Wednesday, May 6, 2020

“Fond Farewells” A recap of season 5 episode 11 by your Aussie blogging lass.

Outlander Homepage Originals by Susie Brown 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So said a Chinese philosopher many years ago and it is a phrase that came to mind after the watching of this episode. Journeys bring with them many emotions: excitement, anxiety, joy and sorrow amongst them. So much about a journey can be unknown, but no matter how monumental, it must always begin with the first step. 

The beautiful Autumnal landscape is on display in the opening moments of the episode. It is now Autumn of 1772 and Jamie, Claire, Roger and Brianna are on their way home from Woolam’s Creek with supplies. Jamie comments on the burlap bags, wondering what is inside. Claire has bought large quantities of peanuts, not for the pigs, or to make medicine, as Jamie guesses, but in order to make peanut butter. She hasn’t mastered ice cream yet, she tells Jamie, but she has no intention of letting Jemmy grow up without tasting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

They round a corner and come across a burnt out house and go to investigate. Amongst the charred ruin of the cabin is the unmistakable smell of death. Coughing, Jamie and Roger cover their mouths, as they discover a number of dead bodies. Roger wonders why the family hadn’t run outside away from the fire, and Jamie has the answer: they were already dead when the fire started. The cause of death is unknown at first, until Claire pulls an arrow head from the body of one victim. It doesn’t solve the mystery though, and the group begin to look about for survivors, or for people hiding nearby. 

As Jamie and Claire call, Roger makes an upsetting discovery: the badly charred body of a young girl, still alive and obviously in a lot of pain. Jamie comes to join Roger and wordlessly, they make their decision. Speaking gently to the young girl, Roger covers her mouth and nose, suffocating her, while Jamie recites a prayer. It is a moving act of mercy, and one that upsets Roger greatly. They see to the burial of the bodies and the opening credits begin. It is a sombre way to begin the penultimate episode of the season. 

As the music dies away, we see the image of a woman, dressed in the clothes that Claire was wearing when she first returned to Scotland. The woman unwraps peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we are reminded of the ones that Claire brought with her. The plastic that they are wrapped in catches the breeze and floats away: a foreign 20th object loose in the 18th century air. Already we have a theme emerging about being “out of place” - the tragedy at the cabin was out of place amidst the peaceful Autumn surroundings; Claire’s 20th century menu is out of place in 1772. 

The sobering tone of the first moments of the episode is replaced with the endearing giggles of Jemmy MacKenzie (adorably played by the Adair twins, who are cuteness personified). Jemmy is playing chasings with Young Ian, while Roger is carving wood and Brianna and Claire are reminiscing. The women are shelling peanuts, and Claire is remembering the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that Brianna had made for her in the trip through the stones. Brianna comments that she had wanted her mother to have a piece of home, wherever she ended up. 

Their conversation is interrupted by an “Ouch!” from Jemmy. He has succeeded in taking Claire’s amulet from Ian, touching its stone. Jemmy says that the stone is hot and blows on his hands. He begins to cry, saying that he doesn’t want the stone anymore. Brianna walks over to him. She takes the stone from Ian, commenting that the stone is indeed really warm. 
“No it’s not,” Ian replies, confused. “Are you as daft as your wee lad?” 

Jemmy reaches for the stone again, as an ominous, yet familiar sound builds in the background. Suddenly the stone splits. 
“It’s broken!” Jemmy cries. 
Roger, Claire, Brianna and Jemmy can now hear a loud noise, the young boy covering his ears. Jamie and Ian haven’t heard a thing. Roger bends down to pick up the stone, also commenting on its warmth. Brianna and Claire look at each other, as everyone gradually realises what is happening. Since he felt the warmth of the stone and heard the buzzing noise, there is now little doubt that Jemmy can travel. 
“Will you?” Jamie asks Brianna. She looks back at him, obviously torn. Claire looks stricken. The moment of decision that they have been both anticipating and dreading has arrived. 

Any further conversation is halted by the arrival of the Browns, who have brought with them a large number of men on horseback. Richard Brown comments that since the Crown can no longer guarantee the safety of the colonists, they have been forced to take matters into their own hands. They have formed a Committee of Safety, he says, to protect Rowan County. Governor Tryon’s replacement, Governor Martin, can’t officially sanction the group, but neither does he want another uprising. Brown says that they have had word of violent attacks, with cabins being burned and families killed. He asks Jamie if he is aware of similar occurrences. Jamie speaks of the Dutch family they had come across near Woolam’s Creek, telling Brown that they had laid the family’s bodies to rest. 

Meantime, Claire has noticed a wound on Lionel Brown’s legs.  She tells him to follow her into the surgery for some clean bandages. He is reluctant to do so until his brother insists. As she treats the leg, Claire asks Lionel about the Beardsley baby, Bonnie, that had been adopted by his niece. 
“She’s well enough,” Brown replies.
Claire comments that the leg is infected and asks how long it has been since Brown injured it.
“A few days,” he replies. 
Lionel tells Claire that he knows she thinks he shot Isaiah Morton during the Battle of Alamance. He doesn’t confirm this one way or the other, instead asking a question that forces Claire to think: doesn’t a father have the right to seek justice for a daughter who has been dishonoured? As she looks back at him wordlessly, it is obvious she is thinking of Brianna and Stephen Bonnet. 

Outside, the men continue to discuss who is responsible for the attacks. Ian is becoming increasingly agitated, as “the savages” are being given the blame. He tells the men that it wasn’t the Indians. Roger adds that no one had been scalped, but Ian says that even if they had been, Indians aren’t the only ones who take scalps. One of the other men suggests that perhaps the attackers had been scared off. 

Richard Brown gets down to business. He wants to known if Jamie and Roger will join the Committee. There are enough men currently for 2 or 3 patrols, but they need more. Brown indicates Corporal Hodgepile, the same man who had been blaming the Indians, as the commander of one patrol and suggests that Jamie could lead the other.  Tactfully, Jamie thanks him for the offer but comments that there is a lot to do on Fraser’s Ridge and that he will need time to consider. This answer does not please Brown, who reminds him that when Jamie had wanted men for his own militia, the Browns had not hesitated. Jamie doesn’t dispute this, but adds that fighting a war and maintaining law and order are two different things. Sarcastically, Brown asks if Jamie’s whisky still needs his constant attention, before seemingly allowing Jamie time to think on his proposal. He suggests that everyone remain vigilant, a comment that further annoys Young Ian. 
“We can protect ourselves,” he says. 
The two men face off for a moment, before Jamie diffuses the situation by promising Brown to consider the offer and the men mount up and leave.

Later, Jamie and Claire are discussing Brianna and Roger. Jamie asks Claire if she thinks they will leave. Claire nods, adding that Brianna had promised Roger, as soon as they knew whether Jemmy could travel. Ian comes to join them, asking whether they are going to talk about what had happened. Jamie tries to pretend that he is talking about the Browns, but Ian isn’t about to let him get away with that. 
“Not the Browns, Uncle, the opal,” he says. The mohawk people have spoken of Otter Tooth’s ghost and how it appears to the one who has the stone. Ian asks Claire to confirm that she had found the opal and had seen the ghost. When she does, Ian continues. The person with the stone is supposed to have the power to see what will come to pass. Ian says that the Mohawk had asked about Claire after she had left and Jamie wants to know what Ian had said. 

“The truth,” he replies. “There’s no one like my Aunty Claire.” He lists all the things that are different about Claire: the way she speaks, her medicines, the way she had reappeared after 20 years away and the fact that Brianna and Roger have also come from somewhere unknown. He pulls out a book and shows it to them. It is Otter Tooth’s diary, but he is unable to read it because it is in Latin. Jamie quickly translates, but for Claire, it is not the words themselves that are concerning, but the implement used to write them. Otter Tooth had used a ballpoint pen, which wasn’t in widespread usage until after 1945. Ian asks what a ballpoint pen is and Claire reveals the truth about herself. Ian’s response is amusing, saying that he had always known that she was a fairy. He is more amazed by the fact that Brianna and Roger are also from the future, and the fact that Jamie has known all this time and never said anything. Jamie comments that people wouldn’t have understood, so they had kept it to themselves. With the knowledge that he has now joined an exclusive club of only 3 - Jamie, Murtagh and himself - Ian looks a little stunned, but also proud. The door literally closes on the scene, but we get the impression that there is much more of the story to be shared behind it.

Jamie and Claire are out riding and stop at a small cabin deep in the woods. Jamie tells the occupant that they can come out. The door opens and out steps Ulysses. He is well, he says, but bored. They have brought him food and a book to distract him from his thoughts, which Ulysses describes as being poor company. Jamie tells Ulysses of the new Committee of Safety and how he had at first been worried that Ulysses had been the target, but he is now convinced that the Browns and their men know nothing of what happened at River Run. 

“Now that I’m a murderer,” Ulysses says, but Claire assures him that he had no choice. Jamie says how grateful he is, but Ulysses is realistic. No one will pardon him for killing a white man, even to save Jocasta’s life. They ask if he has given any thought to what he will do. Jamie says it would be wise for Ulysses to leave North Carolina, suggesting Philadelphia as a place where slavery is frowned upon. Ulysses shares the information that he is not a slave and hasn’t been for some time, having been given his manumission papers by Jocasta after Hector Cameron’s death. “I chose not to leave… her.” The delay before the last word speaks volumes.

Jemmy is finally asleep. Brianna and Roger discuss the breaking of the opal and why it broke when Jemmy touched it. Brianna suggests that perhaps Jemmy is extra sensitive, because both his parents are time travellers, using it as further proof that Roger is Jemmy’s father.  Roger smiles at this. All he has ever wanted was for them to be a family and safe. They will be safer in the future, he says, adding that it’s not just the 18th century dangers, but also the fact that they are living a life that they were never meant to. Brianna agrees, but says they need to work out what to tell people. She doesn’t want to leave the explanations to Jamie and Claire and wants to be able to say her farewells. Roger suggests that they tell people he has found a job north, in Boston. Brianna agrees that makes sense, given that it is known that she grew up there. They will tell people that Roger is to be a professor at the university there, which is the truth - albeit it in a different century. 
“Leave within a month?” Roger says and Brianna nods.

Lizzie comes to tell Jamie that he has a visitor. It is none other than Lord John, who was not expected. After checking that nothing is wrong, Jamie tells Lizzie to organise John’s things to be taken up to the guest chamber, explaining to John that they have finished the upstairs portion of the house and that he will be their first guest. 

John and Jamie discuss Bonnet’s death. Jamie says that it wasn’t by his hand, Brianna having preferred to see Bonnet officially sentenced. John comments that he is sure Brianna will rest easier knowing that she doesn’t have to see Bonnet’s face again.

Ian, Claire and Brianna are by the river. Ian asks if it is true that they are leaving and Brianna confirms it. She says that things are going to get worse, and that a war is coming. Talking freely now, Ian comments that he doesn’t need to be “what you are” to tell that. He asks whether Brianna has considered the fact that if she stays she will be able to change things. Brianna tells him that it doesn’t work like that, that what is coming is a lot bigger than them. Ian turns to Claire and compares the situation to Culloden, but Claire says that although she and Jamie had been able to prevent the deaths of some of the Lallybroch men, they weren’t able to stop the course of events of the battle itself.

But Ian has another reason for asking. He wants to know if there are smaller things that could be changed, like things between a man and his wife. This is the closest he has come to talking about what had happened to him and Brianna and Claire share a look as he tells them that he wants to travel through the stones. Claire replies that it won’t work: the stone had felt cold to Ian, nor could he hear the buzzing. Ian asks for her to take him with her, since she could travel. 
“Take me with you and then you can return here,” he begs. 
Again, Claire says that it is impossible. She tries to find out why he wants to go back, but Ian refuses to say anymore. 
“You say I can’t go,” he says, bitterly. What difference does it make?” He walks away back to the river, looking desolate. 

John too has come to make his farewells, as he is returning to Helwater. Lord Dunsany has died, he tells Jamie, and he has to make arrangements for Lady Dunsany, as well as for the estate, which William has now inherited. John comments that he is actually finding it very difficult to leave, having enjoyed working the land at Mount Josiah. Jamie agrees that there is nothing like getting dirt under the fingernails, telling John he will miss it. His back is to John, so doesn’t see the look of longing on his friend’s face when John replies that there are a great many things he will miss. William needs to learn how to be an earl and John must prepare him for it. While they will probably return to Virginia one day, John has noticed the darkening mood in the colonies, and comments that he fears a storm is coming. He has brought a gift for Jamie, presenting him with a velvet pouch. Inside is a new framed sketch of William. Jamie is overcome. 
“The older he gets, the more he looks like his father,” John says. 

Later Claire and Jamie also talk of pictures. Claire has asked Brianna to draw sketches of them all, to remember them by. Jamie says that it is a lovely notion and although he had remembered her for 20 years with no pictures at all, they do help. He kisses her hand and looks across at the sketch of William on the table next to him. Meanwhile, Claire is making preparations for a romantic evening, dabbing perfume carefully on her body. But when she looks back to Jamie, he is asleep. 

Claire wakes in the night, sweating. She gets out of bed and walks over to the window to cool off. Jamie wakes and goes to her, kissing her. Her skin in salty and Jamie asks if she has been crying. Claire explains that it is just the heat that has made her sweat, adding that she must smell like the white sow. Jamie begins a list of what he can smell on her, kissing her with each ingredient: onions, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and toadstools. Claire replies that this is not fair, given that he knew what they had for dinner. But Jamie merely continues his appraisal: vinegar, dill, and “eau de femme.” Claire counters with her own list: gunpowder, hay and the faintest whiff of manure. Finally Jamie notices her special perfume and apologises for falling asleep without touching her. 
“It’s all right,” she replies. “You were tired.” 
“You could raise me from the dead for this,” he says, lifting her up and placing her on the windowsill. She asks what he is doing and he tells her to trust him. She does so, leaning back into the open air, as he begins an intimate exploration of her body.

This scene comes straight from the novel and is one that book readers had been anticipating. It leads straight into another hotly anticipated scene, which takes place the next morning. Jamie comes across Claire peering into the microscope. She is checking the new lens that John has brought and invites Jamie to take a look at the slide. He does so, commenting that he didn’t realise that germs had little tails. There is a reason for that of course, given that he is not looking at germs, but sperm - his own, in fact. Asking how she had gotten them, Claire responds that she had woken up in custody of them. As always, both scenes are beautifully performed by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe.Whether dramatic, romantic, or comic, they create the perfect mood!

Jamie has come to see Brianna, bringing with him the velvet pouch that contains William’s sketch. He hands it to her, nervously. When Brianna asks who the person is, Jamie tells her, explaining his presence at Helwater and how William had been born there. Brianna asks who William’s mother was and he says only that there was no love between himself and Geneva. Brianna comments that William looks like Jamie and Jamie adds that William also looks like her. 

Brianna asks if the two can meet, but Jamie explains that William is in London and unaware that Jamie is his father. He is an earl of Ellesmere now and his life would be ruined if anyone knew the truth. Jamie tells Brianna that both the previous Earl and Geneva had died on the night of William’s birth and that Lord John and Isabel had become his parents. 

“So that is the son that he has told me about,” Brianna says. She is a little overcome to realise that she has a brother and Jamie replies that he had wanted her to know that there was a little more of her blood in the world that just himself and Claire. He suggests that perhaps Brianna could look for news of William in the future: as an earl, perhaps he would be easily found in books somewhere. Brianna promises to do so.

Jamie asks when they will leave. She replies that they will leave in a week. It is a difficult admission, but one that Jamie accepts. He tells her that when Claire had left him, with Brianna in her belly, he had never thought that he would see her, but he knew she was there. He knew that he was a husband and a father and now is a grandfather. “Even though I may never see any of you again, you have made my life whole,” he says, taking Brianna’s hand and kissing it.

This is another beautiful scene. There haven’t been enough father/daughter scenes between these two (although a few have ended up, frustratingly, on the cutting room floor) and Sam Heughan and Sophie Skelton make the most of this one. The sadness and love is tangible here and we ache for both of them. 

Roger and Brianna are telling Fergus and Marsali of their impending departure. They are using the story that they had decided on: Roger has been offered a teaching position in Boston. Commenting on how far away that is, Marsali asks Brianna what Jamie and Claire will do without her, adding that she doesn’t know what she will do either, as they have another child coming.  
“You’ve become like a sister to me,” she says.
Brianna says that leaving everyone will be the hardest thing she has ever done and the two women hug.

The farewells continue, and Claire sees Brianna talking to some of the families from the Ridge. We see just how much the impending departure is affecting Claire. She stands with her hands crossed protectively in front of her, gazing at her daughter, but tears herself away, walking quickly before Brianna sees her. 

Lizzie has seen the family goodbye too and comments to Brianna that she should start making her own farewells. She expects to be going with them and starts talking about the temperatures in Boston, but Brianna interrupts her, saying that Lizzie will have to stay at Fraser’s Ridge. Lizzie doesn’t understand. She has shared both dark days and happy ones with Brianna, she says. Brianna is the one who saved her, she is meant to be with her. Lizzie’s emotions are starting to get the better of Brianna. She assures Lizzie that she will always be grateful to her, but that she needs her to look after Jamie and Claire on her behalf. 
“Of course I will,” Lizzie replies, “if that’s what you wish.” She begins to cry and Brianna begs her not to. 
“I am trying really hard to be brave,” she says. 
“You are brave,” Lizzie replies. “You are one of the bravest I know. I’ll never forget you.”
“I’ll never forget you either,” Brianna says and the two embrace. 

Lionel Brown is back, calling for Jamie. He has been sent by his brother, who wants to know whether Jamie and his men will be joining the committee. Jamie says that he has considered, but that he must decline the invitation. He has done his time serving the Crown - now he must serve his family.  Lionel comments that Richard will not be pleased to hear this, but Jamie’s mind is made up. But Brown is not done: he has brought his wife, Rose, to see Claire. Jamie indicates the way to Claire’s surgery. 

Claire examines Rose, with Lionel hovering behind, answering for her. Rose’s wrist is broken and Claire asks how it has happened. With a look over her shoulder, she muses that this type of injury can happen if the wrist has been twisted. It is observation that earns her a curt “Just mend it. Like you mended me.” 

Claire sends Marsali for supplies and asks Lionel to get whisky from Jamie in order to make a tonic. Left alone, Rose begins to speak. She wonders how she will do the chores as her husband expects, with only one hand. Claire asks if Lionel gets angry if the chores are not done. 
“Of course,” Rose replies. Claire comments that she has seen Lionel’s anger before, but Rose defends him. He hasn’t been himself since his daughter Alicia left, she says. He wants another child to raise. Claire asks if that is what Rose wants. 
“It’s my duty, isn’t it?” the young woman replies. She says that Lionel is a good man, but Claire disagrees, saying that a good man wouldn’t hurt her. 

It is here that Rose explains how the injury occurred. As with many battered wives before and after her, Rose takes the blame. It is her fault, she says, because she wouldn’t lie with him. She is worried about Lionel’s potential cruelty to a child and had read Dr Rawlings’ column in the newspaper, which had said that if a woman didn’t lie with a man 2 weeks before her courses, then she wouldn’t become pregnant. Claire is shocked - she is, of course, Dr Rawlings, so has had some part in Rose’s current predicament. 

Lionel enters, asking if all is well and Rose assures him that Claire is almost finished. He brings the whisky over to the table and as he does so, sees into the bottom of Claire’s medical chest, with the name plate Dr D Rawlings clearly visible. Claire, her back to him, is not aware of what he has seen. Lionel tells Claire that she can keep her tonic and hurries his wife away.

Roger walks towards Ian, who is watching Rollo. He tells Ian that he and Brianna want to ask a favour of him. They need someone to bring the wagon and horses back from the stone circle after their departure, he says, and that they don’t want Jamie and Claire to do it. Brianna fears that with her parents so close, she may not have the courage to leave them. Ian agrees to go with them and Roger expresses his thanks. Reaching into his pocket, he brings out the deed of land that Tryon had given to him. 

“I want you to have this,’ he says, “for everything you have done to help us.”
Ian says that he can’t accept the land, so Roger asks him to look after it for him instead, telling him to “do with it what you will” and adding that he hopes that Ian will find happiness. The look on Ian’s face as Roger walks away is anything but.

Brianna approaches Lord John, who stands on the porch. They smile at each other. This is not their first deep and meaningful porch conversation, but it is going to be their last. Jamie has told John of their impending departure, and Brianna adds that she has learned something that will make it harder to leave: she has a brother.
“Ah,” says John, “so he’s told you.” He tells Brianna that William is very like her, and that both of them are very much like Jamie in appearance and disposition. 
“So William has a temper too, then,” Brianna jokes and they laugh. 

John adds that William possesses the kindness and courage of Brianna and Jamie, his face falling as he admits to Brianna that he will never be able to tell William about her, as much as he wishes he could. Brianna assures him that she understands.
“Well,” John sighs, “Life is long. Perhaps someday.” 
John tells Brianna that he is leaving in two days time himself, and will be accompanied by his new man servant, Ulysses. John explains that Ulysses will be able to travel safely in John’s company and that once he sets foot on a British ship, he will be a free man. It had been Jamie’s idea, John admits, adding that he may need a chess partner on the long voyage to London. 
Brianna comments that she had heard he was a master at chess, but adds with affection that he is also a wonderful father and that William is lucky to have him in his life - as is she.  
Using Brianna’s own description from season 4, John replies, “You really are impossible not to like” and the two smile at each other.

This is another lovely scene. David Berry and Sophie Skelton have always had a natural chemistry and this is no exception. If rumours circulating after this episode are true, it will be the final such scene, as David Berry has purportedly left the series - a tragedy on many levels. For now, we will have to hope that Lord John’s line “Life is long. Perhaps someday” will prove true.

Looking through the window, Brianna is watching Jamie and Jemmy sitting on the horse and talking. Roger comes up behind her. It is getting harder and harder to think about leaving. Brianna comments that she had never had grandparents and Roger replies that he hadn’t either - or even parents, to begin with. The two embrace. We can see how conflicted Brianna is. 

This conflict only intensifies in the next brief scene. Claire and Brianna come out of separate rooms simultaneously and finally lock eyes. “Mama,” Bree whispers and runs into Claire’s arms. No words are spoken - the women just hold each other in a silent, emotional acknowledgement of how much pain each feels at the loss of the other. 

There is still joy in the final family dinner, however. With much ceremony, Claire presents a platter of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ian eyes his sandwich suspiciously, while Jamie cuts his with a knife and fork. They take a bite, and Jamie pronounces it tasty, but wonders if it is meant to be eaten, given that you could seal letters or mend your boots with it as well. Everyone laughs. The sandwiches eaten, Jamie stands to propose a toast. “To home,” he says, “to family and great health.” 

With the familiar melody of the stones playing in the background, the wagon containing Bree, Roger, Jemmy and Ian leaves the Ridge. We are treated to a brief montage of beautiful landscapes, before the moment of truth arrives. Leaving the horses, they walk up the hill and stand before the stone.

Claire is sitting in Brianna and Roger’s cabin, looking at the sketches that Brianna has left behind. The door opens. It is Jamie, who had thought he would find her there. Two weeks have passed, which Claire says already seems like an eternity. Jamie agrees, adding that if Roger was right, they should be reaching the stone circle about now. Claire looks around. She tells Jamie that they started their life on the Ridge in this very cabin, and now it is just the two of them again. Jamie draws her into his arms. “We’re not alone, Sassenach,” he says. They look at the drawings, commenting on Bree’s talent. Jamie muses that perhaps, in the future, their daughter can finally be an engineer. 

Roger has tied a rope around the three of them. He says that each strand of the rope is delicate and fragile, but together it is strong and will hold them. 
“Let’s hope so,” Brianna replies. She looks to Ian standing nearby and thanks him for everything he has done. She asks him to take care of Jamie and Claire and tells him she loves him.
“I love you too, cousin,” Ian replies. 
Brianna, Roger and Jemmy each take a gemstone and put out their hands to touch the stone.
We see Ian’s reaction a split second later - the others are gone.  He walks up to the stone himself and touches it. Nothing happens.

Brianna and Roger are lying on the ground, Jemmy urging them to wake up. They do, Roger asking Brianna if she is all right. She feels like she has been turned inside out, she says, but is fine. Jemmy runs off ahead of them, and they stand to follow him. They look shocked at whatever they see. 
“What the Devil?” says Roger. 

Many theories abound as to this scene. In the book, as fans have been quick to point out, the MacKenzies’ departure happens much later - and with one extra person. Since it seems inconceivable that this 4th character would be written out of the story entirely, there are high hopes that in fact, the family hasn’t actually travelled anywhere and will return to the ridge for the season finale!

Back at the Ridge, Fergus, Josiah and Ronnie Sinclair are digging a privy, Fergus commenting on the privilege of doing so, when an explosion is heard. It is the still. The men down tools and begin to run towards the noise as Claire comes out of the house. She says she will go along with them, but Jamie says that they will attend to it, as she has patients to attend to. 

In the surgery, Claire is instructing Marsali as to the right way to put a dislocated shoulder back into joint. It is, of course, the first “surgery” she performed on Jamie back in the opening episode. This patient, Georgie Chisholm, isn’t as stoic as Jamie was, groaning loudly as the procedure is performed. Marsali muses that it is the opposite of jointing a hog and Claire agrees - one is taking everything apart, whereas this is putting things back together. Geordie comments that he is grateful for small mercies, when they hear the sound of something breaking outside. Claire goes to investigate and is set upon by a group of men from the Browns’ committee of safety. Marsali pushes young Germain under the table and tells him to stay there and she and Geordie go to try and help. One of the men, Corporal Hodgepile, stabs Geordie and Marsali is knocked unconscious when she tries to attack the men with the instruments from the table.  A sack is placed over Claire’s head and she is dragged away.

Jamie, Fergus, Josiah and Ronnie return, to find Germain standing outside. Fergus goes over to him asking why he is outside by himself.
“Maman won’t wake up, Papa,” Germain responds. 
“Where’s your granny?” Jamie asks and Germain’s reply is chilling. “The bad man took Grandmama,” he whispers into Fergus’ ear. 
Jamie and Fergus run into the house. Fergus goes over to Marsali, who is, thankfully, breathing. There is no sign of Claire. 

As the light fades, Jamie runs up the hill, a burning torch in his hand. He lights the second cross, as he had done before when calling the militia to battle -  but this time, he is fighting for Claire. 

This was an emotional hour, which was to be expected, given that the writer of the episode was none other than Diana Gabaldon herself. As she always does, Ms Gabaldon gave us lots to think about. Many journeys were begun during this episode. There is the slow, inevitable journey towards more fighting courtesy of the Browns and their Committee of Safety, as well as the growing unrest in the colonies. Ulysses is beginning a journey as a free man, while John will be returning to England to prepare William for his journey as the 9th Earl of Ellesmere. Ian is on a journey of self discovery: having learned about the possibility of time travel, he is now dealing with his agony over not being able to go through the stones to change his own past. Marsali and Fergus are beginning another parental journey, while Lizzie is beginning a solo journey without her best friend. Roger, Bree and Jemmy have begun their journey back to the future (or have they?) and Claire and Jamie are beginning the journey of starting over on the Ridge without their daughter. As the episode ends, Claire is on an unknown journey, while Jamie is on the journey of his life : to save her. He has done it many times in the past - can he do it again? 

This recap was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher librarian who lives in Australia. She was captivated by the strength of the emotions in this episode, but thinks that the twin boys who play Jemmy are the cutest scene stealers of them all! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow what an episode which I haven'y been able to see yet but hope to in the future. Great writing just reading it makes the words all come alive. Truly.