Blacklanderz Convos! Outlander S5 Epi4

Blacklanderz Convos!

Outlander S5 Epi4 – The Company We Keep

Written by Barbara Stepansky | Directed by Jamie Payne

This conversation is between Blacklanderz Gwen, Evelyn and Vida. Arranged and edited by Vida.


CONFLICT | GHOSTS | ABANDONMENT

Gwen: The episode opens with the “ghost” of Stephen Bonnet haunting Bree.  The anticipation of him was so chilling at times, I felt like I was watching a suspense film. The conflict with the Brown’s over Morton continues Jamie’s disappointment with Roger for simply not living up to whatever mythical criteria he has established for the mate of his daughter.  Roger is a lover not a fighter! And lastly the treatment of baby Alicia left me feeling angry that so little thought went into the eventual welfare of a Black child in a slave state who could have been killed or sold into slavery.

 CREEPY| CONFINES | DANGER

Evelyn: At first, I was unsure of this episode. After a couple of viewings, it grew on me. This episode, on its face, seemed not to have a lot. I can see it is about choices but it’s also about breaking out of one’s confines. Bree is still confined in her mind to what happened to her and not cutting Bonnet out of her mind. Alicia and Isaiah were arranged to marry other people and decided to break those rules. But at the heart of everything is danger for those who dare to break out. Bonnet is on the search for his child; the Browns are now going to search the world’s end for Alicia and Isaiah. This episode set up a lot of future clashes and upcoming danger that will hopefully play out in a magnificent way.

CHOICES | FREEDOM | DANGER

Vida: Though it may have been a slower-paced episode, I loved that it focused on the different choices people made. Claire and Jamie’s choice not to keep Fanny’s baby and leave her with the Browns. Though it is surprising that they are so trusting that the Browns will do right by her. The directorial choice to show us what freedom looks and feels like. Everyone is free – the horses, Ally from an arranged marriage, she and Isaiah from her family, Kezzie and Josiah from the Beardsleys and Fanny’s baby (I hope, more about this later).

There was also the choice of moving to the Big House and not telling Marsali about Bonnet knowing that he is lurking about and obviously has been close to Jemmy with that coin. That was a dangerous move with them being alone on the Ridge and not knowing Claire and Roger will soon be on their way back.


V: Wow, they got us used to cold openings. I was surprised there wasn’t one this week. How significant is that coin in the title card and who is that? This MFer here. Is that Bonnet?

G:  I’d know that coin flip anywhere.  That’s Stephen Bonnet.  Is he near Fraser’s Ridge? Is this a bad omen of things to come. As a side note, Stephen Bonnet has some of the best costumes this season with another extraordinary jacket. I love the black polka dots and the detailing on the buttons.

E: I missed the cold open too. I am always pleasantly surprised when they switch it up on us. I was trying to place that coin on the knuckle trick, and you nailed it Gwen! It is Bonnet.  I finally feel like the show has a great antagonist again. In the books Bonnet wasn’t so pervasive of thought but I do enjoy how the writers are always weaving him into the background…lurking.


V: This looks ominous and looks like a setup. Where is everybody? For some reason, this looked differently in my head when I read it. I don’t know why I thought it was a town, town. I guess I was envisioning something like Wilmington.

G: I expected Brownsville to look like those towns in old Western movies.  Not quite Wilmington but a little bit more than a bar on one side and camp on the other.


To give both Roger and the audience a false sense of security, we open the episode on what feels like a deserted trading post. Roger’s feeling of shock when he’s immediately thrown into a stand-off becomes a test of how well he will perform his duties as a militia Captain without Jamie.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


E: Too funny Gwen, like Pale Rider or High Plains Drifter. I always thought it was as depicted. A row of “buildings” on a main through road. I see all the mud and just sigh. I was excited to see more Fergus and how he had to tell Roger to not move. He is so new and over his head. I wasn’t expecting everyone to be named “Brown”.

V: Oh shit! Who are these people? And what has Isaiah done? Oh snap, they saw him up the road and got prepared for his arrival. Oh wow, I’d totally forgotten this part of the book.

G:  Oh, the Browns are off the chain. I do wonder if part of their overreaction was due to Isaiah riding with the militia.

E: They didn’t even ask questions, but they were clearly ready for a fight even before they saw Isaiah. Maybe they got wind of Isaiah being in the militia that was coming.

V: Roger is looking at Isaiah like, WTF dude?

E: Roger can’t believe he is in the middle of a fire fight over this. The look on his face says it all.

G: Seriously! Roger is like you could have given me a heads up. We would have had you meet us in the next town.  But noooooooo, you thought they weren’t going to recognize you?

V: Oh lordy, shots fired. Shots fired. What the hell is Roger and Fergus going to do? Whiskey?

G: Luckily nobody got shot, but interesting that the cause of the kebbie-lebbie (hee-hee) is the first one hiding (Morton).  And it seems his lady love has more backbone than he does. She put herself in harm’s way while he is still hiding behind the crate.


Isaiah — I’m sorry! I had to  
tell! I couldn’t marry Elijah  
Ford!

V: Meg slapped the crap out of her; I felt it!

E: Alicia was spewing dirty laundry, albeit her own, but really, what choice did she have in her state? Save the man you love or watch him be shot.


The woman who runs after Alicia is Meg Brown, her aunt. In the book, Alicia has a mother, but we decided to make Alicia motherless with only her father, Lionel Brown, taking care of her. We felt this would motivate Lionel to protect her more fiercely, and the lack of a mother would give her more grounds to look for love in all the wrong places.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


A bit of Dutch courage is all we  
need…

E: Whisky is always an alternative; it’s hard to come by. Fergus was not happy in providing an entire barrel though.

G: Dutch courage!  Great idea Roger. Turning him over to the Brown’s is a risky plan. This is something we’ve seen Jamie do on occasion as well. The issue maybe that Roger doesn’t have the same level of rapport with his men that Jamie does, and Jamie would have discussed a plan to free Isaiah to give the men comfort. Roger just wants to not die, and he isn’t going to take a bullet for Isaiah Morton and honestly, I can’t blame him.

E: True That Gwen.

V: Yeah, that’s true. But he’s only digging a deeper hole for himself.

Wow, that looks like a teeny, tiny tent. How on earth is anyone sleeping/living in there?


In the book, Roger courageously storms the Brownsville General Store to stop the shooters. However, we thought this would contradict the character of the peaceful academic we had set up in previous seasons.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


V: I love these wide-angle shots of the land. I swear, I think the writers and directors had a meeting before this season.

E: The aerial shots are beautiful. It reminds me of S1 and S2 when they did similar shots of Scotland and the Ship on its way to France.

V: Did Bee just mention one of things she got from town was cotton? Did I hear that right? Oh lord, Lizzie is going to be walking around smelling like orange blossom. Let’s see what she attacks. Hmmm…

G: Yes, she picked up cotton and paper. They seem to be rather well off financially. Lots of money for niceties. Not much shopping for staples.    

E: Bree never struck me as frugal or a “big picture” kind of person. The others in her caravan more than likely shopped for what the big house needed. 

V: It’s that coin from the title card. A man? Irish? I felt a knot in my stomach at the thought of him. Poor Mrs. Bug is clueless as to what is going on right now.

G: The man from town with the coin. That had to have been Bonnet and he was so close to Jimmy.  That just made my stomach drop. I agree Vida, this secrecy is causing more harm than good. Everybody on the ridge should be on high alert.

E: The writers are making me creep out with the underlying “could be or couldn’t be Bonnet.”  They are building up to something big and we will just have to wait and see what they come up it.


Mrs. Bug encountering a “fair, handsome Irish gentleman” in town is a nod toward the scene in A Breath of Snow and Ashes where Phaedre has a similar encounter and recalls it for Roger. We wanted to heighten Brianna’s suspicion and paranoia since she overheard that Bonnet was alive in Episode 501.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


V: Poor Bree. You can see the terror in her face at the thought of that bastard being out there somewhere.

G: Bree, tell Mrs. Bug about Bonnet!  You can see the fear in Bree’s eyes. And Roger and Jamie are so far away. Great idea to move into the big house, that way there is help available if you need it.

V: You would think! Hell, I’d be having a meeting with all of them to tell them the deal.

E: Bree keeps everything close to the vest. She works things out in her head and is not good with opening up about things that bother her. Even Claire has to discern it. I would have moved into the big house as soon as everyone was marching out of Fraser’s Ridge. I ’m not staying in a small house far away from everything. Nope! I’m still trying to like Lizzie.

V: Me too! At times, she got on my nerves.


V: The looks between Alicia and Isaiah are so sad.

G: Their relationship seems so sad. I also find it interesting that she has the most to lose but is putting up the biggest fight.   

E: So true Gwen. She has lost everything now, since she marched out into the street and pretty much torched her family name and standing. Isaiah needs to grow a pair.

V: Ah, here we go with the pouring of whiskey. Is Roger going to try to get them drunk? A toast? For what? Et tu, Fergus?

G: I think Roger is pulling the WWJD (what would Jamie do) card. He can’t overpower them, but perhaps with the MacKenzie charm and whiskey he can prevent a death or two. And if everybody is drunk, you can’t exactly shoot straight. You can see that the soldiers are demoralized, but that’s because they don’t have faith in Roger.

E: He knows nothing of soldiers, and he is going to pay for it when Jaime comes along. Giving up one of your own men and then drinking an entire barrel of whisky that you were supposed to use for bartering and raising money.

V: Obligation? Oh, the arranged marriage to Ford. I remember this now. I’d be pissed too that Isaiah dallying with Alicia cost the family a fortune. Look how they are living in comparison to how they could have been living after the marriage.

G:  Yes, this was definitely a marriage that would have put the entire family in a much better position.  Although, that’s not her responsibility. But I understand his ire now, especially if the family is faced with lean times. Is Alicia sure she wants to marry him?  Isaiah’s judgement isn’t the best. It was at this moment that Roger realized that he was at the end of his diplomacy skill tool set.

V: I really hate that Roger was in that position. I know they didn’t anticipate what all happened, but he is clearly out of his depth!

E: Roger, once again, is not cluing in on the situation and once he realizes what happens he does offer the best option but you know the times – loose daughters cost money when your family has a business they want to build into an empire.


V: Look how Jaime is looking at her. She seems to be getting pretty attached to that baby.


Well, in purely storytelling terms–as per book, I mean–you don’t want a baby hanging around all the time. I have three kids (presently 33, 35 and 37) and two grandsons (2-½ and 6 months), and I have vivid memories of what life is like with a baby/small kid in close range. Either I would have had to have Claire find somebody to palm the kid off on all the time–which would make her look non-maternal and cold-hearted–or she would have had to stop going to battlefields with Jamie. But the battlefields “re where the fun stuff happens.



This is why Dragonfly in Amber starts 20 years after Outlander–to give Brianna time to grow up and be left, so I didn’t have to juggle a whiny little kid for chapters and chapters. I mean, small children are just Not Interesting to anybody but their parents or grandparents. ~ Diana Gabaldon


G: In the book, there is a scene where the baby latches onto Claire’s breast and Claire comments that she won’t find what she is looking for in there. Yes, Claire is becoming attached to the baby.

E: Yes, she is attached to that little one. Jaime hasn’t ever seen her with a bairn and you can see him going, hmmm, if only.

To see ye with a bairn,  
Sassenach…  
I could watch ye hold her all day.

V: This is something they couldn’t do. I feel badly that they were not able to raise their own children together. It really pulls on my heart strings.

G: This moment makes me think of Faith and what her life would have been like had she lived.

V: I’d almost forgotten about Billy and the goats.

G: I always wondered what they used if the mother was unable to nurse (other than a wet nurse). The goats to the rescue.    

And then? Do we take a newborn  
child all the way to Hillsborough?  
I’m not sure that’s the best way to  
put the fear of God into the  
Regulators… unless they’re afraid  
of dirty diapers —  

V: What then? Claire, I know you’re not thinking about keeping her.

G: I’m torn on Claire and Jamie keeping her. In some ways it gives them the opportunity to raise a child together.  But also, while good parents, I don’t think they are the parents that the baby needs right now.

E: In the book, you have Claire’s thoughts on the baby and she was torn. She knows it is not good to get pregnant at her age and in that time, but to have another child that she could raise with Jaime was something she feels she was deprived of.


V: Oh god, Roger is mucking it up. Poor thing just can’t get it right. Jamie is going to be pissed! On another note, riddle me this: Where is he getting all his fine clothes from?

E: I was thinking the same thing. Poor Roger is so out of his league here. Also, who made his new clothes. They are rather nice, and it is finally good to have an image of Rick/Roger in something other than what he was in for most of S4!

G: I think the difference between Roger and Jamie is that Jamie would have spoken to his men about this decision. Roger seems to be hiding from the fact that he made it.

E: True, Jaime would have consulted with his closest and ranking officers before unilaterally making the decision. Fergus set Roger straight on how this should have gone down.


V: Oh, so she had lain with a former slave, per Josiah. This is so cavalier in tone, like it’s an everyday occurrence. Serious?! I am just not buying any of this. None. Of. It. For the time, people would be aghast!

G:  In the book, they were called Maroons. I assume the “former slave” title is used to denote that the man escaped to freedom versus being freed “legally”.  And this whole story line is crazy. How is Mr. Beardsley not noticing her lover hanging around the house?

E: That’s what I want to know. How did she hide her escapades? Mr. Beardsley had the stroke recently, so she had been stepping out for months.

V: They keep showing that baby and I could just eat her up. She is so adorable. Why hasn’t anybody said who she is in real life??? Hello.

G: She is a cutie pie and such a well-behaved baby too.

E: She is adorable.

V: Yes, you are free, Josiah. Fourteen? I keep forgetting people’s ages. I know he is young, but fourteen?! Does he not know how old he is? Or, is Jamie just saying that to keep him on the Ridge and safe?

E: Yep, Jaime was trying to keep that kid safe. He’s seen one too many “almost men” die at Culloden and he wasn’t having any of it again.

G: The edict from the Governor was for males between the ages of 16 and 60. It may be that they are older (I think they are), but Jamie really needs them to provide food for the ridge more so than fight and in this case he is making an exception – for them.


V: There he is singing again. Though I like his voice, whiskey and song ain’t going to cut it, Roger.

E: His face dropped as soon as he saw Jaime.

G: Roger is just doing the best he can at this point. He lost the men and he hasn’t come up with a plan to help Isaiah yet.

V: And that look Jamie gave him says it all. What the hell are YOU doing, laddie.

G: Poor Roger. But honestly what he did was the best thing at the time. He just didn’t see it all the way through. An educator’s mind vs. a militia man’s mind.


V: What is Claire looking for? Where are the women of this town?

G: I wondered that too. They seemed to be hidden away due to the gun fight earlier. But something tells me that men who barter their daughters for land don’t allow the women folk to have free reign of the property.

E: It reminds me of the episode, The Rent, in S1. The women were hidden doing women chores and Claire had to go find them.

Fergus, is that our whisky?

V: Glad Jamie is curious about the whiskey, though I know he’s not going to be happy about it.

G: They were planning to use that to persuade men to enlist and here is Roger giving it away. Jamie needs to give Roger a moment to explain the situation.

V: Fergus with the, Congratulations. You work fast mi’ lord, was hilarious. But how in the hell did he think Claire was pregnant, let alone had a baby, in that short period of time. They haven’t been apart THAT long. I am just glad he was in more scenes this episode.

G: He is a hot mess especially since Marsali stays pregnant.

E: I laughed so hard at him in this scene!



While there was a woman with a newborn baby in The Fiery Cross who nursed the Beardsley child, we created a new and sympathetic character in Lucinda Brown. We needed Claire to feel comfortable leaving the baby with Lucinda.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


V: But, would Lucinda really give milk to a Black baby that easily? It seems too amenable. This is NOT a regular, white baby. We know Black women/slaves had to nurse their mistress’s baby, but not the other damn way around.

G: This entire scene is unbelievable. If Brownsville was really that progressive there would be some actual brown people in Brownsville. A Black child without freedom papers would be someone’s property. Anyone could claim that child as their own. It seems all the logic Jamie has for legal matters was used up on the Beardsley boys with no consideration for the baby.

E: Yeah, that would not have ever happened. That baby would have been given to another slave or perhaps a Native American woman, who was indentured, to be nursed.

Is it… a slave’s babe?

V: And the sheer mention as to whether it is a slave baby. And then, okay, feed away. Really?! Just . . . Not. Realistic. At. All!!

G: What is Claire doing telling the entire story like that? A child born from a runaway slave parent would still be considered a slave.

E: That’s a fact Gwen!

V: Or, she could be captured later.


V: Why is Alicia peeking around the corner? Yes Claire, tell us how you really came by the baby.

G: All that time with Geillis has taught her nothing. She is just telling the whole story without regard for that child’ safety or her own. She doesn’t know them people like that. They were just shooting at Roger and them a few hours ago.

E: She is always trustworthy, until they lock her up and try her as a witch!


V: Jamie is about to blow his top. The incredulity in his face, like damn Roger! Lost men. Drinking up the whiskey. Now he has to save the day, as usual. From Jamie’s point of view, I can’t blame him for losing patience with Roger. I really can’t.

G: I agree. But part of it is he keeps trying to make Roger his Captain and he isn’t suited for war. Round peg meets square hole.

E: Right! He needs Roger because he needs someone he can trust, but this ain’t Rogers expertise! Everyone is going to end up drunk or dead, if you leave him to “handle” things. I get making him a Captain will give him status and some sort of way to make a soldier’s living but, wow, he’s not cut out for this life.

V: Jamie couldn’t care less about Dutch Courage Roger. Do you remember where you are? Time period, that is. You’re just jabbering and jabbering, but not telling Jamie what’s really going on!

G: I don’t know why he is delaying the bad news. Just tell Jamie and get it over with.

E: Yes, bad news doesn’t age well. I had the same thought on the Dutch Courage…no one cares!

V: Wow, Jamie is really giving Roger a dressing-down from Captain. That’s the first time I’ve heard him call him, Professor MacKenzie.

E: Did he call Roger Professor? I missed that!


But to Jamie, there’s a weakness in that. He’s [Jamie] not used to encountering people who are able and of an age that are so ill-equipped to deal with the time that they’re in. There are just things that he takes for granted that men should be able to do – qualities and skills that men should have and the fact that Roger doesn’t have them doesn’t sit well with Jamie. ~ Richard Rankin


G: I see Roger’s point of view.  He wanted to keep his promise to keep the men safe. But at the same time, he should have spoken to them and formed a plan. Or, at least, hold the men together until Jamie arrived.  It’s like he had good intentions, but his execution was lacking.


V: Disarray of ye and yer cock. Damn Jamie, tell us how you really feel. Go ‘head Roger. Love makes fools of us all. Truest statement made.

Now — what disarray have ye and  
yer cock brought upon our endeavor?  

G: I loved that saying. Oh hell! He has another wife. Is Alicia sure she wants him?

E: Ya’ll, were you not reminded that Jaime had another “wife” when Claire came back and all the shenanigans that ensued?? This was not so funny, but Jaime was shot by his wife! I did let out a giggle in this scene ‘cause a few characters have gotten themselves into this predicament.

V: I didn’t think about that, but you’re right.

So, they are just going to let him go and think the Browns are not going to have a problem with that?

G: Jamie spares him, but risks the wrath of the Browns. Other than saving his man, I fail to see how his decision was better than Roger’s Dutch Courage.

E: Jaime is going to just use his wits, but Isaiah needs to be smart and stay gone!


Roger’s line “Love makes fools of us all, big and little” is a quote from William Makepeace Thackery. This sentiment sticks with Morton and is the reason why he comes back for Alicia in the end.

~ Barbara Stepansky Annotation


V: Damn Claire, you’re just going to let them blame Fanny for killing him?

G:  So, the baby is in an unsuitable situation? Huh, okay Claire. Where is all that sass she normally has for folks who say things she disagrees with?

V: Again, the mention of Aaron not being the father. SMDH. Looking at Alicia, now we know something is going on with her.

G:  Well now we know what happened with the paper that Fergus delivered to the printer.  Now the Dr. Rawlings legend has been born.


When Alicia reads an excerpt from “Doctor Rawlings Recommends,” it is the first time Claire realizes that her medical list has been printed and has become public knowledge. This season, we are playing with the theme that Claire disregards history for the sake of the greater good, such as keeping the residents of the Ridge safe and dispelling medical myths.

~ Barbara Stepansky, Annotation


It also speaks of means to prevent
becoming with child…
A woman is most fertile between —

V: Oh Lord, Dr. Rawlings Recommends. That look on her face, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! I wrote this and now it is in the f*@king paper. The shit is about to hit the fan.

E: RIGHT! I totally forgot about the paper that Fergus took. She is going the right way for trouble again.

G: Am I the only one creeped out by Mr. Brown failing to marry his daughter off for money and property but the other daughter is now getting attached to a baby who comes with a trading post and property?

E: Nope! I am with you on this one Gwen.

V: Not at all. And, don’t forget that she is Black, with a darker hue, and won’t be able to pass for White.


V: Oh Roger, you’re not going to sing this mess away. Seriously, stop it!

E: There was a lot of singing in this one. I think it is foreshadowing.

G:  Roger’s new motto is, When in Doubt, Sing it Out. LOL


V: Jamie is so pissed with Roger that the vein in his forehead is about to explode! I do love that he and Claire talk about e’rything!

G:  Jamie seems to want so much from Roger and wants him to be a lot like him. That’s not him. This just goes to show you that trying to please people by being someone you are not never ends well.

E: Jaime was raised as a soldier from a young teenager so it’s in his blood to think and act that way. Jaime also projects onto Roger how he expects Roger to behave then gets angry when it doesn’t turn out the way he thinks it should.

Who’s “Doctor Rawlings?”

V: Uh, that would be your wife, Jamie.

Me.

E: That was a hilarious exchange between them! I want more!!

Beauchamp, Randall, Fraser… now  
Rawlings? Have ye another husband  
I should ken about?

G:  Beauchamp, Randall, Fraser, now Rawlings. Jamie is hilarious.


V: So, it is from her surgery. Fergus, you knew something was on the other side and you didn’t read it?! C’mon. Really?

G: Claire needs to be careful. I guess the worst case she can say was in the case she was given.

V: Tying it back to Ridge or Fergus. The possibility of looking for the author. Are they planting seeds?

E: Yes, these writers do an excellent job of weaving the story line. I can’t wait!

G: Claire can’t resist getting herself caught up in witch trial speculation. Would be interesting to see if someone uses her advice and runs into her later or if she develops a following.


V: All hell is about to break loose now. What is he going to do, shoot Jamie?

G: Can we talk about how Roger’s decision with Isaiah was bad, but Jamie still being in town after he released Isaiah is worse.

E: It took me a quick minute to understand who the guy on horseback was. This entire scene was mutual destruction…everyone was going to be shot!

V: Those are some long-ass guns. This showdown reminded me of when Fergus and his men broke Murtagh out of jail.

V: So, we are half-way through the episode and that is where the episode title comes from? Nah, I think Choices would have been a better title. And how in the hell was Jamie supposed to know Isaiah’s past? Didn’t he just meet him on the Ridge after the wedding?

E: Right! People don’t usually go around talking about their arranged marriages and that they have a side piece when you meet them. Didn’t he recently move to the ridge too?

G: In general, Isaiah Morton is the lowest common denominator. Besides abandoning his wife, he started a relationship with a young girl – knowing the consequences, and he let Roger head to Brownsville without knowing any of that. And Jamie was kind enough to let him go free. While death is too harsh a punishment, I think he earned a swift kick in the pants.


V: That’s right, Mr. Brown! Your men will answer to you. But YOU will answer to Jamie! Ha!

G:  I think Jamie may have met his match.  Not since Colum and Dougal has Jamie met someone who isn’t charmed or impressed by him.  He has his work cut out for him.

E: Richard Brown seemed to have common sense, so it was much easier to talk to him. Jamie set him straight on the chain of command though.


V: Nighttime. Seeing the house. Bear’s haunting ass music again with that shot of Germain and Jemmy. Why am I feeling nervous, right about now? My heart is beating so fast.

G: I’m so nervous. I need her to close the door when she goes outside. Does the door have locks?  Where is Mr. Bug?

V: What was that noise Bree heard? That shit made me jump!

E: I felt like I was watching a horror movie…then that screech owl went off. This was the scariest part of the episode. These writers and Bear’s music made it extra creepy!  Soooo good.

G: That’s the craziest crow/bird I’ve ever heard.  And she left the door open?

E: Was anyone talking to the screen? I was!!

V: YES. It was creeping me O-U-T!! I have to admit that I am loving Sophie’s acting this season. She is truly making me feel what Bree is feeling right about now.

G: I’m totally creeped out, but why isn’t she telling the folks around her to pay closer attention. The men folks are away, so it would make sense to be more cautious.

V: Is she alone? Where the hell is Jemmy? Why isn’t she armed? So many questions here.

G: When she left the door open, I would have had to search the entire house.

V: Oh, there’s Lizzie and Marsali.

Oh lord, the door is open.

G: Door is open. Nobody is grabbing weapons, and they are going to have a drink to calm their nerves.  All bad decisions.

V: Okay, seriously, how did Jemmy get the hell out there and is just chillin’ on the damn porch? That was some Alfred Hitchcock shit right there.

G: Toddlers move a mile a minute. I’ve read books about how they used to tether toddlers by their foot to a tree to keep them from wandering off while the parents worked in the fields during slavery.


V: Is that, that bastard Bonnet watching them?

E: I thought someone was out there watching too!! Unsure if it was just camera angle or they really wanted it to look like it was from a human perspective…totally creepy!

G:  And who was watching from outside the house????????


Phineas. . .

V: All these Browns in Brownsville. Roger seems exhausted with writing down their names. Yah, yah another Brown. And they have to all be related, right, as in inbreeding.

G: Vida, I had the same question. Everybody has the same last name. Unless they changed your name upon settling, they all have to be related.

E: All I have to say is that’s way too many “3rd” cousins.

. . .  Brown?


This was a straightforward but fun scene to write for comedic relief. It doesn’t mean that everyone in Brownsville is related (though a lot are), but it implies that, as its resident, you adopted the Browns’ last name. It is a tight-knit community that sticks together.

~ Barbara Stepansky Annotation


V: Wow, that’s a nice room, beautiful, and so warm. No surprise here, Jon Gary Steele.

G: I love the room too. All the browns and reds.

Perhaps God sent you to bring us  
the babe for a reason… If you’re  
looking for a home for her, we  
would care for her as if she’s our  
own —

V: It is amazing that they are so accepting of Fanny’s baby. I know losing a baby might make you accept another newborn. But, given the era and status of Blacks, Lucinda’s easy acceptance of a Black baby just makes no damn sense to me; it’s not realistic.

G: I do feel like the Browns want the baby’s inheritance more so than the baby herself. Is no one going to discuss the challenges of raising a Black child in a slave state? If they were to keep her, how would she be raised?  I feel like both the author and the show are trying too hard to avoid the big elephant in the room regarding this.

V: Oh, I agree. And, she wouldn’t be accepted in an all-white society either!

E: In the book, I think they took her in as a backstop to not marrying the other daughter off to Ford. The outpost and the land were worth a lot. You know that baby was not going to be raised right. So, is the woman who slapped Alicia the stepmother? She mentioned that Alicia’s mother had passed, and she seems to have a lot of say.

V: She’s her aunt.


V: Just like Jaime, Claire must be the mother to all. This poor girl is heartbroken. I would hate to be in a time where marriages were arranged, and I couldn’t marry who I loved. Oh man, and she’s pregnant to boot.

G:  While I do have some measure of pity for Alicia’s situation. I feel like it’s a common theme throughout the series that there is no greater suffering than a woman not being with the man she loves.  We saw this with Laoghaire and Geneva, and to an extent Claire. I’m trying to have compassion, but then I realize more time has been spent debating the actions of two people who acted like idiots than the welfare of a vulnerable child who has no say in the matter.

V: I totally agree with you! Why include her in the story, if you are not going to discuss her well-being, true well-being, not some fantasy.


I think originally the writers wanted there to be more animosity between them and we really fought against it. It’s like, c’mon, it’s a female-led show, let’s show that women can support each other and get along. So we really fought for them to be bonding as sisters. I love the scene where Marsali calms Bree’s fears about [her rapist Stephen Bonnet]. It’s a lovely moment, a nice quiet moment, getting two women from completely different time periods coming together in this really simple conversation. I like that relationship. ~ Sophie Skelton


V: Damn Bree, tell her. This is how shit always goes sideways and wrong. I know Bree feels like this is her burden, but I really wished she would just tell her.

G:  Right!  Just tell her! Why not just say I’m being haunted by an attacker? Not only for her safety, but for the safety for everyone else on the ridge.

E: I was sooo happy with this scene of Marsali and Bree. I really didn’t like her character in the books, but Lauren Lyle has won me over and brought a different side of the character out. She is one of my favorites!

V: Marsali is a badass. That’s my girl . . . just sit there and drink! I just ‘luvbs’ me some Lauren playing this role.  She’s trying to let Bree know it is okay to talk to her and Bree is not budging. Just stubborn. Bree, you’d better tell her so you all can protect yourselves and be on the lookout. I’m loving these scenes with them.

G: This is when I really started to like Marsali in the books. She is an awesome character.

V: I hate hearing that Marsali’s dad was abusive to her.

E: I forgot about that story about her Father.

G: Their father was horrible but having Jamie in their lives made such a huge difference even if he had to be with God-forsaken Laoghaire.


V: Nothing like having twins on the road with you that have the same ailments. There’s the return to penicillin. Guess Claire will have to go soon. She cannot stay out there knowing the twins are suffering and she has no medical tools with her. No ma’am: she is itching for a surgery. Hope Marsali has been studying and is ready.

G:  The twin’s issues don’t seem urgent, but the doctor in Claire is itching to get out. Jamie sending Claire back to the ridge so she can take care of the twins.  But where is this concern for the baby?

V: No real discussion, whatsoever.


He, through that, is always a very just person, a man of real integrity and real passion for good and helping others. Stupidly, sometimes he puts that first, or he acts instinctively, I suppose, against any sort of wrongdoing or unjust behavior and deals with the consequences later. That’s one of the things I really love about that character. ~ Richard Rankin


V: This is such a sweet moment between Jamie and Claire. Return to me. I love it. Now, he is Roger Mac. Bottom line . . . take my wife home. Periodt!

G: Jamie sending Roger to escort Claire home. I think Jamie may be finally ready to admit that this military life isn’t suited for Roger.  And while Roger is disappointed, I think he is ready to get back to Bree.

E: If I was Roger, I would have jumped straight on the chance to get away from gunfire and blood thirsty men. He doesn’t want to let Jaime down, but he really needs to understand his own limitations.


V: Bree, burning your drawings is not going to make Bonnet go away. Does it also mean that she realized they were out of order? Roger knows.

G: Bree took that conjuring thing seriously. Sage the whole house Bree!   

E: Or, was she changing her mind set and decided to go on the offense? Stop brooding and hunt Bonnet down!


V: I guess losing a baby opens you up to taking care of another person’s baby. But no real discussion of her blackness? SMDH.

G:  None at all and it’s very disappointing.

E: All open story lines even in the book. I don’t think the writers thought this one through. Why was Alicia’s Father staring at Claire while she danced…he had an evil look on his face.


V: At first, I thought Jamie and Claire were going to dance.

G:  I like how they mixed it up a bit from the book. It’s good to see Jamie flex his skills.


In the book and in the script, it was a sword dance. I wanted to do a Highland Fling, because I felt like we’d seen the sword dance in the show. Duncan [Lacroix] did a really great version of that [in Season 1]. So actually what I’m doing is the Highland Fling, which is a dance that they do around the battlefield. It’s all about kicking off the chains of the British, there’s this this sort of leg kick, and the hand [positions] are about the stag. It’s about prowess, but it has a message as well. It’s one of sort of rebellion, so I liked that. ~ Sam Heughan



It was fun. The situation is, they’re letting loose for a little bit, and it’s kind of cool that Claire gets to see Jamie do that for the first time. She’s like, “Oh, he can actually move!” [Laughs] Pretty tough, because the boots I’m wearing are impossible to dance in, and you have to be really up on your toes. It’s kind of hard in those big boots. But I had a friend of mine who helped teach me; she’s a Highland dancer. ~ Sam Heughan


V: He is on full display now, showing how skilled he is. Look at his footwork. He seemed to be having the time of his life and Claire is loving it too.

E: This was cute…and Sam has some dancing skills.

V: Oh lord. Where are they going? Oh, he’s looking for some quiet time.

G: Always the outdoors man. When Jamie wants time with his lady, it’s always under the stars.

E: I thought he was looking for a place to “settle down” and this was such a sweet scene with their banter.


The “Moonlight Walk” was an opportunity to stay with Jamie and Claire and explore the idea of them being parents together, which is obviously something they missed out on. But it also lets us hear Jamie and Claire’s hopes for their future. This section was difficult to write because we didn’t want the characters to sound unsympathetic by rejecting the notion of new parenthood in choosing not to adopt the Beardsley baby. Jamie and Claire are empathetic but logical and ultimately come to the conclusion that they’re doing what’s best for the child.

~ Barbara Stepansky Annotation


V: There’s the question. Does she want to keep the baby? That would be a hard decision to make.

G: Yes, but not for the reason they seem to be focusing on. They’ve only discussed it from their point of view.  What about the child?  Wouldn’t she be better off with a free family or even someone in Ian’s tribe? At least in that situation you knew she would be taken care of and the risk of being sold by her family would be much lower. Claire hasn’t even broached the subject.

V: I know it’s a theme of Outlander is for people to raise someone else’s child, but this isn’t a regular baby. It’s a Black baby and no one is talking about the risk of it all. I wished they’d kept her. They don’t know these people, the Browns. They don’t know what will happen down the road. I hate beating a dead horse nut no discussion whatsoever is unfathomable.

G: We’ve adopted Fergus, we’ve adopted Marsali and Joan, we’ve taken in Lizzie, and now we’ve picked up the Beardsley twins.  But we can’t add one more? This is a very hard pill for me to swallow.

E: All true…Jaime even brought up the monetary gains of the Browns keeping the baby. No one is thinking of the baby, but everyone is thinking of what they will get out of keeping her.

V: I do really like the fact that Jamie is willing to keep the baby, if Claire wants her. The moment he tells her that made me cry. More importantly, I can appreciate Claire’s decision not to keep it and reassuring Jamie she is happy for every day they have.  Oh, the tears!

E: I was silently tearing up on that as well. I have missed these lines. They were all over S1, S2, and THE episode in S3.

G: How could you question your ability to give her the best home when you’ve barely scratched the surface on the people you are handing her over to? Does watching them arrange a marriage for Alicia and banish her for loving Isaiah, not give you pause?


Jamie asking Claire whether she wants to keep Bonnie is the epitome of tenderness. It touches on their mutual regret that they were never parents together, and his longing during their years of separation–hoping that his child had survived, and imagining Claire as a mother, holding his baby…and knowing that he’d never see that. Claire gives him a beautiful, tender answer: she shares his regret, but regret is not enough. And together they make the decision to give the baby to Lucinda, a young mother who lost her own baby at birth, and has both love and milk in abundance. ~ Diana Gabaldon



I mean, he’s desperate to do it. He’d love to. It’s something that he really yearns for. He missed those years with Brianna. He’s so glad that she’s there now and he gets to be a father, but he never had it — and with Willie, he didn’t really get it, either: He sort of could be a father from afar ,but not really be hands-on… I think it’s really nice. There’s still yearning with these two characters, even though they’re older and they’ve spent years together and time together, they still yearn for another life with each other. I think that’s really beautiful. It’s romantic. ~ Sam Heughan


V: I’ve no life but you, Claire. Damn! Find you a mate who will tell you THAT! These moments are the ones that made me fall in love with Outlander – the characters and the show.

E: Bingo Vida!

V: And yes, Marsali can produce all the children in the world for them. Lol. For someone who wanted to know how to prevent getting pregnant, Marsali and Fergus are like jack rabbits.


V: Good lord. Gun shot? Damn, they can’t catch a break.

G: Oh, hell that girl needs help.

E: Definition of distraught!

 


In the book, Alicia tries to kill herself by opening the window and inviting in the freezing cold, hoping to freeze to death. However, since we shot this episode in the spring, we had to alter the circumstances surrounding Alicia’s attempted suicide.

~ Barbara Stepansky Annotation


V: This foolish girl, right here. I do feel for her. It just goes to show that she can’t and doesn’t want to live without Isaiah.

G: Her situation just goes to show how few choices women had back in the day.

E: Back then every marriage was arranged when you had daughters. You wanted something for moving her out of the family house. I would not have survived with those rules!

V: Isaiah, you are insane coming back there. You really want them to kill you, don’t you?! And pulling a gun on Jamie. Are you mad? Oh no, he is not leaving her now that he knows she’s pregnant.

E: I think he is crazy in love. He hasn’t experienced it with his arranged marriage, and he is . . . Drunk. In. Love. Plus, now he knows he has a baby on the way. Isaiah’s story about his marriage is reminiscent of Jamie and Laoghaire’s marriage.

G: Also, this just goes to show you how important the ability to carry on the family name is to some men. First Mr. Beardsley obsessed with having a child that he killed his wife and now Isaiah seemingly is more interested in Alicia now that she is pregnant.

V: That’s right, Isaiah. Call them a fool too. He knew exactly what to throw back at them, knowing damn-well Roger nor Jamie would leave Bree or Claire. No damn way. Jamie would be like a bull in a china store. We’ve already seen what he would do when he rescued her from Black Jack and from the witch trial.

Are ye both tellin’ me that if  
someone told ye to leave… told ye  
that ye could never see Mistress  
MacKenzie or Mistress Fraser again,  
ye’d stand for it? That ye’d obey  
without a fight?

G: While I appreciate the sentiment, Isaiah is a plum fool.

If either of ye would go… and  
leave the women ye love — with all  
your hearts — say it now. Say ye  
would go and I’ll walk out of here  
without another word —

E: Even Roger had something to say about this and he’s new!

V: Why is Claire staring from the window? A dead giveaway. Well, that was smart to let the horses go and bring Billy into the picture, though they are all looking at Jamie suspiciously and the way he is looking at Claire. Mr. Brown doesn’t trust them one bit.

G: The Browns are not feeling Jamie. He really needs to watch his back.

In addition to the Regulators and The Crown, he now has the Browns on his back.

E: I feel the same way. There’s something coming with the Browns and Jaime better watch his back. The town seemed eerily abandoned at the end of the episode or was it dawn, and they were sneaking out of town? Jaime is so clever bringing the goat as a scapegoat for the horses getting out.


V: I really did love having Claire’s voice over at the end and the directorial choice to show us what freedom looks/feels like. However, I think the episode should have been titled Choices rather than The Company They Keep. That would have made more sense to me.

Adultery. Betrayal. Dishonor.  
Excuses could be made, of course.  

I know I made my own when I was  
separated from Frank by a power I  
didn’t understand.

And yet, wherever you are, you make  
choices — foolish ones or ones  
that save yourself or someone else.  

All you can hope for is that the  
good will outweigh the harm that  
may come of it.

G: Claire, that’s a lot of wishful thinking. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of the Browns.


Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)

We give this episode 4-shots!  With TFC being so long, it makes sense for some episodes to slow down. There is a lot to unpack in this episode, but it did lay the foundation for the next few episodes.

We liked the character-driven plot. We were introduced to the Brownsville people, all the Browns. Anna Burnett (Alicia Brown) and Jon Tarcy (Isaiah) were fantastic. We were let into their crazy-ass drama and dramatic escape. We are  leery of some of the Browns – Richard and Lionel. The ending made it appear that we haven’t heard the last of them. However, what was most troubling to us was that Lucinda easily accepted a Black child, during the slavery era in the colonies. It just would not happen that way. And, we were truly disappointed there was no real discussion regarding the baby’s well-being in an all-white society. It was clear from last week’s episode, Claire and Jamie had the deed to the house and the indenture papers for the twins, but nothing personal stating this child is free. No birth certificate. No papers. Nothing! It doesn’t matter if the child was in the book. Lacking discussion about it is a glaring oversight and it did not ring authentic to us. At. All.

Despite this, we really enjoyed having more time with Fergus, though it was at the expense of Roger’s ineptitude. The latter was in full effect this episode and further damaged his relationship with Jamie. Ultimately, everyone realized that Roger can only be who he is.

We loved the tender moments between Claire and Jamie. Both showed devotion and willingness to do whatever it takes to please the other. Marsali’s role at the Ridge continues to grow with each episode and we love seeing her relationship blossom with Bree. In just under 60 minutes, we had screen time with damn-near all the characters, who were present, except one. Yeah that one, lurking in the shadows, Stephen Bonnet. The writers/producers are really building up to his reveal. We recoil at the thought!

We appreciated the way Barbara Stepansky wrote this episode. It felt think a suspenseful horror movie, with a creepiness factor. We also liked the directorial choices Jamie Payne made. The aerial shots of the Ridge were beautiful and truly drew us into the home life there. The lighting made some scenes more ominous, yet were beautifully shot and framed. Even filming a lot of the episode in the dark really put us on edge as to what was about to happen.

We were surprised by the set design for Brownsville. Though it did no look how we imagined it would, it did give us a Wild West feel. We also loved the Brown’s warm and cozy bedroom for Claire and Jamie with its rich-colored wood walls and furniture. And Bear, what can we possibly say. You’ve made another character out of the music. It was spot on, again this week, with the variations in tempo and intensity you created to evoke tenderness, sorrow and terror.

 


LOOKING FORWARD

What we are looking forward to in the S5 Epi5.

Vida: Seeing Roger holding that gem gave me chills, especially when he mentions Bonnet. I’m looking forward to the buildup of Bonnet showing up. How long will his lurking at a distance play out?  I’m also looking forward to Marsali assisting Claire with her surgery. Also, with them getting closer to Murtagh and since this story line is not in the book, I am most looking forward to seeing how the clash between the Regulators, Jamie and Red Coats unfold. Follow Vida on Twitter – @Blacklanderz.

Gwen: I need Roger and Bree to have an honest conversation about Stephen Bonnet. I think she needs a shoulder to lean on and he really wants to be there for her. I’m looking forward to the resolution of who will be the adoptive parents for the baby, although I’m not optimistic. I’m looking forward to Claire finally mastering penicillin and Marsali continuing her studies. It also looked like she was pregnant again. I think I’m mostly looking forward to seeing how they resolve the issue with the Regulators and Murtagh since this is so different from the books. Follow Gwen on Twitter – @autonomy_6.

Evelyn: There are so many things to look forward to! I am happily anticipating how the Steven Bonnet role will play out versus the books. The current story line projection is intriguing, and it has me on pins and needles while REALLY creeping me out at the same time. I am also looking forward to seeing if Murtagh remains a living character. Follow Evelyn on Twitter – @ELoran.


S5 Epi5 – Perpetual Adoration

Written by Alyson Evans and Steve Kornacki | Directed by Meera Menon

Synopsis

Jamie and his militia arrive at Hillsborough to learn that Governor Tryon has proposed a rather unorthodox solution to deal with the threat posed by the Regulators and to resolve the growing political crisis. Jamie is forced to take drastic action when his relationship to Murtagh is at risk of coming to light.

Busy with present-day life at the Ridge, Roger and Brianna must nevertheless come to terms with their past when Roger learns new information about Stephen Bonnet. Claire recalls an episode from her past that led her back to Jamie.


Outlander | S5 Epi5 Preview ~ Video via Trailer Coverage

See ye next week!


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5 thoughts on “Blacklanderz Convos! Outlander S5 Epi4

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