Starz’s “Outlander” is back tonight for its third episode of season five, and the troubles keep piling on. Marsali (Lauren Lyle) is in the midst of her medical training with Claire (Caitriona Balfe). Claire is trying to make penicillin with moldy pieces of bread. We watch some bread turn moldy, but apparently it is not working. Shoot! Claire may change the future of this endeavor, but all she cares about is saving lives. And we all know she has a hard time letting things go.
Cue colonial American style opening theme and music of “The Skye Boat Song.” … Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone...“
Jamie (Sam Heughan) arrives back at Fraser’s Ridge. He stands over a sleeping Claire. He thanks the Lord for the sight of Claire. They are still so sweet together, it’s ridiculous. When Claire awakens, Jamie spills the beans about everything that happened in the last episode. Claire is the supportive wife and tells him that everyone is going to be happy to have him back. But Jamie is not so sure- he plans to form a militia now. War may be inevitable. Yeah, maybe they won’t be so thrilled to see him.
Jamie goes to Fergus (César Domboy) and Marsali’s house, and Jamie asks him to send a message to the paper about gathering the men. Fergus rides off to deliver the message to the paper. The very next scene has a huge group of men all ready to go. That was fast! Claire is going to go with Jamie and his men as their physician. Claire says goodbye to Brianna (Sophie Skelton). Roger (Richard Rankin) is also heading off, which will leave Brianna to run Fraser’s Ridge. This does not seem like a good idea to me. And low and behold, at the first pit stop, Jamie tells Claire that Bonnet is alive. Why would they leave Sophie behind, I have no idea. But this solemn moment doesn’t last long, as the men and Claire sit about a fire for some good old-fashioned bonding.
In the morning, someone in the militia yells there is a thief amongst them. As it turns out, one of the tenants of the militia is the brother of the thief. The thief is simply hungry, and he is also deaf. Claire examines his ears but can do nothing for him. The two boys are orphans. They have no real family but are technically the property of a Mr. Beardsley. Jamie tells Roger to take the boys and the rest of the militia ahead. Jamie and Claire are going to see this Mr. Beardsley. Why people always split up is beyond me…
Jamie and Claire find Mr. Beardsley’s house. It looks abandoned, but there is a lone cat. Foreboding? Then, out of a know where a creepy woman appears in the window. Jamie asks the lady if he can purchase the two boys. She tells Jamie he can have them free of charge and slams the door on him. Cut and run, I say. But Jamie needs their papers. The woman lets them in but says she doesn’t know where the papers are. The place is filthy and reeks. Jamie and Claire discover Mr. Beardsley half-dead from a stroke, lying in his own filth. It looks like the creepy woman isn’t that good of a caretaker.
Meanwhile, Roger is busy recruiting young blood for the militia. He even promises moms that their sons will come back alive. That’s a tall order, Roger!
Back to the main story, Jamie and Claire clean up the stoked Mr. Beardsley, but he’s covered in scars and burns too. He has been tortured by his wife (the creepy caretaker), who really does not like the man. Mr. Beardsley has a gangrenous foot, and Claire wants to amputate. Jeez, this woman will not let anything go. The wife tries to kill Mr. Beardsley while Jamie and Claire are distracted. But Jamie stops her. Then she goes into labor. Surprise! The woman gives birth to a baby girl, who has dark skin. As it turns out, Mr. Beardsley is not the father. Surprise, again! The woman is so happy that her abusive husband is not the father. Later that night, the two women have a heart-to-heart about motherhood.
When it comes to saving Mr. Beardsley’s life, Claire is torn between her duties as a doctor and her feelings as a woman. Claire believes that this is a good time to tell Jamie that she wants Brianna, Roger, and the baby to go back to her time. Jamie is hurt. Who wouldn’t be? He wants to talk about it later. Always a good idea- push off important conversations.
In the morning, Jamie and Claire wake to find the woman gone. She has left the papers for the boys and also the baby girl. They will take the baby for now, but what about Mr. Beardsley? Jamie asks the man to blink if he wishes to be put down. The man blinks, and he puts the man down. Jamie remembers how his father died of a stroke. Jamie asks Claire to put him out of his misery if anything like that should happen to him. We all want our free will… I suppose.