Blacklanderz® Convos! Outlander S5 Epi5

Blacklanderz Convos!

Outlander S5 Epi5 – Perpetual Adoration

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

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

A: I love seeing the clues in the credits. The architectural digest I believe refers to Brianna. There’s a medical journal for Claire. The romance novel is clearly a nod to Jamie, and Woman’s Day refers to society’s expectations.

T: That’s an insightful look into it.

E: Every time I watch the credits, I pick up more detail and a lot of them were in this episode. Amanda, I didn’t even put that together. Very insightful.


Evelyn: This episode continues to build the family that is Fraser’s Ridge. Claire removing the twins’ tonsils, Lizzie and Marsali helping in the surgery, in addition to Roger and Bree finding their way in creating their new family at the ridge. Everyone has some growing to do, especially Roger and Bree. However, we are able to see how Claire and Bree’s relationship has grown from what it was like in the 60’s to now. This episode is all about coming to that place or person that is home to you: Jaime to Claire, Bree to Roger and all to Fraser’s Ridge.


Amanda: This episode was a welcome change of story direction compared to previous weeks. I appreciated the shift from random secondary and tertiary characters to having the majority of the episode based on the core cast. Claire’s recollections and her love for her family are the glue that holds her past and her present.


Tqwana: This episode seemed to focus on time and devotion and their relationship to each other. Time in many senses does not lesson Claire’s devotion to Jamie. Jamie is approaching the time to make a major decision. Claire has to find the right time to tell Bree the truth about Jamie, knowing how devoted her daughter is to Frank.

T: Is this the first cold open of the season? And we’re in the 60s! Glad to see the time travel element taking center stage, reminding us that Outlander is a genre-bending show. 

A: Claire is in her Jackie Onassis best in a church in 1960’s Boston. Religion will clearly play a part in this episode, which is a theme we haven’t seen in a while.

E: I was not ready for the cold open since they skipped it last episode. So happy it started with 60’s Claire! I loved the big hair, the eye makeup, and the clothes!!

T: The hair and short dress are everything!

A: I’m trying to save money, but I just might have to check Lindy Bop or Unique Vintage to see if they have a similar dress.

E: It was a cute outfit.

A: Oh, now we’re back on Frasier’s Ridge.

Originally we thought we could dramatize Claire’s “invention” of penicillin as a title card. We would pan over the various stages of mold and spores, land on Claire with her eye to a microscope, then see her hand write “Eureka” in her casebook. After seeing an initial cut of the episode, it became apparent that we needed to heighten that moment of discovery. So, the “paintbrush” scene with Claire and Marsali was written and shot months later.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: I have to make a comment about Marsali’s jacket, it’s clearly an Indian block print fabric and I LOVE IT! I suspect it’s from IKEA duvet covers, which make great replicas of this style.

‘Tis the paintbrushes.

T: I’m LOLing at that Amanda. I would never have noticed that. I was just happy that we finally got penicillin.

A: All those moldy sourdough rolls finally yielded results!

E: Eureka!! Paintbrushes. I mean Penicillin!!!

Time is a lot of the things
that people say God is.

There is the preexisting
and having no end.

There’s the notion of being all-powerful,
becasue noting can stand against time,

A: I love Claire’s voice-over, as it reminds us of her views on the story as a time traveler and her connection to Jamie.

not mountains, not armies.

E: I enjoy her voice-overs as well. I also really enjoyed the scenes of seasons/books past. It made me feel so anxious and I wanted to relive those seasons again.

Give anything enough time,

T: Voice-overs still aren’t my favorite thing. Usually they’re overkill. Trust your viewers not to need to be spoon-fed everything.

and everything is taken care of:

But here, I think it helps keep the time jumping from being so jarring.

all pain encompassed,
all hardship erased,

A: The non-book readers get a taste of Claire telling us the story from the voice-overs.

all loss subsumed.

T: The flashes through the previous season are a nice touch.

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.

It’s like we’re traveling with Claire to get to her present day on the Ridge.

Remember, Man,

thou are dust.

A: I agree.

And unto dust,
thou shalt return.

And if time is anything akin to God,

I suppose that memory
must be the devil.

A: I appreciate seeing Claire and Brianna’s deep bond. There’s a sense of normalcy in their mother-daughter relationship we don’t usually see on the show.

T: Their interactions in the “future” always seem strained to me. This feels awkward, like they are still unsure of how to respond to each other.

E: I got the same feeling that they had a distant relationship, but it could have been that Claire was always hiding her other self and Brianna always took it as her Claire being standoffish.

A: I think the strain is because Claire is likely deciding about when to admit to Bree the truth about Jamie’s identity.

T: Roger needs to work on his insecurity.

A: Agreed, he’s not helping either with Bree’s opinion of him or on Jamie’s view of him. I will say his idea of becoming a professor is legit a good one. I’m curious if the show is going to show what Roger eventually decides to do as a career in the 18th century in the novels.

E: I keep forgetting that Roger was very unsure of himself even before traveling back in time. Being in this time seems to bring his insecurities more to the forefront. MacKenzie University. HA!

T: And then Roger kills that idea with his need to impress Jamie. Brianna teaching math on the Ridge, let alone at a university would quite the scandal. They should write that in.

He genuinely would do anything for her without question. He’ll have been in relationships before Brianna, but none of them will have come close to that feeling or that overwhelming desire to be there for her. So, I think it’s something very unique, something very special, something that he doesn’t question. It’s something that’s just there, and his soul, really, it’s just on automatic pilot a lot of the time when it comes to Brianna. ~ Richard Rankin

E: Tqwana, I had the exact same thought! Her brain is not in the right time. She has no idea what type of scandal that would bring on her and Fraser’s Ridge.

A: Wives homeschooling kids or women running the local elementary school was more common in the Colonial Era than you might expect. Salem College in North Carolina was founded in 1772, but it started as a primary school and shifted to higher education for women much later.

But your overall point is right on Bree not being able to teach adult men or even teenagers who weren’t her own kids.

T: I can almost smell this scene, all the mud and filth.

E: LOL! Too funny.

A: These dudes scoffing on 40 shillings pay crack me up. I’m wondering how much money that is worth in today’s money. It doesn’t sound like a lot though. [I will get back to that.]

E: Jaime was really pouring on the charm to try to enlist some men. When in doubt, drink!

A: I fell down a black hole trying to figure this out. There’s an online converter for figuring out colonial era British money to our buying power today. 40 shillings = $344.99 today. However, until Alexander Hamilton established the national bank, each colony printed their own money which was worth less than standard British pound sterling. 1 standard shilling equaled $8.61. 1 North Carolina shilling = 9 pence sterling. 9 pence sterling is worth $6.47. 1 pence is 78 cents This makes the militia salary of 360 pence (40 NC shillings) equal $257.80. This amount is clearly not appealing to the middle-class men who probably can make way more money. For a poor farmer, this could be more than a years’ salary.

E: These guys had no idea that Jaime and his men were the Militia. They probably thought that since they sounded like Scots, they were probably regulators.

T: Do they seem a little afraid of the Red Coats here? Seems tense and like there’s an underlying meaning when he speaks of them enjoying the town’s hospitality.

A: I would say they’re more fed up than afraid. Remember one of the reasons why people rebelled against the British was that the government was forcing people to pay for military room and board and not reimbursing anyone.

E: That’s right Amanda, I had the same thought. The British took a lot of liberties of and with their colonies.

While researching Colonial Hillsborough, we discovered there was an actual tavern called William Reed’s Ordinary that would have existed during the Outlander timeline. It’s truly amazing to write a line of dialogue then travel 7000 miles to Scotland and see that Production Designer Gary Steel has built this historical place that existed over 200 hundred years ago. This is the stuff that makes our job magical.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

And as Jamie Fraser, to see him grow, he’s now becoming a lot more, I think, like his Uncle Colum, who is a great clan chief, a great politician, very calculated.

And I think Jamie is now, certainly in this season, he’s having to play a lot of different people in different times. He’s got a lot of balls up in the air and he’s juggling constantly. ~ Sam Heughan

A: I did not expect Governor Tryon would pardon the lower level Regulators. I hope those pardons come with lower taxes because the government is going to have problems on their hands soon.

E: Murtagh’s picture having knives thrown at it hurt my soul. Pardons for the Regulators! There has to be more to it than appeasement. Also, Jaime asked if they were for everyone and Knox just said yes. Hmmm.

T: I don’t trust these pardons. There has to be an ulterior motive.

A: I don’t either. Especially since he could easily raise taxes and the farmers will end up rioting again.

E: I have always thought Knox to be a bit squirrely and I can’t get over his blood lust of hunting down and killing the regulators. Is he really disturbed that he is going to look foolish because of what his Commander told him to do?? How are you going to mention killing a man without a trial and wonder if it would have been for nothing if they have to give up looking for the regulators. Jaime was so done with Knox and that conversation.

My stomach turned when Knox mentioned he was receiving the rolls from Ardsmuir. Jaime is going to be on those rolls and then what is he going to do?

A: Jamie may be taking this blending in thing a bit too far with the knife throwing.

T: But he’s walking a very thin line here. What else could he do but play along, and then of course deliberately miss the shot? I get the feeling he’s going to have to make a choice very soon.

E: Jaime is a man of many traits. I just don’t know how he can play both sides so cool and you never see him make a misstep.

A: The meta jumped out in this patient conversation!!!! Mr. Menzies, as in Tobias Menzies. He’s married to a woman named Olivia. As in Tobias’ current co-star on The Crown Olivia Colman. I legit laughed out loud on this. I’m sorry I’m period drama obsessed, and I love this shout out so it’s as if Frank is here despite Tobias’ busy schedule.

T: I caught that too! And might his first name be a nod to Graham McTavish?

E: RIGHT! Outlander continues to intertwine the actors’ names with characters. Yes, I immediately thought of Tobias too.

We were searching for an emotional component to the Graham Menzies storyline. We loved the idea that Graham felt most connected to his deceased wife while keeping his promise to her. The perpetual adoration idea came from Voyager.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: Yes, it is!

T: Mr. Menzies is quite the charming Scot.

A: I totally see why Claire likes him. It reminds her of Jamie!

E: Mr. Menzies is quite the charmer. You could see Claire really enjoying the back and forth with him. She always loved the Scots gift for gab. His statement about an additional really threw Claire. I think Jaime said the very same thing when they first met.

T: Tonsillectomy time!

E: I love Marsali as Claire’s assistant. She was downright confused on why you should help even when you know it may hurt or even kill the person.

I wonder how they sterilized the scalpels and syringes. There was no such thing as an autoclave back then.

A: Lizzie is a mess. Why is Claire using her as an assistant??? Let me guess she wanted to look at the brothers because they’re easy on the eyes by silly teenage girl standards.

E: Amanda, Lizzie has been thirsty since the Wedding gathering and now, she’s seeing double. Marsali was taking it all in. She is all in for this.

T: They are really adorable though. I think she wanted to be supportive in her own way. She’s crushing on them hard, poor thing.

A: Poor thing indeed, I don’t think Josiah is ready to date, let alone settle down, same with Keziah.

E: Poor Keziah, why did he have to go first. He did well. I would have passed out when she went to cauterize. Lizzie did almost pass out.

The Beardsley Twins tonsillectomy. This is one of those scenes that is straight from the book. But by focusing on the penicillin, we were able to tie this operation together with the Graham Menzies storyline. Caitriona and the other actors practiced the medical procedure for a couple days under the guidance of our technical advisor, Dr. Claire. When it came time to shoot the tonsillectomy, the procedure part of the scene went off without a hitch.

However, the most difficult part of the scene was the shot where Josiah is simply watching his brother Kezzie get the surgery. Because the brothers are played by the same actor, a visual effects shot was devised so that they could be in the same frame at the same time. It was a painstaking process but worth the difficulty to sell the illusion of the twins.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

E: OMG, that is me with a small baby. I just don’t know how to comfort them when they start the uncontrollable crying. I feel for Roger right now.

A: Roger just opened a virtual can of worms there. I’m scared for Bree because I expect no less than a complete meltdown.

E: That is the scene from the opening credits.

For some reason I thought it was Bonnet and now I see it is Roger looking at a stone he has seen before. It’s on now.

It was good to have the flashback of Roger and Bonnet playing cards as I don’t remember that scene at all. Bonnet is so creepy and disgustingly chauvinistic; however, I did think Roger was going to get a beat down by questioning the card Bonnet played.

Roger asks Bonnet, “Didn’t you play the Ace of Hearts in the last hand?” In the game of Whist, a hand is actually called a “trick.” But no matter how many times we re-wrote the line to use the correct term, it sounded strange that Roger would say, “Didn’t you play the Ace of Hearts in the last trick?” Because in fact, Bonnet was pulling a trick on Roger by switching cards. It was one of those moments when you have to sacrifice historical accuracy for the sake of clarity.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: Roger, why are you so selfish? Think about how much trauma Bree went through and still is going through! I was rooting for you to get better but I’m back to wishing someone would slap some sense into you. I’ve always been Bree’s fan through this drama.

There was a lot of debate in the Writers’ Room on how far to go with this scene. We wanted Roger to push hard to understand Brianna’s motives for taking the black diamond from Bonnet, but we didn’t want Roger to come off as arrogant and cruel. It was a bit of a dance to make both of their arguments valid. In the end, Sophie and Richard played the scene to perfection.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

E: Did you see the look on Bree’s face? All the blood drained from it when she recognized the stone. Roger should have known right then to shut up and not pick the fight he was about to pick.

T: I think Roger handled this much better than last season’s Roger. Bree keeping things from him is the same mistake she made before and partly why Roger ended up being sold to the Mohawk last season. Does she trust him or not?

And we know she’s going to be unhappy with Jamie and Lord John for not telling her directly about Bonnet being alive, but then she keeps secrets from her husband.

E:  Roger does seem to overreact when it is not the appropriate time. He didn’t really believe Bree kept that stone because of Jemmy.

Bree didn’t explain herself well either which did feed into his reaction. She should have said she told Bonnet Jemmy was his to make him feel some sort of loss as he was going to die and would never see the child.

A: I don’t blame Bree for hiding things from Roger. He’s emotionally stunted as far as dealing with his trauma and more importantly HER ordeal.

T: Oh, the diamond is your ticket home? But I thought Bree didn’t want to go home. Girl get your story straight. Also, screw Bonnet’s comfort.

E: I was all sorts of confused with Bree. It was like she couldn’t get a coherent thought out.

A: I suspect she can’t get her story straight because she’s caught between her relationship with Jamie and Claire and the fact Bonnet’s lurking around the woods.

This could easily be a case of writers not talking to each other with what was said before but let’s go with what helps Bree’s case.

[V: I want those glasses.]

The show had never established Claire as an ardent churchgoer, but in Voyager, Diana has Claire attend a perpetual adoration as a means to find peace and quiet her mind. She also says a prayer for herself and Jamie while there. The parallel we were drawing between Graham and Olivia and Jamie and Claire was obvious, but we also liked the idea that Claire was driven to a place where she would be able to focus and think. The church location provided an amazing setting for our story.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: Claire, in a way, has conducted her own perpetual adoration of Jamie by remaining devoted to his memory.

I had to look up what that means, and it refers to the Catholic rite of keeping the Eucharist (body of Christ) on the altar for a full day.

We like the fact that Perpetual Adoration has a dual meaning. The obvious one is a nod to the Catholic practice which Graham Menzies feels obligated to attend in an effort to remain close to his dead wife. Then, there is the more sub-textual meaning that involves the emotional core of Outlander – the endless love that Claire and Jamie have for each other.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

T: She’s definitely feeling Jamie’s presence here.

No one is lost who’s not forgotten.

E: I remember, in Dragon Fly in Amber, Claire started her adoration while Jaime was recovering in the monastery. I don’t recall that was picked up as such in S2, but it is really nice to see it come back into this season. Mr. Menzies was a wake up for Claire. She had suppressed her Scottish side for so long and Mr. Menzies brought it all back.

Perhaps I just needed to be reminded of that.

A: I haven’t been the biggest fan of Roger, but I do appreciate how he’s taking to heart Claire’s words of advice.

He kind of needs marriage counseling. I also appreciate Claire isn’t the “evil mother-in-law” as that trope is so tired.

[V: Roger, what are you doing? You know you have trouble with your eyes and can’t hit a target.]

E: It was nice of her to speak with him. He really doesn’t have anyone to turn to. No long-term friends that know him in the colonies, which I can only imagine how difficult that would be.

she is easy for him to speak to and she gives him some very good advice about marriage and children.

A: This apology is a sound for sore ears.

The scripts in future episodes still need to convince people Roger isn’t ignoring Bree’s trauma, but I appreciate this step forward.

T: I liked that he apologized first thing. He’s learning and growing. And look, Bree is learning to be honest and upfront for a change.

This is one of those scenes where less is more. Roger is remorseful. He doesn’t need to hear an explanation from Brianna. There’s a brutal sense of honesty within their dialogue. The twist comes when Roger learns that Stephen Bonnet is alive. Although Roger and Brianna are closer than ever, the man that tore them apart is still at large.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

E: He did well by bringing her the Chanterelles. It opened the door for him to apologize.

I really don’t think Bree was trying to hold back from telling him that Bonnet was still alive, but Roger left before she could tell her. She was right to tell him how she is haunted by Bonnet. I think she finally got through to him.

But I did see the side eye she gave him when he said they would use the stone to travel back when Jemmy could.

E: Aha! I knew there was something fishy about that Pardon. Tryon wants all the Regulators to turn on Murtagh and give him up. We all know that ain’t gonna work! Poor Jaime. Now what are you going to do? Sure, Let Jaime give them their pardons.

In contrast to the Claire storyline, the Jamie and Lt. Knox plot was totally fabricated. We had to service the season arc of what was happening with Murtagh and the Regulators. But in order to raise the personal stakes for Jamie, we knew we needed to put him in a life or death situation.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: There does seem to be an ulterior motive, Governor Tryon thinks the Scots are all traitors based on the way Knox is so obsessed with figuring out Murtagh’s co-conspirators. I don’t trust Knox

E: I am so done with Knox and his self-righteous craze for hunting down Regulators.

A: Back to Boston. I can see why Claire is attached to Mr. Menzies.

He has a similar devotion to his wife that Jamie has to her.

E: He didn’t have a lot of screen time, but I was smitten with him.

A: This scene is giving me Lord John Grey vibes, except Knox doesn’t seem that into Jamie.

E: Ok Amanda, you and I are on the same wavelength. I was getting the exact same vibe. Not sure if it was the dark quarters, fireplace and a game of chess, but I thought Knox was going to pledge his undying love to Jaime.

T: Knox truly believes in his cause, his mission. He thinks Jamie is the same.

E: Knox is too much. He must have been in the military since he was a small child. The British did take them young and if they survived, one could make a career out of being a soldier.

He — died? What happened?

A: Nooo, I was rooting for Mr. Menzies!!

Apparently a penicillin reaction.

E: I was right there with Claire. Why didn’t they call her? Did you see that other nurse looking busy? No excuses.

A: Joe Abernathy is back HALLELUJAH!!! I loved him in the books and his relationship with Claire and how she is confiding in him!

T: Joe!! And he reads romance. My kind of man. I really wish we got to see more of their friendship.

More plunder from Voyager. We used the romance novel The Impetuous Pirate as a way to start the conversation between Claire and Joe Abernathy. A fun nod to the book.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

‘The Impetuous Pirate.’

I took it from the surgeon’s lounge.

E: I didn’t see Joe Abernathy coming back in any season. Wonderful surprise!!!

Who do you think put it there?

A: Agreed, this was the kind of character development we should have seen in S3.

E: Exactly!!

Do you ever have a feeling as if…as if everything
is pointing you towards something but you
can’t quite put your finger on what it is?
You can feel it, or you can sense it somehow…

Look, there’s clearly something on your mind.
But in my opinion, the problem isn’t in the brain.
The problem is in the heart.

T: I think Jamie just broke Knox’s heart.

E: I love how Jaime was giving Knox the brush off. Jaime is only there to see if that list from Ardsmuir will arrive. He really needs to get information before leaving.

T: Oh, Jamie is confessing. Suspenseful music in the background. Knox isn’t leaving this room. Knox has some nerve talking about honor. Dude, you executed a prisoner without trial and have Jamie to thank for not being court-martialed or whatever it is they did back then.

Jamie is having a pretty straightforward adventure with the King’s militia, trying to walk the narrow line between not being declared a traitor and losing his land and not letting his godfather hang–but when push comes to shove, he’s in no doubt who to shove (and in cold blood, at that point). It could be argued that he doesn’t have a choice, because as soon as Knox reads that prison roll, the jig is up. ~ Diana Gabaldon

Here, though, he has a vital personal stake in Knox’s death–two, in fact. Because the minute Knox reads that roll of prisoners, the two fires Jamie’s been walking between suddenly merge and billow up in a single blinding pillar of flame. He’s revealed as a traitor (with all that means in terms of his land and his family’s welfare–and [strictly as an afterthought] his own life and freedom), and his godfather is suddenly in exigent danger. ~ Diana Gabaldon

There was a lot of debate in the Writers Room about the justification of Jamie killing Lt. Knox. Certainly, Knox killing the Regulator Ethan McKinnon in Episode 502 set up the Lieutenant’s extreme behavior. But that didn’t seem like enough of a reason for Jamie to exact revenge. We needed to go beyond the Murtagh of it and build to a personal jeopardy for Jamie. In the end, it came down to the fact that only one man could walk out of that room alive.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

E: Knox is a climber. He wants to curry favor with Tryon. He will do whatever it takes to keep his little secret of killing a prisoner unknown and this list/hunting down Murtagh is his ticket.

A: I’m not sure if court martialing is the best term for it, but Lt. Knox would have had been interrogated by higher ups for sure, if there was credible evidence he was undermining the directive to punish Regulators by targeting innocents.

E: My heart started beating faster after Knox had the list in hand. I thought Knox was going to say you’re “Red Jaime”.  Knox was just more shocked that he had been confiding in a man who was a traitor to the crown. His eyes were about to pop out of his head, especially after Jaime said Murtagh was his godfather.

Knox was doomed after he called Jaime a traitor. He should have never turned his back on Jaime.

We didn’t have the real estate to tell the book story of how Jamie found Adso in the woods. A solution seemed to come in the form of a misdirect — we meet Adso very briefly but nothing seems to come of it. It’s only when Jamie arrives home that he reveals he went back and rescued the kitten as a gift for Claire.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

A: I’m pretty sure Governor Tryon isn’t going to buy this was an “accident.” But honestly, I’m very distracted because that stray cat is super cute.

T: I am not a cat person, but damn that is a cute ball of fur.

A: I tend to love dogs more than cats as well, but he’s CUTE!

E: I’m a dog person too, but Adso is super fluffy and cute!

E: Yeah, I’m not sure anyone is going to believe that Knox couldn’t tend to his fire correctly. That he caused it to get out of control and he died of smoke inhalation. However, it was highly probable back then to die that way.

I must say, Fergus didn’t have many lines in this episode … when will we have more?

[V: I don’t understand why he is having to take a backseat this season. Hope that changes.]

I think what’s interesting about our show is that we’re not stuck in the same location, but also the characters aren’t the same throughout. They grow, they change, their relationship evolves.

The center of our story is Jamie and Claire’s relationship, and it is a great love affair, but also to see that grow. How do people love in their middle ages when it’s still as passionate and as physical, but also there are other requirements and it’s about their companionship. ~ Sam Heughan

I never have seen Jamie and Claire as the relationship getting tested in a way that it’s going to break up. The bond was so, almost immediate.

I always saw it as outside forces trying to yank the two apart, and that is kind of the essence of the show — it’s this bond, this epic love that they have, and they are bonded together.

And it’s all these external forces — whether it be the crown, or new settlers, or the place they end up, or a hurricane, or Black Jack [Randall], or [Stephen] Bonnet, or Geillis [Duncan]. Whoever or whatever is thrown at them, that bond will succeed. It’s the how it succeeds is our story. ~ Matthew B. Roberts

They’re just adorable, and they’re very placid. We have had a couple of scenes where the cat will be sort of on the front porch in the scene, and then by the time they say, ‘cut,’ we have about 15 people looking for the cat because it’s either gone under the crawl space or it’s gone off into the woods. Animals are never easy to work with, and there’s no training a cat. ~ Caitriona Balfe

When we ended season four, I said, “Start looking.” And they’re like, “For a cat?” I’m like, “Yeah, for a cat because it has to be a very specific.” We need a movie animal, because you can’t just grab a cat that looks great. They have to get used to the lights, the cast, and the crew, and so you have to prepare the cat just like we did when we cast Rollo. We got puppies and we trained them. ~ Matthew B. Roberts

A: It’s funny this scene could have easily been a S3 outtake, and in a way that’s what makes the plot device of Claire’s memories so effective. We see more of her decision process and how her relationship with Bree shaped it.

T: We’ve come full circle, in a way, and everything leads back to Jamie.

Claire asks Brianna, “How would you feel about taking a trip to London with me?” This is, in fact, the genesis for the entire episode. It’s the domino moment. Claire takes Brianna to London. They learn of Reverend Wakefield’s death. They attend his funeral and meet Roger. Then Claire ultimately finds herself going back through the stones. Fans know that story. What we wanted to explore was how Claire came to take a leave of absence and ended up in London. We thought it would be interesting to fill in the blanks of that timeline.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

E: I do like how we got to see more of the mother – daughter time with Bree and Claire.

A: Claire holding Adso is everything!!!! He’s the best supporting character this season!

E: Super cute.

The circumstances of this season have really allowed us to invest in those relationship moments. We see a lot more of the intimacy and the passion of Claire and Jamie, because we have that luxury of them being in one place a lot of the time, and it’s so nice. Sam and I have been talking a lot about this today, that we get to see how they work together as a couple, the strains and the pressures of these outside things, but they’re able to come together and touch base with each other and support each other. It’s really lovely to see them just converse as a couple in this supportive and emotionally supportive way. ~ Caitriona Balfe

T: Oh look, Jamie killed a man and isn’t going to keep it from Claire. Communication between spouses. Bree and Roger could learn a thing or two.

E: Exactly! Jaime wasn’t going to keep it from her. It may have consequences later.

We worked for months trying to find a satisfying ending that called all the events of the episode into focus, and we ultimately landed on what you see in this scene. Caitriona improvised the line “welcome home, soldier,” and it was the cherry on top. Sometimes it takes things a long time to come together, but it’s truly gratifying when they do.

~ Steve Kornacki & Alyson Evans, Annotation

Welcome home, Soldier.

T:Welcome home, Soldier” gave me all the S1 feels.

E: I teared up when she said that.

God, the infinite,

God, the merciful,

God, the eternal.

A: Claire’s voice-over ties everything together so beautifully.

Someday, I will stand before God,
and I will receive answers to all
my questions about everything
in his universe, and I do have may questions.

E: The voice-over really does wrap up the episode.

But I won’t ask about the nature of time.

I’ve lived it.

Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)

We give this episode 4-shotsWe really liked having another character-driven story this episode – the internal struggle that Claire has had for 20 years was highlighted throughout the episode paired with the interpersonal struggles emphasized between Jamie and Lieutenant Knox and the ones Bree and Roger continue to have.

After several episodes where there was so much focus on secondary and tertiary characters, we loved that this episode focused on Claire and her family. Though, one of us thinks the show will continue to lack a plot/conflict focus. But that’s a source material issue because there were pages where nothing really happened in the book.

Despite this, the writers are doing a great job of building their own tension and plot when needed. The script could be based on the critiques of last season’s missteps on the lack of Claire focus and development for Roger and Bree. This corrected where past seasons didn’t emphasize Claire’s point of view. Not everyone loves flashback heavy episodes, but Evans and Kornacki’s script cemented Claire’s relationship with Bree, Roger and Joe. This was a great way of showing how important her devotion to Jamie and her patients is, as well as why she made the decisions she did and when. That was a nice gap this episode filled.

All the cast had excellent performances. We enjoyed Sophie’s and Richard’s performances. It has gotten stronger over S3 and S4 and you do not miss the main characters as much, because they can hold their own.

We must give a shout out Wil Johnson’s return as Dr. Joe Abernathy. What a pleasant surprise! He’s one of our favorite characters in the novels and we were glad to see more of him this week. The show has shortchanged his relationship with Claire in past seasons. It was good that they highlighted not only their lasting relationship, but also his acting as an advisor and assisting with her decision to go back in time.

We definitely appreciated having this episode directed by a woman, Meera Menon, and it showed through the intense camera focus on Claire’s point of view. It also was exhibited through the cinematography and how she interwove Claire’s voice-over with scenes from season’s past. It was beautifully blended and shot. This episode could easily be a standalone.


What we are looking forward to in the S5 Epi6.

Tqwana: I’m looking forward to seeing how Jamie handles the misstep with the wedding rings. It’s one of the few moments we see Jamie as flawed and not the ideal, perfect hero.  Follow Tqwana on Twitter – @TqwanaBrown.

Evelyn: I’m looking forward to more of the creepy Bonnet story line; where in the colonies is Murtagh and what Jaime is going to do about Governor Tryon. Follow Evelyn on Twitter – @ELoran.

Amanda: I am looking forward to seeing more of Adso and how Jamie will have to deal with the consequences of Governor Tryon’s directive to pardon all the Regulators except for Murtagh. Follow Amanda on Twitter – @amandarprescott.

S5 Epi6 – Better To Marry Than Burn

Written by Stephanie Shannon | Directed by Meera Menon


At Jocasta’s wedding, Jamie learns Tryon’s true motivation for ending the Regulator threat.  Claire discovers a lead on the whereabouts of a former enemy from an unexpected source, but the price for the information is far higher than she anticipates. In Jamie and Claire’s absence, Roger and Brianna must save the Ridge from an imminent threat.

Outlander | S5 Epi6 Preview ~ Video via STARZ

See ye next week!


Disclaimer: We hold no rights to any of the pictures.  No copyright infringement intended. 


3 thoughts on “Blacklanderz® Convos! Outlander S5 Epi5

  1. Wow, ladies, another enjoyable read from you! Love how this is mixed every week. If I may, some thoughts from one of your followers:
    • “The Impetuous Pirate”, the origins of Joe Abernathy 💖 referring to Claire as “Lady Jane”!
    • Lauren Lyle is just plain GREAT!
    • I was happy to hear some Claire voice-over, and a return to the “future”, but in one moment the voice-over was a bit distracting, too long and overly wordy for me… Just loved seeing snippets of past seasons all the way back to S1E1, to show what was running through Claire’s mind.
    • I also felt like the “future” scene with Claire and Brianna showed strain, but also through out the episode gave us insight as to why/how they went to England in the first place.
    • If a man ever whispered “Did you enjoy yourself?” to me ‘AFTER’, that probably would’ve been the last time we had an ‘AFTER’. Eeeewww. Just sayin’.
    • Thanks for the info regarding Salem College!
    • Okay, Jamie’s swinging-his-right-leg-forward-towards-the-front-and-over-his-horse dismount is a wonder to behold! Ever since he did that, in a KILT no less, in S1E1, when he caught up with Claire who had run away to escape (silly girl) the Highlanders, I have marvelled at it! Quite pronounced, and often with a sword or rifle in hand. I notice Roger may be mimicking his father-in-law…
    • Actually, Graham Menzies is a book character but from “Voyager”, I think, long before Outlander was even a series with similar cast names. So many things he says reminds her of Jamie, and without her knowing at this time is the impetus of her return to Jamie. This character, this actor was a darling!
    • We now know what they did with Sam’s hideous wigs from last S4 – they dyed them brown and are using them for this season’s Beardsley twins! Awful!
    • I get the whole Brianna not telling Roger about the black diamond thing, because hard as I try, I just don’t believe someone who was so violently raped would want to give her rapist comfort before he died. Really? Uh, no, not even remotely realistic for me. So I also, in her place, would’ve tried to avoid the whole “tell Roger” thing too! And you’re right, the diamond is your “ticket home”? But you’ve been clearly thinking you’re already home, in the past, right? So more lying…
    • Have you ever noticed in any episode with “future” Claire driving an automobile, she’s always wearing eyeglasses? Obviously would be a vision issue for the character in the 1700’s, yet is never addressed…
    • Joe Abernathy is back 💖! Oh, how I love and miss Joe. And yes, we’ve been absolutely deprived of this character and the wonderful relationship he had with Claire was never fleshed out. 😩
    • Really? Knox thought after that exchange it was a good idea to turn his back on Jamie? After spending all that time with Jamie, how would that be possible?
    • So disappointed that although Fergus is getting more screen time than what was happening earlier in the season, unlike Marsali, he has almost no dialogue. Frustrating!
    • Boston Claire telling Brianna she wanted to take her to London, because her father wanted to. As in Claire probably doesn’t know that Frank had recently met Brianna on a Boston street in his car, telling her that he and Claire were divorcing and he wanted her to come to England with him!
    • The way Claire has affectionately addressed Jamie as “soldier”, throughout the seasons, is quite simply lovely! 💏

    Thanks for indulging me, and a happy viewing to all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! I didn’t remember Graham Menzies was a character in Voyager, it’s been several years since I first read the books. You bring up a good point about Fergus not having enough dialogue as well, will have to keep that in mind for future convos!


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