Now is when we throw open the floodgates: It’s the last episode of this season of Outlander, so for those of you who’ve been dying to get more specific about where Drums of Autumn and the TV series have diverged, HAVE AT IT. I do still ask that we refrain from spoiling the contents of the coming books, for the sake of those who would rather watch along. But for me, the biggest question is: What did the book do without darling Murtagh Fitzgibbons — presumably he is replacing a character, or is an amalgam of them — and do you think his survival is a good change or a bad one?
Because for me, many of the season’s brightest and most shining moments involved Murtagh, including the only satisfying moment of the finale; they also pegged next season’s cliffhanger to him. And I cannot imagine that or some of the rest working as well without him, because having a character we really truly love, from way back when, mixed up in the Regulators’ business gives that really high stakes for Jamie and everyone else. And also, of course, Jocasta would be terribly sad without having her gibbons fitzed in this manner.
Do you want to start with that? Of course you do.
Murtagh and Jocasta and Bree
In short, they are currently sitting in a tree, b-a-n-g-i-n-g. Well, two of those three are, anyway.
Murtagh arrives at River Run with a mischievously satisfied expression on his face that I just knew, I KNEW, meant that he was there to get his flirt on with his hostess. Oh, he pretends he’s checking in on Brianna, but who’d want to spend an unnecessary minute with her? She is the Watching Paint Dry of people.
As he tucks into a hearty meal at her dining table, which is not at the moment a euphemism, Jocasta sits by in amusement — I’m sure it’s not terribly sexy to listen to other people’s eating noises, and Murtagh is making a LOT of them — and remarks that the food must be better than what he was served at the prison that, gee, she heard blew up mysteriously. She presses him about whether he was in jail because he’s with the Regulators or because of what she calls Jamie’s “errand.” Murtagh says, “A little of both.” She scolds him for risking his neck and Murtagh grins that he’s not an easy man to kill; Jocasta is concerned they’ll be looking for him, and stiffly says that he’d better not stay in one place too long. Murtagh feels dismissed, a bit, so he frowns at his plate and says he’s only there long enough to make sure Brianna is okay. Jocasta says she almost never comes out of her room but to draw or sit on the porch and stare at the horizon, waiting. “She was in much better spirits when Lord John was here,” she says. Well, no shit. I am also in much better spirits when Lord John is here. Murtagh fully drops his cutlery when he learns that John and Bree are engaged: “SHE CANNA MARRY A REDCOAT.” Jocasta is like, “NOT YOUR CALL, SPARKY,” and then Murtagh really steps in it by saying that he understands Jocasta is fond of marriage “given you’ve had three yourself, but–” And this is where Jocasta immediately goes cold and stands up and says, “I dinna recall asking for your opinion,” before having Ulysses escort her out. And God bless that man, because he throws in, “Let me know if there’s anything ELSE we might do for you during your STAY, SIR,” with the absolute most disapproving expression. He is so disappointed in Murtagh. He is AGGRIEVED. Please do not vex Ulysses, Murtagh.
Later, Bree sits down with Murtagh and explains that the engagement is a sham, and that they’re just buying time for her parents to return with Roger. He is super relieved that she’s not going to hook up with the whippersnapper who is his former jailer, and wants to know why she dragged herself out to see Stephen Bonnet. Brianna says that offering forgiveness has brought herself a little measure of peace. Murtagh is hopeful she can forgive Jamie, then, too. This significant character moment essentially goes like this:
hey girl u cool w jamie now
Then things get SEXY. For Murtagh, that is. He and Jocasta drink whiskey together by the fire, and she worries about his future, horrified at the prospect of him rejoining the Regulators for more of the same impossible battles he fought in Scotland. “New World, new ending,” he says, arguing that it’s better to fight for a just cause than to sit back and watch people suffer. Jocasta senses that he’s poking at her, in a non-sexual sense, and she’s right: Murtagh calls her out of touch with the working people who are being brought down by the Crown’s greed, and she argues that as an old woman her wars are behind her now. “We came to the New World for a new chance,” she says. Murtagh snorts that she came by choice; he didn’t have one, but they both do now: Stay in the high tower, safe and distant and blinkered, or get in the trenches and try to make a difference. He notes that her influence could be as useful a weapon as anything, and Jocasta immediately gets hurt again, assuming that the only reason Murtagh came back was to press her into service. She rockets to her feet — this is apparently a key tell that she’s upset — and calls him a schemer, and lies that she’s never much liked him, he’s a dark cloud of rain who overstays his welcome, he’s glowering, stubborn… He grabs her, and she hurls her drink in his face. At that moment, I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon.
She’s rich and prim
He’s wanted and sly
But the sexual tension
Was bubblin’ high
Took 50 years
To achieve their fate
Murtagh and Jocasta ’bout to copulate.
Who’d have thought Outlander would provide me not one but TWO chances to adapt Warren G?
The next morning, a GLOWING Jocasta is staring dreamily out the window as she puts on a robe, and the camera pulls back to reveal MURTAGH IN HER BED. Yes, I spoiled that already, but — and even having predicted it — the reveal was HELLA SATISFYING. They are a hot-ass pair of silver foxes, and they are getting it ON, and I FULLY endorse this message. “Come back to bed,” he purrs. “Must ye go?” she says sadly. He doesn’t want to bring her trouble, but she insists they could maybe just take their chances and then deal with trouble if and when that comes. Then she blushes. “Breakfast is waiting,” she says. “LET IT WAIT,” Murtagh growls, and she grins and sheds the robe and climbs back into bed, and everything dead is alive again.
Claire and Jamie and Ian and Roger
We are in New York in 1770, by the way, just so you know. Dogface is still living in his tent, licking his wounds in front of a fairly courteously provided fire, and generally being of no use. It’s very much as if the Dread Pirate Kaheroton is like, “Goodnight Dogface, sleep tight, we’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” Jamie, meanwhile, is staking out Shadow Lake — the Mohawk village where they correctly believe Roger to be — and using his spyglass to see if Roger is among them. This of course doesn’t take into account that Dogface is in his actual doghouse and therefore not available for gawking.
Luckily, they have Ian. Yes, I just wrote that, and I meant it. Young Ian seems to be fairly fluent in various Native American dialects, so when they get surrounded in the village, Ian can do all the talking.
HELLO MOHAWK FRIENDS, I BRING PEACE
AND A WHOLE LOT OF WHISKEY AND TREATS.
THERE’S JUST ONE PROB
WE SOLD YOU THIS KNOB
DO YOU KNOW HIM AND DO YOU MAYBE WANT TO RETURN HIM FOR A REFUND OR SOMETHING BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT HE WAS BAD MERCH! LET ME KNOW! I’M IAN!!
He hands over the photo of Roger, and they’re all, “Oh, Dogface!” Kaheroton pops up and Ian immediately recognizes him and explains his situation, offering to return the Shadow Lake medallion and trade with them if they’ll just fork over the hostage. Kaheroton is understandably confused, because they came a really long way for some dumbass. “He’s important to our family,” Ian says. Nobody adds, “We totally messed up and accidentally sold you someone we are required to pretend to like.”
They’re brought before the Chief, who can smell blood in the water, because he is smart. He knows how badly they want Dogface, and while he may not understand it, he’s willing to entertain trade offers. While they’re displaying their goods, Claire takes off her scarf and her necklace tumbles out — a necklace I completely forgot existed, and may not even have noticed? She had found it back when she was lost in the woods and uncovered the skull of a ghostly traveler, and has been wearing it since. I’m so sorry I blanked on that detail, because apparently it is important. The Mohawk collectively freak OUT at the mere sight of it, cancel the trade, and banish Jamie and Claire and Ian. Who are all deeply confused.
“But Heather,” you might ask. “Wouldn’t they just put up their hands and say, “We found this lying in the woods, abandoned. Can you help us understand? We mean no ill.”
Of course not! They didn’t have time!!!! There were only myriad long pauses, after which Claire slowly RUBBED the necklace they all were afraid of and said, “Please, we cannot leave without him,” and then there were only several MORE pauses, at which time the Mohawk politely but forcefully told them to buzz off. Following that, there were EVEN MORE pauses, and then Team Scotland was all, “Okay, fine, we’ll go.” And then they slowly, and very carefully, exited the village. So as you can see, nowhere in this extremely drawn-out process was there a single moment for a clear or concise statement.
Sherlock Claire is on the case once they’re back at camp, though. “There’s a story here,” she decides. NO KIDDING. Which part tipped you off? The bit where they all saw your necklace and shrieked and cowered in fear? A+ deductive reasoning. Jamie wants to sneak back in and confront the chief, and Claire agrees with me that YET AGAIN Jamie has come up with a dumb scheme, but it’s all moot anyway: They’re attacked by a small faction of Mohawk who want the necklace, which they’re calling Otter Tooth’s Stone. Jamie of course overpowers the armed dude who jumped him, and then a few others come out, led by a woman who very calmly says they want the stone and they’d be happy to come get it later when they’ve let their guard down again. Claire moves forward and asks the woman’s name, and gets it, but then does not offer her own. Rude! Instead, she says ten little words that could’ve made a substantial difference to their lives a few miles ago: “Tell me, why is this stone so important to you?”
This, evidently, is enough to get everyone to chill out around a campfire and give us some exposition. The legend goes that a man came to the Mohawk who went by Otter Tooth; he never referred to where he was from, only when, and he told them all that white dudes were going to ruin EVERYTHING for them all. I’m listening, Otter Tooth. He said they should kill all the white men rather than die themselves, and then danced a long war dance and amassed followers who would go with him to scalp settlers. The Mohawk leadership thought Otter Tooth’s aggression would itself bring their demise, because he was going to piss off a lot of armed soldiers, so they banished Otter Tooth to the forest. There, he would rant and rave and to himself as he wandered around, periodically coming back to the village to stir up more trouble. This all ended in him fleeing and being chased, and issuing more warnings about the obliteration of their stories and culture before ultimately being beheaded. And yet they could still hear his voice ringing in their ears, even with a severed head, so the now-Chief took the skull and buried it far, far away. Well. Poor Otter Tooth. He just wanted to help. He, like Jamie, is just maybe really lousy at how he goes about it.
Here, for a sec, I’m going to take you back to the top of the hour. Every week this show ends the credits with a little vignette that’s often a throwaway moment to people who aren’t familiar with the books, or which may portend something that’s happening in the episode. This week, it’s kids in the ’60s or thereabouts frolicking in the park playing Cowboys and Indians with full paper headdresses and such; they run past a man on a bench reading his paper, and he puts it down, and he is Native American. He is wearing Claire’s necklace, so he is clearly Otter Tooth (and played by the same actor, it turns out). He heaves a distressed sigh and frowns at the ground. This clearly is meant as a reference to Otter Tooth’s decision to come back and ring the alarm about the treatment of natives and their culture by America’s colonizers… except it’s set to this SUPER jaunty banjo riff on the theme song, which is a very very strange contrast to the emotion and the statement they’re making. I believe they’ve used that same banjo bit all season, so it’s not like they chose it specifically for this, but juxtaposed with a moment in which this character is plotting his own path to change history because he feels marginalized… it was jarring for the music to sound like he’s in a square-dancing rom-com.
ANYWAY. “It is said that one who possesses the stone has the power to see how my people’s story will end, and that Otter Tooth’s ghost walks with whoever carries it,” the woman says, as Claire flashes back to finding it. Claire explains how and when and why she encountered him, and that she believes that ghosts only exist when the message they bring is worth relaying. The woman says she’s totally Team Otter Tooth on this one, and that she wants the stone so that they can see what’s coming. They all agree that Team Scotland and Team Otter Tooth will work together to rescue Dogface in exchange for the stone.
They attack by night, boating across the river and tiptoeing into the Idiot Hut. Claire wakes up Dogface, who takes one look at Jamie and goes saucer-eyed.
pretty mean nickname if im being totally honest
fire too small
feedback unappreciated by management
negative three stars
Claire whispers that they need to HURRY UP and that Jamie won’t hurt him. Jamie, in twice the amount of time it would’ve taken Claire to give useful details earlier, tells Roger that he has come to put this right and “for now, you have my apology,” and they heave out of the Idiot Hut. Naturally, someone catches them. Let’s call him Rolf, with apologies because this man is not a young Nazi. But despite Mohawk Von Trapp’s efforts to get him not to blow the whistle on their machinations, Rolf absolutely alerts the masses. And this time there are no friendly nuns to perform lifesaving vehicular shenanigans. The tribe swarms, and people apparently start stabbing each other?!? This is very extreme.
chill for a second
and think about all the fuss
IT’S ONLY DOGFACE
none of you wants him
he’s your village idiot
carnage not worth it
It’s all super violent and there is no escape: Jamie, Ian, Claire, Dogface, and the others are all rounded up, and Kaheroton pulls a revolver and nestles it in Jamie’s beautiful cheek until Claire finally screams, in Mohawk, “PEACE!” And then, in English, “Stop! It’s over!” And… they stop, and it’s over. If only Claire had thought to shout that twelve stabbings ago. Although in fairness, who knew her word would be what shuts down the entire commotion? I can’t entirely figure out why they care what she’s saying.
At dawn, they all kneel before the Chief, who exiles Team Otter Tooth from the village and from the tribe because their disobedience resulted in so much death. He’s got a point. They didn’t even go back home and say, “Hey, we talked to those dummies and they don’t even know what the stone means. Let’s unload Dogface for a song and laugh at them later.” Should I be a crisis management expert in historical fiction?
Then, the Chief absolves these interlopers of ALL culpability here — “the pain and disharmony caused by Otter Tooth has always been with us” — and tells them that they can all go home, although they’ll have to leave Dogface behind. The Chief says that without a fair trade, Dogface stays. Dogface pouts.
oh hey a squirrel!
Jamie and Claire do not even REACT to the fact that Roger is now called Dogface. I’ll wager Jamie, in his head, is thinking, “I am going to call him that behind his back for the rest of his life.” But he does decide to win brownie points with his irritating child by offering himself in Roger’s place. “I’m able-bodied, strong,” he says. This is immediately a better deal. You could cut Jamie in HALF, vertically, and it would still be a sweet bargain. Jamie orders Ian to seal the pact, and Jamie tells Claire — in one of those great TV moments where he’s completely within earshot of all his captors and yet no one seems to hear him — that he’ll just casually escape soon because he’s worth forty Dogfaces (I mean, that’s what he meant anyway). Then he and Claire commence some serious farewell face-sucking — something they’ve gotten quite skilled at over the years.
“We accept,” the Chief announces, but — lo, a swerve! Ian has offered HIMSELF in exchange for Roger. And they took the deal, because let’s face it, Ian actually tries to speak their language and seems like a lot more fun at parties. Jamie is aghast, but Ian is feeling heroic. “I’m sorry for what we did to ye,” he says to Roger. Jamie AGAIN then announces his intentions in the middle of this silent gathering of people who are watching them.
Who’ll come to your secret rescue
And secretly set you free?
Sshh, don’t tell,
but you’re leaving this hell,
Thanks to ME, DO YOU HEAR ME? MEEEEE.
JAMIE. STOP BLABBING. They need secret words for “Hang in there and I will rescue you soon,” like, I don’t know, “haggis.” Anyway, Ian isn’t having it. He has, in the span of 15 seconds, decided that this was the right course of action and now Jamie can keep his word to Brianna and Ian will keep his to the Mohawk. Jamie’s eyes fill, but a man’s word is apparently his bond, and so he’s just going to let his nephew sell himself to the Mohawk in exchange for this wimpy historian who looks like a microwaved Bee Gee. Jenny is going to send Jamie a real howler someday, when she discovers she is probably an ancestor to Molly Weasley.
Having said that: I have known this twist was coming because I accidentally spoiled myself earlier this season, and I am genuinely sad. Ian was such a bright little ray of goofy light. Jamie can hardly bear to part with him, and Ian says it’ll be hard for them both — and us, Ian; don’t forget us — but Ian gets all scoldy: “YOU MUST PROMISE that you will LEAVE and not come back for me.” Then he weeps all over Claire’s shoulder. “You once said that you wished me to become a man of worth,” Ian says to Jamie, and Jamie gets choked up about how amazingly worthy Ian is, and he is correct. You are a GOOD PERSON, IAN. He promises never to forget them. (Can’t he go visit? The Mohawk travel down South! I guess they’re not that into discussing logistics?) Jamie looks back at the quivering lump they’ve taken on in exchange, and then looks one last time at his nephew. It’s very sad. Jamie is going to go back to Fraser’s Ridge and sing “Bring Him Home” every night over a cup of whiskey. Dogface is just staring at them all, totally unperturbed.
he is young
new york turns out cool
whats the prob
At an undisclosed time, an undisclosed distance from Shadow Lake, and after traveling for an undisclosed number of days, Roger is glowering on the ground while Claire wonders how Jamie is going to tell Jenny. Jamie is all, “Eh, she’ll understand, she knows he was hot for adventure.” Uh. Was “MacDubh” short for “MacDubhious judgment”?
Oh Jamie, you’re so deluded
If you think I’m not going to RAGE.
Your good sense, you have eluded;
I would punch you if I weren’t off-stage.
Just then, Dogface gets up and UNCORKS a right hook into Jamie’s face. Claire and Roger, being modern, should really have a lot more concern for the effect these brawls will have on everyone’s dental health. Jamie waves off Claire’s admonishment and says he does frankly owe Roger a few swings, and Roger is like GRRR FINE DONE and fires off another one. This is intercut with Ian being sent through the Mohawk gauntlet — the same one that Roger faced, although Ian is able-bodied and Roger was thirsty and injured, and also Roger.
Jamie takes a few hits to the face and patiently accepts some punches to the gut. Roger, listen. I get that you’re mad, but this isn’t helping. Claire just stands by and watches and waits, cringing, never once shouting, “IT WAS MISTAKEN IDENTITY, ROGER.” Eventually, Roger wears out and Jamie clasps him into submission. Ian, however, WINS. He turns into a damn ninja out there. He leaps over weapons and ducks under punches. He takes a few hits, gets up, crawls through legs, dives around, and gets to the Chief’s foot. The Chief picks him up and beams that Ian is worthy and will become one of them. Everyone begins to whoop delightedly, and y’all, Ian’s face breaks into a splitting grin of pure joy. He looks like an entirely different human. He is SO HAPPY AND PROUD even though he is never going to see his family ever again.
MY TIME HERE HAS COME TO AN END
IT’S BEEN A WILD RIDE, MY FRIENDS.
BUT THIS MIC DROP
DOESN’T MEAN I WILL STOP
LEARNING RHYME SCHEMES – HEAVEN FORFEND!
AND LOOK AUNTIE CLAIRE, I SUCCEEDED!
MY OWN EXPECTATIONS, EXCEEDED!
I’VE FINISHED A RHYME
IN THE ALLOTTED TIME
NO EXTRA SYLLABLES NEEDED!
I got a little emotional here seeing Ian come into his own, even if this whole thing seems forced. John Bell’s Ian was so tenderly doofy at times, and a bit hard to take seriously even in dire straits, but those qualities also gave him a spark on-screen and gave the show — so freaking urgent and intense, and violent at times — a gentler energy it badly needed. He was nice! He was considerate, except for that thing where he sold Roger into slavery! He had a good attitude! And he gave me a few laughs, and I’m going to miss him a lot. I’m guessing that when Ian does show up eventually, they’ll recast him because they’ve had to age him, but I hope not.
Over at Camp Blurgh: Now that Roger has submitted, he thinks to ask where Brianna is, and starts sobbing when he realizes Brianna sent them to find him. He was afraid Brianna had slagged him off and turned Jamie against him; Jamie assures him that, no, he didn’t know who Roger was when he pulverized him. “Having me beaten to death and sold into slavery seemed a trifle extreme even for a woman with her temper,” Roger cracks. Dear Dogface: Almost every single time Brianna has displayed “a temper” it’s been because of something you said that was ASININE.
Claire squats down and tells Roger everything: about the rape, about the mistaken identity, about Stephen Bonnet. Roger is so horrified that he stands up specifically so he can stagger around in disbelief. “He was the captain of the ship I came over on,” Roger sputters, and Jamie can’t take another second of this so he gets in Dogface’s, er, face, and shouts at him for leaving Brianna alone that night just because they got into a squabble. Roger decks him and Jamie grabs him by the collar and says, “That’s the LAST unanswered blow.” Roger defiantly says he didn’t leave because they argued; he left because she told him to go. Which she did BECAUSE YOU ARGUED, and because YOU were like, “MAYBE I SHOULD JUST GO THEN,” and she said, “FINE.” I really hate Roger’s selective memory. For a historian, he is really a nasty revisionist who has no problem at all blaming Brianna for every predicament he finds himself in. Ugh. Roger then says he came back for her, but was waylaid by Bonnet and forced to sail to Philly before he could get back to Brianna.
Then, Roger tells them he found another stone circle. “Somewhere between here and Fraser’s Ridge.” Okay, good luck finding it. (I’m sure he will.) Claire drops the pregnancy bombshell, and the fact that they’re not sure she can go through with a baby in her arms. “She has to stay,” Claire says. “But he doesn’t,” Jamie snarks. Roger is defensive at the idea that he’d leave his new family behind, until Claire points out that the baby might not be his. Jamie gets all het up about whether Roger can still live with her, and love her, and the baby, even if the child is Bonnet’s. Claire makes him back off and counsels Roger not to take this huge decision lightly. “This is all too much,” Roger whispers.
that she went through
are so hard for me
Jamie snaps. “You cost me a lad that I loved, and my daughter doesn’t need a coward,” Jamie says. “I’d rather she hate me for the rest of her life than for you to break her heart again. So. Make up your mind.” Roger says he needs time, and Claire urges him to take it: “This is our daughter. You’d better be sure.”
As all this is happening, Brianna is giving birth. Jocasta and supports her as Phaedre and kind of Lizzy handle the technical stuff, and Murtagh paces nervously outside. It’s a boy. “And we will choose his birthday wisely, so we can be sure the lad was born in wedlock,” Jocasta crows, because this is definitely the appropriate time to bring that up.
Murtagh is fawning over the bean as Brianna bounces him on her lap — he seems to be holding his head up just fine, so either that’s a necessity of casting or we’re a few months later? — when Phaedre excitedly reports the arrival of Jamie and Claire. They are without Roger. “He’s alive,” Jamie says, and Claire simply adds, “We told him everything.” Bree starts to cry and then snuggles the baby. Later, Bree is upstairs being sad while Claire gets some grandson time and learns from Jocasta that Brianna was waiting for Roger to name the baby. (Isn’t she super headstrong, supposedly? And fiery? Aren’t we told that ALL THE TIME? That girl waits for no man to name her baby.) Claire thanks Jocasta profusely for all she’s done. We are cruelly denied a scene of Jamie holding this baby, which is BOGUS as far as I’m concerned. Jamie never got to hold Brianna as a baby; I should think it would be EXTREMELY emotional and meaningful for Jamie to take this child and look into its eyes and sniff its divine baby head. Indeed, I would imagine he and Claire could’ve had a really lovely scene in private about all the things swirling in his head, the memories she has that he never will, what it means to hold the child of the child he only just met… but, no. That scene belongs to a show that isn’t barreling through plot at the expense of character.
Instead, Murtagh quickly tells Jamie about the snafu with Bonnet, but tells him that Bonnet didn’t escape the prison before it blew. Claire goes up to see Brianna, who has not once asked about Cousin Ian’s whereabouts, nor expressed any gratitude for her parents’ efforts on her behalf, nor for Ian’s sacrifice of himself for her semi-husband. Instead she snuffles while Claire tells her they’ll all go back to Fraser’s Ridge together, where she’ll be “surrounded by family,” which is a tough sell given that Ian was about 20 percent of their family and HE IS GONE NOW, THANKS FOR NOTICING. During dinner, everyone is quiet and miserable and tragic until Brianna decides to come down for a meal; she plonks down between Jamie and Claire and the Soaring Strings of Everything’s Going To Work Out start to play as she takes some bread proffered by Jamie. She still hasn’t really looked at him, nor told him that she forgives him for anything. Are we just going to spend NO TIME ON THIS RELATIONSHIP? I really, really, really need Outlander to help me care about Brianna, and one way would be to cut down on her drawing and ramp up the conversations. I LIKE WORDY FEELINGS.
And if you thought I was being annoying already, strap in, folks: The next day, or week, or hour, or WHENEVER, they are leaving River Run, and while Bree is upstairs packing somberly, she catches sight of something outside the window. It is Roger, on horseback, trotting up the drive. As she sprints for him, he dismounts and runs toward her too, and the cheesy music swells and swells until she throws herself into Roger’s arms. (Never mind that her entire family was in the living room hall two seconds ago and she would’ve had to run past their open door to get outside, and yet NONE of them seem to have poked a head out the door to say, “Hey, where are you — oh, it’s Dogface.”
Also: WTF. Where and when did he split from Claire and Jamie? How far away was he? Did they give him one of their horses so that he could trot around morosely and think about how depressing all of Bree’s suffering has been for him? Wouldn’t they have said, “We loaned Dogface a horse and that’s the last we saw of him”? Or, “He ditched us half an hour outside town”? Or did he steal their horse and disappear? I just… the lack of information that ANYONE had about ANYTHING feels like it was PURELY for plot-twist reasons. There is no way Claire and Jamie would’ve come back with NOTHING TO SAY about what transpired or his potential whereabouts or WHERE THEY EVEN PARTED WAYS other than, “Well, we told him. SHRUG!!!!!” It’s profoundly unsatisfying, it makes Jamie and Claire seem careless, and it makes Roger look like a dink.
the script said
dont come to work
so i didnt
So, these two stand there clasping at each other as if they are two humans with chemistry. And then she says, in that emotionless way she has, “You’re here.” He tells her that he loves her, and she looks at him with such gratitude, and then they make out. She gazes at him and never once makes fun of how insane his hair and beard are now, and then he says, “Take me to see my son,” and again she seems so relieved. Oh, Bree. Honestly, Lord John might have been more fun. His banter is sure better.
The two of them make for the main house, but a bunch of redcoats gallop up the drive past them. “Murtagh,” breathes Brianna, and she starts to run, but Roger grabs her hand and holds her back. Uh, buzz off there, Roger.
Inside, where absolutely nobody has noticed that Brianna is currently on the lawn making out with Barry Gibb or even apparently heard her bolt down the stairs, Phaedre warns everyone that redcoats are outside. They all gasp. Murtagh goes straight to Jocasta and says, “Jo, I–” and she touches her forehead to his, rubs his arms, and whispers that he must get to the slave quarters. Jamie gives them an awesome look of, “I have questions about THIS but no time to ask them.” Ulysses saves the day because he’s the best, smuggling Murtagh outside as the redcoats enter. They bow and hand Jamie a letter from Governor Tryon, and then toddle off, all ten of them. That’s a pretty excessive cavalcade.
Jamie cares deeply for us, so he puts on his glasses one last time this season to read the missive. It is an order for him to gather a militia against the regulators… and specifically, to hunt down and kill one Murtagh Fitzgibbons. I cannot imagine that twist having as much impact in the book universe, where Murtagh is dead, so that brings us full circle: What IS the end of Drums of Autumn? What are the details of Roger’s parting from Jamie and Claire, or was that just a really lame made-for-TV reveal? Is there a character Murtagh is replacing, whose loss Jamie would have felt nearly as much Or are we really starting to screech off into a great unknown here?