Outlander is finally back, and I’m super excited (and talking with a bad Scottish accent) because I’ve had to wait twelve freaking months since we bid goodbye to Jamie and Claire in Season 4, and patience is NOT MY THING. So now we’re three episodes in, and it’s time to look at the highlights of what’s happened thus far. Warning, spoilers ahead! Read at your own peril!
Episode 1, The Fiery Cross begins with a flashback to when a young Murtagh declares his allegiance to an even younger Jamie after the death of Jamie’s mother. “I’ll always be with ye,” Murtagh murmurs and I’m scrambling for the tissues already.
It’s wedding time!
We’re there with Brianna and Roger as they pledge their “I will’s” and, given all the tragedy that occurred last season, they deserve their happily ever after! In Mills and Boon-landia a HEA is a must — plus, I’m so invested in these two that it feels like I’m at their wedding! Sitting alongside Lord John Grey, of course, because that man is utterly swoon-worthy.
But Outlander is a drama, remember?
And the requisite speed bump is ahead when Bree overhears that there have been sightings of Stephen Bonnet! You just can’t keep a good villain down, dammit!
Let’s get it on!
Later that night everyone’s having sex — except Lord John and me because he’s gay and I’m not — but the most surprising couple doing the deed is Jocasta and Murtagh who surprises the blind woman when he shows up in her tent.
The morning after
Aunt Jo tests Roger’s love for Jem (if this kid doesn’t turn out to be Roger’s son I will need a year’s worth of Kleenex to mop up my tears!) and Roger passes the test by frankly telling the older woman she can take her money and shove it! His actual words are “Cram it up your hole, aye?”, which I plan to use from now on whenever I’m disgruntled too!
Let’s get ready to rumble!
That night, Jamie gathers everyone outside the house and sets alight a Celtic cross. I’m already reaching for the pack of marshmallows I’ve secretly brought with me from the future, but everyone else is confused. Bree, Roger…the British redcoats who are like what in Jeeves is happening here. Basically, Jamie’s gathering a militia and wants the men to stand by his side, which of course they do.
At the end
This episode finishes where it began with Jamie and Murtagh, but this time they both realise they’re on opposite sides now. Cue, even more tears.
** Sobs **
Episode 2, Between Two Fires, starts with a tar and feathering as Murtagh and his men do their Regulator thang, which I’m just as stunned by as I know Jamie will be when he finds out about it later.
Sketching and retching.
We come upon Bree, sketching a somewhat malevolent picture of Stephen Bonnett when she’s interrupted by the screams of a woman. The woman’s husband is ill — the wife gave him mercury! — and Claire declares she can’t help him so he expires before everyone’s eyes! Claire seizes the opportunity to perform an autopsy in secret, and I’m incredibly grateful I stopped eating an hour before because the ick factor is about to hit the stratosphere.
In a nutshell
— Marsali gets involved in the autopsy because she can wield a knife like she’s Mick Dundee.
— Roger learns he can’t shoot, which doesn’t bode well when Jamie has made him a Captain.
— And Bree helps her mother expel health care tips by a fictional “Dr Rawlings.”
On the road again
We travel along with Jamie and the redcoats in pursuit of the Regulators, and when they learn three men have been captured, I hold my breath. Thankfully before I turn blue and expire myself, we see that Murtagh isn’t one of them. They all claim to be Murtagh, though and in the ensuing chaos, the redcoat leader kills one of the prisoners.
After helping the other two prisoners escape, Jamie is reunited with the real Murtagh, and it’s all complicated now — both decreeing where they stand, which is sadly against the other.
At the end
Finally, we come face to face with the evil Stephen Bonnett. Seriously, this guy must have been a cat in a former life he has that many lives! SB is at a boxing match where two females are beating the crap out of one another, and when he’s accused of cheating, he carves the man’s face up like a Sunday roast — Marsali would have been in awe. SB doesn’t kill the man, though — he claims he wants to set a better example. “I’m a father now,” he says, and I start screaming like Luke Skywalker when he discovers Darth Vader is his Dad. “Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!”
Episode 3, Free Will is all about even more ick and is not to be confused with that whale of a movie.
The Twin Factor
We learn that a boy we met in the last episode has a twin brother and they’re both indentured to a local man. While I’m learning what the word indentured means, Claire learns that SB is still alive — cue her stunned mullet look. I’m also learning that I’m a better parent than Jamie and Claire who don’t seem too worried about the fact they’ve left Bree at home by herself!
Meanwhile back at the ranch…
Or in this case, a decrepit old farmhouse — Jamie and Claire wander around trying to ascertain if anyone’s home. My horror movie vibes are off the charts, and I jump six freaking feet when a woman’s face appears out of nowhere in a broken window.
The farmer and his wife
So freaky woman turns out to be the farmer’s wife and she says the farmer is dead. But Claire’s vibes are now bristling along with her nose, thanks to a terrible smell permeating the air. A few goats are scampering about the farmhouse, which would be okay if the wife’s name was Heidi — it’s Fanny btw — and I naturally think it’s them that smell. But Claire tells me, “That isn’t goat!”
Look up in the sky…
Claire glances upwards, and the ick factor goes up an extra notch when she sees something DRIPPING from the ceiling! Upstairs she finds the dead farmer, except HE ISN’T DEAD! We’re treated to some gag-worthy moments with flies, and maggots, and bugs, and charred skin, and — did I say maggots? — when we learn the farmer is a very, very bad man.
Do you hear what I hear?
The wife has been slowly torturing hubby to death, and she decides to take it to the next level and starts strangling him, but Jamie stops her. He can’t stop what happens next, though because the wife goes into LABOUR. Out pops the baby followed by the afterbirth and there’s a noise I can only describe as WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT! I’ve had a baby folks, so I know it’s not pretty, but lord, that sound was foul.
Who would have thunk it?
Surprise, surprise, the baby is not the farmer’s, which the wife giddily informs him. The next morning, Jamie and Claire awake to a crying baby, and no mother! Yes, she’s disappeared and Jamie and Claire not only have an abandoned baby to deal with but the very, very bad man. What’s Jamie to do? Kill the VVBM who doesn’t regret a thing and chooses his own demise.
At the end
Will this baby be significant to the storyline? Will SB make a chilling visit on Bree before her family returns? And, more importantly, why can’t Lord John love me? You’ll have to watch the rest of Season 5 to find out for yourself!
Written by Jo-Ann Milne