely to see the ease between the two characters as they banter. But then Claire gets serious, telling Murtagh that his presence makes Fraser’s Ridge seem like home and asking him to stay. But Murtagh has the forge to run. He must pay his taxes, he says, adding that two of his regulator friends are currently petitioning the Governor for fewer taxes. 

Their conversation is interrupted by the sound of a boy’s cries. It can only be Willie, but Claire and Murtagh are unaware of this. “Help!” the boy cries. “Get them off me!” Claire and Murtagh hurry over, Claire quick to reassure him that they are just leeches. 
“Can you remove them at once?” Willie asks, formally. “They are vile creatures.”
Claire defends the leeches, saying that they have their uses and suggesting that he waits until they drop off by themselves.
But this young man is not one to wait. He hates them, he declares, and wants them off at once. Claire obliges, tossing the offending creatures into a bucket. 
“I want my father,” Willie says, prompting Murtagh to ask where he is.

The next scene opens where the previous one left off, with John and Jamie inside the cabin. They discuss the likelihood of Willie remembering Jamie. John admits that he doesn’t know. Jamie is realistic. Willie was only six when he left Helwater, he says, “a lifetime ago.” He tells John that it is probably best if Willie doesn’t remember, but it is clear from the look on his face that he hopes there will be some recognition when the two meet. As an aside, John adds that Willie now insists on being called William.

Jamie says that it would be an honour if John and William were to stay as guests, asking his friend if Isobel is with them. John’s face grows serious and he reveals that Isobel has died.  She and Willie were travelling by ship from England to join John in Jamaica, when she took ill. Jamie expresses his sorrow, asking how John is faring. John answers that he is keeping his chin up for William, who had been grief stricken. 
“She was such a kind soul and a wonderful mother to Willie... William,” Jamie says. 
John smiles at the name correction, but agrees with the sentiment.  

The cabin door opens and Claire, Murtagh and William enter. Claire is shocked to see John standing there. The reunion is slightly awkward, with much formal bowing and curtseying. William expresses surprise that Claire should know his father, who is, in turn, surprised to see Murtagh. “A reunion indeed!” John says. When John comments that Murtagh looks well, the older man is slightly sarcastic in his reply, saying that it must be due to the mountain air.  

John speaks to William then, prompting him to greet their host, and indicates Jamie. Jamie has his face carefully composed, but is eagerly gazing at his son. 
“I don’t believe I’ve been given your name, Sir,” says William, thereby dashing any hopes of recognition. John introduces “Mr James Fraser” and William bows, declaring it a pleasure to make Jamie’s acquaintance. Claire looks across at Jamie. She knows how disappointed he will be. But Jamie smiles, refers to his son as “Master William” and expressing his own pleasure at their introduction.

 Claire explains that William had encountered leeches at the stream and takes the boy outside to dress the wounds. This gives John time to tell Murtagh that  William is unaware of how the three men are connected, asking for Murtagh’s discretion in this regard. The older man remains sarcastic, commenting that John certainly wouldn’t want the boy to think he keeps dishonourable company. But Jamie stops the byplay. That was all in the past, he says. John is a trusted friend, whose kindness helped to preserve Murtagh’s life. Murtagh has no answer for this, and is slightly cowed as he agrees that this is true, promising to say nothing of Ardsmuir to William. 

A slightly tense “family dinner” takes place in the next scene. Jamie begins by asking William about his journey. William responds that they sailed into New Bern and John adds that Governor Tryon had offered them respite at his new palace. The mention of the Governor has everyone shifting uncomfortably in their seats. John explains that both he and the Governor are members of a gentleman’s club, and viewers who have read the Lord John novels will immediately recognise its name. Jamie remarks that Young Ian would love to hear of such a club, but is currently away from home hunting with the Cherokee. This is a departure from the book, whereby Ian is very much a part of the action to come. On the screen, however, John merely says that he is sorry not to be able to meet the boy for whom Jamie had crossed an ocean. 

Murtagh is not prepared to let the conversation about Tryon go, however. He questions John further about the palace the governor has created. John says that it is a true monument to elegance and will stand as a symbol to stability in the province. Murtagh presses further, asking where the money is coming from and Claire weighs in, saying that it is a rather untimely investment, given the debts of the province after the recent war. John replies that he understands that the Governor has asked for additional funds to be allocated, commenting that there are some who are opposing the taxes being levied as a result. Murtagh’s temper is rising, believing that the taxes are excessive. Jamie comments that perhaps the people don’t feel the palace as a good use of their funds. But John’s temper is rising too. He condemns the mob of regulators, describing them as unreasonable, dangerous and a menace to the back country, given to causing disruption. He asks Jamie if they have encountered anything of the sort, and Jamie and Claire deflect the question, saying that there is a big difference between the back country and the wilderness. Besides, such disruption would be unlikely on Fraser’s Ridge. 

But Murtagh will not be silenced. He brands the Governor as the one who is unreasonable and dangerous. John counters with a report of regulators tying a sheriff’s beaten body to a horse and dragging it through the streets in the presence of women and children. Murtagh dismisses the story as exaggeration and falsehood, but John says it has been verified by many witnesses. Murtagh looks momentarily disquieted by this, but when John muses that Murtagh hasn’t fared well in his new country, the older man snaps back at him, temporarily forgetting his promise not to mention Ardsmuir, by stating that he has more to eat than rats nowadays. With typical pre-teen enthusiasm, William picks up on this last statement, asking if Murtagh really has eaten rats. But Claire steps in, saying that Murtagh has a peculiar sense of humour. Murtagh winks at William, but he has had enough. He stands abruptly, thanking Claire for dinner and moving to leave. 

John asks Jamie if they could have a game of chess, and William asks to be excused, becoming petulant when he realises he will have to use the outdoor facilities, rather than having a chamber pot brought to him. But he is quick to remember his manners when John tells him that he will need to use the facilities offered to him, responding with a contrite “Yes Papa.” 

Jamie offers to show him the way and the two head outside, Jamie calling in Gaelic to the horses as they walk. This stirs a memory in William, and the penny drops. “Are you not Mackenzie?” he asks. When Jamie confirms that Mackenzie is indeed one of his given names, William assumes that he is the groom on the land.  But Jamie says that while he does tend to the horses, Fraser’s Ridge is his land. William asks if Jamie remembers him. Jamie smiles and says that he does, pausing for a long while when William demands to know why Jamie hadn’t reminded him of their acquaintance on their first meeting. Finally, he admits he doesn’t know and asks if William still has the carved wooden snake. William replies that he is now too old for toys and walks off to use the privy.

Inside Claire is quizzing John. She asks about Isobel’s estate, commenting on its distance from Fraser’s Ridge. When John replies that a letter from Jamie made it sound delightful, he decided to visit and get some counsel regarding life in the colonies. But Claire asks whether John’s arrival could be due to an agreement made with Tryon, to see whether Jamie will be loyal to the governor, even though Jamie has already given the man his word. John is incredulous, commenting that Claire seems to be suggesting that he would spy on Jamie. With directness that only increases as the episode goes on, Claire says simply, “Are you?” John doesn’t answer, saying instead that Claire should tell him if his and William’s presence is a burden. But Claire dismisses this, replying that she only wished she had had the time to make adequate sleeping arrangements for them both. There is a definite edge to the conversation, which is played brilliantly by Caitriona Balfe and David Berry. 

Jamie and Claire are at the fire, discussing William. Claire comments that it’s not surprising that the boy should remember him; Jamie adds that his heart raced when William had said his name. While no longer a little boy, the cock to William’s head and the fire in the eyes is still the same, Jamie tells Claire, agreeing with her when she pronounces the young man to be very handsome. Jamie shares a proud father story, telling Claire of the first time a three year old William had encountered a horse, and how he had later come to love them, developing his own way of brushing them, a technique, Claire comments, no doubt learned from watching Jamie. But the two are essentially strangers now and it is obvious that this fact pains Jamie. Claire tries to reassure him, saying that William just has to get to know him again.

She pulls him towards her and kisses him tenderly. Jamie says that he has dreamed of having a moment alone with her for weeks, but Claire reminds him that John will be waiting to play chess. They kiss again, Claire commenting that she will be expecting his full attention when their guests have gone.

But before he can get inside, Murtagh stops Jamie to ask about Lord John. He is surprised that Jamie had kept in touch with the Englishman after Ardsmuir. Jamie explains that John had organised his parole, but Murtagh is sceptical, telling Jamie that Gray’s sympathies lie with Tryon and the dishonest sheriffs and tax collectors. Jamie warns his Godfather about taking the law into his own hands, telling him that he would soon be imprisoned and dining on rats again. But Murtagh asks if they are meant to stand by while one man builds a palace while others are left wanting. Jamie replies that he has spoken to the Governor, who wants to address the matter and put an end to the complaints. “So that he can carry on building his monument to elegance,” replies Murtagh in disgust. 

But Murtagh has another plan. If Grey and Tryon are friends, then there is no need for Tryon to keep secrets from the Englishman. Murtagh suggests that Jamie should find out what John knows. Unlike Claire’s implication that John might be spying on Jamie, Murtagh is much more blatant: he wants Jamie to spy on John. It is a plan that Jamie refuses outright, saying that he won’t take advantage of his friendship. “Friendship?” Murtagh says, “With an English redcoat?” Jamie replies that redcoat or not, Willie needs John. Murtagh is confused by Jamie’s loyalty to the boy. While it is sad that William has lost two mothers, he doesn’t see why it is Jamie’s concern. 

But Jamie’s look of vulnerability is all that Murtagh needs in order to finally understand. “He’s yours, isn’t he?” he says. Jamie asks Murtagh to keep the secret, in order to protect William’s reputation. Murtagh reminds Jamie that he has kept every one of Jamie’s secrets and this one will be no different, but asks if Claire knows. When Jamie says that she does, Murtagh pulls a brief face of jealousy. Perhaps, he says, when Jamie finds the time, Jamie might tell him about William’s mother, unless that’s a secret too. Taking some wood from the pile, Murtagh stalks off.

This is an interesting exchange. Things are different now between the two men. Although there is much love and respect in their past, much has happened in the years that they have been apart and cracks are appearing in the close bond that they have always shared. 

The chess game is in full swing. This conversation is taken pretty much exactly from the book, but serves as a clever parallel to the one before it. Unlike Murtagh and Jamie, who are struggling with their relationship, John and Jamie are at ease in each other’s company. Jamie asks John if he is certain that he wants to make his move, saying “damn” and turning over his King in defeat when John confirms that he is. John reaches for the bottle, echoing “damn” when he finds that it is empty. Jamie presents him with a “wee drop”, which John promptly chokes on. It is rough alcohol, perhaps destined to be whisky in the future. They agree to begin another game, but the conversation turns serious as the two men watch William sleeping nearby. John asks Jamie if he is content. Jamie replies that he has everything he wants: a home, honourable work, his wife by his side, good friends and the knowledge that his son is safe and well cared for. He wants no more. 

The following morning, John and William are preparing to depart. John thanks Claire for her hospitality and Jamie offers to escort them part of the way. But something is wrong. John looks very unwell and the doctor in Claire takes over. John is burning with fever and Claire asks if they travelled through Cross Creek, where there is a measles epidemic. John confirms that they did, adding that William must be kept away, as he hasn’t had it. Claire asks how long John has felt ill. John replies that he had felt lightheaded the previous evening and had awoken with a bad headache, but had put both symptoms down to the alcohol. Claire tells him he must rest and that she will make a willow bark tea to help. 

Jamie follows Claire into the kitchen and they make a plan. Since Jamie had measles as a child and Claire has been inoculated, both are safe from infection. But William could yet be infected and not show symptoms. Claire suggests that Murtagh, who Jamie says has also had the disease, should stay with her (not that we see him again in the episode!), while Jamie takes William elsewhere for 6 days. By this time, she says, John will hopefully be on his way to recovery. This is another possibility, but Claire won’t say this aloud. Jamie tells the ailing John that he will take William on a tour of Fraser’s Ridge.

But this is not news that pleases the young William Ransom. He refuses to leave, fighting against Jamie when he tries to make him mount the horse. Telling his son not to kick, as it is ill mannered, Jamie tries to tell William that while it is loyal to want to stay with John, he will be unable to help him and could do himself harm in the process. He lifts William onto the horse and when the boy threatens to jump off, tells him that he will tie his feet into the stirrups if he has to. This enrages William further, branding Jamie a lout.

The tour begins, Jamie trying to engage William in conversation by complimenting his horsemanship, but the boy is sullen. Jamie points out the markings on the trees, commenting that they mark the treaty line between Indian land and the King’s land and telling William that he must always stay on the right side of the markings. The young boy is interested enough to start asking questions, wanting to know why the “savages” are allowed to remain on the land. Jamie’s answer is simple and honest: they were there first and Tryon has already taken most of it from them. Still, the Indians respect the King’s land, Jamie says and they must respect the Indians’ land in turn. Changing his vocabulary, William asks if the Indians are reasonable. Jamie says that some are, but can be fierce when provoked. 

The two have dismounted and walk over to the glorious view over the mountains. “Have you ever seen such a glorious thing before, Sir?” William asks. “Never,” Jamie replies. It could be the view that Jamie is referring to, but given his gaze, it is much more likely that it is William himself. Either way, he is rewarded with a small smile.

As the measles take hold, Claire brews tea for John. He expresses his gratitude, and she corrects his salutation from “Mistress Fraser” to “Claire”. John comments that Isobel had always believed that tea could cure any ill, prompting Claire to offer condolences for her death. When John comments that he had known Isobel all their lives and she may as well have been his sister. Claire asks if Isobel had been happy with that life - as a sister. This causes John to reflect, rather defensively telling Claire that Isobel had always seemed content, and had never indicated that she was not. He had been an adequate husband in all ways. 

So begins a frank conversation. John states that Claire is envious of the time he has spent with both Jamie and William, and the fact that he is raising Jamie’s son. Claire tells John about Brianna, saying that Culloden had robbed them of the opportunity to raise her together. While not meaning offence, Claire says, John had certainly meant to imply that he and Jamie had shared something that she and Jamie had not and perhaps he is right. But then Claire wonders what John would do if William realises that Jamie is his father. What is John’s motivation for coming to Fraser’s Ridge, she asks. John says that the answer is obvious: to allow Jamie to see William. But Claire has another obvious answer: to allow John to see Jamie. John smiles briefly, declaring that he has never met anyone as devastatingly straight forward as Claire, male or female. Claire replies that she was born that way. A tear streaks down John’s cheek as he replies, “ So was I.” 

David Berry and Caitriona Balfe are wonderful scene partners - conveying the uncomfortable nature of the relationship between Claire and John. The two are linked, and will continue to be linked, by their mutual love for Jamie. Seeing how they begin to navigate this connection is fascinating to watch. 

Meanwhile, Jamie is teaching William how to fish. William is annoyed - the fish are not taking the bait. He is using a fly and Jamie tells him that this is the problem. A worm is what is needed. But William doesn’t want to use a worm, despite Jamie reminding him of how they used to collect worms at Helwater. William has a hazy recollection of this, but remains steadfast: he wants to use a fly.  Jamie tells William how the Indians catch their fish, before showing him the Highlander way - tickling the creature into his hand. William is sceptical, until Jamie promptly pulls a trout from the water. He is further impressed when Jamie tells him that they will hunt deer the following morning.

And so they do, but William’s initial efforts are unsuccessful. Despite having a stag in his sights, the distance is too far for the rifle. William comments that he could have injured the beast, but Jamie tells him that he should shoot to kill an animal, not to make it suffer. The stag returns and this time, William is successful, killing it with a shot to the heart. He tries to walk off and leave the dressing of the deer to Jamie, but Jamie will not allow this. He shows William what to do and despite the young boy’s disgust, he takes to the task when Jamie implies that perhaps he is not old enough after all. 

That night, they eat their meal. Jamie comments that his father had said food always tasted better when each bite had been earned. The mention of fathers upsets William, who is plainly thinking of John. Jamie is initially concerned that the symptoms of measles might be appearing, but it is not that. William tries to hide his tears, and Jamie pretends that he thinks William is suffering from cramp. He starts to brew a tea that Claire had made. At the mention of Claire’s name, William comments that she gave her word that John would live. Jamie replies that William can depend upon it. William says he has had enough of sleeping under the stars and eating stew. He wants to go home and Jamie tells him that they will begin their homeward journey in the morning. But William wants to see John now. Jamie tells him that it is too dark to begin to travel, so William unleashes his worry. It is Jamie’s fault he says. If John hadn’t been coming to visit him, they wouldn’t have travelled through Cross Creek and into the measles epidemic. “Now he’s going to die”, William says and takes himself off miserably to sleep. Jamie doesn’t know what to do. He watches his son with concern, obviously aching to comfort him, but in the end he contents himself with covering the young boy with a blanket and keeping watch by the fire. 

John is very ill. “Oh God,” he says, “my head will surely split.” Claire tries some acupressure to ease the pain, as John asks her if this will be the day he dies. His breathing is ragged and his fever very high. Claire says she needs to bring his temperature down and, fearing the worst, John says that he needs to make a confession. When he heard that Isobel had died he tells Claire, he felt nothing. They had shared a life and he should have felt something, he says, but he didn’t. He admits to Claire that the real reason he has come to Fraser’s Ridge is to see if he can still feel, whether it was his feelings that had died, or only Isobel. “And?” Claire asks. “I can still feel shame at least,” John replies. His guard is down, so tells Claire what’s in his heart. “It’s hard watching you with him,” he says. Claire asks why he is torturing himself. Surely he must have known, she adds, that he could never have Jamie? But John tells her something she doesn’t expect. “I could have had him,” he says, sharing with Claire the offer that Jamie had made, in return for John’s agreement to care for William. “Of course I refused,” he says. “I would never take him on those terms.” This has unnerved Claire. She tells him to stop talking, that he needs his rest.

Jamie rouses from his own rest, to find William gone. Worried, he begins calling. He sees footprints and follows them, but they lead beyond the markers of Indian land. Hurriedly, Jamie goes in search. He finds William by the stream, the young boy proud of the fish that he has impaled on a stick. “You shouldn’t be here,” says Jamie. Sure enough, they are soon surrounded by angry Cherokee, brandishing weapons.

Jamie stands in front of William and tries speaking in Cherokee to explain their presence. He returns the fish, but the men are unimpressed. “The boy took fish from the place of the Cherokee,” one of them translates. “He must pay with blood.” As the men restrain Jamie, he desperately tries to save William. “The boy is my son,” he yells. “His blood is my blood. Take mine instead.” As the Cherokee prepare to do just that, Jamie tells William to follow the stream back to Fraser’s Ridge. The Cherokee man raises his knife, and now it is William’s turn to save Jamie. “He’s not my father!” William retorts. “He showed me the boundaries,but I didn’t respect them. I alone stole your fish.” Against Jamie’s protests, William stands ready to receive his punishment which is, as it turns out, no more than a small cut to his hand with an axe, along with a warning, delivered in Cherokee as they depart. 

Left alone, William turns to Jamie, hugging him in relief. Jamie tells him that while he doesn’t understand what the men were saying, he believes their mercy was due to William’s courage. It is clear what the hug means to him - Sam Heughan’s expressions are superb as always.

Recovering now, John begs Claire’s forgiveness for his lack of discretion., dismissing Claire’s comment that he had been very ill.  “You were wrong,” he says. He is not grieving because he will never have Jamie, he tells her, as he has become reconciled to that. What wounds him is witnessing the satisfaction on Claire’s face, because he knows that he couldn’t give that to Isobel. Poignantly, John asks Claire, “Do you know what it is like to love someone and never be able to give them happiness, not from any fault of yours or theirs, but because you were not born the right person for them?” And just like that, the spectre of Frank is in the room. “I understand all too well,” Claire replies, telling John that when she thought Jamie was dead, she had been married to another man. Unable to say any more, she asks John for his forgiveness too. John was right, she tells him. She is envious of the time he had spent with Jamie. She and Jamie had been denied twenty years together, she tells him. She asks John whether, now that he has come and seen Jamie again, he still has feelings. “I do,” John answers. “God help me.” It is an expected answer, but rather than be combative, Claire puts her hand over John’s. She tells him that he was wrong when he said he had nothing of Jamie’s. He has William. John smiles. It is the beginning of a new understanding between them.

As they travel back, William asks Jamie if he remembered the day that he left Helwater. The two are now travelling on the same horse, William in front of Jamie. William has remembered that he ran to Jamie, but Jamie hadn’t looked back. He wants to know why. “I wanted to,” Jamie replies, before adding that he hadn’t wanted to give William false hope, as he had never expected to see him again.

They arrive back at the ridge and Jamie makes William wait before entering. Inside, Claire is helping John sit up in a chair. Jamie knocks and Claire tells him that John is no longer contagious. William enters, running to John and hugging him. “I trust he was well behaved for you,” John says. William looks over at Jamie, wondering what he will say. “William was a very brave travelling companion,” Jamie replies. He goes on to tell John that he has raised William well and that the two are very fortunate to have each other. 

Finally, John is well enough to travel. He asks Claire how he can repay her kindness and Claire encourages him to get plenty of rest and to eat well. “And don’t lose hope,” she adds. “You too deserve to have the look of satisfaction on your face.”  This is a big moment between the two - and a rare one in this time period. John smiles at her. Their relationship has forged a new connection. 

Jamie is having a final few moments with William. “Are you sure you remember the way?” he asks, before helping his son mount up. Announcing it is time to bid them farewell, John presents Jamie with his chess set, saying that it would give him great pleasure to think of Jamie having a game and perhaps teaching Ian how to play. Meanwhile, Willie bids Claire a polite farewell - “A pleasure, Mistress Fraser,”  and Claire responds in kind: “The pleasure was all mine.” 

“Good luck to you both,” Jamie says. Arm around Claire, he watches as John and William ride away. But, in contrast to their Helwater farewell, William turns back, looking at Jamie, who whispers a Gaelic message after his son. There is no false hope here. With his gesture, William is showing Jamie that in his mind, they will indeed see each other again.

This connection between Jamie and William is another departure from the book, as on the page William did not remember Jamie from Helwater at all. Nor do the two of them encounter the Cherokee, or save each other from punishment. But in an episode of connections and understandings, these scenes work beautifully. It will be interesting to see what will happen as a result, much later down the track. 

That night, Jamie is pouring water over Claire as she sits in a bath before their fire. She sighs in pleasure, as Jamie tells her how often he has burned for her and how the water caressing her skin makes him jealous of the rain itself. They kiss: at last they have their time alone and an intimate scene begins. “There are things that a husband knows best,” Jamie tells her, “and I am your husband.” He kisses her hand where her wedding ring had been and she tells him that she doesn’t need a ring to know how much he loves her. “No,” he agrees, “but it helps.” Taking something from the towel on the chair, he kneels behind her, and opens his palm. It is an intricate ring, made by Murtagh, he tells her, from one of the silver candlesticks. Jamie says he knows that his mother would have given her blessing to fashion part of one into a ring. “She would be proud,” Claire replies, stroking his face, “to know that she raised such a thoughtful son.” They kiss again and Claire notices an inscription inside the ring. “Da Mi Basia Mille” she reads. “Give me a thousand kisses,” Jamie says. “And I’ll give you a thousand more,” she replies, as he carries her from the bathtub over to the bed. Together they begin to count the kisses, as their lovemaking begins and the episode ends. 

The appearance of this ring is one that book readers will no doubt applaud, as it is finally the ring with its inscription that was first given to Claire in the Outlander novel. While it had been changed on the show, it has now been reinstated in an ingenious way. Kudos to the writers for this! 

What an episode! Full of emotion and totally character driven, this hour represented tour-de-force performances from all players. With hope renewed all round, we approach the middle of the season with the stage well and truly set for more emotional connections, whether they be tender, fiery or dangerous!

This episode recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She is thrilled to claim David Berry as a compatriot and may also have said “How clever!” aloud when the new ring was produced!

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