Outlander S5 Epi1 – The Fiery Cross
Written by Matthew B. Roberts | Directed by Stephen Woolfenden
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Evelyn, Olivia and Vanita. Arranged and edited by Vida. And, for those who don’t know, Vida [V:] interrupts some times.
FAMILY | LOYALTY | NEW BEGINNINGS
Evelyn: This episode brings together families, newly formed and old. It speaks to the prosperity of a new land yet the old perils that seem to befall men is never far away. It will be interesting to see how the burning of the fiery cross is handled throughout the season. The history of the cross is not well known and for sure there will be some who don’t understand the correlation of the Celtic cross burning with the modern day KKK’s burning of the cross.
I look forward to each season not just for the cast and writing but for the music. Always interested in how Bear McCreary is going to score the “The Skye Boat” song and once again he has surprised me. The new scenes from North Carolina along with intermixing images from S1 and S5 during the opening score is a perfect melding of the old and new.
LOVE | FAMILY | OATH | TRAUMA
Olivia: Of course, we have the altered version of “The Skye Boat” song; this time with a choir singing it. The original is my favorite, but I do like how Outlander’s musical director (I’m probably messing up Bear McCreary’s title) changes it up each season. It’s one example, out of many, of Outlander’s attention to small details that in the aggregate make up to a fulfilling whole.
Now, as for the images in the title sequence, I like Jamie and Claire being shown from the back looking at the great expanse of Fraser’s Ridge. And I always love looking at American Bison. The Fiery Cross is going to be tricky for me, since we know how in American history that cross, which is to call the clan together in Jamie’s time, will be used 100 years later by the KKK, a different kind of Klan, to terrorize black people. So, there’s that.
HOME | FAMILY | OATHS | CHOICES
Vanita: The season begins with several themes, all in epic proportions. The opening scene is of a wide expanse of Jamie’s family home in Scotland, Lallybroch. The rest of the episode takes place on Fraser’s Ridge, where Jamie and Claire have made, and with the help of family and friends, are building their home. They have given last season’s cabin to Roger and Brianna. The new Big House is well under way and the finished parts are in use. Murtagh even has a temporary home in the lean-to that Jamie built, upon first arriving at the ridge. Everyone has a place, somewhere to belong, for now.
Almost all the family and many friends and settlers have gathered on the ridge for a wedding. Family relationships are highlighted. I like how reinforcement or establishment of bonds are occurring. New characters are introduced, and we are looking forward to seeing how they fit into the fabric of family that is being woven.
O: The cold open with a younger Murtagh declaring his oath to always protect Jamie is giving us a backstory here, but also foreshadowing something important to come, I believe.
And can I just say, the costuming here is great. Murtagh in a kilt, young Jamie’s ragout, complete with the Family crest pin is a nice touch!
Obviously, keeping Murtagh alive was a choice that we made that has repercussions in terms of he has a story that he wouldn’t have had if he had died at Culloden. But we think the story is really interesting, and we are going to play it out and see. We hope that we still get in the fan-favorite moments, and still have those Jamie and Claire connections and those intimate moments that people are looking for. ~ Maril Davis
E: I loved the opening scene of a young Murtagh…wind in his hair and kilt…walking on the grounds of Lallybroch. Yes, much foreshadowing in this scene. It was nice to have a visual to the backstory that we already knew.
That in itself has been a challenge. Keeping Murtagh alive was a fantastic idea — it really helped and gave Claire and Jamie someone to talk to. As we know in the book, Claire has a lot of internal dialogue. It’s great and you can get into her head, but in the series, it was hard, so keeping someone that they know and trusted alive was important. That ended up being Murtagh. What we realized after keeping him alive is it does affect a lot of the story going forward. At the end of four, when he’s still alive and he’s a regulator and he’s being hunted, it shades how we tell the story in season five, and I will say that it definitely is a part of season five. ~ Matthew B. Roberts
Va: It was lovely to see Murtagh and wee Jamie so long ago, before they became weathered warriors. That Murtagh was the one to tell Jamie of his mother’s death, speaks to how close they have always been and how important a figure Murtagh was to the family.
There was a portion of the fans that maybe took that [Roger’s hesitation] the wrong way. And it wasn’t really about deciding whether or not he loves Brianna, or deciding whether or not he’s gonna come back to Brianna, he always was, it was always gonna happen, but a lot has changed. They’ve been separated for months, they’ve both been through a lot of trauma, he’s just found out that she’s been raped by Bonnet, he’s just come out of being basically a prisoner of the Mohawk, and a lot of what happened and a lot of the catalyst for where they ended up, directly or indirectly, they’d had an effect on each other.
There’s been so much separation, they aren’t gonna be the same people anymore. They aren’t the same people anymore. So I think that hesitation of Roger’s was probably misinterpreted in season four, but for me it was just him evaluating everything. ~ Richard Rankin
O: It’s a nice bonding moment for these two men. The scene also shows the tension between them, with Roger wise cracking about Jamie holding a razor to his throat. For those who’ve seen the prior season, we know of Roger’s earlier doubt about whether he wanted to stick around. He doubts his own ability to make it in the rough and tumble 18th Century, though he tells Jamie he’ll find a way to care for his family. That ring for Bree that Jamie presents to Roger is beautiful. Again, Outlander’s attention to details with this fine filigree ring rewards viewers again.
E: Roger and a straight razor. You ‘best’ let Jaime show you how to use it. This was a great scene between them. Jaime is still full of doubt about Roger in general. He’s not sure if Roger is right for his Daughter and at the same time wondering if this guy is going to make it in the 18th Century. I love how Jaime gave a little side eye when Roger mentioned Brianna was going to draft plans for a loft that Roger could build. Right?! Does Roger have the right tools? LOL
Va: I love comparing Jamie’s side eye at Roger to the way he looks at him near the end, during the oath taking.
O: I think we’re getting introduced to several things here in this scene: we’re seeing some kind of gathering here, not in the traditional sense of the gathering we saw at Castle Leoch, but a different take on it in the New World.
Claire’s voice over is laying out the template of what she and Jamie hope to accomplish. Then you have the tenants and other guests gathered for Bree’s and Roger’s wedding.
E: I’m not sure what I was expecting here but I was pleasantly surprised that the writers collapsed a lot of the gathering into the wedding gathering. I like how they changed it up. Instead of the Clan gathering it was Family and the residents of the ridge. That house is much larger than I expected it would be!
Va: I was at first shocked by the size of the house. Then I thought about how much space was needed to contain all those large rooms. The rooms must have been large, because so often there were many people in them at once.
It’s a cotton and silk gauze over a very fine silk taffeta. I used a variety of different photos for inspiration. [The bride also wears] the family pearls—they’ve come from Scotland and been passed down. Unfortunately, we don’t have a 1960s wedding [this season], but it is great to have the two periods to explore and to see characters in both times and try and give them a similar feel, albeit a very different look. ~ Trisha Biggar
But it’s beautiful and it’s a really special moment. You know, Claire never thought she would be able to see Brianna get married. She didn’t think that that was something that was going to be possible, so those little moments with Sophie [as] Brianna were really special. And also I think being the parents of Brianna and watching her get married was a really special thing for Jamie and Claire. ~ Caitriona Balfe
O: Claire helping Bree get ready is what a mother would do on her daughter’s wedding day. I think any mother would harken back to the time when her child was a baby, then marvel at the woman she’s become. I thought another good point was Claire mentioning how her own mother was not there to see Claire get married at either of her weddings. We get information here about Claire’s background. I think the show is doing a lot of filling in the backstory in an economical way.
E: Yes, Kleenex number one when Claire mentioned her Mother was not able to be at either of her weddings. The show is doing a great job of tying together past seasons into S5.
O: I was intrigued by Jamie taking over the task of getting something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Would an 18th Century man do that? Still it was touching though to see him prepare the tray. Loved the blue flower too.
Old. . .
E: That he obtained the things the Bride must have on her wedding day was awesome! I really love how the writers turn things on end and make it something you would have never thought to do.
New . . .
He didn’t get to plan much of his wedding to Claire and this was a great way to show how much this wedding means to him. The Whisky as something new was just brilliant!
Borrowed and blue . . .
O: When Jamie sees Bree in her wedding dress and tears welled up in his eyes, that scene got me! Sam is so good here.
E: Kleenex #2, when he gets his first look at her in her wedding dress. So sweet when he placed the pearls around her neck.
There are flavours of Scotland in the dress. It’s a lovely buttermilk creamy colour that looks lovely with her hair colour, and then towards the end as the caigligh is in full flow, we have her skirt draped up in what’s called a polonaise, so that’s the overskirt gets draped up and then we have a lovely tartan-y type – it’s more of a gingham, but the allusion of a type of tartan silk [underneath], that we can see when she’s dancing. ~ Trisha Biggar
O: When I first saw the photos the studio released, I must say I wasn’t awed by her dress. I thought it was rather plain. But seeing it during the show (my first viewing of the episode was at the 92nd Street Y in NYC), my view of the dress changed.
It’s not the stunner Claire’s wedding dress was, but we’re in the New World, clothing styles might be simpler, less ornate, the cream, the bustle or peplum in the back I liked very much. The green thistles embroidered was a nice touch, a reminder of Scotland, and in later scenes when Bree removed the kerchief or whatever you called it that covered the bosom gave the dress even more flare. I liked it. Hat tip here to the sixpence in your shoe, the gift from Murtagh, which Bree actually puts in her shoe.
And, a silver sixpence for your shoe.
E: Her dress was beautiful…I had a similar thought as well…the dress was not as extravagant as what Claire wore when she wed Jaime, but the Frasers don’t have as much money as Clan McKenzie did when they purchased that dress. I believe Bree’s is borrowed from her Aunt Jocasta. I totally missed the bodice on the dress trying to pick up everything else that went on in that scene.
O: There’s a symmetry to this that I really like. Jamie had given the pearls to Claire on their wedding night, telling her they were one of the few things he had of his mother, and how they were precious to him, just like Claire was. And now he places these precious pearls around the neck of his and Claire’s daughter.
E: So sweet when he placed the pearls around her neck. When he asks if she is ready and she responded with, “Je Suis Prest,” I thought Jaime was going to fall out. Sam has one of the most expressive faces. His eyebrows told an entire story.
O: I like the interaction between Jamie & Bree here. Their love for each other shines through.
And when they walk out together down that marvelous staircase (Jon Gary Steele has done it again!), the pride they each feel for the other shows.
The Frasers of the Ridge are H-E-R-E!
It’s weird though. A lot of it is the same. The second episode is, obviously, a bit of a departure and where we pick up, but the Gathering was such a long part of the book, I think we felt we had to condense it and also make it a little more personal to our family. Doing it at the Ridge just seemed like the way to do it. ~ Maril Davis
O: Walking down the aisle introduces us to old friends, a bit of foreshadowing of the intrigue to come. We have the dashing Lord John Grey. David Berry looks good, as always, and his kindness and, dare I say, his love for Jamie, and fondness for Bree is evident. You just know LJG will come through for the Frasers.
O: Gov. Tryon brings the intrigue, in that sense Jamie is about to find out the debt he owes Tryon for the land he has been given.
As an aside and since we’re still in Black History Month and are Blacklanderz after all: Whenever I see that clip of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recalling how peasants from Europe were given land to cultivate after their arrival to what would become America, but none was given to formerly enslaved people, I think of the acres and acres of land Jamie gets from Tryon. It’s fiction yes but grounded in fact. And, it points to the inherent unfairness of the system.
Va: The land grants were a reality. I knew families in NC who had and were continuing to benefit from that practice.
O: Roger looks quite handsome in his splendid blue suit. Just so you guys know, I’m partial to blue. I don’t know what is about that color, but I’m always taken by it. I find deep blue calming.
Very clearly and from quite an early stage, they are very passionately, very honestly in love with each other. I think that’s what it is for Roger. I think he just knew that the instant he met Brianna. I think he fell head over heels for her. ~ Richard Rankin
We must have said the vows about a hundred times. By the end, I was like, ‘Richard, I don’t want to marry Roger anymore. The romance is so gone! ~ Sophie Skelton
It was nice because it’s not often that we all get to be together. So I think it really added to that sort of Fraser family feel, which for filming days doesn’t often happen. So it really made it feel like a kind of wedding experience because it was like a big family party.
You have Marsali and Fergus, Lizzie — everybody was together. It’s a really beautiful mix of the lighthearted and fun aspect of it, but then also the very romantic and deeper aspects. ~ Sophie Skelton
Va: Catch the faces and expressions of the guests, during the wedding, was very sweet and made me feel more like I was there.
O: I like how the camera cuts to Jamie and Claire thinking about their own wedding and the blissful smiles on Fergus & Marsali. Nice touch here.
The joy of family, the love among husbands and wives, and father and daughter, mother and daughter. It’s all encapsulated here.
E: I really enjoyed the wedding. The camera pans across all the family members, inclusive of those who have helped the Frasers along the way. I do love going to weddings, it’s always a joy to watch the couple but to see all of the other married couples and how they remember their wedding and vows.
The flash back to S1 Epi7 of the wedding was done well.
Va: As often happens, the exchange of vows reminded other couples of their own vows. That was very touching.
Introducing . . .
Mr. and Mrs. Roger MacKenzie!
O: The wedding feast gets under way, and so does the intrigue. Gov. Tryon takes Jamie aside and I’m suspicious.
E: My thoughts exactly Olivia! I do have to mention Tryon though. It sounded like he “accepted” an invitation to the wedding without an invite. Jaime made mention of if he had known Tryon was coming, he would have made a quarter available to him. I don’t know about you, but showing up to a wedding uninvited and with a platoon in tow is bad form! It’s only Epi1, but I won’t be sad when Tryon is no longer in the picture.
O: Good point, Evelyn, about Tryon just showing up uninvited! I missed that, but I think you’re right.
O: Is that a chocolate cake adorned with pecans? Not sure, but they seem to be staking out how their marriage will play out. Bree is surely being sarcastic when she says something like she’ll be a dutiful wife. No, I don’t think so. She’s too strong-willed for that. And he surely knows it!
Va: I’ve been wondering about the cake. I know chocolate was grown in the Caribbean, but did they have it in NC yet? Perhaps, it was being shipped with coffee and spices.
E: He definitely has his work cut out for him. These two have a short fuse so it will be interesting how two opinionated and strong-willed people will fare.
E: Roger still thinking of returning to the 60’s. Bree was not having that. Did you see the look in her eyes when he mentioned having the wedding again in their time?
O: Yeah, I saw that.
Roger came back somewhat temporarily, whereas Bree is with her dad. She’s with her mother, who she never thought she’d see again. For Bree, home is where the family is and where her dad is. So I think Bree can settle into this time a lot more than Roger can. ~ Sophie Skelton
O: Wow, the feasting continues into the evening. And we get levity with the drunken recitation of limericks. Marsali was cute. So was Fergus. The crowd didn’t want it, but I would have liked to have seen LJG recite Shakespeare.
E: I loved Marsali in this scene. I can’t wait to see more of her and Fergus. LJG doesn’t have a lot to say in this episode, but this was hilarious. Shakespeare in a drinking game?! Ha!
The wedding was a very anticipated moment both in the books and for us. Obviously, Sophie and I have been playing the relationship for a while, and Brianna and Roger have gone on quite a journey through time and through a lot of trials they’ve been separated. They’ve had a lot of drama and conflict. So to see them have this day [and night] is really nice—them finally coming together properly in that union is something I think the audience will really enjoy. It’s also a platform for their relationship and a catalyst for us now because they’re very, very together. ~ Richard Rankin
We make a point of showing that this is one of Jocasta’s dresses that has been reconfigured for the wedding. It’s a hand-me-down, which is quite sweet. We tried to get a little bit of the ’60s and ’70s vibe in there, too. It’s not your conventional wedding dress. There’s the fichu [collar], which we often wear when we have a corset on in the past. And then later for the dancing and party time, that comes off, and it feels a little bit more free. ~ Sophie Skelton
O: I didn’t like this scene at all. Not. At. All. When Bree overhears LJG Tell Jamie that Stephen Bonnet has been spotted. The Outlander writers could’ve saved this flashback for another time. Introducing it on the wedding day was ill-timed and unnecessary.
E: I didn’t understand starting the Bonnet story line at this point either. I hope the writers have a good reason. The book gave Bree’s brief hesitation about her wedding night, but this was a bit too soon for me.
O: While one of Outlander’s many strengths is how it handles difficult material with deftness, nuance and insight, I think the writers misfired here. Let Bree have a great passion filled wedding day & night without the burden of the trauma!
The wedding is such a beautiful episode. First of all, I think Claire goes through a very emotional process because, having left Brianna back in the 20th century, this is something she thought she’d never get to experience. She felt like she had sacrificed all of these moments to spend her time with Jamie.
She loves Roger and thinks she and Brianna are a great match. Jamie [on the other hand] is still on the Roger-fence. But it’s a really special moment [for Claire] to see Brianna happy—especially after what happened to her last season—to see her and Roger reconcile and be ready to start this new life together. ~ Caitriona Balfe
[V: This little pat of comfort was simply adorable. I wonder what they did for him to do it.]
O: I am glad we get to see Ulysses again, Jocasta’s dignified black butler and slave, escorting her to Murtagh’s hideout. Nice to see a middle-aged couple get in on.
E: I love Murtagh and Jocasta together even though that woman always throws shade. She just can’t stop herself.
O: I thought Bree was somewhat nervous as she drinks swiftly was a nice throwback to Claire’s nervous drinking before bedding down with Jamie for the first time.
E: I had the exact same thought! I was hoping she wasn’t going to pull a Claire and just keep throwing back the whisky. It was sweet that he hugged her.
O: And anytime I get to hear Roger (Richard Rankin) sing, I’m happy. I loved his rendition of the song “L- O- V-E.”
E: He has a great voice. We need more of it in this season. It was great that they showed all the couples while Roger was singing. Was that Marsali telling Fergus she was pregnant???
O: Yes, I caught that on my second viewing.
Va: The L-O-V-E montage was wonderful. Richard sang that well enough to make Nat King Cole smile proudly. A romantic and fun mood was set. We got to see couples release some of the tensions of the times and enjoy themselves. A good time was had by old and young alike. That’s how it should be when family and friends get together for a joyous occasion. And yes, Marsali is pregnant again!
They might be the grandparents of the show now, but Claire and Jamie are still the sexiest couple — not Bree and Roger. ~ Sam Heughan
O: A little levity is always welcomed, so I liked Myers passing out drunk, with LJG’s restrained amusement.
E: LJG in the end, out drinks them all! That is a devilish smirk, but I love it.
There’s kind of a two-prong thing of Bree. She’s just in a lot of pain emotionally and physically. That’s one thing that I really wanted to keep going with this season. I wanted to make sure the post-traumatic stress syndrome—from the rape—is a tether for Bree. Being intimate and physically close to Roger is going to be a lot more difficult than it was [before the assault]. ~ Sophie Skelton
O: Isn’t it just like a man. Murtagh blew it by telling Jocasta he wouldn’t stand in the way of here happiness when she told him she had been proposed to. That dummy, Murtagh. It’s obvious Jocasta wanted him to intervene. But considering he’s on the run, I guess he rationalized it wouldn’t make sense. Still…I wish his answer had been different.
E: No way Murtagh could have said no to her marrying Duncan. I didn’t take him as a passive person, and I am not happy with him kicking Jocasta to the curb like that. I get that he’s wanted but so was Jaime. Jocasta has money and status that could help. It is interesting to introduce Duncan now. Please keep Murtagh…Duncan Lacroix must stay!
O: We’re getting a foretaste of Lizzie and Josiah Beardsley here. For non-book readers of the Outlander series I’ll leave it at that, except to say, stay tuned…
E: Lizzy is thirsty in this scene….
O: I’m looking at the inside of Jocasta’s tent pavilion and I see the chandelier, and the light at first looked like it was some modern light bulbs. But I can’t imagine the expert production design crew would make blunder like that. I’d like to hear what others have to say about that. When I kept looking at the light, I thought I detected a flicker, like you would see from a candle.
E: That’s a chandelier alright…she has a swanky pavilion. It is candlelight. I could see the flicker as well.
O: confirmation of the flicker. Good.
The addition of an accent is always fun and emotionally she is complicated and compelling. [She’s] a fiercely intelligent woman in a world where women struggled to exert any power. ~ Maria Doyle Kennedy
O: I like it when he tells Jocasta she can shove it. That’s right. You tell her, Roger. How dare she suggest he wants Bree for the money she could’ve inherited, or her child. His outrage was understandable.
E: He has had enough of people and she is beyond reproach saying Jemmy’s not his and he’s all about the money. I don’t think in the book it was a ruse, but it seems to come across that way in this episode, especially when Ulysses laughs and says, “as you hoped.”
Va: I thought in the book it was hinted that Jocasta was testing him, but it was not confirmed.
O: This is also another opportunity to praise the production design. What stood out for me in this scene was the hearth and its glowing fire. That hearth was outstanding.
E: The surgery reminded me a bit of Master Raymond’s shop. I’m sure they re-used but I did enjoy seeing it come to light. I have envisioned a very narrow shed off to the side of the house and this is better than I could imagine.
Tryon is, he’s consistent, if anything. He’s been weaving a web for a long time. He’s had an end goal that he is very keen on pursuing. We’ll get there under no uncertain terms, be that standing on people or be that using people. He’s probably done it his entire life to get to where he’s got to. He’s all about himself. He’s very narcissistic. He’s endearing in some ways, but there’s a lot of more of the same. His plots and plans become more elaborate, more enthralling because the stakes become much, much higher as the series goes on, which makes it a very exciting prospect. ~ Tim Downie
O: I also want to give a hat tip to the new costume designer, Trisha Biggar. Jamie’s suit in this scene stood out for me. I liked the boots as well. I don’t know if the boots are a holdover from prior seasons, but it all works great together.
O: So, we get to the nut of what Gov. Tryon wants Jamie to do here. Jamie’s debt to Tryon comes due. Jamie now has to hunt the man who has sworn an oath to protect Jamie. That’s a heavy burden for him.
E: Yes, Tryon showed up knowing he was going to tell Jaime to raise a militia. I hope he gets his soon. You get to keep your land and your tenants get to keep their livelihood, only if you do what I tell you. And on top of that, I can expose you as a Papist. Claire was right; Tryon is out for his own.
O: I thought it was a beautiful moment when Roger returns to Bree after leaving Jocasta and swears the blood oath, which we know so well, that Jemmy is his child by blood. This is a touching scene between Roger & Bree and the baby.
E: Yes, very touching and sweet.
Jeremiah Alexander Ian Fraser MacKenzie,
you are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.
I claim thee as my son before all men,
from this day forever.
Va: It’s too bad that no one but Bree and the audience got to see this. But we are the most important, are we not? Lol!
O: Jamie unburden himself to Claire that he has to “hunt” Murtagh now. We are primed for some fighting action soon.
E: I’m not ready! I want Murtagh to stay. I hope there will be some crazy plot twist that keeps him.
O: Jamie kneeling before this ornate wooden chest is (another production design hat tip) was an exciting moment. You just knew, before he opened it, it was going to contain his roots – his Scottish heritage. And when he did, you see him cradling his dirk, on top of the familiar Fraser tartan. I was also struck by the music here, the Gaelic singing and the drumming (I forget the name of the traditional Scottish drum). I liked this very much.
E: Loved the big moment when Jaime says, “I’ll give him a Scot.” I was clapping like a fiend when he opened that chest.
O: The capstone, of course, is Jamie presenting himself to Claire in his full Scottish rigout is quite dramatic! The proud look on his face. Sam is in his element as he plays up this trait of his character, Jamie.
E: The kilt is back albeit with slightly different boots. My favorite has been the boots from S2. Claire’s face when she saw Jaime in full gear was priceless. It brought me back to the book when, in Claire’s voice, she says “if you haven’t seen a highlander in full rigout, it’s a spectacular site” or something like that. I can’t get the quote right, but you get my meaning.
Va: This second day show us many grave oaths and vows that must be considered. Many choices will have to be made during S5. One of Jamie’s responses to being pressured by Tryon is donning his kilt. The great plaid comes out of the trunk and yes, an earlier moment in our saga comes to mind. “A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight,” still rings true!
O: Jamie lighting the cross . . . As a Black person, you know I have a problem with a burning cross. At least they didn’t make the cross the way the Klan would have. Still….
Va: The choice to use a Celtic cross was brilliant. I had read the history of the burning cross as a youngster and by now have no problem with seeing it used as intended. However, the sight of the cross in flames, as used by domestic terrorists in the U.S.A., triggers strong emotions in many people. Changing the type of cross will not be enough for some, but hopefully it will many.
E: I really liked that camera work of keeping the bottom of the kilt in shot while it swished around Jaime’s legs. He was also wearing his father’s jacket again.
O: Jamie/Sam is in full commander mode here attempting to galvanize his troops, as it were. To try to convince these men that while they are not clansman in the literal sense, they are in this new country together and to fight for it, together.
I’m conflating Jamie and Sam here purposefully because Sam Heughan truly embodies his character of Jamie. He is simply masterful! And, I think he has grown into it. He actually looks like a seasoned warrior now, as opposed to the younger warrior from S2 heading into Culloden.
E: He is certainly older and wiser now. He knows you can’t lead with shear brawn and there has to be something that joins them together as a clan would be by name. I know the books revolve around all of the wars, but it does get old.
O: The oath that the men take in pledging their loyalty to Jamie is, of course, reminiscent of the loyalty oaths we saw MacKenzie clansman give Colum at Castle Leoch in S1. I like it when the writers tie little bows like this. Roger’s initial reticence is interesting. I can guess why they did it. Claire said he wasn’t ready. But I can also see how that would play out for a 20th Century man like Roger, and Richard Rankin played that unease well.
E: You can bet the hesitation will come back to haunt Roger. Jamie motioned to him first and he froze. Some no name man pledged their fealty before Roger. You could see Roger’s mind going like, WTF is going on here.
Be a shield for my family and for yours, son of my house.
Captain Roger MacKenzie.
I swear by the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and by the holy iron
that I hold, to give ye my fealty
and pledge ye my loyalty.
E: Good on Roger to know the pledge so Jamie didn’t have to recite it for him to repeat.
If ever my hand be raised against
ye in rebellion, I ask that this
holy iron pierce my heart.
E: Marsali was about to bust out with joy when Jaime called Fergus. She has been waiting for this for some time.
Stand by my hand, Fergus,
son of my name and of my heart.
O: This scene also reiterates the loyalty oath theme that is evident in this episode.
E: It is the culmination of Jaime finally becoming a Laird even though it is not Lallybroch.
Va: Jamie, as we say nowadays, knows his customer. He gives the settlers what they want without blatantly attacking the English. He wins the loyalty of his neighbors and friends by reminding them of their shared history and asking them to stand by his side, in case of battle. As the men swear their fealty to him, and all of Fraser’s Ridge, they form a kinship that binds them in this New World.
[V: This was a beautiful shot with the colors all blending in together. And, the below wide-angle, zoom in shot was spectacular!]
[V: From the earlier clips before the season started, I always wondered what Claire was talking about here. I had no idea it was about Murtagh.]
There’s some fantastic stuff coming up with how Jamie and Claire [Caitriona Balfe] have to navigate this. Let’s just say Jamie is clearly between a rock and a hard place, the rock being his signed oath to the Crown, to Governor Tryon [Tim Downie], for the land that they live on, and his loyalty and his love for Murtagh. So, that is going to cause the Frasers some trouble as we go forward in season five and we’ll see how they get out of it or if they get out of it. ~ Matthew B. Roberts
O: Jamie’s life has been filled with so much loss. His mother when he was young; his father when he was a young adult who had to see him whipped by a sadistic British captained; Claire for 20 years (though he did get the love of his life back); never having seen Bree as a baby; his home in Scotland, Lallybroch. Now his Godfather. That’s a lot to take in.
Tis no’ safe for ye to remain
here. I ken ye stay because of the
vow ye made to my mother and to
me… I release you from it now.
E: This final scene with Murtagh was reminiscent of France, S2. Murtagh asks what Jaime knows and Jaime is unable to give answers about how the regulators would fare. Kleenex # 3.
This is a storyline that isn’t in the book, and it’s probably one of the biggest deviations from the books. Jamie’s always had this father figure in his godfather. [Murtagh] has always been this presence which has sort of guided him, and we see some great flashbacks this season to when Jamie is a child. For Jamie to have to sort of break that bond, and put Murtagh at a distance to protect Fraser’s Ridge, is very hard for Jamie to do. ~ Sam Heughan
Go — and please: be hard to find.
O: Jamie releasing Murtagh from his oath to protect him is powerful. Telling Murtagh to go and be “hard to find,” tearing up as he does so, then falling to his knees after Murtagh leaves resonated with me. It was very moving.
E: I was so sad to see Jaime ask his godfather to make himself scarce for the good of everyone. It was a hard thing to watch as Murtagh never abandoned him when he was in a similar situation. When he said, “I release you from the vow,” I was done.
Va: By the end of the episode, many of the characters have been faced with situations which require serious decision making. They must make choices about where, and with whom, they will stay and stand, to what and to whom their loyalties lie, and to whom they will turn for help.
Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)
Although this was one of strongest opening episodes, more are to come. So, we give this episode 4.5-shots!
This episode produced a lot of feels! We enjoyed how Matt tied so many elements in the new episode to what had transpired in the past. There were many emotional high points: Claire with Bree getting ready for the wedding. Jamie beholding Bree in her wedding finery. Roger serenading Bree on their wedding night. Roger proclaiming Jemmy as his child by blood. Jamie releasing Murtagh from his oath to protect him.
This episode is setting the stage for many fantastical plot twists. It contained a lot of starting story lines that we will see play out over the course of the season. Each subplot was presented in a satisfying manner yet left us yearning for more.
Everything about the look was magnificent. Beautiful sets, costumes though not ornate like in S2 in Paris, but attuned to the place. Again, shout-out to Trisha Biggar. She has her work cut out for her and big shoes to fill, but she is already batting it out of the park. Jon Gary Steele went out with a bang. The set design was meticulous and stunning. Bear McCreary – the music was fabulous. Hearing Moch Sa Mhadainn set the right mood for what followed. The acting was stellar as well. We think we saw some of Sam’s finest; while it appears that Sophie and Richard are feeling more comfortable with their characters. Last, but certainly not least, kudos to Stephen Woolfenden. The directing, visual and aerial shoots were outstanding.
From the looks of it, this season promises to be an exciting and intriguing one!
What we are looking forward to in the S5.
Olivia: I am looking forward to seeing how the “hunt” for Murtagh will play out. Follow Olivia on Twitter – @newsollie.
Evelyn: What I want to see how Murtagh’s character plays out. I want him to stick around. Follow Evelyn on Twitter – @ELoran.
Vanita: I too am interested in the plot for Murtagh. I am also eager to see the development of Roger. Follow Vanita on Twitter – @AtvmMountain.
S5 Epi2 Between Two Fires – Synopsis
Jamie continues to hunt Murtagh and his band of Regulators, with a dedicated lieutenant and a contingent of redcoat soldiers at his side. When a settler at the Ridge dies of a preventable illness, Claire is inspired to take action.
Outlander | S5 Ep. 2 Preview ~ Video via STARZ