Outlander S5 Epi6 – Better To Marry Than Burn
Written by Stephanie Shannon | Directed by Meera Menon
This conversation is between Blacklanderz Margot, Sara and Antoinette. Arranged and edited by Vida.
S: The opening credit shows Philip Wylie getting powdered and ready. Initially, I did not appreciate that this was him but there is definitely an impression of decadence here.
M: I had a flashback to the Duke of Sandringham when I saw the title card. Remember 2×11: Vengeance is Mine? Looks like we’re preparing for a soirée. Also, I LOVE that they still use Raya Yarborough in the credits/title card. Her voice is beautiful.
BUILD UP | COLLABORATION | TRAGIC
Margot: I liked the episode overall. I’ve liked all the episodes of S5. They are kind of slow to me, but it reminds me a lot of S1. A slow build up, laying down the brick work, for something faster at the end of the season. I loved seeing the main couples Roger and Bree, Jamie and Claire work together more this episode. Jamie and Claire did have their spat, but they did want the same thing, just different ideas on how to get it.
I’m liking Brianna and Roger more this season. Roger is starting to warm up and Brianna stays being a favorite. The story is more settled, and the overall look of the show is fantastic. What took me by surprise was Jocasta’s backstory, it was so tragic. The poor lady must be so lonely and sad, and she just wants some peace. I really wish she and Murtagh could work out.
GUILT | PARTNERSHIP | LOVE
Sara: This episode addresses multiple themes. Jocasta is still bearing the guilt of enjoying the benefits of the gold that she sees as the reason her daughter was killed. This theme continues in the story. She refuses Murtagh’s proposal as she deems herself unworthy of happiness and love and prefers to just exist and survive because it is what MacKenzies do. She will marry another knowing that she will never be truly in love with him.
Bree and Roger are solidifying as a married couple left in charge of the Ridge and working together to solve problems. Their relationship has truly blossomed, and it is shown well in this episode. Claire and Jamie work together to find Bonnet and outsmart Wylie as well as navigate the political pathways they are faced with in the Carolinas.
This episode had multiple dark but beautiful scenes including the first scenes in Scotland and the darker scenes on the Ridge with the smoking of the locusts. We received some gorgeous vivid outdoor scenes such as the party as they prepare for the wedding. The cinematography is always outstanding in this show.
CONSEQUENCES | DECEPTION | LEGACY
Antoinette: The choices the characters make in this episode have far reaching consequences. Throughout the episode people are playing games with each other trying to deceive each other to gain an advantage. Both Jocasta and Tryon are consumed by thoughts of their legacy and the decisions they make to preserve that legacy are far reaching consequences.
We open on the breathtaking expanse of the Scottish Highlands and quickly realize that we are back in 1746, shortly after the battle of Culloden. This scene comes from one of our favorite parts of The Fiery Cross: the heartbreaking tale Jocasta tells to Jamie, Claire, Brianna and Roger in which she relives one of the worst days of her life—the day she tragically lost her daughter, Morna, along with her two elder daughters, Seonag and Clementina. We love the idea of opening with this scene, as it really allows us a deeper understanding of Jocasta’s motivations when she is forced to make an incredibly difficult decision later on in the episode.
~ Stephanie Shannon Annotation
M: I was so confused at first when I saw this; I had to piece it together. 1746? Ok Culloden just happened. Who is in the carriage? Where are they going and why in such a hurry?
S: Wow I love the first part of this gorgeous scene of the horses and carriage with the Scottish Highlands as the background. The music adds to the impression of fleeing something dangerous.
A: I liked the visuals of this scene; the landscape was stunning. I was wondering what was happening until I saw Jocasta.
A: Maria was excellent in this scene and I thought it was a good idea to give us some of Jocasta’s backstory. She paid a high price for her husband’s decisions.
M: On principle, I will never really like Jocasta because she’s a slave owner. I can’t make excuses for her. I guess I’m more with Claire’s perspective of her. However, I do think it was good, like you mentioned Antoinette, to get a backstory. It certainly gave me some perspective.
M: I never knew she had a daughter and I found myself wondering what happened to her. OMGASHHHH. I hate the Red Coats.
S: Agreed. Initially we did not know what this storyline was, but it quickly becomes bloody and violent when the gold is discovered and Morna gets shot. Jocasta’s distress is so real. My heart breaks for her.
M: No one deserved to lose a child like that. Hector was like ‘On to the next one.’ Though I’m sure in the heat of the moment he had no other choice. Tragic. I’m sure that day haunts Jocasta every day. Her calling out to her child like that really got me. Wow if this is the first scene what shall we expect for the rest of the episode??!
We reveal that Jocasta is thinking of her past on a particularly auspicious day—her own wedding day—as she prepares to marry Duncan Innes. She holds Morna’s faded blue hair ribbon in her hands—the only token she has left of her late daughter. Today is a day that Jocasta would be naturally remembering the family she lost long ago as she readies herself to begin yet another chapter of her life with a new partner.
But there is another, more practical reason Jocasta is thinking of her late children on this particular day: downstairs, Jamie and Gerald Forbes are waiting for her to sign over River Run and all its contents to her great-nephew, Jeremiah Mackenzie. And although Jocasta is confident in her decision, the knowledge that things would have been much different if any of her children had survived into adulthood would certainly not be lost on her on this particular day.
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
A: Mr. Innes! Very different from what I pictured him based on the books. He looked like a dandy and OMG he was coming on to Jocasta and she shut him down! Brutal. An amusing departure from the books I thought.
S: She looks so bored when he enters to bring her a gift as a token of his affection and reminds her of the McKenzie motto. When she says it, there is some real sadness there. Their family has endured a lot to achieve the status in America and I get the impression that every day she wonders if it was worth it.
[Luceo non uro.]
I shine, not burn.
She also looks so disinterested in what he has to say, and he is aware -almost apologizes for this – fully aware that he has nothing to offer that will alleviate her pain or unhappiness. Murcasta is tragic to me.
M: Duncan Innes? I, like Jocasta, am unimpressed both by him and this little gift. Look at how she cut him off. WHERE’S MURTAGH??! I guess there is a sort of friendship with Ulysses and Jocasta? Looks like it but this slave-master dynamic just sours it for me.
[V: I love seeing Ulysses and am glad Colin McFarland is still around. Where the hell is Phaedre?]
As Duncan is shown out, it is Ulysses who speaks frankly to his mistress and expresses his concerns about the match. Although Ulysses has been a little bit prickly towards Murtagh in the past, we reveal here that he actually was growing quite fond of him, or at least appreciated how happy he makes Jocasta. However, Jocasta is ever the pragmatist and reminds Ulysses that “love doesna come into it.” This is a sobering reminder of the ultimate purpose of marriage in this time—not as an expression of romantic love, but as a means to afford a woman a bit of security, something she has been searching for since she tried to give River Run to Jamie in Episode 402.
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
A: I was a little confused by this scene as Roger told Jocasta to “cram it up her hole” in Epi1, but Jocasta is determined to have her way.
Gerald Forbes is a smarmy bastard.
S: Agreed. He is overly excited about the agreement she will sign and Jamie notices this with a suspicious eye. Why does this woman who runs a plantation have to get permission from a future husband who had nothing to do with the success of this plantation to sign over ownership to her grandson? The way women have always been undermined and ignored in society still kills me. The signing of the document is done with such reverence. I love the music in combination with the sound of the quill on the parchment.
M: Forbes is annoying and I’m still sure he’s salty, as ever, that he didn’t get to marry Brianna. Hope he’s been drinking some water helping him with that. I’m also wondering how Roger and Brianna plan on dealing with River Run being given to Jemmy and it being a slave plantation. I guess they won’t because they plan to go back to the future.
In The Fiery Cross, both Brianna and Roger attend Jocasta’s wedding and Jemmy becomes ill during the festivities. However, we wanted to keep Brianna and Roger on the Ridge so that Roger’s new position of Captain might be tested while his father in law is away. Brianna and Roger have been having a rough go of it for a while and we loved the idea of giving them a “win,” something that would boost Roger’s confidence and allow him to consider, perhaps for the first time, that he could indeed make a fine Captain to his father-in-law.
While not a part of The Fiery Cross, our inspiration for the locust storyline was actually taken from A Breath of Snow and Ashes. In Chapter 16, Claire informs Jamie that she took care of a locust problem while he was away. We wanted to expand on that idea and put Roger to the test and see how well he would handle a crisis while his father in law was unavailable to call upon for help.
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
A: I really liked this domestic scene between Roger and Bree. I am really beginning to warm to them as a couple.
S: Being able to discuss what they miss about their modern time shows the value of their common history to their partnership in marriage.
M: I like them in this, it was really cute. I like how she called him out on his reasons for not going to the wedding. Also wow how times are different from the 60’s and back then. You’re not supposed to give babies aspirin, it makes them sick–Reye’s Syndrome y’all.
A: Adso! That cat is too cute.
S: Aww, I love Adso.
M: So, I googled ‘British Blue’ and told my sister last week I wanted to adopt a cat. I’m not a cat person, but I will be for that Outlander cat. Adso is ADORABLE.
A: Locusts! Trouble is coming; this is Outlander after all.
S: Their appearance seems like an ominous sign and is quite creepy.
M: They looked so creepy; my skin was crawling. I CAN’T.
I think what people don’t realize is how much work gets put into those sets. People think that we just go and find these buildings and they are already there, but what Gary creates from the ground up … River Run was the most incredible set. When you look at the Scottish countryside to be able to imagine that somebody can transform that and make it look like North Carolina in such an incredible way. For us actors, you get completely transported. He makes our job so easy and he is so talented. ~ Caitriona Balfe
A: Jamie and Claire look very much like the Lord and Lady of the Manor. They have certainly come a long way! I like that we are getting these conversations between them, which are such a feature of the books.
M: LET’S TALK ABOUT CLAIRE’S DRESS. *Chokes* Her foot! Someone please come take it off my neck. The colors, the lipstick, the hair! Amazing.
S: The backyard scene of the outdoor party is gorgeous as well as the perfect music. Aww Jamie and Claire look so gorgeous here. My heart breaks for them at the memory of how many of those days they never got to enjoy together.
M: So, I will never like scenes at River Run because it is a plantation. Objectively though, the place does look amazing. Love the costumes!
S: When Claire approaches Jamie and he gives her that little smirk when she touches his back, it’s like an entire conversation between them occurred in that moment. From her eyes to his smirk. Poor Jamie. Yes, it should have been Murtagh. He feels so much guilt.
A: I like how she was able to counsel him when he expressed his regrets about Murtagh.
M: Damn, they are such a good-looking couple. It hurts to look at them sometimes. They’re just so beautiful. Also, I’m so happy Jamie is a Murcosta shipper just like I am!
M: Lord John Grey cutting a rug!
A: I loved seeing him again, even for such a brief time.
S: Also, why is he there? Is he suddenly a close family friend being invited to family events? I am so confused.
M: I think Jocasta just likes him and the fact that he has high status and money. This set is amazing, the colors, the costumes. Perfection. I know I have mentioned how I liked it so much earlier, but it needs to be said again.
A: I didn’t understand this scene to be honest. What is Tryon up to? Has he withdrawn the pardons that Knox gave Jamie in the previous episode?
S: Governor Tryon says a fellow Scotsman helped to propose an act limiting the gathering of 10 or more men in order to limit the regulators interaction and limit their ability to organize. He is definitely trying to destabilize them.
S: This Governor Tryon wants Claire to address his wife as Her Excellency? Claire’s face looks like “whatever”. It’s funny that Mrs. Tryon says she uses the title to remind her husband of who she is. I like Mrs. Tryon already.
M: Tryon stays showing up to weddings and events no one cares for him to be at. His wife is nice though. He’s so extra talking about Her Excellency. Please take several seats Tryon and don’t try again. Wow he’s moving to New York? Buh BYYYEEEE!
S: Mrs. Tryon reminds her husband to not discuss politics in that setting. Wow she is very outspoken. I think Claire has found a woman as vocal as she is.
To make matters worse, we reveal that one of Jocasta’s esteemed guests is none other than Governor Tryon himself. Tryon reveals that he has just passed a new act of Legislature: a bill called The Johnston Riot Act (a real act that was passed by Governor Tryon in 1771) which would retroactively punish any man who had participated in the Hillsborough Riots. Although he cannot show it, this news shocks Jamie, who knows that this means Murtagh and his compatriots could hang for their participation in the Riots.
As Jamie processes this news, Mistress Tryon lets slip that she and her husband will be moving to New York, an offhanded comment which catches Jamie and Claire’s attention…
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
A: I loved seeing Roger Mac take charge in this scene, but why are Fergus and Marsali just silent bystanders?
S: Roger trying to get everyone’s attention at this meeting and no one trusting him is just a reminder of his failures to be assertive and trustworthy. They even mockingly call him, Captain MacKenzie. He has his work cut out for him.
M: I think they step to the side because Brianna is Jamie’s biological daughter, even though Marsali is an adopted daughter to him as well. It’s a respect thing.
But can we all laugh at Fergus’ judgy little eyes when he looks at Roger? I wanted him to step in, but I feel he’s also like, ‘Ain’t got nothing to do with me. I have two kids and one on the way. I am BUSY.’
M: Roger and Brianna are trying to hold the Ridge down! I have faith in them. I do feel badly for him though.
He’s really trying to do right by Jamie and the Ridge and people are comparing and contrasting. Poor guy has a chip on his shoulder.
M: Who is Philip Wylie and why is he dressed like that? Why is he walking with that cane? It’s a no from me.
In this scene, Claire has an awkward encounter with a colorful character we met in Episode 401: Mr. Philip Wylie. Mr. Wylie has transformed a bit since we last saw him, having spent some time in Paris, he is now what would have been referred to at the time as a “dandy”—a fashionable gentleman, adorned in rice powder, fine clothes and sporting a black velvet beauty mark.
As Wylie shamelessly flirts with Claire, he mentions “Chantilly lace” being a favorite of Madame Du Barry, the Mistress of King Louis the XV of France. In fact, the highly priced lace was a favorite of the Comtesse, who is perhaps best known for the spectacular diamond necklace King Louis had made for her which was rumored to be worth around 2 million livres. The necklace would later go down in history as the centerpiece of the “Affair of the Necklace” scandal which shook the French Court in 1784.
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
M: Her Excellency is rather a gossip, isn’t she? Could that come in handy?
[V: That, she is! But she also reminds me of Claire.]
A: Dr. Rawlings strikes again!
M: YAS, DR. RAWLINGS. Wow this whole Dr. Rawlings mess is going to be some kind of thread throughout the whole season. Suddenly, I’m mad at Fergus again and I don’t know why yet. Something bad is going to happen. *SIGH*
A: I think it is a great plot device for Claire to be able to introduce her modern ideas behind the guise of Dr. Rawlings. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite her in the butt later.
S: Women talking about Dr. Rawlings contraception recommendations and Claire overhearing the conversation is giving me life. It occurs to me that women’s exposure to Dr. Rawlings Recommendations to avoid pregnancy not only helped women avoid pregnancy but also encouraged them to be more vocal in their marriage. I love that one of the women are saying that she told her husband he can’t stay in her bedroom on certain nights during the month.
M: LOOK AT CLAIRE coming through with her modern pro-choice opinions. A physician, ladies and gentlemen. Her dress!!!! UGH *Chokes* Her foot is still on my neck.
A: Philip Wylie was just as I pictured him the books. A veritable caricature of a dandy. Hiding his true nature behind his beautiful clothes.
S: He gives the loudest hand kisses – yuck. He is freaking me out with his powdered face and makeup. He looks ridiculous. Thank God Mrs. Tryon rescues her from his claws again.
OMG!! Is he wearing lipstick? Mrs. Tryon realizes Wylie is approaching Claire and teases her but also tries to distract him to protect Claire.
M: He really creeped up on her like that? Okay I don’t know why, but this makeup and wig makes me think he looks like a horse. Ah, saved by Her excellency. We thank the gods!
Here we see the settlers of the Ridge following Roger’s lead and preparing themselves for the locust swarm to come. In directing the settlers and organizing their efforts, we see Roger confidently acting the part of a “Captain,” the decisive leader that Jamie always knew he could be. When Brianna points this out, Roger still expresses doubt in himself and his ability to fill Jamie’s shoes in a crisis. He admits to Brianna that, while he may have confidence in the comfort of a 20th century classroom, going head to head against a Biblical plague is an entirely different matter.
It was important to us that Roger and Brianna have a moment alone to reflect on what the outcome of this situation means for Roger. If their plan does not work, dozens of families on the Ridge could starve come winter. This is a defining moment for Roger, in which he must trust his own instincts and start acting like the 18th century leader that his father-in-law wishes him to be.
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
A: I am really liking Roger and Bree in this episode. They are forging their own partnership.
S: They are working in partnership. Bree standing by her man and encouraging him. I am surprised at Roger’s complex solution and honestly am a bit concerned about the potential success of it.
M: I really do appreciate that he is trying though. He has his moments, but I hope I like him like I did in S2 and S3 by the end of this season. I do like that he appreciates Jamie’s approval and, in a way, is working for it.
A: It is sweet to see how much he laments that Jamie is not there. He really respects Jamie. I love how he used his knowledge of history to come up with a solution. He does have something to contribute, even if he doesn’t have the typical skills for a man of that time.
S: He wants to start fires to drive away the locusts. He looks hopeful, but honestly, I am concerned.
M: She is so encouraging here, and she’s smarter than he is, so we know it’s a good idea if she approves. ROGER AND BRIANNA ABOUT TO HOLD THIS RIDGE DOWN.
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
A: Jamie continues to advocate for the Regulators under the guise of being on Tryon’s side.
S: Tryon defends his methods. Wow, this is still true today. Jamie begs for mercy, but the governor is only concerned about not leaving legacy of lawlessness.
A: Tryon is really a smarmy bastard. I look forward to him being knocked down a peg or two.
M: Tryon is really one of those prejudiced, slimy assholes who just doesn’t give a damn who he steps on or how his actions affect others. He sucks.
There are always some fans who appreciate something while others don’t. You can’t please everyone all the time. But I’m pleased with the look this season. He’s older. He’s mature. ~ Sam Heughan
A: I love this little scene with Roger and Bree. I liked the callback to S3 Epi4 with the shoveling shit line.
S: Damn. Shit seems to be starring in this episode a lot.
Bree’s sense of humor here is certainly helping them through this crisis.
M: She is funny!!! I like how they both worked together to solve this problem. I love scenes with these two a lot to be honest.
I’ll handle this… keep shovelingyour shit.
A: I am not sure what to make of this scene with Wylie and Claire. I know she is unconventional, but I think Wylie would have thought it very strange that a woman would bring up a subject like this.
S: She tries to get him to invest in Jamie’s whiskey, but he appears more interested in her. Yuck. He is so creepy.
M: Wylie is so EXTRA. He makes me so uncomfortable. They picked a good actor for this role.
S: This casting is perfect. He is so creepy and inappropriate when he talks about Claire’s lips.
M: He is so grimy. He knows she has a husband and he’s so pushy with her? Trash. She’s fine with her current life, thank you very much. I hate his mole.
M: Why is he eyeing her rings like that? Throwback to Bonnet.
S: I will always say, Jamie is truly magnanimous for not being bothered with her wearing both rings. I will never understand Claire’s need to wear Frank’s ring. Sorry. I know it is an unpopular opinion.
M: Let me try and understand something. He knows what Jamie looks like, and he’s here presenting himself in a wig and badly applied makeup AND he thinks he has a chance with her?!!?! EXIT STAGE LEFT MAN.
A: Captain MacKenzie to the rescue! I quite like take charge Roger, but I wish he would stop complaining. He comes across as such a whiny baby sometimes.
S: The smoke scene is so eerie with multiple smokestacks. I get a biblical plague. Yes Roger, because those are the only ones one can get in the 18th century. You’re a historian; put your knowledge to some use and stop whining.
M: I guess this is how they would have fought a pandemic back then? I don’t know why that was the first thing to pop into my mind during this quarantine.
Roger and Brianna holding hands was a, we got this, we are holding the ridge down and our plan will work. So cute.
M: So, you know how some say people and their pets can look alike? Well I mean Phillip Wylie’s makeup and that prized horse, Lucas, kind of prove that to me.
A: I am not sure what to make of this scene. It played out like a melodrama in a bodice ripper. The performances felt wooden to me.
S: Why is Claire going to the stables with this man on her own? Claire, this is the 18th century. Men are all potential rapists.
M: This man is BRAZEN!!! Making moves on Claire like that.
Then he tries to pin it on her? Wow men can be such trash.
M: LOL Jamie really considered killing him right then and there.
His eyes moved so fast and looked like, ‘I really can’t kill him?’
Jamie should have beat that man with that stick/cane, ONE TIME IN THE NUTS! My man was ready with that knife though. Ready to chop some balls off.
If I see ye near my wife again I’llkill ye. Do you understand?
We wanted to give Roger and Bree a challenging dilemma that showed that they are ever-evolving as a loving and equal couple. To explore how Roger and Bree work as a team, we kept them home together to fend off the swarm and keep Fraser’s Ridge safe while Jamie and Claire were away. In the book series, the locusts attack the Ridge in “A Breath of Snow and Ashes,” which is book six. However, it’s Claire that tells Jamie about burning a field to save more crops. ~ Matthew B. Roberts
Back on the Ridge, the atmosphere is tense as Roger, Brianna, and the Settlers wait for the locusts to arrive. The inspiration for the locust swarm here was drawn from actual accounts of farmers in the 19th century American West. From 1873 to 1877, swarms of Rocky Mountain Locusts—now extinct—caused immense crop damage in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and other states.
We also looked to films like Days of Heaven for visual inspiration, and our research into the 19th century locust epidemic revealed several eye-witness accounts from the time which were absolutely harrowing, with farmers describing thundering swarms of locusts descending from the horizon like oncoming freight trains.
One farmer joked that locusts would devour everything in sight till nothing was left but the mortgage. According to one farmer, the locusts appeared as “… a vast cloud of animated specks, glittering against the sun.
On the horizon they… appear as a dust tornado, riding upon the wind like an ominous hail-storm, eddying and whirling about like the wild, dead leaves in an autumn storm, and finally sweeping up to and past you, with a power that is irresistible.” We wanted to recreate the visual authenticity of that experience in this episode—a natural event which would be truly overwhelming for Roger and Brianna to deal with on their own.
As the locusts descend upon the crops, we see Roger’s plan in action. It is important to note here that the pressure on Roger is enormous. If his plan does not work, all the crops on the Ridge could be forfeit along with the livelihoods of dozens of families. In Jamie’s absence, it is up to Roger to save Fraser’s Ridge and prove to his father in law once and for all that he is worthy of the title of “Captain MacKenzie.”
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
M: My sister really just said, ‘Wow, it actually worked, I didn’t believe in Roger’. I’m happy it worked for them. It’s a small win but I’m happy. *Slow clap*
We used both live and VFX locusts to create the swarm. The same with the smoke. Some of that was created by our special effects team, then it was enhanced with VFX. The actors are all real [laughs]. ~ Matthew B. Roberts
S: Honestly, I didn’t think it would work so I was relieved for them. I LOVED the cinematic splendor of these scenes.
A: Great to see Roger’s idea work. I had my doubts but it’s good that his knowledge from his time based on history could be used to change the future.
I thought that was very cleverly done.
S: This man had the nerve to sit there and tell Jamie he behaved like a gentleman. Jamie should have bitch slapped him right there.
M: He has no shame! I hope someone enlightens Her Excellency so she can ruin it for him.
A: He has some nerve, fronting up to Jamie like that! He clearly doesn’t know who he is dealing with. Jamie should knock those front teeth down his throat. But Jamie is playing a game here; he has bigger fish to fry, namely Bonnet.
A: The scene with the rings didn’t ring true for me. I wished we could have had a little more dialogue to set it up.
S: This angry exchange between them gave me life.
M: OKAY! This argument/spat was weird. I understood why she didn’t want to give up the ring. Bonnet nearly killed her for it, that was traumatic. So, the thought of possibly losing the ring again because of him, or anything connected to him, is a bit troubling.
Also, TV show Frank was a pretty okay guy. He did stay with her for 20 years despite his affair and he did take care of her. Medical school is not easy. I’m sure Frank helped in some way, like with Brianna, even if he resented her for it because she probably ended up making more money. I know we don’t like to acknowledge Frank, but still.
Jamie is like ‘I won’t lose the ring, I’M THAT GOOD TRUST ME!’ If I were Claire, I wouldn’t have given up the rings and would have been mad too.
S: Claire really? “Not Frank’s ring?” Please Claire. Frank is dead and he was a piece of shit. Yes, he helped raise Bree, but he was a horrible husband. I would have given up the ring with a smile. But that’s just me.
A: It is clear that the legacy of Frank and their marriage still haunts her, but this scene did not convince me.
[V: Yes, Marsali and Fergus are still on the ridge, even if she had only one line/word in this episode and he had none.]
M: Roger isn’t getting promoted to Major anytime soon. Let’s be real.
A: I am happy for Roger that he has earned the respect of the Ridge. It is important that the writers are taking the time to redeem this character. This storyline featured him finding his feet outside of Jamie’s shadow. I liked that.
S: For his sake and the sake of everyone on the Ridge, I realize how important it is for the farmers and Bree to believe in him.
This was a good day for Roger. I think he surprised himself.
I have to admit, this is my favorite scene of the episode. Maria Doyle Kennedy and Duncan LaCroix are incredible together, and they each give heartbreaking performances.
We loved the idea of Jocasta and Murtagh having a moment together before Jocasta’s wedding. Realizing he could not let her marry Duncan Innes without professing the depth of his feelings for her, Murtagh has come to River Run, at great risk to himself (as Jocasta reminds him “the Governor himself is downstairs!). However, Jocasta is not as overjoyed as we expect her to be, and she tells Murtagh the story of her daughter’s death. Having kept such an incredibly painful secret buried deep inside her heart for the last thirty years, we thought it was important that Jocasta relives it in this moment because it is the only way she can explain why, despite everything that her heart is telling her, she must choose Duncan Innes over the one man she truly loves.
Mistress. A guest has arrivedlate. He has a gift for you.
Jocasta is an incredibly strong and self-reliant woman, and we really loved the idea of exploring how and why she came to be that way. In hearing her recount what was probably the worst moment of her life, we get a window into how Jocasta came to be the woman she is today. As a young girl, she was taught that a MacKenzie always does what it takes to survive. And she has survived at great cost to her own happiness.
I’ll no’ receive any more visitorstoday. Tell him to leave itdownstairs with the others.
While Jocasta loves Murtagh, she knows that she must put her feelings aside and face the unforgiving truth of the matter: that, like her late husband Hector, Murtagh will always fight for a cause he believes in. He will always put that cause before everything, including her happiness. She tells Murtagh that the last time she loved a man who believed in a cause, she lost everything for it. And, although it breaks his heart, Murtagh knows that she is right.
Well, that’s a right shame. Seeingas I rode all this way to give itto ye myself.
The chemistry between Maria and Duncan is so spot-on, you really feel the love between these two characters, and it was truly heartbreaking to write a scene in which neither one gets the happy ending we are all rooting for.
~ Stephanie Shannon Annotation
A: Murcasta! This scene was so tragic. Maria and Duncan were fantastic. I felt their heartbreak. All the consequences of the choices made came back to drive a wedge between them.
M: MY GUYYY MURTAGH. He’s here! I wish this was a Murcosta wedding. Tragic.
Outlander does not like to give us nice things sometimes!
M: Aww, that’s the little clip from the opening when she touches his plaid.
Love piecing this stuff together.
S: Him grabbing her hand and placing it on his chest-my heart!
A: Culloden’s legacy reaches out across time to shape the future of these characters. I felt all of that.
S: But once again she chooses security. We see where Jocasta and Claire are opposites here.
M: Men! No sense of communication I swear! He should have said something in 5×01 when she told him Innes proposed. Jocasta has been through a lot. Her whole family is dead, except Jamie, she lost her daughter tragically and now she’s blind. Maria Doyle Kennedy really conveyed her life of sadness and hurt in this scene. I felt badly for her. She’s lost a lot and endured more than I think regular people have.
I love ye, Jocasta MacKenzie. Thisworld may change, but that willnachange.
Her reasoning for denying Murtagh makes sense. She just wants some peace, is tired of fighting and wants to just survive. Maria Doyle Kennedy, ladies and gentlemen! ICONIC.
I only wish I’d been braveenough to say it sooner.
M: Oh, he is DRUNK!!!! LOL. This scene was HEAVILY anticipated this week.
A: Barn sex! A lot of fans on Twitter were giddy with excitement at the prospect of this scene. It didn’t live up to the hype for me.
S: I was so looking forward to it, but it was a bit of a disappointment.
A: It felt contrived and I didn’t see any anger turn to passion as we have seen in previous scenes between them.
S: The anger was there and it was hot, but the passion was not quite there.
S: I did enjoy Claire’s feisty behavior in this argument. I don’t need you to tell me how to behave. Yes Claire. You tell him.
M: He was high on winning that game, proving to her that he didn’t lose the rings. Then, he decided to get drunk and celebrate with his wife, who is still mad at him. Bruh.
OOF that slap! Her slaps are iconic. You never see them coming. But when they show up, you suddenly have the urge to hope to do that to someone one day. In a similar context. For science. Am I RIGHT??!!
A: Look down and watch. What for? Heie didn’t even take down his breeches. The kiss on the neck in the aftermath was the only evidence of a connection that I saw in this scene.
S: Yeah, that was a bit of a disappointment. She didn’t see a thing, but her skirts.
S: The afterglow is so precious –You do not hate me for coming after you like a raving beast? I quite liked that part. Claire, so did we.
M: I liked this scene; I thought it was cute. Obviously, we’ve had more intense love scenes, but this was okay. I don’t think we’ll ever get a Reckoning 2.0 though, which is fine.
I promise, Mo Nighean Donn, that these rings will never leave your hands again.
A: I like how the scene ended though with Jamie putting back the rings on her fingers.
S: When he replaced the rings, I was thrown back to their wedding. So precious. Their nose nuzzles, him putting the ring back on. This was so adorable and soft.
M: I like that he respects that Frank was a part of her life at one point. He’s not insecure and doesn’t feel some type of way that she wears his ring. We love to see it.
A: Bonnet, the bastard, makes his appearance again.
S: You can tell Forbes is so afraid of him. He tells him his son owns River Run. Uh-oh. What is Bonnet going to do with that information?
We wanted to set the meeting between Forbes and Bonnet in a coffeehouse (as opposed to a tavern), because we thought it would be fun to see the now image-conscious Bonnet trying to fit into a place known for its refined and educated clientele.
It was so much fun to see Ed Speleers dressed in all the finery of a gentleman or, at least, what Stephen Bonnet’s idea of a gentleman was. Here we reveal that Bonnet is in league with Gerald Forbes, who tells Bonnet that “his son” Jeremiah has just become the owner of River Run. Having tried unsuccessfully to marry Brianna, Forbes is looking for a chance to get back at the MacKenzie family, and what better way to do that than by helping the notorious pirate take possession of Jocasta’s estate?
~ Stephanie Shannon, Annotation
M: What happened to lawyer-client confidentiality? Why is Forbes telling him all of Jamie and Jocasta’s business like that?
A: He has come up in the world, hasn’t he?
S: I guess raping and stealing really paid off for him.
A: How does Forbes know that Jemmy is his son?
S: I wondered the same thing. How does he know?
M: Forbes can die too!!!
A: He and Bonnet must be boon companions and not just business partners.
A: This final scene between these two still has me confused.
S: Tryon is so happy to tell him they are going to war because the Regulators refused to surrender. Jamie realizes poor Murtagh and his fellow regulators are vulnerable now.
A: To be honest, I am a little tired of this Regulator story. We are at Epi6 and all we have had is talk.
M: Things are about to ramp up though, Antoinette! I can feeeeeel it.
S: I hope Jamie will warn them. I don’t want to see Jamie and Murtagh on opposite sides of the battlefield!
A: It’s time for some action. I hope we will see it in the next episode.
M: Jamie is shook! How is he going to get out of this one now?
Episode Rating (1-5 Shots)
We give this episode 3-shots! As usual the cinematography and suspense, complex story lines and the love between the characters on the show are the reasons we love them and it.
Cinematically, this episode was visually stunning, from the grounds of River Run to the smoke-filled skies at the Ridge. When the locusts finally arrived, it was amazing how they showed the darkness of the swarm in the sky and the darkness that covered the ground once it passed over. Even the color scheme of this season is aesthetically pleasing.
The aerial shots of the River Run, its interior, and the costumes were palatial and a feast for the eyes to see. It always amazes us how Jon Gary Steele ups the antes with every season. The pre-wedding party was just spectacular, especially how they strategically placed furniture throughout the grounds for guest to sit and eat. Though all the costumes were exquisite, Claire’s dress was one of our favorites.
As with the other episodes, this one was also character driven. We love Jamie and Claire and like that they are spending more time together. However, with the much-anticipated barn sex, it seemed to fall flat for most of us. It appeared to be missing passion, felt wooden and inauthentic. Perhaps that is because we also felt that some scenes were truncated and underdeveloped, while others were too drawn out.
We appreciated the development of Roger and Bree’s storyline. They are becoming a real partnership that we can believe in. Roger is coming into his own and using his skills and knowledge from his time. However, Fergus and Marsali were there and that’s it. Fergus did not have one line. What is happening here?! We also love seeing Ulysses and how he is always looking out for people; this time it was Murtagh. But the big question is: Where is Phaedre and all the slaves? It is as if they have all disappeared.
However, for us, the seniors stole the show. Duncan and Maria were excellent in their scenes and their performances stood out. We really enjoyed getting Jocasta’s backstory. And though some of us don’t like her character because she owns a plantation and slaves, we did have empathy for all that she has lost, including Murtagh! Another stand out was Chris J. Donald, who played Philip Wylie. He really should get an award for his outstanding, creepy performance.
We are halfway through the season. The action should pick up and start next week. And, as one of us would say, SEASON 5 IS COMING FOR OUR NECKS!
What we are looking forward to in the S5 Epi7.
Antoinette: I am looking forward to the culmination of the Murtagh and the Regulators storyline. We have spent the first six episodes building up to it, so I am invested in the resolution of this dilemma. Follow Antoinette on Twitter – @madblackmother.
Margot: I’m looking forward to seeing this whole battle go down. How will this Murtagh vs. Jamie’s story pan out? It has to come to some sort of conclusion soon, or we have to get advancements in this next episode. I am also looking forward to Claire being a badass doctor, Brianna coming through on that horse and telling us historical facts.
I did not learn US History because I grew up in Jamaica, so I’ll be ready to take notes from Professor Brianna next week. Also, I can’t forget about Roger trying to soldier it through this new life he has. Finally, there’s been a lot happening so it’s understandable. But I can’t wait for more scenes with the Frasers all together! It’s going to be lit!!! Follow Margot on Twitter – @Margot94V.
Sara: I am looking forward to seeing Murtagh kick some ass!! I am ready!! Follow Sara Twitter – @SaraScofield72.
S5 Epi7 – The Ballad of Roger Mac
The Regulator Rebellion reaches a boiling point, forcing Jamie to face his fear and confront the consequence of his divided loyalties. Brianna remembers some critical details pertaining to the Battle, forcing Roger to cross behind enemy lines where he finds himself in grave danger. Claire’s attempts to treat the wounded are threatened by the volatile Brown brothers.
Outlander | S5 Epi7 Preview ~ Video via TV Promos
7 thoughts on “Blacklanderz® Convos! Outlander S5 Epi6”
I’m pretty much on the same page as you ladies on this episode. For me, the elements both good and bad that stood out were technical in nature. The-sets, costumes, cinematography, are all a period drama lovers’s dream. Particularly loved the opening scene with the Scottish country side, Gorgeous. Dialog between Claire and Tryon’s wife really good. Love the screen where Claire overheard the 2 women talking. Dr. Rawlins notoriety is spreading and having an effect.
As performances go, for this episode, I only have 3 Words Maria Doyle Kennedy. God I’m loving her on this show. But lighting and editing and writing of the barn scene, in particular was poor.
Biggest things that bothered me. 1. No Phadre, that was pretty glaring. To my knowledge the producers have offered no explanation to the question EVERYONE is asking! 2. There was a lot of plot in the books devoted to Jocasta’s wedding, yet we got none of it! All the stuff with Betty, are you kidding me, this is GOLD when it comes to source material. Could it be a budget issue I wonder? So I was disappointed by that. And YES, extremely TRUNCATED!
3. Not giving Fergus and Marsali more of a role in helping Bee and Roger carry out the plan on the Ridge was just lazy scripting. I get the goal was character development for the two main characters but seemed a bit weird.
Finally, the “barn scene”, so iconic ( along with all the events and sexual tension leading up to it) ah the way they handled it was just tragic. The scene itself left me completely underwhelmed. I think had this scene been written better the two leads would have crushed it.
All in all I felt the 3 shot rating was appropriate for all the reasons you stated. While good, this episode could have been great with a more thoughtful and cleverly written script.
Thank you for your comment. We are in agreement about many things. In particular the absence of Phaedra and the missed opportunity of the Stable scene. It could have been as iconic as in the book if a little more care had been taken. – Antoinette.
Thanks for the comment. I see you appreciated the gorgeous scenes like I did. Agree about Phaedra. I did not comment on it but her absence is noticeable. Appreciate your attention to detail. – Sara
You ladies are very entertaining! I really enjoy this blog, and thank you for that. A few of my thoughts:
• The opening scene in Scotland was terrific! Must’ve been fun for MDK to play a sighted person, even for that brief scene. Loved how Hector went from his “fake” British accent, right into his Scottish brogue after the Redcoats were dead.
• Wait, Margaret and Abigail?! What?! I hope this only means the actress who plays Phaedre was not available for filming that day, and is not gone forever. Isn’t MDK just fantastic? I laughed at her “Thank you!” to Innes, cutting him off before she got the “gags” at what he was about to say… 😉 “I only want YOU to be happy”, utters Ulysses; no Mistress included in that line, this is very personal for him.
• I have to say all the Fraser’s Ridge part of this episode was a bit boring for me. Writing, editing, directing? Some or all, I just thought some of the time spent on it could’ve been saved for a later scene which I was soooo disappointed in! Later…
• The wedding Pavilion at River Run was so beautiful! I will say while I enjoyed the acting of the Wylie character, for me, too much time was spent of those scenes as well, and I just thought some of the time spent on it could’ve been saved for a later scene which I was soooo disappointed in! Later… Are you sensing a theme here? 😉
• Without question, the scene between Murtagh and Jocasta was my absolute favorite, hands down. Those two are just a joy to watch together. Now that’s a super-couple! It was heartbreakingly beautiful, and listen to how much Bear McCreary’s orchestration contributes to that. I am so bummed that it will not happen for them, and every week I worry more and more for Murtagh.
And now I’m just going to move straight forward to said “later scene”, which is, of course, the J+C stable love scene. Even DG said, ‘Where it falls apart is in the first half of the stable scene,” Gabaldon points out. “The dialogue is bumpy, awkward and disconnected, but much worse, it’s totally out of character,” she points out. “Honestly, even Show-Jamie would never say jerk*ss stuff like that, no matter how drunk—and instead of a coherent and/or passionate fight, the interchange just stops dead with a slap and a long mutual stare, which we are meant to believe is the ignition of sudden sexual desire.’ She mentioned that Sam and Caitriona did the best they could with what they had to work with. As I watched this scene, I was instantly taken back to something I’d seen on YouTube a few years back. Maybe some of you remember it, where Sam and Caitriona, in the 21st century, dressed in 21st century clothing, are pretending to be Jamie and Claire getting couple’s counseling with a psychiatrist. Very camp. Here it is:
That’s what the stable scene reminded me of. Phony passion… I was happy to see that they were going to include the stable love scene from the book! Was looking forward to that, and in particular to hear Sam say, “Look down and watch as I take ye!”. Am I right? But it quickly went south from there (I wish…). They can’t honestly think after years of red-hot, passionate scenes between those two characters, that the fans would count this “quickie” as one of them! Why toss us a bone? Claire’s thigh + Jamie’s pulled-up breeks (they didn’t even PRETEND to give him enough time to have “exposed” himself!) DOES NOT = a famed Outlander love scene! Not for me, and I was just so disappointed.
This has been a good season for Outlander, IMHO, but there were too many missed opportunities in this episode. However, as I’ve said plenty of times, I continue to be thrilled that Jamie and Claire are in every episode, and I remain a most ardent fan! 💚
Stay healthy, all!
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Thank you for this comment. It did occur to me how much fun it must have been for MDK to play a sighted person in this episode too!! Your observations were on point for these scenes . Yes there was a lot of time wasted on the Wylie scenes that could have been used later on in the episode to make the stable scene amazing . I do love Murtagh so his scene with Jocasta moved me so much. I am soo looking forward to seeing hom next week . Maybe we need to do a convo with you next time.
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Thanks for your comment. You’re right where is Phaedre? I do think they are putting the slavery story to the side because it wasn’t received well last season. At least our guy Ulysses was there holding it down.
I liked the barn scene, but I did go and read some of the Fiery Cross to see what the scene was like, maybe the scene would have been better if it were longer? I still liked it overall, especially their conversation after.
I do wish Marsali and Fergus did have more in the episode, I enjoy the characters but I think this was done to give Roger and Bree more development, there’s just so much story in Outlander it must be so hard to fit everything in. Also, I didn’t know about locusts coming in swarms and just eating out people’s crops in the past, just like with those pigeons in 5×03 they put in extinct animals from the past. So cool.
Can’t wait for next week! Also, I’m interested in seeing how this Dr. Rawling’s storyline will follow through, this is not a storyline that’s just going to disappear.
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