Things are getting more complicated for the Fraser clan this week on Starz’s “Outlander.” “Doesn’t Hold a Grudge” Murtagh (Ducan Lacroix) rounds up a couple of British law makers and berates them for not showing mercy to those in the New World who could not pay their taxes. As punishment for their misdoings, Murtagh instructs his followers to pour hot tar over the men and coat them with feathers. This does not look pleasant. I thought we just threw tea overboard in protest…
Cue colonial American style opening theme and music of “The Skye Boat Song.” … Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone...“
Brianna (Sophie Skelton) sits below a beautiful tree sketching her rapist, Bonnet. Some pretty heavy PTSD here. At that moment, a woman rides up on a horse drawn carriage screaming about her husband not being able to breathe. Once they are inside, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) examines the patient. She is aghast that the woman has essentially, and unknowingly, killed her husband with folk medicine. Oh, the good ol’ days of blood letting and mercury pills. Claire can do nothing to help and the man dies.
Jamie (Sam Heughan) finds himself in search of Murtagh with Lieutenant Hamilton Knox. Knox is quite taken with Jamie (as we all are). Following the certain capture of Murtagh, he wishes to own land and lead a community like Jamie. As they ride through the woods, Knox throws a coin at a poor local family on the side of the road. When the man spits at him, Knox is offended by the disrespect to the King’s Army and wishes Jamie to express the same opinion. Jamie always seems to be hanging out with the wrong people.
Unable to let things go, Claire performs an autopsy on the dead man to confirm his cause of death. Brianna tells her mother that people may not be too keen on her cutting open the dead. Doesn’t Claire remember she’s been thought a witch once before? But stubborn Claire believes it’s time to let the folks know the dos and don’ts of medicine. Can they accept modern medicine or will they turn against her?
Jamie and Knox come across the Governor’s friend Mr. Fanning who looks beaten. Fanning talks crap about the new country and shows Jamie and Knox the men tarred from earlier. As it happens, Fanning had arrested a few of the men responsible for this “tax evasion” tarring. Jamie knows a couple of them (awkward!), and he questions whether they know Murtagh’s location. One of the men accuses Jamie of riding a high horse and accepting more land from the crown, forsaking his honor. Knox is so livid about this man trash talking his King and country that he stabs him. There is an “oh no” moment that follows, as he has executed the man without a trial (not a good thing to do). Jamie lies for Knox, says it was self defense and receives looks of scorn from the arrested Scots.
Meanwhile, Roger (Richard Rankin) can’t aim with a rifle at all, but Brianna is a pretty good shot. Their target practice session takes a bit of a serious turn when Brianna asks Roger if he wants to go back. Brianna makes excuses that their son, Jemmy, won’t be killed in a car accident and they are with her parents. Roger senses Brianna may not ever be ready to go back. Three hundred years would be a pretty big compromise in any marriage, let alone one just starting out.
Knox wallows in the fact he’s a murderer, and his victim got a solider’s death, which apparently is a honor. Jamie wishes the other two men receive a fair trial, but Knox simply states they will be hanged and this is part of plan for King and country. Jamie seems less sure about his plans of working “with” this King and country.
After the funeral, Claire brings Marsali back to her “morgue.” As it turns out, the family unknowingly buried an empty casket. The dead guy is still on a slab at the Fraser house. Marsali is quite frightened by what she sees, but Claire explains that she has seen Marsali butcher an animal. She is impressed by how well Marsali knows how to use a knife to cut up the different body parts. Claire wants her to be an apprentice and Marsali seems intrigued. Finally, Claire can have someone suction during surgery!
Jamie breaks into the jail to talk to the two men behind bars. He convinces them he is trying to save all their lives and this is no more than an act. Jamie breaks the men out and they take off, but not before telling him they are getting together a huge group trained for battle. Jamie may not be able to keep up this charade much longer if he wants to land on the right side of history.
The women of Fraser’s Ridge make candles and gossip about proper folk medicine. Claire looks on, aghast. It will take a lot of work to change people’s minds about treatments for the sick or injured. Claire begins to make a list of “tips for preventative health care.” She uses an old male doctor’s name as the source for these new ideas. Not a bad plan!
Back at the jail, Knox and Fanning can’t believe the men have escaped. Jamie tries to persuade Knox that this may work in their favor and lead them to Murtagh. Knox is less certain, but believes war is inevitable. Jamie will need to gather an entire militia and be ready to fight in the coming days.
Roger wants to blame his lousy shot on his eyesight, so he goes to Claire for a check up. But Claire does not believe his eyesight is the problem. Roger begins to wonder if it is psychological. Can he kill anyone? Does he want to shoot anyone? Is he happy here? All seem like reasonable questions for an academic forced to live in a time not ready for him. Roger tells Claire that he believes Brianna wants to stay. And Claire tells Roger that she wants them to go back. But can little Jemmy pass through the stones? Wouldn’t it be terrible if he ended up somewhere else. Spin off anyone?
The two escaped men come across Murtagh and some friends in the woods. There is a coalition in the forest readying for battle. The men question Murtagh’s allegiance. Jamie or the mission? That’s a tough one. Murtagh says he will fight alongside the revolutionary men.
Claire is making bread, but not to eat. She wants it to go moldy, so that she may be able to make penicillin. Brianna thinks this is a bad idea. People who mess with future are essentially playing God. But Claire gives a nice speech. This changes Brianna’s mind. Move over God, here comes Claire.
Roger sings Three Dog Night’s “Joy to World” to Jemmy. He and Brianna share a nice moment as husband and wife, and Jemmy starts to walk. Roger stumbles across Brianna’s sketches of Bonnet. What is he going to do to help his wife?
At the same time, an underground fight occurs between two women. The mass of spectators place bets on who will win. And lo and behold, Mr. Bonnet is there making business deals. Bonnet can never go too long without making trouble. When he is accused of knowing the winner beforehand, Bonnet challenges his accuser to a duel with swords. In the midst of battle, the man yields, but Bonnet then cuts on his eyes and slits his legs. Holy Mother! Why didn’t he kill him outright, Bonnet is asked. “I wanted to set a good example. I’m a father now.” The Fraser clan better be ready, this raging psycho knows about Jemmy!