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Recap of Episode 405, Savages

December 5, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Mitzie Munroe

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to recap this week’s episode! Best yet this season, in my humble opinion. Just about every emotion was on overload, and as of today am still sporting a silly little grin! So without further ado, let’s get to it!

We open with Claire and Adawehi sitting by the stream, preparing herbs and enjoying being in each other’s company. Both are teaching the other Cherokee and English, as well as chatting as women would do. We see another appearance of a rabbit; a bit of symbolism the writers have been using that brings in Brianna. It’s then Adawehi asks Claire if she has any children. Claire replies,  “I have a daughter but she lives far, far away.” Adawehi, being the mystic that she is, knows that Brianna is actually closer than just in Claire’s heart.

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, (thanks Nancy Roach, “The White Sow,” for this little ear worm that is still with me), we have a finished, fully furnished cabin. My, how time flies in television. And what do ya know, The White Sow has finally decided to make her grand appearance and is already up to mischief. Claire and Jamie are preparing for their own departures; Jamie and Ian to Woolam’s Creek to find tenants for Fraser’s Ridge, while Claire is off to aid in the birth of Petronella’s child. Jamie snags one of his mother’s silver candlestick holders before heading out – hmmm, I wonder what he’s up too? Before leaving he asks Claire if Brianna has a diamond shaped birthmark behind her left ear. Claire is astonished that Jamie knew of that little detail as she never mentioned it to Jamie. He explains that he saw her in his dream and that he kissed her upon that mark. Could it be that Brianna truly is closer than we think?

Roger–poor broken hearted Roger–is seen in Inverness trying to track Brianna down after finding out in last week’s episode that she intends to “visit her mother.” Will he find her in time? After learning that she bought a one way fare to Craigh Na Dun not 10 days passed, he realizes he is too late. He learns she last stayed at Baird’s Bed & Breakfast, and desperate for any clues, asks the innkeeper if by chance she left anything behind. At first the innkeeper didn’t want to disobey Brianna’s request, but after seeing Roger’s heart literally breaking in front of her eyes she relented and gave Roger a letter from Brianna that he was not supposed to have until a year later. Oh my, what could be in that letter?

We now find Jamie and Ian in Woolam’s Creek, passing out flyers to residents to get them to attend a meeting in which Jamie will present them with an offer of 100 acres to settle and farm on Fraser’s Ridge. As Ian continues to hand out flyers around town, Jamie heads to the silversmiths house. Oh? His wife, Mistress MacNeill, answers the door and what do ya know, she is all hot and bothered and, well, do you blame her? Seeing as the silversmith is not in town at present, Jamie leaves but will call again. And I bet Mistress McNeill will be eagerly awaiting his next calling! Skipping ahead we see Jamie delivering his pitch in a tavern to some residents that are surprised by the gracious, almost too-good-to-be-true offer, and to Jamie’s astonishment, they each turn him down and walk out. One lingers behind though, and Jamie buys him and himself a pint in hopes to engage him in conversation, perhaps learn more about why these men can turn down such an offer. Brian, as we come to learn his name, explains that Tryon’s crooked tax collectors make it impossible to earn a living as a farmer and none will accept an offer that will benefit the tax collectors in any way. Uh oh, did we just meet some future Regulators?

Meanwhile, back at the Ridge, we find Claire at the home of German settler, Gerhard Mueller, with his wife, son and daughter Petronella, who just delivered a baby girl and whom they have decided to name Clara in honor of Claire. Claire is overwhelmed with gratitude and we can see she is truly missing her daughter in this moment and the prospects of holding her own grandchild in her arms one day. Rollo, (such a good boy), alerts them that someone is outside, and it’s the Cherokee collecting water for their horses. Herr Mueller, taking this as a sign of trespassing goes out with gun loaded, aimed and ready to shoot. Claire intervenes, playing peacemaker and begs the Cherokee to perhaps collect water from a different part of the stream. Being that she and their healer Adawehi are close, the Natives decide to leave. Before exiting, Tawodi performs a blessing of the stream to which they have taken water from. Herr Mueller not understanding the customs of the Cherokee takes it as a sign of ill intent.

Claire travels back home to Fraser’s Ridge, exhausted. And who wouldn’t be after a day like that?! We next get to see a bit of what her daily life is like; feeding the animals, poking fun at the White Sow. “You have no idea you’re just a Christmas pork chop do you?” HA! Bundling herbs, and yay she’s Clickin’ It! Uh oh, she notices the missing candlestick. Day in and day out, managing the farm on her own is hard work and even our “I am woman, hear me roar” Claire needs a drink at the end of a long, hard day’s work.

Back to Woolam’s Creek and we see Jamie and Ian preparing the wagon to set off back home when Ian discovers the bit is broken. Jamie sends him off with the task of getting it fixed. Ian finds the blacksmith when….. can it be…… no…… OMG it is! MURTAGH!!!!!!!! He’s alive, freed and living in Woolam’s Creek! Ian doesn’t ken it at the time, just has a devil of a time haggling with him, and in the end it’s Murtagh that shows young Ian how haggling is really done! All the while, Jamie revisits the silversmith’s home to see if he’s arrived back from Cross Creek only to be subjected to more of the Mistresses advances. (OK, now she’s going too far). When Jamie refuses her offer of “pie” she wagers that his wife must be a “good cook”; Jamie’s reply? “Aye, very.” Back at the wagon, Ian tells Jamie of how much he had to pay the old coot of a blacksmith for the bit repairs, and you can see Jamie is not having any of that. As Jamie’s giving the blacksmith what for, Murtagh hears that all-too-familiar Scottish brogue. We see recognition in his eyes as he slowly turns around. Jamie, not quite believing his own eyes, needs a few seconds to truly grasp who it is he is seeing. His Godfather is alive and standing before him! I wager there was not a single dry eye amongst avid fans witnessing that reunion! We even got to hear the best, joyful laugh from Murtagh that I don’t believe we have ever heard from him before. “There’s so much to tell you. And I want to hear every word.” And the raised eyebrow and sly wink Murtagh gave Ian? YES! Flashing forward we seeing Murtagh, Ian and Jamie in the Tavern catching up when Jamie, after sending Ian to the counter to get another pint, tells Murtagh that Claire has returned from the future and that he has a daughter. AGAIN, we hear another joyous laugh of happiness from Murtagh and I can’t but hope that Murtagh gets his chance for happiness too. Jamie asks Murtagh to return with him to Fraser’s Ridge to set up his own smithy there, but Murtagh also declines. In hopes to perhaps clue Jamie in on just why he has to decline, he invites Jamie to a meeting. Rut Roh!

Murtagh, Jamie and Ian have arrived at the meeting and you can see that Jamie is beginning to see what Murtagh’s reasonings are for declining his offer. Murtagh, proudly wearing his bit of Fraser tartan on his vest, is rallying up the attendees and vowing that they will seek justice on Tryon’s tax collectors. OMG! Murtagh’s a Regulator! And Jamie has sworn to Tryon to quell any unrest amongst the Regulators. He has to refuse joining Murtagh and the cause, but also says he will not stand in their way. Murtagh gives Jamie a long look. Jamie, being privy to the future, probably knows what will happen. I’ll wager we will find Murtagh in Fraser’s Ridge to find out for himself what Jamie knows.

Back on the Ridge Claire is tending the animals when Pastor Gottfried comes to visit. He tells Claire of the passing of Petronella and the baby from measles and that in his grief, Herr Mueller blames her. He fears that he may do something rash and hopes to find him in time.  He tells Claire to be on her guard. We see Claire loading the musket (or was it Jamie’s Pennsylvanian long rifle?) and tries to go about her evening rituals, but finds herself jumping at every little noise. Rest easy Claire, Rollo’s on duty. She’s awakened by a pounding on the door and it’s Herr Mueller. At first he seems genuinely concerned for Claire and says he’s come to check on her wellbeing. Claire, being as empathetic as she is in seeing Herr Mueller’s distress, lets her guard down and allows him to come in. He begins to tell Claire of the passing of his daughter and grandchild and how it was from the curse that Towadi performed when they left the stream. Claire tries her best to explain to him that it was from either him or his wife’s exposure to the measles that most likely affected Petronella and the baby, not from any curse. He would not hear of it and defiantly insists that the Cherokee are to blame. He then begins to tell Claire that he took care of them and presented her with a wrapped bundle. In recognizing the checkered wrappings Claire thought that Mueller was giving her the baby’s doll, but when she unwraps it, she is horrified to see that it’s Adawehi’s scalp and neck knife. The horror that she has just come to understand from Herr Mueller breaks her heart and prompts her to send him away. You’re left wondering, who are the true savages in 

this episode? She then rewraps Adawehi’s remains in a linen cloth, places it in a wooden box with some herbs, and sets the box in the fireplace upon a fiery pyre. At the same time,  the Cherokee are at Mueller’s home seeking revenge for the death of Adawehi, and decide to dispense it by burning the house down with flaming arrows. We see Frau Mueller walk out onto the porch, and she has taken a fiery arrow in the back. Herr Mueller arrives home in time to see his home ablaze, wife (and assumingly his son) dead, and then he, too, is struck down with arrows.

Jamie arrives home from Woolam’s Creek to find an emotionally spent Claire who can only ask him to hold her. Hold her Jamie and hug her tight. We then see Claire gathering split firewood when we hear an ol’ familiar tune being whistled. Can it be? YES, our Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy has come to Fraser’s Ridge! And again, even more joyous laughter from Murtagh. YAY!

Last, but certainly not least, it’s back to 1971 Inverness, and we there’s Brianna at Craigh Na Dun, dressed in the best 18th century clothing she can find, wearing her bracelet that Roger gave her. Narrated in her voice, we hear the words that are in her letter to Roger. “Roger, If you’re reading this it’s because I didn’t make it back …”  Brianna found out something terrible happens to Claire and Jamie and she felt she had to go and warn them. She speaks of truly caring for Roger and asks that he think of her living happy in the past. You can see Roger is in agony at reading those words. The final scene has to be one of the best scripted scenes this season:  Brianna slowly walking up to the big stone, the scene panning from one side, around the back towards the other side. When it reaches that side, she is gone. Poof! Brianna has officially gone through the stones! Oh boy! Does she make it? Will Roger follow? I think most of us know where this is all headed, and I for one cannot wait until next week’s episode!

What did you think about Episode 405, Savages? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Mitzie has been calling the Piedmont of North Carolina home for the past 25 years. She loves to unwind either in reading, knitting (newbie), vegetating in front of the TV watching something sappy or engaging in my newest hobby: collecting Outlander trading cards.
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Do No Harm – Outlander Episode 402

November 14, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Susan Jackson

Whew. I was relieved when Outlander episode 402 was over. I felt heavy-hearted, and had to sit quietly for a while after it was over. One thing I can say is that this show has never been one to keep the awful harshness of 18th century life stuff out of front and center, but that’s what I love about this series. So, let’s dive in to my recap as well as a few thoughts of Do No Harm.

Listening to Jamie and Claire discuss Bonnet and his crew’s robbery is bringing back the “old” Jamie for me–he wants to protect all who are in his care, as he was brought up to do. I had thought he’d be a bit more beat-up looking, but realized that most of his abuse was taking in those amazing rock-hard abs–oh, wait–I can’t get those My Peak Challenge work-out Instagram pics that Sam posts so often out of my mind sometimes–sorry for the digression! But even though Jamie is feeling like letting Bonnet go is his “cross to bear,” it helps us see that Jamie is still a laird in his heart and mind.

Watching the scene of the boat floating upriver and into view of River Run almost took my breath–it was a beautiful sight! It was almost as how I’d pictured it, minus the Spanish moss dripping from the trees, but I was amazed at how “Southern” the house and land looked! Living in North Carolina and near a historic plantation site, I was afraid that they wouldn’t get this right, but this was one location I approve of.

Jamie seemed a little boy as he greeted his aunt, and then had to remember he had a wife to introduce, which I thought was adorable. Jocasta, played by Maria Doyle Kennedy, was much warmer than I remember from the books, and let on early enough that her eyesight had failed over the years. TV Jocasta is very proud of her plantation, almost to the point of bragging, as we hear during the scene when she is overseeing Claire’s fitting.

This is where I get disheartened by the portrayal of Claire so far. I feel like the producers/writers/directors are really trying to make the audience aware that Claire is opposed to slavery, and she speaks out every chance she gets, but in a bossy, pushy way, even to Jocasta, who is their hostess. Yes, Claire is outspoken and a woman of her time, but she knows when to be that 20th century woman while living in the 18th, as well as when not to be. I feel like it’s being overdone. I just haven’t felt any of Claire’s warmth or sense of humor so far–and I know it’s only the second episode of the season, but still.

During the fitting scene, where Phaedre (Natalie Simpson) is making sure Jocasta’s dress fits Claire perfectly, I was thrown by Phaedre’s accent. Trivial, I know, but I was surprised she was speaking with a slight Scots accent. Someone later reminded me that Phaedre was born at River Run, and Jocasta took her in for a house slave (a matter to be discussed later, I’m sure), was reared in the house, and so, learned to speak like Jocasta and Hector. Ulysses’ lack of any accent at all surprised me as well, and again I was reminded that Ulysses was born free, but sold into slavery after the death of his mother. He was bought by a schoolmaster, who educated him, and at the age of twenty, was bought by Hector Cameron, and brought to River Run. Colin McFarlane makes an absolutely amazing Ulysses–I can’t wait to see more of him!

The big news at the dinner party was Jocasta’s decision to make Jamie her heir, and that she is making him her representative for all things River Run. We are soon introduced to Farquard Campbell, the local justice of the peace who schools Jamie on what would happen to freed slaves, if Jamie chose to do so as the new master of River Run, and how it has to be done lawfully. Jamie soon lets Claire know that he’s ready to ditch the plantation, take Governor Tryon up on his offer and head for the hills, where they can live as they please, without slaves. (Like Governor Tryon, Farquard Campbell was an actual figure in North Carolina’s history, and you can read a little about him here.

And then we come to the incident at Jocasta’s sawmill in the woods, where Jocasta’s slaves are working under the watchful eye of her overseer, Byrnes. Rufus had been hit with Byrnes’ lash, and Rufus retaliated by cutting off the overseer’s ear with an ax. By the time Jamie, Claire and Campbell arrive at the mill, Rufus is being hoisted in the air by a sawmill hook, as Byrnes decided to take the matter of the law in his own hands. It was enough of a shock to read this part of Drums of Autumn, and even more so to see it on screen. Jamie forces Byrnes at gunpoint to let Rufus down so Claire can see to his wounds. She, in her typical emotion-driven way, runs to Rufus’ aid almost immediately. Rufus is brought back to the main house, a place he’s never been, and Claire removes the hook, sutures the wound, and offers comfort to him by asking him about his family, (reminiscent of the boar-hunting scene with Geordie in season 1).

Claire receives a stern talking-to from Ulysses that she may not have done the right thing by saving Rufus, and may be risking the well-being all of the slaves at River Run. She definitely needed this jolt into the ways of Colonial laws and slave-owning culture, but she wasn’t convinced. Jamie’s action of handling the situation as he did angers other overseers and slave owners in the area, and the angry mob shows up at River Run, demanding Rufus be released to them so they may hang him, as is the law according to the law of bloodshed. Jocasta, in true blood-is-thicker-than-water fashion, blames Claire’s “foolish ways.” Jamie suggests that Claire ease Rufus’ suffering by giving him something before he has to be released to the mob. Jamie’s prayer by Rufus’ bedside was so moving–I have missed Jamie’s faith in the television series. In the books, it’s part of what makes Jamie Fraser Jamie Fraser to me. Hopefully they’ll pull more of that aspect of him into the show as time goes on.

Eventually, Jamie bravely carries a dead Rufus to the steps of the plantation house, a noose is placed around his neck, and the delirious mob drags him to the nearest tree, and hangs him there, for all of those at River Run to see.

In spite of the necessary plot changes, and what I can only describe as Claire’s haughtiness in this episode, I liked it–I can’t say that I “enjoyed” it. It was expertly acted–Jerome Holder, the actor who portrayed Rufus, was absolutely amazing, and moved me to tears as he spoke of fishing in the river at night, and dreaming of seeing his sister once more. The sets, the costumes–everything–is so well thought out, just like Diana Gabaldon’s research and writing. I am almost never not in awe of what I see on screen.

Thankfully, we have the comic relief in this episode of Rollo’s meeting with a skunk and meeting John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees)–hernia-free, apparently. 🙂 His character, in book and on the show, reminds me of Mr. Edwards in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder–a bit of a wild man, unmarried, and making a living in the frontier that is Colonial North Carolina. I hope we see a lot more of him–he makes me miss Angus and Rupert even more!

As darkly as the first two episodes have ended, I can only hope we will be able to see some happiness in episode three. The Frasers have been through so much already, and so have the viewers–I’m ready for some good times to come to them in North Carolina.Susan Jackson is a mother of four who lives in coastal North Carolina, and is an avid Outlander fan.  Besides reading, she loves cooking and baking, and music.  She is a thyroid cancer survivor and has worked in education most of her life. She hopes to one day blog about her thyroid cancer journey. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina and, among other articles, has previously written about the infamous Stede Bonnet in Will The Real Stephen Bonnet Please Stand Up?