Thursday, May 28, 2020

Interview with Ron D. Moore, by Collider

A very interesting chat.. pay attention to what Ron says about beyond the Covid19 lockdown.  It sounds like there may be more seasons after season six, which was contracted with season five years ago! Also, David Berry's character Lord John may become a series on it's own as a spin off! We can only hope!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Oh Isaiah! Our interview with actor, Jon Tarcy

While everyone is still reeling from the season five finale of the STARZ hit series Outlander, Outlander Homepage enjoyed a brief chat with another handsome man of Fraser’s Ridge, new cast member, Jon Tarcy. Jon plays Isaiah Morton, who finds himself a target of those dastardly Brown’s. Pour yourself a wee nip of something, find a cozy spot, and join us as we get to know Jon Tarcy.

Outlander Homepage:  Thank you so much for chatting with us, Jon! Isaiah Morton’s story line is one of my personal favorites from the novel, The Fiery Cross, which season five is based on.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into acting? Also, please share with us how you landed the role of Isaiah Morton?

Jon Tarcy: I guess it all started when I was about 4 or 5 and I used to perform little shows in my living room for my parents. The shows varied from singing recitals, to dance extravaganzas and even magic shows! I used to recruit my younger sister, who was only 2 at the time, to be my assistant (or backing dancer). Like most children, I loved to make up stories and pretend to be different things/people, then I think it just became something that I wanted to keep on doing in any capacity. As I got older, I took part in lots of school plays, joined the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre. Then headed off to Drama School.

In terms of Isaiah Morton, my agent organized for me to send in a tape for the role and then I went to meet the casting director Suzanne Smith for a second round audition. A few weeks later I heard I got the part and I was beyond delighted!

OH: Well, Outlander fans are equally delighted to have you join the show! You’ve performed in numerous stage productions. Joining the cast of such an epic production as Outlander must have been somewhat of a culture shock. What has it been like for you? Can you share some memorable moments or experiences on set with us?

JT: It’s been an incredible experience to be part of this show. The whole team on Outlander were so welcoming to me, so any nerves I had at the start were quickly put to bed. I’d had a few TV jobs immediately after I left drama school but over the last few years I’ve done more stage work, so it was really exciting to be back on set and remind myself of the old “less is more” motto.

There are so many memorable moments! I think the scene in Episode 1 when Jamie lights the cross was quite a unique one. It was the first “night shoot” of the season, so I decided it would be a good idea to try and stay up the night before and sleep during the day to allow my body clock to get more in sync. Unfortunately, I then couldn’t get to sleep during the day, so by the time we’d finished shooting the scene at 6 AM, I’d been awake for nearing 48 hours! Let’s just say I’ve learnt my lesson!

OH:  Ah yes, what’s that old adage…“what sounds good in theory…?”  I’ve also heard those night shoots can be brutal. The cast and crew must go through gallons of coffee! Your character, Isaiah Morton is one of Jamie’s men and is always right in the thick of action with the militia. Have you had to learn any stunts, or do any stunt work?

JT: I had to learn how to ride a horse. I’d only ever ridden a donkey on a beach before, so I had a lot to learn. The team on Outlander that look after the horses are fantastic – Matt, Ollie, Leia, to name a few. They took me through it step by step, so that when I had to ride on set I felt relaxed, ready.  One interesting stunt that my character had to do was fall backwards off a horse in Episode 4. Thankfully though, it wasn’t me that had to fall off, but a very brave stuntman named Matt Crook. He took quite a hit!

OH:  Ouch! Thank goodness for stunt doubles! Judging by his description in the novel, Isaiah Morton is the farthest thing from a philandering Romeo, yet your character gets himself into quite the romantic tangle with young Alicia Brown and her irate family. The Brown's actually try to kill him!. If you could offer Isaiah Morton some relationship advice, what would you tell him?

JT: Ha! Good question! I think I would say that honesty is always the best policy. If you’re honest from the outset, you avoid complications down the line. Saying that, I think the Browns would have caused problems for Isaiah whatever he’d done!

OH: Oh no doubt about it! Those Brown's are a treacherous lot, indeed!  We like to ask all the cast members that we interview this last question: If you could travel through the stones, what time period would you go to, and why?

JT: Hmm… I’d probably like to go back to Shakespeare’s England – to meet the big man himself, maybe get myself in one of his plays, and catch a glimpse of Elizabeth the I in the crowd!

 OH:  Master Tarcy,,, star (Well, soon to be, "hopefully") of the Globe Theatre!  No doubt both bard and queen would become your biggest fans! Jon, thank you so much for chatting with Outlander Homepage and allowing us to get to know you a little better! Stay well! 

Costume call

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

“Brave Wee Things” - A Recap of season 5 episode 12 by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage Originals by Susie Brown 

What does the mind do, in times of great danger? How does someone protect themselves mentally, when they can’t protect themselves physically? And how far would you go, to protect the ones you love? These questions are central to this, the final episode of season 5, as Claire Fraser tries to find a way to survive a horrifying ordeal and those who love her face their own demons as they strive to save and protect her. 

From the opening seconds, we begin with tension. Jarring music accompanies a beating drum as we see flickers of images from previous episodes and are reminded of the phrase “Life flashing before your eyes”. Indeed, the images seem timed almost with the blink of an eye, one image after another carefully chosen to heighten the drama. In quick succession we see the arrival of the men from the Committee of Safety, Lionel Brown’s face, the name plate of Dr Rawlings, Jemmy dropping the cracked opal, the lighting of the fiery cross at the gathering, tearful farewells, kidnapping and assault. It’s an uncomfortable way to begin the episode to say the least, with no opening credits and acapella theme song to allow us to catch our breath.

We move from this into a scene that seems to come from the future. A woman puts on a record and wanders down a long hallway, as the song, “Never My Love”, begins to play. It is Claire, dressed as we would have seen her in1968.  She sits on a couch gazing at a picture on the wall. Other images appear, each one a little nod to previous seasons - such as the vase from the pilot episode, the orange from France, Claire’s red dress. The lighting is dreamlike and surreal - this is no “flash forward” scene, but an imagined one. 

Just as quickly, the image changes, the music muffles and we see Claire, bound, gagged, bloodied and terrified. In a similar way to Roger’s PTSD being depicted through a repeated silent movie, Claire’s emotional state is being revealed through a dream sequence. She is dissociating herself from the horror of her current situation, by escaping into a world where everything is happy. In this world, we see Claire turn to greet Jamie, who takes off a modern version of his laird’s coat. He isn’t totally in 1960s dress though, as the rest of the outfit looks more in keeping with the 18th century. He is younger too, his hairstyle resembling that of season 1 Jamie. 

The sound is muffled again and we see Claire reliving more recent events, with the image of her bound and gagged alternating with the scenes just before it. It is a sequence that is repeated for the next few minutes, with time shifting between Dream Claire, Gagged Claire, Recent Claire. In each incarnation, Caitriona Balfe is absolutely compelling.

Recent Claire stands in front of her captors as the men debate what to do with her. Hodgepile suggests they kill her, adding that Jamie will have his hands full for a while. Claire realises that the men were responsible for the still’s explosion, at which point Lionel taunts her, calling her Dr Rawlings. Claire hadn’t expected anyone to find out about her newspaper column, he says, accusing her of spreading dangerous ideas and telling women how to deceive their husbands. This is personal for him, as he blames Claire for his wife’s avoidance of his bed. Brown plans to take her to Brownsville and have her confess to the women there, so that she will be exposed as a charlatan. He grabs onto her and forces her down to the ground.

Dream Claire is staring at the picture on the wall (which looks very much like an abstract painting of the Big House) when the doorbell rings. Dream Jamie opens the door to see Dream Ian, who is wearing a soldier’s uniform. He wishes Jamie a Happy Thanksgiving.

Recent Claire has managed to briefly escape her captors. She runs, but is quickly caught, with Hodgepile slashing her across the breast with a knife. She swears at Hodgepile, telling him he will go to hell. This concerns one of the other men, Tebbe, who claims that Claire has now cursed them. He has heard talk of her, he tells the group. She is a conjure woman. Claire decides to play off that perception, warning that if they touch her again, they will all be dead by dawn. But Lionel Brown won’t stand for this, instructing the men to tie her up.  As one of the men does so, he asks Claire where she came from, before she settled on the Ridge. He starts speaking of the moon and uses the phrase “the man on the moon” which seems strangely out of place. Claire looks at him.

Gagged Claire is becoming increasingly distressed as she hears the men by the fire discussing her in a threatening way. She hears leering laughter as one of them states that her legs aren’t bound. 
Dream Claire is standing in front of Dream Jamie, who gently wraps her in a blanket, uttering a line from the pilot episode when he had first wrapped her protectively in his plaid: “You’re shaking so hard you’re making my teeth rattle.” 

Recent Claire is in the wagon, being guarded by Tebbe, who offers her food. He tells her to remember that he has been good to her and asks her to tell her spirits that, so that they won’t hurt him. She thanks him for the food, asking how long it will be before they reach Brownsville.

Gagged Claire remembers Tebbe’s answer : it will be two days’ journey after they cross the creek. 

At the creek, Tebbe tells Recent Claire that they are going to swim the horses across and that she needs to go with him. Claire plays on his belief that she is a witch, telling Tebbe that he shouldn’t go with the others as they are all going to die, taken by the water kelpies that will drag them down and eat them. Claire insists that the water horse is her friend and that if Tebbe lets go of Claire in the water, it will rise up and carry her away, leaving him unharmed. Tebbe agrees, but just as Claire begins to look relieved, Hodgepile appears and grabs onto her, saying that he will take her across. The two men begin a tug of war over a struggling Claire, who desperately tries to stay with Tebbe.

Dream Claire now has all of her family around her, all dressed in 1960s style. Dream Murtagh and Dream Jocasta are there, married in this incarnation, with Jocasta able to see perfectly. Murtagh is playing with Dream Germain. They sit around the dinner table, joined by Dream Marsali and Dream Fergus (who has two hands).

Recent Claire continues to struggle, uttering her trademark, “Jesus H Roosevelt Christ”. One of the men pays particular attention to this. Sick of her curses and the fear that it is engendering in the men, Lionel stuffs a gag in her mouth. 

In Dream Claire’s world, young Germain twirls a dragonfly as if it were a plane and the blanket Jamie has wrapped her in has become the tartan plaid from the first episode.  The camera pans out on Gagged Claire and we see that her skirts have been torn open and there is blood on them, indicating more violence.

Recent Claire glares defiantly at Lionel Brown as he sits by the fire. This unnerves him and he vows to put her somewhere where she can’t stare at him. He punches her again, before dragging her to a tree. He ties her to it, with a rope that he loops over her head and ties as a noose. 

The Dream Claire party guests are suggesting names for Marsali and Fergus’ next child. Dream Marsali dismisses the predictable suggestions of Jamie and Ian, announcing they are thinking of something “more hip”, such as Ringo. 

Gagged Claire looks over to see a small rabbit on the grass opposite her, reminiscent of the rabbit that a severely injured Jamie had seen when he lay on the battlefield at Culloden. Her breathing is becoming laboured - she is choking under her gag. Desperately, she tries to rub her face against the trunk of the tree to loosen it. 

Already, this is a tour-de-force performance by Caitriona Balfe, who is simply mesmerising. 

The man who had previously tied her up appears and releases the gag. Leaning over her, he asks if the name Ringo Starr means anything to her. Claire knows what this means: this man is a time traveller, like herself. 
“He’s a drummer,” she replies.

The man is excited to hear this, telling her that he knew that Dr Rawlings’ advice couldn’t have come from anyone from the 18th century. He refuses to untie Claire, but tries to reassure her that the other men’s plans are “mostly just talk” as they are scared of her and believe her to be a witch. He introduces himself as Wendigo Donner, saying that he travelled back with a group of American Indians in 1968. Claire realises that he must have travelled with Otter Tooth, also known as Robert Springer. Donner is relieved to hear his friend’s name and asks where Springer is. Claire explains that he is dead, killed by the Mohawk. Donner wonders how this can have come about, given that they had come back to save the tribe and Claire promises to tell him everything she knows, if he will untie her. But Donner is too scared of Lionel and too desperate to return to the future. He has been trying for so long, he tells her, and needs gemstones. Claire says that she has gemstones and knows where a stone circle is. If he cuts her loose, she will get him home. Donner is considering this, but tells her that they have to wait until the men are asleep. 

Lionel calls from the fire, asking what Donner is doing. Donner replies that he is merely checking that Claire is tied up securely. To her despair he tightens her bonds and replaces the gag, telling her that he should have known she was from the future even without the 20th century advice of Dr Rawlings or the mention of Roosevelt. Claire doesn’t act scared enough around men, he tells her and ironically suggests that she should do that more often. He moves away and she is alone again and starting to panic. 

Dream Claire stands with Jamie by the window, wrapped in his plaid, but reality starts to intrude, as we see Lionel standing outside. 

This is the beginning of a quick succession of dream sequences interspersed with the horrifying reality of Claire’s situation. A drunken Lionel appears with his nephew, Cuddy, saying that he had promised the young man a little bit of fun. This fun turns out to be the violation of Claire, who despite her struggles, is unable to prevent it. She escapes back into her dream world where Murtagh, Jocasta and Germain are pillow fighting and she is safe in Jamie’s arms. 

Cuddy is finished quickly, for which he is mercilessly teased by his uncle. Lionel begins his own assault, which Claire again retreats from in her mind. The beatings and violation are alternated with glimpses of Dream Marsali and Fergus with their children and then of Jamie setting the Thanksgiving table, commenting that the turkey gets bigger every year, as does their family. Claire smiles, looking up at the ceiling, from which water is dripping. Some say that this could be an allusion to scenes in the book where Jamie had to fix a leaking roof, but writers Matthew Roberts and Toni Graphia have said that it represents the gradual intrusion of reality. 

Dream Germain circles a toy dragonfly, much in the same way as young Roger had played with his toy plane in season 2. Dream Ian is asking where his cousin is and Dream Jamie replies that they have been delayed in the holiday rush. The dinner table is full and Jamie is making a poetic toast to Claire, calling her blood of his blood and bone of his bone. But Claire is looking at the empty chairs that have been set for Bree and Roger, as the water keeps dripping from the ceiling. Reality intrudes again, as Dream Lionel has suddenly appeared at the table and raises a tankard.

Lionel finishes his assault, hissing that Claire isn’t so high and mighty now. He staggers away, asking the men who is next for a turn at the “hedge whore.” Claire can see a group of the men beginning to walk towards her, Hodgepile amongst them. 

Escaping once again into her dream, Murtagh tosses Germain into the air, joking that it’s going to be like Prestonpans. Another baby for Marsali and Fergus is announced, Ian hugs Claire wishing her a Happy Thanksgiving and Marsali announces she is going to make some plates of sweet potato for Jemmy. 

Claire is still watching the empty seats at the table and is relieved to hear the doorbell ring. Thinking it to be Bree and Roger, she goes to the door, but is met instead by two policemen (played by the actors who portray Lionel and Hodgepile). The men announce that Mr and Mrs MacKenzie and their son have been killed in a car accident. Perhaps this is an allusion to the death of Claire’s parents, or a dream representation of Claire’s current worry for Bree and Roger and whether they have travelled safely back home. Either way, the camera pans away from a distressed Dream Claire, as the other characters in her visions move solemnly forward.

We are taken away from Claire’s ordeal and focus now on the real Brianna and Roger. At first, the timeline is confusing, as we know from the previous episode that the journey to the stone circle had taken two weeks. But in an interview after the finale, Matt Roberts and Toni Graphia explained that this part of the storyline was not linear. We have jumped backwards in time, to the point when we last saw the MacKenzie family. Relieved to have survived the journey, Bree and Roger stand, following Jemmy as he runs laughing towards a figure. That person is Ian and we realise that, as many fans had predicted, they haven’t travelled anywhere. Trying to work out the reason for this, Brianna and Roger both admit that they had been thinking of home as they went through the circle. It seems as if the stones have spoken as to where their true home lies. 

They begin to make their way back to the Ridge and decide to rest for the night, Roger commenting that they can surprise everyone the next day. But on getting out of the wagon, Bree notices the cross burning on the hillside. 
“Da lit the cross, oh God!” she says. 
Knowing that this means that something dreadful has happened, they quickly abandon thoughts of making camp and head immediately for home. 

At the Ridge, Jamie and the men are preparing to depart. Lizzie has prepared some food, she tells Jamie, when she notices the wagon coming up towards the house and realises who it is. Jamie has seen the wagon too. He greets Brianna and Roger, asking what happened. Bree replies simply that “It didn’t work” and Roger asks what is going on, as they had seen the cross. 

Jamie tells them of the attack by the Browns and of their plan to rescue Claire. Brianna wants to go with them, but Jamie refuses, saying that it is too dangerous. She must stay and guard the Ridge with the rest of the men. Josiah Beardsley, however, is determined to go along. He reminds Jamie that he is a fine shot and that this isn’t a question of war, as Alamance had been. This is for Mistress Claire. Jamie agrees. Ian is also going, as is Fergus, “for Milady.”

Roger too, is determined to go with Jamie. He reminds his father-in-law of the gathering and Jamie’s request that he stand by his side as a son of his house. Roger asks Jamie if he meant the words and Jamie responds ,”You know I did.” This Roger is not the Roger of the Gathering. Back then, he had been hesitant, unsure of himself. Now, he is already a survivor of an atrocity of his own. 
“There are times for men of peace” he says, “And times for men of blood.” This is a time for the latter and he will go with Jamie. Rifles are passed between men, horses are saddled and the men who have answered Jamie’s call follow him towards Brownsville. Before Ian leaves, he conducts his own Native American ritual to prepare for battle, shaving his scalp and painting his face.

The opening Dream Claire sequence begins again, with Jamie taking off his coat and walking towards Claire. This time, they are dancing slowly, her head resting on his shoulder, one hand holding his, while his other arm is around her back. Their eyes are closed and they look peaceful. 

Gagged Claire hears noises of shouting and gunfire, even as the dream music continues to play. The vision is sideways at first, mirroring Claire’s vision as she lies underneath the tree. But then we see the men of the Ridge fighting fiercely, shooting, stabbing and defeating Brown’s men. Two particular killings stand out from the rest: Ian’s dispatching of Hodgepile with a tomahawk to the head and Roger’s killing of another one of Brown’s men. He looks shocked as the man falls - he had never known if he could kill a man, but now he has. 

Jamie is screaming Claire’s name. In her dream state, she sees Jamie standing next to her, turning her to face him and saying “Dinna be afraid. There’s the two of us now.”  Suddenly, he is really there. We see the horror register on his face, as he realises what has happened to her. He sinks to his knees, removing Claire’s gag and cutting her free of the rope. She is barely conscious, whimpering as he gently sits her up and says the words he spoke to Roger: “You are alive. You are whole.” 

Ian, Fergus and Myers all run over to join Jamie, and are shocked to see Claire. Myers says that there are a few men still alive. He holds the knife out towards Claire and asks her if she will take her vengeance upon them. Claire says nothing and Jamie explains that she is bound by an oath and will not kill another. It is he, he tells them, who kills for her. 
“And I,” says Ian.
“And I, Milady,” adds Fergus.
Jamie turns to Claire, asking who had attacked her and how many.
Her answer is chilling. “I don’t know,” she replies. 
We see the impact that this answer has, before Jamie’s face hardens and he looks up at the others. “Kill them all,” he says.
They do. We see a small group of men lined up on their knees, before hearing shots ring out. Jamie’s eyes are on Claire, but she barely responds to the sound, nor to Ian, when he comes to tell Jamie that the executions have been carried out. Jamie picks up Claire, as if she were a wounded bird and carries her towards the others, covering her with his plaid in real life, the way that he has been doing in her dream. 

The men stand waiting for Claire and Jamie gently sets her down, saying to her, “You see? They are dead.”
Numbly Claire looks down at the bodies of her attackers, before slowing backing away. 

Myers realises that one of the men is still alive. It is Lionel Brown. Roger stops them from shooting Brown immediately, reminding Jamie that there are questions to be answered. 
“Ask them now, or take him with us?” he says.
Jamie replies that he wants to take Claire home. He tells Roger that he and Claire will go on ahead, while Myers and Roger should bring Lionel back to the Ridge with them. 

Jamie and Claire have stopped at a stream, the beauty of the surroundings at odds with Claire’s damaged body and soul. She stands a little apart from Jamie, his plaid still wrapped tightly around her. Finally she gets up the nerve to ask what she wants to know: what happened to Marsali? Jamie tells her that Marsali is alive, along with her unborn child, who she had felt kicking strong in her belly. Geordie, however, is dead. 

There is another long pause and Claire asks if there had been an Indian among the group of men. Jamie says that there wasn’t and wants to know why she is asking. She tells him of Donner and how he was a traveller like her. Jamie asks if Donner had hurt her and she replies that he hadn’t, but neither had he helped her. Jamie tells her that whoever Donner was, he has gone now. 

Claire comments that her mind must be playing tricks, as she had thought she had seen Roger. Jamie replies that Roger, Bree and Jemmy have all come home. Her eyes widen in disbelief at this news, but still she doesn’t look at Jamie. This entire time, her eyes have been downcast. This is a broken Claire. 

It is astonishing how Caitriona Balfe has made herself appear small and fragile. We are in doubt just how damaged she is, not only physically but mentally too. 

Brianna has been watching for everyone’s return. When she sees them coming, she hurries down towards them, watching as Jamie lifts this suddenly frail Claire off the wagon. Bree envelops her mother in a tender embrace - hushing Claire as if she were a frightened child. It is almost as if the roles are reversed and Brianna now has the strength that we are used to seeing in Claire. Claire is able to look at Bree though, stroking her face and saying that she had thought she would never see her daughter again. Marsali approaches the couple (looking decidedly more pregnant, which seems sudden and a little strange) and smiles tearfully at Claire, who puts her hand out towards her and draws her close, until their foreheads are touching in a wordless gesture of mutual comfort. It is a touching scene. 

Later, Brianna sits with Claire as she takes a bath in front of the fire. Neither woman speaks. Brianna is gently washing her mother’s back, Claire is scrubbing under her fingernails with a nail brush. It is finally too much for her and she drops the brush into the water with a sigh. Taking her cue that her mother wants to be alone, Brianna stands. She pauses in the doorway, repeating the words that Lizzie had said to her in the previous season after her own traumatic assault at the hands of Bonnet: “You have my hand, Mama, and my ear if you need it.” Left alone, Claire begins to take stock of her injuries, gently running her hands over her face. 

Claire is sitting in the bedroom when Jamie enters, and she instinctively pulls her shawl up to cover herself. Jamie tells her that it tears his heart to see her this way. He is filled with rage, he says, and feels that he must hurt someone. Claire asks about Lionel. Jamie says that he is tied up in the surgery, the men having given him a beating on the way back to the Ridge. He is going to ask questions and get answers, he tells her. He will find out what they are planning. 

Claire wants to know if Jamie is going to let Lionel live. He asks her if her oath is that strong. She replies that she is glad that the other men are dead and feels sorry that she is glad. Briefly she looks at him, before standing and walking a few steps away. She tells Jamie that she doesn’t want him to worry about her, she is just a little shaken. He tries to tell her that he knows what it feels like, but she stops him, angry. She has lived through a world war, she says and has endured the loss of their child and two husbands. She has been starved, has been beaten, betrayed and imprisoned and has survived. “And this?” she says, her emotions rising. “I’m supposed to be shattered by this? Well, I won’t be!” 

Roger is asleep when Brianna comes into the cabin, but jerks awake as she enters. She apologises for waking him, but he asks about Claire, wanting to know if she was able to talk about her ordeal. Brianna tells him that everything is still so raw, and she wonders if her mother ever will speak of it, adding that perhaps she might tell Jamie about it in time. 
“What a horrific combination of words for anyone to have to find within themselves and utter to  
another being,” Roger says.
Both of them understand this all too well, having fought their own demons after their own attacks and we see them each drawing strength from the other as they sit together, she in his lap. 

They get into bed, Brianna placing the candle by their bed. Roger comments that she hasn’t asked him yet what had happened and wonders if Jamie had told her. Brianna replies that no, he hasn’t. Roger begins to speak, but he is obviously troubled. She asks what is wrong.
“Will you hear me?” he says.
“You know I will,” she replies.
He asks her to listen to what he has to say, hoping to God that she will then be able to tell him that he did right. She assures him that he doesn’t have to tell her anything, but he insists, asking her to put out the candle first, which she does. In the darkness, he is finally able to utter his own horrific combination of words. 
“I killed a man,” he says quietly. 

Claire hesitates before entering the surgery. Lionel Brown is lying on the table, with Marsali standing guard. His breathing is laboured and he is playing the victim, asking for mercy and begging Marsali to loosen his bonds. She tells him to be quiet and goes over to Claire, who is trying to be the doctor she is, and treat Lionel as a patient. She tells Marsali to steep the comfrey and prepare the syringe. Lionel implores Claire not to let Jamie kill him. It appears as if she might be about to do this herself, as she picks up a scalpel. 

We get a brief vision of Dream Claire, who picks up an orange from the table and walks confidently down the hallway. This hearkens back to season 2, when Claire took the orange from the French King, as payment for her services. It was a signal back then, that she was in control. Now, Claire manages to keep control of her emotions too, dropping the scalpel and telling Lionel that she will do him no harm, before quickly exiting the room. She races up the stairs to safety, where she finally allows herself to break down, sobbing uncontrollably, curling herself into a ball on the hallway floor. 

Back in the surgery, Brown is regaining his confidence. He asks Marsali for mercy on his appetite, leering that he always gets what he wants and telling her that he prefers his supper “with a smile.” He threatens that if he is not well treated, his brother will come and burn the house down while they sleep. But Marsali refuses to rise to the bait. She tells Lionel that they must make sure that he returns home hale and strong and turns and picks up the syringe, preparing it in the way that Claire has showed her. Lionel asks what it is and she tells him that she is becoming a healer. Claire has taken an oath, she tells him, to do no harm. But as she plunges the needle into his neck, she hisses that she has taken no such oath. 
“You hurt me, you hurt my family, you hurt my ma,” she says. “I will see you burn in hell before you hurt another soul in this house.” 

It doesn’t take Lionel long to die. It is only when Marsali turns around to drop the syringe that we realise she had not steeped comfrey, but the poisonous water hemlock root. 

When Jamie comes into the surgery, he sees Marsali sitting on the floor, shaken. 
“He thought me no better than the dirt under his boot,” she says, as Jamie removes the covering from Lionel’s face to confirm that he is dead. Marsali is distressed, asking Jamie if Brown will haunt her, and if she will go to hell. Jamie calms her, telling her there is nothing to fear and helping her to her feet.

Jamie returns to Brownsville, the body of Lionel wrapped in cloth and draped over a horse. He arrives at the tavern and carries the body over the threshold, dumping it at Richard’s feet. He tells Richard that a band of men had come onto his land, and abducted and violated his wife. He followed them and killed them all, he says, adding, “I brought you your brother so you may bury him.”

Richard thanks Jamie, commenting that Lionel reaped what he sowed and that Jamie had done what he must. But as Jamie leaves Brown adds, “As will I, when the time comes.” Jamie’s face hardens and he leaves the tavern without looking back. This feud is not over, and both men know it. 

Jamie returns to the Ridge, as his voiceover tells us of his feelings. “I have lived through war, and lost  much. I know what’s worth the fight, and what is not. Honor and courage are matters of the bone, and what a man will kill for, he will sometimes die for, too.”

A bustling normality is returning to the Ridge. A montage of family life is shown as Jamie’s voice continues. 

“A man’s life springs from his woman’s bones, and in her blood is his honour christened. For the sake of love alone, would I walk through fire again.”

Roger and Brianna are walking towards the house. Roger comments that there was a time when he never thought that they would be walking there again, but that the two of them now seem destined to be on the road less travelled, where nothing is ever easy. Brianna responds by quoting from the end of the famous poem, reciting “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.” 

Roger brands her a show off and she smiles. She comments that they have certainly tried to take a few different roads and asks if he is disappointed. 
“No,” Roger replies. They had asked the stones to take them home, he says, and that is precisely what they did. 

Claire is standing on the porch, watching the activity in front of her. Her face is healing, although still scarred. Her attention is drawn to one of the fence posts, which is crooked. Jamie comes and joins her and she points it out. He says that he will mend it immediately, but she stops him, saying that it can wait. They should enjoy the ordinary day, she tells him, as who knows how much longer they will have such peace, knowing what is coming. 

It is unclear whether she means the American Revolution or another confrontation with Richard Brown, but Jamie chooses to pick the Revolution. It is his turn to quote poetry now, or rather the Greek philosophy of Thucydides. “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it,” he recites.

Claire comments that Jamie certainly knows all about that and he replies that it is only brave when there is a choice to make. 
“We’ll make it the best we can,” she says. 
A storm is coming and they watch the thunder roll in.
“I love you,” Claire says, softly. 
Jamie reaches out and takes her hand in response, before uttering the words that book lovers had their fingers crossed to hear. 
“When the day comes that we do part,” Jamie says, looking into Claire’s eyes, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’, ye ken it was because I didn’t have time.” 
She nods, her eyes filling with tears. They look back out at their family and at the approaching storm.

The thunder still continues as the final scene begins. Jamie and Claire lie naked in bed, their bodies wrapped around each other. Bruises clearly visible on her back, Claire is curled towards him, his arms protectively holding her close. 
“Christ,” he says. “You’re a brave wee thing.”
“Am I?” she replies. 
They look into each other’s eyes.
“How do you feel?” he asks.
“Safe,” she answers. 
He kisses her forehead and she nestles into him, as the episode - and season - conclude, to the emotive tones of the familiar theme song, sung slowly by Raya Yarbrough. 

This whole hour was remarkable storytelling. The dream sequence device was masterful, with so much symbolism that many rewatches will be necessary to find them all. It was also lovely to see a happy ending version for Murtagh and Jocasta! There are not enough adjectives to praise the acting of Caitriona Balfe, who was nothing short of extraordinary throughout the entire episode. If there is any justice, she will finally receive an award for her performances. Praise needs to be extended to all the main cast however, who dealt with such a challenging plot in such a compelling way. It was a memorable end to what has been a memorable season. End scene. Enter Droughtlander. 

This recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She is in awe of Caitriona Balfe, but also takes her hat off to the entire production team for an amazing season. She is now wondering how many times she can rewatch every episode ever made between now and season 6.