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!
Great, accurate recap!! One thing has bothered me since reading a few days ago, and it’s the Indian Woman’s name. I just finished Book 6 – A Breath of Snow & Ashes & it confirmed that her name was Nayawenne. Claire had been reminiscing after the house burns and mentioned the scalping and eventual receipt of Nayawenne’s amulet, etc. by Herr Mueller. And here, she’s referred to as Adawehi. Did I miss something? I don’t recall if Claire or anyone said the name in this Episode or in the past one.
Hi Alysen! Thank you for reading and the name change has definitely mixed book fans up. It’s to my understanding that when the writers of the TV series decided to change the Indians that Jamie and Claire encountered in the NC mountains from Tuscarora to Cherokee (because its actually more historically accurate that Jamie and Claire would have encountered Cherokee seeing as the Tuscarora no longer dominated the area) they also changed the Indian Healers name from a Tuscarora name (Nayawenne) to a Cherokee name (Adawehi). They wanted to keep some authenticity in the characters names in relation to the Indian nationality represented. Matt (and the rest of the TV series crew) has taken great effort in being very respectful in portraying the Cherokee as accurately as possible, the sacrifice is some of the book elements. I was just over-the-moon to see that Tantoo Cardinal was cast as Adawehi. She has such a wonderful, mature presence to her acting roles that is not just because of her age. I wish we could have had more scenes with her in them.
Wow Mitzie, thank you for an appreciatively elaborated explanation. I would never have known that this was the reason! It makes sense though. You know, my brain was sending signals that something was different (with all the talk about Cherokee not Tuscarora) but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And, yes, I understand that the series must make changes depending on circumstances. Thanks again, only 2:40:00 until we watch episode 406 ….
Your quite welcome Alysen. Thank you again for reading and for your inquiry. I got a sneak peak at tonight’s episode and it’s another good one; you won’t be disappointed!